There are plenty of materials out there that can provide a good layer of insulation for a home. Concrete may not be the first option you have in mind but there is some merit to using it in the building process for insulation. There are also ways to incorporate other materials into the mix to enhance those qualities even further. Let’s explore how concrete can be a good insulator for your home. 

What is Concrete?

Concrete is a mixture of lime, clay, and sand enhanced with elastic polymers and epoxies. It finds its roots in traditional building methods. Lime, clay, and sand are longstanding ingredients used to construct bricks and structures. The modern addition of elastic polymers and epoxies helps to provide strength, flexibility, and insulating properties. 

How Can It Be Used for Insulation?

In order to measure the insulation capabilities of a material, it must be assigned a number called an R-value. This can also be referred to as its thermal resistance. The higher that number is, the more resistant it is to transferring heat from one side of the material to the next. 

The R-value of concrete will vary based on the density of the mixture. Generally, low-density concrete tends to have a higher R-value than high-density concrete. As a basic rule of thumb, you can assume every inch of thickness equates to an R-value of about 0.1 to 0.2. So with this in mind, you can deduce that a 6-inch-slab of concrete has an R-value between 0.6 to 1.2.  

Concrete typically has a low R-value. But this material does have a high heat capacity which means it can store a lot of heat. Whether from radiant heating or passive solar heating, concrete will absorb all that heat and will radiate it into the living space of a home. 

The best way to take advantage of the insulation value of concrete is to use it in thick slabs. But you can also add more insulation to concrete walls in the basement and elsewhere to further advance its capabilities. This will help to increase energy saving. 

How to Increase the Insulation Potential of Concrete 

The first step in increasing concrete’s insulation potential is to assure it is properly installed and sealed. If this step is neglected, excess moisture will collect behind the insulation medium. This could lead to health hazards such as mold and mildew. 

Add Traditional Insulation 

Once you know your concrete is properly installed, you can consider adding layers of closed-cell foam, polyurethane sheeting, or reflective barriers to the wall to bolster the insulation value of concrete. 

Try Foam Concrete 

Foam concrete is an alternative to traditional concrete. It’s comprised of water, cement, and foam. It has few chemicals and it is more environmentally friendly than poured concrete. With its high air content and fire-resistant properties, it is considered a better insulation option than concrete alone.

It’s used for soundproofing and filling in awkward gaps between bricks and unused pipes. You will also find it being used as insulation in roofs, walls, and floors in residential and commercial buildings

Using foam concrete can reduce building and labor costs. It’s easier to transport, it has self-leveling abilities, and it's more pliable than standard concrete. It also features a high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to shrinkage. Unfortunately, it’s not as strong as poured concrete. 

Concrete foam is more resistant to temperature changes than concrete but it’s not as strong so be sure to keep that in mind when choosing a building material. 

Using Concrete for Flooring  

When it comes to concrete flooring, it’s important to insulate so that the concrete doesn’t make contact with the outside elements. Before the slab is poured, it’s a good idea to lay down a vapor barrier and fill in the edges with foam insulation. 

Once the concrete floor is complete, the next best course of action is to cover it with different flooring material. Hardwood flooring has an R-value of about 0.7 while carpet on top of a pad will have an R-value of about 2. Both options will significantly increase the insulation potential of concrete alone. 

Don’t write off your kitchen’s potential just because it’s a small room. There’s still a lot you can do to make the most out of your space. Sometimes all it takes to transform your kitchen is a small adjustment.

Looking for inspiration?

Here’s a question to ask yourself: What is the point of remodeling the kitchen? Is it to create additional space? Or is it to revamp the look?

Well, with more than a few kitchen remodels under our belt, we’re primed and ready to help you amplify your small kitchen remodel potential. Here are our 19 best design ideas for your project!

Here’s a Kitchen Remodel Checklist to get you started.

1. Take a Minimalist Approach

When working with limited space, you really need to be selective. Move away from the impulse to accumulate clutter and lean into intentionally cultivating your collection. Slim down your dinnerware, flatware, and appliance collection to the bare necessities. When you have a carefully selected, cohesive set of kitchenware, you’re one step closer to making the most out of your small kitchen.

If you really want to dive headfirst into minimalism, consider going for an exposed cabinet look. This will create an expansive flow and add dimension. This redesign idea also gives you an excuse to show off your intentionally selected kitchenware too!   

2. Don’t Underrate Ceiling Space 

Every square foot of your kitchen can be used to amplify the space – that includes the area above you. Look up, that’s prime real estate that you might not be taking full advantage of. Your ceiling can serve as a space for extra storage. Hanging pot racks are a prime example of a stylish, practical storage solution. You could also install a hanging fruit basket. These ideas also add a playful design element to your kitchen.

Just don’t go crazy with it; too much of a good thing can create a bad situation. You could end up creating a hazard or ruin your minimalistic kitchen appearance.

