Replace / Remodel Bathroom Cabinets

By administrator On January 28th, 2009

When remodeling your bathroom there are two things you can do – replace your old cabinets with new ones or upgrade your existing ones. If your existing bathroom cabinets are structurally sound and they provide with the space that you need then you don’t really have to break the bank doing a bathroom remodel, you can seriously consider the option of refurnishing the bathroom cabinets.

You can start with replacing the cabinet doors; this is something that even Do-It-Yourself remodeling enthusiasts can do. Measure the dimensions of the cabinet that needs upgrading; purchase replacement doors based on those measurements. It is a good idea to purchase finished doors with pre-installed hinges. When you remove the old doors you may wish to add putty to certain areas of the cabinet where there are cracks or holes and sand the surface to rejuvenate it.

Remember to sand in the direction of the grain. You can add varnish or paint it; but remember to maintain consistency with the look of the cabinet doors. Adjust and screw the hinges to fit the cabinet and you’re done.

When you decide to do a DIY remodel remember to install the corner cabinets first; this will give you a perspective of the space. If there is any electrical wiring or plumbing to be done, it can be done after you have installed the cabinets; however install flooring before you start the cabinet work. You may save time by labeling parts that arrive unassembled from the manufacturer. If the wall on which you intend to place the cabinets has an uneven surface or some bumps, you need to smoothen the surface first. Fasten cabinets meant for carrying heavier stuff to the wall studs. Use more than two screws that can go inside the wall studs by at least two inches.

Wall studs hidden behind the walls are usually spaced 16” or 24” apart so in order to locate these measure 16” from the corner and then tap the area, the sound should tell you if there is a wall stud behind the wall. Or you can buy a device called a stud finder which emits a beep when it passes by a stud behind the wall. If you have plan and elevation maps of your house, use them to locate wires, plumbing, and other obstructions that may come in the way of installing cabinets in your bathroom.

How to Buy the Right Kitchen Cabinets

By administrator On January 27th, 2009

If you are informed on the right type of kitchen cabinets best suited to your kitchen remodeling needs as well as your budget, then you stand a good chance of getting the remodeling done fast and economically.

Once you decide to remodel your kitchen, your focus should be on the twin elements of functionality and design. Cabinets perform the function of storage. In kitchens, they hold pots, pans, utensils and sundry items of use in a kitchen.

Kitchen cabinets are made from many materials such as hardwood and laminate and come in dozens of finishes, different storage capacities, door types, etc. The price of a cabinet depends upon these factors.

Depending upon your tastes and space available in the kitchen, you can consider ready-to-assemble cabinets or have a carpenter prepare them for you in front of your eyes.

Two main design types that are present in the market are frame- and frameless-cabinets. Framed cabinets have a frame around them made from hardwood. Framed cabinets are durable. Frameless cabinets, also known as European style cabinets, offer more versatility in terms of storage options, design, and for covering with materials such as wood veneer and plastic laminates. If you’re going for a ready-to-assemble cabinet, chances are that it will be a frameless cabinet.

Consider the size, what’s the most appropriate-sized base- or wall-cabinet for your kitchen. Usually cabinet manufacturers offer cabinets that start at 9” and go on to 48” in 3” increments. The heights can be up to 24” for over sinks and stoves type cabinets and up to 36” for above-counter type cabinets.

Since you are paying to install a quality product, learn where to look for signs that the manufacturer has compromised on quality. The kitchen cabinet drawers are a good place to start with; check them for the quality of what’s inside and how well the joints have been made. Extend them completely to see if there are any mismatched woods used. The drawers should extend smoothly, for this they need to be run on good-quality ball bearings and not cheap plastic runners.

Also check the cabinet doors. They should swing open smoothly and the hinges should be steady. Remember that for most cabinets you will be paying upfront so any defects or shortcomings in workmanship.

