RI Monthly: Great Escape

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13060-reclaimed-wood-paneling-flooring-u898407c3905734d634581690175517500_skip_planed_oakjpgReclaimed wood is one of the most sustainable and chic materials to use when building or remodeling your home. One of the greatest benefits of using reclaimed wood is that you are helping to prevent deforestation; which contributes to global warming and massive habitat loss. Another wonderful benefit is the high-end, chic esthetic that it will add to your home.

Known all over the world for its hardwood forests and stunning autumn colors, New England is home to some of the most beautiful tree species on earth such as maple, oak, chestnut and redwood; just to name a few. Common sources of reclaimed wood include old gym bleachers, houses, barns, water tanks, warehouses, and wine casks.

Hardwood floors throughout, custom cabinets and butcher blocks are pretty standard uses of reclaimed wood in a new build or remodel. So what are some subtle extra details that you can add without turning your home into a log cabin?

Here are 5 green and chic ways to use reclaimed wood when building or remodeling your home:

  1. Antique Fireplace Mantle: Add authentic, centuries-old character to your fireplace with a mantle crafted from salvaged woods like white pine, spruce or fur from a historical New England building.
  2. Rustic Accents: Nothing says elegance and style like crown molding. Let the unique characteristics and variety of hues in the restored wood speak for themselves.
  3. Bench Seating: Whether in a breakfast nook or playroom, a bench seat is a great use of space and can add storage with a liftable seat.
  4. Accent Wall: Forget that horrible old wood paneling from the 70’s, dedicating one wall as an accent with the use of beautifully restored wood combinations will add creative warmth to any room.
  5. Storage: Books, family photos, and collectibles all need a place to rest; built-ins and stand-alone shelves and cabinets can make timeless pieces that will match any interior design.

The possibilities for incorporating reclaimed wood into your new home or remodel are endless. The benefits are a win for both the planet and the homeowner. The beauty and elegance that it adds to your home increases its value and aesthetic appeal. By using the woods reclaimed from the New England region, you and your guests will feel right at home.

In business since 1968, Caldwell & Johnson has built and remodeled more than 500 homes in Rhode Island. A pioneer in building high quality energy-efficient homes, this company is committed to environmental sustainability.

Are you ready to get green and chic with your new home or remodel?

Contact us today to learn more about how we can build or remodel your home with reclaimed wood and other eco-friendly materials.

Real estate makes an especially good investment — doubly so if it’s an investment that you’ll get to enjoy on vacation as much as you enjoy the checks it gets you every month. With beach homes, real estate across the Atlantic as well as Pacific, and across the gulf coast already exists to fit a number of tastes and styles. So why should custom beach house building be the route you take? Here are 3 reasons that a beach home should be custom-built from the sand up.

You’ll Make Room for Alternative Energy

Whether the site of your future home is on the sunny beaches of California or the wind-whipped islands of North Carolina, coast lines are often prime places for alternative energy sources. Solar power as well as wind power require home modifications that are not always easy to do to an existing home, especially in the case of solar, where a home’s position and roof size is critical. If you’re interested in adopting some green technologies for your home, a custom-built house may be exactly the option for you.

You’ll Make Choices for the Future

With the exception of very recent beach construction, many beach homes were not built to withstand things like hurricanes, tropical storms, and the rising threats of climate change. By building a new home, you have the ability to not only embrace all the knowledge that science has unveiled, but you have the technology at your fingers that home builders 50 years ago did not. Install doors and windows that are specifically designed to withstand hurricane wind and debris or even build your home up on stilts. Even things as simple as mildew resilient drywall and engineered hardwood floors that can withstand more humid climates will make for better design choices in your custom-built beach home.

You’ll Make the House Your Own

Regardless of the location you are looking in, you will be hard-pressed to find a beach home that is 100% yours. Instead of spending money to rehone and redesign a house that you may not even care much for structurally, the choice to design a home from the ground up that is entirely representative of who you are is a great one. The home’s aesthetics, layout, size, and overall character are all components that you’ll have the ability to change and decide — and it’s entirely due to the choice of going with a custom-built home.  

Contact us for more information on how to make the most of your home, or ways to build into your future with new home and real estate opportunities.

If you are thinking about investing in a beach house, you might be thinking about buying a pre-built home. However, if you can afford it, custom beach house building can be a far better option. With custom beach house building, you’ll be able to help draw up the plans for your dream vacation home and have it built to your specifications. These are a few reasons why you should consider this choice.

