If you’ve been thinking about home remodeling, it’s important to have a plan in place before beginning any work. A plan will help ensure that the job is done right, stays on schedule, and stays on budget. Here are 5 simple steps that you should follow in order to prepare for a successful remodel:
List Your Wants
Think about what features you would like included in your bathroom. It’s also a good idea to consider home values for your area. Bath remodeling can help to bring up the value of your home, which is always beneficial if you decide to sell.
Sketch a Layout
Make a quick sketch of the space to decide on the layout. You may want to take measurements beforehand, especially if you are making any major placement changes. If you’re doing kitchen remodeling, you may be replacing appliances, so take the size of those items into account. A sketch will help you visualize the new look.
Set Your Budget
The most important rooms in any home are the bathroom and the kitchen, so if you’re doing kitchen remodeling, you will want to set an appropriate budget. If you don’t have a budget in place, costs can quickly rise. Be sure to leave some wiggle room, because there’s a good chance that unexpected costs will pop up.
Find Skilled Help
In order to have a project run smoothly, work with a skilled and reliable contractor. For bath remodeling, choose a reputable plumber if you are moving any pipes around. You want to make sure that the remodel stays on schedule and is done properly right from the start.
Find out what, if any, permits are required before you begin doing work on the interior. For home remodeling projects may require you to have certain permits in order to make changes to the structure and layout. Check with the municipality and apply the appropriate permits before getting started.
The planning process is essential to a successful remodel, whether it’s in the bathroom or the kitchen. Take the time to go through each of these steps so that the project runs as smoothly as possible. You’ll be enjoying your renovated rooms in no time at all.
Feeling a little cramped in the kitchen? Looking for home improvement ideas that won't cost an arm and a leg?
Don't worry--there definitely are some ways to increase space and accessibility in the kitchen without spending a fortune. Sure, it's great to do a complete kitchen remodeling job, but that can be tough to afford, especially now that the real estate market has taken a downturn and we're not being blessed with tons of additional equity in our homes every year.
So, here you go, some tips for creating more space in the kitchen:
If you have a small kitchen, it may be best to build up instead of out. There may not be wall space for new cabinets but hanging baskets and hooks can provide new places for your gadgets and vegetables to hang out. Hanging baskets can also have growing plants in them, an appropriate touch even if the plant isn't edible.
Magnetic strips are available in kitchen stores. Adding one to your wall allows you to stick knives and other metal implements onto the strip instead of a drawer. This can help you be more organized. It is also safer when it prevents you from digging through a drawer of knives looking for the one you want.
Add hooks to the insides of cabinet doors. Small pots, utensils, and lids can be suspended from the doors instead of being tossed inside. This will free space in drawers and shelves for other items.
Glassware can be decorative when not in use, too. Small rails can be added to the underside of cabinets allowing you to display the fine pieces while they are being stored.
New appliances can be purchased that are slimmer than old models. These may take up less floor space or counter space. Many appliances are being made in smaller and smaller versions that can be stored somewhere else when not being used.
Giving up more space may give you space. An island takes up a large piece of your kitchen but it can be a preparation surface, a place for kids to work, or a storage area when not in use. Inside the island may be a cabinet or drawers for storing more pots, pans, utensils, and gadgets. Kitchen carts exist that are like an island but can be wheeled out of the way into a pantry or closet when you are finished.
Find retracting surfaces. You may be able to install counter extensions on hinges that swing up when you need them and lay vertically against another surface when you don't. If you have a kitchen table that you don't use often, replace it with a smaller model that includes extensions. Expand the table when you need it and hide it when you don't.
Trick the eye with color. Lighter colors feel more open and bigger. Add a brighter floor or white appliances. Change the curtains in the kitchen to allow more light in. Better design can add space to a room without adding volume.
As you can see, many of these kitchen home improvements can be done without spending a fortune, but they can help create quite a bit more space for you to enjoy.
Next to bathroom home improvements, kitchen home improvements can provide the best return on investments for improving the value of your home - where every dollar spent in the bathroom increases home sale price by about $5, nearly every dollar spent in the kitchen increases home sale price by about $3. As kitchen home improvements can range from the simple to the extravagant, this is something that needs to be targeted carefully.
