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10 tips for renovating your basement

10 tips for renovating your basement

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Basements are often underused and forgotten, even in homes that could use more space. This doesn’t have to be the case. A basement can be easily renovated by a renovation contractor and turned into a functional and useful part of the property. 

It can still remain a storage unit, but with new added functionality and comfort or it can be completely transformed and used as an extra room or a workshop. Most of the time, these renovations can be made in your own spare time and with little to none professional assistance.

Utility

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Before you can do renovations, it’s important to figure out how the basement will be used. This will determine the scope of work that needs to be done and the type of professional assistance you’ll have to look for. This isn’t just about what room you plan to turn the basement into, but about details such as the layout and the materials you plan to use.

Keep in mind that there are also some components of a basement that need to be preserved even when you’re doing the renovations. For instance, the heater might need to stay where it is and even if you hide it with a wall; you still need to be able to fix it in case something goes wrong.

Height

The biggest problem with using basements for any other purpose is that the ceilings are too low and thus the room is uncomfortable and dark. This is a real issue and it can’t actually be solved as much as improved. The ductwork, wiring, and piping are usually stored in a basement and once they are moved (most likely to the bathroom), there’s more room for higher ceilings.

Even when these remodeling changes are made, the basement can still feel a bit claustrophobic, but this can be remedied with carefully chosen lights. 

Damp floors

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Due to their location, basements tend to have damp floors and can sometimes even be moldy and unsanitary. A lot of the time, that’s not acceptable even if you’re using the basement for storage, let alone if you plan to transform it into a useable room.

It’s best to get rid of old floors and install a draining system that will keep the basement clear and well-insulated. Once that’s over with, you can install decorative concrete that will cover up the work you’ve done and give a room a clean new look.

Open concept spaces

Open concept spaces are the best way to go with renovating a basement because the area you can work with is fairly limited and adding a new wall isn’t always a structurally sound option. Open concept spaces allows you to alter the function of your new room whenever you need to or to keep it multifunctional based on the layout design.

If you want to keep the areas of the basement separate without adding walls or curtains, you can accomplish that effect by grouping pieces of furniture together and using different types and colors of carpet to designate the area.

The aesthetics

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The basement is usually seen as an addition to your home or as an extra room you’ve just put together. Bare walls and poor lights tend to stick around even if you’ve been using your basement as a workshop for years. 

There’s no reason for this room not to fit in with the aesthetic of your home as well. LED lights aren’t that expensive to buy and install and they could significantly improve the look of the room. The same goes for a fresh paint job or wallpapers. Take the extra step with decorating and it will pay off in terms of comfort and even safety.

A basement can quickly be renovated and turned into a useful additional room in your home. The first things to consider when doing so are safety and comfort, but aesthetics shouldn’t be neglected either.

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Backyard Renovations to Take Before Summer Comes

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Backyard Renovations to Take Before Summer Comes

Do you want to reap the spoils of summer, but have a weathered and uninvited setting to work with? Do not fret. There are various affordable and simple projects you can take on to revamp your backyard. They allow you to live, have fun, relax, and socialize outside. Just know that you will have to plan ahead and come up with a budget beforehand. So, weigh your options carefully before committing— figure out the best way to freshen up and infuse the space with a new feel. It is time to establish a deeper connection with the great outdoors, before the summer comes in full swing. 

Divide and conquer space

What you see before you could be a rather open and undifferentiated area. To start making a positive change, take a good look at it. Designate distinctive zones, including plant-filled beds, green surfaces, seating area, and space for play. It is best to have both areas where you can unwind and contemplate and those that are designed for gatherings and get-togethers. Bear in mind also that it may be nice to have a big open area to act as the focal point of the backyard. 

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Gathering zone facelift

Let us first address the gathering space. A wooden deck or patio is a great stage for various outdoor activities. It expands the indoor living area and adds usable square footage. If you still haven’t got yours installed, call the local professional deck builders for perfect results.

The problem with decks is that they endure quite a beating from the weather.  UV light causes radiation and discoloration, while moisture breeds mildew and stains. To restore the surface, clear it and identify the problem. Examine for any rot signs. Treat the discoloration and apply a finish that is robust and visually pleasing. Make sure the deck complements the style and features of your home. 

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A small gateway

Furthermore, note that there are various options for gateway spaces. They are ideally positioned away from gathering areas because they are suppose to be peaceful persona shrines. However, they do not have to be spacious outdoor rooms. You can also go for a quiet corner with a hammock, a small terrace situated under a tree, or a couple of comfy chairs and a table in the shade. Alternatively, add a wing to the branch and design a little hideaway spot for kids to enjoy. Introduce a centerpiece, such as a small fountain, other water feature, or a fire pit for extra flavor. 

The art of landscaping

Landscaping is one of the most cost-effective ways to breathe new life into your backyard. So, focus on areas in between different zones. Create borders with evergreen shrubs and trees. They ensure privacy and also give structure to your outdoor space. You can also implement perennials, annuals, and ornamental grass. Use them to add different layers and pops of lively colors. There are so many plant landscaping options out there, so explore them. Also, feel free to call services like Manna Landscape if you want to professional-looking results.

Incorporating hardscape

Next, ponder adding hardscape. Some texture can work miracles of the appeal and utility of the backyard. Personally, I adore organic solutions like river rock paths or natural stone slab walkways. They meander through greenery and direct traffic around the space.  But, do not hesitate to consider other projects like pavers and bricks. Remember that hardscape also helps in designing kid and pet-friendly areas. Finally, if you have a sloped backyard, you should build a retaining wall. It infuses depth and character, rounding up backyard looks nicely.  

Living the outdoor dream

If you want to give your backyard oasis a nice makeover without blowing the budget, embrace a strategic, well-planned approach. Build a deck to serve as the main gathering and seating area. Have all the comfort of the interior realm outside. Inject character and functionality with some hardscape. Design a green dreamscape for chilling out and bonding with friends and family. Add personal touches and showcase your sense of style. Have fun making it your own natural kingdom. Restore the outdoor sanctuary to former glory and enjoy it like never before. 

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The Road towards a Sweet House Remodelling Success  

The Road towards a Sweet House Remodelling Success  

Were you to believe what you saw on Home Crashers and This Old House, you’d think that a home renovation could be done in less than half an hour. While we know this is far from true, these television programmes rely on the fast-shot remodelling style presented by suave hosts that often take every bit of reality from the actual renovation. Home renovation is a complex project with many time-consuming activities that often break through the deadlines and cause all sorts of unexpected problems. That is why it’s important to talk about renovation as a series of small steps that are easy to accomplish.  

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Planning phase

Whether you invest in fully-expanded architectural plans or just sketch in your notebook, it’s always cheaper to correct mistakes on paper before the remodel starts taking its shape. At this point, you should determine the funds for your renovation and make a “DIY or pro” list of projects that need to be done. Also, start asking around for contractors and subcontractors for the jobs you’d rather have professional renovators do. 

Large repairs first

It’s important that large projects are tackled early on, since all the following projects somehow depend on them. These ‘capital’ jobs include roof replacement or repair, foundation fixing, water issues, as well as repairing or reinstalling siding and windows. Fixing the foundation will ensure that the house will be able to withstand new additions, while a new roof, siding and windows will protect the remodel from the elements. Apart from the foundation, hire a professional to inspect bearing walls, joists and carrying beams. 

