Bathroom Remodel Tips to Add Functionality and Style

Bathroom Remodel Tips to Add Functionality and Style

Remodeling a bathroom can be stressful even for the most organized and laid back homeowner. One way to keep your bathroom remodel under control is to go into it with a bathroom remodel checklist. Start your list at least 3 months before the remodel project is to begin. That way we can see what you want, where you want it, and how you want it to look. Here are some helpful tips for helping your bathroom remodel run as smoothly as possible.

Budget: Create a budget and stick to it. Knowing how much you want to spend on your renovation will guide your decisions in things like tile and fixtures. Once you’ve figured out what you can realistically spend, factor in labor, and then decide where you want to splurge and where you might be able to save. It’s perfectly okay to purchase cheaper flooring so you can buy more expensive furniture or hardware, for example. Choose your splurge items carefully, because you can get carried away quite easily!

Brace Yourself: Consider hidden problems you may face during the remodel. If you’re doing a major upgrade, consider fully gutting your bathroom down to the studs. By getting right down to the skeleton of your space, you’ll avoid discovering hidden problems in the future that might require undoing all your hard work to fix a functional plumbing or electrical issue.

Design Meets Functionality: Design for a balance of functionality and style. Think about the look you want, and try not to get overwhelmed. You may have a certain feel that you’re drawn to for your room, or you may have fallen in love with a specific design feature and choose to build your design around that special faucet or antique mirror you found.

Design and Decorate for Now and Later: Consider adding features like a built-in bench seat in the shower and grab bars in the shower and by the toilet. You may not need these features yet, but if you plan to live independently well into your old age, you will need them later. Ask us about remodeling with a few ADA Compliant features for your Golden Years.

Renewal Design-Build is a Decatur, GA based design-build firm. We provide remodeling services to homeowners in the greater Atlanta area. We have a proven track record and we can provide referrals on request. Our most enjoyable projects are often our most challenging, because we strive to meet all of our clients’ needs and wants while maintaining a fully functional home.

Call us any time to discuss your bathroom remodeling ideas. Let us know what you think about the tips we gave in this post. We enjoy hearing your ideas as well. Together we can create a truly unique bathroom to suit your current and future lifestyle.

Choosing the Perfect Countertop for Your Atlanta Area Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodeling options are often overwhelming. The sheer number of cabinet, countertop, hardware, and flooring options often makes homeowners take a step back and question whether they really want to remodel their kitchen. Renewal Design Build in Decatur, GA has experience with the types of countertops listed below and many more. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options!

Granite: Granite is the most popular choice of countertop material for many homeowners. It offers a high-end look, increases the value of your home, and provides one of the most durable food preparation surfaces. Granite is a natural material, and no two countertops are the same. This makes it difficult to match multiple slabs for a uniform look throughout the kitchen while simultaneously increasing the unique appeal. Granite must be sealed regularly in order to maintain a flawless surface.

Honed Granite: Honed granite countertops are a twist on polished granite countertops. Honed granite provides a soft, matte finish instead of the highly polished glossy appearance of traditional granite. It is resistant to chipping, cracking, and heat, and slightly more affordable than polished granite.

Quartz: Quartz countertops are practically maintenance free. They’re stain, acid, scratch, impact, and heat resistant. They are nonporous, so you never need to seal them the way you do natural stone countertops. Quartz is the second-most popular countertop material; closely following granite.

Laminate: Laminate countertops are the most inexpensive option. The resurgence in popularity of laminate can be attributed to the low cost as well as to new patterns that resemble natural stone, wood, and many more high-end materials. Laminate is not heat resistant, but it is a cost effective way to try out different finishes every few years if you get bored easily.

Wood: Wood countertops provide a rustic, cottage style appearance. You absolutely must maintain a proper seal on the wooden countertop to keep it sanitary for cutting meats. Wood countertops are very heavy duty, very sturdy, and heat resistant.

