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.

Top Bathroom Design Features Pros Always Recommend

We love sharing informative articles from HOUZZ – they are on top of trends and information that will help you determine the best home remodeling decisions for your project!  Planning a bathroom remodel and wondering what design element will make your new space one that you will love?  We think this article about the top bathroom design features pros recommend will give you the guidance you need. We will note that in Arizona there isn’t much need for heated floors… 

Bathroom remodelers know a thing or two about which design features make homeowners really happy. So we asked 50 design and building professionals to share the bathroom elements they confidently recommend to everyone. Here are the top bathroom design features that came up again and again.
Stephanie Russo Photography

1. Heated Floors

By far, the most recommended bathroom feature from design and building pros is heated floors. “Most people would assume the must-have bathroom amenity is a giant tiled shower or a freestanding tub,” says home builder Stephen Alexander. “We do recommend those, but the one feature that’s always overlooked is the cold tile floor that can diminish the spa experience. So we always specify heated floors.”

Many pros say the feature is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. “Every client who makes the investment absolutely loves the feature and will never go back to cold floors if they build again,” says designer Kathryn Chaplow.

Build Nashville

2. The Right Lighting

Attention to lighting is also high on bathroom remodeling pros’ recommendation lists. They encourage a layered approach with overhead lights, accent lights like sconces, and decorative lighting like chandeliers.

If you get up frequently during the night, don’t forget to include a nightlight. “I like to do these at the toe kick or underside of a floating vanity,” says designer Jamie Leonard of Vertical Interior Design. “This light is set on a sensor so that it’s only on at night or when the room is dark. This helps with those middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks so you don’t blind yourself.”

If possible, a skylight over the shower, preferably operable for ventilation, is something you’ll never regret. And a dimmer switch for light fixtures is a must, pros say. “Sometimes you want it to be dim, sometimes you need to shave or put on makeup,” says architect Tim Barber. “We strive for several different choices of lighting to set a mood.”

And be sure to cast yourself in the best light. “Always install lighting on the sides of the mirror so there aren’t shadows on your face,” says designer Tiffany Waugh.

Rev-A-Shelf

3. In-Drawer Outlets

Most of us use some sort of plug-in gadget in the bathroom. Hiding an outlet in a drawer or cabinet helps keep those hairdryers and other items off the countertop and can prevent them from encountering pooled water and creating a hazard. “With bathroom technology moving more and more electric, I always recommend storage with outlets in it for electric toothbrushes and razors,” says designer Selena Fitch. “That way they are off the counter and hidden. It can be a medicine cabinet that has been designed with outlets or even a plug strip inside a vanity cabinet.”

This approach also keeps unsightly outlets from diminishing the look of a backsplash or other feature.

Zawadski Homes Inc.

4. Storage, Storage, Storage

A bathroom can’t function without proper storage. And most pros recommend a mix of open, closed, drawer, cabinet, niche, or any other necessary solutions. “You always need a lot of storage for towels and other bathroom accessories, and there are so many ways to include bathroom storage in a beautiful and functional way with gorgeous cabinetry,” says designer Christie Veres of CDV Interiors.

Designer Melvin Stoltzfus often recommends a hidden hamper near a shower, either in a vanity or linen cabinet, to prevent dirty clothes and towels from piling up.

Innovative Construction Inc.

5. Shower Niche

Speaking of storage, few pros these days design and build showers without dedicated space for shampoo bottles and other products. And a niche recessed into a shower wall is by far the most popular solution.

There are many different designs to consider, but you’ll want to make sure the dimensions can accommodate the height and amount of products you typically keep in the shower, and maybe a little extra room for overflow. “I recommend that clients include a middle shelf inside the typical rectangular cutout, but place it in the bottom third of the space, so that the bottom is a smaller compartment for soap and razors,” says designer Sheila Mayden. “The upper shelf is for taller items like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.”

A niche also offers an opportunity to introduce some extra style into the shower with a contrasting accent tile or other material.

Keri Fields Interiors, LLC

6. Natural Materials

Many people feel, either consciously or subconsciously, that natural materials have an inherent quality that’s hard to put into words. They provide a feel-good something that seems absent in synthetic materials. “Our bathrooms represent rest, relaxation, and self-care,” says designer Kymberlea Earnshaw. “For these spaces, I always look to nature. I recommend using natural materials whenever possible — real stone, wood, plants, etc. The earthy elements balance out the water element, and together they create that spa-like feel that is so nourishing for our mind, body, and souls.”

