Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Kitchen Remodeling

kitchen Remodeling – Add Home Value

Kitchen Remodeling to Increase the Value of Your Home

When you are selling your home, you want to increase home value as much as possible without spending too much money. Realtors will tell you that a kitchen renovation will produce a 70% return for the amount you invest. To see this return, you must be smart about your investment. It is recommended to only spend about 6% to 10% of your total home value on kitchen remodeling to get a fair return. Make sure to choose materials that will appeal to the masses and not just to your tastes.

Increase home value by remembering to make smart choices when completing a kitchen renovation. Do not change cabinets if you can get the same results with a fresh coat of paint and new hinges. Make sure that the kitchen renovation continues to match the outside of the house. A potential buyer wants to look at the inside of a house because he or she liked what was on the outside.

You must also find a middle ground with kitchen remodeling. Do not cut corners to save money but also do not purchase expensive items when it is not necessary. Keeping things simple and opening up the kitchen space will still increase home value.

Before doing any major kitchen remodeling, consult with a real estate agent about what potential buyers are looking for in a kitchen. This discussion will help guide the renovation. The following tips, contributed by different real estate agents, are where you can get the most bang for your buck.

Tip #1: Open Up Space

If you are doing a total kitchen renovation, make sure to leave enough space between cabinets, islands, and peninsulas. When installing your granite countertop, tell your kitchen contractors you want at least 36-inch walkways between each stationary item. If there is room, it would be best to have at least 42-inch walkways for a single cook and 48-inch walkways for a two-cook kitchen. Any new owner will appreciate this extra space.

Tip #2: Provide Accessibility

When implementing a kitchen remodeling, make sure to place the stove out of high traffic areas. This idea will help prevent injuries to children from hot items on the stove. It will also keep kitchen visitors out of the way of the cook.

When installing your new appliances, two microwaves can help provide accessibility to everyone. You should install one microwave 15 inches above your granite countertop making it easy for any adult to use it. The second microwave should be placed below the countertop making it easy for a child to access it. It is also wise to put a mini refrigerator at the edge of the cooking area. In this fridge, place food for children like snacks and drinks, so the child can serve his or herself when the cook is busy. It will also keep the child out of the way of the cook.

Your cabinets can increase home value. If you plan to replace the cabinets, make sure to plan the placement carefully. If you put a cupboard into a corner, the door will not open all of the way because the wall will stop it. This lack of space can cause frustration when trying to store large items. It is also helpful to make all of the cabinet doors open in the same direction to avoid a similar issue with the doors banging together.

Another design idea is to have two different counter heights available in the kitchen. This variation will make it easy for children to help in the kitchen. It will also provide a space for children to eat or play without having to stand or kneel on a chair and without making a mess. This different countertop height will also make baking easy.

A total renovation will allow you to expand the space in your kitchen. Larger, roomier kitchens are a major attraction to the potential buyer. This expansion can happen by knocking down a wall. Knocking a wall down does not provide more room, but it will make the kitchen seem larger because of the open space.

Tip #3: Add Convenience to the Kitchen Remodeling

It is simple to install under the cabinet lights, and it will provide extra lighting making it easier to work on the granite countertop. When purchasing cabinets, you should add a recycling bin, a pull-out pantry, and extra drawers to also add convenience for the possible new owner. A message board with a chalkboard or a cork board will add a unique area to your renovated kitchen making it family friendly.

Enough countertop space is a necessity. Make sure to include at least 15 inches of countertop on both sides of the stove. This area will be helpful when preparing dinner. A drawer in one of the cabinets near the stove allows pot holders to be stored close to the oven. It would also be convenient to have countertop space next to both the microwaves and refrigerators. Homeowners who cook frequently will appreciate extra counter space between the stove and the sink, also.

The area around the stove top and oven should be planned wisely. It should include a place for a variety of spices to be stored. It would also be convenient to have a place for pots and pans which could include a hanging area or shelves. S hooks or pegs would be useful in keeping utensils organized and close at hand.

An incredible convenience is to install a swing-out tap or long hose attachment to the sink. These accessories will make filling a pot on the stove a breeze. It will also prevent the need to carry heavy pans filled with water from the sink to the stove. It will also make cleaning the floors stress-free.

Another unbelievable convenience is to create the perfect knife drawer. You can purchase an insert that will cover and sharpen the edges of a knife when it is stored. The insert can be placed directly into an empty drawer and will keep the knives out of the reach of any children. It will also help organize your knives, making it stress-free to find the correct one.

When remodeling your kitchen, extra plug-ins can be a game changer. Add multiple plug-ins to the backsplash to allow the countertop appliances to be placed anywhere on the counter. Various plug-ins set on the island or peninsulas allow for better access to electricity while cooking.

Tip #4: Add These Features

One of the most impressive kitchens is a chef’s kitchens. This kitchen has gas stoves, a double oven, and a variety of cooking modes on both. The chef’s kitchen can include modern form and function while still keeping to the original style of the house. Some realtors suggest adding the following to any newly remodeled kitchen along with a chef’s kitchen:

• Glass doors
• Display Shelving
• Wine Storage
• Windows
• Flush-set sinks
• Under mount sinks
• Glass Refrigerator
• Stainless steel range
• Stainless refrigerators
• Stainless cooktops
• Stainless dishwasher
• Granite Countertop

Tip #5 Avoid These Features

When starting the remodel for your kitchen, make sure to consider what will appeal to the masses. Your taste may not appeal to everyone. The following features cost a lot and may take value away from your home:

• Splashy tiles or backsplashes
• Fancy tiles
• Busy countertops
• Statement light fixtures
• Pizza Oven
• Built-in coffee maker
• Hibachi Grill
• Washer or dryer in the kitchen
• Latest trends
• Extremely carved molding

The tips above are just suggestions. It is possible to incorporate some or all of the suggestions in your kitchen remodel. The best recommendations will come from your real estate agent because he or she will be the expert about what a potential owner will want in a kitchen remodeling project.

