Take These Kitchen Design Elements into Consideration for Your Kitchen Remodel

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The importance of the kitchen means that the design will always be a top priority. This is not just for functionality, but for comfort as well. Designing your kitchen does not need to be difficult, but you can feel overwhelmed by the extensive choices. Here are some interesting elements that are worth your consideration. 

  1. Black and gold combination. Finding the right color combination is always a challenge, so consider this classic blend. It works better in spacious kitchens, but it can be used just as effectively with limited space. Choose a light color for the floor to give the darker tones a lift, and incorporate different textures.

  2. The simplicity of black and white. This is a tried and true color combination that gives any kitchen a clean, functional look. It is particularly effective with an open, airy kitchen with glass panels. Consider glass front cabinets or open shelving to give the space more depth.

  3. Blend chrome with white. This is another strong combination that has unending appeal. It is simple, yet beautiful, and creates the kind of sleek look that you want in a kitchen. Best of all, you can keep this look for years without it seeming dated.

  4. Make use of space. If you have a lot of space, make use of it to create strong visuals. White palettes and sleek lines will instantly grab attention. Use white workspaces and add color sparingly in some areas. A roomy kitchen can also benefit from a chandelier, and use large windows to let in plenty of natural light. 

  5. Add wood. Wood accents can be very effective in a mostly white kitchen. The dark tones complement the whites, adding warmth and a hint of nature to the space. Warm wood tones can come from a variety of accessories as well such as cutting boards and spice racks. 

  6. Tall cabinets for small kitchens. Avoiding confusion and clutter in a small kitchen is important. Use cabinets that go up to the ceiling to make the most of your space and to keep it organized. If there is a kitchen island, it should perform as many functions as possible such as storage and meal prep.

  7. A minimalist approach. Avoid going too deeply into design concepts by choosing simple features to enhance the look of the space. Wood can play a big role in this approach due to its natural warmth and simple beauty. Skip the cabinets in favor of open shelving, and go with simple lines throughout.

  8. Rustic charm. Rely on nature based tones and elements to create visual warmth. Wood and natural stone elements will help to bolster this theme. Keep shelving simple, and use accessories that have earthy tones and based appliances. Avoid elegant or luxurious lighting choices. Simple pendants or a basic chandelier can help to complete the look.

While the kitchen lends itself to creative design choices, do no try to do too much, especially if it is small. Consult a designer for help if you have difficulty coming up with the right theme.

Make Kitchen Remodeling Fun Again with These Great Ideas

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As the range of kitchen products has continued to expand, some homeowners have lost sight of the enjoyment of remodeling this space. It is easy to feel overburdened with the different choices and the fact that you have to make these different elements work together. However, the following tips will remind you how much fun working on this space can be. 

  1. Mix materials. Many people want to avoid being too experimental with their kitchen designs. You can make missteps with this concept, so try to keep the look simple, but modern. Warm wood and cool metals go well together. Consider a butcher block countertop and metallic drawer fronts and chrome appliances. The contrast will be interesting and instantly grab attention. 

  2. All white. White kitchens still have a lot of appeal due to the clean and efficient look. Consider a blend of whites and off-white colors for the best effect. An abundance of natural light will optimize the look, so consider putting in larger windows to make this possible. The result will be an airy and cheerful space. 

  3. White with black accents. Another take on the mostly white kitchen is to support it with black accents. This works well in larger kitchens, but it can make smaller kitchens seem larger. 

  4. Experiment with black. Black is a great accent color that can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it on the walls as an accent color, or try black appliances in a white kitchen. Black with gold accents also works well in the kitchen

  5. Go rustic. A rustic kitchen does not mean that it will look old or outdated. A rustic kitchen adds warmth and character to the home. It is an inviting setting for anyone who loves to entertain. Ideas like farm tables, stone floors and weathered beams keep your creativity going as you decorate.

  6. Backsplash ideas. This functional element allows you to add even more to the design. Instead of the traditional types, consider something bold for your backsplash like gunmetal or obsidian tiles. While they are dark this can be easily offset by other elements of the space. 

  7. Opaque glass. This adds an interesting design to kitchen cabinets, and it is a good alternatives ot putting items on full display. There is a range in transparency, so you can decide how much you want to show. It can work with stainless steel, wood or painted cabinets. 

These are just a few of the many ideas you can use to bring some fun back kitchen remodeling. Start by setting a budget, so you will have an idea of what kinds of changes are with reach. 

Make Cleaning Your Bathroom a Snap with These Easy-to-Clean Remodeling Ideas 

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The next time you think about remodeling your bathroom, consider including some easy to clean features. So, what are some the things you can do to help make cleaning day a breeze?

Handle Held Shower Sprayer

After you are finished showering, you can easily rinse the shower enclosure and floor off before getting out of the stall. You can also install this type of shower sprayer if you have a bath and do the same quick cleaning. 

