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Lensis Builders, Inc. http://www.lensisbuilders.com Northern Virginia's Top Design Build Firm Creating Professionally Designed Kitchens, Baths, Additions, and Remodeling Projects Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:03:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 E-Book Preview: Kitchen, Bath and Interior Remodels http://www.lensisbuilders.com/e-book-preview-kitchen-bath-and-interior-remodels/ http://www.lensisbuilders.com/e-book-preview-kitchen-bath-and-interior-remodels/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:09:29 +0000 http://www.lensisbuilders.com/?p=4576 Keep Reading...]]> We’re excited to share that we recently published an e-book! When undertaking a new remodeling project, it’s helpful to know exactly what each type of project entails. The first section of our e-book is entitled Six Steps to a Successful Kitchen, Bathroom, or Interior Remodel, and we are excited to share some of its main points with you (here’s the link to download it in full).

Overall, this e-book is a guide to help homeowners achieve a successful kitchen, bathroom, or interior home remodeling project, as the title says. A kitchen or bathroom remodel is self explanatory, but what qualifies as an interior home remodeling project?

  • Finished basements
  • Rethinking the space by taking down walls or creating openings, adding or relocating windows, and adding or relocating doors
  • Heating and Cooling System Replacement/Upgrades
  • Energy Efficiency and Comfort Problem Solutions

Basically, the more you understand about the remodeling process, the easier it will be for you to have a successful project. Lots of people remodel their homes every year, and the remodeling industry is huge – so it’s important to understand the process to avoid having a negative experience.

Here are some general steps to help you:

1. Gather information

Define your goals, think about design goals and the functionality of your space, and define a “vision.”

2. Select a contractor

The most helpful thing you can do to select the right contractor is read reviews and learn about what past clients thought of hteir work. Some helpful websites are Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and GuildQuality. You’ll also want to ask about licensure, insurance, contracts, and references.

3. Project costs, design, and permits

Before the design phase, your contractor should be able to give you a rough estimate of the cost of yoru project. A detailed cost proposal can only happen once the details of your project have been decided upon. One excellent source for information about common remodeling projects, average job costs, and resale value is the “Cost Vs. Value Report” by Remodeling magazine. Click here to see it.

When it comes to design, keep in mind that ultimately your project should be beautiful, functional, and comfortable. When remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, it’s recommended that  you use a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) or a Certified Bath Designer (CBD). They are highly trained, creative professionals who follow the code guidelines set forth by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) to create beautiful, functional, and safe spaces for your home.

4. Pre-construction planning and materials management

At this point, all necessary special order materials have been ordered. A pre-construction meeting also occurs before work begins and the Designer, Project Manager and Lead Carpenters meet to discuss the pre-construction checklist and go over permits.  The project schedule is created and set into motion.

5. The work starts!

At this stage, the plan is executed. You and your contractor should have a plan in place for where your functional space will be while your remodel is happening. Also, your remodeling site should be kept clean, organized, and neat throughout the project. Again, careful upfront planning, scheduling, and material acquisition are critical for a smooth project.

6. Your project is complete

Now that your project has passed the final inspection, it’s time to add your project to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Another item to consider is that your contractor provides you with a final lien waiver. This will help protect you from any potential material and subcontractor liens placed on your property. 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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Popular Remodeling Projects for Northern Virginia Homes http://www.lensisbuilders.com/popular-remodeling-projects-for-northern-virginia-homes/ http://www.lensisbuilders.com/popular-remodeling-projects-for-northern-virginia-homes/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:20:06 +0000 http://www.lensisbuilders.com/?p=4539 Keep Reading...]]> When it comes to home improvement projects, every area has its own set of unique needs and wants, and Northern Virginia is no exception. With so many options to choose from, here’s a roundup of the most commonly requested home projects in our area:

1. Additions


Additions are one of the most popular projects we encounter due to expanding families, older homes in the area that need updating, and smaller homes that could use an upgrade in size. Other great reasons to add an addition to your home include: retirees needing extra space for a new hobby, a new entertainment room, a sunroom, or parents moving in with their children. 

