A High End Kitchen Renovation that Won’t Leave You Feeling Burned

July 18th, 2014

Renewal Design-Build Kitchens

I could talk for days about how incredible our designers and builders are here at Renewal Design-Build, but I believe our work speaks for itself. Many of our kitchen remodels have received the Chrysalis Award (2013), the 2012 Silver OBIE Award for Residential Remodeling Best Addition, among other prestigious awards. Our designs have been featured on television shows, and our clients are always thrilled with the completed project. Please view our portfolio to see before and after photos of the amazing remodeling projects we’ve previously done.

Designing an award-winning kitchen takes time, patience, and no small amount of expertise. Our design team is absolutely incredible, and they leave no avenue unexplored. They work with you to ensure that your every wish is fulfilled regarding your new kitchen.

Our kitchen designs wouldn’t be as amazing without our expert team of builders. Our builders take their time to review the 3D renderings and study the plans for each kitchen build before any work begins. They make sure to get all questions and concerns out of the way before the beginning of the project, that way there are no surprises along the way.

Our teams work so well together that the entire project feels seamless. The homeowners we work with report that their experience with us was like no other they’ve ever experienced. They feel as if they are our only client, even when they know they aren’t. Our overall client care approach is designed to put the client first in everything we do.

Allow us the opportunity to work with you to design your new custom kitchen. You will be responsible for choosing the basic design that our designers will embellish on, the materials that our builders will use, and the finishing touches that will make your kitchen shine. In the end, your kitchen will be award-worthy just as many of the other kitchens in our online portfolio.

We’re very proud to have been able to work with some amazing clients in the Decatur and greater Atlanta area. We’ve met people who know exactly what they want and give us the creative freedom to perfect on their vision. We’ve also met people who have several great ideas, but aren’t quite sure if those ideas can be made into a usable kitchen. We do everything within our power to make sure their kitchen exceeds their expectations.

We enjoy working with homeowners to bring their kitchen dreams to life. If you’re remodeling your existing home, or building a new home, and are interested in hiring us to design and build your custom kitchen, please give us call. We will set up an appointment that works with your schedule and discuss your design and build needs.

Thinking about Remodeling Your Home? Let’s Talk Whole House Redesign!

July 7th, 2014

Before you panic or click away for fear of sticker shock, let me explain that a whole house redesign doesn’t necessarily mean knocking down all walls and starting from scratch. The basic structure of your home will remain intact, but we will redesign certain rooms, remodel the kitchen and bathrooms if you wish, and make whatever other changes you want. Some rooms, the family room for instance, may only require new paint, new windows, or updated flooring. Other rooms may only require paint, or nothing at all.

Build a New Home vs. Redesign and Remodel
One of the primary questions you need to ask your self is – should you remodel your existing home or build a new custom home? That choice is, of course, entirely yours. Several key factors need to be taken into consideration. Let’s take a look at a few of the big ones:
Building a new home requires the acquisition of land, footers to be dug, foundation to be poured, and every stage of construction leading up to the completed home. Remodeling your existing home requires none of those additional costs. Your basic structure, the foundation, plumbing, and electric wires are already in place.

Plan for Now and Later
Planning your whole house remodel will take time. You will likely need to consult an architect as well as a contractor. Your existing home has specific support beams and support walls that simply cannot be removed and replaced without ensuring that the support remains in place. Removing areas of support without replacing them all but guarantees that your home will become structurally unsafe.

While planning your remodel, keep in mind that you’re planning for now and for the future as well. Many people live in their homes through their retirement years, and well into their 80s. Mobility issues will likely arise in your later years, so plan ahead and include handrails, grab bars, wide hallways and doorways, and accessible showers and tubs.
Planning your remodel to include your senior years will increase the value of your home and make life much easier on you in the future. Adding a doorway to adjoin your bedroom to your baby’s bedroom may be a great idea for now, but think about what the teen years are going to bring.

Up to Code
This would be the perfect time to make sure all of the wiring and plumbing in your home is up to code. Replace any damaged or worn wiring with new, and replace all light switches and electrical sockets while you’re into it.

Go Solar
The Federal Tax Credit for installing solar panels expires at the end of 2016. Why not take advantage of it before it’s too late? Solar panels are a great investment for the future because they effectively reduce energy bills. The initial investment will be offset by tax credits and they will continue to pay for themselves through reduced energy costs.

