10 Home Renovation Trends for 2022

We love bringing you the best information we can so that you can plan a successful home remodel! The beginning of the year is always fun as we look at trends to share with you and this blog from Architectural Digest shares several experts’ home renovation predictions for 2022.  We hope it inspires and helps you dream big!!

As much as we willed 2021 to be a return to “normal”—or at least a departure from 2020—the year was still an uphill battle full of uncertainty. Some of us slowly returned to an office, which we inhabited only part-time. New commutes began from pandemic-acquired country homes or suburban houses. We tested the waters of in-person hangouts, parties, and vacations. Ultimately, we still spent a lot of time at home. So, what will 2022 bring? It’s hard to say. But to get those dream lists and projects ideating, we tapped 16 experts—from an array of interiors backgrounds—to tell us their home renovation predictions for the new year. Let’s keep on renovating in 2022!

Investments in the home office

“There will be an increase in home offices—homeowners are trading kitchen counters for more professional dedicated spaces. The Zoom fatigue is real, but so is the realization that the backdrop for those visual calls needs to step up. Allocating space for a home office often involves a reset of the room’s function. For example, sitting rooms off of bedrooms or smaller family rooms are converted. Guest rooms also do double duty, with sleepers and desks.” —Jean Brownhill, founder of Sweeten

“We are all becoming more aware of how the layout and aesthetics of a room can affect our energy and productivity. Transforming a current room into your new home office space is not just a fun project, but a necessity for many people who work remotely. When trying to boost the functionality of a home, this room may be at the forefront. People will spend more time and effort in designing a unique working space to maximize their concentration, motivation, and productivity this year.” —Farris Wu, founder and CEO at DecorMatters

“Remember the days of home offices and dining rooms being the first rooms you see when entering a home? Well, those days are back and we’re getting excited about the requests we’re getting from clients focused on creating the perfect home office space. Once unused rooms such as secondary living spaces and breakfast rooms are now being transformed into custom office spaces with built-ins and high-tech solutions such as smart boards, projectors, and wet bars.” —Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design

Enhanced outdoor spaces and features

“We’ve been bringing the indoors out for a while now, and one of the best ways to accomplish that from a functional perspective is to introduce shade structures like awnings. We see more people making plans for this, as outdoor renovations continue to be a priority as we approach 2022. Aesthetically pleasing shade structures like awnings not only provide comforting protection from the sun but also help make an outdoor space feel more connected and beautiful. Look for fabrics with the seal of recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation, which recognizes safe and effective U.V. sun protection.” —Kirk Fitzsimmons, director of industrial sales at Sunbrella

“Outdoor spaces continue to be in the spotlight with people spending more time at home. Outdoor showers work in all climates and have controls that allow complete control of water flow and temperature. Outdoor showers can be created in a variety of ways, and, typically, the all-in costs are under $1K for most designs. We’re loving the more sculptural and architectural styles that include features such as benches and stone flooring and walls.” —Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design

“Homeowners are also investing in outdoor rooms. Pools, water features, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and extensive seating and dining areas are high on wish lists. Materials are more organic and natural, such as ipe and travertine. Outdoor kitchens will feature commercial-style grills, refrigerators, and wine coolers. Indoor rooms opening up to terraces with a series of French doors or doors that fold back is another way to connect with the outside.” —Jean Brownhill, founder of Sweeten

“In 2022, we anticipate seeing more and more photos on Houzz of outdoor living rooms that look like indoor rooms. Houzz search data has shown that people want their backyards to be relaxing extensions of their interior living spaces. There have been major advances in outdoor materials in recent years, allowing manufacturers to create stylish and durable outdoor sofas, tables, rugs, chairs, and decor. Add an outdoor fireplace, maybe a TV, and the line between indoors and out seemingly disappears.” —Mitchell Parker, senior editor at Houzz

Texture all around

“Texture is the biggest trend I see for 2022. Say goodbye to flat finish drywall and say hello to a surface you want to run your hands over or engage in a tactile way. Faux finishing has exploded onto the market recently with the advent of materials and processes that make tackling home projects and updates more approachable from a cost and skill perspective. Faux finishing is when you use applied materials to mimic installed materials. A popular use of this technique is creating a faux brick wall, and, if done well, you can barely spot the difference. Homeowners often opt for using a faux finish to achieve the look of Venetian plaster or to mimic concrete or marble.” —David Steckel, Thumbtack home expert

“We’re loving the array of textures found in wallpaper and new lines of paint. We’re finding that clients have become bored with basic paint for wall applications and are now looking for dimension and visual interest. Grasscloth is a great option for more traditional and transitional spaces and brings a soft, subtle yet dimensional addition to a room. We’re also seeing new lines of 3D wall panels popping up, which designers are loving for modern and contemporary projects.” —Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design

“Textured fabrics are here to stay: Textured fabrics are here to stay. Cream bouclé was huge in 2021, and you see cream textured upholstery everywhere! Different colorways, such as sage greens, pale yellows, pale grays, and blues will be seen in 2022. Texture adds a feeling of warmth to the home, and we tend to gravitate towards tactile and soft-to-the-hand fabrics.” —Peti Lau, trend expert at Kaiyo and interior designer

“Interesting materials are taking a front seat. People are excited about making a sophisticated statement that represents their style and personality. Raw metals and other paneling are frequent requests on our modern and contemporary projects. Natural wood textures with a patina tone are being used more and more on our farmhouse projects and some of our more traditional home projects. With material options these days that can simply be placed on top of existing walls without expensive structural work, people can make a huge transformation without a monstrous investment.” —Matt Mosher, cofounder of Dzinly

“Using textures in the built environment gives it a soul. You want to touch and connect with it, adding a fifth dimension to the experience. The tactile nature of materials brings a richness to how space affects us.” —Jhoiey Ramirez, principal of the Sycamore Collective

Technology from start to finish

“We expect the interior design industry in 2022 to make huge advancements in terms of technology. Digital interior design was already rising before COVID, and now that designers and homeowners have practiced social distancing, we see the efficiency of online interior design becoming even bigger in 2022. We also expect home decor apps, design firms, etcetera, to implement technological changes to their business plan for 2022, as the industry is ever-shifting towards newer technologies. Virtual staging can be done online and easily, as well as furniture shopping with 3D models. Even companies like DecorMatters are implementing artificial intelligence to automatically recommend products to individuals. During 2020, people began turning to their homes as the place for creativity and personalization and therefore capitalized on promoting comfort, character, and bright colors.” —Farris Wu, founder, and CEO at DecorMatters

