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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.…

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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 …

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House Improvements

Kitchen Renovation: One of the Best Ways to Add Value

What type of remodeling is the best bet when it comes to adding value to your home?
A kitchen renovation is one of the best ways to add value to your home (a bathroom renovation is another potentially good home remodeling investment.) In addition, a renewed kitchen also gives you something you can enjoy while you continue to live in your home.
So, what should you keep in mind when planning your kitchen renovation? Houston homes with custom kitchens sell more than homes without — and there are some specific keys to keep in mind:
1.) Your kitchen renovation should be as functional as it is beautiful. Keep this in mind when it comes to the flow of your kitchen. Where will the work space be? Will the dishwasher be close to the sink?
2.) Lighting & fixtures can go along way in making a statement — sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference.
3.) Appliances are important — especially if you are selling your home soon. In this market — nice appliances can make the difference. Nice means both appearance (stainless perhaps,) and also brand & functionality.
4.) Storage is important — this is one of the top requests when it comes to a new kitchen. Additional storage space can often be added during a remodel. When renovating, think about way to add rather than decrease storage.
The best thing about a kitchen renovation in Houston, is the joy it will bring you for years to come as you remain in your home.…

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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 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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House Improvements

Budgeting for a Home Renovation

Budgeting for home renovations is always tough. Even when you plan for everything and even a few glitches along the way budgets often find a way to be busted. In order to keep your progress from ending in a budget stale mate here are a few things to keep in mind when renovations are planned for your home.
First decide why you are renovating your home. What do you hope to accomplish with the renovation? Are you adding space for a new addition? Are you adding space for a kids play room or do you hope that with your renovation you increase the value of your home. Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish with your home renovations will make it easier to create a budget and stick to it. It is often when a plan is not created that we go overboard with spending. So the more you can think out ahead of time before renovations on your home begin the better your finances will look in the end.
Speaking of a budget determine how much you can afford to spend on this home renovation. If you realize that what you hope to accomplish is not possible within the funds you have allotted for the project than you can easily put it on hold at this stage of the process. Determine the cost of all materials, tools and furnishings that will be needed to complete the renovation. If you are doing a kitchen renovation make sure to take into account large items like stoves and refrigerators. If you are doing a bathroom remodel take into account a new tub, sink and vanity. A toilet and new fixtures should also be added to the budget.
Next ask yourself are you up to taking on the challenge of a remodel or is it better for you to hire a contractor to ensure a smooth renovation. If you are the handyman type simple renovations can easily be done on your own and can save your contractor fees. If you are going to hire out a residential contractor make sure to look at examples of their previous work. Ask for references and check out their website. The detail put into their work, references and website will give you a good idea of their work and work ethic. It is also important to make sure your gut tells you that the contractor you have chosen is right for you and your home renovation.
A timeline is also important in home renovations. It is important to go over this with your contractor and get in writing a plan of attack. It is important that each step is broke down into a time frame so that you and the contractor can work together to make sure progress stays on track.
Making sure that the contractor you hire is on the same page as you is one of the most important steps in home renovation. You can have this by opening the lines of communication from the start. Know that sometimes things can take an unexpected turn but that you are interested in keeping up to date with the progress and would like updates even when something goes haywire
Once you have agreed upon a plan do not keep changing things. Nothing makes a contractor bitter more than an indecisive customer. They to have a time frame to stay within so that they can continue work with other clients. Every change adds time and money to the budget so stick to the original plan of attack. It will ease the schedule and budget if you stick to the initial renovation plan.
The last thing you will need to decide is if you plan on living in your dwelling during the construction or if you plan on finding a place that is more conducive to your life. If you decide to live in your home during the renovation make sure that you do not interrupt the progress. A happy contractor makes for a happy homeowner.…

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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.…