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Kitchen Renovation

2013 Home Remodeling Trends

The home remodeling themes of 2013 are practicality and efficiency. While the country is still recovering from the recession, the lessons learnt from houses being lost to foreclosure are that of living within our means. For many people this means living in smaller homes but making the most of the space, taking the indoor/outdoor environment into consideration, and making a home work for individual needs.
Bigger is no longer better. The trend has been called the tiny home trend. Homes as small as 500 square feet are being built on small lots of land, but for most people with families, buying homes that fit the needs of the family without excess space is what is working. Within those homes open floor plans have replaced formal dining and sitting rooms. Kitchens blend into common areas and dining spaces. This not only allows for better functionality in the home, but for more open conversation and interaction of those living there.
People currently remodeling are not just looking at what is going to work for them now, but also what will be helpful in the future. The baby boomer generation is retiring and keeping an eye on how their lives might change. Doors are being widened to accommodate wheelchairs. Bathroom remodels include larger showering spaces, or doing away with glass walls and having an open shower with tile floors. Bi-level countertops and sinks are being installed for those who have active children or parents needing wheelchair accessibility. Access in and out of homes is also being considered.
Because so many people work from home, having a space where one can work in without distraction is also critical. Home offices are being created from baby rooms or other smaller rooms in the house. Home offices can also be converted in the future to bedrooms, living rooms or other spaces.
Another popular trend is making sure homes are well insulated and energy efficient. This includes the insulation in the walls as well as double paned windows, energy efficient appliances and more.
Appearances, as always, are important. As for the indoors, hidden appliances are the trend, meaning dishwashers are covered with wood fronts, other appliances sit in drawers built to fit them. Minimalist design is reigning in the kitchen and other rooms.
Carpets are out. Heated wood floors are the most popular and leave a clean finish and something that doesn’t show the wear and tear carpeting does.
Outdoors, we are seeing much more native landscaping and rock landscapes that require little water and little upkeep.
If you’re planning a whole house remodel or a partial one, keep in mind efficiency, functionality and practicality. How can your home better serve you?

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Kitchen Renovation

Trends in Home Remodeling

Trends in Atlanta home remodeling have shifted since the economic changes in the last couple of years. Whereas in prior years home owners were inclined to include whatever their heart wanted in creating their dream home these days home owners are taking into consideration the value of homes in their neighborhood for resale. Several metro Atlanta counties and areas have seen a decline in home values however not all neighborhoods have been negatively impacted.
When deciding on how much money you want to invest in your home remodeling project the location of your home is very important. If you live in a well established popular neighborhood in the Atlanta area; Druid Hills, Emory, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs to name a few then your choice location will support reasonable remodeling and home additions. In fact potential home buyers expect to have a great kitchen and master bedroom suite with a spa like bathroom when buying in the more fashionable neighborhoods. Not having renovated your home will keep potential buyers away.
A few questions to ask before you remodel are how long do you plan to stay in your home? If you want to be able to sell your house within the next couple of years for maximum return then a well designed kitchen and spacious master bathroom will bring you the best return on your money. These are always in the top must haves when buyers are looking at homes. However choosing your materials with a budget conscious eye and quality are your best bet.
Visiting houses for sale and in your neighborhood in the price range you want to sell your house for will give you a good idea what your competition is. Keep abreast of the houses you visited and learn what the price they sold for and how long they were on the market. This takes a little effort but will not only give you ideas for what you want in your new kitchen and bathroom it will help you decide just how much you need to spend. For example are the homes that are getting the price you want showcasing an $8000 48 inch profession Viking range and built in Sub Zero refrigeration?
If you are remodeling only with the idea of selling the home quickly and for a profit then knowing what your buyers are looking for and supplying what they want with the least amount of cash is the way to go. Many times this can be using the existing layout in your kitchen and refinishing your cabinets instead of tearing out everything. Replacing your stove and refrigerator with stainless steel appliances that have the look of the high end name brands are a cost cutting measure. Wood floors are a must have and purchasing remnants from a close out dealer can save you hundreds of dollars.
If you plan to live in your home the rest of your life then having the home be exactly what you want it to be trumps the investment dollar. Your investment is living in a home that makes you happy. In most cases homeowners take the happy medium, not settling for the cheapest materials and finding quality replacements for designer products that you love but are very expensive. With an eagle eye you can find beautiful stones, tiles, flooring, and fixtures that let your home remodeling project bring a touch of elegance and extravagance without the big price tag. Your Atlanta remodeling contractor will know places to find the best prices for many of the materials you will need to pick out. The time and effort spent will reward you with a great renovation and the good feeling that your money was well spent.