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Structural carpentry

This phase should include repairing or retrofitting carpentry elements that support other elements such as drywall, new walls, windows, and doors. If you planned to construct new walls, section off large rooms or enlarge window openings, this is the right time to do it. Adding support beams would be wise if you intend to renovate the attic, since you’ll probably end up with greater weight upstairs. A new addition will need new doorways and windows as well. 

Utility systems and ductwork

While the walls and ceilings are still open, you need to install home utility services such as electrical, plumbing, gas and HVAC. Schedule the HVAC installers to install the ductwork for central heating and air conditioning. You also need to schedule a visit by the electrical and plumbing inspectors to make sure the electrical and plumbing lines and fixtures are installed according to regulations. This is also the perfect time to add fibreglass insulation to the walls and ceiling. 

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Adding drywall

After the insulation is laid, a second visit from the electrical and plumbing inspectors will give you the green light to close up the walls. The installers hang sheets of drywall, apply the compound and let it dry. When it dries, they sand it smooth, often repeating the process until they achieve a seamless surface suitable for painting. 

Painting 

Painting detail-oriented surfaces, such as baseboards, moulding, windows and doors trim and built-in storage elements, needs to be one of the last indoor projects as this job can damage your other works. On the outside, however, you’re ready for a façade makeover, which is better relegated to the professionals. What you can do yourself, though, is grab some durable line marking paint and outline the driveway and parking place lines, sprucing up your home’s curb appeal in an instant. 

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Flooring

It’s still debatable if you should paint the interior before you sand and install the new flooring or the other way round. Laying the floor first means you need to take extra measures to protect the flooring, while painting first means you need to take care the floor sander doesn’t damage your walls. Eventually, the choice of flooring should tell you what to do first. Among the most popular renovators’ choices are laminate, vinyl, solid hardwood tile and engineered wood. 

If you approach your remodelling project methodically where one phase naturally folds into another, it’s less likely you’ll run into unexpected problems and setbacks. Apart from having a feasible renovation plan, it’s important to separate the jobs that can be DIY-ed from those that require professional help. 

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4 Tips for a Flooring Renovation

4 Tips for a Flooring Renovation

 

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Home renovation doesn’t need to be a large and overwhelming task that would require a professional contractor and upend your life for a while. In fact, it may be enough to renovate the floors in your home to make the entire property appear newer and fresher. 

The floors are one of the biggest parts of your home and changing them can change the whole look and feel of the place. Have in mind that this isn’t an area where you should go with too bold a change since it’s best for the floors to remain understated and the furniture to shape the aesthetic of the room.

One task at a time

There’s no reason to take on complicated flooring projects all the once. This may be too expensive for an average household and it may require you to stop using a few rooms at once, which can be challenging. Instead, it might be better to divide the tasks based on how urgent they are.

Most of the time, the kitchen and the bathroom have the worst floors because things get spilled and they are high traffic areas in general. It’s best to start with these floors and then move on to those in the living room or the bedroom.

Budgeting

Budgeting for renovating the floors may seem like a rather simple task because it’s usually paid based on the square footage that you need to cover or repair. However, when you get into details, things get a bit more complicated than that.

Once you have a contractor to redo your floors, it might be a good idea to deal with the insulation that can be installed underneath the floors and significantly reduce the cost of heating up the room. Sometimes, it might be a good idea to also replace the pipes and wiring at the same time. All of these additions may also increase the cost.

Choosing the materials

Choosing the proper materials is the most important decision to be made about the flooring. It depends on the room you’re renovating and the aesthetic of the rest of your home. At the same time, the materials can also have a damaging ecological effect which is something to be considered as well. 

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In order to make sure that your choice of material doesn’t add to your carbon footprint, you should also make sure that they are bought locally. For instance, a carpet installation company should include both materials and workers from the area.

Lights

In the end, lights aren’t usually considered in correlation with the floors, but the two affect one another significantly. First of all, the color and the tone of the floors can be radically changed by both natural and artificial lights. It’s best to find out in advance how the floors will look once they are subjected to the lights you have in your home.

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Natural light can also affect the wooden floors in terms of their structure. If they are exposed to direct sunlight, wooden floors can become frailer and easier to break. 

 

A flloor renovation can have a great effect on your home because it can make it appear more stylish and fresh. Before you get into it, you need to figure out the budget and the materials in order to make the transformation fast and effortless. 

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The Biggest Problems You'll Run into During an Old House Renovation

The Biggest Problems You'll Run into During an Old House Renovation

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A renovation project can be a super exciting, fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. But, the older the house that’s being renovated, the bigger the risk of something going wrong! However, don’t give up on your remodel just yet. If you keep these biggest problems in mind, you’ll be able to finish your project without creating a disaster!

Burst pipes

If you happen to hit a pipe during your bathroom or kitchen renovation, you can create much more serious problems than just getting your floors wet, especially if there are electrical appliances or tools still plugged in! So, before you start drilling, make sure to get information about your underground utility lines. There are service lines with helpful operators that can help you keep your pipes, gas lines and wires intact.

Outdated wiring

Outdated wiring can be quite annoying, but it can also pose a huge safety hazard. Old homes didn’t have the need for that many electrical appliances and gadgets that draw a lot of power, so you must update your electrical panel. Make sure to contact an experienced electrician for this job and avoid doing any DIY projects, especially if you don’t have any formal education or practical experience with wiring. Your electrician will replace your old knob-and-tube wiring with something modern and safe, and upgrade it to support all your appliances, tools and gadgets.

Harmful asbestos

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Asbestos is a huge health concern when it comes to old homes. This effective and cheap fire-retardant mineral was regularly used as thermal and acoustic insulation in homes from the 1940s all the way to 1970s. However, today we know that inhaling tiny asbestos particles can cause various lung diseases and even cancer! So, be careful how you handle your walls and insulation during your renovation. The best way to stay safe is to call asbestos clearance experts who will make sure your home is asbestos-free and safe for you and your family. Once you remove all asbestos, you can undertake any update or renovation project you want without endangering your health.

Weak foundation

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It’s safe to assume that your old home survived a lot of renovation, updates and little improvement projects. However, these can significantly damage the foundation of your house. Additionally, time and weather itself are not very forgiving either. So, you can expect to come across a few cracks in your walls and floors. And if you want to prevent future water damage and energy loss, repair these issues as soon as possible.

Insufficient ventilation

Old houses usually have very little ventilation which makes them the perfect mold and mildew breeding grounds. So, if you’re planning on remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, make sure to check for mold (or ask your remodeler to keep their eyes open). Installing plenty of fans and windows can help prevent future mold issues and make your home more pleasant. If you ask any expert contractor, you need one 100 cfm fan per cooking or bathroom appliance.

Creepy-crawlies

Old homes are often housing more than just people and you can come across many creepy and even dangerous creatures during your remodel. Many people got attacked by wasps and grossed out by mice. Venomous spiders, snakes, scorpions, centipedes and bats are also known to crawl out of the walls, from under the deck or hang out in your attic. So, make sure to wear protective clothing and equipment to shield you from bites and have animal control on speed dial, especially if you live in areas that have plenty of these dangerous animals.

So, now that you know what to expect during your old house renovation, you can prepare, find good equipment and have emergency electrician’s, plumber’s and asbestos remover’s numbers at hand. Soon, your old home will look and feel fresh and new!