“Let’s face it. We’re all on our phones, tablets, and computers more than we’d like to admit. The truth is, we don’t just use them for fun or to entertain the kids anymore. We use our devices for work, for school, video conferencing, and even to make our homes smarter. I’m expecting to see clients asking for specialized outlets like the Ultra-Fast Plus Power Delivery with USB-C, or the pop-out outlet from Legrand. These types of outlets allow faster charging and a sleeker appearance due to no longer needing an adapter, and everyone wants that.” —Breegan Jane, interior designer and Legrand brand ambassador

Going bold

“I think we’ll be seeing a lot more wallpaper because of the ease homeowners experience when having it installed or swapped out and the freedom it offers to show off your personality. Current trends show homeowners using wallpaper with bold patterns in rooms where they want to experiment with color and texture. I especially think we’ll continue to see this in nurseries and children’s rooms.” —David Steckel, Thumbtack home expert

“2021 was a year where people expressed their individuality through unique colors, which can provide emotion and feeling to a room! Additionally, last year brought awareness of individual mental health and wellness. With that being said, color therapy is on the rise. Popular colors we expect to see include pinks, burnt oranges, and peacock blues to represent a tropical getaway, as well as greens to mirror nature’s elements. There will be more unique color contrasts in the kitchen, between the countertops and backsplash, or the cabinets and the island. With the rise and focus on creating a home we love to stay in, people will want to bring as much life to their indoor space as possible in 2022—color is an amazing and affordable way to do so.” —Farris Wu, founder and CEO at DecorMatters

“Dark is the new white. For the last several years, white has been a dominant force in color choice for both new homes and exterior renovation. We are seeing a strong interest in dark neutrals and naturals. For example, natural wood paneling with a dark stain or changing from a light-colored house to a bold, dark gray is becoming increasingly popular. We expect this trend to continue gaining traction for the foreseeable future. Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze, Benjamin Moore Black Knight, Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore, and Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain are excellent darks with a timeless hue.” —Matt Mosher, cofounder of Dzinly

Creating side-hustle spaces

“2022 will also see the rise of the “side-hustle bedroom.” With an entrepreneurial mindset, especially for Gen Z and Millennials making everything from candles to hats, the bedroom will take on flexible layers of activity, from filming set to the creative studio, warehouse to shipment facility. Whether creating or promoting products or just shooting TikTok videos, bedroom aesthetics for younger generations become backdrops for personal branding.” —Gemma Riberti, head of interiors at WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors

Being green, literally and figuratively

“I think greens will be a huge factor in home renovations in 2022. People want their homes to feel fresh but still comforting, and green is the perfect paint color to create that feeling! I recently remodeled my own bedroom with Sherwin-Williams Evergreen Fog SW 9130 and I love the tone it sets for the space.” —Beth Diana Smith, founder of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design

“So many homeowners are inspired by historic and organic references as of late, which pairs with Yelp’s research showing that searches for reclaimed materials are up by 38%. I can see the majority of home projects in 2022 being centered around getting back to the root of materials. For example, stripping down lacquered cabinetry to expose the unfinished walnut underneath or replacing existing countertops for a marble slab with raw edges—there’s something perfectly imperfect about reclaimed materials that help your space really begin to tell a story.”—Jeremiah Brent, interior designer

“Plantlife has been working its way into homes in more creative ways, and we’re seeing innovations happen daily. Most recently, herb fridges have become a new kitchen appliance feature that is not only full of function but also stylish and urban with glass fronts showcasing the greenery bringing an organic touch to kitchen spaces.” —Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design

“The pandemic created the realization of health, the environment, and being less materialistic. With that being said, reusing furniture, pursuing materials that support the environment, promoting recycling, and holding meaning will be popular next year. Not to mention, natural materials like wood, rattan, clay, stone, etc. pair perfectly with any style, color, or material. These textures add warmth and lightness to home decor and make us feel like we’re on vacation in our home since many of us are unable to travel.” —Farris Wu, founder, and CEO at DecorMatters

“Awareness of our environment and of Mother Nature makes us conscious of our carbon footprint and how we affect our planet. Using sustainable materials and lighting that consumes less energy brings less guilt in how we manage our planet and, thankfully, they look good too!” —Jhoiey Ramirez, principal of the Sycamore Collective

Connecting with nature

“Homeowners have been requesting more natural light in their homes through bigger window and door openings for years, and that’s a trend clearly continuing into 2022. People are increasing the natural light in their homes and creating a more direct connection with nature by adding doors where there were once windows or adding larger windows for a greater sense of connection to the outside. We’ve noticed homeowners embarking on remodeling work to replace more traditional patio doors with large scenic versions to create a connection between interior and exterior spaces for more seamless transitions and a sense of freedom.” —Christine Marvin, chief marketing and experience officer at Marvin

“We are continuing to lean into a soft modern aesthetic that is rooted in organic wood tones and clean, natural colors. The absence of excess creates a positive impact on well-being and inspires a sense of connection with nature. Additionally, many homeowners are embracing uplifting hues based in nature such as Blue Lagoon, Dried Thyme, and Monarch Gold.” —Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets

“Cool tones are gone and warm tones are here to stay—think greens, ochre, terra-cotta, oatmeal-beige, and greige. We are moving beyond classic white and blue kitchens and gravitating toward colorways that remind us of nature. Because we have not been able to travel, inspiration will come from the colors of Arizona and the Sedona Mountains, the mustard tones of Yellowstone, or from Aspen when the trees turn. Look for beautiful, subdued jewel tones in nature-inspired colors, rather than bright, loud colors.” —Peti Lau, trend expert at Kaiyo and interior designer

Durable surfaces

“Homeowners are expecting greater performance from surfaces in their homes, especially as the majority of us are still spending a lot of time at home and cleaning our countertops more often, meaning they need to stand up to extra scrubbing. As homeowners continue to get savvier about the maintenance required for many popular countertop options, we’re seeing a rise in demand for acrylic solid surfaces that are seamless and offer durability with no additional maintenance, yet don’t compromise on sleek, beautiful design.” —Gerri Chmiel, residential design lead at Formica Corporation

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/home-renovation-trends-2022

Photo credit:  The outdoor space at Jeremiah Brent’s Montauk home features a variety of the trends we’ll see in 2022.Courtesy of Jeremiah Brent

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Remodeling on your mind?  Homework Remodels is an award-winning remodeler with years of experience.  We focus primarily on amazing kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, and large whole-home remodeling projects that include outdoor living spaces. You can learn more about us here. Ready to start? Give us a call at (480) 895-3442 for a free consultation.  We look forward to making your dreams a reality!

