13 Historic Home Features Worth Preserving

Remodeling a historic home is an exciting undertaking with tons of possibilities to breathe new life into remarkable (and much older) features. It can also come with many limitations, restrictions, and questions. At Factor Design Build, we understand the ins and outs of fixing up historic homes. That’s why we’re sharing our thoughts on historic home features worth preserving, what needs more consideration, and when it’s time to call in the professionals for restoration or upgrades.

Preserve difficult-to-replace historic home features 

Original historic home features can be charming and full of value. On top of that, they’re typically difficult or near-impossible to replace. Features like:

Original wood flooring 

Simply put, replacing hardwood floors throughout a home comes with a high price tag. Especially if the ones you already have just need a little TLC. With the right care and attention, original hardwoods can successfully be refurbished and last for years to come.

Fireplaces 

Fireplaces are a great feature in any home, including historic ones. They serve as a unique focal point in any room, making it perfect for gathering, entertaining, and relaxing. Even if you decide not to use it, you can still restore and decorate it.

Woodwork

Like original hardwood floors, other woodwork like baseboards and trim can be easily updated and restored. They add the perfect amount of character throughout any home, helping strike the perfect balance between modern and historic.

Stained glass windows

Stained glass windows can tell a story and add a one-of-a-kind look to historic homes. Replacing them with other stained glass windows can be incredibly costly, and it may be difficult to create (or replicate) specific patterns. If you’re considering replacing them with regular windows, you’re eliminating a great characteristic that makes your home truly unique.

Keep original features intact 

Not all historic homes come with original (read: somewhat outdated) features. If you’re lucky enough to encounter one, here’s our advice for preserving them.

Dumbwaiters

A dumbwaiter is essentially a small elevator used to transport items like food, laundry, and anything else you don’t want to carry up and down the stairs. These are definitely worth preserving to make your home more accessible to those who may have trouble with stairs. Just be sure to install child-proof locks to prevent anyone from crawling in it. 

Coal chute

Coal chutes are typically found in historic homes located in colder climates and were used to heat the home. While that wouldn’t be necessary today, you can work with our design team to turn your coal chute into a hidden oasis — like a wine cellar!

Butler’s pantry

Who doesn’t love extra storage in their home? That’s exactly what a butler’s pantry provides. You can even make this space more of your own by upgrading it to a wet bar or food-serving station.

Laundry chute

This one should speak for itself, but it’s worth mentioning how great and convenient it is not to have to haul dirty laundry down a lot of stairs.

Root cellar 

Root cellars were originally built to preserve foods, and they can still serve that purpose today! They’re the perfect space for storing extra fruits and veggies, or you can take advantage of the elements by converting it to a wine cellar!

Historic home features the experts debate keeping 

Like with any other home, there are features in historic homes that may need some extra consideration before preserving them:

  • Wooden windows: These tend to be less energy efficient than other windows. However, you can update the original windows with inserts to minimize drafts and extend their lifespan.
  • Old floor plans: Many historic homes have floor plans that include a lot of small rooms, while modern houses are more open. However, these extra rooms can come in handy in the current and post-COVID world, as you can use them as home offices, schooling rooms, playrooms, fitness rooms, extra guest bedrooms, and more!
  • Pocket doors: Speaking of floor plans, many homeowners may be tempted to remove pocket doors to create more open space. However, they’re the perfect solution to creating separate areas throughout your home (for working or schooling) without taking up additional room.
  • Clawfoot tubs: If we’re being honest, clawfoot tubs look really great and are perfect for relaxing. But practically speaking, they take up a ton of space in bathrooms and can be dangerous to get in and out of. They’re also not the most comfortable to shower in.

Preserve your historic home with Factor Design Build

Remodeling and preserving a historic home takes a lot of time, patience, and expertise. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in help from reputable professionals — like Factor Design Build — who can help preserve, update, and restore historic homes. With more than 30 years’ experience, our full-service team of architects, designers, project managers, and carpenters can help every step of the way to preserve your Denver-area home’s features and bring its history to life. 

Get started by contacting Factor Design Build today!

 

Energy Efficient Home Improvements: 10+ Pro Tips

Winter is finally here, which means it’s time to break out the bulky sweaters, long coats, and snow boots to keep warm while you’re outside. But what about keeping warm while you’re inside? That’s where it gets a bit trickier, and energy efficient home improvements make a difference. 

It’s estimated that people will spend an average of $500 to just above $1,200 to heat their homes this winter — which the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) defines as October through March. With a large chunk of us still working from home or homeschooling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, energy use and consumption are expected to go up, which means higher heating costs. There’s still good news, though!

Instead of preparing to shell out a lot more money on your energy and heating bills, you can take steps now to reduce costs and make your home more energy-efficient. In addition to saving money, you can also reap extra benefits like tax rebates, better air quality, and enhanced comfort. Read on to learn our tips for energy-efficient home improvements in Colorado.

