Tag Archives: floorplans

Hardwood Floor Installations

Hardwood floor installations are best done by a professional renovation and remodeling service. It’ll save you much time and frustration, not to mention the money spent in repairing damage all-too-often wrought by laypeople when attempting this extensive home renovation project. It’s one of the more difficult projects, requiring weeks’ worth of time and much patience. However, it always pays off.

The Hardwood Floor Installation Process

Why install a hardwood floor? Being that they are much easier to vacuum, mop and clean, there are of course convenience factors to consider. But there is also something homely and old-fashioned about hardwood. It’s a bit nostalgic, and also a great long-term investment. To take just one example: imagine the plummeting resale value of a carpet that’s been stained and scratched by household pets!

Different hardwood floor installation texturesSelecting the Hardwood Floor

The first step in any hardwood floor installation is choosing  your flooring. There are a variety of different textures (pictured on the left), as well as stain colors, thickness and other options. Keep in mind that:

  1. Thickness depends on how the flooring is installed. Thicker floors are for completely new installations, while thinner ones work well over existing floors.
  2. Color and stain should depend on the lighting and exposure of the room. For instance, solid colors are not recommended in dimly lit areas, where the light will not compliment them.

Preparing for Installation

Next, the room will be measured in order to determine the cut and dimensions of your hardwood floor. Before we proceed, we must also take certain measures against the irritating squeaks and creeks that often accompany hardwood. We clean the sub-floor, fix a substrate on the joists, and install a small barrier between the floor and sub-floor that also prevents moisture from permeating the wood membranes.

Installing the Hardwood Floor

The last thing to be done before a hardwood floor installation is determining the layout. 4 out of 5 times, the floor is installed at a 90° angle to the joists, as the joists provide sturdiness this way. However, there are cases when we are able to install parallel to the joists (especially on the first story or on a ranch floor plan).

We lay several planks as according to the floor layout, starting from the inside and working our way out. This manner of installation is necessary because the last rows of wood will need to be top nailed, which requires pre-drilling and frequently nailing them in by hand. Before we finish, we always make sure to inspect your new hardwood floor installation for any marks or stains and repair them right then and there. We’ll even add some paint or a matching molding just for your pleasure!

Floorplan for a home addition

Home Additions: Things to Consider

Like anything else in life that is fresh and new, home additions can be incredibly exciting. Whether you live in a model or custom home, there is always more to be done. With this said, it will also be worthwhile to take certain factors into account before you go through with building your addition — there are financial, logistical and practical matters to consider.

Planning & Design

First, you must be specific about what you want in your home addition. You will need to have a good idea of the size and scale of your project for the next step. And, in any case, the remodeling process will go much more smoothly if you are specific about your wants and needs. Here are some suggestions:

  • Your addition should add to and compliment your existing house, not contrast with it. Be consistent not only with size and color, but also with style and overall design.
  • In determining size, it’s a good idea to envision what you will do with your addition once it is completed. Look around your existing rooms and survey their use of space and how they are furnished.
  • Work with a professional architect/contractor. No matter what, there will usually be things you haven’t considered, and it never hurts to get professional advice.

Return on Investment

While no doubt a powerful, visceral experience, you should ultimately be getting the best bang for your buck from home remodeling. Economic conditions pose a major obstacle to getting a proper return on your investment. Unless you are completely willing to bear that cost, you should think twice about building a home addition.

Some things to consider here are:

  • Comparable market values: This is often difficult to ascertain, as no two homes are exactly alike. Nevertheless, do your research and talk to your contractor. Keep in mind that your comparison should control for location and size. Do you know anyone in your area with a home addition of similar scale? How much did it raise the market value of their house?
  • Funding: How you are going to fund your remodeling project is a huge factor to consider. This is important not only for you, but also for the future buyer of your home. How is the market looking right now — what is the prime rate, and what kind of home equity loans are available to you? How does your own mortgage compare to what is currently available?
    • Your Mortgage Rate < Available Mortgage Rates – If you’re paying less interest on your mortgage, consider taking out a home equity loan (assuming your credit is good).
    • Your Mortgage Rate > Available Mortgage Rates – If you’re paying more interest on your mortgage, you should definitely be considering refinancing.


Finally, how convenient will this project be for you? All people can be fickle, reneging on something they have already committed to. Don’t be insulted — we are all guilty of it! but make sure you have the time and patience that are necessary to see your project through from start to finish. If you have any big plans or don’t want too much disruption in your house, then you may want to hold off on your home addition (at least temporarily). Don’t worry, though. It will always be there when you want it!

Custom home or model home?

Custom Homes vs. Model Homes

Custom homes are great, and of course we as South Florida custom home builders are not without our own opinion on this subject! But are they for everyone? Between the time, cost and energy of building a custom house, some may lean toward model homes instead.

Deciding Between Model & Custom Homes

Thanks to news-press.com for providing the inspiration for this article with their own, “Buyers decide between custom or model homes.” It’s a great and unbiased piece that weighs the pros and cons of each through the real experiences of homeowners. Here’s our own extra two cents.

Model Homes

“Model homes” here refers to homes that are built from a set of pre-designed (i.e. “model”) plans. They can be just as luxurious as custom homes, while not being as time-consuming or even stressful to build. Model homes are a particularly good option for those who don’t see themselves as creative or innovative enough to dream up their own design. There’s no shame in this, although sometimes your own creativity is locked away rather than completely absent. Don’t sell yourself short — we’ve seen many potential homeowners surprise even themselves!


  • Easier, takes less time and energy
  • Standardized designs make both costs and scheduling explicit and easier to understand


  • Sometimes the land to be built on won’t allow certain home models
  • Anything your model home comes with that you don’t like, you must either live with or deal with yourself

Custom Homes

Homes that are custom built are exactly what they sound like: the designs, floor plans and engineering are all based on the customer’s personal wishes.


  • Homeowners get to customize everything — down to even the details that may seem mundane
  • Highly adaptable to any factor — be it the land or interior of the home


  • The prospect of 100% customization from the bottom-up may seem daunting
  • Often takes more time and investment than model homes
  • Fear — i.e. of the unknown, such as building something that later makes resale difficult

A Middle Ground?

The lines between building model homes and custom homes are not always so clear. For instance, model home builders still allow homeowners some flexibility in customizing the interior of their home. Indeed, even prefab homes have a part to play in custom construction.

In the news-press article, one resident expresses her fear that “We didn’t want to have to choose where every light switch goes.” Her unease is understandable. However, we know from personal experience that quality home building doesn’t put that burden on you. The best custom home builders will balance your creative vision with their expertise.