Category Archives: Our Blog

Why Curb Appeal Matters

Why Curb Appeal Matters

Don’t judge a book by its cover, right? As true as this is in the literary world, it’s a little different in the world of home ownership. The curb appeal of your home is what sets your initial expectations for the feel of the inside. Of course, you can have a beautiful interior and an exterior that needs some work, but to feel the best about your investment, it’s wise to put some time and money into the outside areas of your home too. It feels great to enter your neighborhood and see a lovely property in front of you instead of immediately coming up with to-do lists as you pull into the driveway. Often, curb appeal becomes a priority to homeowners once they’re trying to sell their home. But curb appeal is important for your needs, too, not just for prospective buyers. Whether you’re selling or staying put, the outside of your home makes a difference.

Deter Burglars with a Well-maintained Home

This may sound strange, but a home that shows off a well-maintained exterior and landscape actually can help prevent criminals from making your home their target. Maintaining a nice exterior shows burglars that you care enough about your property to take measures to protect it. You don’t necessarily need an expensive security system to ward off would-be burglars (although they do help!), just a little TLC can go a long way. Keep up to date on maintenance items with stucco, siding, windows, roofs, and more, and keep the outdoor space tidy. Consider clearing clutter or tall bushes and trees from access points to your home to limit hiding spots or unwanted entries while not being seen.

Additions and Remodeling

Rarely is it a good idea to take on large projects such as remodeling or additions yourself. For maximum curb appeal with added value, be sure to hire a high-quality, professional service to take care of these needs. Whether you want to add on a large amount of space or to remodel exterior features for a new porch area, no job is too small or too big for Topp Construction. When you’re adding onto a home, it’s important to ensure every connection is flawless and matches the rest of the home. It’s easy to see when corners don’t meet up correctly or stucco isn’t finished perfectly. Think of an addition as an upgrade to your whole home rather than simply adding space.

For many older homes, an update to the front of your home can be fairly simple. From extending porches to replacing siding with a more modern look, cosmetic options for the exterior of the home can make a big difference. Like additions, cosmetic updates should not be taken lightly. Small projects can quickly turn into big problems when not executed well.

To improve your curb appeal, start with minor fixes like repairing paint chips, trimming branches and maintaining a healthy landscape, cleaning exterior items such as windows and siding, and making sure the lighting outside your home matches and is functioning. For all your home remodeling needs, Topp Construction has you covered.

Open vs Closed Floor Plans

Open vs Closed Floor Plans

Building or remodeling a home is exciting. Be prepared for this new venture with a solid idea of the goals for your home. Be practical about how you live your life and create a space that works for your needs. Your home needs to function efficiently, but it also needs to feel comfortable and cozy to you, and that may look different to other people. Allow a good amount of time to think about the layout and floor plan of your space and how it will fit your unique lifestyle.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans have been popular for a while here in Utah. We love our family gatherings, and the kitchen always seems to be the landing spot whenever the kids are home or friends come over for a drink. Open floor plans have a lot of positives: they have great traffic flow with no walls or doors impeding movement, they share light from other rooms and can bring in elements of other areas of the home, they allow for easy visibility of the kids playing in the great room, and they offer a great deal of flexibility with the many multifunctional options the area can create. For many social people, open floor plans are a real winner. Before you jump on that open floor plan, there are some considerations to pay attention to. Open floor plans can be noisy with a large space for voices to carry. They also require a bit more daily maintenance because there’s no way to close that door on the messy adjoining space. Your design choices may need to be a bit more streamlined where several spaces will be visible at one time. With any design, there are pros and cons. Your lifestyle will determine if an open floor plan is for you.

Closed Floor Plans

Closed floor plans were very common in the 70s and they’re making a bit of a comeback. Benefits of a more closed floor plan include enhanced privacy and quiet spaces. Many families enjoy having separate spaces for separate activities, especially if children have vastly different hobbies or if your family has different work or school schedules. As we’ve been home a bit more during covid, we’re coming to value our privacy a bit more, creating a need to close up some of those otherwise open spaces. Closed floor plans are also easier to contain messes—when someone drops by unannounced, it’s a lot easier to stash the laundry out of site for a few minutes. Closed floor plans are also great for creating specialized spaces such a music rooms, libraries, or home offices. These floor plans can feel intimate and cozy. However, these homes can also feel tight or crowded for some people and they may not offer as much natural light as an open plan.

