Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again. The sun starts to shine more regularly, illuminating all of the things that are taking up valuable space in your home. And the dreaded, but inevitable, yearly task pops up on your to-do list again: Spring Cleaning (cue ominous music).

We’ll keep this one short and sweet because we know you’ve got a lot to do. Here are our tips:

  1. Plan a weekend to spring clean. Put it on your calendar and protect that time.
  2. Use the one-year rule. If you haven’t used it in a year…out it goes. Resist the urge to save things you have never used (or haven’t used for a long time) for that project you are going to do…you didn’t. You probably won’t. It’s okay, let it go.
  3. Plan disposal needs as part of your weekend. Do you need a dumpster? A truck? Signage for a garage sale?
  4. Recycle/donate what you can. Consider doing a little research about the needs of nonprofits in your community. Identify what they will take, and what they won’t. Ask for recommendations from them.
  5. Cash out. Consider having a hybrid virtual and in-person yard sale. You can either pocket your earnings or use this opportunity to promote your favorite cause. Ask your trusted CPA, but we’re pretty sure you can write off the donation PLUS you may find people are extra generous toward a mission-driven effort. You do you–we’re just throwing out ideas.
  6. Budget time to reminisce. If you’re having trouble parting with certain momentos, but know that you need to, take photos of these items to be stored in the cloud forever. This will enable you to go back and revisit memories anytime, while taking up MUCH less space.
  7. Make it fun! Blast some music, make a TikTok or IG Reel. Invite some friends over to help. Whatever works for you–do that.

We hope these tips help with your spring cleaning this year. Happy cleaning!

Until next time,

RBR Construction & Roofing




2022 Design Trends

2022 is bringing back color (hello 60’s and 70’s–we’ve missed you), and bold patterns with a nod to interactive wall art. And thanks to the pandemic, it looks like multifunctional spaces are here to stay. Designers are bringing mental health wellness into their decor, creating calming spaces for those who are indefinitely working from home, or hey–just need home to feel a little more relaxed.  Finally, we are seeing an effort to reuse and repurpose decor items to show some much needed love for Mother Earth.

Another popular trend we are seeing is that some designers are bringing back a more traditional aesthetic. Some are kickin’ it way back to a more elegant era for the design of entertainment spaces as we ease back into being able to entertain again. This includes wingback furniture (think: those fancy sofas you see in a Jane Austen-inspired film), antiques, and real wood (sorry gray-wash luxury vinyl plank flooring–but we still love you, and don’t believe you’re completely going away anytime soon). 

If the traditional look isn’t your scene, let’s talk about the colors that are making a comeback. It appears that a pull to bring nature indoors is making an impact, and we are seeing greens everywhere. Additionally, the bold patterns (hello wallpaper) are cropping up more frequently and, a surprise to us, 3-D wall art. I mean, we love it, but we didn’t see it coming! 

Okay, can we just say how much we dig the intentional design to make home feel more like a comfortable, relaxing place? For the past couple of years, we have been stressed to the max (thanks COVID), working from home, educating our children in addition to our full-time jobs, operating in isolation, and generally learning to live with some degree of stress and/or fear. If our homes weren’t set up to be calming spaces then (and most of ours weren’t), we definitely believe we deserve that space now.  As we create these spaces, we’ve been leaning into a more multi-functional approach.  A home office that doubles as a homework room when the kids get home from school, or creating a mindful retreat space that becomes the guest bedroom when visitors stay.

Finally, we have always been big on reusing materials—from a financial standpoint, as well as an ethical effort. Pinterest is your friend when it comes to creative ways to reuse. We also suggest checking out those garage sales and thrift shops. You just never know what you’re going to find!

Yes, this post is a bit of a departure for us. Although it’s not our area of expertise, we see design in the field all the time and–don’t want to brag–can get pretty creative ourselves. As always, we are here for questions, ideas, and planning whenever you need us!

Until next time,

RBR Construction-“Built On Integrity”-CL 202768-RBRCOC*816MJ

Build or Buy?

New year, new you, new…home? If this is the year you are getting the kids their own rooms, or making sure you have that man cave or she-shed, we’re sure the following question has come up: Do we build or buy? Here’s the answer: it depends on what’s important to you. In this article we are going to quickly go over what home purchase vs. building processes look like (let’s be honest, it’s a lot of paperwork no matter what) and then dive into the valuable tool of listing pros and cons for each process.

Buying Process: Hopefully you are working with a realtor. We highly recommend it (and have referrals for you). After receiving a pre-approval from your lender (this is a high level look at your buying power from which the lender can confidently predict you will be able to afford $XXX,XXX of house), you and your realtor start the process of checking the market for a home that meets your non-negotiables (think that extra bathroom or office) within your budget. You then go look at those homes to see if they will work for you IRL.When you find one, and make an offer, you hopefully come to what’s called an accepted offer and the contract is sent to a neutral third party, known as escrow, to handle the rest of the transaction. Inspections, and subsequent repair addendums (additions) to the contract ensue, appraisals are ordered, and hopefully come in at value, and within about 45 days (typically) you have the keys to a home that meets your needs!

