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Bathroom Remodel

Need Help Designing Your Remodel? – There’s an App for That

Home remodeling, even when you have a good general contractor on board, can be tough. Trying to get across to the contractor you are considering hiring exactly what you have in mind can be a challenge. “I want a bedroom in my attic” is, after all, a little vague.
If an architect is not in the picture and if your drawing talents stopped developing after third grade, a tool to help you envisage what the home improvement ideas in your head will turn into in real life would be really handy. Especially if you could do it all right from your phone. Well, guess what? There is an app for that – Home 3D for the iPhone and iPad.
Home 3D is rather different to other remodeling software aids you may have seen in the past. Using pre-set room dimensions that can be adjusted if needed, it allows you to alter the layout of any room within seconds. Want to see what your bedroom would look like minus the dividing wall? Done. Want to put it back again but this time with a built in closet? Results in seconds.
Home 3D also differs in that not only does it let you design – and then redesign – the layout of the rooms you are considering remodeling but virtually decorate them as well. It allows furniture to be moved, wall art to be hung, and an overall design scheme to be established-anytime, anywhere.
That means that when you do meet with your remodeling contractor for the first time all you will have to do is take out your Apple gadget of choice and they will instantly have a clear picture of what you want them to aim for. Planning and negotiation, then ultimately the remodeling work itself, can thus begin far more quickly.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Why You Should Choose A Full Service Contractor Before Your Architect

The basic rule of thumb is if your project costs more than 5% of the value of your house, or if you are making structural changes to the interior or exterior of your home, or if you are making significant changes to the floor plan of your home, you need an architect for your project.
This is the part of the project where the design build approach will add significant value and save you a lot of money over the life of your project. Its best to find a contractor that will work with the architects and have long term relationships with many very good architects. This can get you better pricing for their services for your project than you can by contacting them directly. They will pass that savings on to you.
Once you select the architect you want to use for your project, the contractor will work with them throughout the design process to make sure they are designing a project that fits into your budget. We cannot understate how important this is for the success of your project and we have seen many projects never get off the ground because this step was not followed. Your architect is not paid to tell you no. If you tell him you want something, he assumes you can afford it. The time to determine how much your project is going to cost is during design, not after design is complete.
Once the architect finishes the design it is time to pull permits and build your dream. Proper planning and constant communication are the keys to success.
Before the work is started, you should sit down with the contractor and have a project kickoff meeting. At this meeting you will go over the construction estimate with you in detail as well as present you with a construction schedule so you can make plans to minimize the effect of the project on your day to day life. You will also be provided with a list of items you need to select, the budget for those items (with the contractor discount), and the schedule of when those items need to be selected to meet the construction schedule.
Once we begin construction we will communicate with you about the status of the project however often you like, but we recommend status meetings weekly at a minimum. If something comes up of major importance we will contact you immediately. We will never proceed with work that is different than the original estimate before we have approval from you in writing.…

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Basement Renovations

Kitchen Renovation Includes Light Planning

When it comes time for a kitchen makeover, keep in mind that any kitchen renovation should include planning for additional lighting or light restructuring. The modern kitchen has transformed into a multi-functional area where numerous activities, besides preparing meals, have become commonplace.
Many modern kitchens are now used as family gathering areas or as entertainment areas for guests. They often contain corner nooks which are utilized for meals, reading areas or playing cards with friends. Some have built in snack bars that separate another room for added openness in conversation, or stools seated around a kitchen island for chatting while preparing a meal. Adequate lighting should be a top priority in providing for these needs in any plan for a kitchen remodel.
The highest consideration in planning kitchen lighting is in its functionality. Kitchens are generally busy places where a lot of slicing, dicing, shuffling and reaching take place. Having sufficient light to accomplish the task at hand is a necessity. Installation of overhead fluorescent lights is standard kitchen issue. However, there are some other creative ways to light up work areas that may be blocked or positioned farther away from overhead light.
Under cabinet lighting is a popular addition to a modern kitchen, providing a bright illumination to work areas on countertops and around cooking areas. Dome lights or sconces positioned on either side of a sink are other popular uses of lighting fixtures to give that extra splash of brightness to a heavily used area.
Once the main lighting has been planned, consideration should move to areas where other types of light might be needed. Recessed puck lights could be a good option to illuminate a corner nook, or strip lights positioned above a breakfast bar might do the trick for those areas.
Take into consideration also, the blending of natural light with indoor lighting. Throughout the day, various amounts of outdoor light filter into a kitchen area to produce different indoor lighting needs. Placing dimmers on a couple of light sources could assist in maintaining sufficient amounts of light for various tasks during the day. This will also help in conserving energy when full artificial light isn’t needed, say on a cloudy day for instance.
Today, technology supplies a vast array of energy and cost saving lighting products, both in the bulbs themselves and in the housing fixtures. It’s never been easier to adequately provide for all the lighting needs of a kitchen while conserving energy and saving money at the same time. So, the next time kitchen remodeling is on the agenda, sufficiently plan for all its many lighting requirements before getting started.…

