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Home Remodeling

Elevating Your Home: Exploring High-Performance Home Remodeling

Remodeling your home is an exciting endeavor, offering a chance to breathe new life into your living space while adding value and functionality. In recent years, the concept of high-performance home remodeling has gained traction, as homeowners seek to integrate sustainable and energy-efficient features into their revamped spaces. In this blog post, we will dive into the world of high-performance home remodeling, exploring the benefits, key considerations, and transformative features that can elevate your home to a new level of efficiency and sustainability. Energy Efficiency Upgrades:
  1. When it comes to high-performance home remodeling, energy efficiency takes center stage. Consider these key upgrades to enhance your home’s energy performance:
  1. a) Insulation: Improve your home’s insulation by upgrading to high-quality materials and sealing any air leaks. This ensures optimal temperature control, reduces energy loss, and lowers heating and cooling costs.
  2. b) Window Upgrades: Replace old, inefficient windows with energy-efficient alternatives. Double or triple-pane windows with Low-E coatings can significantly reduce heat transfer and provide better insulation, allowing for more efficient temperature regulation.
  3. c) LED Lighting: Replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights throughout your home. LED bulbs consume less energy, have a longer lifespan, and produce less heat, making them an excellent choice for reducing electricity consumption.
Sustainable Materials and Finishes:
  1. High-performance home remodeling embraces sustainable materials and finishes that reduce environmental impact while enhancing aesthetics. Consider these options:
  1. a) Eco-Friendly Flooring: Opt for sustainable flooring materials like bamboo, cork, or reclaimed hardwood. These choices are durable, renewable, and add a touch of natural beauty to your space.
  2. b) Low-VOC Paints: Choose low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or zero-VOC paints to minimize indoor air pollution. These paints emit fewer harmful chemicals, ensuring better indoor air quality and a healthier living environment.
  3. c) Recycled or Reclaimed Materials: Incorporate recycled or reclaimed materials into your remodeling project. For instance, reclaimed wood can be repurposed for cabinetry, furniture, or accent walls, adding a unique touch to your space while reducing the demand for new materials.
Smart Home Integration:
  1. Integrating smart home technology into your high-performance remodeling project can enhance convenience, energy efficiency, and security. Consider the following upgrades:
  1. a) Smart Thermostats: Install a programmable or smart thermostat to regulate temperature settings and optimize energy usage. These devices learn your habits, allowing you to control heating and cooling remotely and saving energy when you’re away.
  2. b) Automated Lighting Systems: Implement smart lighting systems that can be controlled remotely or through voice commands. This allows you to easily manage your lighting, adjust brightness, and set schedules, reducing unnecessary energy consumption.
  3. c) Energy Monitoring Systems: Install energy monitoring devices that provide real-time data on your energy usage. These systems help you identify areas of inefficiency, allowing you to make informed decisions on reducing energy consumption.
Water Efficiency Upgrades:
  1. High-performance home remodeling extends to water efficiency upgrades that conserve this precious resource. Consider the following features:
  1. a) Low-Flow Fixtures: Replace old faucets, showerheads, and toilets with water-saving fixtures. Low-flow options reduce water consumption without compromising performance, resulting in significant water savings over time.
  2. b) Rainwater Harvesting: Install a rainwater harvesting system to collect and store rainwater for irrigation or non-potable water usage. This reduces reliance on municipal water sources and conserves water resources.
High-performance home remodeling offers an opportunity to transform your living space into a sustainable, energy-efficient, and technologically advanced haven. By incorporating energy efficiency upgrades, sustainable materials and finishes, smart home integration, and water efficiency measures, you can create a home that not only reduces its environmental impact but also enhances your comfort and overall quality of life. Embrace the potential of high-performance home remodeling to elevate your living experience while contributing to a greener future.
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Home Remodeling

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Home with Design-Build Remodeling Services

