THE PROS AND CONS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE CREATING AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN by Keith Moehle

In almost any home remodel, an open concept floor plan is always at the top of the homeowner’s wishlist. They want to knock down the barriers that are keeping them from entertaining with their loved ones. 

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Open concept floor plans are in every DIY magazine, they’re on every HGTV show, and they’re on every designer's Instagram page. Open concept floor plans are probably one of the most highly coveted designs right now in the remodeling world. Even though everyone wants an open concept floor plan, it’s not always the most practical design. Open concept floor plans have many aesthetically pleasing pros, but they also have some functional cons.

Pros for Open Concept Floor Plans:

  • Open concept floor plans allow a small space to feel larger

  • Allows families to be closer together as parents are cooking and kids are playing or doing homework in the living room. 

  • More socially convenient as you’re cooking and preparing for gatherings. Your guests can converse with you in the kitchen and you don’t miss out on entertaining.

  • Open Concept floor plans allow you to have gorgeous sight lines throughout your home, allowing you to display your Instagram worthy home

  • An open concept floor plan can also eliminate any underused space in your home

Cons for Open Concept Floor Plans:

  • If you decide to do an open concept floor plan in a large space, it can make your room feel too big, empty or cold.

  • Even though homeowners like the open sightlines throughout the home to show off their beautiful design, it also makes it harder to hide the mess. Your home will always be on display and that includes the stacked up dirty dishes and all the clutter from kids, husbands, and the dogs' toys.

  • Lack of privacy is another issue with open concept floor plans. If you need a break or place to hide from guests or kids, you lose that opportunity with an open floor plan. 

  • When you start to knock down walls, the cost of installing a reinforced beam to replace any load-bearing wall may run your project a few dollars extra. 

So before you get ready to pick up the sledgehammer, sit down and think about what will work for your lifestyle and your family. Consult a designer to go over the functionality and the architectural details of your open concept floor plan so you can make a detailed and informed decision on what will work for your home and family. 

Here at KM BUILDERS, we have a full-time staff of interior and architectural designers that are able to help guide you through your remodeling process from beginning to end. They’re able to find creative solutions that are custom to your needs and your home. So give us a call at 210-680-5626.

----KM Builders is San Antonio's premier design-build remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, and whole-house remodeling. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your home remodeling needs!----

10 COUNTERTOP MATERIALS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR REMODEL by Keith Moehle

You know that feeling where you're putting together a puzzle and just need that final piece to complete it? Well, that’s how it can feel when it comes to choosing your countertops. 

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There are a lot of details that go into a kitchen remodel. You get to make all the exciting decisions like what style of kitchen you want, what layout is best for your family, what style and color of cabinets you want, what fixtures you want along with other fun choices. But I think we can all agree that the countertop is the cherry on top to your new dream kitchen. The countertops are what gives your kitchen life and makes you say “wow”! But before you pick the final details, make sure you know all the pros and cons of your countertop materials. 

Granite speaks elegance into a kitchen. Even the modest of kitchens will look luxurious with beautiful granite countertops. 

Pros

  • Almost impervious to heat

  • Strong and durable

  • Adds real estate value

  • Multiple colors and styles to choose from

  • Very little maintenance 

Cons

  • Can be expensive

  • Not suitable for DIY installation

  • Chance of cracking

  • Material is very porous which requires sealing at an added cost to prevent stains 

Marble is easily the most unique material as no two slabs are exactly the same. Due to its high price tag, marble is usually reserved for the kitchen island.

Pros

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  • Waterproof and heatproof

  • Add real estate value

  • Very attractive

Cons

  • Very expensive

  • Not available for DIY installation

  • Very easy to scratch and stain

  • Difficult to repair

  • Requires lots of maintenance 

Soapstone is a beautiful natural stone material that is usually dark in color with a silky feel. It can be used in both historic and modern homes. Soapstone can develop an antique look over time, which adds charm to any kitchen. Soapstone is also a popular alternative to granite. 

