Year: 2022

Home Office Remodeling Chicago

Are You Considering Remodeling Your Chicago Home Office?

If you’re one of the many people in Chicago who are considering remodeling your home office, there are a few key factors to keep in mind to create a functional and comfortable space that will help you be productive, successful, and have an eco-friendly house.

Home Office Layout

First and foremost, consider the layout and size of your home office. If you have a small space to work with, you may want to focus on organization and maximizing storage. This could involve installing shelves or adding a desk with built-in drawers.

If you have a larger space, you may have more flexibility in terms of furniture and layout. Consider what type of work you do and what type of setup will be most conducive to productivity. For example, if you frequently have video conferences or need to have multiple screens set up, you may want to invest in a desk with a larger surface area or consider adding a secondary workstation.

Assess The Lighting In Your Home Office

Lighting is another important factor to consider when remodeling your home office. Good lighting is essential for any work environment, and natural light can be especially helpful in a home office. If you don’t have access to a lot of natural light, consider installing additional lighting fixtures or using full-spectrum light bulbs. Proper lighting can help reduce eye strain and improve your overall productivity.

Check the Ventilation

In addition to lighting, proper ventilation is also essential for a comfortable and healthy home office. Fresh air circulation can help reduce the risk of respiratory problems and improve your overall comfort while working. Consider installing a window or adding a ventilation system to your home office to ensure that you have access to fresh air.

How About Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is another important factor to consider when remodeling your home office. If you’ll be spending long hours at your desk, it’s crucial to have a comfortable and supportive setup.

This might involve investing in an ergonomic chair or desk, or adding a footrest or wrist rest to your existing setup. Proper ergonomics can help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improve your overall comfort while working.

Make Your Home Office Look Great

Finally, don’t forget about aesthetics. Your home office should be a place that you enjoy spending time in, so consider adding personal touches such as artwork or plants to make the space feel more welcoming. A well-decorated home office can help improve your overall mood and sense of well-being while working.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Remodeling Your Home Office

There are also a few practical considerations to keep in mind when remodeling your home office in Chicago.

  • Determine your home office remodeling budget: Before you start planning your home office renovation, it’s important to determine how much money you have available to spend. This will help you make informed decisions about the materials, furniture, and other elements you’ll need to create your ideal home office.
  • Consider your needs and preferences: Think about what you need and want from your home office. Do you need a lot of storage space? Do you prefer natural light or artificial lighting? Do you need a separate room or are you comfortable working in a shared space? Answering these questions will help you create a home office that meets your specific needs and preferences.
  • Plan for future home office needs: While it’s important to consider your current needs, it’s also a good idea to think about how your home office might need to evolve in the future. For example, if you anticipate needing more space or additional features, it’s a good idea to plan for these changes ahead of time.
  • Research materials and contractors: If you’re planning to hire a contractor to help with your home office renovation, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable company. Look for contractors with experience in home office renovations and read reviews from previous clients to get a sense of their work quality and customer service.
  • Obtain necessary permits and approvals: Depending on the scope of your home office renovation, you may need to obtain building permits or other regulatory approvals. Make sure to research and understand the requirements in your area and allow sufficient time for the approval process. We can help you along the way.

10 Home Office Remodeling Ideas

There are many creative and innovative ways to design a home office that is both functional and visually appealing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Create a separate room or space for your home office. This can help you feel more focused and professional, and it can also help you separate your work from your personal life.
  2. Utilize built-in storage solutions, such as shelves and drawers, to keep your home office organized and clutter-free.
  3. Add plants and other greenery to your home office to bring in a touch of nature and improve air quality.
  4. Invest in an ergonomic chair and desk to help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improve your overall comfort while working.
  5. Incorporate natural light into your home office design. If you don’t have access to a lot of natural light, consider installing a skylight or adding additional windows to let in more light.
  6. Use color to create a cohesive and visually appealing home office. This might involve painting the walls or adding colorful accents through artwork or other decorative elements.
  7. Consider adding a home office bar or coffee station to help you stay energized and focused throughout the day.
  8. Use wall-mounted shelving or a pegboard to display artwork or other personal touches, such as family photos or travel souvenirs.
  9. Create a relaxing and comfortable workspace by adding a cozy throw blanket or pillows to your home office.
  10. Invest in high-quality office equipment, such as a printer, scanner, and computer, to ensure that you have the tools you need to be productive.

Overall, the key to creating a cool home office is to think creatively and customize your space to meet your needs and preferences. Whether you have a large dedicated room or a small corner of your home, there are plenty of ways to make your home office a functional and enjoyable place to work.

