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!  

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!  

Adverse weather can throw a serious wrench in construction plans. This can be especially troublesome in regions with a lot of snow such as Colorado. Other factors such as high winds, heavy rain, temperature, and fog can come into play and affect a construction timeline. The unpredictability of weather can’t be planned around which can make it a major reason some projects get pushed back. 

If you’re pursuing a new build project or you’re in the middle of one currently, you might want to know what to expect. In this article, we’re going to break down how the weather can affect a construction project by the season. 

Construction in the Fall and Winter

Fall and winter can be a difficult time of year to start or continue a construction project. The cold temperatures complicate the process on a number of fronts. It can also grow to be an expensive endeavor if you choose to press on through inclement weather. 

Here are a couple of factors to keep in mind:

Ground Temperature 

One major issue in the fall and winter is ground temperature. Frozen earth isn’t impossible to work with but it can pose some complications – especially when it comes to breaking ground. Excavation and laying down concrete aren’t ideal when the ground is frozen. The frost can reach almost a foot below the surface. So, breaking ground on the project during the winter isn’t ideal if you live in a cold state.

There are some options to combat the freezing earth. Some methods include using anti-freezing concrete components, ground thaw machines, or insulated blankets. But this can drive up the price of a construction project. 

Cold-Sensitive Construction Equipment 

Many pieces of building materials and equipment are rendered useless in freezing weather. For instance, mortar and grout require adequate heat for normal cement hydration. Attempting to install any type of concrete in freezing temperatures can reduce its durability.

Other types of adhesives, insulation, and electrical wiring need to be installed at a certain temperature too. Depending on the stage of your project and if heating units are already in place, these are factors that may slow progress down. 

Construction in the Spring and Summer 

Although warmer temperatures are more desirable when it comes to construction, there are some weather issues that can occur in the spring and summer months that can slow down a timeline as well. Keep in mind that some conditions from the winter can bleed into the spring depending on where you live. 

Here are a couple of factors to keep in mind during spring and summer:

High Winds

Any equipment that is suspended in the air will pose a safety risk during high winds. Cranes and towers are especially dangerous. They could get blown over, injuring the individuals working on them and potentially damaging the construction site. If the wind is strong enough, it can also lead to objects flying into the air and striking people on the site. 

High winds can also kick up a lot of dust. This can irritate or damage the eyes. It can also create low visibility which can make it difficult to complete work optimally. The loud sound of wind can also make it difficult for construction workers to hear approaching vehicles which can pose a safety risk too. 

Heavy Rain 

Torrential rain reduces visibility for workers on a site and the drivers operating heavy machinery. It can also cause less than ideal working conditions. Mud can be especially difficult to work in. It can also lead to damaged equipment or materials. 

Thick Fog 

Fog is another type of possible summer weather condition that reduces visibility for construction workers. Without the ability to see what’s a few feet in front of them, it can make it extremely difficult to drive construction vehicles or get out of the way as a vehicle approaches. When fog appears, a project may have to halt until it clears. However, this is a less likely weather condition to appear in summer in select regions of the country. But, though rare, it does occur in Colorado.

Expert Contractors Set Real Expectations

Inclement, unpredictable weather conditions aren’t impossible to work with. If you live in a region with varying weather, be sure to hire an experienced local contractor. We’re really stressing the ‘local’ since they have experience working around the regional weather changes during a build. Of course, delays can be inevitable, but they may have more knowledge on options and solutions when bad weather strikes. 

If you’re in the Northern Colorado region, H3 Construction & Design is at your service! Be sure to give us a call to learn more about our services and how to plan your build. Rain or shine, we’re happy to be your trusted local contractor in NoCo!

The sky’s the limit when you choose to build a custom home! From floorplans to appliances, you can contribute to every aspect of the design process. Exterior styling can be an especially exciting aspect of the design process.

There’s a lot of room to get creative with your new home. But with complete creative license can come a lot of tough decisions. So, maybe a little inspiration from some more well-known styles can help. What’s on-trend in the world of custom home building?

Let’s explore a few styles and trends for custom home exteriors in 2020.

