Posts Tagged ‘home remodeling’

Avoid Home Remodeling Mistakes

Remodel Licenses

Licenses & Permits

Homeowners attempt many home remodeling projects every year. Some of them are simple, do-it-yourself type projects others require (or should require) hiring a contractor to complete them. There can be any number of improvements homeowners want to make to their house from building a backyard deck, laying tile in the bathroom, or completely renovating the kitchen or laundry room. There are many common blunders that NJ homeowners make when they are remodeling their homes. Here are the main mistakes that are unfortunately happening all too often.

Not Hiring a Contractor for Bigger Projects

There are certain remodeling projects that should not be attempted by the homeowner unless they have adequate experience. Things like remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, or building a new deck or an addition are better contracted out with an experienced professional. Otherwise you may get halfway into the project, and make an irreversible mistake which can end up costing you double in the end because you’ll have to hire the contractor to fix what you broke, then hire him to do the job right. Continue reading

Traditional Interior Design Versus Modern Interior Design

Traditional Design

Traditional Design

The homeowner can consider traditional and modern styles as virtual opposites. Traditional interior design incorporates a classic look, large furnishings and plenty of color. Modern styles incorporate sleek geometric designs and an uncluttered look. Modern styles are minimalist and light with a few bold colors for accent. A traditional style will embrace a classic feel or “country” style including high ceilings, separated kitchen and living spaces. Modern styles incorporate an open feel which combines the two rooms as one with minimal lines of separation. Modern is very eclectic and minimalistic in nature. Continue reading

Best Bathroom Paint Colors

Bathroom Design

Bathroom Design

When we think about house painting and choosing interior paint for the smallest room in the house, the bathroom; it somehow becomes a very big problem. The smaller size of the room poses a problem as some colors can become oppressive. But there are ways to incorporate any of the homeowner’s favorite colors into the interior design of the room’s décor. Colors can evoke emotions, support the interior design scheme, or help create function in this very important room. While the homeowner may choose any color for the bathroom, there are some colors that prove to be best for the bathroom.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors work very well in this usually small room. Using varying shades can help add texture to the room without making it seem even smaller. Varying shades of beige, gray or tan are very good choices which can add some color as well as help to create a more tranquil mood. Sometimes neutral colors can give the illusion of more space and adding metal fixtures can be the perfect focal point for the room. Neutrals can also work very well when they are used along with light pastels. They are also an exceptional choice because they allow for many different options for adding some splashes of color. Neutrals are complimented by virtually any color. Continue reading

Living Room Design Trends

Living Room Paint

Living Room Paint

Many families spend a lot of time in the living room making it one of the most important rooms in the house. It can be a relaxing space that is welcoming to visitors and guests as well as a place the family congregates to share, watch a movie or just relax. Along with these essential purposes, it also serves as a sort of focal point of the home. There are many different interior design schemes that vary according to each person’s decorating styles and taste. But there are also several trends in interior design that we tend to see a lot of no matter what type of setting or style of living room. Here are a few of the latest trends in living room interior design. Continue reading

Benefits of Kitchen Remodeling

There is no doubt that the kitchen is the busiest room in the house. Since it is an integral part of our family lives, it is important to keep it up to date and functioning properly, which means that periodically kitchen remodeling is in order. There can be many reasons behind taking on this type of home remodeling project. Perhaps the area just needs to be updated, storage capacity increased or simply reorganized to make preparing food a simpler process. No matter what the reason behind the kitchen remodeling project, there can be many benefits to completing it. Here are just a few of the benefits. Continue reading

Benefits of Bathroom Remodeling

Remodeled Bathroom

Remodeled Bathroom

There are many aspects to consider before taking on a bathroom remodeling project of any kind. Sometimes it may not seem like it is worth the cost or the effort; and there are probably quite a few pros and cons that are worth considering before beginning such a sizable interior design project. However, it is highly likely that in the end you will find that the pros will outweigh the cons by a long shot. Actually, you and your home will both benefit from a bathroom remodeling project. Here are some of the ways that this type of home remodeling project is beneficial. Continue reading

Benefits of Siding

There are various times that homeowners need to take a look at doing some outdoor home remodeling. Perhaps the wooden areas are in need of replacement or the outside just needs a general overhaul. Maybe you are thinking of adding another room and are looking for something different for the exterior portions. Siding can be a good choice as it can complement other areas. Whatever you are considering in the way of home remodeling there are several benefits that make home siding a great option.

