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Looking to eek some more space out of your kitchen counters? Is your kitchen lacking essential space for completing even the simplest of cooking preparation tasks? Then look no further.

Even if an entire kitchen remodel is out of the question, there are many simple ways a homeowner can add some valuable counter (and storage) space to one of the most important rooms in their home. Here are just 5.

Rolling Cart Butcher Block

If you have an extra wall, but no way to add a counter, consider installing a portable rolling cart topped with butcher block. It will benefit you two-fold. One, you can use it for food prep (among other things). Two, it will add storage for dishes and supplies underneath, while looking great in the process. 

Ceiling Mounted Rack

Hanging your pots and pans (and even your utensils) on a ceiling mounted rack is an easy way to add storage, and provide quick and easy access when cooking, and just think about all the space you freed up from where they were once stored.

Pull-Out Surface

A very popular solution to limited space is adding pull-out surfaces like cutting boards. It's a great way to add value and ease of access to your kitchen without breaking the bank, while affording you the luxury of a convenient cutting board when you need it.  

Magnetic Knife Holder

If your counters are already cluttered because of lack of space, there's no need to add a clunky knife block. Instead install some simple magnetic knife-holding strips along the wall. It will add visual interest with little expense.

Island Storage

If you already have a kitchen island, then adding a bit of storage is easy. Install some extra towel or utensil racks on the side or, if possible, hollow out a portion to add a great space for stackables or even cookbooks. 

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Many homeowners strive to improve the value of their home through various additions and upgrades. However, you can do this while also personalizing your property into something that you not just like, but love because it is able to reflect who you really are. By following certain upgrades and giving them a personal touch, you can make your home better while also increasing its value with incredible success.

Addition of a Patio, Deck, or Porch

It is okay to focus on things that already exist in your home, but the addition of a deck, patio, or porch can have an enormous impact on enjoyment and value. When you add something brand new, this means that you can be the one to decide each and every detail from the beginning to the end. Creating a realistic budget for a project like this is definitely recommended because it is easy to get out of hand, but after doing this you can use a professional to stay on track and have a great outcome. In regard to details, there are beams, railing, material, design, and size to consider, so there is a lot of room for personalization.

Minor Changes to Your Kitchen

While a major kitchen upgrade may be something you want to do, increasing the value of your property with home remodeling does not require significant changes or additions. In this case, instead of purchasing all new cabinets, you can have them refaced, and then you can invest into wooden countertops as they are an inexpensive alternative to granite. It is possible to increase the value of your home from your kitchen alone by something as simple as changing window molding, so do not doubt the benefits of even the smallest upgrades or changes to your kitchen.

Remove All Wood Paneling and Popcorn

In order to make a drastic improvement in terms of appearance, getting rid of wood paneling and popcorn must be done. Fortunately, this is a fairly inexpensive process, which makes it worthy of being a priority. Getting rid of these two features in your home can make it look a lot newer, especially because it is the old properties that still have paneling and popcorn. Doing some remodeling to your home can be an excellent investment for various reasons, one of them being an increase in value.


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Although your bathroom may be in functional condition, this does not mean you should let it stay that way until it is required to replace fixtures. It is an amazing solution to invest intobathroom remodeling and this is because you can turn your bathroom into one that you love, and you can make sure that it is done in a way that will save you a lot of money as the months and years pass by.

Upgrading Your Fixtures

It makes sense to upgrade all of your fixtures in your bathroom, and this is because old fixtures generally lack the potential of energy-efficiency and quality. Although some homeowners think about spending the least amount of money possible on their bathroom fixtures, thinking of these purchases as investments will help you make the best decision. For instance, getting your hands on a superb sink, bath, shower, and toilet will not only ensure you are satisfied with your purchase, but save money from energy-efficiency.

Getting Heated Flooring

While heated flooring may seem like a luxury, this is actually a feature that does not cost a lot of money to maintain, and it will keep your overall heating costs down. Since you will be less inclined to turn the heater on when getting out from taking a shower, this will also lead to lower utility bills, which is exactly what you should be aiming to do with a bathroom remodeling project.

