The Best Time of Year for Different Remodeling Projects

Remodeling ProjectsWhen remodeling your home, timing is everything. You have to coordinate them with your own schedule–will you have time to be home when needed, or better yet, to get away from home when needed? But the time of year is also a key factor. The idea of doing outdoor work in the coldest part of winter or hottest parts of summer never seems ideal, but might also cost less than having similar projects done in milder months.

The truth is, the perfect time of year depends on a combination of the work you have in mind, your own schedule, and your climate. That said, certain projects and certain times of year just fit together. Here’s the best time of year for some common remodeling projects:

Adding a Sunroom – January

The whole concept seems wrong: why would you have a sunroom installed during one of the darkest, coldest months of the year? The idea having all that work done in the cold might sound uncomfortable, but winter is the best time of year for home additions like a sunroom. You can beat spring with all of its rainy days, which means the remodeling may take less time.  If you plan to build a new room, rather than convert an existing room into a sunroom, the lack of humidity makes for easier digging. And because winter is a slow period for most construction professionals, you may even be able to get a deal.

Replacement Window Installation – April or September

Most homeowners have replacement windows installed in the summer or winter, partly because that’s when they notice the need for replacement windows. They may notice that their windows are letting too much air in, that there’s a draft during the winter, or that the windows are hot to the touch during the summer. But the best plan is actually to have replacement windows installed in the spring or fall, and not just so that you can enjoy the benefits of new windows all summer and winter. It also tends to be cheaper, since again, there’s less demand for energy efficient windows in spring and fall.

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels – July

Interior home remodels can be distracting, so it helps your peace of mind to get away from home as often as you can while the work is being done. That’s why it’s a good idea to have bathroom and kitchen remodels done in the summer. Whether you go on vacation or just spend the day out while construction is going on, it helps you to stay sane and the workers to do their work undisturbed (though keep a phone on you in case the contractors need to reach you). Also, any roof work requires a certain amount of heat to seal it in, so often contractors prefer to do this kind of work in the summer.

The most popular time to have remodeling projects done is not always the best time. Often, you’ll benefit from the savings and efficiency of having the project done before the other work orders start to flood in. The right contractor can make sure that any home remodeling project is finished efficiently and comfortably, no matter what the time of year. Windham Construction has been in business in Brazos Valley for over 20 years. We’re home remodeling experts and we’re happy to share our expertise with you as you plan the perfect time for your remodeling projects. Contact us today for more information.

Painting the Kid’s Bedroom

Painting Your Kids RoomPainting your child’s bedroom can be one of the more fun home improvement projects to take on. It’s less mess and stress than remodeling the bathroom or having an addition added, and it’s a way to make your child smile hopefully. The one problem? Kids are constantly growing as they grow up. It’s hard to stay on top of their rapidly changing interests and preferences. Every child is different, so there’s not one formula that works for every child’s bedroom. However, there are certain key ages when it might be a good idea to revisit the bedroom.

Infant – Toddler

The nursery is the easiest child’s room to paint. The nursery decor tends to be more for the benefit of the parents than the kids–babies aren’t all that fussed about eggshell or matte. The standard nursery colors tend to be blue for a boy and pink for a girl, of course, but you don’t have to play by the rules. Maybe you want the baby’s gender to be a surprise, or you’re having twins–a boy and a girl. Yellow tends to be the most common gender neutral color. Maybe you don’t see why a pink nursery shouldn’t be perfect for your baby boy, or you just really like the color green. The best rule to follow her is to keep the decor soft. Pastel colors are the most popular choices for nurseries, because they’re calming for both babies and parents alike.

Ages 3-6

Kids at this age are their most imaginative. Their wacky ideas bounce off the walls, and they should have a fun, colorful room to keep them entertained. Don’t be afraid to get playful with your paint choices for this room. Some parents have even gone so far as to have a mural painted of their kid’s favorite animated movie. However, it’s also important to consider whether your child is likely to have this room long after they’ve outgrown their hobbies at this age. If you’re just going to have to paint over it in a few years, you might want to stick with a simple plan for the paint and then accentuate the wall with fun decorations. Bright, bold colors are best for this age.