Here’s Every 2022 Color of the Year So Far

This blog is shared from Better Homes & Garden blog, November 5, 2021. We think it’s a great resource to check out the color trends for 2022 (thus far!) as well as for home design tips. 

Better Homes & Gardens just announced its selection for the 2022 color of the year. Check out all the must-have shades heading into the new year, according to some of the biggest names in paint.

Color resonates in distinct ways for different people. During the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic, some gravitated toward soothing neutrals while others immersed themselves in bright, uplifting colors. Now, as we begin to imagine a post-pandemic world, the colors that fill our homes and lives will again vary widely, but certain trends are likely to emerge—and some experts are already predicting the top 2022 paint colors.

Each year, paint companies and color experts reveal their picks for the shade that best encapsulates the current period. Their choices for color of the year often draw on trends in pop culture, fashion, technology, and design from around the world, and the results are starting to roll in for 2022. Better Homes & Gardens is the latest major paint brand to announce its selection, but there will be many more to come. See if this popular shade resonates with you, then check back to find out all the 2022 colors of the year as they’re announced.

2022 Color of the Year

Laurel Leaf by Better Homes & Gardens

Laurel Leaf is the first-ever paint color of the year from the Better Homes & Gardens collection, available only at Walmart. This dusty green shade mimics the rejuvenating appeal of eucalyptus leaves and reflects a renewed desire to incorporate elements of nature into our homes. “During the pandemic, people spent more time outside enjoying their backyards, parks, and other outdoor spaces,” said Max Wilker, style director for the Better Homes & Gardens brand. “And now those shades of green are coming along back inside the home.”

Because of its organic feel and warm undertones, Laurel Leaf pairs beautifully with creamy whites, cozy beiges, light to medium wood tones, and leafy house plants, Wilker says. Try it in a bedroom to foster a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere, or use it to inspire focus and concentration in a home office. In a dining room, it can serve as a sophisticated backdrop that delivers color without going too bold. All paint colors in the Better Homes & Gardens collection, including Laurel Leaf, are available exclusively at Walmart.

Art and Craft by Dunn-Edwards

Dunn-Edwards’ pick for 2022 color of the year is a warm, earthy shade that reflects a broader back-to-nature trend in interior design. Art and Craft DET682 is a soft, sophisticated brown that channels the richness of walnut wood and offers a peaceful, grounding effect. “Art and Craft is truly a down-to-earth color that signifies stability, comfort, and calm, a color that expresses what we all seek right now,” said Sara McLean, color expert and stylist for Dunn-Edwards, in a press release.

This moody, complex color draws inspiration from the bohemian aesthetic of the 1970s as well as today’s folksy cottagecore trend. Use it as an all-over paint color to establish an inviting feel in living areas, dining rooms, and bedrooms. For a modern take, coat both the walls and millwork in Art and Craft to envelop the entire room in cozy warmth. Pair this chocolatey brown with light, breezy neutrals to brighten it up, or opt for vibrant jewel tones to lean into a luxurious look. This 2022 color of the year is available at Dunn-Edwards stores and at numerous independent retailers across the U.S.

2022 Color of the Year

October Mist by Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s pick for 2022 color of the year is a soft, silvery green called October Mist 1495. This botanical shade mimics the pale green of a flower stem and serves as the foundation for the brand’s larger 2022 color trends palette. The assortment includes 14 nature-inspired hues that span tinted off-whites, warm earth tones, and refreshed primary colors.

“October Mist 1495 and the corresponding color trends 2022 palette reflects an effortless harmony of colors while inspiring unique combinations for any paint project,” said Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore’s director of color marketing and development, in a press release.

Combine the gentle tones of October Mist with a rich dark shade like Gloucester Sage HC-100 to add warmth and depth to a monochromatic palette. For a crisp look, bring out this color of the year’s cool undertones with an icy blue-green like Quiet Moments 1563 or the inky blue-black Mysterious AF-565. All of the shades from the color trends 2022 palette, including October Mist, are available on Benjamin Moore’s website and at local paint and hardware retailers nationwide.

2022 Color of the Year

Evergreen Fog by Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams selected the subtly soothing Evergreen Fog SW 9130 as its 2022 color of the year. The mid-tone gray-green signifies a shift away from the cool neutrals and brilliant jewel tones that have previously dominated paint color trends. This familiar, organic color can extend a comforting welcome in entryways, establish quiet and calm in bedrooms or bathrooms, and introduce restorative energy to living rooms, kitchens, and other common areas.

Related: Sherwin-Williams Forecasts the Bright, Optimistic Colors That Will Define 2022

“Evergreen Fog is a sophisticated wash of color for spaces that crave a subtle yet stunning statement shade,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, in a press release. “Evergreen Fog inspires us to begin again and is a great choice for modern interiors and exteriors.” Wadden suggests complementing the color with warm, earthy neutrals, such as beige, camel, or coffee brown. Then bring in additional layers of texture with natural materials including wood, leather, jute, and rattan. For a polished look that veers more glam, try incorporating a mix of metal finishes like warm brass, light gold, or matte black. You can find Evergreen Fog at Sherwin-Williams stores nationwide.

Valspar 2022 Colors of the Year

Instead of naming a singular color of the year, Valspar curated a palette of 12 nature-inspired hues that represent our current craving for comfort and calm. These 2022 colors of the year encompass warm neutrals, dusty pastels, and soothing blues and greens, ranging from light and subtle to dramatically dark. Each shade was selected for its ties to nature and ability to foster a peaceful, optimistic mindset.

 

Colors can power moods, energizing us with confidence, strength, and curiosity—allowing us to express ourselves with color anywhere—whether it be a full room, an accent wall, trim or furniture,” said Sue Kim, Valspar color marketing manager, in a press release. “Valspar’s 2022 Colors of the Year provide consumers a wide range of naturally based warm colors that will not only help calm the nerves and boost the mood but also provide a confidence in what the future may hold.”