The Right Tiles and Countertop Material

When cleaning a bathroom, the type of tile and countertop help determines how quickly you can clean. 

Make sure that the material used for the countertop is sealed. This will prevent liquid can seeping through ad staining the surface. 

Quality material keeps their finish for years, so cleaning is quicker and easier as well. There is no need to buy and use expensive cleaners to make surface look good. Solid-surfaces for shower walls remove the need for grout which will get discolored over time and need extra cleaning to look good. 

Use Large Tiles

Keeping grout clean and preventing discoloration is a pain. One way to minimize this is to use large tiles in your bathroom. This means less grout to deal with when cleaning the floor. 

Frameless Glass Shower Enclosure

Metal frames on shower enclosures can get gunky and dirty looking easily. These frames can be difficult and time-consuming to clean. Having enclosures that do not have frames remove one area that normally needs attention. 

Of course, glass requires cleaning, but a squirt of dishwashing and vinegar will make wiping down easy. Of course, using doors that are not made of glass is also another idea worth exploring. 

Types of Toilets

Wall mounted toilets makes it easy to clean under them without having to bend and scrub around the base. Toilets with removable seats are also worth considering. You can easily slide off the 

Wall Mounted Fixtures

A wall mounted faucet or toilet makes cleaning the floor a lot easier and quicker.  

In fact, you don’t even have to do a full renovation to benefit from some of the ideas above. Whether you like cleaning or not, these ideas will free up hours normally used to keep the bathroom clean. The best way to end up with a bathroom that is easy to clean is to take the time to design and think about what you want before starting the remodeling project. 


Kitchen Remodeling Trends that Last a Lifetime

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Homeowners often remodel parts of their home to keep up with changing trends. A little research will show that many trends reemerge at some point. There are even some concepts that have stood the test of time, and are still used in many kitchens today. Here are some safe remodeling ideas you can use to keep your kitchen looking up-to-date for years to come. 

  1. The backsplash. This feature is becoming even more important in kitchens today. They have become more of a design focal point, instead of just a functional feature. Homeowners have shown a willingness to experiment with bold designs and styles such as art deco, mosaic and marble. In many kitchens, backsplashes are now larger as well. 

  2. Efficient cabinets. Cabinets are not relied on as heavily as they were in the past. This has led to more focus on improving their functionality to make the best use of storage. This means deeper drawers, pull and slide out features such as racks garbage cans. They are also made more efficient with dividers which make it easier to organize kitchen tools. 

  3. Quartz for countertops. Everyone wants a countertop that is sturdy, stain resistant and tough enough to hold up in even the busiest kitchens. The popularity of quartz has not diminished as it offers these qualities, and it is an attractive addition to any kitchen.. It is also affordable, making it great for long term value. 

  4. Dark or gray cabinet finishes. These finishes can help to simply almost any remodeling project. Since they can suit almost any décor or color scheme, it will be one less choice to worry about. Gray or dark cabinets can give the space a dramatic and sleek look. 

  5. Layered lighting. The kitchen is a special part of the home, and the lighting choices should reflect this. One source of general lighting is not enough for this space. Task lighting should be used for work areas, and it is now standard to incorporate under-cabinet lights as well.  

  6. The kitchen island. While some current remodeling plans and kitchen designs do not have islands, this is still a mainstay in many home. It makes any kitchen more functional by adding more storage and a dining area. It serves as an important design element as well. 

With these features, your kitchen will remain beautiful and trendy, and will always inspire conversation. You can combine these with some new kitchen trends to make a bold statement. 

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas that Will Stop You in Your Tracks

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One reason why people sometimes put off kitchen remodeling is that they struggle to come up with the right ideas. It is not as difficult as you might think, although it should not be taken lightly either. Sometimes, a kitchen can benefit from even modest changes. You should not feel that if you have a small budget, that a remodeling plan is pointless. Here are some of the ideas that will pay off in a big way. 

  1. Art Deco Backsplash. This is a good way to add some bold color if you feel that this is lacking. The interesting lines and geometric shapes will provide an interesting visual. Parts of the backsplash can pick up colors from other parts of the kitchen for a more cohesive look. 

  2. Butcher Block. For a new countertop idea, consider using wood. It has natural anti-bacterial properties and it can add some much needed warmth. You can sand and refinish it to get rid of scratches and keep it looking beautiful. 

  3. Give it more Light. If you turn on the kitchen lights in the daytime, your remodeling plans should address this. Put in natural light to add more cheer to the space. If the kitchen has no exterior wall, consider using installing a turret to improve the lighting. 

  4. Two tones for cabinets. If the cabinets need to be refreshed, there is no need to stick to one color. Two-toned cabinets will give the kitchen an instant visual lift. This look is not common in kitchens, so it will get some attention. It is best to use the lighter tone at the top and the darker color at the bottom. 

  5. A new countertop. You can refresh the look of the entire kitchen just by putting in a new countertop. Great options include marble, quartz, solid surface ceramic tile and laminate. 

