Category Archives: Uncategorized

Changes in New Construction

New construction homes offer many distinct advantages over older ones.  While purchasing a residence that has previously been lived in might be easier than building one of your own from the ground up it is crucial that you take a patient approach when making your next investment.

Older homes can develop structural issues that can cause the value of the home to decrease over time.  On the other hand, new construction homes are in the best shape they will ever be in.  With any purchase there are pros and cons and the same is true of your next residence.  It is important to make a good decision for your family that you spend time research the best option for your ever growing needs.

Sometimes the cost of buying a piece of property that is currently available is actually greater than the cost associated with building the home.  Other times there are good deals on existing structures that make it worth buying a previously owned home and remodelling it.  What you decide to do is completely based on the current state of the housing market when you need to decide whether to buy or build.

In a seller’s market a new construction home may offer more value in return for your investment.  The land on which you build a new home should also be one of the deciding factors in the value of your new house.  You are considering every option when looking to purchase property to build on.

New construction homes are always fully customized to the owner’s exact specifications.  When you hire a contractor and start planning for your dream home you can rest assured that you will be getting exactly what you want.  If you are interested in multiple fireplaces, a spacious sunroom, an in-ground pool, or a finished basement, you can make it a reality.  You are starting from the ground up and can have whatever your budget allows.

In new construction you can get exactly what you want down to the most tedious of details.  You can choose the cabinets, the floors, the number of showers and exactly what kind of moulding to use.  This is not always the case in a pre-existing home.   Although you can remodel there may be some times where you are stuck with a truly terrible design choice that was made by the previous owners.  You may pay more for remodelling an existing structure rather than starting from scratch with new construction.  Homeowners buying a pre-existing structure need to know that they may end up paying more than anticipated when you purchased the home in the first place.

There is a great deal to consider with home remodelling and with new construction.  Think about all of the pros and cons when you are looking into moving and considering a new construction or previously owned home.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

HomeWork: TV shows don’t match the reality of home remodeling

Hit shows like “Fixer Upper,” “Property Brothers” and “Flip or Flop” make for great reality TV, but do they portray the realities of remodeling in a realistic way?

Is there such a thing as too much HGTV?

For many people, the thrill of renovating a house in a little under an hour is a dream come true. The amazing 3D renderings, the antique shop finds, the unforeseen hiccup and the dramatic final reveal are enough to make you pick up your phone and call your local contractor before the next show starts.

Hit shows like “Fixer Upper,” “Property Brothers” and “Flip or Flop” make for great reality TV, but do they portray the realities of remodeling in a realistic way? The short timelines and low budgets have many contractors explaining to clients what a remodel is actually like. To prepare future clients for the initial shock that’s sure to come, we’ve listed the top ways reality TV will conflict with real life remodeling so that you can better prepare yourself for the truths of today’s remodeling market.


HGTV is one of the most-watched television channels, after news and major programming channels. With its broad reach, it’s no wonder most people have some preconceived notions about home remodeling. In as a little as an hour, or 45 minutes without commercials, a home can go from dated to dreamy.

Obviously, viewers don’t think a kitchen remodel can be completed in 45 minutes, but they do see some unrealistic timelines on these shows. Kitchens, for example, are designed, demolished and reconstructed in a week or two on some shows. In reality, a kitchen remodel can take months. Sometimes, it can take as many as four or five months from starting a design to seeing the kitchen complete.

While we let that timeline sink in, we’ll explain why. The kitchen is the heart of the home, literally and figuratively. The most complicated plumbing, electrical and cabinets are located in this room. It’s probably the only room in your house with more than three appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, etc.) and the only room with a large amount of cabinetry. It’s also got a lot of finer details: from backsplash tile to custom countertops, there are lots of pieces at play.

Before the remodel starts, there’s a design phase that takes time to get right. A designer will help you determine the look of your kitchen, pick out appliances and recommend materials. This process can be quick, but typically you want to have some time to think about options, visit showrooms or debate different aesthetics. That means revisions to the design plan, which adds time.

If you’ve chosen any specialty items, the shipping time for those items can sometimes be a lot longer than you’d expect; for example, one month for an Italian sink or three weeks for a custom live-edge shelf.

Cabinets alone take an average of six to eight weeks to arrive. Unless you purchased cabinets before you started designing your new kitchen — which you should never do — then your kitchen remodel is going to take at least two months. Sometimes with remodels, you can’t measure for cabinets until the room is empty and the walls are gone.

