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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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Bathroom Remodel

Small Bathroom Designs To Make Yours Look Larger

Whether your goal for your small bathroom design is cute, country-style, luxurious or kid friendly, it can be accomplished despite its size.

The following are some things you can do when designing your bathroom that will increase the appearance of its size.

Keep it clean and tidy. A messy, dirty bathroom looks bad anyways, but the dirt and misplaced items especially stand out in a small bathroom. If you walk in the small room when its messy, your eyes are immediately drawn to the dirt, dust, and clothes all over the floor. Not only that, but it will look even smaller. Keeping your bathroom as clean as possible, will help with create both a visually appealling and a larger appearance.

Eliminate clutter. Stacks of books and papers, too many toiletries, such as deodorants, razors, toothpaste, soaps and perfumes strung out on each countertop creates a chaotic and cramped space. Try to keep these things in a cabinet, drawer, closet or other hidden area. Have a small bar or dispenser of soap or a candle out on display.

Paint, Tile, or Wallpaper: When choosing paint, tile and wallpaper, its best to choose smaller patterns if you decide not to go with a solid color. Whether choosing a pattern or texture or a solid color, lighter colors are always better when you want to make the room look bigger. To create the illusion of a taller ceiling, paint it a lighter color than the walls.

Lighting and light fixtures: Choose smaller lighting fixtures because bulky ones add well, bulk. Recessed lighting fixtures are even better! Another tip is to add more smaller sized, but bright lights in several areas of the bathroom. This will really open up the room because there will be less shadows.

Storage: Corner cabinets or towel racks or standing shelves make great use of a small area. Store your items that you don’t want on display.

Flooring: Like the walls, choose lighter colors and patterns.

Decor: Mirrors on the wall are an excellent way to visually enlarge your bathroom.

Bathroom fixtures, such as cabinets and vanities: It is best to keep cabinets, vanities, and shelves on the smaller side. Less is more when it comes to small bathrooms. One to two on-the-wall shelves are plenty, for both decor items and for displaying your fancy soaps. A small, standalone sink will also create more space.

Doing all or most of these things will add both real and imagined space to your bathroom!…

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Bathroom Remodel

Home Improvement Tips

Hanging a door is not so easy if you don’t know a few tricks. Here I will show you the easiest way to hang a door. Firstly we have to get nearest size of door to the opening that is already there.
Doors are manufactured in various standard sizes. The manufacturers also make them in what is called in the trade as blanks, it is a solid piece of door which you can cut the size out off. There are also firms that make special sizes but they can be expensive as they are making one off a certain size.
Firstly then, measure the original door size, check with your supplier if it is available. The size you have could be metric or imperial, that is it could be millimetres or feet and inches. The old door size could be I a smaller size that is a stock size, (standard size) which is a good thing, if it is then that is the one for you.
Some times with modern buildings you will find that you don’t really have much work to do to hang and fit the new door as the frame will accommodate the size that you have because these particular frames and doors have been specially manufactured for your home when it was constructed.
The older buildings are a challenge because maybe the building itself has sunk in one place or another leaving the door frames cockeyed or skew. I have personally seen some that are 30mm out of square and that is only in the door width, say 800mm or 900mm.
If you have a situation like this, check first that the door is fitting okay, if it is. When fitting the new door and have it on the trestles put the old door (when it is stripped) on top and use the old door as a template and mark around it. This is the easiest solution when faced with this situation.
Modern doors are manufactured sometimes with a hollow core to make them lighter for the hinges. They are like a egg box inside with a solid piece running all round to make the door rigid and give it strength. Cut that away and you are in trouble.
When you get the new door home leave it in the room for about a week so that it can acclimatise to the room because this door has been in a cold warehouse until you bought it and it has to get used to its surroundings. I know it is just a door but remember it was a living breathing tree once.
The next very important thing to look for (most people don’t know this) That on the top or bottom edge of the door there is a marking symbol stamped on the door, the symbol is “LOCK “,that symbol defines the side of the door where the lock goes. In the construction of the door the manufacturer glues an extra block of timber in to accommodate the lock. On the hinged side of the door there is around 20mm of timber for the hinge screws. Bottom and top there is the same amount of thickness, if you have to cut this off you can clean the piece up and glue it back in and clamp it up till it is dry. On the lock side of the door it is the same as the hinge side but the block I spoke about earlier is only around 300mm long so it is imperative that you get this right. Get this wrong and you will have difficulty fixing the screws to the door itself as you are only fixing to the thin outer sheet of the door, you would be better to throw the door away and start again as the handles on the door is not going to stay there with the steady opening and shutting.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Questions to Help Hire the Right Bathroom Remodeler

