Green Building Techniques

Going Green

Initially the idea of ‘going green’ sounds a little silly until you start paying attention to all the damage that we, as humans, do every day. When you start noticing how much of any affect, our actions have on the environment, it becomes abundantly clear that we need to change our behaviour in order to protect what we have left. Going green has become a go-to idea for almost every aspect of our lives, almost every industry is trying to adjust themselves and their operations to facilitate a transformation that business friendly and ecologically sound.

One of the most affected industries is the building industry. This opportunities around ‘going green’ in building and remodelling are enormous but they are often perceived as pricey. But going green isn’t all about the environment, it has plenty of benefits to for the home owner. The benefits of using the right materials and constructing your home with going green range from cheaper and more effective heating to careful water preservation. Not every homeowner needs to immediately purpose a solar heating system, there are a huge range of smaller changes you can make to turn your home into a more eco-friendly space.

Home construction and design San DiegoThe best tip anyone can give for planning on building or renovating your home is do your research. This seems like an obvious piece of advice to give but make sure you know what you are getting into before you dive head first. Make sure you know enough about the materials you are using and the design aspects you are employing to ensure that you will get the best eco-friendly home for your budget.

The most important aspect of going green is know what types of materials to use and what types of materials to avoid. This isn’t just about what piping to use in your plumbing but also what timber you can use and even what types of varnish are available. When you are designing the space you are renovating or building think about what you can use in the space that is recycled or what different types of natural materials are safe to use. This list includes knowing about where different types of timber and what types of cement and glass have been recycled.

Another useful thing to know is what little tricks can be employed to cheap things like water and electricity consumption down. These tricks include using a geyser blanket or tank heater. This ensures that your geyser doesn’t need to be on as often or for as long as usual. Along with this choosing the correct glass for your windows, with the correct glazing, that ensures that the heat of your home is preserved.  These tricks can seem surprising at first but are excellent tools for ensuring that your home is green and cost-effective.

Any home can be made eco-friendly with even the smallest of touches, and it doesn’t even need to be a costly adventure.
Visiting these sites may help:

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/eco-friendly/environmentally-friendly-building-and-remodeling-materials/

http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/

 

 

san diego room additon services

Design/Build Room Addition – What does it Involve?

There are a number of reasons why you may be considering a room addition or second story addition for your San Diego home. Perhaps you have a new addition to your family on the way, need somewhere for guests to stay or simply require an office so you can work from home. Whatever your reason for considering a room addition or second story addition, you need to make sure you work with a reputable design build contractor like SJB Construction that has experience in home remodeling in San Diego.

Here we will guide you through the custom design/build process to give you a better idea of the stages involved.

Initial consultation

After you have researched reputable design build contractors in San Diego and have narrowed down your choice to a single company, they should offer you an initial consultation. Here at SJB Construction we provide all prospective clients with a consultation with one of our in-house architectural designers. The point of this meeting is so that we can understand what the client is looking for in their custom design / build and work together to create the best architectural design to meet their needs and requirements.

No matter which contractor you go with, the consultation stage of the design / build process should not be rushed. We give clients as much time as they need to decide on their room addition / second story addition, after all it is a big decision to make!

All of our initial consultations take place at the client’s home so our in-house architectural designers can get a better idea of the space they are working with and provide clients a more accurate insight of their options.

Obtaining permits

Room addition service in San Diego

Before any construction can take place, whether it is a room addition or second story addition, it is important to make sure you have obtained the necessary permits. All renovations must comply with the San Diego code. Your contractor should remind you of the need to obtain permits and some will even apply for them on your behalf. Whilst we’re on the subject of keeping things legal, it is also essential that you check your contractor is licensed and insured before they carry out any work on your home.

Architectural planning

Some companies will send their architectural designers to the first consultation with an initial bid / price for the custom build, only to add on extra expenses later. This is something reputable contractors like us are not willing to do. Instead our architectural designers will go away and use 3D rendering software to create a mock-up of your room addition or second story addition. They will then organise another meeting with you so that you can check the plan and decide if you want to make any changes. Only when you are 100% happy will we talk figures. We are extremely transparent about our pricing and will provide a no obligation quote to ensure you are completely happy before committing to the project.