With a plan in hand and your materials ordered, now comes the mobilization and deconstruction. But the average remodel isn’t an “all hands on deck” experience. Most companies will send a couple crew members to deconstruct or demo (there’s a difference!) your kitchen over the course of a few days.

Larger kitchens and certain layouts can take as much as a full work week to remove — that’s already most of the timeline that a reality show gives, and your new kitchen hasn’t even begun to take shape yet.

Reality TV has the advantage of not only hiring a larger crew but also having skilled tradespeople on hand at a moment’s notice. Though you may see only a few crew members on screen, there’s likely a huge team in place to tackle a TV remodel around the clock.

The reality here in Seattle is that we are the hottest real estate market in the nation, and skilled labor is in very high demand. You should be prepared to wait a week or two to have initial meetings with an architect or contractor. Your average design-build company likely doesn’t employ an electrician, HVAC technicians or other akin tradespeople; they are subcontracted out and require scheduling, so it takes careful planning to get all the materials and laborers on site at the right time.

Jason Legat, founder of Model Remodel, says, “We really appreciate when our clients are flexible. The current market is experiencing huge growth. A record number of homes are being built, bought and sold. There are a lot of people looking for a good contractor, and if they are willing to plan ahead and wait for the project to start, we’re able to give them a better experience. It gives us the time we need to schedule permits, subcontracts, inspections and purchases — the time to complete a large remodel the right way.”


Speaking of demand, a labor shortage is almost always accompanied by higher prices. It’s not that prices are abnormally high, but in this competitive market, rates will be higher than other U.S. cities. A kitchen remodel in Waco, Texas, isn’t going to cost the same as a remodel in Seattle. Selections, labor and the home’s condition all factor into the cost.

In general, reality TV remodeling estimates are simply far lower than they are in real life, and sometimes don’t factor in the true cost of labor.

The beauty of hiring a professional is that you have someone to guide you to the materials within your budget. The sink you found on Pinterest or the kitchen you saw on “House Hunters” might be beyond your means, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of acceptable—if not exciting—alternatives! A professional can help you narrow those choices down and offer different layouts that could help you save money.

If there’s one thing not to skimp on, it’s hiring the right firm for your project. Quality carpenters don’t come at a discount, so if your project is large, you should view your remodel as an investment in skilled craftsmen and craftswomen.

Don’t forget to shop around, but be willing to pay a premium for the right fit. Your team will be with you for months to come; you want to like spending time with them and trust in their abilities.

One of the major things some HGTV shows skip over is the cost associated with those so-called “hiccups” the contractors always seem to run into: the rotting floor, the cracked foundation, the load-bearing wall, etc.

While we’re glad it shows that remodeling can be a tricky business, the shows usually spend two minutes explaining what the problem is and how to easily fix it.  They don’t always go into is the cost associated with those changes. Removing asbestos or eliminating a load-bearing wall can mean hiring an abatement company or engineer — added costs that should fall within your contingency fund.

A good contractor will be able to give you examples of common problems that could pop up, and a great contractor will be able to do an inspection and estimate possible changes in scope before they occur. Whatever the hiccup, it’s a lot less glamorous in reality, but both require a high level of flexibility.

As industry professionals, we’ll go home and click on an episode of “Flip or Flop” as much as the next person. But when we come into work the next day, we’re back to reality. Most clients can reset their expectations and step away from the fantasy they see on the screen. Exposure to these shows has revealed to homeowners other options than buying a perfect, out-of-the-box home, and that’s a good thing. Plus, they’re fun to watch! With a realistic timeline and budget, a dream remodel is very much possible.

Original Source:

Original Author: Emma Zimmerman

Original Date: July 26th 2017

New Royal Oak law cracks down on sloppy home construction sites

An updated city law takes effect next week that puts new restrictions — and potential penalties — on home builders in Royal Oak that block sidewalks and fail to maintain construction sites.

The updated city ordinance has been in the works for months and became one of the biggest issues in the city after multiple neighbors and officials complained about the practices of some builders.

Realtor and builder John Farhat, who has had no issues with the city, told City Commissioners this week he agrees changes needed to be made.

“To see builders closing sidewalks for months at a time is unfair,” he said.

With hundreds of housing renovations and new homes going up in the city in recent years, officials say new rules for builders will stop many of the problems they see with some builders.

“It’s going to clean up these neighborhood (disturbances) and put an end to it,” said City Commissioner Dave Poulton, who led the call for updating Royal Oak’s construction site code along with City Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle.

