Benson Homes Featured in Houzz Pro Spotlight - How To Uncover Your House’s Hidden Potential

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Benson Homes has a new feature article on Houzz and we are excited to share it with you! Jim spoke with Houzz about how he got started in the remodeling business, what he loves most about it, and shared three tips on how our team helps homeowners to uncover the hidden potential in their own home.  The feature highlights how our design team has implemented each of those tips in recent remodels with insights on the projects from Jim as well as links to see more photos and detailed descriptions.

You can read the Houzz Spotlight by clicking the link below. We hope you enjoy it!

Benson Home’s Houzz Pro Spotlight.

What To Expect In Your Design Review Meeting

You have reached the part of the remodeling journey where you get to see your remodeling vision brought to life. This is an exciting time for you and for us! After spending time getting to know you and your family, understanding your functional needs, and your aesthetic preferences, we are ready to present your custom project plans at the Design Review meeting. It’s time for the grand reveal!

During the meeting, we will present you with floor plans, elevations and 3D renderings of your project. Our photo-realistic 3D renderings allow you to visualize your new space with the layout and finishes selected. We will walk you through these renderings, the scope of your remodel, point out architectural details, and answer any questions you may have.

 Here are some questions we’ll make sure to discuss during your meeting 

1.   Does the design resolve the functional challenges of your previous floor plan? We consider everything from traffic flow and storage, to appliance placement and lighting.

2.   Is it reflective of your personal style? You should love the selections and how they fit in with the rest of your home.

3.   Are your must-haves incorporated? If you requested specific materials, architectural details, window placements, etc. we want to make sure they are reflected in the plan.

4.   What is the project time frame? Construction start and completion dates are discussed.

5.   What are the next steps? We will outline what the next steps are and answer any and all questions you may have!

Now that your Design Review is complete, it’s time to bring your dream space to life through construction. We are excited to get started!

Prepare For Your Remodel With These Five Steps

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The journey to creating your dream home is an exciting and liberating experience! From design consultations and material selections, to the unveiling of your 3D renderings and the start of construction, the process of seeing your dream project come to life is unforgettable. But before your project crew shows up, you will want to spend some time getting your home and family ready for a smooth transition.

HERE ARE FIVE STEPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR REMODEL:

1.     Clean out all rooms and hallways that are being remodeled. Remove furniture, artwork from walls, and any other belongings. We recommend removing items hanging on walls in common traffic areas and walls adjacent to those involved in your remodel project as well. Store these items in an unaffected area of your home or in a storage unit temporarily.

2.     Designate alternate areas for family activities. Identify new locations for activities that typically take place in the room(s) you are remodeling. This will minimize the disruption to your daily routine. Relocate any necessities to the new temporary spaces, such as computers, televisions, homework tables, etc.

3.    Clear your driveway and make room in your garage for deliveries. Remove stationary items from your driveway such as basketball nets, trash receptacles, or storage containers. Ask your remodeler if access to your garage would be helpful for delivering and storing materials. They should be able to provide you with a schedule of deliveries.

4.    Prepare your pets. Pets tend to be more prone to disruption of their regular routine than people. That’s why it’s important to get your pets set up with a place for them to relax and eat that is away from any construction areas. Start this new routine a few days before the remodeling starts to allow them some time to adjust. Be sure to let the crew know how many pets you have and where they are within your home.

5.    Kitchen & Bath Prep. If you are remodeling a kitchen or bathroom we recommend the following:

a.    Pack cabinets one by one and label the contents of each box. This will make unpacking so much easier.

b.   Compile essentials and relocate them to your alternate eating space or bathroom.  

c.    Purchase disposable items such as plates, bowls, cups, plastic utensils, and paper towels.

d.   Move your refrigerator and microwave to the garage, basement or other appropriate spot where you can have easy access. Consider purchasing a hot plate.

e.    Prepare and freeze meals ahead of time. 

We hope that these tips will make the transition into construction easy for you and your family. At Benson Homes, we provide you with a detailed project schedule and have weekly on-site meetings to discuss your project’s progress. It’s our goal to make the remodeling process as stress-free as possible for you and your family!