10+ Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

Start simple

Making your energy efficient home improvements doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. By making smaller, more simple upgrades, you can still make a big impact. Upgrades like:

  • Checking and changing air filters
  • Changing the direction of your ceiling fans in the winter and summer (this could save up to 15% of heating costs!)
  • Upgrade to LED lightbulbs (and smart lighting)
  • Sealing gaps in doors, windows, and floors
  • Installing weather stripping
  • Installing Water Sense showerheads
  • Switching to Energy Star-rated appliances
  • Getting an energy audit

Upgrade to storm windows

Installing storm windows is an investment up-front, but one that can save you a lot of money (and energy!) in the long run. That’s because they’re coated with a super thin layer of metal that reflects infrared heat back into your home. According to the US Department of Energy, low-emissivity storm windows can save you anywhere from 12% to 33% on your heating costs, which adds up to a few hundred dollars a year!

Get a smart thermostat 

Smart technology is integrated into virtually everything we do these days, so why not use it to heat and cool your home, too? With a smart thermostat, you can program it to increase or decrease the temperature during set hours for the day. By doing this, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling costs. 

When you’re home — and a lot of us will be more because of COVID-19 — it is possible to stay warm and keep the thermostat down. Bundle up in sweatshirts and thick socks, and invest in a space heater for rooms you use most.  

Add insulation

Insulating your home is on the more costly end of making your home more energy-efficient. But consider this: The EPA estimates that 9 out of 10 homes are under-insulated. That’s 90% of all homes that heat escapes through the walls, the roof, and floorboards. 

A well-insulated home has tons of benefits in addition to a 15% average savings on heating and cooling costs. Benefits like:

  • More humidity control
  • More outside noise control
  • Reduced pests, pollen, and dust
  • Lessened risk of ice dams
  • A more comfortable home year-round!

Another perk? There are a lot of options when it comes to insulating your home — even DIY ones — to keep it effective and budget-friendly.

Don’t forget the outside

Exterior upgrades are just as important (and effective) as ones on the inside. While they may be more of an investment, the payoff can become substantial over time. Consider upgrades like:

  • Solar panels 
  • Solar water heaters
  • Cool roofs 
  • Advanced house framing 
  • Xeriscaping 
  • Green roofing

Any time you make additional home upgrades, be sure to use materials like reclaimed wood, bamboo, cork, or recycled steel. With significant updates like these, you can also aim to get your home LEED certified

Keep warm this winter with energy-efficient home improvements by Factor Design Build

Making your home more energy-efficient is great for your wallet — but even greater for the environment. And while there are a lot of ways to do it yourself, Factor Design Build is always here to help. Our team of experienced carpenters can help ensure your heat stays put this winter to save you money and energy.

Want to talk about how Factor Design Build can help you stay warm this winter? Get ahold of us today!

How to Share a Home Office with Kids

 

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase rapidly, many schools across the country have begun reverting back to virtual learning environments. For many parents, that means finding a space in the home for remote learning. Or, even more challenging and frustrating, you have to share a home office with kids. 

No matter your unique situation, it’s important that both working and learning areas remain separate from the rest of your home to help create and maintain healthy boundaries. That’s why we’re sharing helpful, creative ways to make spaces that double as both work and learning areas. 

How to Share a Home Office with Kids

Use Every Inch of Space

If your home space is already limited, this one may seem like a challenge. Don’t panic just yet, though! There are still tons of ways to utilize every inch of space in your home, like:

  • Adding shelving to store extra supplies 
  • Using cubbies to organize toys and activities
  • Converting a spare closet into a learning area 
  • Using chalkboard paint or whiteboards for enhanced visual learning 
  • Building a loft to create a productivity space

Create “Zones”

In some homes, it may be impossible to create entire learning or working spaces. Our solution? Opt for “zones” instead! By creating specific zones for certain activities, the whole family can stay productive while also exercising boundaries. Some of our favorite zones include:

    • A “Zoom” zone: A space in your home with little-to-no activity or noise, good lighting, and a pair of soundproof headphones for virtual meetings and classes
    • A cozy corner: A comfy chair or lounge area that’s designated for reading, studying, or alone time
  • A productive place: This is where school supplies are stored and actual work gets done
  • A relaxation station: A space for adults and kids to take breaks or do a relaxing activity

 

Pro tip: Use items like room dividers or curtains to create a sense of privacy and separation between different spaces and zones.

Eliminate Distractions

There’s a reason it’s difficult for kids to learn from home: It’s distracting! When kids and parents are trying to work under the same roof — it’s bound to cause even more distractions. To help everyone stay focused, consider setting up a home audio system that plays white noise or classical music. Another idea? Create routines and schedules for the entire family that you stick to every single day. Include things like:

  • A morning routine (waking up, eating breakfast, getting ready for school and work)
  • Work times
  • Break times
  • Playtimes
  • Meals and snacks
  • End-of-day routines (cleaning up spaces or zones, putting items away, shutting off computers, etc.)
  • A bedtime routine (downtime, bathing, pajamas, etc.)

Having the whole family on the same schedule will help everyone understand when it’s time to work and when it’s time to rest — eliminating distractions along the way.

