Kitchen Remodeling Can Be An Emotional Rollercoaster Ride
Preparing for, and living through a kitchen remodeling is similar to a roller coaster ride. You’re waiting with excited anticipation and some trepidation, preparing to get on the ride. You’ve heard from others that it’s scary; it’s even made some of them physically sick. But none of them can tell you details about the ride. All they can tell you is how they felt.
The Roller Coaster Ride
It feels like an eternity as you move ahead slowly toward the loading area, step by step. Then you get seated, strapped in, and you’re ready to move forward. But instead of rushing ahead fast, the roller coaster goes up a steep, never-ending climb. You think, “When will we get started?” Then, WHOOSH! you’re propelled down the first of many exciting dives at break-neck speed. You’re jerked around, back and forth, through every sharp turn. You never know which way the ride is going until you’re there.
Without warning, you’re upside-down, going through a series of surprising loops, G-force that makes it hard to breathe. You’re screaming your head off, but no one can hear you. Part of you wants to get off, but another part wants to stay, hoping that the ride will get less scary before it ends. You know it’s over when your cart pulls back to where you started and comes to an abrupt stop, jerking you forward. You’re dizzy, a little nauseated, but exhilarated. “That was fun!” Later, someone asks you how soon it will be until you get on another roller coaster ride. With a weak smile, you reply, “It’ll be a long time until I do that again!” (more…)
Sustainable Bathroom Remodeling Will Benefit You In Many Ways
Sustainability = Healthy. When you create a sustainable bathroom, you’re building a healthy home environment, and a healthy planet. Sustainable bathroom remodeling is choosing:
- Plumbing that saves water
- Water heating and room heating that saves energy
- Ventilation that cleanses the air
- Surface finishes that are safe and easy to clean
Plumbing That Saves Water
The major water-waster in your bathroom is the toilet, followed by the bath tub. A leaking toilet flapper valve can waste 300 gallons in one day. A 3.5 gallon-per-flush toilet uses 27% of the water for your home. The average deep soaking or hydrotherapy tub requires a minimum of 80 gallons every time you bathe. A leaking faucet can waste up to 50 gallons of water every day. What are your options?
- Toilets made by all major manufacturers must comply with EPA regulations, a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). Toto, Kohler, and American Standard are the top three manufacturers having a wide range of options for water use (.9 to 1.6 gpf, single or dual flush), and style. They also provide bidet toilet seats (there are many other manufacturers of bidet toilet seats). For the ultimate in water-saving and space-conserving toilets, Sinkpositive introduced a toilet that has a sink on top of the tank that recycles gray water when you flush the toilet. (more…)
Sustainable Green Kitchen Remodeling Has Many Benefits
You may or may not believe in global warming, but I hope you agree that choosing to remodel your kitchen sustainably makes sense. Agreed, sustainable green kitchen remodeling is good for our planet, but it can also save you money and create a healthier home environment for you and your family.
“Green” Products for Sustainable Kitchen Remodeling
Many companies are manufacturing products that save precious resources. There have also been reports of companies that do nothing more than use sustainability buzz words to trick us into buying their not-so-green products. The best way to protect our environment and your bank account is to do some research before you buy anything. Here is information about companies and products with proven positive “green” track records:
A Monochromatic Color Scheme Can Be Many Things — Except Boring!
People may think that a monochromatic color scheme is boring. After all, it’s only one color. Yes, it’s one color, but it includes the darkest shade to the lightest tint of the same hue. For a monochromatic color scheme to be effective, there should also be contrast in texture, smooth to very rough. Every color in the world can be the basis for a monochromatic color scheme. Color psychology has been studied for hundreds of years.