Need More Ideas? Ask Us.
Contractors and architects are always full of great remodeling ideas! Feel free to ask questions like, “If it were your house, and you needed this functionality, what would you do?” You may be surprised at some of the answers you receive once you ask the architect, designer, or contractor to use their imagination.

What to Do at the End of a Remodel

June 25th, 2014
design build firm Atlanta

Renewal Design Build

When thinking about the remodeling process, it’s easy to imagine the work that goes into the design stage and the build stage.  It’s also easy to imagine the excitement you’ll feel when it’s all finished and you get to enjoy your remodeled home!  However, the end of the remodeling process is not just celebrating; there is some work that needs to be done here, too.

  • It sounds so simple, but one important step that often gets overlooked in all the excitement is making sure everything works! Turn on and run all appliances, all lighting fixtures and outlets both new and old…occasionally a breaker will accidentally get tripped that controls other parts of the house. Also test new faucets, showers and other water sources.
  • Spend a couple of hours sorting through all the paperwork and warranty cards. Fill out and return the warranty information as soon as possible. This is an important step in case of a problem or manufacturer’s recall. Keep all manuals and brochures for future reference.
  • Along with the manuals and brochures, make sure to retain additional pertinent information including blueprints, permits, paint and flooring names and colors, contractor’s contact information, punch lists and receipts. Dedicate a specific drawer, file or box for easy access.
  • Make sure you keep all leftover materials such as tile, wallpaper and paint.You never know when a repair will need to be made in the future.
  • Call your insurance agent and add the cost of the remodel onto your homeowner’s policy. This needs to be done any time a major purchase is made for your property.
  • In addition to checking the manuals, don’t hesitate to ask your design-build project manager for detailed maintenance information. Discuss specific cleaning products and maintenance schedules.
  • Double check with your city or county building department that all required documentation has been correctly filed. Sign off on any remaining paperwork and always keep copies for your records.

For more information on the remodeling process from start to finish, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Renovating a Historic Home Doesn’t Mean Tearing it up and Starting Over

June 17th, 2014

There’s a major difference between renovating and rebuilding. Renovating a historic home takes a lot of time and involves keeping the historic appeal while updating the necessities. I’m going to thoroughly compare the two throughout this blog post. Please remember that my opinions are my own, and we may disagree. But that’s perfectly okay, I’d still love to discuss your project with you and bounce ideas, regardless of your methods.

Renovating

When you renovate a historic home, the goal is to maintain the historic appeal of the home while improving the efficiency, and lightly updating the home itself. Most people who renovate do their best to find period pieces to replace broken or damaged pieces. The architecture of decades past is so very multifaceted that it is often very difficult to find pieces that work well without having them crafted.

Which brings me to the next topic of conversation: finding qualified crafters and tradesmen. Some people in the Atlanta area still practice old woodworking and metalworking techniques and can custom make pieces you need.

Rebuilding

Maybe rebuilding is a strong word for this, but a lot of people go into a historic renovation and end up with a completely different structure with just a few of the historic elements left intact. This is more of a renovation extreme, or maybe a renovation/modification process. You still end up with a very nice home with some historic elements when the project is complete, but it isn’t exactly a renovation.

The Bottom Line

Historic home renovation involves a bit of something old, something new. The basic structure of the home should stay intact as much as possible. Replace rotted or damaged wood, but try to make it a seamless transition from old to new. Everything you replace with a modernized look and feel transitions the home into an entirely new entity. Try to stay as close to the original as possible if you’re going for a true renovation or preservation.

If you need any help or advice about renovating your Atlanta area historic home, please feel free to call us. We’ll discuss your project with you and offer advice based on our expertise and experience. If you feel overwhelmed with your renovation project, please don’t hesitate to call us for help. Hire us to help with one part of the job that has you scratching your head, or the entire home. It’s your call!

Planning a Home Addition? Let’s Discuss Where and How to Successfully Build.

June 10th, 2014

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I’ve said this in other blog posts, but I’ll say it again because it’s so true; home additions should always improve your lifestyle and increase the level of happiness in your home life. That being said, many people know what they need to build, but not necessarily where it needs to be built. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it yourself, but your house has a natural flow. Upsetting that flow may decrease the effectiveness of your HVAC system and increase your heating and cooling bills. Today I’m going to cover home additions, and where to add space to your home.

