Health and Safety Home Renovations

With everyone spending so much more time indoors this past year, having a safe and healthy home environment has become more important than ever before. Health, especially healthy air, has become a top priority for everyone, and homeowners are making changes to their residences in order to improve the safety of their personal space. Here are some of the top health and safety renovations that are trending now.

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New Office, New Windows

These days, people care a great deal about air quality. And since the home has become the workplace for many more people, homeowners are building add-ons as designated home offices that are equipped with the latest in health and safety features. Think about sealing up your windows and investing in air filtration and purification systems to better protect their health.

Decks and Patios

If you are itching for a brand new deck or patio, you are not alone. More people are turning to their backyard spaces for fresh, healthy air, and in the 2021 NAHB survey, 82% of home buyers wanted a patio, 81% wanted a front porch, and 75% would like a rear porch or deck. A big trend in backyard spaces is a covered deck or patio. These are the perfect spaces to socialize around a fire pit and bring the family together for a movie night with a projector and screen.

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Ceiling Fans

Another popular way people are improving the air quality in their homes is with the classic ceiling fan. In fact, in a 2021 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey, 83% of recent and prospective home buyers said they were interested in homes with ceiling fans. With the whole family indoors, running around, and cooking up a storm, the odors can really pile up and affect indoor air quality. Ceiling fans effectively circulate the air and add freshness to your home.

Indoor Plants

One more way people are improving the air quality of their homes is by adding more plants. Including more space in the form of mantles and shelves to accommodate your new home garden is a growing trend. For an added health benefit, plant your favorite herbs so you always have fresh greens on hand!

With the amount of time we’re all spending at home being at an all-time high shouldn’t you have the home you’ve always dreamed of? As Long Island’s #1 Design & Build Company, Noah Construction & Builders is committed to turning that dream into a reality!

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at 631.750.2837.

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How Much Does a Home Renovation Cost?

Two questions I get often is “How much should I budget for my home renovation?” or “How much do you charge per Square Foot?” Being in this business for over 30 years I can tell you Sq Ft prices are only ballpark numbers. There are many factors that go into a home renovation but using “Price Per Square Foot” can give you a rough sense of costs. This article will hopefully demystify the costs of renovating your home and make you feel more confident when speaking to a contractor.

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To explain why costs could vary so greatly, let’s apply the Sq Ft principle to buying a car. You could buy a Honda Civic or a Ferrari. Both are very close in size (or Sq Ft) but one costs $30k and the other is $400k. Why? Because the Ferrari is custom with higher-end finishes. The same goes for homes. You can have a 1,000 Sq Ft dormer with basic finishes and pay a lower price. Or you can upgrade that same dormer and add 2 additional baths, large gables, arch top windows, a Portico, upgraded siding and roofing, and oak floors throughout.

That’s why each job needs to be broken down individually to meet the client’s needs and budget. We are always happy to provide a ballpark Sq Ft price over the phone, but in order to really give you the right price we need to 1) see the home 2) discuss your needs and 3) tailor your home to meet your criteria. That being said I wrote out a simple plan to help anyone budget for their next home renovation using a Sq Ft method.

Before we jump into pricing, here’s a helpful list of questions you should also ask yourself as you start your home renovation journey. It will help you better understand ballpark costs and help your contractor design your perfect dream home (that fits within your budget).

  • What are my “must-haves” (e.g., grand foyer, open floor plan, large master on-suite, etc.)
  • How much additional space do I need (e.g., is my family growing)?
  • How many additional bedrooms or bathrooms do I need?
  • What type of finishes do I want to include (e.g., high-end appliances, custom trim/millwork, marble tile in the shower, etc.)
  • What will make our life easier (e.g., adding a mudroom, laundry on the second floor, etc.)