Invest in Good Furniture

Because it’s still unclear when it will be safe to return to the office or school, you might have to share a home office with kids for a long time. Try to make your at-home spaces as comfortable and functional as possible. Consider upgrading to office chairs for the entire family instead of opting for dining chairs. If you have room, consider upgrading to a desk that can store extra files and supplies. That way, they’re not taking up other valuable space in your home.  

Make Necessary Technology Upgrades

One of the most crucial aspects of remote working and learning is, of course, technology. With more people at home, there’s likely to be more strain on your internet, computers, tablets, phones, and more. Make any necessary technology upgrades to create better environments for everyone, like:

  • Expanded internet bandwidth
  • Increased internet speed
  • Investing in power chords
  • Rewiring rooms to account for additional devices
  • Better lighting for video chats
  • Sound configuration to allow more than one person to be on a call at once

Let Your Kids Have a Say

Learning from home is no easy feat for kids and is sure to be a challenge for everyone involved. Help make their learning spaces or zones even better by letting them have a say in the design. Just like their own desk at school, it gives them a sense of pride and ownership — helping cultivate a safe and creative learning environment. 

Consider an Addition 

Simply put, COVID-19 has drastically changed every aspect of our lives, including how we work and learn. Many of those changes (like working from home) may be here to stay. A great long-term solution? An addition to your home or a professional remodel. That’s where the experts at Factor Design Build come in to help.

From initial inspiration to a finalized space, our team can help every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to rework a current space in your home or add an entirely new one, our in-house team of designers, architects, and construction managers can make it happen. Ready to see for yourself? Get in touch with us to get started.

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5 Ways COVID Will Change the Future of Home Design

It’s not uncommon to see home design trends change and evolve over the years. Changes in the world – even pandemics throughout history – will always affect how homes are designed. When we look at 2020, we’re experiencing significant changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, altering virtually everything we do — how we work, shop, eat, interact with one another, and much, much more. Another thing it’s impacted? How we live at home.

“We’re starting to see a large homeowner response due to COVID,” says co-founder and CEO Josh Fiester. “More and more people are wanting to make changes to their home because that’s where they’ll spend most of their time for the foreseeable future.”

What does that impact look like, exactly? We’re sharing five ways we believe COVID will change the future of home design.

Increase Productivity in Working and Learning Areas

With more than 40% of the U.S. labor force now working from home, there’s already an increased need for designated workspaces. And parents adapting to remote learning environments likely have an additional (and urgent) need for learning areas for their kids. After all, the dining room table can only work for so long. 

We’ve already started to see movement towards designated spaces separate from other areas of the house. That might include transforming areas like the basement or guest room into a workspace or rethinking a home office remodel to fit your needs better. And to make those spaces as useful (and comfortable) as possible, we’ll likely see an increased demand in features like:

  • Temperature control
  • Smart home technology
  • Better lighting
  • Soundproofing
  • Smarter storage solutions
  • Built-ins
  • Security upgrades

In-Home Sanitation 

The health practices that have been reinforced during the coronavirus pandemic — washing our hands more frequently, sanitizing, mask-wearing — are more than likely going to become etched in our culture. As a result, homeowners will be looking for solutions to ensure their home is as safe and germ-free as possible. What does that mean for future home designs? It means adding details like:

  • Sanitized entryways 
  • Air purification systems
  • Antimicrobial surfaces like copper, brass, and bronze, which are great for high-touch surfaces like doorknobs
  • More sanitary countertop options like quartz
  • Incorporating more textures like bamboo, oak, and cork, which help stop bacteria and microorganisms from growing

Reimagined Layouts

It’s no secret homeowners love open floor plans and shared spaces — just as much as we love creating them. But as more and more people want separate working and learning areas, we’ll start to see that change in a couple of ways. 

First, we expect to see a shift from open floor plans to more traditional ones that are popular in more historic homes. But for those who need to adapt their current home, there will be a demand for reimagined layouts. Those solutions can come in many forms, like mobile partitions, temporary walls, or dividing one large room into two to create more privacy and separation.

Mental Health Spaces

Focusing on your mental health should always be a priority, but even more so now as we deal with added stress and anxiety from the pandemic. And since we’re spending most of our time at home, it makes sense to create spaces that help improve our mental health instead of weighing us down. Those spaces can look like:

  • A reorganized room
  • Meditation areas
  • Spa-style bathrooms
  • Added greenery and plants
  • Sunrooms
  • Added windows
  • Larger windows
  • A decluttered closet or pantry
  • White or light-colored walls
  • And much more!

Preparing for Winter

Unlike other parts of the country, winter in Colorado is one of the busiest and most exciting seasons to be outdoors. Unfortunately, we’ll likely see a significant shift in that this year as activities will be limited due to COVID-19, and people will have to stay home instead. To better prepare for the long season ahead, we’ll likely start to see homeowners wanting to make design upgrades to outdoor areas — like installing heat lamps — or reimaging other spaces with more room, like garages and basements. 