Ages 7-11

At this age, the interests your kids develop might be likely to last longer than, well, a week. If they like sports, they’ll probably continue to like sports for a while. If they like space, it won’t hurt to nurture that interest. Again, keeping the room versatile with a solid color of paint and embellishing with decor might be the plan that costs you the least amount of hassle in the end. At this point, however, you should be able to have an idea of your child’s preferences. Try painting the room in their favorite color.

Tweens and Teens

Teenagers are more than capable of developing their own aesthetic–in fact, they’d quite prefer to do so. Your tween or teen might not want a race car shaped bed or stars on the walls, but they can easily tell you what they do want. Mind you, everything should be within reason, but it’s your teen that has to live in this room, so now is the time to ask them what they want. They may already have the plans all drawn up.

Regardless of your child’s age or design tastes, hiring a professional painter will remove much of the headache of the work from you–and your kids from that matter. Windham Construction has served Brazos Valley for over 20 years with a variety of home remodeling projects, including painting a fair number of kids’ bedrooms. We’re happy to help with your upcoming project and even help you find the perfect paint color. Contact us today and tell us what you need for your child’s bedroom.

Decorating Your Pergola for the Holidays

The Best Material for Deck Building in Central TexasYou might not think of making much use of your pergola this winter. While a pergola provides the perfect combination of shade and fresh air in spring and summer, winter tends to be a season for staying indoors. The idea of sitting under pergola in December, even in Texas, just doesn’t sound as good as curling up on the couch. But just because temperatures are starting to drop in College Station doesn’t mean your pergola should go to waste. In fact, it can be the perfect canvas for one of the most fun parts of the season: holiday decoration. Even if you stay inside this holiday season, decking the pergola with boughs of holly can give you something cheerful to view from the window. Here are some of the ways you can decorate your pergola this year:

Lights and Tinsel

The shape and structure of your pergola makes it the perfect place to string lights or tinsel. You can run Christmas lights along the beams or just let them fall in a graceful sheet hanging from the roof. Wrap some garland along the cedar legs or pin the tinsel to a deep red bow in the front center of the pergola. You can even combine the two, wrapping the lights around the tinsel that wraps around the pergola. It’s a simple decoration as most of us have a surplus of lights and tinsel tucked away in storage somewhere, but it can transform your pergola from a summer oasis to a slice of Christmas cheer. Hang a wreath here and there just to add to the feeling. Even on colder nights, your pergola might look so inviting that you won’t be able to help slipping out there for a bit with a wool cap and a cup of hot chocolate.

Holiday Focal Pieces

If your family room is tight on space, you can always move the Christmas tree out to the pergola. A well decorated Christmas tree on its own can transform the look of your pergola. Imagine how much better your Christmas tree will look in a pergola that’s already decked out for the big day. This is a great way to switch up a tradition that might have gotten a little stale for your family. If you’re religious, the pergola is also a great place to put a nativity scene or some hand-crafted Hanukkah decorations. For more general holiday decor, you could place poinsettias at the corners of the pergola or a large, light-filled yard display snowman. There are multiple holidays that can be celebrated in December, and your pergola is the perfect place to decorate for all of them.

Keep Warm

If your pergola is so beautifully decorated that you find yourself wanting to spend time there, despite the weather, keep things cozy with a fire pit. You can gather around with your family and roast marshmallows (or, of course, chestnuts), sing your favorite carols and talk about your favorite parts of the season. A fire pit will not only keep your pergola comfortable in winter, but it will add to that wonderful warm sweater feeling that so often comes with the holidays.

This season, we at Windham Construction hope you have a wonderful holiday season. If you want your own pergola to decorate for the holidays, or simply to enjoy at any time of year, contact us today. Our family has been serving Brazos Valley’s construction needs for over 20 years, whether those needs are deck or pergola construction or interior remodeling. We’d love to explain what we can do for your home this season or any time of year.

