Summer's just around the corner, and if you're a home owner, chances are good your thoughts are on your backyard. Maybe you've spent all winter salivating over episodes of "Yard Crashers," "Landscapers' Challenge" and "The Vanilla Ice Project," or your Pinterest and Houzz accounts are bulging with ideas. If you're ready to convert your much-neglected plot of land into a backyard oasis, we say it's time to get to it.
You can take your backyard design in many different directions, and it's easy to get carried away and bust the budget. Keep it real and stay organized by creating a list of the features you'd most like your backyard to have, then prioritize and set a budget. Here are some of the more popular features to help you get started:
A New Patio
A patio is often the starting point of a backyard renovation. How large you make it depends on what it will be used for: Will you be entertaining a lot of guests, or is it just for you and your spouse to enjoy while you sip iced tea and read the newspaper? Your options for patio pavers are brick, concrete, stone and even rubber; don't be afraid to get creative with its shape and the placement of any bricks. Fixr.com places the average cost of a 12-by-16-foot patio around $2,000. If installation is done well, your patio could retain its original look for 20 years or more.
Is your backyard better suited for a deck? Nothing says "summer" more than enjoying an Indianapolis evening under the stars, and a deck increases the value of your home, too. You can plan the shape and size of your deck to fit with your existing landscaping and yard size. Choose a lumber type, color and width that fits your style and design preference. Experts estimate a new deck will cost you $15-$35 a square foot, depending on the type of wood you choose.
Spa or Hot Tub
A spa or hot tub brings an element of luxury to any backyard. You can integrate it with your landscaping or install it on your deck. CostEvaluation.com puts a new outdoor hot tub at about $2,000 to $6,000 installed. Make sure you budget for a hot tub cover as well; this is a must for families with small children and areas with four-season climates. You can get hot tub covers at HotTubWorks.com starting at under $300, delivered.
From fountains to waterfalls to a koi pond, water effects take your backyard to the next level. Add ambient lighting around these features to create a dreamy mood at night. If you want to go with a koi pond, bear in mind that experts recommend the water be three to four feet deep for the fish to thrive. According to howmuchisit.org, the cost of a professionally installed koi pond starts at $10,000 and goes up from there, depending upon how elaborate you get. The filtration system alone is around $3,000.
Of course, these are just some of the features to consider when creating your ideal backyard. Now get going, so you can kick back with a cold drink and enjoy the backyard of your dreams.
Looking to get the backyard living space of your dreams?
If your in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, consult with Gettum Associates, Inc., an award-winning design and remodel contractor based in Greenwood, Indiana. Gettum Associates carefully designs each project with your needs in mind and completes the construction of your deck, porch or patio to blend seamlessly with your existing to make it look as though it was always there. Click below for more information:
About the author:
Ray is a landscaper, mechanic and fix-it guy who enjoys sharing DIY tips and money-saving tricks.
Wall removal and a noook addition help create an open floor plan for a west side, Indianapolis family
The goal of this project, designed and constructed by Gettum Associates Inc is to add more space. This has been accomplished by the removal of existing interior and exterior walls separating the kitchen/nook and sunroom/family room along with the installation of a nook addition. The final result will be a more open feel, as well as more space! Along with the modifications to the indoor living space, a large screen in porch addition was added to extend the indoors outward!
Pictures of the existing family room/kitchen, kitchen/nook and interior of existing sunroom
Demolition and construction pictures:
Pictures showing the completion of interior and exterior wall removals and installation of structural header beams and posts
Column and beam trim installation pictures:
In-progress pictures of the installation of interior trim to the structural beams and columns. The built-out, raised panel column detail add a great touch!
Project completion pictures showing the finished nook addition and the combined family room, nook, kitchen and sunroom spaces.
Are you looking to open up or expand your living space? Give us a call at 317-888-5681 or click below:
2012 Indianapolis 500 contest
Guess the winner to win a $25 Target Gift Card
The month of May in Indy is here!
Throughout the rest of the month, we offer this fun contest.
What to do? It's easy.
Go to http://info.gettum.com/indianapolis-500-2012-guess-the-winner/ and enter your winning pick for a chance at a $25 Target Gift Card.
or click below:
This contest is brought to you by Gettum Associates Inc., a design/build remodel contractor located in Greenwood Indiana. Gettum Associates has served the Indianapolis area wit award winning home remodeling services since 1987.
"Don't move, improve"
Need ideas for your screen porch? Search for pictures for visual examples
For those looking to enjoy the outdoors and their backyard without getting scorched by the summer sun, a screed porch might be a perfect option. A screened in porch provides a shady place to read, listen to music or even watch TV in the summer without being stuck indoors. If you have considered having a screen porch built on to your indianapolis area home, chances are you have wondered what it will look like on the back of your house.
Thankfully, many houses are similar enough that there are plenty of examples of what it may look like on the back of yours. Technology now allows access to hundreds of thousands of pictures that can help visualize the end result of such a project. Take your pick, there are many choices when it comes to finding pictures of screen porches, or pictures of any kind for that matter.
