Lighted Post Caps

The Three Most Important Ideas for Your Next Remodel

Planning a remodel? Whether you’re getting started on a kitchen refresh, bathroom update, or even a whole-home remodel, the beginning stages can feel overwhelming. After all, a home remodel is a large investment in time and money, and you want it to be just right.

So do we.

That’s why we structure every phase of a home remodel against our three principles of design. Let’s take an in-depth look at these goals and how you can apply them in your Lansdale-area home remodeling plans:

  1. Strength & Solidity: Build to Last
Lighted Post Caps

Any structure added to your house needs to be strong enough to stand the test of time — even through heavy use and exposure to the elements. This gorgeous deck, for example, was crafted using TimberTech® polymer decking — a beautiful and low-maintenance material that’s much more resilient than wood. Whether you’re building an in-law suite addition, crafting an inviting deck, or restructuring your entryway, you’ll want to make sure you:

  • Choose quality materials
  • Protect against changes in temperature, water or moisture build-up, and other environmental factors
  • Hire knowledgeable, experienced tradespeople who work with precision, attention to detail, and know just what it takes to make sure everything they construct is built with integrity
  1. Functionality: Build to Fit
Kitchen

Many remodeling projects start with a problem. It may be that your kitchen feels dated, your dining room table isn’t cutting it as a home office, or there’s no place for your whole family to gather. This kitchen was feeling congested, and the homeowners wanted more room for entertaining. By removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room, their space is now much more open, with plenty of space for friends and family. Making your home function better and meet your needs could mean:

  • Rearranging for better flow
  • Repurposing rooms to make every space useful
  • Maximizing storage to stay organized
  • Expanding highly used rooms
  • Building an addition
  1. Appearance: Build for Beauty
Tub After

Form may follow function, but it’s equally important. You should love the way your new space looks, and it should reflect your personal style — a tailor-made retreat that you can’t wait to get back to at the end of the day. For example, these homeowners were looking to transform their master bathroom into a contemporary and clean spa-like getaway. We achieved this by installing an elegant soaking tub in front of a beautiful window and using a color scheme of warm white with grey undertones. Learning which design style or combination of styles suits you best will help you communicate with a knowledgeable designer. Some common design styles to consider include:

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Rustic
  • Transitional
  • Contemporary

No matter what kind of house you have, what your style is, or what type of project you’re planning, the principles of strength, function, and beauty will always be the heart of the design and structure of your remodel. With these ideas in mind, and a little help from a quality design-build firm like Custom Craft, you can construct your dream home. Ready to take the next step? Contact us today.  

Basement wet bar

Winning Wet Bars: Exploring Custom Features and Uses

Convenient, classy, and completely customizable, wet bars are trending in more and more Montgomery County homes. Like dry bars, they provide the perfect place to grab a beverage, are excellent for entertaining, and add class and elegance to any room — with the added bonus of a sink.
Let’s explore how to incorporate a wet bar into your next remodeling project, including some fun ways to customize it to your unique style:

Wet Bar

Classy in the Kitchen

A kitchen wet bar is the perfect place for a beverage or coffee station. These homeowners opted for both, including everything they need for the perfect morning brew and happy hour cocktail. A deep, 10” bar sink keeps the area splash-free, and glass doors on the cabinets allow for the attractive display of glassware.

Separate Wet Bar

This wet bar serves as a seamless extension to the main part of the kitchen, making it easy for two people to cook and serve guests simultaneously. A beverage fridge is discreetly concealed with a panel that matches the cabinets. The same backsplash found in the kitchen was used in this space to tie the look together.

Wet Bar in Dining Room

Accessibility in the Dining Room

It happens without fail — at parties, everyone ends up in the kitchen, making it difficult for the person cooking to move around. These homeowners cleverly solved this problem by bringing their wet bar into the dining room. Now, guests can refill their drinks and socialize while keeping the kitchen clear. This elegant area also features a custom accent tile backsplash and glass door upper cabinets with built-in lighting.

Basement wet bar

These homeowners crafted the ultimate entertaining area in their basement. Their full wet bar has a beverage fridge, kegerator, wine fridge, and lots of storage space. Gorgeous bar stools ensure a comfortable spot for every guest.

Convenience in the Mudroom

Wet bars can be for more than entertaining. These homeowners have a passion for gardening, but coming back into the house with dirty hands and tools was becoming a problem. Forgoing the traditional, unattractive utility sink, they chose an elegant wet bar complete with a champagne bronze faucet and hardware and a marble-look quartz countertop. Now, they have a beautiful area right in their mudroom to clean up or grab a drink of water.

Wondering how a wet bar would work in your space? We can help. Contact us to get started planning your perfect beverage bar, entertainment spot, or elegant washing station.

While you’re on our website, don’t forget to check out our home remodel cost estimator that breaks down how much you can expect to spend on different types of projects.

Kitchen

The Design-Build Advantage

What is Design-Build?

If you follow Custom Craft on social media or keep up with our blogs and newsletters, you know we’re referred to as a “design-build” firm. But what does this actually mean?

A design-build remodeling company provides a streamlined, one-stop experience for homeowners. They have established connections with designers, architects, tradespeople, materials providers, and all the other professionals needed to complete a project. In most cases, all homeowners have to do is communicate their wants and needs, and a design-build company will handle the organization and details.

With design-bid-build, on the other hand, the homeowner independently selects a designer and a contractor and coordinates the project, scheduling, and all communication between them. It’s certainly not an impossible task, but it is time-consuming — and often labor intensive.

As a design-build remodeling firm, we’re able to offer Lansdale homeowners:

More Accurate & Efficient Timelines

Our design team works closely with our trade teams to ensure everyone is available and prepared at the right stages of the remodeling process. Our calendars have to fit together like Tetris pieces to be most efficient — coordinating everyone’s schedules is vital to an on-time and on-budget project.

Talented Teams, At-the-Ready

Your home is your sanctuary; you want everyone working on it to be tried, tested, and trusted. Unfortunately, the whole remodeling industry is experiencing significant labor shortages as demand grows.

Thankfully, design-build firms can offer the kind of consistent work that the most talented and highly sought-after tradespeople are looking for. We’ve selected the best, most professional teams around Montgomery County and beyond, and we treat them right — they’re with us for the long haul.

Endless Options

COVID-related supply chain disruptions and material delays are still plaguing the industry. Sometimes, a homeowner settles on a fixture, appliance, or product only to learn it won’t be available for weeks — or even months. This could cause a ripple effect in scheduling that can throw a remodel into serious delays.

Luckily, our in-house designers make great use of our in-house showroom. If a first selection isn’t available, they can recommend an alternative that the homeowner can see, touch, and test right in the showroom without having to travel back to multiple suppliers.

Ready to experience the design-build difference for yourself? Whether you’re updating your mudroom or planning an extensive kitchen remodel, contact us (or stop by the showroom!) to get started as soon as possible!

Kitchen
Blossom Cafe

Barn Doors: Functional Beauty for Your Home

Blossom Cafe

We recently installed a sliding barn door inside Blossom Café, Skippack’s fabulous new spot for coffee, community, and carbs. The sleek door hides all the behind-the-scenes clutter that wouldn’t be conducive to the calm coffeehouse, while adding a bit of farmhouse style.

Barn doors aren’t just for businesses, however. Homeowners in Lansdale and beyond are discovering the benefits of these practical, versatile, and gorgeous entryways. Wondering if a barn door is right for you? Here are four reasons we think they’re great:

Savvy Space Saving

While traditional doors need clearance to swing out, sliding barn doors only need wall space. Especially in a smaller room, that extra square footage could make a big difference for better flow or fitting in that extra piece of furniture.

Barn Door

Sleek & Silent Slide

Well-built barn doors slide smoothly and effortlessly along a track mounted above a doorway. In fact, today’s modern tracks offer virtually silent movement, so you don’t have to worry about squeaky hinges or slammed doors. Even children can slide them easily and without the risk of a pinched finger.

