Check out my building blog to learn more about construction for your home or office in Austin! David L. Traut, President, CAPS Certified (512)444-0097

Bathroom Remodel Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, May 08, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

    Young Austin homeowners are always looking for ways to bring their existing older home's bathrooms up to date.  Bathroom remodels for these smaller baths can incorporate a number of the items listed above in moderation to fit any budget.  Using beautiful ceramic tiles in an interesting design, updating plumbing fixtures, and the use of neutral colors can create a small bathroom with a "wow" factor. It is quite possible to produce a small but charmingly remodled bath on a budget.  A project that is affordable plus the fact that it will add resale value to your home cannot be denied.  Check out all the options before committing to a plan and then stick to it.  Always hire a local and professional builder.  Remember that producing change orders because no one thought of "that" can be expensive. Create the style for your Austin bathroom remodel that best gives you a feeling of pride! 

Bathroom Remodel Austin

     What makes a residential bathroom makeover more Austintaceous in a laid back Central Texas city like ours?  What propels a bathroom upgrade to stand alone in Austin like the proud lone star representing our beloved state?  What enhanced characteristics are shared but also contribute to all completed bathroom projects making them exclusive and individual?  Personality with pride is the only way to sum up all the major characteristics adding up to create a great Austin bathroom remodel.  There is a feeling within the new bath that only the great wide open spaces of Texas suggest denying the discomfort of confinement. We all express our individuality living here in Austin.  We meld together our backgrounds and cultural differences to form a diverse but unique city with style.  Certainly style is what is needed to compliment that pride that Texans feel so strongly. 

Principles Of Universal Design

    What about the costs involved?  In general, a typical small hallway bathroom remodel in the Austin area can run you about $19,000.  However a larger master bathroom makeover can push up your budget to around $40,000 as an average.  Don't forget that these are average costs and the client is limited only by their bank account.  Just the conversion of a tub into a walk in shower design can set you back around $14,000 as a good medium price range.  But what makes the costs appear so expensive?  Basically time, the difficulty of the job, and the actual labor costs performed by all the trades involved on top of the expenses to purchase the products chosen for the project.

Bathroom Remodeling Austin

     If you are fortunate to have a larger space to deal with there will be increased costs due directly to the larger area to finish -as in more tiles for a bigger area and the labor to install them.  Your costs may go down per square foot but you are certainly dealing with more square footage and the associated increased costs.  You need to consider that plumbers, electricians, tile setters, framers, drywall workers, carpenters, and insulation installers, just to name a few trades, will be involved in your bathroom remodel.  Now how about the demolition that will be involved before the actual construction begins?  Sometimes the preparations behind the walls or floors can take longer than building the new bathroom remodel itself.  Perhaps there isn't enough water volume to supply your chosen bathroom shower fixtures requiring a supply line to be enlarged or there just isn't sufficient fall for a gravity drain to work naturally that necessitates a lift pump system be installed.  What are the new electrical requirements and layout and do these require dedicated, GFI, or arc fault circuits and outlets and will the existing electrical panel handle the additional circuit breakers or is a sub-panel needed?

   In general, bathroom sizes are usually dictated in some respect by the length of the tub which in most cases is five to six feet long.  This is evidenced by a tub that has been installed opposite the entry wall to the bath producing a wall to wall tub situation.  In this configuration the toilet and vanity are generally placed on one of the walls that are perpendicular to the length of the tub. Here is a great starting point to gain space for a larger custom walk in shower to replace the tub you never use.  But if you are fortunate to have both wall lengths exceed the five or six feet norm then space is not an issue and you can proceed with ease.  Just choose your finishes wisely and keep all choices within your budget.

    Any bathroom transformation must stand out even to their owners after the job is complete and all the workers have gone away.  The use of granite, marble, onyx, limestone, or glass tiles during a bathroom upgrade can only be further enhanced when any design utilizing glass blocks is introduced into the mix.  Glass block designs can be inserted into an interior shower wall or on the exterior wall itself creating a waterproof window with both privacy and insulating capabilities.  Glass blocks also make a great toilet partition when you don't want the confinement of a toilet room. 

    If you're current situation is cramped but you already have a double vanity, you might gain space for a new shower expansion by either shortening the vanity while keeping the two sinks or by going with one single sink located in the middle of a shorter vanity.  This can be accomplished by capping off one sink drain completely and/or deleting the water supply stops.  If your toilet is located between the vanity and tub then shortening the vanity is all for naught.  You can move the toilet over but this means breaking out the floor to change the toilet plumbing floor flange plus the water supply.  Be careful as this alteration can be costly and should only be done to allow certain specific situations to evolve.  

