7 Kitchen Organizing Tips So That You Can Actually Find the Things You Need When You Need Them

You need to properly organize your kitchen at least 2-3 times a year. Many times we all have stored so many things in our pantries, drawers, desks, cabinets and just generally in the kitchen that we can’t find when we need them. Plus when we find them, they’re either out of date and need throwing away, or they’re spilled all over the place or we simply find them later than we actually want and by then we have bought a second set of whatever we needed. And the vicious circle goes on.

There are a few things you need to know in order to make the best of your kitchen organization, such as:

  • Take out everything from your pantry and check for any expiration dates. If they are old, throw them away. Clean your pantry shelves and put back everything in a way that makes sense to you. For example, things that expire soonest put them up front to see them and use them. Things that belong to the same type (e.g. spices, cans, soups of all sorts) put all in one place.
  • When you finished your pantry, do the same thing to your cupboards, shelves, drawers and everything that has things stored inside them.
  • Put the various appliances such as the cooking utensils, the pots and the pans next to the stove for easy reach. Put the smaller pots in the larger ones to save yourself some space.
  • Check that your plastic containers have tight fitting lids. Temporarily you can use aluminum foil but this should be just for a few containers, not the norm.
  • For families with small children avoid keeping dangerous items and chemicals under the sink as they are easily reachable by kids. If they can get to them, they will.
  • Use your countertop for preparing your food and not for storing various things on them. Put any kitchen appliances that you no longer need away in cabinets or on shelves.
  • If you have lots of spices, keep them alphabetically so you can find them easily. Many people use color coding based on the colors of the caps, but there are only so many colors to remember before you confuse the red paprika with the chicken spice mix.

One of the best ways to organize your kitchen the proper way is by using kitchen cabinet organizers [http://www.kitchencabinetorganizers.org/] and kitchen drawer organizers [http://www.kitchencabinetorganizers.org/kitchen-drawer-organizers/]. Particularly those that are extendable or with 2-3 tiers should not be missing from any self-respecting kitchen.

Being Organized is Half the Battle Won


Kitchen cleaning tips will help you in the task of getting that very busy room clean and keeping it clean. Speed cleaning is the essence in any home cleaning. It is the one room in the house that not only the family has access to but so do friends and visitors. The constant flow of traffic through the kitchen sometimes sees the home owner leave more items out and available than would normally be the case. It is a room that needs to be organized at all times so that people can find what they are looking for and do not make a mess trying to find things.

Kitchen cleaning tips

  1. The first job is to go through the kitchen and get rid of any outdated products. Anything that is just about at the due date needs to be used so it is not wasted.
  2. Organizing your pantry. Use containers for your products, whether they be glass jars or plastic containers and then make sure that each of them has a label. Is it time to purchase a set of containers so that the panty can be well organized? I used to think this was extravagant, but once I had done it I wished I had done it years before. Organizing the pantry is not just a matter of making it look nicer and be cleaner, but also making it much easier to find items. It is not a good idea to have open packets in the pantry as this encourages weevil moths and other pests.
  3. Before putting your pantry items back, clean it out with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar which is a natural disinfectant.
  4. Consider putting a dry erase board inside the pantry door to list the items that are running low.
  5. Attend to the fridge in the same manner, creating some sort of order on the shelves so that items can be found really easily. Before putting everything back in the fridge wipe the fridge out with a mix of lemon juice and water to freshen it up and remove odors.
  6. Wipe out the microwave with vinegar and water.
  7. Cleaning down the bench tops – with so many different bench top products on the market do find out which cleaners are going to do the job efficiently for your bench top. Although you will probably be recommended a commercial cleaner often an eco friendly mix like vinegar and water will do the job. For tougher stains sprinkle some baking soda over the area then rub down with the vinegar and water mix.
  8. Baking soda is also very good for cutting through grime and bleaching grout so if you have either of these jobs to do in the kitchen then use this eco friendly product.

When cleaning bench tops or other softer items like carpet and lino, do ‘a test clean’ first in a corner that will not be noticeable if there is a little color fading. This is always a good motto when using products throughout the house. As mentioned earlier, if the kitchen is organized then following kitchen cleaning tips of any sort will make the task that much easier and you will be able to speed up your cleaning of the house.

Kitchen Remodelling Tips From a Contemporary Kitchen Owner


Are you a little clueless as to how you could come up with the best contemporary kitchen design at your home? Well, you might want to read this article to get some tips. I’ve always been fascinated with contemporary kitchens and so, after getting myself one, I’d like to share my experiences about it.

First thing that I did was make a research about contemporary kitchens and I’ve learned that it’s more similar to Italian kitchens. They have eye-catching designs as well as remarkable functionalities. It works with geometrical and curved shapes just like with the table and working tops. It has this effect which allows it to enlarge the working area. Such kitchens could save up space in the area and at the same time provide the homeowner the kind of satisfaction as compared to other designs.