How Color Can Affect Your Home Office

Color has a strong effect on our moods. Brighter colors can make us more energized and alert, while soft or deep colors help us to relax. Warm colors evoke cozy, homey feelings, while cool colors can inspire us and help us to focus. So if you work from home, the color of your workspace matters. It can affect your energy level, your ability to focus, and even how productive you are throughout the day. Deciding what colors are best for your home office depends on the kind of work you do and the kind of feeling you want to evoke. Here are some of our favorite suggestions for home office colors and how they can transform your workspace and help you to get things done:

Green

Green is a color that screams creativity and inspiration. Green is an energetic color that can motivate you and help you to center in on the things you want to accomplish. While a bright green on the walls might be a little too distracting, even a light pastel green can make your workspace seem potent with ideas. On the other hand, you could paint the walls some other color but fill the room with accents of green. A green vase, green desk lamp, wall hanging, or green chair will give the room an extra pop. Houseplants are also a great way to incorporate green into your home office. These themes of green through the office will make your home office a place where you can focus and be more productive.

Blue

Let’s face it, your work can be stressful sometimes. Even when you love it, there are always things that you dread or days that are hard to get through. If your workspace gives the wrong vibe, it can make your workday even more tense. This is where blue can help. Blue is a naturally calming color, one that can help you to feel more at ease, no matter what your day throws at you. There’s a reason why most social media platforms use blue as the main color in their design. Blue draws the eye to it and creates a relaxing atmosphere. Deep warm colors can also help you to feel more comfortable, but usually in a cozy way that dissuades productivity. Blue is a great choice for home offices because it can clear your mind of tension and help you to focus.

Yellow

Sometimes the best way to boost your energy in your home office is to give your eyes a break from the monotony. Painting the walls a cheerful yellow will pleasantly surprise your senses and thus, make you feel more alert and focused. Yellow is also reminiscent of the sun, so a yellow workspace can help you feel energized during the workday, and maybe even sleep better at night. Yellow walls, yellow windowsills around the sunshiney window, or yellow plaques to fill the empty spaces on your bookshelf can all boost your productivity and make you feel a little happier in your home office.

If your home office needs a remodel, call Windham Construction at 979-324-8596. We have over 20 years of experience with home remodel and construction services in College Station and the Brazos Valley area. If you can’t decide on a color, we’ll try out different samples so you can see what you like best. Your home office should be a place where you want to get work done, not a place that distracts you from the work you have to do. We’ll help you realize its full potential.

3 Benefits to Painting Before You Move In

So, you scored the dream house. You already know that you’ll want to take down that outdated wallpaper and paint in the living room, the master bedroom, maybe even the kitchen. The question is when: do you paint before moving in or after? There are advantages to both options. Many homeowners feel they won’t be able to properly judge what color they want until they’ve lived in the space. Some have a short timeframe in which to move and have to save the paint job until after the move. However, if you can afford to wait, there are several benefits to painting before you move in.

It’s Easier

Painting is one of the easier home improvement projects, but it can still be a pain when you have a fully furnished room. Everything has to be tarped down so that paint doesn’t end up anywhere it shouldn’t (like your new sectional or rug). Things have to be moved back and forth so that you can cover the whole wall. You have to live with the smell of wet paint until it dries. But you can avoid all that by painting before you move in. In an empty room, you won’t have to worry about wall hangings or moving furniture. You’ll even have a little room to make a mess.

The ease of painting before you move in still comes in handy if you decide to hire a professional painter. The easier the job is for the painters, the less time it will take. The less time your paint job takes, the less you’ll be charged at the end of the day.

You Won’t Have to Live With Toxic VOCs

Remember that charming wet paint smell? That actually comes from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted into the air when you paint, and it can be pretty bad for you. Significant exposure to VOCs cause headaches and nausea, and it can even cause damage to your liver if you’re exposed to it for a long period of time. Fortunately, VOCs dissipate with time. If you paint your house before you move in, your air will be nice and clear again by the time you finally move in. And of course, it will smell a whole lot better.

