Kitchen Remodeling Ideas For Fairfax County Homeowners

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas in Fairfax County, Virginia.

This Kitchen Has an Island (that acts as an eating area) Tile Flooring and Elegant Cabinetry.

The kitchen is a the heart of your home, it’s the one space you can count on to bring everyone together time and time again.  If you’ve been living with the same kitchen for the last 10, 15 or even more years then it’s probably time for a kitchen remodeling project.  Remodeling your kitchen will allow you to get more enjoyment out of your kitchen or tailor it so that it works best for your family and lifestyle.

Here are a few kitchen remodeling ideas for Fairfax County, Virginia homeowners who are looking to upgrade their kitchen.

Install One or More Kitchen Skylights

Skylights work great for a kitchen and will bathe the room in lots of natural light.  A skylight will let the midday sun through when you’re making lunch and if you’re up early enough to see the sunrise you’ll be able to enjoy the natural beauty through the skylight as you enjoy your morning coffee.  Skylights are usually a multi-day project for most home remodeling contractors.  Because you’re essentially cutting a giant hole in the roof of your home, weather is a concern, as well as making sure all flashing and sealants are in place to make sure your skylight doesn’t leak.

Install a Kitchen Island

Kitchen Islands can quickly add some usable storage space to an already cramped kitchen.  Never mind the storage space it will add most homeowners (kitchen lovers) are excited about the extra counter space.  If you’re like most homeowners kitchen counter space is always prime real estate.  Kitchen Islands can be custom built or bought ready-to-go and generally a fairly simple install for most home remodeling contractors.  If you want to have plumbing or electric in your Island then the installation can be a little more complicated and even inadvisable if your home is on a concrete slab (very expensive!).  A kitchen island is an upgrade that you can have installed on it’s own or as part of a much bigger kitchen makeover, it’s up to you!

New Kitchen Counter Tops

New kitchen counter tops are a great visual upgrade for your kitchen.  A common upgrade for homeowners who are looking for quick and affordable visual improvements, especially for resale of the home.  Kitchen counter tops come in a variety of materials from the affordable laminate counter tops everyone is familiar to the very luxurious granite and slate materials.  Installing new kitchen counter tops into your home can usually be completed within a day or two.  Obviously the contractor will need to come out ahead of time and do some accurate measuring to quote you an accurate price.

New Kitchen Flooring

There are many great choices on the market for kitchen flooring.  Tile, vinyl, laminate and hardwood are all options that are commonly found in kitchens.  One concern with flooring in your kitchen is going to be water intrusion (like an overflowing sink, broken dishwasher or leaky pipe).   For this reason laminate and hardwood usually aren’t the best options but people still choose them anyways.  Who are we to judge?  If you’ve installed new kitchen counter tops then new kitchen flooring makes a great addition as well.

More Kitchen Space

Do you need more space in your kitchen?  Do you have a wall that could come down, or an adjoining room/space you aren’t using?  Every situation is different but a good home remodeling contractor will be able to offer suggestions on how to achieve this in your home.  In some cases it’s as simple as taking down a wall, in others you may have structural or code concerns that come into play.  You also always have the option of expanding outward if the kitchen has 1 or 2 exterior walls but this obviously adds to the expense of the project.

Innovative Contracting provides kitchen remodeling services to homeowners throughout the Fairfax County area of Virginia.  If you are interested in remodeling your kitchen and would like a Free Estimate then please give us a call today.

What Can You Do With Your Basement?

Basement Finishing Ideas in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The Basement Offers a Wealth Of Potential For a Rewarding Remodeling Project.

What To Do With The Basement In Your Fairfax County, Virginia Home?

Out of all the spaces in your Fairfax County home the basement has the most remodeling potential.  Finishing your basement essentially doubles your usable living space without building out onto your property.  A fully finished basement also increases the resale value of your home substantially, in some cases it’s enough to pay for the entire project if you’re reselling the home.

