How To Design A Kitchen Remodel

The design of a kitchen remodel is, for many people, the most satisfying and fun part of the process. While it is possible to design a beautiful, elegant kitchen by yourself, you may also want to consider hiring a professional to help you with your design. Your contractor is the best resource.He has knowledge others may not know or consider
Salem Construction 324
EXAMPLES:
1.He knows all of the latest Materials including Items made from recycled materials
2. He knows a bearing wall from a non bearing wall and the cost of a beam is needed
3.He knows the codes If while working he can bring you abode up to code. It could be something simple like not shut of valve under sink to rerouting electrical lines necessary with creating an open concept

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A professional contractor can give you many ideas and introduce you to new products while staying true to the spirit of your original design vision. Whether you decide to do all the design work yourself, or hire a professional, there are some things to consider that will get you launched on the right track for your kitchen remodel.

The art of kitchen design is intricately linked to how you will be using the space. The old saying, form follows function, has a lot of truth to it. Design is not only about how things look, but how things are used. And while most of us no doubt start our dreams of a new design for our kitchen with visions of a specific look in mind, space planning is equally important.

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, and many different activities take place there besides cooking. You may routinely linger with a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper, or feed your family breakfast before they dash out the door. Your children may like to do their homework while you cook in the evenings, or perhaps you and your spouse share cooking duties. Maybe you regularly host large gatherings, or cook for intimate dinner parties. All these various activities will affect your kitchen design, and it is important to consider them as you begin planning. You will also want to ponder storage space as you plot your design. Do you routinely have trouble finding space for all your pots and pans? Is there enough room for every family member to sit around the nook? All of these space-use issues and any other problems you have with your current kitchen design should be noted. You might want to talk to each member of the family and see what their concerns about using space are.

Once you’ve made a list of problems to correct in your new plan, the fun part of kitchen remodel design begins, as you make choices about cabinetry, flooring, counter-tops, and lighting. All of these design elements need to work together to create a coherent design, but that’s not difficult to accomplish with the huge variety of products available today.

There are a multitude of cabinet options, starting with your choice of wood or laminate. If you decide on wood, you’ll need to choose what kind-oak or cherry or birch? And then there are door styles-plain, curved, recessed panel, arched? With flooring you need to consider not only looks but durability and ease of cleaning. Counter-tops need to be sturdy and durable, and with the variety of natural and synthetic choices today, your design can pair beauty with easy maintenance. Lighting is also intimately paired with space issues in your design-are there places in your current kitchen where you need more light? Is the preparation area currently too dark? Perhaps you want recessed or track lighting to increase the brightness, or maybe you prefer an elegant chandelier. When considering lighting get LED lighting or fixtures that will use LED bulbs. The Kitchen has heavy use and the lights are on a larger portion of the day. By all means have the main light in the prep area with a remote control to dim the light at night for easy access in night time hours.

Begin with these considerations of space and use as you ponder your kitchen design and the rest will naturally fall into place. Your kitchen design will not only be a thing of beauty, it will also be a functional, efficient space.

How to Design a Kitchen Remodel

The design of a kitchen remodel is, for many people, the most satisfying and fun part of the process. While it is possible to design a beautiful, elegant kitchen by yourself, you may also want to consider hiring a professional to help you with your design. Your contractor is the best resource.He has knowledge others may not know or consider
Salem Construction 324
EXAMPLES:
1.He knows all of the latest Materials including Items made from recycled materials
2. He knows a bearing wall from a non bearing wall and the cost of a beam is needed
3.He knows the codes If while working he can bring you abode up to code. It could be something simple like not shut of valve under sink to rerouting electrical lines necessary with creating an open concept

dg_00406_barlume_oceano_t
A professional contractor can give you many ideas and introduce you to new products while staying true to the spirit of your original design vision. Whether you decide to do all the design work yourself, or hire a professional, there are some things to consider that will get you launched on the right track for your kitchen remodel.

The art of kitchen design is intricately linked to how you will be using the space. The old saying, form follows function, has a lot of truth to it. Design is not only about how things look, but how things are used. And while most of us no doubt start our dreams of a new design for our kitchen with visions of a specific look in mind, space planning is equally important.

