Home Remodel Ramona: Avoid These Common Mistakes

Home Remodel Ramona Design and PlanningWe all enjoy our homes. They are our little oases of peace and tranquility in the hectic modern world. It only makes sense we would like it to be as personal as it can. One way to achieve this is to make some adaptations. Home remodel in Ramona is fairly popular, and GGR is the company to go to if you want the best quality work. Over the years, we have come to identify some typical mistakes people make when remodeling their homes and we present them here so that you don’t make them, too.

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2016 Summer Kitchen Remodeling Trends and Ideas

White Kitchen - Kitchen Remodeling EscondidoHome improvement business is an ever changing world of trends, materials, design and colors. That’s what makes it so dynamic and interesting. Doing a kitchen remodeling in Escondido in 2016 can be as easy as consulting the GGR Remodeling company. We have all the latest trends you may want for your kitchen. Before you decide on the particular style or trend, you can read up on it right here.

Here are some prevalent trends for the summer of 2016 in terms of kitchen remodeling.

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2016 Sleek Modern Bathroom Ideas

Modern White Bathroom - Bathroom Remodel RamonaIf your bathroom is lagging behind the rest of your home in terms of design and functionality, it is probably time to do something about it. Traditional bathrooms are usually a dull affair, pretty functional and not too aesthetically pleasing.

Well, this text is going to prove to you that you can have a functional bathroom, which is sleek and fashionable at the same time. These new ideas will make you want to do a bathroom remodel at your Ramona home ASAP.

Modern bathrooms have a simplistic and clean design. Geometric shapes and straight lines emphasize the simplicity. As we already associate bathrooms with cleanliness, the leap is not difficult to make. Think about it, we spend a lot of time in our bathrooms, but we seldom think about it. Why not make the time spent there as enjoyable as possible, and create an oasis of relaxation for yourself?

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Get an Amazing Return on Investment with a Poway Kitchen Remodel

ROI - Kitchen Remodel PowayWhat can we say? We love Poway, with its lush nature, the lake, the ecological preserve, the safe and friendly neighborhoods. That’s why we aim to make it an even better place to live. What every house needs is a functional and enjoyable kitchen. I am focusing on the kitchen because it’s just in our nature to view it as the center of the house. That’s where all the cooking and dining takes place, where a family can all sit over a nice meal.

There are some houses in Poway which could definitely benefit from a bit of touching up. From simple kitchen remodel to whole room additions, GGR Remodel is there to cater to your every need. Let’s talk about the topic in the title for now. Kitchen remodel in Poway can be as easy as calling up our designers and telling them what you want.

So, what are some reasons people decide to remodel their kitchen in the first place?

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Prepare Your Home For Holidays And Guests

The best part of holidays is the get-together spirit. Sometimes that’s exactly the problem. If you are planning to have guests this season, be it for a dinner, a party or a short stay, get some head start with these tips that should relieve the stress of preparations and help you focus on the bright side of festivities.

Warm Welcome

Start with the front door, because that sets the first impression and expectations. You priority is to make the entryway traffic-efficient. To ensure that, remove any clutter and excessive personal items. Ensure there is enough space for your guests to hang their coats and jackets. However, add a touch of festivity by placing a wreath on the door or a potted plant beside it. A Poinsettia is always a safe and beautiful choice when it comes to Christmassy plants.

Functional Kitchen

When you are having guests round, you’re probably planning to do some cooking. Again, the two things that will help you most are: minimal clutter and necessities within reach. Go through the fridge and pantry and get rid of unnecessary things – that will provide space for what you cook and the leftovers.

Find the plates, platters and the rest of the holiday kitchenware you stocked at the end of the previous season. Clean it and place it within reach.

It’s a good idea to tighten any loose screws in the cabinets, since you’ll be using them more. Sharpening the knives is also advisable – avoid hacking the bird and look like a pro at the table.

When it comes to cleaning, save time by targeting only the most important areas. Clean the drip on the coffee machine with some warm water, a cloth and mild detergent. Check the dishwasher strainer and clean it from debris, detergent residue and slime. You could wipe the gaskets while you’re at it, too. Clean the microwave and the top burners on the stove.

