How to improve your home

How to 3

BY Molly Congdon
Gazette Reporter
CLIFTON PARK — Do you have a vision for your future home or do you have smaller ambitions and simply wish to revamp one the bathroom or kitchen of your existing home?

Before you start this process, it’s important to keep a few things mind with what can be a costly venture.

John Markowski, the owner of Dream Builders & Remodeling, a full-service renovation and custom home building company, which is located right here in Clifton Park, has been in this business for the past 17 years and knows how it works inside and out.

“I love taking folks through that process and bringing them to a finished product,” he said.

Markowski has some tips to help you start construction and eventually see the creation from your imagination come to life:

Choose wisely: “From the standpoint of hiring their builder, I would suggest doing their due diligence,” Markowski said. “There are many tools available to clients. Online is obviously a go-to source, which most folks turn to first. The builder that they are choosing should have a local presence and they should be someone that clients can find information about. I would recommend checking things like customer reviews, certainly check to see if they are involved in the community at all, and most importantly interview the potential builder. Much like interviewing anyone else you should be able to get a good feel for that person They are going to be in your home and changing what is likely the most valuable asset that you have in your life. You need to be able to trust them to work with them.”

Protection: “Your potential builder must have proper insurances,” Markowski said. “And that includes at a minimum full liability and workers’ compensation.”

Don’t be afraid to ask: It’s important to ask qualifying questions,” Markowski said. “For example: Who will be on your job site? Do you use internal crews or subcontracted labor? What is the approximate time frame for the completion of the project”

Source: “Where did you get the referral for the builder?” Markowski asked. “Did you find them simply via advertising or did you get their name from a friend or family member? Often I find that friends and family are the best sources for you to at least get started. Most likely someone you know has had work done on their home and can tell you about their experience.”

“What separates us from other companies is our ability to provide clients with a fully immersive experience. From our first meeting with a potential customer we provide all the resources they need to get their project completed. We offer full design services if the project warrants them, vendor partners who can take the stress out of making selections, and a wide array of past project photos and ideas to stimulate the creative process. Often we have clients bring us ideas from sites like Pinterest and Houzz. That’s a great starting point because it gives me a sense of what they like and don’t like about particular design ideas.”

Trend lightly: “Part of being a good fit for a client is educating them on the pros and cons of what they are proposing to do in their home,” Markowski said. “Part of my discussions with a client include pointers such as ‘If we build a project for you that’s a hot trend right now would you feel comfortable if in six months or a year the house had to be sold?’ We also want to analyze how the budget is being allocated. For example, ‘How much are you investing in a particular area of the home and what is the expected return on the investment?’ Trends are great in the moment, but the best designs have timeless appeal.”

Popular projects: “Two of the most common projects we get called for are kitchen renovations and adding living space. Both of these are about the best places you can invest in your home” Markowski said. “Certain designs will always be popular. Having a clean open floor plan that is very functional, a workspace that makes sense instead of sticking firmly to design trends, and if it’s a situation where we have a client nearing retirement age, having a first-floor master bedroom and living space is extremely desirable.”

Color appeal: “Sticking with warm and favorable color and pattern selections,” Markowski said. “For example, using complimentary paint tones to the other materials being used for the project. Should they be renovating a kitchen, using time-tested materials such as granite or quartz in color tones that will work in harmony with their cabinet selection.”