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Remodeling Vs. New Home: Budget and Qualities

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re proud to provide our clients with a wide, versatile range of general contractor services. We offer both custom new home builds and strong home remodeling services – and you’d be surprised how often choosing between these two areas becomes a legitimately tough call for some of our clients.

This is because, while we tend to rightly think of smaller remodeling jobs as much less expensive than a new home build, this equation can change when the remodel becomes more involved. Certain extreme remodels can even cost almost as much as building an entire new home, as crazy as that may sound. This two-part blog series will look at several variables to consider while choosing between a new home build and a major remodel, ensuring you make the most cost-effective choice for your needs.

remodeling new home budget

Current Home Qualities

In some cases, one of the primary drivers of a homeowner prioritizing a remodel – even an expensive one – over a new home build is the qualities of the current home. Perhaps you have a classic home with unique features that can’t be replicated, or there’s some other specific feature you don’t want to be rid of. In these cases, extending your budget a bit to prioritize a remodel is totally justifiable.

In certain other cases, though, you won’t find an older home worth saving. If too many features or fixtures are worn-down or outright broken, a remodel could cost even more than simply building a new home. A teardown not only allows you to remove any non-functional elements, but also allows for much more efficient and environmentally friendly fixtures in a new build – and these will also save money.

Structural Soundness

Beyond your personal desires, however, it’s important to assess the actual structural quality of the current home. If the foundation of the home is crumbling or in disrepair, for instance, this is a pretty clear sign that you should be building a new home rather than attempting a remodel.

If no such major issues are present, however, your potential remodeling or renovating costs drop significantly. If the home is sound and strong, simpler room-by-room remodeling projects become both simpler and cheaper.


Both with an eye to your current home quality and your future desires, budget should always be the consistent variable in your mind. Your total available funds dictate many of your major decisions here.

One big piece of advice: Remember that when it comes to major remodeling projects, the initial cost estimate is often very low. Remodeling jobs can come with some unexpected events or issues, and you should budget for a bit more than you might have previously considered. If your initial remodeling estimate is in the same range as the cost of a new home build, there’s a solid chance it will end up significantly higher than the new home once all is said and done.

For more on choosing between a remodel and a new home build, or to learn about any of our home remodeling or custom home building services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Sink Style Upgrade Options for Kitchen Remodels, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the options available to you if you’re looking to upgrade your sink during a kitchen remodel. There are several fantastic choices on the market here for modern homeowners, from simple styles to specialty options for those with particular cooking or cleaning needs.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re here to provide comprehensive kitchen remodeling and addition services, including assistance with any sink type you’re envisioning in your new kitchen space. While part one of our series mostly covered the standard and common sink types you’ll see, today’s part two will dig into a few more unique styles that might be chosen for specific needs or aesthetic purposes.

sink style kitchen remodels

Apron Sink

Known in some circles as the farmhouse sink, the apron sink refers to a rustic sink type that’s perfect for many related styles. It’s notable for the way it eliminates counter space at the front of the sink: The sink itself extends over that entire area, similar to an apron (hence the name).

On the sides of the sink, this apron will usually drop lower than a counter space would have. This leads to a very different aesthetic than other sink types, offering an excellent complement to retro-traditional styles. And from a practical standpoint, the apron sink can hold a much larger array of cookware, including deep pans or pots that wouldn’t fit in other sinks.

Prep Sink

For those who perform regular large cooking projects in the kitchen, or simply want more sink space, the prep sink is the ideal addition. It’s notably different from other types we’ve gone over to this point in that it’s an additional sink, not its own – it will be installed alongside one of the other sinks we’ve mentioned, or sometimes in a separate location on an island or bar. The prep sink is most common in larger kitchens where cooking and entertaining take place. It’s also known to help improve property value.

Integrated Stone

For those who are focused on integrating their kitchen sink with the countertops they’re using, there are a couple prominent styles available:

  • Integrated quartz: If quartz is your countertop material of choice, it’s possible to obtain a sink design that matches it precisely. The sink itself will actually be built into the countertop, using exactly the same quartz color and pattern so the design is seamless from the countertops into the sink.
  • Integrated cultured marble: Down similar lines, this theme can be put in place for cultured marble as well. This stone tends to be more expensive than quartz, but can also be customized in special ways quartz can’t.