Your home is a reflection of your personality and a sanctuary where cherished memories are made. However, as time goes by, your needs and preferences evolve, leaving your living spaces in need of a refreshing transformation. This is where design-build remodeling services come to the rescue, offering a seamless and comprehensive approach to renovating your home. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and advantages of design-build remodeling services, highlighting why they are the ultimate solution for homeowners looking to revamp their living spaces.
  1. Streamlined Collaboration: One of the standout features of design-build remodeling services is the integration of design and construction under a single entity. By working with a design-build firm, you benefit from a streamlined collaboration process where home designers, and construction experts collaborate from the initial concept to the final execution. This cohesive approach ensures better communication, efficient decision-making, and a more cohesive end result.
  2. Enhanced Efficiency: Design-build remodeling eliminates the need for separate agreements, meetings, and priorities with architects, designers, and contractors. Instead, you have a single point of contact responsible for overseeing the entire project. This integrated approach significantly reduces miscommunications, delays, and conflicts that often arise when multiple parties are involved. The result is a streamlined workflow, faster project completion, and reduced costs.
  3. Customized Solutions: Design-build firms prioritize understanding your unique vision and lifestyle needs. They work closely with you to encompass your ideas into functional and aesthetically pleasing designs. Whether it’s a kitchen remodel, bathroom renovation, or a complete home makeover, design-build professionals have the expertise to transform your dreams into reality. Their deep knowledge of construction techniques and materials ensures that your design satisfies not only form and function, but also practical building techniques that meet the needs of your design..
  4. Budget-Friendly Approach: Home remodeling projects can quickly become overwhelming when multiple contractors and designers are involved. Design-build remodeling services provide a clear picture of the costs involved right from the beginning. With a dedicated team responsible for both design and construction, they can provide accurate estimates, prioritize your budget, and propose cost-effective alternatives without compromising on quality.
  5. Time-Saving Solution: Design-build remodeling services are known for their time-saving capabilities. With the entire project managed by a single entity, there are fewer delays, streamlined decision-making, and a more efficient construction process. Additionally, design-build firms have established relationships with subcontractors and suppliers, allowing for better coordination and timely delivery of materials, further accelerating the project timeline.
  6. Fewer Change Orders: The by-product of all the benefits and advantages above naturally produce fewer change orders and disagreements. With streamlined communication, fewer information relays, and more informed and efficient decision-making, there will be fewer changes leading to fewer delays and tighter budgets.
Design-build remodeling services offer homeowners a comprehensive and stress-free solution to transform their living spaces. By combining design, construction, and project management expertise into one unified team, homeowners can expect a seamless process from start to finish. The advantages of streamlined collaboration, enhanced efficiency, customized solutions, budget-friendly approaches, and time-saving benefits make design-build remodeling an appealing option for those seeking to revitalize their homes. Don’t wait any longer—unlock the full potential of your home with design-build remodeling services and embark on a journey of transformation!
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Home Remodeling

Increase Your Home Value with a Kitchen Upgrade

The kitchen is the heart of the home. For many families, it’s where a lot of quality time is spent! Having a kitchen that is updated, spacious and welcoming can also greatly increase the home value – and should be a top priority for any homeowner. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about a kitchen upgrade.

1. What’s It Going To Cost?

The kitchen is one of the most important aspects to potential home buyers, but a full kitchen renovation typically costs anywhere between $5,000-$150,000. Be prepared to budget – and hire a builder that will deliver the biggest bang for your buck.

2. How Can I Save Money?

Brand new appliances will take up most of your budget. However, you can save big by reusing some of the things you already own. Paint your current cabinets instead of buying new ones. Keep your plumbing in the same spot. And don’t forget to check for any good deals at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore (or other discounted/resale stores) in your area.