3. Customize Your Hardware

Feeling bogged down by the lack of space to express your unique design taste? One easy way to give your kitchen a new feel is to change your cabinet hardware. There is no shortage of options to choose from when picking out knobs and handles. You could choose a distressed metal for more of a cottage-inspired look or you could go for elegant, geometric hardware to capture a modern ambiance. 

4. Waste No Space 

If you don’t plan on going the minimalistic route, then every nook and cranny has potential when you’re planning a small kitchen redesign. Maybe there’s a gap between your wall and the refrigerator. Or perhaps you have some extra room above your cabinets. Use it! You need all the storage space you can muster. Add in new cabinetry or simply use these gaps for storage as is. 

5. Roll In an Island 

One common issue that plagues those working in a small kitchen is the lack of counter space. One clever solution is to get a rolling island. The thought of installing an obstruction smack dab in the middle of your already tight kitchen likely isn’t something you’re interested in. But rolling islands help to provide more prep space without being a permanent obstacle. Simply move it when you need to open up the area. 

6. Add a Rug 

Create a feeling of warmth and comfort in your kitchen with an area rug. It’s an easy way to add pattern and color for a more robust design. This can be especially helpful in a one-wall kitchen. A rug can make it appear more like its own separate room. 

7. Lean Towards Lighter Colors 

Let the light in! Light colors help to open a space up. Play with pastels, pale tones, and whites. They will help to reflect light and create the illusion of a larger kitchen space. You can even paint the walls a lighter color to really take advantage of the power of these hues. 

8. When In Doubt, Mount 

Much like ceiling space, wall space often doesn’t get to live up to its fullest potential. But if you’re struggling to find storage solutions, the walls can be a great place to look. What can you hang up and get out of the way? Maybe you can invest in a knife mount or a pegboard to hang up mugs. You’re only limited by your tools and imagination.

9. Opt For Mini Appliances 

When you hear “mini appliances” your mind might automatically jump to “cheap”. But that’s not necessarily the case these days. There are plenty of scaled-down ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more that run just as well as traditional options, just in a smaller package. Installing smaller appliances can buy you a lot of extra space and fit your lifestyle a little better. 

10. Streamline Your Cabinets

Smaller kitchens don’t have a lot to offer as far as cabinet space goes. But one option you have is to optimize the space you already have. Organize your cabinets by using risers, spice racks, cubbies, or whatever else will help free up more space. 

11. Go For a Lacquered Look 

Just like light colors, a reflective gleam can also work to make your space look bigger than it actually is. Lacquered cabinets are a chic, stylized feature you can use to create the illusion of a larger room. They can boost your style game while also serving as an expansive element. 

12. Lean on Patterns

Another trick to make a space look bigger is to work with patterns. Fun, bold patterns customize your kitchen and help to make it feel more expansive. Install patterned floor tiles, wallpaper, or even cabinets if you really want to add a bit of a funky vibe. 

13. Consider Knocking Down a Wall 

If you’re planning on a large-scale redesign, consider knocking down a wall. You’ll need to assure that there aren’t any structural holds in the wall you have in mind first. If you’re in the clear, get in touch with an accredited renovation company to help you with the project. 

14. Put Up a Mirrored Backsplash  

Create a more expansive look in your kitchen by using mirrors. You can easily put up actual mirrors on the wall but that doesn’t always look natural. Installing mirrored backsplash is a style-forward method to use reflection to create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.  

15. Add a Mobile Bar 

Still searching for a way to gain more counter space? A mobile bar might be the solution for you! Much like a rolling island, a mobile bar can easily be moved around. Some bars can fit right in your doorway and serve as a sort of door for when you move to and from the kitchen.

16. Let Your Sink Double as Prep Space 

Speaking of more prep space, let’s talk about how much precious space your sink takes up. When you’re preparing an involved dinner, you need a lot of room to chop, prepare, and assemble. If you’re constantly juggling bowls and cutting boards, try finding a topper for your sink. You can cover it up when you’re not using it and gain a new place to prep your meals. 

17. Create a Natural Flow 

Does your one-wall kitchen flow into your dining or living area? Well, lean into it. Instead of trying to make them into two separate spaces, find ways to tie them together. Cultivate a flow from the kitchen, to the dining room, to the living room. It will make each of these spaces feel less closed off. 

18. Add a Touch of Green  

Nothing livens up a space like house plants. Incorporate easy plants like pothos, burros tail, or zz plants. It will breathe refreshing energy into the room and help you fall in love with your kitchen. One great look is to put a large plant on top of your refrigerator; this instantly creates a happy, beautiful design element. 

19. Optimize Your Space With a Floating Table 

One last way to gain more countertop space is to install a floating table. Many floating tables can fold down when not in use. This is a wonderful addition to a small kitchen as it will not take up too much space but it can also be a lifesaver when you’re whipping up a big meal. 