Country French-Style  

Source: Har

Based on European architecture, the country french-style home has been a mainstay in custom home building for ages. And for good reason! Sometimes the classics don’t need fixing. This style captures a timeless essence with its ornate windows and whimsical fairytale charm. 

Usually, country French-style homes have a brick or stucco exterior. Stone walls and floors are a common feature. You’ll also notice raw, distressed wood to finish off the rustic design. They capture the comfort of a cottage while bringing in an air of grand luxury. Though many country french-style homes boast a lofty square footage, you can still draw inspiration from this aesthetic if you’re building a modest home as well.

Cottage Style 

Modest and quaint, the cottage is a timeless favorite shaping the design of many custom homes today. This style plays with similar playful elements of the country french-style home. Cottage homes often revolve around muted, earthy tones and sophisticated architecture with roots in Victorian Tudor architecture. 

Some key features of this exterior design include gable roofs and bay windows. Some cottage style homes will include a small porch area as well. The overarching theme here is “cozy”. With a footprint typically under 2,000 square feet, the cottage home is the perfect option for you if you’re looking to downsize. 

Modern Farmhouse 

Source: Realtor.com

Covered porches and classic silhouettes define the modern farmhouse. This is a popular style many draw inspiration from when building a custom home. Tradition mingles with contemporary design in this long-loved architectural style. 

Some key hallmarks of the farmhouse include clapboard siding –or overlapping, horizontal wooden boards– as well as distinctive soffits. You’ll also notice details such as vintage lighting fixtures and clean symmetry. Inside, you’ll see the most recognizable features of the farmhouse style: a big kitchen, barn house doors, and reclaimed wood galore. 


Defined by simple lines and contrasting textures, the contemporary style home is a bold new look for the modern homeowner. This exterior style gained popularity in the ’60s and ’70s but garnered newfound popularity in recent years. 

Characterized by irregular shapes and oversized windows, the contemporary home takes design and runs with it. You won’t see any ornate embellishments or granular detailing. Contemporary homes are no fuss, leaning on modern engineering to create a simple, one-of-a-kind home. Most will feature an open floor plan and sleek, modern appliances.

Today, many contemporary homes are notably eco-friendly and affordable to build as well. If you’re after a design to call uniquely yours, this might be the route for you! 

Nod to the Planet: Eco-Friendly Home  

Eco-friendly homes are more popular than ever! There are several factors to account for when seeking out a sustainable home: building materials, energy-efficiency, and, of course, the architectural style.

In most cases, eco-friendly custom homes are more of a concept than a distinct style. You’ll notice words like “sustainable” and “efficient” pop up throughout the custom home build process. Most new-builds aim to include eco-friendly elements in their design. But there are a few design options that take sustainability a little further. Let’s take a look at a few different styles of eco-friendly custom homes. 

Disclaimer: H3 Construction & Design doesn’t build any of the following homes. We have included them for your convenience and to inspire!


This is one of the most popular eco-friendly options today. Prefab –or prefabricated– homes are typically built partially or completely off-site. The elements of the home piece together like a puzzle once it’s assembled at the land lot. Prefab homes are manufactured in such a way that no excess waste is produced making them a great option for the environmentally conscious. As an added bonus, they’re far cheaper than a traditional home to produce! 

Glass Home 

Source: WSJ

Glass homes aren’t just stylish; they can also be a great option for the environmentalist! Usually, this type of home is built with a south-facing wall of windows. This allows the home to naturally heat up as the sunrises saving you tons on your energy bill. 


If you want to minimize your impact as much as possible, look no further than the earthship! This option takes sustainability to the extreme with a completely self-sustaining design. Usually, they’re built using natural or upcycled materials. Most earthships run completely on solar panels and wind power. They even collect their own water from rain or a nearby body of water.  

Tiny Home 

Another popular eco-friendly option taking the world by storm is the tiny home. These miniature abodes are similar to the prefab. They can come pre-manufactured in full or in parts. But a lot of the time, people will set out to build their tiny homes from scratch. With less space comes less energy usage. That makes the tiny home a great option for the environmentally conscious. 

When You’re Ready to Build Custom, Give Us a Call

Make your Colorado dream home a reality with H3 Construction & Design! We know the custom home building process can be exciting and overwhelming all at once. Our team of expert home builders will be your ally every step of the way to assure you have the best experience possible. 

