Posts Tagged ‘remodeling’

The Concept of Universal Design

“Universal Design” is a concept to help people design their homes at an earlier age so their homes will be more ready for them as they age. If you are like the majority of Americans over the age of 55, you may want to continue living in your existing home as you age because it is a familiar environment. According to research, older home owners are now overwhelmingly “aging-in-place,” which means they are now living in their homes longer because they feel safe, independent and more comfortable. So, if you are thinking about remodeling, purchasing or having a new home built, you may want to consider incorporating some features into your home that will help you as you get older.

First off, you will want to have a clear path of travel to the entry of your home. You may also want to consider a low step entry with a low threshold, a sensor light focusing on your front door lock, a non slip floor covering in your foyer, a peep hole in your front door, and a surface to set packages on once you open the front door.

Then there may come a time when you, or someone you love, will be forced to deal with getting around in a wheelchair. That will force you to make some modifications anyway, so there are some things you could do ahead of time to make that transition easier. A couple of things to think about would be to consider using 36 inch interior doors to bedrooms and bathrooms giving you a full 32” clear width opening to those rooms. You may also want to try and design in a 5 foot by 5 foot turn around space in the living area, the kitchen and at least one bedroom and one bathroom. Hallways should be well lit with a minimum of 36 inches of clearance or even wider. Levered door handles is another idea to consider, which would allow easier entry access into your rooms and closets.

There are other ideas to consider also, such as having extra windows for more natural lighting, a wider garage with a higher garage door opening to accommodate lift vans, adjustable or varied counter heights with removable base cabinets to allow easier access to cabinets and counter tops. A couple of other ideas may include roll out trays, cabinet drawers and lower upper cabinets for easier reach.

Adding bracing in walls around tubs, showers, and toilets for installation of future grab bars would be something to seriously consider when building or remodeling. Installing a curbless shower and a toilet that is about 2 ½ inch taller than a standard toilet are also things to consider when designing a bathroom.

A couple more ideas may include a front load washing machine for easier handling. Adjustable closet rods and shelving, lighting in closets, rocker switches and programmable thermostats are a few more ideas that can be incorporated into your home to make your life more sustainable as you get older.

The term “Universal Design” was coined to describe the concept of designing home products that are not only pleasing to the eye, but also usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age or ability. For more information on the “Universal Design” concept, call American Housing Remodeling at 727-546-6611, email us at info@amhousingremodeling.com or stop in at our Design Center at 6580 72 Ave North in Pinellas Park, Florida.

 

 

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It’s Time. Let’s Get ‘er Done!

If you are considering adding a Room Addition to your existing home, then you are at the right place. Whether it is a one story Addition or a second floor Room Addition, American Housing Remodeling, Inc. has the experience, expertise and the professionalism it takes to guide you through every stage of your project from concept to completion.

Once you decide you want to add that room, you will have three important decisions to make. First, you will have to decide what it is you want to do, second, you will have to decide how much you are going to spend, and third, you will have to decide on a contractor.

The first part is actually the fun part and that is deciding on what kind of room addition you want to add to your home. Whether it be a bedroom, bathroom, family room or an entire second story, you should remember that you may eventually want to sell your home and that potential buyers will probably compare your home to new ones being built. Therefore, you may want to look at some of the design trends and amenities being included into some of the new homes being built today.

Now comes the part that is not quite as much fun and that is trying to figure out how much money you will need for your project and where the money will come from. When figuring costs, you can use a square foot price of about $125 for first floor room additions and about $185 for second story room additions, but this is for estimating purposes only. It is not really practical to use a square foot price when figuring costs because there are always so many factors that have to be taken into considering that will affect the actual price, but it will at least give you a general idea. As for where the money will come from, only you can determine that. If you do not have enough cash, then you will have to consider some type of loan and we can help you in deciding what type of loan is best for you.