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Basement Renovations

Kitchen Remodel 101

If you are remodeling your kitchen, do it by the numbers, don’t freewheel it. Get a design first! Use an Architect on any larger remodel, and on a smaller one at least have some basic drawings done. Most big box stores will have a computer design tool where you can see before you buy. You cannot just start buying components because you find them on sale. No overall plan? You won’t like the results.
The cost of remodeling your kitchen depends on current layout, size and condition of your room, as well as the quality of replacement products you prefer. According to an annual construction cost survey by Remodeling Online, a minor remodel of a 200-square-foot (10×20) kitchen averages $17,037-$19.366 nationwide; a mid-range major remodel including an island and other upgrades runs $50,860-$59,716; and an upscale remodel for the same size kitchen can be $103,529-$115,549. These are averages; actual costs may be higher or lower. The cost for redoing your bathroom can run from $5,000 for a very basic upgrade all the way to $40,000 or more for a complete new look.
If you start buying, before you have a “complete” plan, you will end up spending more, and you won’t like the results as well, it is just that simple. One of THE most important decisions is hiring the right General Contractor. Your decision on what General Contractor to use is critical.
When talking about numbers this size, doesn’t it make sense to spend some time doing research on the Contractor you are hiring to do the job? Isn’t it worth some homework time to completely check the Contractor out BEFORE you hire him?
When deciding on which General Contractor (GC) to use, you need to do your homework up front. Once you are into the deal and the paperwork has been signed and the process has started, it is too late to address whatever comes up WITHOUT a large amount of additional effort and money.
If you are about to embark on a remodel, large or small, you will have quite a few hours deciding what is going into this new remodel. You will go to a large variety of stores, outlets, factories, etc to pick out the various products you want. You will look at appliances, floor covering options, colors, counter top materials, and on and on it goes. This is a normal part of the remodel process. First you must pick out what products and materials you wish to use.
You wouldn’t simply go hire a General Contractor, show them what you want done and leave all the choices up to them. You wouldn’t have the GC pick out your counter tops or cabinets, or anything else for that matter. You do all the homework, shop all the products, make all the choices. Then you hand it off to the GC to fulfill your wishes, using the products you chose. Sounds pretty straight forward, yes?
So if you are going to do all that homework in picking out the products and materials that go into your remodel, shouldn’t you spend enough time in picking the people who are going to do the work? Shouldn’t you do your homework and verify that the person you hire to do the work is qualified to, in fact, do the work? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that his license is up to date, that his subcontractors and suppliers are happy with his work and they got paid on time? Don’t you want to know these things BEFORE you hire your GC?
You could pick out the best materials and products to be used in your remodel, but put the wrong person/company in charge of installing them and you might not like the result. Remember, you have to live with the result for a long time, you better like it.
When interviewing a GC for your project, one of the first things you can quite easily do is get his General Contractors license number. Then go to state regulating board in charge of regulating General Contractors and make sure his license is valid and up to date. Make sure there are no leans or complaints or suspensions related to his business. If he has no license, the solution should be simple; no deal, period.
Additionally, does he have his general liability insurance up to date, ask for proof of insurance. What you do not need is to have a subcontractor get hurt on your job and because the GC doesn’t have the proper insurance or proper amount of insurance, the sub sues you for damages. Again it is simple, not properly insured? NO DEAL.
Once you get past that, you want to ask for references. You want to talk to 3 clients with projects in the local area and with …

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Basement Remodeling

Bargain Ways to Remodel Your Small Kitchen

Before you decide to remodel your kitchen there are plenty of points you ought to take into account. This can turn into the biggest and most expensive home remodelling endeavor you might ever do, so you’ll want to be fully ready so that you aren’t struck with any unexpected expenses at a later date. Utilize these guidelines below to plan your restoration effectively making it a pleasurable process that will certainly please your family with no undo stress and anxiety.
Do a lot of the renovation by yourself, at a minimum all that you’re capable of. Building contractors are not free and competent ones can charge you a great deal more. I definitely steer clear of hiring a general contractor and decide on a 50/50 job where you outsource to experts for specialised tasks (plumbing related, installing cabinetry, and so on.). Think DIY for the simpler work like demolition, clean-up, and so on.
Reposition your former fridge into the garage or dining area. Add a hot plate, sink and dining room table and there you will have a provisional kitchen to use while redesigning. Dining out each night isn’t the ideal thing you can do when improving your kitchen area, so intend on making a couple of your meals at your home. It isn’t enjoyable eating inside your basement, however your physiques and bank account is going to say thank you when you’re finished with the reconstruction.
If you happen to be obtaining new home appliances that have to fit within a specific area, make sure you take the measurements when you’re purchasing. Guessing is not going to be sufficient. Once your new kitchen appliances enter your newly renovated kitchen, you want to make sure that they will squeeze into the allotted spot. Don’t order a fridge that features an ice dispenser unless you have the proper water lines. In case your replacement refrigerator and/or oven will be set up adjacent to your counter, be sure the depth of the appliance is correct. If not, your brand-new kitchen appliances might be much deeper compared to the counter top.
Stoves and other big appliances are available in numerous types of tones and sizes. Choose big kitchen appliances in a fairly neutral color. This can save you money if you ever opt to alter the theme of your kitchen. Little appliances, like blenders, coffee makers, toaster ovens, heavy duty mixers and can openers can be found in black, white, stainless and a number of additional colors. Consider that simple colors might be best. You probably would not want red wine kitchen appliances if, in the foreseeable future, you decide to change the color scheme of your kitchen blue.
Redesigning your kitchen is often an extremely fulfilling job – you’re able to take pleasure in and be proud of your hard work and imaginative selections. However the renovation, whether it is done by you or by an experienced builder, will often not proceed entirely efficiently. There will probably be several unpredicted difficulties that could annoy the daylights out of you. Nevertheless, you will inevitably deal with it and progress, to the next part. That is the nature of renovation any room in your house.…