For more on various sink styles to consider for your kitchen remodel, or to learn about any of our general contractor services in home remodeling or additions, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Sink Style Upgrade Options for Kitchen Remodels, Part 1

There are several major elements you might be considering if you’re planning a kitchen remodel, and one that’s prominent during many such projects is the sink. The sink is often one of the centerpieces of a kitchen, plus is one of the areas of this space that has the most practical usage involved on a daily basis.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, kitchen remodeling is just one of several areas our general contactors will assist you with if you’re considering any kind of home remodeling or additions. What are some of the sink options you have available to you during a kitchen remodel selection process, and what are some of the pros and cons of each as you work toward making your choice? This two-part blog series will dig into this and some other important details on this part of the process.

sink style kitchen remodels

Double-Basin Sink

First and foremost, we wanted to discuss a sink format that should be a primary consideration for any homeowner doing a kitchen remodel in a space that doesn’t already contain this style: The double-basin sink. As the name suggests, this is the much more common sink style you’ll see today, featuring two distinct basins separated by a wall. It makes for simpler workflow and also is expected by any potential future homebuyer – if you’re working with a single-basin sink and performing a remodel, the double-basin upgrade should be one of your first considerations.

Undermount Sink

For those who are looking for customizable sinks that are also very easy to keep clean, the undermount sink is often a great choice. It’s attached from below to a pre-cut opening, allowing for simple sweeping of crumbs or other debris into the basin area without any hassle.

The undermount is also a sleek, modern look for those who want this aesthetic emphasized in the kitchen. However, do know that this style can only be used with solid-surface countertops like granite or marble, so laminate or other materials won’t work.

Overmount (Drop-In) Sink

On the flip side of the undermount sink is the overmount sink, also referred to as a drop-in sink. These are the two most common general types.

The overmount sink is set down into a hole when it’s installed, with the outer edge holding it in place. It’s a very affordable option, generally more so than the undermount sink, and is also a highly flexible design. On top of this, owners note that overmount sinks are very easy to replace; this is countered by the fact that they may build up soap scum and other material under their rim, meaning they need a bit more maintenance than undermount sinks.

For more on the sink styles available to you during a kitchen remodel, or to learn about any of our kitchen remodeling or general contractor services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Common Room Types Available for Home Additions, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the common room types available for those considering a home addition. There are several such room types you might be thinking about, and knowing their basic qualities and variables may play a role in which you select.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re happy to offer a wide range of services in the home additions realm, with numerous past home additions featuring a huge variety of different room formats. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over a few additional room types many homeowners consider for their home additions, including some that utilize the space already available inside the structure and do not require adding additional square footage.

room types home additions


Sunroom or California Room

For those who desire more sun and natural light in their space, one of the top options is the sunroom. It allows in plenty of light without actually being outdoors, often built into an existing patio. Sunrooms don’t generally require HVAC connections, which makes them far more affordable than full room additions.

A similar room type here is the California room, which connects to the home with a sliding door like a patio – but has a ceiling and at least two other walls. In some cases, California rooms are simply considered a type of sunroom.

Internal Addition

In some homes, there will be significant space available that can be used for an additional room without adding any square footage to the area whatsoever. This will require a remodeling process of some sort, and the details here will depend on the precise qualities of the space.

In some situations, we’ll be able to remove walls or other obstructions to create a larger, more functional space. We may also be able to convert a closet or another similar unused space into an “internal bump-out” of sorts, adding to the space in a given room. Another common example here is a small bathroom, which can often be created using this method.

Room Conversion

Finally, another popular choice is simply converting an existing room into another format. The most common choices down these lines are attics and garages, which can be converted into a variety of different rooms – home offices, kid game rooms, home theaters or even a living space in some cases. Many attics have been converted into a guest bedroom or simply a reading room; with enough space, you can do virtually anything with one of these areas.

For more on the various home addition types possible if you’re considering such an upgrade, or to learn about any of our general contractor and home remodeling services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Common Room Types Available for Home Additions, Part 1

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re here to serve as your one-stop shop for all home additions and home remodeling needs. Our general contractors have assisted numerous clients with a variety of home addition needs, from simple conversions up to entire room additions within the interior of a home.

