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.



Watching the Night Sky in Brazos Valley

Watching the Night Sky in Brazos Valley

On August 21, the whole country will be able to view the first solar eclipse in 99 years. The eclipse won’t reach complete cover over Texas even at the maximum view, but it will still be a beautiful thing to witness (provided you have the right glasses). You can view this once-in-a-lifetime wonder from your own deck between the hours of 11am and 2pm. But even after the eclipse, you can still find beautiful night sky views in Brazos Valley, if you know where to look.

Lake Bryan

One tip for getting the best view of the stars is to get as far away from the bustle of the city as possible. Streetlights, bright signs, and even house lights, all contribute to light pollution, which distorts our view of the stars. Simply put, the further you are from manmade lights, the more stars you’ll be able to see. For this reason, Lake Bryan is a favorite spot for stargazers. It has a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for driving the RV up and camping out for the night. Just spread out a blanket and enjoy the sky full of beautiful stars. You may have to wait until late at night, however, as Lake Bryan has the Lakeside Icehouse & Grill which can cause some commotion and light pollution.

Attend a Star Party

This is the perk of living in or near a college town: Mitchell Institute and the Texas A&M Astronomy Club frequently host star parties for stargazing enthusiasts. These events are held in Simpson Drill Field Review Stands, so you can still see the stars as we see them from the ground, but the astronomy groups also provide computerized telescopes for a closer view. These parties offer a chance not only to look at far away galaxies, but also a view of our moon’s craters and Jupiter and its 67 moons. “This gives people an opportunity to look up and appreciate the sky because everyone takes it for granted,” says physics major, Caitlin Campbell.

Your Own Deck

You don’t have to leave home and find high-tech gadgets to appreciate the stars. Sometimes the best view is the one from your own backyard. Just dim the lights of your home and step outside with a glass of wine or beer and look up. You can familiarize yourself with the constellations that you see every night, have friends over to stargaze with you, or just enjoy a quiet moment between yourself and the much larger universe.  There’s no pay to view, there’s no waiting for the perfect time or place. The perfect time or place is your deck at the back of your own home.

When you’re ready to have a deck installed, find a local construction group who are experts in the area that you can count on to create the perfect deck for outdoor relaxation. Take a look at some of the decks constructed or renovated by Windham Construction. If you like what you see, call them for an estimate of the cost and the time it will take to construct.

Can You Handle a Fixer Upper?

Can You Handle a Fixer Upper?

Fixer uppers are all the rage, at least on home improvement shows. There are multiple shows centered around the same premise: instead of buying an expensive, move-in ready home, save money by buying a home that needs a little love and fixing it up. And surely, renovating a fixer upper can be a great way to put your personal stamp on your new home. However, the intimidation towards buying a home that needs renovations is not without cause. It can be a daunting task that leaves many home buyers wondering, “Is it even worth it?”

The answer is...sometimes. In many cases, buying a cheap fixer upper that just needs cosmetic renovations can be much cheaper than buying a move-in ready home. In other cases, though, the home needs to be gutted to be functional or is in such bad shape that the cost to renovate is far more than the cost of a move-in ready house. Know the difference. Hire a home inspector before buying so they can give you a clear picture of everything you’ll be getting into with this house. If the cost of the house and the cost of the renovations combined is still cheaper than move-in ready houses on the market, a fixer upper could be a good opportunity for you.

The other thing to take into consideration is time. Renovating a home can be disruptive and stressful and can last for weeks or months, depending on the work that needs to be done. If you’re in no hurry to move into your new home, you won’t have to worry about living with it. If you need to move sooner rather than later, you might find yourself in a home that feels more like a disaster zone. It’s a good idea to get an estimate from a construction professional before making any major decisions so you know how much time renovations will take and whether you have that time.

Some homeowners choose to do their own renovations to save money. However, not all homeowners have the skill or the time to put into that work. In most cases, it’s best to hire a local professional. You can know that your renovations are being done by someone who knows what to look for and what best to do, and you can be relieved from the stress of having to do the work yourself. Some construction groups even include design services, so you can get a jump-start on your interior design, as well.

Renovating a fixer upper is never easy. If you decide to take on the task, you have to be prepared for a good amount of cost and chaos. A local construction group who knows Brazos Valley well and has a dedication to quality can help take some of the edge off. And sometimes, the good outweighs the stress and all of that mess of a renovation can lead to your new life in the house of your dreams.

