No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Are You Thinking About Bathroom Remodeling?

Are you thinking about bathroom remodeling? You might be thinking about a bathroom remodel for any of a number of reasons.

You need more space or functionality

You need a second sink

You want to provide a little more privacy when two people are in the bathroom at the same time

You want to make your bathroom safer

You want to make your bathroom accessible to people with disabilities

You want to update or modernize your bathroom

You want to create your own spa in the privacy of your own home

You want to add a shower

You want to add a whirlpool tub

You want a linen closet in the bathroom

You are getting your house ready to sell

You just want a little change

These are all great reasons to remodel a bathroom. And your reason for remodeling will determine the changes you make. Your budget will also be an important factor in deciding how you will change your bathroom. But there are a few other things you might want to consider in your plans.

— Are you planning to stay in your house as you grow older? If so, you might want to plan to equip the bathroom with fixtures that will make it safer. Should you consider higher toilets? Should you consider stepping into a bathtub in order to take a shower?

— Will someone who has a disability use the bathroom? How will you need to arrange fixtures for ease of use and for the ability to move around in the bathroom? Do you need to plan for space to navigate a wheelchair? If the bathroom is to be used by someone in a wheelchair, should you lower the surface of the vanity? Should you use different sinks?

— One current trend in new homes is to build larger master bathrooms. If you are remodeling your bathroom because you plan to sell your house, this might be a consideration.

— Do you want to add a little luxury to your life? Do you want to create your own spa?

If your remodeling goal is to make your bathroom more accessible and safer, you will probably want to think seriously about access to the shower or to the bathtub. You will certainly want to place a few grab bars (near the toilet, near the shower and near the tub). You might want to install a seat in the shower or a raised toilet. You may find that some of the luxury features also serve comfort and therapeutic purposes as well. For example, multiple shower heads can be soothing for aching joints. A heated floor may be very comfortable in a cold climate.

If your goal is to add a little luxury to your life, you will find that the sky is the limit. Almost anything you can imagine is possible if you have the space and the budget.

If you just need a little extra space or an additional sink, you can do renovations that meet those needs and others at the same time. For example, if you want a second sink in the master bathroom, you can create dramatic effects by choosing a particular style of sink. If you want to remodel your bathroom to provide additional privacy when two people are using the bathroom at the same time, your remodel might be as simple as adding a short wall and a door to enclose the toilet area.

So what is popular now in terms of design and materials? The answer really depends upon what you want to achieve and the direction you want to go. Retro continues to be very popular. You might want to tear out existing vanity areas and bathtubs so you can replace them with a retro footed free-standing bathtub and pedestal sinks. You may be tired of chrome fixtures and simply want to try a new look like brushed nickel.

If you have decided to create a home spa, you might want to use more mirrors, particularly the fog-free mirrors. These mirrors can also be used as nearly-invisible doors to cabinets and cupboards. There are many new styles of small sinks that create amazing visual effects, as well as functionality. You can turn your bathroom into a steam room. You can install a shower with multiple adjustable shower heads at various heights to provide a full body massage. You can install a bathtub on any level (sunken, raised, etc.) for beauty and functionality. Your tub can include several types of jets for hydrotherapy effects.

Your choice of materials will be determined by the “look” you want to achieve. Ceramic tile has almost completely replaced vinyl floor covering. The many varieties and designs in ceramic tile can create virtually any style you want. You can install heating elements beneath the tile …

