Renovation Ideas for a Growing Family

Home Renovations for Young Families Is your home starting to feel too small for your growing family? You could put it up for sale and start looking around for something bigger. However, if you really love your house and don’t want to move, you also have the option of renovating it to fit your needs. Check out some great renovation ideas that will benefit your growing family and allow you to stay where you are most comfortable.

Find a place to put a new bathroom.

As your family grows, it’s going to get harder and harder to find a free bathroom in your home. Rather than spending your mornings yelling “Hurry up!” as you wait outside the bathroom, try to find an area where you can put a new bathroom in your home. It might seem like a small renovation to make, but it’ll make a big difference for your growing family.

Open up your living area.

Does your living area feel extremely cramped when your family sits down to watch a movie or just hang out? See if you can knock down a few walls to make your living space more open. It would be great if your entire main floor could be one open area where everyone can see one another without being on top of each other. It’ll give your family to chance to spend quality time without forcing them to pile into a small living room.

Finish off the basement.

If you have an unfinished basement, now might be the time to finish it like you said you were going to do when you first bought your home. You can add a bathroom to a finished basement, put in a couple more bedrooms, and even create a large play area for your kids to enjoy.

Add an addition and create more square footage.

In some cases, adding a bathroom or opening up an existing living area just isn’t going to cut it. If you need additional square footage to make your home big enough for your growing family, an addition might be exactly what you’re looking for. You can add more rooms to your home and make your home large enough for your family to stay in it.

Regardless of which renovation ideas sound best to you, Scott Merle Builders can handle home remodeling and renovating for your family. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to speak with someone about your renovation options.

When Do You Know a Renovation is in Order?

Home Renovations Do you have the most outdated home on your block? Do you cringe every time you pull up in front of it and see how outdated it looks? Do you wish you could do something about it? If you answered yes to these three questions, then there’s a good chance a home renovation is for you. There are other signs that will let you know it’s time to renovate as well. Take a look at some of those signs below.

Your home isn’t as energy efficient as it could be.

The first thing most people say when they start to consider a home renovation is “I can’t afford to do it.” However, the truth is that you can’t afford not to renovate your home if it’s not energy efficient. You could save yourself hundreds and potentially even thousands of dollars every year by replacing your home’s windows, changing your home’s lighting, and doing a bunch of other renovation jobs. It’ll make your home more energy efficient in no time and cut down your energy bills dramatically.

You have old fixtures that don’t look good or work well anymore.

If the sink in your kitchen is more than 20 years old and the lighting fixture hanging over your dining room table has been in place since your home was first built a few decades ago, it’s time for a home renovation. These fixtures are making your home look outdated, and they’re also probably not working as well as they should. You can replace sinks, toilets, lighting fixtures, and so much more when you do a renovation.

You hate the way certain rooms in your home function.

Do you have a kitchen that only allows one person to be in it at a time? Or a master bathroom that is entirely too small? If you don’t like the way spaces in your home function, you can change them by having a home renovation done. They’ll allow you and your family to live more comfortably and make your home more valuable at the same time.

Want to see how a home renovation could benefit you in a big way? Scott Merle Builders can speak with you about home remodeling and renovating and show you ways you could improve your home. Call us at 315-409-4124 to get started.

Discuss These Things Before Planning a Home Renovation

Home Renovations Are you starting to find that certain aspects of your home don’t work for you and your family anymore? You could get out there and start looking for a new home—or you could do a home renovation and make your house more functional for everyone without having to move. Before you do a home renovation, you should consider a few things. Ask yourself these questions prior to getting started.

What do I want to change about my home?

Do you wish that you had a larger kitchen so that you and your family could actually hang out in it, or do you wish that you had an extra bedroom or bathroom space? When you’re thinking about doing a home renovation, you want to spend time thinking about exactly what you want to change. You should also brainstorm some ways to go about giving yourself the space that you need in your home, such as knocking down a wall or rethinking the way you’re using closet space.

