Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bathroom Fixtures

Bathroom fixtures just aren't what they used to be, thanks to new finishes and styles trumping faucets and showerheads. Want to update your bathroom fixtures? Here's the skinny on all of your options!
Bathroom Fixtures Have Warm, Subtle Finishes
Polished brass and chrome bathroom fixtures are out while faucets with warm finishes that create a more sophisticated look are in. Among the hottest sellers for bathroom remodeling:
Satin nickel
Brushed chrome
Oil rubbed bronze
Blending Fixture Finishes
There are a handful of bathroom fixtures to consider in every bathroom design. Try to match the following:
Sink faucet
Tub filler
Toilet lever
Accessories, such as towel bars and toilet paper holders
If you can only replace one fixture, look for a style that blends your old accents with a new style. A faucet might have a satin nickel finish with polished brass accents, for example. This fuses the trendy satin nickel finish with the older brass finish to blend it all together.
Bathroom Showerheads Are Plentiful
Most people shower every day, so it's no surprise that most focus their efforts here. Look for a high tech, pulsating showerhead with multiple spray options. The result is an invigorating, spa-like bathroom environment. For a dramatic addition, install two or three showerheads directed toward different parts of the body.
Hand Held Showers Are Hot Bathroom Products
Hand-held showers and body sprays re must-have items, as they add convenience and luxury to any bathroom experience. Just grab the fixture, put it to good use and slide it back into a convenient wall bracket. They are perfect for:
Washing young children in the tub
Spraying down the family dog
Shaving your legs in the shower
While style beats all in bathroom fixtures, convenience and functionality aren't far behind. Today's homeowners are looking for items that complement both their bathroom designs lifestyles.

Renovation Coach in Toronto

Maybe you coach your kid's little league team, or maybe you've even consulted with a life coach. But were you aware that in the field of home renovation there's a new coach in town? To help you play the remodeling game error-free, renovation coaches or consultants are sprouting up all over the country. These are people who've often had years of experience in real estate and renovation. Some have worked in some capacity as a contractor, and all have closely worked with a number of contractors and architects.

What's the Difference between a Contractor and a Renovation Coach?
The renovation coach plays a different role than your remodeling contractor. In fact, the renovation coach can act as a communicator between you and your contractor. In addition to taking care of building permit issues, providing information about different renovation products and materials, and giving ballpark estimates, renovation coaches can actually help you find a good remodeling contractor for your needs. And unlike contractors or architects, renovation coaches charge an hourly fee as opposed to a large sum to oversee the entire project.
You've Gotta Pay to Play
A renovation coach or consultant can save you thousands--even tens of thousands--of dollars on your remodel, and that's on top of the peace of mind you'll gain knowing someone's there for the sole purpose of helping you make the best decisions. But this guidance doesn't come cheap. Depending on your region, you can pay anywhere from one hundred to a few hundred dollars per hour for such expertise. Talk to anyone who has had a rough remodel experience--or a difficult time with an uncommunicative remodeling contractor--and they'll tell you that a little professional intervention can go a long way.

Tips if You're Considering Home Renovations

Home renovations provide homeowners the perfect opportunity to not only make their home more pleasing to live in but also to make their home a more valuable investment. Simple home renovations that change the appearance of your home can often do the most in changing the overall feel of your home.
If you're looking to increase the overall value of your property through home renovations then doing work to kitchens and bathrooms usually provide the best return on your investment. Real estate investors recommend cosmetic home improvements as they increase the value of your home the most for your dollars spent and make it easier to sell when the time comes.
While most people usually think of a large scale renovation project when they hear the term "home renovation", it can actually pertain to small renovations as well. For example, the task of simply painting a room could be considered home renovation. This is because it changes the look of your home so it is considered a home renovation.
Before going further with even the simplest of home renovations, good planning should be carried out. Careful consideration should be make to how the work will impact your daily life, especially if you have a large family around where the home renovation will take place. Have you thought about what kind of affect it will have on your family? For example, if you are working on the only bathroom available, to even a smaller family, this might end up taking longer then you had initially planned.
You'll also need to plan your expenses accurately. Nothing is worse than underestimating a major home renovation job and not having enough to completely finish it in the time frame you want it done in.
If you're wanting major renovations done to your home it's always recommended to get the help of a contractor or another homes renovation expert. Not only do they have the experience behind them but they will also be able to make sure your home renovation project will be completed in accordance with building laws and regulations.
Phil Nichol writes for a number of websites on remodeling, decorating and all kinds of home related topics.