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, and many different activities take place there besides cooking. You may routinely linger with a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper, or feed your family breakfast before they dash out the door. Your children may like to do their homework while you cook in the evenings, or perhaps you and your spouse share cooking duties. Maybe you regularly host large gatherings, or cook for intimate dinner parties. All these various activities will affect your kitchen design, and it is important to consider them as you begin planning. You will also want to ponder storage space as you plot your design. Do you routinely have trouble finding space for all your pots and pans? Is there enough room for every family member to sit around the nook? All of these space-use issues and any other problems you have with your current kitchen design should be noted. You might want to talk to each member of the family and see what their concerns about using space are.

Once you’ve made a list of problems to correct in your new plan, the fun part of kitchen remodel design begins, as you make choices about cabinetry, flooring, counter-tops, and lighting. All of these design elements need to work together to create a coherent design, but that’s not difficult to accomplish with the huge variety of products available today.

There are a multitude of cabinet options, starting with your choice of wood or laminate. If you decide on wood, you’ll need to choose what kind-oak or cherry or birch? And then there are door styles-plain, curved, recessed panel, arched? With flooring you need to consider not only looks but durability and ease of cleaning. Counter-tops need to be sturdy and durable, and with the variety of natural and synthetic choices today, your design can pair beauty with easy maintenance. Lighting is also intimately paired with space issues in your design-are there places in your current kitchen where you need more light? Is the preparation area currently too dark? Perhaps you want recessed or track lighting to increase the brightness, or maybe you prefer an elegant chandelier. When considering lighting get LED lighting or fixtures that will use LED bulbs. The Kitchen has heavy use and the lights are on a larger portion of the day. By all means have the main light in the prep area with a remote control to dim the light at night for easy access in night time hours.

Begin with these considerations of space and use as you ponder your kitchen design and the rest will naturally fall into place. Your kitchen design will not only be a thing of beauty, it will also be a functional, efficient space.

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Decks and Patios with a Purpose

Creating a variety of spaces where the outdoors can be enjoyed is easier than you may think. Whether you already have a deck or you’re considering a home improvement project to build a new deck, now is the time to think about your use of space. A deck has lots of open space and it’s your job to optimize that space so that you get enjoyment from every square foot of the outdoor “room” you’re creating.075

Just like the inside of your house, you can create “rooms” and spaces on your deck for the different activities and interests of you and your family. Think about the interior of your home where you have a small kitchen nook, a reading chair, and a napping space. Maybe you have a computer workroom, or a craft nook. These are all welcoming spaces that inspire and nurture your activities.

Your deck or patio works the same way. Creating spaces on your deck or patio can open up a whole new world for you, your family, and guests. Consider some of these home improvement projects to expand the use of your outdoor deck or patio:
Fire pit Seating Area
1.Create a ‘warm’ space for roasting marshmallows and warming toes on a chilly winter night by adding a grill, chiminea, or firepit.

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2.Design a reading area that is in a quiet corner of the deck surrounded by a water feature and the nearby chatter of birds.

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3.Prepare a kitchen area where friends and food can be enjoyed together.

Patio game area Looks like washer toss.
4.Create a game space where children and adults can spend hours of fun playing and laughing over games.

So, this sounds like a lot of work to you? Well, think again!

It’s really quite simple and it’s a project that takes a little effort, minimal financial outlay, and lots of creativity. We’ve provided some tips and ideas to help you get started.

1.Create different “rooms” on your deck by creating a multi-tiered structure with different levels if you’re building a new deck or adding on to an existing one. If you’re not planning this type of expansion, don’t worry. You can still create a lot of outdoor “rooms” on your existing deck or patio.

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2.Add wider steps between deck levels or between the deck and the ground. These wider steps can actually become a good game “room” or space for other activities. They’re also the perfect transition between “rooms”.

3.Change the orientation of your decking boards – use diagonal boards for one “room” and turn them in another direction to differentiate between other rooms.

4.Divide outdoor “rooms” with built-in planters, arbors, or other structures. Container gardening makes it quick and easy to cordon off “rooms”.

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5.Add a gazebo as a brand new room for reading and relaxation, or include a porch swing on the gazebo for a quick nap.

6.Use different colors, shapes, and designs of outdoor rugs to create visual variations in the different spaces you want to create. Use a consistent color theme and then go wild with exotic designs and patterns that complement your color theme.

7.Use outdoor furniture to create the mood and visual attraction of various “rooms”. For the reading space, a relaxing chair, hammock, or a swing is a good idea. For the “game room”, include a table, comfortable deck pillows, and a storage area for board games, cards, and other supplies. Use colorful furniture in the game area.

