Insulation Basics: What to Know About Spray Foam

Learn what exactly spray foam insulation is, the pros and cons of using it, and why you shouldn’t mess around with installation.

While we all wish there were a single answer for any given problem, oftentimes that’s just not the case. This is true for material options for home spray foam insulation. Despite what the market says is the most popular insulation material or method at any given moment, the truth is that each individual project has its own set of circumstances that call for a recommended set of options. And within those options, the specifications and installation can have a massive impact on the result.

It’s important to understand each material and how it works within your home’s construction and the environment in which you live. In this blog, we’ll take a look at various thermal insulation types and materials to help you figure out which is the best one for your project. We’ll begin with spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which, at least in North America, is fast becoming one of the most popular options.

spray foam insulation

EcoTech Spray Foam

What is SPF? Spray polyurethane foam is a heat-activated polymer that is just what it sounds like, foam insulation that is sprayed into place. It is made by mixing two ingredients on-site using special equipment. The mixture is then sprayed through a heated hose onto the surface that needs to be insulated. As the chemical reaction between the two ingredients takes place and the substance heats up in the hose, the liquid turns foamy, expands, and then eventually hardens in place.

Closed-cell and open-cell spray foam. These are the two kinds of spray-foam insulation. Open-cell SPF is the lighter, less dense option; it is the cheaper of the two but has less insulating power (or a lower R-value). Closed-cell SPF is denser and more expensive, can provide a bit more rigid support to certain structures, and can act as a water vapor barrier, because it is less permeable.

spray foam insulation

WJM Architect

 

Why is SPF so popular in the United States? Spray foam has the potential to tackle air leakages better than many other insulation options. Because it is sprayed into place, the foam can fill up cavities and block any small holes that could compromise your building envelope. It can be applied to vertical or horizontal surfaces to act not only as thermal insulation but also as an air barrier. It’s synthetic and does not attract rodents or insects. When applied properly, spray foam can contribute to a successful energy-efficiency strategy.

As with many aspects of the building market, there are variations in what is considered common around the world. Here in Italy, for example, spray-foam insulation has not taken hold of the market as it has in the U.S., for a variety of reasons outside the scope of this idea book. As a result, it is more difficult to find installers here, although there are versions of SPF available on the European market.

spray foam insulation

Before Photo

GreenEdge Spray Foam Insulation

The relative ease of installation. This makes it a popular choice for contractors (although see my notes on installation difficulties below). Plus, even though it can be expensive, its relatively high R-value per inch makes it a competitive option. It’s particularly interesting for renovation projects where traditional batt or board insulation may be difficult to insert. With spray foam (as with blown-in insulation), it’s possible to inject the insulation into a wall cavity, for example, or apply it to a sloped surface.

spray foam insulation

Apex Building Company

spray foam insulation

Spray Foam Systems LLC

Challenges of installation. As with many building technology solutions, the increasing popularity of a product or method means an increase in misuse and misunderstandings. Unfortunately, nowadays it is quite common to find examples of spray-foam insulation that have been specified or installed incorrectly.

The most common problems with spray-foam applications are:

  • The chemicals were not mixed correctly, and the foam starts to pull away from the neighboring surface
  • The chemicals were not mixed correctly, causing lingering odors and health problems for the occupants
  • The installers rush through the installation, leaving gaps and holes that reduce the efficiency of the product
  • A sufficient thickness either was not specified or was not executed as specified during installation
  • The local climate was not taken into consideration, and the temperatures or humidity levels were outside of the manufacturer’s specifications
  • In cold climates, a vapor barrier was not installed over the spray foam, sometimes causing roof rot

Remember, installation is a key factor with any kind of insulation you chose and can be the difference between insulation that works or causes problems.

spray foam insulation

Wedge Roofing

Be aware of greenwash! Closed-cell spray foam in particular, which uses HFCs with high carbon dioxide content, has a very negative impact on global warming. Some manufacturers are claiming that their spray foam is ecologically friendly because it is based on soy or castor. Don’t be fooled by this marketing gimmick. The percentage of soy legally required for them to be able to make this claim is very low. SPF is still very much a fossil-fuel-based material (as are many other insulation options).