Get-Together Stations

Make the seating arrangement in the living room inviting for conversation. Don’t stress over matching styles if you have to bring in some chairs, some disparity can look cute.

Anticipate the need to put down drinks and place tables in handy places. Put some drinking stations in room corners – some tray tables stocked with glasses, drinks and ice buckets will do the trick. Delectable nibbles at hand are always a treat.

Dim light

Light that is not too bright is always more pleasing – not only do people feel better, they also look better!

Neat Powder Room

Cleanliness and supplies are at the top of the list. When we are talking supplies, think of a wider range than toilet paper and soap – tissues, cotton balls, tampons, pads… To add a touch of elegance you can place a miniature vase with just a couple of flowers or a scented candle.

Comfortable Guest Rooms

Comfort is what everyone craves and what everybody remembers best about a home. Place some additional throws and blankets close by, so your guests don’t have to rake or worse, wake you up in the middle of the night, if they’d like some extra covers.

You could also stock the room with some light reading and tissues. Check the reading light to make sure it works.

Well, we hope this run-through gives you some useful hacks how to make holiday preparations less stressful. In the end, holidays are all about joy and happiness – so enjoy them in anticipation as much as when they arrive!

Do You Want An Energy-Efficient Bathroom?

Do you want to take the hammer to your old bathroom? If you’d like to have a design and energy overhaul in your bathroom, here are some ideas how you can bring those two together. Your new bathroom can be a joy for you, your wallet and the planet – energy-efficient bathrooms are pleasurable to the eye but they also save water and lower utility bills. It’s not a matter of prestige anymore to have an energy-efficient bathroom. With all the droughts and water problems in California, they have become a necessity.

Here are some ideas for an energy-efficient bathroom remodel.

Lights

The easiest thing to do is reduce the number of lights in the cabinet. Bathrooms are overly lit very often.

A more demanding solution is to try to incorporate more natural light into the bathroom. You can achieve this by putting in high windows, skylights or a glass brick wall. With the first two options you’ll get more natural ventilation and the opportunity to get rid of steam and hot air quickly. A glass brick wall will allow more light in, without allowing anything to be seen from the outside.

Close the leaks

We get shivery very easily in the bathroom. However, if the bathroom is well-insulated and the air leaks are sealed off, the bathroom won’t require a lot additional heating. It’s advisable to insulate the water pipes, shower walls, around the bathtub (even around the plughole). This move will definitely make your bathroom nice and cozy even on a blustery day.

Water heating

Heating is the top energy drain in the bathroom, next to water. Consider a water heater with many Energy Stars or a tankless water heater. If you choose the traditional one, having it installed next to point of use will minimize the energy loss through pipes.

You could also install solar panels on the roof of the bathroom to heat the water. That could bring your electricity consumption in the bathroom by half.

Count the stars

Saving water in the bathroom makes all the difference. There is a myriad of appliances and fixtures on the market now that save water without inconveniencing you in the least. A low-flow showerhead can lower the consumption in the shower by 40% (without knocking the pressure down) and low-flow faucets save almost 70% of water. Cisterns can have special energy-efficient flushes that allow them to save around 50 liters of water per person every day!

Ventilation

A warm bathroom (we wrote about that in the section about leaks) will make sure the leftover moisture evaporates. Consequently, mold and mildew cannot thrive in such an environment. When the bathroom is too cold, moisture doesn’t go away and eventually it seeps into the paintwork and the walls.

Think about an automatic fan that turns on when you are using the bathroom. Alternatively, ventilate the bathroom for a few minutes in winter. If you install high windows or skylights this should be easy and effective.

Toxin-free

To ensure your remodel is a long-term investment, make sure you use solid wood, recycled timber and exterior-grade plywood. Stone, granite and quartz are also good. Take care that the finishes are high-quality, resistant to water and free of VOCs and toxins. Check that grout is also low in toxins.

