8 Helpful Tips For Kitchen Improvement

Are you tired of the old, boring look of your kitchen? Are termites showing up and chewing on parts of your kitchen? Well, if you encounter these problems then you should definitely consider renovating your kitchen and making improvements to it.

The kitchen is considered one of the most important parts of the house. This is the place where the mom or dad prepares food for the family to share with. The family bonds together in the kitchen through cooking and eating together. Thus, it is important that the kitchen remains, clean, safe and nice-looking. In cases where the walls or roof of the kitchen is slowly dilapidating, it is a must to repair it immediately. The termites or pest you find in your kitchen can bring disease or illnesses to you and your family because the food you prepare might get contaminated.

Kitchen renovation is not as simple as you might think it is. Careful planning and correct decisions are important to make the renovation less difficult and you will spend less. Budget is a big factor when it comes to renovations so if you have limited budget then you should start with the basic and most important things.

Below are some helpful tips for homeowners to make their kitchen renovation successful.

  1. Always set aside an extra 20% of your total budget because even if you have computed the total cost of the supplies including labor costs, there will be unexpected costs that need to be paid. You should have extra money to pay for it.
  2. Keep in mind that kitchen improvement can be a great investment. When you plan or might need to sell your house in the future, buyers usually look at the kitchen to make sure it is in good condition.
  3. Make sure you know what you want your kitchen to look like. Choose the right appliance, tables, chairs and other kitchen utensils. You can listen to other people or family member’s opinions but in the end you should be the one to make the final decision.
  4. Find the best contractor or home builder in your area or ask recommendations from friends or family.
  5. Before hiring a contractor, make sure to check the background of the person and look at the previous projects the contractor have worked on.
  6. During the planning stage, you should consider the architectural element of your house and make sure the design of your kitchen is compatible to the design of your house.
  7. With regards the setting of your appliances, it is suggested that you keep a straight line for your fridge, sink and gas range but never place your fridge near your gas range.
  8. If you consider adding cabinets in your kitchen, it is recommended that you get pull out drawers rather than buy old-style cabinets which are usually placed above and are difficult to reach.

Follow the tips mentioned above so you can be assured that your kitchen renovation will be successful and you will be happy with outcome.

Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Home improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and you need more space.

Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:

Adding or remodelling a bath

Improving the kitchen

Adding a new room

Landscaping

Adding a bedroom

Adding or enclosing a garage.

If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvements

It’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?

While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.

Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and Money

It should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.

But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.

Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.

To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.

Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.

It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:

Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.

Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.

Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.

Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

Kitchen Improvement Using the Right Refrigerator

For many people a fridge is simply a boring box that stores things to keep fresh and cool. Many people pass by their fridge hundred times a day without even giving it one notice. However nowadays a fridge is so much more than simply a storage space in the kitchen. So when you buy your new refrigerator keep the below points in mind so you get the best in terms of saving space and electricity and greatly enhancing the ambient of any kitchen. Kitchen improvement has never been easier!

The fridges of today have lots of convenience embedded in them to make everyone’s life easier in the cooking area. Also the ability to save lots of electricity is a major plus in anyone’s book. And let’s not forget that the modern refrigerators of today are so beautifully designed that they really contribute to increasing the decor of any cooking space.

When you go fridge shopping, you need to consider a few things to get the best for your home.

  • Capacity. One of the important aspects of the size is how many people live in the house. Basically two people need 8 cubic feet for food and drink storage. Then for each additional person you need to count one extra cubic feet. So for example if you also want a freezer with your fridge, for a 4 person family you will need an appliance of 24 cubic feet.
  • Size. Depending whether you get a built in model or a standard size, you will have a different size fridge. The built in models are basically flush with the countertops and the cabinets which gives them a very modern and elegant look. The other types are wider and taller and many times are made of stainless steel, which gives them a very sleek and futuristic look that many people love. A third size is the very small one that fits right in the kitchen cabinets, and they are usually built with one person in mind.
  • Interior features. Most modern fridges are available with replaceable water filters that give you fresh and cool water all the time. Some very modern ones even have dispensing cubes as well as crushed ice or even shaved ice.
  • Energy saving.There is difficult to find nowadays a new refrigerator that is not energy saving. Many come with bright LED lights that allows you to see well inside the space. The contemporary versions have a saving of 40% versus models that came out in the first years after 2000. When buying your fridge make sure that it has the Energy Start label on it. This means that it uses 20% less energy that those without it.
  • Modern style. The fridge is one kitchen appliance that is sure to enhance the room particularly if you buy one with the exterior color and material matching that of other furniture or appliances in the room. One of the best out materials today for refrigerators is stainless steel.

DIY Home Improvement Tips to Your Success

Everyone knows DIY home improvement projects save you money. Whether you’re improving your home for a better living, or to raise its market value, the greatest reward however is not the money normally. It is the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself.

Let’s face it though. Homeowners like you and I are mostly amateurs at home improvement projects. We over estimate our skill levels and become disappointed when we fail to complete the do-it-yourself home repair in time and within budget. More often than not, we just abandon the projects half-way through.

You don’t have to let that happen to you. After several failures, I have taken the advice from friends and the professionals and compiled them into a list of quick home improvement tips. They’ve helped make my last few DIY home improvement a success and I hope they’ll help you too.

  1. Plan, Plan and Plan Some More

You can’t go wrong planning ahead and be prepared. Work out the project in your head, put it down on paper, then go through it again carefully when you do the actual work. Get more materials than you need. Wastes and scraps do occur in DIY home repair. You’ll be glad when you don’t have to drive back and forth the hardware store to get yet another piece of wood, or yet another pail of paint.

  1. Divide and Conquer

Divide the whole home improvement repair project into smaller tasks that are complete on their own. Don’t think of painting the entire house inside and outside, upstairs and downstairs in one weekend. Think about painting your kid’s room or the kitchen. They will be much easier to handle one small job at a time. And in case the whole project drags on for a while, at least things won’t be so messy.

  1. Better Safe Than Sorry

When the professionals need to wear hard hats and protective glasses, what makes you think you’re better and don’t need those gears? Ear plugs, dusk masks, safety boots are all essential safety gears depending on the type of do-it-yourself home repair job. Don’t have any of them? Well, which you would prefer: Spending money to get the gears now, or to pay the hospital bills later? Your choice.

  1. Quality Counts

Saving money by skimping on quality materials and tools is a bad idea. Sure your do-it-yourself home improvement will cost less. Instead of lasting for 10 years though, maybe you’ll have to redo the project in another 5 years. The right tools will probably get the job done in a month but now you need 3 months or more. You may save money in the short term, but it may cost you more in the long run. Be reasonable though. Don’t pay for quality out of your reach.

  1. Complete the Job

Don’t leave your DIY home improvement project hanging. Finish it. Maybe you’re out of time to complete the project this weekend. So put the tools away, and remember to bring them out again next weekend. Don’t ever start more home improvement projects unless you’ve finished the current one. If you don’t stick to this rule, nothing will ever get done. Really.