No Picture
Renovation Contractor

Renovation Tips to Ensure You Have a Safe Kitchen

Tip #1 – Provide Enough Lighting
In order to make your kitchen a safe place, make sure that you provide enough lighting in the kitchen. When you have enough lighting and some good task lighting throughout the kitchen, it can help you ensure that you don’t injure yourself while you are cooking. Make sure that the lights don’t cast shadows on counters and that there isn’t any glare.
Tip #2 – Go with Flooring that is Slip Resistant
You should go with flooring that is slip resistant in your kitchen to prevent bad accidents. Water and other liquids can end up on the floor and the last thing you need is flooring that is slippery. If you fell with a knife in your hand or while holding a hot dish of food, it could be a very bad accident. Choose flooring that is slip resistant, such as ceramic tile that is soft glazed, laminate flooring, or vinyl that is texture.
Tip #3 – Choose a Cooktop that is Safe
It is also important that you choose a cooktop that is safe when you remodel your kitchen. The last thing you want is to get scalded with the steam, so a cooktop that staggers that burners is a great idea. Avoid an option that has the controls in the back as well. Look for an option that has the controls in the front or along the side for safety’s sake.
Tip #4 – Beware of Where you Place Electrical Plugs, Switches, and More
You need to beware of where you place the electric plugs, switches, and other electrical options in the kitchen. It is important that you have the receptacles grounded and that there are circuit interrupters that will cut off the entire circuit in the room if there is any moisture or a power surge occurs. Water and electricity don’t mix, so be careful where you put electrical items.
Tip #5 – Safely Make Use of Kitchen Space
Safely make use of your kitchen space when you are remodeling as well. Consider how the traffic is going to be able to go through the kitchen and make sure there is plenty of space when you are cooking in the kitchen. Go with slide out trays to make it easy to get items in bottom cupboards, avoid any sharp corners, and place microwaves where you won’t have to reach to get out food that is very hot.…

No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Great Kitchen Renovation on a Tight Budget

The very first component that most homeowners think about when planning for a kitchen renovation is the kitchen countertop. This is the heart of the kitchen. Without a great looking countertop, no kitchen is complete. I would suggest you take a look at concrete countertops. This is a new and emerging style of countertop. It is made of designer colored concrete and only second to granite in terms of toughness. It will give your kitchen a very unique and stylish theme.
The next most important thing is the kitchen cabinets. Make sure that the color and theme of your kitchen cabinets and your concrete counter top has a single theme. I would suggest buying prefabricated kitchen cabinets then hire a carpenter to alter it to match your kitchen theme because building a kitchen cabinet set from scratch is very costly and time consuming. This will only require us to spend for paint, cabinet handles and miscellaneous materials to match the cabinet with our theme.
Lastly, we need to select matching tiles to complete our great looking kitchen. For this purpose, it is better to use large sixty by sixty ceramic tiles for the floor and smaller ceramic tiles around the kitchen sink and countertop. This way, it would be easier to clean the larger tiles for any spills and stains in the future. Use small tiles sparingly and only in tight spaces around the countertop corners because they will be harder to clean than large tiles.
For the walls, I would suggest using a wallpaper instead of paint because oil evaporating from our cooking will stick to the walls and it will be next to impossible to remove them without damaging the wall surface. With a wall paper, you can just rip it off your wall and replace it anytime it becomes dirty.…

No Picture
Home Renovation

How Important Is a Home Renovation Guide?