Do I have the budget to do a renovation?

After you have decided what you want to do during your home renovation, it will be time to figure out if you can afford to do it. A small bathroom renovation job might be well within your budget, but a total kitchen makeover might not work once you crunch the numbers. You should see if you can get some quotes from contractors in your area so that you can assess the situation.

How will my home renovation affect the value of my property?

If you’re going to spend a lot of money to renovate your home, you want to be sure that it’s going to pay off. There are real estate agents in your area who would probably be more than happy to let you know how a renovated kitchen or bathroom would affect your home’s value. This will allow you to see whether it makes sense to spend a large chunk of change on renovations.

Who can bring my home renovation ideas to life?

If you’ve considered all your options and decided to move ahead with your home renovation, it’ll be time to find the right contractor for the job. You need someone who is experienced, affordable, and willing to get started right away.

At Scott Merle Builders, we specialize in doing home renovations and can help you make your home more functional than ever before. We will complete your renovations quickly and make sure you love the work we’ve in your home. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to get started.

The Advantages of an Elevated Home

Elevated Homes If you live in a part of the country that’s prone to flooding, it’s a good idea to consider elevating your home. By putting your home up on stilts, you can avoid sustaining water damage to your home during a flood. However, that’s not the only benefit of elevated homes. Let’s discuss a few more.

It will be more secure.

It’s harder for burglars to break into an elevated home than it would be for them to break into a home closer to the ground. They will need to use a ladder or climb up on your porch in order to get access to your house when your home is elevated. You will feel a whole lot safer in an elevated home than you would otherwise.

It will provide you with more ventilation.

When your home is located close to the ground, it can be hard to get the ventilation you need to keep it cool in the spring and summertime. An elevated home will provide you with all the ventilation you need. Since your home will be up on stilts, air will circulate underneath of your home and all around it as well. This will keep the temperature down in your house. It will also reduce the risk of you being forced to deal with mold and mildew in your home.

It will give you a better view.

This might be the biggest benefit of all if you live in an area that provides you with scenic views. From the ground level, you probably wouldn’t be able to get a great view looking out of your home’s windows. However, when your home is elevated, you will be positioned up above the tree line, which will give you an excellent view of everything around you. You’ll love the way things look from up above when your home is elevated.

For more information, contact Scott Merle Builders at 315-409-4124 today to hear about the custom home plans and designs we can provide for you.

Places to Consider Adding an Extra Bathroom

Bathroom AdditionAre you struggling to think of a place to put an extra bathroom in your home? Even if you don’t have an obvious place to do it, you can make space by getting creative with the current layout of your home. Take a look at some of the ways you can find room to build an extra bathroom in your house.


This one might seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people have big, empty, unfinished basements and don’t consider putting a bathroom in them. You don’t necessarily have to finish off your basement to install a bathroom. You can simply section off one part of it with the right water hookups and turn it into a bathroom your family can use.


Is there a long hallway in your home with a space at the end of it that might be big enough for a bathroom? It might only be 30 square feet or so, but you can wedge an extra bathroom into it. As a bonus, you might even be able to either cut a new window into an exterior wall or use a window that is already located in the hallway for your bathroom.


Whether you have a large walk-in closet that you would be willing to sacrifice to build an extra bathroom or back-to-back closets in bedrooms that could be used to build a bathroom, you should examine the closet space in your home to see if it would make sense to use it more effectively. Turning closets into bathrooms is one of the most common practices in home renovations.


Maybe you have a large bedroom that you could “steal” some space from to create a bathroom. Or maybe you have an unused bedroom next to your master bedroom that you could transform into a large master bathroom. Whatever the case, you probably have at least one bedroom in your home that you could consider making smaller for the sake of adding a bathroom.

Regardless of how you decide to do it, Scott Merle Builders can help you find space to build a bathroom. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to check out your options.