The bathroom has finally grated on your last nerve. The 80’s brown and orange has got to go. If you have reached a similar point, it can be very intimidating to decide on a bathroom remodel contractor. The last thing you want to do is discover that you have hired a sub-par professional. Not hiring a quality contractor can lead to the job costing more than estimated, missed job completion deadlines and much frustration.
To avoid this, be sure to interview several contractors. This will allow you to get a good feel for what is standard in the industry in your area and to become comfortable with the person you decide to hire.
Here are several questions you might want to ask during the interview process.
1) “How long have you been remodeling bathrooms?” This question is similar to “How long have you been in business?” but gets at the heart of the experience a particular contractor might have. He or she may have recently started a new business but has years of experience in the industry. Just because the business is new does not indicate that the job will be done poorly. However, it is probably best to ask both questions and steer clear of new businesses if you can. They may be good at the work but business issues can distract and cause delays.
2) “Are you insured?” This is a big one. If something goes wrong with your job you want to be sure that you can recoup losses and you are protected.
3) “Do you pull the appropriate permits and is this cost covered in the estimate?” You want to make absolutely sure you have proper permitting for your job. Not having permits can cause you to run afoul of government agencies and cause headaches. Making sure the costs are in the bid ensures you don’t receive add on “surprises” at job completion.
4) “Do you provide references?” This is a great way to help select an bathroom remodel contractor. By talking to previous customers, you can get a feel for the kind of work the contractor does and how he or she conducts himself during the job. You can find out if the workers were rude, cleaned up the job site poorly, played loud music, etc. These might not impact the quality of the job but they can be very frustrating and are good to know up front. Ask for several references from recent jobs.
These are just a few questions to ask. In the end, however, listen to your intuition and make sure you are 100% comfortable with the company you hire. Ask lots of questions and wait a day or two before signing a contract to give you time to reflect.
If you follow these guidelines you will much more likely to hire the right contractor for your bathroom remodel. Happy remodeling!…

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Bathroom Remodel

How to Avoid Getting Burned With Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes

People choose to remodel their kitchen for a variety of reasons. Some homeowners simply want a more updated look. They choose to upgrade their kitchen in more modern décor and colors. However, others feel the need to remodel their kitchen room due to inconvenience and inefficient use of the available space. Whether you are displeased with the layout of the room or simply want a new look, there are some mistakes that you should steer clear of when remodeling your kitchen.
Skipping Ventilation
When remodeling your kitchen, consider adding outside ventilation. It is important that stove hoods or be vented to the outdoors if at all possible. This simple addition can dramatically reduce smoke and odors in the kitchen.
Creating a Large Island
Many modern kitchens include a work island. Islands can be wonderful work spaces for a cook. However, if not properly thought through, they can be a kitchen nightmare. The key is having an island which is the right size and in the right spot. A 3 foot by 4 foot island provides plenty of workspace for most purposes. It is also essential to make sure that you have at least 3 to 4 feet between your island and your cabinets. Anything less can make both the island and the cabinets difficult to use. The best practice is to block off the size and location of your potential island in your kitchen before making a purchase.
Forgetting the Garbage
Kitchens can be messy. Most cooks have both containers and food to throw away. Not properly planning for the disposal of these items can make a kitchen look messy. When planning your remodeling, think about the most convenient ways to store your garbage. The best method is to hide waste receptacles in cabinets. Make certain that you have enough room so that your can is not overflowing all of the time. Creating a separate space for z food waste container or installing a garbage disposal is also a good idea.
Creating Unusable Cabinet Space
Cabinets are very important for storing utensils and non-perishables. Think about the size, height and location of your cabinets before buying them. Draw a sketch and plan what items will go into each cabinet. Consider that while deep cabinets hold more, they are not practical if you cannot reach the items in them. Deep corners are often unused in cabinet spaces. Consider installing lazy susans and swing out or pull out caddies.
Inadequate Lighting
Most kitchens need more than one middle of the ceiling light. Ensure that you plan for proper lighting above the stove, counters, sink and other work areas. Under the cabinet lights are also popular choices with many people.
Remodeling your kitchen may be a once in a lifetime adventure. Give it care, planning and thought before taking the plunge. While considering all of the things that you want your kitchen to have, keep these common kitchen remodeling mistakes in mind.…

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Bathroom Remodel

How To Have A Garden You Can Be Proud Of

Organic gardening is an excellent way to make sure that your family is getting the best produce that they can. You will not be using any pesticides, and since you are growing everything yourself, there is no need to worry about how the produce was handled. Here are some tips to get your organic garden going.

When designing a garden area of your yard, a good place to start is with a tree or hedge as the anchor or structural foundation to your garden. Plant grasses and perennials around the taller centerpiece plant to add texture, color and flow. In time, these plants will fill out as they grow and look splendid against the taller trees or shrubs in the background.

When planning your home garden, be sure to choose some crops that are typically costly to purchase from your local grocery store. By doing this, you can end up saving yourself a lot of money, sometimes fifty dollars or more every month, depending on the crop. Plus, you are guaranteed to have the freshest vegetables available!

A great tip to having a fantastic garden is to be realistic. When shopping the glossy packages of seeds are very appealing, yet many of them only grow in specific climates. Be realistic to what grows in the area and do not plant items that do not grow well. It is so disappointing to plant a garden and have almost no fruits and vegetables come from it.

Do not allow the garden to go without water. Many people have unrealistic expectations of watering the garden after work everyday, but life gets in the way and that is the end of the garden. Install a sprinkler system to ensure the garden gets enough water. Although this does add expense to the garden, the convenience of it is well worth the money.

If you don’t have someone to water your plants while you’re out of town, build a homemade watering device! Simply make a small hole in the bottom of a jug, block the hole, and then fill it with water. Place the jug near the base of the plant and remove whatever is blocking the hole. This will slowly give your plant the water it needs while you’re away.

To keep animals from digging up and destroying your bulbs, wrap the bulbs in a thin layer of steel wool. This won’t prevent the bulbs from growing in any way, but will scare away any animal that’s begun digging it up. You can purchase steel wool from any home improvement store.

It is important to wear a mask when gardening, if you are an asthmatic. Breathing can already be difficult for you and the pollen that is in the air could make it worse. Wearing a mask is a great and inexpensive way to lessen your chances of having an asthma attack.

You have learned a lot of tips for organic gardening. Using these tips will save you a lot of money at the grocery store. The price for organic produce is very high, and there is no need to spend so much money, when you can grow it yourself for a minimal cost.…