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8.If you’re not ready to go the expense route of a full outdoor kitchen, simply create a “kitchen” by including a grill, beverage bar, bar stools, and a built-in hideaway for a cooler filled with ice, beverages, and snacks.

9.Set-up an area with a craft table or computer docking station that welcomes artists, writers, computer enthusiasts, or others.

Built-ins can be a great way to enhance the use of the various outdoor “rooms” you’ve created. A built-in storage space for the game room, built-in cabinets for kitchen supplies, a stationery desk with drawers for crafts, and other built-in structures make it easy and convenient to enjoy the outdoor space.

Another way to extend and expand the use of the spaces you have created is to undertake a home improvement project that includes outdoor lighting, electrical outlets, and a sound system. Not only will your family and friends enjoy the unexpected fun of the rooms they discover, the space can be opened up as an extension of your home for larger gatherings and parties.

If you thought your deck or patio was just for occasional use, then you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of nature’s beauty of the great outdoors. Stand on your deck, take it all in, and then get creative. This is one home improvement project you and your family will enjoy today and for many more years to come!

You can make a master plan and accomplish it in two or more seasons to achieve your final goal.

Preventive Maintenance can Save You Big Money

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Home repairs can be expensive and some are unavoidable, however they can be even more expensive when they have to be done unexpectedly, such as when a water heater bursts and ruins your carpet and possibly other items. Or maybe you have a leaky roof you’ve been meaning to get to until one day a heavy rain comes and part of the roof collapses into your home. Now you have an expensive roofing job to do and you have to clean up the mess in the home. What’s more, you’ll likely have water damage or other types of damage to the inside of your home if this happens to you.

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Call Salem Construction for an estimate. Very often a leaky roof is caused by improper venting  which in time not only means leaks but also the possibility of mold invading your home.  Shawn’s  experience of many years in the profession can spot easily what is needed and will work with you to give you options that will give you years of worry free confidence in your roof.

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Many of this seasons projects will save on energy costs and prevent water damage. imagesWindows or doors with rotted sills will cost in terms of water damage and higher energy costs. 011 There is still time  to get the repairs done before winter hits.   Another project that will save you on energy is a Bilco door replacement. Shawn will also check the concrete that supports the door and Install a new door that will keep the stairway dry and draft free.

Not only is emergency home repair more expensive; the event that leads up to you having to do emergency home repair could be dangerous. There’s just no better solution than preventive maintenance to keep your home and family safe and to avoid unexpected and costly repairs. Get organized so you will know which tasks you should do on a monthly or yearly basis. Keep receipts of all items you buy that have to do with home repair and maintenance and keep warranties together. Some people like to use a filing system while a binder works well for others. It really doesn’t matter what kind of system you use as long as you keep careful and current records of the home maintenance tasks you perform.

There are quite a few preventive maintenance tasks you should do to keep your home running smoothly. Although we won’t go over all of them here, we will touch on just a few. Keep your water heater running smoothly by checking the pressure relief valve twice a year. This is a preventive device that could keep your water heater from exploding and it is important that the valve be in good working condition. This valve is present on all water heaters, both gas and electric and when checking it you should hear air escape through the valve. Water may also escape through the valve when you pull the lever, which is expected. If neither one of these things happen, you should drain the tank and replace the pressure relief valve. Always turn the electricity or gas off before you work on your water heater. Also, check for rust around the base and replace the water heater if any is spotted.

Something as simple as changing your filter on your home heating and air conditioning system can make the unit run more efficiently, make your home more comfortable, and save on costly repairs down the road. Also, inspect dryer hoses at least once a year and check for lint around the vent area and in the hose. Built-up dryer lint can cause a fire and reduce the efficiency of your dryer so it is important to ensure that the vent tubing is clear of lint.

There are many more preventive home maintenance tasks you will need to do each year. Many of them are quite simple and all of them are far easier than cleaning up the mess after a disaster strikes.

 

Seasonal Maintenance Tasks for Spring

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Tasks for Spring As a homeowner, you probably already realize that home maintenance tasks are ongoing and that you never quite get finished before there is something else to do. However, there are certain tasks that should be done at certain times of the year. In this article, we’ll take a look at some specific home maintenance tasks that should be taken care of in the Spring or at least are convenient to do in the Spring.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home. Now is the time to tend to your yard too!   Rake out the flower beds to reveal the spring bulbs    th and dead head the debris of last years leaves  and stems.

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Rake seasonal gardens  to ready for rototilling and add organic matter to renew the nourishment in the soil.