It’s One Less Thing to Stress About

Moving can be a stressful process all the way through. Buying the home can be stressful, selling your old home and moving out can be stressful, and home remodeling can certainly be stressful, especially if you have to live through the remodel. So don’t. If you have all the painting and remodeling done to your new home before you move in, you can walk into a brand new space that’s already custom-remodeled to your tastes. Imagine walking into your home on move-in day and seeing a fresh, neat coat of paint. All you have to do is unpack and start enjoying your dream home.

You can also ease some of the stress of moving by trusting a professional like Windham Construction to take care of your paint jobs. Windham Construction has 20 years experience providing excellent home remodeling service to Bryan-College Station. They’ll take care of your paint job with ease and quality, so you don’t have to worry about it. Contact them today for a free estimate.

What Causes Window Leaks?

Tips on Window LeakingNow that the temperature is finally beginning to drop, you might start to notice that one or more of your windows has a leak. Window leaks can be small and easy to ignore, but they can cause big problems for your home. They can let in a draft and raise the cost of your HVAC bills or give small critters easy access to the interior of your home. In the worst case scenario, the moisture from outdoors can leak through your window and cause damage to your home in the form of mold, mildew, or rot. Window leaks are a pesky issue to have to address. So what causes window leaks anyway? Today we’ll get into a few of the most common reasons why your window might have a leak.

Cracking Caulk

One of the most common causes of leaky windows is caulk that’s past its prime. The caulk around your window is used to give it an airtight seal even in the midst of bad weather. But even good caulk will eventually start to deteriorate.  When that happens, draft is able to leak through the cracks. If you notice your caulk cracking, it might be tempting to cover it with newer seal, but that cracking speaks to the structure of your caulk as a whole. It’s better to take the whole thing out when you notice it going bad and simply replace it.

Faulty Glass

Caulk isn’t the only kind of seal that your window should have. You may notice moisture between the glass panes of your window. Even if it doesn’t leak to the other side of your window (in the form of window condensation), it’s still a bad sign for your home’s insulation. Your glass is letting in too much moisture, cold air, and probably hot air during the warmer months. This can cause your HVAC use to spike. If you’re the kind of person who cares about your carbon footprint–or just saving money on energy bills–you may want to consider switching to a more energy efficient window.

Weather Damage

Heavy rains and wind can wear down the insulation of your window. Whether it’s the structure of the glass, the window frame, or eroding the caulk, if you don’t have sturdy windows prepared for extreme weather, you’re going to have leaks. It’s also important to make sure the rest of the house is doing its job to protect your windows. Take a look at your gutters. Are they clogged? Clean them out. Are they broken? Repair them. If your gutters don’t do their part to funnel rainwater away from the house, that storm damage is poured onto your window, causing disastrous effects. But even the extreme heat of summer can have an effect on the structure of the window, so make sure you have a sturdy, energy efficient window.

If you frequently have a problem with window leaks, it may be time to switch to new windows. Windham Construction provides sturdy, airtight windows in a wide variety of tints, colors, and openings. These windows will improve the look and insulation of your home at the same time. Windham Construction has over 20 years of experience providing home remodeling service to the Bryan-College Station area. They’re experts at remodeling and window installation. Contact them today for a free estimate for your window installation.

Timeless Trends for Your Upcoming Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodeling Redesign TrendsChances are that kitchen design trends have changed a few dozen times since the last time you remodeled your kitchen. It’s even possible that by the time you finish your kitchen remodel, trends will have changed again. But not every kitchen design trend is either fleeting or granite. In the past few years, several have emerged that don’t seem in a hurry to disappear any time soon. Here are some trends you can trust for your upcoming remodel:

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops have been in the spotlight lately as a popular alternative to granite countertops. They have similar shine, character, and class but their smooth surface, non-porous surface is easier to clean and maintain. You’re also dealing with one of the strongest materials on earth when you install a quartz countertop, so you know that this counter will stand the test of time.