Remodeling your home office in Chicago requires careful planning and consideration of your needs and preferences. With the right layout, lighting, ventilation, and ergonomics, you can create a space that is both functional and enjoyable to work in.

Whether you have a small or large space to work with, there are plenty of options to help you create a home office that meets your needs and helps you be productive and successful.

Here at Eco-Build Plus, we can help you remodel your home office and keep your home running efficient. Located, in the Chicagoland area, we can provide you with a quick and easy quote.

Building Your First Custom Home In Chicago

The city of Chicago is one of the most architectural cities in the world, thanks to its various iconic structures. Its home structures and vastly rich culture make it difficult for most people to pass on the idea of living in the dream “Chicagoland.”

However, most people with this dream often have to kill it because of how expensive it is to make it happen. Aside from the cost, building a home can also be too overwhelming and difficult to handle alone.

In light of this, we’ve gathered some information that will be useful for you if you intend to build your first custom home in Chicago. 

What Is A Chicago Custom Home?

A custom house is built to satisfy the design and the exact taste the homeowner wishes for. A custom house usually covers the big and small details of what the homeowner needs. 

Hence, a custom house may include the specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms a homeowner needs. It may also include tiny details like the type of finishing on the kitchen cabinet or wall sockets to equip on the walls. 

The extra here is that you will likely need to work directly with a homebuilder and, sometimes, your architect. You will be involved enough to dictate the design, plan, and select most details of your home’s construction, layout, and finish. 

This makes custom homes an excellent choice for people who want a home that fits their desired details.

Below are some general types of decisions you may make if you intend to build a custom home:

  • You will need to decide on the home plan, which includes the layout of the floor plan. Additionally, you may need to specify the interior and external design, including walls, closets, ceilings, windows, doors, etc.
  • You may need to influence the building materials and finishes you want the contractors to use. Consider hardwood finishing brands and styles, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, and many others.

As we hinted earlier, building a custom home will most likely require customers to hire an architect and a contractor. This approach is often expensive and tends to bear some unforeseen circumstances that can affect the timely completion of the building.

As an alternative, you can hire the services of a custom homebuilding company like us at EcoBuild+. We offer aspiring homeowners a variety of architectural styles and options to choose from. If your needs are more specific, we also have design experts who can help you navigate the specific interior and exterior home customization options. 

Choosing the right builder is an important step in building customers, don’t hesitate to contact us today! 

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Custom House In Chicago?

The cost to build a custom house in Chicago ranges from $120 to $490 per square foot, depending on the type of construction you want. Though this price range is based on the varying cost price indications from independent market reports, it is not definite.

Since many factors tend to affect the construction of custom homes, the price someone may have to pay may differ. You can reach out to EcoBuild+ to get an accurate estimate of what it will cost you to build your custom house.

Note, however, that the factors we mentioned earlier still play a major role. Generally, these factors are categorized as hard and soft costs, but the detail below will also give you a little understanding of a custom house cost breakdown.

  • For standard-grade construction: $120 – $160 per square foot.
  • For premium-grade construction: $160 – $210 per square foot.
  • For luxury-grade construction: $210 – $260 per square foot.
  • You can simply visit  EcoBuild+ for a more accurate cost quotation for your custom house-building project.

What Is An Eco-Friendly Custom House?

An eco-friendly custom house is a house that is planned and built using environmentally friendly processes. Building an eco-friendly house means considering the effect every aspect of the house would have on the environment. 

The interior and exterior planning of such houses are done with the ultimate goal of minimizing environmental impact. Hence, you can expect an eco-friendly house to prioritize indoor air quality and excellent moisture control. The building materials for eco-friendly houses also consist mostly of sustainable products. 

With an eco-friendly home, you can lead a sustainable lifestyle that helps you save on future fuel and energy bills. You will also be able to live in a healthier space while positively impacting the environment by reducing the carbon footprint on the planet.

To build an eco-friendly house, you can contact EcoBuild+ for help. Depending on your needs, we can help you prioritize the use of sustainable materials or help you enjoy the financial cost-saving benefits of an eco-friendly house. 

What Are The Planning Steps In Building A Custom House In Chicago?

The process of building a custom house requires a lot of planning that needs to begin way before construction even begins. You can enjoy a good construction process if you make adequate plans. 

Here are some things you can do before you start constructing your home.

Plan Your Budget

You should start planning your budget once you decide to build a house. Create a realistic estimate of what you can spend and the cost of building a new home. 

The main goal of the budgeting stage is to strike a balance between your wants and an accurate estimation of your financial capacity.

