laundry rooms today have many features

Laundry Rooms & Lockers

One of the biggest trends in home building today are laundry rooms that contain more than just a washer and dryer and locker areas. Collectively this area is often referred to as the mud room, especially in the northeast. If you’re planning a whole home remodel or building a home, you might want to plan some space for a mudroom. Not only will you find it’s a great use of space, but you’ll also end up with exactly the space and storage you need for your family.

Locker Designs

Because your locker will depend on the space you have and your family, no two ever look the same. Most lockers have a bench with storage beneath and storage above. What that storage looks like can vary. Sometimes drawers beneath the bench work best. Other times keeping the area open for shoes is ideal. Above the locker area, you might want cabinets or spaces for baskets to store sports gear or other items not needed often. In the locker itself, you might want hooks to hang backpacks and jackets.

Common Features of Today’s Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms should be more than just a washer and dryer. If you’re undergoing a whole home remodel and don’t have much more space to utilize, see if your remodeler can add a sink. Another benefit of the sink is that you gain valuable storage beneath the sink and you can add a drying rack above for the items you don’t want to put in the dryer.

If you’re planning an addition or building a new home, you have a lot more flexibility. Here are things to think about for your new laundry room:

  • Storage for vacuums (including handheld rechargeable ones).
  • Hanging space to dry clothes that don’t go in the dryer.
  • Additional heated and cooled storage for things like the extra paint from your home or even seasonal decorations.
  • Hamper for dirty sports gear and bathing suits.
  • Counter for folding clean clothes.

Build America Is Ready to Help

Although we began as a custom home builder, we’ve also helped many homeowners with remodeling. We can help you better utilize your existing space, move walls or even plan an addition. Many homes in the area have outside washers and dryers which is never comfortable or convenient so let us be your remodeler. Call (727) 776-9023 to schedule your appointment with one of our team members.

consider smart home technology during your home & kitchen remodeling

Building a Smart Home

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an older home, adding smart home technology is a smart move. Not only are there more options than ever but they can make your life so much easier. From kitchen remodeling to updating your master bathroom, here are some ideas you should consider in different parts of your home.

Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most common changes people make to their home.  During a remodel is the perfect time to incorporate smart home technology. Here are some of the many features to consider:

  • Range & Oven – Smart ovens have many options. A few are the ability to pre-heat and adjust the temperature remotely.
  • Refrigerators – Some have a touch screen that allows you to load recipes. Others have a transparent door so you can look inside without opening it. You can remotely customize drawer temperatures on some models and others have cameras inside to allow you to look inside while you’re at the grocery store.
  • Microwaves – If you are not great at being there to stop the beeping, you might want a smart microwave. You can let it know you heard it’s finished without going back to the kitchen. You can also remote start or stop it.
  • Touchless Faucets – Some may argue that this isn’t smart technology but it’s a smart feature for your kitchen especially if you’re a foodie who cooks a lot or have kids who don’t seem to be able to remember to turn the water off.

Security

There are many security features available. One that you really need to talk about during the planning of a build or whole home remodel is whether you want security cameras. Although there are wi-fi options, wired ones tend to work more consistently and are also more secure themselves.

Other great smart home security options include lighting that you can set on timers or turn on and off remotely to being able to check if the doors are locked right from your bed, these security items are great things to consider. You can even remotely unlock the door for a pet-sitter or open the garage door for a delivery if you’re not home.

Comfort

If your home build or remodel includes a new HVAC system, spend the extra money on a smart thermostat. You’ll end up saving whatever you spend on this technology by being able to remotely adjust the temperature when you’re not home.

Smart homes are the future. If you’re looking for a custom home builder or a kitchen remodeling company or a remodeler to help with anything in between, call Build America at (727) 776-9023. We can incorporate smart home technology and other elements to make your life easier. That’s why we’re a local and leading builder and remodeler in the greater Tampa Bay area.

tub for a bathroom remodel

Choosing the Right Tub for Your Bathroom Remodel

Not every bathroom has a tub and your first bathroom remodeling decision will be whether to keep it in yours or use the space the way you need it. If you decide that you love having a tub in your bathroom and decide to include one in your new space, you have many options to choose from. Each one has different pros and cons and will reflect a slightly different style. The one recommendation we give all homeowners starting a bathroom remodel with us is to keep at least one tub in their home for future resale.