Assign On-Site Deliverables

The next stage of the design / build process for a room or second story addition involves assigning the timeline and contractors to remain consistent with flow of project. SJB Construction Inc. will oversee all of the work carried out on your home and will be your first point of contact for answering your questions. Basically they are there to meet your needs and requirements, monitor your budget, ensure your project is meeting time deadlines and provide you with an excellent customer service.

Inspection

During the build process of your room addition or second story addition in San Diego, you will need to have it inspected by the local authorities. Your project manager will be able to inform you when these inspections need to take place for your specific build and should also organize them on your behalf. A final inspection will also need to take place when the build process is finished, as according to San Diego code a project is not complete for legal purposes until it has passed the final inspection!

If you have any questions about the design / build process or are considering a room or second story addition on your San Diego home, feel free to give us a call on 1-619-726-7692.

 

Architectural Designs for 2014

In today’s home there are an array of exciting trends to consider when buying or remodeling your home. The kitchen is still hub, but it’s starting to get really bright. Find an escape from your busy world in a bathroom retreat. Flex rooms offer space with the changing family dichotomy. Find creative inspiration for all that stuff you’ve collected over the years. The green revolution continues aggressively with the growing popularity of a passive home.

Kitchen’s Bold Look

Kitchens continue to be the gathering place in the home and bold colors are offsetting those dark cabinet colors and stainless steel appliances. Warm colors like yellows and reds are popular appetite stimulators, while silver, blue and green hues offer mellower tones. Desks and study areas continue to make this space a place of multitasking, drawing in all of the members of the family.

kitchen remodel san diego, Tips & Tricks how to improve your homeThe Bathroom Retreat

Bathrooms are going the way of the spa, with multi-headed showers, steam showers or stand-alone tubs. Ceramic tiles are still popular; either muted, like the favorite white subway tile, or with bright and fun accents of color. Electronics have made their way into the bathroom with unique sound systems and flat screen TVs. High-tech also continues to advance with water-saving features like a low-flow toilet with either a .8 gallon or 1.6 gallons per flush.

Flex Rooms

Flex rooms are a growing trend in family homes. Baby boomers are a big part of this move, as the elderly population is choosing to live with family due to financial constraints. These rooms offer options such as changing a den into a music room, nursery or study. For new home designs builders add a flex room to give the owner more options with their space. A flex room can work as a multi-functioning room such as a guest room, TV room or office by installing hidden Murphy beds to make it a guest room and clever built-ins to hide a TV and computer.

Creative Storage

People continue to accumulate a ridiculous amount of storage, just look at all of the storage rental places. But finding a place for all of this stuff in the home is not always easy. What about turning a functional staircase into a collection of drawers? Designers are coming up with unique and creative ways to hide your stuff.

Passive Home

Reduction in the consumption of home energy continues to be a prevalent trend in architecture and passive homes are answering the call. These homes are very well insulated, nearly airtight and are heated by passive solar gain and from the internal gains such as people or electronics. A small source of energy provides any additional heat. This system saves up to 90% on heating costs and a ventilator provides a constant supply of fresh air.

Today Is Tomorrow’s Trend

Many trends in today’s home still embrace the qualities of family and comfort, but there is a lot of changes to make home living more exciting. Technology continues to lead in home design by creating unique advancements that allow for simpler living while saving you money. As the family changes, so does the more flexible home, offering creative uses of space. Today’s designs offer you an upbeat, relaxing, storable and cool home.

Updating Your Kitchen: How Can a Contractor help?

As our needs fluctuate overtime, our focus in kitchen remodeling will also follow suit. Just as any architectural mode needs contractors to perform remodeling task well, so too kitchen remodeling projects. Add to this organized effort from the chosen contractor and we discover that some stimulating way to creating a dream kitchen is on the horizon of every homeowner.

Designing for Best Use of Space

The space in a kitchen is normally organized to provide one family’s needs, and working with a contractor provides a wealth of opportunities to enhance knowledge not only for a certain point of view but for refinement in details as well. An experienced contractor’s treatment of kitchen updating project is seen with a display of his or her skill and that itself is quite appealing.