Create the space you need with Factor Design Build

We can’t change the fact that we have to stay home more, but we can make changes that make that stay significantly better. Our entire team of architects, designers, project managers, and carpenters can help create a unique solution for your home — no matter what that solution may be. But one thing’s for sure: We’ll create a space to help improve your life as we all work through this pandemic together. 

Contact us today to get started!

What Is True Design Build?

What Is True Design Build?  

One of the biggest questions we get at Factor Design Build is, “What is true design build?” 

In its truest form, design build is a seamless process in which everyone involved with a home remodeling project is on the same team. Everything is connected from start to finish – from the original design to the last day of construction to the warranty afterward.  

On the other hand, traditional construction processes (often called design-bid-build) divide the different aspects & phases of a project to different people and companies. For example, architecture is handled by one firm, and then it’s up to a contractor to turn those drawings into reality. There are often competing objectives here. The architecture is designing without construction in mind and the contractor is left trying to guess what the client wants in their home. In many cases, the various professionals involved don’t know each other, which leaves a lot of room for miscommunication and finger-pointing down the line.  

True design build makes art the yin to science’s yang. At Factor Design Build, our creative team of architects and designers work alongside our project managers and carpenters to achieve the same goal. There are no competing objectives. Instead, the design team and the construction team are focused on the same goals with aligned objectives throughout. Since our design and execution teams work hand in hand, our projects come through on time, and within the established budget. 

Common Misconceptions About True Design Build

prado drive boulderOne of the biggest misconceptions we hear is that homeowners will be sacrificing design quality by using a design build firm. Architecture firms pride themselves on hiring great architects and designers, and then that’s who runs their firm and runs their designs. 

Unlike most construction companies or home remodeling contractors faking being a design build firm, we do the same thing. Factor Design Build’s team has architects to run the designs and projects. That means all of our design builds are professional, true design from experts.

We want to put an end to the idea that design build is just a bunch of general contractors faking it. Our team has the best designers and the best architects in the field and our area, and they are on the team. The misconception that if you want high-end architecture, you can’t work with design build firms is definitely being disproved here.

Why Work with a Professional Firm?

One of the best things about a design build firm is accountability. A true design build firm is accountable for the design, the construction process, and the integrity of the project as a whole. Everything is the firm’s responsibility; nobody gets to shift blame to anybody else. True design build firms are willing to take all the responsibility for the entire process from beginning to end. 

south saint paul denver factor design build josh fiesterWorking with a design build firm also means you can be more efficient on the design side. Our designs are actually a little more cost-effective and let us get to work faster than the rest of the industry. Since our design and construction teams operate from under the same roof, we can skip the time consuming process of bidding construction drawings out to contractors and subcontractors. 

Our design team talks to each other throughout the process. Communication is key for Factor. Let’s say the guys in the field have a question; they don’t need to guess what the architect meant. They can just come to the office and work with the designer to figure it out. The client knows their objectives are aligned with the team in every phase of the remodel.

Why work with Factor Design Build?

There are also a few differences between other firms and what we’ve built here at Factor Design Build.

When you decide you want the help of a professional design building firm, choosing one is a really big decision. You want to make sure that the firm you choose can deliver the design you love at a good value. You also want to make sure that you can communicate with the team and have your standards for quality met at every stage of the project.

That’s why we focus on providing our expertise to our clients. It’s our job to be the construction experts, so you don’t need to worry about it. At Factor Design Build, we are also fully responsible for the entire process and enjoy making it easy for the client. With Factor, everyone is part of the creative process. We always say that we’re kind of like a sherpa for our clients. We’re responsible for making sure that you get where you want to go safely and on-budget.

race street living room factor design build josh fiester

While we’re the experts in design and build, we also believe in extending expertise to customer service and care. We believe in relationships, and that they are about shared intention and shared goals. That means, when you work with Factor, you get a Fixed Price Construction Agreement and a Fixed Price Design. If the design takes longer or costs more for us, there is no additional cost to our clients. Because of that, our projects typically don’t run over because we’re not allowed to ask the clients for more time or money. Clients also know what the project will cost in a very clear and transparent way, and there aren’t changes to that cost to cause stress or tension between the client and our team.

Creating Spaces that Improve People’s Lives  

We want our clients to view their investment as more than just a home improvement. Our number one goal at Factor is to create spaces that improve people’s lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $200,000 project or a $2 million project, we do our best work for everyone. We think this is a real reflection of our core values, and the fact that everyone on our team knows what they are — and abides by them.

4th street boulder

We take care of people, and by “We,” that means everyone who is involved in the process: clients, subcontractors, employees, anybody we do business with. Factor Design Build focuses on being kind, being genuine, and being humble. From a firm perspective, we take care of our employees, and that in turn makes them able to care for our customers and clients. 

Connect with a True Design Build Firm

There are a lot of contractors and firms out there who promise to make the home renovation and construction process easy. The real key to finding a successful and honest firm is finding one with 1) happy clients and 2) an in-house team. If the architecture, design, construction, interior design, etc. are all separate contractors, you don’t have a true design build firm.

