by Mike | Renovation
A very direct statement about home contractors is that many are bad. Several homeowners have had bad experiences with them. They are not regular about answering telephone calls, showing up at the specified time, doing what they state, etc. However, not all home contractors are bad. There are great ones too. However, many people do not know how to distinguish a quality contractor from substandard ones. They understand their mistake quite a while after having done the hiring. Below are some steps for recognizing quality home renovation contractors prior to hiring one.
The first step to finding quality home renovation contractors
It is very important to make a list of contractors first. The list will have the name and phone number of several contractors in the locality of a homeowner. A popular method for making this list is referrals. The homeowner can inquire with folks about the contractor they generally hire.
If the homeowner knows a contractor that has done very well earlier, chances are that the company will excel again. The homeowner can ask his family members and pals randomly, even when he doesn’t want a contractor immediately. He can casually ask people, “hey, who did you hire for this work?”
What is another casual way of making a list of home renovation contractors? It is speaking with contractors doing a specific job and inquiring about who they prefer to work with. The reason is that a quality professional will like working with quality professionals in his niche. An example is a homeowner finding a carpenter who has finished a job well. He can ask the carpenter, “hey, are you acquainted with a quality plumber?”
Other ways are:
- To take random pictures of contractor signs to contact
- To search on Yelp or any popular business review site
- To ask a worker at Lowes or The Home Depot, or any home store about the professionals at their disposal
After building a list of home contractors, it is important to pre-screen them. The opinion of the homeowners list of contractors starts when he speaks to them via emails, phone calls, or personally. The homeowner should put in some queries to know them better. Some questions are:
- How long have they been working for?
- What in their opinion is the skill they excel in?
- What are the tasks they like avoiding the most on a work site?
- What distance is too far for them?
- The number of workers who work for them?
- What are the dates and times that they are currently booked?
- What are the changes for which a permit is needed?
- Should the homeowner hire them, when can they begin doing tasks on his project?
Next is making an appointment to meet them and show them the project. The homeowner should arrive minutes before the scheduled time to see when they turn up.
- Do they arrive at the right time, before the scheduled time, or do they arrive late?
- Do they look professional?
- How do they speak?
Next are the other steps in hiring quality home renovation contractors –
The second step
The first thing the homeowner should do when searching for information about a contractor is open Google and enter the name. The homeowner can get ample information, and even red flags about a contractor.
What is a something that should be searched in the search engine? Entering the city name followed by words like rip off, court, scam, etc.
Such things will help find more information on any trouble a certain contractor has been involved in. Such terms can determine big grievances regarding a certain contractor. However, the homeowners should also remember that all complaints aren’t valid.
The third step
Next is requesting a contractor to cite some people they have worked for. Better than just phone numbers are the names along with addresses. Next is calling up those people and visiting them, if possible, to see their projects. It is also important to make some polite inquiries like:
- What was the work that a contractor did?
- What was the turnaround time?
- Did a contractor arrive at the scheduled time?
- Was the approach professional?
- Was the behavior courteous?
- Did they face any problems with a contractor during a project?
- Would they use the services of the contractor a second time?
- Is it possible to have a look at the job the contractor did?
- Did a contractor complete the job within the stipulated time and at the quoted budget?
With these queries, the homeowner will better understand a contractor’s ability and history.
And the homeowner should try to examine the contractor’s job and ensure that it meets his standards.
Another thing you can ask is requesting the contractor to inform about a big project they completed recently. It is common for contractors to boast of their big project and the great results. Next is to know the project’s city and address and authenticate that a permit was acquired. If not, it is better to avoid that contractor.
The fourth step
Before the homeowner trusts a contractor with his project, it’s good to ensure that the contractor wins the trust. How is this possible?
- By verifying that the contractor has a license for doing the wanted job
- By verifying that the contractor has the appropriate insurance and bond – The homeowner can request a contractor to produce evidence. The homeowner can inquire about a contractor’s insurance agent’s name and authenticate with the agent.
This step is vital for the protection of the homeowner.
The fifth step
As an example : the homeowner could hire a contractor for a small-scale job with a small budget ahead of hiring for the whole basement removal. The homeowner can then get a rough understanding of the contractor’s
- Work ethic
- Work standard
- Adherence to arriving at work at the right time
- Adherence to a specified turnaround time
- Adherence to a specified budget
You will also know whether the work is up to the desired standard
After this, you can consider the contractor for more large-scale jobs.
Just as important is hiring several home renovation contractors for several small-scale jobs and checking out which one suits you the most.
