There are probably a lot of things that you want to accomplish in the new year. Among them may be a bath or kitchen renovation. Before you undergo a renovation of any type, you need to plan ahead. Here are 7 planning tips for your kitchen or bath renovation in the new year.

Make A List Of Renovations You Want To Be Done
Before starting a kitchen or bath renovation, make a checklist. Write down things that you want to accomplish and what your priorities are. You may not be able to complete everything during a renovation right away and you will need to figure out what you want to get done first and what you are comfortable with putting off. For instance, you may be wanting to replace your cabinets first, but willing to wait a while for new countertops. When you are determining exactly what you want to do, don’t just focus on changing the colors in the room. Think about the areas in either your kitchen or bathroom that get the most use. This will allow you to figure out what you want to do to make this area more functional. The key to a successful renovation is to make a space work in the most efficient way for both you and your family members.

Put Together A File With Your Ideas
It’s always a good idea to know exactly what you want before visiting a showroom or meeting with a designer. Look through magazines and cut out pictures of items that you like. You can also look online and print pictures out. Keep all of these items in a folder so that you have all your ideas in one place and can show them to the designer who’s going to create your custom kitchen or replace your countertops. When you are creating your file, make sure you take measurements of things like your doorways so that you will know if you will be able to get large pieces through them. Also take measurements of sinks, countertops, and appliances. Put your measurements in your file so that they are easily accessible later on.

Take Pictures
It’s very beneficial to take pictures of your current space. You might just gain a new perspective as to what needs to be changed and what should stay the same. Print these pictures out and put them in your folder. You can keep them on your phone, but having printouts of these pictures will give a more in-depth look as to how the area actually looks. It’s also a good idea to take pictures at different times of day with different lighting. This will allow you to see different aspects of the room.

Seek The Advice Of Others
It’s very beneficial to get the opinion of others when you are trying to design your own dream kitchen/bath. Friends and family members can offer advice about their experience with their own renovations. They can tell you about what they went through and can even offer advice as to what you should include in your kitchen or bath remodel and what you might want to leave alone. Walk through your house with them and discuss areas that you would like to remodel. Their insight as to your home remodel can prove to be very valuable overall. Ask them what they think your focal point should be. You only want to pick one in each room so that space doesn’t look too busy. The rest of the space should complement the focal point and be aesthetically appealing.

Decide On A Budget
When you design your own dream kitchen/bath, you will find that there are all sorts of options available. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be to afford every single thing that you want. It’s important to decide on a budget so that you can determine exactly how much you can spend. It is also very helpful to inform your designer as to how much you can spend on things like cabinets for your custom kitchen or new fixtures for your bathroom. One of the things that adds a lot of expense to a bathroom or kitchen renovation is moving outlets or pipes. If keeping costs down is a big concern, don’t move water fixtures or appliances. This will allow you to stay within a reasonable budget. Keep in mind that some unexpected things will probably happen during your remodel. Allow for at least a couple extra thousand dollars of allocated money so that you can pay for these unforeseen expenses if they arise.

Tour Showrooms
You can get a lot of ideas and advice by visiting showrooms. Make sure you bring your file of ideas with you so that you can show the designers what you are thinking about doing to your home and what the current space looks like. You will find that there are quite a few options and brands. It’s nice to see things like counters and fixtures on display so that you can choose the right options for your home. Don’t forget to discuss your budget as well so that you can determine which items are within your price range.

Interview Remodelers
In order for your renovation to go smoothly, you need a remodeler that you can trust. Interview several of them to make sure that they have adequate experience and that you have a good rapport with them. You should be able to effectively communicate with one another and they should really listen to your ideas about what you want to be done in your home. Remember to show them your file with ideas, but also take into account their opinions on what they think you should do. They should be able to give you a rough idea about how long your renovations will take and how much it will cost if they don’t run into any issues along the way.

Make Your Kitchen The Hub Of Your Holiday Entertaining

There's just something special about the holidays. It could be that general feeling of happiness in the air or maybe its the anticipation of all of the festivities associated with the season that is about to begin happening. Whatever the reason, it's truly a remarkable spectacle to be a part of the holiday season every year. Many precious memories are created during this yuletide season as loved ones and acquaintances make time to celebrate the season with each other. With the kitchen being the heart of the house, a lot of those moments will happen there. Planning for people in the kitchen for the holidays is essential to making the most of those memorable times. Decorating in the kitchen is only one of several ways to enliven that festive spirit that abounds when families and friends come together during the holidays. Here are a few things to consider when planning for people in the kitchen for the holidays.