Home Improvement Costs For Bostonians

By administrator On January 26th, 2009

Like with every city in the US, Boston, the cradle of liberty and the site of the Boston Tea party has its own trends when it comes to home remodeling. Given below are some of the key home remodeling ideas current in Boston – the ones that can get you the maximum bang for your buck.

A kitchen remodel means working on a room that is central to keeping the family together. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding upon remodeling themes for the kitchen. In Boston, an average kitchen remodel would cost around $30,000 and a minor remodel will set you back by $12,000 which is lower than the national average for minor remodels, it stands at a little less than $19,000. However, a major remodel that covers architectural designs and major interior refurbishment, the costs can touch $60,000.

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are the best place to put your remodeling money into, particularly if you are looking at it from a resale point of view. In Boston, the average cost of a bathroom remodel is around $15,000. The extent of remodel and materials used can jack the price of a bathroom remodel to $44,000.

For the past couple of seasons, one remodel that has yielded maximum benefits for Bostonians is basement remodeling. And for Red Sox fans, a basement with a home theater system could be just the thing to make their days. There is a lot of creativity that can go into a basement remodel and such high-end creativity can set you back by $50,000 in Boston. A basement remodel is like an extra room addition with valuable square feet added, there is a lot you can do with your basement if you are willing to spend $50,000 on it.

One remodel that is more an issue of requirement than choice is roofing. If the tiles and shingles are missing or the concrete has developed cracks, you have no option but to go in for repairs. Roof repairs left unchecked can lead to escalating costs. Instead act in a timely manner can good for new asphalt roofing which for Bostonians will cost well under $9,000 and the project will take no more than two days.

A cool tip to remember is that go in for the remodeling when rates are at their lowest, i.e. in the winters season when business for the remodelers is down. Don’t wait till Spring, coz that’s when the costs begin to climb again.

Finance For Your Home Improvement Projects

By administrator On January 17th, 2009

There are many options available to an individual who wishes to go in for a home improvement project. Home improvement or remodels are exercises that need to be done right so you need to plan for them. No point in doing them half-heartedly; if you have your heart set on a granite countertop in the kitchen or a separate shower in the bathroom then go for it, you have finance options available. Read on.

For small amounts, credit cards are handy. You can use them fast without having to worry about paperwork or appraisal costs.

You can tap into the existing equity value of your home to avail home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).With this loan option, interest payments are tax-deductible. However, home equity loans are seldom offered to DIY home remodelers as such work is difficult to appraise. HELOC loans offer flexibility in terms of money that you can withdraw; this is useful for ongoing home remodel projects where project costs may vary. HELOCs function as revolving lines of credit; you can withdraw exact amounts and repay them to gain tax advantage on the interest amounts. Another advantage of HELOCs is that the interest rates charged are lower than those charged by credit cards.

Check if you can borrow against your retirement funds; the interest rates are low. However you will invite penalties if you leave your job before repaying your loan. You also have a time period of five years to repay your loan.

Your life insurance policies can be used to finance your home improvement and you can obtain cash fast as there are will not be a credit check; but it may affect the benefits your kin will receive in case of your demise before you repay the loan amount.

The federal Housing Administration provides loans for essential improvements to the house such as adding a pathway for wheelchairs, etc.

Another option, a slightly risky one is to avail contractor loans in which the contractor gets paid upfront and you end up with little or no leverage if the work is not satisfactory.

Home Improvements That Repay The Investment

By administrator On January 16th, 2009

There are mainly two reasons for undertaking a home improvement job – to sell your home or to make your lifestyle more comfortable. If you are planning to sell your home you need to be sure about the remodels that will enable you to get maximum returns. There’s no point in sinking money into a remodel project that does not offer value to prospective buyers.
It’s common knowledge that kitchen and bathroom remodels cost a lot of money but at the same time it is these remodels that will recoup maximum costs when the house is sold. Even minor remodels to a kitchen where only cabinet doors and door handles are changed can add to the value of a kitchen.
The returns for a remodel depend upon your locality, area, and the house you stay in. For example if it’s a small house, a room addition such as a bedroom can really help in boosting your houses’ sale value. A bedroom addition to a small house will repay more than 100% of its cost. Adding a second storey also scores nicely in the “cost vs. value” evaluation. It will recoup around 83% of its cost at the time of selling.