 

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Spring cleanup and preparation of the soil

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Mow and edge your yard,

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prune anything that needs pruning and reseed if needed.   Spring_Pruning_4_thumbPlan your flower or vegetable garden, depending on what you are planting and fertilize as well. If you have spring vegetables that you’ve been coddling indoors, now is the time to transplant them to your garden. Spring is also a great time to dust off any plants. You might even take them outside and gently hose them off and clean out any dead leaves. Transplant any houseplants that have grown out of their containers. Transplant  plants to outdoors. th

Spring is a great time to do paperwork because everything related to it is on sale because of tax season. Clean out your files, do your taxes or have them prepared and stock up on office supplies. You’ll find the best sales on office supplies during the spring tax season and just before school starts again in the fall. Shred any papers that have personal information on them, such as social security numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, and anything else you don’t want anyone to see.    th

Spring is a great time to air out the house and wash the windows.

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Store winter bedding, clothesth

, and decorations and get out the summer th

stuff. Not everyone has the time to plan and carry out a traditional spring cleaning; some people just plan various tasks throughout the year instead of days or weeks of spring cleaning. Do try to complete complementary tasks; for example, if you’re washing the windows, either change the curtains or drapes to reflect a spring theme or wash them or have them dry cleaned if appropriate.  th

Clean the blinds if you have them and your windows will get the full spring cleaning treatment, which will freshen up your home considerably.

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While you are doing your Spring cleaning, replace the batteries in your smoke alarms. Many people do this when they “spring forward” at daylight savings time. Other people do it in the fall when they fall back. Of course, it doesn’t really matter; what matters is that you keep all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in good working order so pick your schedule and try to stick with it. th Kidde-C3010D

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Replace or repair and gutters that were damaged during the winter. Inspect  roofs  especially on the porches for damage from branches  and ice flows that came crashing down.

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Get an proposal for any major repairs that will need to be done.

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Home Improvment Project To Lift Those Winter Blues

1. Create walls that wow

Since you’re stuck inside staring at the walls, why not give them a new look. Adding modern trim work, crown molding and a bold coat of paint can completely change the look of a room without the expense of doing a complete renovation

Completely transform  your  kitchen with a new coat of paint“Contrary to what many homeowners might believe, you can have  a painter use paint in your home without opening up every window as long it’s an environmentally friendly and waterborne paint, which has virtually no fumes, “Plus, the dryness of the colder months can actually produce faster results.”

To really add visual interest to your walls, homeowners could go with a new or dramatic paint color or use painter’s tape to create stripes or patterns. hang wallpaper in a bedroom. Or create an accent wall with wallpaper or wains cotting.

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“Wallpaper is making a bit of a comeback thanks to home improvement shows, you can get professionals to do it.

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“Replacing interior doors is an affordable way to give your home an updated look versus an expensive remodel,”

You can order  custom trim and crown molding projects which  for an investment of between $500 and $800 dollars, can make all the difference in the world in bringing some life back into a room. A popular trend right now he said is replacing typical baseboard with ones that are at least five inches wide.

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Natural wood can be stained to match your wood work or stained to match your cabinets.

2. Add a “splash” of personality to your kitchen

For homeowners looking to spice up their kitchen without spending a pretty penny, adding a backsplash is a great solution, not to mention the perfect project for to add beauty and value to your home.

“For several hundred dollars you can completely change the look of your kitchen, as well as customize it to fit your personality. The new glass tile made from recycled glass are a great choise  and can be used as an accent in  a ceramic  backsplash. You might order an accent  area with a design of your choosing like fruit or vegetables  Suppliers have a  variety of designs  that come as a set for your contractor to install.

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Just a few years ago there were few choises in back Splash tile Today,  Suppliers have  hundreds  different styles and sizes, ranging from classic subway tile to natural stone to metal. While adding more functionality to a kitchen, a back-splash can also help accessorize and emphasize countertops, cabinets and appliances.

Your contractor will take the time to prep and lay out a template .to avoid  irregular lines or spaces. He will clean the grout off t completely for a finished look

3. Lighten up your rooms

What better way to brighten and warm your spirits this winter than with new lights, lamps or ceiling fans. Not to mention it’s an easy and affordable way to update the style of any room.

 

New Lighting Concepts & Design in  Keep the environment in mind as you choose your lighting. It with help you to save on you renergy bill with ceiling fans which push heat back down.”Also the best bulbs to use are LED bulbs. They cost more than the flourcent ones but they last a long time. The LED bulb in  our fan over the stove lasted 7 years.

