Creating a Relaxing Environment With a Home Addition

There is more to life at home than eating, sleeping and watching TV. If you don’t have the space to do things you enjoy, it might be time for a home addition to increase your square footage. Create a special place where you can relax, have fun and actively improve your health. Relaxation and exercise can reduce tension and improve sleeping habits. These are elements that can be incorporated into the plans for your home addition for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Games
Improve your lifestyle with a recreation room. Put in your own activity center with games and gadgets you love. From dart boards and cornhole to classic videos games, billiards and large screen TVs, this room can be a different type of entertainment center. It’s one where you like the music, the comfortable feel and the perfect floor. You don’t have to worry about damaging the walls or disturbing the neighbors. You can address those details and concepts with your design build contractor through soundproofing and protective surfaces. If you’ve got the space, add a bowling alley, a wet bar or a basketball hoop.

Fitness Center
If you don’t seem to use your membership to the local fitness center because it’s too inconvenient, move the fitness center to your basement. Furnish it with your favorite equipment and make it a place of comfort and motivation. From yoga mats and heated flooring to music and TV monitors for distraction, your fitness center can provide a personal environment where no one will judge you by what you’re wearing or how long you stay on your stationary bike. A heating and cooling system with a separate thermostat can help you stay comfortable during your workout. An adjoining bathroom can offer a quick and convenient place to clean up or to relax in a spa tub after a tough workout.

Woodworking & Crafts
Having a special place in your home to escape stress and let your creative juices flow is just as important as improving your kitchen, reinventing your bedroom or adding on a garage. A room designed for crafting or woodworking focuses on storage space, ample electrical outlets, suitable ventilation, sturdy flooring and comfortable workspaces.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

Making An Entrance With Home Additions

Building an addition onto the front of your house can balance out other changes in a multi-faceted Northern Virginia home remodeling project. When changing the number of stories or extending the higher floors already in place, adding another dimension to the front is one way to increase square footage and have more space to call your own. An overhang or structure above the front door provides visual sophistication and protection from the weather. Add outdoor lighting along the walkway and the entrance to make your guests feel safe with a warm welcome.

Porches and Porticos
One way to make your house grander is to add an entrance to your front door. Rather than a simple doorstep and a flat front, creating another dimension to your home with a distinctive front walk that ends in a porch or portico – or both — makes a statement. Add furniture to the porch for a cool respite from the hot Northern Virginia sun and perhaps an outdoor ceiling fan for those muggy summer days when you don’t want to be cooped up inside. A wide entryway should blend in well with the front of a two-story or three-story Colonial-style home. A covered front walk over a split-level or split-foyer house is another option.

Welcome Area
Consider features like columns or a veranda along the entryway that turn a flat front door into a grand entrance that lets your guests know that they have arrived. It can give texture and character to the house where matching and coordinating colors and trim are used. The angles of the new roof can mimic the rest of the home’s roof pitch to make it fit in while standing out.

Making Connections
For a ranch-style home where you’re putting a home addition on the back, a wrap-around porch that connects the new addition and opens up near the front door is another way to add depth and grandeur to your home.

Changing your entrance and building a home additions Arlington VA should take into account the shape of your property and the current structure of your house. To learn more about the possibilities for making your home larger and more welcoming to your visitors and guests, contact our office at 703-550-1371.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

Making Your Home Accessible to Aging In Place

The oldest of the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) reached the age of 65 last year in 2011 and by 2030 the number of Americans over the age of 65 will soar to 72.1 million, 1 out of every 5 Americans!  Given those numbers there is no question why we get so many calls here at Foster Remodeling on how to remodel an existing home to make it more comfortable and accessible for the homeowners as they age.  In fact, according to a recent AARP survey, 73% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement “What I’d really like to do is stay in my current residence for as long as possible”.  Most homes, especially in Northern Virginia, weren’t designed with long-term accessibility in mind, but there are several projects that can make you and your family more at ease with you staying in your home as long as possible.

Kitchens are great way to update a home’s accessibility and a valuable remodel that many can enjoy over the years.  In the same AARP study, 75% of Boomers didn’t feel their current kitchen layout met their living needs; there are a few ways to update your kitchen.  For this generation transitioning from a 42” bar height table or overhang to a 28” or 30” height is more accessible should one need a walker or wheel chair in the future.  Also, because kitchen space is frequently used by Boomers and other generations alike a standard-height table or island for social gathering is ideal.  Creating wider walkways or paths throughout the kitchen and adjacent rooms provides easier mobility.  Storage options should be easily reachable and/or pull out, older cabinets without rollouts or few drawers can be taxing for those with back problems.  Keep hardware in mind as well, for those suffering from arthritis or hand-mobility/gripping issues small knobs can be difficult, but larger pulls can be much easier to manipulate.

Another room where updates should be provided is the bathroom.  Maneuverability should be a priority in a bathroom, providing a 60” turnaround (minimum size needed for a wheel-chair to turn) if the space allows or an acceptable T-turn space should be planned for.  Creating a shower with zero-threshold allows for easy entry and exit into and out of the shower space with no tripping hazards.  If a bathtub is a requirement, grab bars with adequate bracing behind them should be installed to ease entry and exit.  Benches are also a high-demand item which can be built-in or installed as a fold-down to accommodate those who have problems standing.  When thinking about faucets and shower valves, lever handles are much easier to manipulate and installing a separate handheld shower provides ease of use.  Toilets have come a long way, and many companies have “comfort height” or ADA approved height versions which typically have a seat height of 17”-19” above the floor, a much easier location to lower to and rise from.  Keep in mind that many of these features can be integrated into the overall design so it needn’t feel institutional or hospital-like.  Many of our clients are surprised at how gorgeous their “universally designed” bathrooms are when the project is complete.

There are several small areas around the house that one should also think about when remodeling.  With flooring, low or zero-thresholds between surfaces is important because of tripping hazards.  Typically we recommended hardwood, laminate or tile flooring since it is a smooth surface that is easy to get around on and dust is less likely to collect on hard surfaces compared to carpeting for those with respiratory problems to consider.  If you really feel more comfortable with carpet, consider a low pile height.  Hardware on doors should be levers, as knobs again, can be difficult to manipulate.  At the entry point of the home, creating a clear accessible path to a no step covered door is ideal, also providing a 36” wide opening of the door to accommodate walkers or a wheelchair.  If possible, we’ve had many clients relocate their master bedroom to the first floor or add an addition to accommodate a first floor master suite for themselves or aging parents.

As many of our clients or their parent’s age, we know what your concerns are and can help you plan for them.  In a Genworth 2010 study of Cost of Care, they found the average cost of a 1 bedroom single occupancy assisted living facility was $38,220, multiply that by 5, 10, 15 years and you are looking at a large investment.  For many families whether they are keeping parents in their own house or joining them into their own homes, we can guide you to make smart choices to keep you or your family as independent as long as possible.  We know how important your home is to you, so whether you or a loved one is looking to remodel or update to accommodate your lifestyle give us a call.