Meaningful Benefits

Successful kitchen update is done not just by physical actions but is fully imagined before the tear-down process is begun. This requires much concentrated thinking toward resolving potential problems while also creating meaningful benefits for the family. A contractor’s ideas always outperform those who have no experience with such tasks. Without a well-conceived plan from the start, you might end up redoing the previous plan with your time, money and effort.

More Flexibility

Identifying the general outline for your new kitchen is a useful place to start while discussing design details with the contractor. Of greater importance is learning from the experience of the contractor about what makes a kitchen more functional and flexible, since they are major building blocks as well as reasons for every kitchen update.

Designing With Best Appliances

Which appliance you select as well as where you place it, greatly influences how well the kitchen will look in the end. Each appliance selection needs to be balanced properly with the rest of the elements in the kitchen at all times in form, size, color and value. Your resulting kitchen design should carry anyone’s eye back and forth across the room in a rhythm. With contractor’s help you will be able to obtain a unified kitchen design, one that suggests a coherent unit where the elements have creatively blended into a satisfactory statement of objectives and all have come together very convincingly.

Saving Resources

Keep in mind that while updating a kitchen all by yourself is fun and exciting, going through contractor will increase your property value when it is time to sell the house. Along with seeking professional help, you need to value the significance of correct positioning of things in your new kitchen as well as the entire layout. Both experience and knowledge bring in some desirable kitchen features as you look about a project. The flooring idea, for example, contribute to diminish in home value when they are out of proportion with respect to color and theme of the room. Pantry area favorably suits only a few number of house types, and island is not required when space is a constraint. Contractors limit the design strategies only to those features that are truly important in the kitchen.

How long does your remodel take?

When homeowners decide to take on a big project and work with a contractor to construct an addition or oversee a room remodel, they often don’t understand the full scope of work that the contractor will need to accomplish to meet their needs.

A common complaint that homeowners have with contractors is that projects take longer than the initial estimate provided when the contract was signed. Although every project is different, there are a few things that can slow renovations down. Avoiding some of these sticky areas can help keep renovation projects on track and finished as soon as possible.

Room Addition

When a room addition occurs, it usually means the addition of square footage to the house. Any time a project increases a structure’s square footage, it likely means that appropriate permits need to be obtained. Permits are often a difficult area that can slow down a project. Homeowners should make sure they understand the regulations for obtaining the correct permits before work begins. Often, permit issues can cause work in the home to be halted until the problem is cleared up with the proper officials.

Second Story Addition

The addition of a second story also increases square footage, so the same permit issues apply with this type of project as well. In addition, homeowners may find they need to obtain permission from neighbors to increase the height of their structures, a process that could also call for public hearings or a period of public comment. If these issues aren’t straightened out before work starts, they can cause headaches for the homeowner and contractor alike.

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen projects are often the most difficult and time consuming work that a contractor will take on. Many choices need to be made in planning out a kitchen makeover, and each of these decision points is also a possible slowdown point. Homeowners should do their research early, and decide on their selection of cabinets, countertops, appliances and hardware, so the contractor can order the correct pieces to complete the job. Leaving decisions to the last minute, or changing the fixtures or plans of a kitchen layout can be costly, and can also drag the remodel on much longer than anticipated.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom upgrades are similar to kitchen remodels in that many decisions need to be made, and should be handled early in the process. Because of the detailed plumbing work involved in bathroom makeovers, homeowners need to have their minds set on the layout and fixtures early in the process, to prevent major plumbing changes once walls have been put up, and floors have been laid down.

Planning Prevents Delays

For the majority of remodel jobs, the key to a successful project is proper planning and communication from the very beginning. Securing permits, making decisions on fixtures, and approving construction details while keeping an open dialogue with the contractor will ensure a speedy completion of most home improvement jobs.

How to Learn About Sustainable Building

Learning about sustainable building ideas has consistently been intriguing for environmentalists and green enthusiasts. The two long-lasting values that can be obtained from this approach is: clean lifestyle and affordability. Here is a glimpse of various sources where you can find topics about sustainable building practices.