Incorporate these trending colors into your home on walls, cabinetry, trim, and more, selecting shades that help foster the mood you want to create. For example, envelop a bedroom in luxurious comfort with walls painted in deep-blue Mountain River 4005-6C, and incorporate warm wood accents and warm lavender Lilac Lane 1002-4B for a lift. Or combine off-white Gilded Linen 6002-1A with the coppery tones of Rustic Oak 2007-7B for inviting warmth in living rooms and entryways. Blanched Thyme 6001-4A and Grey Suit 4004-2A are both great for encouraging balance and well-being in home offices, bathrooms, or kitchens. All of Valspar’s colors of the year are available at Lowe’s stores, Lowes.com, and independent retailers nationwide.

Aleutian by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams

Like a well-worn pair of faded blue jeans, Aleutian HGSW3355 from HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams embodies comfort and relaxation. Named the brand’s 2022 color of the year, this washed-out indigo serves as the foundation of a larger 2022 color collection called Softened Refuge. Combining soft neutrals with muted earth tones, the mix of 10 complementary hues is intended to create “a sense of comfort and calmness with color,” said Ashley Banbury, senior color designer for HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams, in a press release. “This palette is designed to simplify color selection for a perfectly coordinated home design.”

Aleutian pairs well with any shade from the collection, including off-white, warm tan, or dusty slate. Because the blue-gray hue has a slightly warm undertone, it offers a balanced look and a restful tone that works equally well in common areas like kitchens or living rooms and private spaces including bedrooms and bathrooms. Layer in plenty of texture with natural wood tones and neutral textiles to enhance Aleutian’s comforting vibe. All of the colors in the Softened Refuge collection are available exclusively in Lowe’s stores and at Lowes.com.

Guacamole by Glidden

A zingy shade called Guacamole PPG1121-5 is Glidden’s pick for the 2022 color of the year. This ripe avocado-green delivers crowd-pleasing color that’s both relaxing and refreshing. In a press release, the brand noted that online searches for green paint colors have more than doubled since 2020, indicating that homeowners are seeking colors that soothe.

“We’ve all saved beautiful green kitchens and earthy-inspired bedrooms on our Pinterest boards and TikToks over the past year and a half, driven by our need for calm, regrowth, and rejuvenation after living through these ‘unprecedented times,'” said Kim Perry, Glidden paint color guru.

In kitchens and bathrooms, pair Guacamole with classic white subway tile and matte black accents for a timeless mix. For living areas, home offices, and bedrooms, try it with light wood tones and plenty of plants (either real or faux) to enhance the calming, organic vibe.

Breezeway by Behr

Behr’s 2022 color of the year is a cool, refreshing shade of green called Breezeway MQ3-21. The soft, silvery blue-green is reminiscent of sea glass found along sandy beaches and the crystal-clear water of a tucked-away bay. Because of its ties to nature, Breezeway establishes a feeling of tranquility, but its crisp brightness can also inspire energy and liveliness. Erika Woelfel, Behr’s vice president of color and creative services, calls Breezeway “a color that welcomes a hopeful sense of renewal, restoration, and healing.”

Mixed with bright white and jet-black accents, Breezeway offers snappy contrast and a clean look that’s perfect for an entryway or kitchen. Paired with soft cream, warm taupe, and natural wood tones, it takes on a soothing, peaceful vibe that works well in bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas where relaxation is the goal. The breezy color has a distinctly coastal feel, but it also blends beautifully with contemporary and vintage-inspired designs. You can find the paint color exclusively at The Home Depot.

Olive Sprig by PPG

PPG selected a soft, organic shade of green called Olive Sprig PPG1125-4 as its 2022 color of the year. Reminiscent of a soothing aloe vera plant or velvety sage leaves, the gray-green color was chosen to represent regrowth and the resiliency of nature as we adapt to new ways of living post-pandemic. The lush mid-tone feels familiar and grounding, and it’s versatile enough to be used as a livelier alternative to traditional neutrals.

“DIYers, property managers, designers, and architects are shifting away from the stark, neutral palettes of yesterday and opting for color in all forms,” said Amy Donato, senior color marketing manager at PPG paint, in a press release. “Call it rebellion, but we are certainly here for the resurgence of optimistic colors to guide us into a new era of home design.”

Paint walls in Olive Sprig to encourage focus in an office, incorporate soothing color into a bathroom, or promote restfulness in a bedroom. The color also looks gorgeous on kitchen cabinetry brightened up with polished brass accents and balanced with plenty of white. Because of its organic quality, Olive Sprig blends beautifully with natural materials and textures such as rich leather upholstery, woven jute rugs, and wood furniture. You can find the paint color online and at PPG paint stores, The Home Depot, and other independent retailers nationwide.

 

Continue reading this Better Homes & Garden article here and take their quiz to find What Your Signature Color is!

Fall Trends in Outdoor Home Improvements

There is no escaping the fact that the pandemic has changed the way we approach living day to day and traveling for vacations.  We found this blog from ProRemodeler really telling for fall trends in outdoor home improvements. Below are some excerpts:

Because of the pandemic, fewer people are traveling for vacation: according to a recent Ally survey, 88% of respondents say they plan to make improvements to make their homes more staycation ready. Moreover, many Americans are moving to the suburbs, migrating to warmer states, and looking to make their own yards better places to spend time in every day.

Preparing for fall trends

When homeowners are thinking about creating a new outdoor living space, they are listing ways to bring indoor conveniences outdoors. Whether it be innovative technology, multipurpose add-ons, or structures that allow you to be outside longer and more often –you can turn your backyard into a paradise.

Creating outdoor living “rooms”

Overall outdoor living projects have increased by 65% since 2020 (NKBA  2021 Trends Report.) Outdoor kitchens are just one of those popular renovations. Fittingly, they were the top project, with 76% of respondents planning to use outdoor space to cook up some culinary delights for friends and family. And food remained a common theme with edible gardens. It’s a natural fit, with millions of people picking up gardening as a hobby during the pandemic to supplement pantries with homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Semi-enclosed spaces and all-season upgrades are two more trends to watch. Covid encouraged homeowners to get more year-round usage from their outdoor living areas. There is a definite blending between the indoor and outdoor.

Many homeowners are now viewing their outdoor spaces as year-round living spaces. To make this work, think of fireplaces, fire pits, heaters, hot tubs, upgraded seating, and weather protection. It’s all about taking advantage of the space you already have; even as cooler temperatures arrive.

