Get the most out of home additions or remodels

Get the most out of home additions or remodels

There’s no shortage of ideas on the internet when it comes to home additions and remodels, which is why we speak fluent Pinterest. There’s even plenty of discussion about which projects offer the best return on investment (ROI) when you sell your house. What seems to be lacking from the discussion is advice on how to get the most out of your house additions or remodels.

Start With Why

To maximize the real value of your addition or remodel project, you need to start with why. What are you hoping to accomplish? Let’s look at the top five reasons (with project examples) that people turn their home addition or remodel from a dream into a reality.

1. Increasing enjoyment or utility

Many projects focus on increasing the enjoyment or functionality of existing spaces. When you bring new life or additional space to an existing kitchen, bath, laundry, or other room, it’s like falling in love with your home all over again.

2. Add living space

Some popular addition/remodel projects which increase living space include adding a mother-in-law suite or guest apartment. Frequently, basements, attics, and space above the garage get allocated for these projects. Some homeowners add living space to rent it out for additional income.

3. Add spaces that are missing

Have you always been missing a bathroom for guests near your most popular place to entertain? Was your home destined to have a pantry between where you bring groceries in and your kitchen? Maybe it’s finally time to carve out space for a man cave or a mudroom.

4. Change layouts

Home additions are a great opportunity to add features or change layouts. Have you been dreaming of a laundry room just off the kitchen with a pocket door, or perhaps a second-floor laundry area? Since you’re changing layouts, maybe a home addition is a perfect time to add novelties like a hidden room or hidden storage.

5. Changing your home to match your lifestyle

Just because your life is changing, doesn’t mean your address has to. Perhaps the kids are growing and need a playroom, or you’re empty nesters reclaiming your home. For some, it’s time to add aging-in-place features to accommodate an elderly parent moving in or planning for their own independence.

The Right Tools for the Job

That covers some of the top reasons for additions and remodels. Next, let’s look at some of the techniques home addition contractors employ:

Conventional house addition

Increasing the height or footprint of your home can give you great big spaces to work with to create new and exciting floorplans. This type of addition offers the best opportunity to add novelty features like hidden rooms, murphy doors, etc. Almost always, these additions need additional utilities and HVAC.

A room addition, dormer addition, or bump-out

Typically smaller scale than conventional additions, this class of addition uses tricks like cantilevers to give you more space without increasing the footprint of your home. Just like the slide-out on a camping travel trailer, it’s amazing how much roomier your home’s cramped areas will feel.

A sunroom or California room

While often decried as a lower ROI investment, sunroom-style conversion of a deck or porch remains a popular option, especially in warmer climates.

Garage conversion

one of the more popular ideas on the internet, garage remodels can be great – if done right. We can’t recommend getting rid of a garage unless you’re also building a new one to replace it. Northern Michigan homebuyers value having a place to keep their cars out of the winter snow. Another way to “do it right” is to raise the roof and add a second story above your garage – keeping its usefulness as a garage. There’s certainly nothing wrong with expanding your garage for more bays, storage, or finished details.

When it comes to maximizing your home addition or remodel, start with clearly defined objectives, and never lose sight of why you’re doing it. Having an understanding of the types of remodeling techniques can help you choose the right remodel. Finally, talk to an experienced home addition contractor like Kevin Hall Builders to see how their experience can maximize your project.

8 Tips to Creating a Spa-Inspired Bathroom

8 Tips to Creating a Spa-Inspired Bathroom

8 Tips to Creating a Spa-Inspired Bathroom

How would you like to enjoy a spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom, similar to one found in a posh hotel room? You can. Start with these tips to create a natural, spa-inspired ambiance for your bathroom. Learn how to fashion a tranquil, fresh, back-to-nature mood you can experience without ever leaving your home.

1) Think White

White is a vital design element towards creating a spa-like ambiance in your bathroom. Because white shades exude a clean, fresh vibe, be sure to include this pure hue in your bathroom transformation.

