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Four Reasons Why Now is the Right Time for a Whole Home Remodel

August 10th, 2010
Posted in Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

WholeHomeIf you’ve been waiting for just the right time to finally get started on the whole home remodel you’ve been dreaming about, your moment has arrived! For the prudent homeowner, the market is showing positive signs that make larger remodeling projects a smart value decision right now. If you decided 2-3 years ago to put off your remodel, or if you were thinking about moving instead of remodeling, you may want to take a look at current conditions and reevaluate. Here’s what we’re seeing as important factors when people make the decision to start their whole home remodel now:

1. Higher Value
Remodeling costs related to labor and materials are down 15%-20% from what they were a few years ago. You will get more for your money if you act now instead of waiting a little longer. One sign of lower costs is unprecedented value offers from manufacturers. For instance, JDR’s primary cabinet manufacturer – DeWils – is offering all wood species at the same price as oak, including mahogany, which is usually 40% more.

2. Flexible Schedules
Working with an A+ rated design build firm three years ago, it was customary to have to wait up to six months to get your project started. With today’s larger available labor force, scheduling is more open and flexible for most remodelers. You should be able to get your whole home remodel done more quickly and at just the right time of year that works for you.

3. Homeowner Attitudes
A renewed focus on value and quality has homeowners making different choices when it comes to a whole home remodel. They are reevaluating the relative value of working with an architect and a series of contractors vs. working with a “one-stop” design build firm. Many are also seeing the advantage in adding square footage to their homes now while costs are lower, instead of just upgrading a kitchen or living area.

4. Quality Survives
The downturn in the economy has weeded out most of the poor performing contractors. The good, strong ones have for the most part survived. Your chances of finding an excellent quality contractor to work with are higher now than they were a few years ago. Still, you should always do your homework. Make sure you thoroughly research a design build firm before you sign a contract. Look for companies that offer educational seminars where you can meet the team in person. Clear and compelling information on their website, along with a portfolio of work you find appealing, is also essential. Always get (and check!) references from past clients who had similar work done by the firm.

Do a little research and you will find that there is incredible value to be had right now when considering a whole home remodel!

Color Inspiration for Your Whole Home Remodel

July 28th, 2010
Posted in Art and Decorating, Custom Homes, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

Color_InspirationNothing determines the personality of a room more than the paint colors you choose during the design phase of your whole home remodel. Working with a professional designer, you will explore many options for expressing your unique personal style with color.

Before you meet with your designer to talk color, it’s a good idea to do some research on your own to find inspiration and ideas. Here are some places to start:

Benjamin Moore: Personal Color Viewer
This interactive tool is a fun way to experiment with color and visualize what different hues will look like in your home. Choose from an array of room photos and then instantly apply color from hundreds of swatch choices.

HGTV Designers’ Portfolio
There’s a lot of great content on the HGTV site when you are planning your whole home remodel. We love this particular function, which allows you to browse photos by the color of a room. You’ll find hundreds of inspiring photos in a variety of styles.

Frazee Paints: ColorLife
At the Frazee Paints color chooser page, you will find ColorLife, where you can explore an amazing amount of information about the world of color, including color analyses, trends, design ideas, the “color of the day,” and a virtual decorator (registration required.)

Pratt and Lambert Paints: Personality Quizzes
These simple quizzes (one for the interior and one for the exterior) ask you a series of questions about personal preferences. After you submit your answers, you are given a suggested color palette that “matches” your personality.

Choosing a color palette should be one of the most enjoyable phases of a whole home remodel, but there are so many options it may sometimes seem overwhelming. Take the time to assess your current home’s aesthetic – what do you love and what don’t you love? Do you want a subtle change or something dramatically different? What mood do you want to create in your home? How would you like visitors to describe your home? Do you have important pieces of art or home furnishings that you want to complement with color?

Explore all of the possibilities and open your imagination to the trends and products available today. With your ideas captured and the help of a professional designer, you will create a home where every room welcomes you, your family and guests with color that expresses your personal vision and lifestyle.