The sixth step
To get good work from home renovation contractors, the homeowner needs to manage them well. Bad management is why many home renovations end up less than desired. What should the homeowner do? He should work out a detailed document listing 100% of what will be addressed, what’s incorporated, and what isn’t. The homeowner must not make a payment before inspecting the work. For a more large-scale job, it’s good to disperse the payments throughout the job. It ensures that the contractor doesn’t get more than the necessary money upfront, but isn’t needy for weeks or even months. A good practice is to ensure that a contractor bid form is made and shared on a server everyone can access.
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by Mike | Renovation
Kitchen remodeling ideas within budget are considered one of the top-notch projects in this period and with country properties. The reason behind this is a generous kitchen is now becoming the epi-center of modern home life, not to mention the hub of cooking, entertaining, working, and more. If you are wondering if this the best time for remodeling the kitchen, you have a lot of potential choices. You can choose from conservatories and basement designs to side and rear extensions, there are plenty of options available. Therefore, you might ask your kitchen designer for ideas to help you decide on the most suitable extensions for your requirements. They can recommend you a good builder or architect for your kitchen remodel under $2000. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Now, in this article, we’ll take you through 8 top-notch options for your budget kitchen remodel that you will fall in love with!
So, let’s get started, shall we?
It’s time to give your woodwork a refresh
Architects or interior designers usually point out that “steel-framed windows are a wonderful way to let light into a small kitchen,” Well, it’s true! While you are thinking of a budget-friendly kitchen remodel, using steel-framed doors and windows externally, also internally can unify an existing period property with a contemporary extension. Doing this will also allow you to have a space filled with more light.
But if you think investing in new doors or windows is out of the question, then opting for a kitchen remodel under $2000 will be best suited if you consider creating your own by painting your door frames. You can find many types of paint in the market that allow you to paint on both plastic and woodwork.
Your Shimmery Tiles deserve a backsplash
While you are planning to involve any kitchen layout project, a backsplash becomes an integral part of that time. They are generally vertical surfaces, therefore carrying a significant design weight and daring you to experiment with unusual finishes and materials while designing a kitchen.
Other than any kitchen countertops, backsplash ideas are probably the first element that’s considered among your notion of kitchen remodel under $2000, or so to say budget-friendly kitchen remodel ideas.
Give your cabinets a new shade of paint
Painting the kitchen is probably the simplest, yet effective way to upgrade your kitchen within budget. And do you know which part would look more elegant if freshly painted? It’s the kitchen cabinets for sure. Painting the cabinets reflects both the classic looks of a traditional kitchen and lends itself to more crisply modern linear designs.
You can paint all sorts of kitchen cabinets, including laminate. You only need to apply a diluted coat first and ensure the paint grips to the surface. Don’t worry! The result will be more unique and charming than you think is possible.
Putting up some open shelving – not a bad idea
Well, indeed, shelving is one of the greater and easier updates to bring a little bit of a different personality to your kitchen remodel under $2000 idea. It offers both form and function while opening up the space. However, the key concept is to keep it simple by not overcrowding the space. A minimalistic approach is always the best way to keep your open shelving layout organized.
Here’s a piece of advice- you can curate your favorite everyday items on some open shelves, rather than displaying all the glassware and crockery in one place. That can add to the charm, not to mention bringing some color and depth there.
A breakfast bar would be great!
Adding a breakfast bar is probably the best solution for a family kitchen. It takes up a little more space than a table or a chair, but it can double as another place to prepare and present the food. And it can be done with a smaller budget as well!
Most interior designers generally advise if you are handy with DIY projects, you can take three pieces of wood and make it yourself, or you may ask a joiner to make you a custom design that would fit your existing island. However, there is no need to make it very deep, just enough for bar stools to fit under and free up the top space for coffee and a plate or a bowl.
Change the flooring of your kitchen
The floor is probably the largest surface area in your home. Therefore, kitchen flooring ideas always require careful thought and attention, while planning to play with the concept of a kitchen remodel under $2000.
So, if you are going through a pocket-pinching situation, why not give vinyl kitchen flooring a chance? Laid in a sheet, it is an inexpensive way to add a pattern, color and personality to a room without compromising quality or safety.
It’s an excellent choice for busy families with children as well!
Your Cabinetry requires new hardware
Adding new hardware to the cabinetry can completely transform your kitchen and allow you to change the metal finishes thoroughly. But the trickiest part is to find the right size. If you find hardware with exact center-to-center measurement, then people, you are good to go!
