The Design Build Process – What is Design/Build?

If you follow us on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest) or have browsed our website, you may have noticed we refer to ourselves as a Design/Build company. We also always reference our award-winning Design/Build process. If you have been wondering what that means or what the benefits are for working with a Design/Build company are you have come to the right place!

What is a Design/Build Process?

Design-build is where the design-builder, enters a single contract with the owner provides both design and construction services. In all other project delivery systems, there are separate contracts for design and construction. The single contract for both design and construction is the design-build distinction. RemodelWerks is a premier 3D design, custom building and remodeling firm specializing in all aspects of interior and exterior design and remodeling on residential and commercial projects.

What are the Benefits of Working with A Design/Build Company?

With the design-build process, the design is being done by a builder who knows what everything costs. A budget target is established at the beginning of the process. As the design is developed with you, cost of various features is discussed along the way. If you want to add an expensive feature, RemodelWerks will tell you what it would add to the project to do that.

Money can be saved during the planning of the project (and elsewhere) because your builder can tell you what you would save if you did not put a particular feature in, or traded features to get something included that is more important to you.

The design-build process avoids surprises at the end of the design work. You know what things will cost and you simply proceed into the construction phase.

What are 3D Renderings?

RemodelWerks takes it even further with our state-of-the-art 3D Renderings. Our Designers present you your remodel and you can see exactly how it will look before we go into build. Changed your mind on those white cabinets? Easy fix! Want to explore different kitchen ideas? We are here for that!

Our mission as a Design-Build company is to collaborate with you and execute your dream remodel. We want to make sure you love your design BEFORE we go into build. The goal is for you to love your space! Interested in learning more about how our Design/Build process can work for a remodel in your home? Contact us today.

Modern Kitchen Magic

We are so excited to finally be sharing the project that has the whole office talking. Complete with a built in fish tank, double ovens, and dual islands among other stunning features, this modern kitchen project is one we won’t soon forget.  

The saying that “the kitchen is the heart of the home” rings true for our most recent clients whose kitchen remodel falls nothing short of striking. Our clients envisioned an optimal setting to cook and entertain, thus the addition of barstool seating and plenty of counter space. 

Their design was customized to accentuate what is important to them, including but not limited to providing a focal home for their fish.  

With a herringbone stone backsplash and farmhouse corbels, we showcased our clients beautiful range and paneled vent hood combination.

Carrying the same level of detail throughout, we installed a farmhouse sink, a gooseneck faucet, and soapstone quartz countertops atop shaker-style cabinets. 

Spanning the top most level of cabinetry are mullion accented glass cabinet doors equipped with recessed lights. 

Also featured is undermount cabinet lighting that illuminates appliances without the intensity of additional pendant and recessed ceiling lights. 

From customized cabinet spice racks to secondary pantry storage, this kitchen has a place for everything, even a small wine fridge and pressure cooker. 

We are so honored to have delivered on our clients dreams. Yours could be next.

Give us a call for any remodeling requests or services, and don’t forget to follow our social media pages Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for sneak peeks on all our upcoming projects and photoshoots.   

Maximizing Your Storage in Each Space

When it comes time to remodel your home and incorporate additional storage, understanding the primary function of the space is key to increasing efficiency. This includes knowing how many guests could occupy the space at any given time and if storage solutions need to be more decorative or standard. Here we shed light on the best places to plan your storage carefully. 

Kitchen Cabinet Design

Remodeling a kitchen can be a very daunting yet exciting venture. The best way to conquer a kitchen plan is to create three primary zones within the space. 

The first zone is centered around the refrigerator for the purpose of optimizing grocery unloading and meal preparation. Positioning the fridge nearest a garage or entryway and dedicating an island or ample counter space can assist with daily kitchen tasks.

A second area of importance is that which surrounds the sink. Since most food cleaning and preparation occurs near a sink, having a close proximity to the fridge and island is ideal. The cabinets in this area yield the best option for storing mixing bowls, utensils, and cutting boards, all things used to prep foods.

The last kitchen zone to design around is a range. Here is the best area to access additional appliances such as an oven or microwave. Allowing for deep drawers and doors around the range creates ease of storage for larger items such as pots and pans. 

Walk in Closet Conundrums

When planning a master closet remodel, the first item on the agenda is to evaluate how much storage you need given how many clothes and accessories you possess. For items that can be hung, group similar sized clothes to ensure the least possible room between each article. Rods are ideal below the highest arms reach, allowing ease of access and room for high, shallow shelving storage. Having open shelving significantly reduces the cost of customized closet storage and allows visibility to the clothes in your wardrobe.

