Why Choose Quartz Countertops for Your Atlanta Kitchen Renovation?

Quartz countertops are one of the trendiest kitchen countertop surfaces on the market right now.  They’re gorgeous, ultra-durable, low-maintenance, and environmentally friendly. If a kitchen renovation is on the horizon for you in 2013, consider the following qualities of quartz countertops to help you decide on a countertop material for your home.

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One of our many kitchen projects featuring quartz countertops

Quartz is the second most plentiful mineral on the planet. The hexagonal crystals are mixed with an acrylic polymer to create quartz slabs. Depending upon the size of the crystals used, countertops can have a more sporadic “natural” pattern, similar to granite, or it can be finely ground for a more uniform look, like Corian.

Quartz countertops are incredibly durable due to their natural crystal structure and the inherent strength of the binding polymers. In fact, quartz is the most durable of the non-precious gems. Unlike granite, which is porous, requires sealing, and is prone to chipping and cracking, quartz is ultra-durable and will last a lifetime without issue.

With no sealing or special treatments required, quartz countertops are extremely low-maintenance.  This makes them an excellent choice for busy families and professionals on the go.  Because quartz countertops are non-porous, they are easy to clean and will never stain. They are even scorch-resistant.

Most quartz countertop products have a respectable percentage of recycled products included during the manufacturing process. In fact, some quartz countertop lines are even mined and manufactured here in the USA, cutting down on fossil fuel consumption.

For help turning your Atlanta kitchen from drab to fab with quartz countertops, call Renewal Design-Build at 404-378-6962 to discuss your needs.

Ceramic Subway Tile in the Kitchen

If a kitchen renovation is in your future, you’ve probably already done a lot of research and have come across a lot of different choices when it comes to the various features you’ll be changing. One area that’s definitely worth paying attention to is your kitchen’s backsplash.  13-508-3800


Because the backsplash is a focal point that can really add a pop to your kitchen design. We love the look of subway tile in the kitchen. In fact, we’ve incorporated subway tile in numerous kitchen projects.

But the average consumer may not know about all the specific materials out there that can all bring a beautiful kitchen backsplash to life. So, let’s focus on one: ceramic tile.

Ceramic tile is simply clay that’s been hardened in a piping hot kiln. After the outer portion of the tile is glazed, the manufacturer can then add a specific color or pattern to blend in with your overall kitchen design. And because ceramic tile is easy to cut, installation is fairly easy.

Even though an endless choice of colors and patterns makes ceramic tile a common choice for the kitchen backsplash, it’s important to note that there is no one size to choose from. Many people visualize the size of a standard brick for subway tile, but they can be made larger, smaller or thinner depending on the look you’re going for.

Another way that you can customize the look of your ceramic subway tile is with grout. Gray has been a popular color recently, but you might be surprised that the color of the grout – and there are many to choose from – can greatly shift the finished look of your backsplash.

Finally, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you might be relieved to know that ceramic tile is user-friendly.

What does that mean?

Because ceramic tile is finished with a glaze, this prevents it from staining. Any grease build-up can simply be wiped away. If easy clean up is important to you, a ceramic backsplash might be right up your alley!

Renewal Design-Build would love to spearhead your Atlanta kitchen renovation. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!

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What Exactly is a Ranch-Style Home?

Here at Renewal Design-Build, many of the projects we manage are ranch renovations. These homes are prevalent throughout the Atlanta area, but what makes a home “ranch”?

The ranch-style home is a style that is completely American. It’s known as ranch due to the casual style that was adopted from real Western ranches. This type of home first became popular in the 1930’s and remained popular for the next several decades. This style has recently become popular again, as evidenced by the number of custom built ranch-style homes popping up around the Atlanta area. There are lots of older ones here too, and they exhibit a lot of character.

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The ranch-style home is known for several stand-out features.

  • Almost all ranch style homes are single level homes and tend to be built in a practical, simple manner. They’re usually built in a “U” or “L” shape.
  • Most, if not all, ranch-style homes contain glass sliding doors that help connect the inside of the home to the outside. Historically, this is a direct connection to actual ranches, which were much more open to the land outside the home.
  • A big difference between ranch-style homes and other common American homes is that instead of focusing on the porch and front yard area, ranch-style homes focus on the backyard and patio areas.
  • Since ranch-style homes tended to be built outside of the city and in the suburbs, most of them had a garage built in. This was done because anyone living in the suburbs typically worked in the city, and it was assumed that they owned at least one car.