It’s time for new pendants!
Kitchen lighting Ideas are an essential part of any successful kitchen remodel within budget. Any lighting with functional and aesthetic illumination is an essential part of a space that is often used for socializing and cooking. Therefore, you can add oversized clear glass pendant lights to illuminate the key parts of the kitchen.
Kitchen remodeling is probably the most overwhelming decision one could ever make because playing with the idea of kitchen remodel under $2000 takes everything creative. So, if you have finally decided to upgrade your kitchen and give it a new look, consider the above-mentioned tips and make your space gorgeous enough to adore forever!
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by Mike | Renovation
A renovation of the house continues to play a major role and most people as of now are planning to renovate their house in one way or another. Whether it could be updating the kitchen, changing the floor plan, rewiring electrical and plumbing work, or any other thing; a renovation will always increase the value of the home. In the same way, gut renovation steps also have a huge scope, as they involve a layer of costs, design, timing, and permits.
These kinds of renovations will be mysterious and full of uncertainties in the initial period, but if you have the right gut renovations steps and a good contractor, then it will lead to a successful renovation.
Understanding the gut renovation:
Gutting the house is nothing but taking it down to the original floor plan. You will strip away everything from any ceiling fixtures, drywall, and insulation. There will be nothing except the beams and unfinished flooring. In short term, you are demolishing the interior of the home and you will be rebuilding it from scratch.
The gut renovation cost depends on various factors and it also differs from home to home. It depends on the gut renovation steps, location, quality of the materials, and house size. The homeowner will spend an average of $44,850 and if you get the help of the contractor, then you will be paying an additional $4,600 to $9,200.
If you are looking for the best way to reduce the price of a gut renovation, then demolishing the building is the best way. So, here we have recommended 5 simple steps, which make the gut renovation steps simple and easy.
What are the gut renovation steps?
Make a plan
The demolition of the interior is one of the major things in the gut renovation steps, and it can’t be done without proper planning, as it involves technical and dangerous issues. So, before you start the gut renovation make sure to have a proper plan, and you should also be equipped with the necessary instruments and tools.
Inside the walls, there will always be a plumbing line, an electrical line and a lot of other wires will be running through it, so you should know where to use the hammer. You should do the remodeling room by room, and using the proper tools you can do the gutting renovation of the house.
Prepare the room for demolition
You can’t start the demolition process easily, as before the demolition process you need to prep your home. The gut renovation process is messy and dangerous, so it is recommended to cover all things like plastic items, lamps, and other furniture that will break easily.
If you are planning for new flooring then you don’t have to cover it, or else cover the entire floor with a tarp. Proper planning is needed before the demolition as debris like firewall, and dust pile up really fast.
And the major thing to do before the demolition process is to take care of utility lines. There will be cables running behind the walls, so shut them down before you begin the interior demolition process. This tip will not only protect your house, but will also save you from getting shocked or zapped by a stray wire.
Remove interior walls
Before you start removing the walls, you need to make sure whether they are load-bearing or not. This means you need to check that the wall is not vital to the home’s foundation, and if it keeps your home intact, then you need to get help from a professional. Even though the DIY idea is considered cheap, it would be a bad idea to ruin a structural wall and damage your house.
While making the gut renovation steps in the interior wall, the best idea to follow is if you don’t know whether the inside of the walls has utility cables or not, then make a hole in the drywall and peer inside. If you see any cables or wires, then you need to immediately call a professional. If you didn’t see any cables and it is wire-free, then you can do the work using home remodeling tools.
Here are a few steps to follow if you don’t know how to remove the interior walls
- Make sure the power of your house is turned off
- If there are any decorative items on the walls or pictures, then remove everything
- Tap the wall with a hammer until you make a hole
- Remove the drywall with your hands or you can even use a crowbar
- Pull out if there are any remaining screws and studs
- You need to repeat all the steps until you will remove all the obstructions
Install the required essentials
After removing the walls, then there will be more renovation work and less gutting work. You need to make a list of the installation you will be making in your home.
- Check whether the electrical and plumbing lines are intact
- Unscrew your older electrical fixture and replace it with the new one
- If you accidentally damage the wall which you want to keep, then patch it up with insulation, drywall, and caulk
- Install the cabinets, floor, and drywall, and plan for the required makeover
- If you feel like your flooring is getting old, then go for some new flooring
- Once you are done with the entire installation, then choose paint colors, and freshen up the interior
Go for the cleanup
The gut renovation steps always make the place messy, so you need to clean up once you are done with the renovation. Remove all the debris and have a dumpster rental so that the cleaning can be done in a few minutes.