Marble: Carrara or Calacatta marble is extremely beautiful and durable. The timeless appeal of marble provides a high-end appearance and works well with most types of modern kitchen decor. Marble’s smooth, cool surface is great for working with pastry and chocolate. It is on par with granite as far as cost is concerned. Marble can scratch easily and is susceptible to household stains.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel countertops aren’t only intended for restaurant kitchens. Stainless offers a beautiful, modern look with clean lines. It’s extremely easy to clean and does not promote bacterial buildup. Many restaurants use stainless steel countertops because it is the most hygienic countertop.

Glass: Glass countertops are sleek with clean lines and a very glossy appearance. They’re very sturdy and may be cut into any shape. They’re a little more expensive then more popular options. The nonporous surface creates an easy-to-clean, stain resistant, hygienic countertop workspace.

As you can see, there are many countertop options. Many kitchens even mix countertop materials, such as wood and granite or marble and quartz.  An experienced designer can help you select the best countertop materials to suit your particular design and lifestyle.

Easing the Stress of Home Renovation

Master Bath Renovation

Each year millions of Americans make the decision to remodel their home, and maybe you’ve also decided to take the plunge. Remodels can be exciting, and having a beautifully designed home that aptly suits your taste and style, can be very rewarding. However, the remodeling process can be stressful and challenging, especially for the unprepared. We work hard to take the stress out of an already-stressful situation. Renewal Design-Build in Decatur works with Atlanta homeowners to design and build incredible renovation projects without the stress.

Here are a few tips to help you take the stress out of home renovation.

Have a Design Plan: Always develop a plan of what you want your remodel to look like. The more prepared you are the better, and the less likely you are to be stressed during the process. We provide 3D imagery of what your new renovation will look like before any work begins. We want you to know how your new area will blend and flow with the rest of your home from multiple angles.

Dau Old House Fair

Create a budget: Determine how much money overall you are going to spend on design and construction.  Don’t forget to include any expenses for new appliances, lighting & plumbing fixtures, etc…

Call in the professionals: If you have a big remodeling job, don’t hesitate to call in professional remodelers. We will help with design options, and show you how to save time and money on the project.

Keep the Goal in view: This is especially important when you are faced with unforeseen problems. We will do everything in our power to limit the number of surprises that crop up, and work to be prepared with immediate solutions so you don’t have to worry about them.

Set aside extra cash to handle the unexpected: Sometimes there are going to be construction surprises such as insect infestation that simply must be eradicated, and that added cost can create stress. We’ll help locate potential problems and get rid of them before they become a problem.

Get away when you can: Regardless of how prepared you are for the remodel, the constant noise and dust can take a toll. Schedule some away time to help ease the stress. Book yourself into a hotel some weekends, or stay with family or friends. If the renovation is significant enough, consider setting aside budget to rent an apartment during the construction phase.

It’s also important to have realistic expectations about the remodeling process. Don’t expect your home to be clean and tidy with all the changes taking place. It’s going to be noisy, dusty, and chaotic for a period. That’s why it’s so important to entrust your home to experienced, professional remodelers who will complete your home remodel on time, as well as within budget.

At Renewal Design-Build, we understand how demanding a home remodel can be, but we’re here to provide quality service and ease your construction anxiety. We have professionals that can help you through every step of the remodel. Why not give us a call today at 404-378-6962.

What to Look for when Hiring a Professional Renovation Contractor


Make sure you find the right design-build firm before hiring a contractor to do your renovation. When looking for a contractor to handle your home remodeling project, you must have certain points in mind. It isn’t always easy to find the best contractor for the job; that’s why you’re here, after all, right?

Renewal Design-Build is located in Decatur, Georgia and services the intown Atlanta area. Today’s blog post is going to focus on what you need to look for when hiring a design-build firm or a contractor for your renovation.

The Qualifications

You should find out what makes the contractor qualified to offer this type of service. The kind of training they had is important. You should also look into whether they are licensed to provide these services. Your local building authority or professional building associations in your area will be able to provide you with information on the license a contractor needs to offer home remodeling in your area.

