Tips for Finding the Right Remodeling Contractor

You don’t want to trust just anyone with a remodeling project. After all, this is going to be someone who tears apart at least one room in your house before putting it back together in a new, improved way. Misplace your trust and you could have a disaster on your hands. You need someone with experience, not just experience doing the job but experience providing customer satisfaction. But with so many contractors available how do you choose the right one?

Ask Your Friends and Family

Before you start perusing the yellow pages or prowling online directories, ask your friends and family for referrals. Did your sister recently have her kitchen remodeled? Do you have any friends in the real estate business who might know someone? Put a blanket request for recommendations out to your social media and see what responses you get. Not only will this save you time in searching for contractors and narrowing them down, but this way, you already have at least one trusted source vouching for them.

Do Your Research

Once you have a list of recommendations, look them up. Check out their website and go through their list of services as well as their story and their experience. You should also check review sites to make sure that everything they say about themselves on their website holds up. Some will be general review sites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, or Google reviews, while others might be home improvement specific sites like Porch or Houzz. You want to find contractors with an A or A+ rating on BBB, and preferably a few awards that show they have a commitment to quality.

Do a Few Interviews

Have you narrowed down your list at all? Now it’s time to pick up the phone and conduct a few interviews. Have your questions in mind before you call. Your questions are up to you, but you should be able to describe the work you need done. Ask if your work is something they can do, if they have any references (whether from suppliers and financial institutions or past clients…or preferably both), how many projects they handle at once, if they work with subcontractors and how long they’ve worked with those subcontractors. Once you’ve talked to them on the phone and checked references, meet them in person to get a better idea of how they do business and what they can do for you.

Get a Quote

If you think you’ve decided, it’s time to get a quote. For your quote, the contractor will come out and visit the site, get a full idea of the work you need done, and present an estimated quote for materials and labor. Even if you still have a few options, this is the best time to get a quote, as the quote might be the deciding factor in who you want to go with. Keep in mind that the cheapest option is not always the best option. You don’t want to be overcharged but high quality work is worth paying for.

Sign the Contract

Once you’ve decided, it’s time for a contract to be drawn up and signed. By now, you’ve researched this company thoroughly and should be confident that you can trust them with your home for your remodeling. Congratulations!

If you’re looking for a remodeling contractor in Bryan-College Station, look no further than Windham Construction. With over 20 years of experience in the area, we take on a number of remodeling projects, both outside and in, and we’re committed to your satisfaction. Check out our reviews and contact us to set up a meeting or a quote.

4 Reasons to Remodel

As we move further into spring, many homeowners are considering remodeling. Are you one of them? There are multiple reasons to remodel: it’s not always to fix an obvious problem. Sometimes remodeling simply reflects your new tastes or makes room for new changes in your life. Sometimes it’s just a way to be more comfortable in your home. Whatever your reason, a quality contractor can make the process comfortable and the finished work exactly what you dreamed of.

Here are a few of the most common reasons for remodeling:

The Old Room Doesn’t Work Anymore

If it is broke, fix it. This is the most obvious reason for remodeling. It could be that the room was damaged due to a flood, leak, fire, or other catastrophe. It could be that the setup or appliances in the room all desperately need updating. Or it could simply be that your tastes have changed over the years. Maybe blue used to be your favorite color, but now you’d love to have a yellow kitchen. Remember that you don’t need a “big reason” to remodel. If you feel it’s time for a change and the old room isn’t doing anything for you, change it.

Changes to the Family

In many cases when homeowners find they’re expecting a new addition to the family, it’s time for a room addition. However, it’s possible that you already have a room in your house that can be converted into a nursery. Maybe that home office or workout room never got used, or maybe a roommate moved out some time ago. Sometimes the change is just a matter of changing the furniture around, but to make the nursery really feel homey, a full remodel or at least paint job is a good idea. On the other hand, maybe your baby’s all grown up and ready to move out, and now you’re considering a number of options for their old room. Maybe now you need a workout room, or you’re thinking of installing a sunroom. There are a number of options which could call for a remodel.

Add Value to Your Home

Is it time to move? Maybe it’s not time yet but you know it will be before long. In that case, you may want to do some remodeling to make sure that your home is ready for the next family who lives there. Maybe the way it is now works for you and your family, but all new updates and current design trends will draw the eye of potential buyers and help you raise your home value.

Eco-Friendly Updates

Trying to go green? Remodeling with low maintenance materials that have low toxicology impacts can help. You can have energy efficient windows installed or switch to something like recycled glass tiles in your kitchen or bathroom. Eco-friendly updates not only help you reduce your carbon footprint but boost value to your home. Just remember to recycle old appliances like toilets, sinks, and light fixtures. This way they won’t end up in a landfill, and organizations like Habitat for Humanity will always be willing to make use of them.