Before you jump on the trendy open great room/kitchen combo floor plan, make sure the openness is what you and your family really enjoy. Likewise, before you decide on full privacy, make sure you consider your entertaining needs and designing style. At Topp Construction, we build custom homes for any lifestyle and can bring whatever elements you desire into your dream home.

Considerations for a Smart Business Space

Considerations for a Smart Business Space

Working from home became the norm with the covid pandemic, but many of us are heading back to the office with excitement. For some, the home office was a welcome change, but that hasn’t been the case for others. It’s a great time to build or redesign your office space, or maybe even move locations for a fresh start. The workspace of today and the future will likely look different that it has in the past. Some people will opt to work from home more often than before, sanitations stations will be more prevalent, and tech will need to be superior to make sure video calls and zoom meetings are always possibilities. Design your space smartly with these considerations:

Purposeful Navigation

The framework of your space needs to match the needs of your office. Your employees need to feel motivated while they’re at work, which will ensure your business is productive and running smoothly. The layout of your floorplan will make a big difference in this flow. Do you need lots of storage space or more of an open area that’s designed with style? Do you have a lot of traffic that will need to move around safely and effectively or are private workstations a better fit? Do you need to create a professional, quiet space that’s large enough for meetings or gatherings? Maybe it’s all of the above. Discuss your needs with an experienced builder that will help you master your layout ideas. And don’t forget disability accommodations and requirements as well.

Lighting

Many people put lighting needs on the backburner, but it’s surprising to see just how much lighting affects mood and the aesthetics of a space. Different types of businesses require different types of lighting. If you’re opening a yoga studio or a spa, your lighting will be vastly different from an engineering office. Have your space wired correctly from the get go to avoid headaches later.

Allow for Storage Space

A decluttered, beautiful office means there is storage somewhere for all the stuff that’s behind the scenes. You want to maximize the working space you have but a storage area is important for any business. You can include built-in units into the storage area to really maximize space, too.

Plan for Changes

Your business may change over time, so you’ll want to create an office space that is flexible. Your perfect layout today could be unusable in a year. Design your space with some level of universalization so that you can make changes to it as your business progresses. It’s typically a good idea to go with minimal definition on the actual framing in of the floor space and designating work areas with temporary walls and furniture if you want to keep things fluid.

Tech and Communication

Today’s world is all about tech. Your space will only work well if it’s set up properly for the right connections from Wi-Fi routers to video call capabilities to computer stations. With a professional building company, you can ensure you map out your wiring needs appropriately.

Basement Trends – Fall 2021

Basement Trends – Fall 2021

Don’t put off finishing your basement any longer. It’s common for basements to be an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. There are tons of great designs for a basement—it doesn’t have to be the typical man cave (although that’s still cool) or simply set aside for storage. We have some creative options that you may not have considered before.

A creativity space: Take the thought of the old-fashioned craft room out of your head. Transform the simplified version into something spectacular. You can make a space for all your creative endeavors. Dress up the space with trendy wallpaper on an accent wall and add open shelving or hide-away large drawers for perfect storage. Customize multiple workstations that cater to whatever type of inspiring space you want. Fly tying? Song writing? Meditation? Felt creations? You name it, we can make it. The only limit is your imagination.

A conversation space: Forget the basic sectional with big screen TV layout. Instead, made the space into an amazing conversational space. If you host book clubs, staff meetings with your at-home business, or host regular Zoom meetings, an elegant basement set aside for purposeful conversational entertaining will enhance your home’s ambiance. Complete the look with a wet bar and it’ll feel like you’ve been teleported to an adorable café. Make this space unique for the type of entertaining you do, and forget the electronics. This space is for chatting it up.

A gaming area: We’re home a bit more post-covid, and a gaming area in the basement can entertain your family comfortably. Including video gaming systems is probably a given, but also include great spaces to work on a puzzle, play a mean game of Twister or Jenga, and maybe even a reading nook when you need your kids at a 4 instead of an 11. From billiards to a mini bowling alley, the sky is the limit. Think about how your family likes to let loose and make the room fit your entertainment styles.