Giving the yard the VIP treatment

In the wake of Covid, two divergent trends emerged for the front and backyard. In the backyard, privacy became king. The disruption drove homeowners outside for an escape to exercise, meditate, rest, or recuperate. This trend includes larger, private backyard spaces, sheltered side yards, careful window placement, and covered patios. A mix of landscaping, hardscaping and furniture can deliver that protection. Drapery panels, plant walls, and umbrellas also add a level of privacy.

A recent feature in Better Homes & Gardens identifies front yards as the newest home “addition.” They were typically just for curb appeal; now, residents are looking to maximize the space. The pandemic changed social lives, and many people are looking to connect with their neighbors and communities. In 2020, front yards hosted drive-by parties and socially distanced gatherings; now, homeowners want to stay connected. A “social” front yard is much simpler than a backyard design. Home improvements from a cozy table and chairs, a tree swing, or a comfy bench can give life to an area previously empty or passed through.

Bringing technology outdoors

As homeowners are bringing the outdoors into everyday living, they’re also hoping to bring indoor convenience outdoors. More people are working from home than ever before, and streaming continues its rise, so they’re adding boosters to amplify Wi-Fi signals outdoors. Customers want to create entirely new mixed-use spaces with enhanced, multicolor exterior lighting, TVs, and outdoor speakers for outdoor home offices and theaters.

GREATER PHOENIX AWARD-WINNING HOME REMODELER

Have questions about finding the best remodeling and renovation professional for your outdoor living space?  We would love to help you love your home again!  Homework Remodels is an award-winning remodeler with years of experience.  We focus primarily on amazing outdoor living spaces, kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, and large whole-home remodeling projects.  Ready to start? Give us a call at (480) 895-3442 for a free consultation.  We look forward to making your dreams a reality!  You can see many of our award-winning projects here!

 

Meet the Design Psychologist Who Put a Native Stone Bathtub in Her Bedroom

Note from Homework Remodels:  We loved reading this blog from Native Trails!  As you learn more about this designer, she also shares the psychology of design and how a good design in a remodel can create the space that makes you feel good.  We think this information is essential for the pandemic culture we live in today.   If you are thinking of remodeling, let us know how Homework Remodel’s professional designer, Sheila Lanier, can help you create the perfect space!

With a background that spans set styling, home staging, interior design, and visual merchandising, including several years as Nordstrom’s environmental designer, Amber brings to the table not only her impeccable taste but a master’s degree in psychology.

What does psychology have to do with design? More than you might think. “I believe spaces are deeply linked to our emotions and contribute to our wellbeing,” says Amber, who has taught design psychology at Salt Lake Community College since 2010.

Here, she shares some of her tips and tricks for creating spaces that look and feel great.

Let’s start by talking about the renovations to your bedroom—and that bathtub!

Psychology of Design

AD: We moved into the place a year and a half ago when I was seven months pregnant. And after a year of living in our bedroom, we started calling it the torture chamber—and not lovingly. Approaching the remodel, the first thing we decided on was having a bathtub in the bedroom. At first we picked out a more traditional ceramic tub, but when we sat with that for a minute, we knew something wasn’t feeling right. When we started looking into it, we found the Native Trails tub, which looks awesome with the floors. We wanted to keep it simple so we did a limestone wash on the walls and concrete slab flooring, and we have a little garden area just outside the window for when we’re in the tub.

On that note, what’s your take on the bathtub-in-the-bedroom trend? Apparently, you’re a fan.

AD: We had one in our old house, but it didn’t feel cool or on purpose. It just felt like they couldn’t fit the tub in the bathroom. But we loved it and knew we wanted to incorporate that vibe in this house, but in more of a modern way. I love the idea of baths being a ritual and part of self-care that is separate from the bathroom. You know, you get ready in the bathroom. It gets messy.

Yes, it feels more serene to have the tub in the bedroom. Especially because sleep doctors will tell you that the bedroom should only be used for two things: Sleep and sex.

AD: To have a bath is such a sensual thing, so it goes with both of those things.

You studied psychology in college and ultimately bridged that with your creative side. How did those two interests come together?

AD: I got my bachelor’s in psychology and then wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I went back to school for interior design. Then I stumbled on a single article about design psychology and was hooked. I stalked the author of the article, and she was super nice and said, “You probably need to get higher education in one area or another if you want to do this for a living.” At the time, they didn’t offer anything beyond an associate’s for interior design so I went on to get my master’s in psychology. I did private practice therapy and trauma work with kids for years. That was not happiness for me; it was breaking my heart. I loved what I knew, but I didn’t love being a therapist. So I went back to the college where I went for interior design and asked the director if she had any interest in infusing psychology principles into their courses. She called me back a week later and said, “I love the idea. I want you to teach a class about it in two weeks. It will need to be a 16-week course.”

Generally speaking, what do design and psychology have to do with one another?

AD: When you walk into a space, you immediately have a feeling, whether you recognize the feeling or not. Spaces have power over our psyche and our emotional wellbeing. They can make you feel at ease, they can make you feel anxious. My class basically teaches people how to tap into that—whether it’s their own attachments to space or their history with spaces in their childhood. From zero to five are your really formative years for attaching to another person; that is the blueprint for how you operate, and it colors how you attach to people in your adult life. But you can attach to space in the same way. Some people like to recreate chaotic spaces because they’re familiar with them, even though they know they’re not healthy. Or they want to recreate the smell of something or the way something felt or the view or the layout of a place—all of those things can evoke nostalgic memories that can feel really calming if you recreate them in your adult life. Then we open it up and explore some universal reactions to space and texture and color and materials, and how people respond. Like, I just read an article about how just being around woodgrain can reduce your stress levels.

What are some of the universal design truths that make people feel good?

AD: We tend to feel more calm in monochromatic spaces, especially if they’re neutrals. All-white spaces make us tense; we feel more rigid and like we have to act more formal in them. But when I say monochromatic, I mean ranges of neutrals, maybe woodgrain and taupes and that family of off-whites, whites and creams. We feel really relaxed in those spaces. So even if you pick a single color—let’s say green—and you incorporate a really deep, vegetal green all the way to a chalky, watery green in the same room, we really like being in that versus in super high-contrast colors.

Psychology of Design

So color is probably the most important factor?