Blame starts to shift when things start to become disjointed. In the long run, contracting projects out to multiple sources is more expensive and takes more time. Factor Design is a true design build firm, and we believe in elevating the level of service we provide.

Our team understands that we are the single source for success or failure, and that’s what makes Factor unique amongst design build companies as well as non-design build companies. We take full responsibility for and care of your project, resulting in a home you’re thrilled with and because it looks amazing, functions well, and finished both on time and on budget.  

In business since 2016, Factor Design Build is here for all your home renovation needs in the Denver area. Contact us when you want to get started on your next project.

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What to Expect During Factor’s Design Phase

Often accompanying the excitement of a new construction project are reservations or uncertainties about how it is all going to come together. These uncertainties are normal, but relief comes from having an understanding of how the various phases of the design-build process will take place. For the moment, we’ll focus on what to expect during the design phase. The design phase includes a series of four steps.

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The Benefits of Adding a Mudroom to Your Home

A mudroom isn’t the most glamorous space in your home, but if you’re looking to remodel to add functionality for you and your family, the designers at Factor can customize a mudroom that suits your unique needs. Just because it’s not glamorous doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful; plus, knowing you have a dedicated space to store items, care for your pets, and prepare to leave the house without forgetting anything offers peace of mind.

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Design Guide: Mixing Style & Function with Modern Farmhouse Design

When you consider modern farmhouse style, extend your vision beyond the borders of an old Mason jar. The characteristics of this modern design utilize elements that incorporate clean Scandinavian lines with the earthy and organic. To achieve this unique quality, the team at Factor Design Build integrates the sophisticated requirements of today’s homeowner with a combination of rustic comfort and industrial purpose to create a space that’s as relaxing for your family as it is welcoming for your guests.

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Create Style and Beauty in Any Space With the Addition of a Fireplace

Adding a fireplace to your home adds warmth and coziness to your home and outdoor spaces. Especially in cold Colorado winters, a fireplace adds style and interest to any space, while the energy efficient warmth of a gas or wood-burning fireplace gives the whole family something to gather around and enjoy a nice night in.

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Finding Design Inspiration to Start Your Remodel Off Right

The time has come where you’ve realized parts of your home are no longer functioning well for your growing family, you don’t enjoy the look of certain rooms anymore, or you have bought a new house. Styles and preferences change after all and there are things you want to do right away to have your home more accurately reflect you and your personal style. You spend a lot of time in your home, and you should really love each and every room.

If you’ve come to the decision to remodel your home, follow these tips that include the best places to find inspiration and get your home remodel project started. Read more

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Adding A Second Story Pop Top

When Considering an Addition to Your Home, Look Up!

Building upward with a custom design for a second story pop top could be your best option if you need more space. Consider a pop top if you love your home and your existing neighborhood, and really have no desire to move, but need more room. Whether your family is growing or you need a home office, sometimes adding on horizontally, isn’t possible.

Whether your home is fairly new, or you have an older historical home, if the foundation is solid and the structure has great bones, the designers at Factor Design Build can find the perfect solution for you. We specialize in custom home additions in the Denver area.

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Remodeling A Historic Home:  Combining Elegance and Functionality

Historic homes possess a certain grace and sturdiness that is sometimes hard to find in a modern home. From solid building materials to intricately carved details, the elegance of a historic home is hard to match. Historic homes are not a clean slate, and turning an older home into something that you love takes a keen eye for design and an experienced construction team.

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Eliminate Your Remodeling Fears with Factor Design Build

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a one-stop shop for your home remodeling project? That’s just what you get when you choose to work with Factor Design Build. Let us take the fear out of remodeling for you!

Everyone has a preconceived idea of what will happen when you decide to do a remodel. Others who have lived through the experience are much more likely to share their horror stories rather than their successes.

Possible Remodeling Concerns Include:

  • Over budget
  • Strangers in the house
  • Unmet Design Expectations
  • Mess in the Home
  • Construction Delays

All of these can be eliminated by working with a great team of experts, which is what you’ll get with Factor Design Build. From experienced interior designers and architects to lead and finish carpenters, our in-house staff will handle everything for you – from concept to completion. Our goal is to partner with you to improve your quality of life in a beautiful, finished design that integrates flawlessly with your family’s lifestyle.

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Tips for Planning a Successful Home Addition or Remodel

Making the decision to remodel or add on to your home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. But never fear, Factor Design Build is here to help you every step of the way. Here are 9 tips from our experts to get you started.

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Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Features Factor’s Impactful Work on a Forever Family Home in Golden

Factor Design Build Featured in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

The Factor Design Build team was proudly featured in Colorado’s leading home design and interior decorating resource, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles in an article entitled, “A Fateful Family Home in Golden.” The piece highlights Factor’s expansive renovation work on a mid-century style house in Golden’s Applewood neighborhood. The homeowners decided to make the move from their well-loved spot in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood upon discovering their family would grow from four to five in the coming year.

