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Renovation House

Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovation: Planning for Function and Beauty

The best looking kitchens in the world can’t make up for poor planning. If the guiding principle of the “work triangle”–meaning the close proximity of the refrigerator, sink, and range–is broken, then the kitchen will always feel and look awkward. Functionality has to lead the plan, and a connection to the outdoors and nature can lead a great design. While a small window over the kitchen sink used to be the kitchen highlight, now large windows and glass doors leading onto the deck or patio is the norm.
If you are redesigning your kitchen within its existing footprint, then plan wide walkways. The pathways throughout should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths around the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide if two people are cooking.
Place the refrigerator in a location accessible to both kitchen guests and the one or two cooks actually working in the cooking and cleanup areas. Also, keep the cook-top out of traffic areas so guests or children don’t accidentally catch handles and cause spills when walking through.
Keep the refrigerator, dishwashers, oven ranges away from the kitchen corners. You don’t want the doors banging into each other if they need to be opened at the same time. Also, to make kitchen cabinets fully functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and the best swing direction in your kitchen design.
If you can create a separate walk-in pantry, it frees up space in the kitchen that may be used for wider doors and windows that can look out at the rear garden view. This is especially helpful as at least one wall is lost to windows and a door and there’s less space for cabinets. One handy tip, if you do build a walk-in pantry room, include an additional stand-alone freezer. It allows you to keep your grocery budget in check by buying and storing lower-priced bulk items.
And, if you can, open up the ceiling and expand the kitchen upward. It adds a sense of spaciousness and can also provide upper cabinets for long term storage of rarely used items, such as large bowls and baskets.
Kitchen Islands
Peninsulas and kitchen islands do look wonderful and provide an awesome place to gather friends and family while cooking–or even a great informal place to eat. However, plan the wide pathways accordingly. You need at least 42 inches between the island and the surrounding cabinets and appliances to maintain traffic flow, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and your local building codes. While the island might be one of the most desired items, if it’s not appropriate to the scale of the room, it won’t work for you or for your home’s value.
Additional cabinet space and a prep sink increase an island’s function, but think hard about adding a cook-top. The splatters, mess and smells it creates are a nuisance. And consider the ventilation, which is dependent upon the layout. Experts have tested and found under-cabinet and wall-chimney hoods, the type commonly used over ranges, are much better at capturing smoke and steam than the downdraft systems frequently put in islands.
The Open Floor Plan
Trends will continue for kitchen designs to open their floor plans to include an informal family living space, formerly called the “den.” It is now called the “great room” and is considered to be the most likely room to be included in new homes built in 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ survey.
If you can afford to expand your kitchen renovation, then break down a wall or two and integrate the kitchen with an adjacent room or family living space to create your must-have great room feature. Therefore, when it comes to your design focus of connecting with the outdoors via large windows and glass doors to the deck, patio, garden or backyard, then let the idea expand to the design of the great room as well. However, while you are letting in the light and the view, it’s necessary to keep heated and cooled air from leaking out. Pay the added expense for windows and doors with extra insulating features like heat-reflecting low-E coatings or argon gas between glass panes.
Be Practical
Find the correct height and location for a microwave oven as it may vary from the standard depending on the height of the chef or the kids in the household. For adults, the standard is at least 15 inches above the counter-top level. For kids, a below the counter-top shelf setup might be more suitable. Also, consider how and where you use items as you plan the pantries and cabinets so you can eliminate wasted steps, like locating flatware drawers near the dishwasher for ease of unloading.
Be smart and don’t sacrifice …

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Home Repair

Choosing a Contractor For Your Kitchen Remodel

When you set out to remodel your kitchen, one of the most important decisions you will make is which contractor to hire. It can be difficult to choose quality kitchen contractors who meet your needs, budget, and matches your tastes. Doing research on the Internet is a great way to find a list of contractors to interview. Word of mouth is also a priceless thing. Ask people who have done remodeling recently, and you will get praise, advice, and warnings.
You will want to narrow down your research information and interview about three to four contractors. One of the surest signs of a good contractor who has a lot of experience will be small hints of reliability. For example, answering every question you have in an assuring, honest way is a sign of a contractor who will be great to work with. Ask for references. This is one of the best ways to find out if this contractor you are interviewing is the one you want to work with.
They should be able to give you a close estimate for all work, and an expected schedule. Even though time can be an unsure detail when it comes to building, the contractor should be able to give a good estimate of how long the work will take to finish.
Find out what subcontractors your chosen contractor will be using. You will want to know who is going to have access to your home at any given time. Check to make sure the contractor is licensed and insured. They should also be able to secure all the work permits needed and have any inspections done that may be required to deem the work safe.
A good contractor should also include you in the remodel process as much as possible without causing you much stress. They should consult with you before making any big decision, but they should also be confident in making small decisions that they know will not affect or compromise your preferences.
Make sure your contractor knows you have a certain budget. They should know if this budget is tight or flexible. This will enable them to offer you options that fit your budget without getting you excited over material choices that you will not be able to afford. An honest, reputable contractor will work with your budget and not try to nickel and dime you to death.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Why Choose a Fitted Kitchen