Our bathrooms serve as an oasis and sanctuary within our homes. It’s more than just a place to house a toilet, it can also be your own personal spa. Remodeling a bathroom is a great way to add value to your home on both a personal and financial level. If you’re hoping to spruce up your bathroom, you might assume it would be a lofty investment. But there are plenty of ways to pull off a renovation with modest funds. Let’s explore some different ways to remodel your bathroom on a budget.  

How Much Can You Save?

On average, a bathroom remodel can cost anywhere from $10,500 to 26,000 according to Remodeling Magazine. This will, of course, vary depending on how upscale the project will be. You might take one look at those numbers and run in the opposite direction, but what if we told you that there’s a way to reduce remodeling costs down to $3000 or even $1000 dollars? 

There are plenty of methods you can use to cut down on costs when remodeling a bathroom. First, determine what you can spend on this project. Anywhere in the $1000 - $3000 price range should be sufficient. If you can’t afford to reach that $1000 mark, it might be best to stick with minor cosmetic updates. If you have a little more to play with, you can make larger, more structural changes such as replacing the bathtub or floor tiles. 

Walls and Floors 

One of the easiest ways to breathe new life into a room is to give it a fresh paint job. This also happens to be one of the cheapest methods to remodel on a budget. On average, it costs around $0.86 per sq ft to paint a bathroom. Be cautious when buying paint for a bathroom; it needs to be of high quality and possibly complete with a satin finish to prevent mold and mildew. 

Tiles can be a little pricer. If you want to keep prices down, focus on replacing tiles in high-impact areas such as the floor. You can also use special paint to give bathroom tiles a stunning new look. If you really have your heart set on an expensive tile, use it as an accent piece and fill in the rest with cheaper tiles.

Tub and Shower 

Reinstalling grout and caulk is a cheap way to brighten up your bathroom. Removing caulk and reinstalling it is fairly easy and DIY-friendly. Simply peel away with a utility knife, apply a new line, and smooth down. Regrouting is a bit tougher but it can be achieved without professional help with research. 

Another way to give your tub or shower a cheaper update is to reline it instead of replacing it. You can reline cast iron, fiberglass, and porcelain tubs. Just keep in mind that sometimes you can discover unexpected damage under the liner if it was improperly installed the first time. If excessive moisture finds its way under the lining, this can cause water damage and mold. 

Bathroom Sink

There are so many ways to spruce up your sink area on a budget. Buying second-hand is one easy way to keep spending minimal while also creating a unique, beautiful end product. Instead of buying a mirror specifically designed for a bathroom, shop around at flea markets or second-hand shops for a vintage mirror. Old dressers also serve as a great swap for a sink pedestal. Just carve out a space for the basin on the top and the plumbing behind it. There are tons of tutorials online that illustrate this process. 

If you’d rather stick to tradition and replace your counter with new granite, you can save money here too. Look for granite in unpopular shades. Green, brown, and black are some colors you can score for a lower price tag. Also, consider getting granite with “imperfections”. These will typically be cheaper and you might cover the flaw with the sink basin anyway. 

Final Touches 

There are a variety of other little adjustments you can make to remodel your bathroom on a budget. Don’t neglect the details! Drawer hardware, lighting fixtures, the sink faucet, and towel racks are all relatively inexpensive swaps that can completely shift the look and feel of your bathroom space. 

When contemplating how to spruce up your porcelain throne, consider keeping the base and replacing the seat and lid instead. You can also add an inexpensive bidet to add a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. 

Buy used when you can! We touched on this before but we can’t stress it enough. There are plenty of opportunities to find lightly used sinks, doors, mirrors, hardware, tubs, and more second-hand. 

Get Help From the Experts 

Bathroom remodels can be a lot of hard work. Sure, many of these projects are completely doable for a homeowner. But the time factor alone might dissuade you from ever pursuing your dreams of creating your ideal in-home spa. If you’re looking for assistance with your bathroom or whole home remodel, call on H3 Construction and Design for help! We provide building and renovation services to the greater Northern Colorado area. Get in touch with us today to hear more about our work!  

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures and AARP Public Policy Institute90 percent of people over age 65 hope to stay in their current homes for as long as possible. Around 80 percent of this elderly population believe their current residence is where they will live for the rest of their lives.

This is where certified aging-in-place specialists or CAPS professionals come into play. 

What is Aging-in-Place? 

Elderly couple at home

As the aging population continues to grow, more and more older adults want to avoid transitioning to an assisted living facility. It’s hard enough to leave the comfort and familiarity of the home you’ve loved for years, but the psychological impact of leaving your community and losing your privacy can be even more difficult. That’s why many older adults are turning to aging-in-place as an alternative. 

Aging-in-place is the process of adjusting home life in order for an older adult to live independently and safely for as long as possible. This takes an all-encompassing look at what that individual needs assistance with today and anticipating what they will need assistance with in the future. 