If you’re in the Northern Colorado area and you’re ready to start your custom home build journey, get in touch with us! Call or email us with any questions and let’s build the perfect home for you and your family!

Empty room before and after house flip.

Building a Custom Home 

The appeal of building a brand new home is alluring. You get a beautiful, ready-to-move-in oasis with no sweat off your back. And a custom-built home, in particular, can offer a personalized touch crafted exactly to your tastes. But there are some considerations you should mull over before you decide to go through with building a custom home. 

Spec and Tract Homes vs. Custom Homes 

First, let’s go over the basics. There can be a lot of confusion around what defines a custom home and how it compares to its other new-build counterparts. So what is the difference between spec, tract, and custom homes?

In basic terms, a spec home (abbreviation for speculative home) is a new-build that’s ready for potential buyers to move in right away. This is a better option for those who are looking to sell the property once completed (investors). Investors buy a lot or piece of land, build the house, and then sell it. In some cases, homebuyers may be able to pick out finishes if it’s still under construction. But the buyers have no say in the actual floor plan. 

Tract homes -or production built homes- are built on large plots of land bought by a developer or builder. Often, the company will offer a selection of model homes for the buyer to choose from. These are often built at a large volume and don’t provide much room for customization. We could call this, the stereotypical neighborhood home of the culdesac.

Generally, custom homes are built in small volumes on plots that the homebuyer selects personally. In most cases, those interested in building a custom home choose a builder first and they pick out a plot together. Although a high-end, luxury home might come to mind when we think of custom homes, they can also be small to medium in size as well. 

What to Consider When Building a Custom Home

It’s important to thoroughly inspect a lot before buying; there could be hidden problems that will slow or impede your building process. Be sure to determine the setback of the property. This is the boundary that you can build the house on. Other considerations to keep in mind are features such as topography, soil quality, storm easements, title issues, sewer hookups. 

Financing is another important factor to consider. New-home construction financing can be tricky territory. It becomes more complicated if you intend to use the home as an investment property. As you may already know if you’ve invested in property before, it’s more difficult to secure a loan because investment properties pose more of a risk to lenders. 

Other Considerations For Investors

It’s important to be aware of a few things when pursuing a custom home build project. Be sure to survey the surrounding area before you purchase a lot. Are there any other new-builds in the neighborhood? If so, are they selling or sitting on the market?

The more turn-over you see in a neighborhood, the lower the risk in building. It can be a hunt to find the perfect lot for your potential new-build. You should also keep in mind the build time for your project and if you can handle the holding costs in the meantime. 

Benefits of Building a Custom Home 

The sky is the limit when you commission a custom home. You can truly let your creativity run wild. Building custom can be a one-way ticket to your dream home. And, although buying an older home seems like a safer bet, it’s not a bad move for a first-time investor to go the custom home route.

When you decide to go with a custom home, you can choose from an array of design options. From floor plan to kitchen countertops, your home can be as unique as you are. Going the custom route provides you with a blank slate to express yourself with. 

One of the major benefits of building custom is leaving the stress of maintenance behind you! A brand new home won’t offer nearly as many surprises as an older home. Of course, there might be a few repairs needed here and there. But, unlike an older home, you won’t have to concern yourself with issues like possible asbestosis, old heaters, collapsing roofs, or poorly sealed spaces. 

Flipping a Home

With shows like Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper playing a prominent role in shaping our recent zeitgeist, flipping a home has never been more popular. This can be a fun project for a first-time home buyer and a lucrative venture for an investor. Not to mention the rich history and well-established neighborhoods older homes have to offer.

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ U.S. Home Flipping Report, flipped homes accounted for 6.2% of all home sales in 2019.

So what should you know before flipping a home?

What to Consider When Flipping a Home 

Older homes come with a lot of baggage. Much of the time, these homes haven’t been well-loved for quite awhile. And even when they’ve been tended to carefully, unanticipated repairs could still crop up along the way. This can lead to a lot of stress during the renovation process. 