Color Ideas For Holiday Decorating In The Kitchen

Regardless of what colors the kitchen is for the rest of the year, this time of year allows the creative kitchen designer an endless array of options for adding holiday color. Basically, nothing clashes. Reds, greens, silvers, gold, and whites along with any combination of glitter and lights all seem to match around this time of year. While some kitchens may explode with colors and lights, others may follow a milder approach with only a little color. Either way, the decorations are always noticed and accentuate that feeling in the air and the overall happiness of the guests during the season.

Make Sure There are Adequate Seating Areas For Company

Since kitchens are generally adequately seated for the size of the household, it's a given that extra seating may need to be available at times for any planned festivities. And, extra chairs and tables can even be decorated in holiday colors and themes to fit the occasion. A great way to keep the kitchen ready for company is to do a bit of rearranging before the season and get the furniture in place. While the tables and chairs are not in use, they can be a great place to display treasured decorations and heirlooms passed down through the generations.

Dishes And Utensils Can Add An Extra Touch As Well

Everything from cups, plates, glasses, and silverware to serving trays can be decorated for the season. Whether they are purchased already made or maybe even a little more creative and handmade, festive plate-ware will always be noticed by those holiday revelers. There are even some great disposable and recycled options for dishes and silverware. Food just seems to look more appetizing when served on a decorated plate.

Keeping The Aroma Of The Holidays In The Kitchen

Those wonderful aromas of cookies baking or, maybe, just the hint of spices in the air is one of those memory inducing events that happen during the season. One way to keep that festive scent in the air is to simply cook those delicious goodies and let the natural aromas take over. Another way is to add some decorative and yuletide-smelling accents to the kitchen. Scented pine cones or festive potpourri are just a couple of the many creative ideas to help define and maintain that holiday atmosphere.

Keep Holiday Goodies On Hand And Displayed

There isn't much that can make a kitchen more inviting and hospitable than having a display of cookies on the counter in a decorative holiday container for family and guests to enjoy. Or, maybe it's a displayed fruitcake that nobody admits to eating. Yet, it always seems to disappear. Those holiday treats are always appreciated and will, certainly, keep everyone centered around the kitchen when entertaining.

The thing about memories is that you only get one chance to create them. Once the moment is gone, it's gone. And, while the memory that is missed will never be noticed, the memory that happens can be cherished forever. Life is about enjoying the simple things like spending time with family and friends and creating those special memories. Planning for those moments can take a bit of effort. But, the result of all that planning is the enjoyment of the moment as well as being able to cherish the memory that is created.

Showcasing Your Kitchen For The Holidays

The holidays are an amazing time of the year. Festivity reigns all around as the air is filled with excitement and a joyous anticipation of all the celebrations that are about to happen is felt everywhere. As the holidays approach, many people start to plan for all of the events and gatherings, especially if they are hosting any parties in their homes. Many people will traditionally have a gathering inviting their most cherished family and friends to celebrate the season with them. Since most parties almost always revolve around food, the kitchen will most likely be the hub of the entertainment area. And, of course, a proud host will want their kitchen to be spotless and decorated for the season. Here are some great kitchen cleaning tips that may help organize a host's holiday cleaning of the kitchen task.

Start At The Top

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. With all the cooking, snacking, and families walking through all day, it definitely sees its share of wear and tear. While most kitchens are surface cleaned often, preparing for holiday visitors may call for a deeper clean. Starting at the top of the room with the ceiling area and fixtures is one of many great kitchen cleaning tips. There's bound to be a little dust or stains and it's a good idea to clean from top to bottom for the best results. As the dust falls, the other areas of the kitchen are able to be cleaned more effectively without getting something dirty that has already been cleaned.

Get Inside All The Cabinets

The insides of the cabinets is one area that may not be cleaned as often as, maybe, the stove-top. But, over time, dust and crumbs may accumulate in those areas. Again, working top to bottom is the best approach. This chore can actually be multi-tasked as the host will need to take a thorough inventory of food supplies on hand as well as ascertaining whether or not any additional serving ware might be needed. Clearing out all the cabinets and thoroughly cleaning them will let the host know exactly what items are currently on hand.

Clean All Those Holiday Dishes

Those beautiful, festive serving plates and dishes have been sitting idle for a while. Getting them cleaned and ready for use is a great way to alleviate any extra, unneeded stress for the host. This task can also be done while cleaning the cabinets since the dishes will already be out of their storage areas.

Take A Good Look At The Walls

Most of the time, the walls will only need a light dusting. However, sometimes, stains or scratches might have appeared and gone unnoticed. Most hosts are trying to create a festive atmosphere for their guests and will want the walls looking their best as well. A little touch-up repairs may be in order. Often, fall is considered the best time to think about painting as a part of getting the house ready for the holidays.