AD: Yes, and lighting. One of the biggest things with lighting is we like to be under dappled lighting, like the light that would hit through the trees on a sunny day. We like being around that fractured light, which is why a lot of people are doing those basketweave pendants. That’s a really good way to artificially replicate what you would find in nature. We have all kinds of  baked-in preferences from our survival instincts; so if it was a sunny day, you knew that it was safe and you didn’t have to find shelter. We also don’t love being around too much print because it’s harder to spot danger. We scan it in the same way we would scan something on the savanna to see if danger’s approaching. That’s also why too much clutter makes us tense.

Are there certain principles you adhere to when creating kitchens?

AD: With kitchens it’s about reducing the amount of clutter that you see, just because it is anxiety provoking to see a lot of things out. And I always think it’s nice to keep something like fresh and alive, whether that’s a basil plant or some other herbs. It’s also helpful to design kitchens with food colors. Blue is an appetite suppressant, so if you want to promote that in your kitchen, probably design with blue. There are just not a lot of blue foods in nature, but greens and warm tones are all nice to work with because they’re found in food.

How about for bathroom?

AD: In the bathroom I think it’s nice to think about textures. You start your day there and you end your day there usually. So it’s good to keep in mind things like plush towels or cozy rugs, things that hug you know and make you feel cozy.

So do you have any go to bathroom paint colors?

AD: Personally, I like neutrals and colors found in rocks and plants. I feel better around earth tones and materials that feel derived from Earth, like concrete. Especially if you want your bathroom to feel like an escape or spa, I will definitely lean into nature. There’s a theory called shibui that says that nature never makes a mistake. With that, you would look around you to know not only the colors to use, but the distribution. For instance on a hillside, you would normally see browns and different ranges of oatmeals, and then you would maybe see just a little pop of a flower. So you know, smaller doses of color.

What do you put in every space that you design?

AD: Plants. I’m personally drawn to them, and it feels good to have something alive around you. They’re also just super good for creating oxygen in a space. And when we’re around plants we’re more creative, more open to conversation and tend to settle disputes faster.

See more photos and read the remaining blog from Native Trails HERE

All photography courtesy of Amber Dunford.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor’s References

Our recent blogs have focused on topics that will help you choose the right home remodeling professional for your renovation project.  We’ve covered misconceptions, budgeting your costs for your remodel, things to watch out for when hiring your contractor, asking the right questions, and how to ensure a smooth project. (These blogs are full of great information if you haven’t read them yet, you can read them here).  In this blog, we help you with questions to ask your contractor’s references. We know it can seem a bit awkward to talk to a complete stranger about a contractor that has done work on their home but getting their take on how their remodel project went and how they felt about their contractor, will definitely give you confidence in choosing the right contractor for your home renovation! We have found that most people will want to share their experience with you and even show you their remodel!! Remember, too, when asking for references from a potential contractor, ask to see a current project they are working on.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CONTRACTOR’S REFERENCES

What type of project or projects has the contractor done for you?

Did they do a quality job?

Why did you choose this contractor?

Did you get prices or opinions from other contractors that you feel had comparable specifications and credentials, if not, Why? And if so, how did they compare?

What would you say about the crew members that did your work – were they respectable and clean? Did they seem to know what they were doing?

Was the contractor responsive to you your questions and/or concerns? Could you reach him quickly?

Did the contractor do what he said he would do?

Were there any additional charges and if so, were they handled in such a way that left you feeling satisfied?

On a scale of 1-10 (ten being highest), how would you rate your overall experience with this contractor?

Do you have any reservations about hiring him again?

May I come by to see the work firsthand?

 

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing Steve here to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

How to Ensure a Smooth Project

In our continuing blog series, “Choosing the Right Home Remodeling Professional for your Renovation Project”, we tackle how to ensure a smooth project. Knowing these guidelines will help you navigate your renovation project and give you confidence in your contractor!

Good Communication

It is essential that you have an excellent flow of communication with your contractor. Do they return calls promptly? Do they listen intently to your likes and dislikes? Do they take notes? Can you reach them when needed? This will be even more important once your project begins.

Right Fit

You’ll most likely be spending a good bit of time with your contractor, so it is important that you feel comfortable with them. You should also have a good sense as to whether the same holds true regarding the members of their staff. Like any good relationship, a strong rapport and close communication with your contractor will help any job go more smoothly.

Scheduling

The scheduling of your project is something that should be discussed upfront. A responsible and reputable contractor will do their best to keep you informed both in the initial stages and as your project progresses.

A Clear, Well Written Proposal/Contract

Getting it in writing is essential! Nothing is worse than a disagreement because the terms weren’t written down. Frequently, one person remembers something differently. Every part of the job from the general conditions and demolition to the final trim and clean up should be clearly described. General terms like “install windows and doors” are too vague and should be clearly spelled out indicating exactly what window, what door, including make, model, size, features, location, color, style, etc. A detailed contract should include:

  • A visual representation such as a blueprint, floor plan, drawings, sketches, that clearly shows what work is being done and where.
  • The timetable in which the project is expected to be completed, including approximate start and end dates.
  • The price, along with payment terms and schedule.
  • Detailed specifications for all products and materials.
  • A list of work and/or things not included.
  • Insurance information.
  • Permit information (e.g., whether it’s required and who will get it)
  • Procedure for handling change orders.
  • Notice of your right under the FTC’s rule to cancel the contract within three business days if it was signed in a place other than the contractor’s place of business.

Details, Details, and More Details

There are several things that should be discussed prior to starting your project. What time will work start and end each day? Where will materials be stored? What special circumstances need to be taken into consideration? Discussing details like these upfront saves a lot of aggravation and eliminates misunderstandings.

Flexibility

Remodeling can be disruptive to your normal lifestyle. Remember to be as flexible as possible.

Change Orders

Changes are inevitable when it comes to home remodeling. There are often changes made to the design, the materials, and the scope of work once work begins.

It’s a good idea to set aside an additional 10% or more beyond the contract amount to cover these changes.

The bottom line is: Almost all changes will affect the budget and the schedule. Make sure all changes are in writing and are kept current to avoid any surprises in the end.

Written Lien Waivers

Often your remodeling professional will work with other tradesmen or subcontractors who specialize in certain aspects of your project. It is your contractor’s responsibility to make sure these people, as well as material suppliers, are paid for services and materials related to your project.

Make sure your contractor is willing to provide you with a written lien waiver at the end of your project in trade for the final payment. This is a document that proves that you have paid for the project in full, thereby eliminating the chances of the contractor’s subcontractors or suppliers placing a lien on your property due to not being paid by your contractor for the work performed on your home.

Establishing good communication and walking through each of these topics with your contractor will ensure a smooth project!