  6. New appliances. You can change the appliances and avoid making major changes to the kitchen itself. Stainless steel is a popular finish, but it shows smudges and fingerprints easily. Look for products that offer energy savings. Black stainless steel, white and graphite are also worth consideration. 

  7. Period influence. Take inspiration from history to update the look of your kitchen. Ideas to get this look include painted finishes, usually greys or blues, bronze knobs and pulls and pencil molding on drawers. Natural wood, for the countertop of floor will help to complete the look. 

These ideas range in cost, so start by setting a budget. Stick to changes that do not involve moving plumbing or new electrical work to keep your costs down. 

Design the Perfect Kitchen for Entertaining with These Great Ideas

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The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home, and this even more evident when you entertain guests. Even a small gathering can prove challenging without an organized kitchen. You will need to have enough room to move around, and more if someone will be helping you. Ample storage is essential, and you need to have quick access to the items you need. 

If you plan to entertain guests, you should design your kitchen with this in mind. This should also be supported by the appliances you choose. Here are some ideas that will ensure that you have the right type of kitchen for this purpose.

  1. Make use of the island. This can be more than a meal prep and storage area. You can use this area to for seating your guests. This can be a time saver as you move between the stove and the island. 

  2. Use nearby space. If there is space next to the kitchen you can convert it into an entertainment area. With seating and maybe a small bar area, you can have plenty of space to use the kitchen without anyone getting in the way. 

  3. Open floor plan. Opening up the space creates ease of movement and allows you to have an organized gathering. This may require the removal of a wall so the kitchen floor space can be expanded. 

  4. Get the right appliances. To make a gathering memorable, you will need all the right tools. The appliances you choose will play a role in your ability to entertain successfully. A few ideas you can consider include a wine cooler, coffee machine and an ice machine. 

  5. Spacious countertop. You will need a suitable work area if you will make meals for more people than just your family. Meal preparation for large groups can be chaotic, so make sure you have enough room to get the work done. The material should also be easy to clean, as when you make meals in a hurry, there are bound to be spills. 

  6. Choose the right lighting. A kitchen should have different types of lighting for comfort and meal preparation. If you will use this space to entertain guests, keep this in mind when sorting through the lighting choices. Dimmable lighting may be ideal for some gatherings. This will allow control for a variety of activities. 

You can find plenty of great ideas online for making the most of your kitchen. Contractors can also give you some ideas on how to make this space more inviting for guests. 

Kitchen Remodeling: What to Keep and What to Replace

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Let’s say that you’re getting ready to remodel your kitchen, but your cabinets are still in great shape. Or maybe your backsplash is less than a year old, so you really don’t want to lose it. Whatever part of your existing kitchen that you still love can usually be kept, even if it needs to be moved as part of the remodeling process. Let’s look at some real advice from others who have remodeled their kitchen with great results.

  • Hardware: Hardware is one of those finishing touches that make a big visual impact on the finished kitchen. If you’ve recently replaced your hardware or if you have custom hardware that you just can’t let go of, please feel free to keep it. We’ll help you design your kitchen around this focal point. Otherwise, let’s find some amazing hardware to go with the new kitchen!

  • Cabinets: Your wood cabinets can be painted or sanded down and refinished. Painting them provides a nice, uniform appearance where sanding them to refinish gives you the opportunity to keep that wood grain you love. Cabinets are one of the items that may cost a good amount if they need to be replaced. So if you love your cabinets, refinish them, and allocate the funds to other areas. 

  • Appliances: Most remodeling projects include new appliances. It’s not a written rule of course, but it’s just the way things usually go. Choose appliances that work well with the way you use your kitchen. You may need that 6-burner, double-oven range if you do a lot of cooking or if you host a lot of parties. On the other hand, if you rarely cook because of your busy lifestyle, a simple 4-burner range with oven is an excellent addition. The bottom line is - don’t let yourself be pulled into the appliance war by all the pretty bells and whistles that you aren’t really going to make use of in the long run.

  • Countertop: This is where most homeowners want to put a good chunk of the budget. The cabinets and countertops are the primary things visitors see, and the most-used spaces in the kitchen. Take the opportunity to look at several types of countertop materials so you can make a well-informed decision when the time comes. 

  • Drawers: Change some of your base cabinets for drawers. Cabinets make storing pots and pans awkward. Deep drawers are absolutely the way to go with base cabinets, because you use the entire drawer, not just a portion of it like you would with the cabinet. 

  • Range Hood: Customize it. It really doesn’t cost much more to customize the range hood. You can create a range hood that looks like just another cabinet, or one that stands out from the rest of the kitchen, effectively creating a focal point. It’s entirely up to you, but don’t settle for a plain run-of-the-mill range hood.

How Can We Help You?

Give us a call if you’re in Cape Cod or the surrounding areas. We’ll help you make the tough decisions during your kitchen remodeling project. We will also work with you to design a kitchen that works well with that item you just don’t want to lose. 