If you haven’t heard the term fitted kitchen before then you really should find out all you can about this design method if you plan on doing any remodeling or upgrading of the most important area of your home. Kitchens are no longer just for cooking, they have now become a center of conversation and socializing as more and more people choose to explore culinary recipes for their guests. The preparation of the meals has now become an important part of the overall dining experience when friends come over for dinner.
A fitted kitchen works well for this type of entertaining because it can really become a showcase which can be formulated in any way you desire. For example, you can install and island and that can be your work space, your cook top, a butcher block, or a place for your friends to sit and chat while drinking wine and watching you cook. The fitted kitchen idea allows you to create what ever setting and style you want.
Up until the 1950’s most kitchens were an eclectic grouping of functional appliances and storage units. The fridge would be one make and color, the stove another, and the dishwasher (well, lets just say it had two hands instead of an auto setting). This started to change as consumers began to move out to the suburbs and houses were being designed, built, and furnished as a finished unit. The consumer wanted to move into a completed home and using the design concept of fitting the kitchen helped with supplying that need.
When a kitchen is fitted all the items “fit together” this means the cabinets and appliances all match. In fact, the current rage is to install panels on the front of appliances which allows for the matching of the cabinet faces.
This method also makes very efficient use of space as you no longer have a corner that is only used for collecting dust. You can now have a lazy Susan or several other options that utilize that space and allow you much more storage than you ever had before. If you are looking for a kitchen that will be used for entertaining or you want a kitchen that is a reflection of you and your tastes then a kitchen that is fitted is the choice you want to explore.…

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House Improvements

Why Use Glass Mosaic Tiles for Kitchen Renovation?

Kitchen is the most important place in your house because that is where the entire family sits together to have their meals. Hence, many believe that the most important family discussions happen over the dining table in the kitchen. Hence, we must take good care of our kitchen. On the other hand, women are very concerned about the way their kitchen looks and they would never tolerate that their kitchen looks ugly and is not appreciated by the guests. Hence, many people go for kitchen renovation to make sure they get all the compliments when their guests come home. In recent times people are using glass tiles for their kitchen. Hence, we need to know why glass mosaic tiles are soon becoming so popular especially when it comes to kitchen renovation.
The biggest reason for it is the huge amount of variety in designs and colors. When people are thinking about renovation they are normally thinking about new designs and new colors in their mind. Although some people go for the same bright color but there are many people who would like to experiment and give new looks to their kitchen. Hence, they look out for glass tiles that are available in different colors and designs. Glass mosaic tiles are available in more than thousand different colors and designs and that attracts many women towards it.
Women today have lot of responsibilities on their shoulders and therefore they have very little time for cleaning and maintaining their kitchen. On the other side, bachelors who stay alone don’t have time for cleaning and maintain their kitchen as well. Glass mosaic tiles are easy to clean and maintain and therefore people prefer to use it over regular ceramic tiles. You can simply wipe off the tough stains from the tile without any issues and there is no impact or permanent stain on it. Hence, your kitchen always looks clean and neat even when you don’t pay attention to it.
Kitchen and bathroom are the only two places where you might have to think about water-proof tiles. Glass tiles have water proof qualities and therefore you can be sure that your kitchen will always be dry and clean. You can quickly wipe off the excess water on the tile and that’s it. You don’t have to mop for a long time because glass mosaic tiles are already water proof and they can dry up in seconds.
The chances of slipping is more when there is water. Since glass mosaic tiles are water proof there are no chances of slipping. Some of the glass mosaic tiles have anti-slippery feature that does not allow you to slip even if there is water on the floor.
Kitchen tiles have to be tougher because there are many utensils and gadgets all around. Most of the glass mosaic tiles are scratch proof and therefore no matter how you handle your utensils you will never find a scratch on your mosaic tiles. Hence, your kitchen will always look like newly renovated.…

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Remodeling Contractors

Kitchen Renovation: Increase the Value of Your Home

A kitchen renovation is one of the smartest ways to add value to your home. Real estate experts agree that a well-designed and updated kitchen attracts buyers. Whether you are completely remodeling or simply making a few updates, homeowners can improve the appeal of their home and increase the value with a kitchen renovation.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report, a homeowner will recoup about 60% of the cost of a major kitchen renovation. This makes it one of the best remodeling choices for homeowners looking to build equity in their home. A modern kitchen makes your home more valuable and more attractive to buyers when the time comes to sell.
The kitchen is the heart of a home. It is a place to gather as a family, visit with friends, and share meals. Because it is one of the most popular rooms in the house, kitchens tend to suffer a lot of wear and tear over time. Countertops, appliances, and flooring can get worn and damaged, decreasing the style and appeal of the room.
A kitchen renovation may include knocking down walls to add space or redesigning the layout to improve functionality. Homeowners have the chance to design the room they have always wanted. Make the most of it by increasing storage space and improving traffic flow.
Consider upgrading your appliances to high-efficiency models. Not only can they save you money in energy costs, you may be eligible for tax rebates. Be sure that your electrical wiring and plumbing are properly installed to prevent damage and ensure that your appliances will work correctly.
Your existing cabinets can be re-surfaced or you may decide to replace them entirely with new ones. Choose a countertop surface that will blend well with your cabinets. Stone, especially granite, gives your kitchen an up-scale and classic look that will last the lifetime of your home.
Hardwoods and ceramic tiles are the most popular choices for kitchen flooring. Both materials are attractive to buyers and need very little maintenance to look good.
Lighting is extremely important in the kitchen. Ambient lighting will keep the room bright. Task lighting illuminates the food prep and cooking area. Under cabinet lighting can accentuate the beauty of your room.
Find a wall color that will accentuate your new cabinets, flooring, appliances, and countertops. Consider the addition of a colorful backsplash or accent wall to create a focal point in the room.
A kitchen renovation is a large project and can take months to fully complete. Discuss a timeline and a specific budget for your project with a professional renovation expert so you will know what to expect.
Not everyone is willing or able to complete a large-scale renovation of the kitchen. Even minor improvements can change the entire look of your kitchen and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Whether you are selling your home or simply want to improve the room’s appearance, small projects like painting or replacing outdated appliances can make a big difference to the value of your home.…