Barn Door

Completely Customizable

Many people think of barn doors as rustic or shabby chic. While the farmhouse look certainly is an option, they also come in endless other styles that complement any design aesthetic. Wood or metal, distressed or sleek, extra-wide or slim, there is a barn door to fit any space.

Barn Door

Form and Function

Barn doors are unique in that they are both functional and stunning. While they are more popular than ever, they are still distinctive conversation starters that feel more like works of art. Many barn doors actually are original works of art, featuring things like inlaid mosaics, murals, and glass patterns.

Barn doors are a hot trend that’s showing no signs of cooling down. Interested in adding their artistic charm to your home? Custom Craft’s design team can offer an array of options for every style. Contact us today to get started!

Blossom Cafe

Sustainability and Style in Skippack’s New Coffee Shop

The charming village of Skippack, PA, is home to many incredible restaurants, chic boutiques, and fantastic celebrations. Until fairly recently, it only lacked one thing — a gourmet coffeehouse. Now, thanks to Blossom Café and Custom Craft, the Skippack area has a wonderful place for coffee, community, and carbs.

Blossom Cafe

Blossom’s owner, Michelle Buckman, sees opening the shop as giving back to the town that’s given so much to her. It hasn’t been an easy feat, however. She was determined to serve excellent coffee and baked goods, but beyond that, she hoped to build a place where people could comfortably gather while taking in the quaint village. She was especially set on the shop feeling organic — like it had always lived inside Skippack’s beloved flower shop, Floral & Hardy. She had plenty of ideas on how to make the space beautiful and inviting, but only one name to bring it to life: Custom Craft.

Michelle Buckman

Lowell Steinberg, owner of Floral & Hardy

with

Michelle Buckman, owner of Blossom Cafe

Our team built a stylish and sustainable oasis inside Floral & Hardy that complements, rather than competes with, the floral shop. Similar elements were threaded through each store to keep it feeling cohesive, and very little of the florist changed. In fact, they were able to stay open during construction with minimal disruption — a feat all the more impressive considering that Blossom was built from Floral & Hardy’s old counter. This meant refurbishing the existing one into the perfect coffeeshop and building an entirely new and bigger counter for flower arranging and purchasing.

Our team built a stylish and sustainable oasis inside Floral & Hardy that complements, rather than competes with, the floral shop. Similar elements were threaded through each store to keep it feeling cohesive, and very little of the florist changed. In fact, they were able to stay open during construction with minimal disruption — a feat all the more impressive considering that Blossom was built from Floral & Hardy’s old counter. This meant refurbishing the existing one into the perfect coffeeshop and building an entirely new and bigger counter for flower arranging and purchasing.

Blossom Cafe

We furthered the organic and natural feel by installing a quartz counter and brick-like tiles on the walls, while Michelle added stylish touches like a moss frame and a reclaimed wood menu holder. Sustainability is particularly important to Michelle — Blossom’s serveware is largely compostable and the shop features repurposed materials where possible.

Blossom Cafe
Michelle has worked with Custom Craft on many projects in her home, so she knew we’d deliver fine craftsmanship and unmatched service on this passion project. She’s thrilled with the final look and feel of the shop and excited to see what its future holds. If you’re in the area soon, pop by for a quick sip — or stop and smell the roses while enjoying a sweet treat!
Blossom Cafe

Click the link below to follow Blossom Cafe on facebook, or click the cup of coffee to check out their website!

Charging Drawer

Top Seven Kitchen Cabinet Accessories to Make Your Kitchen Yours

Are you looking to make your kitchen more unique? Enter kitchen cabinet accessories! Not only can you add some flair to the space, you can also add functionality and organization for your needs.  Accessories can be added to cabinets and drawers, enhancing both the inside space and outside look. In this blog post we review some of our favorites.

Here are the top seven kitchen cabinet accessories to consider:

Charging Drawer
  1. Charging station:

Are you tired of looking at wires and devices charging on the kitchen counter? We have the perfect solution for you – a charging drawer! Add a plug into a kitchen drawer or cabinet and use that space specifically for charging. You can store chargers there and when needed, plug your phone in for a charge

Bread Drawer

2. Bread box:

To keep bread fresh, people have been using bread boxes for many (many) years. But adding a cumbersome accessory to your counter isn’t ideal which is why bread drawers are great. It combines the function of a bread box with the space-saving qualities of a drawer.

LeManns

3. LeMans:

Installing a LeMans set eliminates frustrating blind corners and will maximize storage. The swivel shelves allow you to reach things stowed in the cabinet that you otherwise would not be able to access. 

Pull Out Pantry

4. Pull-outs:

Pull out organizers make harder to reach areas more accessible. These help to eliminate digging through cluttered and inaccessible shelves in pantries.

Peg System

5. Peg system:

If you want to keep things in place with the ability to change the layout around as needed, this one’s for you! Installing pegs in a drawer helps to make storing delicate dishes and plates easy.

Glass Cabinets

6. Glass Doors:

Do you have items you would like to display in your kitchen? You can do that in a classy way by adding glass upper cabinets with lighting.

Plugmold & Under Cabinet Lighting

7. Under Cabinet Lighting:

Not only does under cabinet lighting look nice, it comes in handy when prepping and using the counter space directly under the lights.  In addition to lighting, another under cabinet feature is plug molding, which allows for your outlets to be concealed.

It’s important to make your kitchen work for you and function the way you need it to. There are a lot of ways to incorporate kitchen cabinet accessories that will make your space truly yours. Contact us to get started; we would love to help you!

 

Guildmaster Logo

Custom Craft Recognized as a Leader in the Residential Remodeling Industry

Guildmaster Logo

For the eighth year in a row, Custom Craft received a 2021 Guildmaster with Highest Distinction Award from GuildQuality for demonstrating exceptional customer service within the residential remodeling industry. 

Since 2005, GuildQuality, an Atlanta-based third-party customer satisfaction surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award to recognize and celebrate home building, remodeling, and contracting professionals demonstrating the highest level of customer service within the U.S. and Canada. 

Out of nearly 2,000 eligible applicants, Custom Craft is one of 400+ businesses within the residential construction industry recognized by GuildQuality for consistently delivering superior customer care. 

In determining which businesses received the 2021 Guildmaster Award, GuildQuality reviewed thousands of survey responses submitted by customers of Guildmaster candidates and considered two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers stating they would recommend the business to a friend and the percentage of customers who responded.

Custom Craft achieved a recommendation rate of 90% or above from their customers surveyed by GuildQuality. 

This is an incredible achievement and the Custom Craft team is proud to receive this industry recognition!

 

Client Meeting

Weddings and Home Remodeling Have More in Common Than You Think

When it comes to executing a big event, like a wedding, it pays to use a professional to organize the affair. Wedding planners help happy couples create their dream celebration by ensuring all the moving parts come together flawlessly. Similarly, couples hire design-build professionals to properly execute home remodels. By utilizing the services of a professional, couples can achieve a better outcome for their project – no matter if it’s a wedding or a home remodel.

In this blog post, let’s explore the parallels between professional wedding planners and design-build remodelers. What do they do to help make your life easier?

Remove the Stress

Whether planning a wedding or a home remodel, couples share a common goal: for the project to be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible! Having a planner allows a couple to enjoy the planning process without becoming bogged down in the details, or distracted when things go awry. Whether it’s an event or a remodel, when couples try to tackle everything on their own, they are often unable to avoid the strain that surrounds managing large projects. By employing professionals, they are able to remove the work burden by delegating the project management to a trusted resource–and greatly reduce a huge source of stress.

Client Meeting

Manage the (Many!) Details

Like a wedding, a home remodel is a complicated project. Can couples plan their own wedding or renovation? Possibly. With thousands of details to consider in both scenarios, unless they are employed in related fields, chances are high that they won’t be totally familiar with every aspect of planning. Because of that, there is an increased risk for error. Considering the significant investment that is being made, using professionals who are well-versed in the process will reduce the likelihood of costly mishaps and mistakes.