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Why A Design Build Kitchen Is Better

Go with the Pros: Why You Should Choose a Design Build Firm to Remodel Your Kitchen

 

When it comes to a kitchen remodel, having the right people on your side makes all the difference. By taking advantage of the simplicity and straightforward process that a design build firm offers, you take the stress out of remodeling your home and instead get excited about all the possibilities that await. But what exactly makes a design build kitchen the better option?

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Quiz: How You Should Organize Your Kitchen to Match Your Lifestyle

Chefs, Families or Entertainers: Organize Your Kitchen to Match Your Lifestyle

The kitchen is one of the first rooms that gets used each day. It’s where we shuffle to our coffee or dash through, grabbing food as we head out the door. How you use your kitchen is distinct to you, depending on your personality and habits. But however you use it, organizing your kitchen to match your lifestyle can transform the way you live.

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Design Tips for Bathrooms of Every Size  

From Small Powder Room to Luxurious Master Bath: Design Tips for Every Bathroom in Your Home

Depending on when your home was built, if you’ve remodeled, or the layout of your house, bathroom sizes can vary wildly. But whether you’re looking to maximize space, create openness, or capture the feeling of a luxurious spa, these expert design tips  make your bathroom beautiful and functional, whatever its size.

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Four Reasons Why Remodeling Now Makes More Sense in the Long Run

Investing in a remodel is a venture that benefits your quality of life for many years to come. From simple, money-saving upgrades and layout refinements to full-fledged additions, there are a variety of avenues to pursue when embarking on a remodel. While it may seem like a lot of work on the front end, keep in mind these reasons why remodeling your house now makes more sense in the long run.

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7 Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer

Setting foot in a professionally designed room, you see and truly feel the difference. Your space tells a story, flows with style, and inspires emotional reactions from all everyone who enters. An investment in an interior designer is an investment in your own happiness, quality of life, and peace of mind. Want to make your house feel more like a home? Consider these benefits of hiring an interior designer.  Meet our in-house designer, Jenny Murphy.  

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What Your Kitchen’s Missing: Creative Upgrades to make your Kitchen the Centerpiece of your Home

Creating a kitchen that ‘has it all’ is no easy undertaking— but it can be done. When planning your kitchen remodel, you want to ensure it fulfills all of your needs and desires. Despite extensive investigation, you may still be wondering: are there features I’m forgetting? Before finalizing your plans, take a look at a few kitchen elements to consider incorporating.

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Design Tips for Your Ideal Bathroom

How to turn your bathroom into a luxurious spa experience

Your bathroom is sanctuary, a place to get away, a spa-like retreat in the comfort of your own home. When it comes to creating the bathroom of your dreams, it’s important to consider the aspects of balance, functionality, and aesthetically-pleasing design. Keep the following tips top of mind for your bathroom renovation plans.

Indulge in Luxury Features

Want to make your bathroom feel like a luxury resort? Opt for radiant heated flooring. Nothing feels better first thing in the morning or after a shower than stepping onto a warm floor. If you have enough space in your bathroom and are really looking to enhance the coziness, a fireplace is a unique, inviting, and relaxing feature to include.

Enhance your shower experience by installing a rainfall style showerhead. According to a recent Houzz survey, rain showerheads are among the most popular features a bathroom can offer. Not only will this upgrade make showering more enjoyable, as a highly sought-after amenity, it enhances the value of your space. When updating your tub, make room for two and include spa jets. After a hard day’s work, a nice soak might be just the therapy your body needs.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Proper lighting adds life to any bathroom, regardless of size. Looking to give your space a soft, dreamy glow? Incorporate recessed or LED strip lighting to create subtle ambiance. For an extra boost of beauty, incorporate a chandelier into your design. A simple and effective way to enhance the versatility of your bathroom lighting is to install a dimmer setting to your fixtures.

Maximize Efficiency

Part of designing your dream bathroom means increasing the efficiency of the products you use most frequently. Not only will upgrading to efficient products minimize your impact on the environment, it will also cut down on your energy bills. Toilet flushing accounts for over a quarter of total indoor water use. To decrease the amount of water your toilet uses, install a dual flush, low-flow toilet. When it comes to the shower and sink, state-of-the-art technology gives you the option of installing high efficiency fixtures without sacrificing water pressure.   

Focus on Flooring Material

If you’re looking for a way to visually expand the space of your bathroom, go with a neutral stone floor. For a lavish look, consider installing marble floors. Going for a more personalized feel? Tile is highly customizable and can bring your bathroom to life with different design variations and color options. If you crave a more natural looking variance on your floor, consider river rock for a lively, flowing, yet rustic look.

Choose an Ageless Layout

If you plan to be in your house for a long time or if you’re raising children, make sure your bathroom layout is one that emphasizes ease of use. Incorporating slip-resistant, textured flooring is a wise place to start. Another feature of a safe bathroom is a flat entry shower. This minimizes the risk of tripping over a step and adds a clean, linear look to your space. Installing a bench in your shower is another great way to enhance its safety and provides both seating and storage options.

Get Input from the Professionals

Consult with a design build firm when scoping your bathroom redesign endeavor. The experts at Factor Design Build help you budget, plan, and execute every detail of your new bathroom. Our experienced in-house team includes contractors and interior designers who will guide you in the process of designing the bathroom of your dreams.