Tub To Shower Conversions

     Let's move on to either the tub removal to produce a larger walk in shower design or the tub's replacement. A modern free standing soaking tub will require replacing the tub filler with one coming out of the floor or out of an adjacent wall.  An under mount tub will require a pedestal with a deck mounted faucet.   Even replacing the existing tub/shower valve and tub spout will give you a shiny feeling of newness.  A new glass enclosure for a tub/shower combination will provide a revived look plus the more expensive frameless models will bring your bathroom completely up to date.

     If deleting the tub during a tub shower conversion to create a custom walk in shower design is your choice then you have a few options to consider.  Do you wall in two thirds of the width of the old tub placing the new door away from the shower head?   This new wall can be tiled in to match the shower.   Using natural stone or glass tiles will certainly be an upgrade for any Austin bathroom remodel. Do you desire a more expensive frameless door set beside a glass panel?  The enclosed shower can incorporate a couple of shampoo niches for convenience and clutter removal. The designs are limited only by your imagination and how you want the final product to turn out.  Be sure that all your research is justified and don't try to cram too much into your new bathroom remodel.  A good design is one that can come into being with the least time spent on alterations and additional costs. Austin bathroom remodeling should involve multiple shower head combinations in multiple locations within the shower to fit anyone's desires. Rain heads coming out of the ceiling, body sprays coming out of the walls in many locations, or hand held units attached to the shower walls can be very practical.  These combinations of heads and locations can be used to create rain effects, provide relief for muscle aches through body massages, or simply provide pin point convenience with hand held variable heads.  The possibilities are endless as you utilize your bathing environment.  Steam generators are also being considered as an investment in today's fine bathroom designs.  The steam  heads can make the difference after a tough day when you're looking for that more therapeutic spa experience.

    Fine cabinetry is a must for any bathroom makeover.  As for the vanity, an upgraded cabinet top like quartz installed at the correct height for you is a personal must for function. Do you require a single or double sink configuration?  Under mount or drop in sinks? The vanity should have adequately accessible storage satisfying your needs.  Incorporating  easy operating and properly sized drawers and pull out shelves within the design can be very beneficial.  Linen, medicine, and "over the potty" wall cabinets need to be well thought out. The correct species of wood used for the construction of your fine cabinetry and the style of you cabinet doors are two very important factors to consider.  Remember, you do have a choice and you are going to be looking at these new cabinets for a while.

Aging In Place Home Modifications

     Bathroom plumbing fixture choices are numerous to say the least.  Always select reputable companies offering the best warranties especially when considering finishes for the faucets or fixtures installed in the project.   Larger walk in shower designs should have seamless fiberglass liners or state of the art shower bases to avoid leaks if the house ever shifts.  Toilets today come in array of choices. Don't just consider the shape of the new toilet but the height which is also important for universal design. Soft closing or night lit toilet seats are also an option.

     Colors for bathrooms today are natural and earthy creating a calming effect.  Accents of color reflected from the tiles, paint, fixtures, and woodwork are used to make things a little more interesting compared to a room's overall vanilla tones within your design.  Help is just a phone call away but be sure the one who answers has the qualified experience you need for completing your new bathroom transformation.   If you're uncertain about how to proceed with any bathroom remodeling project always rely on a local and trusted building professional.  Sometimes spending a little money for experienced help with design and construction techniques can save you a lot during the construction process.

     T-Square Company in Austin has been an accomplished design/build bathroom remodeling company for over three decades.  Call us today at 512-444-0097 to schedule an appointment.

