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Home Repair

Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Kitchen Renovation (Part 1)

Whilst the idea of completing a kitchen renovation can be a highly exciting one, there are a lot of things that you will need to take into account and understand before you even think about getting work underway. As with any renovation, there are a number of things that can go wrong in a kitchen, so it is always best to be as prepared as possible.

Settle on a budget before doing anything else But this is only part of the problem – the other (harder) part is to stick to it. When you’re completing a kitchen renovation, you’ll come across a range of items and styles in magazines and showrooms that you will be tempted to buy. Give in to these temptations and you will soon find your renovation fund empty.

Plan your kitchen renovation Whilst this seems like the most obvious tip of all, it is actually one that a lot of people tend to neglect, opting instead to just launch right in and take it by ear. You need to think about how you use your kitchen and what you hope to achieve with the renovation – is it a family space or are you an aspiring chef?

Kitchen cabinets tend to account for half of your budget The cabinets should always be one of the first things that you decide on as a part of your kitchen renovation, as they really do take a considerable chunk out of your budget.

Don’t neglect the floor There seems to be a misconception surrounding kitchen floors, pertaining that they have to be ugly in order to be functional. This really is not the case! There are plenty of kitchen flooring options out there, just ensure that you also choose one based on its durability.

Pick a theme or style This is another area that a lot of people tend to neglect during a kitchen renovation, and the result is a mish-mash of styles that is really unattractive. Decide on a theme or style for your kitchen from the beginning (such as ‘country’ or ‘modern’ and stick to it).

By accounting for all these things before beginning your kitchen renovation, you can ensure that your finished design is one that fits in with the existing style of your home, is highly functional and meets your needs to a tee. Forget or neglect to consider these things before starting, and you may find that your kitchen renovation turns into a disaster.…

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Home Repair

Bathroom-ology – Design a Healthy Green Bathroom

Once considered purely utilitarian, bathrooms are increasingly places for rest, renewal, and self-pampering. Plan your bathroom remodel to achieve both looks and luxury; incorporate “Green” design components to contribute to a healthier setting that is more environmentally friendly and that also carries lower ongoing costs for you.
Health-focused designs maximize fresh air and natural light. This focus serves to reduce the risk of injury, as well as to identify and rectify such potential problems as molds, allergens and toxic chemicals. Green remodeling techniques are specifically designed to be durable and to create a safe environment with materials that are made from manufactured products with as few toxins as possible.
The Dangers of Mold
Mold is the number one problem for household contamination, infection and disease and the bathroom is the primary source of mold contamination.
Mold, a simple fungus, adheres to and grows on surfaces where there is a high degree of continuing moisture — often on damp floors and unsealed grout lines. Mold spores can float on mild air currents caused by simply walking into the room. Inhaled mold and fungal spores produce allergic reactions, as well as hypersensitivity to other lung irritants and infectious diseases. “Some forms of mold found indoors produce toxins which can be carcinogenic, induce birth defects, and can affect the immune system,” says David Johnston, a certified LEED contractor.
If your remodeling project is precipitated by a mold problem, pay attention to more than just the latest trend in vanity counters, shower systems, and faucets. Be sure to eliminate all mold-infested materials in the bathroom and adjacent areas after tear-out and before you begin installation.
Environmental and Expense Factors
Although bathrooms are usually smaller than kitchens, bathrooms are the largest user of critical resources – the place where most of the indoor water is used in a home, and where the highest percentage of energy is consumed.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person in the United States uses 90 gallons of water per day. Most of the water used is for bathing and showering. Additionally, a leaking faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons in a year, and a leaking or running toilet can waste 200 gallons a day. Green remodeling offers the opportunity to consider attractively designed products and materials that reduce water consumption.
Creating a Green Bathroom
Begin your bathroom remodeling project with a design that incorporates your family’s needs. Prepare a checklist of the improvements you’d like to include.
Assess how you will most effectively reduce humidity in the bathroom. While your window may meet code requirements, is it really open all winter long, or do you need a supplemental exhaust fan?
Carefully evaluate the materials you choose. For the vanity counter, choose materials where surfaces are manufactured to resist absorption of bacteria and which can easily be cleaned without harsh chemicals.
For the shower, consider a one-piece shower pan rather than a tile pan, to reduce the possibility of mold building up in tile pan grout. Similarly, give thought to single-panel wall shower and bath surrounds.
For the vanity cabinet, select woods that are renewable and certified by the Forest Service Council.
Examine your water usage and identify ways in which you might conserve. Flow reduction devices for showers and faucets don’t interfere with good water pressure.
The newer low-flow toilets have improved greatly since 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets first became law in 1994. No longer is it necessary to flush multiple times. The Toto Aquia dual-flush offers one button to flush liquids that uses only 0.9 gallons, and a second button for the now-standard low flow of 1.6 gallons for solid wastes. Even newer in the market are several High Efficiency toilets which only uses 1.28 gallons per flush.
A significant way to reduce energy usage is with a tank-less water heater. Tank-less or “on-demand” water heaters don’t waste the gas or electricity used to constantly keep traditional 40-to-70 gallon tanks of water at 120 degree temperatures. Another bonus is that there is no large storage tank taking up space.
Ventilating fans should be installed with timers, to enable a departing homeowner to leave the house before properly venting excess, damaging humidity — knowing that the fan will turn off in a set period of time. Consider a humidistat-controlled vent fan in rooms that don’t have adequate ventilation otherwise — the control will automatically sense the level of moisture in the bathroom and run the vent until reaching selected degrees of dryness.
Green Bathroom Remodel Check List
Consider which of these steps can work in your setting:
• Donate or recycle fixtures being torn out
• Insulate pipes that can be exposed to cold
• Install tank-less water heaters
• Install low-flush toilets
• Install low-flow, high-performance showerheads
• Install low-flow faucets
• Install compact fluorescent …