How to Create a Successful Partnership with Your Kitchen Designer

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A kitchen designer can help take some of the stress out of planning your new kitchen. Problems most often occur when lines of communication are strained in some way or missing entirely. We can work with you to design your kitchen or we can simply build the kitchen after it has been designed by a professional kitchen designer. Here are a few tips for working with a designer.

Know Your Budget

We start here simply because budget is everything. We always recommend that you create a design build budget with at least a 15% contingency. This gives you plenty of room to splurge a little if things are cheaper than planned. But make sure your designer knows your budget before they begin. 

Understand what Currently Works and what Doesn’t

You use your kitchen on a daily basis. You know what works and what doesn’t. You need to let your designer know what works as well as why it works for you. Then discuss what does not work and why it doesn’t work for you. Make sure they understand that you want to keep specific aspects in place while remodeling. 

Research before Calling a Professional Kitchen Designer

The entire kitchen design and remodeling process will flow much more smoothly if you have a good idea of what you want. Collect images of kitchens that you love so you can show the designer. This helps create an understanding and shows the designer the style you prefer. 

Be Flexible and Open to Other Ideas

While we fully understand that you have specific ideas in mind, we recommend going into this project with an open mind. You may have your mind absolutely set on one specific thing, but the designer has another idea for that thing. Give him or her time to explain their idea before putting your foot down and closing your ears. You might just find their idea appealing after all.

Create a Timeline 

You don’t want to be looking at different design ideas 6 months after you’ve hired the designer. Create a timeline and stick to it. Don’t allow yourself to get swept up in just one more idea. A good designer won’t generally need to present more than a few designs before you choose one.

Remember to be Patient

The design process is only the beginning of the whole remodeling process. Designing and building the perfect kitchen takes time and careful consideration. Be patient with yourself, your designer, and your builder; and request that they extend the same patients to you.

Cape Cod Kitchen Remodeling

If you’re in Cape Cod or the surrounding area and would like to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation with us, give us a call. We’re happy to discuss your remodeling ideas and help you through the process. 

Granite, Marble, Quartz, and 4 Additional Kitchen Countertop Materials

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The decision to remodel your kitchen isn’t one that comes easy to most homeowners. No one really likes the idea of having their home turned into a construction project. But the kitchen does need remodeling roughly every 7 to 10 years. You’ll need to consider moving things around to make it more efficient, and upgrading the appliances. 

The countertops are also something that needs a lot of attention because they’re so visible in the room. They can make or break kitchen design, and leave you wishing you’d made different decisions. That’s why today’s blog post is dedicated specifically to kitchen countertop material choices. We’re going to look at 7 different types of countertops and give a few pros and cons for each.

Granite

Granite starts at roughly $40 per square foot, which automatically raises eyebrows. It’s heat resistant and nonporous, making it an excellent material for countertops. Granite is a natural material, so no two pieces are going to be identical. 

Marble

Marble is also a natural material, which means each marble countertop will be unique. The price tag is often the reason homeowners choose granite or quartz over marble. But if you’re in the market to spend $120 or more per square foot, marble is a wonderful consideration. 

Quartz

Quartz often falls right in the middle of the price range of granite and marble at about $70 per square foot. Although a natural material itself, quartz countertops are a combination of 93% crushed natural quartz, color pigments, and plastic resin instead of solid slabs of stone like granite and marble.

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are exactly what the name implies; a solid surface. They are not porous, and they don’t have grains or even seams to worry about. They’re made of durable acrylic and available in a wide variety of colors and designs. They’re roughly mid-range in terms of price, coming in at $50 to $75 per square foot.

Wood

Wood gives every kitchen a homey feel. Many homeowners think of butcherblock countertops as soon as we mention wood, but you can also use cherry, maple, mahogany, or other types of wood. Wood countertops generally range from $30 to $100 per square foot depending on the type of wood, the shape, and the finish.

Soapstone

Soapstone is an extremely durable material for kitchen countertops because it is basically impervious to chemicals. It offers a unique appearance and it is resistant to temperatures, staining, and scorching. You can expect to pay about $50 a square foot for soapstone.

Ceramic Tile

Tile is very affordable and available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and options. This is the least expensive of the options listed here at only about $2 per square foot. Tile is a great DIY project if you’re into home improvement. The grout between the tiles must be sealed to help protect the countertop and ward off the buildup of bacteria.

Need Help Choosing a Kitchen Countertop Material?

If you’re in Cape Cod or the surrounding areas, call us and we’ll help you plan your kitchen remodeling project. Our designers will work with you to design the kitchen you’ll love before we even begin the demolition process on your existing kitchen. 

Bathroom Remodeling for First Time Remodelers

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Out of the many people why people take a while to get around to bathroom remodeling, one that stands out is that many are afraid to take a chance. With new appliances and technology being unveiled, updating the kitchen usually seems more worthwhile, and the bathroom is left neglected. However, your bathroom may be in need of a style upgrade, so use the hints offered below to help you get started. 

