Designing An Authentic Old House Kitchen

Old houses have boundless charm, letting modern families get a glimpse into yesteryear and imagine what they might hear if walls could talk. Unfortunately, over the decades of trends and updates, the original beauty and function of the old house is covered up by carpeting, vinyl, and particle-board cabinetry. If you have an old house that has great bones but a lackluster kitchen, you can put some effort into making the kitchen a shining example of modern convenience while staying true to the original architectural style of the home. Here are some things to consider when designing your renovation plans.

1. Choose patterns that make sense.

Many home building trends are hyper-modern, with sleek lines and shiny surfaces. If you are hoping to keep the kitchen looking like it belongs, forego these modern, geometric designs. Instead, research what patterns and styles were popular during the era your house was built. For example, homes that were built in the first decade of the 20th century used small tile designs and mosaics in the bathroom and even in the kitchen. Hexagon, small square, or penny tiles were common. You can call into these trends by making your backsplash from small hexagon tiles instead of the modern white subway tile design. 

2. Be thoughtful with cabinet choice.

Building trends of the 80s and 90s saw a lot of cabinets made from oak in a common, short style, with lackluster finishes. These types of cabinets often prevent your house from getting back to its roots. Instead, research what kitchen cabinets looked like when your home was built. If you cannot possibly match the style, choose a wood that matches the color of the original woodwork in your home. Forgo finishes that are too ornate, because old-fashioned kitchens did not celebrate the kitchen as a thing of beauty, but as a work space. If you do happen to have some original cabinetry left in your home (craftsman homes may have a butler’s pantry or a series of built-in cabinets), try hiring a carpenter to make door fronts that match the style. Keep in mind that open shelves or glass front doors are more period authentic to older houses. Crown molding was more commonly found on the roof than on the cabinets, and under cabinet lighting was also uncommon. 

3. Finish with flair.

After you have cabinets and tiles picked out, keep going with the authentic style through to the finishes. Kitchen faucets should have two handles, since one handle faucets did not exist in old homes. Hardware should be black, bronze, or copper — stainless steel handles and pulls are more modern. White porcelain sinks are more period authentic. If you are brave, you could even choose appliances in an almond color or that are purposely made to look old, instead of opting for flashy stainless appliance. 

For more information, contact Personal Touch Kitchens, Inc. or a similar company.

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From Cozy To Comfortable — 5 Tips For Remodeling A Small Galley Kitchen

If you don’t have a lot of space to work with when remodeling your kitchen, it’s more important than ever to get the layout right. A small galley kitchen is a common facet of older homes and can provide some unique challenges for remodelers. So, what can you do to maximize your cozy galley kitchen? Here are 5 tips for any budget.

Remember the Triangle. One of the most important aspects of any kitchen layout is the “work triangle” – usually consisting of the stove, refrigerator and sink. For a galley kitchen, consider placing the stove on one wall and the sink on the opposite side. Don’t place the refrigerator too close to the stove to avoid wasting energy between the two appliances. Walk the triangle to ensure that it’s comfortable and convenient to use.

Hide Appliances. Avoid placing small appliances on the counter tops to create a clean, long, visually open area. Even larger appliances – such as the stove or range – can often be somewhat “hidden” by choosing minimalist styles, placing them in locations that will not be easily seen or physically hiding them behind cabinet doors.

The Illusion of Depth. There are several ways to make the galley kitchen seem larger or longer. One is to place floor boards lengthwise. Place back splash or wall tiles in the opposite position to create the illusion of depth on the sides. Raising appliances or cabinetry off the floor — and keeping them unadorned and in a single color – can also make things appear wider.

Lighten it Up. The color palette chosen for a small kitchen can do a lot to make it appear larger or smaller. Light colors – such as white, cream, pale pastels or light gray – can help brighten up the space. Adding natural light via a window or skylight can also make things feel less claustrophobic.

Add Storage. The more storage you can fit into the kitchen, the less clutter you’re likely to have. Galley kitchens have the advantage of long, often-uninterrupted cabinet lengths. Adding lazy Susan organizers, drawers or shelf storage systems, integrated garbage cans and hanging storage tools will maximize storage even more. Build upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling to add even more space.