 

spray foam insulation

MJW DryWall & foam Insulation LLC

Consider your climate. There are too many climate-specific considerations for insulation to include in this idea book. With SPF, for example, a vapor retarder layer over drywall may be required when using open-cell spray foam (seen here) in cold climates.

spray foam insulation

Before Photo

Cutting Edge Spray Foam Services, Inc

Potential health risks. Some people have reported health reactions to the lingering odor that can occur with certain mixes of chemicals, and the Environmental Protection Agency has issued information to make consumers aware of potential health risks, particularly during installation. There is still very little known about the off-gassing potential of this relatively new product, but a standard has been developed to start monitoring it.

It is absolutely essential that anyone working on the construction or renovation of a home using SPF follow the recommended health guidelines. Please don’t think that you can install this in your shorts and T-shirt on the weekend. Consult a professional or do your research.

 

spray foam insulation

EcoTech Spray Foam

The good news. Learning the pitfalls is just part of being more aware of the consequences of a certain decision. Each and every insulation material has advantages and disadvantages. SPF is a viable solution for certain homes and can offer substantial energy savings if installed correctly. You just need to be aware that, relative to other materials, the installation can be easier to execute but also easier to rush through. Knowing what questions to ask your installer can go a long way toward obtaining optimal results.

Tips for working with an installer:

  • Hire someone reputable with verified recommendations.
  • Make sure the work is monitored by someone other than the installer.
  • Do a quality control check before issuing the final payment.

Article found on Houzz and written by Mariana Pickering, Houzz Contributor

Visit our site on HOUZZ here to learn more about what we offer and all the information you can find on their site

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

How the Design/Build Concept Works

You’ve been dreaming of your remodel for a long time and the time is right for you to finally go for it!  Now, that you are ready, do you know what the best process is for a successful remodel?  Tri-Lite Builders has developed a proven Design/Build concept we go through with all our clients that spans from the initial design consultation, through construction, and on to the finishing process.

We start by asking several questions to get to know you and your style.  We listen carefully so we can weave our knowledge and creativity with your hopes and dreams to enhance your home.  Our principal objective is to guide you through every aspect of the remodel: from room layout/space plan to the most important detail of your new kitchen, bathroom, or home addition.

Each design phase has similar elements that we craft uniquely to you and the variables involved in your design concept. Your project may include creating hand-drawn renderings or computer-generated 3D views of your new kitchen, bathroom, or floor plan. Each rendering or 3-D view is drawn so that you can preview the feel of your new kitchen or bathroom before construction starts. Throughout project development, your designer is there to lead you through each step.

INITIAL CONSULTATION IN THE DESIGN/BUILD CONCEPT

During our initial phone call, we discuss the remodeling project you want to do.  We answer the questions you have about our design/build concept process, construction, project management.  Then we ask several questions, to get to know a little about you, your home, and what you envision for your remodel. Next, we schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation.  During this consultation we:

  • Explore your space
  • Define the initial Scope of Work
  • Learn more about your lifestyle and preferences
  • Answer the design questions you have
  • Discuss comparable budget ranges from similar projects

If you find we are a good fit: personality, design concept, and estimated budget, we begin our design and pre-construction phase.

DESIGN PHASE

The Design Phase will take our preliminary concepts and budget to the finished design and fixed budget with all selections made. We work hand-in-hand to collaborate with you on all details of the design to include:

  • Floor plan options
  • Appliance Selection
  • Cabinet styles and color choices
  • Countertop material and slab selection
  • Tile selections including decorative accents for backsplashes, floors, or showers
  • Plumbing features including styles, finishes, and locations
  • Electrical features, lighting fixtures, and their placement
  • Coordinate color choices for all features and walls

Our goal is to create a kitchen, bathroom, or addition that you will be proud of and your family and friends will enjoy.  At Design Phase completion the plan is in place: every product is specified, each trade partner is on board, the drawings are ready and the budget is set and approved by you.  Time to execute the plan.

BUILD PHASE

The Plan, our specification documents that itemize all product selections, the scope of the remodel work to complete, drawings of the particulars, and budget amounts become part of the Construction Contract.  These documents encompass “The Plan” and serve as the guide for our Production team.  They work together with the Designer during the Design Phase to ensure that all construction requirements are met. Throughout the Build Phase, our Project Manager is there to execute the details of the plan.  The Project Manager is your day-to-day hands-on leader of your remodel and point of contact. Learn more about Tri-LiteBuilders here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Tri-Lite Builders will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

 

These 2022 Kitchen Design Trends Will Help You Create a More Functional Home

We love bringing you the best information we can so that you can plan a successful home remodel! Are you looking to create a more functional home?  We found these 2022 Kitchen Design Trends from Better Homes and Garden’s blog by Kristina McGuirk really helpful when planning your kitchen remodel.  We hope it inspires and helps you dream big!!