Project Spotlight: A Kitchen Designed For Entertaining Revitalizes Entire First Floor

This remodeling story is a wonderful example of how removing and shifting walls can have an amazing impact on the functionality and visual appeal of an entire level of a home. When our clients reached out to us, they were looking to create an open concept Kitchen that would allow for easy entertaining. The couple had recently purchased this townhome so his mother could be closer to the family.

Watch the transformation video!

The existing floorplan offered first floor living, but the Kitchen was tucked in the back and was separated from the rest of the living space by a full wall with a small pass through into the Dining Room. Our design involved removing the dividing wall between the Dining Room and Kitchen as well as the fake columns and beam that separated the Dining Room and Living Room.  The entire space was opened up to allow for easy flow and view throughout the first floor living space.  The wall shared by the Kitchen and large Master Bedroom was shifted back just enough to provide a full wall of additional cabinetry including a much-needed large double Pantry cabinet. Now that we had opened up the Kitchen area we could focus on the cabinetry layout and selections.

The existing wood toned cabinets were replaced with white with a crown molding to match with the rest of the home. The larger, open space allowed for more cabinetry and the addition of an island with seating for the grandkids. We were able to repurpose the old cabinets above the washer and dryer in the adjoining laundry room and swapped out the existing swing door for a pocket door. The slate-look ceramic tile was replaced an engineered wood flooring that creates a sense of warmth and is very easy to clean. A dark Cambria countertop compliments the tile found in the dining and living area and a natural field tile backsplash offsets the cabinets beautifully.

The single fluorescent ceiling light was outdated and did not provide adequate lighting for the new Kitchen. The new lighting plan was carefully thought out to provide general illumination through well placed recessed lighting; task lighting through pendant lighting over the island and under cabinet lighting; and aesthetic fluidity with an eye-catching chandelier for the Dining Room table. Special details include a touch faucet, under counter microwave and glass front cabinetry for displaying dishes.

By removing and shifting walls, we improved the entire flow of the first floor visually as well as functionally and created a beautiful, light-filled space for cooking and entertaining.  Grandma can easily prepare meals in her new Kitchen and still chat with her guests and grandchildren who love to sit at the island as well as in the adjoining Dining Room and Living Room.

The Benson Homes team really enjoyed creating this space for this family and we hope they will enjoy spending time with friends and family for years to come.

Project Spotlight: Detached Garage Transformed Into Multi-Functional Space The Whole Family Can Enjoy

Many families ponder the idea of adding extra living space for a few years before they are actually ready to remodel. Then, all-of-the sudden, something will happen that makes them realize that they can’t wait any longer. In the case of this remodeling story, it was the snowstorm of 2016 that spurred the homeowners into action. As the family was stuck in the house with nowhere to go, they longed for more space. The parents longed for a getaway spot for themselves that could also double as a hangout area for the kids and their friends. As they considered their options, there was one clear choice…to renovate the detached garage.

The detached garage previously functioned as a workshop and storage room and offered plenty of square footage to create a family room, kitchenette, and full bath. It’s location right beside the outdoor kitchen made it an ideal spot for entertaining and provided an easily accessible bathroom during the summertime. Even the canine family members get to enjoy it as they have their own personal entrance, through a bathroom doggie door.

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Our design team listened carefully to our client’s wishes to create a space that had a modern rustic feel and found selections that fit their aesthetic perfectly. To set the tone, Blackstone Oak luxury vinyl plank flooring was installed throughout. The kitchenette area features Maple Shaker style cabinets in a pecan shell stain, Uba Tuba granite countertops, and an eye-catching amber glass and antique bronze pulley sconce. Rather than use just an ordinary door for the bathroom entry, a gorgeous Knotty Alder barn door creates a stunning focal point of the room.