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LED-style lights, which come in contemporary and bold styles, also provide a money-saving option. Installing dimmers in areas like the family room or dining room saves money, while allowing homeowners to customize the ambiance.

In addition to pendant lighting, another style that is growing in popularity Steampunk, which is a cross between vintage and industrial designs. But for a softer more romantic feel, a crystal chandelier is still a timeless choice.

“When it comes to installation and dealing with electrical issues my advice is to hire a professional so you know it’s done right,” Couch said. “Especially with ceiling fans, you want to be sure they aren’t loose or wobbly.”

4. Turn dull doors into classy decor

With home improvement projects, sometimes it’s the things that are used the most that are noticed the least. Like all the doors in your home — in and out of rooms, to closets and utility rooms. But after a closer look, the scratches, cracks, old hinges and outdated style can be hard to miss.

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“Replacing interior doors is an affordable way to give your home an updated look even  if you are doing a more extensive remodel  when spring comes. Choose doors athat will fit  into or enhance  the design you have in mind for the spring. Do you want  a unique or more modern look than what they have. or  traditional or raise panel

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There are a lot of options that many people might not even think about. For example, double doors are a much more functional and attractive alternative to sliding doors and bi-fold doors, while French-style doors can add natural light and architectural detail to a space.

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“It may not be so much the door, but the hardware “Homeowners are choosing update hinges and doorknobs with more modern colors like brushed nickel or aged bronze.” Another  thing you may not have known is copper destroys bacteria . If it is a room that gets constant use like the kichen or bath, hammered copper will not show the wear and tear and you still  have  the advantage of the reduction of  bacteria

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Hire a professional to  replace your doors that it can quickly turn into a bigger job than expected, if you tried to do it yourself  especially when replacing doors in older homes. Doors need t be properly fit  and sealed in the case of an outside door.  Keep in mind that  interior doors  are your best protection from fire. Smoke from even a small fire will  spread throughout the house if the door is not properly fit or  not level.

“Most doors are not going to just fall into place,

The jobs we do involve cutting, trimming and shaping the door to size, and sometimes replacing the molding.  Know  your budget, and have an idea of what you  like.

5. Take your bathroom from drab to fab

There’s no better time than the winter to turn your boring bathroom into a spa retreat. While replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile,  may be done quickly more ambitious jobs like replacing the tub or adding tile floor  require the skill of a professional.While a complete remodel might be a bigger investment, it’s worth considering, said “Many older homes were not built using mold-resistant drywall, so if you’re going to make an investment in upgrading your bathroom, that’s one of the best places to start,” he said. “Knowing what’s going on behind the walls is important before making expensive updates.”

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There is also a lot of plumbing involved with replacing bathtubs, sinks and toilets, which requires an expert to ensure it’s done right. Once the walls are closed up, a small leak can go unnoticed for a long time, resulting in serious damage and possibly a complete remodel.

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“My philosophy is that if you’re going to invest in a project, do it right the first time

If you’re like most people, you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately. Unfortunately, there are several more months of winter to get through before we start seeing signs of spring.

Before you throw your hands up in despair, why not break the monotony by working on your house? After all, you’re stuck inside anyway, and you’re probably searching for something to do that doesn’t involve watching endless reruns of Gleewhile eating any carb that will stand still. Plus, some home improvement projects will increase you property value  save money on your utility bills, and potentially prevent larger, more expensive issues from developing.

Here are some easy winter projects you might want to tackle before spring hits.

1. Repaint
You’ve been staring at your neutral colored walls every day for months. Want to brighten your mood? Try repainting! Go with a bright, cheery color to liven things up.

I always repaint in the winter because that’s when I need the most visual stimulation. A new coat of paint can dramatically lift your mood and the mood of the entire room.

 

2. Work on Your Floors
Is your carpet threadbare? Are your hardwood floors freezing your feet?

Putting in carpet is a great winter project because it can increase the comfort of your home dramatically.

Whether you do it yourself or have it installed, remember: the off-gassing from new carpet is tremendous. Make sure you open windows to allow those toxic fumes to escape. You can also ask your carpet retailer to air out the carpet several days before they install it in your home.

If you don’t like carpeting, there are plenty of other home flooring ideas such as tile and laminate that you could also consider.

