Looking to Remodel Your Kitchen? Follow These Steps!

Remodeling your kitchen is a large expense. The last thing you want to do is waste money. In order to help you out we found this article with specific steps on how to remodel your kitchen. We hope it helps!

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From the article:

You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Now what? Not knowing where to start, many homeowners fall into two camps. Some start by looking at appliances. Others start by collecting inspiring kitchen photos. Some decide they need more room. Others simply want to upgrade their current kitchen. Homeowners may find themselves in this exploration stage for a year or longer before they start interviewing kitchen designers or general contractors.

Once you’ve pondered long enough and you’re ready to green-light a kitchen remodeling project, then what? We’ll start with the first 9 steps and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details under specific steps as we move through the complete workbook.

Step 1: Think about what you need
This step is all about how you use your kitchen, and finding the layout and features that fit your household???s lifestyle. Get ideas from every resource possible, including Houzz guides and photos, kitchen showrooms, books and magazines.

Think about your priorities: how many people will be cooking and gathering here, and how they???ll need to move around in it. Do you need an addition? Or can you work with your existing kitchen footprint?

If you haven???t already, start saving photos of kitchens with features that suit your style. Your collection can be organized and beautiful like a scrapbook or it can be filled with random, unorganized images. I actually prefer the latter, because I like to randomly stuff images into my folders and ideabooks and go back to them later on for edits.

Step 2: Research and plan
Ready to green-light that project and take the plunge? The best place to start is by formulating what’s commonly referred to as a scope of work and figuring out your preliminary budget.

Both of these may be subject to change, so don’t feel like you have only once chance at this. Budget and scope are intertwined and often change many times during the design process as you become more educated and able to reconcile what you want and what you can afford. As a homeowner, you’re not expected to walk into this knowing what everything should cost. Remember, this is an educational process.

Step 3: Find the professionals you will need
Even if you’re going the DIY route, unless you’re building your own kitchen cabinets and doing your own electrical and plumbing, you’re going to have to work with a professional at some point. It may be as brief as leaning on your salesperson to help you in selecting and ordering your appliances or cabinets, but it’s something to plan on either way.

Some people start by visiting big-box stores or cabinet showrooms where they can see everything. Many homeowners get referrals from friends or colleagues and start by hiring an architect or designer. Still others might work on their own with a builder or contractor. Pros are available to help you with everything from contracts and permits to space planning, budgets, choosing finishes and fixtures, shopping, ordering products, helping you set up a temporary kitchen, and managing your project from start to finish.

Step 4: Schematic design
This phase includes sketches, space planning, preliminary floor plans and elevations showing the layout and cabinet sizes. I try to keep my clients focused more on layout and space planning, even though the temptation is to talk about what the kitchen will look like. But I find that getting caught up in the look too early can distract from the space planning phase.

Plus, you need a plan in order to figure out what materials will go where, and how many square feet you will need, and ultimately how much this will cost. I like to begin the contractor interview process early and give them a preliminary drawing packet and scope of work so we can get some ballpark construction numbers. At the same time you can be sending out drawings for estimates on some top choices of finishes and fixtures.

Looking for information on how to hire a good contractor? Checkout this article about how to hire a good contractor that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1198907/list/homeowners-workbook-how-to-remodel-your-kitchen

Love Lights at Christmastime? Take a Look at These!

Lights are one of the most beautiful sights of Christmas and just because it’s after Christmas doesn’t mean that the beauty can’t continue to the end of the year. We hope you enjoy these lights on a tree house!

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From the article:

???When I was 14 years old, I wrote myself a letter, which I still have,??? says Jeri Wakefield. ???It reads, ???No matter what happens in my life, I pray that I can be the best grandmother possible. I want my grandchildren to have happy memories of their childhood.??????

Jeri and her husband, Steve Wakefield, are now the proud grandparents of Lincoln and Sullivan Scott. Nine years ago the couple built a tree house for their grandsons. What began as a backyard construction project quickly bloomed into a whimsical, multigenerational creation.

The couple celebrates Christmas by decorating the tree house top to bottom in lights; the display is an annual tradition that coincides with their well-attended holiday open house. Tree house architect and family friend James Curvan returns every year to install the lights, a process in which he takes great pride. ???My favorite thing is watching the kids play and experience the tree house at this festive time of year,??? says Curvan. During this year???s Christmas party, the Wakefield grandchildren and scores of other giddy youngsters will ascend the tree house and make some unforgettable holiday memories.

The Houzz team met with Steve, Jeri and James just after they lit up the tree house for the holidays this year.

