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How to Make the Right Moves for Your San Diego Relocation Remodeling Project

March 19th, 2010
Posted in Relocation | Comments Off

JDR_RelocationRelocating is stressful enough. When you need to remodel the new home you’ll be moving into, you face the extra challenges of living far away from your project. Homeowners often think they need to be close by to monitor every aspect of their remodel. But if you choose the right company to work with, you can achieve the results you want with a surprising absence of worry. Keep the following checklist in mind when choosing a company for your relocation remodeling project:

1. Professionalism: Since you won’t be working with a company in your current community – where you could more easily receive a “word of mouth” reference – it’s essential to research the remodeling firms you are considering. The internet is the most common place to start research from afar. Pay attention to the company’s website: is it up to date and informative? Does the website include a portfolio of work performed that features the level of quality you are after and has any of the work won awards? What can you learn about the company’s team? Any internet research should obviously be followed up with a phone call or email. Pay attention to how quickly you receive a response and to the professionalism of the people you talk to in the company, from the person who answers the phone or email to the person with whom you discuss your project details. Find more tips for selecting a contractor here.

2. Communication: Any remodeling firm that promotes relocation remodeling should have a well-structured and demonstrable system of communication in place. Communication will be critical to your satisfaction and peace of mind during the remodeling process, especially because you cannot be on-site. Ask questions about how the firm will communicate with you during the remodeling process, from the initial evaluation and estimate phase, through design, construction and completion. The more specific the answers to your questions about communication, the happier you are likely to be during your remodel.

3. Reputation: Credibility and reputation are particularly important when you are choosing a remodeling company from a distance. How long has the company been in business? What kind of awards have they won? Do they belong to any professional and/or industry organizations? Ask for references that include past and current clients, particularly those with projects similar in scope and size to yours. And take the time to speak with current clients. Past work is important, but today’s work is what you will be experiencing. This effort will give you a good sense of the company’s resilience, professionalism, quality and customer care.

Relocating and remodeling at the same time doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re relocating to the San Diego area, you’re lucky enough to be moving to “America’s Finest City”! Take the time to do the research upfront, choose a company you can trust and let stress transform to peace of mind during your San Diego relocation remodeling project.

The Architect Advantage: How Working with an Architect Enhances Your Remodel

March 15th, 2010
Posted in Architects, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

JDR_ArchitectsWhen you’re choosing the right team for your remodel, you might wonder how much of a difference it makes to have an architect on your project. How do architects contribute to a successful remodel? Here are some points to consider:

1. Expertise: Architects are licensed professionals who have undergone rigorous education, internships and exams. The role of an architect is not just to design buildings. Through the design, the architect must also protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public and the users of the buildings. Therefore, like medical doctors, one must have a license granted by a U.S. state or territory in order to refer to oneself as an “architect.” (source: AIA – American Institute of Architects)

2. Perspective: A home remodel is a complex fusion of planning, design and construction. Architects are able to see the many aspects of a remodel – the homeowner’s needs, space and materials requirements, budgets, timetables and permits – and develop the best possible solutions.

3. Vision: An architect can help you clearly define your project – its scope, features, purpose and functionality – and achieve your goals both functionally and aesthetically. The architectural design discipline includes organizational and technical expertise; it also requires the intangible aspects of emotion, psychology and artistry. Giving the responsibility of designing your new home to a draftsman or design consultant can often lead to inappropriate, inaccurate and uninspired design solutions. An architect helps you express your own very personal vision.

4. Value: Because an architect is able to forecast how new construction ties into your existing home’s structural and technical systems and ensures that construction documents are prepared efficiently and accurately, you avoid any costly mistakes during the transition from concept to reality. Architects are also trained to capture energy savings and improve the overall efficiency of your home. The enduring marketability of good design contributes to your home’s value.

When you work with a design build remodeling firm with architects on staff, you access a team of designers, architects and construction professionals that share the expertise to make your remodel more inspiring and less stressful during every phase. Working with an architect can make the difference between “new” space and “dream” space.

JDR 2010 Industry Blogger Awards – Voting is Now Closed

March 5th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests | Comments Off

2010JDR_BloggerVote for your favorite blog here! You can vote for one blog in each category: Interior Design, Construction Business and Remodeling. Winners will be announced on April 22, 2010. You can track the progress of voting anytime between now and April 15 here on our blog.