Contact Factor Design Build to turn your bathroom into a luxurious spa!

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Making the Most of Your Home’s Space

How to Optimize your Home’s Floor Plan for Maximum Living Space

Homeowners have a variety of choices when it comes to altering the interior of their homes or investing in a full-on addition. Before making the decision to increase your home’s footprint, consider how you’re already using your space. Adding on to your house is a big undertaking that could offer you major benefits in the long run but there are incremental changes you might be able to make in the meantime.

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4 Key Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Building a Home Addition

After much research, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to start planning your home addition. When everything is said and done, adding onto your house will give you more space, improve your quality of life, and enhance the resale value of your property. Before moving forward with your home addition project, consider these key questions.

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Why Choose a Full-Service Design Build Firm ?

 

The Benefits of Choosing a Full-Service Design Build Firm

If you’re embarking on a home remodeling journey, choosing a full-service design build firm will save you time and money while eliminating the headache of coordinating multiple contracts and project logistics.

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Design Tips For Your Dream Kitchen

 

Choose the Right Kitchen Layout for Your Lifestyle

How do you envision life in your kitchen? Is it a multifunctional space for work, family time, and entertainment? Is it a chef’s paradise? With Factor Design Build, your dream kitchen can truly become your reality!

No matter the layout, a functional flow to fit your personal needs is a necessity. Your vision should start with the placement of your kitchen’s “work triangle.” The work triangle consists of your kitchen’s three main appliances: the sink, the refrigerator, and stove or cooktop. This is the area where the majority of the movement in your kitchen takes place and it’s most often placed away from the main traffic flow.

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How Do You Know When It’s Time to Remodel Your Bathroom?

Your bathroom is one of the most highly trafficked, and likely overlooked, rooms in your home. The whole family uses it throughout the day and it’s not off limits to friends or guests. It’s seen and used by everyone but rarely given the attention it deserves. More than just a space for daily hygiene, it should be an environment that promotes relaxing, rejuvenating, and pampering. Take a good, hard look at your bathroom and consider these unmistakable signs that mean it’s time for a remodel.   

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Why Full Service Design Build?

What Makes the Full-Service Design Build Process Better?

 

Since a home remodel is one of the most expensive and invasive projects any homeowner willingly undertakes, it makes sense that design, project management, and execution are key influencers in choosing the right contractor fit. Traditionally, you begin your remodel working directly with an architect or general contractor. Architects translate vision into blueprints and spot check the construction but don’t typically project manage the remodel from start to finish. General contractors steer the construction process but outsource labor to subcontractors for every step of the execution, making it difficult to track the project lead from day to day. Separately, these remodel options leave a lot to be desired.

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4 Things to Consider Before Remodeling a Historic Home

Historic homes are known for their rich history and charming character. They may have unique design elements and interesting details that are irreplaceable, like long, winding staircases with hand-crafted handrails and big, dreamy porches with high ceilings and wide floorboards. However, this character often comes with hidden challenges, especially when you’re remodeling a home that may be more than 100 years old. If you’re thinking about a historic home remodel, here are four things to consider before you start.

1. Check your city’s historic home requirements.

Depending on where you live, your city or county may have extensive rules and regulations about remodeling historic homes. Start your research here first.

Find out how your property is classified, and what changes you will be able to make to the home. Depending on your home’s age, location, and history, it may be designated as a “landmark,” or it may just be in a historic district. Either way, this is critical in planning your home renovation. The property designation and city requirements will help shape the boundaries for your renovation.

Once you have hired  a team of professionals with historic home renovation experience, find out if they’ve had experience working with the city or county where you’re located. They’ll need to navigate the city’s design review process, and if they’ve worked there before, it will make it easier to navigate your project within the city’s rules.

Check your city’s historic building rules here:

2. Check Your Home for Any Structural Issues

Structural issues are common in historic homes  and can be very costly to fix.The foundation may have corrosion, moisture damage, or an uneven slab. To find out if your home has structural issues, look for cracks in the foundation. If you see stair-step cracks or vertical cracks, you may have a structural problem. Consult a Structural Engineer if needed.

historic home remodel

3. Check Your Home’s Plumbing and Electrical Systems

In historic homes, the electrical wiring and plumbing may need major upgrades. Find out the age of the plumbing system, and find out what materials were used for the pipes. Different kinds of pipes last longer than others. Brass and copper pipes usually last 50 years or more, whereas steel pipes may only last for 20 years. Depending on the kind of pipes your home has, you may need to upgrade so that a pipe doesn’t break and cause major damage. Also, make sure you check for roots in your plumbing system. Root damage can wreak major havoc if undetected.

Similarly to the plumbing, the electrical system also has a limited lifespan. Most historic homes have wiring that’s unsafe due to the wire’s insulation. The insulation is only estimated to last 70 years, whereas modern wiring should last at least 100 years.

4. Estimate Asbestos Removal for a Historic Home Remodel

Another problem area in remodeling a historic home is managing the asbestos removal. Almost all homes built or renovated in the 1940s through the late 1970s have some amount of asbestos in the insulation, or in other building materials, according to This Old House.