Help with Decisions

Whether it’s selecting a caterer, or cabinetry, weddings and home remodels require couples to make many decisions. But couples are frequently vexed by what to choose, and from what vendor. Both wedding planners and design-build remodelers have established relationships with all the vendors that will be required to execute the project. They know what to order, when to order, and how to schedule and arrange for delivery. Perhaps most importantly, they know who can provide the necessary products or services reliably. These relationships are developed and nurtured over time and over the course of numerous projects. Couples organizing a one-off wedding or renovation cannot hope to establish the type of working relationships with vendors that professionals have taken years to cultivate.

Create Efficiency

Another advantage of working with an experienced wedding planner is that they have organized numerous functions and developed a work process to manage events efficiently. The same is true of design-build remodeling firms. Whether renovating a kitchen, basement, or building an addition, design-build remodelers have honed the processes over time to deliver renovations on-schedule and on-budget.

PigOversee the Budget

On the topic of budget, there would appear to be a cost-saving benefit to adopting a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to wedding planning or home remodeling. After all, wedding planners and design-build firms both charge fees that add to the overall cost of the project. While that is true, it is also true that many DIY projects go over budget due to mistakes. In this study by Porch, it was revealed that mistakes incurred during a DIY remodeling project caused hundreds of dollars per mistake and also resulted in project delays and arguments among partners. On the other hand, professional service providers are far less likely to make expensive errors, and typically have protocols in place to manage errors when they occur to mitigate against fluctuations in expense.

Another budget factor that is often overlooked is the labor cost associated with managing these projects. Weddings and renovations are both time-consuming to produce. As the adage goes, time is money. Before embarking on a DIY project, couples would be well-served to factor the value of their time into their calculations to determine whether or not cost-savings really exist.

Build Your Happily Ever After

At the conclusion of a wedding, all couples hope to live happily ever after together. When home remodeling, the hope is to live happily in their renovated space. By taking advantage of the services of trained professionals, couples greatly enhance their opportunity for achieving bliss in either endeavor.

We would love to help you achieve a happily remodeled home, contact us to get started!

RemodelingDecisions
Charging Drawer

Part 2 of Your Home Remodeling Guide: 5 Kitchen Trends for the New Year

Home Remodeling Guide

This is the second blog in a two-part series focused on helping you create a 2021 home remodeling guide. In part 1, we discussed bathroom trends that will be big this year. Part 2 will focus on kitchen trends.

The kitchen is a place that you are sure to spend a lot of time in. Whether you actually like cooking or not, the kitchen is often used by every family member – a multi-purpose room of sorts where you gather for family meals, entertain, do homework with your kids, or catch up on work. 

Is your current kitchen designed to meet both your functional and aesthetic needs? Is it a practical and a comfortable space, where you enjoy spending time?

If you’re thinking about an upgrade, here are our top five 2021 kitchen remodel trends to keep on your radar. 

Trend #1: Pantries

Organization is key to any room in a home, but in the kitchen it’s absolutely essential (think: cookware, bakeware, utensils, plates, glasses, food…the list goes on). It’s a lot of stuff for one area! Up your pantry game by customizing it. Who says you can’t have it ALL in your pantry? Shelves, baskets, pop-in drawers, lazy Susans – you name it, use it. Rather than just stacking things on shelves, get creative and use other vehicles to store items. Group things by category to make your life easier.

 

Hands Free Faucet

 

Trend #2: Touchless faucets

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are hyper aware of germs these days, so touchless faucets are becoming more and more popular. They are also incredibly helpful when you are cooking and have messy hands. The touchless feature keeps your faucet germ- and mess-free.

Trend #3: Large Islands

Kitchen islands are very popular, as they add additional workspace and casual seating to the room. In 2021, large kitchen islands that incorporate storage are gaining traction, and we anticipate that this design will become a kitchen staple. 

Additionally, contrasting kitchen islands – where, for instance, the accent base color doesn’t match the cabinets – are growing in popularity. This is a simple way to make your kitchen pop. 

Trend #4: Hidden Appliances

Why look at your appliances if you don’t have to? Unnecessary clutter is the arch nemesis of the kitchen!

Today, more people are interested in taking the focus away from appliances, through clever ways to hide them in plain sight. Here are a few appliances you can hide:

  1. Refrigerator: Compared to traditional refrigerators that typically stick out way past the counter, built-in refrigerators blend in and look flush with surrounding cabinets. This is a way to make your refrigerator appear to be less intrusive in the space. Some come with the option to add panels that match your cabinets, to make it even more discrete. 
  2. Dishwasher: In addition to your refrigerator, you can add panels to your dishwasher that match your cabinets.
  3. Microwave: Microwave drawers make this appliance less visible, while still enabling easy access when you need it. 
  4. Stand mixers and other miscellaneous small appliances: Use a slide-out cabinet to tuck these away. This type of cabinet is great for appliances that you don’t use every day. 
Charging Drawer

 

Trend #5: Charging Stations

In our digital age, everyone’s looking for a charge! We’re seeing increased interest in having more plugs available to accomodate all of your devices. Since many of us are working and schooling from home, there is a demand for more power. Installing hidden charging stations – in a drawer, for example – are great ways to keep your devices hidden.

 

We hope our 2021 kitchen home remodeling guide has given you the ideas you need to inspire your next kitchen makeover! 

Interested in learning how these trends could play out in your own space? Or do you have a home remodeling project in mind you’d like to discuss? We’d love to hear from you!

Home Remodeling Guide

Part 1 of Your 2021 Home Remodeling Guide: 5 Bathroom Trends for the New Year

Home Remodeling Guide

With a new year comes a fresh perspective. One of our favorite things to do when the new year rolls around is to examine all of the design elements that are becoming trends for that particular year. As part of our home remodeling guide series, we’ll be reviewing some of the ways to upgrade your home in 2021.

We’re first going to take a look at bathroom trends for this year. 2020 was a difficult year for most of us, so we could all use little rest and relaxation infused into our daily lives – something that can be achieved with upgrades to your bathroom!

Trend #1: Space-Savvy Soaking TubsSoaking Tub
In 2021, it’s all about clean lines and optimizing space, so instead of the large, built-in jacuzzi tubs, we’re seeing beautiful, smaller soaking tubs that may even serve as the focal point of the bathroom. Why not take something functional and make it a design piece?!

Not only do these smaller soaking tubs take up less room, they also use much less water, making them more efficient. And while tubs are getting smaller, showers are getting larger. Big, walk-in showers have been a trend for a while now, and we anticipate that will remain a trend in 2021.

Sink detailTrend #2: Quartz Countertops
While quartz has long been used for kitchen counters, it’s become a popular material for bathrooms. Quartz bathroom countertops have been trending for a while, but there’s become an even greater demand in our “new normal.” Because they are non-porous, they are much easier to clean and more stain-resistant than natural stone, which is perfect for increased use of the bathroom with family members home more frequently these days. Quartz is also stronger and more durable than stone slab countertops, and it comes in a variety of colors and styles, making it a versatile choice.

Trend #3: Wood Look Tile
The shift to more organic designs lends nicely to this trend, by giving the durability and resistance of moisture with porcelain or ceramic, but the look of natural wood. Not only can these be used for the floor, they can also be used in showers or on walls to become the focal point of the space or to make certain areas standout. Wood look tile is also a great option because it comes in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes.

Lighted MirrorTrend #4: Back-Lit Mirrors & Medicine Cabinets
Back-lit mirrors give light to the space, without the glare from a normal light fixture, and create uniform distribution of lighting. They also eliminate the need for other types of task lighting or sconces, keeping the design clean and simple. Smart mirrors that can adjust to a specific setting, e.g. date night prep or getting ready for work, are also available.

Trend #5: Smart Toilets
In our ‘new normal,’ cleanliness is everything. New smart toilet designs offer touch-free flushing and self-closing and self-opening lids, so your hands can stay germ-free! Some even offer a bacteria-killing light that does the cleaning for you.