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

Twenty-one Questions You should Ask to Choose the Right Contractor

Our recent blogs have focused on topics that will help you choose the right home remodeling professional for your renovation project.  We’ve covered misconceptions, project costs beyond labor, and what to look for when hiring your contractor.  In this blog, we give you the essential questions to ask so that you can confidently navigate choosing the right contractor for your remodeling project.

Choose the Right Contractor

Any reputable remodeling contractor should be able to answer all the following questions positively.  If they cannot, it would be wise to continue your search!

  1. Are you properly licensed on both the state and city level?
  2. Do you require all change orders to be in writing to eliminate any misunderstandings and unexpected cost overruns?
  3. Do you carry general liability insurance?
  4. Do you carry worker’s compensation insurance?
  5. Will you provide me with a written lien waiver at the end of the job?
  6. Are you a member of NARI or NAHB? Do you subscribe to their Code of Ethics?
  7. Are you certified as a CR, GCP, CKBR, CGR, or UDCP?
  8. Are you a member of the local Better Business Bureau?
  9. Will you pull any necessary permits?
  10. Do you offer a written warranty on all workmanship?
  11. Who will oversee my job? May I meet this person or persons?
  12. Have you been a party in any construction litigation?
  13. Will you provide me with references?
  14. What percentage of your business is repeat, or referral-based?
  15. How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year or two?
  16. How do you plan to reduce dust and protect the rest of my home from the effects of other work? (Good contractors erect dust barriers and use drop cloths and other protective material to protect your home.)
  17. How is daily and general clean-up handled?
  18. Will you provide means of communication that is checked daily for any questions or concerns you may have thought of after working hours?
  19. Will you provide me with a written contract that clearly spells out exactly what you will do, what your price includes and does not include, and specifies a guaranteed price, payment schedule, and completion date?
  20. Will a professional designer and/or architect design my job? (For projects that warrant this level of service.)
  21. Do you provide realistic renderings, sketches, and perspectives to allow me to clearly visualize my project early in the planning stages? (Again, for projects that warrant this level of service.)

We hope knowing what to ask will help you choose the right contractor who is a professional in remodeling and renovation projects.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

 

9 Things to Look for in a Contractor

In this blog, we continue our series of how to choose the right home remodeling professional for your remodeling project, by tackling 9 things to look for in a contractor.  Knowing this information will help you feel more confident as you research the best remodeling contractor for your project.

  1. Accessibility

Your contractor must be easy to reach by phone and email and never make you feel like you are imposing on them by contacting him or her.

  1. Promptness

Does your contractor keep appointments? A contractor’s day can be busy; if they are running behind, they should have the courtesy to call to let you know. Little things count.

  1. Trustworthiness

Honesty and trust are of the utmost importance in any situation, especially when the person has total access to your home. Make sure you feel a high level of trust with your contractor and trust your instinct if you don’t. Not only are you trusting them to be in your home and around your family, but you’re also trusting them with, in many cases, a sizable amount of your money!

  1. Membership in NARI or NAHB

NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; NAHB stands for the National Association of Home Builders. To become a member, the contractor’s background and references are investigated. It’s always a good idea to hire a NARI or NAHB contractor. Membership reflects a contractor’s commitment to professionalism.

  1. Certifications

Both organizations offer industry certification and designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler™ (CGR), Certified Remodeler™ (CR), Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler™ (CKBR) and Green Certified Professional™ (GCP) and Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). If a contractor has one or more of these designations, chances are high that you’re dealing with a very reputable professional that is committed to their career as a professional remodeling contractor.

Furthermore, to earn one of these designations a contractor must demonstrate certain levels of skill and knowledge in addition to successfully completing numerous courses on various topics related to the industry.

  1. Ability to design your project

Unless your project is simple, you will want to work with a contractor that will start with a design phase complete with a feasibility study to develop both the remodel and a budget that will work for you. Design/Build contractors will work with you to develop space planning and floor plans. They will lead you through the multitude of choices that must be made. Most importantly they will work with you to balance the choices with the ultimate budget for your project. This planning stage prior to moving forward with your remodel will ensure that all the details have been addressed and that the possibility of unexpected extra expenses will be minimized.

  1. Knowledge of Green Remodeling Technology

In today’s world of high energy prices and limited resources, it is critical that your contractor is up to date regarding incorporating eco-friendly green techniques and features into every project. The common misconception is that green remodeling will cost more. The reality is that extremes in anything will cost more, and a well-balanced plan will respect your budget.

A contractor that is focused on the green aspects of remodeling will be more conscious of not wasting materials, recycling the used appliances, fixtures, and reusable building materials. This will save money and give you a tax deduction for donating used materials to charitable organizations. By viewing your home as a system rather than an accumulation of parts, your contractor will commonly incorporate many choices and techniques into every project that will improve your home’s performance and not necessarily cost more than uneducated choices.

  1. High Percentage of Referrals or Repeat Clients

When a significant amount of a contractor’s business is derived from repeat or referred business, it is an indication that their clients are pleased and that they have an outstanding reputation. If your contractor has a long list of happy clients and has an outstanding reputation for doing quality work, chances are high that you will be satisfied as well.

  1. Will Your Home Be Protected?

Simply put, remodeling can be very dusty and dirty. If not adequately controlled, dust will get everywhere, especially if there is a lot of sanding or demolition. Make sure your contractor has plans to take the appropriate measures to control dust and protect your floor finishes.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

There is More to a Project’s Cost Than Labor and Materials

From Our Choosing the Right Home Remodeling Professional (Series)

Our recent blogs have focused on topics that will help you choose the right home remodeling professional for your renovation project.  We’ve covered misconceptions and things to watch out for when hiring your contractor.  In this blog, we are talking about expectations of the cost of your project and how your contractor gets to his estimate.  Knowing this information, will help you feel more confident and create trust between you and your contractor.

Each project is different, however, there are always going to be costs that go beyond labor and materials.  Your contractor should break down an estimate and how they reach it, where possible. This adds an element of transparency that you want to see.

In addition to the actual labor, materials, and Sub Contractor prices there are many other expenses every successful contractor must figure into their price to survive.