The term “home addition” is a wide-ranging one that covers several potential sub-categories throughout the space. What are some of the most common designations and room types often considered for home additions? We’ll go over each of the most popular you might be thinking about in this two-part blog series.

room types home additions

Full Room Addition

When you generally think about a room addition, this is probably the sort of thing that comes to your mind first. The full room addition refers to an entire new, functional space within the home, adding significant square footage and potentially several other fixtures.

Generally, a room addition can feature a wide range of different room types. New bedrooms are very popular, as are guest bedrooms, home theaters, home dens or offices, home gym facilities or others. If you have the time and budget, there are very few room types you can’t achieve as part of a home addition.

Bathroom Addition

We wanted to reserve a specific section for bathroom additions, which are one of the single most common room addition types found in homes. This is for several reasons, but one of the top ones is the way bathrooms raise home value – they often offer a far greater ROI than their initial cost would suggest, a major factor for those considering property value and a potential sale at any point in the future.

Per data from the National Association of Home Builders, a new full bathroom addition can boost a home’s value by up to 20%. Even just a half-bath addition can increase value by up to 10%.

Bump Out

For those looking for a solid home addition but lacking the space for an entire full room addition, the bump out is one of the top alternatives. This is a form of room addition often used in a kitchen remodel, but possible in several areas of the home, that involves extending or adding square footage to a room that already exists.

One great example of a bump out is a window seating area you might see in certain homes – this doesn’t add much square footage necessarily, but often opens up the room in meaningful ways. There are several great themes for bump outs depending on your needs.

For more on the various room types available for a home addition, or to learn about any of our general contractor services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Bathroom Remodeling Errors Avoided by Quality Contractors, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the common bathroom remodeling mistakes a quality remodeling contractor will help you avoid. Those who choose not to work with a general contractor for their remodel, or those who choose a subpar professional to work with, are risking areas ranging from quality and safety to budget, timing and more.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re proud to offer a wide range of bathroom remodeling services as part of our overall home remodeling solutions. We’ve helped numerous clients avoid common errors and keep their remodeling job on track throughout each stage of the process, and we’re here to do the same for you while helping you achieve your ideal bathroom remodel. Here are a few other pitfalls we’ll help steer you away from.

bathroom remodeling errors avoided contractors

Unnecessary Changes

One common error we’ve seen from homeowners during a bathroom remodel is an error of overexuberance: Thinking more needs to be done during the remodel than is really necessary. There are some bathroom remodels that don’t require a full-on overhaul of the space – maybe you’re changing out the vanity, for instance, or installing new countertops while leaving much of the remaining space the same.

Once again, this is an area where a skilled contractor taking part in your planning phases will be enormously valuable. Our contractors will help you determine the true needs present in your bathroom, plus any desired additions you’re considering – plus how these work with your budget and how significant a job should be undertaken. We have specific knowledge of areas like plumbing connections that may or may not need to be involved, allowing us to give you accurate timelines and expectations for the job.

Lack of Attention to Detail

Another area where a quality contractor is hugely beneficial during a bathroom remodel is their attention to detail. It’s easy to overlook certain small areas if you’ve never performed a bathroom remodel before, from lights to sink height, fixture placement and properly hiding plumbing connections – but an experienced contractor handles these with ease.

One particular detail area to keep high in mind is the bathroom fan. This item is vital for ventilation and preventing mold or mildew from forming, and should not only be considered during the remodel, but also cleaned and maintained regularly.

Not Enough Storage

Finally, in their excitement to consider a variety of other new features or designs, some homeowners gloss over one of the most important parts of any bathroom remodel or setup: Storage. You must ensure there’s enough space for proper storage, or else find yourself with a beautiful-looking remodel – but nowhere to put bathroom items like towels, hygiene products and others.

For more on avoiding common bathroom remodeling mistakes, or to learn about any of our home remodeling or home addition services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Bathroom Remodeling Errors Avoided by Quality Contractors, Part 1

When it comes to bathroom remodeling within the home, the general contractors at Topp Remodeling & Construction are your number one choice here in Utah. We’ve helped numerous Utah homeowners with their home remodeling and home addition needs throughout the structure, with numerous quality bathroom remodels in our portfolio.

