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5 Interesting Green Home Building Trends for 2014

It’s one thing to design and construct an amazing new custom home or renovation, but the team at Tiefenthaler goes the extra mile to also incorporate the latest eco-friendly building components. With over 25 years of construction experience in the Fairfield County, CT area, we utilize many of the top 2014 green home building trends in our projects.

Eco Friendly Aspects

Source: ZeroEnergy Design via

1. The technology of home insulation has been a big focus in recent years, with manufacturers developing more effective and inexpensive products from sustainable materials. This trend means home owners spend less on the initial build, as well as over time with decreased energy bills.

2. Energy efficiency is also the latest in home appliances. Companies are manufacturing ranges, refrigerators, laundry machines, and other devices that use less energy and work more efficiently. Convection stoves and ovens, once just luxury appliances, will become standard in new home construction in the coming months.

3. In areas where sunlight can effectively be harnessed, solar panels are becoming more popular. Instead of offering this type of energy enhancing technology, builders will be including it as a standard feature.

4. New home builders will incorporate more sustainable materials in both residential and commercial projects. Reclaimed woods, cork, recycled steel and composite lumber are durable as well as eco-friendly.

5. Developing more environmentally-friendly windows has been a focus in the construction industry for some time, and the trend will continue throughout 2014. Double-paned glass with a vacuum in between the glass is the most in-demand by consumers.

By staying current with 2014 green home building trends and the latest in interior design inspiration, Tiefenthaler is able to bring the highest quality construction projects to New England homeowners. Please contact our office to hear more about our new home builds, large scale renovations, custom millwork and outdoor spaces.

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Outdoor Living Trends: Add an Arbor to Your Outdoor Living Space

One of the hottest outdoor living trends in the New England area this year is a custom designed wood arbor to add function and elegance to your exterior space. These hardworking structures can support trees, shrubs and other greenery, while also bringing texture to any outdoor area. Here are a few ideas from the exterior design pros at Tiefenthaler, on how to incorporate a structure into your landscape.

Arbor Additions

Source: Frederick + Frederick Architects via

While they can be constructed of many types of building materials and incorporate any style, arbors are a design focal point that acts as a natural doorway to welcome guests to your exterior space. The climbing plants that grow up and around the structure enhance the look and add softness, especially flowering vines and shrubbery. You can also incorporate aromatic plants that offer a beautiful scent as you stroll through the arbor.

The design flexibility of an arbor means you can go with any style to coordinate with your home, landscaping and the rest of your exterior space. A tailored arbor in white-painted wood with brass details makes a classic statement, and enhances the look of a colonial-style home. For a more rustic design, you can incorporate reclaimed wood and weathered iron hardware.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the shape and structure of an arbor. The traditional model is rectangular or square with wooden beams that support plant growth. However, you can also consider arched beams for a softer, more graceful style. Another option is use of lattice-work that adds elegance and class.

The Tiefenthaler Construction experts can tell you more about how an arbor is one of the most popular outdoor living trends around Fairfield County, CT. Please give us a call to talk to a specialist about our exterior design projects, custom millwork and outbuilding construction.

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Be Sure to Ask These 5 Questions to Your Renovation Contractor

If you’re considering a new construction project or large scale improvements to your existing home, you want to carefully vet New England renovation contractors before making such an important hiring decision. Tiefenthaler Construction specialists have some advice on the five most important questions to ask.

Janet Paik

Source: Janet Paik via

1. Who is the point person that will be onsite every day? This is the face that you’ll associate with your construction project and is the professional you’ll turn to with questions and concerns. You’ll be developing a close relationship with this person during work, so it’s important to bond early.

2. How are change orders handled? Changes to construction details are inevitable, but serious problems can arise when they’re not managed properly. Ask about the documentation process and make sure you know how scheduling will be affected by making project changes.

3. What’s the best form of communication? While you may be an email aficionado, sometimes this method isn’t practical for renovation professionals when onsite. Decide with your contractor how you will stay in touch, both during and after business hours.

4. What are the schedule specifics? A start date and completion date are important, but there are many other milestones along the way that affect your project. Ask your contractor about the timing for ground breaking, demolition, installation of main structures and other any details.

5. How often should we meet? Ongoing communication is key, but you’ll also need to schedule regular in-person meetings with your contractor. Depending on your project, consider monthly or weekly sessions to obtain updates and new developments.

The New England renovation contractors at Tiefenthaler have over 25 years of experience dealing with new home builds, renovations, historic home preservations and outbuilding structures. Whatever improvements you’re considering, please contact a specialist to hear more about our areas of expertise.

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5 Essential Elements of Gothic Revival Architecture

Whether you’re looking to renovate your existing house or need help designing a new place, you can trust the construction professionals at Tiefenthaler to help create your dream home. Gothic revival architecture is a popular style in the New England area, and there are a few essential components that define this classic look.