 

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Bathroom Renovation Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Bathroom Renovation Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Successfully revamping a bathroom takes a lot of thought, effort, and money. To make it really worth your while, you have to be aware that venturing into a renovation land of endless possibilities unprepared is risky. So, get your priorities straight: distinguish nice-to-haves from must-haves. Come up with a realistic budget and take your time figuring out the layout, fixtures, storage, and other hallmarks of good design. Steer clear of these nightmarish mistakes and witness a picture-perfect personal sanctuary coming alive before your eyes.  

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Poor budgeting

Blowing your budget can cause serious headaches and problems. So, work out the total costs of the renovation, including labour, materials, and installation of crucial systems and features. Do not get caught up thinking about individual prices and get the big picture first. Manage your expectations accordingly: adapt your material and feature wish list. If you have any misgivings, an experienced pro will help you make the right decision. 

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A shabby layout

Space comes at a premium in most bathrooms. Proper distribution and layout make or break it, especially when you are pressed for square footage. One key aspect is having enough space between fixtures. After all, you must have a free flow of traffic and adhere to building regulations. For instance, there should be ample space to assess the shower or bathtub. To nail it in this department, it is highly advisable to work with an expert renovation contractor

Neglecting the plumbing

In every bathroom, a plumbing system must work like a charm.  Any leaks and malfunctions can take a big chunk of your budget in the long run. So, plan the plumping right off the bat and fully incorporate it into the design. I would advise you to hire professional contractors in order to stay on the safe side. For instance, this plumber has a proven ability to provide both great customer service and quality of workmanship. Wherever you are, do your research and contact a reputable local service. 

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Overlooking storage

Storage space is the mainstay of a functional and orderly bathroom. A lack of it leads to mess and clutter overtaking. Therefore, you should never sacrifice storage space for the sake of visual appeal. If you play it right, you will be able to get the best of both worlds without compromises. To make it happen, maximize the vertical dimension with solutions like wall cabinets and shelves. Likewise, keep an eye on built-in, modular, and versatile storage options. 

Blindly following fads and trends

There is nothing wrong with being trendy. This cannot be said about letting buzz-worthy fads dictate your decisions and overshadow space utility. Always prioritize your daily habits and personal sense of style. Let the bathroom reflect and support them: foster harmony and well-being. Also, note that many trends come and go, which is to say your space could quickly fall out of fashion. On the other hand, it is always a safe bet to opt for timeless charm and beauty. 

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Unfortunate choice of materials

In a bathroom, all materials work heavy duty. They have to endure an interior climate of high humidity, as well as exposure to special cleaning products. This is to say that some materials are not suited for bathroom use. For instance, pretty artwork or wallpaper might be a nice way to bring life to a wall, but they could fall prey to moisture in no time. Therefore, you have to think about sturdiness, water-resistance, and ease of maintenance. Materials that do not fit the bill are best avoided.

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Measure twice and cut once

When giving your personal oasis a makeover, why not aim for perfection? Make sure you have a realistic idea of your space and get crystal clear on what features you want included. Make sure to craft design and layout around your needs and preferences. Pay special attention to the choice of materials and see to it they are fit for tough bathroom life. Enlist the services of trusted local professionals. Remember that you must be comfortable with your choices. So, unleash the inner designer and leave a personal mark instead of mimicking trends. 

 

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Eco-Friendly Renovations Perfect for Every Home

Eco-Friendly Renovations Perfect for Every Home

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Renovations can be challenging. They can cost you an arm and a leg if you don’t think outside the box. But, if you have a long-term goal to protect our planet and to cut a family’s yearly water consumption, you are on the right path. 

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Humans are a species that pollutes and damages the environment the most, but nothing stops you from being the person who takes small steps for the greater good. Even better, nowadays sustainable homes are a trend that can save you thousands of dollars on energy and water bills. So, what can you do about it?

 

Minimise water waste

The fact is that we are wasting a lot of clean drinking water, especially in the bathroom. According to research, toilet flushing is the largest indoor use of water. The question is, how to stop this?

Firstly, install a rainwater system. There are so many things that you can do with rainwater - car washing, plant watering, toilet flushing, washing laundry, and if it’s thoroughly purified, you can use it even for drinking. You should consider installing a UV water sterilizer in order to make sure harmful microorganisms that can be found in water are destroyed.

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Secondly, replace your toilet with a low-flow model. While an average toilet uses about 9 - 12 litres of water, a half flush one uses less than 6 litres. 

Use the energy of the sun

Did you know that solar panels can give you electricity to last the whole night? Many people are following this trend because solar panels have never been more practical and effective. This small investment can save you a lot of money, and you can save up some power for emergency situations. 

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Insulate your home

To build an environmentally friendly home you need high-quality insulation. Your life will be much easier - your house will be cooler during summer, warmer during winter, and your electric bill will be smaller during the whole year. So, ask a remodeler for help, and start building. 

Use natural and LED lighting

Traditional bulbs might be cheap, but LED bulbs require a comparably low amount of power. Plus, they can last for up to 22 years. This is an easy and quick way to do something big, because these bulbs can boost energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint you produce.

Nevertheless, you should turn off the LED bulbs during the day, and use natural lighting instead. You can use mirrors and reflective surfaces in order to direct the light in rooms, but if that doesn’t help, you should consider installing a sun tunnel. It channels the light from the roof and spreads daylight through the room. 

Give your rooms soul by reclaiming furniture

If you have wooden furniture, there’s no need to throw it away. Reclaimed furniture can refresh your room and give it a vintage style. You needn’t worry if you don’t have any nice piece of furniture. You can always buy reclaimed wood that can be used for countertops, flooring, and walls.

This is not only environmentally the best choice, but it’s the best choice for your home. Remember, high-quality furniture never goes out of style.

Conclusion

As you can see, going eco-friendly is a win-win situation for both you and our planet. 

Some things you can do on your own, but for others, you will need the help of a contractor. At the end of the month when the bills arrive, you will see that all this work paid off. So, start thinking outside the box and go eco-friendly.

 

 

 

 

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North Vancouver Laundry Room Renovation

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North Vancouver Laundry Room Renovation

North Vancouver Laundry Room Renovation

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Should You Build Your Own Deck or Hire a Pro?

Should You Build Your Own Deck or Hire a Pro?

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If you’re looking forward to increasing the value of your property or simply creating an ideal outdoor gathering space, installing a deck is the perfect solution.

Besides providing leisure and extra space, a deck also comes with a high return on investment that may account for up to 100% of the original costs. This factor, however, depends on the quality of the work.

While constructing a deck is the right decision, it isn’t an easy one to implement. Should you do it yourself or hire a professional deck builder? Check out the guide below and figure out what works for you!

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Preliminary Questions

Before making the final decision on whether to do it yourself or hire a professional, ask yourself the following questions and try answering them sincerely.

  • Do I have enough experience and know-how to finish the job on my own? If not, am I willing to learn as I go?
  • Am I patient?
  • Do I enjoy physical work?
  • Do I know all of the steps that this project consists of or am I willing to learn more?
  • Have I finished a similar project before? Did it turn out well?
  • Do I have the time to do it?
  • Do I have someone to turn to and ask for help if things go awry?

If the answer to the majority of the questions is YES, then you probably have decent chances of successfully finishing the work on your own. If the answer is NO, however, you might be better off if you hire a professional.

How About the Tools?

