No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

A Simple Do-It-Yourself Bathroom Remodel in 5 Easy Steps

Even for a Do-It-Yourself novice, these 5 easy steps to remodel your bathroom is easy for anyone to do without spending much more than a few hundred dollars and a Saturday afternoon. Remodeling your bathroom does not have to mean breaking things up, replacing all the big ticket items in your bathroom, or hiring a contractor do perform the work for you.

Plan a weekend and focus on these 5 easy steps to remodel your own bathroom and save money:

Lighting

Faucets

Cabinet Hardware

Mirror

Towel Bar and Toilet Paper Holder

Lighting:

Change your bathroom lighting – simply changing your bathroom lighting can give your bathroom a new look. Especially if your lighting isn’t bright enough to light up your bathroom, or your lighting looks outdated. Some really great looking lights can be purchased and quickly mounted in about an hours time. Remember to turn the electrical power off during any electrical work and follow the directions that come in the light packaging. I usually gauge how big a light I will need by looking at the total area needing the light. The larger the area, the more important it becomes to use a larger light.

Faucets:

Replace your bathroom faucet – with just a few tools such as a wrench, pliers, screwdriver, and plumbers putty, you can change your faucet in about an hour as well. Many times faucets begin to show signs of hardened water deposits or other discoloration. A new faucet can go a long way to making your bathroom sink look new. In some cases you may need to replace any water supply cut-off valves and drain lines that may have become worn or somewhat deteriorated.

Cabinet Hardware:

Your cabinet hardware is another easy way to upgrade the looks of your bathroom. This is certainly true if you purchased an existing home. Changing the cabinet hardware can easily give your cabinetry a facelift. Just be sure to find hardware with the same screw patterns as the old hardware to make the exchange very simple. You often can find new hardware for just a few dollars a piece, and when most bathrooms only use less than a dozen pieces of hardware, the cost is minimal and the improved looks can be substantial.

Mirrors:

Changing the mirror can also change the looks of your bathroom. If your bathroom has damaged mirrors, rusty frames, or just a bad mirror setup. Change the mirrors size or shape to give your bathroom a whole new look. Mirrors can be purchased in big box stores for a few dollars or you can have a glass installation company install a mirror for you. There are lots of choices such as plain flat glass, beveled glass, etched glass, colored glass, framed or unframed glass and much more to choose from.

Towel Bars and Toilet Paper Holders:

Finally, if you have towel bars or toilet paper holders that could use a facelift, consider changing them into something more modern or stylish. Each of these items have only a couple of set screws and a small handful of screws to remove. If you are placing a larger or smaller towel bar and need to cover the holes. I have taken a 51/2 inch wide board that is just about 3 inches longer than the towel bar to screw to the wall first, and then installed the towel bar over the board. Before installing this board I take the board to the cabinet shop to have the edges routered with a simple design. Looks great and provides a strong backing.

Just imagine a few dollars and a few hours and your bathroom looks better already. Without a doubt you can do these 5 easy to do steps to remodel your own bathroom all by yourself on a weekend and make a big difference.…

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Current Trends In Kitchen Renovations

Have you recently made the decision to undergo a kitchen renovation? Before you get started, you might be wondering what some of the current trends in kitchen design are so that you can make sure your renovation incorporates some of these up-to-the-minute ideas.
Minimalism
Many kitchen renovations are now centered around the minimalist idea that less is more. This has led to an increase in bench tops that are long and straight and cupboard doors that are flush to the wall. Gloss finishes and open shelving is also very popular in completing a minimalist look in your kitchen renovation.
Eco-Friendly
As we are becoming more inclined to opt for environmentally friendly fixtures in our homes, an increase in eco-friendly kitchen renovations had to occur. There has been a rise in the purchase and manufacture of kitchen cabinets that emit low levels of volatile organic compounds, lowering air pollution, and in the installation of LED lights, which are high energy savers. The ‘natural’ look of wooden floors and stone countertops is also popular in new kitchen renovations, both options that are environmentally sustainable.
Safety
These days there are more children in the kitchen, helping mum and dad cook or just making themselves some lunch. Because of this, parents are looking for new safe kitchen renovation designs to minimise the risk of injury. Lockouts, a popular renovators choice, are designed to prevent stove burners from accidentally being turned on. There are also mechanisms that you can install during your renovation that will stop drawers and kitchen cupboards from slamming shut, just in case fingers are still in the way.
Hidden Appliances
Gone are the days when families wanted to show off their brand new microwave or dishwasher. These days, people are using their kitchen renovation to create clever ways of hiding their appliances. Fridges have become shallower, so that they don’t protrude past the cabinets, and drawer fridges and freezers are also very popular. It is also becoming more common to find renovated homes that have made the exteriors of their appliances match the rest of cabinetry, making them all blend in.
High Tech
People have a desire to turn their kitchen into another living area of their homes, so take a renovation as the perfect opportunity to do so. Televisions are a very popular appliance to find in the kitchen these days, so much so that manufacturers have found ways to incorporate them into other appliances, like fridges and even the ventilation hood for the stove, that we do need to install during a renovation.
So, whether you want to use all of the latest kitchen renovation trends or just some of the ones mentioned above, your kitchen is bound to be an enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing place to be.…

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Home Remodeling and Renovation Tips for Homeowners

Maryland homeowners are undertaking renovations and remodels for several reasons in today’s real estate market. Many owners who purchased in the last 5 to 7 years have been forced to stay in their homes because they owe more than the present market value. They realize that since they will be staying in their home for a while, they might as well make improvements that they will enjoy. Others, who are considering a move, are improving their homes to make them more market ready when they decide to sell. Upgrading a home to the standard of the neighborhood is usually a wise choice for a value-conscious homeowner.

