What to Expect from a Kitchen Remodel

Summer is a great time for a kitchen remodel. The longer days offer more lighting as the contractors work on your new kitchen, and while your stove and oven are off limits, you have an excuse to use the grill and have dinner outside. However, if you’ve never had a kitchen remodeled before, you may be daunted by the idea of chaos reigning over a significant portion of your home. You also may be worried about how the finished project will turn out.

Fortunately, when you hire a professional remodeling contractor to redo your kitchen, much of the stress is taken out of your hands. These experts know exactly what to do and how to do it most efficiently. While your kitchen might look like a mess for a short time, the finished product will make it all worth it. That said, there will be some disruptions it helps to know what you can expect so you can be prepared.

Noise

Noise is an inevitable part of any kitchen remodeling. Sadly, they just haven’t invented a way to make nail guns, compressors and the like quiet. This can be distressing if you have pets or small children in your home, but even if you live alone all the noise will certainly be distracting. This might be a good time to take advantage of that beautiful sunny weather and spend the day outside or visit a friend. Go see a movie or go to the park for the day. As long as your contractor has your phone number and can reach you if needed, it’s perfectly fine — and possibly recommended — to spend a day out.

Mess

We all know logically that in order to remodel a room, especially a kitchen, it has to be messy first. Walls might come down. Flooring could be taken out. Appliances will be changed. It’s one thing to know that, however, and another to see it in your own home. The sight of dust and ruins of your old kitchen can be discouraging, but know that this isn’t the finished project. No contractor is going to tear your kitchen apart and then walk away. If you did your research on your remodeling professionals, you know that they have a reputation for quality and by the time the job is finished, you’ll have the kitchen you wanted and they’ll clean up the mess.

The Unexpected

No matter what the project, the one thing you can count on is the unexpected. It may be that a wall you planned to remove is a load bearing wall. You may find water damage, a pest problem, or mold. There could be delay from material suppliers or any number of scenarios that you haven’t imagined. That’s not to say that these things will ruin your project. Usually, they just present a hurdle that might change your plans or finish date. But you should expect that the project won’t go 100% according to plan, and that the contractor will be able to find a way around the hurdle.

A Finished Project that Wows

All remodeling projects have bumps and hiccups, but if you have the right contractor, the look of the finished project will make you forget every disruption and delay. There’s nothing quite like walking into a finished, fresh looking kitchen after living through a remodel. You’ll want to have friends over right away to show off.

At Windham Construction, we have over 20 years of experience providing all kinds of remodeling services, including kitchen remodeling, to Brazos Valley. If you’re interested in your own kitchen remodel or have more questions about living through a kitchen remodel, contact us.

Remodeling Lingo Decoded

When you’re reading over a construction company’s qualifications or getting a quote for your remodeling project, sometimes it seems as though they’re speaking in a different language. If you’re not an expert, it’s easy to feel lost and confused by the conversation. However, you want to be sure you know what you’re signing up for, both in the company and the project itself. So let’s break down some of that remodeling lingo today.

Certified

If a construction crew or contractor is “certified,” it means that they’ve been approved by a registered organization in their industry. One of the main organizations in the remodeling industry is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (“NARI”), who certified Windham Construction. There’s also The International Code Council (ICC). The ICC shows that this contractor or construction crew complies with international industry codes, while NARI goes into more specifics. NARI certifications are given out to contractors and construction companies who show a high level of professionalism and expertise and who are specific to the remodeling industry.

Licensed, Insured, Bonded

Often, you’ll hear these three terms in conjunction with one another. Licensed means that the construction employees or contractors are licensed to work in a particular area. Texas doesn’t license contractors at the state level, but often a license shows a degree of respectability for the business. Insured means that the construction company has insurance so that in the event of an accident on the project, you won’t be held liable and won’t have to pay for it. Ideally, they should have personal liability, property damage coverage, and workers compensation. Bonded means that there’s a bond in place to protect the project, by guaranteeing that any damage or construction defects will be repaired or the client’s money will be reimbursed.

Construction Manager/General Contractor

A general contractor is a little different from a construction manager. The construction manager works for the construction company on the whole and is there from the beginning of the project. They’re a go between for the owner and the contractor. The general contractor, on the other hand, is independent and hired by the construction company through a bid process to oversee the day-to-day of the project. They most likely bring with them subcontractors and oversee their work. The construction manager will likely work with many local contractors to find the right person for your job.

Allowance

Typically, there’s your budget and then there’s the allowance. The budget is what you’re willing to pay provided everything goes according to plan. However, that rarely happens in construction, so it helps to have a supplemental budget or amount of money set aside called an “allowance.” This covers any decisions made after the project begins or any unexpected obstacles that might arise over the course of the project.