Choose Your Lot

If you haven’t prepared a building lot for your new house, speak with realtors to get an idea of how much land will cost in the area you want to move to. 

Pick A House Plan

The next thing is to decide on the type of plan you want. You can take inspiration from catalogs or have a builder or an architect assist you in selecting the ideal plan for your requirements.

Choose Your Contractor

You will need the help of professionals like a builder, an excavator, a surveyor, and a home designer or an architect. Instead of going through the stress of gathering these professionals, you can just hire a contractor.

At EcoBuild+, we provide exceptional building services and professional expertise you can count on.

Agree To A Contract

Make sure to work out the specifications of the contractor’s services. Get a written and signed agreement to ensure that you and your contractor are on the same page.

How To Find The Right Custom Home Builder In Chicago?

An ideal custom home building company should have visible ratings based on their awards, client satisfaction, and job quality. They will usually also have a large portfolio of residences they’ve built. 

Additionally, a sign of a good custom home builder is that they are often members of respectable building associations, most notably the National Association of Home Builders and the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBA of Greater Chicago) (NAHB). 

One way to get a good builder is by verifying their license with the local licensing board and consulting previous customers.

How to Build an Eco-Friendly House

The construction industry is one of the main contributors to pollution, climate change, and the depletion of natural resources. By looking at the building materials used, the energy consumed, and the waste produced, it is easy to see that the construction industry plays a large role in our planet’s present and future. Luckily, there are also ways to minimize your environmental impact when building a new home. How do you go about building an eco-friendly house? The truth is, it’s not as hard as you think. This article will provide some tips on how to build an eco-friendly home.

What Is An Eco-Friendly House?

What Is An Eco-Friendly House?

An eco-friendly house is both sustainable and environmentally conscious. It is made with natural and recycled materials and utilizes solar power and other renewable resources. Energy consumption is minimized, and there are no toxic materials in the house. The house’s interior is clean, uncluttered, and has a minimal environmental impact. Most houses today have a large carbon footprint, producing more carbon dioxide than they should. Some of these houses are not as energy efficient as they could be because they are not well insulated or use outdated technology. An eco-friendly house is a house that is designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

How to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly

How to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly

There are various ways to make your house more eco-friendly, some of which are as simple as changing bulbs. They include:

Switch to LED lightbulbs

Switching to LED lightbulbs to make your house more eco-friendly is an easy change that can help reduce your electricity bill and protect the environment. These bulbs use less energy and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, which are hazardous to the environment because of the mercury and lead used in their manufacturing process. If you’re looking for ways to save on your electricity bill and the environment, switching to LED lightbulbs is a great place to start.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

Natural cleaning products are made with fewer chemicals, which can be more harmful to our health than helpful. They also use ingredients that are safe for humans and animals. One of the best natural cleaning products is vinegar. Vinegar is an acid that helps remove stains and kills bacteria, mold, and mildew. It also helps clean surfaces, making it perfect for your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and toilet. You can also try using baking soda as a natural cleaner for your floors, countertops, and furniture.

Stopping Air Leaks

If you need a way to reduce energy bills and make your home more environmentally friendly, you should consider sealing air leaks. By sealing air leaks, you can lower the amount of air leaking out of your home and consequently lower your energy costs.

How to Design an Eco-Friendly House

Designing An Eco Home

To design an eco-friendly house, consider using these strategies:

Passivhaus Design and Construction Techniques

A vital aspect of a passive house design is considering the house’s location. The design should consider the existing climate and utilize natural ventilation. A Passivhaus must take advantage of passive heating and cooling, which means that the design is not dependent on the air conditioning or heating. The energy required for space heating cannot exceed 15 kWh/m2.

Passive Solar Design Requirements for Sustainable Homes

Passive solar design is a way to use natural sunlight to heat and cool your home. It is a design with the windows and doors of the home facing south or east. This design allows the sun to enter the home from the east or south and heat the interior of your home. The sun’s warmth warms the indoor air, rising and flowing through the house. This warmth keeps the interior of your home at an even temperature all day long. Passive solar designs are done in various ways, such as adding windows, sliding doors, and skylights oriented in the south or east direction. Some homes also have flat roofs oriented in the south or east direction.

Eco-Friendly House Building

Eco-Friendly House Building

Although there are many ways to reduce our environmental impact, one of the most important steps is to build your home in a way that does not harm the earth. There are many eco-friendly options for home building, some of which are:

Make It Small

The goal of an eco-friendly system is to create a sustainable house with a small footprint, meaning it would use fewer materials and be easier to maintain. By building your home, you can have a smaller carbon footprint and save on the electricity and water you would normally use.

