If you're looking to add extra living space to your home, converting your garage can be a good solution. Garages can be turned into playrooms, mother/father-in-law quarters, media rooms, extra bedrooms, and so much more. But, before you begin this type of home remodel, there are several things you'll want to consider to ensure the project goes smoothly.
1. Assess your garage for potential issues. Most garages are not designed with living space in mind. Because of this, you may need to take a look at the electrical, insulation, egress to and from the main house, as well as the walls and floors to make sure there are no structural issues like buckling, leaks or cracks, subsidence, or sloping.
2. Make sure you are allowed to have a garage conversion. It's not uncommon for homes within homeowners associations to have rules within their CC&Rs that prohibit certain home modifications. Avoid a headache and look into this ahead of time if your home is part of an HOA. Aside from HOA governance, your home might also be subject to certain zoning restrictions. Checking with your city or county's planning department can help you determine if a garage conversion is permissible and if permits are required.
3. Plan out how you will want to use the converted garage. Because of the time, expense, and often permits that are involved with a garage conversion, it's important to plan out how you are going to use the space. This will mean hiring an architect or contractor to draw up floor plans that can be submitted with permit applications. Also, knowing what the space can be used for will be helpful when you go to sell your home. For instance, planning ahead for a bedroom can add more value in the eyes of a buyer than perhaps a man cave or other general use space.
4. Have a realistic budget. Most homeowners don't generally have a sense of the expense involved with a garage conversion. Typically budgets are underestimated since the garage is an already existing structure. However, there are still items that can significantly impact your budget if you don't plan for them up front. These expenses include items like waterproofing, insulation, laying a new floor, running electrical or plumbing, adding windows, and then the finishing touches like cabinetry, fixtures, wall finishing, hardwood or carpet, etc.
Many homeowners choose to tackle a garage conversion on their own. However, it is a good idea to involve a general contractor who has experience in this type of project and who knows the current building codes.
If you choose to hire a contractor, look for someone who routinely performs the type of work you want to have done. A handyman might have relevant construction skills, but might not be aware of the required building codes or have the labor force to get the garage conversion done in a timely manner.
Lastly, depending on your garage conversion, you may also need to hire an engineer. Working with a general contractor will make sure the proper professionals are involved with the project so everything is built properly and to code.
If you live in the Eugene-Springfield area, please give the team at Fort Rock Construction a call at 541-767-1611. Our general contractor team has been helping homeowners with new construction and home remodels since 2001.
The University of Oregon's Spencerview Apartment complex wanted to build an outdoor basketball court for its residents as a memorial for one of the children that lived there. We worked with a local concrete company and together, we removed parts of the play area, clearing out space for the new court. The finished project will add years of enjoyment for residents.
If you have a commercial construction project in the Eugene or Springfield area, please give us a call. We are commercial contractors with extensive experience working with local businesses. 541-767-1611
Not all homes are blessed with large spacious kitchens. If your kitchen lacks square footage, there are still plenty of ways you can maximize your space and satisfy your storage needs. Here are five great ways to add storage to your small kitchen.
1. Add shelving under your island countertop. Whether you have a true island or a peninsula, look to see if you have room to add a shelf. This makes a great space to store things like plates, placemats, and other table setting items.
2. Add cubbies around your kitchen entrance. With this idea, you can turn the typically wasted narrow space into useful storage. The narrow cubbies are excellent for vases, cookbooks, and more.
3. Install toekick drawers. No matter how big or small your kitchen is, toekick drawers are an absolute must. They transform previously unused space into the perfect storage for a short stack of pans, cookie sheets, linens, or pantry items.
4. Build a pantry between the studs. If you don't have space to build out, build in. With a small kitchen, adding cabinetry can make the area feel crowded, however, utilizing the space between studs can be just the answer. Pantry built-ins are great for spices, tea boxes, and other smaller items.
5. Utilize the space above your refrigerator. Too often the space about refrigerators either goes unused, or it's horribly unorganized. Adding shelving above your refrigerator can be just the answer for your larger items like pots, cutting boards, etc.
If your small kitchen is ready for an upgrade or if you have dreams of increasing its footprint, give us a call. We're kitchen remodel experts in the Eugene and Springfield area. Give Fort Rock Construction a call today at 541-767-1611.
Guest Blog by Kent Elliot
Aging in place is gaining in popularity among baby boomers, many of whom prefer the comforts of home to assisted-living facilities. However, this requires a number of modifications to prevent accidents and ensure their dwelling is safe. Among the most important is improved lighting, which can not only prevent accidents related to poor vision but also gives a boost to mobility and overall quality of life. If you’re planning to enjoy your golden years where you’ve always lived, here are a few things to do.
Study Your Options
Lumens, watts, CFLs, LEDs, ambient and task lighting. That seems like a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, but you need to know what it means if you’re going to provide the right illumination throughout your home. To get started on the basics, lumens refers to the amount of light that a bulb sheds, and the higher the number, the brighter it is. Watts, meanwhile, is the amount of energy that the bulb uses.
Get Enough Ambient Light
This is general background lighting coming from a fixture on the ceiling. You’re looking for evenness in rooms and hallways as older eyes tend to be less responsive to changes in level. According to Luvozo, which provides services to senior living communities, 30 lumens per square foot is the right amount for ease of mobility and preventing falls.