Please keep in mind that building up is more cost effective because your basic structure is already stable. What is building up? Think about it literally. The term building up literally means adding an upstairs story to your existing home. Your foundation is already there, there’s no need to dig footers to extend the foundation as long as you’re building straight up.

What about the foundation, will you need to strengthen it to hold another story? Not in most cases. Most foundations are strong enough to easily withstand the pressure of a second story. Don’t attempt DIY building projects before consulting a contractor, though. Just in case!

Building out does require an extended foundation, so you have to dig more footers, pour more concrete, and take up more yard space. What is building out? Building out is the process of adding another room to your existing home, whether it’s in front, behind, or to either side.

What about building down? Do you have existing basement space underneath your home? Build down into that space to create a finished basement. Cost on this type of home addition depends entirely on the amount of space you have available. If you only have a few feet of crawl space, you’ll need to dig an entire basement, which will, of course, run into a lot of money spent!

Other Factors

Historical neighborhoods and homeowners associations often have a lot of restrictions to building onto your home. Find out what the restrictions are before you even begin the planning process. No need to make plans if they don’t allow additions at all.

Building codes, buried pipes, and other potential hazards can plague building onto your home. Make sure you have a good understanding of all of the legal requirements before you begin a project like this as a DIY project.

Choosing a Contractor

Contractors are pretty plentiful. If you aren’t sure who you should hire, ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family for recommendations. Once you have a list of recommended builders, start looking them up online to see reviews, before/after photos in their galleries and everything you can find out from their website and social media websites. Narrow the list down to your favorites, and call them. Ask detailed questions, and schedule two or three consultations with the ones you feel most familiar with. Consultations are usually free, so get to know a few different people you’ll potentially get to know very well through the addition process. Feel free to call us for a consultation! We love Atlanta, and we love helping people reach their building and remodeling goals.

So You Want to Remodel Your Atlanta Home, But No Idea Where to Start? Let us help!

May 29th, 2014

Home remodeling projects vary greatly from homeowner to homeowner depending on their individual needs. Where one family may need a better kitchen layout and design, another may need more space for a new baby on the way. There really is no right or wrong in general, just right and wrong for the individual. I’m going to go over several of the most popular types of home remodeling projects, and how they can help in your Atlanta home.

 

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodeling

The kitchen is the number-one remodeled room in the home according to every major study. It may be our southern roots, but we believe it’s because the kitchen is the heart of the home. That’s where the family gathers for meals, birthday parties, and other events. Maybe it’s just because people love the look and feel of an updated kitchen. Some remodels may be as simple as painting and purchasing all new appliances. Others may include an entirely new kitchen by the time it’s all said and done.

 

Bathroom Remodeling

The bathroom is the second-most remodeled room in the home. Some bathroom remodels are as simple as painting and replacing a few pieces of furniture. Others may be as detailed as replacing a tub/shower unit with a tile shower, replacing linoleum with tile, replacing the entire vanity area, and replacing an old toilet with a water saving toilet.

Aging in Place

Aging in place isn’t an entirely new concept, but it is quickly gaining ground in recent years. The aging in place process is one in which Atlanta’s senior citizens are able to live independently in their own home for more years than they were previously able to. I love this one, because our wonderful city has so many elderly people who are perfectly capable of living at home instead of a retirement home; all they need is a few minor modifications to their home.

Adding a Bedroom

Expecting a new arrival to the household? Build an extra bedroom in advance. This needed remodel idea is pretty much a no-brainer, because when you need more space, you need more space! Introducing new family members into the household often requires the addition of a new bedroom.

Adding an Office

The Internet allows more people to work from home or occasionally telecommute. A home office is quickly becoming the standard in new home building. People need a spot to work that is interruption-free and quiet.

Outdoor SpacesAdd Outdoor Space

Let’s face it, Atlanta gets hot, hot, HOT! A covered patio, gazebo, sunroom, or covered deck adds value to your home while providing a great way to enjoy the gorgeous weather without getting sunburned.

What it’s all About

No matter what you choose to do with your home, transform it to match the demands your family puts on it. A healthy, happy life is what it’s all about. If remodeling your home creates more happiness or improves your current lifestyle in any way, it’s already worth it. Call us for a free consultation if you’d like to talk about your options and maybe we can help bounce some ideas with you!