Ideas For Finishing Your Basement

The idea of converting your unfinished basement into space you can use daily is a great one, but somehow time gets away and it continues to remain at it was. There are some great ways to get your basement finished if you are still contemplating the idea. While you are brainstorming how you want it to look keep your budget in the front of your mind as well. You don't want to run out of money for the project before it has been completed. In most cases refinishing your basement will cost you much less if you decide to do the work on your own. The actual materials will only cost about a 1/3 of the price of having a contractor do the work for you. Some people add a kitchen or bathroom to their basement but in most cases they aren't practical and they will definitely raise the cost involved. Not only do you need to consider your budget but you have to take other things into consideration including your plumbing, water proofing, electrical wiring issues, and cabinet space. You also have to decide who is going to do the work so that you can budget accordingly. Of course a contractor is more expensive but then they will take care of all the details for you. If you decide to hire a contractor then make sure you check their references as well as previous work that they have completed. You may also want to look into the credit rating of a particular contractor. If there is a certain layout design you want implemented in your basement then make sure you share that information with the contractor you hire. This will assist them with taking care of heating, cooling, and electrical issues. It many cases the current set up can be left how it is but in some instances it will have to be redone. Make sure any plans for your basement include an easy way to get out in the case of an emergency. Once the moisture problems have been settled, it is time to look at the next step of basement finishing: the plumbing. If you are planning to put in a bathroom or a sink in the basement, the pipes to drain water have to be put in place. For this, you may have to drill the walls and the flooring. Once the plumbing is in place, you can patch the floor and the walls. Make sure the patch is smooth and in the same plane as existing floor. After plumbing is out of the way, the walls need to be put in place for basement finishing. You can put wood slabs on the masonry wall to give you a smooth finish. The heating and cooling systems must be installed after this. You will need to figure out if the existing heating and cooling systems will be adequate for the basement as well or do additional furnaces need to be put in. Covering of electrical wiring will also need to be worked on. Telephone outlets will need to be installed as well.

Kitchen Renovation Plan

In an ideal kitchen, room size is of lesser importance. Instead, the key is the efficient use of space. The distance between the three most important elements (the refrigerator, the cooking surface and the sink) mustn't be too great. Remember the triangle principle whose merits have been praised by kitchen designers. When it comes to our home, we only want what is the best and that is why we fill it with the pieces of furniture that only reflects our own style and fill it with the objects that we love. And when you ask different kinds of people about their favorite area in their homes, one of the most common answers that we could get is the kitchen where everyone could just gather around while enjoying a nice delicious meal. That is why when we talk about making it look good and updated, one of the first things that would come to our minds is having a great kitchen renovation plan that would make it look nothing but spectacular while at the same time, let us do the cooking and dining with great style and comfort. If you need some of the tips that would make your kitchen renovation plans, here are some of the few good things that should consider doing before jumping in. What you may want to do when you are having a kitchen renovation plan is to sit down and take the time to think of what you want for your kitchen to look like. List down all the areas that you want to focus on and the kitchen appliances that you think needs to be replaced with new appliances with greater or higher technology that are in trends right now. Aside from that, one of the best ideas that you should keep in mind when it comes to having a great kitchen renovation plan that would not just upgrade the look of your kitchen but reflect your personality is to consult someone, your other family members or your friends about what they think of your ideas. This way, even if you are not having the help of a professional interior designer, you could be sure that your ideas for your kitchen renovation plan and new design is something that your family and friends would appreciate. Discussing decoration in the planning stage is a good idea, as the addition of elements that are both functional and decorative will have an impact on your plans. For example, certain appliances and other devices will probably be replaced. If this is so, check to see if an outside ventilation outlet will be needed. Get information on the properties and advantages of different types of counters that are on the market. You'll need to choose among different cupboard types such as melamine, stratified or wood, prefabricated or tailor made with the trends "du jour" into mind. Also, be open to the different kinds of suggestions that may come from them and it would not hurt if you would look into different magazines to give you fresh ideas of design for your kitchen plus, it would give you the option to do some catalog shopping for the materials that you think would be suitable for your new kitchen design. And lastly, when it comes to taking action and starting your kitchen renovation project, you now have to decide whether you will hire a professional help from contractors or go for DIY or do-it-yourself. For Home

