Monthly Archives: September 2016

Bathroom Storage - San Marcos Cabinet Installer

8 Bathroom Accessories You Have To Have

When starting your bathroom remodel, take the time to think of all the possibilities of the accessories that can go into your remodel.  Now is the time to add the accessories you have always wanted to have.  Not quite sure what options are trending right now?    Here are a few items we consider to be “must have” accessories for your new bathroom.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are not just for kitchens anymore, they are headed to the bathroom.  Pendant lights look great above a vanity and come in numerous colors, shapes, sizes, styles and textures.  Bring your theme to life and add a unique flair to the design by adding these lights.

Chandeliers

Now, typically when you think of chandeliers you picture them in a beautiful dining room above a gorgeous table.  Well think again!  Chandeliers are making their way to the bathroom above bathrooms and vanities.  Chandeliers come in various shapes, sizes, and materials.  Small glass chandeliers look amazing above a vanity, it can give the room an old world charm especially if you have a vintage feel to your bathroom remodel.  Chandeliers come in modern and non-traditional shapes and can work with many bathroom designs.

Light up Mirrors

Mirrors can be a unique decorative aspect that go into your bathroom design.  Now mirrors are taking it up a notch by being lit.  Light up mirrors are coming out in various shapes and sizes. Light up mirrors give off enough light without needing clunky sconces nearby and once they are turned off they look like a regular mirror. Light up mirrors are perfect for a nice clean design and the light is perfect for personal prepping and makeup application!

Towel Warmers

towel-warmers

Imagine getting out of a nice shower and you grab your towel and it’s nice and warm and snuggly.  Towel warmers are one of those items in a bathroom remodel you may not find necessary but if you are after that “spa feeling” we encourage you to include a towel warmer in your new space.   You will never have to wrap yourself around a cold towel again.

Storage Drawers

Manufacturers of cabinetry are getting creative with the vanity cabinet and storage solutions. They have added drawers which have special compartments for hair dryers, brushes, tooth brushes and makeup.  These unique drawers have already been seen in bathroom remodels and our feeling is that this trend will continue to grow.

 Bluetooth Showerhead

White Modern Bathroom - Bathroom Designer Poway CA

Bluetooth technology is starting to sweep the nation and is starting to get more integrated into our everyday products. There are now Bluetooth shower heads that you can connect to your phone so you can shower with your favorite music.  What a great way to start your day!

Vessel sinks

Unique Bathroom Vessel Sink - Bathroom Designers Poway CA

Vessel sinks give your bathroom a regal feel to it.  Vessel sinks come in all shapes, sizes or colors so if you have a specific theme in mind, there will be a vessel sink to accommodate your ideas.

Heated Floors

heated-floor

Have a tile floor and hate stepping on the cold floor after a nice shower?  That problem can be solved instantly.  Heated floors are a wonderful way to heat up your tile floor so you will never have to step on a cold tile again.  This is a perfect accessory for wintertime and its a luxury when you are stepping out of a relaxing bath or shower.

We know that themes and products can truly make a space unique so we hope some of these ideas land in your spa bathroom remodel.

 

How do Remodel Loans Work

We have seen an increase in customers who are researching remodeling their whole house or building an addition versus selling and relocating.  These homeowners generally meet with a realtor to determine how much they think they can get for their property, research the local market for housing inventory, and then speak with a contractor to determine how much it would cost to renovate their home.  We believe we can thank HGTV’s “Love it or List it” television program for the recent surge in inquiries.

The folks who decide they want to stay and renovate inevitably ask “how do remodel loans work?”.  For that reason, we are offering you some information on the different types of remodel loans and who offers them.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

The amount you are approved for is directly related to the amount of equity you have in your home (how much of the property you own).  The amount you own is equal to the difference between the fair market value of the home and the principle balance of all mortgage loans, which means an appraisal will need to take place to determine how much equity you can pull out.   Find out more about HELOC loans!

Home Renovation Loan

For these types of loans, homeowners are allowed to borrow money determined by what the home’s value will be after the renovation is completed.  For these types of loans, the home needs to be owner-occupied, and it must be your primary residence.  In most situations you can be approved with as low as a 620 credit score.

Learn more about Home Renovation Mortgage Loans!

Same as Cash Loans

These loans are offered by various lenders and the term lengths run from 3 months to 18 months, generally speaking.  Most lenders have a maximum lending amount (Typically $30,000 – $50,000 depending on the lender.)  They also have minimums lending amounts, which we have seen as low as $1,000.