Individuals aiming to embark on home improvement projects should consider the importance of a home renovation guide. Planning is crucial to completing the project successfully within the estimated budget. Here is a guide that can help you manage your renovation more effectively.
• Hire a contractor – Verify the contractor’s license and retain a copy of the license before commencing the project. Ensure that the members of the contractor’s team are reputable and experienced professionals.
• Verify the contractor’s reference – This is an important thing to do as this would enable you to confirm the capability of the contractor. Ask for references. If you can, physically checking previous projects is most ideal.
• Review the agreement – Prior to signing an agreement, read the document carefully. It is important to understand all the clauses well, and any doubts should be cleared first before signing. Since the agreement is binding on all the parties, its importance cannot be overemphasized.
• Make a budget – Providing the contractor with a budget limit is recommended. But, you should consider that the cheapest is not necessarily the best option to take, and trying to complete the project on your own to save costs may prove to be detrimental.
• Check the home equity – Check with your mortgage provider on the home equity that can be drawn on your home. Also check with other lenders for the best deals. Inquiring beforehand gives you an idea of the total amount of money you can spend on the project.
• Making decisions – Many homeowners rely on their contractors, architects and other consultants to make decisions. Although listening to the experts is a good way to go, their preference and ideas may not always suit your taste and needs. Hence, you may ask for ideas from these professionals but you must make the final decision. After all, it is your home.
• Prepare a list of what is needed – Before commencing a renovation project, list down all that is required as well as timetables and deadlines. This enables the contractors to work out the plans accordingly and provide you with an estimate on the cost of renovation more accurately.
• Prioritize the requirements – You may want to undertake several home improvements; however, since you need to work around a budget, you have to execute your plans according to priorities which would involve accomplishing that which you need urgently the most first before the others.
• Research for the best deals – Before finalizing the list of building materials, fixtures and other requirements, research and shop around to find the best deals. Internet resources can be highly beneficial for this purpose. Looking for wholesale retailers within your vicinity can bring substantial savings too. Always get at least 3 quotes before deciding, to avoid being overpriced.
Home improvement is a costly decision for homeowners to make but there can be options. This guide can help and remember to consider these points before deciding to take on a remodeling project no matter how big or small.…

No Picture
Basement Renovations

Luxury Kitchen Renovation

Budget is the number one concern of people, who needs to go through kitchen renovation, surviving a kitchen renovation, is not that easy. But it can be bearable if you plan ahead of time with regards to financial aspect of this situation. There are ways you can do to stay away from stress while you are spending for your home renovation kitchen. With these simple steps you will be able to go through everything you need in no sweat:
1. You need to start by simply estimating the cost of a luxury kitchen design. You need to come up with a renovation budget so you won’t be shocked when the paying time comes. This is also the right time to decide on luxury kitchen ideas. You need to decide on paint colour, appliances, lightning and others. This will make things easier for your contractor when they start the renovation.
2. Work hand in hand with your contractor so you can be sure your luxury kitchen ideas will be met. You also need to discuss with them the timeline of the renovation. You need to do this so you will approximately know how much money you will pay them for the task. You need to take into account some unforeseen issue that may arise, add a cushion to your timeline to prevent it.
3. Instruct your contractor of things they need to do to prevent spreading of dusts and debris from spreading all over your house. This can be easily done by sealing the area where they will work on.
4. Temporarily, you can make an improvised kitchen near your bathroom or anywhere where there is a sink. You need it the most in washing plates and food. You can also ask the contractor to help you in moving your ice box in a safer area.
5. You can buy disposable plates, spoons and forks, paper towels and other things you’ll need to lessen washing dirty kitchen utensils. This will help you minimize the agony you need to face while the renovation is going on.
6. If your kitchen renovation will also last for a week. You can take your kids to a nearby relative or friend’s house to spend the day while your luxury kitchen design is going on. This will help them feel relieved of the stressful construction going on at your house.
Starting a home renovation for your kitchen is not that easy. There are lots of things to consider. You need to make a research first so you will be able to come up with a good budget that won’t sacrifice your idea of a perfect kitchen. Deciding on how much you can spend is very important. You also need to decide what to start first and what can be done next time will be very helpful to you. This will make your budget worthy in the long run. Some people prefer to do it themselves to save money. This can also be possible but it’s hard to do it perfectly especially if you are not really familiar with certain things about home renovations.…

No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Modern Trends in Home Remodel and Renovation

It’s no secret that the current housing market will remain largely lethargic for an extended period of time. People will continue to refrain from making big ticket purchases, which especially holds true for real properties. This could spell unpleasant news for developers, but surprisingly, or may be not so surprisingly if you really think about it, it will also create ample opportunities for general contractors and renovators as homeowners will opt to expand or enhance the properties that they already own.