3. What’s the Payback?

It all depends on how much you put in. In Texas, the average return on investment for a major kitchen remodel is 59%. If you spend $30,000, you could hypothetically expect an increase of $18,000 in your home’s value. Keep in mind there is no guaranteed standard of increase in home value for kitchen remodels. To get a far more accurate estimate on your home, we recommend scheduling a free interview with one of our expert builders. Whether you’re renovating your kitchen to sell or you want to re-do it for yourself, Carson Custom Homes has got you covered. Contact us for more information on how you can achieve your dream kitchen.
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Home Remodeling

4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

When remodeling a home, there are countless details, information, decisions, and processes. Very often, they become overwhelming … “Did I choose the right tile? Should I call the plumber or the electrician first? The tile guy wants to start tomorrow … Do we have tile yet? When do I call the painter? Are we on track with budget? When will this be done? Was this even worth the hassle? These are just some of the questions that come to mind with remodeling clients. Luckily, your home remodel doesn’t have to be so stressful. Here are some mistakes to avoid so you can remodel your home without the unnecessary hassle.

Mistake #1: Hiring the wrong contractor.

The contractor and team you hire will be the one to answer (or help answer) all your questions. Make sure that the contractor is not only capable and reliable but also trustworthy. Remember, this is the person making decisions about who will be in and out of your house over the course of a couple months. Can you have an honest, frank conversation with this person? Are they able to be honest and frank with you? If you choose the wrong team, the difficult times lie ahead.

Mistake #2: Fuzzy Math and unreliable budget information.

Many consumers rely on 3rd party lead generation sites to set their budget. These companies have figured out people frequently search for “cost to remodel a kitchen” or something similar. However, they are not qualified to answer this question, nor do they know the details of design or the details of your kitchen. They just want to sell a lead to 3-5 different contractors. Discuss your budget openly with your contractor and hold back 20% of what you are willing to spend for contingencies. Don’t trust a website to answer this question. It wastes your time and your contractor’s time to stand in your home and dream up a $65k kitchen when you only have $40k to spend.

Mistake # 3: Rushing the process and a lack of efficiency.

Time is a funny thing. Most contractors will tell you that time kills deals. I believe that is true, but I also believe that the deal that gets killed over time was never meant to be. Contractors take as much time as necessary in design and planning for good reason. Once the job starts, decisions made in haste can have a negative impact both in time, money, form and function. That is exactly why we try to make all our selections upfront. This also allows us to provide a fixed-price proposal and consider alternatives along the way. Taking time in the design process to think through all the options before the demo starts makes for better job planning. With that sort of planning, we can order materials and have them on hand or have plenty of lead time to make changes if something is no longer available. This sort of job planning allows us to be very specific with trade partners so that scheduling is easier and they know what to expect when they arrive on-site.

Mistake #4: Caring too much about the payoff.

The Cost vs. Value Report is published annually by Remodeling Magazine. Follow the link to check out how different remodeling jobs contribute to resale value: https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2019/ I used to ask every client “do you care about resale value?”. Many times, the answer was no. Everyone has different reasons for remodeling, and among them is the payoff. The question then becomes whether the payoff worth your time, money, and the upheaval of remodeling. Unfortunately, I have been witness to marital issues and family problems stemming from what one person thinks is important and life-changing, but the other doesn’t even see the relevance. Consider the payoff not only in terms of financial cost vs. value but also cost vs. value in the quality of life for all those involved both during and after the job is done. the money pit movieThere are many lessons to learn from the 1980’s movie classic The Money Pit. We have already covered a few of those lessons above, hiring the right contractor, poor budgeting, inefficient processes and systems, rushing into a bad deal. The job turned out great, and Hollywood rescued us with a happy ending, but at what cost? Hollywood won’t be there to bail you out, so plan to avoid these mistakes!
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Custom Home Design

Home Design Series: What is French Country Architecture?

French country homes provide a sense of warmth and belonging to their owners. With soft lines and stonework encasing the exterior, and wooden beams, plaster walls and stone floors lining the interior, homeowners get the best of both the farmhouse and estate designs.

But before you can design a French country style home, you need to learn the history behind it in order to exhibit the style as best as possible!