Basement, garage, and attic remodels do not score heavily in terms of cost recovery. Home owners do not benefit much by converting their garage into a bedroom. The average cost recovery for these remodels is in the range of 62% – 72%. In fact you might actually have a hard time trying to sell a home with a garage converted into a bedroom.

If you convert some space into a home office and then while selling it you land a buyer who’s a work-at-home type guy like you then you’ve really hit paydirt because a home office remodel is tax deductible, your earnings while working from home will pay for it, and when the time comes to sell the house, you will once make money from the sale.

So, decide upon what you wish to remodel, do not spend on amenities that offer peripheral value. The amount you recoup will also depend upon the prevalent market conditions and how soon after the remodel you sell your home.

Remodeling a House To Sell It

By administrator On January 15th, 2009

A home remodel is a major financial decision that requires careful consideration. If your remodel is for the express purpose of selling the house then you need to think from the perspective of the prospective buyer. Remodel – not because you’re going to spend a great length of time in that house, but do so because you are going to move out and you want the remodel to add to the sales value.

Consider the length of time you plan to stay in a house before you decide to put money into any major repairs. If your length of stay is not substantial then you have to consider the renovations from the point of view of resale and the value that it will yield.

From the resale perspective, you have to ensure that the house has curb appeal. It should look good from a distance, if it does not look good from far you will not be able to get visitors to come in to check what’s inside. Landscaping, a paint job and a spruced up front entrance help in making the exterior look good.

Check how your house compares with neighboring homes; if all homes in the vicinity are double storied and you plan to put up a single storied home for sale then you are starting off at a disadvantage. You should consider a remodel that puts you on par with the other homes in the locality.

Remodel your house such that you have some distinctive features to talk about. Sometimes buyers have an emotional attachment to houses with basements, so if you have a basement then remodel it to make it fit for human habitation. A fireplace, a spiral staircase, a study area etc are ideas that can add appeal to your remodel that is specific to selling the place. Consult real estate agents to get ideas on what buyers are most likely to look for and see if you can add those elements to your house. However, you will need to strike a balance between adding distinctiveness and demand. Do not go in for outlandish remodels that are not likely to find favor with buyers.

As a house owner you should be aware of what requires a major renovation job, what needs a minor touch up and what aspects are best left alone. This will help you apportion money accordingly and come up with a remodel best suited to convert a prospect into a buyer.

Basic Basement Remodel Considerations

By administrator On January 14th, 2009

If there is one area in your house that you can remodel to reflect your personality in the truest sense, it’s the basement; maybe even your garage. The basement can be maximum fun to remodel once you have an idea or a theme in mind. Whether a family man or a teen or a dad of a teen, the basement is your den where you can loll on the sofa and listen to your kind of music, read your kind of stuff without having to worry about the neighboring aunt blundering into your private space.

A basement remodel is affordable and gives you additional living space. The prime considerations here are ensuring that the area is dry and that there is no leakage. Dampness must be avoided and places from where moisture seeps in should be sealed, usually moisture creeps in from the floor or the crawl spaces.If the moisture problem is a minor one, a simple water-lock paint job can take care of it. If there is a gutter on the floor that empties into a drain then you can raise the flooring by adding a sub-flooring. Eliminating moisture is also important from the point of view of adding electrical wiring.

Do not neglect leaks in the foundation walls as these can spread and sap the strength of the walls – besides you never know when a leak may turn into a small flood. These are but some small challenges that you will face when trying to turn the basement into a space habitable for humans. You can do more with your basement if you live in parts of the USA where most homes have basements, this is because remodeling contractors in such places know all about converting basements into rooms of your choice, be they bedrooms, media rooms, dens, or just additional living space.