A music center: Even if your family isn’t full of professional musicians, a music area can be a ton of fun. Combo it with an area to dance with mirrors, and consider putting in a karaoke machine, too. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like music, so even if you make this a listening room, it can still be the raddest room in the house. If you have teen kids, you can count on your basement being the designated hang out spot, which means you’re able to see if they get into too much trouble.

A stay-and-play area: Got grandkids? How about kids who crave sleepovers? Then this one is for you! Design a unique play area for the kids with built in bunk beds along the wall. Your kids will feel like they’re at a swanky hotel room designed especially for them. If you’re daring, you can even add a small diner-style bar area and they can make some of their own snacks.

With basements, anything is possible. Add value and fun to your home by finishing a unique-to-you basement today.

Remodel or Buy New?

Build-New-Or-Remodel-With-A-Local-General-Contractor

Utah’s housing market is intense right now. Building a home is more expensive than ever before, and current home inventory is scarce with bidding wars and paying thousands over appraisal estimates a common occurrence. If you don’t need to sell your home, but want an upgrade, remodeling is a great option, especially in today’s housing market.

Remodeling may seem like a DIY task, and maybe some projects can be, but for something as important as your home, you will want to leave most projects to the professionals. Ask any experienced realtor or home inspector and they’ll tell you that they know within minutes of walking into a home if it has been remodeled by a true professional or a well-intentioned, but inexperienced, homeowner. Our homes are assets and should be treated as one, and remodeling should be approached with the understanding that you want a return on that investment rather than minimizing it with substandard “upgrades.” Budgets vary greatly, but every project should be addressed with quality over a quick decision. Take your time with your budget and your expectations, consulting with professionals who are patient to ensure the job is done well. Oftentimes, what seems more inexpensive in the beginning ends up costing you more in the end.

From adding a second story to your home to expanding your garage to updating cabinets in your bathroom, home remodel can be more fun than stressful with the right team. If creating more space is what you need, you’ll want a company that understands it’s not just space you need but also creating more a functional square footage for your needs and your lifestyle. Think of it as an upgrade to your entire home rather than just adding a space—it should make sense to your needs now, be practical for future uses, add value to your home’s price as well as your life, and it should look beautiful, too. Functional does not mean sacrificing beauty.

Many realtors and appraisers say that kitchens and bathrooms are the best areas of a home to remodel in terms of return on investment. A functional kitchen is the heart of a home whether your kitchen is small or large. We have seen massive kitchens that were poorly designed that homeowners hate. Don’t make this mistake; get some solid guidance from a competent contractor who can design a perfect culinary masterpiece regardless of size. When it comes to bathrooms, it can be your oasis inside your home. A relaxing, spa-like ambiance can be created even in the smallest spaces. Whether you like to entertain or relax, or a little bit of both, functionality is the key to getting the vibe you want.

If you decide building really is the option for you, a custom, high-quality home is the only way to go. Your home is your biggest and possibly most important investment—you want to do it right. We’ve been in business since 1995 and have completed everything from small updates to large custom estates. For all things custom and quality, call Topp Remodeling & Construction to get the best dream-fulfilling service you can find.

Remodeling a Utah Fixer-Upper: Lists, Contractor, Permits

In part one of this multi-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to begin the process of remodeling a fixer-upper home. A fixer home, which requires significant work and upgrades to return it to its optimal state, is often attractive to those who have the time, budget and inclination to make these kinds of changes – but entering this situation with some general knowledge and preparation is important.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we provide numerous home remodeling and home addition services in Utah, including helping our clients prepare for a remodel of any level of fixer home. We’ve assisted with hundreds of fixer-upper remodels spanning numerous different needs or products, and we’ll make your process simpler and easier as well. Here are several other general tips we recommend when it comes to a fixer-upper remodel.

remodeling fixer-upper contractor permits

Making Lists

Usually beginning toward the start of your remodeling process, keeping lists of various tasks or needs handy is a great method to keep yourself and anyone else working with you on-task. The first step here will be jotting down all your primary needs, desires and purposes for the remodel in detail – determining which are your most important priorities, plus the general order and timeline in which you’d like to complete the project.

From here, you can tweak these lists as the project moves forward. Once you begin working with our quality contractors, we’ll take over several of the items for you, as well.

Finding a Trustworthy Contractor

Speaking of finding a contractor, this is a vital part of the remodeling process for a fixer-upper. While there might be certain parts of this remodel that are simple and can be performed on a DIY basis, you’ll almost certainly run into structural, building and other areas that require professional training and expertise, and will be risking both safety and quality otherwise.