 

Renewal Design-Build’s Personal Renovation Guarantee

May 21st, 2014

Guaranteed-RenovationI’ll bet you’re thinking, “Everyone offers a money back guarantee, what makes you so special?” One of the many things that makes Renewal Design-Build so special is that we don’t have the fine print that other people have. We guarantee a completed project by a specific date, and if it isn’t done on time and in budget, we refund you $200 per day we are late.

It really is that simple. Our The Guaranteed Renovation guarantee covers all renovation projects over $50,000. We guarantee, in writing, that we will complete your project by a specific date. If we miss our deadline we pay you $200 per calendar day that we go over. There is no fine print that protects us against our own mistakes.

That isn’t the only way Renewal Design-Build stands above the competition. We proudly house an entire design team, build team, and other experts under the same roof. This provides you the ability to converse with several teams of experts at any given time. Discuss your design ideas with our design team before any demolition or construction begins at your home.

How We Will Help with Your Atlanta Home Renovation

  • We will help you decide whether to purchase and renovate a home. Just call us, and one of our consultants will meet you at the home you’re considering purchasing. Discuss your renovation ideas with him, and he will give you an honest opinion on whether he believes you should buy the house and a rough estimate of about how much your desired renovations may cost.
  • Design – Our designers are available to help you design the perfect renovations to your home. We will provide realistic photos to show you what you can expect before we begin construction.
  • Financing – We do NOT provide in-house financing, but we do work with you to help you find financing for your project if needed.
  • Budgeting – We will help you develop a budget that we can all work with, and we will work within that budget.
  • Materials – We will help you choose the best materials for your home renovation.
  • Single Point of Contact – One of the things we hear most from our previous clients is that it was so convenient working with us because they expressed their concerns to one person instead of several different teams. You will work hand-in-hand with one consultant the entire duration of the project.

We’re standing by waiting to hear from you about renovations to your Atlanta home. Let us hear what you have to say about your existing home and how you’d like to transform it to meet your current needs. Your initial consultation is free.

Aging in Place in Atlanta – Is your home ready for a lifestyle change?

April 25th, 2014

Many Georgians are living longer, healthier lives. Here in Atlanta, we’re seeing a large increase in the number of senior citizens who live independently at home well into their 80s. Living independently of other people doesn’t necessarily mean there is no extra help at all. In fact, we’ve been helping people live independently for several years by simply modifying their home to be more senior citizen-friendly. Here are several ways we help the Atlanta area’s seniors maintain their independence.

  • Grab Bars – These are quite simply metal bars that give the homeowner something to grab onto in case they feel off balance or afraid that they will fall. Grab bars may be installed in the tub, shower, or near the toilet.
  • Walk-in Tubs – Bath tubs have come a long way in terms of design. We’ve installed a wide variety of tubs for people with mobility issues.
  • Shower Seats – A shower seat may take several forms, but the overall function is to provide a place for one to sit to attend their personal hygiene needs. This is very helpful to people with mobility or balance problems. Aging In Place
  • Widen Doorways and Hallways – The average hallway is 36 to 38 inches wide, and the average doorway is 32 to 36 inches wide. A wheelchair or walker need a space that is about 42 inches wide. This is usually a pretty quick and easy fix, especially for people who are already planning to remodel the inside of their home to fit their new senior lifestyle.
  • Wheelchair Accessible Sink and Vanity – Several companies now offer wheelchair accessible sink designs to fit most any decor.
  • Raised Dishwasher – The dishwasher is something no senior citizen should be without. We’ve found that simply raising the dishwasher so it is easily accessible from a wheelchair height immensely helps Atlanta’s seniors live independently.
  • Easy Access Storage – Everyone needs easy access to storage, especially in the bedroom, closets, bathrooms, and kitchen. We work to ensure that our senior citizens have access to the storage areas they use the most.
  • Kitchen Modifications – Removal of kitchen islands, modification of kitchen sinks, cabinets, and counter tops are all part of our aging in place model.

We proudly support Atlanta’s senior citizens, because they have helped mold our great city into what it is today. We feel that they have earned the right to live independently as long as possible instead of being pushed into a retirement home simply because their home didn’t adapt to their new lifestyle. We are a proud member of the National Aging in Place Council and we are Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS).

Call Renewal Design-Build any time to discuss your aging in place ideas or concerns. We would love to work with you to make sure that your home grows and adapts to meet your changing needs.

Why Keeping the Design and Build Processes Under One Roof is Beneficial to You

April 16th, 2014

A lot of homeowners put off major home renovations because they don’t really know where to start. They will need a designer, an architect, an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, and the list goes on. It really does feel daunting when you think of it that way. But, my fellow Atlantans, you have another option.