Change Order

Sometimes it’s not until the project starts that you realize something you want to add, or want to remove. In that case, a change order is written out to adjust the original order — and the cost of the original order — to the new specifications. As with most things in construction, it has to be in writing.

If there’s ever a term that a construction or contracting professional throws out that you’re unsure of, don’t be afraid to ask. At Windham Construction, we have over 20 years of experience in Brazos Valley, which means we know all the terminology and we’re happy to clarify whatever you need to know. Simply contact us for more information.

Is a Vintage Style Right For Your Home?

A big part of deciding to remodel is settling on a style that you want for your space at the end of project. Remodeling can be an opportunity not just to fix problem areas or update an old room, but to play with different styles. Among those is the vintage style — which is, more accurately, a wide genre of styles. In the design world, a “vintage” design can be anything that harkens back to the styles of the past.

Vintage is something many homeowners consider when remodeling their kitchen, living room, or bedroom. But is it right for your home? Here are a few reasons that homeowners choose vintage styles.

Versatility

Again, vintage has a rather wide definition. It can mean anything from art deco to mid-century modern. It can have the look of a rustic farmhouse or play on the classic features of the house by exposing a red brick wall or ceiling beams. Because of this, vintage styles can suit a wide variety of homeowners with a wide variety of tastes. Vintage styles can also work in just about any room, be it kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or even hallway. If you like a vintage style, you can incorporate it anywhere.

Nostalgia

This is the main reason so many people enjoy vintage remodeling styles. Maybe they’re attached to the style they grew up with, or the style of their grandparents’ home. Maybe they just fell in love with the look of a kitchen in their favorite old movie. Even those who don’t necessarily want past eras to return may want to bring back the best styles from those times. Fortunately, you can do that. We haven’t lost the sharp contrast of light and dark colors that made art deco rooms what they are, or the wood and carpet materials of mid-century modern rooms. When it comes to your home’s look, you can be as nostalgic as your heart desires.

Preservation

In some ways, this is tied to nostalgia, but it’s less nostalgia for a certain time and more a nostalgia for the early days of your home. Let’s say you live in a house that has a lot of history to it, something that was built 50, 60, even 100 years ago. Of course, over time that house has been updated so that it now has all the modern appliances, but you want to hold on to some of its historic charm. One way to do that without losing the contemporary conveniences is by remodeling some of the rooms to create a more vintage style. Mirror the style off of the time in which the home was first built. Infuse the best of the colors, shapes, and materials from that age.

Whatever style you’re looking for when it comes to your remodeling project, Windham Construction can help. We have over 20 years of experience with remodeling projects in Brazos Valley, both indoors and even in your outdoor space with arbors and decks. Contact us today and let us know what remodeling work you need done.

4 Ways to Add Light to Your Brazos Valley Home

It’s a universal fact that humans crave light. It’s not just a matter of being able to see. Light cheers us and motivates us. Light helps us to stay energized and focused during the day and sleep better at night. Natural sunlight is especially beneficial to both our physical and mental health, but being surrounded by light in general can’t help but lift our moods.

The problem is that when it comes to electrical light, filling the room can quickly become expensive. That’s why homeowners often search for other methods of adding light to their home. Here are a few methods they’ll often use:

Simple Window Treatments

If you have a great window, you really don’t need to adorn it with elaborate window treatments. A thin frame and maybe simple window shutters should be enough to do the trick. This is especially true with wide, tall, floor-to-ceiling windows. The lighter the window frame, the more the window itself is accentuated — and the more light it allows into your home.

Light Walls

This is no secret, but it really can help to fill a room with sunlight. Dark painted walls can make a bold statement in a room, and that suits some homeowners. However, if your goal is to optimize the light in the room, light colored walls are essential. Light colors will reflect light from the windows or light fixtures in your room, to make sure that you get the most of it. Dark colors will only swallow that light. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to white walls. Yellow or blue or even light green will all reflect light and give the room an airy atmosphere.

Clear or Reflective Accent Pieces

A clear vase with glass marbles inside. A transparent coffee or dining room table surface. A mirror on the wall or ornate glass on a side table. All of these accent pieces will either reflect or allow light to shine through them, which further helps it to spread throughout the room. They also add to that airy atmosphere that we discussed above.

Cut Down on Clutter

You don’t have to go for minimalism, although minimalist spaces and light are a natural fit. However, you don’t want the room to be too busy, either. If your bookshelf is a little too cluttered, or you have a few boxes in the back of the room that you’ve been meaning to move for months, this is a good time to do it. If the kids toys are always lying around, consider giving them a designated play room or play area.