Second thing that I did was try to talk to people who also got themselves a contemporary kitchen. I always believe that first-hand details and first-hand experiences are good sources of information. I also visit their kitchens to actually see the beauty itself. I ask them questions, like the advantages and disadvantages of having such design, the cost, the perks and other concerns. Do not hesitate to ask questions since it could also help you be aware in the future and with that, you would know how to deal should problems arise.

Third, I looked for the best kitchen specialist in town. I browsed the internet as well as the directory. Of course, I also asked for referrals from the same people I have spoken with regarding┬ácontemporary kitchens. They were able to give me a handful of very good kitchen specialists. I was told to look for a company who could be trusted and would definitely follow the design you have visualized in your mind. What’s the point of asking help from specialists if they aren’t able to do the custom kitchen designs you have set in mind, right? Also, I was advised to be very cautious in selecting a company who’ll work for me since there are a lot of fake kitchen specialists lurking especially if it’s a company I found online. It will always better to be safe than sorry since kitchen remodeling would cost a lot.

Fourth, after getting the necessary information and after picking the right specialist, it’s time for the real work. Even during the first day of the remodeling of my kitchen, I was all eyes on the details that the kitchen specialists were doing. I gave them clear instructions as to how I want things to be done. We worked like a team and everything came in smoothly. Eventually, they were able to achieve the kind of design that I’ve visualized.

Tips for Your Next Kitchen Improvement Project


We shall explore your next home kitchen improvement proposition. As the experts in Ottawa home improvement we have assisted thousands of home owners create the kitchen of their dreams. When planning your next kitchen renovations it is a good idea to picture your dream kitchen in your head first. By looking through examples from websites, showrooms, home depot, etc. you get a better idea of what you want your kitchen to look like.

Kitchen Cabinetry:
Do you want oak? Vaneer? Pressed wood? Pine? The type of cabinets you choose create the look/feel of your new kitchen. If money is tight in your situation then it would be recommended that you go with a special non-oak cabinet that gives the appearance of oak. This vaneer material gives your kitchen renovation the look and feel of oak without the price of oak, which is perfect for budget conscience customers. The type of wood you choose dictates the wood grain and textures that your kitchen’s character will display. If you are looking for a modern look then perhaps a pine kitchen will suffice if you are looking for a rich looking kitchen then maybe oak is your choice, or maybe you want a contemporary look therefore birch wood would be perfect for you.

The type of countertop you choose will set the overall tone of your new kitchen remodeling project, so it is critical to make the right choice. Whether you go with granite, laminate, or any other stone/solid there is always a cost associated with each material choice. The most costly would be the stone countertops and least costly would definitely be the laminate kitchen counters. Granite and Quartz are the highest you can go for a granite countertop solution. Going with a vinyl/laminate still provides a nice look without hurting the wallet, it would be the cheapest material for countertops.

Kitchen flooring and Accessories
The last, but not least, items to check off your list would be the kitchen floor, the kitchen backsplash, and the kitchen faucets. Choosing wisely will make your kitchen upgrade look like it was made for a prince. Let’s start with the floor, a very common installation for kitchen flooring would be ceramic or porcelain tiles. Installing ceramic stones ensures durability, water protection, and a beautiful kitchen that you will be happy with. It is recommended not to use hardwood flooring due to water damage because of high water exposure. After you have tackled the kitchen tiles you have to decide on what faucets to go with, which is usually very easy because a simple trip to your local hardware store will give you more than enough kitchen ideas to work with. Last but not least the backsplash you choose will dictate the accent of your kitchen; you can either go with a simple tile design or a beautiful mosaic finish.
The most popular type of backsplash would definitely the standard ceramic tile with the occasional accent here and there, if you wish to go higher end then mosaic tiles or glass tiles would suit your fancy.

Armed with knowledge about kitchen cabinets, kitchen counter-tops, and kitchen tiles as well as accessories you are well on your way a kitchen design that you can be happy with. If you are thinking of a classic kitchen design or a new kitchen system then the kitchen design ideas expressed in this article should give you some tips/tricks to help you better understand your upcoming kitchen renovations. When planning your next kitchen renovations please consult a trained professional to assist you in avoiding a kitchen nightmare.


How To Help A Home Sell Faster

Before a home is placed on the housing market for sale, engaging a kitchen remodel helps to sell a home faster. Here are a few kitchen remodeling tips that will increase a homeowner’s buyer pool and that pay off according to recent cost vs value home remodeling reports.

1) CUSTOM KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS – Upgrading a kitchen’s workspaces by replacing the countertops with a natural stone like granite or a high quality ‘look-a-like’ adds instant impact. A luxury kitchen remodel look can be obtained at a fraction of the usual cost if a suitable remnant piece can be used. Numerous green countertop materials continue to emerge for consumer choices with both the sustainability and style to appeal to potential buyers and help sell a home.