Their Experience

How long a person has been doing a job is important, especially if the renovation project will be a large one. Find out how many projects they have worked on in the past that are similar to yours. Better yet, if possible, see if they have any knowledge about the types of housing in your area. Local contractors will understand the requirements for getting building permits for any work that needs to be done.

Look for a contractor or a design-build firm with a nice website. An updated website shows that they are on top of their game and still competitive in the business world. They should also have some pretty magnificent pictures on their website. Look for before and after renovation pictures to gauge how well they do their job.

Type of Insurance

Since accidents can happen when performing home renovation jobs, it is important that any contractor you use has the right type of insurance such as liability and workers compensation. Look for someone who is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Get Referrals

This old favorite still remains a good way to find the right contractor. Referrals from family members and friends are particularly important as these people are unlikely to steer you in the wrong direction. Instead of just taking written referrals, you should call and talk to the persons named. You should also consider checking reviews on reputable websites to see what past clients have to say. Web sites such as and are good sites to check for client reviews for any remodeler you decide to use.

Get a Contract

Get a written contract and make sure that all the details of the job as well as agreed upon cost and timelines are included. The more complex the job the more details there should be in the contract, such as the types of materials to be used.

Once you have the factors that will help you to narrow your list of potential contractors, you can go about finding the right person for the job. Just as important as the decision to remodel your house is the proficiency of the contractor who will be doing the work.

For more information about remodeling your home in Atlanta, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Need More Space? Open Up the Floor Plan!


Once you’ve made the decision to remodel your home, that’s often the only thing you can think about. I’ve been known to be quite obsessive about a project from time to time whether it’s a client project or a personal home improvement project. You’ve probably Googled a thousand times and your computer automatically boots up to a Google search when you walk into the room. Okay, probably not quite that bad, but at least you know that I understand where you’re coming from!

Remodeling is so exciting because it basically transforms your existing home into something completely new. Today’s blog post is obviously going to be about remodeling your home. But I’m not only going to talk about the basics; you already know that moving things around is going to change your space. I’m going to give you a few ideas you may not know are an option.

Non-Supporting Walls

Some of the walls inside your home are actual supporting structures that help support the weight of your roof. Don’t go tearing down walls without a consultation with an architect or a licensed contractor. You don’t want to have the roof come crashing in unexpectedly. You can renovate supporting walls, but you must keep supports in place. Discuss options with your contractor.

Removing non-supporting walls really opens up a home! You can, for example, remove the non-supporting wall between two bedrooms to create a large bedroom suite. Consider building a bathroom and large walk-in closet to turn two smaller bedrooms into a large master suite.

Boxy Kitchen and Dining Room

The two rooms that should flow well together are often separate box-shaped entities. Find out if the wall separating them is a supporting wall. Remove it to open the space if it is not. You can still remove it if it is a supporting wall, but care must be taken to maintain the structural integrity of the ceiling. Again, ask a contractor or an architect to be on the safe side. Open up the area between the kitchen and adjacent rooms by removing non-supporting walls or adding very large open windows, without the glass of course, and open the area from room to room.

More Space

These last two aren’t exactly ways to open up the floor plan, but they are great ways to add more space to your home without building an addition. The attic and basement are often overlooked.

Attic: Most houses have an attic, but some are completely unused. They’re large empty areas that may be used for storage, but most don’t even have actual flooring. They’re just structural 2x4s that support the ceiling below them, and a thick layer of insulation on top. Depending on your roof pitch and the amount of existing space up there, your attic could become a wonderful new area of your home.


Basement: Unfinished basements are often thought of as extra storage. Some homeowners even use a finished basement as climate controlled storage space instead of functional living space. That’s fine if you don’t need the space. But if you’re constantly looking for ways to expand the functional living space in your home, consider the basement!

What Do You Think?

Are you considering remodeling the interior of your home? What are your current plans? I would love to hear from you! Please comment in the comments section and let us know what your future home plans are.