In these situations, you need a trusty contractor on your team. We recommend utilizing tools like word-of-mouth, online reviews and others to evaluate the reputation of a contractor you’re considering – practices that tend to lead Utah clients landing on our contractors more often than not, given our excellent local reputation.

Permits

One particular area that a good contractor will assist you with during this sort of remodel: Acquiring any requisite permits, completing basic paperwork, and generally getting approval for various improvements you’ll be making. These permits might be required by your state or perhaps by your local government; in other case, they could even be created by a homeowners’ association you may need to deal with. In any situation, we’ll help you navigate these waters.

For more on any of our remodeling services in Utah, including for fixer-uppers, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Remodeling a Fixer-Upper: Budget, Needs and Inspiration

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re proud to assist with home remodels and upgrades for every variety of home our clients might have a need for. One particular type that’s always a treat for contractors, and that we’re happy to work with: Fixer-uppers!

These types of homes, which require significant work to return them to an ideal state, are often targeted by those who have the time, inclination and budget to improve them and, in many cases, obtain significant positive value as a result. And while some elements of your upgrades here might be similar to those you’d take for other home types, there may also be additional challenges or structural concerns as well. This multi-part blog series will look at some general tips we offer clients on remodeling fixers, plus how you can prepare for this process.

remodeling fixer-upper budget needs

Repair Vs. Replace

One of the first big questions as you begin evaluating your new fixer: Which areas can be repaired or upgraded, while which might require full-on replacement? There will be several themes that fit into the former here, such as smaller appliances, minor repair issues and several others – our contractors will advise you on which of these are simpler and which might come with an elevated cost.

You should also evaluate replacement needs, which are sometimes more significant. Any structural concerns or significant safety hazards usually fall under this category, as do items that have simply worn down past their reasonable lifespan range. Making a list of these items in advance will help you lay out your budget for the entire project.

Budget Considerations

Speaking of budget, the early parts of this process are when you should be thinking about several budgetary areas. First and foremost, you should enter the entire fixer purchase process with an understanding that additional funds beyond the purchase price will be needed – and you should have a general idea of what your budget ceiling is here. Be upfront and honest with our contractors about your price points and thresholds, which will help us direct it ideally toward the completion of your project.

Gathering Inspiration

This one is more of a theme than a specific task, but it’s one we recommend to all our clients when remodeling: Find ways to gather inspiration, whether through social media, friends and family, magazines and newspapers, or even directly working with an interior designer. If you’re struggling to find ideas for a certain area or theme, you might even consider an online quiz that will help you understand your own preferences and utilize them to your benefit.

For more on how to go about remodeling a fixer-upper, or to learn about any of our remodeling, home additions or other general contractor services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Garage Conversion 101: Lofting, Lighting and Exterior

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic themes involved with a garage door conversion. Whether you’re converting a garage into an office, a recreation area, a living space or a variety of other options, there are several important areas to think about as you go through this process.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re proud to offer assistance with numerous home additions, including garage conversions and several related themes you might be considering. What are some of the other top areas and themes you should be keeping in mind if you’re moving forward with a garage conversion, in addition to those we covered in part one? Here are several.

garage conversion lofting lighting

Lofting Themes

One theme that many homeowners consider when converting a garage space: Lofting the garage, which allows you to retain the parking space that was already present plus create new purposes or uses for the room. Lofting requires that your garage space has some available space in the upper parts near the ceiling, or that you create this space by raising the ceiling.

Once that’s done, there are numerous themes you might consider here. Some choose to install a bed in the lofted space that serves as a guest living area of sorts, while others might convert it into a small office or game room. Whatever your choice, this conversion type makes the garage look and feel luxurious, and often helps add major home value if you decide to sell down the line.

Lighting Considerations

For any garage conversion you’re making with plans to spend significant time in the space, lighting is a vital area to keep in mind. Proper lighting not only enhances your ambiance and the feel of the new room, but it also promotes safety and lack of any hazards that might be present.

For some, a motion sensor light that will turn on when you step in will be ideal – this is also an eco-friendly option that saves energy. For others, actual switches and various controls, such as dimmers, might be needed.