By knowing how to make the best use of your galley-style kitchen layout, you can create the kitchen of your dreams even with little space to work with. Click here to learn more about kitchen remodeling.

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Considerations When Hiring A Handyman For Your Residence Or Business

A professional handyman is a skilled worker who can tackle a wide range of tasks and responsibilities at a residential or business location. A good handyman can do electrical work, plumbing, remodel rooms, paint interior and exterior surfaces, diagnose and repair appliances, fix flooring, clean up patios and yards, repair minor roofing problems, and numerous other tasks. When looking for a reputable and talented handyman, consider the following: 

  • Training and Certification – When interviewing a handyman, ask them about their specific skills and training and if they are qualified to use any specialized tools and equipment. Ask if they have been certified by the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals, which tests and certifies handymen, provides them with group insurance programs, and lists them online by their skills and geographical location. This association also offers updated product and procedure information on numerous handyman projects. 
  • Written Estimate of Repairs and Costs – When you interview a potential handyman, show them the projects that you wish to have completed and ask them for a written and signed estimate of work to be completed and the associated costs that they will charge. After you read the estimate, sign it to show that you are both in agreement as to all aspects of the job. Having this estimate in writing protects you as well as the handyman should you have a later disagreement or dispute. 
  • Handyman License – Many states require a handyman to obtain a license in order work to in your home or business. To obtain this license, a handyman may take classes and be tested on their knowledge and technical skills. Although a handyman’s license is not required in all states, it gives valuable professional credibility to the handyman that has one. 
  • Handyman Liability Insurance – When hiring a handyman to work in your home or business, ask to see their certificates of liability insurance. This insurance protects the handyman against any claims of injury while working on your premises. Additional liability insurance protects the handyman against any claims of injury after completion of their work. Liability for broken or lost tools is included in both of these insurance documents. 
  • Building Permit and Building Inspection – For any work that you wish to have done in your home or business, ask your handyman to obtain a building permit in your state of residence. Keep a copy of this building permit in your records. After completion of your project, ask your handyman to attend the site inspection by the state building inspector sent to approve the completed work and/or repairs. 
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Revolving Doors: Good For Your Business?

As a kid, you may have enjoyed making multiple trips through the revolving door at the local department store. What you probably didn’t realize at the time is that the door was there for practical reasons instead of just your enjoyment. Revolving doors are actually an excellent investment. If you are building or remodeling a commercial building, you should consider having a commercial contractor install a revolving door.

Energy Savings

In both the warm and cold months, a revolving door can save you serious money by limiting energy consumption. Opening a traditional door allows a stream of outdoor air into your building that can drastically lower or raise the temperature. If your building has elevators, the effect is even more pronounced because the air shoots up the shafts and goes out the vents, taking precious heated or cooled air with it. The revolving door stops this draft and offers you significant energy savings. 

Design

Revolving doors offer your building design advantages. They simply look more interesting and give your building an attractive focal point. They also give your architect a powerful tool for creating a powerful design. Although adults enjoy them, children are particularly attracted to revolving doors. Having children push their parents toward visiting your store is certainly a benefit for your business. They also eliminate the constant and annoying sound of doors opening and closing during the business day. The design is simply aesthetically pleasing to a large percentage of the population. 

Crowd Control

Of course, one of the biggest advantages of the revolving door is its ability to manage traffic flow into your store. During particularly busy seasons, people have to awkwardly line up outside traditional hinged doors to enter your business. A revolving door allows traffic to flow smoothly and continually into your building. For people who have their hands full, such as parents with infants, they are particularly easy to use. Also, first impressions are important, and you want consumers to be happy from the moment they enter the store. If their entrance is smooth, you’ve made a good start. 

Revolving doors offer your business a number of advantages. Even though they’ve been around for more than 100 years, they are still seen as something of a novelty, so they make your building stand out in a positive way. They truly are a practical addition to your building as well, limiting your energy expenditures in all seasons. When you are considering a remodel or new construction, don’t overlook the advantages of the revolving door.   