Here at Renewal Design Build, we take care of everything for you. That’s right. Everything you need under one roof. You have a single point of contact. Many of our previous clients have told us that we truly helped simplify the home remodeling process for them.

We love the Atlanta area, and we care about each person we help. We feel that our dedication to the people of Atlanta is evident in our craftsmanship. We want our city to continue to be the best in the country. The more incredible, homes we renovate, the more we are contributing to that goal.

How Our Business Model Helps You

  • Convenience – No need to deal with multiple companies or multiple points of contact. We assist in every minute detail, and you’ll have a single point of contact for the entire process.
  • Communication – Obviously it’s more efficient for you to discuss your concerns with one person who relays your information to a team instead of having to make sure you’ve spoken with four different people at different times.
  • Quality – No work is actually begun until we make sure everyone is on the same page. Exceptional communication leads to exceptional quality of workmanship.
  • Save Time – Again, communicating with one person saves a lot of time and confusion. We will work together for the entire duration of the project to make sure your home is completed in a timely manner.
  • Save Money – Hiring one single company with everything in-house is not only more convenient, it saves money. You don’t have to pay three different companies to produce the same results.

We feel that we offer a wonderful home remodeling service to all of our Atlanta area clients. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you design your dream home. Our expert designers will help you design the structure and layout, and help choose the best materials for the job. A high quality finished product relies heavily on the use of high quality materials. We can help you get those materials at the best cost.

Call any time to discuss your ideas. We look forward to being your chosen design-build company.

Balancing Your Remodeling Budget to Get the Best Results

March 27th, 2014
design build firm

Renewal Design Build

Now that you’ve made the decision to begin your Atlanta home renovations, you probably have a general idea of what you want and how much you can afford to spend. But how do you know where to skimp and where to splurge?

By being upfront and honest concerning both your budget and expectations, your design-build firm can advise you on where money can be saved and where quality is most important.

If there are certain custom features that are “must haves,” it’s important to let your designer know that these are non-negotiable. This will make those decisions on where to cut corners in the future much easier. For example, if radiant floor heating is a “must have,” consider installing less expensive tile or hardwoods on top to balance out the cost.

Consider renovating and reusing rather than replacing. If the kitchen cabinets are still in good shape, refinishing or repainting will give them new life while freeing up dollars for top of the line appliances. Also, don’t discount using remnants and recycled materials for things like countertops, flooring, interior doors and light fixtures.

Make sure you invest in quality systems and materials that need to last, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing and insulation. These are all areas that are both expensive and difficult to replace. Plus, in many cases if a substandard heating system is installed or sub-par insulation used, the initial savings will quickly be lost.

If the renovation includes extensive exterior work, don’t forget to discuss future landscaping plans. It really isn’t cost effective to rework certain areas of the exterior if it is eventually going to be hidden by wide bushes or towering shrubs.

Contact us at Renewal Design-Build for help deciding where to splurge in your remodel.

Check Your Historical Home for These Must-Repair Problems

March 18th, 2014

Anyone planning a historic renovation in Atlanta knows there will be challenges, but they also know that the end result is worth it.  While you’re doing many remodeling projects simply because of added aesthetics and functionality, there are other projects on the table not open for discussion.

  • historic renovation Decatur

    Renewal Design Build

    Start at the top and work your way down. Roof discoloration and staining or shingles or tiles which are lifting or missing are all signs that the roof needs some attention. Then look carefully inside in the attic. Check to see if there is wet insulation and if the space around vent piping and near the chimney is damp. Any areas where the roof has been breached needs to have close attention paid for signs of moisture.

  • Next have a professional electrician or licensed home inspector investigate the power situation. Chances are the entire system will have to be upgraded simply because older homes don’t have the necessary electrical requirements to meet the needs of today’s homeowner. Not only will the entire electrical panel or breaker box not handle the load of new appliances and electronics, but switches, outlets and fixtures can deteriorate with age.
  • Head down to the basement or crawl space and thoroughly scrutinize the foundation both inside and out, the insulation, any HVAC ductwork and the exposed beams and framing. All homes settle with age, but if there are cracks in the foundation larger than the diameter of a pencil, this usually signals a larger problem. Termite damage is often first discovered under the house and even if you don’t see destruction in the wood, check carefully where the wood meets the ground for piles of sawdust which can indicate damage is occurring internally.

