Posted on: Thursday, March 28th, 2013 In: Interior Design
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A great kitchen design inspires people to explore their own culinary creativity. Simple recipes are made wonderful because of the efficiency of a Westborough kitchen design. Kitchens of the past have always been messy and disorganized. New kitchen these days are based on Westborough kitchen design in which form follows function. The functionality of a Westborough kitchen design stands out. Many homeowners enjoy getting involved in a Westborough kitchen design process because brainstorming for their own Westborough kitchen design is exciting. There is a certain thrill in being hands-on with your Westborough kitchen design. Working with a designer can also inspire ideas that will add interesting details to the Westborough kitchen design.
Beyond the functionality and design, a Westborough kitchen design also creates a cozy atmosphere for the family. A Westborough kitchen design is also about comfort. Many homeowners also prefer a Westborough kitchen design that allows the members of the household to converge into the space. By creating a versatile Westborough kitchen design, designers are able to capture what is needed to be done to be able to satisfy what the client wants. A new trend in New Westborough kitchen design is to use sustainable materials. With the threat of climate change, designers have incorporated eco-consciousness into the Westborough kitchen design. Many homeowners have warmed into the idea of getting a Westborough kitchen design with environmental sensibilities. Having a Westborough kitchen design that adapts to the current needs makes the renovation process worthwhile.
A good Westborough kitchen design is able to combine different design ideas and modern innovations into the space. Barnes Building is a certified design/build company that can handle any Westborough kitchen design project. The Westborough kitchen design process is an exciting experience for clients because they get introduced to the Westborough kitchen design philosophies. Barnes Building is a leader in excellent Westborough kitchen design. Get in touch with them through www.barnesbuilding.net.
Posted on: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 In: Interior Design
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The common reason behind bathroom makeover is relaxation. Looking way past the stress of the demolishing and constructing, a completed bathroom makeover is a commencement of blissful relaxation. There are many Northborough bathroom design projects in Massachusetts with that goal in mind. A Northborough bathroom design plan revolves around how the designer can maximize the space into a pleasantly relaxing experience. With a Northborough bathroom design plan, a homeowner can visualize the look of the future bathroom space. Technology already allows computer rendering of Northborough bathroom design plan. Designers can easily customize the Northborough bathroom design with a simple mouse click. This savvy way of creating Northborough bathroom design plan shows the homeowner the possible ways their bathroom space can be configured.
This immaculately beautiful bathroom makeover can take some time and the Northborough bathroom design process will undergo messy renovations process before the Northborough bathroom design execution is complete. Homeowners are often briefed of the step-by-step process to have matching expectations on the entire Northborough bathroom design and renovation process. With the many home makeover shows in television that seemed to be completed in just a few days, the perception on the whole Northborough bathroom design and renovation process can be skewed. In reality, there is a set timeframe for Northborough bathroom design projects. Even if Northborough bathroom design process may be set for a long periods, experienced designers and builders have already devised mechanisms by which homeowners experience smooth process with less disruptive construction phase.
Barnes Building and Remodeling in Massachusetts can help homeowners complete a Northborough bathroom design process. The design firm is affiliated with different manufacturers and suppliers. You Northborough bathroom design project can start from idea to reality. Their design team has years of experience in Northborough bathroom design as evidenced by their completed Northborough bathroom design projects that can viewed in their website, www.barnesbuilding.net. The company believes in offering customers superiorly crafted Northborough bathroom design spaces where the process is as efficient, cost-effective and smooth as possible.
Posted on: Monday, January 21st, 2013 In: Interior Design
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Kitchen design is a complex yet exciting process for you as a homeowner. It is the opportunity to express how you want your kitchen to be. Holden, Massachusetts is a location that inspires culinary experiments and adventures. It is only fitting to have a Holden kitchen design tailored to how the space is utilized. Holden kitchen design is combination of beautiful design elements without losing is sense of purpose. Although Holden kitchen design has a utilitarian feel, it is done in an elegant way that homeowner can easily appreciate its appeal. There is balance between the decorative elements and the functional aspects in a Holden kitchen design.
When dealing with Holden kitchen design and remodeling project, good communications between designer, builder and homeowner is the one of the factors that makes the project successful. Great customer service in a Holden kitchen design company can guide homeowners in making important decisions in a Holden kitchen design project. On the homeowner’s part, it is easier to deal with a designer and builder with an organized process in completing a Holden kitchen design project. What makes homeowners trust their Holden kitchen design contractor is the efficiency of the process. When the homeowner feels that the Holden kitchen design project is done with utmost professionalism and craftsmanship, there is less resistance on the part of the homeowner when agreeing to Holden kitchen design suggestions of the designer. This is not to say the homeowners are easily swayed by Holden kitchen design ideas of a designer. It is only because with good communications, there is great understanding on the Holden kitchen design ideas of the homeowner that a designer can easily execute them in a Holden kitchen design plan.