Make It A Passive House

A passive house is a new way to build an energy-efficient house that uses natural ventilation, insulation, and solar energy. This type of home will help the environment by reducing the energy used and its impact on the climate.

Build with Sustainable Materials

When building your home, it is important to consider the materials you use. Sustainable materials, such as bamboo or recycled products, are produced with a low environmental impact. When building your home, you will be able to take pride in your decision to use sustainable materials. In addition, using sustainable materials will ensure your home’s lifespan.

Eco-Friendly House Ideas

potential swimming pool

To simplify your life and reduce your carbon footprint, consider the following ideas:

Simplify Your Yard 

Planting a garden in your yard is a great way to be eco-friendly. If you cannot afford the time or resources to maintain a garden, you can hire a gardener for the summer or even consider renting a plot of land from a local farmer. When it comes to landscaping, it’s important to be eco-friendly.

Consider The Local Environment

It is important to consider the local environment when looking for a new house. It is also important to consider the indoor and outdoor environment and the appliances you use in your home. Installing solar panels and monitoring your energy usage are two simple ways to make your home more environmentally friendly.

Choosing an Eco-Friendly House Builder

What if you could build your dream home and be eco-friendly at the same time? If that sounds appealing, contact us for your eco-friendly house at Ecobuildplus. Our team is committed to building healthy homes for people and the environment. We help you design your perfect home with a green footprint.

7 Things to Consider Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

For almost every homeowner, there comes a time when your outdated, run-down kitchen needs a completely fresh start. That doesn’t mean you get out a hammer and start smashing your cabinets like on a home makeover show. Planning a kitchen remodeling Chicago project requires a great team and lots of planning. To best prepare yourself for a successful kitchen renovation, consider your thoughts on these key items.

Set Your Budget

First and foremost, and especially before choosing backsplash patterns, you will need to determine your budget. Setting a realistic budget for your project ensures you are adequately covered and will not have to make compromises on quality or design.

Additionally, kitchen upgrades have a significant return-on-investment when you go to sell your home (more on that later) so it pays in the long-term to have a proper budget.

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to remodel a kitchen is around $25,000 with the typical range starting at $13,000 and going up to $38,000. The actual cost of a kitchen remodel will vary significantly from region-to-region.

Also, keep in mind factors such as inflation, material backorders, and labor shortages that can creep the cost up even higher for your ideal architectural design.

Talk to local design build contractors to see what a realistic budget would be for your project. This will help you determine the exact scope and whether you can include that deluxe 8-burner range or not.

If you are concerned about funding your project, there are many different ways to pay for a home renovation. These options include leveraging your home’s equity or taking out a home improvement loan.

Evaluate Your Layout

Over the past decade or two, kitchens have become the heart of the home. Not only do you need a functional space for cooking; ideally you can also socialize, host friends, play games, do homework, etc. in this mission control space. There is a good chance your existing layout just isn’t cutting it for all of these functions.

If you choose to work with design build contractors to complete your kitchen remodeling Chicago project, a trained designer will walk you through your layout options. Your home’s optimal kitchen layout should be highly functional and actually ease your day-to-day needs. Here are a few key layout components to think about:

Kitchen Working Triangle

You may have heard of this concept before when it comes to kitchen design. The kitchen working triangle is a recommendation that the location of your sink, stove, and fridge connect in a triangular shape and at a certain distance.

In doing so, your kitchen is optimized for efficiently moving between the appliances as you cook. Not all kitchen layouts can accommodate this “rule,” but it is something you and your designer should consider.

Island vs. Peninsula (vs. Neither vs. Both)

Everyone’s dream is to have a big, beautiful island smack dab in the center of their kitchen. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. If you have the floor space, a detached island is a great choice to create a gathering zone in your kitchen.

Where floor space is limited, a peninsula, with one side attached to other cabinetry or a wall, can still provide great seating options. In galley kitchens, there is typically no room for either. In very large kitchens, you could accommodate both.

Storage, Storage Everywhere

There are plenty of kitchen remodels out there that look absolutely beautiful, but are not practical when it comes to storage. Talk with your architectural design professional about how you can maximize storage in your space.

A wall of cabinets, an oversized pantry, or a unique, hidden storage solution is an ideal solution for all of your random kitchen gadgets. When planning your storage options, keep in mind open shelving only provides about a third of the storage space as a traditional closed cabinet.