Consider wood vanities, natural woven elements or, many pros’ favorite, marble. “Marble is our No. 1 favorite material,” says designer Tracy Huntington. “If a client can enjoy a few marks and some wear, marble patinas beautifully over time. It’s a total classic. You can’t go wrong with marble.”

Lea Biermann

7. Handheld Sprayer

A handheld sprayer might seem like a small detail, but its inclusion can have an enormous effect on the shower experience. They are great for rinsing shaved legs, cleaning shower walls, and more. “I always recommend adding a handheld in the shower,” says designer Chloe Rideout of Cummings Architecture + Interiors. “It makes cleaning pets, kids, or the walls so much easier.”

Zawadski Homes Inc.

8. A ‘Wow’ Moment

Every space needs a focal point or feature that makes you smile or say “wow” every time you see it. It could be a wall treatment, a decorative light fixture, a graphic floor tile, a standout vanity, or anything else that keeps things interesting. “I always try to incorporate something unexpected,” says designer Whitley Wirkkala of Oak & Linen Interiors. “This could be wallpaper or a funky light fixture. This keeps the room fresh and brings in a little flair.”

Laura Medicus Interiors

9. Quality Plumbing

Don’t judge faucets and other plumbing fixtures on looks alone. The inner components are vital to how these pieces function and how long they will last. Poorly made fixtures often have plastic gaskets and other pieces inside that quickly break down, affecting water flow and other performance features.

“High-quality plumbing fixtures are an absolute must,” says designer Carmit Oron. “This is not an area where it’s wise to save money. I usually explain this to my clients during our initial meeting, which takes place in a plumbing showroom. For me, quality plumbing is the starting point for everything, and where my design process begins.”

Dwell Interior Designs

10. Shower Controls Near Entrance

Nobody likes getting sprayed with cold water when reaching in to turn on the shower. Placing the controls on the opposite side of the showerhead will add some extra expense to a renovation, but it’s a feature you will appreciate every day.

Article found on Houzz by Mitchell Parker, Editorial Staff,  April 23, 2022
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.

5 Remodels That Make Good Resale Value Sense – and 5 That Don’t

We are sharing this Houzz blog by Matt Clawson because we know you value your home remodel investment.  This blog has some great information about which home renovation projects can increase your remodel resale value. Houzz is a great resource where you can design your home, and browse 20 million interior design photos, home decor, decorating ideas, and home professionals online.  We are a member of Houzz and have won consecutive Best of Houzz awards!  With our design phase and remodeling processes, we can confidently help you set your goals within your budget adding a great resale value to your home. 

 

Repeat after me: I am the master of my remodel. Perhaps you should say it again because sadly, it’s not always so. Remodels sometimes have a tendency to develop their own inertia, as decisions lead to new dilemmas, unintended consequences, and surprising outcomes. In some cases, these flights of fancy are perfectly acceptable, provided the design and completed execution truly align with the vision and budget.

But if your budget is a concern and the wise investment of limited home improvement dollars matters, then there are a few basic guidelines you should familiarize yourself with before planning your remodel. Today we review five remodels that typically make good financial sense, providing a nice return on the investment at the time of resale — and five that don’t.

 

Remodel Resale Value

27 Diamonds Interior Design, Transitional Kitchen

 

Remodeling Projects That Offer Good Resale Value

1. Kitchens. 
Updating a tired old kitchen is one of the wisest methods, and a tried-and-true one, of increasing the value of your home. When planning a kitchen remodel, and making design decisions and selections for plumbing fixtures, appliances, cabinets, and countertop materials, you should determine whether you are prioritizing your own design aesthetic or the return on your investment.

Either priority is perfectly acceptable, but you should understand which is your priority, or strike a balance between the two that you can feel good about.

For example, using the existing kitchen layout and affordable cosmetic materials is a sure way to keep the cost of your kitchen remodel manageable. When you start tearing out walls, bumping out the exterior home footprint to gain a few feet, and moving plumbing fixtures and appliances, the cost of the remodel will jump and your dollars will be less efficiently spent.