First, decide what you dislike about your current kitchen. It may have a truly horrible work flow, with counters and appliances set around in odd locales making it hard to work productively. Maybe you want to have an island counter for staging food preparation, or maybe you've developed a deep aversion to harvest gold or want more shelf space to work with.
If your desire for kitchen home improvements is simple, the first and often times most often overlooked aspect to try is refinishing the kitchen cabinets. Take a moment to consider this - if your kitchen is too dark, sanding down the finish off your cabinets, installing maple or light oak trim and a new varnish can often be done in under a week, and without expensive contractors coming in. (You may have to eat out for a week while everything is curing...) The best part about it is that as anyone who's ever gotten contractor quotes on a kitchen can attest, getting professionally fitted cabinets is expensive. Everything has to be custom fitted, and lathed and put together, and budget can get blown out the window, and fast.
The next cheapest method to consider is replacing the flooring or repainting the walls. Vinyl floor tiles are inexpensive and easy to install. Repainting the walls can give you a new and airy look without costing you an arm and a leg, and in conjunction with resurfacing the cabinets, you can make your entire kitchen look like new with only a couple of weekends of work.
More extensive upgrades involve replacing appliances, and that can cost a fortune. However, a lot of modern appliances have color panels and doors that can be removed and replaced, allowing you to update them to your current favorite color scheme.
When decorating your kitchen, think about workflow and sight lines. Now is the time to decide what goes where, and where appliances and kitchen gadgets live, so that they're not constantly sitting on the countertop, eating space that could be used for something else. Think about the steps of preparing food - where things get set when they come out of the refrigerator or pantry, where chopping goes into place, where dishes are stored when they're waiting to be washed, what goes in what counters. Take the time to plan the ergonomics of your kitchen and it'll not only look better, but work better too!
How can you save energy on a daily basis? With concerns about the environment continuing to spring up, people are asking themselves this question all the time. When you are looking at different ways to save energy in your home, the question has another side to it - for every bit of energy you save at home, you save a bit of money at the same time. Here are some ideas for making home improvement go hand in hand with saving energy on a daily basis.
1. Going green and silver in the kitchen. Talk of 'going green' will always bring a homeowner to the kitchen sooner or later. Giant appliances like the refrigerator and dishwasher are known to use tremendous amounts of energy if they are not using the latest technology. Want to see some savings in energy bills while making the entire room look sleeker and more modern? Stainless steel appliances are the way to go to address both issues.
2. Seeing lights in a whole new way. There has been some resistance to fluorescent and LED lighting solutions over the years, mainly because of the look of the light they offer. What most homeowners don't know is that they can change the way fluorescent bulbs look by moving the lamp shade and using other types of filters. The amount of energy you save by using fluorescent bulbs is hard to ignore, while you can always save an incandescent bulb or two if you cannot part with a lamp's direct exposure.
3. Replacing old air conditioning units. Air conditioners will use energy no matter what model you are using, but the difference between modern and older units is startling. Efficiency has finally been achieved with wall units that have the Energy Star rating, making summer afternoons cooler without sapping so much energy and costing the homeowner too much to enjoy it. Considering how harmful to the environment the old units are, this item probably should be first on your list.
4. Insulating the attic. Getting an efficient cooling and heating system won't do you much good if poor insulation at home is causing you to let in too much of the outside air. Insulation near all windows is crucial, but the attic's insulation may be the single biggest cause of poor efficiency overall. If you are not experienced in improvement jobs of this magnitude, get professional help in improving insulation and allow your HVAC system to do its job right.
5. Getting rid of old wooden siding. If there has been a knock on wooden siding, it isn't in the looks department. Older houses can benefit a lot from this look, but the maintenance and other concerns involved could cause you to tire of it quickly. Switching over to vinyl is an inexpensive option which will help you out in the energy department as well. Improved insulation and minimal maintenance (saving your own personal energy) make this choice a smart one on many fronts.