Tree House at a Glance
Owners: Steve and Jeri Wakefield
Location: Dallas, Texas
Architect: James Curvan
Size: 100 square feet; 2 exterior decks, 2 sleeping lofts and a crow???s nest

Installing the 56 strands of lights is a two-day process for Curvan. That???s a total of 5,600 individual white lights on the house. Curvan also put up miniature green lights to accent specific points of interest, such as the chimney top, peaked window and slide. Holly-shaped forms lined with green and red lights are attached to railing corners and other accent points to add interest.

Curvan says, ???I had to be careful to incorporate various outlet sources, so as not to overload the breaker system.??? He ran extension cords from the nearby guesthouse using four separate 15-amp breakers.

Every corner of the front-facing gable and window is lined with lights to define the architecture. Curvan built the tree house over a nine-year period with help from the Wakefields??? son, Jeremy. A U.S. Marine, Jeremy helped Curvan work on the project between multiple tours in Iraq.

Looking to supercharge you health this holiday season? Checkout this article about healthy holiday season that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/20845319/list/a-magical-tree-house-lights-up-for-christmas

Looking to Supercharge Your Health This Holiday Season? Try These Tips!

The holidays are an extremely busy time. Time to gather with family and friends and also a time of eating and drinking. If you’re looking for ways to supercharge your health this holiday season then you’ve come to the right place. We hope it helps!

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From the article:

To help you avoid gaining weight this season and reduce “food-related” stress, below I offer strategies that I’ve successfully used with clients in my talks and nutrition counseling practice. I invite you to try incorporating them into your daily routine.

Plan your day.
Part of the reason we overeat is that we do not pay much attention to what we are going to eat. We forget to eat, wait till we are famished and then overeat, or just grab whatever we can find when on the run. I suggest trying to map out your day in the morning and thinking about some of the healthy food choices you can make. For example, if you are going to a dinner party, plan for a healthy snack an hour or two before you go so that you are not starved when you arrive. If you are going out to lunch or dinner, view the menu in advance so you can get an idea of what you may want to order.

Eat healthy most of the time.
This is not a time to begin a diet. Or to ban your favorite foods. My suggestion for this holiday season is to pick a few foods that you absolutely love and legalize them, that is, allow yourself to include them, sans the guilt. The key is not eating them all at once. Plan for one treat a day and this way you will have something to look forward to.

Downsize your portions.
What I love about practicing portion control is that you can still eat what you love, just less of it, which will help you trim calories. You also do not have to say no entirely. For example, if your family is going to your favorite steakhouse, instead of not joining them, allow yourself to sharing a steak and order an extra portion of vegetables. Instead of saying to yourself “I need to cut out all alcohol,” allow yourself to include an occasional glass of wine with dinner. I offer additional portion-control tips here and here.

Swap and substitute.
I am a big fan of swapping out unhealthy foods for healthier ones. As a nutritionist, instead of telling clients not to eat this or that, providing them with healthy options helps to empower them to make smarter choices. Healthy substitutions allow you to give something up while including something else so that you do not feel deprived. Swap out refined grains for whole grains instead of cutting out grains entirely. For example, choose quinoa over white rice, if possible. You can also incorporate smart substitutions at home. Try using Greek yogurt or applesauce to cut some of the butter in your favorite recipe.

Looking to promote healthy habits in your family? Checkout this article about healthy family habits that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-lisa-young/10-tips-to-supercharge-your-health-this-holiday-season_b_8829222.html

Need More Storage? Take a Look at These Cabinets!

Storage is the one thing in every home that there doesn’t seem to be enough of. Or it’s not very functional. In order to help you out we found this article with cabinet storage solutions. We hope you find something that will work for you and your home!

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From the article:

Cabinets are the critical, final piece of a finished home. They transform empty space into living space. They provide pizazz, substance and, above all, organization for all kinds of things, from kitchen plates to bathroom towels to living room media equipment. But poorly designed cabinets can be frustrating, a waste of money and a visual blemish on an otherwise lovely design.

Our cabinet series will help you navigate the process of choosing well-designed cabinets for your home. To kick off the series, let???s go over some of the basics you???ll want to keep in mind as you embark on selecting cabinet style, materials and more.

Project: New cabinets

Why: To improve the style and function of your home

First thing to consider: Determine the scope of your project and decide how many cabinets you???ll be designing and installing. If designing for an entire home, you have the opportunity to create a uniform cabinet package that suits the style of your home and complements it throughout its living spaces.

If your cabinet project consists of just one room (or a section of your home), you need to decide if the new cabinets should contrast with what exists or blend in.

What Do You Want Your Cabinets to Accomplish?
New cabinets serve different purposes for different people. If you???re building a new home, new cabinets are a necessity but also a stylistic opportunity.