A premiere design company specializing in Holden kitchen design projects is Barnes Building and Remodeling. It is a Holden kitchen design company that uses innovative computer-aided design tools in Holden kitchen design plans so that clients can visualize how their space will look upon completion. Their effective renovation methods are possible by assigning a Lead Carpenter in every Holden kitchen design project. This ensures the client that there is a single point person responsible for the Holden kitchen design project. To view their completed Holden kitchen design projects, visit www.barnesbuilding.net.
Most people are pretty familiar with a standard lump-sum contract. There is a set price for a specific scope of work – pretty straight forward. When the topic of Cost-Plus contract comes up, I think the first reaction for many people is, “What is the incentive for contractor to keep the costs down? Why would someone want to enter into such an open-ended agreement?”
In fact there can be a lot of benefits for a client/owner to have their project completed on a cost-plus basis, sometimes referred to as Time and Material Agreement. I prefer to consider it an “open book” approach. Think about a standard lump-sum construction agreement – what happens after a client and contractor have FINALLY worked through all the scope of work details, determined the specs for all the various components, and agreed to allowances for anything that isn’t yet been finalized? The homeowner has been working to get the best possible number for their project. The contractor is trying to provide the best number they feel comfortable with to deliver the project, and still make their margin. Often times, the homeowner is expressing they want the “Chevy” during this process– they don’t need everything to be Top Shelf. And on the other hand, the contractor has most likely been assuring the homeowner they provide excellent, high-quality work.
Finally, the contract is signed.
What happens next?
A shift happens. Now that the project is ready to move forward, the client now wants to get the best of everything possible within the agreed upon price and scope of work. Now they want the BMW. Its human nature to want to get as much as possible for the price you are paying. On the other hand, the contractor has now been incentivized to work with the lowest cost producers to complete the project. If they overspend, its money out of their own pocket. The only opportunity to increase their profit, is to get the job done for less cost than they budgeted. Can you see how a subtle undercurrent of an adversarial relationship could begin to develop?
A Better Way
Now let’s think about doing the project with more of an “open book” approach. This approach would allow the client so SHARE in the decision making process. Instead of choosing the lowest cost producer for say, the heating system, provided they are able to get the job done and meet the project specifications, now the contractor could present the various proposals to the homeowner, make his/her recommendations, and decide together who would be best fit for the project. The contractor is now in a position to truly work in the best interest of the client, and can act as more of an advisor.
Can you see how this type of arrangement could lead to a better contractor/client relationship?
Here are some of the major benefits of a cost-plus, or “T&M”, agreement:
- No more Change Orders – Good recordkeeping and documentation is still important to keep the project costs and budget in check.
- Allows project to get started before all decisions have been made. The design can be completed while the project is underway.
- Contractor has been empowered to truly work in the client’s best interest.
- This “open book” method of doing business lends itself to good, honest communication. The contractor is less likely to keep things “close to the vest”.
- More flexibility for clients to choose preferred vendors.
Of course, there are some important factors to make this work:
- There must be a realistic budget established for the project.
- Good record-keeping on the contractor’s part.
- Good communication.
- Work must be done efficiently and effectively – the homeowner can’t be expected to pay for the contractor’s inefficiencies and poor management.
For those that are concerned the contractor has no incentive to keep the costs down, and in fact makes more money if he drives the cost up, there’s ways to alleviate that as well. There can be incentives built into the contract to share in any savings, or a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) can be established.
It should be recognized that every situation is unique, and a “cost-plus” agreement may not be right for everyone. For the client that considers quality and service an important part of their project, then this is a good way to go. Obviously, there are plenty of companies that provide excellent quality and service for a lump-sum price – but why not choose a method of delivery that facilitates excellent quality and service?
Home Building and Remodeling projects done by the Do It Yourselfer is currently on the rise. Current economic conditions are a large contributing factor. In many cases homeowners think that they can save a lot of money if they do it themselves. They ask themselves how hard can it be after all and I will save a ton?
With that saved money homeowners are hoping that they can get all the home they wished for. Unfortunately, homeowners often discover that they don’t get exactly what they wished for. Instead they fall short due to honest mistakes and lack of experience.