The nominees that receive the most votes in each category will be the winners. Winners will receive a $500 prize and a JDR Blogger Awards Winner badge for display on their blog.

JDR has been a pioneer in the design and build remodeling industry for over twenty years. We believe in embracing innovation and excellence. We’re hoping that the JDR Blogger Awards will bring additional recognition to the work of our favorite bloggers, while supporting our efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry and keep our clients informed about the latest trends in home design.

Place your vote in the JDR 2010 Industry Blogger Awards here!

Announcing the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards

February 16th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests | Comments Off

2010JDR_BloggerWe are excited to announce the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards. Jackson Design and Remodeling is recognizing the best bloggers in three categories: Remodeling, Interior Design and Construction Business. Winners receive a $500 cash prize and the JDR Industry Blogger Award badge to display on their site.

We developed the JDR Industry Blogger Awards to bring additional recognition to relevant and engaging blogs, which supports our efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry and inspire our clients with the latest trends in home design.

Invitations to participate have been sent to a select group of 100 bloggers, who must confirm their agreement to participate by emailing us back. Voting will take place on our blog beginning March 5, 2010. Whoever receives the most votes in each category will be the winner of that category.

Come back on March 5 to view the nominees and place your vote for the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards!

The Great Outdoors: Five Ideas for Your Outdoor Kitchen

February 12th, 2010
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Outdoor Living | Comments Off

OutdoorLivingWith spring just around the corner, many homeowners start daydreaming about backyard barbecues and garden parties … at least here in Southern California! We’re lucky to live in a place that allows for virtually year-round enjoyment of outdoor living. Is your home maximized to take advantage of our enviable climate? An outdoor kitchen is one of the best ways to appreciate and share the pleasures of outdoor living.

The term “outdoor kitchen” used to mean Dad making hamburgers on the grill. Well, no more! Outdoor kitchens have become just as multi-functional and attractive as their indoor counterparts. Here are five ideas to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen:

1. The Hot Zone: A grill – gas, charcoal, wood, electric or a hybrid of these cooking methods – often remains central to an outdoor kitchen design. The current deluxe built-in or free-standing grills are remarkably versatile, with options for custom griddles, side burners, roasting spits and more, transforming the traditional concept of backyard barbecuing. Another option is a wood-fired pizza oven, a food-lover’s choice for baking bread or roasting meat in addition to making authentic gourmet pizzas. Of course, heat in the outdoor kitchen isn’t just for cooking. Fireplaces or fire pits keep the elements from sending you and guests indoors after the sun goes down.

2. Practical Considerations: Think about how your indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen will work together when you plan your space. Do you want to keep some tasks indoors? If so, the placement of your outdoor kitchen in proximity to your home will make a big difference in how much you enjoy using it. If you plan for an outdoor kitchen that is completely self-sufficient, then placement matters less and the appliances you choose matter more. The materials for an outdoor kitchen are essential. They must be durable and safe and should be compatible with their surroundings. Natural stone is a popular choice. Also, keep in mind that outdoor kitchens are subject to specific city planning codes. Be sure your contractor researches and follows the codes for your area.

3. A Natural Fit: Your outdoor kitchen should seem like a natural extension of your home, with compatible scale, elements and design. When you plan an outdoor kitchen in harmony with your home’s natural surroundings – considering landscaping, views and privacy – the result will be considerably more appealing.

4. Details Matter: Despite the longer days of spring and summer, it will eventually get dark outside – remember to plan lighting to accommodate both tasks and mood. Consider a water feature, such as a fountain or waterfall, to add an element of cool serenity to your backyard space. A thoughtfully placed stone walkway or wall in the landscaping brings additional texture and harmony to your environment.

5. Pictures and Sound: Adding video and audio options to your outdoor living area can make the space more welcoming, flexible and livable. Watch the big game or a classic movie, or listen to your favorite songs from an iPod docking station – just remember that the design should be carefully planned so that cables and wires don’t detract from the natural aesthetics of your space. When deciding where to place a television, study where the sun hits during the day to make sure your screen will be visible.

However you choose to customize your space, adding an outdoor kitchen to your home expands your living space and inspires new ideas for entertaining and outdoor living.

Place Your Vote to Win!