For help with your historical renovation in Atlanta. contact us today at Renewal Design-Build.

Consider Sophisticated Travertine for Your Remodel

February 28th, 2014

Now that your Atlanta home renovations are coming together, it’s time to start thinking about interior finishes for flooring, walls and countertops. Depending on the extent of the remodel, new exterior finishes may need to be selected as well. Before you fall back on the old standards like ceramic tile or hardwood flooring, why not take a look at gorgeous and versatile travertine tile?

Combining rustic charm with sophisticated style, this type of tile is a fantastic selection no matter what your design preference. It has a chameleon-like quality and blends perfectly with the surrounding decor. With a wide variety of colors and patterns, travertine is a tried and true building material from bath to kitchen, foyer to fireplace. Travertine can be installed with its natural matte finish or polished to a high sheen depending on location.

Travertine is definitely a top choice for both interior and exterior flooring. It brings such an elegant and rich look to any room of your home and is so hardy it stands up well to heavy foot traffic. Travertine is available in sizes from small mosaic pieces to large slabs, does well in inclement weather, and ages beautifully,

Since travertine is a porous material, it’s important to work with a professional design-build firm to help determine what style of travertine works best in certain locations. And because travertine has such a wide variety of natural patterns and shading, it’s the perfect material to use for custom tile art designs. For example, in a master bath, use large slab travertine on the floor and smaller more uniform travertine tiles in a matte finish inside the shower and on the countertops. Then have a fabulous one-of-a-kind tile design created in the surrounding backsplash.

For more tips and ideas for redesigning your home in the Atlanta area, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Remember the Details When Planning a Second Story Addition

January 31st, 2014
home additions

Renewal Design Build

There are many factors to determine when adding on to your present home, but the number one concern is lot size. Many homes that can benefit from an addition are located in urban areas where space is limited, making building up the most practical solution.

Stairs

You will need them even if you plan on installing an elevator. A major consideration is location, since a new staircase will take up existing floor space. Some homeowners enjoy making a gorgeous architecturally detailed staircase the focal point of a room while others prefer it to be out of the normal traffic pattern. Working closely with a design build firm in Decatur who listens to your needs and expectations can help make this placement decision much easier.

Insulation 

A new roof and walls will all require insulation, and this is the perfect time to increase the amount in other areas of your home. Great strides have been made in insulating materials over the years and, considering many older homes are sorely lacking when it comes to sufficient insulation, installing blown or fiberglass insulation in existing walls and between floor and ceiling joists can definitely increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Exterior 

New windows will have to be installed and just like with your insulation now is a good time to replace existing windows if needed. Is the exterior finish going to match? Over years siding fades and brick color can be hard to match. This is a major consideration and one that needs to be decided early in the design process. And what about that masonry chimney? If you never use your wood burning fireplace then consider removing it and installing a new ventless gas unit.

For more information about remodeling your home in Atlanta, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

A dynamic new entryway and other interior updates open a Druid Hills home for better light and flow

January 29th, 2014

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From Shabby Chic home decor to contemporary furniture and mirrors, browse thousands of decorating ideas to inspire your next home project.
Share photos of the kitchen cabinets and kitchen sinks you like with a top kitchen remodeler in your area.

Deciding Between Brick and Stone Exterior Home Finishes

January 22nd, 2014
design build Atlanta

Renewal Design Build

When discussing exterior home finishes, you’ll soon discover they are as diverse as the homes themselves. Long gone are the days when the most popular siding choices were wood, aluminum, or vinyl. Now homeowners can select from heavy duty brick or stone siding that offers more benefits such as increased insulation.

Concrete Brick Siding

Concrete brick siding is reasonably priced and offers outstanding insulating properties and better resistance against inclement weather like sleet, snow and ice. Since concrete can easily be tinted or dyed, concrete brick siding is available in a wide selection of colors.  State of the art manufacturing techniques now allows the siding to be made in several different sizes and styles.

Clay Brick Siding

For thousands of years clay has been used as an exterior home finish, and clay brick siding is a very popular option because of both sound reduction and extra insulation. Clay brick siding interlocks together and then is permanently secured using mortar. It is available in either a smooth or textured finish and also comes in a wide array of sizes.

