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reasons an addition will improve your home

7 Reasons an Addition Will Improve Your Home

Building an addition is one of the most flexible ways to transform a home. Whether you’re considering expanding a room or adding an in-law apartment, additions are a great way to get the home you want without having to move. There are lots of reasons you may be considering an addition, but is it the right option for you? Take a look at some of the reasons an addition will improve your home.

Top Reasons an Addition Will Improve Your Home

Make your dreams come true – One of the biggest benefits of building an addition is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Maybe you simply need to expand a room. Maybe you need to add another bedroom, or even add a new wing to the house. By working with your contractor, you can plan your home renovation to be exactly what you want it to be.

You need some space – Is there a homeowner in the world who hasn’t wished for more space from time to time? Because of the flexibility that additions provide, you can add space where you need it. Whether you’re making a room bigger or adding whole sections to your home, you’re creating space for storage (or people!) that wasn’t there before.

Make way for visitors – Have you been avoiding inviting family members or friends to your home because there’s no place for them to stay? If hosting gatherings at your house ends up with everyone feeling crowded and uncomfortable, and addition might be the answer. A guest room can make room for the people in your life to comfortably stay with you.

Growing family, growing home – More room for visitors is great, but an addition can be vital if your family is growing. If you’re expecting a new baby, your adult children are coming back to the nest, or your elderly parents are moving in, your existing home might be fit to burst. An addition can create the space you need to accommodate new family members. The more the merrier!

Spend money to make money – You may not need more room for your family, but making space for renters can benefit you in the long run. Renting out a portion of your home is an excellent way to make some extra money. Investing in an addition to your house now can mean some added income later!

A better alternative to moving – Of course, if you want more space in your home, moving could be an option. But moving is a huge process – do you really want to pack up your entire house and go somewhere new? On top of that, moving gets very expensive, and in most cases is it much more cost effective to build an addition. As a bonus, you get to stay in the home you love.

Increase your home’s value – A well thought-out addition can increase the value of your home. It’s important to remember that not every addition adds value, but if you are adding features to your home that are highly sought-after, buyers may pay more when the time comes to sell.

Before you commit to an addition, make sure you know exactly what the process will entail. There are a lot of things to consider when building an addition, so it’s important to be prepared. Talk to your contractor to ensure there will be no surprises. Are you ready to build an addition for your home? Mason Sky is an expert general contracting company. We will help you plan the addition you’ve been dreaming of and we’ll make it a reality.

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4 Benefits of Using Composite Decking Material

When one homeowner in Somerville grew tired of their rotting wooden deck, they decided it was time to invest in a new one, made with a material that would last longer. They reached out to us for advice in deciding which material would be best for them. While there are many options when it comes to decking, we decided that the benefits of composite decking material made it the right choice for this home renovation project.

What is Composite Decking?

There are several different types of decking materials to choose from when doing a project like this. While wood is the traditional building material of choice, composite decking is becoming a more popular choice. Composite is a combination of recycled materials, such as plastic, wood chips, sawdust, or even bamboo. It often looks like wood but feels much more like plastic. It is a lightweight and stain resistant material, which makes it perfect for outdoor use.

Benefits of Composite Decking Material

When working with this homeowner, we decided that composite decking material was the best option because of the many benefits it offers. This material is:

  • Environmentally friendly: Composite decking is made of recycled materials, which makes it the right choice for eco-friendly renovators!
  • Weather resistant: Composite material resists damage from the sun, wind, and rain. When your decking resists the elements, it is also less susceptible to splintering and rot and will have a much longer life.
  • Pest free: Wooden decking material can be invaded by pests unless it is infused with pesticides. The trouble is that these pesticides can be dangerous to children or pets who spend time on the deck! Composite material naturally resists pests, so you’ll have more peace of mind.
  • Low maintenance: While wooden decks need proper maintenance to prevent splintering and rot, a composite material is much more resistant to these problems, which means less maintenance work for you. And while wooden decks often need to be repainted, composite decking is made in a variety of colors and is fade resistant!

After comparing their decking options, it was clear for this homeowner that the advantages of composite decking made it the right material for their new deck. Do you have decking or other general contracting questions? Mason Sky can help. Schedule your free consultation today.

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simple small bathroom design ideas

Simple Small Bathroom Design Ideas to Inspire You This Fall

Ready to create your dream bathroom, but not sure where to begin? Every trendy remodel website has grandiose tips for big bathrooms: hide the toilet, add a huge vanity, add a hot tub. What if you don’t have the space (or budget) for such huge renovations? Many historic homes in Massachusetts simply don’t have bathrooms big enough for these big projects. Looking for simple small bathroom design ideas? We’ve got you covered.