2022 Kitchen Design Trends

Increase the effectiveness of this hardworking hub of the home while capitalizing on easy-to-achieve style.

In 2022, kitchen designs will build on the momentum created by last year’s trends, including an emphasis on storage, nature-inspired accents, and upgraded technology in lighting, appliances, and fixtures. This year’s designs complement the simple luxury of organic style, while increased functionality becomes the main goal of updates and upgrades. These six trends are all about helping your kitchen work your way, adding substance and style that’s sure to last for years.

  1. Flexible Lighting

As the kitchen continues to transform into a multifunctional space, lighting will play a key role. “Lighting controls, and the ability to adjust your light to the task at hand, is an important trend,” says Greg Martin, creative director of design at Kichler Lighting. “This could be as simple as the ability to dim light levels or as complex as app-controlled color temperature and light intensity.”

According to the 2022 Design Trends Report by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), app- and voice-controlled lighting will be as popular as traditional dimmers and motion-sensing lighting in the coming year.

Multiple sources of light are another significant feature for a space used for varied tasks, and Martin says adjustable sconces are especially hot for kitchens. Hardwired or plugged in, these fixtures can be installed how and where they’re needed, adding both illumination and style. For all fixtures, he continues to see strong trends toward black and gold finishes and notes white light fixtures are beginning to gain popularity.

2022 Kitchen Trends

  1. Walk-In Pantries

Last year, kitchens burst with new cookbooks, small appliances, and cans of food following changes in cooking and shopping habits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In its 2021 “What Home Buyers Really Want” report, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) found walk-in pantries tied with double-basin sinks as the most desirable feature homebuyers look for in a kitchen.

Not content with simply finding a place for everything, homeowners look to add functionality to kitchen storage in 2022, too. “Working pantries,” which include areas like coffee centers or a place to store and use small appliances, come in at #5 on the NKBA trend list.

2022 Kitchen Trends

  1. Sink Workstations

Sinks will see major upgrades in 2022, and there are two styles vying for your attention. “The past 20 months have proven that spaces in our home must serve multiple functions, and your kitchen sink is no different,” says Caroline Danielson, director of showrooms at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

The NAHB report identifies side-by-side double sinks as the most-wanted kitchen feature. According to Danielson, these sinks are popular because they allow for simultaneous tasks, like food prep and washing dishes. They also offer a variety of configurations, allowing the homeowner to select from various basin sizes and depths, as well as faucet location and mounting style.

“Instead of your average stainless under-mount sink, we are encouraging clients to choose workstation sinks,” says Ebony Stephenson, owner of Designs by Ebony. Workstation sinks feature a built-in ledge for accessories like colanders, dish racks, cutting boards, and ice holders; and often multiple faucets for added productivity. Stephenson expects to see galley-style sinks (wider than a standard 36″ sink base cabinet), which could be especially popular in larger renovations and new construction where countertops and cabinets are specified.

2022 Kitchen Trends

  1. Rounded Accents

Organic style quickly became a top decor style in 2021 and continues to influence kitchen design. Now, rounded accents are showing up as a complement to this nature-inspired aesthetic. “We expect that curves and organic shapes will be integrated more into kitchen spaces, promoting comfort, whimsy, and natural elements,” says Katherine Cohen, manager of visual merchandising and photography at FLOR.

 For a grand approach, Cohen suggests arched windows, doorways, and ceiling treatments that structurally integrate swells and curves. On a smaller scale, look for accents like circular trays, scalloped backsplashes, seating with curved backs, and soft furnishings with rounded geometric and abstract patterns. Cohen also notes a trend toward “pairing curved and wavy decor elements with each other,” such as round tables with circular rugs or round cutting boards with curved earthenware serving pieces.