Mortarless Brick Siding

In the past this product was usually used for things like retaining walls, but recently it has been revamped as a exterior home finish.  While it is faster to install than the above mentioned options, it does take an experienced professional because of the complex dry fit.

Stone

Natural stone has been used for centuries because of its beauty and durability. Adding stone can easily increase a home’s property value, but it is expensive and is often used in combination with another finish such as vinyl siding. Because of the weight, stone requires a good solid foundation and needs to be installed by an experienced stone mason.

For more information on exterior finishes and other renovation ideas, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Where to Add Skylights in Your Atlanta Home

January 14th, 2014
Design build Atlanta

Renewal Design Build

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to finally begin those long planned Atlanta home renovations. While you’ve probably discussed with the family things like new appliances, where the extra bath is going to be located and if the new flooring should be tile or hardwoods, have you even considered adding extra light by including skylights in some of the rooms?

In addition to the practical aspect of filling a room with everything from bright sunlight to gently filtered natural light on an overcast day, skylights can also create an extremely interesting visual both for the interior and exterior of your home.Here are some ideas to try:

  • Rooftop decks have become a popular addition to homes. Depending on the living space located underneath, adding skylights can make for both easy maintenance as well as a cool interactive experience between the two floors.
  • Bathrooms are one of those rooms that really benefit from having a window, but many times privacy can become problematic. A skylight is a great way to incorporate light without worrying about blinds, shutters or frosted glass. You can even make it vented to help control moisture in the bathroom. Plus what could be more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub while enjoying the bright blue sky or ethereal stars?
  • The days of “one size fits all” cookie cutter skylights are gone, and now sizes, shapes, styles and color of glass are only limited by your imagination. Or install one single plain skylight and then add interior detail to create unique ever changing visual dynamics.
  • If your home has a long dark hallway that you intend to keep, consider adding several square or geometric apertures or one long linear skylight to naturally brighten this connecting space.

For more information about Atlanta home renovations, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Materials You Can Expect to be Popular in Home Interiors

December 11th, 2013
home remodeling

Renewal Design Build

2014 is almost here, and just like in haute couture, the latest in upcoming trends, styles and designs for home decor are beginning to make a big splash. Why not consider incorporating some of these fantastic materials and ideas when planning your Atlanta home renovations?

  • Environmentally friendly materials are being used frequently in everything from interior home decor to architectural touches like recycled wood, the addition of solar power, composite decking and tiles made from recycled glass. And going hand in hand with a “greener” home is the introduction of roof-top gardens and mobile plant panels. Both these ideas assist in whole home humidification and cleaning the air of toxins.
  • Monochromatic color schemes were very popular in 2013 and interior designers believe this trend will continue into the New Year. A solid color palette brings a clean, sleek look to a room but isn’t boring if textural elements are included. Plus, it’s so easy to dramatically change the entire space by adding simple splashes of a primary accent shade.
  • A very popular trend is incorporating industrial materials into household lighting fixtures. Everything from piping to heavy iron can be softened by the complementing decor as well as the warmth and color of the bulbs selected.
  • Brass is making a huge comeback and is once again being seen in everything from fixtures to accessories. Brass looks fabulous when mixed with other metals and unlike the past when everyone expected brass to retain its shine, now the trend is to play off the rich patina that naturally develops.
  • We can’t talk about upcoming trends without mentioning fabrics. Head to the attic for your grandmother’s knitted, crocheted and tatted bedspreads, curtains and tablecloths. Old or new, handcrafted or machine-made, this is a look full of charm and character.

For help remodeling your home with any of these trending materials, contact us at Renewal Design-Build today.

How Your Ceiling Can Be Renovated for Energy Efficiency

November 18th, 2013
design build firms in Atlanta

Renewal Design Build

Everyone knows the basic steps to make your home more energy efficient. Replacing old single paned windows, caulking and weather-stripping cracks, installing new Energy Star appliances and scheduling regular maintenance on your HVAC system all reduce your monthly energy costs. But have you ever looked up? Consider how your ceilings and attic space can be made more energy efficient.