Adding light to your room can not only help you feel more cheerful and content in your home, but it can be inviting for guests and healthy for the whole family. If you need help adding light to your home, contact Windham Construction. We can repaint a room, add windows, or even create a sunroom for that specific purpose. We have over 20 years of experience remodeling homes in Brazos Valley and we’d love to help you, too. Contact us today and tell us your vision for your lighter, brighter living space.

Why Spring is the Best Time of Year for Remodeling

With the right construction company to help with your remodeling project, any time of year can be a good time of year for remodeling. However, remodeling professionals often find spring to be the start of their peak season and homeowners often see spring and early summer as the best time of year to start their remodeling projects.

It’s the season of spring cleaning, of refreshing and making improvements. Here are a few reasons why so many people find spring to be the best time of year for remodeling.

You’ve Lived With Your Home’s Flaws All Winter

Because of cooler temperatures, winter is the time of year that people tend to spend most indoors. Because you’re at home more often during the winter, you become more acquainted with all of the quirks of your home, both good or bad. It’s in winter that you’ll be most aware of that draft in the living room or how tired you are of the wallpaper in your home office. The holiday season may also make you painfully aware of a need for a larger kitchen or dining room.

Often throughout the winter, homeowners find themselves creating a checklist in their minds of ways that they can improve their homes. So when the snow melts and the sun comes out again, what better time than now to get started on those renovations?

The Weather is Warmer, But The Kids Are Still in School

While summer is still a popular season for home remodeling projects, homeowners may have to juggle with kids running around the house during the time of a remodeling project. This is another advantage that spring has when it comes to remodeling projects. The longer days and warmer weather are here, but the kids are still in school, which makes the remodeling go more smoothly overall. It will also make a nice surprise for the kids on the last day of remodeling to come home from school and see the finished project.

The Tax Returns Are In

It’s no secret: remodeling projects are no cheap. But if you’ve been in need of a remodel for some time, it might be worth the money spent to hire a professional contractor to remodel your kitchen, bathroom, deck, and so on and so forth. One way that the timing of spring is perfect is that it’s tax season, which means it’s time to get your tax return. People often prefer to use their tax returns on one big project or venture that they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise — why not take care of your remodeling with this year’s tax return?

This spring, or any other time of year, Windham Construction can help you with any of your remodeling needs. We are a family owned company with over 20 years of experience in Brazos Valley. We handle anything from deck and sunroom installations to kitchen and bathroom remodeling to window installation and painting. Whatever your project might be, contact us today. Tell us what you’re looking to do in your home, and how we can help.

4 Trendy Ideas for Your Deck Installation

Trends move quickly, and not just in the world of interior design. Your deck is a major part of your outdoor landscaping, and many homeowners put a lot of thought into both the aesthetic and function of that deck. A number of up-and-coming trends are taking over the Brazos Valley deck industry. Here are a few that stand out.

Installing a Partial Cover

The more multi-functional the deck, the better. More and more homeowners are having arbors, pergolas, or partial covers installed over their decks. That way part of the deck is still perfect for soaking up the sun and watching the stars, but part of it stays dry year round. You can place seating under the cover for extra comfort or cover the barbecue in case of rain. It’s a big hit for homeowners who like to entertain in their backyard.

The Look of Distressed Hardwood

One recent trend is the desire for deck flooring that resembles the distressed hardwood popular in interior flooring. This presents a challenge for many decking manufacturers. After all, no one wants the quality of distressed hardwood for their outdoor deck. In fact, most people are moving away from wood at all in favor of composite or resin. Wood simply doesn’t stand up as well to the elements. Fortunately, resin decks can be made to look like wood but last much longer. This has been the case for years, but now it’s down to manufacturers to create resin decking that has the look of distressed hardwood.

Rustic Accent Pieces

However small it might be, an accent piece can really help decks to stand out, and lately, the more quaint and rustic the accent piece, the better. This accent piece could be a pergola, as mentioned in the first point, but it isn’t always. A hand-knit quilt might now don your backyard deck’s sofa or swing or your coffee table might be hand-crafted. Earthy colors and wood or wicker furniture fit well into this trend. These accents are charming anywhere, but there’s something warm and homey about finding them on your deck.

Deck Railings

If you have young children, deck railings might be more than just an aesthetic choice: it’s also practical. But as it turns out, it is an aesthetic choice of many homeowners having decks installed in 2018. The choice of deck railings is separate from the choice of decking, so it allows homeowners a little creativity and personalization. Maybe your deck has an earthy, rustic feeling, and you want to complement that with contemporary railing. On the other hand, maybe you want to keep the colonial feeling going with whitewashed railings that suit the style.

At Windham Construction, we design and install decks with your style and preferences in mind. Brazos Valley summers can be extreme, so we use resin decking, which far outperforms wood. We can also install arbors and pergolas for you to give your deck added style and function. Contact us today and tell us what you’d like for your deck installation.

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.