ADA Addition

ADA AdditionThese homeowners were parents to 5 children, 1 of them being a special needs child in a wheelchair.  Unfortunately their beautiful home was not accommodating to their son and his needs. To get their son in and out of the house the parents had to manually lift their child in his wheelchair up and down the narrow patio stairs which was an exhausting and daunting task on a daily basis.  This task was made even more difficult because of their failing patio.  The infill underneath the brick patio was collapsing and there was not proper drainage.  When it rained it meant that there was a puddle of water in the middle of the patio.  There was also no overhead protection so when it rained or it was extra hot/cold outside the homeowners would be forced to put blankets over their child while they carried him in to shield him from the elements.

In addition to the structural issues of the raised patio, the size itself was a major issue.  This small area was not big enough for a family of 7 with 5 growing children.  The family wanted an area where they could all relax, spread out, and entertain.  For their large exterior remodel the family required the following:

  • Increase the size of the raised patio by adding approximately 565 sq ft
  • A stamped concrete surface to drain water easily and  provide a smooth surface for a wheelchair
  • A covered area to shield them from the elements
  • A standing seam metal roof with gutters and downspouts
  • (3) Ellington outdoor ceiling fans with lights and (4) recessed LED lights
  • Add a gas line and a built-in Weber gas grill with Black Pearl granite counter tops, electrical outlets, and open storage for a mini-fridge and storage
  • New black powder coated aluminum guard rails and handrails on the porch and stairs
  • Proper drainage
  • An extension to the driveway using exposed aggregate concrete to allow space for their new Mercedes Sprinter van
  • A new side entrance from the newly extended driveway with a large roof overhang, lighting, and a wide staircase
  • And electronic chair lift with a black powder coated aluminum hinged gate so that they did not have to manually lift their child and his heavy wheelchair
  • Remove the existing 5’ door and replace it with a new 3’ door unit with an ADA threshold, two 12” wide side lights and a 12” tall transom window.
  • Add French drains in various locations to help with drainage issues in their yard
  • Stairs and a landing area for their future ground level patio and pool
  • Install a metal diverter on the second floor roof over the garage door to help direct some of the rain water away from the door.
  • Adhere to all Chesapeake Bay Act requirements

Before Addition- Criner Remodeling

 

After Addition- Criner Remodeling

 

Watch a Time Lapse Video of this project:

Porch Addition Time Lapse from Criner Remodeling on Vimeo.

7 Ideas for Home Bathroom Remodeling

Home bathroom remodeling remains one of the hottest trends in home improvement, and with good reason. What could enhance a home’s appearance more than taking what’s traditionally a generic, utilitarian room and transforming it into an oasis of comfort and beauty?

 

To give you some inspiration for your remodeling dreams, here’s a look at seven ideas to consider for your own home.