Counter Tops Care

Countertops are, most likely cleaned several times a day. But, they can still benefit from a deep cleaning. Along with the multitude of countertop styles, there are just as many cleaning tips for effective countertops care. Traditional Formica counters are probably the easiest to maintain. As long as they aren't damaged, they will only need a good spray cleaner and sponge to keep them looking like new. Marble and slate countertops are also, generally, easy to maintain simply by effectively cleaning on a regular basis. Ceramic tile counter tops, while beautiful and ornate, can become compromised over time. The tiles may crack if damaged and the grout can pick up stains from the constant use. Tiles can be replaced fairly inexpensively and there are plenty of options on the market for effective cleaners to bring the grout back to life. Beautiful countertops will only enhance the overall look of the kitchen.

Detail Clean The Appliances

The stove, oven, microwave, and refrigerator are usually cleaned fairly regularly and may only need a little extra effort to make them shine. However, those small appliances may take a little more effort as they may have collected a bit of dust since they aren't used as often. It's best to have all those little things cleaned and ready for their inevitable use as all those holiday goodies are created and shared.

The Floors

Cleaning from the top to the bottom would end with the floors. The floors in the kitchen will take more abuse and usage than any other room in the house. From the treading of the feet of the family and friends to the spilled foods too, maybe, even pets and their occasional accidents, the kitchen floor will certainly need its fair share of upkeep. As long as there isn't any damage, it may just need a thorough cleaning and mopping. But, if there appears to be any damage, this would be great to also think about repairing or replacing a kitchen floor surface.

Creating cherished memories while honoring and celebrating individual beliefs is what the holidays are all about. Families and friends take the time out of their busy lives to get together and revel in the festivities. Sometimes, the most hospitable and sincere celebrations will take place in someone's home and inevitably revolve around the kitchen. These special moments can create scenes of loved ones enjoying the moment while either partaking in the holiday goodies or, maybe, even helping with their preparation. A well-prepared host will make sure that the kitchen is both clean and fully prepared for all of the extra activity that the season brings. Holiday cleaning of the kitchen shouldn't be too much of a chore as long as the basic, functional parts of the kitchen have been taken care of all year long.

When considering various ways to increase the overall value of your home or condo, kitchens and bathrooms tend to have the highest return on investment. While there are many do it yourself videos, having a professional remodel your kitchen or bathroom is the best route to take. One of the best things to do if you plan to sell your home, or just want to increase the value of your investment focus on bathroom upgrades/additions and kitchen enhancements.
When remodeling or upgrading kitchen/bathroom there are many upgrades you can add to make a huge difference. You can add a nicer toilet and bidet, double sink, garbage disposal, extra counter space, upgrade fixtures, add a backsplash, heated floors, additional storage space, upgrade or install shower heads, or a steam shower. The materials used for the actual floor is very important also regarding the value increase of the home. Porcelain tiling or ceramic is a good option for bathroom floors. Ceramic and porcelain are great options because they are water resistant and look good. They offer a nice textured look and are not too expensive. A vinyl sheet or traditional tile is another option to consider like ceramic it is waterproof and not terribly expensive. Stone flooring is another good option, while it can be a bit expensive they are very durable and can greatly enhance the look of the bathroom.
Bathrooms without mentioning are crucial to any modern home, despite this fact they are often overlooked. However, by updating your bathroom or even adding another bathroom will greatly increase the value of your home. When considering increasing your home's value, you have to decide if a remodel is best or a complete overhaul of everything in the existing space.
Before any upgrade to the kitchen/bathroom, you have to make sure the foundational related essential functionality is working correctly. Ensure all pipes leading to sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets are working properly, have the correct water pressure and don't have any leaks. You also have to make sure any electrical issue has been addressed and any structural related issues like any floor repairs, wall or ceiling issues are addressed.
Having a professional remodel your kitchen/bathroom is the best route because they have the necessary experience based on what you want to add or remove if there is enough room. There may be a need to tear down walls, add new walls, a professional electrician and or plumber may be necessary also.
Another essential step when upgrading your bathroom or kitchen is ensuring the color schemes match the rest of the house. If you are upgrading with the intention of selling your home or condo, it's a good idea to select neutral colors. Selecting neutral colors to allow potential buyers to add color schemes that suit their unique taste.
When dealing with bathroom upgrades or remodeling a great way to increase home value is to increase the size of the bathroom. Increasing the size of the bathroom can be accomplished by actually moving walls to increase the space, or even given an illusion as if space is bigger. To give the illusion of more bathroom space can be accomplished by replacing a bathroom with a standing shower. You can also make bathrooms appear larger by installing brighter light fixtures or adding lights around bathroom mirrors.
Kitchen upgrades can also be accomplished with a few upgrades here and there by a professional. Again if upgrading with the intent of selling your home or condo, it’s best to have neutral color schemes. You want to allow potential buyers to apply their own personal style to the kitchen. Countertops are essential to increase the value of the home by way of the kitchen. The countertops are what gives the kitchen that upscale look and is where most food preparation is done. Adding a good durable stone countertop can greatly enhance the look and feel of the kitchen. Granite, onyx, soapstone, granite, marble, slate, or travertine are all great options. Countertop materials vary in cost depending on the size needed, so consider both the costs and color when making a selection.
The kitchen sink is the centerpiece of the kitchen and a good sink can make a big difference when upgrading. Adding a stainless steel double sink that blends perfectly with the countertop can go a long way. Most potential home buyers immediately imagine themselves in the kitchen preparing meals and counter space is going to really brighten or damper their daydream. Another kitchen enhancement is to install a kitchen stove venting system. Stove vents not only enhance the functionality of the kitchen, by controlling smells from cooking overtime but can also increase home value and the appeal of your home to potential buyers. Another quick way to greatly increase the appeal of your kitchen is to upgrade kitchen appliances. Adding a new stove, refrigerator and other appliances give the kitchen an immediate “pop” and make the overall feel of the kitchen better.
Kitchen and bathroom upgrades or enhancements add the most value to your home. While these rooms tend to be the smallest rooms in the house, they have the biggest impact on the overall value of the home or condo.
Find the Right Professional to Remodel Your Kitchen or Bathroom