February 9th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests, Uncategorized | Comments Off

VotetoWinExperience a thrilling adventure as you soar over San Diego in a hot air balloon or relish in the luxury of a limousine drive to Temecula Valley Wine Country. All you have to do is vote! JDR has a fun new television campaign airing and we want YOU to tell us which ad is your favorite.

Visit us here, view our three ads and place your vote to let us know which one you like best. You’ll automatically be entered into a drawing to win your choice of a Spectacular Balloon Ride over San Diego with you and a friend or a Luxurious Limousine Drive with five friends to Temecula Valley Wine Country ($500 Value).
 Place your vote to win today!

2010 Trends in Design: What’s on the Horizon?

January 31st, 2010
Posted in Design, Design and Build | Comments Off

TrendsYour own instincts for comfort and style at home are best to use when remodeling … but design trends are fun to follow! This year, the emphasis is on eclectic individual expression. There are no “rules” – pick and choose your favorites and make them your own. Here’s what our professional designers see on the horizon:

Colors: Purple and turquoise are brightening spaces as accents and decorative elements. Pantone, the world’s color authority for 45 years, named turquoise 2010′s “Color of the Year.” Another trend is the emergence of gray as the new neutral. Gray replaces beige in this role, appearing in both warm and cool tones, sometimes paired with bold oranges, yellows or greens.

Fixtures: When it comes to fixtures for the bath, warm antique gold eclipses shiny chrome for 2010.

Countertops: Natural stone, polished and/or honed, is a popular new choice. Quartz is also a standout, as are “green” materials such as Vetrazzo, made from recycled glass. The use of tile has faded.

Cabinetry: Highly organized cabinetry with easy access to necessities is a trend in clean contemporary or transitional designs. White finishes are in vogue, as are mixed finishes with a variety of woods, including raw and textured.

Flooring: Natural stone and porcelain tile will be the flooring of choice for many homes in 2010.

Bathrooms: The trend for spa-like bathrooms deepens, with elements such as jetted, air bubble, or soaking tubs, multiple body spray showers and chromatherapy, all powered by smart technology that allows a change of atmosphere with the touch of a button.

Adapting trends to your own personality is what makes a home feel both fresh and timeless. When you’re considering a remodel, it’s always a good idea to do some research about the latest directions in design to see which feel right for you.

Feel Like Going to the Spa without Leaving Home? Remodel Your Bath.

January 25th, 2010
Posted in Bathrooms, Design, Home Electronics | Comments Off

SpaBathThe days when the bathroom was just a functional space, almost an afterthought in home design, are long gone. Today’s baths compete with the finest luxury spas for atmosphere and amenities. San Diego bathroom designs are becoming increasingly more sophisticated as homeowners discover the many attractive benefits of visiting the local spa right down the hall.

So, what makes a bathroom a spa? Here are some aspects of bathroom design to consider:

1. Size and scale: In general, today’s baths are substantially larger per sq. foot than their predecessors. They’re designed to accommodate a more generous scale for bathtubs and showers and to provide ample room for expansive double sink vanities and organized storage. A feeling of uncluttered open space is essential to creating a spa-like atmosphere.

2. Multi-tasking Tubs and Showers: The tubs and showers being created today perform well beyond basic functionality. Bold, freestanding tubs are often the focal point of a bathroom, welcoming the homeowner with the promise of a lengthy retreat. Tubs outfitted with air bubbles or jets, or those inspired by Japanese soaking tubs, are a current trend in creating spa-like ambiance in the bathroom. Showers are smart sanctuaries, offering either relaxation or invigoration depending on mood. Luxurious body spray jets, multiple shower heads (some designed to mimic the effects of falling rain or waterfalls) and comfortable seating combine to create an individual, easily controlled experience for each shower.

3. Customized Ambiance: Technology plays a significant role in creating a spa-like atmosphere in the modern bath. At the touch of a button, lighting and music can be set to the desired mood to create a personal experience each time the bath is used. In the shower, electronic controls for volume, flow, temperature, body sprays and even a favorite song can be preset to make each shower efficient and satisfying. Chromatherapy, which emphasizes color and light for well being, adds an alternative dimension to customization. The lucky homeowner can bathe in a spectrum of color from soothing to energizing, all touch-controlled, while listening to music and relaxing in the lighting mode of choice.