Before you get your heart set on your fixer-upper, budget carefully. Leave no stone unturned when evaluating potential repairs. And once you have a good idea of how much your renovation cost will be, be sure you have enough set aside for any unanticipated problems you may encounter. 

This is the downside to flipping a property instead of building something new. Even if you did all of your budgeting, since it’s an older house, new costs could appear out of nowhere.

Obviously, another downturn in flipping houses is the location. You’re stuck with wherever the house has been located for all of those years. So, be sure you absolutely love where you’ll be situated or, if you’re an investor, where you’ll be selling.

Be sure you understand the time commitment of flipping a home. This isn’t going to be something you can complete over a long weekend. Between finding the perfect property, hiring the general contractor, completing the renovation, and inspections, you could be looking at months of dedicated work.

Other Considerations For Investors

Just like any business, flipping homes takes a certain level of knowledge and experience. You can’t go into an old home without knowledge, screwdrivers blazin’, and expect it to look like a remodel on HGTV. This isn’t a DIY project by any means.

You have to do extensive research and check your work to assure your project doesn’t flop. You could lose a lot of money if you’re not well-equipped with the skill, patience, and time necessary to pull off your project.

Benefits of Flipping a Home 

Flipping a home can be an extremely fulfilling experience. If you’re flipping your personal home, you’ll gain the hands-on knowledge it takes to pursue a renovation project. This could give you a great foot in the door for future investment endeavors if you so choose. 

When you decide to flip a home, you get the unique opportunity to add your personal style to a piece of history. A lot of the time, older homes have features not as commonly used in new-builds such as wood-burning fireplaces and quirky design elements from the past (like that wallpaper or green carpet).

Although you’re somewhat limited on customization, there’s plenty of room to play. And, at the end of the day, you get the satisfaction of breathing new life into your space. 

Renovating an older home will add value to it. Even if you don’t plan on selling your home right after you flip it (or ever), you can get a house appraisal and see how it compares to other homes in your neighborhood.

So Which Is Best For You?

Every buyer's situation is different. It’s hard to give a black-and-white answer to which option is better. They both have their benefits and drawbacks. Whether you are a homeowner or an investor, you’ll need to outweigh the pros and cons aforementioned.
H3 Construction & Design is a wonderful resource to lean on when weighing out which route to take. With our expertise in design and construction, we can steer you in the right direction for a flip or a totally new home. Schedule a consultation today!

Man holding a tiny model house in hand

Imagine a housing solution that creates more housing opportunities in communities, saves homeowners and tenants money, empowers seniors to be near family as they age, and makes use of extra space in low-density neighborhoods.

Imagine apartments built on top of garages and in basements, detached dwellings situated on large, spacious lots, and gorgeous tiny homes tucked away in established neighborhoods.

What you’ve just imagined are referred to as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Types of Accessory Dwelling Units

You’ve likely heard ADUs called a myriad of names: granny flats, in-law suites, backyard cottages, secondary units, etc. There are four types of Accessory Dwelling Units:

  1. Interior: An interior ADU, also known as “Junior ADU”  is built within a preexisting home, usually as a renovated attic or basement.
  2. Attached: These ADUs share a wall with the existing home, but have a separate entrance and can be constructed to the side or rear of the home
  3. Garage: ADUs built in or on a garage unit are a great option for families that don’t want the hassle or cost of constructing an entirely new building.
  4. Detached: The sky’s the limit with detached ADUs. Built as a separate (usually much smaller) dwelling, they are popularly rented out to tenants or given as residences for elderly parents or medical dependents who might benefit from both proximity and autonomy.

Building Accessory Dwelling Units

Okay, so you’re excited to build on to your home, whether that’s to house grandma or make some extra cash, but you’re unsure about where to start. Good news! This next section is your one-stop-shop for all things ADU building!

The Cost

Unfortunately, there’s no calculator to determine how much you can expect to spend on building an ADU. The total will vary depending on a myriad of factors, such as: 

It may be helpful to reach out to your local design and construction company for estimates and future direction.

The good news about cost: the land is free! You already paid for that. However, financing for ADUs is not readily accessible, as it’s not a popular enough project or investment yet.

Plan on getting creative. Homeowners typically should expect to spend upwards of $100,000. You can find some self-reported ADU development costs here. It will be important to think of your ADU as an investment, and not a “get rich quick” scheme for Airbnb.