You have decided. It is time to remodel your kitchen or maybe that bathroom down the hall. Now the real factor comes into play. Should I do the job myself? Or should I hire a professional?

The advantages to an expert for remodeling kitchen/bathroom is the end result. Pick the right remodeler, and your stress level will drop immediately. The contractor can take ideas and turn the kitchen into the center of your home. Start small with maybe a bathroom remodel to understand the process. Either way, a professional can turn a picture or sketch into something you have dreamed about for a long time.

Remodeling and Home Values:

Are you planning on selling your home in the next two years? If so, then a kitchen or bathroom update is the way to go. Ask your expert for remodeling the cost to paint the cabinets, a new ceiling fan or maybe new vinyl flooring. There are plenty of other tips the contractor can give you once he sees the space.

80% of prospective home buyers, place the kitchen in their top three spaces, according to a recent survey. If you have decided to sell and raise the value by remodeling, there is no one size fits all. The contractor knows the local market better than anyone.

Staying in your home forever, then consider a full-blown remodel. Having a kitchen space, you love that will impact your life on a daily basis should be a priority. 50% of homeowners confessed they had more family time after a kitchen remodel.

Bring your professional to remodel kitchen/bathroom in on the process early. The contractor can suggest new colors and appliances that would fit your space. New technologies can also recommend which can make your life safer and comfortable. The remodeler can also help with design if involved early.

Kitchen/Bathroom Design:

Hiring a professional team will make all the difference in the world. Asking a lot of questions and letting your remodeling team give you the answers can make for a long-term relationship. You have a lot of options, relying on the professional you will not have to guess or compromise. The final results will be a bathroom or kitchen more convenient and efficient.

Professional remodelers can transform an idea into your dream home. An example, if you have a vintage cape cod that needs a complete remodel. Professionals can adhere to the historical significance of your home and preserve the heritage.

Bringing a professional to remodel kitchen/bathroom is the best way to show your personal tastes. Transforming a home is difficult, make sure you bring your ideas to life.

New Technologies:

There are so many new technologies coming into the home; it is impossible to keep up with them all. That is the job of an expert for remodeling, making sure you aware of all the new tech.

Your refrigerator can now play music while you cook. Or it can make out a shopping list based on the contents. Connect your range to the wi-fi and control it from anywhere. The advancements are mind-boggling. An expert for remodeling knows all these trends are coming to the home. Their job is to design a kitchen or bathroom that fits into your lifestyle, not the other way around.

You want to add aesthetic value to your home and be energy efficient. Remodeling can encompass a lot more than just adding a stove or new ceiling fan. The right professional can guide you into new trends, appliances, lighting and a lot more. It is their job to help you make a good looking choice and a smart one as well.

Finding the Right Professional:

Once the Decision has been made, how do you go about finding the advantages to an expert with the perfect fit? Start as you would with any major purchase. Get on the internet and start reading and writing down what you find.

The first question to ask yourself, Is this a Good Fit? Can the contractor handle the job? Some carpenters will advertise they can build a complete home when all they can really do is install cabinets. The office should look professional for the type of remodeling job you have in mind. All a carpenter needs is a tool bag and a painter a truck with ladders. If you are searching for a professional contractor, there needs to be an office.

Set the terms. After countless hours of research and working on the phone, set up terms with your professional. The contractor will have forms they are comfortable using, do not sign them unless you completely understand and agree. Have your money lined up to go when the contract is signed. Make sure there are stage and compliance checks. Depending on the size of the remodel the contractor will have a lot at stake.

After the job has been completed, the check signed and the contractor has gone home. Sit back and have a much-needed cup of coffee.

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