Pros

  • Rich in color

  • Semi-stain resistant

  • Fairly impervious to heat

  • Damages can be sanded out

  • An antique or historic look

Cons

  • May darken over time

  • Not suited for DIY installation

  • The surface may scratch and dent, but this may also add character to your kitchen

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Quartz is an engineered material that was created to be a more adaptable and better-performing alternative to granite and marble. Some types of quartz can even be made to look like natural marble. 

Pros

  • A large variety of colors and styles available

  • Possible for DIY installation

  • Easy to maintain

  • Slabs are made uniformly with little imperfections

  • Has a natural appearance

  • Stain-resistant and heat resistant

Cons

  • Can be  expensive

  • Countertops are very heavy

Solid Surface Material is a man-made material that consists of a blend of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed together into sheets and other shapes. This material tends to mimic a natural stone look. Solid surface materials are considered as a mid-tier material but can still add a luxurious feel to your kitchen. 

Pros

  • Stain-resistant

  • Damages can be easily sanded out

  • Multiple colors and patterns to choose from

  • Integrated sink/countertop units are available

Cons

  • Moderately expensive

  • Vulnerable to heat

  • No DIY installation 

Ceramic Tile offers more design options than almost any other countertop material. They’re durable, easy to clean, and great for anyone who wants to do the work themselves.

Pros

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  •  Easy to clean

  • Very affordable

  • Easy for DIY installation

  • Heat resistant

  • A very large variety of colors and styles

Cons

  • Expensive to customize

  • May crack under impact

  • Grout lines may stain and can be difficult to clean

Stainless Steel countertops are the perfect match for a contemporary or industrial style kitchen.

Pros

  • Heat resistant

  • Modern style

  • Easy to clean

  • Can be seen as a premium look

  • Adds real estate value

Cons

  • Noisy

  • Expensive to fabricate

  • Easy to scratch

Wood or Butcher Block will give any kitchen a warm and cozy look. This will be the perfect compliment to any farm house or contemporary design.

Pros

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  • Wide range of finishes

  •   easy to clean

  • Long-lasting when cared for properly

  • Can be sanded and resealed as needed 

  • Quaint country yet contemporary look

Cons

  • Fairly expensive

  • Vulnerable to scratches and cuts

  • Can be damaged by water or stains over time

  • Can crack or have bacteria if not properly maintained

Concrete countertops are the perfect custom accessory to any kitchen. Every concrete countertop has to be cast in your kitchen, which means no other home will have the same countertop as you. Not even the colors can be duplicated in another kitchen. 

Pros

  • Color tinted

  • Heat and scratch-resistant

  • An exotic and unusual look

  • Decorative textures

Cons

  • No DIY installation

  • Cracking may occur over time

  • Can be costly

  • Requires a lot of upkeep

  • May seem industrial which can lower resale value 

Laminate countertops are usually seen a low-end material but have recently grown in popularity. Laminates such as Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsonart are popular for retro and mid-century modern kitchens.

Pros

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  • Easy to maintain

  • Can be installed the DIY way

  • Very inexpensive

Cons

  • Viewed as low end

  • Chips or damages are hard to repair


Here at KM BUILDERS, we have the privilege of working with multiple vendors and lines that offer a large variety of countertop materials. We also have expert designers that can give you more in-depth information on all the pros and cons of each countertop material. So give us a call at 210-680-5626, and we’ll walk you through our showroom where you can see for yourself the variety we offer. With KM BUILDERS, there's something for everyone. 

----KM Builders is San Antonio's premier design-build remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, and whole-house remodeling. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your home remodeling needs!----












THE UNREALISTIC STANDARDS THAT HGTV SETS by Keith Moehle

I think most of us can all agree that we love HGTV. Each show is filled with unbelievable transformations that inspire us to want to transform our own homes. 

