Recent Entries

Do I really need a sink in my island?

 

Many homeowners view islands sinks as luxurious and convenient, but is it practical?

Before making the decision to install a sink in your kitchen island, first consider if it reasonably possible. Hooking up plumbing to your island is often tricky and can require extra pumps and extractors. This could mean heavy up-front costs and could lead to costly repairs down the road if you ever run into any issues. Keep in mind your initial budget as well as maintenance set aside for your kitchen down the road.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are considering your kitchen island features is how you utilize your kitchen space. Will your kitchen island be used for entertaining guests, or do you enjoy the extra space for meal preparation? If your kitchen island is long and wide enough, you can usually enjoy the benefits of both. But if your island adds valuable or necessary space to your kitchen, installing a sink may be more of a nuisance than a convenience.

Although kitchen island sinks can add a great deal of convenience, it’s important to keep in mind all of the other, and less favorable, things that go in/around the sink. Guests of your island may have a front seat row of your dirty dishes, sponges and dish soap. This usually means that you have to keep not only the countertops and dishes but the sink itself virtually clean all the time. This day-to-day maintenance could add unnecessary pressure for your family and entertaining guests.

Kitchen islands are a unique and aesthetic way to add more counter space to your kitchen area, and a sink adds to its appealing convenience. But don’t be fooled, a sink in your kitchen island is not always a necessary, and could leave you with more work and less space than desired.

What kind of toilet should I choose?

No one loves talking about it, but purchasing a toilet for your home is one of most important household decisions you will have to make. We’re talking about a household appliance that each member of your family will use six or seven times a day for the next 30+ years!

When searching for your perfect “look” the vast amount of choices and variety will be astounding. There is a multitude of designs, colors, capabilities, heights and even technologies.

Here are some tips and tricks on choosing a toilet that is perfect for you:

# 1 You get what you pay for

Not all toilets are created equally. Just like anything you purchase, there are brands, styles, and capabilities that are better than others. Don’t go with the cheapest option or the most expensive, instead search for a mix of efficiency and value.

# 2 Stray off the beaten path

Popular home centers are a great place to start, but they don’t always have the all of the top-rated toilets on the market. In order to explore the widest selection of makes and models, check out online retailers and bathroom showrooms in your area.

# 3 Size of bathroom and space

Take the time to consider what your bathroom space and home structure can handle, keeping in mind the aesthetics and capacity of your bathroom. Take measurements and if your bathroom is smaller, consider how your swinging bathroom door may affect your decisions on bowl shape and sizes.

# 4 Unique features will cost you!

Fancy flush mechanisms and custom features may have you dreaming, but this could cost you, even more, time and money later on. Many of these one-of-a-kind models are just that, and might not be available years down the road should you require parts or maintenance.

When in doubt?

Talk to a contractor. Take advice from someone that has seen your home bathroom and understands your needs. Identify essential features and consider what part of your wish lists might be negotiable. Keep in mind, you want something that works well and will last for years to come!

10 Tips on Choosing a Contractor for Your Home Renovation Project

#1 Word of Mouth

Asking your friends and family for referrals is some of the best ways to find quality work. People you trust are going to give you their honest opinion on who you should and shouldn’t hire, and you may even get a chance to see actual work that the contractor has been completed.

#2 Do Your Research

Before talking to a contractor about your home job, make sure to do your research. Verify each contractor’s credentials and license qualifications with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Check the Better Business Bureau and other sites you trust for positive ratings.

#3 Conduct Interviews

You don’t want to waste money on someone that doesn’t understand your vision or doesn’t have your preferred qualifications. Conducting phone interviews are a great way to find your perfect fit.

Home Renovation

Make sure to ask:

Are they willing to take on a project of your size?

Do they have time for your project? How many other project’s will they have simultaneously?

How do they handle project estimates? Will they itemize their bid?

How long have they been doing business in your town?

Can they provide a list of referrals?

 

#4 Check References

Ask to view a portfolio and references to previous work. If you get the opportunity to speak with a previous client, ask how the contractor performed on their delivery of time and budget. How happy were they with the outcome? What do they feel could have gone better in their project?

#5 Discuss a Payment Schedule

Find out how the contractor typically handles estimations and project payments. Do they guarantee their work at a fixed price, or do they work on an hourly basis? Most importantly, make sure to get all financial agreements in writing, and that the agreement is mutually beneficial. A great contract protects both the client and the contractor.

Five Home Improvement Projects to boost your Home’s Value

The first thing every homeowner thinks about after they’ve decided to sell their home is how they can increase their home’s value before they get it out there on the market. That means you should understand the different home improvement projects that can increase or rather add to your home’s value so as to avoid making costly mistakes. Your plan could be attracting luxury homebuyers or just to get the attention of those looking for their first home. No matter who you’re targeting, here are key renovations that can help increase the value of your home.

Remodeling your Kitchen

One of the rooms that’s considered to be the heart of a home is the kitchen. That means this should be the first place to focus on. As a matter of fact, spicing up your kitchen can give you about 60 to 120 percent return on investment according to HGTV. Of course, you’re supposed to stay within the limits. You don’t have to make it fancier than other parts or rooms of your house.

Bathroom Addition

This may also mean renewing your bathroom space. Make sure your bathrooms looks clean, tidy and refreshing. This is one of the areas a home buyer would want to see before deciding whether or not to buy your home. Consider giving the room a makeover. You can add decorative accents, change the shower curtain and mount a new mirror. Just don’t forget to enhance the lighting. If you only have a single bathroom, adding an extra one could give you about 80 to 130 percent return on investment according to HGTV. Work with matching finishes and designs.

Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

It’s important that you make your home more energy efficient. As a matter of fact, home buyers are, these days, shopping for homes that are more energy efficient. If your house has some ugly looking, old, single-pane windows, you may consider replacing them with Energy Star-rated windows. Those old windows are a turn off. Energy-efficient windows can help you save more than $450 a year in energy costs.

Use Neutral Colors on your Walls

Well, it’s time you applied a new coat of paint to revive and liven up your living space. You don’t have to go repainting everywhere in the entire house. Only apply a new coat of paint where necessary. Key areas to focus on include your kitchen and bathroom as well as any other areas with boldly colored walls. Use neutral colors.

Landscaping

Don’t put all your energy and focus on your home’s interior and forget there’s the outside space that really matters. According to most real estate agents, landscaping and trimming your trees and shrubs could also add to your home’s value. These are simple tasks that contribute to your home’s curb appeal.