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Stebral Construction Remodeling Project Before and After

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One of our favorite things at Stebral Construction is a good before and after project. We feel that change is good and helps us to grow, so we love doing the same for our customers. This before and after is of an entire house remodel by Stebral Construction. Some of the changes include removing built-in cabinetry and replacing them with more a more modern farmhouse design, updating old windows and restructuring the entryway. We added barn doors, new flooring, trim, painted outdated cabinetry and refaced the exterior of the home. The mancave in the basement remodel may be our favorite though, we removed all the old oak cabinets and updated it with custom cabinetry built in-house. We are so excited to share this renovation project and for this family to enjoy their new space. Enjoy!

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Our 5 Favorite Luxury Bathroom Trends

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An important space in any home, a bathroom serves as a place for function as well as a getaway space to relax and unwind. When designing a luxurious bathroom it is important to stay up-to-date on the newest trends and conveniences to make your space stand out. There are a lot of rising trends this year and these are our 5 favorite:


Adding wood amongst tile and stone brings in a natural warmth that makes your space feel cozy and luxurious. In previous years, wood was considered a no in any bathroom space so we love how 2016 has put our favorite material in a place where homeowners spend a lot of time and effort designing.

Double Shower Heads

Rain showers have been gaining popularity in past years, but having two of them just screams luxurious. Adding that extra shower head doesn’t clutter up your design, yet adds a very regal feel to your bathroom space.


White bathrooms are in full swing this year. Creating a clean and contemporary look, whites are being paired with bold tiles to create more dynamic spaces.


With the return of modernism in design, the next trend brings us back to a clean and practical look. Spacial planning has gained speed in 2016 and will continue into next year. Making sure there are places to hide your bathroom items is a must for a clean design so make sure you have a specific place for your hair dryer and lotions to keep your bathroom feeling luxurious and well planned.

Industrial Chic

Industrial design has been rising in popularity in the home, but this year is making it’s way into the bathroom. Concrete style tiles and metal fixtures will be a new favorite in the coming year but remember that an industrial look can be cold and harsh, so that is where our first favorite comes in. Adding contrast like wood and plush bath mats can soften the look and add a bit of coziness to your space.

So there are our 5 favorites, if you are interested in a bathroom remodel or design, please let us at Stebral Construction in Iowa City know how we can help get you started.

Solon New Construction | bathroom

Painting Tips for a New Construction Home

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Iowa City General Contractor and custom home builder

For this months blog, we teamed up with our friends at Primetime Painting to get you the scoop on painting your new construction home. There are a lot of articles out there about picking paint colors and the trends for the year, but more important to us as general contractors is the quality and longevity of your paint job. For this reason we are going to give you a quick run down of the difference between a standard paint job and a custom paint job on your home from Stebral Construction.

Before we get started it is important to understand that there are different sheens and qualities of paint and below is a very basic rundown or how these effect your paint job:

“There are basically 4 different amounts of sheen: flat, satin/eggshell, semigloss, and gloss. Sheen means the level of gloss in your paint. Flat has the lowest level, with a smooth matte finish. However, it’s also the hardest to clean. It’s best for low traffic areas. Satin bring warmth and depth to a space and it’s easier to clean than flat. Satin works for most rooms. Semigloss gives a noticeable shine. It’s easy to clean and great for kids rooms, kitchens, and baths. But semigloss will point up imperfections. Gloss is last. It’s shiny, tough, and durable; it’s best for baseboards, doors, and trim – areas with a lot of wear and tear. You can also use it somewhere you want to draw attention.” 

Generally speaking, in a typical new build, contractors will come in with a flat paint and spray the entire house with one color; ceilings, walls and then the trim comes pre-finished. If you want it custom, they may come in with other colors on the walls, but most the time it is one kind of contractor grade flat paint. This type of paint job doesn’t tend to last the test of time. We come into many remodels that were painted this way and the paint job is spotty, marked up and in some cases pulling off the walls. For example, it is never suggest to paint a bathroom in flat paint because flat paint doesn’t offer protection from mold getting into the drywall. Even in main living areas flat is hard to maintain, so if you are in love with flat paint, you should always go with a higher grade paint that will hold up better to the abuse that children, pets and just living does to our walls.