The costs associated with asbestos abatement vary greatly, depending on the home’s size, and difficulty to remove the asbestos. Either way, this is an important issue and cost to understand early in the process.  

Now that you know a few of the potential issues with a historic homeremodel, let us know if you’d like to learn more about how Factor Design Build can bring your historic home back to life.

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What does “Design-Build” really mean?

One of the big challenges that many homeowners face with a home remodel is managing all of the different service providers, such as architects, general contractors, interior designers, engineers, surveyors and getting them to all work together.

Besides trying to keep the project on budget and on time, working and communicating with several different service providers that have different timetables can be incredibly frustrating.

Often, a homeowner will first hire an architect to design their dream home. Once the architect completes the plans, the homeowner will start shopping for a general contractor to build out the plans. However, this is where problems may start to arise if the architect and contractor haven’t worked together with the homeowner from the start.

If the homeowner is getting multiple bids to build out the architectural plans, how will they know that the contractor truly understands and can correctly price what the architect has developed?

Also, interior design and finishes are not usually fully developed at this point, and this can represent a significant portion of the final project cost, which makes comparing bids from different contractors and service providers more of an apples and oranges comparison.

Advantages of Design-Build Construction

With a Design-Build Firm, your project is managed from start to finish by one team, rather than piece-by-piece by many individuals. This allows them to design with the homeowner’s goals in mind and consider any potential restraints upfront. The Design-Build process creates a more cohesive project because the architects, interior designers, and the construction team collaborate and work together throughout the process to bring your dream home to life.

Another advantage of Design-Build teams is that these firms are experts in both architecture and construction. According to Houzz:

“Design-build firms focus on a streamlined design-build process — from the initial design to the estimating phase to physical construction — in the hope of creating an efficient experience for both the client and the company. Because the entire project is happening within one company, design-build firms are able to overlap the design and construction phases of the project, which often speeds up the project significantly.”

Most importantly with Design-Build, everyone is on your team, rather than their own.

Simon Sinek Design Build

Denver Design Build

Click here to learn more about how Factor Design Build will take your project from the design phase through the build phase.

Check out our completed Design Build Projects here.

Bold and Brassy

Off-white may have dominated the walls in 2016, but 2017 is continuing its unpredictable streak with its slightly bolder color palette. Expect to see a lot of jewel toned living areas, deep navy cabinets, and hardware, as well as bright accent finishes.  If stepping outside your comfort zone is in your design plan, some of these richer hues might be for you. Fear not if you are more of a “neutralist”, there are plenty of muted shades to fit your aesthetic.

Benjamin’s Moore: Color of the Year Shadow 2117-3

Described by BM designers as “emotional, complex and sure to spark some debate”, Shadow is a moody purple with murky gray undertones that look different depending on the time of day and lighting fixtures. Think drama, and romance in your home.

Behr: Confident, Composed, Composed

Behr’s approach for 2017 was “fashion-forward”, and segmented their color schemes into three unique categories, Comfortable, Confident and Composed, designed to harmonize with each other. There’s the pastel Life is a Peach, a red berry Artful Magenta, and an exotic blue-green Jade Dragon.

Check out the link to see Behr’s breakdown http://www.behr.com/consumer/inspiration/2017-color-trends

Versa-TILE

Playful shapes and vintage pattern floors are taking center stage. Classic and innovative designs can come together to make a statement, even a budget friendly one!

Hexagon Tile

Hexagon tiles are a great accent to improve the atmosphere of nearly any room. Add them to your bathroom to create texture, use them in rooms you utilize but don’t spend time in such as your mudroom, create a gorgeous backsplash in your kitchen, or add some geometric fun to your kids’ bedroom. Hexagon tiles are great to mix and match with or use on their own.

Subway Tile

Subway tile is a great way to throw your kitchen and bathroom designs together. The pattern can be classic horizontal, vertical, or even herringbone, not to mention come in a variety of color choices. Contrast the tile texture with a different color grout to make your tiles pop. (P.S. We did this with our Poplar remodel!). The classic white tile also works well with the color trends of 2017, so incorporate two trends while you’re at it.

 

Shed Some Light on the Subject

The two lighting trends illuminating 2017 are cozy Edison bulbs, and brass pendant lighting, in modern shapes in dining rooms and bedrooms. Edison bulbs take that fire-like glow and create a warm and inviting atmosphere, while brass pendant lights highlight one’s living space with a subtle yet elegant flair.

Edison Bulbs

Exposed bulbs can achieve an urban flair, or ignite your nostalgia for a bygone era. Light up your industrial style home with a mid-century modern Edison bulb chandelier, or string the bulbs along your patio. What is old is new again.

 

Brass Lighting

You’ll see a different range of brass finishes out there, from the darker antique finish to golden shiny finishes. The warm metal hue is a great trend to utilize because it works well with minimalists and statement junkies. Treat the brass like an accessory and you can have fun with cabinet hardware, and end tables too.