While property values stagnate along with the rest of the economy, people will move less often and will own their house for longer periods. They will also increasingly spend more time at home. So the big question is, why not make it a happier time then?!

As a general contractor in Orange County, CA, we’ve been noticing that many home owners now prefer to upgrade their homes and stay where they are. We are also noticing that the level of sophistication of today’s homeowner’s tastes began to show a dramatic change. Consumers started asking us for materials with more cosmetic appeal and extended longevity. They want to enjoy their homes now and also make sure that they put themselves ahead of the crowd when it is finally time to sell.

Here are some of the specifics of what we’ve observed so far:

Increased length of ownership due to stagnating property values

Homeowners opt for happier time now and also put themselves ahead of the crowd when it is time to sell

Small contractor bankruptcy is on the rise

Contractor landscape is changing to reflect the new market reality – a direct result of flight to quality by the homeowners

Fly-by-night contractors are still out there, so the homeowner needs to exercise extra caution before inviting a contractor into their home

Natural high quality materials and high-end “green” technology are gradually entering homes

High-end remodels and renovations when done right create instant and lasting equity…

No Picture
Remodeling Contractors

Bathroom Remodeling – 8 Things to Consider When Planning a Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom remodeling has the second highest return on investment of any renovation you can do in your home. It is right next to kitchen remodeling for ROI.
A bathroom remodel can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars, to tens of thousands. It all depends on your budget, your home and your goals.
No matter what your budget, you have 2 goals with a bathroom remodel. To increase its beauty and to increase its function.
Here are 8 areas you need to consider whether you are thinking about just freshening up, or completely renovating your bathroom. The great thing about this list is you can choose to do 1, 2, or all of them in any combination, and still make a big impact on your bathrooms usability and look.
Cabinets
The first thing you are going to notice when you walk into your new bathroom, are the cabinets. New cabinets will improve your bathroom almost instantly.
Cabinet prices range a lot, from cheap particle board to custom construction. But, you can usually find something quite elegant for a reasonable price if you shop around.
Hardware
Even if you can’t afford to upgrade your cabinetry, new hardware will make a huge difference. Whether you have replaced your cabinetry or not, there are literally thousands of different items you can pick out to enhance your look.
It is amazing how a nice set of hardware will make even a mediocre cabinet look high end.
Fixtures
New bathroom fixtures, including faucets and sinks etc should be chosen to fit in with the style of the cabinetry and the overall look. You don’t want to put modern fixtures in with elegant old fashioned cabinetry and hardware.
Even if you can’t upgrade your cabinets, adding new fixtures, as long as they are a similar style, will make a big difference in the feel of your bathroom.
Flooring / Tile
There simply isn’t a better finish for a bathroom floor than tile. Usually bathrooms aren’t that large, so the cost difference over other options will not even be that significant. Its possible find inexpensive tile if you look around for sales. It is also possible to find very expensive, elegant tile, depending on your budget.
Another popular option is linoleum, but if you can find inexpensive tile, it will definitely have a bigger impact, for probably a similar cost.
Storage
Creating a storage wall is always a great investment. Bathrooms never seem to have enough storage, but by building a storage wall, you can get small items out of your way, and create an attractive display.
Mirror
Adding a big mirror to your bathroom will accomplish 2 things. First of all, it is a very practical addition, allowing you to get ready with ease. Second, it will make your small bathroom look larger.
Lighting
If your bathroom is bright, it doesn’t matter if it is small. It will feel bright and comfortable. There are many choices of different bathroom lights available starting at the very inexpensive and moving up to very extravagant.
Tub or Shower
In Panama, bath tubs are not very popular, but they are gaining acceptance. Whirlpool tubs are built in many different sizes and shapes. They will fit into any spot where an existing tub exists, and often even where there is an existing shower.
These 8 improvements can be done on their own, or in combination with a complete bathroom remodel. It all depends on your budget and goals. But, if you want to freshen up your bathroom, these are the 8 areas you need to think about.
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. And then, look at each one of these items to decide which you can change, and which you can not.
A bathroom remodel, whether small or large, will make your home a much more enjoyable place to be. And it will make your home more valuable when you go to sell.…

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 …