Tags: residential construction contractor, fine cabinetry, fine bathroom upgrades-bathroom cabinetry, fine bathroom upgrades, bathroom makeovers, CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, Austin bath remodeling, Austin bath remodel,, Austin bathroom remodeling, Austin bathroom remodel, home modifications for independent living, bathroom modifications for elderly, Austin elder construction, bathroom renovations in Austin, Texas, bathroom remodeling contractor Austin Texas, bathroom remodeling Austin Texas, bathroom upgrades Austin, remodel bathroom for handicap Austin Texas, bathroom modifications for disabled, bathroom cabinets Austin Texas, bathroom accessibility remodels in Austin, house remodeling Austin, home remodeling Austin, Texas, Austin walk in shower, walk in shower Austin, roll in showers, fine cabinetry in Austin,, roll in showers in Austin, custom walk in shower Austin, austin custom walk in shower, walk in shower designs Austin, fine cabinetry Austin, fine cabinetry in Austin, Texas, bath cabinets Austin, Texas, bathroom cabinetry Austin, Texas, glass block walk in shower designs, house remodeling Austin, Texas, home remodels Austin, home modifications for independent living Austin, certified aging in place consultant in Austin, bathroom modifications for disabled in Austin, TX, aging in place specialist in Austin, senior aging in place services, home remodeling contractor near Austin, Texas, aging in place home remodeling, residential general contractor Austin, Texas, bathroom remodel Austin

Fine Kitchen Cabinets

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Aug 02, 2011 @ 21:08 PM

     Kitchen remodeling using fine kitchen cabinets has become quite expensive over the years and sometimes people simply run out money at the end of a large project. The unforeseen problems like faulty wiring or plumbing may have absorbed more of the allotted funds than were budgeted and you must make changes in your allowances in order to finish the job.  The quality of desirability of fine kitchen cabinets for that look of a custom job may have to be realized at a later date. Ready made cabinets that you purchase and install yourself can sometimes keep you within a budget and promote the project's completion.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     The mere composition of any new set of fine cabinets used in your Austin kitchen remodel can either make their installation a frustrating experience or aid in the process.  Harder woods like oak, maple, pecan, or hickory can be tougher to deal with because of their hardness.  Drilling holes, cutting, or fitting to a tight tolerance will prove to be a harder task to accomplish when you aren't working on softer woods like pine, cherry, or poplar.  Fastening can also be a problem while using the harder woods requiring pilot holes to be drilled.   When installing the crown molds at the ceiling or the cove moldings in the inside corners where the cabinets meet the wall always use caution and pre-drill when possible to prevent splitting. 

Kitchen Remodeling

     Once you get your new cabinets home open up the boxes and let them stand in the room where they will be installed for some four to six hours.  This will  acclimate the cabinets to your building's temperature and humidity and help prevent the wood from moving once the cabinets are installed.  Don't be surprised if you still have to make some slight adjustments to your new cabinets once they take on their new environment.  Be sure that you go into a stud when screwing on the carcasses through their fastening areas.  This will insure that your new cabinets will stay hung in place and prevent future injuries from a falling wall cabinet.

     Remodeling in Austin, Texas like most other cities includes many of the same aspects.  Be sure to choose a local qualified remodeling contractor whose personality and qualifications are agreeable with you personally.  You are about to undertake a very important short term relationship in your life with someone you may know by reputation only.  The relationship needs to be comfortable and free flowing thus enabling the contractor's creativity level to be at it's highest during your remodeling project. Look at it as a partnership between your needs and the remodeling contractor's abilities.  This is not new construction and the use of the European cabinetry must be accommodated for.  His professional remodeling experience will include his capacity to identify many construction limitations and hazards.   These variables underlie the major pitfalls that can be avoided while enabling a remodeling design to come to reality.  His experience can also aid you in accomplishing remodeling upgrades that include disability issues.  The job needs to flow between the various trades involved to produce a better final outcome.  This too is a reflection on his remodeling experience for which there is no substitute.

Austin Kitchen Remodels

kitchen remodel Austinkitchen remodel Austin

 

Bathroom Upgrades

bathroom cabinets Austin, Tx

    Whether you're looking for a local residential construction contractor to accomplish a kitchen remodel or a construction professional to complete an entire gutting and remodel of your entire home including a home office transformation,  the final accenting finishes most likely will include the use of fine cabinetry. The choice between frameless European and Northern face frame cabinetry styles will highlight any design.  

 

Tags: how-to, fine cabinetry, kitchen cabinetry, fine bathroom upgrades-bathroom cabinetry, kitchen cabinets Austin Texas, kitchen cabinets Austin, kitchen remodels austin, bathroom cabinets Austin Texas, fine cabinetry in Austin,, kitchen cabinet remodel Austin, Texas, fine cabinetry Austin, fine cabinetry in Austin, Texas, Austin, texas kitchen cabinets,, Austin kitchen cabinets, bath cabinets Austin, Texas, bathroom cabinetry Austin, Texas

Fine Cabinetry Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 @ 20:01 PM

     If you plan to remodel the ‘food production room’ in your home, then choosing your kitchen cabinets is probably going to be part of the plan. Not surprisingly, kitchen cabinetry is up for scrutiny in terms of the modernization tsunami changing home decor trends in recent times.

