The High Cost of the Low Price

Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking, and financially responsible. And yet almost everyone knows someone who has a nightmare story to tell about a remodeling job: the length of time it took; the inconvenience of the noise and dust; or the cost overruns associated with even the smallest project. Choosing the lowest bid comes with a high cost.

Adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, and consumers should take time and care in planning a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car.

Here are a few tips for choosing the right contractor:

  • Determine the type of Contractor you need for your project
  • Be sure they have a VA Contractors license
  • Check their references
  • Get bids (remember the lowest price isn’t always the best price)

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8 Ways to Convert Empty Spaces

You’ve done it. You’ve raised your kids and they’re ready to be on their own. Maybe they’re leaving for college or maybe moving out for good (fingers crossed), and you’ll be left with an empty nest. What should you do with all the extra empty rooms? Here are a few ideas…

0206_craftRoomCraft Space
Space means everything to the craftily inclined. With the right light, organization and style, your indoor craft space can be just as inspiring as nature outdoors. We can help you with cabinets, shelving units, fun and practical seating, and cool pendants to create the perfect creative space.

 

0206_recRoomREC Room
Pingpong, pool and foosball — what’s not to love? Games offer screen-free entertainment, bring the whole family together and make parties more fun. If you have a lot of space, you can knock yourself out with a full-fledged rec room, but if you need more of a rec corner, consider adding a pingpong net to a seldom-used dining table or hanging a dart board on a basement wall. There are lots of reasons to create a place for more fun in the house.

 

Mom Cave
For years, men have had the luxury of escaping to the comfortable — and usually sports-themed — domain that is known as a man cave. It’s often located in the basement or garage of their homes, and usually consists of a TV, refrigerator, sports memorabilia — and peace and quiet from the rest of the world. But what about Mom? In recent years, moms, too, have been seeking out their own private area, or mom cave, in hopes of a little R&R away from the rest of the family, or just the struggles of day-to-day life.

 

0206_homeOfficeOffice Space
Home offices are becoming increasingly popular among commuters in Northern Virginia, who would rather spend less time on transit and more time on being creative. They’ve made new use of their living rooms, spare rooms and lofts — and even built additions to their homes. The common thread seems to be that they love having more control over their time, and most seem to integrate work with life and combine business with pleasure.

 

0206_wineRoomWine room
Who wouldn’t want to visit your own personal wine room after a long day at work? Especially if you like to stock up on your favorite varietal when it goes on sale. Having a designated room to store, display and enjoy a glass of wine on your own, or with friends, is a unique experience. If your budget allows, install tile or hardwood flooring for easy cleanup of the inevitable spilled merlot. Our plumber can add a sink or small dishwasher. And if you want cheese with your wine (who doesn’t?), install a mini-fridge for snacking convenience.

 

 

 

0206_homeGymHome gym
It might be cliché to automatically turn one of the extra rooms into a home gym, but it can be a practical move. By having some free weights, yoga mats, and workout DVDs just down the hall, you won’t have any more excuses to avoid a quick workout. People are converting a spare bedroom into exercise space, finally taking the treadmill and exercise bike out of the garage and locating them in a designated exercise room in the house.

 

Walk-in Closet
Have you always dreamed of a luxurious, spacious closet? If you have a spare bedroom that you’re not sure how to use, stop fretting over bedroom design ideas. Instead, convert that extra space into the walk-in closet of your dreams. Call us and we will help you create a completely custom design with all the bells and whistles.

 

Attic Bedroom0206_atticRoom
No longer mere storage space for broken dolls and old clothes, attics are being turned into the most stylish of bedrooms. When homeowners start to feel cramped, they don’t immediately think of upgrading to a bigger home. Instead, many are looking for ways to maximize the space they have. One area that can provide major square footage without adding on to a home is the attic. If you have an unfinished attic, consider the possibility of turning your unused space into a bedroom.


 

We Won the 2017 Best of Houzz Award for Customer Service

We are happy to announce that Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc. won the 2017 Best of Houzz Award for Customer Service.The entire team would like to share this achievement with you because it is through your positive reviews that we were able to earn this badge!

Foster Remodeling Solutions in Lorton, VA on Houzz
Customer service satisfaction has always been one of our driving factors in providing the best home improvement solutions for homeowners in Northern Virginia, and we will continue to work hard in order to keep our clients happy.

Houzz is a highly respectable online community with more than 40 million users worldwide. Their website features top indoor and outdoor remodeling and renovation ideas from different home building companies. Every year Houzz awards their Pros with the Best of Houzz award for design and customer service. Badges are then given to those professionals who have the most popular designs among Houzz users as well as the those who have received the most number of positive feedback from their clients.

Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc. have been teaming up with Houzz for years and by building business with them, we have reached more homeowners who are in need of our help. Were are a Houzz Pro, so if you wish to visit our Houzz page and check our services, visit this link https://www.houzz.com/pro/fosterremodeling/foster-remodeling-solutions-inc

Working with the right home building team can help you make your dream home into a reality. If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

Thank you for your constant feedback and support!

5 Interior Decor Options and Appliances that Save Energy

Today, more than ever, going green is important. Not only do many people want to help protect the earth, but choosing energy-efficient appliances and décor can help you save money on your utility bills too. In addition, there can sometimes be tax breaks available for choosing certain energy-efficient devices too (consult your accountant for more details on that matter)! We’ve put together a list of five appliance and décor options that can help you save energy—allowing you to feel good about your green contributions and your potential savings too!
Energy Efficient Windows

  • Choose the Right Windows – If you aren’t careful, your windows allow energy to seep out of your home. Not only do you have to worry about cracks around the windows, but the panes themselves enable the sun to beat down on your home (in summer) and make the temperature rise. If you are in the process of considering home renovations and upgrades, consider choosing high-quality windows with temperature control features. While these may cost more upfront, they will save you big in the long run.
  • Select Efficient (and Attractive) Lighting – When redecorating, consider light placement very carefully. You may be able to get by with fewer lamps and bulbs if you are smart with where the lights are installed. In addition, choose CFL bulbs instead of traditional incandescent for another simple way to save energy.