2. Kitchenskitchenremodel_northernvirginia_w_02

An upgrade to your kitchen is a serious upgrade to your entire house, which is why it’s one of the most popular projects we take on in the area. With such busy lifestyles, it’s beneficial to have a kitchen that takes on the role of a multi-purpose space (for cooking, eating, doing homework, and entertaining). Remodeling your kitchen adds much needed functionality (and aesthetic) to the most highly utilized space in your home.

3. Master Bathrooms

bathremodel4At the end of a long, chaotic day, what’s better than settling into a warm bath tub? People choose to remodel their master baths to add space, functionality, and most importantly, comfort. 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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Adding a Sunroom to Your Home: The Basics http://www.lensisbuilders.com/adding-a-sunroom-to-your-home-the-basics/ http://www.lensisbuilders.com/adding-a-sunroom-to-your-home-the-basics/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:37:19 +0000 http://www.lensisbuilders.com/?p=4447 Keep Reading...]]> A sunroom is a great way to add additional space to your home. It creates an extra room for entertaining and relaxing and offers an “indoor-outdoor” environment where you can get the benefits of being outside without the cold, rain, or snow (especially in the winter in Northern Virginia this year!). Here are some things you need to know about completing a sunroom in your home.

What does a typical sunroom entail?

  • 200-square-foot sunroom addition
  • Include footings and slab-on- grade foundation
  • Post-and-beam framing exposed on interior side
  • Wall glazing: vinyl or aluminum clad awning and casement windows with low-E, laminated or Tempered glazing and screens
  • Roof glazing: 10 large aluminum-clad venting skylights with screens
  • Provide ceiling fan
  • Insulate all non- glass areas
  • Provide movable shades for glass area
  • Quarry tile or equal on floor

Average Cost*: $73,546

Average Resale Value*: $38,011

How long will it take to complete?

8 to 10 weeks is a common estimate to complete a sunroom project. However, this time fluctuates depending on the specifics your project.

Sunroom Design Tips

  • Use materials that match your home. You want to make sure that your sunroom adds to your home without looking like a completely different part of it. This applies to exterior and interior spaces. Be sure to match your materials.
  • Use long-lasting materials. While you may be tempted to use plastics, aluminum or foam panels, and vinyl, they may not be the most sustainable. Consider using materials like wood, granite, and ceramic tile.
  • This is an obvious one: incorporate lots of windows into your design. The objective of the room is to let as much natural light in as possible, and this ensures a warm, open space.
  • Consider having your sunroom be an open extension of the space you currently have. Rather than creating a small doorway (making it a separate space), keep in mind the idea of an “open concept,” which will help integrate the spaces.

*Cost and resale values taken from the 2014 Cost vs. Value report

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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Everything You Need to Know About Basement Remodels http://www.lensisbuilders.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-basement-remodels/ http://www.lensisbuilders.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-basement-remodels/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:08:02 +0000 http://www.lensisbuilders.com/?p=4355 Keep Reading...]]> Adding a finished basement to your home is by far the most economical way to increase living space and value in your home. It can also be one of the quickest ways to add living space and value.


A wet bar, part of a basement remodel, designed by Lensis Builders, Inc. in the Fairfax, VA area.

What does a typical basement remodel entail?

  • The lower level of the house is finished to create (approximately) a 20-by-30-foot entertaining area with wet bar
  • An area that is 24 linear feet of finished partition to enclose mechanical area
  • Walls and ceilings are painted drywall throughout
  • Insulated exterior walls 
  • Painted trim throughout the space
  • Includes five six-panel factory-painted hardboard doors with passage locksets
  • Electrical wiring to code
  • Main room: Includes 15 recessed ceiling light fixtures and three surface-mounted light fixtures, and flooring of your choice
  • Bathroom: Include standard white toilet, vanity with cultured marble top, resilient vinyl flooring, two-piece fiberglass shower unit, a light/fan combination, vanity light fixture, recessed medicine cabinet, towel bars
  • Includes stairs and provides a complete railing using a matching system made of the same composite as the decking material

How much will it cost?*

Prices vary. The average cost is $62,834 for a midrange basement remodel.