You may or may not wish to add walls – walls in the basement offer no structural value but are useful as space for adding racks and receptacles on to, they also help in temperature control. Walls also add to the aesthetic appeal of a basement. If you do not wish to add walls to your basement, you can opt for steel studs as these are moisture resistant and can be used for holding electrical wires.

Basements usually stay cool in summer because they are located below the ground and if your home furnace is located in the basement then winter chills are also taken care of. You can use electrical baseboard heaters to provide heat if you do not have a furnace arrangement.

Features of a Good Bathroom Remodel

By administrator On January 13th, 2009

A bathroom remodel or redesign has a lot more to it than just adding expensive fixtures. A bathroom remodel is often a very expensive proposition and therefore requires careful consideration. It’s expensive to remodel a bathroom because the bathroom is often not a very visible part of the house and therefore neglected for years. You can split the remodel into what you can do yourself and what needs to be given to the contractor. Changing a plumbing system or moving a load bearing wall can be expensive and need to be planned out in advance. A bathroom remodel these days often takes a bathroom from being a utilitarian space into being a place where you can relax and unwind in luxury.

If you keep in mind the following points when going in for a bathroom remodel you will certainly raise the profile of your bathroom and increase the resale value of your house. If your bathroom is a little cramped you should consider softer color schemes on the walls, remove shelves and accessories that appear to come in the way, install seamless glass doors that add to the illusion of space, structure lighting – both artificial and natural to give an impression of spaciousness.

The reason why a remodeled bathroom adds to the resale value of a house is because of the luxuries that it can contain. These include a bath tub, a fancy vanity, elegant bathroom mirrors, shower, etc. Use materials that are easy to clean and maintain because cleaning the bathroom is a chore that most people would rather avoid. Check out mold- and stain-resistant materials.

A good bathroom remodel need not be an expensive affair if you are handy with tools and have an idea of what you need to do. A good paint job can spruce up the bathroom nicely and its something that most of us can do. Install a mirror that goes with the look and decor of your bathroom and it will do a lot to improve the mood and also add to the illumination in the space. If adding a bathroom sink or vanity is too much of a chore then you may want to consider the addition of a faucet. There are many contemporary faucet designs and models available and you will surely find one that goes with your bathroom’s interior design. Select a faucet that does not require additional work on your countertop.

A little research online will also go a long way in helping you come up with a good bathroom remodel.


How to Plan a DIY Kitchen Remodel

By administrator On January 6th, 2009

A kitchen remodel is a surefire way to add value to the price of your home if you are planning to sell it. Even otherwise, a kitchen remodel may be the need for your house if you have neglected it for some time. Depending upon your comfort level and expertise with handling cutting, sanding, assembling, and finishing tools you can embark upon a kitchen remodel  – a do-it-yourself project that will not only spruce up your kitchen but also save you megabucks while you are at it.

You can cut down the remodeling costs by around 50% to 60% if you choose to go the DIY way for remodeling your kitchen. There is no dearth of resources for ideas on a layout for the kitchen. You can search online, refer home improvement magazines, ask friends, and check TV shows to get an idea on how to make the best use of the available space.

Once you have a sketch of the layout ready, plan a time-frame for the remodeling and work accordingly. Do not attempt things that you feel are beyond you. If replacing the kitchen door goes beyond your capabilities then by all means take help from an expert. If the job involves moving heavy appliances such as the refrigerator then get the neighbor to help you. Of course there will be many things that you will be able to accomplish with some grit and imagination – you might even develop a liking for the process and smells associated with something like refacing kitchen cabinets.

A few cool things that you can do to your kitchen to spruce it up include adding a kitchen island, changing the sink, adding new cabinets or refacing the old ones, changing the kitchen countertop, painting the kitchen walls, etc.

Remember the chief lures of opting for a DIY kitchen remodel are the satisfaction of getting things done by your own hand and the cost savings. Depending upon the level of remodeling you may have to avail the services of a finishing carpenter, plumber, or electrician.