Managing a Mudroom

To make the most use out of a mudroom, replacing rods and hangers with small hooks makes coat placement easier when exiting and entering the home. Additionally, having a bench or seating option to remove shoes prevents excess dirt from tracking onto hardwood floors. For any miscellaneous items, placing storage below the bench keeps a supposed mudroom clean. 

Built-in-the-Bathroom

Finding and building storage space in the bathroom can be a hassle without thinking outside the box. Introducing ladder shelving that fits comfortably over the toilet or floating shelves are great ways to occupy empty wall space for towels and extra shower products. For items preferred to keep hidden, hanging pocket organizers over the door is a great way to provide subtle storage without crowding space.   

If space or lack thereof still has you struggling for storage, give us a call to optimize your home. Be sure to follow our social media pages Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for inspiration and completed projects.

How to Know You Chose the Right Remodeling Company

Whether it be a bathroom, kitchen, or basement remodel, any home alteration is a huge undertaking. Partnering with a remodeling company is a smart choice, but how do you know the partner you chose is right for you? Here are a few signs that will assure you that you’ve made the right decision and that the remodeling process is about to be a dream come true.

Creative & Thorough

From the start, the remodeling company you have chosen should be offering you a customized experience tailored to your style and budget. The company should provide you with options as well as suggestions that match your needs. Most importantly the company should be up front about their process so that there are no surprises towards the project’s completion.

Extensive Experience

The company you have chosen should have a wide variety of experience when it comes to all aspects of Interior and Exterior Remodeling and Custom Building. A bonus: they have the awards to prove they are outstanding at what they do.

Superior Customer Service

The team you have chosen should be not only respectful but attentive. If they are the right company, they will keep you updated throughout the entire process. You will feel at ease knowing your home is in good hands. Your satisfaction is what should matter most to the company. Do they have good customer reviews? Let those speak for themselves!

Warranty or Leave

Make sure the company you have chosen is offering you a warranty. The company’s involvement shouldn’t end when they complete the job. If it’s a great company, they will stay in touch and follow up on their work for years to come.

PS: Don’t Let Price Be a Deciding Factor

Basing your decision on finding the cheapest company is one of the biggest mistakes’ customers make. The cheapest company usually won’t provide the highest quality workmanship or an enjoyable experience. In fact, the best way to price a remodel is to set your budget first and then plan your remodel based on that.

Does the company you’ve chosen check all these boxes? If yes, then you are in good shape! If not, check out RemodelWerks. RemodelWerks is a full-service Kitchen & Bath, Addition, Basement, Custom Remodeling, and Whole House Design Build Remodeling Firm servicing Shrewsbury East Massachusetts into Boston. We are a fully licensed and insured team of remodeling specialist using 3D Design Technology. Contact us for your next project today.

Housing Prices Rise Again As Sales Remain Strong

Housing prices have been consistently rising throughout the United States. According to a recent report from the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, average housing prices across 20 metropolitan areas rose by 5.5% in October.

Trend of Rising Prices Persists

Prices have been rising steadily for the past 12 months. The 10-City Composite appears to be increasing at a constant pace. The index rose 5.5% in October, compared to a 5.4% increase in September.

Prices have been stable throughout the country, but some regions have experienced stronger increases than others. The markets in Denver, Portland and San Francisco have been the most robust. Prices in these regions have risen 10.9%, more than double the average year-over-year increase throughout the rest of the country.

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that rising prices are indicative of a healing economy. Generally good economic conditions continue to support gains in home prices,” stated Blitzer. “Among the positive factors are consumers’ expectations of low inflation and further economic growth as well as recent increases in residential construction including single family housing starts.”

Recent economic reports support his position. The last two job reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that economic activity is rapidly improving, which is the most important factor affecting housing demand. The index could rise further if job growth proves to be more resilient in the coming months.

Could Price Increases Stall in 2016?

Analysts are hopeful that the trend will continue through 2016. However, there are a couple of reasons growth could stall.

The Federal Reserve recently enacted a rate increase in December and has hinted that it could raise rates further in the next meeting. Higher interest rates will inevitably make borrowing more expensive, although they may not hurt the housing market considerably if economic activity continues to rise.  

Slowing home sales could also be a leading indicator that prices will fall in the near future. The November report from the National Association of Realtors® showed that completed housing transactions fell 10.5%. Their data shows that the market may have started to peak in mid-summer, which means that there could be a possibility that slowing demand could cause a pricing correction.

