Kitchen Design Issues To Avoid

By administrator On June 3rd, 2009

For some reason we tend to approach kitchen remodels with the greatest passion and anything going wrong after our ideas have been executed causes us major distraction. Often it is nothing serious, small stuff like some chipped paint or grease marks on stainless steel appliances. Here are some things that you can avoid to lessen heartburn later on.

The first thing is to be involved; do not give the carte blanche to decide on what to do. You are paying so you make the decisions, of course…informed decisions made in consultation with the contractor. Left to their own devices, contractors are liable to place the dishwasher away from the sink.

See that you consider the durability of the material. Soapstone is soft and if you use in around the sink, then don’t wash heavy cooking pots in the sink or the stone will chip. Countertop material durability is an important consideration.

Placing wooden cabinetry above the sink is a big no no. The steam from liquids that you pour into the sink while cooking will invariably affect the wood. Also water sloshing in the sink will hurt the wood.

When adding new appliances, consider present family size and any near future additions; having the right-sized fridge can save you a lot of hassles if you have four kids and two adults in the house. Check out energy efficient appliances.

Research; don’t go for a material or an appliance because your neighbor has installed it. If your neighbor has added a granite countertop, it does not mean you too should go for it; especially if you work regularly with glassware. If your feet are worn, then don’t go for tiled flooring. Consider wood. If you wish to use certain out-of-the way materials like bamboo then ensure that it is mature. Preferably do not use it in places where traffic is going to be high. Kitchen floor is a high traffic place in most homes.

Avoid using material susceptible to heat and moisture near the cooking area. For example thermofoil on cabinets close to the gas will melt over time. It is important to ensure that the cooking range is hooded so that smoke and steam finds an outlet.

With appliances it is worthwhile to go in for a quiet noise-free model; these may cost more. So a dishwasher that makes around 46 – 49 decibels of noise is worth the additional dollars.

With kitchen remodeling, if you wish to reduce the number of regrets that you will have later on then first of all have a clear idea of what you want; then budget accordingly for the material and labor. Get expert opinion and then finally go with your gut feel.

Kitchen Countertop Options – part one

By administrator On June 2nd, 2009

The kitchen countertop adds functionality and glamour to your kitchen; there’s a whole range of options available in terms of materials, design, and of course cost. Here’s a lowdown on what’s available in the market for you.

Engineered stone is durable and tough like granite and can take a lot of abuse. But it’s cold and hard like all stone. It gives the natural look of stone but does not ask for the maintenance associated with stone. This type of stone is resistant to heat and stains. It does not scratch and can take a lot of wear. Its cost can range from $60 to $120 for per foot installed.

Natural stone is one of the all-time favorites and has been used since ages. Marble, granite, and limestone are time-honored materials. Natural stone offers a wide variety of options in colors, grains, textures. This type can fit in with all design schemes and hence offers versatility to your remodeling plan. It can set you back by $60 to $120 per square foot installed.

People are going for concrete because it is different and lighter than stone. Also low-end concrete is not very expensive. $60 per square foot is standard rate. Concrete can be embellished with stones, tiles, various designs, and can be painted. Besides concrete does not show any seams; it can be applied smoothly.

Of all man-made alternatives, stainless steel is perhaps the most durable. It does not rust and nor does it discolor. It is very easy to maintain and can take a lot of abuse. Acids, vinegar, coffee, juices, etc will not stain it. Bacteria cannot grow on it. The flip side to stainless steel is that it has a cold and sterile feel; also smudges and surface abrasions will show on it.

Copper too is a metal option but exudes warmth unlike steel. It is non-porous and thus does not attract bacteria. Copper acquires a green patina over time because of oxidation. Like steel, copper will also scratch. Its cost like that of steel ranges between $130 and $200. Customization and your region may add to or reduce the cost.

Ceramic tile is another option that offers a lot of scope for customization because of the size, shape, and color varieties available. The tiles are easy to repair and individual tiles can easily be replaced if damaged. However maintenance can be a problem as the grouting needs regular cleaning or it could foster bacteria. You may also have to buy extra tiles and store them as they may be out of stock later on. Custom layouts and specialty tiles will cost more.

Home Remodeling – How to Manage the Operations

By administrator On June 1st, 2009

You need two things to get a home remodel done – money and good interpersonal skills. Why do you need good interpersonal skills? To get the work done! Yup, unless you’re doing a total DIY job, you need to have good man management skills because you will be interacting with a host of people including the contractor, sub-contractor, workers, building inspectors, etc.

If you and the building contractor have a clear understanding of the expectations of the remodeling job then you will begin the job on the right note. You really want to avoid surprises as these can lead to an escalation in the budget and time required for doing the job.

A proper remodeling specification plan should be the blueprint for reference. It should include the work to be done. Design specifications are key. You can download specification sheets from the net. Specifications will be for the areas of the house that you need to remodel.

First, the building specification plan should list the size of each room and also the type. Mention the layout, the plumbing, electrical wiring, flooring, door and window types and placement, and also the brand and make of appliances and materials used.

The spec sheet should mention the type and style of your house – it could be a Tudor-style house or a bungalow inspired by French architecture. Mention the number of floors. Are you planning to add a basement? What is the height of the ceiling on each floor?

Are you planning to assign new roles to the rooms? Will you shift the kitchen and master bedroom upstairs? If so, then what type of closets are you planning to add to the bedroom – walk-in or standard? Are there any special rooms that you wish to add? Like a breakfast room or a sun room? It is important that you identify rooms that are supposed to be adjacent to one another. This is an important aspect of planning a layout. So a master bedroom and master bathroom are together; the kitchen and dining room are close by, etc. At the same time you have to identify rooms that should not be next to one another – for example kitchen and library, bathroom and living room, etc.

Pay special attention to basement and attic remodeling, if you plan to carry out these. Note if any remodeling that you will do is capable of affecting the structural integrity of your home.