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Pet Friendly Remodeling Ideas

A remodeling project is an opportune time to add a few additions to make your home a little bit more pet friendly. Whether your furry friend is a cat or a dog, there are simple options that are useful and stylish. The following ideas can help inspire you.

Idea #1: A secret entrance

Pet doors can be unattractive, and they can also leave your home open to intruders. Instead of the average pet door, why not create an indoor dog house against an exterior wall. From inside the home it looks like a cabinet. Yet, when you open the cabinet door you reveal a pet bed and a door leading to the outside. When you are away you can lock the cabinet but your pet can still come through the pet door to relax out of the elements. When you are home, leave the cabinet door open so your pet can go in and out at will.

Idea #2: Pet-friendly stairs

Most cats can handle stairs fine, but some dogs have trouble with them – especially smaller breeds. Aging pets, both canine and feline, can also have difficulty with stairs. If you are remodeling the steps in your home, consider adding a ramp strip along one side. This can be a narrow strip that is just wide enough for your pet to walk up without having to climb the steps. Carpeted ramps are best, since they give your pet more traction.

Idea #3: Viewing platforms

This idea is more suited to cats, although you can also use them with smaller dogs that like a window view. Extra-wide window sills or an actual platform can be installed to provide room for a lounging pet. You can even install shelf-like ledges along the walls at varying height so your cats have perches throughout a room.

Idea #4: A pet station

There are several different ways that you can add a pet station into your home. For example, if you are remodeling a bathroom or laundry room, consider adding a pet grooming station. This consists of a small floor basin with a dedicated faucet and handsprayer. This can make it much easier to clean your dog, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or in the mud. For a kitchen remodel, you may want to integrate a built-in feeding station, complete with a floor level faucet for filling up pet dishes and a hidden tilt-out cabinet to store the kibble.

Contact a local remodeling services company for more tips and ideas.

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Got Mold? ~ Get A Hold On The Situation

Do you suspect that you may have mold growing in your home? Perhaps you recently had water damage and you are concerned about whether mold could be a future problem for you. Mold does not always show signs of being present in homes, and if you wait until you see signs that your suspicions are true, an aggressive mold remediation approach might be required. This is why it is best to treat water damage clean-ups and mold growth possibilities as emergencies. The following information will help you to better understand mold remediation and why it is important. 

Determining Mold Presence

Some people with mold in their homes describe a peculiar, musty odor that will not go away regardless of their attempts. For example, the odor might linger after spraying air fresheners or replacing old furniture with new furniture. 

Mold growth may also be evident. You may have seen it growing from surfaces such as walls or through tiles. If you have had water damage and there are brown spots on your walls or ceilings, it is a sign that the water damage was likely not cleaned properly and could be a source of a mold issue. 

The best way to determine if mold is present in your home is by contacting a mold remediation company to perform an inspection. They can detect mold in areas that you would likely never be able to discover it. For example, mold growing in crawlspaces or on the underside of siding might not be obvious to the average person. 

Issues that Put Homes at Risk

Moisture is a common denominator for mold problems. The moisture can come from a number of sources. Plumbing leaks, ventilation issues, roofing leaks, and malfunctioned sump pumps are examples of issues that could contribute to moisture problems. It does not take a copious amount of water or moisture for mold to thrive.

Possible Remediation Steps

After a contractor identifies a mold issue, determining the moisture source, containing the mold or moisture, and determining which clean-up methods to use are part of the remediation process. Moisture issues have to be corrected to prevent another mold problem. For example, ventilation issues might be corrected by installing a dehumidifier, and plumbing leaks might be corrected by replacing pipes or other portions of a plumbing system.

There are several methods of eradicating mold. Special cleaners, UV light, and exposing mold to controlled freezing temperatures are all examples of measure that might be used to get rid of the mold. Remediation will also involve determining whether certain items need to be discarded due to mold contamination, and building materials may also need to be replaced. 

Talk to a company like 3 R’s Construction Management LLC to learn more.

