Tips for Easy Bathroom Remodeling

When an outdated powder room needs to go, it may be time to schedule bathroom remodeling. This process can be challenging for anyone, but it’s possible to navigate with minimal upheaval. Plan the project and get it done so you can enjoy a beautiful space after you finish the work.

Set a Budget

Before you take one step toward a new bathroom, decide how much you can afford to spend on the project. Whether you’ve been saving for this process or you plan to finance it, you need to know the bottom line of spending to ensure that you stay within this plan. Materials and fixtures can add up quickly, and you could easily spend more than you intend without a set budget.

Design the Space

Explore the styles you like to design your new space. Whether you prefer traditional or ultra-modern, you will find plentiful options for bathroom remodeling. Surfaces such as tile, granite, marble, and quartz are popular choices for many people. Think about the colors you like as you pull the room together. Beautiful tile in intricate patterns can be one option. You might repaint the walls and ceiling in a lighter shade to open up the space. Don’t forget how bold colors like vivid blue or deep red can work for you to add a splash of energy to the room. Fixtures in a new finish or with innovative designs can really dress up a bathroom. As you work on your plan, remember to keep cost in mind to ensure that you stay within your budget. Lighting and storage are two areas in need of special attention. Shelving that’s deep enough for baskets or bins should provide ample places to keep towels and toiletries. Lighting is an integral component for creating an upscale and welcoming bathroom. Choose fixtures with yellow tones for the most inviting environment. Mirrors will make the space seem larger while making the lighting all the more effective.

Choose Materials and Order

Once you know your design and you have a basic plan in place, it’s time to visit stores to choose and order materials and fixtures. This ordering process is an integral part of the process, because it’s not unusual to find some materials and supplies out of stock. The reordering process can sometimes take weeks or even months, which could really set back a project. If you find items out of stock, keep looking until you find alternatives that are readily available to streamline the remodel. Get firm dates of delivery after ordering to schedule the project time line.

Hire a Professional

Even if you’re a confirmed do-it-yourselfer, there will likely be some aspects of this project that you will need a professional to complete. The electrical and plumbing work are two challenging tasks that homeowners often delegate to professionals to ensure the utmost quality. The possibility of mistakes and problems in these areas makes hiring a professional contractor a good idea.

Although time-consuming and challenging, a bathroom remodeling project can be an exciting time of new designs and rejuvenating spaces.

5 Questions to Ask Every Home Remodeling Contractor Before You Meet

Contractors receive a lot of phone calls a year. These calls can range from adding extra space in your basement to redesigning a dated kitchen into a chef’s dream. We suggest for you to start with a 10 to 20 minute conversation. During this initial conversation we ask 5 key questions of our clients: where, what, when, why & how much. From there we end up setting up in home consultations with 200 to 250 qualified clients. Approximately 70% of the people that call us, are not the right fit for our project niche. So what makes a client “qualified” or a project “not the right fit”? These are great questions and things you should be focused on when interviewing contractors. The days when any contractor was good at doing any type of remodeling to your home are gone. The jack of all trades tends to be the master of none. Meeting with contractors can be a significant time commitment for both you and all involved. So before you set up an appointment it’s best for you to ask a few key questions over the phone to help ensure that an in-person meeting will be time well spent.

1. Am I Located in Your Service Area?

Not every contractor will travel long distances. Most have restrictions based on travel time. I have found by keeping projects to a limited geographical area, typically means a faster response time, which you should consider a plus. Being close to your house means better customer service. If you are located outside a remodeling contractor’s service area, you may consider asking them for a recommendation of another company that is closer.

2. Is My Project Something You Specialize In?

Many contractors restrict the type of projects they perform, keep in mind this is a good thing! Before you call any contractors, write down on paper a short description of your project. For example “I want to remodel our small kitchen and it will involve removing some structural walls.” Not every home remodeling contractor has experience dealing with relocating of load bearing walls. So ask the question and make sure your project is something they are interested in working on and that they are set up to handle as well.