Maximize Task Lighting
Small lamps on tables and desks provide the light you need for reading without squinting your eyes to see the fine print. Consider ones with LED bulbs that don’t need to be changed as often, which reduces the risk that you’ll burn yourself in the process. There are even models available that allow you to alter the color temperature and avoid frequencies that disturb your sleep.
Brighten Up the Bathroom
Roughly 80 percent of older adults experience a fall because of the slippery surfaces. However, several accidents can be reduced by making sure the bathroom is well lit. First off, keep the switch on the exterior to avoid having to enter and feel around for it in the dark. As for the interior, an expert tells Professional Remodeler magazine that 75 to 100 watts of illumination should do the trick.
Cut Risks in the Kitchen
This is another area that requires special attention as not seeing whether the oven is on or off can have disastrous consequences. The folks at Progress Lighting recommend layered lighting to compensate for any decreases in vision as well as cabinet task lights to keep your eyes focused clearly on the chopping board while you’re slicing and dicing.
Pay Attention to Stairways
Around 12,000 people die each year falling down stairs, which are particularly dangerous for the elderly. Besides, brightening them up makes it easier to get up and down late at night and early in the morning without any undue strain on your eyes. The easiest solution is having an electrician install bright lights at the bottom as well as the top to reach each and every step.
Add Style to Your Living Room
You should consider your overall comfort while you’re reading, watching TV and entertaining guests. Add a source of ambient light like a chandelier or pendant in addition to a few accent lamps in your living room, which can draw attention to your favorite decorations.
Explore High-Tech Solutions
The smart home revolution makes it easier for seniors to stay at home in comfort and convenience. Imagine motion sensors that turn lights on automatically in the hallway when you head to the bathroom late at night. That can be yours as well as full control over all the lighting throughout the home via smartphone so you’re not fumbling for a switch when you walk in.
Making these adjustments to your home might take some time and energy, but it’s the bright thing to do for your own safety and comfort as well as that of the rest of your family.
For assistance with an aging in place remodel for your home, please contact Fort Rock Construction at 541-767-1611. We're certified aging in place experts and serve homeowners throughout the Eugene-Springfield area.
Decks add livable square footage outside of your home and can be one of the most utilized gathering places, especially during the non-rainy months. But, like other areas of your home, your deck will need some serious TLC after years of use.
For example, we recently removed and replaced a deck for a homeowner in Eugene, Oregon. The home has two decks, one above the other. Unfortunately the lower deck began failing. The lower deck was built on pier pads and was not attached to the house. Over time, water runoff eroded the deck and began pulling it from the patio. In addition, the deck was built too close to an old growth tree, the decking was rotting out, and it was not ‘spanned’ correctly.
To correct these issues, we built a form to pour concrete below the undermined patio, and we dug ruts for water runoff. Next, we laid plastic under the deck and attached a ledger board to the house and patio for the deck, keeping them together. Finally, we then framed the deck to the correct span by adding two joists between each beam. The finished result is shown below.
If you are looking for deck repair, deck replacement, or if you'd like to add a new deck to your home, please give us a call. Fort Rock Construction has been helping homeowners in the Eugene-Springfield area since 2001 and we would love to work with you, too. Give us a call today at 541-767-1611.
Eugene's Peace Presbyterian was in need of a new kitchen and workspace. We removed the old, dated kitchen and flooring and installed the new kitchen counters, cabinets and flooring, creating a more modern and functional space.
If you have a kitchen in need of renovating, be in a residential or commercial space, give us a call. We can help. 541-767-1611
If you're thinking about where you want to live as you get older, consider the benefits of adding on to your existing home. When you live in a neighborhood that you already like, and if you have a plot of land large enough for a one-two room expansion, this can often be a great solution.
Adding a ground-level room (or two) to your home can make aging in place more feasible as single story access to your kitchen, living room, etc. is more comfortable without the need of stairs. The upstairs portion of your home can be used by those living with you, whether that's younger family members or live-in care providers.
If an addition is not possible, you can also consider converting your garage into ground-level living space. Many things can be done with a garage to make it into a grand master suite or even a mother-in-law unit.
At Fort Rock Construction, we have many years of experience helping homeowners add valuable living space to their homes with additions and garage conversions. Give us a call today at 541-767-1611 to discuss your needs and explore options.
When it comes to renovating your home, the one room that makes the most significant impact is your kitchen. The kitchen is where we gather every single day for meals, connect with other family members, and relax. Because of its high usage, the kitchen is an area where most people want to keep up to date, or at least have some feelings about what they would change if they ever "redid the kitchen."
People have different reasons for wanting to update their kitchen. Some only want to renovate or remodel their kitchen to increase resale value, while others look to improve the flow so day-to-day use is easier or to bring the look into this century.
Whatever your reason, know that remodeling your kitchen gives you one of the best returns on investment for your home.
Here are a few reasons people choose to renovate their home:
If you decide a kitchen renovation is in your future, give the team at Fort Rock Construction a call. We've been working with homeowners throughout Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove and the surrounding areas since 2001. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation at 541-767-1611.
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!
Tricks of the construction trade, inspiration for your next project, and highlights of completed projects.