2022 Kitchen Trends

  1. Modern Wood Finishes

Greens and blues will continue to dominate home design in 2022, and the kitchen is no exception. But according to the NKBA, white and wood tones will also be popular. Together, these hues are the foundation for today’s popular organic style. While the NKBA reports painted wood is still the most-popular cabinet choice, designers agree that wood grain, especially in light and medium tones, is gaining ground in the kitchen.

“I’m seeing a renewed love for wood kitchens. Not the country oak from the 1980s, but gorgeous, grained walnut or white oak,” says Kelly Finley, founder and principal designer at Joy Street Design. Finley says these warm woods balance the coldness often found in tile and stone countertops. And it’s not just wood tones; prominent wood grains and textures are finding a place in kitchen design as well.

2022 Kitchen Trends

  1. Smart Appliances

Tech-savvy appliances are moving into more and more kitchens for multiple reasons. First, many companies are simply updating and adding new features to their line of appliances to better align with today’s connected homes. Additionally, homeowners are willing to splurge, even if appliances are more expensive right now.

“Given the delays in receiving appliances, homeowners are opting to wait to get everything they want in the ‘perfect’ appliance,” says Finley. Saving time by preheating before getting home, being alerted when timers are done no matter where you are, and the possibility of having appliances serviced without a technician are all reasons homeowners are getting excited about adding more tech functionality to their kitchens in 2022, says Finley.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Remodeling on your mind? Tri-Lite Builders 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!

This blog was shared from https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/remodeling/2022-kitchen-trends/  by Kristina McGuirk/December 08, 2021.

 

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!

 

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!

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!

8 REMODELING DESIGN TRENDS FOR SMALLER KITCHENS IN 2021

Our kitchens were the unsung hero in 2020 as time was spent in the kitchen more than ever before.  People were going out less and the kitchen became the focal point for the family.  Unfortunately for some, that was in a small kitchen that quickly cramped their new lifestyle. However, spending so much time in their smaller kitchen has many dreaming of remodels to make it more functional and enjoyable.  New kitchen remodels are booming this year and along with all the renovations come new trends!  So, to help you with your remodel, we’ve got the top 8 remodeling design trends for smaller kitchens in 2021.

Design Trends for Smaller Kitchens in 2021

  1. L-Shaped Kitchens:  This is the most popular kitchen shape in 2021. It is designed to be efficient and flow seamlessly into the next room and thus, it is great for homes that lack square footage.
  2. Open the room:  In the past, the open concept kitchen was made popular because it opened the kitchen into the living room which made entertaining easier. After last year’s pandemic, the open concept is bringing the family in the living room into the kitchen while dinner is being prepared.  An open concept kitchen also adds style and creates the impression of a more expansive space.  You can minimize clutter in the kitchen with hidden storage areas built into your remodel plans.
  3. Color trends:  Neutral colors are in trend for kitchens.  Don’t worry about having them all match.  That is the beauty of neutral colors!  Colors like green and blue are like bringing nature inside and can be used in all different shades…muted, deep, dramatic, and bold. It pairs beautifully with many other colors and materials.
  4. Appliances: Choose appliances that will fit the space. For example, choose a flush mount cooktop instead of a range that takes up space. Weigh the pros and cons of using gas-powered appliances vs. electric appliances and the energy efficiency of each appliance you purchase.  Becoming more popular are induction cooktops because they are easier to clean and maintain and they are also more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Another note to consider, appliances are moving towards matte and brushed finishes.  These finishes are easier to keep clean and show fewer smudges and fingerprints.  Embracing practicality is the recurring theme throughout the trends for kitchen designs.
  5. Countertops are trending darker, and cabinets are trending lighter and brighter. You’ll find a lot of darker stone options for countertops as well as darker wood countertops (instead of the super-pale butcher block style).  These darker colors are going to offer a beautiful contrast to cabinets.  Look for natural wood tones for cabinets. Wood tones will lend warmth to the whole room and look beautiful paired with the dark stone countertops that are trending.
  6. More on cabinetry: Forget even minimal hardware; the trend is to go without pulls and knobs altogether. Cabinetry with notches and touch latches will streamline the feel of any kitchen.  Utilize upper cabinets as well by extending them upward to the ceiling so that every inch of wall space is functional. If you are looking to create the illusion of space, use fluted or dimpled glass fronts on a few upper cabinets…just not on all of them.
  7. Statement Pieces:  Even in smaller kitchens, you can make a statement!  Whether it is through different tile shapes (think outside the standard rectangular subway tile), a statement sink, or a statement ventilation hood.  Any of these can become a work of art.  Displaying artwork, whether it is vintage print or painting, in a kitchen is increasing in popularity. Be sure to place these pieces away from the stove or places prone to spills and splatters.
  8. More Natural Light: In the past, pendant lighting and task lighting were the focus. However, the more sunlight you can get into your kitchen now is better. We are all craving more vitamin D!  Putting in more or bigger windows is an effort to bring the outdoors in. Natural light makes your kitchen more inviting and natural elements are instant mood boosters.