Great Renovation Tips for the Bathroom

If you are among the many individuals who have attempted to renovate their bathroom, you know and understand that this task appears to be much simpler than it actually is. Renovating a bathroom can bring about a much welcomed change in the home, but it can also result in disaster if you do not take the proper take in preparing for the endeavor and learning as much as you can on the subject. Here, you will learn about various renovation tips for the bathroom that will help to ensure that you succeed in this endeavor. If you want to renovate your bathroom, the first thing that you can do is to start with easy changes. This may include laying new tile, resurfacing the counters, or resurfacing a bathtub and repainting it, or even installing a new toilet. It is often important to start small, one project at a time before attempting to start large and tackle projects that may take weeks and/or months to complete. This will ensure that you do not overwhelm yourself, and will give you time to learn about the larger bathroom renovation projects that you wish to complete. You should always start with a plan. It may take time to develop this plan, and that is completely acceptable. The plan must detail exactly what it is that you wish to do, and how you want to do it. It should also detail the supplies that are necessary to complete the bathroom renovation project. This is very important. Having an effective plan will help you to know exactly what will need to be done to accomplish your goals, the materials that will be needed to conclude the project, and an estimate of the amount of time that it will take to finish the project. The next thing that you should consider when it comes to bathroom renovation projects is the cost. You must determine what type of money that you have to spend on the bathroom renovation project that you want to take on. Many times, you will find that some projects are more complicated as far as expense than others. This is why it is important to make a plan, research the cost and time that it would take to complete the project, and then determine if your budget will allow you to complete the project. There are many tips when it comes to bathroom renovation projects. Ways to refinish cabinets in the bathroom, how to paint a tub, installing a new sink, repairing flooring, installing new tile, however, the tips listed here are among those that will help you get started in your bathroom renovation projects. By implementing these tips, you are sure to start off on the right foot. These are the most important things that need to be done in the beginning of your project.

Renovating Your Home? Keep These Pet Tips In Mind

Home renovations are exciting and new. However, it can be a time of stress, though all the hard work eventually pays off. If you have a pet, home renovations can become dangerous, as well as upsetting for your precious pooch. Here are a few helpful hints to keeping your dog safe and secure during your home renovations! First, if you have decided to hire workers to renovate your home, you will need to consider your pet's reaction. If your pet tends to be overtly protective of your home and family, you will most likely want to take a moment to introduce your pet to the workers to assure them that the workers are nice and there is no one or no thing to be afraid of. Show them that the workers are good people, not bad people and that they are there to help. A major aspect of home renovation that is sometimes difficult for pets to adjust to are the loud noises that almost always comes with construction work on your home. Hammering, sawing, and banging are constant sounds that can be upsetting to your pet. The best thing to do is t place your pet in a smaller space (such as a laundry room or office) with their bed, a comforting blanket, and a few of their favorite toys. Don't forget to periodically check in on them and give them comfort to assure your pet that everything is all right and that you have not forgotten about them. If the weather is nice outside and you have a securely fenced in backyard, you may want to put your pet outside for part of the day. There, the noise shouldn't be quite so loud and upsetting. Because the safety of your family and pets are of the highest priority, be sure to be on the lookout for hazards around the house once the workers go home. There can often be nails, sharp objects and projections lying around that could easily injure you or your pet. Other hazards include paint (wet or dry), power tools, paint remover or thinner, wood stain, sawdust, minerals, tape...almost anything! Bare wires and electrical cords are also often present during reconstruction. These cords and wires certainly pose a threat of shocking or possibly even electrocuting your pet if they are chewed on or even touched. You can either find something to cover such spots, or investing in baby gates to block off the construction areas may be your best option. The best way to care for your pet during home renovations is to consider your pet, and put yourself in their paws. Try to see what they see, and consider what may be interesting or intriguing to them. If you plan on extensively renovating your home, you may want to consider renovating one room or space at a time; this will make it easier on you, your family, and your pet. It is easier to stay out of one room instead of a whole floor. Though it may take longer, the safety of your family and pet is well worth the time spent!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thinking About A Kitchen Renovation?