Bathroom remodel Ramona

If you are considering a bathroom remodel in Ramona or anywhere else in San Diego County and around it, make sure you give GGR Energy + Remodeling a call. We are a design build firm that specializes in energy-efficient remodels tailored to your needs and taste. Call us right away to find out how we can renovate your bathroom in line with your values and make it a place where you replenish your energy every day!

Attic Is a Great Storage Place When Done Properly

Attic and basement are always a good storage resort when you need one. Homeowners don’t usually consider the conditions of their attics and basements and whether they are wise places to store things. There are factors like temperature changes and durability that should be taken into account before burying stuff there. Here a few things you should think about to keep your stuff safe and your attic in a good condition.

What is the insulation and ventilation like up there?

Proper and thorough insulation makes sure your home doesn’t lose heat in winter nor gains it in summer. It works as a regulatory barrier between two areas of different temperature. Good quality insulation doesn’t just keep your stored items in order and good shape, it also keeps your home warm in winter and cool in summer. GGR Energy + Remodeling specializes in energy-efficient home upgrades and solutions that save your money and our planet. Solutions tailored to every individual home and homeowner can be developed to make the most of the present conditions and to achieve the highest possible efficiency.

Besides insulation, ventilation in your attic is also important. Well-ventilated space doesn’t develop humidity and mold, which safeguards the things you store and the overall health of your home. When moisture is trapped in an area (especially if there are temperature variations), mold and mildew crop up.

Can the attic be accessed easily? Is it safe?

The entry point for your attic should be critically evaluated to make it easy to access, but still safe. Fold up ladders are the most common solution. If you don’t have one installed, you might want to consider it. Adding a railing to it will make it extra safe and it’ll be handy because it doesn’t get in your way.

The storage area in the attic should be near the entry point so that you don’t get into unsafe areas. Making the attic a storage space will require proper flooring. This can be just layers of plywood that will make it easy to get around the space. It’s important to secure the flooring and have its weight endurance tested, so you know how much you can store there.

Can the storage items endure the heat?

If you are thinking of putting things away in your attic, it would be wise to consider how often you’ll be needing them. It’s best to put away seasonal things that you need once or twice a year, such as holiday decorations, outdoor equipment and suitcases, because you don’t have to haul them down every so often. What you shouldn’t keep up there are candles, papers of importance, clothing items made of delicate materials and other similar stuff that could be irreparably damaged in temperature changes. Alternatively, you can decide to keep delicate items in airtight containers, so that humidity and heat cannot harm them.

If you’re thinking of making energy-efficient improvements to your home together with remodeling it and you live in San Diego County, GGR Energy + Remodeling is the company for you. We are driven by innovation, quality and ultimate craftsmanship, and our approach is to work closely with the clients and create a space that will bring them joy and a better quality of life. If you’d like to know what we’d do for your home or other space, contact us today!

The Joy of a Green Kitchen

We’re into the second decade of 21st century and eco-friendly options are so much more viable and affordable than several years ago. These options include a myriad of materials, appliances and techniques that reduce pollution and fuel energy consumption like: green materials for cabinets, countertops and floors, green finishing, energy-efficient appliances and thorough insulation methods. If you would like to remodel your kitchen in a way that is more environmentally aware, these are some things to keep in mind.

Assess the situation

Why do you want to remodel exactly? Is the space cramped or too vast? Are there any problems with traffic? Are the appliances distributed in a way that makes it easy to prepare a meal and maintain cleanliness? Does the kitchen serve your needs? Size is an important consideration, because a smaller kitchen is more efficient. If you like working in the kitchen or having a large space for entertaining, that’s perfect – you should just make sure the space can accommodate these needs without imposing clutter. Is the kitchen too hot or cold? Basically, make a list of all the things you’d like to change paying attention to movement, efficiency and comfort.

Do any other remodeling needs affect the kitchen remodel?

This is mostly about air leakage. If your home is very leaky, it’ll be a tall order to make the kitchen energy-efficient. The kitchen remodel should be evaluated within the whole home.