2) KITCHEN ACCESSORIES THAT ADD POLISH – A homeowner has the ability to re-accessorizing cabinetry in a myriad of ways that create functional and unique kitchen features. Adding crown molding to existing cabinets can accentuate the architectural detailing of your home’s style and give your kitchen a luxury look. New cabinet hardware, featuring one pulls can take a kitchen to a new level. Installing new knobs, pulls, and cabinet hinges with trendy replacements can add tremendous personality to your kitchen. From sleek and modern to classic and ornate, kitchen hardware upgrades refresh the entire look of a kitchen. Brushed nickel knobs are one popular trend.

3) CREATE A UNIQUE BACKSPLASH – A kitchen is quickly set apart with personal choices using costume designed backsplash tiles for areas around the cook stove or wherever wall surfaces need extra protection from moisture and cooking splatters. Homeowners can choose form glamorous glass, antique mirrors, mother-of-pearl mosaics, or use the earthy natural designs embedded in tumbled marbles, limestone or porcelains that outshine anything manufactured.

4) KITCHEN APPLIANCE UPGRADES ADD STYLE AND FUNCTION – Updated kitchen appliances improve a kitchen’s overall look while keeping energy bills lower than before. New appliance models are not only smart-looking but if they feature the Energy Star seal, current owners and potential homebuyers know that appliance exceeds Department of Energy guidelines for energy efficiency by at least 10 percent. According to a recent survey by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, energy-efficient products are among the top trends in kitchen upgrades that deliver long-term cost vs value to consumers.

5) UPGRADE THE KITCHEN SINK AND FAUCET – Luxury looks to the sink area are easily and reasonably obtained with a new faucet head. As one part of the kitchen everyone will use, creating a positive impression to potential home buyers with a clean, stylish and energy-efficient faucet is a sure plus.

Your Best Kitchen Knives And Some Kitchen Safety Tips

You love to cook and your family and friends enjoy the culinary creations that you make. You have a level of culinary skill and kitchen knife skills and you use the best kitchen knives possible as well and this makes the presentation of your creations that much more satisfying. These are all good skills to have especially if you love to cook as much as I do! Besides all of the skills you possess in the kitchen and the kitchen knife skills that you have, you would be totally shocked at the number of kitchens in America have inadequate safety and security measures in them. I know what you are thinking: “Safety and security?” Sounds like a big government top secret installation under a defcon condition. It is not, it is your kitchen. The kitchen is the most creative place in your home and in turn can be one of the most dangerous places in your home. Safety and security in your kitchen is something that really needs to be addressed in order for you to have a safer home. Here are five very simple kitchen safety tips to make your kitchen more secure.

Always have multiple fire extinguishers in the home and that means one in the kitchen as the greater percentage of house fires begin in the kitchen in the form of grease fires. Keep your stove/oven clean and this will help prevent grease fires from happening.

Be aware of the handles on your pans. Turn them toward the center of the stove top when you are cooking. Be aware of where utensils are, you don’t want to reach across stove burners to get a utensil and get burned doing it. Don’t wear shirts with long sleeves when cooking because they could possibly catch fire.

The kitchen is not a place for children to play. Handles from pots and pans could be in the wrong position if they are not turned toward the center of the stove top. The burner knobs could be reachable by a child. Knives may be accessible and cause injury. Things can fall off counter tops and cause injury.

Kitchen knife skills are great, but you need to keep your best kitchen knives out of reach of children and always treat your blades with respect. Store your blades in a safe place where children can’t get at them. Don’t leave your blades in the sink to be accessed by children.

Always use a kitchen cutting board, like a John Boos cutting board. Never prepare food on surfaces that are not designed to prepared food on as you can run the risk of food cross contamination and food poisoning.

So now along with your kitchen knife skills and culinary skills you now have a set of safety and security skills that will make your home a safer place to be. One of the best things is that most of these safety tips won’t require you to spend a lot of money to get them accomplished as you already have everything you need.

Kitchen Design Tips That Make Remodeling Easy As Pie

The kitchen is one of the most used and valuable rooms in your home. Designing your own kitchen can be a gratifying experience. Whether you want to increase your home’s value or are just in need of an update, kitchen design can help transform your home. Starting a kitchen design project can be overwhelming, so consider these main points and kitchen design tips before you dive in.

  1. Budget

You don’t have to allocate money to individual projects or appliances right away, but you should have an overall budget before you start getting too caught up in your plans. You also should set budget for time as well. How long can you afford to live without your kitchen? This will affect the extent of the design. Even a rough guide will be invaluable during the initial planning phases.