Whole Building Design Guide

The desire to be surrounded by green things, be it woods, plants, natural resources and energy efficient materials, is nothing but instinctive. Nevertheless it is surprising to discover the origins of sustainable building practices through this guide and design ideas that are simply taken for granted. Explore with this guide and there may seem very little new under the sun nowadays compared to what people did long time ago. When it comes to houses, sustainable building practice has been associated with evolution since time immemorial. Only recently that the idea is being given more prominence. In fact, if there is a specific building idea that you wish to implement for your residence, you will probably find hints from nearly any century. This source teaches you new ways of preserving those ideas that are reinterpreted for today’s use.

Econest

No homes made of clay and straw from the earliest history survive in cities today, but what is remaining is the relentless inkling about the value and expression of green living and its concepts. Sustainability in the form of Econest homes reflects the culture that can attest to the importance of living pollution free. It certainly is beneficial for everyone to learn about the concepts of sustainable building through the company’s workshops that are enjoyed in modernized form. After all, any good idea has great persistence.

Green Building and Design Magazine

People who prefer green lifestyle overcome myriad obstacles on a daily basis in an effort to use natural resources for personal use. This magazine is worth reading if you agree with this fact. In any event, sustainability is achieved by establishing needs and priorities in a clear and workable fashion and then moving on to many details necessary for a perfect outcome. While each house property can be a unique canvas for implementing this concept, some land areas are better than others as far as availability of resources is concerned. Keep in mind that available space on a property in order to achieve sustainability is not only determined by the shape, size and contour but also by the abundance of natural elements surrounding it.

Bend Bulletin

Not every existing idea has to be cherished, but if you are unclear about the merits of any idea, you need to identify the worth before remodeling your house. Once you have thoroughly learned and investigated sustainable building practices through this online bulletin, you will become more aware of your options. This will also help you raise awareness for better environmental performing construction methods among other consumers. Also, you will improve your knowledge about related environmental impacts with respect to buildings and make appropriate decision for architects, developers and construction investors.

Fine Home Building

As the years pass, a major or minor changes to your home are inevitable. With sustainability in mind, this means adding materials that are energy efficient or expanding existing structure to include resource saving plans. Learning more about sustainable building from finehomebuilding.com can greatly assist your efforts.

Sources:

http://www.wbdg.org/resources/sustainable_hp.php

Building System


http://gbdmagazine.com/
http://www.bendbulletin.com/home/2172467-151/saving-green-by-going-green
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/pages/energy-efficient-homes.asp

Room Additions – Cost and Savings Analysis

cost of room addition in San DiegoTurning your home into a construction zone may not have been in your mind when you bought your dream home; but when the right opportunity comes along, doing a remodeling could be your best option. Millions of homeowners have discovered the potential and value of remodeling. It is time for you to find out.

Before we begin some useful cost-value analysis of home remodeling, let us look around some facts. Remodeling magazines publish the importance of remodeling a home by telling people that it improves the home’s livability and enhances the home’s appeal for potential buyers. That’s true until now. In fact, the highest remodeling comes from updating kitchen and baths. Home office is another area that increases a home’s value.

Payback after a home remodeling is defined as the total investment a homeowner can earn back upon selling the home. In general, when a kitchen is upgraded, the homeowner can recoup around 101% of the money invested on the project. Similarly, upgrading a bathroom will earn 85% of the cost, adding family room 86%, adding master bedroom 85% and adding sun-room 71% within a year, maybe more later. Here is a list of returns (% of cost recouped) for different remodeling projects in different states.

Kitchen remodeling CT – 125%
Bathroom addition MI – 96%
Kitchen remodeling KT – 92%
Exterior pain change MA – 90%
Master bedroom remodeling FL – 86%

As you can see from the above list, payoff associated with a remodeling project is significant when the right strategy is followed. Remember that costs of upgrades can escalate over time and therefore money invested on a project will surely increase the home’s value. You may not be able to recoup the entire investment the first year but over the years, the investment can bring a great return.