Return On Investment

Whatever the reason, making careful and thoughtful decisions about home improvement is the key to getting the most return on investment. Most improvements that are made do not bring the full return of the cost at the sale of the home, but some improvements bring a better return than others.

In conjunction with National Association of Realtors, Remodeling Magazine conducts an annual survey that is one of the most comprehensive and most cited on the subject of return on investment when it comes to home remodeling. The 2010 survey has just been published at .

The average payback on home improvement projects in the Washington Metropolitan Area, which includes a large part of Maryland, is 64%, with a low of 48% on a home office remodel, and a high of 147% on a steel entry door replacement.

The 5 top ROI projects are:

An attic bedroom at 90% ROI

A basement remodel at 84% ROI

Siding Replacement at 80.5% ROI

A wood deck addition at 79.8% (A composite deck has a 71.2% ROI)

Window Replacement (wood) at 78.4% ROI (Vinyl widows bring 76.4% ROI)

What gets the least ROI?

Office Remodel at 48% ROI

Sunroom Addition at 55% ROI

Backup power generator at 60% ROI

Bathroom addition at 62% ROI

Garage addition at 66% ROI

Renovations on Older Homes: Lead Paint

The median age of homes in the U.S. is 36 years old. In other words, half the homes in the country were built before 1974. The median home age in Maryland is 42, half of the homes in Maryland’s communities were built before 1968. Lead paint was not banned until 1978. Many of these older homes contain lead paint, which is a health hazard and requires special treatment. New environmental regulations took effect this year, requiring a contractor to have a certification by the EPA to perform work on homes with lead-based paint. The enforcement of the rule won’t start until October 1 of 2010, to give remodeling contractors time to get the certification.

The rule doesn’t apply to do-it-yourself homeowners, only to professionals. But homeowners who undertake renovations should become familiar with issues surrounding lead-based paint. The EPA publishes guidelines in “Renovate Right”, found on their website.

To find out if your home has lead based paint you can use a test kit found at your local hardware store. You can also hire a certified risk assessor or contractor to find out.

Greening Your Home

Once the testing is out of the way, the possibilities for renovation plans can be endless. Green renovations are just one of the considerations to think about. Green construction is getting much more positive press these days, from builders and from buyers. Green renovations could make your house more desirable to buyers in today’s market. In a recent survey by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and McGraw-Hill Construction, the results show that interest in green-friendly renovations and building strategies are on the rise. Some of the findings:

Green building combines smart design and careful material selection to reduce energy and water consumption. One of the many resources for green design ideas is the U.S. Green Building Council. When planning green renovations, remember the Federal tax Credits for certain qualifying energy efficient renovations, but also remember that Maryland’s tax credits and grants for certain home renovations.

If the renovations you are planning are beyond your scope, hiring a reputable contractor is a wise choice. The cost is often well-spent when the results are professional. But how does one select a contractor who will do a great job for a reasonable price?

Tips from the Better Business Bureau

While the cost vs. payback factor is important in planning renovation projects, it’s not the only consideration. For homeowners who are renovating to be able to “age in place” or who need to care for an elderly family member, or remodel for a home office so they don’t have to commute, other issues may be more important than return on investment. For some projects, the satisfaction and quality of life while living in a house that you love is the main priority.

Gather bids from between 3 to …

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Kohler Toilet – A Brand With Name, Fame and Trust!

Toilets today play an important role in the every house. Previously houses were huge and they had their toilets in the backyard, today with the coming of apartments for many families it has become essential to have compact bathrooms with attached toilets. It has become according to the need of times to have a beautiful toilet in case any visitor visiting has the need of it. Moreover, if there is a neat and clean toilet that would speak volumes of the owner, who has regard and concern not just of those, who will get to use the toilet, but also the family and the neighbors by having an environment clean and healthy.
Kohler toilet! Where does this name steps in from? Kohler is renowned as manufacturers of fine toilet products. Having an excellent history dating back to 1873 when as immigrants this trade was started, then soon with the passing of time and scope for improvement the need to innovate was felt.
Research was carried, surveys were made and finally in the 1960 emerged the new bold looks of Kohler toilet, with respect to the environment and conservation of water, together with the facility of satisfaction for the ultimate user. Colors varieties were offered.
Their surveys were beginning to pay dividends they succeeded in creating awareness and soon the demand was established with the coming of the new generation. These innovations also were introduced taking into consideration the demand was there but the need for changes was as essential. Soon the need for flushing was becoming a major issue clean bowls needed water, but the need to conserve water also playing a major role was the need of the hour. Detailed etching was done studies carried out with the cooperation of the health department, and soon it was found that the pressure of the water could assure clean bowls again Kohler toilet with this research and development board came with solutions.
This goes to show determination and the hope of building and presenting a product depends on the amount of faith and confidence you have in you. Even the clay, the sand and the rubbles combined can eventually bring out the finished product a thing to see, appreciate and desire to relish the ownership of this toilet. It was also noticed earlier though that the need for seat cover were one of the innovations made in order to restrict the stench from spreading.
Today Kohler toilet with pride can say it has to offer ranges that can be ideal for toilets; yet going unsaid they still are involved in making better toilets to suit the situation with all facilities. It is not the end of their pursuit; they continue to carry on with their research in providing endless range.…

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Tips for a Successful Kitchen Renovation

It is a well-known fact that the kitchen and the bathroom are the most expensive rooms in the house, so a bit of research and planning ahead of your renovation will help to keep costs and stresses down, and have the project go as smoothly as possible.

Budget. As with any project to be undertaken, the first thing you need to do is fix your budget, and please, please, please remember to allow for overruns – you do not known what will be found in the walls or the floor that will result in additional costs to the project.

Layout. Does the existing layout work for you? Are you taking out any walls to make a bigger space, or adding windows or doors? These kinds of changes need to be taken into account when considering the layout of the kitchen. Remember the triangle between sink, stove and fridge!

Electrical Outlets. A very common problem in a kitchen is an insufficient number of electrical outlets, particularly at countertop level. If your large appliances are all to be built-in, each will need a dedicated outlet. How much countertop space will you have? Do you have small appliances that live on the counter like a coffee machine, toaster or toaster oven? Do you have other appliances that live in a cupboard and are used only occasionally? Additional outlets should be provided to accommodate these appliances.

Countertop. There are numerous choices for the countertop, from tiles to granite or polished stone, to concrete, stainless steel and various molded surfaces. And the price range is equally huge, with unique custom-made surfaces costing thousands of dollars. Be careful that you don’t overspend on the finishes as you might not get it back on reselling your property. Also think about wear and tear on the counter – do you have kids? Might there be frequent spillages that might cause staining?

Cabinets. The choice of finishes for your cabinets is limitless, from natural wood to laminates, stainless steel, glass, synthetic finishes and various combinations of them all. Do you wish your upper level cabinets to go right up to the ceiling – the advantages of this include more storage space though high up, no dust can collect on the top of the cupboards, plus it gives the illusion of a higher ceiling, which is particularly good if your ceiling is a little low.

Floor. Are you installing a new floor covering? If yes, it needs to be something that is very durable to withstand the wear and tear of traffic in the busiest room in your house! Hardwood, tile, stone or even polished concrete fill this role effectively and efficiently.

Appliances. The kitchen is often described as the “heart of the home”, so you don’t want to skimp on appliances. Stainless steel is more expensive but it will last longer. Having appliances that match is also very important to the overall look of the finished kitchen. Do you want a dishwasher and where do you want it to be located? Do you want a built-in microwave or wine cooler, and where should they be located. Now is the time to think about these things.

There you have it. Lots to think about before your project gets started, but planning ahead will more than pay for itself in the successful completion of the project.…

No Picture
General Article

Work Faster And Smarter With These Home Improvment Tips

There is an abundance of information and resources available to help you with DIY projects. If you don’t arm yourself with the right sources and knowledge, home improvement can be a nightmare. This piece is full of ideas that can give you a better understanding of home improvement techniques.

Bathroom Remodel

Make little changes in the bathroom if you don’t have a lot of money. Small budgets can still make large impacts. You could, for instance, replace fixtures, towel bars and other small details. Add a coat of paint to really spruce things up. You’ll have a new, modern bathroom without spending much cash.

Bathroom Renovations

If you are renovating a bathroom, keep handicapped people in mind when you are redesigning the space. This conversion can be done in stages if cost is a concern, and will save a lot of headache if you live in your current home until you die. These improvements will increase your home’s value.

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 working with a contractor to do a home renovation, decide on the whole project at the beginning and stick to that plan. Constantly changing the plan can slow down the renovation process and scare off your contractor from doing anything independently. Also, constantly changing renovations often end up looking piecemeal, since they weren’t created with a clear vision in mind.

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’re embarking on a huge kitchen renovation, set up a makeshift kitchen you can use while yours is unavailable. Your kitchen might not be useable for a couple of weeks so have a microwave and a refrigerator elsewhere in the house so you can store food and make easy meals.

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.

It’s worth repeating this point for emphasis: Home improvement doesn’t have to be hard to do. When you apply the tips you just read, you can make your own home-improvement projects easier. You now have a solid foundation of knowledge to think about. Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to get started on a plan.…