Buying Pros: Buying can put you into a home in a relatively short amount of time. If you are moving to a new area or are up against the end of a lease, this can be very important.

Buying Cons: Many times budget restrictions can conflict with housing needs, leaving you in a less than move-in ready home, leading to remodels or additions. Luckily, we do those so this really isn’t too much of a con, but it’s worth noting.

Building Process: You should probably work with a realtor for this too, to make sure you find a piece of land suitable for building the home you have in mind. Concurrently, it is good to be working with a contractor from the beginning steps as well (hint hint). Construction loans aren’t that much different from a primary residence loan from a consumer standpoint, but finding a lender who does construction loans regularly is advised because they are different on the back end (we have referrals for lenders too). Item to note, there is typically a larger down payment than the 3-5% we usually hear about on primary residence loans. So far, the processes are similar; working with a realtor and lender (and a contractor, let’s say RBR Construction) and you are looking at properties. Your realtor and contractor will work with you to find a suitable property and the process remains the same for the offer and opening of escrow account.

You will need to really trust your contractor (RBR Construction) to work with you on a budget because you will need that for your lender before you can close.

When you do close and construction breaks ground, be prepared to be flexible. Permitting can become an unforeseen issue, depending on how fast the county is moving through applications and supply chains can ebb and flow (as we have seen in the last couple of years). From the time you break ground, construction can take anywhere from 6 to 16 months, although RBR usually works within the 8-10 month timeframe. 

Building Pros: Custom built to meet your needs and often exceed your expectations, building your own home can provide peaceful, yet functional areas; reducing stress and increasing productivity. You get to choose your materials and build to your own style. Additionally, materials, because they are typically new, are environmentally friendly, not only to the Earth, but to you and your family (think: not worrying about asbestos, or other toxins that can live in the structure of an older home). Despite a larger down payment, pricing is comparable to purchasing a single family home (consult your lender to fact check this, always, no matter who says it).

Building Cons: It takes 2-3 times longer to build a home than to purchase one.

We love making our clients’ housing dreams come true–whether that’s renovating a historical home, building out an addition, remodeling the interior and/or exterior, or building it from scratch. If you are debating which path is the right one for you and your family this year, or even a couple years down the road, please reach out to us. We would love to walk you through a more in depth pros and cons discussion and, ultimately, give you the best advice we can for you and your family.

Talk soon!

RBR Construction “Built On Integrity” www.rbrbuild.com CL202768 RBRCOC*816MJ

That’s Included?!

What exactly is an exterior remodel?  It is literally anything you can envision on the exterior of your home; residing, additions, deck, porch, outdoor entertaining space, and can also include landscape design (we have ideas but we sub contract this part out). For this article, we want to quickly talk about exterior areas for entertaining—typically known as decks.

Some things to consider when creating a new outdoor area, specifically decks or porches, in Oregon is the wide spectrum climate we have.  Overall, Oregon (and the PNW) is considered to be a wet area of the US.  Therefore, sloped roofs with gutters or pergola type coverings (water can get through them) are important areas to invest in when planning your exterior remodel.

With most RBR exterior remodels, we focus on a full roof awning.  This gives us much more freedom to insert lighting and protect the deck itself, giving you and your guests a beautiful space to enjoy all year long.  That being said, water will still find the lowest, least resistant path to accumulate or flow, making horizontal surfaces, like decks, particularly vulnerable.

Composite decks are a wonderful choice in the PNW and we build these frequently for our clients.  Composite material is a blend making it more resilient to mold and water damage.  Composite decking can be a bit more difficult to clean (think: mopping with some elbow grease), but with wooden decks, you must treat them at least once a year to maintain easy cleaning…so pick your poison.

As we mentioned, exterior remodels can also include outdoor kitchen areas, additions to existing outdoor space, landscaping and siding (read more on that here).  All in all, we want to do what’s best for you.  That means working within your budget to accomplish your goals for the exterior of your home.  If you have questions we didn’t address in this article, please use the form below to ask those—we would be delighted to talk with you about your options.

Until next time, 

RBR Construction: Your Exterior Specialists

RBR Construction & Roofing
“Built on Integrity”
Oregon CCB# 202768
Washington CCB# RBRCOC*816MJ

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Roofing: You Have Options

Roofing is one of those things you know is going to be expensive. And big. So it gets put off. And hey, we don’t blame you. But when it finally comes to the point that you’re exposed to the elements (just kidding, we know you’ll call before then), give us a call and let us replace that for you!

In the meantime, here are some things you may want to think about when considering a new roof: Climate, Cost, Durability, Environmental Impact, and Longevity.