On the other hand, when remodeling a kitchen you might be more concerned with creating an efficient workspace around a package of new appliances, or perhaps you???re most interested in achieving a specific style, like that white farmhouse kitchen you???ve been dreaming of.

More often than not, a balance needs to be struck between style, functionality and cost. You should start by prioritizing your desires and acknowledging any constraints you face, such as timing, cost and the structural realities of your home.

Design 101
Cabinet designers need to balance two things: style and function.

With garage cabinets, for example, storage and function are probably much more important than style. For a powder room vanity, the function (a place to wash your hands) is easily achieved, and style becomes the more important factor, which is why we see such a wide variety in powder room vanity styles. They all meet the functional criteria, but the look is limited only by the imagination.

In just about all other areas of the home, we see more of a balance between the functionality of the cabinets and the look and feel of the space. A good cabinet designer understands the basic functional requirements for different types of cabinets (media, kitchen, display) and fulfills them with seeming effortlessness while also providing fresh design.

Looking for other kitchen storage ideas? Checkout this article about kitchen storage ideas that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/56709567/list/cabinets-101-how-to-get-the-storage-you-want

Looking to do a Bathroom Remodel? Learn How Much It’ll Cost Here!

Having a remodeled bathroom is a great thing. One thing that isn’t so great about it is the cost. In order to help you determine how much it’ll cost we found this article. We hope it helps you plan out the bathroom of your dreams that you can afford!

If you need Condo association dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!

From the article:

If you???re planning to remodel your bathroom, you want to update the look, increase resale value, add functionality, amenities and storage or a combination of all or some of these. Simple enough.

But the scope of the project depends on a variety factors ??? most of all budget, but also how long you???ve been in the house and how long you plan to stay there. As with most things, there are three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best, says Leslie Molloy, a design consultant at Normandy Remodeling. In this new series, we???ll take you through the planning and execution process for remodeling your main bathroom.

Of course, the costs below are all relative and will depend on a variety of factors, including where you live, how old your home is and what kind of renovations have already been done. Remodeling a bathroom from the 1990s is a lot different than overhauling one built in the 1920s with mud-set floors and galvanized plumbing. ???Older houses likely have had a series of previous remodels that we usually have to peel back the layers and see what???s there,??? says Brad Little, president of Case Remodeling in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A look at three typical cost ranges
The first step is deciding which level of remodeling is right for you. Let???s take a look at three different cost ranges for bathroom remodels and common materials and finishes for each.

The Basic Bathroom Remodel
Often runs from $3,000 (DIY) to $12,000

What you might get: You probably won???t be able to move any plumbing around, but you could replace fixtures and other materials with stock, off-the-shelf products like you???d find in a big-box store.

Mid- to Upper-Range Bathroom Remodel
$10,000 to $35,000

Why the broad range? Well, location, materials, cost of labor and project scope play into it. For example, according to the Houzz Real Cost Finder, the average bathroom remodel in New York costs just over $32,000. In Mississippi it???s just under $14,000.

What you might get: Better fixtures, like a toilet with better flushing capabilities or faucets with better flow. And new features like flooring, a vanity, a sink, lighting, window treatments, hardware, a comfort-height toilet, a 36-inch countertop, a framed mirror that matches the vanity and a recessed medicine chest ??? all of which are slightly better quality than from a big-box store.

Plus, you can make a few more adjustments to the layout. Maybe you???ll put in a slightly smaller bathtub to make way for a slightly larger shower. Maybe you???ll slide a sink down and move the plumbing slightly to add a tall linen cabinet.

The Deluxe Bathroom Remodel
$30,000 to $100,000-plus

This level is also known as a full gut job. Everything will go away, and you???ll put things where you want. You might also punch into an adjacent room for more space or punch out the exterior. The toilet and shower might switch locations, the bathtub might go away and a sauna might come in; all-new high-end fixtures, materials, cabinets, lighting and finishes can be added. The room is likely to be larger. Detailed molding, trimwork and tilework might also be included.

Planning for a Bathroom Remodel
Budget breakdown: Once you establish your budget and start hunting for materials, consider the National Kitchen and Bath Association???s cost breakdown as a guide:
– Design fees: 4 percent
– Installation: 20 percent
– Fixtures: 15 percent
– Cabinetry and hardware: 16 percent
– Countertops: 7 percent
– Lighting and ventilation: 5 percent
– Flooring: 9 percent
– Doors and windows: 4 percent
– Walls and ceilings: 5 percent
– Faucets and plumbing: 14 percent
– Other: 1 percent

Of course, it???s up to you where to spend and where to splurge, but this breakdown is a good starting point. Plus, remember to reserve an additional 10 to 20 percent for unforeseen costs that might come up during construction.

