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Posts Tagged ‘remodeling’

Common Spending Mistakes: Blowing Your Remodeling Budget

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

  • Not planning well enough. If you don’t have a budget and a clear idea of what you want to do and how much you’re willing to spend on it, chances are you’ll spend too much.
  • Buying all new furniture. Whether you’re tired of the look in a room or the dogs have destroyed the couch, there are few times when you actually need to change every single of furniture in a room. In most cases, you can reupholster some pieces, paint others and add fabrics and linens to brighten up the place. Then buy one or two pieces that will really spruce up the place.
  • Changing the floors before exploring options. If you’re hardwood floors are scratched or chipped, you may think it’s time for new flooring. Before you go that route, find out if the damage can be repaired. Paint, wax or even sectional rugs can all cover the damage or at least hide it significantly.
  • Hiring a handyman for little repairs. Of course you need a contractor for major structural changes and a handyman to correct electrical or pipe problems. However, there’s no reason why you can’t learn to fix the smaller things yourself. Fixing a small hole on a wall, especially in a place like the garage or the basement, where perfection is not needed, can be done by everybody. The same is true of painting a room, replacing a switchplate or other small house repairs.


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3 Kitchen Updates that Won’t Break the Bank

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Whether you’re getting ready to move and want to increase your home’s value or just moved into a new house and are desperate to remodel, you may be weary of tackling any changes in the kitchen. Traditionally, kitchens are more expensive to remodel than any other room because changes usually require structural reconstruction, including moving gas or water pipes, electric cords or built-in furniture (such as cabinets).

However, there are some simple changes that can be made in the kitchen that will significantly increase its value, as well as changing the look and making you feel like you just invested thousands.

Give Cabinets a Facelift. Paint them if they’re wood, or replace the doors for new ones in a different style. Glass ones are great if you’re the organized type and want a modern look. Otherwise, go for something with texture, such as shutter-like doors or something with molding. You can also replace the cabinet hardware and choose knobs that are brushed metal or

Get Rid of Fluorescent Lights. They make the room look dated and yellowish. Install track lighting if you can afford to pay a professional, or buy a couple of floor lamps and place in opposite corners. If you have a large table, create a centerpiece by grouping several candles and placing them on a tray in the center of the table.

Replace the Floor. You don’t need to spend a fortune or even hire a professional to change your floors. Instead, buy self-adhesive vinyl flooring at the local home improvement store and simply place it on top of your current floor. While each product comes with its own instructions, it’s usually just a quick process of no more than a couple of steps.

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How to Choose a Contractor

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Choose a Contracter for your new Home

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Ready to remodel? Hiring a contractor can be a daunting experience, especially if you don’t know what to look for. If that’s the case, here are some tips on how to make the right decision.

Ask for a recommendation. If you know somebody who hired a contractor recently, find out how satisfied they were with his performance.

If you can’t find anybody through personal recommendation, it’s ok to check the phone book or do an online search, but make sure that you look for reviews and contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there are unresolved complaints against the company.

As a general rule, contractors who have been in business for a long time are a better choice, as they will have connections with suppliers (and can get you better prices) and will know how to solve pretty much any issue that comes up during construction.

Don’t choose the cheapest option out there. Saving a few hundred dollars can be a mistake if it turns out the contractor uses cheap materials or has no experience with a particular type of remodeling.

Make sure the contract has no hidden fees or clauses. Cleanup and debris removal, for example, should be included in the quoted price. Brand names of supplies to be used and number of items to be bought (or where) should also be specified.

Find out if the contractor has all the necessary insurance and licenses to allow him to get building permits and obtain other paperwork as needed. Keep in mind that a beginner may be charging you less because he’s not able to get everything you need and is counting on you doing it for him.

Be wary of contractors who require a large deposit before they start the job. A small payment is ok to cover start-up expenses, but requesting too much money may lead to the company slacking on the job later on because they have already secured the money.

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4 things you should know about remodeling your kitchen

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Remodeling your Kitchen

When moving, put all your kitchenware in moving boxes marked fragile.

When planning a kitchen remodeling (or even some basic redecoration), it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

Kitchen are one of the most expensive rooms in the house to remodel (bathrooms are the other) because they usually require structural changes. Expect to spend quite a large sum, even for smaller changes, and be prepared for surprises or additional charges that may pop up along the way.

You probably won’t be able to cook at all when your kitchen is being remodeled. Even during small changes, there will still be debris and dust flying around, which makes the handling of food rather dangerous. During this time, it just makes sense to either order in or eat out.

Remodeling your kitchen will shield the best results when and if you decide to sell your home. Experts agree that future home owners look at the size and overall design of a kitchen above that of the bedroom and living room when making a decision.

If you can’t afford to do structural changes, go for impact: paint the cabinets, get a new table and chairs, hung new curtains and change the cabinet’s hardware.

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