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3. Look at Your Bathroom
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls three years ago? Replace any chrome  parts that are coroded  like the trim around the drain and the control for the drain. Recaulk and caulk that is discolored. Regrout the tile if needed perhaps choosing a different color. If only the tub and shower area  need to be done you could choose a contrasting color or a variation of the color of the tile  instead of stark white.

 

4. Declutter

When Spring gets here, you’re not going to want to spend your time sifting through those piles of junk in your basement. You’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh air.

Winter is a great time to work on getting organized (which is why January is “Get Organized Month”).

So, devote time every week to decluttering in general and organizing what you decide to keep.

Tip: Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Do this and you’ll find yourself with a broken spirit, huddled on the couch looking for the remote. Start small, and go slow. Focus on one shelf, or one corner, and work until you’ve got that space looking exactly how you want. This way you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making.

Perhaps your problem is clutter  in the bathroom . I found some gems that you could include to help with that. Include a shelf to put many of those items in place.

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I put combs and picks in the tallest canister, Soaps in the medium canister, the smaller ones I use for bandaids, The other short one I put dental floss, strung flossers, small floss brushes, and partial cleaner tablets. In the other tall canister I keep tubes of toothpaste, denture adhesive anything in a slender tube. In a growing family you may have three different kinds of toothpaste alone.

dbb1e3b9d0302d9885f087849454ebe2This  wall mount caddy can hold m

ore of the things you use every day.

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This shower curtain rod Keeps towels handy to get too when you get out the the shower.

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This keeps the hair dryer and curling iron handy for the busiest time of your day.

2cd369e2142ceccc80e43b61b95c25fe If you have the room include a handy wall mounted cabinet like this.  I would hols a lot keeping it out of sight.

 

In the kitchen you can decutter the drawers one a day until you are done. Some items I found are pictured below.

Insert dividers     81639 LauraParke_Canisters008

Keep these near the stove for salt & Fat

 

This handy caddy will keep you sink area deluttered

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4. Look at Your Bathroom
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls three years ago?

Bathrooms make great winter projects because once they’re done, you can appreciate your handiwork every single day. And, there are plenty of ways to frugally remodel your bathroom.

Updates like replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile, or repainting are relatively easy for the do-it-yourselfer. But if you get more ambitious (like, you want to replace the tile floor or buy a new toilet) you might want to call in professional help. Your sanity will thank you.

 

5. Add Insulation
Okay, so adding insulation doesn’t exactly make your heart pound with excitement. But it will lower your utility bills, and help make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly

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Crawl up into your attic. If you can see the floor joists, then you need more insulation. Since heat rises, you could save quite a bit by adding another layer of insulation up there.

You can also add insulation in your basement and in crawlspaces to prevent heat loss there as well.

Planning

What are your choises

1.Sheep’s wool.

Sheep live in some of world’s harshest environments. Dall sheep, for example, love cold climates, including the frigid temperatures of the Arctic. They live on alpine ridges and steep rocky slopes, and are able to adapt to these extreme conditions because of their wool. In recent years, scientists have taken the insulating properties of sheep’s wool and applied them to home use A 24-inch roll of R-13

Wool lnsulation costs around $60

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2. Cotton

Ever wonder what happens to all the scrap cotton denim that’s left over when designers are making all of those blue jeans? Well some of that material actually gets recycled into insulation For one thing, it can be rolled into batts. Additionally, the R-value of cotton insulation and fiberglass is the same, roughly R-.2 to R-3.7 per inch of thickness  and it does not contain formaldehyde.

 

3.. Aerogel

If there’s a Superman of home insulation, it’s aerogel. It has an R-value of R-10.3 per inch of thickness [source: Meinhold] Today, scientists make aerogel by removing the liquid from silica under high pressure and temperature. What’s left is a material that is very light and more than 90 percent air. Aerogel’s molecular structure makes it difficult for heat to pass through [source: Nusca]. As insulation, aerogel comes in sheets that can easily be tacked on to the studs in a wall. In fact one type of aerogel, ThermaBlok, has a peal and stick backing for easy installation [source: Thermablok]. Aerogel insulation is very expensive, though, and sells for up to $2 a foot [source: Meinhold].