Reduced Interest Loans

The interest rates vary as much as the terms, we have seen them anywhere from 2.99% up to 6.99% with term lengths ranging from 5 years to 12 years.  Most lenders have a maximum lending amount (Typically $30,000 – $50,000 depending on the lender.)  They also have minimums lending amounts, which we have seen as low as $1,000.

Zero Interest Loans

We have seen these loans range from 12 months all the way up to 84 months depending on the lender.  Most lenders have a maximum lending amount (Typically $30,000 – $50,000 depending on the lender.)  They also have minimums lending amounts, which we have seen as low as $1,000.

Hero Program

As a government-funded program, we never know how long this program will last.  Contractors who offer Hero financing must be pre-approved contractors.

HERO is a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program that provides financing for energy-efficient and renewable energy products. In the state of California, HERO provides these same financing options for water-saving and drought-resistant products.

Learn more about Hero Program Financing!

Classic Home Improvements offers each of the above financing options.  

There are many contracting companies who have partnerships with lending and mortgage companies so be sure to ask what their home renovation financing options are.  Each contractor will have detailed information about the financing options they have available to offer you.  Due to the many different lenders, each contracting company may have a variety of different options for you to review.  In addition, many contractors offer multiple financing solutions which means you can combine two or more lending options to meet your needs.

 

 

6 Stucco Texture Options with Pictures

The exterior of your home is like clothing to your home. Depending on where you live, the exterior of your home is very important. Unlike our clothes we can’t constantly change the exterior of our homes, so picking something that is durable is very important.

Stucco is made with natural substance or you can find a synthetic form. Stucco is very versatile when it comes to finishes and the look you want to achieve. Stucco is an excellent siding choice for many home styles, from modern to contemporary and even a bit of southwestern flair. Here are some fantastic examples of what kind of texture you can get by using stucco on your home.

Cat Face Texture

Catface Texture - San Diego Stucco Contractor Cat-Face-With-Smaller-Inclusions-300x300

This texture is smooth with small areas of texture. These small texture areas can vary in size and shape. It can be done with both synthetic or traditional stucco and can vary in price depending on how close or large you want your rough areas.

Dash Finish Texture

The Dash Finish can be sprayed on and can be done in light medium and heavy look. Usually it is done by hand or sprayed on with 3 coats to create this look. It can be done with both synthetic or traditional stucco.

Lace Textures

This texture is the most common and what people mostly associate stucco to. This look can hide imperfections and looks great on residential homes and looks like traditional stucco. It is applied by hand and can also be done with acrylic stucco as well. It comes in fine, medium and coarse patterns.

Sand or Float Finish Texture

This is a basic and simple look for stucco. It can be done in fine, medium or coarse finishes. It is a very versatile finish and can be done with traditional or synthetic stucco it is troweled down and finished using a float and quick strokes.

Smooth Finishes Texture

Smooth Texture - Stucco Contractor San Marcos CA

This is the most difficult finish to achieve but it’s growing to become very popular and that is the smooth stucco finish. It works well with synthetic and acrylic stucco. The best thing about this look is that colors can be added to the wall to give the wall the mottled look. This look does come with its downfalls where it is hard to patch and it has a tendency to crack than any other finishes.

Worm Finishes Texture

worm-finish-texture

Worm finishes leave little grooves and indentations in the stucco. This finishes aren’t as common but they still look great. This finished can be done with synthetic stucco however special aggregates have to mixed into to accomplish this look. It is applied by hand and rubbed in a circular motion to achieve the worm look. If can come in a fine or heavy finish.

When you are ready to apply stucco to your home, ask your contractor to show you samples so you can touch and feel the texture that will be applied to your home.  If you are removing wood siding and trying to match existing stucco, your contractor should have no problem doing so.  It will not match 100% but it will appear perfect to the casual observer.

Ideas for a kitchen island

Kitchen islands are a fun way to bring an entertaining element to a kitchen. Whether you are using your island for cooking purposes or eating, there are several ways to design an island.

Functional Kitchen Island - Add Kitchen Island San Diego

Functional kitchen island.

