You’ve got your ideal home in mind and you’ve found your idyllic lot. All of that ought to go together but the process of custom home building can run up against some obstacles if one important design consideration is overlooked:  Where will the house go?

It’s not enough to just have the lot picked out and the house plans in hand.  Locating the house on the lot requires some careful thought, too.  There are aspects that will make the house more comfortable and livable, such as knowing which ways to face windows that will catch or avoid bright sunshine, as well as permitting issues such as requirements for setbacks and easements. 

Knowing where your building inspector will allow you to place driveways, fences, utilities such as wells, septic systems and fuel storage tanks can limit your options when deciding where the building will go on your property.  In some cases, this can affect the design of the structure such that the home can be built with to be compliant with the required clearances to the main structure.  If there are any outbuildings to be considered, they can also affect where to put down your homes footprint.

In addition to the objects on the surface, objects below the surface sometimes need to be considered, also.  If ledge (bedrock) is discovered during excavation, blasting may be necessary.  Your builder might be able to identify areas where ledge is likely, allowing you to make decisions on the design or location of the home that will avoid this additional cost. 

Caldwell and Johnson is an experienced home builder with over 500 projects completed in the State of Rhode Island.  We can assist you with assessing your lot, designing your custom built home and mitigating any issues with site preparation.  Contact us to discuss your project.

There is much more to custom beach house building than erecting an airy bungalow with an open ocean-front design for enjoying fresh sea breezes. Despite the beauty of the beach and endless horizons, oceanfront structures require tough materials to withstand the rigors of a coastal climate. Salt air and sun are harsh elements and any beach house must be constructed to withstand the test of time, not to mention the need to stand strong in hurricane force winds. Caldwell and Johnson use home building methods that deliver on all of these points.

In addition to the importance of durable raw materials, there are design elements unique to living on the beach. Some ideas to consider incorporating into a beachfront dream home are listed below:

  • Outdoor shower
  • Add a dock or pier
  • Screened-in porch in addition to a party deck
  • Don’t forget deck details – Select a stain that not only serves the function of protection against the elements but is also a shade that complements the color of the house.
  • Dry Storage – Prevent damaging moisture buildup in closets and cupboards with custom storage solutions.
  • Proper Drainage – High water happens. Evaluate property to determine potential problem areas where water may collect and plan for adequate drainage.
  • Don’t Overlook A Fireplace – Even a tropical coastal climate will have a chilly night every now and then. Construct an indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit to cozy up with. 

For beachfront living, please contact us. We have been building homes for over four decades. Our professionals are committed to the highest quality construction using environmentally sustainable products that reflect our commitment to the tenets of building green.  With more homes constructed on Rhode Island than any other contractor, clients can have complete confidence in Caldwell and Johnson managing their custom beach house project.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home. In your kitchen, you will build many memories, experiences and have quite a bit of family time. But, each family is different, so not all kitchens will work for everyone.

Instead, a family needs a kitchen that works with their situation, style and needs. For many, this means a kitchen remodel is in order. If you are uncertain if you are ready for a kitchen remodel, here are some things that can help make the decision a little easier.

Increased Home Value

One of the best things about performing a kitchen remodel is that it will actually increase the value of your home. In fact, it is one of the most valuable home remodels you can do when it comes to home value.

Make Life Easier

When you have a kitchen that doesn’t work with your cooking style, this could mean that preparing meals is a much more labor intensive process. By completing a remodel, you could move particular items close to one another to make things easier when you are preparing a meal.

Additional Storage

Many homeowners have a similar complaint regarding their kitchen; there is simply not enough storage. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do about this situation unless you complete a remodel. During this time, you can easily add the storage you need to make your kitchen more functional for your family.

Remodeling your kitchen is an extremely beneficial thing for a number of reasons. If you are interested in getting started with your own remodel, be sure to contact us today. With our experience, we will be able to create for you the kitchen of your dreams.

Modern building trends and design change each decade, and they are modified each year by experts, designers, architects, and popularity.

Sometimes, as building trends are altered, by the end of their life, they are so dramatically different from when they started that people forget how to interpret their initial aesthetics.

On the other hand, some building trends never go out of style.

As this recent article points out here, there is a return to personalization. One that, as the article points out, is an abandonment of the cookie-cutter homes of yesteryear.

As the article points out:

Given consumer confidence in the housing market, coupled with the rise in online photo-sharing and DIY interest from social media, we’re not surprised to see personalization trends hitting our industry.

With such a focus on diversity in home design, it’s no wonder that personal choice is running many home design trends for 2016.

Further, with an increased focus on personal taste and style, combined with the simple action of sharing home designs via social media websites, residential construction companies have seen an increase in unique requests.

