Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A General Contractor Can Improve the Value of Your Home

General Contractor
If you want to increase your home’s value, speak with a general contractor.  There are many ways that you can turn an outdated home into a beautiful and updated one.  By focusing on specific areas of your home, you can improve the value at the same time.  The key is to put your money into areas that will count towards increasing your value.  For example, adding extravagant wall finishings may look spectacular but may not add any more value than a fresh coat of paint would.

We build and remodel homes on a regular basis and understand how to allocate a remodeling budget in order to increase the value of your home.  Here is what you need to know:

Spend the money on your kitchen.

The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in a home and also the most expensive.  When you remodel it, buyers will notice, and the value of your home will go up at resale.  We suggest tearing down walls in your kitchen to make it open and airy.  Open concept floor plans are extremely popular, and we can knock down walls in order to create a kitchen, dining room and family room combination space.  As a general contractor, we recommend replacing your appliances as well so that buyers will see the updated fixtures, cabinets and appliances as a complete package.

Focus on your bathrooms.

Bathrooms are easy to remodel because they are such small places.  You can buy a new vanity, sink, mirror, and toilet along with replacing the flooring and painting the walls in order to completely transform your space.  A bathroom can be updated quickly, and the results are dramatic.  When you spend money on your bathroom, you will get it back when you sell your home.

Expand your footprint.

Creating additional square footage is the best way to increase the value of your home.  When building an addition, consider adding at least one bedroom and one bathroom.  This will increase your home’s value because each of those rooms is assigned a high dollar amount in an appraisal.  Even if you are using the space for a study or library, by building in a closet it will technically be a bedroom.

Finish your basement.

This is an easy way to have more finished space without spending a ton of money.  Since the walls and floors are already in place, all you need to do is finish it in order to have additional rooms that your family can spend time in. If your basement is all below grade, the value will be less than if you added square footage to the rest of the home, but the cost will be less as well.

As a general contractor, there are additional things we can do to add value such as replacing your windows and roof.  These are more structural issues, but they will make your home look newer and the windows will provide additional insulation in the winter and the summer which helps with energy efficiency.  To learn more about what you can do to improve the value of your home, give us a call.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What You Need to Know About Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Kitchen Cabinet Installation
If you are doing a remodel, there are things you should know about kitchen cabinet installation.  As an expert contractor, we know how to transform your kitchen into something amazing and installing new cabinetry is an important step for doing so.  New cabinets can give you the storage space that you need and make your kitchen more functional overall.

Before you get started, consider how you want your cabinets to look.  There are a variety of colors and finishes that you can choose from.  If you want to try something bold, consider going with a vibrant color to match your home or your personality.  Nothing says you have to stick with traditional shades of wood or white.  You can also have glass fronts installed on your cabinets or have open shelves in combination with standard cabinetry.  The sky is the limit so get as creative as you like and once you have decided on a color you can start to look at interesting hardware.

Before starting the kitchen cabinet installation process, you need to have a layout and a plan for your new kitchen.  This will make sure that you have the right cabinets ordered and delivered prior to starting demolition, an important step if you are still living in the home.  Be careful while removing your old cabinets, turn off the electrical and the water so that you don’t accidentally shock yourself or have water leak all over the floor. You should start by removing the drawers and the doors then pulling out the structure of the cabinets and the countertop.

When you are ready to put the new cabinets in, start with the upper wall cabinets, because it will be easier to stand in place without the lower ones blocking your position.  You can install wall cabinets one at a time, creating flexibility in where you want them positioned and the style of your cabinets overall. Before you start to screw them in, draw a straight line for where the bottom of the cabinets should be in order to ensure that they are straight and level.  You can even screw in a small board to make sure that they are installed in a straight line.

Next, install the corner cabinets.  These need to be done first in order to ensure that they are in place properly, and everything else can be put in place afterwards. Double check to make sure that it is level as you go.

This is a two person job, and we recommend working with a partner to make sure that every time you grab a new cabinet it is lined up perfectly with the old one.  It has to be level and installed with no gaps in between the two of them.  This can take time so be prepared to go slowly and try not to rush.  Continue to add more cabinets until they are all in place.

As a contractor, we are experts in kitchen cabinet installation and can save you the headache of trying to do it yourself.  We know what we are doing, and we do it well.  To learn more about your options and to discuss your future kitchen, give us a call.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Evaluate Your Floor Plan Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodel
If you are embarking on a kitchen remodel there are a lot of things to consider.  Most of them are fun, like picking out the color of a tile backsplash or the new granite counter tops.  Remodels are excellent for allowing homeowners to express their personal style and creativity, with the kitchen being an excellent place for doing so.

What homeowners need to remember is that the kitchen gets more use than almost any other room in the home.  It needs to be beautiful while incorporating all of those practical details that make a kitchen function and it easy to cook and clean up afterwards.  Considering each of these items can seem tedious and makes working with a professional that much more important.  Nothing will be missed or forgotten when Quality Kitchen and Bath is handling your remodel.

While creating the list of things you want in your kitchen you need to consider your layout and floor plan.  Just because you have an L-shaped kitchen now doesn’t mean that it works best for your family.  The same holds true with a U-shaped or galley kitchen.  Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that just because their kitchen is shaped a particular way now it has to stay that way.  The reality is that during a kitchen remodel you can customize almost everything – including how your kitchen is laid out.

Start by thinking about how you like to cook.  Are you the only cook in the house or do multiple people use the space at the same time?  What type of dishes do you typically make and what utensils do you require when making them?  Do guests frequently hang out while you cook? Each answer can impact how your kitchen should be designed.  Here are some example solutions based on these questions.

If you said yes to having multiple cooks than you need to have more than one work area.  This should include areas to prep and chop along with two sinks.  Some families also benefit from having double ovens installed.  The more people that work in the kitchen, the more space and solutions need to be included in order to make it possible to be together without getting in each other’s way.  This depends on simple design solutions like having one prep sink and work space on the island while the other is on the main counter surface, allowing people to stand and cook in different areas of the kitchen.

The type of dishes you cook and the appliances or utensils you use needs to be taken into consideration when creating custom cabinets.  The height and width need to be just right or you will end up with appliances on the counter.  Additionally, the cabinets need to be placed in such a way that allows for the cook to access the most frequently used items relatively quickly and without hassle.
If you have guests over all of the time, make sure to incorporate seating into your kitchen remodel.  This can include an island with bar stools or built in bench seating under a window. When designing your dream kitchen don’t be afraid to have fun with it and enjoy the process.