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Home Maintenance

What Should You Ask Your Contractor About Your Bathroom Remodel?

One of the best ways to make a noticeable change in your entire home is to remodel one or more of your bathrooms. Although the process may seem a little intimidating at first, you can make everything go as smoothly as possible by asking the right questions before you get started. If you want to avoid unnecessary interruptions and confusions throughout the process, you will to make a list of important points to discuss with your contractor before they even start the job. Here are a few things that you should talk about:
What Type of Remodel Do you Want?
Before you even pick up the phone to start shopping for a contractor, think about what type of remodel that you want. A simple remodel can consist of a new coat of paint and new fixtures, while a complete bathroom overhaul is much more extensive. Decide how extensive you want your remodel to be, determine your budget and then call your contractor to talk about the specifics. They will be able to help guide you through the process from there.
How Much Will It Cost?
While this is a very important aspect of conducting a remodel, you should always make sure to balance cost with the quality of your contractor. You will want to choose someone who is reliable, skilled and has extensive experience working with bathroom remodels. That being said, make sure that you talk with your chosen bathroom remodeling company about the total cost of the project. They should be able to provide you with at least a very close estimate to what the total cost should be. Some will even provide you with a firm bid after doing a full assessment. Always be up front with how much you have to spend on any given project, so that you can be on the same page from start to finish.
How Long Will It Take?
In addition to a cost estimate, you should also ask your builder for a time estimate. While a simple bathroom remodel could take just a few hours, a total overhaul could take several weeks. Because the bathroom is a very important room in your home, you will want to have a fairly clear idea of how long it will be until you can use it again. After you have an idea of how long it will take, come up with a plan to make sharing the other bathroom or bathrooms in your home much easier while you remodel.
In the end, completing a hassle free bathroom remodel relies on constant, clear and honest communication from both you and your contractor. To make sure that you are getting what you want, at a price within your budget, you must communicate these needs to them. Because your bathroom is such an important room in your home, you can’t afford to be vague, unsure or silent about any of the aspects of the remodel. If you follow these tips, and work closely with your chosen remodeling expert, you can expect a bathroom remodel that meets your expectations from start to finish.…

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House Improvements

Budgeting for a Home Renovation

Budgeting for home renovations is always tough. Even when you plan for everything and even a few glitches along the way budgets often find a way to be busted. In order to keep your progress from ending in a budget stale mate here are a few things to keep in mind when renovations are planned for your home.
First decide why you are renovating your home. What do you hope to accomplish with the renovation? Are you adding space for a new addition? Are you adding space for a kids play room or do you hope that with your renovation you increase the value of your home. Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish with your home renovations will make it easier to create a budget and stick to it. It is often when a plan is not created that we go overboard with spending. So the more you can think out ahead of time before renovations on your home begin the better your finances will look in the end.
Speaking of a budget determine how much you can afford to spend on this home renovation. If you realize that what you hope to accomplish is not possible within the funds you have allotted for the project than you can easily put it on hold at this stage of the process. Determine the cost of all materials, tools and furnishings that will be needed to complete the renovation. If you are doing a kitchen renovation make sure to take into account large items like stoves and refrigerators. If you are doing a bathroom remodel take into account a new tub, sink and vanity. A toilet and new fixtures should also be added to the budget.
Next ask yourself are you up to taking on the challenge of a remodel or is it better for you to hire a contractor to ensure a smooth renovation. If you are the handyman type simple renovations can easily be done on your own and can save your contractor fees. If you are going to hire out a residential contractor make sure to look at examples of their previous work. Ask for references and check out their website. The detail put into their work, references and website will give you a good idea of their work and work ethic. It is also important to make sure your gut tells you that the contractor you have chosen is right for you and your home renovation.
A timeline is also important in home renovations. It is important to go over this with your contractor and get in writing a plan of attack. It is important that each step is broke down into a time frame so that you and the contractor can work together to make sure progress stays on track.
Making sure that the contractor you hire is on the same page as you is one of the most important steps in home renovation. You can have this by opening the lines of communication from the start. Know that sometimes things can take an unexpected turn but that you are interested in keeping up to date with the progress and would like updates even when something goes haywire
Once you have agreed upon a plan do not keep changing things. Nothing makes a contractor bitter more than an indecisive customer. They to have a time frame to stay within so that they can continue work with other clients. Every change adds time and money to the budget so stick to the original plan of attack. It will ease the schedule and budget if you stick to the initial renovation plan.
The last thing you will need to decide is if you plan on living in your dwelling during the construction or if you plan on finding a place that is more conducive to your life. If you decide to live in your home during the renovation make sure that you do not interrupt the progress. A happy contractor makes for a happy homeowner.…

