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Friday, April 24, 2015

Award Winning Outdoor Living Remodel | Key Residential

The 2015 awards season for Key Residential kicked off with a bang last week when one of our outdoor living remodels won the National Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award for Residential Exterior over $200,000 from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). To celebrate this award winning project, we wanted to take a look back at the design and features that made it such a memorable and successful remodel.

Creating a backyard vacation oasis that could be enjoyed year round by the homeowners and where they could host family gatherings with their grown sons and future grandchildren was the goal of this project. The project included the expansion of the outdoor kitchen and living area, remodel of the pool and surrounding deck, and the addition of new landscaping throughout the backyard. A high roof line in the covered outdoor living area allows for an almost unobstructed view into the backyard and large windows across the back wall permits plenty of sunshine to still flow into the house. 

The expansion of the outdoor kitchen included the addition of full kitchen amenities: an undercounter refrigerator and icemaker, a clean up station with an undermount sink, integrated trash and recycling bins, and a dishwasher. Additional special features in the kitchen include a wood fire pizza oven with a ledgestone surround (an additional chimney was added to accommodate for the oven), a Wolf grill with side burner, and restaurant quality Alto-Shaam smoker. The countertops are Neolith Limestone Lava, a material designed to hold up well in outdoor elements.

The adjacent living area was expanded to allow for both a formal dining area and a seating area that could be directed towards a corner mounted TV above the kitchen. The wood burning fireplace was redesigned to include a ledgestone surround, solid wood mantel, and new hearth seat. Throughout the outdoor living extension, fans and heaters were installed to allow for year round comfort in the often temperamental Texas weather.

The remodel of the pool and deck area included removing the hot tub and expanding the pool into the space it occupied to create a wet deck large enough for lounge seating and to provide a safe place for younger children to enjoy the pool. Two waterfall features were added to the back end of the pool with one including a ledgestone surround to match the fireplace and pizza oven details. Mexican pavers were removed and replaced with limestone pavers throughout the backyard to allow for a seamless design aesthetic. Synthetic grass was inlaid between the pavers surrounding the pool, ensuring year round beauty.

We would also like to thank the many partners we worked with on this project, including InPhase Audio, Jason Osterberger Designs, Wathen Tile & Granite, Holland Marble, and Pool Environments, Inc.

See more from this project and others on our Houzz page.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thinking About A Bath Remodel? | Key Residential

The bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms in your house, but that doesn't mean it is the least important when it comes to creating a well functioning and well styled room. With the number of available products, design options, materials, and so on, a bathroom can easily be one of the more complex rooms to remodel in your home. But if you do it right, it can also be one of the most rewarding investments you make in your home. So if you're thinking about a bath remodel, here are a few ideas to keep in mind and to get the ball rolling.


First and foremost, when you commit to a remodel, remember that it is an investment. Whether you are updating a bath to get it ready to sell or making improvements that you expect to enjoy for years to come, you are putting something in (time, money, higher stress levels for the duration of the remodel) and expecting to get something in return. And when the stress of the remodel starts to get to you just remember where you started and what the end product will be.


How well does the layout of the bath serve your specific needs? There isn't a work triangle for the bathroom like there is for the kitchen. So that allows you more freedom to create a space that works best for you. If you want a separate room for your shower/tub and toilet then go for it. Or forgo the tub in favor of a larger shower. If you want multiple vanities then who is to stop you? The room needs to work for you.


Not much can be worse than going through the stresses of a remodel only to decide that the end result is not something that you like. When planning the design of your bathroom make sure it is a design that you love. Whether your tastes are more traditional, rustic, contemporary, modern, or your own personal aesthetic make sure you stick to it. And if you're not sure what your specific style is then look through photos online to find what speaks to you. Houzz is a great place to start.


All that being said, some good can come from getting out of your personal design bubble. With so many options you will be faced with countless choices and decisions. The easy answer would be to stick with what you know. But that rainfall showerhead just might be the change you've been looking for in getting a wow factor. So don't be afraid to stick a toe or two out of your design bubble.


How long are you planning to stay in your home? If you're planning on staying in your home for a while it might be worth it to add in a few universal design options even if you don't think you'll need them until the far off future. A built in seat and handrail in the shower could be an added convenience even if you don't think you'll need them right away. Or how about a toilet seat cover that automatically lifts when you open the doors to the toilet room?


It can be easy to get lost in the big picture, but don't let the small details pass you by. Hardware, plumbing fixtures, and so on can have a large impact on the finished product.  Do you want a stationary shower head or a hand held, or both? How about the finish for your fixtures and hardware? If you find a little extra room in your budget then think about adding an accent into the design, like a floor or wall mural or tile accent in the shower.These small things may not seem like much but can make a huge difference.

See more from these projects and others on our Houzz page.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Key Residential Featured on Houzz | Key Residential

A Key Residential project was recently featured in an article on Houzz titled "Building Permits: What to Know About Green Building and Energy Codes". You can read the full article here.

Construction's impact on the environment has become an increasingly important topic. When pursuing a remodel or new home build, many homeowners are wanting to make sure that their plans will cause minimal impact on the environment. Appliances, windows, HVAC, insulation are some of the more popular ways to improve a home's energy efficiency. When it comes to landscaping, think about using drought tolerant plants or plants that are native to your specific area. Or rather than making major adjustments to your home's surrounding landscape, try to save as much of the existing landscape as possible.

Key Residential was featured in the Houzz article because of a project that utilized synthetic grass, a product that has become increasingly popular, especially in areas that have been experiencing long term drought. It requires no mowing and no watering and stays green all year round. And as noted in the article on Houzz, the right design can make sure it looks natural and organic. 

We partnered with Jason Osterberger Design and Pool Environments, Inc. to create this outdoor oasis in the heart of Dallas. You can see more pictures from this project on Houzz here.