  1. Hidden toilets – This is a perfect way to add discretion to a bathroom while enhancing its style and sense of space. Concealing the toilet can be accomplished either with a half-wall or by using the “room-inside-a-room” approach. Either way, the final effect is often dramatic.Hidden Toilet in Bathroom Remodel- Criner Remodeling
  2. Surface changes – Porcelain tiles come in an endless variety of styles these days, including types that look like natural stone. Large tiles in the 18” by 18” size range for floors and 12” by 12” for walls are very popular right now. They help to give the bathroom a spacious feel. Seamless countertops, made of what’s known as “solid surface” material, can be used for virtually every surface in the bathroom, including sinks. They offer a distinct one-piece look, which is beautiful in its eye-catching simplicity.Bathroom Surfaces- Criner Remodeling
  3. Larger shower stalls – While tubs still have their fans, more and more homeowners are passing them up for larger shower areas with cutting-edge features like his-and-her showerheads, steam generators, and body sprays. Stalls have grown to accompany these luxurious touches, with the old-fashioned three-by-three cubicles giving way to ones measuring five-by-seven or even larger. In many cases, it’s even possible to eliminate shower doors, by relying on L-shaped floor designs that keep the spray inside the enclosure.  Bathroom Shower Stall- Criner Remodeling
  4. High-efficiency water fixtures – Low-flow used to mean weak pressure and an unsatisfying shower experience, but no more. Newer showerheads can deliver an invigorating pulse or a relaxing “rain shower” feel, all while meeting flow rates of 2.5 gallons a minute or less. Faucets with aerators and toilets that use only 1.28 gallons per flush can save the average family more than 15,000 gallons of water a year, making a real dent in utility bills.
  5. Larger vanities – Dual sinks used to be all the rage for vanity tops, but in today’s home bathroom remodeling, it’s all about having as much counter space as possible for items like soap dispensers, makeup pouches, razors, etc. Plus, the simplified plumbing of a single sink allows for more storage space underneath.
  6. More ventilation – Moisture is the enemy of every home. Left alone, it can breed mold and ruin painted surfaces. A bathroom fan is the best defense against it, but in the past, these have been woefully inadequate for the job. Today’s models include ducted surfaces that can move 110 cubic feet or more of air per minute. Humidity sensors can even turn the system on automatically, ensuring that the air never gets too moist.Bathroom Fan Ventilation- Criner Remodeling
  7. Letting in more light – Remember how the old bathrooms only had a single light fixture in the ceiling? One of the many problems with this approach is that it casts dark shadows across the face of a person using the vanity. Nowadays, light is layered throughout the bathroom, including vertical lighting strips along medicine cabinets and on sconces around the vanity area. The shower and toilet areas are getting task lights as well, including units that use long-lasting LED bulbs.Light Fixtures in Bathroom- Criner RemodelingWe hope these ideas help you to define your personal remodeling goals. When you’re ready to turn your dreams into reality, give us a call here at Criner Remodeling. We’ll be happy to put our 35+ years of experience to work for you as your home remodeling company. 

Avoid Nightmares While Remodeling Your Home

Remodeling your home can be an exciting thing to experience, but sadly, for some, it can be a real nightmare. Most of the time though, (like going to bed after eating spicy food), the nightmares can be avoided through a bit of simple planning and homework.

 

We all know that in any industry there are good and bad people running them. We have all been to restaurants that we would never return to, and we rave about those that treat us well and prepare delicious food. Well, the contracting and home remodeling business is no exception. There are good and bad contractors out there. In fact, the home improvement industry ranks right at the top in complaints according to the Consumer Federation of America, The National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, and North American Consumer Protection Investigators.

 Criner Remodeling- Hampton Roads- Homes-1

However, the responsibility really falls on the homeowner in most cases. If the homeowner would simply take the time to do the necessary research and homework to check out the prospective contractor, headaches and nightmares would be minimized and potentially avoided altogether.

 

Just by checking that a contractor is licensed is not enough. The license alone does not ensure that the contractor is ethical and fair in his dealings. Some folks get swindled or charmed because they feel they “trust” the contractor they met with. You need to ask people that have used them before to get first hand testimonials – and not just one that the contractor gives you; it may be his brother-in-law saying good things in return for a 6-pack.

 

Another potential nightmare when remodeling your home is assuming things that are not in writing. All contracts should be specific in nature, detailing all work to be done. Verbal understandings only work with your minor children – not in professional contracting.

 

Lastly, make sure your plans versus the contractor’s suggested timeline are realistic. Projects inherently get delayed because of inspections, unforeseen construction issues, and the “stuff happens” phenomenon. Plan for contingencies and “what-ifs”. Be frank and clear in your expectations and ask your contractor to do the same. It does no good for your hopes and dreams if their reality does not mesh with yours.

 

At Criner Remodeling, we can help you avoid any potential nightmares. We work with our clients to ensure we exceed their expectations with the final product. View here our list of 25 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor. Give us a call today!

Small Kitchen Remodeling Ideas: Creating Illusions

We all have a bit of claustrophobia when we find ourselves enclosed in a small space. In a small kitchen, once you have moved appliances like stoves, refrigerators, and perhaps a dishwasher, the space can get cramped pretty quickly. Functional? Yes, but fun to work in when others are around? Not so much. With a small space like a kitchen, you have to be a bit of an illusionist when it comes to remodeling.