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Home Repair

Tips To Make Your Home Stand Out This Fall

Fall Deserves Full Attention As It Decorates Your Home’s Exterior – Enjoy the season while tackling Fall home care.
As we leave summer behind, there are so many good memories of the times family and friends came to visit and take in summer events, the fair, the markets, picnics – home has been a haven for all of it. Now the seasons forge ahead to cool, crisp winds tossing the colorful autumn leaves around the house. Fall deserves the full attention that leaving summer behind grants it. Mother nature is decorating our home’s exterior in shades of red, orange, gold and amber as a backdrop from every angle. It is breathtakingly bold. The colors don’t seem a bit shy to venture every fling before settling into the more subdues shades of the coming winter.
Fall has just begun as summer ends, with the fate of leaves about to fall. Today they are gleaming in the sun, jumping as if to invite children to jump and play with along. Forming a quilt on the ground and creating that perfect compost material for next summer’s blooms. Feeling of the brisk air blow in your face as you rake and tidy up the garden.
Get Ideas For A More Enjoyable Fall Yard
Build a fire pit and roast up some of the last of the garden’s veggies. It is amazing what grilling out can do to the flavor of food. What a perfect opportunity to pick all the twigs and branches that the past months have tossed and hidden behind the green curtain of leaves and shrubbery. When you pick up that rake next time, it will be an easier task of gather leaves if the twigs have already been collected and used to prepare treats for yourself. It is worth it to spend lingering moments by your fire pit to dance with the flickering flames in thoughtful reflections of gratitude and engage in meaningful conversations with those that are dearest to you.
Build A Three-Season Porch To Enjoy Last-Minute Fall Colors
Plump up some new cushions and pillows matching falls colors as if to complement them. Turn your three-season porches and outdoor dining areas into last-minute comforts outdoors. It is a great time to wipe down ledges, screens, and wash the windows to prepare a sparkling view during winter’s months. Perennial stems need clipping that offered summer’s blossoms now spent.
Install A Walking Path To Enjoy Fall Walks
While you are enjoying your yard this fall, add to those opportunities to love life at home by choosing a project that will also increase your curb appeal this fall. Lay a path walkway built form nature’s own offering of natural stone and turn a swath of lawn into a ribbon of elegance in just one weekend. Consider edging it for a tailored look.
Plant Resilient Shrubs For Fall Colorful Displays
Local garden centers know which resilient, colorful fruiting shrubs can provide glorious fall color in each garden zone. The right choice will grant the best chance to enjoy their charm for years to come. Consider compact shrubs, like a Alder-leaved serviceberry, Coarlberry Bush or Annabelle hydrangeas.
We do so much to make our home’s welcoming and a great place to live. It is worth taking care to maintain its property value and stopping the rush of a day to enjoy Fall in your back yard.…

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General Article

Garden Fountains Produce A Nature-Inspired Environment

Garden Fountains Produce A Nature-Inspired Environment

If you have a particular look or theme you are pursuing for your garden, it shouldn’t be hard to locate garden fountains to complement. There are numerous materials that can be helpful for fountains including stone, wood, and glass. To get a breathtaking effect, real stone may be bought. It is pricey, and when set up can be really difficult to move. However nothing at all looks as good as real stone, so when you really want the full effect of stone garden fountains, there’s no replacement. While there are undoubtedly types of artistically crafted stone fountains in modern times, modern tool has also created these accessible to the regular consumer.

Decorative indoor and outdoor garden fountains have become a preferred choice for those who desire to produce a peaceful, nature-inspired atmosphere for their homes, backyards or workplaces. They can vary in price from $50.00 to $3500.00 and are available in sizes from 15 inches tall to fifteen feet in height. The reputation of decorative garden fountains has recently increased due to the fact that many of these fountains have become solar-powered. Solar powered fountains spend less on energy and the environment and they’re safe around children and pets because there are no electrical cords. They could be placed in almost any outdoor area, are low maintenance and they are very quiet.