Decision 1: Whirlpool or Not

For a long time, a whirlpool or jacuzzi tub was a must have in the master bath. Nearly all new builds and remodels included one. Today, this is more of a 50/50 split of whether to include this option. A few things to consider are that there is an increased expense if you’re adding one where it hasn’t been previously for the electric. They’re more expensive than a standard tub of comparable size. And, perhaps most importantly, if you don’t plan on using it frequently or don’t clean it properly, you’re going to end up with mold growing inside the blower unit.

Decision 2: Size

Do you enjoy taking a long soak submerged up to your neck? Are you looking to be able to relax with your partner? How much space do you want to dedicate to the tub? These questions will contribute to your ideal tub.

Decision 3: Built-In or Freestanding

If you love the look of a claw-foot tub you probably want a freestanding tub. These now come in just about every style from traditional to modern and many sizes. The one thing to keep in mind is that even though they’re typically smaller than a built in, they still require a fair amount of space because they have space around the entire tub. For the most part, built-ins are less expensive so if you don’t want to use a significant part of your budget to your tub, keep this in mind.

Other Considerations

You may think you want a certain size or shape, but there are a few other things to consider. First, depending on your home’s construction, you may need reinforced flooring for a large tub. A jacuzzi tub full of water and two people can weigh more than 1500 pounds! If your flooring can support the weight, you’re going to end up with issues. You also want to look at where the faucets will be located. With freestanding tubs, sometimes the faucet comes up the side of the tub while other times it’s intended to be a wall mount which may increase your plumbing costs.

No matter what you’re looking for in your bathroom remodel, Build America is ready to help. We can provide a simple remodel where we leave the elements in place or reconfigure to better utilize your space. And, if you’re looking to add on to your home, as a builder, we’re the perfect company to help. Call us today at (727) 776-9023 to schedule your consultation.

outdoor living space featuring a kitchen and fireplace

Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Living Space

Living in Florida has many advantages. One of those is the ability to spend a great deal of time outside without freezing. If you’re considering an outdoor living space, you have many options. Even if you’re on a budget, you can make the perfect addition to your home. Here are a few ideas to consider for your new outdoor living space.

Outdoor Kitchen

If you really want to do all your entertaining outside and have the space and budget, consider an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens range from simple to elaborate and can include so many different elements like:

  • Built-In Grill
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini-Keg Cooler
  • Ice Maker
  • Cabinets
  • Cooktop
  • Pizza Oven
  • Sink

Because many natural stone countertops are great for outside, you can even create a bar top or serving area that looks great and is easy to maintain.

Eating Area

Depending on your entertaining style, you may want to have a large table with ceiling fans over it or keep it simple with your bar area. A roofing addition may be possible depending on your HOA regulations and the easement requirements in your city. Usually a pergola or retractable awning is acceptable, which can provide shade if a permanent roofing structure isn’t.

Firepit or Fireplace

Firepits are an increasingly popular addition to the backyard. Although you can purchase a metal firepit just about anywhere, a built in one on a new patio will last longer and look great. A fireplace can warm you on our cool winter evenings and they’re great for toasting marshmallows. You can choose an attached or detached fireplace depending on your space. However you choose to add some ambiance to your outdoor living space, make sure to be safe, especially with portable fire pits. Keep them at least ten feet from your home and the neighbor’s property.

Build America can help you with whatever building or remodeling project you have in mind. Whether you’re looking for a total home remodel or just an outdoor living space, we’re the company to call. Reach out to schedule your free consultation for all your building or remodeling needs – (727) 776-9023.

 

The Happiness Of Hardwood Floors

The Happiness Of Hardwood FloorsHardwood floors never go out of style. They are the preference of many of a home owner and office and for good reason. They offer their own special ambiance and more and we’ll look at why people love them and why you should think of having them installed too.

First of all, let’s just face it, hardwood floors are cool. They look awesome even if you have rotten furniture. If you live in an apartment or house, hardwood floors make you look good as well. The mind somehow recognizes them as something dependable and pleasing and you won’t find too many people who will disagree. It doesn’t matter what you put on the floors your place looks awesome by default. It’s this simplicity that makes them the number one sought after flooring.

The hardwood floor, not only being attractive, is easy to clean. This is why people enjoy them over carpeting. Spills and boo boos are easily wiped up and won’t harm the finish. Scratches and scrapes can be easily mended and you don’t need expensive cleaners to keep them spotless and looking good. Just regular warm water and soap can do the job. A soft broom and a mop and you’re good to go. Even light weight vacuum cleaners can do the job.