Square Foot Pricing, As A Ballpark Guide

A ballpark budget of a full home remodel in Nassau/Suffolk counties ranges from $185-$300 per square foot. This range includes all building materials (excluding items like appliances and paint) and depends on a few things:

  • Type of home your remodeling
  • Style and finishes you choose

This range is also averaged across “wet” (baths and kitchens), and “dry” (living rooms, bedrooms, offices, etc) spaces. In a typical cost breakdown of a “Gut” renovation you can assume:

  • “Dry” spaces average $50-$80 per square foot
  • “Wet” spaces could be between $300-$450 per square foot

Another factor to consider is if you are planning to “gut” your whole home or “re-do” existing areas. The term “gut renovation” is often used informally for any project where all of the visible surfaces in a room are replaced. But technically, in a gut renovation, interior walls are stripped down to the studs and framing or knocked out entirely. When gut renovating a whole home, this could add other items to consider like the home’s current conditions, alteration requirements, spatial challenges, etc.

A gut renovation will start at the higher end of the square foot (psf) range, while a renovation in which you re-do the space (within the existing walls) will be on the lower end. For example, a 875sqft 1st floor replacement renovation will come in around the $40,000-$45,000 range, while a gut renovation will likely exceed $70,000. The difference in cost can be a variety of factors such as replacing walls, installing new piping and wiring systems, etc.

What’s Included In The Cost Per Square Foot

No matter what you’re planning, here’s a basic list of items that should be included when your contractor estimates your cost per square foot:

  • Basic demolition, dumpsters, cart away debris, site prep work
  • Framing: the skeletal, load-bearing structure to which the interior walls and other systems are attached
  • Basic layout of exterior windows and doors
  • Insulation/Drywall and Spackle for paint ready walls
  • Floors ready for carpet and/or wood floors
  • Basic tile install for baths with basic tile allowance
  • Wiring, including basic to code outlets and switches with minimum recessed lighting
  • Basic Plumbing
  • Basic Primed Trim package and hollow core interior doors

What’s NOT Included In The Cost Per Square Foot

You’ll notice the list above doesn’t include items like:

  • Plans/Expediting
  • Kitchen Appliances, Cabinets and Counter tops
  • HVAC or Boiler
  • Visible materials such as tile, plumbing fixtures, flooring, millwork, paint, lighting fixtures, AV/electronics

Why? Because the price of these items can significantly affect the price of your renovation (remember the Civic versus Ferrari). Pending the quality and type of finish, everything listed above are added in above the Sq Ft price of the project.

What Can I Afford: Cost Per Square Foot Ranges

$150–$185 psf range

  • Materials are generally prefabricated or stock items
  • Finishes are available at common retail outlets
  • Lighting will be standard but solid basics, while hardware can be as low a few dollars apiece
  • Solid wood floors, but they may be shorter and narrower planks made of less expensive woods
  • At this price range you should be confident in the work quality. If a contractor promises you he/she can complete a project for under $150 psf, you might get subpar labor and obvious shortcuts

$200–$250 psf range

  • Some customization on details such as joints, millwork, and hardware
  • Cabinets in this price range are custom or semi-custom and can include built-ins
  • Natural stone or desirable man-made counter tops (Cambria Quartz)
  • Solid, wide-planked hardwood flooring
  • Projects at this price point are usually gut renovations with added additions to the home increasing square footage

$300+ psf range

  • More extensive customization, fine finishes, and luxurious materials such as glass or marble tile, wider plank floors, natural stone, and bespoke millwork details that complement the architecture of the home
  • Other high-end finishes like custom door casements and extensive lighting details
  • Renovations at this price point usually require structural work (combining apartments or moving walls), adding Steel I-beams, adding staircases, shifting gas and plumbing and electrical rewiring
  • Renovations that are fully custom with very high-end finishes and bathrooms for every bedroom and large kitchen can easily run over $400 psf

Budget Tips For Your Home Renovation

Once you’ve accounted for each line item in your budget, allocate an additional 10-15% as a cushion. Projects can sometimes go over budget for two main reasons. 1) unforeseen circumstances (termite or water damage) that can’t be seen until demo is done OR 2) you choose to upgrade items during construction (trim or molding).

As you’re trying to come up with a plan to match your budget, here are some tips.