There are a lot of ways to upgrade and refresh your bathroom; these are just some of the trends for 2021 that we’re excited about and would love to help you with. We hope our bathroom home remodeling guide inspires you to create a relaxing, indulgent space that you can enjoy for years to come!

If you’re ready for a bathroom remodel, have another project in mind, or just have general questions, we’d love to hear from you

Large Shower and Soaking Tub

Overwhelmed by 2020? Create an At-Home Spa with these Bathroom Remodel Ideas

2020 has been a challenging year. According to the American Psychological Association, 2 in 3 adults say they have experienced increased stress over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Self-care has never been more important, but it can be hard to find the time, and options to leave your home for stress-reducing activities — like a spa day — are limited, due to safety precautions.

With that said, why not create a spa experience right inside your home? Now is the perfect time for that spa-like bathroom remodel you’ve been wanting!

Not only can you unwind by taking a relaxing shower or bath, but by making the space more inviting and comfortable, you can bring ease to everyday tasks, like getting ready in the morning. Below are a few ways that you can turn your bathroom into a tranquil retreat.

Large Shower and Soaking Tub

Build a Separate Tub and Shower

If you have the space, install a separate bathtub and shower as part of your bathroom remodel. This is the ultimate indulgence when it comes to pampering yourself and self-care! Doing so allows you to pick more unique shower and bathtub options, like a soaking tub or steam shower, for example. It also provides the opportunity to bring in some additional aesthetics. A beautiful freestanding tub can be a focal point of a bathroom, as can a shower with ornate tilework. 

Additionally, if you enjoy taking a bath and your partner enjoys a shower, you can both get ready at the same time. A few things to keep in mind:

  • By keeping your shower and bathtub close to each other, the cost to install water supply lines and waste systems will be lower, if they’re on the same wall.
  • Check that both your hot water heater and your water pressure can handle a big bathtub’s demands.
  • Freestanding tubs come in all different shapes and sizes, even if your bathroom footprint isn’t huge, a separate tub still might fit. 
  • There are a lot of different fixtures and amenities to add, like a rain showerhead, dual showerheads, and jets. 

Introduce Neutral Paint and Simple Decor

When it comes to your spa-like bathroom remodel, it’s important to evoke a feeling of relaxation. You can easily do this through paint and decor selections.

  • Choose paint colors that are neutral and calm – not bold or bright.
  • Mix textures to introduce some variety (e.g. floors, backsplashes, shower tile, etc.). Just remember to keep them all within the same color scheme.
  • Add fresh or faux flowers and candles. This will add sophistication to the space.
  • Create storage solutions to stay organized and tidy. Give a home to towels, washcloths, etc. 
  • Install lighting on multiple switches or dimmers, so you can adjust the light levels depending on what you need and your mood.

Bring Ultimate Luxury with Heated Floors
No one likes cold tile, especially in the winter! Instead, step out of the shower or tub onto a warm floor.

Ceramic and stone tiles are ideal for bathrooms, and also ideal for heated floor coverings. And, while heated floors can be expensive, they are affordable in smaller areas, such as bathrooms! Discuss with your contractor the best heating source/option for your bathroom – there are electric and water-based systems.

Are you interested in learning more about our bathroom remodels and how we can uniquely transform your space into a spa-like oasis? Or perhaps you have another project in mind that you’d like to discuss? We’d love to hear from you!

Soaking Tub
cookies

Master Holiday Baking with these Creative Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Whether you’re looking for easy DIY ideas or long-term kitchen remodel projects for holiday baking, this blog post has you covered. 

cookiesThis holiday season is sure to look very different from years past, as families continue to practice social distancing and limiting indoor events that could promote the spread of COVID-19. 

With this in mind, instead of inviting family in for a holiday meal, use our current circumstances as a chance to send treats out! It’s never been a more perfect time to share your favorite cookie or treat with those closest to you and let them know you care.

If you are a first-time holiday baker, it may seem overwhelming to prep your kitchen for a large quantity of baked goods. However, there are some easy ways to make your space more functional. If you’re a holiday baking pro, on the other hand, perhaps you’re thinking about that kitchen remodel you’ve always wanted to transform your space into the perfect at-home bakery. 

Either way, in this blog post we share some ideas to turn your kitchen into the perfect place to create delicious treats that will spread lots of holiday cheer!

Short-term DIY Tips

If you’re looking for a quick fix to make holiday baking easier, there are a few things you can do to turn your kitchen into the ideal space for turning out baked goods.

    1.    Use a rolling kitchen cart to create temporary storage that can house all of your baking supplies. By adding a kitchen cart, you don’t need to rearrange your entire kitchen, and you can stow it away in a closet or pantry when it’s not in use. (Bonus tip: find a kitchen cart with a solid surface top that you can double as additional work space).
    2.    Create a workspace. If you don’t normally keep a large section of your countertop cleared and ready for mixing, rolling, etc., clear the clutter and set a dedicated space that you can use throughout the baking season.
    3.    Use glass containers or mason jars to store smaller supplies (i.e. cupcake liners, cookie cutters, etc.), so you can see the contents of each at first glance. Consider keeping the most used items out on your workspace, and put the rest on your cart or in a cabinet/pantry where there’s extra space.
    4.    Group the ingredients needed for each baking project into their own storage space (i.e. a basket, bin, etc). This will help streamline the baking process and save time. 
    5.    Tuck away infrequently used items. As you’re reorganizing, you’ll likely come across kitchen items that you don’t often use. Don’t let them take up prime real estate for nothing! Tuck these items away for potential future use, or even consider selling or donating them. This will free up more space for baking and other items you use more frequently. 
Longer-term Kitchen Remodel Ideas

If you’re an experienced baker, perhaps you’re looking for a more permanent solution for holiday baking that will benefit you for years to come.

Create your ideal workflow
The flow of your kitchen is as unique as you are! While designers recommend creating a triangle with your sink, fridge, and stove, the rest of your kitchen layout should reflect how you will best use the space. Take counter space, for example. There may be a need for ample prep space to fit a stand mixer, roll out dough, etc., so make sure to keep things like this in mind when you’re laying out your kitchen remodel.

Get organized
No matter the size of the space or scale of your kitchen remodel, it’s important to optimize the space you have to store all of your baking supplies and equipment.

  • Dedicate an entire cabinet or large drawer (or both!) for your baking supplies so everything is one place. Ideally the location of the cabinet or drawer would be near where you plan to do most of your mixing, rolling, etc.Mier Lift
  • Build a tall narrow cabinet for storing baking trays/sheets upright.
  • Install a spice cabinet. Use it to store your sprinkles and decorative items.
  • Build a cabinet for your heavy stand mixer, so it’s easily accessible. You might even consider putting a lift in the cabinet to make it even simpler to access.
  • Consider an area – whether it’s a shelf, cabinet, or something else – to store all of your cookbooks and written recipes. Ideally this would be close to your work station.
Consider your stove(s) If you’re looking to purchase a new oven, opt for one that has a convection setting. Convection heat cooks food more evenly, so it’s perfect for most baking. The setting also does wonders for other types of non-baking cooking, like roasting. If space allows, you might also consider adding a second oven so you can bake more than one thing at a time. Pick out functional finishes and fixtures. There are a lot of ways to bring together function and style.
  • For countertops, choose a solid surface finish that is ideal for rolling out dough (granite, marble).  
  • Ever try to wash your hands after they’ve been handling sticky dough? By adding a touchless, motion-activated faucet, you don’t have to worry about getting your sink handles dirty.
  • Be sure you install ample, bright lighting, so you’re able to clearly see the treats you’re decorating. 
  • It’s critical that you have access to power in the right places, so you’re able to plug in a stand/hand mixer and other items. Not a fan of how outlets look? Add pretty outlet covers or consider hiding power access by putting an outlet in a cabinet or other covered areas.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first year or 10th year holiday baking – there are both small, simple add-ons, and larger, more permanent kitchen remodel upgrades to make your space work best for your baking needs. And even though this year may look different, you can (and should!) still enjoy your space and baking for loved ones.