You should also know that building a deck calls for a fair amount of tools, including hammer, nails and screws, a circular saw, tape measure, shovel, level, drill, corner braces, joist hangers, and more.

If you already possess the majority of such tools, you can save a lot of money by building a deck on your own. However, if you don't have the necessary equipment, it might cost you more to buy all of it than hiring someone to do the work instead.

In case you want to pursue building a deck on your own despite not having the necessary tools, consider asking your family or friends if they could lend you some. This will help you reduce the costs of your project significantly. You can also look for a local business that specialises in tool rental.

If you’re still pondering whether you should build your own deck or hire a pro, check out the pros and cons of either decision below! 

Do It Yourself

While the task of constructing a deck isn't an easy one, that doesn't mean you can't do it. In fact, many people opt for this solution.

One of the most significant advantages that it offers are the reduced expenses. If you do all of the work by yourself, you are bound to save a lot of money if that you finish the job correctly.

Besides saving money, the DIY method will let you do things at your own pace. It will also help you gain more experiences that might come in handy for your future projects. Last but not least, as the saying goes, you will appreciate the deck way more after investing your own sweat in its construction rather than paying someone to do it for you.

Despite numerous advantages, this method also isn't short of drawbacks. Building a deck on your own is more than a fun weekend project. Depending on the size of your deck, it might take you weeks if not months to finish the work.

Furthermore, one small mistake at the beginning of the project can result in massive costs of repair later on.

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Hire a Professional

Unless you are a carpenter yourself, there is no doubt that a professional that you hire will do the job faster. Since they have years of experiences at their back, they are also more likely to do a better, finer job than you can.

On top of that, deck builders can guide you through the decision-making process and help you choose the right materials. They might even be able to get you a good discount on them.

While this all sounds good, it’s also worth mentioning that a significant disadvantage of hiring a deck builder is the cost of doing so. If your budget is very constricted, you might not be able to get what you want if you have to pay for the workforce. Furthermore, if you are a crafty person yourself, you might feel unsatisfied having someone else do what you could have done too.

Final Thoughts

Building a deck is a delicate process, and you should carefully weigh your options before making the final call. It is best to start off by asking yourself some preliminary questions, and then proceed to make the decision by comparing your skillset, wishes, and needs with the available methods. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, all efforts will be repaid once the deck is standing!

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Tips for a Smooth and Successful Home Renovation

Tips for a Smooth and Successful Home Renovation

 Joe Heilman from Heilman Renovations

Joe Heilman from Heilman Renovations

Home renovations are a complex process and it requires a lot of hard work. However, if you make a good plan, find a professional renovation contractor and stay patient, we promise you that it will be a piece of cake. In order to help you out with this, we’ve prepared a list of the top useful tips for a smooth and successful home remodelling. Let’s take a look and get inspired. 

Establish effective communication with your remodeler

First things first, it’s essential that you and your remodeler are capable of communicating effectively so that you avoid any misunderstandings. In other words, you should make sure that your remodeler listens to your requirements, answers your questions honestly and replies to your phone calls without any significant delays. All this may seem like going into too much detail, but don’t forget that the base for any successful project is effective two-way communication. 

Set your budget before the works begin

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Another crucial condition for managing a successful home renovation is that you set your budget before the construction works begin. This way, you’ll know how much money you’re allowed to invest and thus avoid going bankrupt in the middle of the process. However, don’t forget that many unforeseen expenses can occur, so it’s always advisable to add 10 to 15% to the budget that you initially calculated. Finally, if you don’t find yourself capable of doing all of this on your own, don’t shy away from contacting a professional who can make precise estimations and make your life much easier.

Sign only a well-written contract

Don’t even think about signing a poorly-written contract in which it’s not apparent what the price of the services will include exactly. You should make sure that your contract consists of the following elements: the payment schedule, the prices, a timetable, all the necessary specifications for the materials, permits and insurance information, etc. Furthermore, don’t forget that once the tiles and walls are renovated and the whole project is done, a lot of mess will be left behind, but cleaning may not necessarily be included in the contract. Therefore, make sure to think in advance and hire professional tile cleaners after the renovation. Owing to them, your home will look sparkling clean and ready for you to move in immediately.

Be flexible

Even though we would always advise you to ask your contractor to give you the exact date of when the works will be done, you should keep in mind that they won’t always be able to stick to their promise. After all, many unexpected issues can occur, like delayed shipment of the materials, which can make them postpone construction works a bit. However, you must stay calm and be patient since it’s much better to wait a few more days or even weeks than to end up with a poorly remodelled home just because you were rushing the whole team of workers.

Create enough space

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Finally, don’t even think about starting the remodelling process without making enough space so that the workers can do their job without having to take care of your furniture and similar items. For example, you can either move all your things to the part of the house you’re not renovating, or ask your neighbours to occupy their basement for a short time. Additionally, you should also think about renting a temporary storage space so that you avoid bothering anybody and make sure that your possessions will be kept safe until the renovation is done.

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As you can see, there are some quite useful tips for successful renovation which you should definitely take into consideration. First of all, you must make sure to gather a trustworthy team including a remodeler who will listen to your questions, respect your wishes and be able to give you some useful advice. On top of that, don’t forget to calculate your budget and check your agreement down to the tiniest detail before signing it. Of course, if you feel that you need any help during this project, don’t shy away from contacting experienced professionals who will make sure that everything goes smoothly. 

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4 Commercial Office Renovation Tips

4 Commercial Office Renovation Tips

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Office renovations and tenant improvements are a great opportunity to reinvent your space and create a work environment that will promote employees’ well-being and productivity. However, conducting a successful commercial renovation requires careful planning and preparation, researching building codes and violations and gathering an experienced, creative renovation contractor. Whether you’re planning a minor commercial renovation or a complete office renewal, these four tips are essential steps in this process. 

Define the purpose and scope

Pinpointing the exact reason of your commercial renovation and defining its scope will enable you to come up with the right construction plan and set up an appropriate budget. During this stage, it’s essential that you cover different angles of your renovation and decide whether it will entail major structural modifications or some simple architectural changes. By determining the reason and goal behind your office renovation, you’ll be able to implement steps that will help you solidify and attain your project goals. For example, if you want to design a more inspiring, open and employee-friendly office, you may need to change some structural features of the office. On the other hand, the infrastructure system may need to be updated, which requires a different approach than redefining a space. All of this will also depend on the budget available for this commercial construction. It’s of the utmost importance that your budget covers both planned and unexpected expenses.

Perform an extensive audit

From surveying the surrounding properties to examining the condition of walls and identifying hidden problems, such as mould or asbestos, performing an audit and evaluating the general condition of your office is crucial. Not only will it provide you with a general idea of the building condition, but it will also ensure the safety of contractors and building occupants. All of the systems should be up to code and your renovation plans should meet the general construction and building requirements and standards. You should check a city council database for any possible violations on the property and deal with them respectively. It’s always advisable that you perform an audit with an inspector, architect or engineer who can provide you with professional advice on different measures you can implement.
This important step will also enable you to implement appropriate safety precautions. As you assess the construction site, you’ll be able to plan adequate safety measures and come up with guidelines that everyone should comply with. 