Originating in France during the 1600s, a movement was spearheaded by King Louis XIV to make France the leader of style around the world. He wanted this design to have a refined taste, with distressed wooden features, stucco-like and stone exterior walls, and vibrantly painted shutters. As more and more people who lived in simple country homes sought for the design, they adapted it to fit the needs of everyday life. That created the French country design – high class but also relaxed enough to enjoy.

Exterior Details

“Provence” colors, such as natural, rich blues, yellows, dark reds, warm browns and greys, coat the outside, which is usually stone or brick. Roofs are made of tall peaks and windows arch or curve with shutters along the outside in perfect symmetry to other windows above or below. The door should be a color that sticks out against the stone or brick of the house but sticks to the earthy color palette.

Interior Details

The inside resembles a farmhouse structure, with wooden beams stretched across the ceiling and tall casement windows. The walls are made of smooth plaster with warm, calm colors and a wooden or limestone tile floor design. As a centerpiece in the living room, an oversized mantel stands tall, creating a high-class elegance to the rustic farmhouse look.

Although French country style homes sometimes resemble Victorian-style homes, the French homes maintain symmetry and warm, welcoming colors. French country architecture provides large living spaces to relax and enjoy family time while also making it feel like you’re living in an old estate. For home design questions and options, call Carson Custom Homes today!

Want to build your dream home, but don’t know where to start?

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Home Remodeling

8 Keys to a Successful Remodeling Project

1. Defining a Successful Remodeling Project

Remodeling projects are like a complex equation with many variables and compounding values. There are many moving parts to a remodeling job, and much like a math equation, one wrong move can cause a massive problem. Just as every job is different, so is every customer, so success can be defined in different ways. Here is how we define success at Carson Custom Homes: A successful remodeling project executes the intended design in a manner that pleases the client by providing high-quality work and outstanding customer service – leaving the client with a great experience. In fact, this could be the first indication that a contractor is not a good fit for you. Ask how they define success and make sure it aligns with YOUR definition of success. The following 7 items are what we consider to be the keys to executing a successful remodeling project.

2. Hiring the Right Business

Finding the right contractor is one of the most crucial parts of the equation. The person you hire should be the person you trust the most to execute your project and permit people into your home. Remember, you are hiring a business, not a person, so the person you are making a connection with may not be the person in your home. Ask to meet the person who will run the project before it begins. Open communication with your contractor is vital to establishing trust. Here are some questions you should ask your contractor before the project begins:
  1. Who will be on-site?
  2. How often they will be on-site?
  3. Is there a lead carpenter or superintendent?
  4. What hours do they usually work?
  5. Are they flexible if the hours don’t fit your lifestyle?

3. Systems and Processes

From sales to warranty work, the business you hire should have multiple systems and processes in place in order to keep your job on track. Ask about them. We are a fan of checklists and we use project management software to keep you updated through an app on your phone. Our checklists are proprietary, but we will let you see one or two just to demonstrate how they work. We also set a weekly update meeting to keep you in the loop at all times.

4. A Clear Plan, With a Clear Scope of Work

Clarity is always a good thing… from contracts to plans, to scope and specifications. A clear scope of work in the contract goes hand in hand with a clear plan to be executed. The more precise your contractor is with writing specifications and scope of work, the more successful the project will be in regards to many of the items below.

5. Finishing on Time

Limiting downtime goes a long way in providing a great experience. Nobody likes to come home to a job that is at a standstill because nobody told the plumber when to come in. We use a 3 week “look ahead” in order to keep things efficient and communicate with our subs. Our goal is to hit our timeline every time. We also update our scheduling and keep a job log on the app that you can access anytime. Another component of limiting downtime is making selections and pre-ordering materials. This can only happen if selections are made before the job has even started.

6. Finishing on Budget

Finishing on budget goes a long way toward leaving the client with a great experience. We track budgets through an app so all your budget info is right there at your fingertips, including changes and selections and a breakdown of how those affect the numbers. Being transparent about budget updates and changes is vital for our customer satisfaction.

