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

Office Remodeling In Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

     Office remodeling in Austin, Texas and Tenant finishes can vary from merely a paint job to demolishing the entire space and starting over to better utilize the square footage.  Utilization requires planning in advance and knowing all your business's operational needs.  Work areas will always be defined by their function.  Storage areas, breakrooms, conference rooms, and reception areas should be considered so that the entire office flows well during hours of operation.  Shipping can definitely be a consideration even if it doesn't play a major part in your business.  Maybe your space is large enough to include the addition of a private restroom facility in addition to those located within the common area? 

     Work areas hold the most importance since they are tied directly to the income of the business.  Private offices will be assigned as needed.  Larger open spaces for setting up cubicles or multiple work stations can take up the majority of your new floor space.  Storage areas for office supplies and even shipping areas will take up space as needed by the tenant according to the type of business.

     Breakrooms need to be sized according to the number of people using the facility at any one time.  All care should be taken for providing ADA accessible routes throughout any of the shared usage areas.  ADA compliant kitchen cabinets should be used within the break area that provide sink space at the proper height above the finished floor and the proper clearances with protection below the sink area.  If you were fortunate enough to have private restroom facilities installed be sure they fall within ADA compliance.  Special vanity and fixture requirements for height, clearance, and reach must be observed throughout the restroom.  You never know when you might hire a person with special needs.

     Conference rooms can be placed either off to the side or within the very center of your space.  Ceiling,floor, and wall treatments can be upgraded here because they will help define this room as being special.  Installing commercial window walls or even half glass walls can highlight any conference room within your space and still provide privacy for business meetings.  Window treatments like blinds or drapes can be added to increase the room's privacy when needed.  Be sure to prewire for any devices used during presentations and don't forget about controlling the room lighting. 

Tenant Finishes

     Reception areas make the first impression on the people coming into your office for the first time.  Careful consideration must be given to their presentation.  Are there enough seats for the amount of people who will drop by at any one time?  Are there accessible writing surfaces for anyone who enters even if they are in a wheelchair?  Does the room provide comfort to those who are waiting for an appointment?  Remember this room could set the tone for a very important future meeting involving your business.

     Utility and energy management systems are evolving into a major factor of any new office building design.  As energy prices continue to escalate and consumers become more self conscious about how they are using that energy, more and more conservation techniques will become common practice.  Lighting and conditioning unused or seldom used areas of a large office will become a thing of the past.  It will no longer be cost effective to operate any office environment in the way we once did when energy was cheap.  Isolating and zoning off rooms filled with freight or containing only a few employees for limited amounts of time will become the norm.  As building professionals, tenant improvement contractors need to help their clients identify these energy wasting situations and incorporate limited lighting and atmospheric conditioning into the design within these areas. Energy minded construction techniques will become second nature for our future and should be practiced by all commercial construction contractors.

Tenant Improvement for Commercial Buildings In Austin

Tenant Improvement Contractor in Austin, Texas

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Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 @ 19:06 PM


     Green building is all about using fewer natural resources and less energy while making buying decisions that are better for our health and the planet.  You should now consider restoring rather than replacing your kitchen cabinetry because green kitchen cabinets are your old kitchen cabinets.  This is one of our options since green doesn't always mean buying new stuff.  Another way to look at the big picture is the idea of becomming greener through reusing and restoring what we already have.

      Restoring your existing cabinets during a kitchen remodel causes fewer environmental problems rather than buying new no matter what new environmentally friendly materials you've chosen to construct your new cabinets.  There will be less to haul away to the landfill from a total tear out and fewer raw materials to mine and harvest.  The best part of this scenario is that refurbishing your existing cabinets is and should be cheaper than replacement.  Be advised that it is fruitless trying to salvage cabinets with structural problems or those that are poorly constructed using cheap materials.

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     Your  "new to you"  fine kitchen cabinetry can be accomplished by either a simple paint job or refacing your old kitchen cabinets for staining.  The cheapest solution is repainting with a low VOC paint and this task can additionally be accomplished by the owner.  This will more than likely give you some new kitchen remodel ideas. The painted cabinets can be kicked up a notch by replacing the hardware that was stripped prior to painting.  Refacing the cabinets with either veneer or 1/4" plywood will give you that natural look and uses fewer natural resources than buying  new ones.   This will totally revive the cabinet carcass boxes.  You can further push the beauty meter by installing new doors and drawer fronts of a matching wood species.   Installing the new pulls and hinges will give the appearance that the old cabinets were totally replaced. 

     Whether you paint or resurface the old existing cabinets the installation of new countertops will enhance your kitchen upgrade and improve both the look and functionality of your  "new" greener workspace.

A Typical Used Kitchen That Has Possibilities

 kitchen remodel in Austin

The above Turned Into This New Fine Cabinetry

Austin Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Remodeling

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Glass Block Bath Designs Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 @ 11:12 AM

     In the early 1800's, solid glass blocks were used as single units to light both ship's bowels and cellars in Europe.  In the early 1900's, second generation hollow glass blown  blocks resembled hexagonal open ended bottles.  They had condensation problems and were produced individually by artisans making them too expensive for general use.  In the 1930's machine production produced more uniform shapes that were easier to work into mortar.  The new units offered advantages in both thermal and noise isolation. Today's modern glass blocks for use in glass block bath designs Austin are still produced in this same way  taking two molded glass halves with a hollow interior and melting the parts to fuse them together.  A vacuum is formed in the block's interior to prevent condensation.  This evacuated "dead air" space provides for the block's thermal and sound reducing qualities.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     Using a fascinating building component composed of glass that is both fragile and sturdy with superior eye appeal allows for endless creativity and advantages.  Sound reduction as mentioned above along with thermal qualities for energy minded construction techniques are evident due to their air tight nature.  Both security and privacy is achieved by their light transmitting capabilities enhancing any bathroom transformation. This factor alone explains why glass blocks were first used in both commercial and industrial applications.

      Fine bathroom upgrades can benefit from glass block shower designs used in wall surrounds, support walls beneath whirlpool tubs, exterior shower windows, and low screening walls for privacy around spas.  Glass blocks can also benefit fine kitchen upgrades in many ways.  They can be used in islands, as supports for peninsula eating bars, or between your wall and base cabinets to provide natural light for the countertop work surface. Other uses of glass blocks are around the entry door as transoms or sidelights, in guard rails at balconies, room partitions, or sharing light from an adjacent window lit room.  Light shafts can give natural light to areas without having an outside window within the elevation.

Glass Block Designs

     The light diffusing capability of glass blocks allows for back lighting projects using minimal amounts of artificial sources.  The glass blocks amplify a small amount of provided light to enhance a given area.  Artificial light sources include rope lights, incandescent bulbs, or fluorescent fixtures.  Furthermore using colored bulbs can provide any desired mood lighting creating chromotherapy results.  The glass block raw edges defining the entrance to an area can either be covered in an accenting tile and glass tile caps are now available.

      Modern glass blocks are available in many patterns, both transparent and opaque, as well as a variety of colors.  The  different sizes available allow for tremendous design opportunities while special shapes provide for curves, forty fives, and ninety degree angles.  Solid glass bricks are now available to be enhanced bu LED lighting.  Designs are limited only by one's imagination.

Bathroom Remodeling Austin

Glass Block Shower Designs Provide Warmth And Beauty

Glass block showers in fine bathroom upgrades in Austin, Texas

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