Where to Find the Best Inspiration for Wall Art

July 14th, 2010
Posted in Art and Decorating, Design | Comments Off

ChooseArtIt can be much easier to decide that a room needs to be remodeled than to pinpoint what should be on the walls. Finding the right inspiration is often a matter of perspective, and depends to a large degree on the decorative style of the rest of the room. After all, it would look odd to have one style of décor in the room, and then use wall art that is an entirely different style altogether.

The first step is choosing the basic décor of the room. This does not mean that everything in the room has to match identically. One very common misconception is that all of the pieces in the room must be one color, or a combination of colors that match very well. Although very common, there is no real rule that states that rooms must match perfectly to be stylish. As a matter of fact, combining patterns and styles that complement each other is a modern and sophisticated trend.

Make the décor work for the room, instead of trying to adapt the room to the décor. Finding the best inspiration for wall art depends on the wall. Obviously, the bigger the wall, the more that can be done with it, but smaller walls can be fun to decorate as well. Wall decor art can be a great way to express some individuality, and is a primary means of making the room feel more like a home.

Let the room inspire the wall art, unless something has already been purchased that will influence the rest of the décor. This can be tricky, but is definitely doable. Most professionals will agree that sometimes finding the perfect wall art piece is a matter of chance for most rooms. For example: finding a great mirror at a yard sale, or an awesome wine wall art. These are things that are very rarely planned in advance.

Allow even the most unlikely places to inspire wall art. Wall art is not confined to mirrors, pictures, and sconces. In our grandmothers’ time, there were only limited options to what was acceptable to hang in a specific room, even in a personal space such as the bedroom. These days, it is much more common to see shelves with all sorts of things standing on them – decorative wall grilles, tropical wall hangings, pictures that are much more creative and/or interesting, on any given wall.

Letting the wall art take the room by surprise can be fun, too. Choose a piece that may not necessarily blend with the style of the room, but says something about the personality of the person or people who live there. An illustration of this is a modern and stylish room that is decorated in neutral colors featuring wall art that is bright, colorful, and cheerful. Again, patterns and colors do not have to be identical, or even similar; they just need to add to the flow of the room itself.

Wall art is an interesting and creative means of expressing personality and individuality in every room of the house. Pieces should be tasteful, but style can be found in almost any color or size. It depends mostly on the rest of the room, and the inhabitants of the room itself. People are mostly limited only by a lack of imagination.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Whole Home Remodel

June 30th, 2010
Posted in Additions, Design, Design and Build, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

WholeHome_BlogRemodeling your entire home is a big decision. Careful preparation and planning help to make the process smooth and the end result satisfying. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are considering a whole home remodel:

1. What is my current lifestyle like and how would I like to change my home to adapt to it?
Life transitions, such as children leaving home for college or new babies on the way are often the impetus for a whole home remodel. Empty nesters may want to consider simplifying their homes by streamlining space planning, or they may decide to add some small luxuries to their environment, such as wine coolers, beer dispensers, or other kitchen and dining upgrades to enhance a higher level of entertaining. Expanding families obviously need more room and may want to think about ways to transform their space to be more child-friendly.

2. What are my short and long term goals and needs for the space?
This is a consideration particularly for those who may be buying a home as an investment and do not plan to stay in the house for a long time. It’s important to plan for both the increase in retail value of your home’s eventual sale and for the enjoyment of the space while you live there.

3. What do I wish I had in my home?
A visit to a friend’s or neighbor’s home can sometimes set us to day dreaming about how our own environment could change. As you consider your own home remodel, think about visits to other people’s homes, especially those that were recently remodeled, and make notes about what you liked and didn’t like about those spaces.

4. What do I absolutely hate about my current home?
Well, “hate” is a strong word, but sometimes it needs to be said! Are you living with a decades-old kitchen that isn’t even ironically stylish? Is your closet space about half what it needs to be? Have you been tolerating a fluorescent recess from the seventies? Remember to catalog these annoyances as you plan for the new home you will love.