3. Can You Complete My Project by My Deadline?

This can be a difficult question for a contractor to answer because it involves how quickly you can make decisions. Some homeowners are really good at making selection and design decisions quickly. Some homeowners need time to think about these things. If you are just beginning this process, it may be many months before the plans and permits are ready. Remember two things: 1) a good home remodeling contractor should be in demand and typically carry a backlog of work and 2) rushing through the design process can ruin a project. So take your time.

4. Why are You a Home Remodeling Contractor?

This may sound like a weird question, but the more you get to know “their why” the more you will connect with the company you hire. I tell our clients all the time, in the beginning treat the meetings and phone calls with contractors like a first date. Would you want to see this person and their staff everyday for 2-6 months? Find out why they love doing what they do, find out their mission statement, their beliefs. Make sure their beliefs line up with your core beliefs. Because when you sign that agreement, you enter into a short term marriage. This marriage can be a long term trusting relationship or it can end in a nasty divorce. And the only ones that are happy in a divorce are the lawyers.

5. My Budget Range for this Project is in a Range of $X to $Y. Is this Realistic?

I use budget ranges to help our customers down a path of less frustration. Almost like a restrictor plate on a race car. Good designers have a lot of great ideas, but if you can’t afford these exotic materials or designs, why waste your time. Talking about money can be uncomfortable, but it’s important, particularly if you have a specific amount you want to spend. So do your research on approximate remodeling pricing so you feel more confident in your discussions. Be honest with your contractor! If you don’t trust the contractor with this important information, you shouldn’t move forward with them.

One last tip: Make sure to have a phone conversation, not email. You really need to get an idea if your personalities will fit, email doesn’t give you an idea of how they will be in person. So make sure to have a frank honest conversation. By the end of the call you should be able to answer these two questions: Is this contractor Qualified to do my project and will the company be the Right Fit?

4 Simple Ways to Save Money on Renovation

It’s normal for us to get bored after some time. The monotonous nature of our lives is most frustrating for many individuals. Homes, for instance, are a huge part of our lives but after a certain point we all are tired of seeing the same furniture, interiors for years. Precisely for this reason, the real estate market is always on the rise because people who have the financial resource will always look to build houses that are more luxurious and which fits their lifestyle. But what about those people who are financially constrained? Don’t they get to live in houses that they like? Surely they do!

When you have a fixed income, supporting your family is a top priority; indulging in luxurious is the least of them. But everyone succumbs to temptation every once in a while, and it’s completely understandable.

So if you can’t afford to build a new home from scratch, what can you do? Well, it’s simple. Just renovate it.

Homeowners have embraced the fact that instead of spending thousands of dollars in creating a house, it’s much more realistic to remodel their current home. Unlike a few decades ago, remodeling a house isn’t a hassle anymore. There are numerous professionals available who specialize in this kind of services; one that you can easily acquire. Also, if you have the necessary expertise and equipments, you can renovate your home on your own.

Here are a few ways you can save a lot of money on remodeling your house:-

• Shop everything online: Be it new light sheds, designer faucets or tiles; try to buy them online. It will save you hundreds of dollars. What’s more, you can have them delivered right to your doorstep. So it will save not only your money but also time and energy.

• Avail a discount: If you are buying goods in bulk, you are bound to get a discount. If the retailers don’t provide it, look for others. Don’t let go of the discount.

• Choose a good architect: High priced architects don’t necessarily mean that they are the most talented. The important thing is customer feedback. Ask around to ascertain who the best architect out there is. It’ no use paying a big fee to some architects who can’t understand your vision.

• Management of budget: Most people make the mistake of not managing their budget and hence go overboard with it. Plan how much you want to spend and stick to it no matter what.

Once your home is done with remodeling, you will be ecstatic at what you have achieved without having to spend a fortune.

3 Tips for Completing Home Repair Projects Successfully

Home repair or renovation projects can be extremely rewarding both in terms of personal satisfaction and financially as the resale value of your house goes up. On the other hand, unless you go about your home repair project in a planned and systematic way, there is a risk it would result in disappointment both in terms of costs incurred and the end result.