 

4. Rigid Polystyrene

Polystyrene doesn’t sound like a green material. In fact, it’s a form of plastic. Yet, polystyrene is a fabulous insulator with R-values that range from R-3.8 to R-4.4 per inch of thickness, and so it’s considered green because it helps save so much energy [source: U.S. Department of Energy]. Polystyrene insulation comes in rigid foam boards that make it easy to insulate any part of a building, from the roof to the foundation [source: U.S. Department of Energy]. Not only will rigid polystyrene provide your home with good thermal resistance, but it will also add structural integrity to your walls. But you don’t have to go with the rigid foam boards; polystyrene insulation also comes in spray foam. And even though it’s plastic and takes long time to naturally degrade, it can be recycled.

5 . Icynene

Perhaps no home insulation seals your house as completely and as thoroughly as the spray-on foam insulation known as Icynene, which is made from castor oil. When contractors spray the substance onto a wall or ceiling it has the thickness of paint. Once it hits the surface, Icynene expands nearly 100 times it volume. Not only does Icynene stop drafts, it also muffles noise [source: Cabot]. Icynene has an R-value of R-3.6 per inch of thickness, which can reduce a home’s energy bill by 30 to 50 percen

Heat Value

Did you know insulation also has a U-value? U-values gauge how much heat passes through a particular material. The lower a material’s U-value, the better it insulates.  Note R values are given above so you can get the best R  value to balance with what you can afford.

 

 

Final Word

It’s easy to get cabin fever this time of year. We’re all going through it. But planning work on  home projects is a great way to keep yourself active, add value to your home, and beautify and improve your living space. It’s a win-win!

 

 

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Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

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Outdoor kitchens are becoming all the rage these days making family barbecues easier than ever! Cooking on the grill is a great way to entertain company or just feed the family without heating up the kitchen or making a mess for that fact. Running back and forth from the kitchen to the patio gets old. These days grilling is easier and more enjoyable by putting together an outdoor kitchen. Even the simplest of set-ups can make outdoor cooking more efficient. The fanciest ones mean you will not have to go back inside until all your guests leave because everything is right at your fingertips! Charcoal was great in the beginning but the gas grill took over because of its convenience. Today’s most advanced grills have side burners, storage space and work areas built right in. Everything is incorporated to your outside patio and entertaining is no longer a chore to prepare.
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Installing an outdoor kitchen may be just the thing for you if you have frequent cookouts and everyone is intrigued with your barbecue skills. Maybe you grill in large amounts and need more of an easier way to do this. An outdoor kitchen also could be just for you if you have an unused patio or deck. If you’re wanting to move past the burgers and dogs and experiment with some savvy dishes an outdoor kitchen may be perfect for you.. Also if you’re tired of the outrageous electric bills due to your heating up the kitchen and your air conditioner working overtime. If any of these suggestions resonate with you, it’s probably time to do some outdoor kitchen shopping.

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An outdoor kitchen can be as small or elaborate as you want with the grill being the centerpiece. The most common grills come with wheels that you can take with you when you move and come in a wide variety of sizes, features and price. These are also fun to take to the beach as well. If you are planning to incorporate the kitchen as a permanent part of your home, select a built in grill that will drop into a space on a cabinet with countertops that is built on site. This is much like your kitchen inside. Some of the accessories you will need are: baskets for grilling fish, vegetables or hush puppies, a griddle, tongs and a reliable meat thermometer. Side burners are included in most grills today but a camping stove can get the job done. Make sure your work space is sanitized for food preparation. There are a variety of lights for your outdoor kitchen but direct light is best for the work area.

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Clip ons are available to clip directly onto your grill so you can get your meat perfect in the center! Another consideration is a patio heater or fire pit if you are going to use the space year round in chilly environments. Insects can ruin the most elegant and well-planned parties so never forget to have repellents conducive to your location. If bugs were not enough, smoke in your guest eyes is not comfortable so don’t forget the exhaust hood. Other important things to remember are having enough electrical outlets, a refrigerator, sink and warming drawers to keep food heated till time to serve. An ice machine is also convenient (no ugly, bulky coolers) and of course the wine storage. Don’t forget the corkscrew!