Nothing can help freshen up an older home, or help in the sale of a property or inspire your kitchen workspace like a new or remodeled kitchen. Kitchen design is becoming increasingly more important as space is rapidly growing smaller. Designing or remodeling your kitchen can be an incredibly exciting adventure but with it can come a lot of stress, and complication! Although there will always be some element of stress felt through a kitchen renovation it is possible to eliminate much of it with a solid plan. If a kitchen make-over is in your near future you should consider the following and make the best of this otherwise stressful period.
Build a Foundation
During the design process the most important question you can ask yourself is “Why do I want a new kitchen?” Is it because you are looking for more storage space? Is your space not being maximized? Does your cabinetry need to be replaced? Are your appliances in need of change as well? Is your kitchen too dark? Is your space too small or too big? Too Boring? Or simply, too much??!
By asking yourself these important questions you will have a much better idea of what you need to get out of your kitchen space. This information will become the foundation for your kitchen design plan.
Make a wish list
Once you have your “foundation” in place it is important to ask yourself a few more questions. Now that I know what I need, what is it I want? What you would like to have in your kitchen? Give this a lot of thought because design today can incorporate special storage and space savers into the cabinetry design today! Write a list of everything you could not live without. This list will also become a very important guideline for you, your contractor, or designer to follow. Here are a few questions to paint an example for you:
Do you want stainless steel appliances? Granite counter tops? Tiled flooring? Is it heated? Gas or electric? What will your color palette be? What kind of cabinetry will you use? What can I not live without?
How much can you afford to spend on your kitchen space? This is a big question that can affect the entire project. Kitchen design projects are rarely inexpensive so you must get out and do some pricing on items that are necessary for you to fulfill your foundation and wish list. Beware that if you plan on replacing your cabinetry it will account for more than half of your budget!! When building your kitchen design budget you also want to include the cost of all labor (electricians, carpenters, gas technicians, plumbers, contractors etc.) and then consider the possibility of hiring a designer.
You must stay within your budget when planning a new kitchen. Account for as much as possible and add on another 20% or more just incase. Unexpected costs arise all the time in kitchen renovations and the best way to overcome it is to create a great budget. Dreaming big is one thing, but placing importance on price and affordability will ensure that you get what you are expecting and save some money for unexpected emergencies.
Time Frame
It is also very important to know when your project needs to be completed. Kitchen projects are notorious for being drawn out. Set realistic goals. The remodeling and new construction industry is booming and this can have a direct affect on your project. Many crew are working on several projects at a time so be sure to communicate your completion date with your contractor and demand a realistic response. Labor is not cheap so the shorter the time frame the higher the cost. It is also helpful to plan for you and your family to prepare meals at an alternate location or account for dining out into your budget. Remember that being inconvenienced at home can also cost you more money at the end of the day.
Hiring a designer can really help you get onto the right path sooner. These professional consultants can take care of every aspect of the design process like choosing the appropriate layout for you and your home. Coordinating color & lighting that is appropriate. Making sure all your trades and contractors are working in unison and of course ensuring that your dream kitchen becomes a reality. Designers will sit with you and go through a detailed interview process to get the best idea of what you are looking for. Their objective is to design a plan and develop a kitchen that works best for you. Your designer will combine your foundation and wish lists and weigh the pros and cons to balance them against your needs, space limitations and budget. Your designer will put together all the planning, logistical needs and contractors for your project. They can be expensive but many kitchen and bath showrooms will have in house designers working for them. You can set up an appointment or walk in and speak with someone almost immediately. This service helps the supplier get your business and they will do everything for you, from measuring your space to arranging packages for you that suit any budget.
Designers are usually well worth it, but do your research and find a design consultant with a portfolio that really connects with your own personal style.
You can also use your contractor to help you in planning out your workspace or even use a kitchen design software to personally plan out your kitchen space if you think you have what it takes!
If you plan to do the design work yourself, make sure you use a professional contractor. There are lots of contractors out there who will undercut prices and offer you promises that are not realistic. Ask to see some portfolio work or for references. Make sure that your contractor is using accredited plumbers and electricians. Be wary of anyone willing to start immediately or who asks for cash upfront? Do not proceed with any payments unless you have an agreement with your contractor and make sure they detail all work on labor and materials. You do not want a poorly installed kitchen and any subsequent repairs will far outweigh the cost of using a professional.
A kitchen renovation can be a very stressful time, but it does not have to be. Stress is no good for anyone, besides getting a new kitchen should be an exciting journey not a nightmare! Enjoy your new kitchen and let the cooking begin!!
Michael Kyle has been an event coordinator and hospitality expert for 18 years.