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Go with cutting-edge materials

Investing in quality, state-of-the-art materials will ensure the longevity and safety of your office. Low-quality building materials may endanger you and your employees, become worn-out quickly over a short period of time and even delay your construction. High-quality, innovative materials are not only more durable, but they can even speed up the renovation process. For example, installing prefab permanent formwork system is much faster and easier and it can cut your costs by 50 percent, facilitating the renovation significantly. Prefabricated systems are a smart alternative to regular timbre structures that require conventional formatting.
When it comes to flooring materials, wall features and other interior elements, you can go with sustainable materials, such as reclaimed wood, cork, bamboo, natural stone, brick and others. Not only will they increase the eco-friendliness of your office renovation, but they will also help you create a nature-inspired work environment that exudes peacefulness. 

Get your team involved in the process

Organising an experienced, highly trained and creative team will ensure that the office renovation is completed successfully. When planning a commercial renovation, you’ll have to deal with a range of different questions and decisions. Your team can help you come up with cost- and time-effective solutions that will meet your renovation needs and goals. Your team should consist of an architect, interior designer, general  contractor and a facility executive who is actually the representative for the project owner. When hiring your team, make sure to conduct an interview, ask for their qualifications and check whether they have experience in this type of renovation. Each of the team members has their own role, but they all need to successfully collaborate for the best outcome. Involving them in the process from the very beginning and scheduling regular meetings is essential for a successful cooperation.

Commercial office renovations and tenant improvements are a major project that can be truly exciting and fun as long as you come up with the right plan and surround yourself with the right people.

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Contemporary Backyard Makeover: Keys to Success

Contemporary Backyard Makeover: Keys to Success

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Cold weather is slowly giving way to sunrays and evoking images of summer fun. People are migrating outside determined to make the most of the seasonal transition. To capture the dream, they are investing a lot of creative and hands-on work in sprucing up their backyards. Indeed, a little bit of designing, forethought, and structure can work wonders for the visual appeal and functionality of your outdoor sanctuary. So, ready to foster an environment that feels modern and cosy, like a true extension of your home? Here are some tips on how to remodel any space into a sleek personal getaway. 

Planning the layout

First of all, consider how you want to use the space. Do you plan on throwing barbecue parties, having a quiet corner for reading, building a playground for children, or maybe all these things? Think things through, taking into account your preferences, budget, climate conditions, and size of the backyard. Make an effort to designate separate areas for different kinds of activities. 

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Apart from the fence, you probably have no physical walls and boundaries. Still, you can define and separate your yard with smart design choices. Make good use of features like decks, pathways, stone walls, flower beds, planters, and shrubbery to create partial walls. 

Furthermore, if you don’t have a pool, well, you might consider getting one to create an amazing focal point of your outdoor space. Contemporary fibreglass swimming pools are currently the preferred choice, owing to the ease of installation and affordability. What’s more, special gel coats protect them against UV damage, algae and bacteria growth, and fading. 

Plan your design around your pool and achieve visual bliss with LED pool lights, automatic covers and other awe-inspiring features. Those who lack know-how should work with a serious contractor to come up with a killer blueprint and layout for their outdoor oasis. 

The visual side of things

When it comes to aesthetic matters, you should get your creative juices flowing. Just bear in mind that, in the light of the principles of modern design, some options are better than others. For instance, a limited colour palette is always a sound choice. A scheme with 3-4 subdued colours oozes that contemporary sophistication we are aiming for. Yes, seasoned contractors can put together a stunning diverse colour palette, but you might want to play it safe here. 

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And do not worry—you can still infuse the yard with character and spark interest with greenery, manicured lawn, organic materials, personal touches and other features. But, for now, focus on setting a nice minimalist backdrop, which leaves room for the landscaping to fully shine. Use repetition as a simple design technique to unify different elements and pull off a cohesive look. For example, if you have a light-grey stone wall, paint the deck in a similar tone and add a decomposed granite pathway. 

Injecting warmth and personality

Next, it is time to infuse some more diversity with various textures and materials. The list of solutions is long, so focus on something that makes a real difference. A wooden pool deck or patio emits warmth and might be a great option if you already have a lot of concrete around, but unless you are particularly handy, you should leave this project to experienced an experienced deck builder. Take every chance to make things more interesting. Try to blur the lines between outdoors and indoors with large glass sliding doors that open to the terrace. 

At this stage, you can start shopping around for outdoor furniture. Try to find pieces that blend different qualities: functionality, resistance to elements, and great looks. There is no shortage of great design options, so do your research. Again, wood remains a staple that goes well with modern paragons in the league of concrete. The goal is to set the outdoor stage for fun and relaxation.  

A fire pit or an outdoor fireplace serves as a nice centrepiece and fosters a spellbinding atmosphere around the seating area. The great thing is that it can also double as a barbecue. If you plan on doing more culinary stuff, consider having a roof-covered outdoor kitchen built. Finally, add a privacy fence as an envelope and make sure there is shade during the day. Deliver personal touches and accentuate with bright blankets, bright throw pillows, and patterned ottomans. 

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Step out into style

The good weather beckons and invites you outdoors. To make it happen, start by getting inspired and borrow ideas from modern renovation experts and aficionados. Carefully assess your needs and plans for the backyard. Sketch out your ideas and figure out the best layout. Naturally, it should reflect your sense of style and be inviting. It is crucial to define the separate spaces and bring order. Moreover, balance the warm and organic with the edgy and modern. Following these steps, you should be able to give your yard a complete makeover and embrace the pure joy of the outdoor lifestyle. 

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Tips for Easy Bathroom Renovation

Tips for Easy Bathroom Renovation

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Renovating your bathroom may seem like a daunting task sometimes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Naturally, the scope of your renovation project depends on many factors, such as available funds and your ideas, but there are some generally accepted tips that can help you make the most of your bathroom.

For some tasks, you’ll have to hire a bathroom renovation contractor, but there are also stuff you can do on your own or with a little help from your friends or family. So, what is it that you can do to complete a bathroom renovation project without unnecessary stress?

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Plan carefully

You mustn’t start your renovation project before you know exactly what you want to achieve. When it comes to the bathroom, you need to plan not only the individual tasks, but also the order in which you’re going to tackle them. Now’s the time to consult an expert or someone who is experienced enough if you don’t feel confident about making such plans.

Estimate the cost

Since most of us don’t have unlimited financial resources at our disposal, it’s vital that we know how much a renovation project is going to cost upfront. Don’t forget to include not only the price of elements you need to buy, but the cost of labour as well. Also, leave some money aside for unexpected problems and expenses that might arise during the renovation.

Hiring experts… or not

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If you need to hire a contractor, make sure you find someone with a good reputation. Make sure you clearly define what is included in the price you agreed upon and take into consideration how a potential change of plans might affect the final price. 

On the other hand, if you want to save some money, make a list of all the things you can do and keep your expenditure to a minimum. For example, avoid making changes to your plumbing fixtures if possible, since moving your pipes and fixtures, such as the bathtub and toilet, requires much more time and money.

Flooring

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One of the best ways to improve your bathroom is to change the old or damaged flooring. That will not only improve your bathroom’s appearance, but it will also make it much safer. The flooring solution you choose needs to be appropriate for a humid environment and strong enough to withhold your dream bathroom vanities and other items that you want to include in your new bathroom.

Fresh paint

Another cheap way of upgrading the bathroom is to give it a fresh coat of paint. Needless to say, it has to be the right type of paint. The best option is to go with mildew-resistant paint. Your walls and the ceiling will look new and stylish, provided you match the colours with those of the tiles and furniture.