Every aging-in-place plan will look different. Some will involve home healthcare, others will factor in assistance with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking, and personal care. Many individuals will look to modify their home or build a new home so they can continue to live there comfortably regardless of their age or ability level. 

Opting to adjust a home for aging-in-place can actually be cheaper than moving into an assisted living facility. It can cost an average of $48,000 per year for assisted living in the United States. On the other hand, simple home modifications such as installing safety bars or widening doorways might total out to a one-time payment of about $6,000 to $8,000

When an older adult decides they would rather modify their home for age-in-place, the next step is to get in touch with a CAPS professional. 

What Does a CAPS Professional Do?

CAPS professionals at work

A CAPS professional is accredited by the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with the AARP. The goal is to teach builders the technical and construction elements necessary to help older adults transition to safe independent living. The program also seeks to educate its participants in best business practices while working with this demographic. CAPS professionals must maintain their credentials through continued training and adherence to a Code of Ethics.  

When you see that a company carries CAPS credentials, you can count on them to build or modify a home that will continue to be livable for older adults through current and future circumstances, to the best of their knowledge. They utilize universal design techniques to create secure homes that allow for custom-fit solutions to increase mobility and overall independence for aging adults.

You’ll need to inform them of the elderly person’s possible disabilities and future potential health risks so they can properly create a safe environment for living.

How Do You Prepare a Home for Aging-in-Place?

CAPS modified bathroom

Every individual will have different needs when it comes to preparing their home for aging-in-place. The specifics and scope of their remodel plan will depend on their abilities and medical limitations. Generally, CAPS professionals will seek to create a barrier-free, low maintenance dwelling that is safer to move about independently. They will aim to make it a functional space without compromising on aesthetic appeal and elegance. 

Here are a few facets of a home designed for aging-in-place

Entering and Exiting Home 

Builders will make the path in and out of the home easier to navigate. This can include installing additional handrails or ramps. They might also add outdoor lighting to increase visibility. Dulled lighting is one of the most common causes of falls for elderly persons. That and bathroom falls.

Accessible Kitchen

When remodeling or designing the kitchen, builders will aim to make meal preparation and eating easier. This can look really different from situation to situation. A kitchen adjusted for independent living might include a lower, side-opening oven or lever-handle sink faucets. There are a variety of changes that can be made in the kitchen such as lowering the cabinetry. 

Safer Bathroom 

A huge aspect of bathroom safety is making it easier to enter and exit the shower. This might include a ramped entrance or handlebars. Bathroom redesigns might also include widened entry doors, a built-in shower seat, and temperature-balanced shower valves. A main piece is ensuring that the shower and bathtub are slip-resistant to the highest extent possible. This could be choosing new flooring or adding non-slip mats.

Mobility Throughout the Home  

As we mentioned before, the overarching goal with aging-in-place home design is safety and independence. A huge part of that is making a barrier-free environment aging adults can easily navigate. This might look like better lighting, lever handles on doors and windows, stairlifts, and wider doors throughout the home.

How to Hire a CAPS Professional 

You can easily look for a CAPS professional by doing a quick search on the National Association of Home Builder’s Designations directory. You can search by location or by the name of the certified builder. This is a wonderful place to start when searching for a CAPS for yourself or a loved one.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a home remodel project in Colorado be sure to stop and think about permit requirements before you charge full steam ahead. Buildings and home regulations will vary slightly from state to state. But, wherever you are, you can count on certain home redesign projects requiring permits.

Let’s take a look at why it’s a good idea to check on what permits you need to secure and what the state of Colorado requires for remodel permits.

Why Do Some Projects Require a Permit? 

Remodel permits are meant to protect the health and safety of homeowners and builders. They’re put in place to avoid structural issues that could result in injuries or even fatalities. Many of the permit requirements will overlap in different regions, but some might be location-specific. For example, California maintains regulations around earthquake safety that builders must comply with when remodeling a home. Colorado, on the other hand, doesn’t have requirements like this since we don’t experience frequent earthquakes.

Also, keep in mind, some permits adhere to your local HOA requirements. Even exterior renovations that don’t require a permit might still need to be approved by your HOA. Always check in with your neighborhood association before doing any work to the exterior of your home. 

What Happens if You Don’t Get a Permit? 

It’s tempting to skip permit requirements in order to save time and money on your project but this is never in your best interest. You could actually be setting yourself up for a major headache. The truth of the matter is that you might need to shell out even more money than the initial permit fee down the road once issues inevitably arise.

Aside from the obvious risk of potential injury, proceeding with a remodel without the proper permits can also lead to trouble when you try to sell your home. It can prolong the process and cost you fines. Furthermore, you will likely need to pay even more to do demolition work and by-the-book reconstruction. 