Who Builds ADUs?

If you are lucky enough to be or to know a professional-grade carpenter or home renovator, you may be able to do a large portion of construction yourself. However, it is likely that you will need to hire a professional contractor at some point for elements of the project that are outside of your expertise (more on this later).

If you’d like to remain mostly hands-off during the ADU building process, you will want to have conversations with trusted contractors in your area to determine which company will be the best fit for your project needs. Find out if they are able to do all construction in-house, or if the company will need to hire out subcontractors for various steps, such as plumbing and electrical. If so, make sure you trust the partners they work with.

The Design

While your building team will likely be well-versed and knowledgeable about the best layout and design for the project you’re building, it will be important to advocate for your desires and vision early on in the process, so that everyone is on the same page.

For inspiration, try Pinterest or a Google image search for “Accessory Dwelling Units.” Pay attention to what you love and which designs will work well with the space you have or are wanting to build!

Keep in mind whom the end-user of your ADU build will be. Is this an investment property for future renters? Keep the design neutral and timeless.

Is it for an elderly family member to move into so he or she can be close to the grandbabies and receive help with day-to-day activities? Communicate that to your design team to ensure all included elements attend to those needs.

Is it for an adult child, going to college in the area? Consider keeping his/her opinion in mind during the process. Constructing an ADU is no small feat, so make sure all contributors are “doing it right the first time.”

Building Permits

It is absolutely essential, before you proceed with plans to build your ADU, that you find out what your local city government’s mandates and policies are regarding new building projects in your neighborhood. Each city and/or county has different laws regarding the size of your lot, where and what can be built in your neighborhood, and which permits, applications, and licenses are required.

This can be determined by a simple entry in an online search engine (Google), or a phone call to your local government office for applicable information and forms.

H3 Construction and Design

If you’re looking for an Accessory Dwelling Unit contractor who is experienced and trained in both construction and design in Northern Colorado, h3 Construction and Design is your team of trusted professionals. h3 specializes in constructing spaces that are innovative, useful, and unique.

We will ensure that all of your custom ADU building and remodeling ideas come to life. We specialize in working with clients within all reasonable budget ranges, and will help you choose a design plan that is both functional and gives your project an outstanding presence.

No ADU job is too big or too small; here at h3 we provide superior service to all our clientele. We also offer a range of design amenities including full-spectrum drawings with 3-D imaging that can help you realize your dream before we begin building or remodeling.

Reach out today to begin a conversation about your Accessory Dwelling Unit construction project!

Finished modern kitchen after house remodel

Are you looking around the house for the next remodel or addition to make on your home? 

Remodels can be expensive so, before getting started, you may want to know how much will your insurance cover and how much comes directly out of your pocket.

What Qualifies as Remodeling? 

When looking to your insurance to cover remodeling costs, be very precise for what you’re actually looking for. Remodeling isn’t renovating. The difference between the two is that a remodel means that you want to “remake” or alter the structure. To renovate means to refresh or restore something pre-existing.

Typically, renovating is less invasive and more feasible to do-it-yourself, like updating a bathroom. However, depending on the size of the project, a professional may still be needed. 

Remodeling requires a background in the field or a professional to do the job. The professional typically requires expertise and experience in the type of remodel you’re looking for. General contractors tend to be the proper solution, however, there are select professions for the project you need.

The reason a professional is required is that remodeling typically entails ripping out walls and existing structures to build new ones or create a totally new addition. 

Depending on the work you want to do to your home will determine what insurance is best for you and your bank account.

Insurance Coverage for a Remodel

Your homeowner’s insurance covers your house during a remodel, however, that may not extend to adding an addition. You should also be looking at your total insurance coverage limits as it sets the limitations to what insurance will pay and the remaining cost to you. Upgrade that coverage if you plan on a bigger remodel project.

A homeowner’s insurance policy typically includes coverages like personal liability and personal property coverage

This helps cover you if someone else gets hurt on your property as well as if your personal belongings get damaged or stolen.

It is also important to have the proper updated insurance for your home. Depending on the value of your home and when you got your insurance, your coverage may have changed.