HGTV makes renovating look so easy and seamless. The shows can give you an inspiration for the style you want, the type of project you want, the price range, and the timeline. After watching a few different shows or reading a few of their website articles, you might think you have your next project all planned out. But when you start looking for a contractor or remodeler in your area, the price range and the timelines don’t match what you searched. Well, we hate to burst your bubble but not everything that is seen on HGTV can be duplicated in your home as you see it on TV. 

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Let's start with the pricing. Pricing for renovation projects varies from state to state and even city to city. What could be a $25,000 job in one area could be a $75,000 job in another area. Pricing also varies in the housing market. The same style home with the same amount of square footage may run for $ 300,000 in one area and $ 575,000 in another area. And unlike what you see on house hunters, you’re more than likely not going to find your first home or dream home after only looking at three houses. 

In terms of project timelines, no project takes 6 to 8 weeks from the first meeting to completion. When you watch property brothers or the famous fixer-upper, those shows and work crews have resources that your average contractor or remodeler will not have access to. Also, what those shows won’t show is all the time it takes for pre-planning your project. You have to take into consideration the time it takes for permitting, inspections, designing the new blueprints for the home, redesigning the project to accommodate for corrections or changes you may want to make to the design plans, etc. The pre-planning phase could take 6 weeks alone. Then once you start the project, you may experience delays due to weather or products being received behind schedule. Now, your remodeler will try to work on things inside to keep the project going but they can’t always control product delays from the vendor. HGTV can make these types of delays seem as if only a few days have passed but in reality, they can last a little longer. 

Since HGTV has set these seemingly doable yet unrealistic standards, homeowners try to cut corners by either trying to take on the project themselves or finding a contractor who promises low budgets and a speedy timeline both of which can lead to severe consequences. What some homeowners discover as they attempt to do the project themselves is that there’s more to the project that they didn’t consider and now they’re in over their heads. The homeowner may find a contractor who can guarantee low numbers and a 6-week timeline. Then halfway through the project, you come to find out that the contractor is not reliable, is not licensed, has unreliable subcontractors and is now unable to complete the job. Both of these situations now leave the homeowners with no choice but to call in a contractor to not only finish the project but also repair any damages which can add more to the cost and extends the timeline. 

Here at KM BUILDERS, we don’t want you to fall into the trap of trying to do the project yourself or using an unreliable contractor. Our goal is to help you design and build your remodeling project from beginning to end with the most reliable resources possible. We’ll answer all your questions and tell you everything you need to know upfront. So call us at 210-680-5626 to schedule your free consultation.

----KM Builders is San Antonio's premier design-build remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, and whole-house remodeling. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your home remodeling needs!----


WHAT TO DO WITH THE EMPTY SPARE ROOM IN YOUR HOME by Keith Moehle

As we grow and our lifestyles change, so will your home. You may be a first-time home buyer not knowing what to do with all the rooms in your new home, or you might be an empty nester trying to think of how TO use the rooms your kids once USED. 

At any stage of our lives, there is probably a spare room in your home that you may not know what to do with. While the ideas may seem overwhelming, it can actually turn out to be a little hidden treasure in your own home! Here are our designers' top favorite ideas to transform your spare room.

  • Freshen up your guest room with a new coat of paint or wall treatment: a little bit of wainscoting or wood paneling and some fresh paint can go a long way! You could even combine both by carrying the wood paneling to the ceiling and painting it a bright, bold color to make a great focal feature. 

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  • Home media room for movies and games: unfortunately, not every home will come with an unfinished basement, attic, or garage for you to turn into a family media room. But you can turn a spare room to become your family's media room! You can start with a large entertainment center to make room for large tv. Then add a pool table or hockey table, a futon for comfortable seating, and some extra storage space for board games and then you have yourself a comfy little media room! 

  • A lounge bar: let's face it, as adults we sometimes have more hard days than good days, and we need a refreshing beverage to wind down after that long day. Well instead of debating on going out or going home, you can have the option of enjoying your favorite refreshment at home by converting your spare room into your very own lounge bar!