Stick with what you are comfortable with. If you typically use Google to search the web, you can use Google to search for picture examples of screen porches. However, to make it easier, instead of typing in your search into the normal search box, click the "images" tab then input your search. For example, the image above and to the right shows the key word search "Greenwood Indiana screen porch pictures". You can click on that screen shot to get a larger version!
Besides typical search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, there are specialized image sites. Some examples are Flickr, photobucket, SmugMug, and the newer Pinterest. On each site you will be able to search for the pictures your looking for. Honestly though, you can pull up some great pictures by using your favorite search engine. If your looking for area-specific pictures, be sure to include your city in the search query. For example, if your in the Greenwood, Indiana area, a suburb of Indianapolis, you could type in "Pictures of screen porches in Greenwood Indiana" and find some results that way.
In summary, many of us have trouble visualizing the end result of a remodeling project. By using the internet to seek out pictures of your specific project, you can most likely find a suitable example. Don't be afraid to experiment. You can even search for specific features such as porches with Eze Breeze porch panels, or porches with skylights or any other thing you can think of.
If you would like to see pictures of porches and other remodel projects, specific to the Indianapolis area, check out the before and after remodeling picture galleries on the Gettum Associate website at http://www.gettum.com/Indianapolis-remodeling-picture-galleries.htm
The Burgan’s were feeling a bit cramped. Their three bedroom ranch could no longer accommodate their family of five. Parents Blaine and Neelu were in one bedroom; their daughter was in another; and “my two boys were squished in the third. It was way too small for them to share,” lamented Neelu. “And when guests came over, there was no place for them to stay.”
Better shop around: So they shopped around for a new home, but, Neelu said, “We couldn’t find anything without spending at least two or three hundred thousand dollars more than we wanted to spend.” Also, by the time their home had become too small for them, they had already fallen in love with their neighbors. “Everyone on our street gets along, we have parties every summer, we watch each others’ homes...we could never find this again,” said Neelu. “You can’t pay for neighbors that you love as much as we love ours.” So moving was soon ruled out.
Then one day they received a post card in the mail from Gettum Associates, Inc. a design/build remodeling firm specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and one- and two-story additions. “We checked out their website and were really impressed with their work. They came out and gave us a quote and we found it much more affordable,” said Neelu.
A perfect storm: “The Burgans had a very standard three bedroom ranch,” explained then vice-president of Gettum Associates, Inc Gary Mullikin, “and they put a second story on it. This is one of those homes we have done where the budget was perfect, the project was perfect – it was almost a perfect storm. And the value put into it was well worth the neighborhood – it wasn’t overbuilt for the neighborhood. It’s fantastic!”
What’s unique about Gettum Associates, Inc, Mullikin explained, is that they have everything they need in-house to remodel or to build an addition, including an in-house designer. They don’t have to farm out the design to another company. “As we design and work with the customer we know precisely what needs to be done for the job and we have the homeowner’s interest and wants and dislikes kept in-house. We don’t lose all that in translation,” he said.
Designer Dan Miller created the plan for the Burgans and Mullikin praised Dan by saying, “He comes up with some very, very unique designs.” The Burgans praised Dan as well. “We didn’t give him any suggestions as to what we imagined the upstairs would look like,” Neelu said. “He just came and took pictures of every room on the inside and from every angle outside. And a week or two later we had the drawings. They were beautiful. I never would have dreamed of designing the house the way he did. I never would have thought it possible.”
Extreme- makeover: Literally before their eyes, the Burgans saw their ranch transform into a stylish two-story home. “We thought we were in that show ‘Extreme-Makeover: Home Edition.’ The crew ripped off the roof in one day and framed it the same day. Every week there was this huge, physical change to the outside of our house,” said Neelu. Gettum started the project at the end of September and they were finished by Thanksgiving. “To come in way before completion date and within budget – it was amazing!” she said.
During construction, the Burgans wanted to change some room sizes. “Steve Denny, the one who runs the show, is phenomenal,” Neelu said. “He would just say, ‘You’re right, let’s take care of it.’ It just didn’t seem to be a problem.”
Now their cramped ranch has three large bedrooms and a bath on the second floor; their master bedroom downstairs is the same, but their daughter’s bedroom has been redecorated and made into a guest room; the boys’ bedroom is now an office; and the downstairs bath was gutted and remodeled with new tile and new fixtures and now is “always clean so when someone comes over it’s always nice.”Neelu said she can’t believe she ever lived in her house without the upstairs. “It seems so natural. It looks natural. It feels natural.”
They were awesome: “They did a great job,” Neelu concluded. “They were so clean and so professional. They didn’t overprice it. We felt we got everything we paid for and more. It was really one of the best experiences. And how many people can say that?”
Are you struggling with the decision to move or improve? Give us a call. There has never been a better time to remodel your home! Click below for a special, money-saving coupon for your next project.
Basement Window Wells add light
We talk to many people every day considering home improvement options for their indianapolis area home. Some need their kitchen remodeled. Others are looking to update bathrooms. And some homeowners simply need more space.