Increasing the Value of Your Home with the Right Renovations

Apart from making your home look good and making you more comfortable, some renovations can also increase its value. A professional contractor can help you decide what to do to boost the value of your home. Sometimes renovations can be purely cosmetic, and will not make much difference to how much your property is worth. We’ve seen a lot of renovations over the years, and we’ve helped improve the overall value of many Atlanta area homes. Today we want to show you some ways you can increase the value of your home.

Areas that Add Bang for Your Buck

Kitchen: Upgrading your kitchen is a good idea when considering a remodeling project, even if you don’t like cooking. A well appointed kitchen is a great addition to any house. When renovating a kitchen, keep current trends in mind. Keeping it trendy will help ensure that the new kitchen will return almost the full cost of the remodeling cost if you have plans to sell the home in the near future. Ample storage and countertop space are generally prime characteristics of a great kitchen.

Druid Hills - Classic Transitional

Bathroom: A good looking bathroom is one of the main areas that add value to a house. Not only will remodeling the bathroom or bathrooms add value, you can up the ante by adding another bathroom. Having more than one bathroom is important, especially in houses with children. If you have a master bedroom adding an adjoining bathroom will automatically increase the home’s worth. As with kitchens, follow current trends when considering remodeling ideas.

Decks: One often over-looked feature when remodeling is the addition of a nice deck. However, a deck does more than add a cool outdoor area; it can actually make your home more valuable. Make this addition special by giving it distinctive features and a unique shape. A well-designed deck often brings a return on investment of about 74% of the original build cost.

New Windows: Not only can the right type of windows serve to modernize and make houses look so much better, they can help make rooms lighter and make them seem more spacious. Get design help from professionals as to the best types of windows for the house that you are renovating. Our designers are wonderful at helping choose the perfect windows as accent pieces or simply as a way to view the outdoors and allow natural light to enter the home.

Curb Appeal: Who doesn’t want their house to look good from the outside? Make sure to use attractive colors and that the paint never looks faded. Installing a nice gate, as well as landscaping with plants, can add significant curb appeal to your property.

So the next time you are thinking of giving your house a remodel, keep in mind that there are things you can do to increase the resale value at the same time. However, while remodeling, unless you have specific plans to sell, your main objective should be to make your house into the home you want to live in. We truly believe that there is no reason your home cannot adapt to your lifestyle, and that is what we strive to help homeowners do; create a home around the life they’ve chosen instead of searching for a home that their lifestyle fits into.

For more information about remodeling your home in Atlanta, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Want to Give New Life to Your Bedroom? Remodeling to the Rescue!

Like any other room in your house, the bedroom sometimes needs a face-lift. Luckily, with good planning you can transform your bedroom without spending more than you can comfortably afford. There are lots of ways to spruce up a bedroom to make it more inviting and comfortable. The design and build teams here at Renewal Design-Build in Decatur, Georgia completely understand and would love to help turn your bedroom into your own personal oasis.

Before starting the process of remodeling your bedroom you should think about the look you want to achieve. Do you want sultry and passionate or do you want something a little tamer? Do you prefer dark colors, or light? Some great design ideas for your bedroom are:

Add Height to the Ceiling: Increasing the ceiling height in bedrooms on a second floor, or those in a single level house, immediately makes the room more spacious looking. Adding skylights to allow natural light to enter will also help to change the look and feel of your bedroom.

New Color Paint: Nothing gives new life to a room like a new coat of paint, especially if you use a different color. Light, smooth colors are best for bedrooms, so choose shades like light blue, white and beige. However, you should be guided by the colors you like and your own personal taste. Keep in mind that bright, loud colors are not generally calming and may prevent you from relaxing and falling asleep.

Change Light Fixtures: Light fixtures can easily transform a bedroom from drab and boring to fanciful or elegant. Apart from the type of bulb that you use, changing the fixture and the switch can give the bedroom a different look. Using dimmer switches in your bedroom helps to reduce your electricity bill and controls the brightness in the room. You can add reading lights if you like to read in bed.

Add Some Molding: Trimmings, such as molding and trim can add a different dimension to the look of a room. Choose a design that you like and which works well with the décor of your bedroom. You can look for these by yourself, but getting professional help is a good way to ensure that they are installed properly.