7. Limiting Change Orders

Obviously, change orders will have an effect on the project’s timeline and cost. While some change orders decrease spend, we usually see costs increase. We ask you during the discovery/design phase to think in terms of no change orders. To prevent change orders, we show you views of the room in our design software so you can get a feel for what a “column would look like in that location” or “how a window would add more light,” etc. The dirty little secret about change orders is that subcontractors will use those changes in order to “make up for the great deal” they gave you when things didn’t work out. We have worked with most of our subcontractors for years and don’t offer bidding opportunities to contractors who do that. We have noticed that change orders always seem to be a point of contention, and in our pursuit of providing great service, we do everything we can to avoid them by asking you to think through all those decisions before we start including selections, plans, and so on.

8. A Clean Job Site

Last but not least, a clean, well-protected job site will make all the difference in how you feel about the project when you get home. Nobody wants to come home from work to a place covered in dust and debris. These are our standards for a clean job site:
  1. Finished materials should be covered and protected.
  2. Clean up should occur daily.
  3. The dumpster should be closed and all debris, demolished materials and personal trash should be properly disposed of.
  4. Paint cans, wash buckets and rags should be properly stored.
  5. Materials on hand should be neat and organized.
  6. The floor should be swept daily.
  7. Barriers should be used to keep dust out of the rest of the house and air scrubbers should be employed as necessary.
When you’re selecting a contractor for your remodeling project, it’s important to find a contractor whose vision for success aligns with yours. For reliable hill country contractors, contact Carson Custom Homes.
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Custom Home Design

Home Design Series: What is Hacienda House Architecture? 

Hacienda architecture is becoming more popular in the United States, branching out from the west coast. This style of home holds many unique characteristics that developed during the early colonization of North and South America and stuck around until it gained traction in the 1920s.

Where can you find Hacienda style Homes?

California and Florida are the two main states this style can be found. Known for its curves, arches, white stucco exterior, painted tile walkways, and terracotta roofing, these houses line the western coast of California and have for just over 100 years now.

Hacienda Characteristics

Hacienda style homes express a rugged, romantic beauty with their unique characteristics mentioned above. The problem with trying to create this style on your own is that it can seem somewhat imaginative.

Choosing such vibrant, decorated tile for your walkway can seem a bit outlandish at first, especially if you are not fond of bright colors. However, once you stucco the outside of the house, everything comes together to create part of your hacienda-style home.

Challenges

The harder part of creating a hacienda home is the architecture. One of the main features of these homes is the arches. Without this defining feature, the home wouldn’t be considered a hacienda style. Your best bet is to hire a contractor or custom home builder to update your home to the style of your liking.

Resale

Just like every home, there are pros and cons to having a style-specific house. Hacienda homes have a large market for resale because they are aesthetically pleasing. However, these homes usually have stairs leading up to the house, as well as inside, creating potential mobility limitations.

Carson Custom Homes offers a variety of different floor plans, exterior and interior designs, and can create a home that fits the exact vision you have. Call us today to get started.

Want to build your dream home, but don’t know where to start?

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Custom Home Design

Why You Should Invest in Energy-Efficient Architectural Design

More so now than ever it is important that we focus on energy efficiency and sustainability in as many aspects of our lives as possible. Eco-friendly construction design focuses on reducing the amount of energy needed to heat, cool, ventilate and light a home or building for the duration of its life. Whether you live in an urban or rural area, investing in sustainable, green design architecture will benefit both you and our environment. Continue reading to learn a few reasons why you should invest in energy-efficient architecture.

It Creates a Healthier Environment Inside the Home

Keeping your family safe and healthy includes providing them with a home that benefits their physical well-being. A home built with green design is constructed to control the flow of air and reduce heat and moisture. Having more efficient windows and doors and a high-efficiency HVAC system increases the quality of your air, making it safer for your family.

It’s Better for Our Outdoor Environment

Lowering the amount of energy used in your home directly reduces the amount of gasses and emissions released by power plants. Since electricity is made by burning natural resources, the fumes released in doing so are harmful to our environment. By investing in eco-friendly construction, you will directly decrease your carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier environment.