Why You Should Hire a Licensed and Insured Contractor

You have probably heard a few horror stories about homeowners that worked with terrible contractors. You shouldn’t let them deter you from hiring an experienced and honest professional the next time you need to remodel your home. You’ll rarely encounter serious problems if you verify they are properly licensed and insured.

M.G.L c. 142A is the code that requires all Massachusetts contractors to be licensed. You will want to check with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to confirm that they have the proper licenses before hiring them.

Why is it important to choose a licensed and insured contractor?

Making sure that your contractor is licensed and insured before hiring them will save you a lot of grief down the road. Here are some reasons that licensure is so important.

Save Money Redoing their Work

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs in Business Regulation requires contractors to meet strict eligibility criteria before receiving a license. Therefore, you can depend on a licensed contractor to deliver high-quality work.

Unlicensed contractors can’t guarantee the same quality. One homeowner paid $120,000 to a contractor over the course of 15 years, only to find out that the work was substandard and needed to be redone.

While the generally allows you to collect restitution for work done by unlicensed professionals, some unscrupulous professionals will leave after the work is done and you may never be able to collect. Others may not have the money to repay you.

Receive the Insurance Coverage

While licensed contractors are less likely to create problems, they are still human and occasionally make mistakes. Fortunately, licensed contractors almost always have adequate insurance in case anything goes awry.

However, M.G.L c. 142A  doesn’t require them to be insured, so it’s important to verify first. You’ll sleep easier knowing any possible damages will be covered.

Work Trustworthiness

Trust is very important when working with any professional and contractors are no exception. Contractors that work without a license are much more difficult to trust. Since they are already openly late breaking the law, they may also try to scam you in some other way. On the other hand, licensed contractors are closely monitored by the office of consumer affairs and building regulations. Very few will take the risk of losing their license by exploiting their customers.

Shrewsbury Housing Sales Expected to Rise Further in Spring

The Central Massachusetts housing market has fared much better than expected this winter. The Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR) reported that sales of new homes rose strongly in January. While this may be partially attributed to the unusually mild winter, the market is still outperforming most expectations.  Sales are expected to rise even further in Shrewsbury this spring, as many buyers are looking for refuge from steep prices in Boston.

The GBAR states that data from December and January shows that the market is expected to rise stronger in the spring. They stated that the market usually slows down during the early winter months, so unusual patterns of growth during this time generally indicate a strong market in the spring.

The market for condos may be particularly strong this spring. The GBAR reports that condo prices rose 8.4% over the past year, while single family homes only rose by 3.7%. The accelerating demand for condos could be due to a growing number of young, single adults relocating to the area for new employment.

While these figures are encouraging so far, Zillow experts believe that the high price of housing in urban regions could eventually dissuade buyers. “I do think at some point we are going to start pushing up against the fact that it is actually quite expensive to buy a home,” Svenja Gudell, a chief economist at Zillow told Boston.com. “Even smaller increases will start to deter some homebuyers.”

Of course, people relocating to the Boston area will need to live somewhere. Few will want to keep spending money on rent, so they may choose to purchase homes in Shrewsbury and other small Central Massachusetts communities to build equity.

Some economic variables still cast some uncertainty on the local housing market.  Fed rate hikes and an unpredictable economic environment could threaten future. However, most data has been encouraging so far, so experts are unlikely to taper their forecasts anytime soon.

State Senate Introduces Solutions to Boost Housing Production

The Massachusetts housing market has been improving in recent months. Data from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS and other organizations shows that sales and prices in 2015 were the strongest in years.

Demand for housing has been rising with economic growth. Low interest rates and new housing programs also have played a prominent role.

 However, the rebound may be in jeopardy if housing production doesn’t improve. State lawmakers are taking two steps to address the concern.

There are several problems that appear to be playing a role. Many parts of the state fell into disarray during the economic downturn. State officials are confident these properties can be restored to the benefit of middle-class and lower income citizens.

State Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry hopes the state legislature will introduce new solutions for the crisis this year. “Across the commonwealth, low rates of housing production have not kept pace with population growth and need,” she told Wbur.

However, contractors have not taken the initiative to gentrify these properties. State lawmakers will try to encourage them to do so by introducing new legislation in the coming weeks.

Part of the housing crisis also stems from the agent demographic. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would offer generous tax breaks to seniors. In exchange, the government would earned the right to purchase the property at a discount when it goes to market.

Dorcena-Forry and other lawmakers are enthusiastic about the recent housing market recovery. However, they will need to continue working on new solutions to boost housing production to guarantee the sustainability of the rebound.