The kitchen is the entertainment room now-a-days and having a kitchen island is where your company will flock to.  So you will need to decide what you will be using your kitchen island for. Is it for prep work, cooking, cleaning, eating, or entertaining?  If you need additional appliances or sinks, the island is the place to add these items.   It is possible to have your island be a functioning one and also allow seating.

I Shaped Kitchen - Major Kitchen Remodel San Diego CA

Appliances for your kitchen island

So what kind of appliances can you put in your island? Your possibilities are endless depending on your budget. Some islands have a sink and dishwasher, some have a cooktop with vent or hood overhead. Some islands have smaller veggie sinks for prep.  Some people like a nice wine fridge in their islands as well. It depends on where you think you will be working the most and what appliances you need in that space.

Kitchen Island with Shelves - Major Home Renovation San Diego

Kitchen Island for storage

Islands are a great way to increase storage in your kitchen. You can use the empty space below to store large pots or pans or even create a dish drawer where you can store dishes. If you look cookbooks and have many of them, you can make a built in book shelve to hold them.

Island with Exposed Shelves - Small Kitchen Remodel San Diego CA

Display and storage

Kitchens with islands are more than likely and open kitchen concept and with that being said, some islands are getting a different treatment. Islands are starting to be designed with open shelves that wrap around the island to display items. Instead of open shelves closed shelves are also a great option to store cookbooks and other items.

U Shaped Kitchen Island - Large Kitchen Remodel San Diego

Kitchen island with table seating

Another interesting way to create an island is creating an island on one side and sitting on the other. These come in various shapes and sizes, some are long and curved others are square. If you like the idea of bringing a table to the mix of your island, make sure you have the room to do so.

Large I Shaped Kitchen - Major Home Renovation San Diego

L-Shaped kitchen islands

L Shaped islands are large and can be great for storage its perfect for prepping and for entertaining. This is guaranteed to give you more work space with less crowding and with bar style seating. This shape is large and perfect for large functions.

U Shaped Kitchen with Seating - Kitchen Designer San Diego CA

U-shaped kitchen islands

U-shaped Islands are amazingly large and can be the chefs dream. If you want work space, storage and seating, this is the perfect way of doing it. It’s big enough to have some room to prepare and also have an appliance in there or two! The storage options are endless, as well.

Whatever design you choose, we are sure it will work well with what you are trying to accomplish.

Do I Need an Architect For My Remodel

Every once in a while we will receive a phone call from a customer saying they do not want to get an estimate on their remodel because they want to hire an architect for their project.  As a Design Build contractor, we find ourselves educating homeowners on the difference between hiring a contractor, hiring an architect, and hiring a Design-Build company.  Here are some key differences for you to consider if you are planning a major home remodel:

Framing Contractor - San Diego General ContractorsContractor

If you are making major changes to your home such as adding or removing a wall, you may find that some contractors will ask you if you have plans already.  If you do not have plans, they may suggest you connect with an architect before calling them for an estimate.  These types of contractors do not have the knowledge or team available to them to create a design or develop plans for which you can obtain competitive bids.  They are builders, not designers.

Floorplan visuals - San Diego Design Build ContractorArchitect

Architects are trained to understand structures of buildings.  They understand design concepts, but are not trained in design.  Architects understand construction, but they do not build.  Many times architects charge upwards of $10,000 for their time and plans.  The plans can be used for you to get competitive bids from contractors who build.  What many homeowners do not understand is that architects are not familiar with building costs, therefore if you have a budget you are trying to keep within, your architect is not likely to suggest how to keep within your budget.  Rather, they are there create plans based on what you say your “perfect” home would be – with no regard to how much it will cost to build.  Many times this means the estimates for the remodels come in much higher than anticipated and require going back to the architect for design changes.  Hiring an architect many times results in a significant delay in getting the project started because of the extra back and forth between the architect and the contractor.

Design Build Company

Design Build companies are the cream of the crop.  They are the one stop shop for your major home remodel.  With a designer, architect, and builder on staff your Design Build company has the ability to listen to what your dream home would include and design it for you.  With your budget in mind, the architect working on your plans will be working side by side with your contractor to ensure the design can be built within your budget.

We understand this can be a little confusing.  Here are some questions we typically hear from customers who are trying to decide if they should hire an architect or Design Build company.

Design Build FAQ’s

Q)  What is the difference between an Estimate and a Design Contract?