Spending More on Quality

In order to have a positive experience, you need to have a budget, but this does not mean you should skimp on your budget or follow through with a remodel right away when you do not have enough money. It is better waiting until you are able to get everything you desire, as opposed to rushing, and this is because you can make sure your bathroom is complete with high quality fixtures and workmanship.


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cbb6912b-c134-4401-a74d-787cfdd6aadbIf you are only planning one remodeling project this year, make it your kitchen! There's a good reason that kitchen remodeling projects are among the most popular, a kitchen is, after all, one of the most important rooms in the home. 

Here are 6 of the hottest trends in kitchens for 2014.

Old World Meets New

Many designs have been revamped to include old world style and modern convenience. Like granite or marble counter tops that take on a vintage appeal by adding beveled edges, and kitchen faucets that resemble hand-forged designs.

Commercial Style at Home

Many people love their residential kitchens, but an emerging trend this year is bringing the commercial amenities into your home by adding deep stainless steel sinks and commercial cooking hoods and stoves.

Useful Accessorizing

Long gone are kitchen accessories that served mostly as a symbol, and played a minor role in the kitchen. Today, many kitchen brands realize the needs of their customers, and are designing products with form, function, and elegance all wrapped in one.

Drawer Organization

Kitchen cabinet makers finally realized that consumers will use their drawers for more than just utensils. Many are now featuring cutlery trays, spice racks, knife blocks, and even bread drawers and foil holders.

Eco-Lighting

Lighting is often overlooked, but it never should be. In fact, illumination can play a crucial role in how your home looks and feels. So while lighting under cabinets and for highlighting purposes are nothing new, eco-friendly LED bulbs are.

Tiling to a New Level

This year, a kitchen filled with appliances isn't all you should want to wow and dazzle with, because decorative tiling has stepped up its game. Elaborate, decorative tiling can turn a kitchen that is great, into a kitchen that is awesome.

Ready to get started?


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d03eeea1-2fde-46b8-dce4-4088675abff8Nothing can be more fun than revamping a room to satisfy a need for change, especially when it comes to kitchen and bathroom renovations. But what do you do if your bathroom seems too small for a big change, or is cluttered? There are plenty of storage options that won't drain your wallet, and tons of tricks to turn your tiny bathroom into a comfortable and elegant space.

Here's just a few:

Towel Racks

Attaching multiple towel racks to the backside of door can be a great way to organize and add storage. Many home improvement stores sell multiples which makes it easy, and cost-effective, to achieve.

Storage Totes

Too much clutter can make a small space seem even smaller. So organizing that clutter into small totes can clean it up while adding a touch of class. Buy stackables to add even more ergonomics and depth.

Wall Sconces

The proper lighting can make a huge difference in a small bathroom. So consider adding decorative wall sconces in place of regular light fixturing. They come in many different finishes, and some boast adjustable illumination.

Petite Vanity

Consider replacing your old, larger vanity with a much smaller version that is more suited for your small space. Shop around to find one that has legs to make it appear larger, and that fits your style.

Space-Saving Shelves

There are many options to choose from to save space in your bathroom, but an over-the-toilet shelving design can be a huge help in a tiny space. The open shelves provide tons of room for extra storage, and the huge number of finishes can add whatever touch your bathroom may be lacking in design.


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19e38db1-71c5-4c49-fafb-77ba1bff9e47It is easy to spend thousands of dollars on your home throughout the years, so being able to increase your monthly savings can have an enormous impact after a significant amount of time has passed. With a few upgrades, it is possible to earn $20 per month in savings, which may not seem like much, but it adds up to $240 per year and $2,400 over the course of a whole decade. Making use of home remodeling in an attempt to save money is an excellent option, but you must focus on the long-term savings and not immediate savings as this is where you will see a huge difference in costs.

Replacing Your Windows and Doors

While older windows and doors may work fine, they may not be doing their job to save you money. It is beneficial to replace them as you can get energy-efficient ones that will lower your utilities. When your central air conditioning system has to do less work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, you will end up using less energy, and this is how you will save money by replacing windows and doors.