Open Kitchen

More and more, people are gravitating towards opening the kitchen up to allow for a more spacious, laid back vibe. Tearing down the wall and opening the kitchen into the dining room or living room helps the space feel more communal, and it’s great for entertaining. Talk to your construction worker about whether the wall dividing the kitchen from the rest of the house is load-bearing. If it is, you can’t tear it down, but you might be able to install an arch or something similar so you can still talk to your friends or watch the kids from the kitchen.

Glass Cabinet Doors

Another way to help your kitchen feel more open and airy: glass door cabinets. Glass cabinet doors are convenient for newly reorganized kitchens and offer a simple elegant style that seems determined to stay. Of course, transparent cabinet doors might not be convenient for every cabinet in your house. If you need to hide certain dishes, you can always alternate between glass and traditional or choose colored glass doors for a more unique approach.

Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands have been coveted design choices for years in the kitchen design industry, and they’re still going strong. An island offers the added prep space that a peninsula offers, but it makes the kitchen easier to navigate–and looks good, too. You can even put stools around the island to combine your kitchen and dining space, or just offer guests a place to hang out. Kitchen trends may be quick to change, but so far nothing’s come to replace the convenience and style that can be found with a kitchen island.
If you’re remodeling your kitchen in Brazos Valley this fall, contact Windham Construction for an estimate. Twenty years of quality local service makes Windham Construction experts in the remodeling industry, including kitchen remodels. They’ll involve you in the process every step of the way. Whether you want cutting edge trends or a timeless look for the ages, Windham will use your feedback and requests to help transform your kitchen into a new room, one that fits your family’s needs and your sense of style now.

4 Reasons to Hire a Professional Painter

Professional PainterPaint is the easiest way to give a room new life. It’s more affordable than a full-fledged renovation, and sometimes more effective. Just adding color to the walls, or changing the existing color, can totally change the way the room looks and feels. It’s cheaper than a full-fledged renovation, simpler, and often more effective. Because of this, it is often considered a DIY project. While painting the room yourself might be cheaper, there are still a few reasons to hire a professional painting team for the job.

The Benefits of Expertise

Professional painters do this work every day, and they know it inside and out. They know what safety equipment they need, how much prep needs to be done, and how long the work will take. And because they have years of experience and hours each day to devote to the job, they can finish the work more efficiently than a homeowner who has a job and schedule of their own. A professional painter can even suggest sample swatches to help you choose the best color for your room.

Quality Work

Painting is more complicated than it might first appear. You have to prep, sometimes prime, and protect the floor and furniture from any mess. It’s easy to make a mistake, whether by missing a spot or getting paint where it shouldn’t be. With a professional painter, you can be sure that you’re getting quality work and service, from the beginning of the prep work until the room is finished. When a professional has their reputation on the line, their goal is to make sure you have no complaints, so you know you can expect excellence.

Added Security

As with any renovation, accidents happen. Hiring a professional painter isn’t just safer for the painters, who will have all the equipment to protect themselves as they work; it’s also safer for your home. Licensed, insured professional painters will cover any damage done to the home in the midst of their work. It’s important to note, however, that not all painters are insured and not all insurances work the same way. Make sure to discuss insurance with a painting professional before hiring them.

You Can Relax

Painting takes time, precaution and detailed, sometimes tedious work. Although it seems like a simple job on the outset, painting is often more stress-inducing than most homeowners anticipate. Hiring a professional to paint your room saves you time and stress because they’ll take care of everything. All you have to do is sit back and watch the results.

If you need remodeling done as well as painting in Brazos Valley, it’s an especially good idea to hire Windham Construction. Whether you need a new coat of paint on your walls, fences, trim, or a whole remodel for your kitchen, bathroom, or deck, get it all from the same source. Contact Windham Construction today for an estimate.

What Kind of Windows Should You Use In Your Remodel?

Most of us don’t think about the kind of windows we have until we need to. We just look through them. Then a window breaks, or we add a room to our house, and suddenly we’re shopping for new windows. With all the options available, it’s easy to wonder, “Does it matter?”