If you’re ready for a remodel or have a project in mind that you’d like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you

Holiday Cookies

Understanding Home Remodeling Cost vs. Value for the Investment

This is the third and final post in a series of blog articles focused on home remodeling costs. In the first and second articles, we shared how to prioritize your renovation wish-list to stay on budget and strategies that would enable you to save money while still ensuring a high-quality renovation. Here we discuss the value of your home remodel and what the cost means.

Budget is one of the top concerns when planning home renovations, and for some, how that budget relates to home value is very important. The relationship between the value and the remodeling cost is more complex than people think. When you remodel your home, you’re adding value to the home asset, but you’re also investing in you and your family to alleviate some pain or challenge that you’re experiencing.

The Annual Cost vs. Value Report

A useful tool for figuring out the possible value a project can add to your home is the annual Cost vs. Value report. It is a yearly set of remodeling estimates that have been released every December since 2002. Remodeling Magazine compiles the information they collect from realtors and a publisher of remodeling cost estimation tools. Then they determine the values of renovation projects for the preceding year.

Cost vs Value

The report is available online, and it’s easy to use. The archive goes back more than two decades, so if you are interested in previous year’s reports, you can find them easily. Remodeling Magazine also takes into account subjective factors like trends to gauge how the popularity of a project can affect its value.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using the report. Remember that it is designed as a tool to get an estimation of regional averages for project costs. No two remodels are identical. While the report is helpful, it should never be taken as an exact assessment.

Conclusion

Renovating your home is exciting, but be aware that the relationship between cost and value is not an equal one. If you are concerned about receiving a return on your investment, that relationship is something to consider before starting your project. A renovation project for your “forever home” will likely look a great deal different than renovations intended to prepare a home for market. Whether you are updating to move or settling in for the long haul, it’s hard to put a value on loving where you live.

We hope you found this series on home remodeling costs to be helpful! If you have any questions or would like to speak with us about your next home remodel, please contact us.

Future deck

How to Save on Remodeling Costs Without Sacrificing Quality

This is the second in a series of blog articles focused on creative ways to save on remodeling costs, while still bringing your design dreams to life. In the first article, we showed you how to prioritize your renovation wish-list to stay on budget. Here, we will focus on strategies that will enable you to save money while still ensuring a high-quality renovation.

Future deck

Take a phased approach

A full project does not need to be completed all at once. For example, perhaps you want to connect your kitchen to a future deck outside, but you don’t have the budget for both. Start with the area that you’ve determined is the greater priority (likely the kitchen) and make sure it’s built in a way that will make it easy to pick up the rest of the renovation later on. If you start with the kitchen and dining room, you can add in a new door that will lead out to the future deck.

Focus on your primary goals
Sometimes, people get sidetracked with ‘nice-to-haves,’ which can cause the scope of the project (and budget) to expand.  Reeling it back in to focus on the primary objectives, and being realistic on what’s feasible for you, can help keep costs under control.

Put some ‘sweat equity’ into the project
If you have a knack for painting, maybe you opt to tackle that part of the project yourself. Our rule at Custom Craft is, for any ‘sweat equity’ work, you should perform it on the front-end or back-end of a project – not concurrent to the work we do. 

Consider energy efficiency
The U.S. Department of Energy  estimates that energy efficiency tactics can save typical households 25% on their utility bills (over $2,200 annually). Discuss with your contractor ways to be energy efficient with the following installations (as recommended by Energy.gov):

  • Appliances and home electronics
  • Insulation and air sealing
  • Lighting and daylighting
  • Space heating and cooling
  • Water heating
  • Windows, doors, and skylights

 

Know when to save and when to spend
Consider the life cycle costs of your renovation. Select materials and finishes that, over the lifetime of the product, will deliver on your investment long-term. Materials like hardwood flooring and tile, well built cabinetry, good quality plumbing and lighting fixtures will add lasting value and minimize repair/replacement costs down the road.

Be thoughtful about the contractor you pick
Your contractor should have deep expertise in the specific renovations you are seeking, make an effort to learn your greatest pain points, and be focused on delivering ROI. Contractor-client contracts should be relationship-based. At Custom Craft, we take great pride in our close attention to detail and engage fully with you from the first time we meet, to ensure we are the right fit for you. Learn more about our process here.

 

Custom Craft DBR - Design Center

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful! If you’d like to speak with us directly to do an even deeper dive into ways to save remodeling costs without sacrificing quality – or if you’re ready to kick off a project – please contact us! You can also check out our home remodeling cost guide to help determine the investment you can afford. Stay tuned for the next post of this series next month!

kitchen with barn door

Home Remodeling Costs: How to Prioritize Your Renovation Wish-List to Stay on Budget

Do you have a lengthy list of home renovations you’d like to get started on? Feeling paralyzed on where to start or how to prioritize projects based on the overall investment you’d like to make? You’re not alone! This is a challenge that many of our clients face – and one that we’ve solved many times! We’re here to help. 

Deciding to officially kickstart a home renovation project can feel intimidating, especially if you’re facing doubt on whether or not you can make the investment to get it all done.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be an intimidating process or difficult to prioritize based on your budget. We have several key factors you should consider, which will help you determine where to start based on your unique circumstances and budget

How to Prioritize Your Home Renovations

Determine the size of your investment

Right from the start, it’s important to know how much you can invest in your home and let that help dictate which project you start with. Remember, a home renovation is not just any other “expense.” It’s an investment not only your family but also in the value of your home, should you consider moving in the future. However,  if you know from the get-go that you can’t currently afford the kitchen remodel you want, but you can afford something smaller, you’ll avoid wasting time and energy thinking about that big project that you just can’t swing.

Tidy Up

Clean up your home! It will give you a better picture of which area(s) need the most work.

Prioritize urgent needs

Is something leaking, or is there an underlying problem that needs to be solved to avoid damage? Determine what is actually urgent or necessary to improve the functionality of your home. For example, the bathroom shower tile is damaged and needs to be replaced. Maybe it’s time to prioritize the master bath renovation that you’ve had on your mind.

Strategize & think ahead

Think through renovations you might want to do with adjoining spaces, or as add-ons to a certain project. Will one project impact another? For example, you want to remodel your kitchen, but know that you also want to remodel the upstairs master bath at some point. If the master bath is above the kitchen, you may want to design this space ahead of time, so any plumbing changes can be planned out while the kitchen is under construction. Another example is perhaps you need new flooring in the kitchen, but know you also want to open up the floor plan to connect it with the dining room. It would make sense to prioritize the entire kitchen and dining remodel, to avoid having to redo brand new flooring that you just installed.

Know your pain points

Is there a part of your home that’s creating significant frustration? Consider the functionality of your home based on your unique circumstances. Where do you spend most of your time? Do you have children? Maybe you don’t have a space to store shoes, coats, and bags, so they end up scattered in the family room. To combat the issue, maybe you prioritize this project and remodel the laundry room or mudroom to help alleviate that stressor.

Determine your length-of-stay

Are you planning to move out of your current home any time soon? If so, think about which projects would increase your home value, and start there. This will help make your house easier to sell or increase the value. This ensures that the renovations you prioritize will benefit you over the long-term.

Consider seasonality

Is there something you want to update or build for use during the next upcoming season? Perhaps you’d like a better view of your backyard from the kitchen, in time for the beautiful fall weather and natural scenery. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about installing a fireplace for the winter. Start seasonal renovations before the season you have in mind, to ensure it’s ready for you to enjoy! 

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful! If you’d like to speak with us directly to do an even deeper dive into how to prioritize, or if you’re ready to kick off a project, please contact us! You can also check out our home remodeling cost guide to help determine the investment you can afford. 

Kitchen Renovation Ideas – How ”at-home” chefs can optimize their space to hone in on their craft

Are you – or someone you know – an “at-home” chef?  Great cooking is an artistic expression in its own right. But, despite how skilled you or your loved one may be, your kitchen design can make or break the process, creating either a blissful experience or a massive headache. 