Tips for Staying Cool this Summer

Tips for Staying Cool this Summer

The long-range forecast shows that we’re going to have a lovely summer. There will be plenty of sun and a few clouds to cool things down just a touch.  There are some great ways to keep cool and have fun outdoors this summer.

Find some shade

One way to enjoy the outdoors without overheating is to stay in the shade. If you don’t have mature trees in your yard, don’t worry. There are other options.

  • A sunroom/screened porch: If you have a screened in porch or a sunroom, you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while being protected from the sun and mosquitos. They’re a fun and safe place for your kids to play as well.
  • A pergola: A simple structure that adds shade and beauty to your yard and is great for family cookouts. While many pergolas are open at the top, you can have a roof added to it. Otherwise, there are many vining plants that will fill in the top of the pergola to provide shade.
MedicineNet.com lists several ways to keep cool during the summer. These include:
  1. Switch up your workout routine by going out early in the morning. If it’s hard for you to get out of bed extra early, you can try going in the evening. It tends to be a little warmer in the evening than the morning, but at least you won’t be in direct sunlight. MedicineNet.com also says that if you can’t workout at a cooler time of day, you should lower your level of exertion. Maybe take a brisk walk instead of a run.
  2. Wear loose fitting, light colored, cotton clothing. Cotton will often keep you cooler than synthetics, loose fitting clothes allow air flow, and light colors reflect some of that heat away from you.
  3. Put a spray bottle of water in the fridge and some bottled water in the freezer. The spray of cold water can keep you cooled down, and if you take a bottle of frozen water with you when you’re going out, you’ll have nice cool water when the weather is at its hottest.
  4. Remember that alcohol can lead to dehydration. Don’t drink alcohol when you’re out in the heat and if your friends do, make sure they drink water as well. Alcohol can leave a person feeling like they aren’t thirsty when they are getting dehydrated. That’s why it’s dangerous to drink alcohol in hot weather.
  5. Be reasonable. If it’s too hot, you should probably stay indoors. That doesn’t mean you have to stay home. There are a lot of activities around Bryan-College Station that don’t involve staying out in the heat.

I hope this was helpful for you. Our weather here in College Station is always beautiful and that’s why so many of us want to spend time outdoors. Just remember to stay hydrated and use some common sense when you’re out in the heat this summer. Have fun this summer!

How to Have an Amazing Home Renovation in College Station, TX

How to Have an Amazing Home Renovation in College Station, TX

If you’re looking to do a renovation on your house or even doing a bath and kitchen remodel, it’s good to know what steps you need to take to make it all work out perfectly. Whether your home remodel is in Brazos Valley or in the Bryan-College Station area, there are some things you need to consider before having your home remodeled.

If You Have a Strict Budget

Sometimes your eyes can be a little bigger than your bank account. You see a beautiful home in a magazine and you want your home to look like that. However, you may not be able to afford to make all of the changes at once. At the same time, there’s no point in living in a home that doesn’t make you happy. If you want to have a wonderful home, but you are on a budget, you have options.

Get a contractor to give you an estimate on everything you want to be done, but also ask the contractor how much each part of the project will cost. You may only be able to afford a kitchen remodel now, but later you may be able to add a bathroom remodel and other work around the house.

Finding the Right Contractor in Brazos Valley

If you live in Brazos Valley you should be concerned with finding a local contractor that really knows the area. While other cities may have many building contractors that will meet your expectations, Brazos Valley doesn’t have a big city like Dallas with a lot of contractors. Since your choices are limited, you need to do your research.

Questions to ask a contractor:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you live around here?
  • Can I see pictures of previous jobs you’ve done?

Each of these questions is important. You don’t want to put your money in the hands of a newbie. Yes, we all want people that are just starting out to succeed, but no one wants to be one of the first customers of a construction company that hasn’t constructed anything. Don’t feel sorry for them. They can have family hire them at first. You go and find an experienced contractor.

A local contractor is important as well. If he lives and works in the area, he has connections in the community. He can get things done right, with eh right materials and people, faster than someone that isn’t from around here.

Hiring a builder to do work around your home requires trust. You have to trust them with your home and your money. Make sure to only hire someone that you know will do the best work. When you’re hiring a construction company to work for you, ask yourself one question: Do I trust this team to do the work the right way?  If you hire someone out of sympathy because their business doesn’t seem to be working well, you’ll soon see why their business isn’t working well. You need an excellent builder to work for you.