     Modern cabinets are breaking away from the ornate design found in traditional cabinet styling, rather reflecting minimal trends such as simple, clean design features. Streamlining and modernizing kitchen cabinetry or the storage cabinets used in bathroom transformations works in tandem with other kitchen or bathroom furnishings.  The use of new-age quartz countertops with complimentary glass tile backsplashes is becoming the norm.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     To the untrained eye a cabinet is just a box within a given space that fulfills a storage need.  But have you ever taken the time to look closer at the cabinet's makeup beyond the cost?   Before investing your hard earned money into cabinetry for a fine bathroom or kitchen upgrade take some time to get acquainted with the cabinet's parts and pieces.

     Cabinets are like anything else in our lives and sometimes we can be deceived by the bells and whistles the cabinet manufacturers want us all to see.  They create a sense of false quality for the consumer by blinding them with noticeably concealing finishes  masking the innermost important aspect of the cabinets general makeup.  In the North American face frame cabinet type the use of hardwood stiles and rails covered by hardwood cabinet doors fills the bill.  The most important weight bearing carcass sides, the top, and bottom or floor in a base cabinet are buried by the outer window dressing. The makeup of these aspects  is not aesthetic but structural.  These are the parts that sit perpendicular to the floor holding up the cabinet top and whatever is upon it.  They may cut this expense by using 1/2" or 5/8" thick matrix materials like MDF or particle board and covering these with a vinyl similar to shelf paper that creates "picture wood"of any wood species.  The European frameless cabinet types are generally covered entirely in a thin plastic exterior as in the case of melamine which covers up the particle board insides.  Check out the picture below representing how a simple plumbing leak creating melamine failure has lead to an entire cabinet replacement.  This customer had no choice!

     Our kitchens are no longer the "Orphan Annie’s” of our homes. This space now integrates with the rest of the home, and beautifully remodeled kitchens now serve as the main meeting space for our friends and families. You can even have wireless built into the kitchen cabinetry to power up all manner of gadgetry. It all goes to prove that kitchen cabinet design trends are moving in line with advances in technology, and why not – kitchens are the hearts of our homes.

melamine failure in Eurropean cabinets in Austin, Texas

     Their next trick is to associate quality cabinet type buzzwords like dovetail jointed drawers, European concealed cup hinges or other specialty hardware, special finishes or paints, and hardwood trim with faces as mentioned above.

Fine Cabinetry

     Fine cabinetry Austin, Texas consists of an entire 3/4" plywood carcass with a 1/4" plywood back.  The plywood gives you some moisture protection against a leaking sink drain trap or faulty supply line or stop valve.  European frameless cabinets can be painted on the interior using oil base enamels then covering all the visible exterior surfaces plus the doors and drawer fronts along with their edges with any choice of high pressure plastic laminate.  North American face frame cabinets can either be painted or stained and finished with polyurethane.  The finish on the plywood makes even more less vulnerable to moisture problems. 

bathroom cabinetry Austin, Texas

Bathroom Remodeling Austin

Austin kitchen remodel

Austin kitchen remodel

Kitchen Remodeling

     Don't get sucked into thinking that quality is behind the brightest glowing box on the sales floor and never forget that you get what you pay for in this life especially where cabinetry is concerned.  Do your homework!

Tags: Austin, Texas, fine kitchen upgrades, how-to, fine cabinetry, commercial cabinetry, fine bathroom upgrades, face frame, European, bathroom cabinets Austin Texas, fine cabinetry Austin, fine cabinetry in Austin, Texas, Austin, texas kitchen cabinets,, Austin kitchen cabinets, bath cabinets Austin, Texas, bathroom cabinetry Austin, Texas

Fine Cabinetry in Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, May 04, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

    

     If you plan to remodel the ‘food production room’ in your home, then choosing your kitchen cabinets is probably going to be part of the plan. Not surprisingly, kitchen cabinetry is up for scrutiny in terms of the modernization tsunami changing home décor trends in recent times.

     Modern cabinets are breaking away from the ornate design found in traditional cabinet styling, rather reflecting minimal trends such as simple, clean design features. Streamlining and modernizing kitchen cabinetry works in tandem with other kitchen furnishings such as new-age countertops and complimentary backsplashes.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     To determine what style of kitchen cabinets are in your home you need to look  directly into their face beyond the doors.  Are they the face frame North American type or are they the European frameless version?  Fine cabinetry comes in many choices to suit your desires.

