If you're looking to build a deck for your home, your biggest decision aside from design is what material you should use. There are several options available, each with their advantages and drawbacks. Here are a few options to consider:
Even though there are many different types of materials to use, pressure-treated wood is most common, being used in approximately 75 percent of all new decks. The reason pressure-treated lumber is popular isn't a mystery: it's readily available, affordable, and easy to cut for use with nails or screws. One of the advantages of this material is that it is chemically treated to resist fungus, bugs, and rot. However, pressure-treated lumber can tend to be dimensionally unstable -- sometimes splitting, warping, and cracking. Additionally, if your deck is made from pressure-treated wood, it will need routine maintenance in the form of power washing and applying a wood-stain to preserve the deck every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar
If you want to stay away from as many chemicals and preservatives as possible, natural woods like redwood and cedar are perfect for you. Redwood and other cedars are both sought after for their deep, rich color and natural look without the use of chemicals. Natural woods tend to stay healthy due to their oils and resistant properties. However, these resistant properties are related to how much heartwood is involved in your deck. Heartwood comes from the inner section of the tree and is very resistant to rot and decay. If you're looking for the most resistant and long-lasting variety of cedar, you'll want architect clear, custom cedar, architect knotty, or custom knotty.
Composite decking materials are made from a mixture of plastics and recycled wood materials. People choose composite decking for its durability, weight, and overall low maintenance needs. Although looks have come a long way, composites still have a reputation for looking “fake.” Over time, age will show and without proper reinforcement, composite decks are subject to sagging. Another thing to consider is the price which can be 60-70% more than traditional wood decking.
If you're interested in building a deck for your home in the Eugene or Springfield area, please give us a call. We're experts when it comes to building decks and can help you choose the best material for your project's needs. 541-767-1611
We recently completed a new deck and stairs for a homeowner in Eugene, off Lorane Hwy. This is after foundation work and excavation. We came in and installed everything from new footings, pressure treated frame, composite decking and steps, cedar railings and spindles with a coat of clear sealer. Enjoy these before and after pictures!
Planning your kitchen remodel is no meager task. Depending on the extent to which you want to change your home's kitchen, a remodel can be simple or complex. Regardless of your route, there are five key things you'll want to take into consideration for your kitchen remodel.
Flow / Workspaces
Before you start picking out the finish of your cabinets, take the first step to evaluate the flow of your kitchen. Does the current arrangement of major features work for how you use the space? Does it accommodate social gathering? Is it strictly functional for galley-style cooking? Do you have to walk extra steps between the sink, stove, and refrigerator? Could you benefit from having something shifted slightly to allow for more functional workspaces?
After you've evaluated and determined the best footprint for your kitchen remodel, the next step is to look at the appliances you will want to incorporate. Do you love your stove but dream of a new built-in refrigerator? Working with your designer or general contractor, you can select the appliances for your kitchen.
Without fail, it seems there is never enough storage in any space, let alone a kitchen. Working with your designer or general contractor, look at how you can maximize storage in your design, accommodating the workspaces and appliances you've selected. Today's cabinetry has more options than ever before for creatively using each space and maximizing every inch for storage.
Lighting your kitchen doesn't need to be a complex matter, but it is layered. You'll want to combine different types of lighting that will work best in each area. The most common mistake people make is trying to light their entire kitchen with one fixture centered in the ceiling. You're better off with a blended solution.
Once your basics are in place, you can have fun selecting the finishes for each aspect of your kitchen remodel: cabinetry colors/materials, appliance colors, paint, tile, flooring, etc.
If you'd like help, Fort Rock Construction has been helping homeowners in the Eugene-Springfield area with kitchen remodels since 2001. We're experts when it comes to remodels and would be happy to share our expertise with you so your kitchen becomes the room of your dreams. Give us a call today. 541-767-1611
For most people, the kitchen is one of the busiest and most utilized rooms in the home. As such, it's important that the lighting is conducive to different tasks throughout different times of the day and evening. One fixed-position light won't be sufficient for all needs, nor will having all pendants. According to designers, the best step forward is to blend your lighting, bringing together different options to create an overall lighting solution.