The fantastic selections continue in the full bath. A reclaimed wood double vanity with a gray washed pine finish anchors the room. White, semi-recessed sinks with chrome faucets add some contemporary accents, while the glass and oil-rubbed bronze mini pendant lights are a balance between both rustic and modern. The design called for taking the shower tile to the ceiling and it really paid off. A sliced pebble tile floor in the shower is curbed with Uba Tuba granite, creating a clean line and another accent detail.

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The new multi-functional space looks like a natural extension of their home, with its matching exterior lights, new windows, doors, and sliders. And with winter approaching and snow on the way, this family is ready to hunker down and ride out the storm in comfort and warmth. When summer arrives, they have a designated bathroom for outdoor entertaining and a wonderful area for guests to hang out.

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It was a pleasure to create this beautiful remodel for our clients and we hope that they continue to enjoy it for many years to come. 

What Do Reputable Remodelers Have In Common?

Making the decision to start the remodeling journey is an exciting one. Whether it’s a kitchen remodel or a home addition, selecting the right company to remodel your home can be a little overwhelming.  How do you navigate the sea of options? It’s important to do a little research to learn more about each of the remodeling firms you are considering. There are a few key attributes that reputable remodeling firms will have in common.  

Longevity in the market.  Remodelers who have around for decades have perfected their craft over the years. They have had time to develop processes that focus simultaneously on building an exceptional project while delivering a satisfying remodeling experience. When you speak with the remodelers you are considering, ask them about their process and listen to see if their response includes not only the end product, but your experience as well.

They have a strong repeat client base. If a firm can tell you that many of their clients have hired them to complete a second, third, or fourth project this is very good sign. This indicates that the firm works hard to establish and maintain relationships with their clients that are built on trust, reliability, and meeting or exceeding expectations.  Some of those repeat clients would likely be happy to speak with you about the firm.

Their clients refer them new business.  If you receive a referral from a friend or family member for a product or service provider, chances are they were happy or satisfied.  When a remodeler can tell you that they get a high percentage of their work from client referrals that is another very good sign.  The referring client is entrusting the remodeling firm to provide their friend with the same level of craftsmanship and service that they received.

Positive reviews. Being able to easily find and access client reviews is a critical part of many buying decisions these days.  A reputable remodeling firm will have reviews or testimonials posted on their own website and on sites like Houzz or Google+. Take some time to read them. You will learn a lot about the firm through the client’s eyes.

Industry memberships. There are two key industry memberships in the remodeling industry: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI).  In order to become and remain members of these organizations a firm must follow a strict code of ethics.  Both organizations offer continuing education and certification on a variety of construction and remodeling practices.

We hope this list of attributes has been helpful to you and we encourage you to use it as a guide in your research and interview process. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, a reputable remodeler will be happy to answer!

Let The Light In! Before & After Kitchen Transformation

Everyone loves a great remodeling story, especially when it's told with before and after photos that show the changes that took place. In this coastal home remodel, Benson Homes had the pleasure of transforming a dark, closed off kitchen into a beautiful, light-filled open concept kitchen, dining, and living room space. Our design goal was to make the kitchen the heart of the home and to improve the overall function and flow of the main living areas.

Watch the transformation video!

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To begin, a large section of wall between the living room and kitchen was removed to open the floor plan and allow light to enter from the living room windows. There is now an unobstructed view and easy traffic flow in and out of all of the connected spaces.


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New, white raised panel cabinets reflect much more light into the space than the darker stained ones they replaced. Custom cabinet doors were built for the Wolf refrigerator, allowing it to blend into the layout and lend a lighter feel to the space.


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This gas stove saves on cook time and the new hood vent is a design focal point. The white on white color palette creates an airy and spacious feel, and couldn't be further from the dark cabinets and walls that previously closed in the space.


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The new, uninterrupted view from the kitchen island.


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Lastly, a hallway shortcut was filled in to make room for a new wine bar just off of the kitchen.


The new kitchen space has set the tone for the first floor of the house and the open floor plan better accommodates the living patterns of the family. It feels and functions like a completely new home!

If your coastal home doesn't suite your current lifestyle, send us a note or give us a call and let's discuss how we can help you fall in love with your home again.