Renovations done without proper permitting can also be illegal. You could be served a stop-work order until you secure a permit or a steep fee for attempting to go through with a remodel without a permit. 

Which Projects Require a Permit in Colorado? 

Colorado maintains similar permitting requirements to many other states in the country. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what you need before starting on a renovation process. Forgetting or not knowing about a permit won’t be a valid excuse if you break ground on your project without the proper permissions.  

Here are some of the projects that universally require permits in Colorado:  

Keep in mind that items not included on this list might still require a permit in your specific municipality or community. Some local bylaws legislate different requirements for projects that will affect the look of the overall community. For example, some communities will require their approval before painting your home exterior. Always check with your county and community officials to get a comprehensive list of permits you might need. 

Which Projects Don’t Require a Permit? 

Use the “like-for-like” rule to determine if your project will require a permit. If you are replacing something that is already in place, you likely don’t need any special permits. For example, you can replace existing cabinets without a permit if no structural work is required. 

Some other examples of projects that don’t require permits are

Need Help Navigating Permits? 

While we will not take on a project without the proper permitting, we will help our clients through the process of securing them. Our team of experts is experienced in what permits you will and will not need in the Denver, and Northern Colorado areas. From start to finish, h3 Construction and Design is in your corner while navigating the renovation process. If you’re looking for a builder you can trust, get in touch with us today! We would be happy to walk you through your project and help get you closer to your dream home!

There’s nothing quite like the breathtaking splendor of our cherished National Forests. Us Coloradans love nothing more than spending a day hiking off the beaten path to commune with nature. How many times have you thought to yourself, “I could see myself building a cabin out here and calling it home”?

It certainly would be a dream to live a stone’s throw away from our favorite wilderness area. But if you’re cooking up a plan to build in a National Forest, you’ll be disappointed to know this isn’t possible.

Brief History of Our National Forests 

The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 made it possible for the government to allocate certain land as “forest reserves” out west. This was the first step towards preserving our precious open spaces throughout the United States. Today, all public lands are cared for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. The aim is not only to assure we’re doing the best we can to be good stewards of this land but also to keep it pristine for generations to come. 

According to their website, the USDA Forest Service’s mission is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” Unlike our untouched National Parks, National Forests exist under a multi-use mandate. So we still tend to these lands carefully, but they also might be used for activities such as timber collection, recreation, and more. 

Why Are There Houses in National Forests?

Yes, you probably have seen private property within a National Forest. These are called inholdings. As we mentioned earlier, forest reserves didn’t come around until 1891. A few decades earlier in 1862, the Homestead Act allowed citizens moving out west to claim up to 160 acres of public land to live on. These deeds were honored when the National Forests came along, creating “islands” of private land. These plots of land are the only places homes can stand within a National Forest. 

How To Build Your Off-the-Grid Dream Home

Even though you can’t build a home in a National Forest, you can still achieve your off-the-grid dreams. There are plenty of opportunities to buy land near wooded areas, deep in the mountains, or out on the grasslands. Land lots can range anywhere from $100,000 into the millions depending on the acreage and location. Securing a suitable slice of land would be the first step in building your off-the-grid retreat.

The next order of business would be to secure a skillful custom home contractor you trust. Not only can they help you pick out a floor plan and suss out all the other details that go into designing a house, but they can also assist with building based on the regulations for the jurisdiction your land sits in. There are also considerations such as electricity, waste management, and waterlines that you can lean on your contractor to help with. 

If you’re ready to build your Colorado dream home in the woods, H3 Design and Construction is up for the task. We take residential home design to new heights working closely with our clients to create a stylish, functional custom home they will love. Whether you’re looking for a modest cabin in the woods or a lavish mountain getaway destination, we can be your partners in design and construction. 

Get a Quote Today!  

Taking on a whole home remodel seems like a massive undertaking. With so many moving parts and financial considerations to balance, it can be a stressful experience, to say the least – especially if it’s your first time attempting a remodel.

But the foundation of any project of this scale is a solid plan. Mapping out your home remodel can be a great way to assure a smooth process from start to finish. 

Map Out Which Rooms You Want to Tackle

The term ‘whole house remodel’ (aka full home remodel) can actually encompass a renovation project for the entire house or multiple rooms. So if you choose to remodel your kitchen, master bedroom, and basement but leave the rest of the home as-is, this is still considered a whole house remodel

In this phase of the process, it’s important to make decisions around what rooms you’ll be renovating as soon as possible to make the rest of your planning easy. Now is also a good time to determine if you’ll continue to live in the space through the renovation process or if you’ll need to plan for other accommodations. 

Use This Printable PDF to Plan Out Your Remodel:Download

DIY, Contractors, or a Combination of the Two 

Now that you’ve determined which rooms you’ll be remodeling, evaluate if you’ll need the assistance of a professional contractor. Some especially intrepid individuals may opt to flip their home without the help of a professional. While this can save you some money along the way, it requires ample time, patience, and skills to execute smoothly. Be honest with yourself if you decide to go the DIY route. Be sure you can move forward confidently with the proper skills and tools necessary for the job. 

