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Home Repair

7 Signs You Might Need to Remodel Your Kitchen

Looking for one last nook or cranny for your dishes? Have you found yourself in your kitchen desperately needing more space for cooking? These are some typical signs that it may be time for a new kitchen. Here is a list of 7 signs that you may need to remodel your kitchen.

Counter Top Space – Are you constantly looking for space to do prep work in your kitchen? Has your kitchen island become the family’s mail room? According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), a Kitchen should have a minimum of 158″ (13 ft) of linear counter top space. But that’s just the minimum. Sometimes rearranging your appliances more efficiently can open up some counter top space. However if this is the case,you may want to consider removing walls to create a great room that contains your kitchen, living room and dining room. Opening walls also gives you creative options to create a kitchen island.

Outdated Appliances – Are your appliances the same as they were when the house was first built? This could be a very noticeable sign that your kitchen is starting to show its age, but more importantly could be costing you more money thank you might think. Recent advances in Green Technology have created a demand for energy efficient appliances that can save you time and money.

Kitchen Flow – You may be aware of the kitchen triangle (the distance between your stove, refrigerator, and sink) However, once again sometimes the minimum isn’t enough, especially if you there are more than one cooks in the house. Minimum aisle distances should be 36″ and the NKBA recommends 48″ in aisles if you plan on using multiple cooks in the kitchen. To create multiple cooking stations you can easily add a prep sink to create another work station. A well laid out plan should separate the cooking areas from the gathering areas of the home where guests and family socialize.

Outdated Cabinetry – If you’re living in a home built during 1970s or earlier, it probably goes without saying that you are constantly reminded it’s time for a kitchen remodel. The species of wood you choose for you cabinets set the tone of your kitchen. Choosing a new species can help update your kitchen drastically and immediately. Sometimes staining or painting is all you need to give your kitchen an updated look. Other times the damage may be to severe of the cabinet faces are really starting to show their age. Replacing cabinets usually means a complete kitchen remodel all around, but some things can be salvaged and reused like appliances or fixtures.

Lighting – Older incandescent light fixtures can give off ugly light and worst, cost you money. Recent “Green” trends in technology have created a high demand for energy efficient light bulbs. The best advancements in energy efficient lighting is the LED light. Typical light bulbs will last 900 hours, where an LED can last up to 30,000 hours. That’s 30 years at 3 hours a day. In addition, you can power 6 LED lights with same amount of energy it takes to power one incandescent bulb. LED lights are a great choice for any room in your home and can help update the feel of your kitchen.

Kitchen Location – If your kitchen is feeling like a dark closet tucked away in your home, you might want to consider opening the kitchen up. The best way to do this is knocking down walls to open up to the living room and dining room. Another alternative that may be more economical is adding a door to an outdoor patio. This can be a great way to entertain family and guests in an outdoor environment. A door opening the exterior needs to be a minimum of 34″ but this could be a good place to add sliding doors or french doors depending on the layout of your home.

Best Time for Kitchen Remodeling – Recent economic trends have lowered the cost in some areas of the remodeling industry. One area is the labor industry where costs have dropped 15-25% in some areas. Companies that have stayed healthy over the last 3-4 years have probably done so through excellent customer service. In addition, many remodeling companies have become efficient in 3D design. 3D design has become a game changer for remodeling companies and home owners. 3D design puts your in your kitchen remodel before construction begins. It also allows companies to put together accurate estimates so that you know exactly where your money is being spent. Because your dollar can go further with lower costs, 3D design, and excellent customer service, you can be sure that updating your kitchen now is a solid investment.…

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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 Repair