At Stebral Construction, we bring you a quality paint job unlike many other standard contractors. Our painters do custom work to the house and provide the professional finished quality that you would expect in a custom home. You have the freedom to select the paint and sheen that you like, but our painters can work with you to come up with a plan that fits into your lifestyle, whether that be kids, style or just experience. We suggest flat ceilings and an eggshell/satin (or higher gloss level) finish on the walls to protect allow durability. We also do many projects with painted trim that is prepped and finished after installation to provide a flawless look. In addition to what we offer in painting, we also provide staining and custom wood finishing.

There are many steps to the building process, but very few are seen as much as your paint job so it is essential that it looks professional. We are a custom home builder and that is why we provide custom painting as a part of our process. We are always here to answer any questions you have and give advice on how to best suit your needs. See our portfolio to see some of custom painting and staining projects. Painting is just one of the many things that sets us apart from other General Contractors in the Iowa City area so please call us today to get started on building your dream home the right way!


Custom Paint jobs from Stebral Construction and Primetime Painting
Iowa City Builder
Custom Built-ins

Why should I hire a General Contractor?

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Many people often ask us why there is a need to hire a General Contractor when building a house or renovating. It is a very important question and a very large part of building a house. It is wonderful that we live in a world of do-it-yourselfers and that is great when taking on small projects, but many times people unknowingly get in over their heads when trying to build their own home. To help you understand why it is important to hire a general contractor, here is a short list of reasons we believe having contractors will make you happier with your new home:


The first thing on the list may be the most important. Knowledge is irreplaceable in the house building process. If something is done incorrectly, it could be catastrophic for you in the long run. A general contractor’s job is to know the industry inside and out. In our case, our staff provides much of the labor on the project, so we have direct professional experience in getting the job done correctly. For example, if you do not know if your foundation was poured correctly, how can you stop the house from being built on a faulty structure? We are here to make sure everything is done right, in a timely manner and how you would like it. We are also responsible for knowing building codes, appropriate materials, proper construction methods and safety. We need to know everything so you can rest easy.

Staff and Subcontractors

In addition to having knowledge, a general contractor has a team of subcontractors. We are a unique company in Iowa City in that we provide much of the labor ourselves. What we don’t do ourselves, we hire out to subcontractors that are very reputable and that work for us on all of our builds. Because we provide so much work to our subcontractors, we get the industries very best and reliable companies. When you build your own house, it is hard to get the good sub-contractors because they are too busy and hard to get scheduled. In addition to having access to the subcontractors, we are also professionals at managing lots of people and keeping things running smoothly and efficiently

Piece of Mind

This one is a big reason most people hire a contractor. When you hire a general contractor they provide a license, insurance and worker’s compensation. If you act as the general contractor yourself, you assume liability for injuries and property damage. This is a big weight of your shoulders and allows for you to worry about the important things, like how the house will come together.

Time and Money

Lastly, being a general contractor takes a lot of time and effort. From the estimate process to cleaning the construction site, we are responsible for a lot of behind the scenes projects that people don’t even realize. If you take on the building process yourself, it can consume all of your free time and adds an unneeded stress to building. In addition to your time, we get better pricing on materials which in turn saves you money you spent by hiring a contractor.

These are just a few of the reasons hiring a general contractor can benefit you! If you are looking to learn more about the house building process or have a renovation, please contact us today as we are happy to help.

5 Things To Do Before Building a House

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So you are thinking of building a new house, but you are wondering “where do I start”? With all the decisions to be made the process can be daunting, but don’t feel overwhelmed, we are here to help. You’ve heard from your friends and family that building a house is a lot of work, but if you surround yourself with a good team and come prepared, the building process will be much easier. To get you started, here are 5 things you should do before the building process can get moving.

1. Budget

The first thing you need to do is set a budget for your custom home. In order to do that you must sit down and figure out what kind of home you can afford. What are you willing and able to spend to still maintain a healthy monetary lifestyle, yet be satisfied with the home you are building. It is important to stay realistic as you will also need to meet with a bank to determine the amount of money you qualify for in your home building process. The bank will assess your financials and evaluate how much money they will give you for your construction loan. Then you will be able to set a budget for the project and work to stay in line with that number.

2. Choose a lot

Once you are ready to move forward with your budget, next comes picking out a lot to build on. You may have an area in mind or a school district you would like to be in. Make sure to keep in mind the type of house you are dreaming of to make sure the land is suited to build what you want. Things like size of lot, location, what type of amenities you want to add (garage, pool, shop, garden) are important in deciding what land to build your home on.