Whatever your reason for a remodel, trust Windham Construction in Brazos Valley and our 20 years of experience. We can help you with energy efficient updates and quality finishes for remodels both inside and out. Contact us today for more information.

3 Ways to Prepare for Your Remodeling Consultation

When you’re in need of general remodeling, you’ll first have to schedule a consultation with the construction company. Most contractors offer this consultation for free in order to get an idea of what you need and what they can offer before making any commitments. In this consultation, you’ll discuss cost, the work, and the contractor’s certifications that enable them to take on the project. But between the time the consultation is scheduled and the time it takes place, you’ll need to do some preparation yourself. Here are a few tips to prepare for your remodeling consultation.

Plot out an Informed Budget

Before the consultant arrives, have an idea of what you can afford. You may research costs of similar remodeling projects in your area so as to be better informed. It may be wise to set a budget for slightly lower than you can comfortably afford, so that if throughout the course of the project you have to go a little over budget, you won’t break the bank in doing so. Even with a skilled professional, often in remodeling projects it’s best to expect the unexpected.

Brainstorm Design Ideas

Knowing that you need remodeling work done is not the same as knowing exactly what you want for your remodeling work. Of course, your remodeling contractors are the professionals, but they’re not mind readers. You should still be able to present an idea to them during the consultation of what you’d like. Many homeowners will cut out excerpts from design magazines or even create a Pinterest board to give the consultant an idea of the look they want. These design ideas should tie into your budget so make sure you have an idea of what they cost. If you have a tight budget, you may not be able to afford marble countertops or high tech kitchen sinks. Be imaginative, but be practical, too.

Research the Construction Company

And of course, you want to do your homework on the construction company before you make a final decision to hire them for your remodeling project. Most of this research, such as looking up customer reviews and perusing their website, should be done before you schedule a consultation, but you can continue to research the company after that point as well. How much experience do they have in your area? What’s their BBB rating? Are they insured and bonded? Think of a list of questions to ask the consultant on the day of the consultation. Write them down so you won’t forget anything.

Windham Construction has been providing construction work, including general remodeling, to Brazos Valley and the surrounding areas for over 20 years. We’d love to set up a free consultation to discuss your next remodeling project and what we can do to help. Contact us today for more information.

The Importance of Airtight Windows

How much air do your windows let in?

You may not have given it much thought before. Your windows are closed, after all, and the seal seems to be working. But how much air is leaking through the glass, either into your home or out? Every window has some amount of Air Leakage, or the rate at which air leaks through the glass. The scale for functional windows runs from .1 to .3. The lower the number, the less air leaks through your windows. If your AL number is too high, this could lead to higher energy bills and even damage to your walls or home.

Here’s why it’s so important to have airtight windows that let in the least amount of air.

Home Comfort

If your windows let too much air leak in or out of your home, your insulation will be poor, and you’ll be able to feel that inside. You may notice a draft in a particular room in the winter. Since air can leak outside the home as well, it may be that you have to turn the heating units up higher in order to feel the desired amount of home heating because the hot air keeps escaping outside. In the summer, your home may become stuffy and uncomfortable. Neither of these conditions are acceptable for your home. You should feel more comfortable at home than anywhere else. When you don’t, it may lead you to using more energy to make up the difference.

Energy Efficiency

If your windows leak too much air, you may find yourself cranking the heating or air systems in order to feel more comfortable at home. If you feel more comfortable in the moment, you can rest assured that you won’t feel comfortable when the energy bills start to come in. While some homeowners may be inclined to wait until the window is obviously broken to replace it, this could cost them more in the end because of high HVAC and energy bills. An airtight window, on the other hand, can save you hundreds each year.

Unwanted Guests

One of the first hints of windows with a high AL rate is window condensation. Moisture may start to form on the glass, the window frame, and the nearby walls where the cold air meets the warm air inside your home. Not only is window condensation unsightly but it can lead to problems like mold and mildew if it’s not nipped in the bud. But window condensation isn’t the only unwanted guest you might have to contend with. If the seal on your window isn’t secure, your window may be letting in bugs and pests which can quickly become comfortable in your home. With a good seal and window glass that has a low AL rate, you can keep all of these issues out of your home and your peace of mind.

At Windham Construction, we understand the importance of airtight windows. That’s why we offer efficient windows that help you retain the air inside your home while keeping drafts out. If you feel air passing through your window, contact us today about a repair or a replacement.