Keep in mind that the most effective lighting for the kitchen involves four layers blended together: task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting.
To determine which type of lighting is needed where, start first with where your natural light is coming from. Do you have a window over your sink? What times of day does the light seem brightest? Identify where lighting is most challenged.
Next, look at how you use your kitchen. Today, the space is often used for tasks beyond fixing meals. It can be a gathering place for eating, socializing, doing homework, catching up on emails, etc. Look at where you are for each task and evaluate the quality of light at different times. For instance, perhaps you have a peninsula that gets great light in the daytime for doing homework but is dim in the evening because other lighting is far away. Maybe you could benefit from a focused light over your sink so you can see what you're doing while washing dishes. Or, perhaps you could use some ambient under-the-counter lighting to ease in visibility at night for those midnight drinks of water.
Last, once you've determined the types of lighting you're working with, and where lighting is needed, you can start to look at types of lights. Working with a designer or kitchen remodel expert can help you find a blend of fixtures that will work with your overall design.
Lighting comes in many forms. You can consider the following:
As you work on your kitchen remodel, Fort Rock Construction can help you walk through these options to meet your needs best. We've been doing expert kitchen remodels in the Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, and Cottage Grove areas since 2001. Give us a call today to discuss your kitchen remodel 541-767-1611.
Approximately 75% of people assume that home modifications hurt the resale value of a home, but this is not always the case. In fact, some modifications, especially if they are done in a style that matches well with the home, can have a positive impact on the resale value.
How much do modifications hurt or help your resale value?
The truth is it's not possible to put an exact value on specific modifications because a number of factors have influence, including the style of home, its location and the target buyer demographic. However, one way to help manage this positive or negative swing is the implementation of the principle of Universal Design.
Universal Design refers to a home design that is safe and usable for people of all ages and abilities, including those with disabilities. Universal Design is built into the home's basic design, rather than added as an afterthought. This means that Universal Design elements work with the home's architecture. But if your home is already built, you can still incorporate the concepts of Universal Design to the changes you plan to make. Some features of a Universal Design home include:
Overall, these types of changes do not significantly affect the aesthetic of the home, and as such do not hurt its resale value. Studies have shown that Universal Design modifications can, in fact, help your home's resale value.
If you'd like to explore how to incorporate Universal Design into your home to improve accessibility, please give us a call at 541-767-1611. Fort Rock Construction has been serving homeowners in Eugene, Springfield and the surrounding areas since 2001.
When it comes to accessibility, few rooms are as important as the bathroom. This is a space we spend time in every single day and having it right for our individual needs makes a difference. If you have accessibility needs, this becomes even more important. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking to create an accessible bathroom in your home or place of work.
Doorways — To accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, and other assistance devices, you will want to widen any doorways to no less than 36 inches. This provides ample room for a person to enter the bathroom with ease.
Pull Handles vs. Knobs — Along with a wider doorway, change out traditional doorknobs for pull handles. This enables those who have difficulty gripping or turning knobs to securely open and close the door.
Levered Faucets — Similar as with the doorknobs, you will want to replace sink and shower knobs with levered faucets. These types of devices are more comfortable for those with accessibility issues to use.
Light Switches & Latches — Wherever possible, look for ways to lower the height of light switches and latches so those who are in wheelchairs can reach them more easily. The standard height of 48 inches for light switches is the maximum height for ADA compliance. Lowering switches to a height between 15-42 inches complies with ADA standards and makes accessibility easier.
Counter Height — Just as other items in your bathroom are lowered to accommodate accessibility needs, so should your counters. Ideally, not only should the counters be lowered, but they should also have open space below such that a wheelchair can roll up and have room for leg space. Ideal height for wheelchair accessible counters is approx. 34 inches.