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Customize Your Vacation Home

You might have always dreamed of having a vacation home of your own, so why move into someone else’s dream home? By building your own beach home, you can build it just like you want it. For example, if you want an upper deck or if you want to build a bathroom and shower right by the back door, you can. Building your own beach home will allow you to have the beach home that you have always dreamed of.

Ensure Your Home is Safe for the Beach

As you probably already know, you have certain things to worry about with a beach home that you don’t have to worry about with other homes. Custom-building your home will ensure that it’s up to all of the newest codes and regulations and is protected as much as possible against flooding, erosion and other similar issues.

As you can see, building your beach house from the ground up can be a great choice. If this is something that you are interested in, contact us at Caldwell Johnson so that we can assist you.

There are many reasons to remodel a kitchen-maybe your house is old and the kitchen is painfully outdated, your cabinets are falling apart, or perhaps you just want something fresh and new. Whatever the reason, a kitchen remodel is the perfect time to ensure that your kitchen is designed with functionality in mind. Check out these tips to help you embark on a functional kitchen remodel:

CJ Beach 131. Flow. In order to have a functional kitchen, you must ensure proper flow through the room. Remodeling your kitchen provides you with the chance to remove obstructing counters or cabinets, and move around appliances to promote efficiency. Consider removing bulky counters that cut the kitchen in half, and replace with an island-islands create a central space for storage that does not restrict movement around the room. U-shaped islands allow a space for you to stand and prep food without being in the way of others moving through the kitchen. Be sure your appliances are in the best places to increase functionality-refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove should all be placed strategically to help you work more efficiently. Adding a pot filler faucet over your stove eliminates the need to carry heavy, bulky pots of water across the kitchen, and freezers can be built into cabinetry to increase cold storage. Good flow allows you to move around quickly, and eliminates obstacles that make the kitchen less inviting.

2. Continuity. Blending your appliances in seamlessly with your cabinetry creates a continuous appearance that contributes to the overall flow of the room. Choose integrated doors to cover appliances like the dishwasher, or order custom-crafted refrigerators that match your cabinets.

3. Organization. Organization is key when remodeling for functionality. Integrate custom-sized drawers (extra deep, wide, or tall) and corner cabinets that work for specific items such as wine bottles, spices, utensils, or over-sized pans to ensure organized storage in your kitchen. Try vertical storage on unused wall space by using magnets, hooks, and rods to store frequently used items. Add innovative lighting solutions to deep drawers and cabinets that are to see into-motion-activated lighting strips can help prevent messes and save you from losing items in the recesses of dark cabinets.

Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding a functional kitchen remodel.

Building a new home to your specifications is a dream project. After all, you now have the resources to construct everything just the way you want it.  For many homeowners, though, the process becomes stressful do to poor planning and unrealistic expectations. to make your construction experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible, here are five mistakes to avoid during the custom home building process.

Designing Without a Budget or Property in Mind

This pitfall only leads to disappointment as homebuyers needs to know what their budget is for both land and the construction itself. Set a total budget and then buy your property first. The remaining part will go towards construction. Having property selected goes a long way toward design as your builder can knowledgeably draw up plans that speak to the size of the lot, orientation to the sun, slopes and other peculiarities.

Buying Too Much House

You’ve been approved for that $1.5 million mortgage, but can you really afford the payments? Knowing what you can realistically afford now can help you prioritize features. You can always add elements such as an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area at a later date.

Going With the Lowest Bidder

While it’s tempting to do so, going with the lowest bidder won’t always get you the house of your dreams. Carefully read each proposal to see what is included as well as the quality of materials being used. Going with the lowest bidder may cost you more in the long run.

Bringing in Your Own Subcontractors

Many times people want to bring in Cousin Joe or a close friend to do plumbing or electrical work in order to save money or to do a favor for someone. This scenario almost always ends up with problems. As an experienced custom builder, Caldwell & Johnson works with a list of reliable and licensed subcontractors that have proven track records. Trust us to find the workmen that will build a quality house.

Not Having a Functional Layout

It doesn’t matter if your home is 4,000 square feet or 12,000 square feet, if you design your home simply to look beautiful and not think about how it fits your lifestyle, you won’t be happy in the end.  Make sure that kitchen, dining areas and family rooms are near one another and avoid long hallways that essentially become unusable space.