Is your Atlanta ranch-style home in need of a makeover? Contact Renewal Design-Build to speak with us about how we can modernize your humble abode.

Aging In Place Bathroom Design Tips for Your Atlanta Home

Renewal Design-Build has had the pleasure of visiting many 55+ and senior homeowners in the Atlanta area to discuss aging in place home renovations. We have enjoyed talking with homeowners about their current needs for accessibility in their homes, and their anticipated needs for the future. We typically discuss many of the common aging in place home design criteria, such as extra wide hallways and the minimum requirement of at least one step-free entrance to the home. Eventually, we address aging in place design strategies for the bathroom.

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Custom shower adapted for aging in place convenience

Individuals who have experienced a progressive illness, an injury, or a disabling health problem may encounter significant accessibility challenges in the bathroom. Very few of today’s bathrooms are handicap accessible. Additionally, accessibility upgrades required in the bathroom may be much more extensive than simply adding grab bars in strategic locations.

What are the particular accessibility challenges encountered in most bathrooms? Today’s bathroom typically includes a standard height toilet, a vanity with cabinets below, tight spaces, traditional bathtubs, and shower stalls with a raised shower pan sill. Each of these items may present an obstacle to a wheelchair-bound individual.

The following are a few of the aging in place bathroom design tips we share with our prospective clients:

No-threshold Showers: No-threshold showers enable wheelchair-bound individuals to simply roll in to the shower. They also allow a mobile individual with a disability or infirmity to easily walk in. Many no-threshold showers are equipped with grab bars and wall mounted seats for increased comfort and security, in addition to other safety features such as anti-scald shower faucets.

The no-threshold shower presents a particular design challenge, since the shower drain must be set at a lower elevation than the bathroom floor, as the sill must be removed for accessibility. A home renovation company experienced in aging in place design, such as Renewal Design-build, will have a variety of viable options for the homeowner to consider, such as an open shower area with a sloping floor, or a shower pan that is set slightly below the finished floor height.

Walk-in Tubs: The walk in tub is another popular accessibility feature in the bathroom designed with aging in place in mind. Walk-in tub models offer in-line water heaters, a swinging door that seals in the water, hydrotherapy jets; and other features that offer a relaxing and safe bathing experience.

Aging in Place Bathroom Design Features: The aging in place bathroom will be spaciously designed to include a 60 inch wheelchair turning radius, grab bars, a roll under vanity, accessible storage and other features that provide ease-of-access and safety for the homeowner.

For expert assistance with aging in place renovations in your Atlanta home, give Renewal Design-Build a call at 404-378-6962. To view some of our bathroom renovation projects, please visit our Bath Portfolio to see a wide array of bathroom renovation projects. Our in-house design team will happily help you put all the pieces together for your renovation!

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

Of all the materials that go into a kitchen remodel, cabinetry is one of the most important – and usually the biggest investment. Choosing cabinetry typically begins with deciding on a door style. Below is a list of the most popular kitchen cabinet door styles and where they work best.

Flat panel style doors have a recessed center panel, a simple design that works great in most kitchens. Flat panel doors can be enhanced with details like beadboard. Shaker cabinets and arts and crafts style cabinetry fall in this category.

Raised panel doors have a center panel that is just that – “raised.” They offer more detail than other door styles, come in many designs, and work best in more traditional homes.

Slab doors have no frame or panels. Flat pieces of wood, they are great for contemporary or modern kitchens.

Accent cabinets are typically not used throughout the entire kitchen. They can feature glass fronts, aluminum frames, or even stainless steel. Glass front cabinets are ideal for displaying special dishware, cookbooks, or other treasured pieces.

