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.

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.