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Take Advantage Of Every Available Square Inch When Remodeling Your Compact Kitchen

If you have a home with a smaller sized kitchen, you may believe your only option is to deal with the limited square footage and make adjustments to your cooking habits or reduce entertaining friends and family in the kitchen. While there may not be much you can do to add space to the kitchen without extensive construction work, there are a number of other projects you can tackle while remodeling to make your kitchen much more efficient.

Get a Sliding Drawer with Compartments for Utensils

Larger sized utensils, such as spatulas, whisks, and soup ladles, can take up a lot of space if they are simply stuffed into a random drawer or left on the counter in a container. Instead of thinking that you need to get rid of some of your most-used utensils to stay organized, consider getting a sliding drawer that has built-in compartments so that everything stays neat.

Keep Spices Out of the Cabinets with a Space-Saving Alternative

Your spices can quickly get out of hand if they are left tossed in a drawer or cabinet, leading to you making a mess every time that you need to reach a specific spice. An easy alternative is mounting them to the wall either through a wall rack or with a magnetic board.

Consider Getting a Pull-Out Cutting Board Installed

Cutting boards can take up a lot of space when stacked inside a cabinet, making it a good idea to get a pull-out cutting board installed instead. By installing a cutting board into a kitchen island or with the rest of your cabinets, you can have a cutting board that is easy to hide and remove when desired.

Keep the Trash and Recycling Cans Hidden in a Cabinet

With limited floor space in your kitchen, it can be frustrating to find an available space for the trash can and recycling bins. Instead of leaving them out, consider shorter sizes that can fit with ease inside a cabinet.

Change the Corner Drawers Out for Better Use

Many people miss out on a lot of extra storage space by choosing corner kitchen cabinets that are difficult to reach the back of. By getting corner cabinets installed with a Lazy Susan tray built right in, you can have the extra storage space you want.

Remodeling your kitchen in the most efficient manner can make a big difference in how open your kitchen feels and the ease of organizing after the project is finished. With the above tips in mind, you will be able to make great improvements to the kitchen without any issues. 

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5 Home Improvement Projects That Are Good Investments

Home improvement projects are a great way to improve the condition of your house while also adding value, but most homeowners have a limited remodeling budget. If you’re considering making some improvements to your home, you probably want to spend your money wisely and ensure that you choose projects that are a good value. Some of the home improvement projects with the highest rate of return include:

Upgrade Attic Insulation

Upgrading the insulation in your attic may not be the most exciting project, but it is a very good investment. In addition to helping you save money on heating and cooling costs, upgraded attic insulation also provides an excellent rate of return. You can expect to recoup 116.9% of what the project costs when you sell you home.

Kitchen Remodel

An old, outdated kitchen can drag down the overall look of a home, so it is not surprising that kitchen remodeling is a very popular project with homeowners. A kitchen remodel can be a big, messy project, but when it is done right the results are typically worth it. On average, the rate of return on a remodeled kitchen is 83.1%.

Bathroom Remodel

Like kitchens, old bathrooms can be quite an eyesore. Many homeowners enjoy remodeling their bathrooms with upgraded flooring and counter tops, and luxury features such as a jetted spa tub or a steam shower. A bathroom remodel can improve your daily life, and you can feel good knowing that the project will add a good amount of value to your home. Overall, most bathroom remodels offer a 65.7% rate of return.

Replace the Roof

Roofs take a beating from the outdoor elements, and they don’t last forever. If your roof is getting old or you don’t know the last time it was replaced, it is a good idea to replace it. You will have a hard time selling a home with an old roof that needs to be replaced, so it is better to do the project well before you need to put the house on the market. A new roof is a good investment– you’ll likely get back 71.7% of the amount you spend on the project.

Add a Backyard Wood Deck

Outdoor spaces have become an extension of indoor living spaces, so having an inviting backyard is something that most homeowners want. If you’re considering a big backyard project, think about having a wood deck built. A new deck will provide a great place to relax and enjoy nature, and this project has a great rate of return at 75%.

To learn more, contact a company like Kitchen N Bath Visions

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What Should You Expect When Doing Your First Kitchen Remodeling Project?