View more of our featured projects in our portfolio here.

Greater Phoenix Award-Winning Remodeler

If you are dealing with a smaller kitchen, we can help you get the most out of your kitchen by creating a greater sense of space while providing functionality and flow to your home.

Tri-Lite Builders is an award-winning remodeler with years of experience.  We focus primarily on amazing kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, and large whole-home remodeling projects. Our professional designers and craftsmen will help transform any part of your home into something you can truly be proud of.

Give us a call at (480) 895-3442 for a free consultation safely in-home or virtually and we’ll help you love your home again!

 

 

How the Design/Build Concept Works

Renovating your home starts with your dreams and vision for your living space. Most likely, you’ve been envisioning your remodel for a long time and are ready to get started but are unsure of what that is all going to look like.  In this blog, we help you understand how the design/build concept works, our proven process, and what to expect along the way.

HOW THE DESIGN/BUILD CONCEPT WORKS

We have developed a proven process we go through with all our clients that spans from the initial design consultation through construction and then on to completion.
We start by asking several questions to get to know you and your style.  We listen carefully so we can weave our knowledge and creativity with your hopes and dreams to enhance your home.  Our principal objective is to guide you through every aspect of the remodel: from room layout/space plan to the most important detail of your remodel.
Each design phase has similar elements that we craft uniquely to you and the variables involved in your design concept. Your project may include creating hand-drawn renderings or computer-generated 3D views of your new kitchen, bathroom, or floorplan. Each rendering or 3-D view is drawn so that you can preview the feel of your new kitchen or bathroom before construction starts. Throughout project development, our professional designer is there to lead you through each step.

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The initial consultation usually occurs with a phone call where we will discuss your remodeling project.  We answer the questions you have about our process, construction, project management.  Then, we ask several questions, to get to know a little about you, your home and what you envision for your remodel.
Next, we schedule a no-obligation consultation safely in-home or virtually if preferred.  During this consultation we:
  • Explore your space
  • Define the initial Scope of Work
  • Learn more about your lifestyle and preferences
  • Answer the design questions you have
  • Discuss comparable budget ranges from similar projects
If you find we are a good fit: personality, design concept, and estimated budget, we begin our design and pre-construction phase.

DESIGN PHASE

The Design Phase will take our preliminary concepts and budget to the finished design and fixed budget with all selections made. This includes collaborating on all the details which include:
  • Floor plan options
  • Appliance Selection
  • Cabinet styles and color choices
  • Countertop material and slab selection
  • Tile selections including decorative accents for backsplashes, floors, or showers
  • Plumbing features including styles, finishes, and locations
  • Electrical features, lighting fixtures, and their placement
  • Coordinate color choices for all features and walls
Our goal is to create the space(s) that you will be proud of and your family and friends will enjoy.  At Design Phase completion, the plan is in place: every product is specified, each trade partner is on board, the drawings are ready, and the budget is set and approved by you.  Time to execute the plan.

BUILD PHASE

The Plan – our specification documents that itemize all product selections, the scope of the remodel work to complete, drawings of the particulars, and budget amounts – become part of the Construction Contract.  These documents encompass “The Plan” and serve as the guide for our production team.  They work together with our professional designer during the Design Phase to ensure that all construction requirements are met.
Throughout the Build Phase, our Project Manager is there to execute the details of the plan.  The Project Manager is your day-to-day hands-on leader of your remodel and point of contact. As with all the phases of your remodel, communication and collaboration continue until the project is complete.
For high-end home design, build, and remodeling that reflects your vision, our NARI Certified Designers will work hand in hand with you to create a space that not only adds value to your home but brings you joy! Call us at (480) 895-3442 if you would like to discuss your remodeling project with our award-winning designers and builders.
You can view our portfolio here.

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