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Being Comfortable With Your Kitchen Renovation

From Living room After

From Living room AfterBeing realistic with your budget is the first rule of renovation. In renovation, budget is key. It will hopefully keep you from making lots of wrong decision and choices before you are well into your renovation. Do research before setting a budget so you will have an idea what contractors, appliances and materials you will need for your kitchen renovation. Once you have all your information for every aspect of the design, then you will be able to work out a workable budget. It is wise too to have a little bit of a cushion for the unexpected. Even the best-planned budgets can get thrown off track if something unexpected pops in during the installation or final renovation stages of your kitchen. It is always good to source at least three quotes from contractors to make sure you’re not paying too much. Never automatically go for the lowest bid because it certainly worth your money to spend a little extra to get quality work.In reference to your appliances for your kitchen, it’s best to shop around and not buy the first thing you see. Price ranges vary from store to store so take your time. It is definitely worth the time to wait on a sale. Also you can use as a bargaining tool too by buying all the kitchen appliances from one store. Anyway you can safe money is the name of the game in kitchen renovations. Keeping your kitchen renovation on a budget is to be disciplined. When the urge comes “I just have to have that” syndrome, you will have to exercise discipline. Buying things that you had not planned on will send your budget through the roof.When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there are several things you need to think about even before acquiring the services of a professional contractor, or making appliance selections. More than any other room of the house, the kitchen is the most versatile. It is used to prepare meals, feed the family, store foods, and clean and store service ware and other household items.

The kitchen is also the family gathering place. Everyone undoubtedly migrates to the kitchen because it is the main focus of the home. Therefore, it is important that every kitchen remodeling idea be taken into consideration. Search through home decorating magazines and catch some great ideas on TV. Whether you decide to design the kitchen yourself, work with a kitchen remodeling contractor or home center, formulating a plan will be the first step. In other words, write the vision and make it clear.

The first kitchen remodeling tip is to consider the three basic kitchen functions: storage, food preparation, and clean-up. A well thought out kitchen design will accommodate each of these three functions. The layout of the kitchen design should be defined with convenient layout and ease of movement. The classic “work triangle” should be the basis of the floor plan. The kitchen sink, refrigerator and stove, as the three kitchen features used most often, should be arranged in a triangular pattern. This work triangle saves unnecessary steps when cooking and has proven to be the most convenient layout. The work triangle concept saves unnecessary steps when preparing foods, and proves the most convenient layout design.

 

 

 

 

 

From Living room After

Being Comfortable With Your Kitchen Renovation

 

 

From Living room After

From Living room After

Being realistic with your budget is the first rule of renovation. In renovation, budget is key. It will hopefully keep you from making lots of wrong decision and choices before you are well into your renovation. Do research before setting a budget so you will have an idea what contractors, appliances and materials you will need for your kitchen renovation. Once you have all your information for every aspect of the design, then you will be able to work out a workable budget. It is wise too to have a little bit of a cushion for the unexpected. Even the best-planned budgets can get thrown off track if something unexpected pops in during the installation or final renovation stages of your kitchen. It is always good to source at least three quotes from contractors to make sure you’re not paying too much. Never automatically go for the lowest bid because it certainly worth your money to spend a little extra to get quality work.

In reference to your appliances for your kitchen, it’s best to shop around and not buy the first thing you see. Price ranges vary from store to store so take your time. It is definitely worth the time to wait on a sale. Also you can use as a bargaining tool too by buying all the kitchen appliances from one store. Anyway you can safe money is the name of the game in kitchen renovations. Keeping your kitchen renovation on a budget is to be disciplined. When the urge comes “I just have to have that” syndrome, you will have to exercise discipline. Buying things that you had not planned on will send your budget through the roof.

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there are several things you need to think about even before acquiring the services of a professional contractor, or making appliance selections. More than any other room of the house, the kitchen is the most versatile. It is used to prepare meals, feed the family, store foods, and clean and store service ware and other household items.

The kitchen is also the family gathering place. Everyone undoubtedly migrates to the kitchen because it is the main focus of the home. Therefore, it is important that every kitchen remodeling idea be taken into consideration. Search through home decorating magazines and catch some great ideas on TV. Whether you decide to design the kitchen yourself, work with a kitchen remodeling contractor or home center, formulating a plan will be the first step. In other words, write the vision and make it clear.

The first kitchen remodeling tip is to consider the three basic kitchen functions: storage, food preparation, and clean-up. A well thought out kitchen design will accommodate each of these three functions. The layout of the kitchen design should be defined with convenient layout and ease of movement. The classic “work triangle” should be the basis of the floor plan. The kitchen sink, refrigerator and stove, as the three kitchen features used most often, should be arranged in a triangular pattern. This work triangle saves unnecessary steps when cooking and has proven to be the most convenient layout. The work triangle concept saves unnecessary steps when preparing foods, and proves the most convenient layout design.

From Livingroom Before

From Livingroom Before  Notice How Dark It is,

From doorway to living room Before

From doorway to living room Before

From Living room After

From Living room After

After From what was the door way toward the folding glass door to the deck