If you’re a big fan of television shows with room makeovers and have finally chosen to do something about your outdated kitchen, the possibilities can be exciting. However, if you haven’t done a remodeling project like this in real life, you might not know what to expect and what is normal when taking on a kitchen remodeling project. Here are some of the things you should expect as you go through the process.

You Might Need Permits from Your Town

One thing you’ll have to do before anything else is to head down to your municipal zoning and permits offices. Some cities and towns require permits for home remodeling projects. If you plan to rent a dumpster, you may also need a permit for it if you’re planning to have the dumpster situated on a local street and not your property. Failure to gain appropriate permits may result in expensive fines.

You Might Need Contracting Help

Depending on what you want to do to your kitchen, it can be overwhelming to deal with the number of professionals you’ll have to hire to get the project finished. You might want to have a new sink put in, for instance, but after a few days of trying to do it by yourself, you might welcome the help of a plumber. You might want to update the lighting and need an electrician. Finding reasonably-priced professionals and then scheduling the work for all of them can be a difficult process.

To alleviate some of the stress, contacting a reputable general contractor can be helpful. Most general contractors already have existing relationships with electricians, plumbers and other remodeling professionals and oversee the entire process for you. They can use those relationships to help you save on parts and supplies, and they can create a schedule that works well for everyone so that your project is completed without many delays.

Your Own Decisions Might Cause You to Pay More Than the Estimate

You might expect that you’ll end up paying more than the estimate when everything is completed. However, what you may not realize is that changing your mind in the middle of the process might be the reason why.

For example, you may change your mind about the granite countertops that have already been delivered. If that happens, the countertops will have to be packed again and sent back to the manufacturer. Then, you’ll have to wait for new ones to arrive and be put on properly. All of those things will cause a delay in completing the project, but labor and shipping costs may build as well. Make an effort to stick with what you’ve chosen once work begins.

Remember the information above as your first kitchen remodeling project begins. If you have any questions about how you can help things to go smoothly, ensure you’re regularly in contact with your contractor, who can provide more suggestions.  

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4 Tips To Get Your Deck Ready For Spring

With spring right around the corner, it is time to get your deck ready for the warm weather. Follow these four steps to get your deck ready for the warm spring time weather. 

#1 Clean Your Deck

The first thing you need to do is get out your big, soft push broom and use it to get rid of the leaves and dirt that has accumulated on your deck over the winter. You want to keep debris off your deck; this will protect the wood on your deck from rotting or becoming damaged due to the build up of natural debris. 

Make sure that the broom you use has soft bristles; if the bristles are too hard, they could scratch the surface of your deck.

#2 Dry Out Your Mats

The second thing you need to do is dry out your welcome mats that you have placed on your deck near the door into your home. Many of these mats are not designed to release moisture, and it can get trapped underneath. Hang up your mats to let them and the wood underneath to dry out. If you fail to move your mats and dry them out, the wood underneath them could become rotten. 

#3 Add A New Coat Of Seal

Next, you need to add a new coat of wood sealer to your deck. If you add a sealer before your current sealer breaks down, you’ll protect your wood. If you wait for the sealer to break down, your deck will become exposed to the elements. Applying a new coat of sealer every year or so will protect your deck and keep the wood safe from the elements.

#4 Secure Loose Boards

As you apply the sealant, keep an eye out for loose boards and nails. If you see any nails or screws that are loose, nail or screw them back into place. This will keep the wood planks in place. If any of the wood boards have become loose, you may need to completely replace the nails and screws. Wood is porous and can expand and contract over time, which is why you need to keep an eye on the screws, nails and boards every year.

You can get your deck ready for the warm spring weather by following the tips above. Once you clean your deck off and prepare it for spring, you can pull out your patio furniture and set it up, and start enjoying your nice deck. Check out materials such as trex decking for more information. 

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About Me

When making home renovations, what improvements will give you the best return on investment? If you are looking to increase the value of your home, there are some projects that should be given a greater priority than others. I have created this blog to help homeowners that are trying to decide where to begin with renovations find the best place to start. I will show you what will come with the best return on investment and what will not do anything to improve the value of your home. Hopefully, my years of experience flipping homes will help you make the best possible choices.

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