The Best Material for Deck Building in Central Texas

The Best Material for Deck Building in Central Texas

Have you ever left something brightly colored out in the sun like a throw pillow on a lawn chair?  It probably didn’t take long to fade. In Texas, we get a lot of sunshine.  College Station often has hot and sunny summers that seem to start early and end late. That’s a consideration for when you’re going to start an outdoor project. The materials you use need to stand up to the sun and heat, but then also to times when the rain decides to fall and temperatures drop.

Wood loses its color and even treated wood will eventually give in to the elements. There is another option. Resin provides the look of wood, but it lasts much longer. With a polyresin deck, there’s less maintenance because you don’t have to stain it or sand down splinters.

The benefits of resin decks

Resin decks are gaining popularity because they last. They also look like wood. Instead of just having a wood colored coating, the color goes through the entire board. That means that you don’t have to worry about scratches on the surface being noticeable.

While wood is beautiful, it has its downfalls. It can rot, lose color, and splinter. While the gray color of faded wood has its charms, it often comes with damage. Wood decks require regular maintenance if they’re going to last.

Polyresin decks and handrails are able to stand up to the weather. They don’t rot and they keep their color. For a deck that will stand the test of time, resin is an excellent choice.

Wooden decks - the industry standard

Natural wood has its benefits as well. When well cared for, it can last a long time. Using the right kind of wood is important for a long-lasting deck.

An article on Bob Villa.com has some great advice for maintaining your wooden deck. Natural materials require extra care. Wooden decks may require a lot more maintenance than polyresin, but they can last a long time if treated properly. The Bob Villa article give great details for the do’s and don’ts of caring for a wooden deck. By following advice like what you’ll find in that article, you’ll ensure a longer lasting wooden deck.

If you’re not sure which material is best for you, looking at samples and pictures of both kinds of decks might be the right move.  When looking at polyresin decks, make sure to find pictures of the exact material you’re going to use because there are multiple kinds. Ask your builder for more details about resin decks.

A deck is a beautiful way to add value and functionality to your home and outdoor space. When looking for a deck builder, make sure they know about all available products like resin. An experienced professional will be able to help you make the right decision for your home. Not only do you want a beautiful deck, you want one that lasts. Resin is lower maintenance and will last a long time, but with enough effort, you can make wooden decks last as well.

Father’s Day Gift Idea

Father’s Day Gift Idea

Father’s Day is coming soon and that got me thinking about unique Father’s Day gifts. With all that dads tend to do around the house, even if they aren’t so handy, it’s nice to give them a break from time to time. Why not give your dad the gift of checking off some of the work on his “honey do” list?

You can volunteer to do some of the work for him, or you could hire a professional. Here are some services that will take some of the load off of your dad.

Painting

While your dad is probably fully capable of buying paint and using a paintbrush, painting is time consuming. Also, what if the color he buys isn’t exactly what he pictured for the room?  If you hire professional painters, they can bring samples so you see what the actual color will be.

Hiring professionals to do the painting for you is especially helpful if there are high walls or if there’s wallpaper that needs to be removed first.

Deck Building

Building a deck looks easy enough. The problem is that it’s a lot of work for one person and getting it right may be more complicated than it seems. If your dad has been wanting to build a deck, you could surprise him with a crew of professionals willing to do the work for him. Your dad can sit back and relax while they do all the work. When they’re done, you’ll have a delightful place for family barbeques.

We’re located in College Station, Texas. Out here, our summers can be a bit harsh. If you hire a professional builder, he can tell you your options for building a deck that can endure the worst weather Texas can throw at it.

Arbors/Pergolas

An arbor is another job your dad may be considering, but just hasn’t gotten around to doing yet. While an arbor may look even easier to build than a deck, it requires precision to get it right. Also, it requires some climbing on ladders and a lot of lifting. Save your dad’s back by hiring professionals to do the work for him.

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

If your dad is handy, he may be able to remodel a kitchen on his own. However, there’s a lot of heavy lifting involved. Also, a lot of different skill sets are needed. How much easier and faster would it be for a professional crew to handle?  Your dad’s new kitchen will be ready a lot sooner if you send in some help.

Bathroom remodels may seem easier than kitchens, but there’s still a lot of time consuming work. If you hire professionals to do the work for your dad, he’ll have a functioning and beautiful new bathroom in no time.

Sure, your dad may be able to do the work himself, but doesn’t he deserve a little time off?  Hiring a service to take some of the work load could be the perfect Father’s Day gift for your dad.