Have you ever wondered how paint manufacturers come up with the color names? It’s amazing! Most of the major manufacturers have in excess of 2,000 color options. There are very few colors that have the same names from one company to another. It’s nothing more than a marketing ploy. The names are supposed to make us feel positive about the color, and the manufacturer. No one in their right mind would select a color if its name was “Baby Poop”! Here’s a very short explanation about how professionals describe colors: (more…)
A Kitchen Focal Point Enhances Your Life
It’s much easier to concentrate on appearance in other rooms, because there isn’t the constraint of function and safety required by kitchens and bathrooms. Appearance is very important, and a kitchen focal point definitely adds visual interest. A focal point can be anything you want:
- The shape and style of an island or peninsula
- A beautiful view
- Light fixtures
- Interesting architectural feature (often a ceiling, or columns)
- Unique cabinetry
- Appealing backsplash
- An appliance (often a “professional” range and hood)
Buying Appliances Can Be Fun
Homework? That word conjures up old anxiety for many of us. Math assignments, no one to help. All-night cramming for a chemisty test. The homework required for buying appliances is a totally different thing. I’ve broken down selecting and buying appliances into simple steps that will reduce or eliminate the anxiety for you, assuming that you haven’t hired a kitchen designer or a contractor yet. Here’s a list of steps to help you:
- Discuss appliances with your family and decide what appliances are needed and wanted (see information below).
- Find some alternatives on manufacturers’ websites; a complete list of appliance manufacturers and links is on the Wikipedia site.
- Create a “wish list” of appliances. Most sites will show the suggested retail price. This will help you establish a realistic budget.
Your Kitchen Style Must Complement Your Home and You
Whether your home is traditional, transitional, Craftsman, contemporary, or some other style, your kitchen must have architectural integrity with your home. Why? Because your kitchen is the heart of your home, it needs to blend with and complement the surrounding rooms. You may like many different styles, but you chose the style of your home because it represents and fulfills you. With emphasis on ROI, it makes sense to have your kitchen style be consistent with your home, so you can sell it faster and for a higher price. Can you imagine how out of place the kitchen project featured in this tip would be in a traditional home — or as out of place as a cat at the Westminster Dog Show!
Generally speaking, the cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, and flooring determine your kitchen style. Accent lighting can also be a visual cue. Here are some characteristics of different architectural styles, and features that will help your kitchen style blend with your home, with links to show examples: (more…)
Accessible Bathrooms Should Whisper “I’m Here To Help You In Every Way Possible”
The major purpose for creating accessible bathrooms is to help people perform daily health and personal-care needs without minimizing their personal value. What’s the important feature in a great accessible bathroom? Humanity! There are required features, of course, but they don’t have to be a reminder that the person who needs them is in-valid. Quality of life, and personal esteem are too often the lowest-priority features. Other terms used synonomously are barrier-free design, aging-in-place design, and lifetime livability.
Here are features that accessible bathrooms should have:
- 32″ wide, minimum. There are offset hinges to make the net opening of 32″ wide doorways more accessible.
- Pocket doors are good, but have limitations regarding location, and pulls may be hard to grip.
- 36″ wide doorways are better.
- Easy-to-grip lever handles.
- Wheelchairs and walkers:
- 5′ turning radius (without a lot of “back and forth” maneuvering).
- Same level on both sides of a doorway.
- Slip-resistant hard surface that will allow wheelchairs and walkers to glide effortlessly.
- No area rugs. (more…)
Two Master Bathroom Sinks: A High Priority For Most Couples
The most-often requested feature for new and remodeled master bathrooms is two sinks, followed by:
- Large(r) shower
- Separate toilet room
- More storage
Having two sinks is great, but they have to fit in the space available, which means that the side-by-side concept has to be bypassed if the available space for two sinks is less than 66″ wide. Below are two examples of bathrooms that are 5′ x 10′-3″ and 5′ x 11′-2″.
A Remodeling Budget Can Be Hard To Determine
Your remodeling budget will allow you to do everything you want, or it will limit you and require you to make serious tradeoffs. Every remodeling project is different, although there may be similarities. If you’ve never remodeled a home before, you may feel overwhelmed and fearful of making expensive mistakes. Here are some tips to help you get from where you are now to understanding and setting a realistic remodeling budget. (more…)