No matter what your goal, whether it is transforming a specific part of your home such as the kitchen, or thoroughly overhauling the plumbing or the roof, it is vital that you do a comprehensive research so that your home repair projects is completed in a timely and stress-free manner.

Therefore, we recommend that you follow the 3 key tips provided below to ensure that your home repair project turns out exactly how you wanted it.

1. Be clear about your project details and scope

It is important that you have a good idea of the end result or the final picture of your home repair or renovation project. Having a detailed picture of your project means that you can communicate the same in a clear and understandable manner to suppliers and contractors, helping you achieve the desired result. Yet another key benefit of having a detailed idea about your project means that you can get a more accurate quote about the cost likely to be incurred.

If you feel that you do not have a concrete idea then we recommend that you take some time to get inspiration from the many interior design and housing DIY websites. These websites are full of design and repairing ideas that are both trendy and timeless. In addition, you can ask your friends and neighbors who have recently carried out such a project to get some solid, workable ideas.

2. Be realistic in your budget and timelines

One of the common reasons that leave a lot of people stressed about their home repair and renovation project is the spiraling cost that overshoots their planned budget. It is important therefore that you are honest with the budget you set aside for your repair or renovation project. Take some time out to list the expenditure items such as the cost of materials, contractor fees, new furnishings etc. In addition, we would advise you to always provide for an extra 10 percent over your planned budget to take care of unforeseen and unexpected expenses.

Similarly, if your home repair project is extensive and requires the services of professionals then make sure you set a timeline after consulting them. Often times, a specific work in a repair project can hold up the rest of the tasks. Speaking to professionals would give you an accurate idea of such contingencies as help you set a realistic timeline.

3. Exercise due diligence in selecting the contractor

If your home repair project is complicated and substantial then it is almost certain that you would require the services of professionals. However, not all professionals deliver the same quality of service and workmanship, so you should take every possible precaution to choose one with the right qualifications and credentials.

Among the many factors, you should look for their experience, qualifications, quality of proposals, insurance documents, and a reliable warranty. You should ask them for references and get in touch with their previous clients to have a good idea about their competence. Review websites are another avenue where you can look up their testimonials.

Five Flooring Design Tips

Tip #1: If you’re laying tile flooring and want to make the room look bigger, use larger sized tiles (18 x 18 or larger) and lay them on a 45 degree angle (diamond pattern). What this does is draw your eye to the two widest points of each tile, giving your flooring the illusion of a larger space. And the larger sized tiles have less grout lines to look at so your flooring doesn’t look as ‘busy’ across your a larger area as say a 12 x 12 would.

Just keep in mind installing tile on a 45 uses more tile because there are more cuts to be made.

Tip #2: If you want a clean, contemporary look, ask your installer to use the narrowest grout lines possible, either a 1/8 or 3/16 and for natural stone 1/16. Larger grout lines give a more rustic, earthy look. And higher gloss (polished) tiles are contemporary whereas heavily grooved and rough give an aged, worn look.

Tip #3: To give your flooring another illusionary trick, lighter colors give the room a more spacious feel while darker colors give it a cozier, smaller feel.

Tip #4: There are many flooring patterns available so don’t hesitate to use them! Too many shoppers I met would obsess over what flooring everyone else is doing. This is your home, not anyone else’s and you should get the floor that makes you happy. Don’t be afraid of not looking like everyone else. That’s the whole point! if you want to differentiate a room, then lay different flooring.

Tip #5: I’m a big fan of using matching or contrasting inserts to transform the flooring into a masterpiece. But not many really can create a room. You know, these deco pieces, listellos and natural stone inserts may cost you a couple hundred dollars all up but they give your room an unsurpassed look. Now I strongly recommend when doing these special flooring designs to only hire a certified flooring installer. DON’T TRY and do them yourself unless you really know what you’re doing. I’ve seen it too many times.

For example, for every insert, you need to make 4 cuts, one for each connecting tile. These cuts need to be pretty much right on, otherwise any unevenness will flash at you right away once its installed. And if you insist on doing it yourself, just remember two very important words: wet saw and diamond blade!