For example, paint your bathroom walls and cabinets in a crisp white tone and exchange colored wall tiles and countertops for sparkling white replacements. Integrate plush white bath towels and a woven white shower curtain to instill the spa-inspired aura.

Pro Tip: Work with an experienced builder, remodeler, or interior designer. They will help you find just the right balance of white with a color palette you’ll love, as well as the integration of pattern and texture.

2) Incorporate Nature

Inject a few natural, organic items in your bathroom to foster the spa-like climate you’re creating. Hang woven wooden blinds from the windows to convey a natural woodsy sensation. Place a cedar stool inside your walk-in shower to instill an organic vibe.

Place a tabletop waterfall on your bathroom countertop to enjoy the soothing sounds of trickling water. Ramp up the back-to-nature atmosphere with wooden towel racks, toilet roll holders, and vanity mirrors trimmed in wood.

Pro Tip: Numerous durable materials for your remodel simulate the look of genuine wood or stone with much lower maintenance.

3) Add Plants

Green plants make almost any space come alive, but especially when you’re creating a spa-inspired bathroom. Choose living plants that impart a fresh, natural feel, such as aloe vera or English ivy. Add floor palms and potted ferns for a tropical look and feel. Select pots for your living greenery in pure white, natural clay, or dark tones.

Add a bit of color with a beautiful potted orchid or a vase of fresh flowers. Air plants (Tillandsia) are an attractive, low-maintenance option that thrives in a bathroom.

Pro Tip: Recessed shelves can provide an excellent place for candles or plants to live in your new spa retreat.

4) Inject Sparkle

Bring a touch of sparkle into your spa-like bathroom with decorative sconces, or a glitzy chandelier hanging above your soaking tub or dressing area. A dazzling light will become an eye-catching focal point that will make you feel like royalty.

Exchange dated sink and shower faucets for highly polished chrome replacements to add a brilliant shine. The same holds for other lifeless hardware, such as cabinet and drawer handles, knobs, and pulls. Get rid of old cabinet hardware and install shiny, new replacements.

Pro Tip: Don’t overlook the sparkle that comes from the glass surround and doors of a walk-in shower or the elegance of custom mirrors. Also, in many instances, a new modern sink will get you more mileage than faucet and hardware alone.

5) Create Comfort

An air of comfort must permeate your bathroom remodel to exude the spa-inspired design you’re searching for. If space allows, add an upholstered, comfy armchair that’s covered in an organic-vibe material, such as a print fabric dotted with green ferns, colorful flowers, or woodsy trees.

For a bathroom with limited floor space, add a padded bench or stool in lieu of the upholstered armchair.

Replace a standard showerhead with an upscale rain-shower head with multiple jet streams. For the full spa experience with a remodel, consider multiple heads or specialty showerheads to simulate a waterfall or rainfall. Other creature comforts include a heated towel rack, a digital shower controller, and a plush white bathrobe.

Pro Tip: When redesigning your bathroom, your choice of flooring can also provide greater comfort too.

6) Generate a Mood

Set the relaxing mood for your new spa-like bathroom with suitable lights, smells, and sounds. For example, situate votive candles placed in glass holders around the perimeter of your bathtub for a soft glow to calm you after an exhausting day. Dimmer switches on your light fixtures set a serene atmosphere. A bathroom remodel is a fantastic time to incorporate some stunning lighting techniques.

Use scented candles, diffusers, or your favorite air fresheners to permeate your bathroom with pleasant aromas. Create a tranquil atmosphere with the sweet sounds of nature generated from a white-noise machine. Choose crashing ocean waves, splashing waterfalls, crickets chirping, or some other nature-inspired sound.

Pro Tip: Leave the installation of your elegant spa lighting to the professionals. Electricity near water sources comes with additional considerations for your safety.

7) Pamper Yourself

You can’t create a spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom without including some items to pamper yourself. For instance, furnish your bathroom with monogrammed plush white towels, sweet-smelling bubble baths, fragrant hand soaps, and luxuriously scented lotions.