No matter how you decide to finish your basement the project is usually half as much as adding an a home addition.  With your basement the basic structure is already there and both plumbing services and electrical services are usually already installed.  These are all reasons why the Basement is one of the most popular rooms to remodel, it’s not as expensive as you might think, and the rewards are enormous and life-long if you stay with the home.

Turning Your Basement Into a Playroom

Your kids are sure to have lots of fun in their own safe playing environment full of their toys and video games. Parents are at ease knowing their children are playing safe, while keeping the rest of house uncluttered with childrens toys.  There won’t be any more scratches on the wood floors or dings in the drywall and furniture throughout your home.  These rooms work great for young children who will enjoy this space safely with their friends for sleep overs, birthday parties and other events that kids enjoy.  As your child grows older they will appreciate the personal space that your modified basement provides so they can listen to music, study and yes… Play video games.

Turning Your Basement Into a Home Office

One of the most common uses for a basement is for a private home office. Do you work from home?  Transforming your basement into a working space can give you much needed peace and quite to conduct your important work.  It may also provide certain tax advantages as well, because an office is considered a business expense (consult with your accountant first).  Having a home office is also a great place to file and store important documents, have a computer or just somewhere that’s quiet and away from the normal chaos of  your everyday life.

Turning Your Basement Into a Family Room

Basements can provide alot of open space.  This makes the basement perfect for a lower level family room where everyone can gather without being all cramped together.  There will be plenty of room for the whole family to get together and watch movies or play games or host parties.   Do you have a Pool table? or other Hobbies? With the addition basement egress window well to bathe the room in natural light and you’ll feel just like you were on the main floor of the house.

Turning Your Basement Into a Media Room

What better then a state of the art theater room to watch your favorite movies or shows?  You can have your own big screen with surround sound all from the comfort of your own home.  No lines to wait on, traffic getting to the movies, someone kicking the back of your seat.  We have many ideas for homeowners wishing to turn their basement into an entertainment or media room.

Turning Your Basement Into a Suite or Apartment

If permitted by the town you might want to make that extra space into an apartment or basement suite. whether for a growing child or aging parents it can provide a family member a safe place to live while still having some privacy. Or you can rent it out and create some much needed income with a mortgage helper built into your home.

Adding or Remodeling a Basement Bathroom

Bathrooms become a little crowded in the morning especially if you’ve got a growing family or teenagers!  The basement is a great place to add a second bathroom or even a third if you’d like.  Bathrooms are usually easy to build into a basement because plumbing and electrical are usually always present.  You may already have a bathroom in the basement but it’s been neglected over the years and needs a makeover.

Innovative Contracting is a full service home remodeling contractor in the Fairfax County, Virginia area.  We specialize in basement finishing and basement remodeling projects.  Give us a call today and we’ll help you transform your basement into the space you’ve always wanted it to be!

Understanding The Energy Star Ratings on Windows and Doors.

Energy Efficient Windows in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Energy Star Window, Door and Sunlight Ratings Can Be Confusing.  We’ll Make Sense Of It All.

Many homeowners are confused by the labeling and different energy ratings and claims made by manufacturers.  It’s one of the most confusing parts of trying to make the most energy efficient window choice.  This article will try and make some sense out of the Energy Star window ratings for windows, doors and skylights.

Did You Know…?  In order for a manufacturer to make any claims relating to energy efficiency of their product it must be independently tested and certified according to specific test procedures that are established by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council).  The NFRC is a third-party non-profit organization that sponsors certified rating and labeling to help consumers compare the performance of windows, doors, and skylights.

The NFRC however, does not distinguish between “good” or “bad” they do not set minimum performance standards nor do they mandate the performance levels.  This is where the Energey Star programs comes in.  With the Energy Star program consumers are able to quickly identify products that have superior energy performance and efficiency.

The NFRC energy rating label can be found on all Energy Star qualified window, door, and skylight products.  The Energy Star program for windows ranks windows based on 5 different performance categories.