In order to protect some of the hardwood flooring from furniture and foot traffic, throw rugs are a great accent to hardwood floors and even ugly throw rugs look cool covering such floors. Hardwood floors are so aesthetically pleasing that the only place you couldn’t put them is in a haunted house.

The hardwood floorThe floors last a long time too. We’re talking hundreds of years with proper maintenance. Many an historical estate still has the hardwood floors from the first day of their construction and have had the high and mighty walk and dance across them. It’s easy to see why installing hardwood floors explodes the home’s equity. Some hardwood floors once installed are worth more than some people’s entire homes.

If you’re environmentally or green oriented, the hardwood floors will provide you with that feeling of being one with nature. They also don’t gather the dander and dust that carpets do. Perfect for people with allergy problems or if you have young ones around.

When it comes to maintenance, you can refinish or replace the hardwood floors quite easily. That’s because you’ll be going to a company like Build America LLC to get the right job done. They’ll know how to get your hardwood floors installed correctly and how to fix any problems and especially how to keep the up to par when it comes to maintenance. It’s a company that has experience on their side with lots of happy customers who know the value of their craftsmanship and professionalism. It’s your hard earned dollar that really counts here and you want a company that understands this and brings you an ROI that you can be proud of. Build America LLC is the go to hardwood floors everything.

Image credit: kirkandmimi

The Pros And Cons Of High Ceiling

The Pros And Cons Of High CeilingHigh ceilings in homes have made a significant comeback in recent years. The reasons are multiple and we’ll look at the pros and cons of of having a home with high ceilings.

High ceilings used to to be the thing in Europe and early America. Usually wealthy homes could afford them and that trend carried over to the Americas. High ceilings were an aesthetic thing and people utilized the space with paintings an chandeliers and other overhead decorations. Nowadays the similar thought occurs but it may not be the preferred thing for the economically conscious homeowner.

Heating the home makes it difficult and expensive where high ceilings are concerned. Think f your rooms being twice the size they are with high ceilings so that if you would normally spend $100 per room to heat per winter you’ll spend $200 per room. If you can afford it, so be it, but if you’ve got a high mortgage and other expenses then it’s not a good idea.

The same goes for the hotter months. You’re using air conditioning at a double rate which means more electricity. Electricity can be expensive depending on your source. If you’re using solar panels then there’s nothing to worry about as the costs per kilowatt hour are considerably lower. That goes for the colder months too with heating. If you’re living off the grid, you’re going to be paying a pretty penny for sure.

High ceilings may make your home feel more majestic or battle claustrophobia. If this is the case it’s a creature comfort that has a positive goal. Several studies indicate a home with high ceilings may well have psychological effects of a positive nature. It all depends on the person and their natural behavior and mindsets.

What are some pros and cons of high ceilings?If you’re an artist or musician a high ceiling can improve the sound of your playing or your stereo system and it’s definitely a platform for displaying as much art as you can. These are personal preferences that you’ll have to iron out with trial and error.

People who like to utilize the higher space may want to put elevated platforms like lofts that allow for segmented working or play or resting areas. The creative person may find new and innovative uses for a high ceiling and that can lead to a viral new use of the space that others may find entertaining and useful.

The bottom line is that high ceilings have either practical or entertaining or psychological impact. Architects will explain the benefits of high ceilings and real estate agents will too. The home builder who wants a high ceiling house should do some extra research regarding this option. One should look over all options but believe it or not, even if the ceiling is very high, you can later partition it off to turn the area into two floors. The sky’s the limit here so let yourself simmer on the issue before taking the plunge.

Picking a company like Build America LLC will get you on the right track regarding high ceiling designs and building. They’re pros and know how to guide the new home builder to the right path.

Image credit: shadowfirearts

There’s No End To A Hurricane Cleanup Scam

Beware of scammersIf it isn’t bad enough that millions of people have been suffering from the rash of hurricanes, there is also a rise in the unscrupulous scammers who are taking advantage of an honest home builder.

Opportunity Knocks

When people are the target of a disaster, they can be in such a desperate state of affairs that they cannot make the right decisions. Terror and disorientation can set in and instead of making the right choices, they make all sorts of wrong ones. The mere shock of seeing one’s home devastated and one’s family and friends in dire straits is prime fodder for a criminal company to show up and offer all kinds of help when in truth they’re out for t scamming as much money as they can.