No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Regular Home Maintenance

Sometimes we get carried away in life with so much things to do and things to see. But there are some things that we must not overlook are things inside and outside of our homes. Our home is very important to us, it is where we live, meet others, sleep, eat, raise children and pass our time. That is why it is so important that this home of ours is kept in good shape. Throughout my experience and also talking to home inspectors I have came up with a list of items around our homes that need regular maintenance. These maintenance items can be checked either by the owners themselves or by hiring a home inspector. These inspections around our home can even save us from future problems and costs to repair the damages.
1) Clean the gutters in the spring & fall.
2) Check for damaged roofing and flashing materials twice a year.
3) Cut back trees and shrubs from the house walls, roof and air conditioning system as needed.
4) Clean the tracks on horizontal sliding windows annually, and ensure the drain holes are clear.
5) Test ground fault circuit interrupters, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors using the test button, monthly.
6) Service furnace or boiler yearly.
7) Check furnace filters, humidifiers and electronic air cleaners monthly.
8) Check the bathtub and shower caulking monthly and improve promptly as needed.
9) If you are in a climate where freezing occurs, shut off outdoor water faucets in the fall.
10) Check reversing mechanism on the garage door opener monthly.
11) Check attics for evidence of leaks and condensation and make sure vents are not obstructed, at least twice a year.…

No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Check Out Available Government Grants For Essential Home Repairs

Did you know homeowners with low incomes who need repairs to their homes might be eligible Rural Home Repair grants and/loans from USDA Rural Development? Any rural areas and communities that have a population of 20,000 or less are eligible. Types of repairs that can be done range from improving the safety or sanitary conditions of a home to correcting any safety or health hazards as well. However, grants are used for the removal and repair of safety or health hazards only.

The Purpose Of Loans And Grants

Grants are available only when the repairs or improvements will take away any safety or health hazards that have been previously identified. However, if the goal is modernizing or improving a home in addition to health/safety hazards being removed, then loan funds may be available. Also, the repairs made to a home with grant or loan funds do not have to meet the development standards of the agency, nor do all known hazards have to be removed as long there’s no further major safety/health concerns when the scheduled repairs have been done.

The work covered by authorized grants and loans includes, but isn’t totally comprised of, the following:

Sanitary Disposal Systems: repair or installation, including fixtures or plumbing, that are in line with the requirements of the area health department.

Needed Insulation

It is required, before filing the USDA Rural Development application, that the applicant is the owner and has been living in the home. A permanent foundation defined as either:

A foundation that is a complete below grade, or

The home sits on piers, blocks, or a similar foundation that has anchored tie-downs and skirting.

Maximum Amount of Grant or Loan

Rural Development rural home repair loans have a maximum limit of $20,000, either initial or subsequent, to any person.

Limitations On The Use Of Grant/Loan Funds

Grant funds or a home repair loan from Rural Development cannot be used for:

Help for the construction of a new home.

Limitations On How Grant Funds Are Used

Additionally, the grant funds from Rural Development rural home repair cannot be used for any changes made for convenience or cosmetic purposes unless those changes have a direct connection to the hazards that are being removed. The definition of convenience and cosmetic changes might include, but will not be limited to:

Any Painting

Requirements For Eligibility

Applicants for Rural Development rural home repair are expected to meet these requirements:

Must be a United States citizen.

Application is for only a Rural Development rural home repair grant.

Must be a minimum age of 62 years.

You can get additional information at any of the USDA Rural Development Offices, located in all the states, for Rural Home Repair Grant and Loan Programs.…

No Picture
House Improvements

Bathroom Blinds

The bathrooms in our homes are often our own personal sanctuaries where we retreat at the end of the day to relax and forget the day. Homeowners across the country are investing more money into their homes and one of the primary places that the investment is best spent is in the bathroom. Bathrooms now are much larger than they were in the past and often have lavish showers and spa tubs.
When shopping for our bathrooms, textiles are an important part of the progress. It gives us the opportunity to add our own personal touch to our baths and leave our own unique mark. We, of course, want our textiles to follow a common theme. Bathroom blinds are a great way to tie-in our tastes in our baths. As we are spending more time in our bathrooms as a personal resort from the world, blinds have become a necessity.
We find ourselves sometimes spending hours in the comfort of our bathrooms and don’t want to be bothered or seen by outsiders. Bathroom blinds come in a variety of designs and styles, but functionality should be the foremost concern. Cloth blinds are not good for bathrooms as they will become moist and possibly become moldy. Solid woods are a better choice, but synthetic woods are the best bet. These types of blinds will not be susceptible to bathroom moisture or aging due to the humid bathroom conditions.
Finding the perfect bathroom blinds can give you the privacy that you need while adding your own personal style to your home bathroom.…