Grab Bars — Grab bars are essential for those who need help transitioning from a wheelchair to or from a toilet, as well as for safety in and around tubs and showers. Be sure to have these installed securely so they can withstand the pressure of a person's body weight.
Showers/Tubs — If your bathroom has a shower or tub, look to modify the space with either a roll-in shower or a walk-in tub. Also, plan to add a seat in your shower designed specifically to help with accessibility. The decorative seats provided in most pre-formed shower inserts are not sufficient.
If you would like assistance with any of these bathroom accessibility modifications, please give the team at Fort Rock Construction a call today at 541-767-1611. We are certified accessiblity experts and have been serving the Willamette Valley since 2001.
If you're considering a remodeling project for your home, chances are you're going to need a contractor. Here are six things to keep in mind before hiring a professional to help.
1. Know what you want
Before you make any phone calls, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want to remodel and what you'd like the outcome to be. Even if it's not crystal clear, a vision or sample images you can show a contractor will help immensely in getting an accurate estimate. A contractor who can bring ideas to the table are great, but make sure you get an estimate on what you're looking for so you can make 'apples to apples' comparisons.
2. Ask your friends and family
Good remodeling contractors typically generate a lot of positive recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbors and other people you trust if they have ever worked with a contractor that they liked. Asking not only helps you narrow down your list for who to contact but also who to avoid. Knowing who does, and doesn’t, do a good job is a key part of how to choose a contractor for your home remodel.
3. Look for online reviews
Online reviews can be very helpful. If you seek these out, you'll get a broad range of experiences customers have had with the contractors you're researching. Keep in mind every contractor will have good reviews and bad reviews. Treat these like a bell curve, throwing out the best and the worst. But, look for the average and look for any themes... Is customer service a persistent concern? Did the contractor regularly go over budget? Were timelines an issue? Also, look at how complaints were handled. Did the contractor work to resolve the issues at hand?
4. Speak with multiple contractors
Always get multiple bids on your project. Even if you love the first plan you get, stopping there means you’ll never know if the estimate you received offers good value. Home remodeling contractors may charge different rates because they may have different specialties, so getting multiple bids is a good idea. Be sure to ask if they work on projects of your size, and what their availability is for your desired timeline.
5. Check references
References, such as current customers and subcontractors, can help you learn about the quality of the work. Current customers can share personal experiences and subcontractors can provide red flags, such as not paying on time or cutting corners by using less than stellar materials. You can also check to see if any complaints are registered with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
6. Seek well-defined bids
To best compare estimates, ask each contractor to provide details about the costs for labor, materials and any other related expenses. Once you have an estimate you like, start the negotiation process. Make sure the contract is detailed and that you’re comfortable with it before the project starts. Once work begins, communication is the key to a happy and successful remodel.
At Fort Rock Construction, we take great pride in our honest, straightforward approach to contract bids. We may not always be the lowest bid, but you can trust that we've included everything from start to finish so you're not hit with surprises later on. Give us a call today to schedule a consult, and we'll prepare a no-obligation quote. 541-767-1611
If you're considering adding accessibility features to your home, one of the more prominent features on the exterior is a ramp. Whether it's to your front door or getting from the back door out to your yard, ramps assist those in wheelchairs as well as those who have difficulty with stairs.
When it comes to construction of a ramp, there are several material options from which to choose. Here is a brief overview of those options so you can choose the material that will work best for your needs and your home's design.
By far, wood is the most popular choice for building a ramp. You can choose from a variety of wood types to match your preferred aesthetic. Be sure to include the addition of a non-slip surface. Even wood gets slippery when wet or icy. A handrail is also helpful so you don't accidentally go off the side of the ramp.
Second in popularity, aluminum ramps offer convenience and manufacturers often have a variety of configurations from which to choose. Aluminum ramps also typically come with textured surfaces so the addition of a non-slip surface is not necessary. One downside to aluminum is that they have the potential to be noisier than other materials.