Small Kitchen Remodeling- Criner Hampton Roads

One of our small kitchen remodeling ideas is to create the illusion that the room is bigger and more spacious than it really is. For example, you should keep your cupboards at eye level. Having cupboards that go up to the ceiling, for instance, will seem to tower over you and thin the room in a big way. Besides, adding a step stool to the mix so you can reach items kind of defeats the purpose. However, that does not mean that too much clutter will help either. Minimize your “stuff” while you minimize the space.

Small Kitchen Remodeling- Criner Hampton Roads

Colors play an important role in determining how we perceive space. Lighter colors with accents of darker shades always work better than darker colors. Brighter colors also reflect light better, rather than absorbing it. Additionally, tiling certain walls can actually make the room appear larger. Many designers are using this trick to create a larger illusion in new projects.

Utilizing modular design in your kitchen products, as well as your kitchen cupboards, is key to maintaining a small space. Walk-in pantries are being replaced with roll-out pantries with a single door. They require less floor space and usually have a small shelf on top where you can put your microwave.

Whatever your small kitchen remodeling ideas, we can help you make them a reality.

 

8 Custom Home Remodeling Trends for the Kitchen

In today’s world, the kitchen is far more than just a place to prepare food. It’s also a social center, where family members gather to catch up on the events of the day. Additionally, in many cases, it’s a study nook, an arts and crafts studio, and a place to pay bills and surf the Net. With all of these different roles to serve, it’s no wonder that the kitchen is getting a serious makeover. To spur your own imagination, here’s a look at eight custom home remodeling trends to chew on.

1. Built-in coffee centers – Coffee makers have come a long way in the last few years. Today they’re all about choices, from good, old-fashioned café Americano to gourmet blends that can please every taste. With all this focus on the joys of caffeine, it’s no wonder that homeowners are going for built-in brewers that can deliver a steaming cup of espresso, cappuccino, or classic java on demand, any time of day or night.

Criner Remodeling- Range Hood Stove Top2. Sculptured stove hoods – Boxes are out, curves are in. At least this is the case with  today’s stove hoods. After all, there’s nothing that says you can’t have functionality along with great looks. One of the hottest trends involves combining stainless steel with materials such as glass, for a look that’s anything but utilitarian.

Criner Remodeling- Cooking Stove Top in Kitchen

3. Gas/electric ranges – Which is better for heating food: blue jets of flame or tried-and-true red-eye burners? These days, you can have whichever one you prefer at the moment, thanks to dual-fuel cooking appliances in a variety of finishes, from classic cast-iron to modern stainless steel.

Criner Remodeling - Kitchen in Hampton, Virginia4. Eye-popping appliances – Plain white is so 1990s. Modern kitchen gadgets go for a bold visual statement along with dependable results, with shades like yellow, red, and cobalt blue making the scene on today’s counter tops.

5. Revamped cabinetry designs – From new surfaces like lacquer and bamboo to touch-latch springs that eliminate handles, the new cabinets used in custom home remodeling are nothing like their predecessors. Minimalist designs with sliding-door fronts and floating units have freed cabinetry from the walls of the home, bringing it down to where people live their daily lives.

6. Smart appliances – Most of us are familiar with Twitter, but have you ever heard of sending aCriner Remodeling- White Kitchen tweet to your coffeemaker? That’s just one of the many things you can do with today’s smart kitchen devices. For example, say you’re in your car, tired and stressed out from the workday. The one thing you want most of all is a hot cup of java waiting for you when you get home. You use your smart phone to send a Twitter-based message to your coffeemaker. As you walk through the front door, you’re greeted with the intoxicating aroma of your favorite blend, freshly brewed and waiting for you to enjoy it. Thanks to modern smart appliances, homeowners can now enjoy a level of comfort and convenience they never dreamt was possible.

7. Dishwashers that do it all – The days of lining dishes up in trays deep in a machine’s belly, followed by retrieving and stacking them in cupboards, are over. Advanced dishwashing technology now handles the entire task, including storing the dishes after they’ve dried. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?Criner Remodeling - Counter Top Kitchen

8. Customized countertops – Now you’re not limited to what’s available on the showroom floor. Homeowners can have counters built to their personal specifications, including pastry slab inserts crafted from marble and inset butcher blocks. Meanwhile, materials like stainless steel, sealed concrete, and engineered quartz are offering limitless options for custom textures and appearances.