Click to enlarge:

flat panel, shaker style

raised panel


accent cabinet with glass front

slab door style






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Ways to Give Your Ranch Curb Appeal

Many ranch style homes have plain exteriors. We like to call them blank canvasses, ready for renovation! If you’re ready to make your mark on your classic Atlanta ranch and spruce up its curb appeal, consider:
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-A small front porch or stoop – a structure at the front door is always a welcoming feature

-For additional outdoor living space, consider a full-size porch

-A gable can break up your ranches’ classic horizontal lines

-Replacing the front door is an inexpensive way to add curb appeal to any home

-Remove old shutters for a more modern feel

-Add trim, or paint the existing trim


If you’re ready to give your Atlanta ranch curb appeal, call Renewal Design-Build @ 404-378-6962 for a free consultation.


Ranch Curb Appeal

Spotlight on the Midcentury Ranch

If you live in or around Atlanta, you’ve probably noticed the overwhelming number of mid-century ranches throughout our city. In fact, more than 20 million people in the U.S. own a mid-century home! It’s not surprising, considering that in the 1950s, 1.1 million new homes were built every year – the ranch being the most popular style.

Recently, the ranch has exploded back into popularity thanks to the “retro” revival. Regardless of popularity, ranches are among our favorite houses to renovate.

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Why We Love Renovating Ranches

1. Good Bones

Ranches typically have “good bones” – meaning the structural components are intact and sound. Foundations are solid and often include thick cement block walls. The framing lumber is substantial and in excellent shape, barring any rot or termite damage. The framing, plumbing, and electrical are also close to today’s standards and may require less updating – which means more of your budget could go towards other things on your wish list!

2. Adaptable Floorplans

The typical ranch home includes many rooms – all close in proximity. By creatively using all of this available square footage, we can often remove walls and make interior adjustments to support today’s open floorplan preferences. Working within the home’s existing footprint also stretches your budget further.

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How to Get Renovation Inspiration

If you have a remodeling project in mind, it’s easy to get inspired. Magazines have always been a go-to source, but with so many websites now dedicated to the home, you can browse through thousands of images and articles to get your creative juices flowing.

One of our favorite sites is Houzz.com. With over 400,000 photos of kitchens, baths, basements, porches, and everything in between, it’s easy to get hooked. Members create their own Ideabooks – the digital equivalents to paper folders packed with ripped magazine pages. Need some help deciding on a paint color for your kitchen? You can even pose questions about your home improvement project to the online community.

Pinterest is a site that seemed to pop up overnight. A ‘virtual pinboard,’  Pinterest allows you to organize and share all those recipes you’ve been wanting to try, and of course, all your home remodeling  and decorating ideas. A great alternative to having a thousand bookmarks in your browser!

Other sites we like:





Follow us on Pinterest and Houzz.

Four Steps to a Successful Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling your kitchen can be overwhelming, and often, it’s hard to know where to begin. These four steps can put you on the right path to a successful remodel and a beautiful kitchen.

#1: Plan Your Finances

First, start thinking about how you would fund renovations. Do you have the cash to fund your kitchen remodel? Or, will you have to finance your project? Multiple financing options are available to eligible homeowners, including: cash-out refinancing, construction loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, and even contractor financing. Call your bank to see if you qualify for any of these options.

#2: Assess Your Wants and Needs

Try to differentiate your wants from your needs. Consider keeping a journal to chronicle how you use your kitchen. Who typically cooks? Where do you do most of your prep work? How is the flow of traffic? Are you making up for a lack of storage? Do you desperately need more space, or does your kitchen just need to be reconfigured? Create a “wants” and “needs” list, and rank each item by importance. Identifying these early on will help you stay on budget and not get carried away. Read more

Universal Design Not Just Ramps, Grab Bars

As Baby Boomers age, incorporating universal design into renovations is becoming more common. At the same, many homeowners have misconceptions about these kinds of features. Not just wheelchair ramps and grab bars, universal design can discretely adapt beautiful kitchens and baths for the future.

For example, unable to access her appliances, upper cabinetry, or step down pantry, this wheelchair bound homeowner could not safely or easily use her current kitchen.  Entry into the space was also tight and inconvenient. To give her the modern, accessible kitchen she needed, Renewal removed a partition wall and widened an existing doorway. Extra storage was gained by raising the pantry floor. Other features include: a pull-under sink, desk height countertops, pull-down shelving in the upper cabinets, suspended floating shelves, and safer, easier-to-use appliances.



after: the new kitchen is easily accessible with a modern design