It is now time to turn our attention into making these remodeling projects successful. A simple kitchen remodeling job can easily cost more than $20,000, while a bathroom makeover as high as $60,000 depending on the materials and labor used. Your first priority here is to keep to a budget, follow a careful plan and pay attention to details. Then, communicate your ideas and budget parameters to your contractor without overstating the amount. Set aside emergency expenditures as well because there should be room left for sudden cost increases or project modification that may arise in the future. Having a detailed agreement from start to finish will let you double-check that you are getting what you are paying for and the project runs smoothly. Remember that a little can go a long way with remodeling. Anything that increases the functionality, durability and appeal of the project will pay off in the end.

Whether you want to rely on a contractor or roll up your sleeves and start your remodeling project yourself is entirely up to you. But make sure to weigh the cost of time spent on researching or supervising against the hidden value of your property that you hope to capitalize through remodeling.

Top Remodeling Event Shows in 2014

Since May is national remodeling month, there is no better time than this month to review – and preview – the top remodeling show events of this year.

At the top of 2014 was the Colorado Springs’ 16th annual Home Building and Remodeling Show, held January 10-12. This is the longest-running national trade show devoted to remodeling in the US. Over 150 exhibitors including turnkey remodeling companies, architects, and products ranging from kitchen & bath to lawn & garden attend the show each year. This should be the first stop for any serious remodeling professionals or for homeowners who would like to see cutting-edge products and technologies as they plan their makeovers. Plan to go in January 2015.

Another big trade show that comes around every winter is the National Association of the Remodelers’ Industry (NARI) Trade Show. Held last January at the Cleveland I-X Center, the coming winter show will be in Madison, WI. Almost as big as the Colorado Springs shows, the NARI trade shows feature around 100 exhibitors and include seminars for DIY and professional remodeling.

Here is a list of a few trade shows that are coming up for the balance of the year.

Neocon World Trade Fair, to convene this June 9th to 11th, is one of the largest commercial interiors-industry-related trade events in the United States. Held at the Merchandise Mart at Chicago, the event welcomes more than 40,000 visitors. A special Student Program is arranged during the event. More than 700 exhibiting companies take part.

Home & Garden Market-Dallas, coming this September 6th and 7th, targets a large number of potential buyers. A NARI pavilion and a Taste of home cooking show are featured as part of the event. This show exhibits an exclusive range of leisure and outdoor products, energy efficient products, kitchen & bath products along with various builders and remodelers, gardening experts, and home improvement professionals.

The Atlanta Residential Construction and Remodeling Expo, sponsored by The Home Depot, is being held this year from October 7 – 9. “RCRE trade show and conference will be influenced by insights and intelligence of industry experts from our partner associations such as Greater Atlanta HBA,” Verne Packer, Senior Vice President, RCRE. “We are excited to have their professional thought leaders as part of our team helping to guide the Expo.”

The Baltimore Remodeling Show and DeckExpo combines three events in two days at one location. Featured at the October 23rd and 24th event, open to professionals only, will be hundreds of exhibitors, installation clinics, interactive workshops, and instructional exhibitor-led product demonstrations. Featured manufacturers include Andersen Windows and Doors, Swanstone custom kitchen and bath fixtures, and a wide array of green and sustainable building products.

Homeowners are investing more in their homes than ever. The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) recently forecast that growth in remodeling expenses on projects costing more than $500 should rise by 14.7 percent from the end of June 2013 through the end of this June, continuing a quarter-over-quarter trend that began around September of last year.

Building Trends in 2014

Over the past several years, there’s been a growing demand for energy-efficient homes with eco-friendly materials and versatile living spaces. Homeowners are looking for features that create a comfortable and convenient lifestyle. To meet demands, building trends in 2014 are including features that homeowners want. Take a look at some of the most popular home features.

Smart Home Systems

In today’s computerized world, homeowners love smart home systems that help conserve energy and make household tasks easy and convenient. With the push of a button from any computer or smart phone, you can automate numerous home features from any location. Smart home systems allow you to turn your home lights on or off, lock and unlock doors, arm or disarm your security system, program or adjust thermostat settings and program or adjust swimming pool and spa temperatures.