Energy Saving Ceiling Fan

  • Consider Ceiling Fans – Installing ceiling fans in your home can help you to rely on the air conditioning system less in the summer, especially during the evening hours. However, it can benefit you in winter too. A ceiling fan will help move warm air through the house and cut down on how long the heater runs.
  • Opt for Energy-Star Rated Appliances – Choosing to replace old appliances with newer, Energy-Star rated appliances can be a smart move in many cases. You may be amazed by the energy and cost savings. An 80’s era refrigerator, for example, uses 1400 kWH or energy per year while a modern model only uses around ’50.

Updating Old Fixtures

  • Replace Outdated Fixtures – Low-flow showerheads can save a lot of water. An aerator on your kitchen sink can too. Today’s low-flow heads are attractive as well as functional too. Changing out the faucets in a kitchen or bathroom can be a quick and easy way to update the entire look of the room. Also, if you are redoing countertops or cabinetry, you do not want to ignore the faucets and wind up with an outdated look.

If you are interested in more ways that you can save energy while improving how your home looks and feels, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Based in Lorton, Virginia, we have been serving the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area since 1983. We would love to help you bring your ideas to life!

Tips to Enhance the Curb Appeal of Your House

When you’re ready to put your home on the market, one of the most important things you can do is enhance the curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, half of all homeowners choose their house based on its exterior appearance, and exterior projects — such as a steel entry door and replacement windows — recoup the most value on resale.

But why is curb appeal so important? After all, people spend most of their time living inside the home.

Most home buyers are looking at prospective houses as potential homes, not real estate investments. And what make a house a home is the perception of comfort, safety, and pride. A house that looks well-kept, secure, and visually pleasing from the outside invites buyers to look inside because they can already visualize this property as their home. Thus, curb appeal has a powerful psychological effect that you can use to your advantage if you follow some of these tips.

Freshen Your Landscaping

Enhanced Curb AppealJust as staging the inside of a house involves decluttering and removing eclectic design features, so does landscaping for resale mean creating a yard that is clean and appealing to the majority of buyers. There is probably a family out there who would be delighted to have vegetable gardens in the front, for instance, but to the majority of people, this will be visually unappealing and signify too much work.

The landscaping that has the best impact is clean, symmetrical, and stress free.

  • Choose native trees and shrubs when you can so that your Realtor can point out the lower cost of upkeep.
  • Make sure beds are freshly mulched (a dark color has more appeal), neatly edged, and free of weeds.
  • Make sure that your turf grass is getting the required one inch of water per week.
  • Repair any damage to the hardscaping and walkways.

Mass plantings of the same specimen create a harmonious effect, but you can also wow prospective buyers with a pop of color. Consider a bed of glowing narcissus, colorful azaleas, or hanging potted plants.

Create the Illusion of a Maintenance Free Home

Front Porch RenovationProspective home buyers want to visualize rest and relaxation, not an endless series of home improvement projects. Now is the time to repair sagging gutters, have your roof shingled or professionally cleaned to remove moss and debris, replace that broken screen door, freshen any peeling paint, and repair fencing.

Make sure that your windows are sparkling clean — you can remove the screens to make them pop — and that, at the very least, you’ve put a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

Consider remodeling your front porch, especially if its design is dated or not in keeping with the architectural style of the house. Although porches do not have the same resale value as front doors and replacement windows, the boost to the curb appeal of the house may result in a quicker sale or multiple offers. An experienced design consultant can let you know if such a project would be worthwhile.

Make Your Home Picture Perfect

Beautiful Home PhotoAlmost 90 percent of buyers are checking real estate inventory online before narrowing down their selection. That means a lot is riding on the photo you’ve selected to make your first impression with.

Cloudy days or late afternoon sun give your photo the best resolution, without any glare or halo effect. Walk around the front of the house and take photos from every angle so that you can choose the one that captures your place best.

Though it might seem strange to invest time and money in the exterior of your house right before you leave it, enhancing your curb appeal is one of the best ways to make sure your home gets the most attention from prospective buyers. Ultimately, great curb appeal can lead to a faster sale and higher asking price.

9 Ways to Keep Your Bathroom Cleaner Longer

davidFunkBecause scrubbing tile is low on the list of things you want to do this weekend…

We hear you. When we polled 5000 Good Housekeeping readers about their cleaning habits, it came through loud and clear that the bathroom is not only one of your home’s most important rooms to keep clean, and but also one of the most difficult.

Here’s how to get more mileage out of your efforts and help this high-traffic room stay fresh longer.

1. Stop moisture in its tracks.
Nothing helps delay mildew stains like a dry shower. Hang a squeegee over the shower head and make it a rule that the last one to take a shower wipes down the walls, tub, and shower doors. A couple extra minutes of work can really minimize cleaning time in the long-run.

You can also quickly zap moisture by opening a window and turning on the exhaust fan while showering. Leaving the door open, even a crack, helps it dissipate. And don’t forget to stretch the shower curtain open when it dries, too.

2. Coat shower walls and doors with a water repellent.
We like EnduroShield or RainX. They help water, minerals, and soap scum bead up and run off, so there’s less for you to scrub away.

3. Skip bar soap at the sink.
Use a liquid soap with a pump or a even hands-free soap dispenser instead. Eliminating the grimy soap dish with help your sink and countertop stay cleaner.

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by: Carolyn Forte – Good Housekeeping