When to remodel: You can do a bathroom remodel pretty much any time of year. The most common time to start is during the winter or spring.

How long it will take: Expect a month or two of planning and picking out materials and finishes. Designer Leslie Molloy says many of her clients usually spend about four to six months doing their own research and figuring out their budget and project scope before contacting a designer. Expect three to eight weeks for construction, depending on the scope.

First step: Figure out which of the three levels of remodeling your project falls into, then start looking at photos of bathrooms to figure out what style, materials and amenities you want. Molloy advises not to get too carried away with planning before reaching out to a designer for help. Professionals can quickly assess your goals and budget to steer you toward what will work for you.

Looking to find out what other projects cost? Checkout this article about home project costs that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/23875885

Remodeling Your Home? Learn How to Live in It!

Remodeling your home is exciting. You’re getting something new and more functional. All of that is great. What also comes with it is dust, workmen, and stuff. None of that is fun. In order to help you live with your home being remodeled we found this article. We hope it helps!

If you need Apartment complex dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!

From the article:

Remodeling your home is uniquely different from building a new one. With remodeling, your home becomes the worksite. You live side by side with the project from start to finish. Once construction begins, you’ll probably long for simple pleasures like a dust-free home or a fully functioning kitchen or bath. But the end result will be well worth these inconveniences.

Here are some tips to help minimize the stress involved with a remodeling project.

– Open the Lines of Communication
– Prepare for the Pre-Construction Meeting
– Prevent Remodeling Fever

Prepare for the Pre-Construction Meeting
One way to ensure the success of your project is to plan for and actively participate in a pre-construction meeting. This allows your remodeler to clarify procedures and explain how the job will progress. It also offers both you and your remodeler an opportunity to prepare for those issues that may arise later. You should think of this meeting as a forum for all participants to define their expectations and agree on the anticipated outcome.

Some of the issues you may wish to cover at this meeting include:
– Will you allow your remodeler to place a company sign on your property? Remember that in addition to being a marketing tool, signs help contractors and suppliers locate your home.
– What areas of your home will be off limits to workers?
– Does your house have an alarm system? Will workers need a key or will someone always be there?
– How will you ensure that your children and pets stay out of the work space?
– How will trash removal be handled? Where will the remodeler locate the dumpster on your property?
– Does the remodeler anticipate any interruptions of utilities during the project? If so, when and for how long? At certain stages of construction, the project may affect basic household necessities like water and electricity. Will you need to vacate the house at any time?
– What are your expectations regarding clean up? Will sweeping be sufficient for a daily cleaning, or will you need a more thorough cleaning in order to use the space?
– You should also use the pre-construction meeting to establish guidelines for the remodeling crew working on the project.
– What times will workers begin and end work at your home? Be sure to consider the neighbors as well as household members.
– Where can workers park near the jobsite?
– Will you allow workers to use your phone for local business calls?
– Will bathroom facilities in your home be available to workers?
– What is the remodeler’s policy on smoking on the jobsite?
– What is the remodeler’s policy on the use of profanity? If you are especially sensitive to this issue, you should let your remodeler know.
– Will you allow workers to play music at a reasonable volume? Is there any type of music that you do not want played?

Looking to remodel your kitchen? Checkout this article about kitchen remodeling ideas that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.nahb.org/en/consumers/homeownership/homeownership-highlights/how-to-live-with-your-remodeling-project.aspx

Looking to Get Your Home Ready for the Winter? Start Here!

Here in the south the seasons are on a different time table. It’s just now starting to get cold where as in the rest of the United States for the most part it’s been winter for awhile. With the colder weather finally upon us it’s time to start thinking about preparing our homes for winter. In order to help you determine what you should do to prepare for winter we found this article. We hope it helps!

If you need South Louisiana dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!

From the article:

With so much to be done to get a home ready for cold weather, here are some home maintenance tips from NAHB Remodelers that don???t require going outdoors.

– Check for gaps in insulation or crawl spaces that expose pipes to cold air and the risk of freezing and bursting.
– Have your heating system checked by a licensed technician before cold weather requires daily use.
– Block drafts around doors, windows and baseboards with weather stripping, window film and caulk to control heat loss.
– Install storm doors and windows to improve energy-efficiency and keep drafts at bay.
– Get chimneys cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep to prevent the risk of a fire from buildup or blockages.
– Spray door locks with powdered-graphite lubricant to prevent freezing and sticking.
– Set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to force rising warm air back towards the floor.

Looking for more information on getting your home ready for winter? Checkout this article about preparing home for winter that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/Press-Releases/2015/october/top-tips-to-get-your-home-ready-for-winter-weather.aspx