There are several factors that cause homeowners to choose the DIY route to build a home or remodel:
- I have past construction experience
- I will save money
- I manage projects at work so I can run a simple kitchen, addition or new home project
- My friends will help me
- I watched DIY TV shows
- I went to a Big Box store and took a seminar
- I bought some books
- I am smarter than a simple carpenter or remodeler so I can manage them
With the availability of knowledge on the web, most homeowners feel they can find the answers and solutions for most questions about building or remodeling. Many homeowners are lulled into an unreliable sense of confidence that they can do any project on their own. One should move with caution and prudence before going too far down the path of building. Even the most savvy homeowner (or land owner) should consider the potential pitfalls they face before taking on such an endeavor.
Here are 10 pitfalls to consider and avoid before you take on your own DIY project:
- Budget: not determining and verifying the funding needed to complete the project.
- Plans: not developing and completing a full set of plans with scope of work and product selections. Unclear scope of work and incomplete plans cause disputes and change orders.
- Building Codes: not understanding all codes and local requirements.
- Scheduling: not planning the schedule and sequencing of trades.
- Timely purchasing and delivery of materials: not doing this will cause delays, loss of money and trade frustrations.
- Industry Knowledge: not being familiar with standard building techniques and means & methods can lead to building inspector rejecting completed work.
- Knowledge of the right trades: accessibility and familiarity with the RIGHT subs. Typcally subs work for other contractors and service them better than homeowners running their own job.
- Contractor credentials: not verifying liability insurance, workmen’s compensation, licensing and required certifications. Jobs can be shut down if you have contractors working illegally or unsafe on your site by OSHA, DIA, DLS and local inspectors.
- Sub-contractor agreements: not ensuring that each trade is encumbered by a legal binding contract clearly describing terms, responsibilities and payment schedules.
- Relationships with officials: not having a relationship with building officials, and understanding their expectations. Most building officials frown on homeowners running their own projects.
The bottom line is even though you are a savvy do-it-yourselfer with some experience in construction and Project Management in your own career, taking on your own project involves numerous risks you may not be prepared for.
Don’t be left making any costly mistakes. You can still oversee the project yourself with an experienced industry expert at your disposal throughout the project. You decide the level of involvement. Work with a company that offers Construction Management and/or Homeowner Consulting and Coaching Services to reduce your risks. It is possible to be involved with building or remodeling the house of your dreams and also be equipped with the proper guidance and knowledge to protect your assets.
New Home Construction
We all need to hear good news these days when it comes to the economy, and this is the type of thing we need to be spreading the news on! Worcester was named one of the 5 best housing markets for 2012 by MSN Real Estate. Check out this link to read the full article: http://realestate.msn.com/january-buying-advice-best-and-worst-markets
With all of us losing value in our homes over the past few years, its good to see the region where we work and live be recognized as a smart place to buy a home. Only an hour west of Boston, Worcester offers a more affordable housing market than those communities located inside 128 and closer to Boston. There are many great communities in the Worcester and Central MA area that offer tremendous upside. Such as less traffic and more land/house for your money!
Worcester is the Hub of New England, with easy access to Providence, Boston, Hartford as well as New Hampshire and Vermont. More and more people will be looking to call this region home. Great communities, great location, and affordability.
Lets go find that nice piece of land to build the house of your dreams!
Posted on: Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 In: Kitchens
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This custom designed chimney hood takes center stage in this newly renovated kitchen.
Have you ever solicited labor quotes for work at your home and been shocked at the wide range of pricing you received? I’ve talked with many people over the years that are simply amazed they can get such a wide range of numbers for the EXACT SAME PROJECT! This often is the case where the scope of work is very definitive – say a 10’x12’ pressure-treateddeck with a single set of stairs, or building a stand-alone 2-car garage with no interior finishes. Should be pretty straight forward right?
Now try it with a complicated project like a kitchen remodel. There are so many factors that can impact the cost of such a project it can be difficult for a homeowner to navigate their way through the planning, designing and selections process, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed.
The following are the major contributing factors that will impact the cost of a typical Kitchen Remodel Project: The scope of the project, the finishes and selections, the mechanical systems and the overall complexity.
1) PROJECT SCOPE – The first factor in determining cost is the actual scope of work to be performed. Are there any walls being removed? Will the project involve an expansion of the kitchen space, either via addition or taking over an adjacent room? Is it a full gut project or simply a cabinet replacement where all fixtures are remaining in the same location? Are there other items that will be affected, such as a tile floor that extends into a foyer? Or windows that will need to be added or replaced.