Storage: Even the type of storage you use can help transform a run-of-the-mill bedroom into one you actually want to spend time in because of how good it looks. Installing modern storage units not only gives you much more space, it can also bring new life to your bedroom, making it orderly and neat. Even though a bedroom is primarily for sleeping, the fact that you spend so much of your life in there means that you should have one that that makes you feel comfortable.

Bedroom remodeling in Decatur, Georgia or the greater Atlanta area is only part of our lines of expertise. Renewal Design-Build is a full-service design-build company with focus on remodeling and custom home design. Give us a call any time to discuss your options or to talk about helping us design your dream home.

Buy that Old Home You Want and Call Us to Help Renew it and Create Your Dream Home

I love old homes. Older architecture has so much unique appeal, and customizing a renovation isn’t as difficult as you may think. Renewal Design-Build is based in Decatur, Georgia. We are homeowners with an eye for design and we have the ability to transform any space into something spectacular. We’ve found that many of the older homes in the Decatur and greater Atlanta area are truly gems waiting to be discovered.


Why Work with Renewal Design-Build?

We take the guess work out of renovating and remodeling older homes. Our design teams work diligently to provide options that we’re sure you’ll love. We don’t just make a few sketches and hope for the best. Our process includes the production of 3D images to give you a true to life representation of what your home will look like when the dust settles.

Our designers love both old architecture and new. We have worked with several homeowners to restore the historic beauty of their old home as well as several who prefer to completely remodel and modernize their older home. The choice is, of course, entirely up to the homeowner. Our designers and builders will work with you to create the perfect solution to fit your lifestyle.

Potential Problems in an Older Home

Before you sign on the dotted lines, please understand that going into an older home with high hopes and dreams of the perfect renovation project, things often go wrong very quickly. Here are several things to keep in mind and to watch for before you even make the purchase.

Electrical Problems: The home will not be up to code. It is possible that the previous owner had new wiring run, but assume from the start that it will not be up to code and you will have to have all new wiring run throughout the home. Take that idea a step further and mentally budget for a new breaker box as well. It’s always better to be over prepared than under!

Plumbing Problems: Old pipes will likely need to be replaced. Expect to see leaks due to lack of maintenance and TLC. Check the area around leaks for mold and wood rot.

Water Damage: Water damage can be potentially damaging to the entire structure of the home. It can cause mold, dirt erosion, and wood rot if left for an extended period of time. Examine the area thoroughly before you make the decision to purchase the property.

I wrote another blog post about renovating an older home in Atlanta if you’d like to see some other areas of concern. Don’t go into the project expecting all rainbows and butterflies because it’s going to be hard work, even if you hire us to do all of the dirty work.

My advice to you, if you’re on the fence about whether you should or shouldn’t buy the old home you’ve had your eye on for years, is to do it. You’re aware of the risks by now, so just take the plunge and then call us to begin the renovation process!

Kitchen Remodeling Trends to Spice Up Your Atlanta Kitchen

Kitchen design trends got really colorful throughout 2014. Some of these trends have made headlines where others are merely a flash in the pan. How do you distinguish between something enduring vs. a fad that will be over by next year? Here are some of the current trends we are seeing in kitchen design.

Colorful Kitchen
Homeowners have really started showing off their personal tastes in the most recent remodeling projects. They are becoming bold with color choices, like a dark blue kitchen wall with bone cabinets and quartz countertops. Many appliances such as dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators are now available in bright hues.

Streamline the Room
Straight lines, muted tones, and a good combination of dark and bright accent pieces really make a kitchen shine. One of the most popular trends in kitchen design for 2014 is the addition of built-in appliances. The refrigerator is hidden behind a door that looks like a closet door and matches the rest of the room. The microwave follows suit and is no longer a stand-alone piece of countertop space hogging furniture. Some homeowners are even going for a built-in area for the coffee maker. When it comes to custom kitchen design, the sky is the limit!