Local real estate agents should also be pleased with efforts to boost housing production, because they are noticing an increase in demand for many housing units for lower and middle class families. “We had 21 offers on one property recently,” said Joyce DiLiegro, of Exit Realty/Beatrice. “There are so many buyers and not enough property.”

While a modest housing shortage may be driving prices, it limits the opportunities for real estate agents. We can sell more homes over the course of a year if the supply if there are enough for every interested buyer.  

Massachusetts Lawmakers Seek Boost Housing Supply as Demand Rises

Housing sales in Massachusetts recently reached their highest level in 10 years. Real estate agents and property owners across the state have praised the robust recovery. However, a lack of inventory poses a concern for the sustainability of the market. State lawmakers are discussing solutions to increase housing supply to meet the growing demand.

Rising Demand Spurs Need for Solutions as Construction Stalls

A recent report from The Warren Group found that housing sales reached their highest level in 10 years. Prices have continued to rise as well, which suggests that demand is going to rise in the future as well.

The housing rebound is encouraging, but the market may hit a wall if demand stagnates. The vibrant market has prompted policymakers at the state and local levels to pursue solutions.

Several experts have addressed the state legislature to discuss ideas to boost the state housing supply. Clark Ziegler, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, made a presentation on September 29th. Ziegler said that boosting the supply of housing for low income and middle class families will need to be a major priority in the near future.

Other Experts Believe Housing Production Isn’t as Immediate of a Concern

While the contracting inventory is a cause for concern, some experts feel the problem isn’t as severe as some of their colleagues.  Jim Nemetz, a local real estate agent, said housing production is likely to continue through the end of the year.

“I expect a good clip of activity between Thanksgiving and the end of the year,” Nemetz told reporters. “Sales prices sound astronomical, especially in Brookline and Newton, but with the current interest rates, they’re affordable to professionals who work in Boston.”

His sentiments have been echoed by Corinne Fitzgerald, another local real estate broker. “With all these new listings added to the market this month, it suggests to me that we can keep this momentum going into the fall,” Fitzgerald stated. She was very impressed with the year-over-year sales figures this past summer.

All experts agree that the state needs to make increasing the housing supply a priority. However, state lawmakers may not feel pressured to take immediate action until all housing experts indicate that there is a major cause for concern. However, most policymakers recognize that housing units may not be sufficient to meet the growing demand as the state undergoes the strongest growth since the mortgage meltdown.

Important Traits of a Bathroom Designer

Are you having difficulty deciding which traits are important in a bathroom designer? Remember that a designer must be able to do certain things with ease, as well as communicate with you properly to get the job done. Here are 5 things we feel are some of the most important traits of a bathroom designer.

Ability to Communicate Effectively

A good designer should be able to not only produce the results you need, but keep you informed throughout the process. Because visions can be different in each person’s head, detailed and effective communication is key in any bathroom design build process. The bathroom is one of those areas of the house that needs to be functional in a specific way for each individual or family. It gets used possibly the most often of any other room. Therefore, properly communicating from start to finish is a must for any quality designer.

Great Ability to Visualize

Visualization and imagination is key to designing, as the end result will be a different look and design than what is currently there. Also, visualization helps to create a plan that functions. Without prior envisioning, a plan could easily fall apart once construction begins. Many times, visualization needs to ignore and/or make a new use of whatever is in the current space. A good bathroom designer should be able to see what could potentially be there, based on the current space available and what the homeowner needs in both style and functionality.

Finding Creative Solutions

Oftentimes, in designing it’s necessary to be very creative, due to available space or needs. The ability to find creative solutions to difficult issues is a must-have trait in a bathroom designer. Sometimes there are space restraints that make it hard to figure out where to put everything that is needed. That’s where a good designer comes in. A quality professional who is experienced at innovation in design will be extremely helpful in this area.

Versed in Different Design Styles

A designer should be well-versed in various styles. This way, more options are readily available for a homeowner to choose from. Choosing styles goes along with being creative about designs and solutions. The more a designer can do in this department, the better chance that the ultimate result will be one you love that is also fitting when applied to your lifestyle. If a designer doesn’t understand the difference between (for example) a classic style and a Victorian one, you may end up with something completely different than what you envisioned.

Abundance of Product Knowledge

Knowing about the products available both locally and by order is important when it comes to designing a bathroom. When your designer has this kind of knowledge, it opens up many more possibilities. During the visualization process, more creative and desirable options may arise. It also could potentially help save money and allow for extra items within the budget. This knowledge can also speed up the process because that’s less time spent searching endlessly to find out what’s out there. The more product knowledge your designer has, the better it will be for everyone involved.