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Basement Remodeling

4 Crucial Tips For Remodeling Your Bathroom

Remodeling a bathroom can be a huge job, but there are some things that can make it easier for you. The bathroom is one of the most rooms in the home and many people end up remodeling their bathroom at some point in time. Maybe you are tired of the old décor or you need to make better use of the space in the bathroom. Whatever the reason you are thinking of remodeling, you definitely want to make sure you do the job right the first time or you will end up wasting thousands of dollars. Here are a few great tips for remodeling your bathroom that can help you make sure you get the most out of your bathroom remodel.
Tip #1 – Keep it Functional
First of all, when you are remodeling the bathroom in your home, make sure you keep it functional. Sure, you want the bathroom to look great, but you have to think about function. It can help to think about what you need out of your bathroom. Is this a bathroom for the kids, a bathroom for guests, or are you remodeling the one off the master bedroom. Think about who will be using the bathroom and it can help you make sure you keep it functional for the people who will be using it the most.
Tip #2 – Make it a Soothing Escape
While function is definitely important, when you remodel your bathroom, you also want to make it a soothing escape. The bathroom is more than just a necessary room. You want to create some atmosphere and give yourself a place that you can escape to for some relaxation at the end of the day. Decorate with colors and a theme that you find relaxing. If you enjoy taking baths, then make sure you incorporate a tub large enough for you to relax in. Keep it functional, but go beyond function to design a beautiful room where you can escape for some well deserved relaxation.
Tip #3 – Consider Doing the Work You Can Yourself
If you have the time and the know-how, consider doing all the work that you can on your own. Having your bathroom remodeled can get pretty expensive, especially if you are having a contractor take care of all the work for you. Just taking care of some of the work yourself can save you a whole lot of money. Sure, there may be some areas you are not experienced in, such as plumbing or electrical work, so it is worth it to pay to have someone else take care of that. However, you can do a lot of the other work yourself for big time savings that free up money to put on other parts of the project.
Tip #4 – Always Decide on a Budget Before Starting
Probably one of the most important tips for you to remember when you are going to do a bathroom remodel is to decide on a budget before starting the project. Many people have no idea how much a bathroom remodel is going to end up costing them. They don’t create a budget and end up spending far more money than they really can afford. It’s a better idea to come up with the amount you can spend first and then come up with a remodeling plan that sticks to that budget. This way you don’t create a lot of debt when remodeling, yet you still get a nice bathroom that you can afford.…

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Basement Renovations

U Shaped Kitchen Design Ideas

Looking for the right layout can be a challenge when you are unfamiliar with what options are available to you. Usually, a certain type of space has a particular fitting kind of design that can really bring out the best in that space. If your goal with your new home is to have a kitchen that saves space and lets you get the job done faster, you might want to try U shaped kitchen designs. This particular design, based on the name alone gives you more storage and work space without consuming a lot from the floor area.
Unlike other too spacious designs that require you to move across one point of the room to the other, the U shaped kitchen designs allows you to do all the things that you need to without any hassles. You no longer have to ask for someone to bring a piece of equipment from across the room since everything is within reach.
If you are concerned regarding the minimal storage with U shaped kitchen, do not panic! This particular design can give you all the storage you need in the form of overhead cupboards as well as under the counter top storage room. With this particular design, you no longer have to worry about any space going to waste.
Another advantage that a U shaped kitchen design brings is the fact that this type of layout is much easier to insert into any home. Unlike most kitchen renovation ideas that ask for a bigger space in terms of floor area, this layout only requires minimal space to work with. This means that a lot less amount of raw materials will be needed during the construction phase.
Note that by lessening the amount of raw materials to be used during the construction process would mean that you do not need to shell out as much money as your kitchen renovation contractor will be using less material. You can save up on raw materials and invest in other kitchen accents or equipment. When you save up on those materials, you can allocate a better budget for the flooring or the walls and even the lighting fixtures.
Ultimately, the designs to use in your kitchen would depend on your taste. But if what you are looking for are designs that fuse form, function and efficiency effectively, consider using U shaped kitchen designs in order to get the best and successfully meet all of your required standards.…