One more thing to consider when deciding on how much you want to spend for your project is your home’s value in relation to your neighborhood. The general rule of thumb is that any remodeling project that brings your home up to the level of your neighbors’ is a worthy investment. It doesn’t always pay to be the most expensive home on the block and many real estate experts recommend that a remodeling investment should not raise the value of your home to more than 10-15% above the median sales price in your neighborhood.

Next, you will have to decide on a building contractor. Hmmm! Now this is where it gets tricky because there are two roads you can take here. You can take the high road, or that other road. You will need to select a contractor that you feel confident will do your job right. At first you may be tempted to find that guy who works out of the back of his truck, or maybe that guy who may or may not have a valid builders license, or maybe that guy who may or may not have the proper insurances, or maybe that guy who is hurting so badly for work that he will be willing to do your job at a really, really “good” price. Of course, you know that a really, really, “good” price actually means a really, really, “cheap” price, and a really, really “cheap” price is the prescription for a “dream” home project to turn into a “nightmare” home project. This is your home and only you can decide which fork in the road to take here.

So, when deciding on which contractor to use, you want to select someone you feel comfortable with, someone you can communicate with and someone you know you can work with throughout the entire project.

You will want a quality contractor with a Florida State builder’s license, a contractor who is a member of the Better Business Bureau and a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and you will want a contractor who is fully licensed and insured. You will want to find a contractor who has a history of doing quality work at a fair price, a contractor with a proven track record and a contractor who will provide you with a ten year structural warranty. After all, this will be one of the most important decisions you will ever make regarding your home and American Housing Remodeling prides itself on being a “dream” maker, not a “nightmare” maker. We are the “Dream Catchers” of the Tampa Bay Remodeling industry and we will capture your “dream” of what you want your home to be and make it a reality.

Once you have made the very wise decision to use American Housing Remodeling as your remodeling contractor, we will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. We will explain the permitting process, how inspections work, how and when material will be delivered and how the work schedule will progress. All of these concerns, along with any other concerns you may have, will be addressed so you will know exactly what to expect throughout the entire project.

More and more Tampa Bay area families are deciding to improve their existing home rather than move because they, like many people in today’s times, realize that they can have the home of their “dreams,” without having to move. It means you won’t have to give up your neighborhood, your neighbors, your friends or the schools your children attend.

Once the decision has been made, it is time to contact American Housing Remodeling, Inc.  America is on the move again and if you have been considering adding that extra room on to your home, it is time for you to make that commitment now. It is time for you to get started. It is time to call 727-546-6611 and say “Let’s get er done!”


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Homeownership is still the American Dream!

The American Dream!

American Housing is very involved in community projects and recently partnered up with the City of St. Petersburg, Florida and Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County in order to build a new home and fulfill the dream of homeownership for a local family.

At a small home dedication ceremony celebrating this achievement, Clarence Scott, St. Petersburg City Council Member, welcomed many from the community, including Lee Kretzer and Carla Slicker from American Housing, to the “Presenting of the Keys” to the new owner, Mr. Jones. Ron Spoor of Habitat Pinellas opened with a prayer. “We gather to celebrate the commitment and determination of Mr. Jones and to thank all of the people who worked together to turn Mr. Jones’s dream of homeownership into reality. May this home we dedicate today become a beacon of hope for him and others. Together we pray. Amen.”

New Home Dedication by Clarence Scott, III

American Housing Remodeling, Inc., through the City of St. Petersburg Neighborhood Stabilization Program, recently built this beautiful new home for Mr. Jones and his family. This achievement was celebrated at the home site on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 with members of the City of St. Petersburg City Council, members of the City’s NSP Program and members of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County.

At the ceremony, there were gifts for Mr. Jones and his family. A Habitat volunteer provided Mr. Jones with a “symbolic” Habitat for Humanity hammer to take care of those small jobs around the house. City of St. Petersburg Council Members Wingay Newton and Bill Dudley gave the proud new owners an American flag and Kevin Klucas gave a “Welcome” mat. David Fornek offered Mr. Jones a new Bible for him and his family.