     The face frame North American type has long been a popular cabinet style.  It is characterized by the plywood cabinet box, or carcass, having a 3/4" thick hardwood front frame  application of 1 1/2"-2" widths.  These are present on both the vertical components, or stiles, and on the horizontals called rails.

     The frameless European style is just the carcass without any face frame yielding only a 3/4" outward appearance at the stiles and rails.  Both the frameless and the face frame styles use the same carcass body enabling the same European hinges, drawer guides, and cabinet legs to be used.

     The greatest difference is seen once the door or drawer fronts are mounted on fine cabinetry in Austin, Texas.  The European frameless type makes the adjacent door spacings smaller showing less of the stile beyond.  The framed units have more space between the door applications showing more of the stiles and rails beyond. 

    Frameless is a little less expensive to construct than the face frame style so that it really becomes a matter of personal preference and different styles can be mixed within the same house using one type in the kitchen and the other in the bath.

A Typical European Cabinet Design

Custom European Cabinetry in Austin, Texas

Typical Face Frame Look

Face frame cabinetry in Austin, Texas

Fine Cabinetry

     Typically bathroom vanities are 21" deep and approximately 29" tall. The depth is not a problem but most folks would prefer a universal design height of 34".  This height will work for your son or your father making the vanity more accessible to all.   Fine cabinetry is a must for any bathroom makeover.  As for the vanity, you can work your way down from the upgraded cabinet top that has been installed at the correct height for you.  The vanity should have adequately accessible storage satisfying your needs.  Incorporating  easy operating and properly sized drawers and pull out shelves within the design can be very beneficial.  Linen, medicine, and "over the potty" wall cabinets need to be well thought out. The correct species of wood used for the construction of your fine cabinetry and the style of you cabinet doors are two very important factors to consider.  Remember, you do have a choice and you are going to be looking at these new cabinets for a while.

     There are basically two styles of ADA vanities that comply with an unobstructed 27" tall roll under area below the sink.  ADA sinks with a rear drain location provide for better plumbing drain hook ups.  This modification has everything to do with both the water supply lines and the waste line connecting the sink.  There must be provisions made to protect the user from being scalded when coming into contact with any one of the plumbing pipes serving the sink.  These connecting pipes may become heated merely by the water passing through them creating the problem.  The open type model should always receive both waste and supply insulating jackets applied directly to the pipes providing protection for the wheelchair user.  The closed model concealing the pipes will be equipped with a removable face or face board covering the pipes.  This pipe concealing panel must be installed at the correct wheelchair user clearance angle.  This allows for the needed unobstructed legroom required for the  user.  The vanity can extend beyond the sink but the area containing the sink is required to have this roll under capability.  This section of the vanity top must not be any taller than 34 inches above the finished floor with sufficient lower leg clearance.  Clear unobstructed reach distances around the counter top area must be observed.  Any motion controlled sensors integrated into the various dispensing devices and/or plumbing fixtures throughout the restroom present a true hands free benefit to all the restroom users.  If these aren't in the budget then at least wrist handles used for controlling the faucet can be incorporated into the design of the vanity.  Furthermore, automatic flush valves should be used on all toilets and urinals that provide for hands free use.

Austin ADA Vanity

    A completely serviceable special needs bathroom must contain at least one ADA vanity and the accessible route must be defined.  The vanity must be one with a clear underneath scald protected area having an unobstructed roll under capability for wheelchairs.  These new residential vanities do not need to look institutional.  They can be designed like any other piece of fine furniture.  A five foot turning radius allowing the wheelchair to maneuver into any approach must also be associated with the ADA vanity.  A 36x48" clear approach area to the vanity must be observed and this can overlap the five foot turning radius.  The area of travel will then be enhanced by an unobstructed clear accessible barrier free route dedicated to reaching the vanity. 

Tags: Austin, Texas, kitchen makeovers, how-to, fine cabinetry, kitchen cabinetry, face frame, frameless European, European, kitchen cabinets Austin Texas, kitchen cabinets Austin, remodeling kitchens, fine cabinetry in Austin,, kitchen cabinet remodel Austin, Texas, fine cabinetry Austin, fine cabinetry in Austin, Texas, bath cabinets Austin, Texas