2) FINISHES & SELECTIONS – This one is really a customer driven item, but can often have the biggest impact. A homeowner’s personal taste and style can often have the largest impact on the overall project cost. Cabinet costs can cover a vast range depending on whether a client chooses a stock line with all standard size cabinets and a standard finish – or perhaps they go with a fully custom, furniture grade cabinet line with all the bells and whistles. The cabinets alone easily range from $15,000 to $100,000. The other components such as plumbing fixtures (sink(s), faucet(s), pot fillers, water purification systems, garbage disposals) flooring, backsplash tile, lighting and appliances are items that have just as wide a range in costs.
3) MECHANICAL SYSTEMS – Many kitchen remodels can impact other areas of the home and can have a “trickle” effect that some homeowners may not be thinking of. For instance, a new kitchen will require at least 7 circuit breakers in their electrical panel. If the electrical system can’t support this or is outdated, an upgrade to a new 200amp electrical panel can often become part of a kitchen remodel. Plumbing upgrades may also be required depending on the age of the home and the condition of the existing pipes.
4) COMPLEXITY – Talk about common sense right? The more complex a project the larger the investment. But what makes a project complicated? The following are some items that would add to the complexity of a kitchen remodel: Structural modifications, unique site conditions (ie: 3rd floor kitchen), temporary kitchen requirements, accelerated scheduling due to an upcoming event, major relocation of fixtures (or perhaps, creating a kitchen where there wasn’t one before). All these items, and more, can impact the overall cost of the project.
A tool we often use to help homeowners understand the investment costs of a kitchen remodel project, is Remodeling Magazine’s “COST VS VALUE REPORT”. http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2011/costvsvalue/national.aspx This report outlines and recaps standard home improvement and remodeling projects and what one can expect to invest for a “typical” project, including a Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel and an Upscale Kitchen Remodel. This will help provide a homeowner with a point of reference for their own project.
Once we are retained by a homeowner as a client, we will work with them to create a “3-column” budget analysis for their project. This will help a client to see the potential investment range for their particular project, and the impact their own choices and selections will have on the final cost. To discuss how our “3-Column” budget analysis works or to schedule a meeting so we can analyze your budget, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on: Monday, June 25th, 2012 In: Recent News
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Effective April 2010, The EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Law goes into effect. This law effects any painting, renovation or repair work in homes or child-occupied facilities that disturbs more the 6 square feet of lead-based paint on an interior surface and 20 square feet on the exterior. Contractors, maintenance professionals, and their employees, must be certified and trained in lead-safe work practices.
As a certified firm, we are required to post warning signs, restrict access to the work areas, prevent dust and debris from spreading to the rest of the home or facility, perform a thorough final clean of the renovated area, and verify that the cleaning was effective.
Barnes Building and Remodeling has been certified to conduct lead-based paint renovation, repair and painting activities in accordance with this new law.
Posted on: Monday, June 25th, 2012 In: Recent News
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Effective 4/22/2010, the EPA has issued a new rule related to lead paint called the RRP Rule (Remodel, Renovate and Paint). This law effects any work being performed on homes built prior to 1978. It states that any work being performed on a pre-1978 home must be done by a certified renovator – this means that the company hired to do work must be registered with the EPA, and there must be a Certified Renovator (an individual certification) on site performing the work. For more information on this law, here’s a link to the EPA’s website:
EPA RRP Website
And for more information to read up on this new rule, check out the following site:
More about the EPA RRP Rule
This rule is going to have a major impact on the industry. Homeowners need to be aware of this rule and ensure that any companies hired to perform work on their homes is in compliance.
Posted on: Monday, June 25th, 2012 In: How To's
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We recently completed a remodeling project where we added a second floor living space over a garage. As part of the project, we also installed a new roof and new siding on the existing house. When the house was originally built, rigid insulation was installed on the outside perimeter of the foundation before backfilling. In theory, this is not a bad idea as it provides additional R-value to an otherwise uninsulated foundation. However, the problem in this application is that the insulation was extended above grade and terminated at the siding and framing of the main structure.
What was obviously not anticipated was that this rigid insulation would provide direct access for termites to the wood sill of the house.
We could actually see the tunnels in the rigid insulation that the termites chewed their way through to get from the ground to the house. The termites had infested the entire perimeter of the house! The had even started to work their way up the framing of one of the corners of the house.
The challenge to the homeowner in this situation is that this was completely undetectable – it was only discovered once we started removing the existing siding in preparation of the new siding.
If you notice a similar situation in your home, have it checked out ASAP! The sooner a problem like this is discovered the easier and less expensive it is to remedy.