The Cost of a Renovation in Toronto

Many people think about selling their home but first decide to renovate so that the house will sell for more money. This is a mistake and I would like to explain why.
When you are living in a house you do the upgrades necessary to keep your house up, things like changing windows, painting, upkeep on gutters and roofs and even sometimes a small addition for the kids to have an extra room. These changes and updates to your house are things that you have to do in the course of owning a house for years. When you go to sell your house buyers will be comparing your home to other houses in the neighborhood and hopefully it is the same because those buyers are there to buy a house in a certain price range.
Let's say as an extreme that your neighborhood has houses that are in the 150,000 -180,000 dollar range and you decided to add an extra floor to your home that costs 50,000 dollars. Now once you have put that extra floor on the house you will want to sell your house, trouble is since you just sunk 50,000 into the house and you would like to get 60,000 for your trouble then you will need to get 240,000 for the house when it is listed and sold.
The kind of buyers that buy a 150,000 dollar house and the kind of buyers that buy a 240,000 dollar house are different people that have an idea where they would like to own. No one wants to have the best home in a poorer neighborhood instead they would like to have an OK house in a better neighborhood.
In the end you will of course get your home sold but you are not likely to get what you wanted for it. I remember the days back when I was a Realtor and you would go through a fantastic house that really didn't belong in the neighborhood that it was in, Realtors would marvel at this and that in the house but in the end didn't bring offers. People looking in that price range were not interested in the neighborhood they were interested in another area altogether.
Please remember that if you are thinking of doing an addition or adding some feature to your house that is out of place with where you live that it is better to thing of it as a feature that you want to have and live with and not think about how it will affect the resale price of your home.

Toronto Bathroom Renovation

With the popular revolution in home improvement and designs, it comes as no surprise the most neglected room in any household is the bathroom. Bath renovation is oftentimes considered as a necessity due to a water leak or other problematic issues; however, whether fixing a leaky pipeline or a dripping faucet, bath renovation can add value and a sense of style to any home.
How to Determine When it's Time for Bath Renovation
Obviously you will know it's time for bath renovation if water from your bathroom begins to ingress and seep through grout joints, leaking into other rooms of your home as well. Other tell-tale signs of the need for a bath renovation include deteriorating cupboards, damp spots found in closets, on walls, or floors. These cause tiles to become weaker and provide an ideal environment for mold and dampness which can weaken plaster. At any time these signs become apparent, bath renovation should certainly be considered.
What to Expect in Bath Renovation
If you find any of the above mentioned signs in your bath, or a combination of factors, re-tiling may be required. Re-tiling means removing old tiles completely, instead of tiling over the top of existing tiles, and also installing a waterproof membrane to offer a complete piece of mind. After the bathroom is dried out and the new design ready to be put into place, it's important to ensure that the new style fits your personal taste as well as meeting the needs. You can go the more expensive route by consulting a designer who can guide you in finding the look that meets your accommodations and fits your personality best. You may decide to go the less expensive route and do-it-yourself by flipping through magazines and gathering ideas before undertaking a bath renovation.
Quick and Cost Effective Methods for Bath Renovation
When deciding to do a bath renovation, it is important for you to avoid making the same mistakes; instead complete the renovation with durable fixtures and proven water-resistant treatments for the bath. By selecting durable flooring, not only can you give new character to the room, but you can add value to your home and prevent the need for another bath renovation. Likewise, you can choose to accentuate attractive features of your bath with some carefully purchased add-ons such as ceramic, marble or stone tiles in a spectrum of colorful tones or with designs of your unique style statement. Vertical storage cabinets also offer a good space saving solution, provide more floor space, and keep items neatly stored off the newly renovated bath floor.