Not only are we here to provide fantastic value on materials and labor to bring you the desired final product for an affordable cost, we’re also present to help keep your remodeling project on-track. Those who do not work with a general contractor during a major bathroom remodel, or those who choose a subpar contractor, risk several errors taking place that can sidetrack or even derail the remodel altogether, both from a cost and time perspective. This two-part blog will go over some of the common bathroom remodeling mistakes out there, many of which trace back to a failure to work with the right professionals.

bathroom remodeling errors contractors

DIY Without Proper Skills

As we noted above, those who do not work with a contractor for major bathroom remodeling tasks are risking quality, cost and even safety during the process. Just because you have some time available and can swing a hammer doesn’t mean you’re qualified to perform many of the detailed tasks our contractors carry out, from plumbing connections to electrical circuits and numerous other potentially hazardous areas for those without training.

Even those who are handier than the typical homeowner will run into issues at some point without quality contractors on their side. Violating local building codes is a common result of such an approach, for instance, but our team will steer you clear of this and several related issues.

Improper Planning

One major area a quality general contractor assists with is planning for your entire project, from demolition through completion of the new bathroom. Many of those who attempt bathroom remodels on their own do not have a full plan before they begin demolition, leading to cost and other issues that arise during the process.

Unrealistic Budget

Down similar lines, a good general contractor will keep you realistic about your budget and how it matches your desires. Many homeowners who badly want a nicer remodel than they can afford will subconsciously try to stretch every dollar as far as possible, even to the point where they’re being completely oblivious to major cost issues building up on their budget right in front of them. Even if you were well-intentioned in this process and did not mean to extend yourself too far financially, you may reach the end of the road and find you’ve exceeded your initial estimates by large amounts.

For more on avoiding common bathroom remodeling mistakes, many of which come back to hiring the right team around you, or to learn about any of our home additions or home remodeling services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Optimal Seasons for Various Home Remodels

Like many other home service areas, there are elements of home remodeling and home contracting that can be viewed seasonally. Certain remodeling types or products may be best performed during a given time of year for a few different reasons, from weather conditions to material availability and several others.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re here to assist you with a huge variety of home remodeling and home addition needs during any time of the year. And while many of our general contractor services can be performed year-round without much issue, there are certainly a few job types or themes that tend to do best when prioritized in certain seasons. Here’s a quick primer on the best time of year for various remodeling projects, starting with the spring season we’re in now and moving forward.

optimal seasons home remodels


As nearly any general contractor will tell you, spring tends to be the busiest season for several of our services, including home remodeling and additions. The weather is often ideal, still a bit cool from winter but not yet into the 100-degree heat we experience in Utah summers, making it perfect for many large-scale jobs.

Speaking of large-scale, spring is by far the most common time period for home additions as well. Areas like sunroom conversions, decks, patios and even pools are most commonly installed during spring or early summer seasons for several reasons, including the ability to test them in relatively similar weather conditions to what will be in place for much of their usage.


As any longtime Utahn knows, the summers here can get fairly intense. And while we can technically complete pretty much any job you require during the heat of summer, we will sometimes recommend holding off on a few – things like attic conversions or large-scale outdoor projects, for instance, might be better off during a cooler part of the year.

On the flip side, kitchen and bathroom remodels are often great themes during summer. This is especially true for families who take a summer vacation – this trip might be the perfect period to hire our professionals for an in-home remodel, as our work will not get in your way while you’re out of the house.


Fall may be a period where some homeowners return to considering outdoor jobs and home additions, though it’s important to be careful with timing here: You don’t want these projects to run into the early winter where snow might have begun to fall. This is an area where it’s important to maintain a viable contractor who will keep you on-schedule.


Finally, while the ground hardens during winter and makes certain contracting jobs a bit less sensible, certain others are ideal for this time. In particular, foundation building and related themes are easily handled during winter, plus contractors often tend to have slightly less packed schedules and can get started on such a project.