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Home Remodeling

Eight Crucial Aspects of a Great Bathroom

It is usually one of the first rooms we see when we get up in the morning, and one of the last rooms we see before we go to bed at night. The bathroom is one of the, if not the most, sacred rooms in our home. It is surely among the most private rooms in the home. So to take in consideration the bathroom is such a much used room, it makes sense to equip it with the most up to date fixtures and lighting you can install. Here are ten suggestions on how to make your bathroom as inviting as possible:
1. Create an entrance transition. Not counting the master bath, most bathrooms will serve several users and need to be placed in a location that is central to those users. You can create a space outside the door, such as an alcove off of the hallway that can give some privacy from your main room and high traffic areas.
2. Give the bathroom room like proportions. Many usual bathrooms are really just hallways with the fixtures that line one side of the hallway. It is hard to make a comfy room out of that shape.
3. Install a beautiful window. Bringing natural light and a nice view of the outside is very important. Think about it this way, when we go into the bathroom in the morning, most of us look out the window, that is to see how the weather is doing and provides us with a somewhat look at how the day might progress weather wise.
4. From the least intimate places to the most intimate places. This basically means that in the residential design of the bathroom, keep in mind the most intimate place should be the farthest from the door.
5. Position your shower to have a “borrowed view”. In a small space such as a bathroom, sometimes it is difficult to get a decent view to the outside from each area. A shower is a nice example since you can position the shower to give you the view that you want or need.
6. Paying attention to the vertical and horizontal dimensions is critical to have a people friendly bathroom. Certain minimum clearances around bathroom fixtures are required by every building code. You want your family and guests to have enough room to wash their hands for example without bumping into other walls and so forth.
7. Having water resistant finishes are another aspect that needs to be taken into account for. The last thing you want is for your bathroom to have a leakage problem due to poor workmanship or a poor choice in picking the correct water resistant materials to install in your bathroom.
8. Picking out and installing fixtures that really work and will last the test of time, you need to make sure that you are really getting your money’s worth. Having the peace of mind of having these fixtures installed in your bathroom will keep your bathroom looking and performing in top notch performance.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Bathroom Remodeling – Top 10 Tips For a Successful Bathroom Remodel