First of all, the home builder may have lost everything and needs to start from the ground floor up. It may be that they have just lost 50% of their home and can rebuild from that. It varies and is a case by case basis. This is where scammers come in. They’ll look for the most desperate victim they can find. Knowing people can’t get to banks or have insurance checks on the way, they’ll scout and plan and just when the homeowner suspects it least, they strike.

There are all sorts of tricks that these fake contractors use. They’re just like predators who plot and plan and wait to pounce. Often, it’s your own behavior after a disaster that attracts them. Due to social media, scammers can read posts and tweets to find out who is in distress and who isn’t. They follow around and look for data that pertains to their particular area. If you’re posting in your hometown’s Facebook page about how your roof and garage are destroyed, you’ve just let everyone know your status. Criminals see this and start their evil plan.

They will show up claiming they can do this or that and for such an amount of money. They will say because of the devastation they can’t do contracts or show proper credentials. This is where the alarm bells should be going off in your head because even if there’s been a disaster, contractors are required to abide by the law. That’s why we have law, to make sure we behave no matter what the state of our possessions and self are.

Get The Credentials

When a contractor comes along after a hurricane or tornado or flooding, make sure you get their credentials. They may make all kind of claims that their office is flooded too or have had this problem or that. You can outsmart them if your cell phone still works. Hit the web and look for their website and state credentials. They shouldn’t have disappeared just because of a disaster. That’s why the internet was engineered for, surviving catastrophic events. You should be able to find verifiable data on the contractor and if not, give them the heave-ho.

So remember, there are real honest and credentialed pros out there that know what it’s like to have one’s back against the wall. Build America LLC is the kind of company you can count on. They’ll walk you through the process of rebuilding and do so at an affordable price. Don’t risk your future after your past has been destroyed get a hold of Build America LLC now.

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Bathroom Remodeling Calls For Common Sense & Adventure

Bathroom Remodeling Calls For Common Sense & AdventureThe bathroom takes a lot of punishment on a 24/7 basis. Extremes in temperature and moisture, chemicals from cleaning, and general overall use can take a toll on the bathroom. That being said, bathroom renovation is something that will have to be done sooner or later. It doesn’t have to be a drag though. Careful planning and expert advice can bring about a bathroom that is not only functional and safe but also pretty to look at and worthy of celebrating

Planning Is First

Before you do any bathroom remodeling, it calls for planning. A bathroom that is inefficiently designed and worked on can cause water damage to occur and remedying that can cost a ton of money. Look at what needs to be done first and how to go about it. Should flooring be needed, how will putting in the new flooring affect the rest of the facilities? Will you be using another material for the floor than what’s there presently? Sure you can do the flooring yourself, but should you really call in an expert? These questions you’ll have to answer honestly. Although it could save you money to DIY, just one mistake could cause chaos and you’ll end up spending more on repairing what you’ve done than had you hired a pro in the first place.

Heavy Duty Duties

If in your bathroom renovation project you need some plumbing done, be realistic regarding whether you should do it yourself. Will you need to replace the toilet is a big issue? If so, then get a pro to advise or do the job. The shower is equally in need of attention on this level. If you do have the skills, then do so. If not, don’t take chances.

Sales And Quality

Bathroom remodeling can cost a good penny if you don’t watch out. The real attractive materials such as flooring and fixtures might be too much for your budget but then again, some sharp shopping could cut those costs drastically. Don’t go for the cheap. Cheap products fall apart too soon and it means you’ll be spending twice as much had you bought the quality products that cost more. Cheap products can lead to water damage or mold. You definitely don’t want that to happen. Get online and do some shopping or ask your local hardware store for any bonuses and sales. There are many remodeling companies that have websites where they offer discounts on top brand name products. If you don’t know how to shop, it’s a good idea to consult one.

Build America LLC is the kind of company you’ll want to consult. Their list of products and services are top-notch and their staff is highly trained. Known for such quality and customer service, they’ll stick with you from beginning to end. You’ll not only save money but get an education too.

So don’t let bathroom renovation scare you. Just ask the professionals at Build America LLC and you’ll rest easy knowing your home will be the comfort zone you’re looking for.

Image credit: shadowfirearts

Kitchen Remodeling And Bathroom Remodeling Pluses

Kitchen Remodeling And Bathroom Remodeling Pluses

The kitchen and bathrooms are the areas that get the most wear and tear in a home. This calls for more focus on maintenance and care. After a few years, it may call for some remodeling and the benefits of remodeling are all pluses.