Directional lighting is used to make a dramatic effect in several garden fountains. Outdoor and indoor ones can be used as a variety of purposes including covering background noises, improving air quality, and creating focal points in rooms. Tabletop fountains have a soft, trickling water sound. Fog fountains are incredibly quiet. Wall-mounted and also floor standing fountains sound like a quieter version of the waterfall and are well-suited for covering background noises from office machines or other equipment. Outdoor spitter garden fountains possess a steady stream of water that may sound like a running faucet. Large, cascading fountains sound like waterfalls and may easily drown out unwanted noises coming from nearby roads.

Small, trickling tabletop fountains are often placed on coffee tables in narrow entranceways or in bathrooms. Floor standing fountains are usually placed in rooms that are adequate enough for the fountain to get viewed from all of the sides such as a large living room or a hotel lobby. Wall-mounted fountains look best in locations just where they can be viewed from the front and are preferred options for offices, patios and balconies. Fog or misting fountains are usually found in the bedroom to help alleviate insomnia. They could also get rid of a headache and assist with air conditioning sickness. Misting fountains act as air purifiers, sterilizers and disinfectants in one.

Garden fountains are usually positioned in any central viewing location so they can be viewed and accessed from all of the sides. Solar ones are self-contained and also portable so can be placed almost anywhere. They need 6-8 hours of sun a day to perform at full strength. Decorative garden fountains are exciting, constantly changing pieces of art that offer up a feast to the eyes and ears. Somehow the peaceful sound of running water lets you feel at ease with the world and surroundings in a manner that no other can.…

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General Article

Improve Your Home’s Landscaping With Wattles

Improve Your Home’s Landscaping With Wattles

When taken care of properly, wattles can enhance a home’s landscaping by a significant degree. If you have been searching high and low for plants and flowers that will kick your landscape design up a notch, you should definitely put wattles near the top of your list.

A Wide Variety Of Options –

There are many different varieties of wattle to choose from. The kind that you select will largely depend on what your specific preferences and circumstances are. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, wattles run the gamut from foliage that is quite dark to a more reddish-green hue. The flowers on a typical wattle plant can be several different colours, ranging from pale yellow to a very deep orange shade. As there are so many varieties and styles available, it is quite easy to select wattle plants that will beautifully complement your landscaping.

The Popularity Of Wattles –

One particular variety of wattle – the Acacia pycnantha – is actually the floral emblem of Australia, which highlights the popularity of this flowering plant. Depending on the specific variety of wattle, the plant may flower during the late spring and summer – or might even bloom all year long. Wattles can withstand a great deal of direct sunlight, which is largely what makes them so popular in this very sunny country.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Wattles –

Unlike many other kinds of plants, wattles do not require a lot of fertilizer. In fact, they are extremely sensitive to such substances and shouldn’t be exposed to an excessive amount of them. It is important to note that some people may find wattles at times a little difficult to manage as they can outgrow boundaries of their garden. With a bit of care and by paying a bit of attention to them, though, they can be kept under control. They grow quite fast, but do have very short lifespans as far as such things go.

Wattles: Things To Keep In Mind –

If you make a decision to plant wattles in your garden, remember to select a spot where they will receive a decent amount of direct sunlight. Remember that wattles contribute a great deal of nitrogen to the soil, making them suitable neighbours for a large number of other plants and flowers. They can be grown from seed, but you do need to treat the tough seeds prior to planting them. Beyond that, a small amount of pruning and a little bit of attention will make these plants be a truly stunning addition to any part of your overall landscape design scheme.…