Examine the Options

If you have not addressed your bathroom’s style limitations before, you may be surprised at the vast number of products available. Your first step should be to acquaint yourself with the latest in bathroom design. Everything from flooring to lighting to fixtures should be looked at. The Internet makes it easy to quickly browse some of the top products available so you can start to get an idea of which ones will work in your bathroom. 

  • The Faucet. The main considerations for picking the right faucet include a finish that will match your décor, and one that will suit the configuration of the sink. Your budget will be a factor as they vary in price, but you can get quality faucets without stretching your budget. Keep in mind the plumbing requirements and durability when buying a bathroom faucet. 

  • The Vanity. With the vanity you have to think about the available space, the height and the color or finish. If you have already chosen the wall or tile colors, take a sample when shopping for a vanity. Do not be tempted to buy one for its look without first working out these important details. 

  • The Sink. With endless designs available, it is easy to find the right sink, or to have regrets about the one you choose. Regardless of its location, the sink is generally considered a focal point in the bathroom, and should seem like one unit when combined with the vanity. This means it should help to tie together other design choices such as tiles, vanity and the colors. 

  • Lighting. Proper lighting is essential and a poorly lit bathroom can appear gloomy. If putting a task light over the mirror will be a challenge, consider adding a lighted mirror to the space. Like the kitchen, the bathroom can also benefit from layered lighting, with general illumination, and lighting for the bath or shower area. 

Many of your decisions will depend on the size of your bathroom and your personal tastes. Features like heated floors and towel racks can add an extra sense of comfort, but make sure they fit with your budget. 

6 Tips for Discovering Your Personal Kitchen Style before You Remodel

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Understanding your personal style is one of the toughest parts of remodeling the kitchen. Many of our clients end up collecting dozens, or hundreds, of images, but they’re not quite sure where to go from there. So that’s what we’re going to focus on today. We’re going to show you how to narrow down your kitchen ideas image gallery so you can more effectively show us what you love.

Collect Lots of Images

We love it when you collect tons of images, but you don’t necessarily need to show us every single one of them. Your massive collection can get a bit confusing if you show us everything from the start. But it is a major boon to your creativity, because each one of those images had some aspect that you loved when you saved it. So, save away!

Don’t Edit as You Go

You’re going to want to start marking on the pictures and deleting this one to save that one. Sound familiar already? Stop. Keep all of them so you can narrow down your style later. You’ll start organizing in the next step. We’re still not up to editing yet!

Organize the Images

You probably won’t be able to organize every image at this point because it’s very likely that they’re a mess with little rhyme or reason. But that’s okay. Take your time and organize them as well as you can.

Categorize

One of the easiest ways to organize your kitchen design ideas is to see what they have in common. What do you like the most? Dark wood floors, natural tile flooring, kitchen island ideas, coffered ceilings, and custom range hoods may give you a few good starting places. 

Notice Commonalities

You may end up with 7 photos of the perfect kitchen island or 9 images with gorgeous hardwood floors. Look at the images as a whole and see if there are other aspects that you love just as much. 

Choose Your Favorites

Collecting tons of images, creating categories, and looking for commonalities will ultimately bring you to this point. You’re now ready to flip through and choose your favorite images. You should be able to narrow it down to 2 or three in each category. This will give us a much better idea of what you want from your kitchen.

Give Us a Call

Once you’ve taken at least a few months to create an album of kitchen ideas that you love, give us a call. We’ll help you implement as many of your ideas as possible in your kitchen remodeling project. 

4 Things to Do when Remodeling Your Bathroom and 4 Things to Avoid Doing

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A quarter of homeowners have indicated that they will remodel their bathroom within the next two years. Several of those homeowners will take on certain aspects of their project as DIY home improvement projects. Others will hire a design build company like us. Whichever category you fall into, you’re sure to get some value from the do’s and don’ts in this blog post. Let’s get started. 

These are the things You Do Want to Do

  1. Set a Budget: Your budget should be realistic and include at least 15% contingency. 

  2. Create a Plan: Never start a project without a plan. Contact us if you’re planning to hire us for the job or watch lots of videos and read articles if you plan to take on some of the projects as DIY projects.

  3. Use High Quality Materials: Don’t sacrifice quality for money; you’ll regret it.

  4. Consider the Future: Consider adding grab bars, a chair-height toilet, and other ADA compliant features. 

These are the things You Do Not Want to Do

  1. Move the Plumbing: Moving the plumbing costs more money, especially if you need to call in a plumber to install different lines. 

  2. Get Distracted by Trends: Trends come and go; pink tile anyone? This beautiful trend from the 1950s simply doesn’t cut it in today’s bathrooms. Keep your trendy features decorative so you can more easily update later.