Clarence Scott, City of St. Petersburg Council Member, then gave Mr. Jones the keys to his new home. A proud Mr. Jones then proceeded to thank the City and American Housing for helping him and his family achieve their dream of owning their own home.

Finally, the Reverend Daryl Sey from the St. John Missionary Baptist Church blessed this new home for Mr. Jones and his family.

Mr. Jones Entering His New Home

For more information on the City of St. Petersburg NSP program, you can go to their website at http://www.stpete.org/nsp/program_information.asp or call us for more information at 727-546-6611. American Housing is located at 6580 72 Avenue North in Pinellas Park, Florida.


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Better Business Bureau Logo
Image by Damon Duncan via Flickr

This video, from the Better Business Bureau, takes the approach that in planning for remodeling, you should focus on the deficiencies of your current kitchen in order to design a more usable food preparation and storage area. While browsing magazines of the remodeling persuasion may serve to give you ideas, in the end it is your needs and your daily routine that should determine your design.Call us– we’re the experts in The Tampa Bay/Pinellas area!

Kitchen Remodeling Video From BBB

Via: http://video.bbb.org/videos/Kitchen+Remodeling+Tips

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ROOM ADDITION IDEAS

American Housing Remodeling, Inc. has been Remodeling in the Pinellas County are for many years, are members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and specializes in building one and two story Room Additions.

Many homeowners are always looking for ways to enhance their home either by remodeling their home or by adding a room addition.  A great site for gathering information on room additions is roomadditions.us. It talks about how a “well-planned room addition can enhance the style of your home as well as provide newfound space, comfort and livability.” It talks about how “adding on to your existing home can be disruptive to your life, but also how the design and construction process can be exciting and gratifying as you see your plans come to fruition!”

You can also find “step-by-step guidelines for adding space to your home, including design options and planning considerations as well as building permit requirements, budgeting, and project management.”

This is a very informative site and warrants taking a looking for Room Addition ides for your home. For more information on Remodeling your home or adding on a one or two story Room Addition, call American Housing Remodeling at 727-546-6611.

Click here to visit RoomAdditions.us online.

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Some Great Tips to Remember!

As most of us know, remodeling your home can be very complicated. In fact, just maintaining your home can sometimes become tedious and problematic. Organizing your garage or storing the many collectibles you have gathered from over the years can be quite a problem. The time may even come when you want to modernize or even add on another room to your home. Like most of us, there always seems to be things that need getting done around the house. House Remodeling Tips is a site where you will find a lot of very helpful information in helping you around the house.

Keeping your Toddler Safe at Home

Homes, as they are safe for adults, may not exactly be safe for little, curious kids. Normal household paraphernalia (such as electrical outlets, blinds string, etc.) can cause accidents for the toddlers. Here are some ways to keep the tots safe while exploring the house.

  • Keep the strings of your blinds / curtains/ shades out of baby’s reach. Tie them somewhere high to prevent your toddler from entangling himself or from pulling it down, ruining your window décor or the blinds themselves.
  • Insert socket covers into your outlets. This will keep the baby from inserting little things (or his finger) into the electrical sockets. Socket covers are readily available at your home store.
  • Place baby gates at the second floor of your house or wherever it is that the baby is most likely to fall or meet an accident.

Tips / advice on Home Renovation

Before starting to renovate your home, think about what you want to tackle first. Know why you really want / need to change it and why. Is it your set of appliances? Your storage? Furniture arrangement? By knowing which ones to prioritize, your home renovation project will go smoothly.

What it really is about

You have to keep in mind that there is a big difference between renovation and redecoration. Renovation needs a lot of planning and entails major changes and requires a budget. A large expense is expected, particularly if you hire a contractor. In renovation, it is possible that you will end up redecorating too. Just remember to worry first about your cabinets before worrying about the color of your curtains and dishes.