  • Mix high and low finishes: You don’t always need to choose costly finishes. For example, you may choose a handmade tile for the kitchen back splash while sticking to a more affordable off-the-shelf option for the second bath. Make a custom statement where it will really get noticed.
  • Don’t skimp on plumbing and electrical infrastructure: While these aspects probably won’t garner any compliments at your dinner party, you still need licensed and qualified experts for these jobs. If you don’t, there may be pricey problems to deal with in the long run.
  • Focus on kitchens and baths: Spend your money here! These rooms also have the most resale value potential.
  • Consult experts upfront: Involving experts early may help you save money by mapping out a clear plan and avoid future issues. Set aside 15 to 20 percent of your budget for this professional. Architects can charge a flat fee or a percentage of the total project. Another option is to hire a design/build firm. At Noah Construction, we combine design, construction and budgeting services within one fee and contract. With our services you know upfront what you’re design looks like plus have it all priced and budgeted from the start.

We know calculating home renovation costs can be tricky and we hope this breakdown was helpful. At Noah Construction we specialize in helping our clients design and build their dream homes across Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island.

Not sure how to start your renovation? Call us today, we’re happy to schedule a free consultation.

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Home Building Questions Answered

Noah Construction & Builders wants our customers to be well informed when it comes to the subject of residential home building. Therefore, we offer some questions and answers that might help improve your understanding of building your first home. As always, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any other questions you might have.

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Buy existing or build new?

This simple question can often be the most difficult to answer because a buy versus build decision depends on each person. Some people want the convenience of buying an existing home so they can move in immediately, even if that house doesn’t fully meet their needs. Others want to choose their home style and details from the ground up and are willing to wait for their perfect home to be built. Noah Construction & Builders can help either way because we can build your new home or help renovate an existing home to suit you.

How do I start the process to build a home?

First, research the builders in your area as well as new construction already occurring in the area. Look at reviews, talk to owners who have built recently, and create an outline of what you want your house to be in terms of size and options. Then start interviewing builders you think will meet your needs.

Once I start this process, how long until my home is ready?

The home design and build process can take from six months to a year and can be delayed by weather, materials shortages, or other things not in the builders’ control. Other factors include where the site is located, how much site preparation is needed to build, and so forth.

What other costs occur during my build?

Each builder is different in terms of what costs are included or separated from your contract, but typical extra costs are building permits, water and sewer connections, electrical connections to the utility, wetlands mitigation or seawall construction depending on the area, and so forth. You should discuss this with the builder as your contract is being prepared.

Can I build on a lot I own?

The answer is probably, but you need to understand if there are building restrictions, where utilities are located, the site elevation and whether it tends to flood, any difficulties for delivery trucks to reach the site, and more. All of these issues can increase the cost of your construction.

Should I build for the present or the future?

Homeowners often fail to think about the future when building a new home. As they age, their needs will change such as being able to negotiate stairs, room for wheelchairs, or adding a “bonus” room that could be used differently in the future. Thinking about your future needs can also add resale value later because future buyers may have needs your home design allows for.

Should I compare builders on a cost per square foot basis?

Noah Construction & Builders does not recommend this. This is a number generated for buyers, and there is no consistency among builders about what their cost per square foot may include. Choose your builder by their reputation and quality, not because of a generated number that can’t be compared to other builders.

Should I build up, down, or out to get the space I need?

Building a second floor can result in lower costs since fewer materials are needed, but depending on where you are building it may not be feasible. In coastal areas, a two-story house can experience higher winds on the second-floor level because winds increase with altitude. Local building codes or association rules must also be taken into account. Basements can add a lot of useable space but can slow construction if local weather prevents getting the basement poured on schedule. Also, keep in mind that adding a stairway reduces the space on each floor and could make future use of the second floor or basement more difficult for someone who is disabled. A single-floor home may not fit the lot you have chosen or may have to be configured differently than you expected. These are all issues you should discuss with your builder before signing a contract.

What are the different types of foundations?

The three major types of foundations are slabs, basements, and crawl spaces. A slab foundation sits directly on the ground and is the easiest to prepare but won’t provide any protection from flooding. A basement foundation is the most expensive to prepare but offers a lot of space, storm protection, and easy access to plumbing and utilities. A crawl space creates an elevation above ground that can be useful if an area is subject to flooding but it takes about the same time to build as a basement and the crawl space isn’t useable living space.