  3. Overlook Lighting: Understand where lighting is most-needed and make sure it gets installed properly. A poorly-lit bathroom is not an enjoyable area to relax or prepare for work in the mornings. 

  4. Overlook Storage: Bathroom storage is definitely one area that you do not want to overlook. Make sure you have space for all toiletries, towels, and the necessary cleaners. A small closet, a few cabinets and drawers, and a medicine cabinet are wonderful storage options for the bathroom. 

The Very Basics

This is not a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts when remodeling your bathroom. This is simply a short list of things off of the top of our head for today’s blog post. Give us a call if you’re in Cape Cod or the surrounding areas and would like to schedule an appointment for a bathroom design consultation. 

Home Improvement Myths and Misconceptions You Need to Know 

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When you purchase a home especially your first one you may hold some common misconceptions and old wives tales that need to be cleared up. With this knowledge, you can move forward and take the best possible care of your new investment possible.

Myth 1: Bleach Is the Best at Removing Mold and Keeping it Away

The truth is exactly the opposite. Bleach is not the best and there have been studies to prove it. EPA Research says that when diluted bleach was compared to twelve other household cleaners on painted and unpainted drywall it was not a contender. Full Strength Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Orange Breeze came in at number one.

Myth 2: Duct Cleaning Should Be Done On a Regular Schedule

The truth is unless you really only need to clean your ducts if you find mold, rodents, signs of rodents, or an insect nest. Most homes just never need this type of service. If you do however find one of those exceptions avoid services that charge less than $100 because they will likely just blow compressed air through your vents.

Myth 3: Setting Back the Thermostat Doesn’t Save Money

The truth is that even though it may use energy to set back your thermostat it still pays for itself plus some. During the winter set the temperature back ten degrees during the day when no one is home and five degrees at night. In the summer raise the temp by the same amount. Studies have proven you will save 20 percent on your bill.

Hopefully these ideas will help you either save money or become a more informed homeowner. We live in a world full of information these days with everything at our fingertips. Keep learning everything about how to take care of your home and it will take care of you.

13 Often Overlooked Costs Involved in Bathroom Remodeling

 

How many things do you think that you need to think about when you are planning your bathroom remodel? Fifty? One hundred? A few hundred? 

We don’t know the exact number, but there are a lot, and you may overlook a few of them, especially those that involve your budget. 

Here are 13 often overlooked costs involved in bathroom remodeling:

  1. Permits: You may think that since you have a plan in place and a contractor ready to do the work that you are all set. You may be wrong about that though, because many areas require you to have a permit in place and approved before you do any of the work. 
  2. Testing for Asbestos: Depending on when your house was constructed, you may need to have your bathroom tested for asbestos. The bad news is that the testing costs money, as does the removal if it happens to be there. The good news is that your home will be safer afterwards. 
  3. Dumpster: Not everyone factors in the cost of the dumpster, which is needed when any demolition work is being done. However, without this item, you will have nowhere to put all the debris. 
  4. Mold: You never know when and where mold is going to pop up, but you may want to be prepared if it is discovered during your bathroom remodel. 
  5. Old Plumbing: You may have thought that your old pipes had years of life left in them, but your contractor may discover something different once they get your bathroom torn apart. There is no point in doing all this work in your bathroom to get it looking nice without replacing the pipes, because you will need to tear everything apart to replace them eventually. 
  6. Bad Wiring: The wiring in older homes is not as sophisticated as newer wiring, which means that your contractor may discover that some or all your wiring needs to be replaced. It is better to know now, before an electrical fire starts or you discover that you can’t use something that you need to in your bathroom. 
  7. Bugs: Bugs can be found anywhere in your home, but especially in the bathroom where there is a lot of moisture. Opening a wall to find these little creatures can be a surprise that both you and your contractor don’t want. 
  8. Moving Fixtures: Most homeowners do not consider the fact that it is going to cost them more to move the fixtures in their bathroom, so they plan for it without thinking of the repercussions. 
  9. Exhaust Fans: Everyone knows that they need an exhaust fan in their bathroom to draw all the excess moisture out, but not many realize that the cost of installing one needs to be factored into their overall costs. 
  10. Hooks and Towel Bars: These items are always forgotten, because they are one of the last things installed during a bathroom remodel. Neither one costs a lot of money, but they still need to be added onto the budget. 
  11. Sealant for Tiles: The tiles on your bathroom floor will need to be sealed to prevent damage from water and moisture, but this is something that many people forget to factor into their budget. 
  12. Paint: You know that your walls are going to need to be covered with something, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to remember to put paint under your expenses in your budget. 
  13. Small Items: All those smaller items like soap dispensers, wastebaskets, artwork, and even a plunger should have their own expense lines for your budget. 

Costs both large and small need to be included in your budget for your bathroom remodel, even though you may be tempted to forget about some of them to make the numbers work. We do not recommend leaving anything out, simply because you may find that you will need to live without certain items until you can save up the rest of the money to pay for them.