5. Do I need more space? If so, how much?
This is where a design professional can really be helpful. Space planning is an essential aspect of a successful whole home remodel. Maybe you need more space, but maybe you just need a better configuration of the space you already have. Working together with a professional designer, you can assess and plan accordingly.

6. How much do I plan to invest?
It is important to be realistic about how much a whole home remodel will cost. Have your checklist prepared from considering and answering the questions above and then talk to your contractor. Together, you can determine if your desires match up realistically with your budget.

A whole home remodel is an exciting project to undertake! Being prepared leads to the best end result.

Remodeling a Home Away from Home

June 18th, 2010
Posted in Custom Homes, Design, Design and Build, Second Homes | Comments Off

Second HomeIs your second home everything you want it to be? With summer just around the corner, chances are you will be spending more time at your second home than at any other time of the year. If your visits are spent thinking about ways your second home could be more satisfying, here are some ideas for ways to make a significant difference:

1. Make it Work for You. Some people revel in downtime, taking the opportunity to catch up on summer reading or take afternoon naps in the backyard. Some prefer to garden. Others enjoy inviting friends for a visit to cook gourmet meals and drink wine together. For some second home owners, total retreat from everyday distractions is a must – such as a no television rule. For others, a small home office in their second home is a necessity. Spend some time reflecting about how you use your home now and how you would ideally enjoy spending time there. This will inform the majority of your decisions about remodeling your second home.

2. Create a Relaxing Retreat. A second home represents a place to “get away from it all.” The design of your home should reflect that feeling of relaxation in a way that is very personal. A favorite vacation spot can be a wonderful design inspiration, using cultural influences from another locale to reflect on treasured memories. Another idea is to make your second home a sanctuary for a relaxing hobby such as reading or gardening with an expansive library or lush landscaping. A spa-like bathroom is a popular option in a second home, where there is more time to linger and luxuriate.

3. Choose an Easy Process. Homeowners sometimes think that they must be present during the remodel of their second home to monitor each step. This should not be necessary if you choose a design and build firm with the experience and systems in place to make your remodel an enjoyable experience. Be sure to choose a company that has demonstrated skills with project management and communication during a second home remodel. You don’t want the remodel of your vacation home to cause extra stress!

Your home away from home should be a place you can retreat to and leave behind the worries of the world. Choose the right remodeler to make that happen and your second home will always be hard to leave!

How to Love Your Small Kitchen Design

June 15th, 2010
Posted in Design, Kitchens | Comments Off

JDR_SmallLimited space doesn’t have to mean limited functionality and beauty in your kitchen. Using design principles and careful planning, your small space can make a memorable visual statement and efficiently serve your day-to-day needs. Here’s how to love your small kitchen design:

1. Space Planning: While space planning is always one of the most important elements of any room design, smaller areas call for creative, sometimes unconventional thinking. Every square foot of the room must be used efficiently and effectively. Sometimes, “borrowing” space from a nearby room is the best option, by knocking down a wall to open the kitchen to another area of your home. Often, the free space is already in the room but hidden by poor planning – the rearrangement of the key elements in the kitchen can make the room seem significantly larger.

2. Colors, Materials and Lighting: Everything you put in a small space will be noticeable, so you want it to be beautiful. Choose a focal point for the room, such as a beautiful back splash or an unusual finish for your countertops or flooring. Conventional wisdom dictates white or light colors in a small space – these can work, but a higher priority should be choosing a color scheme that fits with the overall aesthetic and character of your home. Just as important as color is lighting – in a small space it becomes a primary element in the design. If more or bigger windows are an option, they can transform limited space dramatically. If not, a mixture of natural and ambient light should be carefully planned throughout the space, with special attention paid to areas that are typically dark, such as under cabinets and counters.