Some decide to partially or fully hand their remodel over to a professional contractor. If you fall into this category, you’ll need to thoroughly vet your options before moving forward with a company. You’ll be working with these people for the duration of your remodel project so it’s important to make sure it’s a good fit. Once you solidify your choice, you can collaborate with your contractor to plan the finer details of your project. 

Determine Your Budget 

Your budget will determine what you can and cannot pull off when it comes to a home remodel. What you plot out on your Pinterest board and the reality of what that will cost may not be what you anticipate. As harsh as it can be, you have to crunch the numbers early on to see if what you have in mind is plausible. 

There are typically three methods to finance a whole house remodel: saving up, using credit, or taking out a loan. Hopefully, if you choose to go the “save up” route you already have a nice nest egg stashed away. Credit and loans can be a little bit more flexible but be sure to move forward wisely. Even though you can technically spend more, it’s still important to set a realistic budget you can pay off easily. 

If you choose to hire a contractor, they can also assist with this step. They will work with your budget and walk you through what costs you’ll need to consider.

Talk to Your Insurance Company 

This step is primarily for those moving forward with a large construction project. If you have to tear down walls and leave the inside of your home exposed to the elements for extended periods of time, you may be at risk of property loss due to weather, theft, or vandalism. Insurance can protect you from these possibilities. 

You may be able to get coverage through your existing homeowner insurance policy. Get in touch to see what they will cover or if they offer this type of protection at all. If they don’t, you’ll need to seek out builder’s risk insurance from another source. 

Those planning a smaller project can still secure insurance but it’s not typically necessary.

Nail Down a Style and Design 

With your budget set, you can officially breathe life into the style and design aspect of your home renovation project. Ask yourself, what feel do you want your home to exude? Are you a fan of modern design or do you crave more of a traditional cottage style? Now’s the time to let your creativity run wild!

If you hire a contractor, they will be with you every step of the way as you select the style and elements of your home remodel. From carpeting to cabinet choices, they can help you plan every detail of the renovation. 

Secure Permits 

In some cases, you’ll need to secure a permit to legally move forward with a home remodel. A few common examples of projects that require a permit are structural changes, electrical modifications, new windows, and plumbing. Most smaller-scale projects such as changing out the flooring don’t require a permit. You can get in touch with your city and state officials to confirm what you’ll need permits for. 

Hash Out a Realistic Timeline 

With all the details laid out in front of you, it’s time to plot out a timeline. This will greatly reduce your stress during the remodeling process. Although you may not always hit your imagined deadline, it will give you a reference point so you can plan for possible disruptions to your everyday life during the renovation.

It can also be a tool to stay on the same page with your contractor. If you’re planning on remaining hands-off during the process, your timeline will give you a frame for when you can expect certain elements of your home remodel to fall into place. 

As you encounter inevitable setbacks along the way, you and your contractor can recalibrate and create a new framework to move forward with. Continually evaluating your timeline can help you gain a better idea of when your project will be done. 

Get Started! 

Congratulations! You’ve successfully mapped out your whole house remodeling project. If you follow these steps, you’ll set yourself up for a successful renovation and hopefully move a little bit closer to your dream home. Once you have all these elements in place, you can begin the renovation process. 

If you’re in the Northern Colorado area, H3 Construction & Design is happy to assist you through your whole house remodel. We specialize in creating innovative, unique design concepts to create a useful living space for you and your family. And, we can do it all upfront with 3D modeling so you can truly envision your future home!

Schedule a Consultation

Need More Guidance?

Enjoy this complimentary whole home remodel checklist! Follow along to plot out your renovation project and keep track of your progress. Download it here:

Whole Home Remodel PDFDownload
commercial interior design project in Colorado

When you think of interior design, what comes to mind? If an idyllic, stylish living room straight off the pages of Architectural Digest is the first image you conjure up, you’re not alone.

Residential interior design tends to get the lion’s share of our collective attention. But there’s a highly impactful branch of this industry we should also explore: commercial interior design

Designing a public space differs from home design in several key ways. Where residential interior design aims to create a livable, inviting environment for the homeowner, commercial design centers more on functionality.

When a designer enters a space, they must take space limitations and building code requirements into consideration. Rather than building off one’s individual taste, they must create an environment suitable for the many customers or employees that will share the space. 

Let’s explore how your business could benefit from commercial interior design and what the process entails from start to finish. 

Why Does Commercial Interior Design Matter? 

A commercial interior designer assists in implementing the style and layout of retail stores, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, and other public spaces. Taking into account space limitation and safety, they fuse together functionality and style. The goal is to add value to the business commissioning the design project. 