  • The perfect time to increase the insulation levels in your attic, ensure there is adequate ventilation, and correct any areas where air leakage is detected is when you begin your Atlanta home renovations. Taking care of these three critical areas at the beginning quite possibly can allow you to reduce the size of your HVAC system since your overall insulation rating will be increased.
  • The first step is to eliminate air leakage. While this sounds like a fairly easy straightforward project, care must be taken to ensure that hot water heaters, furnaces, piping and chimneys are still vented properly to avoid a build up of dangerous gases. One area of concern for air leakage is at the ceiling and the top of walls. Warm air rises and settles at the bottom of the ceiling; if the insulation level is inadequate on the floor of the attic then the chance for moisture buildup is greater.
  • There are many different insulation options, including blown, batten, spray foam, foam board, airtight drywall and structural insulating panels. All offer good moisture resistance and reduced air leakage. They have different R levels, installation methods and some are even designated for specific areas of the attic and ceiling.

Today since most home’s roof lines don’t fit a cookie-cutter mold, it’s important to enlist the services of a knowledgeable and reputable firm when you begin your Atlanta home renovations. Contact us at Renewal Design-Build for more information.

Tips for Heating Your Historical Home

November 11th, 2013
design build firms in Atlanta

Renewal Design Build

Heating an older historical home certainly comes with its own unique challenges. Many times to keep a residence listed as a historical property, construction changes must be kept to a minimum, causing it to be less energy efficient.

 

  • A great deal of a home’s climate controlled air is lost through poorly insulated windows and doors. But this often becomes a huge catch-22 situation since many homes can lose historical designation if the windows aren’t authentically reproduced. This is why we recommend working with a firm who specializes in historic renovation in Decatur and the surrounding Atlanta area and has the renovation expertise so that air loss is controlled and historical authenticity isn’t compromised.
  • The best way to identify air leaks in your home is to conduct a whole-house assessment which is a comprehensive set of tests that pinpoint exactly where your home is wasting energy. Your home’s results are then compiled for you; along with a diagnosis and cost-effective improvement plan that follows the standards of the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program. After making these improvements, Renewal will retest your home to confirm the expected energy savings. These improvements can give you a quieter, more comfortable living environment, lower energy bills, and a healthier home for you and your family. In addition, you could qualify for tax incentives and multiple rebates.
  • Most people assume the best way to fix heating problems is to replace the HVAC system. Unfortunately in a historical home, many times that is easier said than done. Many of these homes don’t have a suitable ductwork system nor do they have a mechanical room or space to add the necessary equipment. When the decision has been made to install a new system, care must be taken to limit any damage to the existing interior and exterior architecture. Different levels and areas of the home may also require separate systems because of architectural limitations and moisture levels.
  • Consider adding or improving non-mechanical components such as historically accurate porches, awnings and adding heavy draperies on windows to minimize the heat gain from the sun. For long term solutions it may be necessary to add additional insulation in the attic, walls and crawl space and reconfigure landscaping to maximize the advantage of shade trees and towering shrubs.

Historic renovation in Atlanta can be difficult without the right firm to advise you in matters which affect you and your family’s safety and comfort. Contact us at Renewal Design-Build to learn more.

Looking for an Historic Home to Call Your Own? Try Old Fourth Ward

November 1st, 2013
Atlanta design build firm

Source: Flickr

Wouldn’t it be wonderful while searching for a new neighborhood to discover a hidden gem only 15 minutes from the heart of downtown Atlanta? Then look no further than Old Fourth Ward. This Eastside neighborhood is so conveniently located to The Masquerade, a fabulous music venue and Historic Fourth Ward Park, with its sports fields, ponds, jogging trails and playgrounds.

Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Old Fourth Ward has great historical value to the city of Atlanta. Dr. King was born and raised in the area and now his family home and grave site are all part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site.

Like many inner city neighborhoods, Old Fourth Ward suffered through years of decline before revitalization began in earnest in the early 2000′s. Over the last decade, this neighborhood has become one of the most sought after sections of Atlanta, with housing now at a premium. Many of the neighborhood’s modest homes are being purchased and renovated back to their original style, now complete with modern updates. In 2013, This Old House Magazine selected Old Fourth Ward for their yearly Best Old House Neighborhoods: The South, bringing even more attention to this fabulous family friendly community. And while the neighborhood continues to grow and improve, there are still many of the neighborhood’s historic homes waiting for their turn.

Renewal Design-Build, a design build firm in Atlanta dedicated to community renewal, has a creative staff of professional renovators at the ready to discuss any future plans you have for your Old Fourth Ward home. Renewal Design-Build is happy to discuss future plans and even give you an estimate before you purchase the property!

Since 2001 we have completed hundreds of home remodeling projects and earned more than 50 awards for design, craftsmanship and customer service.