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Let there be light

Lighting is crucial since it makes your bathroom practical and it also prevents dangerous situations. You should first consider the amount of daylight you get and whether it can be improved by introducing a larger window or an extra one. When it comes to artificial lighting, you should have at least 4 watts of bright lighting per square foot. Depending on how skilful you are, you may be able to do it yourself, but if you are not competent, you should definitely hire a professional.

All of these tips are supposed to help you make the most out of your existing bathroom without breaking the bank. The more elements you keep, the less you’ll spend and by restoring or painting some elements, you can give them a new lease of life. In return, they’ll create a much nicer and more functional space for you to use. 

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How to Use Molding to Renovate a Character Home

How to Use Molding to Renovate a Character Home

In old days, trims were considered as finishing touches to a place. A house without some fancy plaster or wooden crown moldings was deemed to be a bad taste. Most of the old houses have been stripped of moldings as an act of modernization. Nevertheless, this beautiful architectural feature has made a comeback in various profiles and dimensions to create a place in modern interior design.

Renovating a home with Crown moldings does wonders in changing the look of the interior. Let’s see how you can use these to renovate a character home whether you do it yourself or by hiring a professional renovation contractor

  • The Profiles You May Use

Moldings are not just strips of carved wood pieces that fill up some rather odd bare spaces in your home. Their decorative profiles have a more complex purpose. The effects of light and shadow on the trims soften the transitions from a wall to the adjacent ceiling, floors, windows, and doors. Let’s find out what type of profiles could help your interiors to build an interesting personality. If you are looking for the best house renovations ideas, check out what Model-Home Makeover has to offer. 

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Choose them in complementing designs. 

The crown molding designs don’t need to be the same for the entire house but the moldings in a room at least should complement one another. If you find matching the exact profile for a coordinating set is too much exhausting, try to bring panels with consistent motifs or curves. 

The moldings, if applied to the right way, can add to the visual scale and proportion of a place. These often remind of a bygone era and express the fine taste of the homeowner's renovation.

  • Give traditional style a shot
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The classic profiles of moldings remind of the early days of American architecture when such a feature was not cheap. Although the expenses reduced after the Civil War, the traditional decorative trims still remind the wealth and opulence of that old time. 

In fact, the more complex designs of traditional moldings create a depth at the ceiling or the surface where these are installed. You can put together two or more panels to form an elaborate display. Although you can keep the silhouette simple, depending on your personal preference and the decoration of that particular room. 

  • Gustav makes a comeback.

The Gustav moldings became so popular once because of their ability to display the inherent beauty of the woods without making use of any ornate profile. These make the rooms look interesting and complete by themselves. The style went to back due to the minimalist trend but you should have no doubt about their power of creating an impact.  

The moldings are actually casing that is used to hide the cut edges of windows and doors and to fill up the blank space in between the adjacent wall. If you are thinking of choosing this profile for the front doors, find some embellished designs to enhance the aesthetic appeal. 

  • The Materials You Should Consider

The options are endless when it comes to design and types. You will be delighted to know that there a couple of options regarding the materials too. Let’s see what can bring sophistication to your home and add a higher resale value. 

  • Wood molding
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It’s the more traditional material used for carving moldings for centuries. It oozes a classic, elegant look so effortlessly, which is hard to achieve with any other components. The wooden trims create a solid appearance and hard woods such as mahogany and oak can add warmth to a room with their natural color stain and grain motifs. Another perk of wood is that you pair it up with any type of ceiling and it always projects a high-class look. 

  • Plaster molding

It’s the most expensive of all the materials. These moldings are made of a combination of a cement-type base-coat and a polished acrylic finish. You can paint them in any color you like. Moreover, these won’t show any crack, shrinkage, or swell even if there moisture in the environment. 

  • High-Density Foam molding

It’s lightweight, cheap, and easy to install. You can glue them directly on a surface, reducing the hassle and costs associated with the installation. However, the HDF moldings are not suitable for textured ceilings, and these don’t have the factor like the wood and plaster trims for your renovation project.

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5 Renovation Ideas for Designing Your Dream Home

5 Renovation Ideas for Designing Your Dream Home

If your home is looking a bit tired, it means it’s the right time for you to think about starting a renovation project. However, there are so many ways to freshen up your home and identifying those that can help you turn your current home into your dream home isn’t exactly going to be easy. That’s why we came up with 5 renovation ideas you just can’t go wrong with by doing it yourself or by hiring a professional renovation contractor

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Get a kitchen island

In case you feel your kitchen is too ordinary, getting a kitchen island can turn out to be an amazing idea. It’s a great way to add some style to your kitchen and create some extra workspace in your kitchen. This can turn out to be an amazing idea, especially if you’re a messy cook and you need a lot of countertop space. Integrating drawers or cabinets into your kitchen island also means you’ll have more storage, which can always come in pretty handy.

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Convert your attic

Do you feel like your home could use some extra space? Why not convert your attic into a real room? This can do wonders for your home’s look and its value in case you eventually decide to sell it. Converting your attic into an office or kid’s room is something you just can’t go wrong with. No matter how much of a handyman you are, it’s recommended that you have experts in attic roof conversions help you come up with the shape of your new room. You can get creative when designing your new room since it doesn’t really have to match the rest of your home.

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Apply a fresh coat of paint

When renovating, a fresh coat of paint can be all it takes to freshen up your home. So, if it’s been a long time since you’ve painted your walls, you might want to consider the idea of doing it again. Remember that you don’t have to stick to the same colors you’ve used before and opting for something different can give your home an entirely new look. If you want to improve the air quality inside of your home, using low-VOC paint is recommended.

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Create an open plan

It seems like open plan homes are gaining in popularity more and more each day. In fact, most of the new homes out there have open plan and you’ll probably want to go for it as well. With fewer walls, there will be more free space and area to work with when it comes to design. Going for large furniture and plenty of cabinets is always a good idea. Just make sure you establish zones in order to create an illusion of having multiple rooms. Adding custom bookshelves and large area rugs is also recommended.

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Add a patio

We’ve talked about making changes inside of your home but updating your exterior can also be an amazing idea. Building a patio or in your backyard means you’ll have a place where you can put outdoor furniture and entertain your guests. Moreover, if you enjoy reading, you’ll be able to do it out on the fresh air. Adding a deck doesn’t have to be a huge project, since all you need to do is incorporate a hard-surfaced floor into your garden area. Just make sure you get durable furniture that can withstand weather conditions in your area.

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There you have it – 5 renovation ideas that can help you turn your home into the one you’ve always dreamed about. Just make sure you keep looking for some new updates you can make even once your home renovation project is finished.

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Contemporary Solutions for Renovating an Outdated Kitchen 

Contemporary Solutions for Renovating an Outdated Kitchen 

Kitchen remodelling projects top the lists not only as the favourite renovation projects but also as the ones that give the highest return on investment. Whether it’s just a small face-lift of the outdated decor or an extensive fix-up by a renovation contractor, bringing your kitchen back to the future will surely be an overwhelming project, but worthwhile in the end.

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Current design trends exhibit versatile uses of colour, top-notch kitchen appliances and a practical and functional design that can easily transport your kitchen into the modern day. The following ideas should help you transform your kitchen into the original and unique space you’ve always wanted.