Kitchen by Renewal Design-Build

New Kitchen Lighting Trends
Under-cabinet LED lighting and over-island LED lighting are very popular this year. LED lighting for the kitchen is very cost effective, and bright enough to really allow you to see what you’re doing. Food prep areas need sufficient lighting in order to prevent mistakes while cooking. And let’s face it; over cabinet and under cabinet lighting is just cool!

New Faucets
Everyone loves the convenience of the pull-out faucet, right? No need to have a faucet and sprayer as two separate entities. It saves space and makes the area look so much cleaner. This year some homeowners also included no-touch electronic faucets in their kitchen design. This seems to work better for a secondary sink where most of the food preparation takes place.

The island is a very popular workspace, and working with a variety of foods requires a lot of hand washing to prevent contamination. The knobs or handles catch a lot of germs each time you turn the water on or off. This risks the very thing you’re trying to avoid – contamination of your food. An electronic faucet prevents that altogether.

Grohe Contemporary Touch Faucet

A Place for Pets
Some homeowners block the kitchen with pet gates while others welcome their pet into every part of the home. This section speaks to the latter group of homeowners. You likely have a designated spot for pet food and water bowls. Let’s take that up a notch and think about actually creating a permanent spot in the kitchen that is out of the way and very convenient for your pets.
The end of a row of cabinets, a lower-tier drawer removal, or the end of an island make fantastic spots for pet food bowls. Modify that idea even further by adding a faucet nearby so it’s even easier and more convenient to fill the water bowl.

Built-in Pet Bowls

What Are Your Thoughts?
What would you consider a kitchen trend for 2014? What do you think about the ones we mentioned here, will they last? Would you like to see more about kitchens or would you prefer we cover other areas of the home in next month’s blog posts? Let us know your thoughts and ideas by commenting in the comments section or emailing us through the Contact Us page on the site!

Why Should You Choose Renewal Design-Build for Your Atlanta Home Remodeling Project?


Remodeling your home can be a very tedious project. You have to take so many factors into consideration. You’ve probably heard several horror stories as well; stories of muddy Georgia clay boots tracking across clean floors, of contractors disappearing in the middle of a project, and many more.

Renewal Design-Build is not like those other companies. We take pride in providing a professional atmosphere for all of our clients, regardless of the size of the job. Take a look at our design-build process and how it will benefit you.

Communication: It all begins with a phone call. Our initial consultation is the foundation for the entire project. We will meet with you at your home to discuss your project in detail. The renovation consultant who meets with you will serve as your point of contact for the duration of the project. We believe that communication is of equal importance as quality. Without good communication, we don’t feel that the quality of the overall job has been met.

Quality: True quality is met as a direct result of the hard work our designers and builders put forth and the quality of communication between the homeowner and designer. Our builders use only the highest quality materials during the building or remodeling phase of the project. High quality materials plus high quality work equals a high quality finished product.

Save Time and Money: The traditional design and build process required that you first speak with a designer to design your project. Then you’d speak with an architect to make sure the home would be structurally sound. Finally you’d coordinate between a general contractor, a plumber, and an electrician to have the home built. That isn’t how we do it here. We house the design and build teams and arrange everything for you. All you have to do is wait for updates, or call anytime to discuss the project with the project manager.

3D Designs: One of the most unique things we offer is 3D designs of your project. We want to make absolutely sure that you know what the end project will look like, so we provide 3D images. This gives you a glimpse of what life will be like in your newly designed home. We can make any changes you wish until the time construction begins.

Easy Home Design and Renovation

It doesn’t get much easier than building or remodeling your home with Renewal Design-Build. Our firm is dedicated to the improvement efforts put forth by all homeowners in the Atlanta metro area. We have had the opportunity to work with homeowners on both large and small projects. We give the same amount of attention to a $35,000 bathroom as we do a $600,000 full home renovation, because the size of the project doesn’t matter.

Give us a call at 404-378-6962 or contact us via our website any time to discuss your project in detail. We would love to make your home renovation dreams come true.