Simple Small Bathroom Design Ideas

1. Use your floor plan.

Unless you hate the floor plan of your bathroom, it’s a good idea to use the layout you already have. Reversing plumbing and moving fixtures can be done, but it can get expensive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your use of space! Consider a trendy tiny tub, or get rid of the tub altogether and replace it with a simple standing shower. Need storage space? A vanity provides storage and looks great. If you’re all about minimalism, forgo the vanity for a standing sink instead.

2. Refinish

Building a beautiful bathroom doesn’t mean you have to start over. Determine what parts of the bathroom you want to stay the same or slightly change, and go from there. If you have a great vanity that’s the wrong color, stain or paint it rather than buying a new one. Keeping some of the old fixtures means less waste and you get to focus your budget on the things that really need to change.

3. Focus on Floors

Time to get rid of that old tile? Select your new flooring carefully, because it will get wet. Ceramic tile is usually a good waterproof selection, but make sure the grout is properly sealed. You don’t want to have to scrub tile weekly to keep your new bathroom beautiful.

4. Light it up

Bathrooms have more than one purpose, so they should have more than one lighting fixture. Overhead lighting is great for general use, but it can be pretty unflattering when you’re looking in the mirror. Consider the different ways you’ll want your bathroom to light up; the right lighting can really brighten up a space.

5. Ventilate

Don’t let all your hard remodeling work go to waste! A general contracting company can help you think about ventilation from the beginning of the project, because mold and mildew can ruin a great bathroom. At the very least, you should have a fan that vents outside, but a functional window can really help to clear the air.

Bonus tip: Budget, budget, budget.

While your budget isn’t technically part of the design, it is an essential part of the home renovation process. Nothing is worse than designing the bathroom of your dreams only to face the fact that your budget just won’t cut it.

Are you ready to start the bathroom renovation process? Mason Sky is an expert in home remodeling. We can help you plan your project from start to finish, and we’ll make sure the job is done right. Schedule your free home renovation consultation today.

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adding an addition to your home

The Best Seasons for Adding an Addition to Your Home

When it comes to adding an addition to your home, there are many different things to consider. You can take it from the renovation experts at Mason Sky that the time of year is at the top of that list. There are benefits for starting a remodel during different seasons or times of the year, which we’ll explore in greater detail throughout this blog post.

Before Adding an Addition to Your Home

Before considering which season would be best for adding an addition to your home, here are some things to consider:

  • Trips and Vacations: Do you and your family tend to travel more during a particular season? For example, are you more likely to book a week’s vacation during the summer when the kids are out of school, or is visiting family for the holidays your tradition?
  • Hosting Events: Are you planning on hosting any major events in the upcoming year? Would you prefer to save the construction for after the event, or would an addition make your event better? Also, do you usually host for the holidays? Do your kids seem to have more friends over during the summer?
  • Busy Work Seasons: Are there specific times during the year that you tend to be less burdened at work, and better prepared to work around disruptions at home? Or perhaps a time when you are busier–and less likely to be home–might be your preference.
  • Using Your Addition: Some additions, like a bathroom, might be put to constant use once they are completed. Others, however, might be enjoyed more in some seasons than others. For example, if you tend to spend a lot of time cooking or baking in the fall and winter, you might want to schedule your kitchen expansion for the spring.

 

Seasonal Considerations:

Now that you’ve taken some time to consider how to best fit adding an addition into your personal calendar, let’s take a look at some seasonal considerations to think about.

Adding a New Year’s Addition

The first few months of the year are usually colder months in the Boston area, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the right time to add an addition to your home. If your summers tend to be busy with activities, travel, and entertaining, starting a home addition after ringing in the new year means having your project completed on time for the warm weather. Plus, winter months tend to be slower for many design+build firms, which could cut down on the overall time it takes for your addition to be finished.

Spring Expectations

When the weather starts warming up, so does the remodeling industry. Along with adding an addition, many contractors are also busy with outdoor projects like bringing simple patio ideas to life, or building new sheds, decks, and other outdoor spaces. Depending on the complexity of your addition, a project started in the spring can be completed before summer is in full swing.

Summer and Early Fall

Contractors remain busy throughout the summer and early fall, especially as people push to have major projects completed before school starts and before the holiday season begins. If your summers tend to be more relaxed, then this might be just the right time for your remodel. Summers are also a great time for adding an addition to your home as you can take advantage of cooking outdoors on the grill. If there was ever a perfect time to finish that unfinished basement playroom, the time would be in summer or fall before the cold weather begins.

Winter Considerations

When the back-to-school sales are over and everyone is back to their regular schedules, you may find that winter is the perfect time for your remodel. There’s typically a bit of a rush to complete remodeling projects in time for the holidays, after which remodeling companies tend to slow down. If you do not celebrate winter holidays, or someone else hosts the holiday events, the end of the year is a great time to take advantage of this slower season.