Getting Energy-efficient Appliances

Along with acquiring appliances from reputable manufacturers, you should focus on energy-efficient ones as this can lead to savings on homeowners insurance in the form of a discount after getting certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. While the savings from home insurance is worth looking forward to, other savings come from another upgrade to reduce your energy usage.

Investing in a Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater may cost a bit more money than a standard one, but you are more than likely to be satisfied with investing in one for long-term savings and because it requires far less maintenance. It is important to understand that an upgrade like this will cost more than purchasing a standard water heater and having it installed, so it is the future that you must look at to understand the value in this investment. When you want to increase your long-term savings from home remodeling, feel free to contact us as we can provide you with the help you need to make this happen.

043b9b9e-915c-4adc-b669-9f552824f8ddGiven today's economic recovery, homeowners considering kitchen remodeling are being savvy about their spending, and are choosing design ideas that will last awhile---both in years and acceptability. It may be no surprise, then, that a “philosophy” of neutrality will prevail, according to a Certified Kitchen Designer, Susan Serra in her article on FreshHome.com.

“...homeowners want to buy smart for longevity which translates to neutral finishes for big ticket items such as cabinetry, countertops and flooring.” Nowhere, no way, does the word ‘boring’ show up in her overview of the trends.

In fact, a new way of saying ‘Country Life’ in the kitchen will show a distinct “appreciation of nature” and a whole lot of “natural finishes and textures” to contrast simply designed cabinetry.

When it comes to that all-important selection of appliances, the movement is away from traditional ‘cooking’ methods to induction, which uses the pot or pan as the ‘original generator of cooking heat.’

As Serra points out, the growing interest in induction cook tops is part of the sweeping trend to focus on kitchen appliances embedded with gourmet features.

Making the kitchen space itself more suitable to socializing is key to an effective floor plan, notes Serra; and that means a lot of appliances that have been built into the space, or even “concealed.”

Overall, the remodeling trend will definitely focused on “convenience” with a floor plan that is easy to “move around in.”

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ac3f812d-395f-4eaf-eac5-3886f9209ea2If you are currently considering home renovations, or are even considering completely remodeling your home, your homes piping may not be an item that you had previously considered adding to the list of things in your home that need to be renovated. However, your piping is essential in ensuring that the water your family needs will reach, and be distributed throughout, your home. A homes piping is such an integral (and unseen) part of one’s home, that, consequentially, many people do not consider repiping their home, and do not know how they would be able to tell if their home needed to be repiped. Oftentimes older homes will eventually need to be repiped. Luckily for the homeowners though, old pipes will often give off signs that they need to be replaced. While there are many signs that can indicate that a home needs to be repiped, here are a few of the major signs that can indicate repiping may be necessary for your home.

Lack of Water Pressure

If you have noticed a steady decline in the water pressure coming out of your homes sinks and showers it is likely that it is time to repipe your home. In fact, poor water pressure is one of the clearest indicators that something is likely wrong with the pipes in your home.

Water Changes Color

If you begin to notice that either the water coming out of your pipes has a red cast, or that the water coming out of your homes faucets is colored at first and then runs clear, then it is likely time to repipe your home. Colored water is often a sign that the pipes in your home have begun to rust, which is not healthy for you and your family to consume through the water.

Your Homes Water Has an Unpleasant Odor

If you have begun to notice a change in the scent of the water coming out of your homes showers and faucets, this can be a clear indicator that your pipes need to be replaced. Unpleasant smelling water can be an indicator that the pipes in your home are failing and/or deteriorating, and it is vital that you have them looked at by a professional.

Each of us relies on the pipes in our homes to supply us with the water our families need, which is why it is vital to have your home repiped at the first indication that there may be a problem with your homes piping.

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dec0ac87-a6b6-45bf-d294-caec7cbfd312Becoming a victim of an illegitimate contractor is a sad truth for many people who are looking for honesty and legitimacy. Getting burned by an unlicensed and unethical hucksters can really sway how a homeowner feels about a respected business. But because the average person rarely takes on abathroom or kitchen remodeling venture more than a few times in their life, it's difficult to know what to look for.

Here are 3 tips to help you avoid becoming a victim.

1. Keep an eye out during the contract phase

The first interaction that you have with a contractor should be the barometer for shady business. You should feel good about your interaction.