1.) Choose the Right Contractor:
Selecting the right contractor for a bathroom remodeling project in Dayton, Ohio is the crucial first step and can make the difference between a successful enjoyable process and a never ending nightmare of regret. Make sure the bathroom contractor you select is qualified and capable. Apples to Apples estimates often differ since outstanding quality and customer service costs more to provide you then low attention to detail and no customer service.
Remember often times in life you get what you pay for. Be sure to compare more then just Scope of Work when comparing estimates and investigate and verify their Better Business record.
2.) Proper Prior Planning:
Sound familiar from college? Well it applies to everything including bathroom remodeling. There is a lot of coordinating to be done in typically small spaces when bathroom remodeling. Sure a good contractor will do most if not all the coordinating for you but it is a good idea to go over the steps yourself prior to construction.
Planning the process yourself will not only allow you to be more educated about it, but also make you more informed and better capable of making good decisions with regards to your bathroom remodeling project.
3.) Functional Work Triangles:
Work triangles typically apply to kitchen remodeling but also have value when Bathroom remodeling. “Work triangles” refer to the distance between the functional amenities of your bathroom such as toilet, lavatory sink, showers and tubs, and storage. Creating the right amount of space between these items can make your bathroom functional and comfortable as well as create a feeling of openness and space.
4.) Choose the Right Materials:
With the increased popularity of the big box stores came a gambit of new choices, consequently making selecting materials a nerve racking experience for some remodeling novices. A good contractor will help you select the right stuff for the right spot keeping esthetic appeal, texture, durability and cost in mind.
By properly installing the right materials, they should last the lifetime of your home. The right materials can make all the difference in the world and its painfully obvious when you select the wrong ones.
5.) Waterproofing and Concrete.
By properly waterproofing the concrete board it will create a durable long lasting medium for the tile setting. Reputable contractors only remodel bathrooms using moisture resistant drywall for dry painted surfaces, and concrete board for any areas to be tiled or exposed to wet conditions. However hanging cement board alone is not enough.
The joints and corners need to be taped and finished with ASTM approved mortar in a similar fashion as one finishes drywall. Doing this waterproofs the system allowing your walls to not rely solely on the finished tile for water proofing characteristics and, creates a second moisture barrier.
This simple, low cost step will add decades of time to your bathrooms life span. Ask your proposed contractors how they intend to waterproof the cement board. If they leave this step out of the answer, or say, “the tile is the waterproof system.” move onto the next guy.
6.) Get Great Lighting:
Proper lighting is essential for bathrooms. The right lighting can dramatically improve the appearance and function of your newly remodeled bathrooms. Utilizing a diverse selection of lighting such as 6 inch can lights, 4 inch cans lights, flush mounted lighting, wall sconces, under cabinet lighting, and vanity lights truly livens the space and adds a sense of elegance only great lighting can. The more lights and type of lights you use the more dramatic the aesthetic appeal.
7.) Select the Right Trim:
A bathrooms trim is very important. Types of bathroom trim include; baseboard, casing, chair rail, wainscoting, crown molding, and around mirror trim. The correct combination of trim separates good bathrooms from great bathrooms. There is a fallacy that all of a home’s trim must match. It just isn’t true. Upgrading a bathroom’s trim package can provide huge design dividends while remodeling a bath room and separate it as the most elegant room in the house, which it should be.
8.) Hardware and Fixture Fluency:
Not many things can destroy a bathroom remodel like mismatched hardware and fixtures. There are several finishes to choose from when considering which one is best for your project such as, chrome, brass, brass and chrome, nickel, brushed nickel, stainless steel, brushed stainless steel, antiqued bronze, brushed bronze, and oil rubbed bronze. It is imperative that all items in your bathroom have similar finishes. Disregarding this will confuse the eye, create an un-unified look and take away from your bathrooms appeal.
9.) Remember the Small Stuff:
The small stuff is commonly overlooked then thrown together in the end. One of the largest consumer complaints with regards to bathroom remodeling is that the contractors did not …

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Home Improvement Contractors