Upgrade your hardware

The biggest issue with older and outdated kitchens is the materials that were used decades ago, including the kitchen handles and knobs. With all the new materials and designs coming out almost weekly, it might be time to update those drawer pulls. Currently trendy options are stainless steel, matte aluminium, brushed gold and copper. Incorporating these metal details in other places such as lighting fixtures and cooking hoods will tie the entire look together and give your kitchen a modern vibe.

Replace your flooring

When it comes to kitchen updates, flooring is very often neglected, yet it has a significant role in the entire décor. No amount of shiny hardware, modern cabinets and lighting fixtures will be enough to distract your eye from shabby floors. Consider switching from traditional vinyl to more resilient and durable materials such as hardwood, stone or tile, and it will surely boost your kitchen’s appearance and value.

Modernize countertops and the sink

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Another part of your kitchen that carries a lot of value is the countertops. In the past, most kitchens had tiled or cheap, wooden countertops that are far from modern and stylish compared to today’s vast choice of surface options such as granite, quartz and marble.

With the countertops update, it’s inevitable to replace your old sink and faucets as well. And while at it, consider going one step further and ensuring the water is also of premium quality. A good water filtration system in your home can have a significant impact on the quality of your life. By installing an under-sink filtration system with a contemporary reverse osmosis water filter, you’ll be able to eliminate heavy metals (lead, mercury, copper), chlorine, parasites, pesticides and perchlorates, and ensure your family drinks perfectly clean and healthy water.

Reconsider upper cabinets

A lot of outdated kitchens were designed with tons of upper cabinets to offer ample storage for cookware and dishes, but most often, they make the space look closed in, dark and cramped. If you’re aiming at brightening up and opening the space, consider removing some of the upper cabinets and installing open, floating shelves that are excellent for displaying your beautiful China and decorative dishware.

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Furthermore, give some attention to your bottom cabinets as well, so you don’t end up with a mismatched style across your kitchen. If your budget is already exhausted, opt for simple repainting or staining your existing lower cabinets in colours such as dark grey-blue, modern black or something bolder, such as vibrant blue or green. You’ll be surprised how a little colour change can transform an entire space.

New lighting

It’s quite unlikely that your kitchen upgrade will be complete without effective lighting. It’s often an afterthought, but it’s crucial for giving your kitchen the desired ambiance and versatility. If you only have overhead lighting fixtures, you might be in danger of having your kitchen resemble a waiting room at the doctor’s, so do consider installing some new recessed lights, elegant chandeliers over the eating area, pendant lights over the island and even a dimmer switch for when you’re in the mood for a romantic setting!

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Replace inefficient appliances

In the era of global warming and climatic changes, it’s important to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. The best way to start that in your home is to replace your old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones. Energy star rated appliances are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but more importantly, they consume much less energy, are environmentally friendly and will cut your utility bills in the long run.

There’s an abundance of ideas for your outdated kitchen, from updated materials and finishes to lighting and colour changes. It’s up to you to find what best suits your style, taste and budget. 

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Reasons That You Need a Bathroom Renovation

Reasons That You Need a Bathroom Renovation

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Even though it’s probably the smallest room in your home, the bathroom still deserves a ton of love and attention, especially because this is the place where you’re supposed to feel safe, secure and relaxed. A great number of modern homes come with a tiny bathroom, but you can try to make the most of it and utilize every inch of free space you have there. And if you’re still unsure whether renovating an old and impractical bathroom is such a good idea, here are a few reasons why you should consider doing this as soon as possible with a professional bathroom renovation company

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Get more space

Even the smallest of bathrooms are full of clutter and you definitely don’t need all of these things, do you? In order to make your bathroom practical and useful, you have to get rid of the trash instead of piling it up everywhere around you. Luckily, decluttering a bathroom is easy and can be done in under half an hour, and you just need to get organized properly – start with the medicine cabinet and beauty products, move onto hair dryers and brushes, and finish everything off with your towels and laundry basket. Of course, you can always install a new shelf above the door for even more storage space, which is always useful.

Boost your home value

You may not be considering selling your home any time soon, but why don’t you start boosting its value little by little, just in case? A recently renovated bathroom is at the top of everyone’s priority list and something that will significantly raise the value of your home. Keep in mind that all potential buyers are going to check the bathroom first, so make sure it’s as good as new.

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Fix hidden problems

Living in a new house or residential building is wonderful and you can be sure your foundations and infrastructure are brand new, but what about old properties? If your home is more than two decades old, you can never know what’s wrong with it and, unfortunately, won’t be able to see the problems until it’s too late. Bathrooms are usually among the biggest issues, but renovation can solve all your plumbing and piping issues. These are particularly problematic in certain parts of the world with huge temperature swings that lead to heavy rains and blocked drains. That’s why people look for trustworthy professionals for blocked drains in Sydney who can solve these problems. Keep in mind that pipes are crucial for your property and they need to be in perfect conditions at all times.

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Make your own spa

Sometimes all you need after a long day at the office is to get back home and relax in your own private space, and what better way to do so than in your spa? Turning your plain old bathroom into a personal oasis sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually much easier than most people think. All you need to do is update your fixtures, bring in new towels, install a tub – as big as you can afford! – as well as add a few scented candles, and you’ll be ready to dive into your new home spa experience sooner than you think. And when compared to the enormous prices you’d pay for a professional spa treatment, this bathroom upgrade is really going to pay off in the long run.

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Investing in a bathroom renovation isn’t easy nor cheap, especially if you want to do it right, but it’s definitely worth the time and money you put into it, so start planning this process today and enjoy your new bathroom tomorrow!

 

 

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7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

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Hiring the right contractor is the key to completing renovation and construction projects to your utmost satisfaction. To make an informed decision and avoid messing up a huge investment, you have to factor in multifarious aspects. Some of them are great telltale signs that can help you discern whether a contractor is trustworthy or not. Ensure that everything matches your expectations and preferences. Know what to expect before the working phase commences. 

What are the payment terms?

Do not just accept the terms presented to you as they are usually negotiable. Stand your ground and ask the contractor to put everything in the writing. A binding document should flash out the payment structure and include terms that protect all parties involved. In case you are unsure of how to proceed, note that there are basic agreement templates you can download. The only exceptions to the have-it-written-down rule are the projects that cost less than $500.

Are you licensed? 

A contractor should have all the necessary licenses and permits to handle home renovations and improvement services in your area.  Naturally, cities, states, and counties have different requirements for licensing and certification. In any regard, you do not want unlicensed company handling structural, plumbing, and electrical work. There are many legal and material ramifications that could arise and it would be out of your hand to solve them. 

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How long have you been in the business? 

Years of experience in the business speak volumes about the company and serve as a telling indicator. Namely, reputable companies that operate for some time leave a trail of happy customers. They have moved past growing pains, ramped up technical expertise, and raised the bar of quality. Moreover, they have a system of mechanisms and controls to deliver promised results. Just to be sure that someone is telling the truth you ought to seek client testimonials and reviews online. 

How will we communicate? 

Good and open communication is the bedrock of fruitful business relationships. So, determine how you want to communicate: via meetings, conference calls, or something else?  Ideally, a company should provide more than one way to reach them, which in my experience, the very best property developers in Sydney do. In this day and age, not being present on social media and instant messaging platforms is hard to justify. I would also keep an eye on how fast contractor is to respond to your messages and calls. 

What about insurance?

In the world of home improvement, construction and renovation, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, check whether the contractor has the Worker’s Compensation that covers injuries that could occur to laborers. What is more, it is a good idea to ask about general insurance. You cannot afford not to prepare for potential damage to your property. For an extra layer of protection, see if you can be the certificate holder for both of these insurances. 