  • A home office: You may have the luxury of converting your basement or garage into your home office, but sometimes that’s just too much space and you may feel isolated from the rest of the home. Turning a spare room into your quaint and cozy home office will still allow you to have privacy so you can concentrate on your work without feeling isolated. 

  • A multipurpose room for sewing, crafts, and gift wrapping: If you’re gifted in the talent of crafts, you need your own creative space and a spare room is your solution. You can install custom storage shelving so that each of your crafting supplies has a home. You can have a wide table that will allow you to wrap, sew, and craft your heart out. 

  • Home library or reading room: for those of us who love to get lost in the world of fiction, we need our space to getaway. With your own personal reading room, you can collect all your favorite books without running out of shelving space or running back and forth to your local library. 

  • Home gym: Now a basement or garage might make more sense for a home gym, but you also have to think of the added costs to finish the space and add central air so you don’t pass out in the middle of your workout. With a spare room, you can install new rubber flooring and new gym equipment to sweat out all your stress away. 

  • A designated playroom and homework area: This idea is for all the moms out there. No matter how much you pick up and clean your kids' mess, their toys and paper trail of homework will always manage to spread out across the room. Well, you can use a spare room to set up their toys, games, and homework. Then when you want your house to be clean, all you have to do is close the door!  

  • The ultimate closet or walk-in wardrobe: now ladies no matter what stage of life we’re in, we need a room where you can close the door and escape the world. The answer to that is to turn your spare room into your walk-in wardrobe. Here you can set up all your clothes, a full-length mirror, make-up vanity and shelf for books or magazines so you can close the door and spend quality time with yourself. 

Call KM BUILDERS at 210-680-5626 and we can help you turn your spare room into a space that will meet all your needs. 


5 TIPS FOR A LONG-LASTING CLEAN REMODEL by Keith Moehle

Once we’ve made the decision to remodel our homes, we make this promise in our minds to do better at keeping our renovated spaces clean. We devote ourselves to perform better in managing the clutter in our homes. 

No matter how hard we try to stay true to these promises, we always seem to fall short. The clutter just seems to lurk around the corners of our homes as we try to build these organizational barriers. Then as we’re starting to feel confident in our organizational efforts, it creeps right back into our homes. Now we’re back in the same wrestling match with the clutter we were in before the renovation. 

Before you totally begin to feel defeated, we have found a few strategic tips to help fight the battle against clutter. The first step you need to take is to identify where the clutter is building up. Then, you can begin plotting your plan of attack on the best way to declutter your space. Nevertheless, no matter what kind of remodeling project you’ve had in your home, these are the most common area where the clutter likes to hide. 

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The Kitchen Countertop- This tends to be a personal favorite for clutter to hide. The kitchen countertops are the catch-all from everything thrown at them during the day. This is where the mail, bills, and kids’ homework or projects like to hide. Not only does it catch the daily paper trail of your everyday life, but it also exposes all the small kitchen appliances that crowd your kitchen countertops.  Some solutions to keep in mind are to:

  • maximize cabinet and drawer space by installing organization units behind closed doors. 

  • Choose under-cabinet mounts or create an appliance garage to hide small appliances by installing cabinet doors that open up and out like small garage doors. 

  • If you designed your kitchen with open shelves or pot racks, try not to overcrowd them. 

Crowded and dusty book shelves-While shelves and built-in shelving units can be used for organization; they can also be deceiving by only adding to our clutter problem. We start stacking items on a shelf thinking they’ll be neatly tucked away, but they still look cluttered because we’ve overcrowded them. To prevent overcrowding and excessive stacking:

  • Get rid of anything that you haven't read in over a year

  • Try to group your books, magazines, and decorative objects together

  • Sort items by size and color

  • Group books, magazines, and decorative objects in odd numbers

  • Place items that don’t need to be displayed in decorative boxes and place them on the lowest and highest shelves

The Entryway- this is clutter’s absolute favorite place to build up and collect. Coats, shoes, keys, chargers, handbags, you name it - the front entryway has probably got it. The front entryway is a revolving door for clutter that never really seems to slow down enough for you to keep up with it. To help keep the clutter down to a minimum:

  • Start small by adding a narrow table bookcase, or bench to hold keys, chargers, and other small items. A bench or a bookcase with doors and drawers will make it easier to hide the clutter. 