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Kitchen Renovation

10 Affordable Home Remodeling Trends

It’s possible to do a home remodeling project on a budget. You can even save money on future energy costs with the right design.

Use Imitation Materials: Hardwood floors and granite countertops are pricey, but you can get imitations – such as laminate floors – that are so close to the real thing most people can’t tell.

Freshen up the Exterior: After you remodel, invest in new shutters, a new coat of paint, a new front door or some landscaping. This can yield big dividends for a small price.

Re-use Space: Instead of a big home addition, maybe you can get what you want by re-using a room for a new purpose or by taking down some walls to create one large area. For instance, you can combine two small rooms to make one big one, or you can take out the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open up the space.

Do It Yourself: Figure out which parts of the job really require professionals. You might not be up to installing plumbing pipes, but you can add insulation or paint walls.

Do Your Own Demolition: Demolition doesn’t require the same skills as construction. You need to take precautions, however, especially if you’re taking out an interior wall.

Avoid Moving Plumbing: You can save on the plumber’s charges.

Don’t Make Changes: Once you’ve started the home remodeling project, try not to change your mind. Those will be costly decisions.

Shop Around: Get bids from several contractors. Look around for materials – and don’t forget to try the Internet.

Be Energy Efficient: While you’re remodeling, take advantage of the opportunity to add insulation to existing walls and attics. Any windows you add should be energy efficient. Installing windows and skylights will bring in natural light and save on electricity costs.

Install New HVAC: Evaluate your heating and air conditioning needs. You may need new HVAC equipment for your additional space, or you may want to take this opportunity to get a more energy efficient furnace or air conditioner. For a lot of savings, consider solar panels or a geothermal heat pump.

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Kitchen Renovation

Remodeling Contractors – Their Role in Transforming Your Home

Remodeling ones home has become an extremely popular trend these days. Getting the right person who can do it for you is not very difficult any more. But you have to keep in mind that you are entrusting your most valued possession to a completely new person. Thus you have to be sure that you have chosen the best remodeling contractors available to transform your abode.
Remodeling contractors are experts in various fields of work. Some specialize in bathroom or floor renovation while others are skilled in altering your dens or game rooms. It is always better to select a designer who specializes in the area that you want remodeled. They can assist you in deciding what the alterations that you want are done.
Even though there is no dearth of such people today, the best way to select an ideal remodeling designer is to get their names form friends or acquaintances that have just got their homes redone. Once you get a list of some reputed contractors, you can fix an appointment with some of them and then decide who will be best suited for your requirements.
You also have to remember that these people will have to visit your home a number of times and so make sure that they are extremely reliable and trustworthy. These designers will have to employ subcontractors to aid them in completing the task that is assigned to them. They are completely responsible for any errors or drop in quality in the work that that get done and have to manage the remodeling process expertly.
Remodeling contractors will also need to mingle personally with architects or interior designers to get a clear cut view about what has to be done. So these contractors have to really get an idea about the actual work that they are going to undertake before giving their quote. The ultimate turn out after remodeling will to a great extent will be ruled by all these factors.

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Kitchen Renovation

Keeping Pets Safe During a Remodel – A Little DAP Will Do Ya!