How long is it going to take? 

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A clear schedule in the form of the timeline of completion helps in managing expectations and avoiding misunderstandings. Again, a written document is preferable to just having an oral agreement. After all, the work most often disrupts your daily habits and lifestyle and you do not want it to drag indefinitely. Likewise, there should be a set time period in which contractor will mend any mistakes and imperfection that stem from the project you paid for. 

Is there a dedicated team for my project?

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Contractors tend to be quite busy and work on more than one project simultaneously. You as a customer want to be provided with consistency, so ask who will work on your project every day. Verify that there is a project manager, a person who oversees everything. It would be also nice to have business owner occasionally on the site as well. Finally, if there are subcontractors, check their qualifications, insurance, and liability. 

Million dollar questions

Before you take the plunge, there are various questions you will need the answer for. Start the search well prepared, after doing your homework and getting your priorities straight. Never take just their word for it. Do as much research as you can yourself to stay on the safe side. Accept nothing less than peerless quality, open communication, and clear terms. Find the best contractor, move forward with confidence, and finish the project with flying colors. 

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Ultimate Garage Remodel Ideas

Ultimate Garage Remodel Ideas

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One of the most common complaints many homeowners have about their homes is the lack of storage. As time goes by and families grow, the house seems to be shrinking and possessions seem to be increasing, and before you know it, there’s not enough space to store them all. That’s when the garage, if you’re lucky to have one, becomes the next logical storage room. Unfortunately, most often, it ends up being a dumping ground for unused things, and your dream of having a functional parking space for your car and a workspace for DIY projects disappears into thin air.

An ideal garage should be more than just a parking spot – we want it to be a warehouse, a workshop and even a getaway place where we can turn off our busy brains just hanging out and creating the next DIY miracle.

If you feel that this might be the answer to your problems, than a garage renovation by a professional contractor or diy is the way to go. By simply following the ideas listed here, you can easily clear out the clutter, get things organised and stored, and spruce up the place to make an ultimate DIY workshop.

Get prepared

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As clearing out and organising a garage can be quite a messy and time-consuming business, being well prepared is the key to success. So, before you dive into it, prepare extra-large garbage bags, cardboard boxes, marking pens for labelling and a packing tape. If all is done correctly, you’ll end up with several bags and boxes to give away, to throw away, or to repair and keep. And, when you turn around, you’ll see a decluttered garage that’s ready for the next step – the makeover.

Create functional storage

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Once you have cleared out the clutter and got rid of excess things, it’s time to designate storage areas for different things, such as cleaning products, gardening tools, sports equipment, Christmas decorations and old memories.

Creating practical and functional shelving is no rocket science and doesn’t really require hiring a contractor, but if you’re indecisive, it might be a good idea to get some advice from an experienced remodeller. 

However, if you’re set on doing it yourself, here are some easy and practical ideas:

  • For secure storage of your valuable assets and expensive tools, opt for prime tool boxes and lockers.
  • For hardworking tools that you use on a daily basis, choose a magnetic storage panel that makes tools organised and easily accessible.
  • Ceiling hooks are excellent for utilizing unused overhead space for storing bikes.
  • Overhead storage shelves are another functional way to take advantage of the ceiling, and they’re excellent for keeping things you don’t use frequently, such as decorations and clothing.
  • Bungee cord wall storage is a very creative and practical storage design that stores all sports equipment vertically on the wall where it is visible and accessible, instead of storing it away in bins and crates.

Workbench design

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Rather than having an oversized, fixed work table for your DIY projects and repairs that will take up a lot of floor space, upgrade your game with a wall-mounted foldaway workbench. They offer a great way to store the tools, and the bench itself out of the way when you’re not working, but it’s still easily accessible by folding it down when you’re in the mood for your next project. 

Lighting

Most garages are quite dark, dingy and poorly lit, so it’s essential you introduce more strategically placed lighting fixtures to brighten up the space and make your workbench projects easier. For best end results, combine several light sources, such as track bulbs for direct overhead lighting, a couple of clip-on lamps and some simple fluorescent ceiling fixtures.

Flooring

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As you bring your garage remodelling project towards the end, make sure you give it the finishing touch – a shiny epoxy floor coating. This is an excellent garage flooring solution as it’s resistant to chipping, oil and grease stains; it’s also waterproof and extremely easy to maintain. Plus, it will make your garage look very clean and professional.

With these simple and effective garage makeover solutions, you’ll have no trouble transforming your garage into an organised, practical and functional space.

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Basement Remodel: Is It Time to Do Yours?

Basement Remodel: Is It Time to Do Yours?

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Basements remodelling has been among the most popular renovation projects in the past twenty years. The two most common renovations are the kitchen and bathroom, and according to the reports of about 30% of contractors, they are followed by basement remodelling. The reason why so many people opt for basement remodelling is that it allows them to expand their living space. Also, home additions usually cost double and usually have a lower return on investment.

If you’re considering renovating your basement, think about hiring a certified contractor to inspect your heating and plumbing systems, spot any alarming issues and help you with the ballpark estimate. As things can get quite complicated and intimidating, here are several steps to take in order to make the most out of your basement project.

Project planning

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Firstly, make sure you do the research and go through all the steps of the renovation project before you start. Almost any house remodelling requires a permit, which is why you need to get to know the local building codes and regulations. Sometimes the process of obtaining the permits can last a while, so knowing all the legal aspects can help you set a realistic timeline. 

If your plan includes renting out your basement in near future, be prepared for a separate set of requirements, which usually include a separate entry/exit and bathroom. The difference in cost is enormous, especially when you take into consideration how prospective tenants affect your taxes, mortgage rate, and regular maintenance.

Crucial improvements

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A fully-renovated and furnished basement won't only provide you and your family with an extra living space, but it will also add significant value to your property, which will come in handy if you ever decide to resell. That’s why details matter and there’s no room for mistakes. For many homes, basements are weak and sensitive parts of the house, so make sure that when renovating, you turn it into a space able to withstand wear and tear. 

Consequently, having water-resistant flooring is a must. Apart from concrete floor treated with epoxy flooring solutions that will give you a durable, easy-to-clean, corrosion-resistant surface, you can also choose ceramic tiles, engineered wood, laminate or vinyl flooring. No matter the choice you make, be sure you install a moisture and vapour barrier, so that the floor doesn’t become a haven for mould.

The need for more space

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One of the main reasons why many homeowners decide to remodel their basements is the lack of space for their growing families. The basement makes for a perfect place for extra bedrooms, another family room, a home office, a media room, a home gym or a playroom. Playrooms are a great out-of-the-way place for the little ones to have fun but it can also incorporate some elements for older members to have a good time as well, such as a foosball table, air hockey or a pool table.

Very often, it becomes a partial storage space that takes the burden off of the garage and cluttered closets upstairs. If it’s nicely tucked away in hidden wall storage, it will leave enough room to convert the rest of the space into a secondary suite for an elderly parent or just visiting relatives. In either case, it will add significantly to the overall value of your home.

Even though the basement is the lowest point in your home, it probably hides great potential. If you give it the same treatment as any of the rooms upstairs, fix all the cracks and leaks, brighten it up and give it a facelift, you just might end up creating the most popular room in the house, and probably for a lot less money than if you were to add a new room or a second floor. 

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