We’ve had the opportunity to do kitchen redesigns for several cooking enthusiasts, and have found that while the style can vary, there are generally some non-negotiables that all cooking-lover-kitchens should have. In this blog post, we break these down into three core areas: 

1) Layout & Storage 

2) Appliances & Lighting

3) Materials & Finishes

Whether you’re looking to optimize your kitchen to hone in on your craft, or are just curious about how the pros make it happen seemingly effortlessly, read on!

1) Layout & Storage for Seamless Efficiency

Nail the layout by creating a “working triangle” The layout is critical and serves as the foundation of this space. The “working triangle” theory asserts that your three main work areas (sink, refrigerator, and stove) should form a triangle. Depending on the size of your kitchen, your designer can help you determine adequate distance between each, but generally you want to find a balance – not too far apart, but not too compact either. This will enable comfortable movement and flow between your prep work at the sink, grabbing ingredients from the fridge, and the actual cooking or baking at the oven. 

Create convenience by establishing “work zones”  We recommend making each point of the triangle and the surrounding areas individual work “zones” – meaning that the different steps of the cooking process, and all of their necessary tools, should be centralized. When you’re working with a kitchen designer, align on the stations that will work best for you as a cook, to ensure that the design and layout accommodates enough storage space and surface area. 

Your zones can vary, but these seven are pretty standard:

  1. Prep zone: Your sink/large counter area that should include your knives, peelers, trashcans, etc.
  2. Cooking zone: This is your stove/oven area that should include accessible storage space for things like pots, pans, and large utensils.
  3. Baking zone: This should be near your oven, so consider it the next-door neighbor of the cooking zone. It includes your roll trays, baking sheets, measuring cups, spices, and other must-haves. One nuance is that the more “professional” chefs tend to keep spices and oils away from the stove, as heat damages/weakens them.
  4. Beverage zone: This can include counter space next to your refrigerator, to enable easy access and pouring of juice, water, coffee, etc, and can also include space for the coffee maker. Ideally your glasses (and coffee grinds/k-cups) will be housed in a nearby cabinet and drawer.
  5. Lunch-packing zone: Dedicate a cabinet or two above or below counter space – ideally within reach of both your snack pantry and prep utensils – for food containers, reusable water bottles, napkins, foil, etc. 
  6. Cleanup zone: Cleanup supplies are typically centralized under or around the sink (next-door neighbor of the prep zone), including cleaning liquids, paper towels, and trash bags. We encourage you to store anything with chemicals out of the reach of children. 
  7. Entertainment zone: A large island is ideal for guests and can be dual-purpose, with one end for snacks and seating, and the other for you or your chef(s) to prepare dishes, while still remaining in close proximity to friends and family. The flow should enable guests to move in and out of the kitchen without disturbing the cook. The cook’s end of the island should be closest to the prep, cooking, and refrigerator zones, while the guests’ end should be closer to the entryway into the living room.

Fit more “stuff” while reducing clutter with creative (and ample) storage spaces

For example

  • Pantry systems
  • Nook you can put behind your oven for oils
  • Spice rack (or a “secret drawer”)
  • Peg systems to store plates in drawers
  • Spice inserts/pull-outs
  • Corner cabinet (lazy susan, leman’s unit, magic corner)
  • Special dividers for baking sheets to avoid cramming

2) Appliances & Lighting for Function & Lifestyle

Select appliances based on your lifestyle

Selecting the “right” appliances for your kitchen will vary depending on a few factors. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Which appliances do you use most often?
  • Which foods do you cook the most?
  • Are you a vegetarian? Or do you eat meat or fish often?
  • Do you have a large or growing family? 
  • Do you host guests often?
  • Do you shop weekly? Or once or twice a month in bulk?
  • Do you use speciality cookware? 

The answers to these questions will help you determine the right appliances, including the size and layout of your refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher, and whether you’d benefit from two small ovens or a single large one, two sinks, etc.

In terms of appliance quality, we find that more advanced cooking enthusiasts will invest in longer-lasting, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances. Whether your budget limits you to commercial-grade appliances or not, you’ll want to ensure a large ventilation system to accommodate for heat, smoke, and vapor. 

Strategically store your appliances 

When it comes to the positioning of larger appliances, consider the “work zones” we mentioned before. As for the smaller, countertop appliances (blenders, food processors, mixers, bullets, etc), it’s important to create a home for them. No one wants to travel to the basement or garage to retrieve them, as it creates inefficiency and hinders your workflow. We’ve found that more and more people are looking to keep their frequently used appliances plugged in and ready to use, but want them out of sight. For this, we’ll often build an appliance garage, built on a centralized countertop behind “doors” – making it easily accessible but without clutter.

Alternatively, you could use a large drawer, or store them in a walk-in pantry, if you have one. For heavier items – like a mixer – you can add a moveable stand for it, so you don’t need to lift it (ideal for bakers!). 

Mixer Lift

3) Materials & Finishes That Blend Style & Function

Flooring     Choose flooring that is comfortable, easy to clean, and fits your style. The obvious choice for most is hardwood, as it’s visually appealing and easy to maintain. However, it all depends on the style of the rest of your kitchen – you want it to match! For example, the material and color of your flooring will vary for modern, vintage, and southern-style kitchens. 

Countertops   Similarly to appliances, serious chefs will opt for stainless steel to withstand heat and stains, and for easy maintenance. For an eco-friendly option, consider recycled glass countertops (these are also heat-resistant). If style and self-expression are important to you, ceramic tile and porcelain offer a wider variety of colors and enable more creativity, while still maintaining heat and stain-resistance. 


Conclusion

Ultimately, your cooking-lovers-kitchen can and should blend function with style, according to your budget. We’d recommend starting with a list of your “must-have” kitchen items, and go from there!

If you’re in need of a kitchen contractor, please contact us! We can have a virtual design meeting, or we can meet at our Design Center (we have several COVID-19 protocols in place, which you can find here). If you’re concerned about budget, let’s chat and we’ll determine what is feasible. 

Want to see some of these kitchen remodel ideas in action? Check out our kitchen portfolio page for before and after pictures!

COVID-19 Update: Our Design Center Prevention Measures

As you may be aware, we have re-opened our Design Center at Custom Craft! We have a COVID-19 prevention plan in place until further notice, developed according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Our employees have been thoroughly trained on this protocol to ensure the safest possible environment for our clients and guests.  

Custom Craft Design Center Prevention Measures

    • Design center visits will be by appointment and limited to one group at a time.
    • Everyone is required to wear a face mask in all common areas, follow hand-washing guidelines, and maintain social distancing. 
    • Deliveries will be managed outside or on the entry porch, and delivery personnel will not be permitted inside the design center.
    • We’ve increased the rigor and frequency of our cleaning protocol, including sanitization of all workstations, surfaces, products, touch screens, etc in all rooms before and after use.
    • Employees who are sick or have exhibited symptoms will not be permitted to work until after they’ve quarantined and have met the CDC’s guidelines.
    • We ask that if you are sick or exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, you remain home and seek medical care. 

While we are still taking design consultations virtually, if you’d like to schedule a meeting at our in-person Design Center, or if you have questions on our protocols, please contact us!

CC_Kitchen_3_00011

Kitchen Remodel Ideas: How to Make it a Functional & Sociable Space

CC_Kitchen_3_00011
In the age of social distancing, our homes have become more of a “hangout” spot than ever before.  Because of this, requests for renovations have increased, as many homeowners have had more time to assess their space and identify areas for improvement.   There has been an increased interest in kitchens, especially, as some see an opportunity to transform this space into their “living room” – a social space where small groups of family and friends can mingle around the table over snacks, drinks, or a good meal! With this in mind, we developed a list of kitchen remodel ideas you can consider, based on frequent pain points we have seen from our clients and the solutions we have implemented.
  1. Get the Lighting Right 

A dark kitchen feels uninviting for guests, can hinder productivity, and makes it difficult to read recipes or even use sharp knives. There are a variety of ways to make sure you nail your kitchen lighting:

  • Natural light: Amplify natural light with more windows. This can also provide enhanced views into the backyard or surrounding area of your home to feel more connected to nature.
  • Recessed lighting: Improve your recessed lighting, which are fixtures built into the ceiling or wall comprised of housing, trim, and bulb.
  • LED bulbs: This is an energy-saving alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. 
  • Under cabinet and in-cabinet lighting: This will eliminate shadows to provide adequate lighting for cooking.
  • Paint: Choose paint colors strategically to make the space feel brighter. 
  • Cabinets and countertops: Select finishes that will brighten the space. Consider shades of white for an illuminated and modern look!