For more on the ideal season of the year for various home remodeling or addition projects, or to learn about any of our general contractor services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Available Size Designations for Bathroom Remodels

If you’re considering a bathroom remodel or addition to your home, you’ll have several big potential choices ahead of you. One of the first and most prominent to think about: The “size” you’ll be choosing for the new bathroom space, which really speaks to the kinds of fixtures and accessories that will be present in your bathroom.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we proudly offer a wide variety of bathroom remodeling services in addition to our general contractor and home addition solutions. There are a few common size designations out there when it comes to bathrooms, each of which describe a varying level of fixtures included in the space. Let’s look at each of these designations and what they mean so you can have a good idea of the format you’ll be looking at for your new bathroom.

size designations bathroom remodels

Quarter Bathroom

The smallest and rarest of these designations is the quarter bathroom, which you will almost never see in homes. Quarter bathrooms are rooms that have only a toilet – no sink, no other fixtures of any kind. They are sometimes present in certain commercial buildings or other facilities, though even these kinds of buildings tend not to feature them when newly-built. There’s almost no reason you would ever consider a quarter bathroom in your home.

Half Bathroom

The half bathroom is a much more common option in homes, particularly any large enough to hold multiple floors and potentially host guests. A half bathroom features a toilet plus a sink – just enough for someone to be able to use the bathroom for its basic purposes and stay sanitary. Many homes turn their half bathroom into a “powder” room or something similar, with many great designs available for homes that regularly have guests.

Three-Quarter Bathroom

There’s only one bathroom designation that may actually vary somewhat, and it’s the three-quarter bathroom. There are really four possible elements in a bathroom: The toilet and sink we’ve already gone over, plus the potential for a shower and a bathtub.

A three-quarter bathroom, then, refers to a bathroom that has precisely three of these items. In the vast majority of cases, the tub will be the piece missing in a three-quarter bathroom – though there are many cases where a tub-shower combination can be used and still counted as a three-quarter format.

Full Bathroom

Finally, as you may have guessed, the full bathroom is the only option that contains all four elements: Toilet, sink, shower and a full bathtub. Many homeowners choose to upgrade their full bathroom into a true luxury area, with things like whirlpool jets, multiple sinks and various other accessories.

For more on the different bathroom size designations out there, or to learn about any of our home remodeling or home addition services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Layout and Design Themes for Bathroom Remodels

Any home remodeling project you’re considering will involve design elements that require you to properly utilize your space available, and a bathroom remodel is no exception. While the specific fixtures and materials you utilize are of great importance, they won’t matter as much if your overall spatial layout is not well-designed.

At Topp Construction, planning and design phases are just one part of the comprehensive bathroom remodeling process we’ll help walk you through from start to finish. The bathroom is one of the most valuable and most-used rooms in any home, and we’ll ensure your upgrades are stylish and add value in important areas. Let’s go over a few themes we’ll often speak to our clients about when it comes to designing and laying out their bathroom remodel in advance to ensure they get the perfect new bathroom design.

No “Work Triangle” To Utilize

Bathroom remodel designs may be similar to kitchen remodeling projects in a few areas, but one area where they broadly differ is the lack of a “work triangle.” This triangle is present in the kitchen, made up of the sink, stove and fridge (or other major storage area) – and it often serves as a foundational theme for design templates that are built around it.

In the bathroom, however, there is no such work triangle. Everyone uses the bathroom for different distinct purposes, and some might have very different habits than others. This means you have more freedom in your design potential, but there’s also more room for error if you aren’t careful.

Work in Zones

Generally speaking, we recommend working in zones when it comes to your bathroom remodel. By this, we mean thinking about various different areas – the sink, the toilet, the shower, the counter and others – individually, considering their purposes and how often they’ll be used in your new bathroom. A few tips and considerations here as you move through zones:

  • Toilet: Many consider their toilet first, as it has plumbing attachments that often restrict it to a certain part of the room – you don’t want to find out later that your design is ruined because your toilet can’t be placed where you want it.
  • Traffic: As you move through zones, consider the bathroom’s expected traffic. How much storage will be needed for items like towels or toilet paper to fill regular needs?
  • Space around zones: Also consider how close each zone or object is to one another. Items that are too close together will lead to a cramped bathroom space – our pros will be happy to help you keep the appropriate amounts of space present.

Ventilation Themes

One additional theme we wanted to highlight that’s particularly important for the bathroom space: Ventilation. The bathroom tends to involve significant moisture and water vapor, so it needs to be properly ventilated to ensure mold, mildew and other risks do not develop. Ventilation should be considered as part of the design phase, not as a secondary afterthought.

For more on important design themes for your bathroom remodel, or to learn about any of our home remodeling or general contractor services, speak to the staff at Topp Construction today.