Tips for Surviving a Winter Interior Paint Job

No one likes living with paint fumes at any time of year, but when you have interior painting done in winter, they can be especially challenging. During winter, we go out less, and open the windows far less. That means the air can become stale and strong scents from paint fumes hang in the air for longer. During winter, you may also have less excuse to go out, which means you could be home for most of the work.

But if you can stand it, there are advantages to having painting jobs done in winter. You may be able to take advantage of sales and discounts offered during winter because demand is lower. You’ll have more freedom when it comes to scheduling and your pick of the right painting professionals. Even the challenges can be avoided or lessened with these tips.

Get Rid of Wall Condensation

If you have a problem with wall condensation, or damp forming on the interior walls during winter, you need to take care of that before painters arrive. Walls need to be dry before paint is applied or you may have issues getting it to stick or dry. Wall condensation is difficult to avoid without adding insulation to your home or ventilating (which is typically less than ideal in cold weather), but you can keep it to a minimum by turning on vent fans in the kitchen or bathroom and leaving space between the furniture and the wall so air can circulate along the wall. If it’s a persistent problem, you may want to have your HVAC or insulation problems sorted out before you schedule the painters to come in.

The Earlier, the Better

When you schedule a time to start the job, aim as early as possible. Of course, when you hire professionals to do the job, they typically prefer to work during the day, but when it comes to painting in winter, the earlier you start the better. Days tend to be short in winter, and you need as much light as possible for painting. If the bulk of the job is done in the morning and early afternoon, too, you may have more opportunity to get away from the house and the fumes that come with the paint job.

Break out the Fans

Vent fans, standing fans, even hand fans will come in handy here. Using fans will not only help the walls to dry more quickly, but move offer relief from the paint fumes so you can breathe easily in your home while waiting for it to dry. If you can, get away from the house for a bit, or just step outside to take in some fresh air before going back to the site. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to breathe in some air that doesn’t smell like paint while the professionals do what they do best.

Having interior paint jobs done in winter can have pros and cons, but as with most things, a professional team will make the process easier. At Windham Construction, we have over 20 years of experience serving Brazos Valley with a number of home remodeling projects, including painting. We can offer tips and materials that will make breathing through your winter paint job more bearable, and even put up paint samples to help you choose the right color. Give us a call at 979-324-8596 for more information or a free quote.

Renovating Your Home Before You Sell

When you’re planning to sell your home, there’s undoubtedly one key thing on your mind: increasing your home’s value. The housing market fluctuates so rapidly that most homeowners have to actively make an effort to get an ROI on their home, let alone managing to sell it for considerably more than it was worth when they bought it. Renovating your home is one way to ensure that you increase your home value, especially if you’ve lived there for more than a couple years. It’s likely that home appliances and technology has updated since you moved in, so updating your home or even just giving it a fresh new look will give it a competitive edge when you decide to put it on the market.

Research the Current Trends

Do you know what paint colors are “in” right now? What about the latest advances in replacement windows or doors? What are the features buyers most look for in a kitchen these days? Chances are, this isn’t information that you know off-hand, so it won’t hurt to do a quick google search and seek inspiration from the current home improvement trends. Remember that different trends work for different housing styles and regions. For instance, a bungalow in College Station may have completely different standards of what works and doesn’t than a high rise apartment in New Jersey.

Spot the Problem Areas

You can probably already think of a few problem areas in your home since, well, you live there. There might be those little things that always bothered you but you just didn’t have time to have them fixed or renovated. This might be ugly wallpaper or a few scratches on the floor in the living room. It might be something more serious, like a leak. Regardless of the severity of the problem, now is the time to have them fixed. Go through your home and make a list of the problem areas so you know what to focus on for renovations.

Hire a Pro

If you’re planning to sell your house, you have enough to worry about…like selling your home and buying a new one. You also want to make sure that your renovation is done well and with a high quality finish before you start showing your home to potential buyers. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire remodeling professionals and let them handle the work. It also might save you money in case anything goes wrong, because remodeling professionals are insured. If you DIY your remodeling project and an accident happens, you’ll have to bear the burden of the damage yourself. Hiring a professional means less stress for you, and if the renovation is done well, it could end up a great ROI when the offer comes in for your home.

Windham Construction has been serving Brazos Valley with a variety of home remodeling needs for over 20 years. Whatever you need to get your home in shape before you put it on the market, our expertise and skilled construction crew have you covered. We’re happy to help you stage your home for your upcoming sale. Contact us today for more information.

The Best Time of Year for Different Remodeling Projects

When 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 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.