Contact the design experts at Caldwell & Johnson to learn more about how we can build the home of your dreams.

Building trends are constantly changing and adapting to the changing world around us. New concerns about health and the environment have led to the development of new approaches to architecture and the need to find new, sustainable building materials. Here are five building trends that focus on helping the environment, saving money, and creating homes that are comfortable for all different people:

1. Earthen Architecture. There is no better way to save trees than not using them at all! Earthen architecture is building trend that continues to gain popularity around the world. Imagine a building material that is inexpensive, durable, and helps cut heating and cooling costs… That material is dirt. Creative architects and designers are using a variety of earthen materials (such as adobe, rammed earth, and compressed earth blocks) to construct unique homes that help the environment and help homeowners save money. 

2. Healthy Homes. Organic foods and products are all the rage right now, as people are trying to shift to a healthier lifestyle by eliminating hazardous chemicals and weird additives from their homes. Food and cleaning products are a great start, but these hazardous chemicals lurk in many other places-like the materials used to build houses. Heating and cooling systems, paints, fabrics, wood, and synthetic and composite building materials all contain allergens and chemical additives that can make a home very unhealthy. Healthy homes are created with natural, sustainable materials and are solar-powered. A healthy home helps inhabitants breathe more easily and feel better overall. Many existing homes can be updated with healthier alternatives to their existing materials. 

3. Outdoor Spaces. Outdoor rooms continue to be a rising trend, with more people looking to incorporate outdoor entertainment areas with the floor plans of their new homes. Beautiful decks, patios, and garden areas are incorporated into the overall design of the home, offering a place to relax and entertain company while enjoying the beauty of nature. Many sliding doors now lead to over-sized patio areas including a second kitchen-stove tops, ovens, refrigerators, and grills are now being built in to brick or stone patios. 

4. Usable Storage Space. Gone are the days of lofty, vaulted ceilings and areas of wasted space (even though they are aesthetically pleasing!). Building trends are all about putting that space to good use-plenty of storage is important when building homes today. Homeowners often complain that they never have enough storage space, and while adding shelving and cabinets can help, the ideal time to think about storage is before the home is built. Adding storage spaces into the design plans of a home prevents the need for bulky storage alternatives that take up too much space in the future. Built-in shelving and cabinetry, extra rooms instead of cathedral ceilings, large walk-in closets, and bigger garages are trends that focus on storage space in new buildings. 

5. Universal Design. Fancy staircases, sunken rooms, balconies, high sinks and cabinets-all embellishments that don’t fit the universal design trend. The idea behind universal design is that a home should have features that are accessible to people from all walks of life, young and old, handicapped or not, without any need for adaptation. Swirling staircases may be pretty, but are they practical for a person with a walker or bad knees? Universal design plans feature wider, open spaces that require little physical exertion to navigate around. Counter tops, sinks, and cabinets are built within an easy reaching distance, and everything is scaled for simple use. 

New building trends continue to emerge as architects, designers, and engineers learn about new materials and more efficient ways to use existing materials. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about exciting new building trends. 

Whether you are designing your primary home or a vacation home on the beach, beach house building is becoming increasingly popular. With the stress of life and work on the rise among families and individuals, something about the beach and waves continually call those who have had the opportunity to experience their calmness back for more and more. The love they find there is one reason many people are calling it home.

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According to cnbc.com, “Vacation home sales rose 57 percent last year over 2013, to 1.3 million properties, well above their most recent peak level in 2006, according to NAR. In fact, vacation home sales accounted for 21 percent of all real estate transactions last year, their highest market share since the survey was first conducted in 2003. NAR found in a survey that 85 percent of vacation buyers think now is a good time to purchase real estate.”

With interest rates low and only likely to rise in the future, many are finding now is the time to not only find that dream beach home, but to build it themselves. There are many benefits of custom beach house building. With the ever-expanding architectural designs, interior floor plans and differing styles of homes, customizing your own beach house is becoming an increasingly popular option among those who are building. 

This allows them to not only fulfill their dream of owning a home on the beach, but of owning their dream home on the beach. With the cost to borrow money so low right now, there really is no better time then the present.

If you need some insight from the experts on building your own custom beach house, check out Caldwell & Johnson. While completing over 500 custom residential new construction projects since opening their doors, Caldwell & Johnson are a leading construction and design team for custom builds in Rhode Island.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us to get started on your new custom beach house design today! 


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