How do I make sure not to be hit with extra costs?

When you prepare your building contract, be very specific about what you want. Every feature, option, accessory, and exterior items like porches or decks must be discussed because the builder will use a standard item or feature unless you clearly state what you want. If you find out during construction that you aren’t getting the deck you want but didn’t ask for, you could add a lot of cost to your build. Figure out in detail what you want your house to look like and what features you want before you talk to any builder.

Should I build custom or semi-custom?

A custom home is designed to your specific needs and desires, and you as the homeowner choose virtually every detail to suit you. A semi-custom home is designed by the builder to meet a specific floor plan or lot size, and you can choose options or extras to suit your tastes. Semi-custom homes can cost less because the builder has already incorporated the design into their base cost. It is a matter of personal taste and budget which way you choose.

What is a punch list?

Near the end of construction, you and your builder will walk through the home and look at everything in detail. A punch list is created to give the builder a list of items not yet completed per your contract or something that isn’t working correctly. Unfinished woodwork, painting that needs touchup, light switches that don’t work, or missing hardware on doors are all items that need to be detailed on the punch list. Go through the home very carefully and test everything to be sure it is working as it should or has been built as the contract stated.

What can you do now?

Choosing to build a home is a big decision, and it takes effort on your part before you meet with a builder. Determine where you want your home to be, what you want it to look like, what features you need today and may need in the future, and how much you can afford. You can get pre-approved for a mortgage which will tell you how much you have available to spend on your home. Then contact Noah Construction & Builders and discuss your dreams with us. We will work hard to create a home you can be proud of for years to come.

Keeping Your Home Clean During Covid-19

Now more than ever, it is important to keep your home clean and safe. If you are looking for tips on how to keep your home sanitized, you’ve come to the right place. Continue on to learn more about keeping your home clean during COVID-19.

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It is important to know how to clean and disinfect your home. Certain practices should be followed. When cleaning and disinfecting, wear disposable gloves. Surfaces should be cleaned using soap and water. Any frequently touched surface should be cleaned on a routine basis. Some examples of high-touch surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, sinks, faucets, toilets, keyboards, phones, desks, handles, and counter tops.

After cleaning surfaces with soap and water, you should disinfect these surfaces. EPA-registered household disinfectants are recommended. Follow the instructions on the disinfectant’s label to be sure you are using the product safely and correctly. For certain surfaces, diluted household bleach solutions may be used. To make these solutions, mix 5 tablespoons of bleach with 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach with 1 quart of water. Other useful disinfectant products include alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol.

Don’t forget the soft surfaces in your home. Carpets, rugs, and drapes should also be cleaned and disinfected. Clean these surfaces with soap and water or cleaners designed specifically for these items. If possible, launder these items following the manufacturer’s instructions.

If someone in your home is sick, there are steps you can take to prevent their illness from spreading. First, provide a separate bedroom and bathroom for this individual, if possible. If this individual is well enough to clean the surfaces they use, it is recommended that they do so. However, if the individual is not well enough, a caregiver should wait as long as possible to enter the space and clean it. This gives the bacteria time to dissipate, reducing the caregiver’s risk of infection.

At Noah Construction & Builder, Inc., the safety of our clients is a top priority. If you want to learn more about our services, you can contact us by phone at (631) 750-2837.

A Guide To Remodeling Your Front Entrance

The front entrance of your home is your guests’ first impression of your living space. You want to make a warm and grand impression on guests when they visit you. If you are feeling bored or underwhelmed with your current front entrance, read on for a guide to remodeling your front entrance.

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One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to remodel the front entrance of your home is by adding lighting. Add lighting to the walkway of your home not only brightens the feel, but it creates a safe walkway for your guests when they enter or leave your house after sunset.

Next, accessorize. Add some flowers or landscaping to your front entrance to add some color and texture to your home. Even something as simple as a welcome mat can make all the difference.

Your front door can say a lot about your home. When picking a front door, consider something that matches the design style of your home. The color of your front door is also important. If your front door is a dark color, like black or navy blue, consider switching it up and changing it to a white or yellow color. This can help guests feel more welcome before they even step into your home.