3. Appliances and Storage: Manufacturers offer many appliance options that are perfect for a smaller kitchen, such as compact refrigerators, space-saving microwaves, built-in stovetops, or extra deep sinks. Once again space planning is essential when it comes to deciding where to place appliances in the room and what you need to find storage for, as is a healthy dose of practicality. Think carefully about how you use your kitchen every day and whether or not you really need that espresso machine or bread maker readily at hand. In a small space, a clutter-free environment is essential.

Give careful thought to the details of space planning and functionality and your small San Diego kitchen design can be just as memorable as one twice its size. Take a look at this cool video on our Facebook page about an ingenious home design in Hong Kong for inspiration and see a small apartment transformed into 24 rooms!

Experience the Most Awarded Remodeling Project of the Year

May 14th, 2010
Posted in Design and Build, Kitchens, Universal Design, Whole Home Remodel | Comments Off

OpenHousePhoto3Take an exclusive tour of this nationally recognized remodel while you enjoy an afternoon of fun, food and music. San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine features this project on their June cover and has named it a 2010 Kitchen of the Year. The project has also received the prestigious 2010 National Chrysalis and CotY (Contractor of the Year) Awards. JDR designed and remodeled the kitchen, family room and living space. The result is a beautiful, state-of-the-art home, built for family living with an emphasis on universal design principles. Come see for yourself why this project has won so much acclaim and be inspired for your own space!

You Are Invited:
What: Jackson Design & Remodeling Open House
When: June 5th, 1pm to 5pm
Where: Scripps Ranch (address will be provided to those who RSVP)
Wine & Food | Music by Javid & Naoko New Flamenco

RSVP by June 1, 2010
858.356.5410 or 800.861.3103
All guests can enter to win a Restoration Hardware Gift Card.

If you appreciate innovative home design, you do not want to miss this exclusive event!

Nominate and Vote for Us!

May 13th, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests | Comments Off

BEST_10_Poster.indd Nominations for the San Diego Union Tribune’s annual Best of San Diego poll open in May and voting starts in June. We welcome your nomination and then your vote for JDR as Best Home Remodeler and Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler!

Nominations are held from May 6th to May 23rd.

Click here to vote for JDR as Best Home Remodeler.

Click here to vote for JDR as Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler.

Voting starts in June and you can vote for your favorites once a day! Thank you for your support!

Good Design Expresses Your Personal Vision

May 4th, 2010
Posted in Custom Homes, Design, Design and Build | Comments Off

JDR_CustomA new design for your home can embody the latest trends and make a visual impression with a multitude of colors, materials and layout choices. But, if you don’t feel comfortable in your environment, or if the new space looks out of context with the surrounding home, then the remodel was not really a success.

When you are choosing a remodeling company with a professional design team, look for a company that embraces a collaborative approach with their clients. Designers should not impose their personal tastes on your home, but instead elicit from you the information needed to capture your vision.

A remodeling plan should include a thorough examination of your home’s essential character so that the new design will seem like it has always belonged. Your needs and desires for your space should live in harmony with your home’s style and architecture.

Successful design expresses your personal style and enhances the character of your home. A good designer will guide you to the right choices for you and your home with informed, professional advice.

Announcing the Winners of the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards

April 22nd, 2010
Posted in Awards and Contests | Comments Off

2010JDR_BloggerWe are happy to announce the winners of the 2010 JDR Industry Blogger Awards! Our first annual Industry Blogger Awards were a great success. Twenty two remodeling bloggers were nominated in three categories. From March 5, 2010 to April 15, 2010, we received more than 4,000 votes for the best blogs in the remodeling industry.

Our winners in each category are:

Interior Design: Joys of Home

Construction Business: Brookfield Homes

Remodeling: Craftsman Home Remodeling Blog

We want to thank everyone who participated and voted. Check back with us at the beginning of 2011 to see more about JDR’s plans to bring recognition to the work of our favorite bloggers. Our annual Industry Blogger Awards support JDR’s efforts to promote the professionalism of the remodeling industry and keep our clients informed about the latest trends in home design.

If you would like to nominate a blog for the 2011 JDR Industry Blogger Awards, please visit us here.