Focused on You

When trying to decide on the right time to add an addition to your home, the simple answer is the best time is one that makes sense for you and your family. Whether you’re looking to add a bedroom for a new addition to the family, or expanding your kitchen so you can entertain with plenty of room, it’s your schedule that matters the most. If you’re thinking about remodeling your home, then feel free to reach out to us for guidance. We’re always happy to help.

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kitchen updates

Kitchen Updates For a Beautiful and Functional Space

kitchen updates

For this homeowner in Grafton, the time had come to make some kitchen updates. Their current kitchen was old, outdated, and no longer meeting their needs. They took the time to think about what they wanted from their new kitchen: something that was stylish, comfortable, and functional. Together, we came up with a design plan. Once we knew what needed to be done, we got to work.

Kitchen Updates to Create a Beautiful and Functional Space

We decided to keep the basic layout of the kitchen, but it was in dire need of some updates. Our first step was to gut the whole room.

kitchen updates

We removed the cabinets, floorboards, and appliances. With a clean slate, we were able to build the kitchen the homeowner wanted.

We replaced all of the wiring and removed the overhead lights to make room to install recessed lighting. These lights brighten the space without taking up much room, which makes the area look more spacious. We also moved some of the plumbing so that we could relocate the sink and install a dishwasher. These behind-the-scenes updates were essential, because they set the stage for a functional kitchen.

Next, we installed new cabinets and marble countertops, followed by new flooring and a tile backsplash. The new layout allowed for the installation of new appliances. The final touch was a fresh coat of paint and newly installed trim. Altogether, these updates made the kitchen look and feel more spacious and modern!

Is your kitchen stuck in the past? Schedule a free design consultation with Mason Sky today. We’ll help you assess your kitchen needs and do the work to bring you the kitchen you’re dreaming of.

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siding and windows

New Siding and Windows Bring a Classic Home Into the Modern World

siding and windows

This Millbury, MA homeowner decided that it was time to update their home’s look. Their old wooden clapboard siding just wasn’t cutting it anymore – they were even experiencing a leak in one of their walls! The time had come to switch to siding and windows that would look nice without taking a lot of work to maintain. With that in mind, we came up with a plan and got to work.

Give Your Home a Facelift With New Siding and Windows

This project was actually done in two parts. Because a section of their home was leaking, we had to begin with that part right away, despite the fact that it was winter time! The rest of the project was completed at the beginning of the summer, when the weather was much more favorable.

siding and windows

We stripped the home of all the original siding and windows and began replacing everything. We chose vinyl Energy Star rated windows. Not only do these windows look good, they are energy efficient too! This is a big deal, because windows tend to be a big area of energy loss. Energy efficient windows mean that the home will be more comfortable and the homeowner will save money on their energy bills.

We decided to change to vinyl siding because it is much easier to maintain than wood. It is water resistant, never needs to be repainted, and is much easier to install than cedar clapboards. We used a vinyl “shake.” This type of siding is textured to look a lot like classic wooden siding, and it has no visible seams. This resulted in siding that is easy to maintain without sacrificing the classic look of the home. For the finishing touches, we replaced the old wooden door and the wood stained trim around the windows. The updated home looks great!

Is your home in desperate need of an update? Whether it’s time for new siding and windows, you need to update your bathroom, or you have another home renovation project to tackle, contact Mason Sky for your free design consultation. We’ll help you make your dream renovations a reality.

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small-bathroom-updates

Small Bathroom Updates Lead to a Great Modern Bath

This great family in Shrewsbury reached out to us about updating their bathroom. The small bathroom had a decent layout, but it was simply outdated. We decided to stick with the original basic layout, but we had a few new ideas to introduce. We came up with our new design and got to work!

small bathroom updates

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Small Bathroom Updates for a Great Modern Bath

The whirlpool space didn’t need a lot of help. We custom made new panels and took down the wall separating the whirlpool from the shower. The result? The space felt so much bigger already! We decided to spruce up the shower a bit: we made the space bigger, added some custom tiling and a clear glass door, and topped it off with a hidden “niche” area – which can only be seen from inside the shower!

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With the shower and whirlpool out of the way, the rest of the space needed a makeover. We removed the closet and replaced it with a built in cabinet. We also replaced the vanity. Of course all of this was custom made to fit the family’s needs. The result of all of our work was an amazing modern bathroom.

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When remodeling a bathroom, you’ll want to consider function as well as looks. The design team at Mason Sky is ready to help you through the design process and has the expertise to create the bathroom that meets your needs and looks great too! Schedule a design consultation today!