3 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid 

 

There are so many things to consider when you decide to remodel your kitchen. Mistakes are easily made. Here are some ways you can avoid making some of the mistakes and have the kitchen you always dreamed of. 

Forgetting the Extra Cabinet Storage 

Deciding to add on small additions such as pantry pull outs and drawer dividers might seem like it’s not a big deal but it can easily save you money in the long run. If you decided to add these on later it can cost you a good bit of money. Not only will you be saving money, you will have extra storage, and will also be more organized. You will be so happy you added on these features in the long run.

Forgetting the Busy Area

A lot of people don’t take into consideration the “busy area” of their kitchen. For most, these areas are the sink, stove, and refrigerator. You want to make sure these are all located close to one another to make your work time more productive. This area is actually referred to as the “work triangle”.

Forgetting to Put Together a Budget 

You should never start on any kind of renovation without having some kind of budget in place. Decide ahead of time what it is you really want to do and how much money you have to do it with. Once you are comfortable with the budget you have set, stick to it, and don’t go over. 

When remodeling your kitchen, you have to think about the big picture. You should consider the backsplash, wall color, flooring etc. and how well it will all go together. You should have this all figured out beforehand to keep from being overwhelmed with decisions in the end.

3 Home Remodeling Trends for 2018 and 2019 

 

There are many more trends you will see for the upcoming years. Many ideas are more modern, while some of the older, retro styles are coming back. You will need to decide what type of style you wish to have when remodeling your home.

Whether you are looking to update a room in your home or designing a new home, here are some trends to look for:

Accommodations for Multiple Generations

Families are choosing to live with extended family members more in recent years. This causes the need for multifunction for multiple generations. One thing to consider would be to add basement living complete with a second kitchen. Another option is to add a main-floor bedroom for parents that are aging and can’t maneuver stairs as well.

Open Shelving

One modern trend is to have open kitchen shelving. This lets you show off your dish collection rather than putting them in a china cabinet. It can also be a storage solution for bulkier items. This is a very popular solution for modern and rustic kitchen designs. Some will even have a combination of open and closed shelving.

Smart Lighting Controls

One of the biggest lighting trends is automatic lighting. Not only do smart light controls save energy, but they can also be customized. This is useful since lighting needs can vary depending on the time of year, time of day, and the individual user. Many of the smart light controls can be used via an app on your phone. This is a wonderful safety tool to turn on your lights if you’re going to be away from home. You can also turn on your porch light as you pull into your driveway and won’t have to walk in the dark.

2 Home Improvement Skills Every Homeowner Should Have 

 

Being a new homeowner can be a scary, scary thing, especially when it comes to home repairs that have been handled by your happy handyman for so long. Having these few skills cannot only empower you but keep more money in your wallet.

Painting! 

Painting a room yourself can save you upwards of $100. Painting is not as difficult as it may seem. It is a skill you can teach the whole family to do and will likely save you a good chunk of change. You want to start by prepping your wall, it helps the paint stick better to previously painted walls.

You will want to wear gloves and use a sponge and trisodium phosphate cleaner to scrub the walls. Taping the walls can be tricky because sometimes you may not get the precision or ease you are looking for. Try only taping horizontal borders, especially your baseboards and just cut into vertical borders slowly and carefully with a paint brush.

Even if you have just brought home your paint from the store and immediately use it you could still have dry chunks of paint or other debris inside. Straining the paint with a paint strainer or stocking will avoid all those bits and pieces getting on your wall. If you would like at this point you could add a paint extender or conditioner to prolong the life of the paint and prevent those ugly lap marks.

Painting your wall with a roller can be a breeze just take it one wall at a time and do not move to the next wall until you have completed the one you’re working on. You will want to roll your brush straight up then roll straight down. You will then roll up 3” to the right and roll down 6” to the left and there you have it, some key basics to painting a room in your own home.

Furnace Filters Need To Be Replaced Monthly

When you forget or neglect to change your filter you are literally killing your furnace slowly. The filter keeps dust and dirt away from the blower and prolongs the life of the furnace. You can choose a basic filter or an electrostatically charged fiber filter which is a little more expensive but it will remove even more particles.

When Installing make sure you replace it correctly. You will want to make sure that the arrows or the filters edge is facing toward the blower.

Learning how to take care of some of your own home repairs gives you a sense of pride in yourself and your home. Learning how to keep up your home slowly can help you to not feel overwhelmed. I recommend learning one skill and when you feel comfortable add a new skill.

Luxurious Kitchen Design: Check Out These Amazing Trends

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The kitchen holds a special place in many homes. Each homeowner has different tastes, so knowing the various trends in kitchen design is helpful.  Some cool luxury kitchen design items are discussed below.

Cupboard

The walk-in pantry trend is great for kitchens where you want to hide cupboards and even some appliances out of sight. Other popular cupboard designs include streamlined surfaces such as cupboards with pulls rather than handles. Hiding outlets so that they become a part of the design is also common. Streamlining kitchen designs make for a smooth look that is neat and simple. 