Adding in is better than adding on

As we’ve already said, a smaller kitchen is more energy efficient than a huge one. Adding new attractive features like a larger fridge, a wine cooler or just another bulky modern appliance may be tempting, but do try to analyze the benefits of such a move against the space and the energy and water consumption. Storage would be a far more important consideration – maybe your space should be reorganized so that you can store groceries and kitchenware in a more economical way.

Make preparations for the future

If there are some retrofits and upgrades you’d like to do some time in the future, but cannot afford now, your remodel plan can at least prep your home for that. For example, pre-wiring for a photovoltaic system can be done so that it’s easier to install once you get to that. Pre-plumbing for graywater can also be carried out, so that saves you time and money in the future.

green remodelingThink about the future

How long do you plan on living in your home? If you’re planning to grow old in it, take that into account when it comes to the kitchen layout. Keep the cabinets accessible and the appliances should be distributed in such a way that they don’t require a lot of moving around. Having the timeframe in mind will also decide what materials to use – should you invest in those that will last you forever or can some more affordable ones do?

Efficient appliances and systems

The kitchen hood should take the air directly out of the house.

The general lighting should be airtight and there should be some task lighting like under-cabinet lights and fixtures over table all made from recycled and recyclable materials. The lighting should meet the state Title 24 standards for efficient lighting.

The dishwasher should have more energy stars than the minimum.

The water heater should be efficient – consider getting a tankless water heater.

Finishing

It would be ideal to have green finishes with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The natural flooring is linoleum.

Furniture

Cabinetry made of bamboo is naturally low in VOC.

It would be great to have plywood and wood materials certified with Forest Stewardship Council, which will guarantee the wood comes from a responsible forest management.

Countertops can be coated with natural local wax.

 

If you live in San Diego County and are considering remodeling your kitchen, don’t hesitate to contact GGR Energy + Remodeling. We are a professional, award-winning remodeling service company which values integrity, sustainability and enjoyment of a perfect home. Our dynamic team of experienced designers is here to help you make a life-changing decision wisely and to your best interest.

Tips on Detecting Air Leaks in your Home

air leaksAir leaks in your home draw a substantial amount of energy, whether it’s for heating or air-conditioning. Perhaps you are already aware of some air leaks in your home, like doors and/ or windows, but to have your home well sealed, you should detect other, less noticeable leakage.

For a really detailed and precise measurement of the amount of air leakage in your home it’s best to contact a professional service that offers expert assistance in energy-efficiency. If you live in San Diego and the surrounding counties GGR Energy + Remodelling is a licensed design-build firm that uses innovative contemporary methods to assess and improve your home’s energy efficiency. Among other things, we deal with detection and sealing of air leaks.

Professional services have the skill and tools necessary to carry out blower door test, which is the perfect way to establish hard-to-notice leaks.

GGR performs whole home assessments that enable you locate areas in your home that require additional insulation.

But, there are numerous ways in which you yourself can explore exactly how much your home is leaking air.

Visual inspection

The meeting point of different building materials should be inspected visually on the outside of your home. This includes:

  • Outside corners
  • Exterior taps
  • The point where roof siding and chimney meet
  • Places where exterior brick or siding bottom meets the foundation

Inside you should have a close look searching for cracks and gaps in these areas:

  • Sockets
  • Switch plates
  • The area where the AC unit is mounted
  • Cables and lines
  • Areas around pipes and wires
  • The points where electricity and gas enter the house
  • Frames, weather strips and caulking on doors and windows
  • Baseboards
  • Fireplace damper
  • Attic hatches
  • Dryer vents in walls
  • Vents and fans
  • Foundation seals
  • Mail slots

Also check whether the outer storm door and the door shut properly and tightly.

If you can rattle your windows, it’s possible they leak air. The wiggle room suggests they’re not sitting tightly. If daylight creeps in through door or window frames, that’s where air leaks are. Inspect the storm windows for cracks or breakage.