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Home Renovation

How to Do a Good Bathroom Remodel

When you come right down to it, remodeling or redesigning a bathroom is simple. What you are doing is redesigning a plain box to maximize attractiveness, efficiency, and usability.
Don’t think of a bathroom remodel as starting over. In fact, many of your fittings and fixtures can be used in your new design. Instead, think of how to change the overall design, incorporating items that you currently use if appropriate. This article describes how to remodel your bathroom without starting from scratch.
Start by picking your theme or style. This is the first and most important element to redesigning a bathroom. Generally you will want to choose either a contemporary or a traditional design. You will then use this first choice to guide future choices, such as what colors and fabrics to use.
Part of choosing style is to consider what type of feel you want to evoke. Do you want a calm space, an elegant space, a romantic space, a relaxed space? Having a sense of the overall effect you are trying to achieve, while still early in planning, helps ensure that you will be successful in your design.
Pay attention to scale. Not only do you want to choose the right items for the feel and style of the room, you also want to choose items that fit and are easily usable. All furniture and fixtures in the bathroom should fit without making the space feel crowded.
If you have a smaller room, don’t use huge pieces of furniture. For instance, filling a small bedroom with a king sized bed is a mistake. Similarly, you don’t want to use as much furniture as you possibly can in a room. It is better to leave room to walk around. More space in a room makes for a more relaxing feeling.
The next element you’ll want to consider is color. Colors have different feels that they bring. Some colors, such as reds or bright blues, are energizing and vibrant. You would not want to choose one of these colors if you were going for a relaxing or soothing feel in the room. In that case, a better choice might be a pale color or earth tones.
Pattern and texture can add visual interest to the room but don’t overdo it. For instance, a jacquard weave on a bedspread can add texture without being garish and overwhelming. Too many competing patterns and textures can be tiring on the eyes.
Accessories. With accessories, go for impact rather than volume. A single, stunning piece can often have more effect on the overall look of a room than can a collection of smaller items.
Artwork. Don’t go overboard here. As with accessories, you want to have maximum impact with minimum clutter. One well-chosen piece of art is a better investment than several mediocre pieces scattered on the walls.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Top 5 Kitchen Remodeling Questions

By now we are all well aware that a kitchen remodel is not only one of the most popular home improvement projects – it’s also a great way to invest in your home. To give you an idea of how important kitchens are to the value of a home – here in the US, the kitchen remodeling industry is a $15 billion dollar/year business. And even in today’s market you could expect to yield a return on investment of 75-100%.
So weather I’m designing a major kitchen renovation or a moderate upgrade for my clients our initial conversation and the questions that follow are often the same.
1. Q: Where do we start? – What comes first? A: Educate yourself and focus on the styles of kitchens and interiors that speak to you. Grab some kitchen design magazines and tear out the pages that inspire you in some way. Start an inspiration file and share it with your designer during your initial meetings. It’s also a great idea to begin researching appliances at the same time. The options available are endless and you definitely need time to do some research in that arena.
2. Q: How much should I expect to spend on my kitchen? A: Obviously the cost of a new kitchen is dependent on many factors. The scope, size and complexity of each project varies – but typically you should expect to spend anywhere from 10 – 25% of your home’s current value. For example: If your home is valued at $500,000 (and you plan on living there for another 5+ years) then budgeting 75-100K would be considered a reasonable investment.
3. Q: What makes a kitchen more or less costly? A: Your selection of cabinetry, appliances, counter tops, flooring, as well as the electrical and plumbing will determine the cost of your kitchen remodel. Cabinetry alone accounts for close to 50% of the total cost of the project – eating up half of your budget before you even blink. Stock, Semi-custom and custom cabinetry each have different price points, so making that selection will be based on your home’s value and your budget.
4. Q: How do I ensure my kitchen won’t become dated? A: Investing in the services of a professional designer will definitely help guide you – by planning the space, designing the details and selecting materials and finishes that best suit the architecture of your home and your family’s personality. Selecting timeless door styles and specifying quality products will extend the life of your dream kitchen. Just realize however, that all high traffic and well-used kitchens will eventually wear 10-15 years down the road.
5. Q: How long does a kitchen remodel typically take? A: Depending on the overall scope of the kitchen remodel the time commitment will vary. It could take anywhere from 4-6 weeks for a light and simple face lift or upgrade – or 4-6+ months for a major kitchen renovation where major construction is involved. With large kitchen remodeling projects, there are a series of stages to progress through. From the planning and development phase, through the bidding process – it could take weeks or months before your contractor even picks up a hammer.
Just remember that a quality kitchen remodel will give you and your family years of enjoyment and increase the overall value of your home.…