Bathroom Design Disaster

How To Recover From A Bathroom Design Disaster

Whether it’s a shady contractor, an accidental hole in the wall or even a shocking shade of pink – a design disaster can (and probably will) affect us all.

And a design disaster in the bathroom can mean serious trouble. Renovating a bathroom or kitchen are two of the most costly projects in the home so if it all goes wrong, you’ll need an escape plan. And quickly.

Problem 1: You don’t like something once it’s in place

If you’ve budgeted carefully then you may have enough money left over to purchase something else more to your taste. Obviously, this isn’t ideal but if you feel like you hate it so much that you absolutely, positively can’t live with it – it may be your only choice. It’s better to do it now than at a later stage.

Due to the large costs involved in fittings and furniture and if like, most, you don’t have enough spare cash to get something else then you will have to finish the job. If it’s the colour you dislike then paint the wall in a shade closely related to the tones of the furniture to compliment the look and add colourful accessories or introduce a feature colour to brighten it up.

There are plenty of virtual colour painters online where you can upload a snap of your bathroom and choose the most appropriate colour to go with it. It’s not perfect but it could give you some ideas of how to liven the room up.

Consider painting the walls or your vanity to match with the rest of the room. Experiment with some fresh patterned tile to lived it up. If you’re feeling extra brave, then why not consider a weekend DIY project and upcycle or purchase a second-hand dresser and transform into a custom-made vanity.

Play with the accessories in the room to create a focal point elsewhere. Look closely at your light fittings and fixtures, your mirror and your towels. Install a few sconces, frame your mirror, add some artwork and pick some really funky towels and shower curtain to match.

By playing around with the little things – it should, at least, make the room feel a little bit more of your own.

How to Avoid

Try to stick to neutral shades and colours when planning your bathroom renovation. Don’t go for anything too wacky – you might really want a toilet that doubles up as a sink – but when it comes to selling your home, funky gadgets and colours aren’t to everyone’s taste so it will mean more expenditure for a buyer and ultimately, a lower price for you.

Don’t buy products without seeing them in person. It could mean the difference between a perfect bathroom renovation and a design disaster.

Problem 2: You find mould

The bathroom renovator’s worst nightmare. Mould.

If It’s a small area of mould (less than three patches, each smaller than a metre each) you should be able to tackle it yourself. Grab your goggles and a dust mask and get to work. Clean and disinfect the area thoroughly – but don’t use bleach! Get rid of any materials which have mould damage, unfortunately these will have to be replaced. Once the area is clean and dry ensure that the cause of the mould i.e. a leaky pipe has also been addressed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

For larger mould patches, you will have to call someone out. You could call a floor contractor to repair water damaged floors, then contact a builder to repair the interior walls and then get a plumber to solve any leaks but this could mean waiting around for a long time for each stage of the work to be completed.

Alternatively, call a bathroom remodelling expert or an environmental consultant to assess what you need to do next.

Remember, mould damage can really harm the value of your home and some types of mould are highly toxic so don’t ignore it. There’s no quick fix for this one, regrettably.

How to Avoid

Inspect the bathroom thoroughly before undertaking a bathroom redesign. Check the shower, bath, toilet and vanity. Feel around for any soft or moist patches. Check for water stains. Use a flashlight to help you look closer and if you do find spots of moisture, then call in an expert to do further tests. They can check for mould, even when it is unclear if you have it, using specialist devices.

Take precautions after the mould has been removed. Ensure your bathroom is well ventilated and invest in a fan. When cleaning, clean your bathroom with mould-killing products.

Check your home insurance as some insurance companies will cover mould under certain circumstances.

Problem 3: You hired a shady contractor

If you’ve had some shoddy work done to your bathroom or your contractor has run off altogether, go to the police in the first instance. Give them as much information as possible as the poor work constitutes fraud so they could be subject to a legal case.

Next complain to Trading Standards or the Better Business Bureau and finally, you can try to take the cowboy builder to court in a small claims case. Be aware though, as this may take up a lot of time and depending on the amount of the claim – can cost a lot too.

How to Avoid

Don’t scrimp on workmanship. You can’t make a bad tradesman do a good job but in some instances, you can ensure cheap materials are made to look expensive through the work of a good contractor.

If it seems too good to be true (in terms of cost) – it usually is.

Shop around, get a minimum of three quotes on the work you require doing. Get recommendations from friends and work colleagues on who they have hired previously – what’s better than a word of mouth recommendation?! Do they have references? Do they have an office and a landline phone number as opposed to a van and a mobile phone? Be really sceptical of cash-in-hand jobs and ensure they give you written estimates for the cost and time frame of each stage of work.

Make sure you receive a remodelling contract and ensure you read it carefully. Address them with any discrepancies or things you are unsure of.

And finally…

  • Make sure you plan each stage of your bathroom remodel carefully.
  • Don’t try to rush any work. Expect that it will take a long time for your bathroom to be the superstar bathroom you desire.
  • Budget more than you need to allow for anything to go wrong.
  • Don’t attempt to do any plumbing or difficult tasks yourself. Save money by painting and undertaking cosmetic tasks.
  • Stick to mid-range fixtures and fittings – don’t cut corners in the wrong places.



Remember, if you’ve had a bathroom design disaster – it’s not the end of the world. Read up before you undertake any work and be sure to check out my list of common bathroom design mistakes so you are well equipped to have a smooth and painless bathroom remodel.

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