We know that reading about these amazing new innovations makes you want to pursue your own home improvement goals. That’s why we invite you to give us a call here at Criner. We have the experience, training, and expertise to be your home remodeling company. Get in touch with us today, and start turning your dreams into reality.

Best Season for Home Remodeling and Additions

Sunroom Addition- Criner Remodeling

College football has kicked off, and the fall season is fast approaching. Is fall the best time to remodel? Should you wait until winter because you think the contractor has more time? Should you wait until spring?

Well, it really depends on a few things as for what season is the best for home remodeling and additions.  It depends on the kind of project you anticipate, and it also depends on the part of the country (climate) you live in. While it is true that these things can be accomplished year-round, there are certain projects that are better suited for a particular season than others.

Fall: Since it is the end of summer, many suppliers have end of summer clearance deals that you or your contractor can take advantage of. The air is cool, but not too hot or too cold to affect drying of glues, paints, and surface treatments. Roofs are easier to work on as well.

Addition- Criner Remodeling

Winter: Obviously indoor projects are going to dominate the workload here. If you are considering a major renovation or addition, you may want to reconsider the schedule, as heating open areas that are not fully insulated can get expensive and uncomfortable. Opening windows to eliminate fumes is also not a convenient option in the winter. However, most interior improvements that involve plumbing and electrical are usually well received by remodelers in winter.

Bathroom Vanity- Criner RemodelingSpring: Like fall, spring can be a great season to do most home remodeling and additions. Ventilation is no problem since the breezes are getting warmer. The feeling of new growth and renewal will also coincide with excitement for your new space.

Summer: Summer is also a great time for renovations. The only consideration is the heat that a hot spell can bring. Hot, humid days can affect drying times for joint compounds and paints, so ventilation and air conditioning will have to be available. You can also take advantage of the time by taking your vacation during the project so you can avoid the construction and return to a new room or new look.

*Note: No matter the season, you should consult a licensed remodeling professional before you embark on a major project.

Tips for Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

Most people live in their homes long enough to contemplate or complete a bathroom remodeling project. This can be one of those projects where, without proper planning, it can lead to a string of unplanned “one thing leads to another” types of events that can not only break your budget, but end up taking much longer than you anticipated.

 

BudgetShower- Criner Remodeling

You should try your best to develop a budget that you are prepared to work with for your remodel project. This will determine what you can accomplish, whether you do the job yourself, or preferably hire a professional contractor for the job.

 

Plumbing

If you can accomplish the bathroom remodel without moving the original plumbing, you can save money and time. Of course, if your plumbing needs to be upgraded due to obsolete materials, then now would be the time to move it and reconfigure the system.

 

Ventilation

No bathroom remodeling project should be undertaken without paying attention to the need for proper ventilation. Too many forget to provide proper ventilation in the bathroom to remove moisture and prevent destructive mold and mildew from forming.

 

LightingBathroom- Criner Remodeling

Lighting is a very important part of your bathroom remodel. Many people get dressed, put on makeup, do their hair, and perform many other personal care routines in the bathroom, and proper lighting is crucial.

 

Plan 

The proper space plan will ensure you are using your space efficiently as well as aesthetically. Design professionals like Criner Remodeling can take your vision and determine the feasibility of your vision based on the physical realities of your space.

 

If you live on the Peninsula (Hampton Roads area) and are contemplating a bathroom remodel, give Criner Remodeling a call at 757-868-6200. Our professionals can guide you through the planning process and create a stress free, rewarding remodel that you can enjoy for years to come.

Home Improvement Additions for Various Homes: A Sunroom

Sunroom Addition Interior in Hampton, VA  by Criner Remodeling

Sunroom Addition Interior in Hampton, VA by Criner Remodeling

Sunrooms are among the most popular home improvement additions right now, and for a good reason. 

A sunroom allows homeowners and their families to enjoy all the beauty of the outdoors year round, without drawbacks like uncomfortable temperatures, bad weather, or bugs.  Also, they can add significantly to the value of your house.