Situate a soft, memory foam bathmat on the floor beside your shower or bathtub to greet your feet with a cushy place to step out of the water. Scatter thick-pile area rugs throughout your bathroom to supply a cozy place to walk. Consider replacing an old bathtub with a gorgeous new stand-alone soaking or jetted tub.

Pro Tip: Built-in storage can keep a myriad of pampering and beautifying products tucked neatly out of sight but easily accessible. Accompanying hidden electrical outlets can keep the tangle of electric cords from ruining your ambiance.

8) Ditch the Dated Tubs and Showers

When you decide to update your tub or shower, a world of spa-possibility opens. You might design separate areas for showering and bathing. You can finally have the freestanding tub you’ve been dreaming of or a beautiful walk-in shower. As a bonus, walk-in showers also serve the growing demand for aging-in-place features that home buyers seek.

Pro Tip: If your bathroom feels too cramped for features like separate showers, consider a pop-out addition to accommodate a larger floor plan.

Start Today!

Now that you know how to transform your ordinary, ho-hum bathroom into a spa-like space, get started. You can start small, or call Kevin Hall Builders for the professional spa experience you’ll enjoy from the comfort of your home.

Kitchen Design: Maximizing space when remodeling

Kitchen Design: Maximizing space when remodeling

There are many tips and tricks available for maximizing kitchen storage space. Sometimes no amount of drawer organizers or hanging cup hooks provides enough storage space for a comfortable kitchen that suits your cooking needs. Even if your kitchen has a relatively small footprint, keep the following considerations in mind when you’re planning your kitchen remodel.

You don’t have to sacrifice beauty for efficiency

Sometimes when we think of efficient living, we think of cramped spaces that are made purely for efficiency with no attention to the aesthetic appearance of living space. When remodeling your kitchen to utilize space better, consider options to improve storage space, the convenience of ready access, and avoiding clutter.

Choosing cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling can add a tremendous amount of otherwise unused space for storage. Corner cabinets or circular pantry cabinets can make great use of a confined area. If you opt for pull-out pantries or like the idea in general, you won’t need to set aside space for a walk-in pantry or closet-like room off your kitchen. For those of us who love spices, you can also implement a pull-out spice rack in narrow areas, for example, alongside a fridge.

Multi-functional areas save space

Depending on the size of a home, it can be cozy or efficient to keep a dining area in the kitchen. Some kitchens, however, don’t come with the extra room to support an entire dining room. To add dining space to your kitchen design, consider an island around which bar stools can provide a convenient, casual dining experience.

A sink with a sliding cutting board can double as both a great place to both clean and cut fruits and vegetables and provide a little extra temporary countertop storage space. If your kitchen remodel includes countertops, changing the sink is worth considering.

Uninterrupted counter space makes some cooking tasks more manageable. Some jobs, like rolling out dough, quickly illustrate the benefits of large countertops. One ample counter space is sometimes better than two or three broken up small countertops.

Work-flow Triangle

When designing your newly remodeled kitchen, consider the science of functionality – the work-flow triangle. This triangle is the space between the three most heavily used locations in your kitchen: the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink.

Based on this time-tested concept, the most efficient kitchens co-locate these items in a triangle. While the angles aren’t critical, the lengths of the triangle’s legs should add up to at least 12 feet, but no more than around 23-26 feet. Each leg of the triangle should be no more than 9 feet, but ideally, 3-4 feet minimally.

Work with professionals

Seasoned remodelers and kitchen designers can help you craft and implement your dream kitchen to be both beautiful and efficient. They’re likely to consider factors in form and function overlooked by many.
When you’re ready to love your kitchen, call Kevin Hall Builders for a free consultation. For the unprepared, spend some time on Pinterest and Houzz to get ideas. You can also learn about the average cost of a kitchen remodel too.

5 Kitchen Remodel Cost Questions, Answered

5 Kitchen Remodel Cost Questions, Answered

What is the average cost of a kitchen remodel?