 

The answer is yes. The right windows will help insulate and protect your home, even in the coldest and hottest times of year or the biggest storms. The right window will add value to your home, while a poor window will make you pay in utilities to make up for the poor insulation. Here are some ways to ensure your windows are airtight and prepared for everything.

Choose Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows have two sashes that are both movable. The top sash moves down while the bottom sash moves up. Double-hung windows are known for their airtight quality. The limited latches allow you to open the window just enough to enjoy the breeze on a nice day without any danger of small children getting out or unwanted guests coming in. The double sashes and full screen strengthen the insulation of these windows, keeping cold air out in chilly or windy weather.

Go Vinyl For Your Frames

Vinyl is a great option for your window frames for several reasons, the first being that it’s more affordable than most other window frames. Vinyl window frames also include UV stabilizers to protect them from the most harmful rays of the sun. They have better moisture resistance than wood frames and don’t conduct heat in the way aluminium frames do. There’s also room in the cavities of vinyl frames to include additional insulation.

Keep Your Windows Low-E

With so many attempts to be “energy efficient,” the fact that technology has given us energy efficient windows shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s certainly a welcome advancement. Energy efficient windows will help your carbon footprint and help you save money on your utilities. Look for advanced low-E insulating glass to keep your home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and avoid any annoying drafts.

 
If you’re installing new windows, make sure to talk to a local professional construction group first. They can give you all the best tips for windows that will add value to your home rather than discomfort and a higher utility bill. Windham Construction has served the Brazos Valley area for over twenty years and they’re committed to excellence. Contact them today for a free quote.

An Energy Efficient Roof to Cool Down Your House

Home Renovation – Pergolas, Decks and More for a Backyard PoolSeptember may be upon us, but if you’ve lived in Texas for very long, you know that the hot temperatures aren’t quite finished with us yet. How has your utilities bill looked this summer? Was it higher than you were comfortable with? Did it feel like you had to crank up the air conditioning just to feel comfortable in your own home on the hottest days of the year? Believe it or not, the problem (or the solution) could be your roof. The type of roof you have over your home can determine how much heat is conducted into your home and, subsequently, how much air conditioning you’ll need to keep the place cool. Here are some tips for keeping your home cool from the top down.

Insulation

As with anything else, having proper insulation will help solve the problem by about 10-15%. Make sure that the ceiling beneath your roof is insulated and that the insulation is still in good shape and doesn’t need replacement. Insulation will help solve the problem and save you a bit on energy costs, but it won’t completely solve the problem. For that, you’ll need to focus on remodeling your roof, starting with a new color.

Color

You probably already know to wear lighter colors during the summer rather than darker colors to keep yourself cool. You might have learned this in school, or it might just be years of practice. Sunlight reflects off of lighter colors like white and yellow and is absorbed into black and dark blues. The more sunlight your outfit absorbs, the hotter and stuffier you’ll feel. The same goes for the color of your roof. A dark-colored roof will absorb heat, which will seep into your house, making it feel stuffy. A light roof color, such as a light gray, will reflect the sunlight and stay only a few degrees hotter than it is outside. If you have a dark roof, you can use a cool roof coating, a thick paint used to reflect sunlight and protect the roof from harmful UV rays, to cool it down.

Roofing Materials

You’ve no doubt felt at some point how hot an asphalt road can feel in the heat of summer. The asphalt on a shingled roof is similar. Asphalt roofs will absorb the sunlight that hits the roof and significantly raise the temperature of your home. On the other hand, consider using an energy efficient metal that conducts sunlight back into the atmosphere, keeping your home cool and your utilities bill low. The light color and reflective surface of the metal work to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it as asphalt will.

 

If you feel you need a more energy efficient, cool roof for your home, talk to an experienced contractor about the next steps to take.  With 20 years of experience serving Brazos Valley, Windham Construction can give you the best advice to keep your roof cool and your energy bill low.