Walk in Shower – How It Affects You

You will be affected in more ways than one when you have a bathroom remodeled. The emotional impact will probably be the first thing that impacts you. Because you are thinking about a remodel you obviously are not really happy with your present bathroom. Is it the longing to add something to your bathroom like a walk in shower or is it just not as big as you would like for it to be. The new bath should make you feel really good once you are through with the remodeling project.
It will be a place where you can go to relax and refresh yourself. You can ease your tiredness away by standing in your shower or maybe you prefer to soak in your tub just like at the spa. It can be a great relaxing area whether you have had a long day at work or if you have just been working around the house.
The next thing to consider is the practical side of a new bathroom. Your old bath may just be laid out in such a manner that you just don’t like. You will be able to address these problems during a remodel, creating more usable space and getting it arranged just the way that you want. You can add extra storage space by building in some additional cabinets or adding some usable shelves or a bigger vanity. Another driving factor for you may to increase the accessibility particularly if you have an older person living with you or someone who is handicapped. By adding a walk in shower not only are you adding luxury but also a safety factor for those who need it.
One of the bigger effects of a remodel will probably be on your finances. The more remodeling that you do and the more that you add the more that it will cost in the end. At the same time you are adding to the value of your home, so don’t look at it as money that you are spending now but as an investment. A contemporary bath with an up scale spa theme featuring a walk in shower and a spa tube are really good selling points.
The bathroom is one room that you are in just about every day. If you are going to remodel make it a room that you will truly enjoy just being in. Take the time to make the space what you really want. The choice is yours.…

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General Article

Make Home Improvement Jobs Easy With These Tips

Just because you don’t know everything about home improvement doesn’t mean you can’t learn more. There are so many things that you can learn in order to build new skills and generate greater success in your home projects. Get more understanding of the various projects you could complete in your home, starting with the home improvement tips in this article.

Bathroom Remodel

Start small when remodeling your bathroom. You can make a big impact even with a small budget. Replacing small items such as light fixtures, mirrors, toilet paper holders and towel bars can have a great impact. Painting is an excellent improvement for a bathroom. The bathroom will appear updated and modern without making you bankrupt.

Bathroom Renovations

If you are considering a bathroom remodeling job, consider making the room handicap accessible. Even if you can’t do a full conversion, there are ways to make your bathroom more accessible. This is important especially if you intend to retire and grow older in your home. If you are planning to sell in the future, all these items will increase the sale price.

Home Contractors

When looking for someone to help you with home improvements, do your research. This is important because you do not want an inexperienced or unskilled person working on your home. Ask around for a good worker from family and friends or go online and look for reviews on home contractors in your area.

Home Maintenance

To save money on home maintenance, check all of your faucets and pipes for leaks and have them repaired quickly. Leaking faucets can waste quite a bit of water, costing you in higher bills. Also, pipes that are leaking within your walls or under your house can lead to serious water damage.

Home Remodeling

When looking to improve the value of your home, remodeling a bathroom can be a great step to take. Simple bathroom remodeling steps can include painting, changing out fixtures and installing new tiles. More elaborate efforts can include replacing bathtubs, toilets and sinks. Whatever route you choose, you’re sure to see an increased home value when you update your bathroom.

Home Renovation

When selecting a contractor for a home renovation, don’t be tempted to simply take the lowest estimate. There is no guarantee that it will be cheaper to use a lower-cost contractor and simply fix any poor work later. Lower prices usually mean that the quality of the work and the materials is also lower.

Kitchen Remodel

When removing cabinets as part of a kitchen remodel, make sure you don’t just unscrew and yank them off the wall. You will more than likely end up taking some or all of the drywall off with you. Take time and care to remove each and every screw, and use a utility knife around the edges to break the caulking that was most likely used to seal between the cabinet and the wall.

Kitchen Renovation

If you are extensively renovating your kitchen, it’s smart to get a spot set up that you can use as a workshift “kitchen” for a while. Your kitchen may be out of commission longer than expected, so set up some small appliances you can use elsewhere in your home.

Remodeling

Use energy efficient appliances when remodeling or building a new home. The utility costs can add up quickly if you aren’t using efficient appliances. You can find the rating of any machine you are purchasing on the tag. It will tell you the cost of using it over a year and over it’s lifetime.

If you can dream about a great home improvement project, you can also do what it takes to put a plan into action. The tips in this article, if applied, can get you off to a great start. So, what are you waiting for? Get started right away!…