Today’s Benefits

Since your home is probably your biggest lifetime investment keeping it up means some prevention and remedy. The more you put into your home’s appearance and function, the more equity the property gains. Sometimes a wee bit of paint can protect walls and furnishings, increasing their ability to be maintained and making the home more appealing and raises your home’s value.

People who visit your home will definitely visit your bathroom. A bathroom well laid out and pretty will invoke praise and comparison. Others will want to follow your lead in choices of appliances and materials and design. These two rooms are reliant on function fist, but enhancing the functions with attractive materials and design make them all the more favorable to use and show off.

What To Do

When you engage in kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling, hire a professional if you’re not skilled. In many cases, you can do a great job on your own. Where it comes to electrical and plumbing issues, only use a professional. That’s just plain common sense and safety. Don’t go for cheap because the rigors of use of these rooms can do a job on cheap paint and materials to the point that you’ll end up spending more in repairs than remodeling.

Get new fixtures that are built to last. Floors depend on what you’re able to handle. If you have seniors or small children you’ll want flooring that is safe to walk on and easy to clean. Take also into consideration pets. Some people allow pets in their kitchens and bathrooms and pets can do damage via their claws or dropped food or fur and hair that can get into those nooks and crannies.

Kitchen Remodeling Services Picture Credit: Films42

Paint should be the best. Easy to clean but able to take the extremes in temperatures and moisture the bathroom and kitchen use can generate. Water is one of the worst enemies of a home if it gets into areas that can compromise the structure.

Make It Pretty

Yes, even you he-men out there need to realize that your kitchen and bathrooms have to be attractive. It may clash with your machismo, but in the short and long term, it will be a boost in the equity in your home which you shouldn’t sneeze at. We’re not talking Liberace ornate, something that can be subdued yet attractive at the same time. Get someone whose aesthetics you trust and let them do the choices in paints and cabinets and so on.

Master Bathroom Remodeling and Design Project Finally

Final word is to emphasize that remodeling is a double barreled process. Function and aesthetics have to be balanced. Remember, people will definitely judge you regarding your kitchen and bathrooms. Make them the kind of places that people will feel comfortable in and will give you years of use.

Sinkhole Problems For The Home Builder

Sinkhole Problems For The Home BuilderRecent news has spotlighted monstrous sinkholes swallowing up homes like a frog at a fly festival. It’s frightening to watch as huge sinkholes form out of nowhere and gobble up properties and take lives. Next to fire and flooding, it’s the scariest thing to happen to a home owner or home builder.

Sinkholes form when the ground underneath becomes soft and liquid and a vacuum created due to water. They can happen anywhere where there are soil and sand and especially lime deposits. They can also be caused by earthquakes. When a sinkhole forms it may do so slowly or rapidly and the rapidity of one is why people lose lives. They’re unsuspecting of such an event and then aren’t even prepared for what to do when one occurs. Sinkholes can be small enough to compromise the safety of a property for good or they can spread to encompass several properties and damaged infrastructure of the municipality breaking pipes and electrical lines.

The new home builder has to look for sinkhole activity before even planning to build. Unfortunately, the only way to predict if a sinkhole is there or will form is still luck. You can use some science via regional offices in your municipality or state and government resources that are designed not only to predict where sinkholes might form but also where they exist and are repaired. In areas where sinkholes are known to occur, detecting them is essential and knowing if you can rebind from one is important too. No one would build a home in an area where a sinkhole formed and then filled in. There are certain factors within a specific area that may contribute more to the forming of a sinkhole but that doesn’t mean one will form or that it’s more likely to form than in other areas. It’s sometimes a hit and miss situation but following the science improves your chances of not having one form under a property you own or intend to build.

Fortunately, there is some insurance for home builders regarding sinkholes. It’s better to have it than not because if a devastating sinkhole occurs you may not only lose your home but all your belongs. Due to the nature of a sinkhole, you may find yours belongs irretrievable once they’ve been consumed.

All is not lost, however, as there are construction methods to minimize the sinkhole’s impact on your property. If detected early they may be stopped in the process or if not, an evacuation thus saving what can be saved is done.

You may have to do some ground inspections of your own regarding sinkholes. Your building contractor will know what to look for and take no one’s word as solid proof of safety. Let the science do the work via the professionals and services available.
Overall, sinkholes are no joke. Nothing to be played with nor ignored. Since they can happen anytime in vulnerable areas like in Florida where they’re common, one has to be on one’s toes from the first sign of one forming and to determine where one might form.

Picture Credit: Realme