  1. Space and Layout

The amount of space available will be a determining factor in the final layout. Small spaces will need to be made compact and functional. Larger spaces can also pose difficulties as you don’t want to be running from fridge to oven during an important meal. You want to maximize available space and also determine what secondary functions the kitchen should have. Will it be strictly for cooking or is there space for an informal dining or activity area?

  1. The Golden Triangle

This is a commonly referred to kitchen design concept. The golden triangle is the three appliances or areas of the kitchen that you utilize the most often (fridge, oven, dishwasher, sink-it will vary by person). These are recommended to be placed in a triangle formation so you will never have to move far to complete any given task. Although many people find this setup useful, there are many other layout designs that may be better suited for your needs.

  1. Storage

Before you start picking out marble countertops and stainless steel appliances, you’ll want to carefully plan out storage space. Many professional designers have come up with creative ways to maximize space even in the smallest of kitchens. Drawers and cabinets should be easy to access and not spread too far apart.

You need to also think of safety issues if you have small children. Knives should be stored in either locking safety drawers or high enough up where small hands can’t reach. Heavy objects that can fall need a storage area low to the ground.

  1. Lighting

Natural and artificial lighting can change the entire mood of a kitchen, so it’s best not to overlook or skimp on these aspects. Adding windows to breakfast areas or in front of preparation counters will not only make cooking a pleasure, but can help you save on some electricity as well.

  1. Color

Color palettes will have a large impact on your kitchen design. The materials used for the floor, countertops, and appliances are all affected by your chosen color scheme. Are you looking for ultra-modern stainless steel appliances? Then the pastel blue walls might clash. Consider how the different components and their appearance can complement each other.

Kitchen Remodeling Tips And Suggestions for Your Home

Remodeling a kitchen takes a great deal of planning. You have to decide what you want to change, what can stay and what your budget is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are well worth once it is done. You get a beautiful kitchen set up just the way you want it and it is a great selling feature if you have plans on selling your home.

There are many things to consider when remodeling a kitchen; such as do you prefer cabinets or drawers, would an island or breakfast bar, do you want Granite, Formica or Travertine countertops, do you need more storage, etc.?

One of the greatest challenges is choosing a reputable contractor, unless of course you decide to do it yourself. The right contractor will make this difficult process as easy as possible. With a little research you should be able to find the right kitchen remodeling contractor. For some suggestions read Tips For Choosing a General Contractor.

Whether you have a large kitchen or one with limited space, you should always try to make every inch count to maximize functionality. Once you have your kitchen space planned out the other challenge in remodeling your kitchen is to not only choose good materials and colors for it but also create a lively interior that incorporates appliances and cabinets with structural elements.

Plan where you will be putting your fridge, oven and other kitchen appliances. Creating a lively interior can be a challenge, but a detailed plan can help provide order. There is an imaginary triangle that you should use when remodeling your kitchen which experts call the kitchen work triangle. This is an imaginary straight line from the center of your sink to the center of your fridge and your cook top. The triangle should be planned using equal distances between each of the three appliances to promote efficiency.

To further make your kitchen user-friendly it is important that no entry, appliance or cabinet doors block each other when they are open. If you have an island in your kitchen, an appliance or door on the island should not hit an appliance or cabinet door across from it.

Modern kitchens usually face the dining area so that the cook can still talk to his or her guests or family members while preparing a meal. If you are worried that you might not be able to distinguish which is your kitchen and which is your dining area if you do this, all you have to do is pick the area with a higher ceiling and make that your kitchen.

For kitchens that are small, finding space for storage can be a major problem. One of the best ways to keep a smaller kitchen organized is to build a walk-in pantry instead of using cabinets. Removing items that you hardly use can also make space for the things you do need in your kitchen.

Countertops can differ in heights and this allows for visual variety and helps to maximize productivity. Vary your cabinet door styles to make your space more interesting; after all, your kitchen does not have to be uniform. Use one style of door for your wall cabinets and another style for the island. Or choose different cabinet colors or decorative finishes to add some interest.

For those who do find appliances to be eye soars, there are panels that you can install to hide these appliances so they blend in with the rest of the cabinetry. Just make sure the panels match your cabinets. For items that you can’t really hide, like your stovetop, using a raised ledge or breakfast bar on your island or kitchen peninsula can help hide the stove. If you are going with double ovens installing one or both ovens into your island will help make sure that oven is out of view.

An easy way to also help hide your appliances is to buy stainless steel. Stainless steel appliances reflect the color of their surroundings, and since the material is neutral these appliances are often much less noticeable. In addition, they add a higher end look to any kitchen.

Get ideas by looking at pictures of other kitchen remodeling jobs. The Internet is a great place to do this. This will help you get inspiration of how you want your kitchen decorated and arranged. Looking at kitchen remodeling ideas will also keep you up to date on the latest trends in kitchen design. It is not always a good idea to go with the latest trends and sometimes better to go with something more timeless if you plan on living with it for the next twenty years.

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


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.