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simple-patio-ideas

Simple Patio Ideas to Inspire You This Summer

In preparation for summer, a homeowner in Auburn, MA reached out to us seeking help with some simple patio ideas. Two things we had to keep in mind were: using materials that could withstand changing seasons in New England, and a quick turn around.

Bringing Simple Patio Ideas to Life

Before we could get started, we needed to prepare both our ideas and the location of the pending patio. The client was keen on updating their existing patio, which was located underneath their second floor deck. While the original rubber tiles on their patio floor had helped them to envision their design space, what they truly wanted was a more permanent solution.

Being that Massachusetts is susceptible to the harsh realities of New England weather systems, we wanted to provide them with a permanent solution that could withstand the seasons. Based on the homeowner’s feedback and desired result, we agreed upon using a 4,000 psi concrete before breaking any ground.

With that decision behind us, we were ready for the fun to begin. We began by ripping up all of the old rubber tile, and prepared the area for its new concrete pad. The next step was to install wire mesh before laying any concrete. In order to help prevent cracks, it’s important to reinforce the work space with steel before filling in the grid.

simple-patio-ideas

The homeowner wanted to make sure that their new patio extended right into their yard, so we had to make sure that it lined up with the grass line. Last but not least, we surrounded the finished concrete with loam and grass seed to help bring their final vision to fruition.

When deciding upon simple patio ideas, it’s important to consider more than just your budget. The design team at Mason Sky has experts on hand to help walk you through the creative design process, and will make sure to tackle each and every item on your wishlist.

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basement playroom

​Want to Add a Basement Playroom? Here’s How to Do It

These great homeowners in Auburn wanted to transform their unfinished basement to include a gathering area and a basement playroom for games and movies.

How We Added a Basement Playroom and More to This Space

The first step in this transformation was to pull all of the necessary building permits to complete this project.

According to Anne Reagan from Porch.com, “As a general rule, remodeling a home, which includes new construction, additions (making changes to the exterior of your home like adding square footage) or alterations (making changes to a home’s interior like moving moving walls), requires a permit. Specifically this permit would be considered a construction permit.​”

While finishing a basement may not seem like a big project at first, our commitment to customer satisfaction includes:

  • Making sure our work won’t create any issues for the homeowner during the lifetime of their home. For example, if something were to go wrong, a permit will ensure that the home insurance will cover any future damages.
  • Making sure our work will make it easier for a future homebuyer to pass a home inspection, as well as get coverage from their home insurance coverage.

With our permit ducks in a row, we then ran new ductwork and an outside fresh air kit to the ductwork to make sure the basement air never gets stale.

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We framed up the walls and the ceiling, followed by the electrical and cable locations. We ran 20 amp plugs for the exercise area and a future conduit in the wall from behind the TV to the receiver to accommodate any new technology in the future.

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We installed closed cell spray foam insulation and drywalled the walls. Spray foam insulation is more moisture resistant than its fiberglass counterparts, which is why it is our preferred insulation choice for finished basements. We introduced a new oak staircase and interior trim. Flooring and paint added the finishing touches to the renovated space.

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This basement will be used for years to come, and this project added great value to the home. Feeling inspired by this homeowner’s results? Schedule a design consultation with our team to learn how take your lower level from empty to trendy.

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new stainless steel appliances

How Updating Cabinets Can Brighten Up Your Entire Kitchen

Homeowners in Lowell, MA contacted our team because they wanted to update their kitchen and foyer. Their current layout suited them well, but the fixtures gave their home a dated appearance. By updating their cabinets and flooring, we were able to give their ground floor a brand new look. Here’s what we did.

updating cabinets

Laying the ground work

To freshen up this living space, we needed to start from scratch. We began by demoing everything down to the framing. Before we could focus on the details, we needed to make sure that all the electrical and plumbing was up to code. To prevent energy loss and drafts in the winter months, we also brought up the insulation to today’s code. This is something many New England homeowners overlook, but it can save you hundreds on your energy bills.

new cabinetsOpening up the space

Natural lighting is key to making a space look larger. We added a slider for access to the deck and by removing the old door added kitchen cabinet space. We also added and expanded the openings going into the kitchen for a more open feel.
updating kitchen in lowell ma

The final touches

Our crew ripped up the old flooring and re-secured the subfloor. We replaced the linoleum with light wood floors that complimented the beautiful new cabinets. Our homeowners selected quartz countertops because they’re affordable, durable, and more environmentally friendly than granite. Speaking of eco-friendly, we also installed new lighting with LED bulbs and pendent lighting over the new peninsula. Last but not least, we added a fresh coat of paint and new stainless steel appliances.
Does your kitchen need updating? Contact Mason Sky today for a free consultation!
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