Meanwhile, older trends aren’t totally out of style. If you want to know how to spruce up an old design, color, or room in your home, take to the internet and get some ideas. It’s easy to combine existing designs with your own personal taste, all without submitting to bland or passé elements.

So, go bold with your color! Go ahead and add an accent wall! Talk to a building professional about opening up your floor plan! It’s your house, so the design choices that you make should be all about your personal style.

If you want to know more about how we can help you get the home of your dreams, please contact us anytime.

We can help you personalize your home or property! We have completed over 500 custom residential new construction and major remodeling projects in Rhode Island

There are fewer greater things that increase your home’s value and your comfort than a stellar kitchen remodel.

A new kitchen does wonders for putting equity into their home. However, a simple kitchen remodel means more than new cabinets, new appliances, and new flooring.

In fact, there are several mistakes that you can make if you choose to upgrade your kitchen. Here are five.

1. Not leaving room for enough counter space: While you might have a picturesque design in mind, forgetting to add ample counter space is a big blunder in a kitchen renovation. If anything, plan for more counter space and cut later if you need to.

2. Not setting aside ample storage: In a kitchen, food and small appliance storage capacity is your best friend. If you forget to add adequate storage to your kitchen, you’ll be in for some future trouble. Consult building manuals or an expert for help with proper cabinet storage design.

3. Letting go of the right lights: Lighting changes how a room appears and feels. Home remodelers often lack the skills to strike the right balance. To avoid poor lighting, do your research before you plan your renovation adventure.

4. Measuring like a professional: If you have ever been inside of a kitchen where things are a bit off-balance, you know where we’re coming from. Just remember the old adage when you begin your project: measure twice, cut once.

5. Adding a useless island addition: Don’t get us wrong, we love a well-designed and well-placed island. What we don’t like, however, is an island that is crammed in or is in the way of basic kitchen duties. Before you get your heart set (and broken) by an island addition, use our advice above and measure appropriately.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your home renovation and remodeling options.

The custom home building process is an exciting time for any customer. When a mobility-related disability is present, the process can lead to a feeling of more independence within the home.

  • Make sure the doors meet federal disability standards. The most important aspect of the home is to make sure all of the doorways meet federal standards. If there is concern about a specific chair, bring it with you when you meet with the builder to use as a measuring tool.
  • Consider an open concept in order to ensure there is enough room for moving freely through the home.
  • Safety is paramount. If you need them for stability, ensure that each bathroom you use has safety bars installed.
  • Ask for lower counters so that you are able to reach the sink and properly use the space without having to struggle.
  • Cabinets are a must for storage space in the home. In the kitchen and other rooms that will have cabinets with shelves, have adjustable shelves installed. Talk about cabinets with shelves lowered using a hook. These work great in the kitchen for seeing spices or even dishes.
  • Level entry way. One more note on doorways, make sure that all doorways to the outdoors are level. If there is a garage attached, ensure this transition is also level. A level entry way creates a safe, smooth entry for any type of mobility device. 
  • Ranch style works best if not have some type of lift or elevator installed during the building process.

If you have questions about accessibility in your custom home contact us today. We understand every customer’s needs are different and look forward to designing a home fit for your needs.

CJ Beach 13

If you think it’s too soon in the year to consider how a custom beach house will benefit you, then think again.

If you have dreamed for a long time about having your own custom-built beach house, we think this is the year that you should take the next step.

A custom beach house is more than just a place to spend your vacation and leisure time. In the end, if you move or are ready to sell, it is also an investment in your future.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are 3 reasons to have a custom-built beach house of your very own.

  1. A custom-built beach house trumps a pre-built version any day of the week. Why? With a custom beach house, you get exactly what amenities you what wherever you want them. You’ll never be able to say the same thing about an existing, pre-built beach house.
  2. With a custom-built beach house, you decide on the plot’s placement, not the other way around. Perhaps the biggest complaint about beach house shopping is finding the beach house of your dreams and being disappointed by its location. Nothing hurts worse than turning down a beach house simply because of its locale. With a custom-built beach house, this situation will never be the case.
  3. You’ll get all the amenities that you want in a custom-built beach house. Want an extra shower outside for washing off sand? We’ve got you covered. Want an open floor plan? Just ask us or a design. Is green living more up your alley? We can help with that as well.

A custom beach house brings with it everything that you want and more. We recommend working with a trusted contractor and designer when building your beach house.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you with your custom-built beach house, please contact us today. 

churchstmstrbthYou love your home. The number of bedrooms and square footage seems just right for your family. Still, you’ve always wanted to update certain parts of the interior. But you have no idea how much such renovations cost and, more importantly, whether you’ll recoup any of the investment when you sell your property.