  • U-Factor:  This measures the rate of heat transfer between the inside of your home to the outside and tells you how well the window insulates. U-factor values generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h·ft²·°F. The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the fraction of solar energy transmitted and tells you how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. SHGC is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values typically range from 0.25 to 0.80. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window transmits.
  • Visible Transmittance (VT) measures the amount of light the window lets through. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80. The higher the VT, the more light you see.
  • Air Leakage (AL) measures the rate at which air passes through joints in the window. AL is measured in cubic feet of air passing through one square foot of window area per minute. The lower the AL value, the less air leakage. Most industry standards and building codes require an AL of 0.3 cf·m/ft².
  • Condensation Resistance measures how well the window resists water build-up. Condensation Resistance is scored on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the condensation resistance factor, the less build-up the window allows.

Are you thinking about replacing your windows or doors with more energy efficient products?  Innovative Contracting is a full service home improvement contractor serving Fairfax County, Virginia.  We specialize in installing energy efficient windows, doors and skylights into local homes and businesses throughout the Fairfax County area.

Give us a call today or fill out one of our contact forms and we can provide you with a Free Estimate for your project and answer any of your questions related to Energy Star rated home improvement products and upgrades.

What Are Egress Windows and Should You Install One in Your Basement?

Egress Window Installer in Fairfax County, Virginia.

(This Egress Window Allows In Natural Light While Providing A Safe Exit At The Same Time.)

Egress Windows are commonly found throughout Fairfax County, Virginia homes.  In fact, any room in your home that is considered a “bedroom” or “living space” must have an Egress window installed.

What Is An Egress Window?

Egress Windows are usually installed in specific locations within your home (basements, bedrooms and living spaces) and they are intended to provide an emergency exit from the building.  Egress windows must meet specific size requirements and other specifications to be considered an Egress window.  If you are planning to finish your basement then you want to make sure you’ve meeting code requirements in relation to Egress window requirements.

Where Would An Egress Window Be Installed?

Egress windows are meant to be installed in every bedroom within your home regardless if it’s on the 1st or 2nd floor.  It’s actually required by most state building codes.  Egress windows should also be installed in basements with living space, bedrooms or suites as a quick and safe exit in an emergency.  If any room in your home has the potential to become a bedroom you should have an egress window installed.

When remodeling a basement into a living space building code requires you to have an egress window installed, so if you don’t have one already this can add to the expense of your basement remodeling project.  Just something to consider.  Egress Windows don’t have to be boring and there are many different options available that can meet the code requirements.

Requirements For Egress Windows in Fairfax County

There are four (4) different International Residential Code (IRC) criteria that an Egress window must meet in order to meet the specifications.  These apply to homes built within Fairfax County, Virginia.

• The egress window must have a minimum width of opening equal or greater than 20″.
• The egress window must have a minimum height of opening equal or greater than 24 in.
• There is a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor).  (free space when window is open)
• There is a maximum sill height above the floor of 44 in.

Does My Older Home Meet Current Egress Requirements

There are many Fairfax County, Virginia homes and buildings that were built long before there were any egress window requirements.  Other homes may have been built when the requirements were different from what they are today.  If you converted any room of your home into a bedroom (that doesn’t have an egress window) you are actually required to install one.  Without one the building or remodeling project would never pass an inspection.

Egress windows are an important safety feature in your home, providing a quick escape route out of the room it’s installed in.  If you’re remodeling take the opportunity to go over the building code in your area.  Any competent local contractor will be able to help you, and explain to you the requirements.  If you’re building a brand new home, it’s an important point you’ll need to discuss with your contractor.

Who Installs Egress Windows In Fairfax County, VA?

Innovative Contracting is a full service home remodeling contractor specializing in basement finishing and renovation projects.  We routinely install egress windows with many of our remodeling projects and we are up-to-date and educated on the current building codes and egress window products and installation methods.   Give us a call today!