The time and money spent on commercial interior design aren’t invested purely to achieve a certain aesthetic. It helps to create an environment that flows with the existing layout in a practical, appealing manner. At the end of the day, effective design can capture the attention of more patrons or display the ethos and principles a company stands for.

Related read: What is Commercial Construction?

What Does A Commercial Interior Designer Do? 

Behind every successful commercial project is a knowledgeable interior designer. From drawing up blueprints to picking out furniture, they are there every step of the way. Here are some of the major roles of a commercial interior designer:

Working within their client’s budget. The scope of a project will depend on where a client is at financially. Before any planning can move forward, a commercial interior designer will sit down with the prospective client and discuss their vision and how much they can spend. 

Space distribution and layout. One of the key facets of commercial design is functionality. Taking proper measurements and creating a layout that makes sense are huge parts of their job. From there, they can plan out spacing, draft up schematics, or even create a 3D rendering of the design concept.

Selecting materials. Once a direction is nailed down, the designer will get to work hunting down the necessary materials. This can include items such as lighting, furniture, artwork, flooring, and more. With a network of suppliers at their fingertips, this can all be done efficiently and locally in most cases.

How Long Does Commercial Interior Design Take to Complete? 

Each project will vary. Generally speaking, it could take anywhere from 4 to 6 months for a design project to come to fruition. This estimate can vary greatly in either direction, though, and is only meant to give you a good understanding of the general timeframe of things.

Keep in mind it could take far longer than that depending on your company’s needs. Factors such as building size, last-minute changes, construction, furniture availability, permits, and more can all push you past a 6 month finish time. 

How Does the Design Process Begin? 

Interior design can begin before a building is even built. This allows the designer to plan around important factors such as the floor plan and measurements. They’ll work side by side with manufacturers and contractors to help make structural decisions such as architecture, ceiling design, and lighting. The designer will also confirm any construction code requirements before they make any decisions. 

If the project involves an existing building, the interior designer will take measurements and design around the structures already in place. 

Regardless of whether builders are renovating or starting from scratch, this is when the designer does the bulk of their planning. At this point schematics and blueprints are drafted. A designer will create an as-built drawing to represent the finished layout and furniture placement. 

Once schematics receive a green light, a designer will seek out necessary permits and endorsements. Once all the paperwork is completed, the designer will seek out all the materials necessary to bring the space to life.

Related article: 7 Things to Know Before Starting a Construction Project

Completing an Interior Design Job

As a final precaution, the designer will go over the layout with their client and make any minor alterations. And now the real fun can begin. With plans solidified and materials acquired, the design can finally start to take form. 

At this stage of the process, contractors will work on the site to build and modify the space. Slowly, the design will jump off the schematics and into the real world. Contractors will install lighting fixtures, paint walls, and add in the stylistic elements of the overall design. Next, furniture and final touches will be placed. And just like that, the commercial interior design project is complete!

How to Choose a Commercial Interior Design Contractor

Choosing the right contractor for you is a vital step in the interior design process. Start with reviewing the contractors nearest you. To be sure you’re dealing with a true professional and be sure to confirm your designer is licensed and insured. This can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Choose one or even a few companies you align with and have them draft up a bid. A bid is basically a pitch of their plans and estimated costs for the design project.

Once your bids are in, compare your options with a careful eye. Be realistic with your budget and what you hope the end result will look like. As you narrow down your options, be sure whoever your front runners are will accommodate your communication needs. Do you want to be looped in on a daily basis? Weekly? Or perhaps you want a more hands-off approach? Be sure your contractor can adhere to your needs throughout the entire process. 

Are you looking for a commercial interior design contractor in the Northern Colorado area? At H3 Construction and Design, we are the industry pros you’ve been searching for! We are committed to designing a unique, functional commercial space you and your cohorts will love. 

Ready to start your commercial interior design project? Contact us today!

Blueprint for a custom home

After weighing all of your options and seeing what is best for you and your family you’ve decided to build a custom home. Congratulations!

Now, it’s time to dig in and lay the groundwork for a smooth process all the way through. You’re probably wondering where to start when building a custom home and what you need to prepare for. Let’s review 5 ways to help you prepare for your custom home build. 

1. Plot Out A Realistic Budget 

How much are you willing to spend on your custom home? Be sure to have a reasonable idea of what you can afford. But don’t stress too much! Building a custom home might not be as expensive as you may imagine! 

According to HomeAdvisor, it typically costs $100 to $200 per square foot to build a custom home. That means the average price of a custom home will be about $314,672. If you are in the market for something more high end, the prices naturally go up. Luxury custom homes can be about $200 to $500 per square foot to build.

These averages don’t necessarily include the cost for the lot of land to build upon. Nor do they include the cost of essential permits. If you want to purchase and develop a lot, that will need a budget of its own.