It’s More Cost-Efficient Over Time

Having a home that works efficiently overall is also more cost-effective. A home designed to reduce the amount of energy used will directly lower your monthly energy bills and benefit the environment in the meantime. In addition, investing in sustainable architecture will prolong the life of your home and increase its value in the event that you decide to place it on the market.

It Increases the Efficiency of Your Appliances

Green design also increases the lifespan of your appliances. If your home is eco-friendly, your appliances won’t have to work as hard to get their job done. Choosing energy-efficient appliances to fill your home with will only increase their lifespan and sustainability more. Grow your green thumb and reduce your carbon footprint by investing in eco-friendly construction. Contact us at Carson Custom Homes to learn more about energy-efficient architecture or to start your building process. Contact us today to schedule your free interview with one of our home building experts.

Want to build your dream home, but don’t know where to start?

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Custom Home Design

Home Design Series: What is Farmhouse Architecture?

Let’s talk about an architectural design that is sweeping the south. We want to give you the history, style characteristics and much more that define farmhouse design.

History of the Farmhouse

The farmhouse originated out of function. Just as it sounds, these homes were built on agricultural land. Their function was to provide shelter for those who worked on the farm. The first, original farmhouses date all the way back to the early 1700s. Functionally, these homes are built to be practical for their residents.

Key Characteristics of Farmhouse Architecture

  • Practical Porches: by practical, we don’t mean small. Farmhouses are known for having grandiose porches. However, these large porches aren’t just for looks. One of the farmhouse trademarks is having porches that are functional extensions of the house. For example, a place for your kids to leave their muddy shoes.
  • Rural Locations: It is uncommon to find a farmhouse in the middle of a city. Farmhouses are known for being located in rural locations with lots of space, such as in the Texas Hill Country.
  • Transitional Spaces: Going back to the farmhouse’s traditional roots, one of the key design elements of the home is to have the formal spaces like the kitchen and living room in the front of the house and the bedrooms and bathrooms in the back or off toward the sides.

Remodeling a Farmhouse

One of the biggest problems when it comes to remodeling a historic farmhouse is the structural challenges – for example, redoing the roof, gutters and downspouts. However, we suggest consulting a licensed contractor to ensure the structural integrity of your home is maintained while adding your desired updates. With the “modern farmhouse” being all the rage at the moment, Carson Custom Homes is perfectly suited to help you get the house of your dreams.

Want to build your dream home, but don’t know where to start?

Download The Guide to Your Dream Home Today

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Custom Home Design

Home Design Series: What is Ranch House Architecture?

A ranch-style home can be easy to spot. This type of home design comes equipped with a long history and specific design elements that make it what it is. With the first boom of ranch houses being built in the 1930s, post-WWII, they started to dwindle in popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, today the style is starting to rise in popularity once again, so you’ve probably seen a ranch house or two around your area. But do you know what truly makes it a ranch house?

Elements of the Ranch House

1. Single-floor plan

In a ranch style home, this is the piece of the architecture that probably sticks out the most to you. The long, single-floor homes are still filled with the elements of a traditional home in terms of rooms – a kitchen, dining room, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms. But in this case, they all share the same floor.

2. Asymmetrical Design

Traditionally, most ranch-style homes have a similar layout or design. The asymmetrical design of the home is constructed as either an ‘L’ or a ‘U’ shape if you were able to see it from a birds-eye-view. The front of the home is built horizontally and facing the street.

3. Focus on the outdoors

One of the biggest reason these homes were once so popular, and are now growing in popularity once again, is because of the emphasis on the outdoors. Ranch style homes were designed to incorporate indoor and outdoor living as one, with a big focus on the backyard. In the past, the emphasis would be on the front porch. Over time, it has shifted to the backyard to create a private living space. If you think the ranch architecture is right for you, call Carson Custom Homes today and let us build your dream home.

Want to build your dream home, but don’t know where to start?

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