Exterior Complements

Finally, while much of the focus of any garage conversion will be on the interior, don’t forget exterior areas as well. For instance, if you haven’t chosen ideal garage trim that complements both the outside space and the new conversion, this may be an ideal opportunity to do so. In addition, if your conversion requires changes to the exterior, such as window or door installation, you’ll have to plan these out in advance.

For more on how to convert your garage into a useful space of some kind, or to learn about any of our home additions or home remodeling services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Garage Conversion 101: Flooring, Insulation and Electricity

For many, the garage is used primarily as a parking area and storage space. For others who don’t have the same kinds of parking or storage needs, however, the garage is actually one of the top home addition or remodeling areas in the home.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re happy to assist clients with a huge variety of home additions, including those looking to add or expand a garage – or convert it from a more typical garage space into what’s known as a garage conversion. Garage conversions are done with several goals in mind, whether to create a home office, a game room or even an actual living space of some kind. This two-part blog series will go over several of the important features you should be considering for a garage conversion.

garage conversion flooring insulation

Flooring Considerations

There are a number of options out there for those who might be looking into upgrading their garage flooring as part of their conversion. The concrete floor is likely the most common here, but it’s not the only one available to you.

In many cases, which flooring option is chosen for a garage space will also depend on the connected driveway. You may have options for paint or epoxy on the garage floor if you want to change the appearance or sealing quality.

Insulation

For any garage conversion where people will be spending significant time in the new room, insulation will be one of the most important considerations. The area needs to stay warm in winter and cool during summer.

This involves several forms of insulation, starting with the roof – we strongly recommend concrete roof tiles for any garage renovation or conversion. We also recommend insulating walls, especially if you will not be running any kind of heating or cooling into the garage.

Electrical Connections

Once you’ve got your insulation handled, it’s important to also consider electrical connections. These will include several areas, from basic outlet installation to light switches, light fixtures and any other electronics you need – if you’re converting to a home office, for instance, you’ll need power for items like a computer and monitor.

In many cases, such as if you’re involving several electrical fixtures in the converted space, this will require dedicating a new electrical circuit in your home to this room. It may also involve understanding local building codes and what’s allowed in terms of electricity within the garage space, something our contractors are happy to assist with in several ways.

For more on features to be prioritizing for a garage conversion, or to learn about any of our remodeling or home addition services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.

Remodeling Vs. New Home: Regulations, Efficiency and Damage

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on whether you should take on a major home remodel or simply build a new home from the ground up. While the latter tends to be more expensive, there are situations where remodels are so significant that their price tags approach the cost of building a new home, especially when factoring in labor and hassle.

At Topp Remodeling & Construction, we’re happy to offer both these services, from building custom home frames to performing a huge range of remodels and home additions. What are some of the other top variables you should be considering if you’re deciding between a major remodel and a new home build? Here are several others to think about.

Local Regulations

In certain cases, parts of your decision will be made for you in the form of local regulations or jurisdictional laws. There are many areas, including major metropolitan centers, where it’s much faster and less costly to get approval for projects that involve leaving the existing home’s frame in place – on the flip side, there are those where approval will not vary much between the two types.

There also might be certain specific zoning laws in your area that prevent certain building types or additions. You may have to go before a zoning board and receive permission for a project, or you could be denied. Our contractors will be happy to work with you on zoning and local regulations for any project you’re considering.

Water Damage Concerns

In some cases, the impetus for a remodel or new home build is major water damage that’s taken place in the current home, including significant flooding or heath risks. In these cases, will a remodel of the affected areas be sufficient, or will a tear-down and rebuild of the entire home be prudent?

This generally depends on the extent of the damage. If damage is only on the lower floor and only affects a foot or two of the area, stripping lower wall halves and replacing them in a remodeling format is often possible. If damage has impacted multiple floors and is damaging the structural integrity of the entire home, however, a new build might be both the safer and more financially sound move.

Energy Efficiency

Finally, what are your preferences for energy efficiency and eco-friendly behaviors? If these are top priorities for you, those you’re willing to spend a little extra for, new home builds are the way to go – they allow for numerous energy efficient appliances and features to be installed. It’s a bit tougher to retrofit energy efficient items, though still possible in many cases depending on your exact desires.

For more on how to decide between remodeling your current home and building a new one, or to learn about any of our custom home remodeling or home addition services, speak to the staff at Topp Remodeling & Construction today.