2. Make The Space Inviting, Spacious, & Functional 

Homeowners are often frustrated by the awkward layout of their kitchen, as a cramped space makes it difficult for multiple people to be in the room. 

  • Eliminate congestion: Strategically place key features to eliminate traffic congestion and allow family members and guests to comfortably hang out, without getting in the way of someone who is cooking.
  • Enlarge the space: Consider removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a larger footprint for your new kitchen. 
  • Add a dual-purpose island: Create space for a large island that can be used for not only meal prep, but also as a hangout spot for family and friends. 
  • Enhance storage: More on that below!

3. Amplify Storage

Inefficient storage can be aggravating and cause multiple trips to the garage, basement, and other areas of the home while cooking or doing meal prep. It also leads to clutter and can cause your space to feel smaller than it really is. 

  • Remove the soffit: This is a box-shaped structure intended to hide the wiring and mechanical components between your cabinets and your ceiling. Soffits are dated and can often make your space feel cramped. By removing it, you can then install cabinets that reach to the ceiling, allowing for more storage. If the soffit cannot be removed, there are ways to disguise it!
  • Accessorize your cabinets: Add extra shelving under countertops and on walls, free-standing shelves, toekick drawers, and cubbies.
  • Maximize corner storage: Rework blind corners with a LeMans shelving unit or a lazy susan. Blind corners are often found in older homes and can make it difficult to utilize the space in that area.
  • Upgrade your pantry: Consider replacing your old pantry closet with tall cabinetry.  A tall cabinet is much more efficient with full depth shelves, roll-out trays, and dividers.

4. Give It a Modern Makeover

Having a modern, renovated kitchen promotes sustainability and can drastically increase the value of your property, should you look to sell in the future. Here are some ideas:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Luxury vinyl flooring 
  • Stainless steel, energy-efficient appliances and new plumbing fixtures
  • Upgraded metals (matte aluminum, black stainless steel, brushed gold)
  • Open shelving and “floating” shelves 
  • Water-conserving sink faucets 
  • White cabinets accented by blue tile backsplash and newly painted walls
  • Add decor 
Kitchen with Large Island

5. Commit to the Prep Work First

Before you even get started, it’s important to ask yourself some key questions:

  • What are the pain points of your current kitchen?
  • What are your “must-haves?” 
  • What do you need more or less of?
  • Which aspects are outdated?
  • How long do you envision staying in your home? Are you planning to sell at any point?
  • What are you comfortable investing?

So, are you thinking about whether remodeling your kitchen is worth it? If your kitchen is outdated, uncomfortable, or causing traffic congestion, the answer is yes! An investment in your home is an investment in your family and quality of life. Beautiful environments increase endorphins! 

If you’re in need of a kitchen contractor, please contact us! We can have a virtual design meeting, or we can meet at our Design Center (we have several COVID-19 protocols in place, which you can find here). If you’re concerned about budget, let’s chat and we’ll determine what is feasible. 

Want to see some of these kitchen remodel ideas in action? Check out our kitchen portfolio page for before and after pictures!

Remote Work Might Be Here to Stay for Many Companies. Here’s How to Build or Upgrade Your Home Office to Maximize Productivity

Even when social distancing ends, remote work will likely remain intact for many people in the coming months, as we continue dealing with the unknowns of the coronavirus and its impact on our personal and professional lives. Some have even predicted that this is the end of the office as we know it, as many companies have realized employees can do their jobs just as well from home. A new study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that more than half of companies surveyed plan to expand or increase flexible work arrangements on a more permanent basis. Additionally, The New York Times reported that the president of Global Workplace Analytics expects more than 25 percent of employees will continue working from home multiple days a week, which is up from fewer than four percent who did so before the pandemic.

As the workforce plans for this potential “new normal,” many will look to upgrade their work from home office setup, or build one if they haven’t already. In either case, we’ve pulled together some recommendations on creating a space that will make you feel focused, productive, and inspired.

Strategize the location and size of the space
If you don’t already have a dedicated space for an office, ask yourself the following questions. Your answers should help you determine the amount of space you’ll need and the ideal location:

  • Is there an underutilized space in your home that you could transform into an office? 
  • Do you need complete quiet? Do you take phone or video calls often? 
  • If you’re a working parent who often needs to multi-task, would it be better to set up your office near particular rooms in the house? Or closer to a common area?
  • Do you need a strong Internet connection?
  • Will you ever host clients or colleagues in the long-term future?
  • How much storage will you need?
  • Which spaces in your home have natural lighting?

Ideally, you’ll want a more secluded space to optimize your focus, but we know that may not be realistic depending on the existing structure of your home as well as other day-to-day responsibilities you have.

Choose the right lighting
Natural light is ideal. Without it, you may experience eyestrain, decreased energy, and migraines, which will inhibit your productivity and overall health. If you already have a home office that lacks windows, check out these tips to “fake” natural light. Additionally, determine the right task lighting you’ll need, depending on the nature of your work (i.e. desk lamps, light fixtures, etc.)

Decorate and personalize your space

Choose home office color schemes that will make you more productive or feel inspired. If there are certain things you like to have surrounding you – whether its photos of family, artwork, or plants – be sure to include those. If you have the space, you might also consider creating a separate spot, like lounge seating, for brainstorming or completing other tasks.

Optimize with shelving and storage
Once you’ve identified your remote work necessities, you’ll be able to determine how much storage you’ll need, whether you need to file paperwork, organize office supplies, store books, create space for a printer, etc.

Optimize for both function & ergonomics
Do you like to stand while you work, or do you prefer to be seated? Do you do most of your work on the computer or do you need space for writing/reviewing paperwork? Which materials/supplies should be within easy reach? The answers to these questions will help you determine which kind of desk you should have (there are various kinds!) and how to organize your shelving/storage. Whatever your needs are, we recommend designing your space in a way that will enable efficiency. If you spend a lot of time on a computer, select a desk and chair that will minimize neck, back, and eye strain, and position the height of your monitor properly

Prioritize according to your budget
You don’t have to perfectly outfit your office from the start; you can continue to add to the space based on your budget (and time!). Prioritize the must-haves or mission-critical elements first. For example, if you like the option to stand while working, perhaps you prioritize a standing desk over setting up a separate area for brainstorming. 

If you’re looking for more home office inspiration or seeking a home office contractor, please contact us for a virtual consultation! We can help you create a space that makes you feel inspired and excited for work. We’re also available for any general inquiries about home remodeling. We’re open and have strict protocols in place in light of the coronavirus. 

custom craft design center open house

Custom Craft Celebrates New Design Center with Open House

Many Thanks To All Who Attended Our Open House

custom craft design center open house

On Thursday, September 26, 2019, the Custom Craft team welcomed a crowd of more than 150 clients, trade partners, family and friends to our new Design Center for an Open House. Although the primary purpose of the event was to showcase our new space, we took the opportunity to add some festive, educational, and philanthropic elements to the occasion. 

The theme for our Open House was Remodeling in 2020 and Beyond. Throughout the evening, speakers from local companies offered presentations on topics ranging from cabinetry trends, to innovations in appliances and home technology. Special thanks to our friends at AMS, Kieffer’s Appliances, and World Wide Stereo for their informative presentations. 