After completing all the gut renovation steps to your house, finally, you need to add any finishing touches to the house remodel. These steps will help you to know how to gut a house without breaking the budget, and also without hurting the home’s value.
How To Get The Perfect Home Renovation Cost
by Mike | Renovation
A perfect home is all we need, because wherever we go and whatever we do; home is the place where we end up at the end of the day. As home trends are changing every year, and the pattern for homes is changing often, most people like to do renovation work whenever it’s possible. The first thing that worries them a lot when they talk about a renovation, is the cost. The home renovation cost depends on a lot of requirements and the situation of the home.
You can’t simply talk to a contractor and start the project, as it requires a lot of planning. If you make a perfect plan for it, you will be surprised to see the cost of your renovation.
On average, a home renovation cost will come to around $15,000. This could also increase to as high as $200,000. While renovating the home, people are very cautious about keeping all renovation costs down. Depending on the type of house and the project you are undertaking, the renovation will vary from house to house.
For example, if you want to renovate the kitchen, then the suggested spending percentage will be 16%, for the living area it will be 10%, for the primary bedroom it will be 13%, and likewise. The cost of renovation varies from room to room.
Also, the cost of your renovation can increase more than your budget. Depending on the categories, the house renovation will fall under three categories.
A higher end renovation is a major kind of renovation where you need to change to designer materials. You will also be using higher-end products.
A mid-range reno includes the renovation of a second home and here we won’t recommend high-quality and high-cost products.
A low-end is mainly for any starter homes, and here we will be using low-end products, and some people will go for DIY ideas.
6 things to consider when you plan for the home renovation:
Kitchen renovation cost
A kitchen renovation is the most important thing, as the kitchen is the place which we use the most frequently. Most kitchens would have been built a decade before or even earlier, so they require an extensive redoing of the area. Some of the most common kitchen renovations include, converting open shelves into closed cabinets, replacing the countertop and upgrading the kitchen with new and modern appliances. So, depending on the kitchen renovation cost, you can decide on any other home renovation ideas.
This renovation not only means making changes to an existing room, but also it means adding one or more rooms to your house. The extension will take your house to another level, and you need to make a plan so that there won’t be any dent in your savings. If you live in an independent house, then it would be easier to add new rooms, so depending on the type of room, you can make the plan.
Taking care of the roof is one of the major things you can do to your home. Whether it is an apartment or an independent house, if you have an old house then there will be roof leakage problems, which will lead to the threat of water seepage. If you have a tiled roof, then you need to have it retiled to maintain the structural integrity of the house. Whatever the home renovation cost will be, maintaining the roof is the main thing to avoid future issues.
Rewiring and resolving plumbing issues
No home renovation will be complete until you are done with all the plumbing and electrical work. It can be a significant cost while renovating the house to redo plumbing and electrical work. It can also be disruptive when working on the whole lining of the house. So, make sure to have enough funds for the plumbing and electrical work, as you can miss this while doing a renovation.
A structural renovation is nothing but repairing any structural issues and also changing the design of the home. This includes modifying the ceiling, changing the floor, panting, adding a window or door, and other work. If you are planning to undergo a structural renovation, there will be some unexpected home renovation costs, so you need to stay alert.
Apart from the mentioned cost, there are also certain extra costs like cleaning, getting rid of waste, dismantling large objects to clear space and other such costs. Not all the items will be used for the construction, so while purchasing make sure not to waste money.
Tips to avoid problems while budgeting for home renovation cost:
- If you don’t have a plan, then you will end up spending more, so it would be the best idea to create a proper vision and perfect plan on what you want from the remodeled home
- Most people want to do the renovation all by themselves, which is not a good idea. If you go to a design team or contractors, they will suggest some ideas to reduce the cost
- There are many small issues that will lead you to huge expenses. This includes electrical, plumbing work, water-proofing and other civil works. So, before starting all the work, get expert advice
- This idea is mainly for a complete renovation or for an older homes renovation. You’ll need to know what to change and what not to, so that you can avoid unnecessary reworks
- You need to be flexible, so you can spend money on emergency things, rather than spend money on more expensive products
Home renovation is one of the best things that you can do to your property, as it will not only change the structure of the building, but also increase the value of the home. You can bring down the home renovation cost under your budget if you have proper planning. From this article, you now know what things to add and not to add, to a home renovation.