Violations of the updated code will now be a civil infraction. First-time violations have a minimum fine of $250 and second violations are double that amount.

Builders who rack up three or more violations face a criminal misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Some of the biggest problems, including litter, have come from builders failing to contain properties under construction with fencing, blocking and muddying sidewalks and keeping portable toilets too close to neighboring houses.

Builders will now have to get a city permit for any work that encroaches on the right-of-way or adjoining sidewalk. Dirt or debris on the right-of-way has to be cleaned up daily and trees protected with a protective screening.

Additionally, before construction begins at a site it has to be enclosed with metal fencing at least four feet high. Excavation sites have to be closed within 60 days.

Officials noted the city gets complaints on a minority of housing developers who have created disturbances in neighborhoods.

City Commissioner Patricia Paruch warns the city will need to have enough enforcement if the construction site ordinance update is to be effective.

“Until we beef up enforcement we’re still going to have problems with builders that are bad actors,” she said.

City elected officials also plan to look at other city ordinances on the books that can have an effect on how builders operate, such as installing silt fencing that keeps mud and earth from clogging city water-sewer lines.

“It’s a big issue,” said City Engineer Matt Callahan.

Mahrle said he wants to see other issues considered, including prohibiting demolition work on holidays.

Still, the new rules that go into effect July 20 are a good start, he added.

“This is a good first step in securing construction sites and mitigating the disturbances in neighborhoods,” Mahrle said. “I don’t think most builders are bad actors.”

Original Source:

Original Author: Mike McConnell

Original Date: 7/12/17

Top Trends in Home Improvement & Remodeling

You can’t say we have returned to the times when housing was booming, but with 1,226,000 homes built in the last year, we’re not far from it. With Americans projected to collectively offload over $300 billion in home improvements over the next year the housing industry is currently looking pretty good.

So what are homeowners getting into this year as far as home improvements go? Here are a few favorite trends that tipped to being routinely installed this year.

Smart home technology is the latest in home improvement industry trends. The projection is that 33% of houses will get connected with at least one smart device, if they haven’t done so, with home security topping the list. The rise of voice activated technology is also leading the charge to make smarter homes more desirable.

Big homes are on the down swing as more people are choosing less square feet for their living space, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This new trend means a home modeler contractor needs to get more creative with their floor plans while still fitting in lots of storage space and energy efficient appliances.  New construction homes of 2017 are smaller than those seen in the past.

Matte finishes are taking over from the more sparkly finishes such as chrome and sparkly granite. Black stainless steel is now the favorite finish of choice. Matte is big in the kitchen, but it’s also filtering down to smaller appliances and other areas of the house such as bathroom faucets.

Even toilets are getting the treatment these days. Why settle for the standard porcelain throne you have to clean yourself when you can get one of the newer models that clean themselves. Toto’s Neorest 750H toilet has “Actilight cleansing technology” which treats the bowl with a mist before each use with the aim of preventing sticking waste. There’s also a built-in UV light that supposedly accelerates decomposition of inorganic substances.

There’s a lot to get excited about in home improvement this year, so if your goal is to live cleaner and better, then this is the year to start your remodeling plans.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Dreaming of New Construction

It’s not enough to have a house these days. Homeowners must be able to turn a house into a home that reflects them.  Your home speaks of who you are. In your home there are two major areas that stand out, areas people remember more than others they are the kitchen and bathroom.

When you are thinking about your new construction home it is important to not only think about the design of the home but also the design in these two spaces in particular.  More than any other rooms in your home, your kitchen and bathroom areas need to offer be spaces that define you and your family.

Let’s begin with the kitchen.  Why is the kitchen so important?  Every home has a central spot where people gather for most it is the kitchen.  With the kitchen being one of the most frequented spaces in the house it is important that it gets special attention in the construction of your new home.

It is one of the busiest places in the house and often full of people and activity.  It doesn’t only serve to function as an area to prep, cook, and eat food.  It actually services as an additional family room.  Many families find that they spend most of their time hanging out in the kitchen.  It is a central area for conversation and meeting up with one another between tasks.   It is important that this space is easy to use and maintain.  Continuous use of a kitchen space often makes it appear bland.  Permanent stains on cabinets and flooring date the space.  Therefore it is crucial to use materials in the space that are easily cleaned and simple to update as needed.

Next up is the bathroom.  Why is the bathroom so important in new construction?

You can’t prepare for your day or relax after a long day without going into the bathroom. Imagine yourself soaking in the hot tub or taking a bath after a long day. This is only possible because you have a bathroom.