Galvanized Steel Ramps
Galvanized steel ramps offer a nicer aesthetic than aluminum, and the open slotted material prevents the buildup of water, snow, ice, or dirt. One downside is that the openness can be pretty uncomfortable for bare feet and can cause issues for those wearing high-heeled shoes.
If you want the look and feel of a standard concrete walking surface, a poured concrete ramp could be right. You'll get a nice aesthetic with the reliability of a concrete surface for non-slip. Concrete is poured on flat surfaces that are then attached to a metal structure. It's a less permanent, affordable solution.
If you're considering adding a ramp to your home or even to your commercial space, we can help. The Fort Rock Construction team has been building ramps for residential and commercial properties in Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove and the surrounding areas. Please give us a call today to discuss your ramp project. 541-767-1611
If you're looking to do a kitchen remodel, one of the most prominent features will be your countertop. While beauty is a key consideration, it would be wise to also take into account the ease (or lack thereof) of maintenance. After all, not all countertops are created equally.
Hands down, engineered stone is the easiest to maintain as it is a solid surface solution, it won't stain, and it is non-porous. You can do just about anything to these countertops and the chance of any real damage is minimal. In addition, because engineered stone comes in an enormous array of colors and patterns, you can select one that meets your esthetic AND hides any imperfections such as minor scratches or marks. There are several popular brands and we can help select just the right option for your home.
Another popular option is laminate. But we're not talking laminate from the 70's or 80's. Today's laminate will make your head turn. It's incredibly versatile, less expensive than other options, and it has a 'wipe and go' maintenance plan. We'd be happy to show you today's laminate — you'd be amazed by the choices available.
Last, but not least, zinc makes for a beautiful, modern countertop with also low maintenance needs. While stainless steel will leave you wiping up every fingerprint, zinc darkens over time, developing a gorgeous patina. It is also non-porous and bacteria-resistant, needing only a quick wipe-down to be cleaned.
If you live in the Eugene, Springfield, or Cottage Grove area, we'd love to help you with your kitchen remodel. At Fort Rock Construction, we're experts at kitchen remodels and can help you turn your vision into reality. Give us a call today. 541-767-1611
If you're planning a remodel for your kitchen to accommodate ADA or general accessibility issues, choosing appliances and determining where they get placed are key decisions. Remember, it's about removing barriers and increasing convenience so that your space is not a source of frustration. Accessible appliances have certain characteristics in common, but typically their designs could fit right into any home.
Here’s what to look for when you go shopping and for when you’re planning the layout of your kitchen:
Cooktop — For easier use, it is best to have your cooktop separate from your oven. This separation allows for space to accommodate legroom beneath. Also, a cooktop with front controls prevents having to reach over hot burners. Staggered burners also minimize the risk of injuries.
Oven — When it comes to selecting an over, wall ovens are ideal because their placement height can be customized to meet your needs. If you're in a wheelchair, a side-hinged model can be helpful.
Refrigerator — When choosing a refrigerator, choose a model with a bottom, pull-out drawer freezer as this provides the most accessibility, but side-by-side models are also popular. You'll want to check that controls are low enough to be reached from a seated position and that they are simple to use.
Microwave — When considering where to place your microwave, over the stove is not ideal. Instead, plan a space that is at or just under the counter height.
Dishwasher — While most appliances are lowered for accessibility, you'll want your dishwasher raised from standard installation height. This adjustment makes access more comfortable for seated persons. For placement, make sure you have ample space on either side. Racks must move smoothly with little pressure.
Certified ADA-compliant appliances must meet more specific criteria than these generalized descriptions, but this is intended to give you an idea of what to look for and ask for when shopping. If you need assistance with planning your kitchen remodel, please give the Fort Rock Construction team a call. We're experts in accessibility design and would love to help create a space you can enjoy. 541-767-1611
Tricks of the construction trade, inspiration for your next project, and highlights of completed projects.