Kitchen Renovation Gives a Clear Perspective on a Cloudy Day

In the face of long winters, dreary days and bleak economic times, there are few things that are able to bring people close together the way that cooking and family dinner events do. This is a social staple that has bound together friends and families for as long as there have been humans on this planet. Eating is a necessity, and perfecting the process of food preparation and presentation is all part of turning this event into something unique. For this reason, many view kitchen renovation as more than just a way to freshen up the look of their cooking area, but as a way to expose our social habit to a new light.
Considering the possibility of home improvement on the whole can be a burdensome thought. The initial costs can often make knees weak, especially during these difficult economic times. Despite this reality, people are still in need of making their homes feel more comfortable and inviting to their friends and family. Rather than get caught up in thoughts of such a massive project, many find themselves focusing on giving new life to certain parts of their residence. By focusing on where the most time is spent, and how to revitalize a place like the kitchen, the project can seem far less overwhelming and certainly more manageable.
The need to get involved in something as simple as kitchen renovation is much more than just replacing faulty pipes are a leaky faucet. Shedding fresh light on the cooking environment in your home will provide a new sense for how you feed and nourish your family. While many Americans find themselves reevaluating their budgets, they find themselves cutting out the added cost of going out to eat. Furthermore, they see the need to eat healthier and cook more wholesome meals as a dire necessity if they are to live healthier lives.
Undertaking a home renovation project as focused as this can be narrowed down to fundamental changes that should be addressed. For those who seek to expand the space of their cooking realm, this should be noted from the onset. Lighting, cabinet and counter spaces are all important considerations to also make. Additionally, replacing or repairing appliances will also make the kitchen far more functional and generally pleasant to work in.
After a long day of work or of taking care of the kids and the necessary errands that go along with this, there is little energy left to waste on cooking or preparing a dinner in a place that is unpleasant to be in. For this fundamental reason, kitchen renovation has gained more traction as an invigorating project that can lead to a change in lifestyle that you may have been yearning for. By addressing simple concerns like lighting, space, and functionality, you can give new light to your home and the experience of both eating and cooking together with your family. Hosting a dinner occasion at your house need not be a burden, but an exciting event to look forward to.…

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Home Renovation

Great Bathroom Lighting Tips

When many people are planning a bathroom remodel the most overlooked part of the project is the way the new bathroom will be lit. Yet good lighting is essential if the new bathroom is going to be as functional and attractive as possible. The new sink, toilet and luxury spa shower are all great but, if you cannot see to put your make up on in the morning, the remodeled bathroom will end up annoying you as much as the old one did.
Ideally there should be more than one kind of lighting in the bathroom. Task lighting is essential. Mirrors should be well lit but not with a light that is too artificial or glaring. Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for makeup and shaving. Be sure to position sconces to shed equal amounts of light on both sides of the face, and use “natural light” bulbs to impart a less artificial looking glow.
For ambient lighting pendant lamps, recessed ceiling lights or even a small chandelier can all work well in the bathroom. If your remodeled bathroom is going to include one of the wonderful garden bathtubs that are so popular these days why not a chandelier with dimmer switch so that you can soak your cares away in ultimate luxury.
One area that is often not lit – but should be – is the shower. Light the shower’s interior with waterproof fixtures. The light does not have to be too bright but you will appreciate the difference right away.…

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Home Maintenance

Working With Kitchen Contractors

If you are going to remodel your kitchen and you are not a do-it-yourself type of person, you will probably want to hire professional kitchen contractors who will be able to take care of all of the work for you. Before you hire a contractor though, you will need to do some preliminary work.
The first thing that you will want to do is decide on the style of kitchen that you want. If you are doing a full remodel and have no idea where you should begin, you can always hire a kitchen designer who will be able to help. Write down all of the things that you want to change in your kitchen and come up with an overall idea of how you want the kitchen to look. Take your ideas, listen to what the designer has to say, and then come up with a solid plan for the kitchen. If you have no ideas of your own, see what the designer has to offer.
Once you have your plan for the kitchen, you will be able to hire the kitchen contractors you need to finish the job. You can interview different contractors and get estimates from them. Ask them any questions that you might have, such as how long the remodel should take, if they have experience with the types of flooring, counters, cabinets, and fixtures that you want, and anything else that comes to mind. Choose the contractor with whom you feel the most comfortable and offers the most experience. You want to have a good working relationship with the contractor.
Before the kitchen contractors come to start work, you will want to prepare your home. It is a good idea to lay down a pathway on which they can walk without getting the rest of the house dirty. You can use plastic, although cheap strips of carpet are a better idea because there is less of a chance that someone could slip and fall. This protects the flooring underneath as well.
Because remodeling can cause dust, you might want to have covers for any furniture that might be nearby. Move any breakables out of their path. In general, you want to make it as easy as possible for the workers to be able to do their job without worrying about damaging your home.
Remodeling a kitchen can take some time as well as effort, but if you plan early and choose a great contractor, it isn’t that hard!…