Pressurizing the building

If leaks are particularly difficult to detect, you can carry out a basic “amateur” pressurization test for the building which will strengthen air infiltration through cracks and gaps, making them easier to spot. Here is the procedure. Remember you can only perform this on a cool windy day.

  1. Shut down all appliances that have combustion, like gas furnaces and water heaters.
  2. Close all doors, windows and flues.
  3. Turn on all the exhaust fans that will suck the air out, such as the dryer, bathroom fans, stove vent and window fans.
  4. Light an incense stick or a smoke pen and run it close to places where air leaks commonly occur. The smoke will tell you where the leaks are by wavering, tilting toward the outside or by being blown into the room. Instead of an incense stick or a smoke pen, you can moist your hand and use it as an indicator.

Other methods

There are two more ways in which you can test your home for air leakage.

The first is to have someone stand outside your home when it’s dark, while you hold a flashlight over all probable places for air leaks. This method, however, isn’t great for small holes and cracks.

To test your doors and windows, you can close them on a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out without a lot of difficulty or dragging, the door or window definitely doesn’t shut tightly and allows air to infiltrate.

 

If you detect air leaks in your home, remember that investing in proper insulation saves you a lot of money and improves the quality of life of all the residents in a house. Contact GGR Energy + Remodeling today to find out how we can help you make your home more energy-efficient.

What Should You Consider Before Remodeling?

You know those family meetings round the kitchen table when there’s a big decision to be made? When families discuss remodeling, the questions they most often consider (and fight about?) come down to the color of tiles and suchlike “make-up” changes. But the conversation should go deeper and ask questions that relate to your family’s lifestyle and plans.

The big question is – how do you want to live in your home? If you think carefully how you want to live, work, play – simply, be – in your home before the remodeling starts, you reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises and disappointments once the work is over.

Here are some guidelines on what you should consider with your family and remodeling contractor.

  • How long do you plan to live in your home? If you don’t think you’ll be in your home for many years to come, big changes are not advisable. But, if you want to live there for decades or even leave it to the future generations, forward thinking is in order. This affects the organization of space which should suit toddlers, adolescents, working people and elderly parents.

If you plan on staying, top quality materials will have the best return on investment. This includes durable materials for roofs and floors, isolation, stone exterior, solar panels, etc.

  • Are there any health issues to be considered? Do you have parents who plan to age at home? Then the rooms and spaces they use should be on one level. Avoiding stairs minimizes the risk of injury.

Or maybe you have a family member who is physically challenged? Adapting the main level so that the bedroom and the bathroom are on ground level will be most effective. This should also include ramps, reachable light switches, handles, and so on.

  • What’s the flow of your family life? Does your home feel cramped and crowded because you are all running into each other? Are you feeling stressed for being late every morning because everyone is getting in your way in the kitchen and the bathroom? Or maybe that big dining room is standing there deserted? Analyze the dynamics of your family – who uses what spaces and when.

Flow in the house can be improved without taking walls down and adding new ones. A better organization of rooms and storage spaces can bring a lot of order.

  • Are you energy-efficient? Energy upgrades are a great investment in your home and quality of living in general. Producing clean, renewable energy could save a great deal of money that can be put to much better use than paying utility bills. Plus, even if you decide to move in the future, energy upgrades increase the value of your property.
  • What is good about the home?  You like the community? The neighbors are fantastic? The garden is your haven from everyday stresses? It’s good to know what you like about your home and what you would like to stay the same.
  • Is remodeling better than moving?  This connects to the previous consideration. Moving has upfront costs like transportation, closing and broker commissions. The new home could also require redecorating and new furniture. Maybe there is major repair down the road or energy upgrades to be installed there. Make sure what pays off.

Similarly, you should be precise when talking with your remodeling contractor. They should know what your realistic budget is and they should be able to help you maximize the outcome at a cost that is affordable for you.

As a small preparation before meeting the contractor, we recommend you brainstorm your family’s current and foreseeable future needs. Comb the list and set priorities. What would be the crucial improvements to your life quality? Once you have these answers straight, it’s much more likely you’ll be happy and satisfied with the results.