The bathroom is also used constantly with water touching every part. This makes it a habitat for mold, spirogyra or even bacteria which can affect the paint, silicone or tiles.

Although you can clean it up with bleach, in some cases, it is better to remodel the bathroom.

Have an idea of what to do. You need an architect or designer to help you. They have the skill and expertise to counsel you that you are doing the right thing.

I always advise my clients to let the plumbing stay in place. If you move it, you might spend more than what you may ever imagine which can run into thousands of dollars. You can change your toilet seat instead of replacing the position. If you don’t want tile, there are wood panels you can use.

If there are parts of your bathroom you want to keep hidden, use a mirror in an attractive frame.

Creating your dream house doesn’t have to be stressful especially if you’re modelling your kitchen or bathroom. just know what you want and follow these steps.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.





Should I Renovate My Current Home or Buy New Construction

Ask any contractor that specializes in home construction what the most common question is that they are asked and I guarantee is will center around buying new construction or renovating a current space.  The problem with this question is that both options make sense depending on several factors.

The first and most important factor is to determine if renovations are even an option.  Is your home structurally sound?  If the home was properly built and has been maintained you can almost guarantee that the primary structure of the home is solid.  Thus meaning renovation would not only be possible but a solid option for homeowners that are overall pleased with their current home.

Contractors will inspect the homes foundation, outer walls, roofing, and support beams to ensure that your home can handle the renovation or addition you are proposing.  More often than not if your home is in a desirable location and you are overall happy renovating will be a better choice than new construction.  It allvieates the need to move and let’s face it hiring a professional contractor to knock a few walls down is less expensive and less time consuming than moving an entire household.

There are many things about a home that start to bother us over time and lead us to believe we would be better off starting from scratch by building a new construction home.  The reality is that most often your wish list involves on a few minor changes, repairs, and upgrades that a professional can easily and inexpensively provide.

In certain situations new construction is the only way to go.  If the home that you are currently in has a weak or failing structure that is in need of repair remodeling may not be cost effective.  If the home is in a location that you don’t love it may be better to find a piece of property and start from scratch.

If the renovations that you are looking to accomplish involve a great deal of electrical or plumbing needing to be changed, new construction might be a cheaper option.  In order to make a decision on whether you should look into building new construction or renovate your current home it is crucial that you take a look at all the pieces in the puzzle.  There is not a one size fits all answer.  While one family may decide that a new fresh space is exactly what they want while others may adore the idea of the convient option of upgrading the space they are in.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Rethinking home remodeling

(NBC News) A hot real estate market may have triggered another type of housing boom: surveys and studies are showing that home remodeling is more preferable these days to home relocation.

Nearly three out of four homeowners surveyed by Angie’s List are planning a remodeling project this year, while a Harvard Center for Housing study anticipates healthy growth in remodeling through 2025.

Re-doing the kitchen is the most popular and most expensive remodeling project.

CNBC’s Kelli Grant recently broke down data from the remodeling website on what consumers spent on remodeling projects last year.

Kitchen renovations averaged $20,000, while bathroom makeovers cost on average $12,000.

Grant says you shouldn’t expect a full return on your investment.

“You end up recouping somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 70% back in terms of added values,” she says.

Original Source:

Original Author: NBC News Channel

Original Date: June 05, 2017

Specializing In New Home Construction

The real estate market right now is ever changing.  Homes are hitting the market and buyers are scooping them up as fast as they are being listed.  Knowing this is making many buyers become more and more interested in new construction.  When looking into building a house it is important to work with a contractor that specializes in new home construction.  In order to do this you may have to search a bit.  Although you can rest assured that your home will be the highest quality and value on the market.

Having the right approach to hiring a top rated contractor can help. Contractors focused on new construction are committed to bringing quality craftsmanship to every build.  The success of your new home and the overall experience is the best advertising a contractor can receive.  For this and many other reasons there is incentive for contractors to bring their A game to your homes construction.

A contractor specializing in new construction is up on current and future trends within the housing market.  They offer you a multitude of updated features and project details that will reflect this.  The importance of technology within new construction can never be understated.  It is crucial to the resale value of your home that important trends such as environmentally friendly lights, appliances and technology upgrades are incorporated into the homes design.

Working with a professional contractor from purchasing the land, designing the home, picking materials all the way to the finished home is important.  Doing so will allow you a customized solution to your housing needs.  Professional contractors help bring your goals to reality.  The process of building a home along with professionals can not only allow your home to be built in a timely manner but also allows for a seamless process from start to finish.