How Home Renovations Can Help You Age in Place

Aging in PlaceThe “baby boomers,” born between 1946 and 1964, are currently in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. There are about 76 million of them in the U.S. and as they age, are they going to stay in the home they’re used to or move into senior homes/nursing homes?

What is Aging in Place?

For many baby boomers, “aging in place” is a concept they’ll be considering in the years to come. Aging in place basically means a person does what they can to stay in the house or apartment of their choice for as long as they can with the comforts that matter to them.

How Home Contractors Can Help

You probably know some people who vow never to “go into a home,” because they truly want to stay where they are– they’re happy in their current home. That said, there might need to be some changes to their existing home if they’re to remain there into old age. For instance, adding “grab bars” to the bathroom or replacing steps with a ramp are two ways to “retrofit” a place for aging in place purposes. Others may choose to move into newer housing, built by builders like Scott Merle, which are specifically designed with the aging in place concept in mind.

The older a person gets, the more likely they are to have poorer eyesight/hearing, reduced muscle mass (less strength), decreased mobility/flexibility, and less energy overall. They may end up using a walker or spend most of their day in a wheelchair. It gets harder to open doors and cupboards. Their balance can become unsteady. If there aren’t enough lights in the room, it’s easier to trip and fall and hurt themselves.

So, what makes aging in place homes distinct? They’re typically single-level designs with wide hallways and doorways for easy wheelchair access. Shelving might be pull-out/pull-down. Counters are multi-leveled. Faucets are twist-free. Door handles are levers. Floors are designed to be slip resistant. Blinds and windows are remote controlled. Moreover, ideally, there’s an open floor plan so the aging in place house doesn’t feel cramped.

Are you interested in aging in place? Contact Central New York’s Scott Merle Builders at 315-409-4124 to talk about having a custom home built for your retirement years.


How Often Should You Renovate Your Home?

Home Renovations If it’s been awhile since your home has been renovated, you might be wondering if it’s time to do it now. Homes should typically be renovated about once every 15 or 20 years, but that number can change depending on how big your last renovation was and how well your home currently functions for you. Here are a few factors that will let you know it’s time to undertake a home renovation.

Your home is outdated.

If your last home renovation was done 20 years ago, chances are your home currently includes many features that are ancient at this point. Home trends come and go just like all other trends, so the inside and outside of your home is probably stuck in the wrong decade if you haven’t renovated in a while. To fix this, you should have a renovation done immediately and bring everything up to the modern times.

Your home doesn’t function as well as it used to.

Many of today’s homes are very open and airy, which is more conducive to the modern American lifestyle. Older homes don’t feature this same open layout, and as a result, they often don’t function very well. It can be hard to use a closed-off kitchen or a tiny bathroom, and it can make it difficult for you and your family to coexist. Renovating your home will fix this problem and allow your home to be more functional overall.

Your home doesn’t look nice anymore.

Just like anything else, a home will start to look worn out if you don’t renovate it. The carpeting will fade, the paint on the walls will look dull, and everything from your kitchen countertops to the doors within your home will turn into eyesores. Renovating your home will freshen it up and make it look more aesthetically pleasing.

Do you get the sense your home could benefit from a renovation? Call Scott Merle Builders Inc. at 315-409-4124 today to see how we can help renovate your home right away and make it look great again.

Here’s Why You Should Consider a Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodels You use the bathrooms in your home numerous times throughout the course of a normal day. So if you really don’t like one of the bathrooms and wish that you could change it, what are you waiting for? A bathroom remodel will make you fall in love with your bathroom space again and help it to live up to its full potential. Whether you want to make the bathroom bigger, make it more functional, or just bring it up to speed so that it doesn’t look so outdated, there are so many benefits that come along with doing a bathroom remodel. Check out a few of those benefits below.

It will allow you to create a new layout.