Do you have a porch in front of your house? If not, add one! A porch creates a cozy and warm atmosphere at the front of your home. It is also a great place to sit back and relax after a long day. Putting in a porch is simple, easy, and can completely change the mood of your front entrance for the better.

For help with any of these remodeling projects, contact Noah Construction and Builders. You can reach our team by calling (631) 750-2837 today!

Tips For Getting Your Home Ready For Winter

Winter is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather. Taking the necessary steps to prep your home for winter can prevent damage and help you save money. For tips for getting your home ready for winter, just keep reading.

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The first thing to do when winter approaches are to protect your pipes. Water expands as it freezes, which means pipes with water inside can burst. Protect your pipes by making sure they are crack-free and warm all winter.

Next, check the heat. Make sure your furnace and blowers are operating as they should before it’s time to turn on the heat. This way, you can be sure everything is running right before heat is necessary.

Don’t forget to maintain the exterior of your home when winter approaches. If you have any lawn equipment, clean and store this equipment after tending to your yard in the fall. Any gas-powered equipment, such as mowers, trimmers, tillers, or chippers, can benefit from being stored away in the winter.

Your fireplace and your chimney need to be tended to before winter. A professional chimney sweep can clean out the soot and debris in your chimney to prevent any accidental fires.

To keep the cold out, seal your doors and windows with caulk. The nooks and crannies of your entryways can let in the cold. This cold can cause you to turn up your heat, which costs money. Sealing cracks can reduce your need to crank the heat, which can save you money and keep you warm all winter long.

Follow these tips to prep your home for winter. If you’re in need of some assistance when prepping your home for winter, reach out to Noah Construction and Builders. We can help you get your home ready for winter or we can remodel your home. Reach out to us by giving us a call at (631) 750-2837 today!

Fall Preparation Checklist For Your Garden, Lawn, and Home

As cool weather slowly sets in, it’s time to think about how to best ready your home, lawn, and garden for those winter months. We’re not talking about renovations here (though don’t skip out on home maintenance, of course!). Rather, we’re going to outline some simple ways you can beautify your property for the season.

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The exterior of your home should be decorated with seasonal colors—think leaves and autumn plants—to create a sense of matching atmosphere. We think it is best to avoid too many decorations that are specific to a holiday and to work a little broader. That way, you aren’t constantly having to change things from month to month. One of the best decorations for autumn and winter are lights. With the days growing shorter they can brighten up those early evenings with a sense of warmth. We recommend going with white or yellow, to better match the colors of the season.

It’s also a good time to change your lawn maintenance routine. In addition to cutting it (which you can get away with doing less frequently once summer’s gone), you’ll need to be on the lookout for downed branches. On top of this, fallen leaves need to be raked and removed. If you don’t want to do it for the sake of keeping things tidy, then do it for the health of your lawn. Though they will eventually break down, leaves that clump together can harm the lawn itself.

Finally, get your hands dirty in the garden. Besides cleaning debris out of it, you’ll want to consider removing any garden fencing you have once winter comes. That’s because the changes in the ground can misshape or even destroy barriers you’ve set in place. You may spend more time reinstalling it when spring arrives, but you’ll save money by not having to replace it entirely.

Let Noah Construction and Builders help you get your home ready for the season. Visit us at 80 Orville Drive, Suite 116, in Bohemia, New York, or talk with one of our experts by calling 631-750-2837.

Is Your Home Ready for Fall and Winter?

As Summer fades into memory and cooler nights descend upon us, it is only a matter of time before the chill sets in. It is not uncommon to hear people discuss ‘winterizing’ their vehicles, but few people talk about winterizing their significantly more valuable homes. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to get your house ready for chilly nights.

Read moreIs Your Home Ready for Fall and Winter?

Five Signs Your Roof is in Need of Maintenance!

One of the most expensive home repairs is replacing your home’s roof . While it’s true that not all roof problems require a new roof, you should be prepared for that possibility, when a problem arises. Catching a problem early is always preferable to catching it later when it’s more expensive to fix.

Read moreFive Signs Your Roof is in Need of Maintenance!