Be sure to look into matching your property coverage limits to the new value of your home after the remodel.

Remodeling projects are an easy way to increase the value of your home, yet many people don’t realize they need to increase their coverage as well.

On top of ensuring you have insurance, you’re not only one who should have insurance for this project. If you are looking to add an addition to your home, remodel it, or even get a new roof, your contractor and subcontractors should also be insured and licensed in their field. 

One way to check that your contractor is insured and covered is by asking for their insurance information before hiring them.

Yes, they are able to and should always hand this information out to you.

Get the Proper Insurance for the Job

Builder’s risk insurance is one safety net that helps to cover you for any of the risks possible during a home remodel.

Risks involved in home remodels include:

Builder’s risk insurance is a form of property insurance that is created to address the possible hazards that can occur when undergoing home improvement jobs that require significant renovations.

If your home is undergoing a major remodel or addition and you and your family need to vacate the house for a period of time, it is important to know that a typical policy won’t cover a vacant home for more than 30 days. 

Unoccupied or vacant home insurance covers your home when you’re not there during a long remodel.

To find the proper insurance for your home, it is important to discuss your options as well as risks with a personal risk manager or insurance agent who specializes in home renovation insurance (which covers remodels). Renovation insurance is just adding coverage to your pre-existing homeowner’s insurance.

Depending on the size of the project, you will want to decide which coverage is best: Adding renovation insurance, or adding builder’s risk insurance.

You can purchase a builder’s risk insurance policy through specialized insurers.

You're most likely covered by your insurance company for the majority of remodeling projects for your home. In the case that you're not, find the best solution using the advice outlined here to ensure that you don't pay for the brunt of the expenses.

Enjoy your beautiful home!

Toolbox filled with tools

What tools does a new homeowner need? How about: What tools should every house have?

The majority of residencies need a few tools to survive, repair fixtures, hang decorations, and do whatever else that’s necessary. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, there are essential tools you should keep on hand to ensure you don’t get into a bind. Rather than needing to call a professional or have to go the extra mile by heading to the store each time you need a new tool, keep these tools... handy.

1. Hammer

Claw hammer with rubber handle
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Claw Hammer$5.97ANViL

Everyone knows that the hammer is useful for pounding in nails, but it’s one of the most essential tools of all time. There are a variety of hammers out on the market, each with a unique use. Claw hammers are also good for the removal of nails! The hammer you’ll definitely need is just a regular weighted fiberglass claw hammer with a comfortable grip. You’ll find that rubber handles are much easier on the palm of your hand with the shock absorption.

2. Nails, Screws, Hooks

Fasteners, screws, nails, and bolts
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Nails, Screws, Hooks$0.75+Grip-Rite

Buy a variety of fasteners. Fasteners refer to nails, screws, hooks, and bolts.

Nails are great for hanging up decorations like picture frames, clocks, and children’s drawings they made for mom and dad. Screws are for objects that need more reinforcement. Shelving, cabinets, and some other decorations need screws as they are less likely to fall out. Hooks are great for hanging anything but are especially useful for items that you’ll be hanging and removing often.

3. Tape Measure

Yellow and silver tape measure
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
25 ft. Tape Measure$9.88Stanley

A tape measure (not “measurer”) is useful for… measuring things. You’ll use a tape measure anytime you want to get specific with your measurements, such as when you're remodeling. If you’re just eyeballing where the second picture frame should go, you’ll notice a few differences when you’re hanging them. If you are measuring, don’t use a pen, use a pencil so you can easily remove your marks with soap and water.

4. Screwdriver Set

Basic black and red screwdrivers
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Screwdriver Set$14.98CRAFTSMAN

There are many occasions when a screwdriver set will come in handy. If you’ve ever built IKEA furniture or ANY furniture yourself, you’ll understand that a screwdriver is so very important. You can get an entire screwdriver set, or get a set that is interchangeable in the heads. Multi-bit screwdrivers are cheap and useful for most circumstances.

5. Level

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
9 in. Level (Spirit Level, Bubble Level)$3.18Kapro

The tape measure can only measure distance, it doesn’t fully help with alignment. If you want a perfectly flat table or decorations that aren’t slanted (a major OCD for many of us) then get a level and never worry about the slanting again.