Do Your Research

While quality design build contractors will walk you through all of the important decisions that need to be made for a kitchen remodeling Chicago project, it is in your best interest to come to the table with some prior knowledge. Complete a little preliminary research in these categories to ensure you have practical expectations before meeting with your design professional:

  • Material Choices – Countertops, backsplashes, cabinets, flooring, paint – oh my! The architectural design of your new kitchen will require lots of decision making. Budget, quality, durability, and style are all factors in choosing the finishes for your space. Consider all of the options available to you and begin to narrow those down to your top picks.
  • Design Style & Color Palette – With hundreds of styles and colors to choose from, landing on the right interior design style for your new kitchen can feel overwhelming. Before meeting with design build contractors, use sites such as Pinterest and Instagram to find the styles and colors best suited for you. Save these photos on your phone so you and your designer can get on the same page.
  • Appliance Brands – Appliances can be a costly line item when budgeting for your kitchen remodel. You can choose budget appliances, luxury models, or anywhere in between. Compare the cost and capabilities of many brands and varieties in order to make an informed purchase decision.

Consider Your Needs vs. Wants

Everyone has a picture in their head of what their dream kitchen looks like. Alas, this dream does not always coincide with reality. To keep your budget in check and your architectural design realistic, you should evaluate your needs versus your wants. Typically, this means prioritizing function over style. Consider these questions to determine the needs of your kitchen renovation:

  • How do you use your kitchen day-to-day? How would you like to use it?
  • What do you like about your current kitchen? What do you hate?
  • What is the main reason for renovating your kitchen?
  • What are common issues you run into while cooking, hosting, or cleaning?
  • Are the walkways in and around your kitchen sufficient?

Once you answer these questions, you can start to prioritize and budget for the crucial changes you need to make. Only after functionality factors have been accounted for can you start to consider your wants.

Wants are items that won’t necessarily affect your day-to-day, but could be an added bonus. These include high-end appliances, particular material choices, and other designer upgrades.

Don’t Forget the Unknowns

In absolutely every kitchen renovation project, an unknown condition will present itself that requires more time and more money to manage. During the demolition phase, your design build contractors may find moisture damage, rotted drywall, lead or asbestos, or faulty plumbing or wiring.

It is impossible to know the exact scope and impact of these unknown conditions before starting the project, but it is possible to plan for them with a contingency fund.

What is a Renovation Contingency Fund?

A contingency fund is a portion of your budget that is allocated for these unexpected occurrences. Experts suggest setting aside approximately 10 to 20 percent of your overall budget for these unknown conditions. The more you are able to set aside, the better.

In a best case scenario, these funds are left over at the end of your project and can go back into your savings or be used for supplemental projects items like furniture. In a worst case scenario, a substantial unexpected condition occurs, such as damaged structural elements. Talk with your contractor to determine how this will affect the overall budget.

Understand the Return-on-Investment

Your home is an asset that can increase or decrease in value while you own it. Making certain upgrades to your home, such as installing new windows or replacing the roof, can actually increase the value of your home and allow you to recoup some of the cost of the upgrades in the future: a return-on-investment.

What is the ROI for a Kitchen Remodel?

According to Zillow, the national midrange major kitchen remodel ROI is 59 percent. This means for a $50,000 kitchen remodel, you will receive back about $30,000 upon the sale of your home.

Return-on-investment is an important factor to consider if you plan on selling your home in the next few years. You will want to make upgrades that would appeal to a wide range of buyers and be sure not to over-upgrade. If you plan on staying in your home long-term, it is perfectly acceptable to add those personal touches that may not necessarily wager a return.

Know Your Environmental Impact

From the materials you choose to the energy you consume, your kitchen remodeling Chicago project will have some impact on the overall environment. Choosing design build contractors who are also experts in green building and design will allow you to feel confident in your kitchen design decisions as they affect your carbon footprint. Green building and design professionals may incorporate some of the following sustainable ideas into your kitchen project:

  • Low VOC & Solvent-Free Paints and Sealants
  • Energy-Star Rated Windows
  • Recycled or Reclaimed Materials
  • Energy-Efficient Appliances, Lighting, and Fixtures
  • Sustainably-Sourced Materials
  • Green Tech Integrations

Shopping local is another environmentally-friendly green building and design option to consider during your kitchen remodel. Opting for kitchen suppliers that source local materials reduces your project’s overall carbon footprint.

Bringing your dream kitchen to life is a lot easier with the right design build contractors. Working alongside a professional team, such as EcoBuild+ in Chicagoland, ensures you can feel comfortable in your design decisions from day one to day done. At EcoBuild+, we take obsolete, outdated spaces and turn them into functional, eco-friendly showpieces. Let’s discuss your kitchen remodeling project – contact us today for a free consultation!

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