Porch vs Patio: Your Design and Decor Questions Answered
by Mike | Renovation
As a real estate property owner, you may need some changes in its features at times. It is important to pinpoint your objective for making the changes. It might come down to remodeling vs renovation. Though these two terms are often used interchangeably by people in the real estate industry, they have different meaning for professional experts.
Definitions of Remodel and Renovation
The previous two images represent the dictionary definition of the two terminologies.
Facts To Consider in Making a Choice
In making your choice about remodeling vs renovation; the following facts can be useful.
- Renovation refers to restoration of the property to a previous state. It involves repair of damages among others.
- Remodeling refers to changing the present features of the property by redesigning it. The property assumes a new look different from its current look.
- The aim of renovation is to ensure the safety and security of the users and longer life-span of the property.
- The aim of remodeling is to make the property look trendy following the contemporary styles in the industry. The aim could also be making the property look unique.
In case of residential renovations it is usually reviving the property to a previous status that was better and safer. Residential renovation is a broad term and includes everything from small through large repair works. However, irrespective of the volume of work involved, the original design of the property is never changed substantially. Well-designed renovation works can add substantially to the market value of the property. It also makes the re-sale of such properties easier. Home renovations are also ideal for personalizing the property. Examples of such work are custom kitchen and bathroom renovation.
The most important difference in the case of remodeling vs renovation, is that in the case of remodeling, the basic structure of the property is altered. By remodeling; the layout, style, as well as the structure of the property, is abruptly changed. Examples of such projects are reconfiguration of the floor plans or combining two parts of a house into one. The usual practice is to migrate into something contemporary, giving the property a new appearance altogether.
Main Features of Remodeling
The main features of remodeling a property are as follows.
- It involves drastic change in the property remodeled.
- The changes generates a new look and feel.
- It brings the property up to par with newer properties in the locality.
Remodeling vs Renovation Cost Factor
A major determinant in deciding on remodeling vs renovation is the cost factor. Usually remodeling is more expensive in comparison to the renovation of a property. It is because remodeling involves complex designing and there could be a necessity of various new construction and replacements. The costs will be different depending on the prevalent market price in the area where the property is located. Hence; it is advisable to consult an expert or an architectural agency, to calculate the cost involved in the remodeling or renovation work.
Removal of Confusion on Terminologies
One of the most important tasks for people taking up any work on their properties, is to get rid of confusion on terms used. Terms like “restoration”, “renovation”, and “remodeling” not only sound similar, but are also used interchangeably by the non-professional. Approaching a professional agency to clear up the confusion is an ideal move. This will clear up any confusion on the type of work the property owner aims at.
- Restoration is the process used to bring back the property to its original condition. It often involves repair and replacement of old fixtures.
- Renovation involves fixing up existing structures and the addition of some components that cannot be repaired.
- Remodeling involves the change of the entire structure. It may include expansion or removal of existing structures.
Remodeling vs Renovation in Brief
In brief; when it comes to remodeling vs renovation; there is an inherent difference between the two. Renovation does not change the use of the property renovated. Remodeling on the other hand; changes the entire purpose of the property.
Scope and Cost Factors
In deciding on remodeling vs renovation you have to consider the scope and cost factors well.
- Renovation involves restoration or updating the property. Remodeling changes the basic layout and structure of the property.
- Renovation projects are smaller whereas remodeling is larger.
- Renovations are simpler jobs, whereas remodeling works are complex in nature and requires deployment of greater manpower.
- Remodeling needs permission of authorities, which is not required for renovation.
- Remodeling is more expensive than renovation.
An Expert Knows What You Need
In deciding your choice in case of remodeling vs renovation, obtaining an expert’s advice could be very handy. The expert can accurately assess your necessities by verifying your requirements. He or she will not be worried about your use of the wrong term. Instead; the expert’s recommendations will be based on practical necessities. The decision on use of restoration, renovation, or remodeling will become easier with the support of the professional expert. Experts insist that it does not matter if the client is using the inappropriate term.
Remodeling vs Renovation – Planning the Right One
Why is it essential in learning the difference between remodeling vs renovation? It is because when you are investing sizeable money in a property renovation or remodeling, you need to make the right plan. Both renovation and remodeling is designed to improve the property in question and make it more functional. Unless you move with a good plan, things may not turn out to be right for you. Once again; obtaining expert services could resolve all such issues.
The Bottom Line
The final decision regarding remodeling vs renovation will depend on your necessities, preferences, and budget. It is important to find out which of the two is better suited for your purpose. It is necessary that you clearly understand what each of them mean. It will empower you to make the right move best suited for your purpose.
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