  • Never just accept a contractors word that something will get done. 
  • Never sign the contract because "the price will go up" if you do not. Always get 3 separate quotes.
  • Do not give more than half the money for the job up front. Legitimate contractors will never ask for more than 20-30%.
  • Be very wary of "cash only" offers. Being able to provide payment through check or credit should always be available as payment.
  • If you have an insurance check, do not sign it over to a contractor (they should never ask for that matter). Always pay them from your account.

2. References are important business

Just like with any job, a person's references are important to them gaining employment. Look out for these negative dings when seeking a contractor.

  • Be sure that you can find (and visit) your contractors business address (or website). Those looking to swindle you will never hand this information over easily.
  • Look them up on the BBB's website or on Angie's List. 
  • If they provide references, contact them. Even visit their last job to verify their work. A good contractor will have no problem with this.
  • Look up their licensing information on the state or local level. 

3. Keeping to a schedule is important

Your contractor should be available to work on whatever schedule you can arrange. If they will not agree to any of the following, move on.

  • The schedule needs to include a timeframe, and a contingency clause that outlines what happens if they do not complete the work on time. Legitimate contractors will never fear working on a deadline.
  • Pay by phase. That is, your payment schedule should always be included on your schedule, with each payment arranged by job completed.
  • Make sure that all proper inspections have been completed before each phase, especially before moving on to the next. This is important for payment purposes.

The bottom line is that your experience with a potential contractor should leave you with a feeling of ease and trust. If you are unsure, or have a bad feeling that you may not be hiring the right person, chances are you are correct. Never be pressured or bullied into agreeing that work is done. Remember, you are the employer, not just the customer.

From architectural and design services, to demolition and all the way through completion, we are your complete source for your construction project.

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f28fbb3c-600f-4f3e-e122-b221d6d09b46Live in a house long enough and eventually you are going to reach a point where the desire of doing some home renovations becomes almost an obsession. In many cases, this obsession (or even just a simple desire) meets up with the roadblock known as a lack of liquidity. One of the nice things about living in a house long enough to reach the point where home renovations transforms from a want to need is that it may also be long enough to build up enough equity to qualify for a loan.

A home equity loan, to be precise. The home equity loan is a very popular method method of borrowing money for renovations, remodeling and home improvements. (Though, despite its name, a home equity loan can be spent any way you like; it doesn't have to be spent on your home.) You even have two different options for structuring the loan: either for a fixed amount or by establishing a line of credit to draw upon as necessary.

It is very much worth noting that despite being known by a different name, a home equity loan is basically just a second mortgage. Which means that you will once again be expected to jump through the very same hoops you jumped through with your first mortgage. That means filling out a loan application, paying closing costs, application fees and points and facing the ultimate penalty of foreclosure if you can't pay the loan back.

Despite those not inconsiderable downsides, there is an upside to taking out a home equity loan to cover the cost of home renovations. In most cases, you may be able to borrow up 80% of the equity you have established in your home. Introductory interests rates can be substantially lower than the rates you were able to get with the first mortgage. Those introductory rates are usually locked in for only six months, after which they will fluctuate relative to the prime rate or some other benchmark percentage. While the that uncertain rise in the interest you will pay is hardly promising, if you plan wisely on the amount you plan to borrow and develop a strategy for paying off as much as you can within that six month locking period, you can potentially exploit the system for pretty significant gains.

The wiser path in some cases may be to lock into a fixed interest rate for the length of the loan. You won't get that low introductory rate, but you also won't get any nasty surprises down the road. If you are going to be borrowing a large amount that you can't possibly pay down by much in six months or if you are borrowing during a time of interest rate instability, this would almost certainly be more advantageous.

Another reason for the popularity of home equity loans is the ability to deduct 100% of that interest. If you aren't used to itemizing your deductions, you should consult a tax professional to make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity. 

And for those aching to get down to business and engage in some serious home renovations, there is one overwhelming benefit to taking out a home equity loan.  In comparison to some other means of borrowing, the home equity loan is a relatively painless and quick means of getting your hands on the liquid assets necessary to make those renovations a reality. 


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