Smart Kitchen 

Make your kitchen tech friendly by using appliances that you can manipulate by using your cellphone or other electronic devices. You can install refrigerators that can adjust the temperature depending on the temperature outside. Motion sensor faucets are another nifty feature in modern kitchens. 

Kitchen Islands

Islands are no standard in almost any kitchen that has the space. A single level, all-purpose kitchen island can be the focal point in a kitchen. Newer designs for kitchen islands see them being larger, and with more storage added as cupboards underneath. In kitchens that are large, seats can also be added so that the island can be both a work area as well as  dining table.  

Flooring & Ceiling

Ceramic tiles and hardwood are popular choices for kitchen floors. These flooring materials are strong and can manage the foot traffic in a kitchen. These types of flooring can also withstand moisture and stains that will get on the floor in any kitchen. 

Lighting Magic

Like any other area of the home, special lighting in the kitchen can make the area magical. Modern kitchens are not confined to one type of lighting.  Some good lighting options for the kitchen include focus lights, pendant lights, skylights, under counter lights are just a few. The placement of the lighting fixtures should serve a purpose such as brighter lights in meal prep areas. 

Some homeowners go the extra mile by having two of everything such as two double sinks, two kitchen islands and even two ovens. This is especially useful for large households. 

Modern luxury kitchen designs are both beautiful and useful since one of the most important aspects of any kitchen is practicality. These trendy designs will give any kitchen a unique look.

Install a Steam Shower in Your Bathroom and Reap These Rewards

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Going to a spa can get really expensive, but the benefits can be really rewarding in terms of less stress, relaxation, and staying healthy.  Those benefits keep people like yourself shelling out the big bucks for a little time of pampering.  

However, did you know that you can get some of those same benefits when you install a steam shower in your bathroom?

It’s true!  Instead of spending money at a spa every week or every month, you can pocket that money.  Plus, since you can use your steam shower every day, you will see an increase in the results that you were seeing from the spa. 

Here are 6 rewards that you will see when you install a steam shower in your bathroom:

Allergy sufferers will rejoice every time that they step into their steam showers, as the steam has long been known to clear nasal passages.  This benefit will be noticed by many others during cold and flu season.  

Working out always makes a person feel healthy and strong, but you will notice a decrease in muscle soreness if you begin to step into a steam shower after your workouts.  The warmth will open your capillaries and keep the blood flowing, reducing the pain that you feel in your muscles afterwards. 

The increased blood flow that you experience will improve your circulation, as it widens blood vessels and essentially lowers your blood pressure.  

Steam will open your pores, so you will have less pimples popping out.  You skin will feel and look better than it ever has.  

Since you will be so relaxed from your steam showers every day, you will find that you are sleeping better than ever.  

Potential homeowners are always looking for high-end touches in the homes that they are considering purchasing.  Once you install a steam shower in your bathroom, the value of your home will increase, and multiple people will be putting in offers when you decide to sell.  

You may find many other benefits after you install a steam shower in your bathroom, but first you need to have the work completed.  Don’t delay any longer, because your first in-home steam shower is waiting for you!

How to Choose the Perfect Sink for Your Kitchen Remodel

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How many types of sinks do you think exist in stores at the moment? One? Three? A dozen? Multiply those numbers by at least ten and you may be getting closer to the actual number of options you have when choosing a new kitchen sink! This is not a decision that is going to be easy to make, but we can make it a little less stressful for you by listing out what you should be considering during the process.

Functionality Options

First, you are going to want to consider the function of the sink that you are looking at and decide if it matches your needs. Do you continuously wash large pots and pans? If so, you may want a deeper sink than you would if you throw everything into the dishwasher. Do you like having a double sink or do you prefer a single basin that fits piles of dishes until you are ready to wash them? 

How do You Use Your Sink?

As soon as you determine how you will be using your sink, and how it will function, you will want to determine if you want to install two sinks in your newly remodel kitchen. One can be your regular sink and the other one can be placed in another area, usually an island, for food prep and quick hand washes. A second sink is normally smaller, but you can choose to have two larger sinks if you want. After all, it is your kitchen and you’re the one that will be using everything! 

Choosing the Material

Long gone are the days of stainless steel sinks, as you have plenty more material options available to you. There are pros and cons to each material, but some of the more popular options include granite, natural stone, porcelain, and ceramic. We recommend looking at and touching the materials and determining which one will withstand all the work that you will be using it for. 

Keep Style in Mind

Thankfully many of the functions and materials that you are going to want, and need are available in numerous different styles. That means that you can finally choose between a self-rimming sink, undermount sink, or that farmhouse sink that you have wanted since you were a child. 

Only you will know what type of sink your newly remodeled kitchen needs, but we are always available to assist you by answering questions or giving guidance along the way.