Cost of Your Project

The following is a list of some of the key elements that make up overhead in every successfully managed remodeling company:

Telephone, cell phones
Office rent
Office supplies
Stationery and printing expenses
Website, hosting, and Internet
Worker’s Compensation & Liability insurance
Health insurance
Paid vacations, holidays
Staff meetings
Payroll expenses
Office administration and management
Time doing free estimates
Material price increases that may not be billable once a job is quoted
Estimating errors and omissions
Warranty repairs
Tools and equipment
Trucks, repairs & maintenance, fuel
Continuing education, training, and industry events
Computers and software
Business loans and interest
Accountant’s fees
Taxes
Production supervision and management
Advertising, marketing, and sales costs

This all adds up to a substantial amount of money. To cover his overhead, a contractor typically must add a percentage to the actual cost of labor and materials required to complete your project. Most professional contractors try to maintain a 7.5% – 20% profit when all is said and done. Without a profit, the contractor will eventually go out of business.

If you receive a price from a contractor that seems too high, they are very likely trying to pay for the very things that allow him to survive and provide a good, reliable service to you and a good environment for his employees.

Do beware of the contractor that tells you his prices are low because he keeps his overhead down. Chances are that could affect the quality of your project.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing Steve here to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

12 Things to Watch Out For When Remodeling

Spotting Scams and the Inexperienced with Home Remodeling Contractors

Every industry has its share of scams and con artists. The remodeling industry is no exception. However, spotting scams and the inexperienced with home remodeling contractors is relatively easy provided you know what to look for.

One clue is that we tend to get a gut feeling if someone is trying to pull one over on us. But what about when someone isn’t intentionally trying to scam us? There are honest contractors that are either inexperienced, incompetent, or both. They may mean well, but their lack of skill or knowledge or inability to be able to complete or manage your project correctly can be just as devastating as the work of a truly unscrupulous contractor.

In other words, it’s not always the bad guys you need to look out for. There is a big difference between being willing and being able.

Let’s look at some of the things to look out for.

  1. “High-Pressure” Sales Tactics

With the remodeling business becoming more and more competitive each year, many contractors resort to high-pressure tactics to get you to sign on the spot without your best interest in mind. You should never feel pressured into deciding about choosing your contractor. Walk away.

  1. Unusual Payment Terms

Beware of the contractor who asks that you pay for the entire job upfront or asks you to pay in cash. A professional contractor will present an equitable, mutually acceptable payment plan, usually based on the progress of your project.

  1. Unverifiable Credentials

If you can’t verify a contractor’s company, name, address, and phone number, it’s a sure bet that trouble lies ahead. Many of these fly-by-night contractors are called “pick-up truck” builders. These guys don’t have verifiable businesses and are mobile enough to pack up and leave your job without a trace. A verifiable address is a must.

  1. Hard to Reach

Anyone can miss a call, but if you find that your prospective contractor doesn’t consistently return your calls, beware. Any remodeling project will have things come up that require prompt communication between you and your contractor. You want your contractor to be available to you when you have concerns. It is critical that you feel that your contractor is easy to reach and open to communication.

  1. The “Price Reduction”

This scam occurs when you say no to or show a bit of reluctance to the initial offer and in response the salesperson offers a lower price for the exact same work. Substantial reductions in price without changes in the scope of work or specifications could signify that the contractor is trying to get a higher price for something that is worthless, to begin with, and is just trying to save the sale.  If you and the contractor negotiate different materials, methods, or circumstances that clearly have an impact on the cost, this would be fine. Otherwise, the price should be the price.

  1. No Contract or Proposal 

Insist on a thorough contract or proposal with a defined scope of work, clear specifications, and detailed terms. By doing this, you will substantially increase your chances of being satisfied. It is best not to take anything for granted.

In addition to the benefits that come from knowing what to expect, if a contractor takes the time necessary to compile a detailed document, there will be far fewer unforeseen issues and misunderstandings, which will result in less stress for you, and your project will move along much more smoothly. If there is ever a misunderstanding, chances are it can be easily cleared up by referencing this critical document.

  1. Incomplete Specifications or Unclear Terms

Pay attention to the “Scope of Work” and “Specifications” sections of the contract or proposal. This is the part of the proposal that defines exactly what work will be completed (the scope of work) and exactly what products or materials and which methods are going to be used (the specifications). Every project should have clearly written specifications. Not just vague generalities.

  1. Shoddy or Incomplete Workmanship

By far, this is the most widespread scam of all. To address the potential for shoddy workmanship, I recommend following up with references until you are 100% satisfied that your contractor will provide the level of workmanship you expect. Awards are another area that can validate a contractor’s commitment to quality workmanship. Simply do not take someone’s word for it.

In our company, we recommend (and sometimes require) that prospective clients contact our references, and if available visit one or more of our past projects so they can see firsthand examples of our work. You’ll have a much better sense of the quality of work you can expect.

  1. The Contractor Asks That You Get the Required Permits

Some contractors may ask that you get the required building permits. If well explained, this could be to your advantage in certain cities, due to the way they have set fees for construction permits.  Or, this could be a signal that he is either unlicensed, the work is outside the area in which he is licensed, or he is not able to get a permit due to improper or inadequate insurance coverage. The contractor may also not be in good standing with the building department.
In any case, a reputable contractor will discuss the permit process with you and typically obtain a permit, if your project requires one.  When a contractor obtains the required building permits, you are more likely to have things done according to the applicable building codes. Also, check your homeowner insurance policy to see if it requires that a permit be issued on any major remodeling project to be properly insured.
  1. The Schedule or Time Frame Seems Too Good to Be True

If the schedule you’re quoted seems too good to be true, it just might be! A contractor who knows his business will give you a realistic work schedule/timeline. Don’t be lured by the contractor who promises an overly optimistic completion date.

  1. The Contractor Doesn’t Warranty His Work

Believe it or not, in some states, there is no law that requires a remodeling contractor to warranty his work. However, warranties are essential to any remodeling project. A good contractor will comply with the standards set forth by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

The National Association of Home Builders performance guidelines helps determine whether a contractor’s work requires corrective action in cases of dispute. Most professional contractors know about these guidelines and may refer to it in their warranty. They can provide you with a copy.  Remember this: Contractors committed to quality workmanship and client satisfaction warranty their work at least one year and many offer two years or more.

  1. The Contractor Appears Unkempt and Disorganized

A disorganized contractor means a disorganized project. Pay close attention to the details. Look for clues that the contractor has it together. You want your project to be organized – that starts and ends with your contractor.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn about spotting scams and the inexperienced with home remodeling contractors with our consumer awareness guide.      Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Drop us a line!

Get in touch with us!