If the current layout of your bathroom just doesn’t work for you and your family, doing a bathroom remodel can solve this big problem. You can move your fixtures around, get rid of a large bathtub in favor of a more modern shower, and even create closet space that didn’t exist before by coming up with a new design for your bathroom. The possibilities are endless when you start the remodeling process.

It will make the space more eco-friendly.

Unless you’ve updated your bathroom in recent years, there’s a good chance that it has older fixtures in it as well as older lighting. There are many toilets, sinks, and shower heads on the market today that use substantially less water than older models. There are also many lighting options that can be used that won’t eat up as much electricity as older lights. You will get the chance to make your entire bathroom more environmentally friendly during a remodel.

It will increase the value of your home.

Not all bathroom remodels will increase the value of your home. If you choose to put together a bathroom that’s customized just to you, it might not make much of a difference. However, if you work with a builder who knows how to make the most of a remodel, they will be able to show you things that you can do to increase the value of your home while remodeling the bathroom. There are many steps you can take to get more bang for your buck.

Scott Merle Builders can assist you with your bathroom remodeling job and get it done right. To start designing the bathroom of your dreams, call us at 315-409-4124 today.

The Benefits of a Finished Basement

Finished Basement If you have an unfinished basement in your home, you could really benefit from finishing it off. It will give you and your family more space, and in some cases, it could dramatically increase the square footage of your home. You could use the extra space to add additional bedrooms to your home, set up a large play area for your kids, or even turn it into an income property that could help pay your mortgage every month. There are other benefits to having a finished basement, too. Here are just a few of them.

It will allow you to utilize the rest of your home more efficiently.

When you move your kids’ play area or your husband’s man cave to the basement, it will free up space in the rest of your home right away. Not only will you gain all of the extra square footage that comes along with a basement, but you will also regain all of the space in your main living quarters and get to rethink the way your entire home functions.

It will increase the value of your home.

Increasing the square footage of your home will just about always increase the value of it. In addition, when you finish off a basement, you will see a big jump in both the total square footage and the overall value of your property. Finishing off an unfinished basement is a great way to make your home more valuable, and if you ever decide to sell your home, your finished basement will be a very attractive feature to potential buyers.

It will make your home more energy efficient.

Most unfinished basements aren’t insulated properly, so they allow air from outside to enter your home and wreak havoc on your HVAC system. When you finish your basement, you will obviously need to address this issue, and by insulating your basement the right way, you will reap the benefits in the form of lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.

Scott Merle Builders can help you renovate your basement and finish it off. To get started, call 315-409-4124 today to schedule a consultation.

Renovate Your Home For Curb Appeal

Renovate Your Home For Curb AppealPeople watching, we all do it whether we admit it or not.

Most of us are conscious of people watching but are we aware that we are just as likely to “house watch”?

Whether driving down a street or walking the neighborhood we observe the “curb appeal” of the homes we pass and pick out what we do and do not like, sometimes we take the ideas we get from admiring others’ homes and we apply them to our own.

To many homeowners, the outside appearance of a home is just as important as the inside.

Hours are spent each week mowing the lawn in perfect lines, weeding the flower beds and sprucing up the landscaping.

Structural renovations to the outside often include siding, shutters, a new garage door, the possibilities are endless.

One project that is sure to change the look and heighten the curb appeal of your home is adding pillars to the front porch.

Columns not only help define the style of your home but also make your porch more inviting.

There are many things to consider when you change the structure of a porch, make sure before you start planning anything you check with the local building department to ensure you are following all building and structural codes.

Careful consideration needs to be given to the location, size and a number of posts and/or columns your porch needs.

Matching your columns to your porch’s architectural style can dramatically improve your overall curb appeal.

Not only are columns and posts aesthetically pleasing but they can also provide privacy, creating an inviting outdoor room to relax and drink your morning cup of coffee, enjoy company or dive into a book.

At Merle Builders, our expert staff is able to assist with everything from obtaining a building permit, assuring codes are met, drawing up plans, finding materials and doing the work.

Contact us today to discuss your latest project idea.