6. Extension Cord

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
15 ft. Extension Cord$9.99UltraPro

Many of the power tools in your home that you’ll acquire only come with a short cord. That’s no fun when your electrical unit is 12 feet across the room and your cord only reaches 6. Get a nice, long extension cord; preferably one that has three prongs rather than two since this can be used for both two and three-prong cords.

7. Drill Set

DEWALT power drill
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Drill Set$113.99DEWALT

A power drill set is so helpful in situations when you need more power! Essentially, think of a power drill set as an automatic screwdriver, just with way more power and much less effort. Go with a power drill set that is cordless and comes with multiple battery packs, extensions, and is 18-Volts or higher so you have more power.

8. Tape

Scotch duct tape roll
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
35 yd. Duct Tape$7.98Gorilla

Tape comes in handy when you need to patch something up or to keep things together. It’s less messy than glue, though it doesn’t look as pretty. Duct tape is very strong but should only be used for anything non-electric. If you need to keep wires together, use electrical tape.

9. Super Glue

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Super Glue$5.97Gorilla

Super glue is extremely useful for closing gaps and patching materials together. Be extra cautious as you don’t want the super glue to get on your skin, not only is it filled with chemicals, it’s also a nightmare to take off. It is very messy if you don’t have a steady hand.

10. Flashlight

LED high-lumen handheld flashlight
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
S1000 Lumen Flashlight$9.99Amuoc

Everyone needs a handheld flashlight. While many phones nowadays come with flashlights, that’s only good for immediate needs and isn’t preferable for all spaces. A typical flashlight will shine at 100 lumens (the brightness that the lightbulb emits). Get an LED flashlight that shines at 100 lumens or greater. We recommend 1,000 lumens for the best light that’s not too bright.

11. Pliers

Set of 3 pliers
ToolPriceRecommended Brand

Pliers are great for keeping small objects immobile or for the removal of small materials, such as nails. There are a variety of pliers to choose from and each is very useful. Long-nose pliers are great for reaching things that might be tucked away and are hard to get to. Combination pliers are great for gripping, bending, cutting, and removing materials. Locking pliers are useful when you need more torque with the addition of a better grip.

We suggest you get all three types of pliers.

12. Utility Knife

Red utility knife/box cutter
ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Utility Knife (Box Cutter)$13.99Fancii

Utility knives (also known as boxcutters) are adjustable knives that are very sharp and are typically used for cutting through rough materials. They are particularly known for cutting through boxes, but there is a myriad of other materials they can cut through including drywall.

13. Wrenches

2 silver wrenches
ToolPriceRecommended Brand

Wrenches are great when it comes to tightening bolts and hex nuts. It’s always best to use a tool for its intended purpose instead of repurposing it for convenience’s sake. Meaning, don’t use a pair of pliers to do a wrench’s job. We suggest getting several wrenches of various sizes from small to large or purchasing an adjustable wrench.

14. Plunger

ToolPriceRecommended Brand
Plunger$4.88E-Z Bellows

Get a plunger. Sometimes a plumber isn’t needed when it comes to a backed-up toilet and all you need is to put in a little bit of elbow grease yourself. Use a plunger for toilet drains as the powerful suction will aid in releasing the pressure caused by the materials clogging it.

15. Toolbox

Toolbox filled with tools
ToolPriceRecommended Brand

Well, you have to have a place to store all of your tools, right? Get yourself a handy-dandy toolbox that can contain all of your new tools included in this list. Get a big enough toolbox that has some extra space for more tools if you need them. You don’t need anything fancy, just something that you can carry around with a handle for transportation.

16. Ladder

ToolPriceRecommended Brand

Finally, get yourself a ladder. Ladders are invaluable as you’ll likely need to use it for replacing light bulbs, cleaning appliances and cabinetry that’s out of reach, and replacing the smoke monitors’ batteries every now and then.

If there’s something in this list that we’re missing or a tool that you use regularly, go ahead and leave us a comment. Have fun with your new tools!

Construction & Design
102 S. Saint Louis Ave.
Loveland, CO 80537
Phone: 970-515-2264
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