Whether it be safety ideas to help keep a child safe in your home, energy saving tips to help conserve your home’s energy, space saving tips to help keep things organized around the house, or even ideas to help you plan a major remodeling project, this sight seems to have information that is useful for just about everyone.

Click here to check out “House Remodeling Tips.”

Maybe it's Time to Remodel

Homeowners never fail to be impressed by the difference major space changes can make in the quality of their family’s life.

You love your home, but maybe it isn’t working well for you anymore. You don’t want to leave your neighborhood, your neighbors or the schools your children attend, but you feel that something must to be done to refit your home to your current lifestyle.

Not to worry. Adding a room addition on to your existing home may be a major undertaking, but it can also be a very fulfilling experience, especially if the remodeling is well designed. Excellent design is critical, since the remodeling can either enhance or detract from your existing structure. The one thing you don’t want is an addition that clashes, or sticks out like a sore thumb.

American Housing begins by evaluating the style of your home. Each home style has specific architectural lines and details which can be echoed in the design of your addition. Next, we think in terms of scale. A common design mistake is an addition that either overshadows the original home, or is too small and insignificant to add to the overall architectural style.

In looking at your home, we pay special attention to your roof, the style of your windows, the architectural details and the types of materials used in the original construction. Repeating design elements is an excellent method of creating an addition that looks as though it has always been there.

The design of the interior offers a little more flexibility, since it is not viewed in its entirety, as is the exterior. We will strive for a comfortable transition from existing to new. For example, the ceiling height and style can make a big difference in the tone of a room. This can add drama to a contemporary or traditionally designed space in a living room, kitchen, bathroom or family room.

There is little that is more satisfying than living in a home that has been beautifully remodeled with a new room addition. We are Pinellas County remodeling professionals specializing in one and two story room additions, along with the remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms. We provide a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty with all of our room additions. Call us at 727-546-6611 for more information.

GREEN BUILDING ISN’T JUST FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION ANYMORE!

Remodelers are already incorporating many green practices into their projects, such as energy efficient windows, “Energy Star” appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures and designs that minimize lumber and material waste. American Housing Remodeling, Inc. realizes this and knows the importance of green construction practices. That is why when designing our remodeling projects,  energy efficiency, including water and resource conservation, sustainable or recycled products, and indoor air quality considerations are incorporated into the process of adding a room addition on to a home.

“Green” conscience homeowners can appreciate the fact that they are doing something good for the environment and their family.

Some “Energy Saving” ideas that can be incorporate into a home are:

Compact Fluorescent Lighting: One of the easiest things you can do is to change your light bulbs. It’s best to switch out incandescent bulbs with CFLs in areas that are lit for extended periods of time, typically two hours or longer.

Programmable Thermostats : Install a programmable thermostat to set your heating and cooling equipment to automatically turn on or off to match your schedule and create a comfortable and energy-efficient living environment.

Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans and dehumidifiers use less energy than air conditioners and can help to make the home comfortable during the warm months.

ENERGY STAR® appliances: When buying or replacing appliances, choose energy-efficient models. Federal ENERGY STAR-rated appliances are designed to use 10%-50% less energy than standard appliances and save an average of 30% over standard models.

Front-loading clothes washers : Front-loading clothes washers use less water, less energy, and less detergent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, front-loading washing machines can use about 40 percent less water and 50 percent less energy than conventional washers.

Insulation: These days, you have a choice of insulation materials. You may be interested in environmentally-friendly materials such as energy-efficient spray foam insulation.

Right-Sized HVAC Equipment: When you decide to remodel, it’s a great time to evaluate your home’s heating and cooling equipment. Selecting more efficient, correctly sized heating and cooling equipment will save money. Remember that bigger does not always mean better. For the most efficient system, you really want your HVAC system to meet your needs, not surpass them.

High Performance Low-E Windows: Consider replacing single-pane windows with high performance double pane insulated Low-E windows. The Low-E coating is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layer deposited on the window glazing surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow


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