When plotting out a budget, be sure to consult your mortgage lender to see how much you can borrow. From there, be sure you have enough to buy a lot and pay your contractors. You’ll also want to budget in some spare cash for incidentals. You never know what might come up along the way as you build your home. 

2. Hire an Experienced Builder

Finding a reliable, skillful builder is one of the most important steps in any custom home build journey. Narrow your search down by looking for a local builder that has the capability to fulfill your unique needs. Every project has its own set of challenges so it’s vital to confirm your chosen team is up to snuff. 

Once you have an idea of who you want to build with, be ready to ask as many questions as possible. Be sure you’re thorough. It is your new home we’re talking about so feel free to get every clarification necessary. Here are a few questions to start you off:

At H3 Construction and Design, we’re happy to answer any and all of your questions. With our state-of-the-art procedures and industry knowledge, we’re well equipped to be your ally through the entire build process.  

Contact us today if you’d like to talk about how we can help you with your Northern Colorado custom home build! 

3. Don’t Decide on a Lot Until You Inspect it Thoroughly 

Finding the perfect lot for your dream home can be a stressful endeavor. There’s a lot of competition and, depending on your area, not many lots to go around. Spec and semi-custom home builders tend to snatch up a lot of available lands. 

Once you find a lot you like, it can be tempting to pull the trigger blindly and deal with the potential consequences down the road. But you could be causing a bigger headache than you think. Issues with your lot could push you over your budget and set back your timeline.

When looking for a lot, be prepared to find out every applicable detail before you make a decision. Here are some important considerations to think on before you buy your land

4. Get Inspired With Online Design Resources

You are in complete control of the design of your home when you decide to build custom. That can be both a thrilling and exasperating responsibility. But in an era where inspiration is only a click away, there’s never been a better time to plan out a custom home build. 

Consider the basics of what you want in a home. What are some popular home layouts in your region? If you’re in Denver, the open floorplan is a popular option.

What style are you looking for? Are you aiming for a minimalist feel or a robust industrial aesthetic? 

Once you have a basic idea of the layout and style you want, take to the Internet! From Pinterest to Houzz, you have an endless bank of knowledge right at your fingertips.

5. Go in Knowing Your Timeline and Contract Needs 

Building a quality custom home takes time and patience. If you are in need of a new home next month, this won’t be the route you want to take. Be realistic with your timeline and communicate when you’re hoping to have the home done with your builder. 

Once they give you an estimated date you can move in, be sure to ask how they plan to stick with that date and what will happen if it has to get pushed back. It’s vital to keep an open line of communication with your builder. Surprises can pop up along the way - such as new weather forecasts. 

Once you establish your timeline, it’s time to talk about contracts. Be sure to include specifics in your written agreement. If you want to be sure something gets done in a particular way or with particular materials, be sure to include that in your contract. 

We hope these tips help you with your new home build! Let us know in the comments what tips you have for other new custom homeowners that may not be here. Sharing is caring!

When it’s time to remodel your kitchen, you have a lot of decisions to make. You’ll choose everything from new appliances to flooring to paint and beyond. But, one of the most important decisions you’ll make while remodeling in choosing your kitchen cabinets. Here, we’ll discuss how to choose the right kitchen cabinets for your space. 

3 Steps to Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets 

1. Choose the type of kitchen cabinet.

Choosing the right kitchen cabinet for your space will start by measuring your current space and determining your spending limit. Typically, you’ll be able to choose between stock, semi-stock, and custom cabinets. Custom cabinets are built entirely up to your standards—however, they are the most expensive type of kitchen cabinet. Stock cabinets are whatever the vendor has in-stock at the time of remodel and tend to be the cheaper, faster option. 

2. Choose the material.

Wood, particleboard, plywood, and MDF are often used to construct cabinets. Depending on your budget and aesthetic, you may decide on one or the other. Solid wood cabinets are often the most expensive option, while particle board can serve as a more economical choice.

3. Choose the hardware.

Last but not least, you will also choose the hardware for your kitchen cabinets. Hardware is anything that goes on the cabinet from hinges to decorative drawer pulls. These can help define your kitchen’s personality and show off your unique sense of style. Choosing from metal, ceramic, crystal, or plastic fixtures, you can design cabinets that match your budget needs.

H3 Construction and Design: Home Remodeling Near Denver

Ready to schedule a home remodel near Denver, CO? The team at H3 Construction and Design is always ready to help you renovate, restore, and add on to create the home of your dreams at a price you can afford. We take on projects of any size and have been called one of the best home remodeling contractors near Denver—give us a call today at 970-515-2264 or contact us online to learn more!

Located in Loveland, CO, we also serve homeowners throughout Fort Collins, Ault, Greeley, Denver, Windsor, Boulder, Longmont, and the surrounding communities in Northern Colorado.

Construction & Design
504 West Eisenhower Blvd, Suite 3,
Loveland, CO 80537
Phone: 970-515-2264
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