Sunrooms are classic additions that work well with all types of homes, be they traditional ranch-style brick structures, rustic farmhouses, or contemporary buildings heavily influenced by modern design approaches.  They generally take one of two forms:

  1. All-glass, including the roof and walls, with metal support holding the structure in place.
  2. A more conventional room that matches the rest of the home, with the exception of having a number of large windows to admit the maximum amount of sunlight possible. 

 

Sunroom Addition in Newport News, VA- Criner Remodeling

Sunroom Addition in Newport News, VA by Criner Remodeling

Where to Locate a Sunroom

The choice of placement is up to you, but here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Adjacent to the kitchen is usually an ideal place for a sunroom, since that is where most of the average home’s foot traffic occurs. 
  2. If not the kitchen, then you should choose another room where the family tends to gather, such as the living or TV room.
  3. You can save money on construction costs by locating the sunroom so that it can be accessed by an existing exterior door.  This will remove the need to alter the home’s structure in any significant way.
  4. A room with southern exposure admits direct sunlight throughout the day.  One with eastern exposure is most sunny in the morning, and westward-facing sunrooms are well lit in the afternoons.  In any case, the sunroom should receive four hours or more of sunlight a day.
  5. Consider the views outside your home.  If there’s a scenic outlook, such as a mountain, lake, etc., you may want the room located where you can enjoy the view as much as possible.
  6. If you live in a hot area where air conditioning is a priority, then you might want to consider a sunroom with northern exposure.  While this will cut down on the amount of sunlight the room receives, it can also help you save on utility bills in your new home improvement additions.

 

Sunroom Addition in Yorktown, VA

Sunroom Addition in Yorktown, VA by Criner Remodeling

A Word about Heating and Cooling

You can always expand your home’s current heating/cooling ducts into the sunroom, but this may exceed the system’s capacity and force you to buy a new furnace and air conditioning unit.  It usually makes more sense to provide the sunroom with independent climate control.  This can be done with baseboard heaters, ductless air conditioners, or a separate centralized system.  If nothing else, you could have a ceiling fan and a fireplace for partial climate control.

 

Award Winning Sunroom Addition in Hampton, VA

Award Winning Sunroom Addition in Hampton, VA

General Tips for Sunrooms

  1. You may want to consider using the sunroom as a primary or second dining room.  The indoor/outdoor feel of the room makes it ideal for entertaining guests.
  2. You can also use it as a part- or full-time home office.  If you do, consider using recessed bookcases and shelves to give the room a more transitional feel.
  3. Consider putting potted plants in the room to give it a nice touch of greenery.
  4. While many people use wicker furnishings in their sunroom, there’s no rule that says you have to do so.  Consider decorating it with lightly colored casual pieces, such as overstuffed sofas and chairs that invite family and friends to relax and enjoy the room’s tranquil atmosphere.
  5. Your sunroom will almost certainly need either blinds or curtains, both to help with climate control and to create a sense of privacy.  These can either be manually operated or controlled by your home automation system, so that they automatically open in the morning and close at dusk.

 

Trust Criner to Do your Home Addition Right

Criner Remodeling has been serving the people of the Virginia peninsula since 1977 by providing them with top-quality remodeling work at fair prices.  Our company has been featured in numerous magazines and on television for the excellence of our work and the professionalism of our people.  So, when you need custom home remodeling done right, give us a call.

Think Forward with Aging in Place Remodeling

Elevator Addition- Criner Remodeling- Hampton Roads Homes

Elevator Addition- Aging in Place Remodeling

Like with any man-made structure, a home doesn’t last forever, but if it’s done well, it should at least last a lifetime. The majority of homes in America are decades old; if they’re built structurally sound and regularly maintained, most could last for centuries. That’s an appealing notion for potential buyers wanting to invest, but many older people find that their homes become less livable over time. Aging in place remodeling readies a house for older occupants; making changes that will allow frailer people to live safely and comfortably. Often, homeowners concentrate on bathrooms, where the most dangerous falls tend to occur, but almost every room can benefit from aging in place remodeling.