What is the resale value?


*Taken from 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, based on national averages

How long does a basement remodel take?

The amount of time to complete a basement remodel varies. Things to keep in mind are the size of the basement, whether it is a full remodel, number of rooms, among other factors. A basement remodel can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to complete, depending on these factors.

What does the process look like?

Here’s a hypothetical overview of what a basement remodel could look like:

Days 1-2: Framing

Days 3-5: HVAC, plumbing and electrical rough in, set fireplace unit (if there is one)

Days 6-8: Deliver drywall and install insulation

Days 9-10: Put up drywall

Days 11-16: Tape, mud and texture drywall

Days 17-18: Install trim, doors, window frames

Days 19-23: Painting

Days 24-26: Install lights and electrical, HVAC, shower/floor tile

Days 27-29: Install cabinetry and door hardware

Days 30-31: Masonry at fireplace, determine counter top materials/dimensions, mirrors and glass shower door

Day 32: Drywall touch ups and finish fireplace

Day 33: Install countertops 

34-36: Install shower door and mirrors 

Day 37: Install carpet (if any)

Day 39: Touch up painting and final inspections (electric, HVAC)

Day 40: Final cleaning 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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The Most Popular Kitchen Design Layouts http://www.lensisbuilders.com/the-most-popular-kitchen-design-layouts/ http://www.lensisbuilders.com/the-most-popular-kitchen-design-layouts/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:01:31 +0000 http://www.lensisbuilders.com/?p=4339 Keep Reading...]]> When designing a kitchen, there are several options when it comes to selecting a layout. Some things to consider include looking at the original space that you’re working with as well as what you envision the functionality of your kitchen to be. If you’re designing a new home or addition, you are free to choose any design based on both aesthetic and functionality. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, you may want to increase how functional the space is by making some changes (or simply leaving it the way it is and making updates). Regardless, below you’ll find five of the  most common design options and their respective aesthetics and functions. 

1. One-Wall Kitchen

In this style, the cabinets and appliances are fixed on a single wall in this space-saving layout, which are found mainly in studio or loft spaces. If you have limited space, this may be a good option to consider. 

2. Galley Kitchen

The galley style kitchen is definitely an efficient type of kitchen when it comes to the original and most important use of the kitchen: cooking. The galley layout takes its name from the galley (kitchen) of a ship or airplane. These kitchens make use of small, cramped spaces to feed tens or even hundreds of people. Lots of restaurant and commercial kitchens are designed this way to allow  cooks to work in a long, narrow space between appliances and counter space.

3. U-Shaped Kitchen

The U-shaped layout is an efficient kitchen that’s made for one person cooking in the kitchen. It’s a wide galley kitchen with one end closed off. This way, guests and are kept separate from the main area of the kitchen but is still open to other rooms of the home (which allows traffic to pass through). An issue with a U-shaped design is that it’s relatively small. It doesn’t necessarily allow you to have room for a dining table and chairs. 

Quick Tip: Adding an island to a U-shaped layout increases the kitchen’s functionality. The island can be used as a surface to work on, for bar stools for seating, or for the sink or cooktop. It’s always great to allow people to gather around and socialize while the cooking happens.

4. G-Shaped Kitchen

The G-shaped kitchen has 4 sides and its fourth side is a peninsula, which enables a lot of cabinet and counterspace. If you have a lot of area to work with, this may be a great option to consider when designing your kitchen.

5. L-Shaped Kitchen

An L-shaped layout is made up of two perpendicular workspaces, which creates a natural work triangle.