Those looking for more space may be overlooking the most inexpensive part of a home to renovate: The Basement! Whether you want a rec area, wet bar, bathroom or bedroom, a basement allows for many options. But what about the dungeon look of most basements?
Some basements, especially older basements, have small "hopper" type windows. These windows might be fine if all your going to use your basement for is storage. However, if your considering finishing the basement to add additional living space, the installation of larger windows will be a benefit. Not to mention, if your considering adding a basement bedroom, a larger window to provide a means of e-gress is required by the building code.
Along with a window which meets the sizing requirements of the building code, there must also be a way to climb out of the window and up to grade, or the ground level. This is where a window well comes into play.
A window well allows for light to enter the basement space through an excavated well and a wall to retain the dirt. Whatever is chosen to act as the well wall must provide an easy way to exit the well. A window well retaining wall can be constructed with concrete footings and block and/or brick walls.
One alternative to a concrete or brick window well wall, is modular plastic units that install together to create a "terrace" effect that provides an easy way to exit the basement and the well itself. These units are more cost friendly than concrete or masonry walls. The "terraces" provide a nice place for plants or decorative rock. One example of these units can be seen at Bilco's website
Gettum Associates, an Indianapolis area home remodeling contractor, has installed many window wells. Our clients have found to the addition of a window well to be of tremendous value to their home and lifestyle. Allowing light into a space and providing a code-compliant means of e-gress is the first step in creating a basement bedroom or living space.
The words “tri-level floor plan” and “Arts & Crafts Bungalow” don’t logically belong in the same sentence.
Nonetheless, Mike and Deb Grisham wanted their typical 70’s split-level home in Westfield to be completely renovated to take on the feel of an Arts & Crafts “bungalow style” home.
This distinctive styling inspired nostalgia in the couple -- Mike was raised in an Arts & Crafts bungalow while growing up in the Broad Ripple area.
“This was a tall order considering the existing plan layout and the location on the lot,” said Phil Gettum, owner of Gettum Associates Inc, an award-winning design/build remodeling company. The home is situated on a small lake, practically surrounded by beautiful water views that weren’t being taken advantage of. “It was as if the home was turning a cold shoulder to its most obvious asset – the lake,” said Gettum.
So, a number of expansive new casement windows were positioned to open the home up to its glorious water views. The other highly visible feature in the renovation is the front elevation, where Gettum designed a stunning new entrance. “Since the garage sort of stuck out beyond the front of the house, we wanted to pull the entry wall forward,” said Grisham. “By adding the porch, stairs, sidewalk, and parking area, it makes it clear where to enter the house. Before, it wasn’t very welcoming since it was hard to figure out how to get in.”
The front entrance “was way up in the air from grade,” confirms Gettum. The solution was to bring the feel of the front door closer to the ground. This was accomplished by an ingenious combination of gentle cascading stairs and landings. Says Grisham, “I didn’t want eight steps marching straight up to the porch. So, we did a few steps, a small landing, and then a few more steps.” A large, overhanging front porch complete with gorgeous tapered wood columns is faithful to the Arts & Craft motif. The wood chosen for the front deck is a super-hard Brazilian hardwood called Ipe`.
An inviting porch swing, a couple of rocking chairs, hanging ferns, and a craftsman-style mahogany entrance-door system beckon visitors as well as passersby. “We went online and found period-specific lighting that we used for both interior and exterior. The fixtures are copper,” says Grisham. The addition of gable and window trim completes the exterior allusion. “We are delighted to be getting a lot more light in the rooms on the main level,” says Grisham. “Plus, with the open floor plan, the flow is much better for entertaining. The space is much more open and inviting.”
Moving indoors, the old interior was a typical “chopped up 70s-style foyer, kitchen, dining room, and living room,” as Gettum vividly recalls. Virtually everything was gutted on the main floor, the rooms reconfigured to share one visual space. Arts & Crafts-style plaster arches were added over doorways, and more of those distinctive tapered columns were used to separate dining room, living room, kitchen, and foyer. The new kitchen cabinetry was redone to feature flat recessed cherry cabinets with "Cambria" quartz countertops.
The result is a stunningly beautiful, livable home that bears almost no resemblance to its former self.
Who knew an Arts & Crafts design can actually live inside a 70’s tri-level? Well, MAME knew. They named the Gettum-designed home the winner of its annual BAGI-sponsored MAME award for excellence in renovation. “We’re a one-stop shop,” notes Gettum. “Since we include design in what we offer homeowners, as well as supporting all construction phases in our work, there’s no finger-pointing.” As a result, Gettum continues, “We take responsibility for all aspects of the renovation project.” The bottom line is that the homeowner couldn’t have replicated this house on this lot as new construction for the money they’ve spent on renovation. “That’s why,” says Gettum, “remodeling makes the most sense financially.” “I had thought of what I wanted for months before Phil came along,” says Grisham. “I knew I’d found the right company when after going through the design process, they listened to what we wanted, and created a design that was exactly what we were looking for.”Overall, “It was a great experience.”
Are you ready to find out what is possible for YOUR home? It is simple, request your free, no-obligation remodel and home improvement consultation. CLICK BELOW: