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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Outdated Appliances – Are your appliances the same as they were when the house was first built?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Outdated Cabinetry – If you’re living in a home built during 1970s or earlier, it probably goes without saying that you are constantly reminded it’s time for a kitchen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 Contractors

Money Saving Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodeling doesn’t just have to be about updating the current look of your bathroom or improving the usability. It can be a great chance for you to implement some ways to conserve water and energy, while also choosing attractive yet environmentally-friendly options to remodel your bathroom. Remodeling your bathroom while being environmentally-friendly at the same time is entirely possible. We’ve put together some great green bathroom remodeling tips that you can consider when planning your bathroom remodel.
As might be expected, your bathroom uses a lot of water, mainly for the toilet and shower. However, it is possible to reduce that figure by a significant margin which can mean your water bill shrinks as a result. The major culprit in bathroom water consumption is of course the toilet, which accounts for a quarter or more of a household’s water usage. Installing a low-flow toilet probably won’t help this, since they can often end up using more water than before due to requiring multiple flushes. However, a dual-flush toilet is an excellent alternative that allows you to minimize the amount of water used per flush – it allows you to choose whether you want to use a minimal amount of water or the maximum amount of water when flushing. As a result, a dual-flush toilet can save as much as 17,000 gallons per year. If you don’t want to replace the toilet entirely, your current toilet can also be upgraded to allow dual flushing.
When it comes to the shower, it generally does not use as much water as the toilet does, but it still accounts for 15-20% of a household’s water usage. You can cut back on this by installing a low-flowing showerhead, which uses 1.5 to 2 gallons per minute, as opposed to a high-flowing showerhead that uses 2.5 gallons per minute.
Choosing environmentally-friendly materials for your bathroom remodel is another way to go green but still have a great-looking bathroom in the end. Ceramic is a very popular green material for bathroom tiles that is attractive, durable and low-maintenance, while tiles crafted from recycled glass are also very environmentally friendly and attractive as well. Replacing light fixtures with LEDs will help save on energy costs over the long run since they use a very minimal amount of energy but can still output a good deal of light.
In addition to green remodeling materials and water-efficient fixtures, you can reduce your bathroom’s energy costs to help save money and minimize environmental impact. Your water heater can be wrapped with an insulator that helps reduce the amount of energy it needs to heat water and you can also insulate any exposed pipes connected to the water heater. It can also be a big help to turn the temperature down to 120 degrees from the standard 140 degrees a water heater is usually set at – this will still provide hot water but use less energy in the the time comes to replace your water heater, you have two excellent alternatives to a standard water heater. With a condensing water heater, almost all of the energy used goes to heating water – maximizing energy-efficiency. The other option is a tankless water heater, which heats water on demand, rather than using energy to keep water hot constantly.…

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Remodeling

Lighting Tips for Your Bathroom Remodel

No bathroom remodeling design is complete without a plan for improved lighting. Lighting serves many functions in the bathroom, from highlighting the decor to helping you accomplish your daily grooming and hygiene routine to complementing your reflection in the vanity mirror. By installing the appropriate lighting in your bathroom, you can both make the space feel larger and create place for personal retreat.
Here’s a look at the types of lighting you should include in your bathroom remodeling plans:
Task Lighting
Task lighting in a bathroom is one of the most important types of light to include in your bathroom remodel, as it gives you the necessary illumination for applying makeup, shaving, showering and performing other essential tasks.
When designing your task lighting, pay extra attention to the illumination around your bathroom vanity, which is essential for grooming and applying makeup properly. A common mistake homeowners make is placing a single light directly over the mirror, which casts misleading shadows on your face. If possible, surround the mirror with vanity lights or add sconces on either side of the mirror to create more even lighting on your face.
For additional task lighting, place a waterproof, recessed light above the shower or tub.
Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting is a stand-in for natural light, enhancing the mood or atmosphere of a bathroom. If you’re fortunate enough to have a window or skylight in your bathroom, take advantage of the natural light as much as possible by removing blinds or curtains and using a thin shade or frosted glass instead. If your bathroom lacks natural light, you can simulate it with a lamp or chandelier on the ceiling. You can also create a soft glow by concealing, rope lights around the perimeter of the room behind molding that sits up to six inches below the ceiling.
Accent Lighting
Accent lighting is typically used to illuminate an aspect of your bathroom you want to highlight, such as artwork, a unique tile arrangement, a beautiful tub or an interesting sink. To create accent lighting, add a recessed spotlight with a beam aimed at the element you want to highlight.
Other Bathroom Remodel Ideas
Once you’ve designed your bathroom lighting scheme, make it work in harmony with the rest of your decor by using color and decorative elements to enhance the lights. A large mirror above the sink will reflect your bathroom’s light and make the space appear larger. For a small bathroom remodeling project, artistically arrange a collection of smaller mirrors. Adding a soft, light color to the walls and floors will also help reflect your bathroom’s light. You can also include a light-colored rug.
Finally, attach your different lighting elements to various dimmer switches to give you total control over your bathroom’s ambience. This will not only help you create whatever mood you desire, but it can help you save energy and lower your utility bill.
Although bathroom lighting is often neglected, good lighting is essential to any functional bathroom. As you begin plans for your bathroom remodeling project, make sure you include the one element that will help make the space look its best — and make you look fabulous.
~Flora Richards-Gustafson, 2010…

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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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Basement Remodeling

Bathroom Remodeling – Tips for Improving Family Bathroom Safety With Your Remodel

The bathroom can quickly turn into one of the most dangerous rooms in your home if it isn’t appropriately designed for safety. Safety is even more important if you have small children, elderly people, or someone with a disability in your home. If you decided to do a bathroom remodel, this is the perfect time to work in improving the safety of the bathroom for your family. Here are a few bathroom remodeling tips that are important for keeping your family safe and comfortable in the bathroom.
Tip #1 – Start with Non-Slip Flooring
One great tip for a bathroom remodel is to start off with non-slip flooring. The right flooring is essential in the bathroom. Your flooring needs to stand up to water, since the bathroom often deals with puddles and humidity. You also need to ensure that the flooring has a non-slip surface so there is less likelihood of a fall occurring.
Tip #2 – Avoid Steps if Possible
While many people feel that steps add some visual appeal to the bathroom area, you should avoid steps if you can for safety reasons. Steps that lead into the shower, tub or the bathroom can end up being dangerous. Older people and children are more likely to have problems with steps. Instead of using steps when you’re working on a bathroom remodel, consider adding a platform area around the tub. This allows you to easily sit down while getting in and out of the tub.
Tip #3 – Use Anti-Scald Faucets
When installing new faucets as a part of your bathroom remodel, make sure you use anti-scald faucets to keep your family safe. These faucets should be used on the sink, shower and bathtub. This is especially important if you have small children that will be using the bathroom. Anti-scald faucets will help prevent accidental scalding accidents in the bathroom.
Tip #4 – Go with Shatterproof Shower Doors
If you’re planning to have a shower that includes shower doors, make sure that you install shatterproof shower doors. Shatterproof doors are much safer in your bathroom. They won’t shatter, helping to prevent injuries within the bathroom area.
Tip #5 – Ensure Electrical Outlets are GFCI
It’s also important to ensure that the electrical outlets in your bathroom are GFCI outlets, which stands for ground fault circuit interrupters. These special outlets are designed for areas where water may accidentally be splashed in the area. Not only will they keep your electrical system safe, but they’ll help prevent electrical injuries from occurring in your bathroom as well.
Tip #6 – Use Grab Bars Throughout the Bathroom
You’ll want to make sure you add some grab bars throughout the bathroom as you remodel the bathroom area. Grab bars help to provide more safety in the bathroom, especially to those who are elderly or disabled. Of course, the entire family can benefit from the improved safety that comes with installed grab bars. These bars can be added in bathtubs, in showers and in toilet areas as well. When choosing grab bars for installation, make sure that you choose models that hold at least 250 pounds. You can find these bars in various finishes, shapes and sizes, allowing you to find the options that work best with your bathroom remodel.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Finding the Perfect Sink For a Small Bathroom Remodel

Intuition tells most homeowners it is a simple matter to find the perfect sink for a small bathroom remodel. Not too long ago, this was true. But today, there is an array of possibilities. There is great variety in sink materials, installation styles, colors, shapes, and even hardware (or fittings and faucets). All of these factors will determine the suitability of a particular sink for your small bathroom remodel.
The sink you choose for your small bathroom remodel and the specific place you position it in the room will define a great deal of what else you can do in a small space. A new sink for your remodeled bath can cost as little as $100 or somewhat over $1,000. It is usually a good idea to decide how much you can afford to spend on a sink and decide on the major design features and style of your bathroom before you shop for a sink. This will help you stay on track when you see some of the trendy or flashy styles that are available. Keep in mind also that many stores display only the most popular styles and colors in their showrooms. It will probably be worth your time to ask about other options and to check online stores and manufacturers.
Materials: Most sinks are made of enamel, porcelain or china over cast iron or steel. These materials have been used for a very long time. Their durability and ability to resist stains and mildew have made them extremely popular. They are available in almost any color imaginable and any installation style. As bathroom design and décor has become more important in recent years, sinks are now produced in a wide variety of materials, including solid surface materials, acrylics, glass, metals, concrete, cultured stone and genuine stone. Consider who will use the sink when you decide on the material, because stone and concrete will be relatively high maintenance and need sealing and regular re-sealing and glass and metals can scratch easily.
Installation: Your decision to include or not include a vanity in your remodeled small bathroom will narrow your sink installation options.
If you are not using a vanity, your sink will probably be a free-standing or a wall-mounted style. These sinks use very little space, making them ideal for a small bathroom. They are also highly preferred in bathrooms fitted for accessibility. Whether they rest on a pedestal or attach to the wall, the plumbing will be visible (considered a downside by some). They also offer no storage space. In addition to actually requiring less space, these models make your bathroom appear larger.
If you are including a vanity, you might choose the smoothness and sleek continuity of a solid surface vanity top and sink. This is one continuous piece that includes the sink. This style is also possible with stone (granite, marble), cultured stone and concrete. Stone and concrete will require sealing and resealing. These sinks tend to be shallow as compared to some other styles.
Drop-in sinks have a rim that overlaps the edge of the countertop. These are inexpensive and easy to install, making them a great choice for the do-it-yourselfer. Look for a style that has some depth to limit splashing on the surrounding area of the countertop.
Under-mounted sinks attach to the underside of the countertop. These are very popular because they create a smooth surface that takes full advantage of every inch of surface space. This style of installation, however, limits your countertop choices to a material that is completely waterproof (no standard laminate or wood and no natural stone or concrete unless it is carefully sealed).
Countertop installation has become very popular in recent years, although this trend is beginning to wane. This type of installation uses specialty styles of bowls which sit atop a counter or piece of furniture. These styles tend to be costly and installation can also be expensive.
Current trends in bathroom design have focused on exotic materials, unusual shapes, vivid colors, and attempts to use furniture for vanities and cabinets. Small bathroom dimensions will probably prevent you from using furniture, unless you have been able to find a very small antique piece that can serve as your countertop.
Special considerations for small bathroom remodeling: One of the most important considerations in small bathroom design and decoration is maximizing space. This tends to suggest wall-mounted or pedestal sinks or very small and open vanities or surrounds for the sink. Color, shape and material will be largely determined by your style and design and your budget. Remember that lighter colors tend to make rooms look larger, as do vertical stripes. Think carefully also about what you want to be the focal point in the room – the sink, the shower, the tub surround, etc
To create the …

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Renovation Contractor

Preparing Yourself for a Bathroom Remodel

Each year, homeowners around the country consider having one or more of their bathrooms remodeled. Most start with a simple coat of paint. After they realize the amount that this paint transforms their previously boring bathroom, they start thinking about the other possibilities. There are many different aspects of a bathroom remodel, including the floor, light fixtures, the bath and shower, and more. Because of this, you will want to spend some time thinking about exactly how extensive you want your bathroom remodel to be. Although there are many simple things that you can do to update and transform your bathroom, conducting a complete overhaul is a very extensive and costly endeavor. Because of this, you will want to prepare yourself, and work closely with a company that specializes in remodeling in your area.
Choosing an Overall Look
After you have decided on the extent of your bathroom overhaul, you will want to determine the overall look that you are going for. There are endless options when it comes to toilets, baths, showers, vanities, light fixtures and tile. Your best bet is to browse online, and in your local hardware store to get some ideas for what you might want. Choose tile, fixtures and paint that goes well together and start putting together your plan. If you need help making sure that you have covered all of the bases, call a builder in your area for assistance. There are many that are more than happy to help you with your plans.
Decide on a Budget
Whenever you start a bathroom-remodeling project, you will want to keep in mind your total budget. Depending on what you have in mind, this type of undertaking can become very expensive very fast. If you do not keep an eye on all of the decisions that you are making, you could end up surprised with a very large bill when everything is said and done. When you start working with a local contractor, be up front with your budget. They can help you put together a plan, including all of the necessary supplies that will fit into your budget.
Choosing a Contractor
Because budget is so important with a big job like this, you will want to choose a contractor that fits your budget. This doesn’t mean choosing the lowest cost contractor. Take some time to do your research and choose the contractor that provides the best value for the price that they charge. You can start by calling some of your local builders and requesting estimates. As they provide estimates, get a feel for how easy each company is to work with, and ask to see examples of their work. Taking a little extra time in this department can save you a huge headache later.
When properly carried out, a bathroom remodel can make a huge change to your home. Not only can it make your bathroom more attractive, functional and appealing, it can raise your home’s value when you are reselling. Because of the importance of your plumbing and this area of your home, working with a certified contractor is very important to a successful renovation. Try not to get so excited that you rush through things, and you will thank yourself later.…