  • Add hooks and coat racks for jackets, bags, and backpacks

  • Add a charging station 

Overloaded Closets-This is a place where clutter likes to sneak up on us. We think that since it’s a closet space, we can just close the door and not see the clutter. But that’s exactly how the clutter sneaks up on us because we keep stuffing the closet until the clutter can’t be hidden anymore. To prevent your closet from being overstuffed:

  • Get rid of anything you haven’t worn or used in over a year

  • Install an organization system with shelves, baskets, boxes, and drawers

  • Box or bag seasonal items

Messy Garages- Garages are very similar to the overcrowded closest. We think we can stuff and hide the mess away, but before you know it, you’re having trouble parking your car or finding tools. Some simple solutions you can use to declutter your garage is to:

  • Store items in labels bins

  • Install garage shelving systems

  • Add hooks for bikes and other sporting gear

  • Add a pegboard to hang tools and other small items

From designing the remodel of your dreams to helping keep it clean, KM BUILDERS can do it all. We can design your remodel with storage solutions in mind or help you make design choices to help keep your remodel look fresh and clean for years to come. So give us a call at 210-680-5626 to set up your free consultation.


HOW TO BALANCE TIMELESS WITH TRENDY by Keith Moehle

There are so many decisions that go into designing your remodeling project. Do you play it safe and go with a design that will stand the test of time, or do you go bold and choose a design that’s in line with the times? 

Asking yourself these questions can become overwhelming. Whatever direction you decide to take, you have to take into consideration the long term value of your design choices.  In other words, make sure you’ll be okay with living in your renovation over the next 5 to 10 years of living in your home. 

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When we walk into our homes, we want to be able to feel relaxed, joy, and peace when we walk in the door. In order to achieve that feeling for years to come, we need to be flexible with our design choices. Our tastes in a style that we have today may change in the next two years or so. To avoid your home from looking boring or too trendy, you want to design your home with the ability to evolve as your lifestyle, personal tastes and needs change. 

Here are a few tips to help balance out trendy and timeless designs

  1. Make sure your investment pieces will stand the test of time...or at least have a high resale value. Investment pieces could be new furniture, a bold colored kitchen island, or a trendy brick style for the fireplace. While these pieces bring you joy now, you also want to make sure they’ll give your home a high resale value if you ever choose to sell your home later on down the road. 

  2. Let go of the idea that your tastes in style will never change. It’s part of our human nature to seek change and variety. So in choosing the design for your remodel, pick pieces and styles that will give you the flexibility to mix things up later down the road when you want a new look. 

  3. Think timeless for your base elements and trendy for your accent pieces. If you design too conservatively with timeless pieces, you’ll get bored easily. If you design too trendy, you’ll end up with a design that’s out of style in a few years and have to redesign all over again. Picking a neutral base will allow you to change your accent pieces as trends change.

  4. Create a flexible color scheme. Pick a neutral color for walls and cabinets then add pops of color by creating an accent wall or picking an accent color for your kitchen island. You can also change colors with new pillows or new rugs. 

  5. Design with the future in mind. As your picking the new pieces for your remodeled space or choosing the design elements to incorporate in your remodel, think of what you might want to change later on down the road. Making these decisions now will help you enjoy your home longer. 

With KIM BUILDERS, we have a full team of designers that can guide you through all the designing phases from beginning to end. Together with their help, we can ensure you’ll love your remodeled design for a lifetime. So give us a call at 210-680-5626 to set up your free consultation.