Metal Roofs (our favorite): A metal roof is a roofing system made from metal pieces or panels. They are known for their longevity, lasting an average 40-70 years, more than double the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof. Metal roofs are more durable, withstanding wind gusts of up to 140 miles per hour and impact resistant (great for areas with high winds and extreme weather). And, you may have guessed, metal roofs are fire resistant because, you know, metal. Because metal roofs also reflect light, they don’t absorb heat like other roofing materials and can lower your utilities by 10-20%. Finally, metal roofs are environmentally friendly because they are typically made up of reused metals and are 100% recyclable at the end of their lives. Unfortunately, all of these pros come with a price tag much higher than other roofing materials. In addition, metal roofs can be a bit louder than you may be used to (think: rain, expansion and contraction under heat). All in all, metal is our top choice for the PNW.

Composite Shingles: Composite shingles are America’s second favorite roofing material to asphalt. Made up of fiber glass, recycled paper products and asphalt, they are considered a “green” and affordable option. Composite shingles are lightweight and can be resistant to mold and moisture (compare to cedar shingles). Although not as durable as metal, composite shingles hold up against average weather and have a lifespan of 15-20 years.

PVC Membrane (Polyvinyl Chloride) is typically what you see on commercial buildings and flat roofs. Because of its durable, lightweight and waterproof features, it is the ideal choice for flat or low slope roofs. Like TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) and other membrane style roofing materials, it is eco friendly because it can be applied over existing roofing for easy repair. It is resistant to heat, chemicals and impacts and has a lifetime of about 30 years. Just like metal roofs, it is highly reflective and therefore energy efficient. Also like metal roofs, it requires minimal maintenance.

Like most large investments in your home, we recommend meeting with your roofing professional to discuss the best material for your home based on your location, your preferences and your budget.

Until next time,

RBR Construction & Roofing

RBR Construction & Roofing
“Built on Integrity”
Oregon CCB# 202768
Washington CCB# RBRCOC*816MJ

Siding: What You Need To Know

Hello there!  RBR Construction here—your exterior specialists in the Willamette Valley. First, if you are a client or have been a client, thank you so much for supporting a small, local business.  Your business not only creates jobs in our community, but it allows us to reinvest in the beautiful place we live.  

As you know, we are “Built on Integrity”. That means we bring honesty and a great work ethic into everything we do, but we also seek the best craftsman and highest quality product within your budget. When it comes to siding, there is a wide range of options, prices, and features, including home maintenance. In this article we are going to look into four popular siding choices, and go over some pros and cons. Please note this is a high level overview and you may have questions—that’s okay! Please feel free to reach out to us to ask any questions you have.

Up first, VINYL.  You’ve probably heard of vinyl siding (and you’ve definitely seen it).  It is the most common type of siding because of its light weight, easy install and budget friendly price tag. These are all great things to consider when choosing siding for your home.  Some not-so-great features about this type of siding include its sensitivity to heat and the fact that it is not recyclable.  When this siding needs to be repaired or replaced, waste goes straight into a landfill.

Next, let’s talk about the very popular, CEDAR siding.  The aesthetic of this siding, especially in the PNW landscape is hard to beat.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately, the pros stop there.  Cedar is far and away the most expensive product, hardest to install (which means additional labor costs) and requires very regular maintenance.  In addition, it is prone to rot, home to wood-boring insects and, as you may have guessed, is the least resistant to fire.

Moving on to ENGINEERED WOOD, we have a mixed bag of pros and cons. Because it is technically wood, it is less resistant to fire than siding products that are not wood-based.  Mold is often found in engineered wood siding and because it of its base component, wood, you run a higher risk of wood-boring pests.  The pros of this product include its lightweight, easy install, and affordability.

Finally, we’ve saved the best for last here, FIBER CEMENT.  This one is our favorite.  Of the four siding products we review in this article, this one is the most fire resistant with a Class A fire rating.  Although we take extra precautions when installing due to the nature of the materials fiber cement is made out of (literally, mixed with cement and you don’t want to breathe in that dust), it is affordable (comparable to engineered wood prices), requires average install time, and comes with custom features like, pre-stained to resemble cedar or pre-painted, reducing labor and cost.

And there you have it.  A high level review of four siding options.  We hope if you have any questions and that you will reach out to us—we would love to hear from you!

Until next time, 

RBR Construction: Your Exterior Specialists

RBR Construction & Roofing
“Built on Integrity”
Oregon CCB# 202768
Washington CCB# RBRCOC*816MJ

Exterior Specialists

RBR Construction has always kept customers at the center of our business. And to do that, we hire the highest level craftsmen, use the best materials for the job and, above all else, are committed to integrity in our work and in our lives. When you hire RBR, you’re hiring integrity, exceptional work ethic and expertise. We are going to be spending a lot of time together, especially on your larger projects, so it’s important you know what our standards are ahead of time.

So, I hear you’re the “Exterior Specialists”. Tell me more.

We would love to. You hear that because many times we are working within a budget to make the house you’re living in a home in which you feel comfortable. When working within a budget, we want to prioritize what is important to you and what will be the longest-lasting and most efficient use of your money. If there is exterior work to be done, we recommend prioritizing it because that is literally the framework of your home and it is important to make sure it is sound. So that is usually where we start. We focus a lot of time and energy to make sure we use the right type of siding, that it is installed correctly, and that YOU, our client, is happy.

What questions do you have about the exterior remodeling process?

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