When preparing for a home remodeling project, whether it’s just having a paint contractor in or a major kitchen remodel, we make sure to have a checklist of everything that needs to get done. We move furniture, take down pictures, arrange our schedules to be there when the contractor what about our pets? Do they have a safe place to go where they can stay safe and out of trouble?
First and foremost, it is important to remember that the contractor is not a babysitter for your pet(s). It isn’t their job to make sure that the cat has water in its bowl or that the dog is let outside at 2p. I suggest you find alternative residence for your pet whenever possible during your project. If a relative or alternative residence isn’t an option, check out pet day care. Most areas have this service available on a daily or per hour basis.
***Your pet must be up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and have basic “social” skills to be admitted to most establishments.***
Any type of design project is going to require “strangers” being in your home. For most pets, this is a cause of much stress as their primary job is to protect their people and property. If your pet isn’t too “neurotic”, introducing the workers to your pet prior to work starting can help. This will help to establish the contractor as a “friend.”
As stated previously, if you can’t find alternative care for your pet during working hours, placing your pet in a “safe” room away from all of the commotion will help. Construction sites, whether they are big or small, are fraught with dangers for curious animals. Open paint cans, nails and screws, hammers and saws can all be an accident waiting to happen. A pet gate cordoning off the work area can also be helpful to keep your pet safe.
If possible, have a separate entrance for workers to arrive and come and go as they need. This helps to keep the commotion at bay as tools and equipment are being brought into the home and construction waste being thrown out. Having a separate entrance will also help you to keep tabs on “Sparky” the dog (or Morris the cat) from escaping out into the neighborhood.
Dr Lisa Kluskow of the Silver Spring Animal Wellness Center in Glendale WI strongly suggests the use of DAP for dogs and Feliway for cats to help them deal with stress. DAP stands for “Dog Appeasing Pheromone” and mimics the scent given off by the mother dog that keeps her puppies calm and happy. These same “appeasement” pheromones have the same calming effect on adult dogs and aren’t detectable by humans. DAP takes about a week before the effects are noticeable-so start using before your project begins. It should be noted that not all dogs will be effected by DAP as it depends on the dog and the severity of the anxiety. Feliway is a pheromone which works on a cat’s sense of smell, and has been proven to be so calming that peace and harmony can be restored in even multi-cat households. (Feliway is also used to help prevent spraying and litterbox usage!). Both products are available as room diffusers and sprays
Make sure that the workers place plastic sheeting and/or tarps around the work area. Plastic sheeting should be hung in all doorways of rooms being worked on to prevent pollutants, dust and other debris from spreading throughout the house. Dust, pollutants and other airborne particles can irritate any upper respiratory afflictions, cause headaches or trigger allergies. Ask your contractor what steps they take to minimize the risk to avoid the creation of these indoor pollutants and contain those that can’t be avoided.
While there are many steps that have been taken to reduce the hazards of lead paint, if you live in an older home (older than 1975) there is a possibility that lead paint can be a cause of concern. This is still a threat even if you’d placed lead-free coats over it. If you scrape, sand or heat lead paint, the lead can become airborne and make it into your body or contaminate the soil around your home. This is a hazard for anyone that comes into contact with it. If lead paint may be an issue during your project, hire a trained inspector to test the surfaces.
***The EPA does not recommend home-use testing kits. Get the “Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home” brochure for suggestions and tips on how to proceed.***
Make sure the contractor uses low or no VOC materials whenever possible to cut down the risk of all home occupants becoming sick from breathing in these emitted chemicals and toxins. Carpeting is one of the largest indoor polluters of our spaces. Carpet off-gasses toxins and chemicals into the air upon installation and removal. Make sure the carpet installer unrolls the carpet BEFORE it is delivered to your home, or at least before it is brought inside to help air the carpet out. Make sure the installer uses a no or low VOC adhesive to secure the carpeting (although this goes for ALL flooring). Cats are more susceptible to VOCs and other airbourn irritations than dogs due to their shortened upper respiratory tracts and they should be sequestered away during any painting, sanding, scraping or carpet removal/installation.
***Paint is the second major “offender” of off-gassing indoor spaces.***
After the work day has finished, it is vital that the contractor secure the work area if the job isn’t finished. Dangerous items such as tools, ladders and other hazardous materials out of family member’s reach at all times. Any holes in walls, floors or in the yard should also be secured to prevent any 4-legged family members (or 2 legged for that matter!) from falling in.
Here is a checklist to help you manage your remodeling project AND your companion animals during the duration of construction:
– Mist down all surfaces before sanding or scraping areas to be painted or stained. This will help keep the dust from becoming airborne and you and your pet(s) from breathing it in.
– Work outside whenever possible. This will help to keep the mess to a minimum inside, and cause less chance of your pet getting into trouble.
– Ventilate the space, even in winter. Even if you are doing a GREEN remodel, dust and other particles will still be a problem. Position fans so that they exhaust out instead of in.
– DO run your HVAC unit when contractors are sanding. Make sure to change filters as often as once a week to keep dust from spreading through the house in prolonged projects. If your project is only a couple of days-change the filter once project is finished.
– Be wary of rodent droppings that might be exposed during demolition and can spread Hantavirus. This can be deadly for pets and people.
With these helpful tips and some careful planning, you can rest assured that your animals will be kept safe and sound during any and all of your remodeling projects