Contractors building new construction homes are focused creating a home that has value to the owner and to the real estate market on a whole.  Hiring a professional allows the dream to become a reality.  Building a home has been synonymous with terms such as overwhelming, expensive, stressful, and more.  This does not have to be the experience that you have.  By hiring a contractor that specializes in building new homes you can rest assured that your project will be given the utmost attention.  Details that can be lost in remodeling and room renovations are found in new construction.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Work With The Best In Your New Construction Venture

There are some rather interesting challenges that come with building a new home.  New construction is a popular alternative when looking into customizing a home.  Many homeowners choose to renovate their current homes to bring them up to par with the latest trends while others are ready to embark on the journey of construction a new home from the ground up.

When looking into building a new home the first step you need to do is find a construction company to work with that specializes in new construction.  Locating a company that has industry experience, can take on a job of your magnitude, and have it completed in a timely fashion can be a process in itself.  As soon as you start to contemplate building a new home it is important to start getting feelers out to find a new construction company to work with.

The entire new construction process will require a great amount of effort and attention to detail.  This is why it is crucial, for the success of your home that you work with an experienced new construction contractor.  A team that is one hundred percent focused on delivering the very best result and is committed to the project’s success is essential.

A solid plan with the ability to adjust combined with experienced and proven results is exactly what every new construction client should expect out of their contractor.  Contractors that work in conjunction with you and not for you are the best at understanding exactly what you want and need out of your new home.  Working in this manner will allow you to receive the best results at the best value from quality contractors that are invested in the end result.

Happy clients equate to a growing construction company.  The best of the best in new construction will continue to deliver quality results that make home owners happy.  A true professional will focus on the entire experience rather than just one aspect of the whole.  Professionalism will be the norm with the contractor’s employees and referrals.  It will be important for the team as a whole to surpass customer’s expectations.   The difference between working with the best verse all the rest is the push to take your new home to the next level.

Delivering an overall experience in new construction is a gift that not all contractors possess.  It is imperative to go with your instincts when hiring a professional to work within the joint effort of creating your new home.  You will feel it inside of you when you have met a contractor that’s expectations mesh with your own.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Your Ultimate Planning Guide: Home Addition and Remodeling

According to HomeAdvisor, the ever vocal and factual resource offering free pieces of advice, tools, and resources for home improvement, an average American homeowner will eventually have to choose between finding a lovely home or just making existing one. And, granted that adding a few more rooms of buildings is far much cheaper than buying a whole house, it might as well be ideal to go for home addition contractors. You will spend as little as $20,044, which as a great deal economically.

As much as home addition and remodeling is a sensible option, it’s important to consider one of the best, affordable new construction companies.  With such a company, you will be confident that your project will end well, maybe beyond your expectations. Moreover, you are allowed to choose per your style and through completion.

Types of Additions

A home addition has many and different meanings out there, and that’s why you have to decide the best suitable one. Sure, you can tack on an extra room to your current apartment. You can create a new room without necessarily expanding the size of the entire structure. Each option comes with its merits and drawbacks, aside from their individual prices.

The various types of home additions

Being a cost-friendly way of getting your dream home, home additions are gaining acceptance amongst many homeowners. Unsurprisingly, the many forms of this undertaking bolster the way home addition is growing. Naturally, the most popular additions to an average house include:

  • Ground level additions
  • Second-floor additions
  • Detached additions

Additional room

Whether your sole reason for home addition is getting an extra family room, a new bedroom or just a room, try finding a New Construction Homes form for just that. And, what’s glamorous about it is, you can either build up or build out. It is a great investment and construction project as it involves coming up with a building structure.

Per square foot, the cost can range from $80 to $200, according to HomeAdvisor and that calls for the involving a reliable contractor. So, consider how you can use the ground floor so as to befit your efforts to build out. However, if you are to work on getting an additional room without altering the footprint of your home, better try building up.


If the conventional home addition ideas don’t appeal to you, give this budget-friendly alternative a shot. An average room can cost as little as $16,000, although a prefabricated one can be a little cheaper.

Detached addition

Under this option, one can expect them to vary, both in style and price with simple, ready-made ones costing from $15,000 up. With the addition of other aspects like electricity, heat and other features of a full guesthouse, the price expectedly rises.

Aspen Construction is an innovative building leader specializing in home additions, new construction, bathroom and kitchen remodeling.  For all of your home improvement needs including electrical services contact us today at