A)  Estimate:  This is an educated guess of what the project will cost from beginning to completion of the project.   If you sign a contract based on an estimate, you have decided the contractor is qualified and capable of remodeling your home.  The contract will include a total price for the remodel.  Many times these contracts include a very rough hand – sketch of what the design will be.

Take away:   A contract based on an estimate is for the entire amount of the project.  If you sign a contract that is based on an estimate, you run the risk of having price fluctuations during the project as you finalize the design of your project. 

Design Contract:  When you hire a design build company, you have already decided the firm has the qualifications and capabilities to build your project but you are not 100% sure about the design of your project.  You want to ensure the design is what you want before you proceed on building.  You also want to know exactly what your remodel will cost before proceeding with the contract.

Take away:  A design contract is for the design portion of your remodel only.  Once the design is complete and you are satisfied, you continue to the next stage and hire the contractor who has prepared the design for you.

Q)  Do I get to keep the plans so I can get other estimates based on the design?

A)  If you hire an architect to create your plans, yes.  Homeowners who have hired an architect typically do so because they want to get competitive bids using a set of plans.

If you have signed a contract for a design with a Design Build contractor, the answer is no.  The design is provided at a severely discounted rate because you are working together in good faith that you will proceed with building the remodel with that particular contractor.   Remember, you have already decided this was the contractor who was qualified and capable of building your remodel.  Your only question at the time of signing a design agreement should have been what your final design would look like.

 Classic Home Improvements

Classic Home Improvements is a unique contractor in San Diego.  Our services include Design Build as well as traditional building contractor.  So if you have an architect who has provided you with plans, we are more than happy to provide a free estimate based on those plans.  In the event you decide you would like to remodel your house with a Design Build contractor, we are qualified to assist you with that as well.  Our offices are located in Escondido, CA and we service San Diego and Temecula.

 

6 Types of Window Options

One of the complaints in older San Diego homes is that the house is too dark.  Another complaint we hear frequently in San Diego is that the home is too hot or too cold, depending on the time of year.  The solution to both of those problems are simple: get new windows!

If your home is too dark, you can create a new opening to add windows to your home. Windows are wonderful for bringing in natural light to your living areas. Alternatively, you can widen existing openings to create larger windows.  If you can not visualize the best placement for new window openings, your best bet is to contact a contractor to assist you (ahem, we are available Monday through Saturday!)

Did you know having the right windows in your home can cut your electricity bill? Yes, it can! Better insulated windows mean your windows will hold up the fight against the elements. Your home won’t get too hot or cold and that means less heating and cooling used to keep the home comfortable.   Dual pane windows will save you money as well as time spent cleaning because there will be more dust control with new windows.   Let us introduce you to the wonderful world of windows!

 

Fixed Picture Windows - Window Replacements San Marcos CA

Adding Fixed and Picture Windows

These large windows do not open and no screen is required because these windows are for the purpose of seeing a large beautiful view. Since these windows do not open, you could have two smaller windows on the side of this large window to let the breeze in. If you have breathtaking views, this is the way to go.

Sliding Windows - Replacement Windows San Marcos CA

Sliding

Sliding windows are probably the least expensive window option. You can get these windows in any size and can look great on any home.

Double Hung Windows - Window Contractor San Marcos CA

Single or double hung

Hung windows can be lifted or pushed down depending on how they are placed. In double- and single-hung windows, screens are mounted on the outside. You can tell if it’s a single hung window if only the lower half is screened. Windows without screens tend to look better depending on your area of living you can have the option to have screens on your windows.

Casement Windows - Window Replacement Contractor San Marcos CA

Casement

Casement window swings open like doors swing open. You can get these windows with a knob and handle. You can have these windows with or without the screens.

Awing Windows - Window Company San Marcos CA

Awning

Awning windows by lifting outward and swinging up. These are like a horizontal casement windows and screens can be mounted in these. These types of windows can go well with a modern style home.

Glass Block Windows - New Windows San Marcos CA

Glass Block

Glass blocks are more commonly used in bathrooms. This look can give your wall a translucent look. While this is a dated look, it still remains popular and the perfect solution for spa-inspired bathrooms. This option is perfect you want natural light in your bathroom without adding clear windows. This option is great for doing that and also adding some privacy.

Window Material

Window material can be made out of various materials like aluminum, wood, vinyl and even fiberglass! Depending on the type of windows you end up choosing, you can mix and match the materials. As long as the materials are strong and support it’s purpose, your windows will look amazing.