One of the main reasons designers and homeowners choose home siding over other options is that it is very low maintenance. It is very easy to keep clean and never needs painting. Because the color is sort of built in, it will not begin to peel. Siding will not rot and termites are not the least bit interested in it!

Low maintenance is just one of the many benefits of siding; durability is another. It will usually last 50 years or longer. If there is a need to repair it is very inexpensive to fix. It is also less expensive than stucco, wood or brick when installing or maintaining.

Another benefit is the wide variety of styles in which it is available. There is a huge selection of textures and colors. The assortment of textures makes it easy to match and blend with other housing materials. The many colors ensure that any tone or hue is easily matched. This makes it an excellent choice to replace existing wood gables and shutters. But siding can also be a wise economical choice when adding a room on to the house. It is easy to match existing brick, stucco or wood on the rest of the house.

Home siding is available in four materials: vinyl, steel, wood and aluminum. Each type as key advantages but vinyl is the most popular choice. It adds a layer of insulation to the house as well as helping to reduce utility bills.

Home siding is a valuable choice when doing outside home remodeling. It is less expensive than other materials and very easy to maintain and clean.

Spring Remodeling Projects

It is finally spring and most of us are trying to decide what we can do for some of our home remodeling projects. Chances are that you do not have time, energy or desire to do some major renovations. Maybe you need some spring projects that won’t take too long to complete but can make a big difference in a room or area.

Lighting is an area that is relatively quick to get done but it can make a huge difference in any room of the house. It may be as simple as adding some mirrors along one wall to help reflect light where it is more needed. Small accent lights may be added to accentuate a particular area such as a fireplace. Adding lights to a built in shelving unit can give the entire room a boost.

Or just work on changing the light arrangement in one room. For instance do some renovations on existing kitchen lighting. Add a light over a major work area like an island or the sink. You can also change the lighting over the dining area.

If indoor lighting is up to date think about adding some outdoor lighting for all the neighborhood get togethers you have planned for the season. It really helps when you are grilling if you are able to see what you are cooking! Set the outdoor lighting so that it is comfortable and inviting so that guests can sit around and enjoy conversation through the evening hours.

Adding storage space to key locations is a good spring project as well. The bathroom may need a closet rather than simple half shelves and now is a good time to box it in. Perhaps it’s a study area or den that needs a few more shelves to hold books or what-knots. The kitchen is always in need of proper storage space too.

Painting a room can be a quick fix for most living areas. There isn’t a faster way to spruce up any room in the house than to give it a clean, fresh coat of paint.

These are just some simple ideas for spring remodeling projects that won’t cost an arm or a leg. Most can be completed over a weekend or just a couple of days.

When to Remodel Your Kitchen

When considering home remodeling, perhaps one of the most difficult things to know is when to remodel the kitchen. It’s easy to see all the cosmetic reasons to hire a contractor. But there can be some other reasons that one might consider a total redo.

If you keep finding that you just don’t have the workspace for common projects, then it may be time for a more modern kitchen design that will maximize space. It may just take a repositioning of an appliance or two to give enough added countertop and cabinet space to be beneficial. The shape of the counter or counter tops may need to be redesigned to offer more available work space.

For those who enjoy entertaining guests or have more than one residential chef, there may need to be an increase of space in the main work areas of the kitchen. This allows for some socialization while preparing and consuming a meal. More hands make the load lighter too, and cooking can become a family affair if there is enough space for more than one in the kitchen.

There are plenty of options to explore if you want to redesign the kitchen area if entertainment is part of your routine. A kitchen redo can be combined with other types of home remodeling. Taking out a partition can serve two purposes. It can open up space between the kitchen area and another room. Depending on floor designs it may also be possible to create a half wall which can also double as a small counter top for actions such as additional serving space.

Kitchen lighting can be an ongoing problem that may be solved with a cabinet redesign. Adding a light fixture may be all that is needed. But if kitchen space is being increased and work areas maximized you may want to consider a total makeover of the kitchen lighting system as well. Adding a fixture over the sink or island work area can make a lot of difference in how enjoyable cooking can be.
These are just a sample of the reasons that may be indicators that it is time for a kitchen redo.