 

From widening doorways for potential wheelchairs to installing grab bars throughout the home, this form of remodeling is all about thinking forward. “Preparing for the worst” sounds dire and fatalistic, which isn’t the purpose of aging in place remodeling at all. Aging is a fact of life. While backpackers and marathon runners might consider wheelchairs the end of a happy existence, older people realize they sometimes simple reality, not a doomed fate. A home that’s prepared for anything isn’t just safer but a wise investment. Once settled, people want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. If it’s ready for wheelchairs or just the normal slowing of age, they won’t have to leave a house for years. Adding an elevator shaft or moving a master bedroom downstairs might seem extreme when homeowners are young, but if it prepares a home for aging in place, it’s a smart remodeling decision.

Home Renovation Laws: The Reasons Not to DIY

DIY Disaster Home Renovation- Criner Remodeling professional

Americans are known for being do-it-yourselfers.  It’s part of what makes us great; however, it’s important for anyone tackling a project to know their limits.  Whether due to lack of experience or some other cause, mistakes made in DIY remodeling jobs can cause unwary homeowners to run afoul of home renovation laws.  Some of the potential pitfalls include electrical, gas, and plumbing hazards.

 

Electrical Hazards

Electricity is a wonderful servant that has transformed the world for the better; however, when wiring or other components are incorrectly installed, a number of problems can result.  These include:

·         Lights dimming for no apparent reason.

·         Power outlets that are hot to the touch.

·         Blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.

·         Fires inside the walls of the home.

·         A “burnt” odor inside the house.

·         Electrical arcs or shocks when plugging or unplugging appliances.

Each year, hundreds of people are electrocuted due to faulty household repairs and other causes.  These problems aren’t always the fault of the installer, because millions of Americans rely on do-it-yourself books to guide them through projects, and these popular publications don’t always give accurate information.  In fact, many were recently recalled due to faulty instructions on how to do home wiring.

The safest bet when it comes to electrical work is to let an experienced, licensed contractor handle it, like the seasoned professionals that Criner employs.  To do otherwise can expose you to both safety and legal hazards, should someone be injured or killed.

 

Gas HazardsKitchen Gas Connectors- Criner Remodeling

Millions or American homes rely on natural gas to provide heat and cook their meals.  Correctly installed, gas lines are perfectly safe; however, when mistakes are made, the results can be tragic.  The mistakes commonly made by DIYers include:

·         Failure to install and/or use manual shut-off valves ahead of connectors.

·         Stretching connectors beyond their intended length.

·         Joining two or more connectors to make a longer one.

·         Using components that don’t meet building code and/or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines.

·         Reusing old gas connectors.

·         Using fittings not recommended by appliance manufacturers.

·         Using flexible gas components in situations where the pressure exceeds their recommended tolerances.

·         Using acids or other corrosives in contact with gas pipes or connectors.

Making any of these mistakes can result in poisonous, incredibly flammable gas leaking into the home, causing problems ranging from headaches and nausea to fires and massive explosions.  As with electricity, all gas work should be left to qualified professionals.  The legal and other consequences of going it alone are all-too-often tragic.

 

Plumbing HazardsLaundry- Utility Room- Criner Remodeling

Indoor plumbing is essential to living a comfortable modern lifestyle.  As with gas and electricity, however, installing and renovating the required components is best left to professionals.  Amateurs often make a number of serious errors due to being unaware of home renovation laws. These errors include:

·         Allowing too little slope in drainage lines.  This mistake can quickly lead to clogs and waste backups.

·         Not venting traps.  When this step is left undone, poisonous methane gas can leak into the home.

·         Installing inadequate or inaccessible clean-outs.  These essential features must be installed at the spots specified by code.

·         Not allowing for adequate air gaps in sink plumbing.  This mistake can cause the contents of septic lines to contaminate the home’s freshwater supplies.

·         Not allowing for pressure and/or temperature relief when installing a water heater.  The results of this error can include an exploding heater that sprays scalding water and metal shrapnel throughout the home.

 

Trust Criner Remodeling to do the Job right

Since 1977, we’ve been serving the people of the Hampton Roads Peninsula by providing them with top-quality remodeling work that meets or exceeds all applicable home renovation laws, building codes, and standards.  When you’re looking to improve your home, give us a call.