3. Evaluate your Design Style

Put some thought into the style of house you want and the layout you prefer. Once the process gets going, if you want, you will be able to work with an architect or designer to fine tune your ideas, but it is good to start thinking about the design in advance. The more thought you put into the design, the happier you will be with the final product because things won’t spring up when the process is well thought out.

4. Research Builders

It is important to do research on who you put in charge of your home. Just because a contractor is well known does not mean his process and final product are the best. Asking others is the best place to start to find out what kind of experiences they had and what they would have changed in the process. Ask your potential contractor for references or testimonials. Look at their portfolio and make sure you feel confident that this is who you want building your home. It is also important that you trust your contractor and can work well with them. If you do not mesh well with your General Contractor, it may make for a long and drawn out building process.

5. Hire a General Contractor

Unless you plan on taking on the home building process yourself, your last task is to hire a contractor. Once you have researched and found a contractor you are sure will do a great job custom building your home, you are no longer alone. Your contractor should take the lead and walk you through the building process and begin to take the reigns in getting things moving. They will start by going over your budget and designs to get the best team assembled for the house you want to build. Working with a contractor means you are hiring a team of people that you feel comfortable with and you know you can trust.


Those are our top 5 things to do when you start to plan building a house. John and Terry at Stebral Construction are always available to help with any other questions you may have about the home building process so please feel free to contact us and we can help get you moving towards the house of your dreams.

12 Home Design Trends for 2016

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The National Association of Home Builders came out with 12 design trends for 2016 after the awards show at the NAHB Builder’s Show in Las Vegas. At Stebral Construction we make it a priority to stay up on the design trends so that we are able to offer you all the things you are wanting in your new home. We are excited about this year’s home building style because we are well versed in adding the custom touches that these trends require. Wood accents and outdoor living seem to be the mainstay and we are pros at both! We build custom barn doors and offer all types of custom wood and reclaimed barn wood accents. We also have years of experience designing outdoor living spaces to fit with any home.

Check out this year’s home building trends

Intimate Outdoor Spaces. Many single-family custom and production homes include intimate outdoor gathering spaces, seen as a trend in many industry surveys, and complete with outdoor fireplaces or fire pits and cozy seating. These spaces are geared toward smaller gatherings, as opposed to the extended family-size back yards of the past.

Mid-Century Modern Detailing. Mid-century modern is now 21st Century chic in furniture, elevation design and detailing. Particularly in California and Nevada, more homes reference this easily recognizable style.

Indoor-Outdoor Convergence. What was once a distinct line between two living areas — indoor and outdoor —  has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls and screens. Families can both visually and physically move between these areas.

Troughs and Spouts. Outdoor tables with open, trough-like water channels add interest, often culminating in a delicate waterfall off the edge of the table into a pool or water feature below.

Board and Batten Used Inside and Out. More often used as exterior cladding, board and batten is being featured inside quite a few homes now as well, adding a three-dimensional layer to interior finishes and providing an interesting alternative to paint and wallpaper.

Copper Bathtubs. These are a popular bathroom feature in quite a few award-winning homes. These tubs are a striking addition in any home, from rustic to modern to traditional.

White with Exotic or Repurposed Wood Accents. Many winning interiors feature stark, modern white paired with rich wood accents, a striking combination in flooring, ceilings and cabinets.

Modern Industrial Accents. Making its strongest appearance in multifamily projects, this trend combines sleek lighting and furniture with the brick, glass and steel elements of a building’s shell and skeleton. Vibrant pops of color offset the cooler color palette of metals and whites.

Barn Doors. Barn doors are appearing everywhere, from kitchens to mudrooms to closets. These offer an alternative to traditional left- or right-hung doors and become a design feature of the home, unlike pocket doors that tuck away.

Intricate Stairways. Overall, stairways are becoming more prominent and sophisticated. BALA winners featured curving glass railings, detailed iron newel posts, unique stair accent walls, glass treads and intricate tile work.

Low-Impact Design. Many BALA winners and entrants included sustainable and green features in their designs, including permeable pavers, rain gardens and landscaping with native species.

Waterfall Islands. Still trending are waterfall-edged islands, in which the kitchen bar is inset into the cabinetry rather than extended beyond it. These islands, whether made of wood, granite or marble, emphasize clean, modern lines.

Iowa City General Contractor Barn wood accent wall
General Contractor Landscaping