The “2015 Cost vs Value Report” compiled by Remodeling Magazine can offer some guidance for popular remodels in Rhode Island, specifically in Providence. Note that the following are just averages for upscale renovations. Your actual amounts will vary depending on the materials used and the amount of work done.

  • A master suite edition has the highest job cost at $242,141 and returns 66.8 percent, or $161,741 on resale. This assumes adding a 32-by-20-foot master bedroom over a crawl space and includes a sitting area, a high-end gas fireplace with stone hearth, a large walk-in closet, a large walk-in shower with stone shower walls, corner whirlpool tub, and two sinks on a stone-countertop vanity.
  • Second on the expense list is a major kitchen remodel, which costs $116,146 and returns $77,714, or 66.9 percent. This assumes upgrading a kitchen measuring 200 square feet with 30 linear feet of custom cherry cabinets, stone countertops with a backsplash of ceramic or glass tile, top appliances such as a 36-inch commercial grade range, cork flooring, and cherry trim.
  • Adding a full bath average $78,454 and recoups 59.7 percent, or $46,821. This assumes a new 100-square-foot master bathroom added to an existing master bedroom. Included are a neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls, body sprays, frameless glass enclosure, customized whirlpool tub, stone countertop with two sinks, and large ceramic tiles on the floor with ceramic tile base molding.

If you want to know how much these specific projects would cost at your home or need help planning a major upgrade, please contact us. We’re specialists in satisfying Rhode Island building trends.

CJ Int 6.2

If you are like many home owners, you might put off home renovations longer than you should. If your home is in need of a kitchen remodel, however, now is the time to do it. Then, you and your family will be able to enjoy your kitchen more than ever, and you’ll be improving your property values as well. These are a few signs that it is time to remodel your kitchen.

1. Your Kitchen is Outdated

An outdated kitchen can make your entire home look older. Old, outdated appliances use more energy and often don’t work as well as newer appliances. If it’s been many years since your kitchen has been updated, and you can look at it and tell, then it’s time to renovate.

2. It’s Hard to Keep Clean

In many cases, remodeling your kitchen can make it easier to clean. Newer cabinets and countertops might be easier to wipe down, and ditching wallpaper or flat paint for a nice eggshell paint can make it a breeze to wipe away tomato sauce and grease stains. If you’re having trouble keeping your kitchen clean, renovating it might make it a lot easier.

3. You Don’t Have Sufficient Storage Space

One main problem with not-so-modern kitchens is that they often don’t have enough storage space. If you don’t have enough spaces to keep your dishes, pots and pans, kitchen tools and other necessities, then redesigning your counters, drawers and pantry might be a good solution.

If any of these three things apply to your kitchen, it is time to make a change. If you contact us at Caldwell and Johnson, we can talk to you about your renovation options.

Are you tired of the instability of renting?  Has your family grown and you are busting at the seams of your smaller house?  Are you an empty-nester who needs to downsize?  Whatever the reason, when it comes time to purchase your next home, the task of starting can seem insurmountable. With the housing economy still being a buyer’s market, the choices for your next home might become overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be so complicated.  Looking at the three main choices will relieve some of the confusion and help you evaluate which route you want to take.


Purchasing an older house that has already been occupied can seem desirable based on the neighborhood it resides in or the charm that the house embraces.  You may think that you will get a better price on it due to the age, but beware.  What you think you’re saving on the front end of the agreement, you will spending in maintenance in the long run.  Most older homes have a dated floor plan, so you may be spending money updating the house.  There is a good chance that the appliances are not new, so you will need to anticipate having to repair or replace those. Even if everything fits your criteria, the house will have general wear and tear from previous owners.

New Home Construction

In a new construction house that is waiting for that first owner, you will not need to fret over outdated floor plans or leaking appliances.  New construction houses will have many of the modern features that a buyer is looking for, but what will get lost by the wayside is any individuality. Oftentimes, builders churn out “cookie cutter” homes to try to sell multiple houses in a short amount of time.  You will be settling for somebody else’s product, not your vision of a home.  In order to keep the cost low, builders might also put in the basic appliance packages, so you are stuck with less functionality or quality.

Custom Home Building

A custom-built home can be the best of both worlds.  You will be able to create your idea of a dream home in the location of choice.  You will be able to orchestrate the entire building process allowing one of the largest investments of your life to be exactly what you want.  Some buyers fear that a custom home is not affordable, but they will find that they will really only have the initial payment.  There will be little if any maintenance expenses to strike unexpectedly.  If, for some reason, a major repair is needed, most custom-built homes offer an extended warranty for your piece of mind.

For more detailed information on maintenance costs:

Buying a home is usually one of the largest investments a person will make in his/her lifetime, so why wouldn’t you get exactly what you have always envisioned for your home? Please contact us for further information.

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