Quick Tip: We recommend adding an island to this style of kitchen, as it can provide additional counter space and make the room appear more compact and cohesive. 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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9 Home Improvement Projects Perfect for Winter http://www.lensisbuilders.com/9-home-improvement-projects-perfect-for-winter/ http://www.lensisbuilders.com/9-home-improvement-projects-perfect-for-winter/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:08:56 +0000 http://www.lensisbuilders.com/?p=4274 Keep Reading...]]> The winter months can be chaotic with prepping for the holidays, hosting guests, and traveling. But once those things are finished, it’s also a good time to make small changes to your home. It’s cold outside and you’re likely spending more time than usual in your home, so why not make some simple upgrades?

Below is a list of nine simple projects to improve both the comfort and aesthetic in your home.

1. Repaint

You’ve been stuck inside staring at the same wall colors for a while now, so why not repaint to brighten your mood? We recommend going with a bright, bold color to make your interior spaces more exciting. A new coat of paint can also dramatically improve your mood during the cold, grey winter months.

Tip: Be sure to let fresh air in while you’re painting to avoid fumes. If you prefer, choose an eco-friendly, low-VOC paint to avoid it altogether.

2. Make Small Changes to Your Kitchen

Small changes can make a big difference in your kitchen. We recommend adding a backsplash with a unique pattern or pop of color to make the space appear fresh. You may also consider updating appliances, looking into new countertops, or new floors.

3. Work on Your Floors

Similar to your walls, giving some attention to your floors is a great option during the winter months. Maybe your carpets are worn down, or your hardwood or tile floors are too cold on your feet. A carpet installation (or simply some new area rugs) can make a big difference in terms of both aesthetic and comfort.

4. Declutter

Who says spring-cleaning has to be done in the spring? You’re spending time inside anyway, so you might as well get started on decluttering. Make a list of things  you’d like to get done and devote a little bit of time to it every week.

Tip: Baby steps are key. Don’t try to reorganize the entire house all at once, as this will inevitably be overwhelming.

5.  Make Changes in the Bathroom

Late fall and early winter can be busy planning for holidays, traveling, and having guests over. It’s understandable that your bathroom may not have had a deep-clean in awhile. Now is a great time to deal with mildew, buildup in the grout of your shower, and even replacing things that are old or outdated. Consider replacing faucets, tile, and re-painting. Larger projects may include replacing flooring and appliances.

Tip: For large projects (e.g., new flooring), consider calling a professional. It’s definitely worth the investment and final outcome.

6. Add Insulation

Adding insulation in your home will lower your utility bills and help make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly. Adding insulation in the attic and basement are good places to start in order to prevent heat loss.

Tip: To save even more energy, consider having an energy audit. An energy audit assesses the overall energy efficiency of your home and lets you know where there are weaknesses. Addressing these weaknesses will save you a lot of money on utilities in the long run.

7. Refurbish Doors

Interior doors are something people tend not to think about often, but can make a big difference in the overall aesthetic of your space. Making small changes like painting, changing doorknobs, and adding molding are simple upgrades.

Tip: Dark colors add a sense of sophistication; bright colors are more modern and trendy.

8. Refinish the Basement

Basements are sometimes neglected spaces in people’s homes, which is an unfortunate waste of space. If you have a basement that isn’t space that can actually be used, you may want to consider finishing/refinishing it this winter. Most basement remodels require a professional, but contractors tend to be less busy in the winter months, making this project a good one for the winter.

9. Lighten up your rooms

With less sunlight in the winter, we spend more time utilizing our indoor lighting. Take time to evaluate the lighting you have currently. Are the fixtures outdated? Do they match with the rest of the décor in the space? Does the quality of light make you feel good? Consider making changes if you aren’t happy with any of these elements.

Tip: Installing dimmers are also another great option. This allows you to customize the level of lighting you like in any situation.

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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