How to Communicate with Your Contractor

You’ve finally decided to remodel your kitchen or add on that extra room. You’ve done your research and found 2 to 3 contractors who are licensed, if that’s required in your area, bonded, and checked some referrals. So you’re ready to pick up the phone and call. Wait a minute! Just like men and women don’t always communicate on the same wave length, contractors and the rest of us don’t use the same language. In order to make sure that you’re clear about what you want done and have the contractor understand and explain the process, you’re going to have to do a bit of homework ahead of time.

Let’s say you’re going to remodel your kitchen. You want new cabinets, counters, flooring, and appliances, maybe even a different layout. Check out some of the home decorating magazines and find pictures of the type of cabinets you want. Visit an appliance retailer and pick out the appliances you want. Make sure to note the model numbers and if they come in the color you want. Next, you can draw out what you want, or drop in at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They can print out what you want from their CAD program and if you have measurements, so much the better. Check out the flooring and counter departments and get samples of what you think you might like. Like paint chips, laminate counter top samples are available for check out, and there is usually a variety of composite, tile, or other counter top materials to choose from. Flooring samples are available as well. When you’ve decided, make note of the information on the back side of the sample – the manufacturer, the style name and number. Gather all your pictures, drawings, printouts and sample information into a useable format and make copies for each contractor you’ll be interviewing. Now, you’re ready to talk to a contractor.

It’s important to sit and down and visit with each contractor, show them what you want and the space they might be working in, so make sure you plan enough time. An hour should be enough, but depending on your project you may want to plan for extra time. They should want to see the space and take their own measurements. They’ll need to check if any plumbing or electrical work will have to be moved. If you want to have any structural elements moved, they’ll need to look at the space above and below.

There are some questions you’ll want to ask. How many workers does the contractor employ? Do they all work on the same job at the same time? Will the contractor need to hire subcontractors, plumbers or electricians for example? Does the contractor work on more than one job at a time? Can he or she guarantee his/her estimate or what are the procedures if the job takes more time and money than the estimate called for? Does the contractor have business insurance? Can he or she guarantee how long it will take to complete the job? Who will handle hauling the debris away? Who handles the permits? The answers will depend on the specific job. The more workers, the faster they can complete the job, but some individuals can be pretty fast and often more reliable. If they work multiple jobs at once, are they going to split their time between jobs? If specialized work such as plumbing or electrical is called for – they should either be qualified, or hire sub contractors to do the work.

There are obstacles that can occur that aren’t planned for that can add time and money to a project. Moving structural elements isn’t a good idea and if the contractor doesn’t think they need to be replaced, you might want to consider another contractor. Structural elements are vital to holding up a structure such as a house. Without them, the structure won’t be sound and damage to the property and injury to those inhabiting it can occur. They should be able to give you a timeline for how long the project will take. If not, look elsewhere. The contractor should also be the one who cleans up and hauls the debris away.

After visiting with each contractor, contemplate on how you feel about each one. Did they give you the opportunity to ask questions? Did they talk about everything but the job? Did they want to give you an estimate on the spot? Did they look closely at the space and listen to what you wanted? Did they offer suggestions that would help reduce cost or would be a better choice? For example, not moving structural elements, but working around them, not moving plumbing, but reconfiguring the floor plan so everything works well. Both of those examples will reduce cost and may actually work to your advantage if the contractor is good at his job. Making notes of your visit can help you remember when the estimates arrive.

Once you’ve received their bids, don’t automatically take the lowest one. Don’t automatically take the highest one either. Remember your visit with each contractor and how you felt about each one. Look at your notes to help you remember. The estimates should be very specific about materials and labor, including hardware and any subcontractor work as well. choose the contractor who explains what is going to happen at each stage of the project. You should also feel comfortable with that person’s knowledge and expertise as well as with the person him – or herself. When you’ve chosen the contractor you feel is right for you, there should be a contract to sign detailing what all is to be done and when, along with the cost. It should be very clear and understandable and it should match the estimate. Each party should get a copy. Now the work can begin!

This was a guest post by Jayne Yenko

Jayne is currently a writer for http://WesternWyoming.blogspot.com