Gothic Revival

Source: Greg Newton Photography via

1. The Gothic revival style is seen quite often in interior doors and entryways. Elements such as ornate pointed arches and decorative crowns welcome guests and lead the eye up to these elegant details.

2. Floor plans and layouts in a home inspired by Gothic revival architecture tend to be open and irregular, adding to the charm. You can maintain a smooth flow from room to room by using common design schemes throughout the home to bring continuity.

3. On the outside, Gothic revival exterior style is elaborate and gorgeous. Popular features include castle-like turrets, deeply pitched roofs and parapets. Eaves typically extend further over the structure and windows than you’d see in a typical roof.

4. Because Gothic revival is rooted in the churches, cathedrals and other religious buildings of England and France, stained glass windows are a popular design feature. These gorgeous accents can be used in your home’s interior to provide separation between rooms, and they strike an impressive image when the light shines through them.

5. Intricately-carved wood ornamentation is widely used in Gothic revival homes, especially around windows, doorways and interior wall trim. The features really make a statement when you use a rich contrasting wall color.

Please give us a call at Tiefenthaler if you’d like to hear more about our Gothic revival architecture projects or home renovations. In addition to our building services, we would be happy to refer you to local architects and interior designers that can help you create a Gothic revival home. Tiefenthaler has been providing Fairfield County, CT residents with quality work for over 25 years.

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Architects We Love: Daniel Conlon Architects

At Tiefenthaler, we rely on our partnerships with top New England architects, interior designers and other building professionals to bring our customers the best in new home construction and major renovations. One of our most talented architectural firms is Daniel Conlon Architects, who feature a small team of intensely dedicated professionals. They focus on designs for new construction and renovations for both residential and commercial properties, from Fairfield County, CT to Coastal Maine.

Daniel Conlon Architects

Source: DConlonArchitects

The Conlon firm specializes in new custom home builds, employing design styles that enhance and beautify the surrounding New England landscape. The team concentrates on attention to detail, such as blending a rustic wood exterior with natural stone chimney to bring old world charm.

Existing home additions and renovations are also an area of expertise at Daniel Conlon Architects. These professionals can transform your current structure by envisioning potential and bringing your dream home to life. Once complete, your new addition continues the rich character of your existing home as one flowing building. The team also handles residential exterior projects, such as outbuilding design and pool house construction.

For commercial design and construction, the Conlon firm is dedicated to eliminating the cold and industrial feel that sometimes exists within buildings where business is conducted. The result is a warm, inviting atmosphere that welcomes visitors and encourages them to linger. At the same time, this architectural firm stays true to the tradition and history of New England. They incorporate building materials like brick, stone and reclaimed wood to enhance the colonial style.

Tiefenthaler Construction partners with Daniel Conlon Architects and many other New England architects and building experts who concentrate on styles from classic to Gothic revival to green-focused modern structures. Please give us a call if you’d like to schedule a consultation or set up an appointment to view one of our completed projects.

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Add Old World Charm to the Bathrooms in Your Home With Cottage Design Elements

If you’re thinking of renovating your bathrooms, cottage design interior design elements are very popular around the Fairfield County, CT area right now. The look is rustic to incorporate natural components, yet refined enough to fit in with the rest of your home’s décor. The experts at Tienfenthaler handle cottage inspired bathroom renovations, and can offer a few design ideas.

Old World Style Bathroom

Source: Sethbennphoto via

  • A sea-inspired bathroom combines the feel of the ocean with a cottage style approach. White cabinets accented with sea glass hardware are light and airy, and white subway tile enhances the peaceful atmosphere. You could also achieve the same look with white beaded-board and trim on the walls and ceiling.
  • Using mixed materials in the bathroom can bring a cottage look to the space. A reclaimed wood armoire or shelving provides rich contrast when placed next to a modern vanity. Plus, you’ll get extra storage space for toiletries and linens.
  • Cottage style is rustic, which means natural elements like wooden beams are perfect as design accents. Instead of overwhelming a small bathroom with wall-to-wall beams, install them just above the shower.
  • The colors used to achieve cottage appeal are just as important as the interior design features you incorporate. Blues and greens are popular as they’re reminiscent of the ocean. However, a pop of yellow or orange brings a brightness to lighten up the room.
  • Vintage elements are cottage chic, especially when used as a focal point in the room. Get the look with a restored vanity mirror, classic light feature or antique accents.

Are you looking to renovate your bathrooms or other living spaces with cottage design interior design? Please contact Tiefenthaler to hear about our current projects and design ideas. Our firm also handles historic preservation, major home additions and elegant custom millwork.

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