Remodel Resale Value

FineCraft Contractors, Inc., Transitional Family Room

2. Adding living space. A straightforward addition of a new living room space is typically a very good investment.

Newly added square footage generally increases your home’s value. There are certain costs that will be associated with your addition regardless of the size. New square footage will require the demolition of existing exterior walls, a new foundation, a new roof, new exterior siding, and probably new windows. If you are going to incur these expenses, it’s important to get some bang for your buck. It’s important that the added room is sized so that the space can be efficiently produced.

Remodel Resale Value

Tree 2 Key Builders, Traditional Exterior

3. Curb appeal. You have heard not to judge a book by its cover, but smart money recognizes the cover’s value. Your front elevation is more than just a first impression. It’s the only impression available to just about all of your home’s potential buyers.

The good news is that there are a number of very affordable projects that can improve curb appeal and some more extensive improvements that can likely pay off as well. Simply cleaning out overgrown brush and making a few new planting additions to your landscape can go a long way toward improving curb appeal at a very low cost.

Repainting is another low-cost, high-impact improvement. Costlier changes such as changing out old windows or an aged entry door are things that potential buyers will notice and value. Even more extensive front-elevation remodels, such as added dormers and front porches, can prove wise from an investment standpoint.

Remodel Resale Value

Jameson Design Group, Contemporary Bedroom

4. Primary suites. Sorry, kids. Homebuying decisions are in the hands of adults, and adults care about the environment where they sleep. Updating a primary bedroom or remodeling and adding a new primary suite is money well spent. The buyers will picture themselves living in their private space, and it’s of quantitative value when they like what they see.

Remodel Resale Value

Denman Construction, Farmhouse Bathroom

5. Bathrooms. Homebuyers notice bathrooms, and although all the bathrooms are important, a priority should be placed on the powder room and master bath, followed by a guest bathroom and any other secondary baths (the kids don’t need to know).

The same rules apply to a bathroom remodel as to the kitchen. Cosmetic changes are safer from an investment standpoint than modifications involving changed layouts or minor additions, which can result in inefficient expenses.

Remodeling Projects That Typically Offer Poor Resale Value

1. Kids’ spaces. 
If your kids have a climbing wall, for example, the fantastic addition will probably lead to hours of fun, increased strength, and perhaps even a sense of accomplishment. But there is no assurance your homebuyer will feel the same way. A rock-climbing wall might actually represent a negative value to a buyer who sees this space as his man cave.

2. Pools. The National Swimming Pool Foundation estimates that there are more than 10 million swimming pools in the United States. Can 10 million pool owners possibly be wrong? Backyard pools are loved by millions, and while this appreciation is well-founded, they should be constructed for their many virtues that are not investment-related. A pool might increase the value of your home but is unlikely to pay for itself, as some buyers will perceive the pool as a negative maintenance expense.

3. Wine rooms. Some of the coolest remodels are the least savvy from an investment perspective. A wine room wouldn’t appeal to someone who does not love wine, for example. Original designs rarely appeal to everyone, so when adding spaces to a home you know you will sell, consider how personal it is and if others will feel as strongly as you do.

4. Removing features. Do not remove features for investment reasons. If you never use the fireplace in your basement, removing it might make perfect sense to you and your family. Just make sure you understand that the next homeowner might wish it were still there, and the money you spent demolishing the fireplace and reworking the space will not be reclaimed.

5. Minor additions. Adding a few square feet — say, to expand a bathroom or secondary bedroom — is rarely money well spent. The reason is simple. If you bump out a bedroom wall by a few feet, you might make that bedroom much more comfortable. That benefit alone might make it worthwhile in your circumstance. But the cost of the added elements, including foundation, roof, framing and drywall, will result in only a small gain in square footage. Say your 2,400-square-foot, three-bedroom home becomes a three-bedroom home with 2,440 square feet. It’s unlikely that you’ll recover the cost of the addition.

Remodel Resale Value

Michele Johnson Design, Traditional Kitchen

 

The Bottom Line

This exercise is not intended to dissuade you from pursuing a specific remodeling idea. The enjoyment and functionality get from a new space may make the project worthwhile even if it doesn’t provide good resale value. The decision is yours to make. Just be sure you make it with a full understanding of the investment value for every dollar you spend.

Written by Matt Clawson, a Houzz contributor. Realtor. Homebuilder, project consultant, and writer/March 15, 2022.

You can read the blog with its additional links on Houzz 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, 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.

 

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!

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