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

New Bathroom Remodeling Design For a Greater Shower Experience

The modern bathroom has changed dramatically from what it used to be, especially the big master bathroom, where the possibilities exceed all imagination in terms of bathroom accessories and decor, with high-tech features like a digitally controlled shower system with a digital interface for personal settings, an automatic hands free toilet with an auto flush feature that removes the waist and cleans, a built-in TV and speakers with a waterproof remote control, to mention just a few. Such high-tech sophistication is not necessary to still get great results even with a standard bathroom makeover and give it the look and ambiance of a contemporary bathroom. With many kinds of inexpensive yet beautiful bathroom fixtures, cabinets and bathroom flooring to choose from everybody can get their dream shower that they would never want to leave.
The bathroom is a major place of relaxation where you can enjoy an invigorating shower or cool down with a long soak in a tub or have the best of both worlds. It is a place of retreat and rejuvenation of the body and mind from the stresses of life, so both designers and consumers are looking to intensify the daily shower/ bath experience with new innovations in bathroom remodeling design ideas & bathroom decor.
More then ever bathroom makeover remodels are easy and fun. not only for expensive bathroom renovation but also and in particular, for small bathroom remodeling, and with such a huge array of bathroom remodeling ideas everybody can find the right solution for a beautiful new modern bathroom with the latest features of comfort and style to make it a more relaxing and pleasurable experience.
So if you are you just fed up with your old telephone booth-size shower and want a more contemporary bathroom… a beautiful spacious modern bathroom with the latest in bathroom accessories design, or if you just want to refresh your existing bath with the latest trends in bathroom decor, you will be amazed how plenty of bathroom remodeling ideas you can find that can improve the look of your bath and give it a luxurious feel no matter how big or small the bathroom remodeling design is.
It may be a good idea to work with an experienced and imaginative professional who has a broad knowledge of bathroom remodeling design and bathroom accessories and who can help you make the best of what is possible within the limits of your budget and bath size. Or if you have the time to shop around you can use your own creative thinking in choosing the right bathroom fixtures & bathroom decor such as cabinets, faucets, shower heads, vanities, tile and so on. Most certainly you would want to find the right home contractor for the new bathroom makeover and installation.
And in a last note I would like to share with you an idea that will amplify the importance of the shower experience. Beauty is a relaxant and a beautiful environment in a contemporary bathroom is a remedy for the mind. Small changes can have big effects and one should not underestimate the power of our surroundings on our inner state of mind. The place where you clean and beautify yourself should it self be beautiful. so pamper yourself and treat yourself to a new bathroom…again it doesn’t have to be a master bathroom with super computers and high-tech bathroom accessories, there are small bathroom remodeling ideas that can do the job and make your bathroom a small vacation island… make your shower a daily vacation experience from the stresses of life. Enjoy your trip!…