4. The Right Lights: When it comes to lighting, the modern bath emphasizes diversity. Lighting is designed to support every need in the room, from bright lights for makeup application to dim lighting for a soothing bath. Controls can be programmed for instant adjustment.

5. Innovative Storage: Nothing ruins a spa-like mood more than clutter. Current storage options are highly organized to keep necessities hidden from view yet easily accessible. Built-in cabinets behind mirrors or slide out storage under the vanity make the bathroom functional yet streamlined.

The possibilities for creativity in bath design have expanded quite a bit in recent years. A spa-like retreat in the home is a welcome respite from the hectic pace and constant connectedness of modern life.

What’s Your Home’s IQ? Technology Makes Living Spaces Smarter.

January 14th, 2010
Posted in Custom Homes, Design, Home Electronics | Comments Off

HomeTechnologyMany of us have come to rely on smart technology to stay connected and make our lives easier, more fun and more productive when we’re on the go. We can make calls, answer emails, search the internet, play music, watch movies, get directions, pay bills and much more … all from our laptops, mobile phones or other hand-held devices. Yet, we don’t always give this same attention to technology when it comes to thinking about how we live in our homes. Home automation can bring a lot of pleasure and convenience to everyday living. Here are some examples of how technology can increase your home’s IQ:

Music Sets a Mood
Feel like dancing? Or would you prefer meditating? An iPod docking station brings mood management to your home, making it easy to instantly select the music you’d like to hear, when you want to hear it. Add a custom-designed surround sound system and you can control the music in each room of your home for personal enjoyment, or while entertaining.

Home at the Movies
Home theaters are a wonderful way for families to spend quality time together and for movie lovers to share their passion for the cinema with groups of friends. Sure, you can watch movies on a giant flat screen, but there’s nothing like the experience of seeing your favorites in a luxurious setting with plush theater seating and all the lighting and sound that brings a film to life.

Safe and Sound
Adding cameras and an intercom to your entryway brings reassuring security to your family and can be convenient as well, making it easy to see who is at the front door when you’re on the third floor. For added peace of mind, you could also install lighting systems that automatically illuminate your garage, entryway, and all rooms leading to the center of your home as soon as you pull into the driveway, just by pressing a “hot button” on your visor.

Rooms that Recognize You
For instant ambiance, Lutron lighting controls set the desired mood in any area of your home at the touch of a button, with programmed settings for “entertaining mode” or “relaxation mode.” Some systems sense the presence of a person in the room and adjust the environment’s music, lighting and temperature according to programmed controls.

These are just a few ways that automation makes for smarter living spaces, bringing convenience, fun and safety to your home!

Traditional, Modern, or Transitional Design: Which is Right for You?

December 10th, 2009
Posted in Design, Design and Build, Modern/Contemporary | Comments Off

JDR_AestheticsWhen planning your remodel, one of the first choices you will make is which design aesthetic is right for you and your lifestyle. A professional designer will guide you through this process, helping you discover how you want to live in your new space and which elements will support your vision and enhance your home. Here’s a quick review of three popular design styles. Which appeals most to you?

Traditional: Homes with traditional design typically favor formal environments with classical structure and ornate embellishments. The color palette is subtle and muted, complemented by the use of dark woods. Elements such as substantial furniture, copper ceilings, elegant lighting fixtures and elaborate floor, wall and window treatments bring depth of character and visual richness. With traditional design, the challenge is to practice restraint so that the many aspects of a room are beautifully revealed, rather than competing against each other.

Modern: A modern aesthetic emphasizes clean, simple lines and a careful selection of design elements. The focus is on open, uncomplicated spaces and decoration is kept to a minimum. In a modern home, balance is critical if you want to achieve a contemporary design that retains warmth and comfort.

Transitional: Transitional design embraces appealing elements of traditional and modern design to achieve an eclectic style. By simplifying traditional and softening contemporary, transitional design arrives at a very personal expression. Mix an ornate mirror or chandelier with a Barcelona chair, or weave warm colors and drapery into an otherwise contemporary room, and you see the results of transitional design. Transitional design requires an experienced hand to avoid a disorganized appearance.

When choosing a design aesthetic for your home, you’ll probably be happier if you find what feels right to you rather than following recent trends. Do some research, work with a professional designer and have fun discovering the ways you can express your personal style at home!