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average kitchen remodel costs $23,239 or $150 per square foot. Most homeowners spend between $12,544 and $34,465 or $75 to $250 per square foot. These prices are affected by geographical region, material & labor costs, and scope of work.

What affects the price?

A kitchen remodel varies based on the size of the kitchen (or intended space), the quality of the materials, and if structural changes are necessary. New runs for electrical, plumbing and HVAC also affect the price.

How much should I budget for a kitchen remodel?

As Home Advisor points out, the industry recommendation is to spend between 5% and 15% of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel. A home valued at $300,000 should budget for a kitchen remodel between $15,000 and $45,000. This national data also varies based on the size, scope, and materials of your renovation.

While most homeowners these days are more concerned with planning remodels for lifestyle than for resale values, this guidance keeps you from both under-budgeting and from spending too much. Greatly exceeding the appropriate spending level for your neighborhood can hinder your home’s ability to sell.

A Basic/minor kitchen remodel

(Costs between $10k-$15k and includes things like:)

  • Sink and faucet upgrades
  • Installing/replacing countertops with inexpensive materials (laminate, vinyl, tile)
  • Adding a tile backsplash
  • Refacing or refinishing your cabinets
  • Installing stock cabinets
  • Upgrading appliances
  • Painting walls/ceilings
  • Some ceiling and under-cabinet lighting

A mid-range kitchen remodel estimate

(Between $15K-$30K and features more upgrades:)

  • Countertops with higher-quality materials (stone, wood, metal)
  • Semi-custom cabinets
  • Building an island
  • High-end appliances
  • Recessed lighting/rewiring as needed
  • Flooring replacement

A high-end kitchen renovation

(Often starts at $30K+ with the greatest options and features:)

  • High-end EnergyStar and appliances
  • Granite (and comparable) countertops
  • Many options for sink and faucet replacement
  • Additional lighting
  • Structural changes
  • Hardwood and premium flooring choices
  • Custom built-in features
  • Full-custom cabinetry

What is the average cost to replace kitchen cabinets?

According to the national averages at HomeAdvisor, kitchen cabinet installation is between $2,000 and $8,000. New cabinets are available in stock, semi-custom, and full-custom – with varying prices. Cabinet refacing costs on average $4,000-$9,500, while refinishing averages $1,500-$4,000.



$75-$150 per linear foot.

Also known as builder’s grade, these mass-produced cabinets are cost-effective with quick lead times.


$100-$1,000 per linear foot.

Has the same sizes as stock with greater options for functional and aesthetic changes. Built to order, can add a month for the delivery timeframe.


$500-$1,000 per linear foot.

The broadest range of options and customization, including handmade specialty pieces. Extensive hardware, finishes, and details.

Kitchen cabinet refacing and refinishing

Refacing cabinets is a process where the old doors, drawer fronts, and hardware are removed, and new elements are selected to reinstall. Refinishing involves removing the same components for sanding, staining, and reinstallation.

How are kitchen remodeling costs being distorted?

Some of the bids you may receive are artificially low. There are re-modelers out there using cheap imports (usually from China) to cut corners to be the lowest bid. Quality always suffers.

While the shows on the home and garden channels are fun to watch, they often leave homeowners with some unrealistic expectations about the costs and time-frames involved with remodeling a home. While we’re fast, professional, and present the most minimal intrusion on your life, we take care to do it right. Our clients aren’t typically flipping a house for a television show but instead enjoying their new space for years to come.

How to start your kitchen remodel

Take some time to browse on Pinterest and Houzz. We speak both fluently and can help turn that Pinterest-fantasy kitchen into a reality. Also, read more about our home remodeling.

Start planning your budget. Remember to think of it in terms of a percentage of your home’s value.

Once you’ve got ideas and a budget, let’s talk. We can help you understand where your dreams and budget meet. We’ll also be able to explain the timeline for a project like yours, how we make it a pleasant experience, and additional ideas to minimize the impact on your life our professional crews will have.


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