Our Open House festivities included an array of tasty food and beverages, as well as promotional item giveaways. Guests took home Custom Craft reusable tote bags, mugs, and pens.  Attendees also had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for an opportunity to win a variety of prizes. A total of $350 was raised through this effort. Custom Craft matched the funds and made a $700 donation to the Wes Rose Fund benefiting the ALS chapter of Greater Philadelphia

Thanks to all who joined us at the event. We hope you enjoyed the occasion as much as we did. Please scroll through the event photos below.  And, as always, please think of Custom Craft the next time you or a friend have a need for home remodeling services.  

To Move or Improve Part 2: Using Design to Help Answer the Question

To Move or Improve Part 2: Using Design to Help Answer the Question

In an earlier post, we weighed the relative merits of investing in a renovation versus relocating to start anew in a custom or resale home. While many homeowners may desire to stay, over time changing household needs force this decision-making. This can be particularly true among empty nesters. According to AARP, 80+% of 50 year old plus households want to stay in their current home during retirement, but only a small percentage have done the work to prepare those homes.

Challenges to Starting Home Renovations

The biggest challenge to starting a home renovation tends to be procrastination. Not only is remodeling an expensive undertaking, it is also disruptive to family life. As a result, many people avoid renovating for as long as possible, even when finances aren’t a barrier. It can also be difficult for the average person to envision their home configured differently leaving them skeptical as to the potential for their current space to meet their needs. This is what leads most to contemplate relocating over renovating. In this article, we explore how homeowners can utilize design services to better visualize how the space in their current home can be reconfigured to meet their needs.

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

As gifted as we may be at describing with words how we can alter a room, the best way to communicate what can be accomplished is to illustrate the various options with drawings. This is known as the “Design” portion of the Design-Build process. At Custom Craft, we also refer to this as the “Create” stage. When clients enter into a design contract with Custom Craft, they can expect to invest approximately 3-7% of the total value of the project on their design. Upon completion of this phase, homeowners not only have a valuable visualization tool, they have a construction budget, as well as all of the relevant construction documents including the floorplan, finishes, fixtures and other specifications for their project. At this point they can make a “go/no-go” decision on whether to proceed to the construction phase, or consider alternatives like relocation.

How Designs are Created

After asking a lot of questions, and listening carefully to our clients to learn how they want to use the space, as well as taking numerous measurements, we produce multiple schematic drawings of a revised floorplan for our clients to consider. Once we have arrived at a viable option that meets their needs, and worked with a client on material selections, we will produce a 3D rendering of the space.

Renovation Design Example

The homeowners for this project wanted to explore how they could make better use of the space available in their kitchen and family rooms. As you can see from the before image of their floorplan below, their kitchen was small, lacked counter space for preparing meals, and was generally dysfunctional for entertaining family and friends. By engaging Custom Craft for our design services, we were able to illustrate for them how their kitchen and family rooms could be reconfigured to provide the features and functionality they desired. Scroll down to see how we designed a floorplan schematic and then created 3D renderings of the kitchen and family rooms to bring the re-imagined space to life.

                                       

 

 

 

Need Help Visualizing Your Home?

If you need assistance visualizing how your home could be transformed to better suit your lifestyle, contact Custom Craft. Our talented team of designers and craftsmen will work with you to explore all of your renovation options.

Scenes from the 2018 Custom Craft Holiday Party

We recently gathered together with team members, trade partners, and their families at Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery in West Point for our annual holiday dinner. Guests enjoyed delicious food and beverages, and some spirited board game competition. Photos of the event can be viewed below. This year marked many milestones for Custom Craft, with a move into a new office space, multiple awards won, new team members added and more. Our holiday dinner was an opportunity for us to express our gratitude to the people who helped make these accomplishments possible. Whether you are a team member, trade partner, client, or other friend of the company, please know that your continued support is appreciated. From our family to yours, we wish you all a joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy new year!  
laundry drying rack mounted on wall

Clever Laundry Solutions For Your Home

laundry drying rack mounted on wallMust Have Laundry Features

When it comes to remodeling, one of the most frequently overlooked areas of a home is the laundry room. Yet, when you calculate how much time is spent working in that space, it makes sense to give the design careful consideration. If you are planning to update your laundry, we recommend thinking beyond the washer and dryer by including user-friendly features to make your domestic chores less onerous.

There are a variety of clever features which can be incorporated into your laundry room to make your life easier, like this wall-mounted, retractable drying rack. Here are a few additional options to consider:

  • Laundry basket cubbies/drawers
  • Counters for clothes folding
  • Built-in cabinetry surrounding the washer & dryer
  • Pocket doors
  • Utility sinks

We have collected several project photos to illustrate how these clever solutions can be used to make your household chores easier. Tap or click on any of the images below to launch the slideshow and learn more.

To start a conversation about your next remodeling project, contact us at 610-584-0665

Should You Move or Improve Your Home?

Move vs Improve

If you are frustrated with the current state of your home, then you are likely thinking about making a change. To move or improve, that is the question–and the decision it presents is difficult. After all, renovations are a significant investment. Starting fresh elsewhere may seem like an appealing and economical alternative. But before you start looking at putting your home on the market, take some time to educate yourself about the tangible and intangible costs of relocation.

Calculating the Costs of Selling Your Home

Curb Appeal Improvements

Even in a seller’s market, buyers can still be picky. To sell your home quickly, and at your asking price, your home needs to photograph and show well. Ask any Realtor, and they will advise you that there are basic improvements to the interior and exterior which will need to be completed prior to placing your home on the market. These improvements are likely to include new interior paint, flooring, appliances, as well as curb appeal improvements to your exterior including mulch, landscaping, new shutters and more.

Cost? Budget $15,000 to $20,000 on these basic renovations.

Closing Costs

When you are the seller, you pay the Realtor’s commission out of the sale price of your home. The cost of this commission is typically 6%, however there is a 1% transfer tax that also has to be paid, as well as an assortment of other fees, plus the additional funds that need to be put in escrow for taxes on your new home.

Cost? The estimated closing costs for a $400,000 home are around $30,000.

Moving Costs

To pack and move your home will be time consuming, and involve a great deal of heavy lifting. You can save time (and your back) by hiring someone to handle the packing and moving for you, but that will add to your out of pocket expense.

Cost? Budget $6,000 to $7,000 to hire a company to pack and move your belongings.

Purchase Price of New Home

The biggest expense associated with moving will obviously be the purchase price of your new home. If you are buying in a seller’s market, it generally means you are unlikely to get a bargain on the price—especially for a home that has been renovated to include the amenities you felt were lacking in your current home. Unless, of course, you are purchasing a ‘fixer upper’. And if that is the case, might we suggest that you focus on fixing-up the home you’re currently living in and save a few dollars?

On the other hand, purchasing a home that has already been renovated means you will typically pay less for the renovation services than the original homeowner did and you will be able to finance those costs over the life of the mortgage. That said, there are likely to be things you will want to change and you will need to budget the funds for those upgrades, as well.

Cost? Variable.

Location, Location, Location

When determining whether or not to relocate, homeowners should evaluate their current neighborhood for its relative strengths and weaknesses. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Do you like your neighbors?
  2. Do you like your proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, retail, banking, restaurants, schools, houses of worship, parks, and other sources of entertainment?
  3. Do you have access to conveniences like public sewer?
  4. Does your municipality offer public safety services like police, fire, and emergency medical?

Realtors often emphasize location as a major benefit of a particular property. If you answered “yes” to more than one of the questions above, then your current residence offers many benefits which may be difficult to replicate—and very costly to change again once you have moved.

Cost? Intangible.

Will You Move or Improve?

Ah, decisions, decisions. Yet only you can determine whether it would be more advantageous to stay and improve your home, or if relocating to start fresh elsewhere is the better option. Hopefully this article provided the insight to help you make an educated decision. Whether you decide to move or improve, the team at Custom Craft would be delighted to help you make either home a better, more satisfying place to live.

Looking to improve your home? Contact Custom Craft at 610-584-0665.