No Picture
House Improvements

Thrifty Retirement: Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

You’ve lived in your home for many years now. It’s beginning to show its age or perhaps its configuration no longer fits your needs, but you really don’t want to move, to leave your convenient neighborhood, or to be farther from your friends or family. You decide instead to remodel. Finding a reliable, trustworthy contractor is the first thing you must do. The second is to pay attention to what the contractor is doing. This is your home and your money: stay on top of the project.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
Our kitchen had an odd layout and some of the appliances needed to be replaced. I went to an annual remodeling show held in our town and spoke with several of the companies there. I told them all what I wanted, which was to save most of the cabinets, which were in good condition, but to replace just a few to fit the new floor plan I had in mind. I wanted to be able to reuse those we would tear out. I easily dismissed several contractors, as they weren’t interested in a project that wasn’t all new, and I narrowed the selection down to just a couple.
I called one and talked with him. I liked him immediately, but asked for references. I phoned all the references, and to a person, they all had glowing reports. I hired him to do the work in the kitchen and I couldn’t have been happier. He was able to preserve more of the cabinets than I had planned on and had to make only one new cabinet door. I was impressed with his reasonable cost, his excellent workmanship, and his clear concern for the environment, as well as with his pleasant return to fix a couple small blips.
A couple years later when we decided to do a major remodel of our master bathroom, he was the obvious choice. He even used the same crew boss as had worked on the kitchen. I had high hopes and no reservations. However, as the work progressed, I found questions popping up. The crew boss was showing up later in the day, or some days not at all. The job was taking longer than I expected. This wasn’t quite right; that had to be redone. We had ordered a custom-made vanity that was delivered and installed while we were gone for a long weekend.
When I first saw the cabinet, I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It took two weeks for me to pinpoint the problem. The style wasn’t what I had ordered. Where did this go wrong? The estimator blamed the cabinetmaker, and the cabinetmaker said he made what the estimator ordered. Meanwhile, my contractor was left holding the bag, as he was financially responsible for getting me the right vanity cabinet.
My contractor returned several times to fix small things the crew boss had messed up, but it’s been a year now and I still don’t have the vanity I ordered. The contractor is still the nicest guy in the world, but he has already lost money on this job and he still owes me a vanity. Will I ever get it? I don’t know.
The bottom line is that you must stay on top of the workers and the job, even if you know them. Check every day. If you don’t like a specific detail, speak up right away. In my case, it turned out the crew boss was having family problems he hadn’t mentioned to the contractor. His mind was somewhere else while he was working, and my contractor and I both paid for it. When the wallpaper was stripped, instead of washing the old glue off the walls, they painted over it. The floor tiles are not level and have created an uneven floor. The towel racks were mounted too high and had to be removed and remounted. The toilet was not level. And of course, the vanity is still wrong.
I keep hoping to hear from the contractor. I call every couple of months and he always says he’ll get to it. Maybe I’ll be lucky: maybe he will.…

No Picture
House Improvements

Three Important Steps to Easy Log Home Maintenance

There are three important log home maintenance steps that need to be completed to ensure that the home lasts a long time and maintains its beauty. While maintenance of any home is very important, maintenance for a log home is especially important to ensure that the structure of the home remains solid and without defect. These three steps can ensure that it lasts a lifetime and longer.
Inspect the Home at Least Once Each Year
One of the most important steps in log maintenance is to inspect the entire home from the foundations to the roof at least once a year. During this inspection, look for anything that indicates damage to the wood or the structure of the walls and ceiling. This can include looking for water damage, insect damage or the like. This maintenance step might need seem like it improves anything, but a visual inspection can ensure that any issues are discovered long before they affect the beauty of the log home or its structure. It is especially important to inspect the areas around the foundation as this is where water can settle and cause problems.
Refinish and Seal the Logs
A great maintenance taste that results in the home lasting as long as possible is the refinishing and sealing of the logs. Ideally this should be done as often as recommended by the manufacturer, refinishing and sealing a log home can be a time consuming task but it should be done at least once every couple of years. Refinishing the logs ensures that they are as beautiful as possible and removes and debris or dirt from the outside of the home. It also ensures that the original luster of the logs is restored. After refinishing, sealing the logs can help hold in their beauty and keep out water and other damaging things. A seal also can increase the beauty of the logs.
Repair Small Problems Before They Grow
The final log maintenance step that ensure the home will last a long time is to fix any small problems before they become large. With a log home this is especially important because wood can show only a small area of damage but have larger problems hidden further in the wood where it is hard to see. So, if there is a problem, addressing it quickly can ensure that larger problems are swiftly identified and corrected as well. When repairing a log home, hiring a professional is always a good idea because a professional has the experience to identify problems early and correct them properly.
There are three main steps to proper log home maintenance. First, always inspect the home at least once each year to identify any problems before they become major issues. Also, ensure that any small problems are addressed quickly and by a professional to make sure that they don’t become larger problems. The final step to maintaining a log home so that it lasts for a lifetime is to refinish and reseal the home as often as possible.…