Green Materials

Homeowners are opting for healthy living environments with safe eco-friendly materials in the home. Many building materials contain toxic or harmful chemicals which can contribute to allergies, respiratory problems, headaches and other health issues. Interior and exterior materials like paints, wood stains, insulation, carpet and upholstery are being replaced with recycled and green materials that are chemical-free and hypoallergenic. Popular materials include recycled wood products, eco-friendly bamboo flooring, non-toxic adhesives and carpet backing and hypoallergenic textiles.

Family Kitchens

Kitchens are being designed as a multitasking space that’s used by the entire family. They are becoming the central activity center, the hub-of-the-house, where the family spends time together cooking, eating and entertaining. Kitchen layouts include various cooking zones with state-of-the-art appliances, kitchen islands with prep stations and sinks, and planning areas with desks and computers. This versatile layout creates a kitchen where kids can do homework while parents cook dinner. It encourages family conversations and shared activities.

Outdoor Fireplaces and Firepits

Outdoor fireplaces and firepits create an outdoor environment with a cozy, relaxing atmosphere. The glow of a warm fire creates a comfortable setting for outdoor dining and entertaining. The added warmth and light extends the time you can spend outdoors throughout the year. Outdoor fireplaces require more space, more money and special skills to build and install. Free-standing firepits require very little space, less money and no building skills. The choice usually depends on space and budget limitations, but they are both popular outdoor features.

Outdoor Kitchens

A luxury home feature that’s in big demand with homeowners today is outdoor kitchens. They provide a great way to cook, dine and entertain outdoors year-round. Simple designs usually include a grill, side burner, sink and countertops. Luxury designs can include rotisseries, pizza ovens, warming drawers, storage areas, compact refrigerators, ice makers, wine coolers and beer keg dispensers. Depending on the design and selected appliances, outdoor kitchens can range from $2,000 to $50,000, but homeowners love the lifestyle options that they provide.

Spas and Hot Tubs

With today’s busy lifestyles, homeowners want relaxation features in their home. Spas and hot tubs top the list for popularity. They are being included in new homes around the country in warm and cold climates. Outdoor spas and hot tubs are still the most popular, but some homeowners are opting for indoor spas in the master bathroom or just outside the master bedroom. New homes without spas or hot tubs often include whirlpool baths with adjustable water jets and showers with specialty shower heads and side jets. Whether inside or outside, relaxing spas and hot tubs are home features that homeowners want.

How To Prepare for a Room Addition

There are many reasons why a homeowner would choose to increase the size of their property. Those reasons could involve a new addition to the family, space for an office, or the homeowner may require extra space for some other reason. Additional rooms involve demands, a goal and a list of requirements that should be met before the project gets underway. The first thing on the agenda should be to figure out how much money you will have to work with before you can get started.

Finalizing your decision

An addition can be a costly exercise and the responsibility involved can become a little overwhelming if you don’t think the whole thing through. Before jumping off the deep end, make very sure that there is no way to get around this addition, if only for the fact that it is going to require some juggling of funds. Financing can be attained through a personal loan from the bank or dipping into your savings, if you happen to have it.

Qualifications are key

Unless you plan on doing the job yourself; you need to think in terms of what sort of a contractor you require to handle the task. This is not like replacing some pipes, or a window that the neighborhood kids broke with a ball; this is an entire room, which usually comes with walls, a ceiling, electrical wiring and everything else that comes with a house, so make certain that your contractor has done this work of thing before.

A design that makes sense

There may be certain things that you may be able to get away with as you plan on your room addition, but a good set of blueprints should not be one of them. This may just be a few walls, a ceiling and a floor, however, depending on what you need the addition for you will have to think in terms of how many electrical outlets you need, and if you plan on using a window AC unit or try to extend the duct work from the central air.

Shop around

Keep in mind that this is not necessarily a small job so the average contractor would be only too happy to do it for you. Rather than let your fingers do the walking, consider calling a few reputable contracting firms and let them put a bid in order to handle the job for you. This will give you more than one option as far as a contractor is concerned and in addition to that you will have a few prices to choose from.

Making it legal

Most contractors will usually remind you that building permits are required, in fact; some will actually apply for the permits for you. If you don’t have a permit work cannot begin and considering the fact that it is your home, at the very least you will need to make sure that the permits are in hand. In addition to that, whatever contractor you end up with, double check that they are licensed and insured before they get started.