Home Improvement Goal: Get (Most of) What You Want

Defining Your Home Improvement Goal Is Like Walking A Tightrope

 

Achieving your home improvement goal is like walking a tightrope.

Your home remodeling goal requires careful step by step progress, like a tightrope walker, until you reach your destination.

Get most of what you want of your home improvement  goal. Not everything  you want? That’s right. I’m being totally honest with you.

Unless you have a bank account that equals (or surpasses) Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, you’ll have to do research, and make informed decisions about every aspect of your home improvement project, one step at a time. Your decisions will include making tradeoffs, substituting lower-priced products, to stay within a reasonable budget. Below are time-tested, successful strategies to help you. Writing may be difficult for you, but you don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or J,K. Rowling to write your priorities. You don’t have to do it in one sitting, either! Pour a cup of decaf coffee, or a glass of wine, and pour out your deepest home improvement desires. Doing this will help you to think of the possibilities.

You Don’t Have To Be A Famous Author to Create Your Home Improvement Goal List (more…)

Successful Ranch Remodeling: Six-Step Process

Successful ranch remodeling -- before and after pictures

1970s Ranch Home Before and After Master Bedroom-Bathroom Addition

In ta previous, we explored reasons why this was a 1970s successful ranch remodeling project. Now, I’d like to share the six steps required for me to help the Homeowners achieve the best results.

1970s Successful Ranch Remodeling Beginning to Completion

Step One: Ask Preliminary Questions

  • Does the neighborhood have a particular or predominant style?
  • What needs to be improved — how can it be improved?
  • What do the Homeowners want to achieve?
  • What is the Homeowners’ target budget and target completion date?

The ranch-style home, when viewed from the street, was overwhelmed by the roofline. The garden was well-manicured, except for a large area on the left-hand corner of the property, which looked like an attempt to create a vegetable garden.

During the first meeting, the Homeowners shared their love of entertaining and their idea of enlarging the kitchen to cover most of the wasted property on the left-hand corner. We also viewed the awkward chopped-off second floor above the garage, where their master suite was located.  We were on our way to a successful ranch remodeling! (more…)

Luxurious Traditional Master Bathroom Ideas

Traditional Master Bathroom Remodel for LuxuryLuxurious master bathroom seen from entry

Are you planning to remodel a traditional master bathroom? To achieve the luxurious look, feel, and function you desire, I’ve got some great ideas for you, and I’ll share the story about one luxurious master bathroom.

Color Scheme for a Luxurious Master Bathroom

Select a neutral color palette that complements the colors and textures used in the adjacent bedroom. Consider how you feel as you move from one room to another; the transition, especially in a traditional home, should be smooth and non-jarring. It’s best to err on the conservative side for permanent features like plumbing, tile, countertops, and cabinets. Conservative doesn’t have to be boring! Painted walls can be any color you choose, although it’s wise to stay away from jewel tones and highly-saturated colors like burnt orange, daffodil yellow, or kelly green. Consider how easy (or difficult) it will be to coordinate the paint color with decorative tiles and accessories. Paint can be easily changed, but tiles cannot. If you have a favorite painting or framed poster that you want to display in the bathroom, select colors to help you create the scheme.

Homeowners wanted to update their timeless traditional master bathroom with clean lines. They selected a pastel color palette of sage green, beige, and a warm off-white. (more…)

Bathroom & Kitchen Countertops Pros and Cons (3/3)

Which Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops are Right for You?

We conclude this pros and cons discussion about bathroom and kitchen countertops, talking about concrete, stone, stainless steel, and lavastone. This information, combined with my previous article about your countertop investment will help you make a choice that will give you years of great service and personal pleasure.

Materials: Concrete, Stone, Stainless Steel, Lavastone

Concrete:

Made popular by Fu Tung Cheng, who has written at least one book about the subject.

Countertops-ConcretePros: Concrete can be an exquisite, unique countertop, with an unlimited color palette, and the possibility of inlays or relief impressions. Undermount porcelain, cast iron, and metal sinks can be used with concrete bathroom countertops, and it’s possible to have a one-of-a-kind integral concrete sink as a focal point. Cons: Although there are many step-by-step seminars, articles, and videos showing how to create concrete countertops, they are not a beginner-DIY project; they must be manufactured by an expert. Concrete is a very porous substance and a brittle material, prone to cracking and chipping. It must be sealed to prevent bacteria growth and staining. It can be very heavy, and may require extra-sturdy cabinets — and reinforcement of the structure. (Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Cast Stone)

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Bathroom and Kitchen Countertop Pros and Cons (2/3)

Which Bathroom or Kitchen Countertop Is Right For You?

In the first installment about bathroom (and kitchen) countertops, we shared pros and cons about laminate, tile, and solid-surface materials. This segment will talk about quartz (aka engineered stone), wood, composite materials (glass, metal, and paper), and glass, with links to all of the manufacturers’ websites. Whatever countertop material you choose for your home depends on its durability for the intended use, and your investment. We’ve covered the range of investments for all countertops in a previous blog, ” Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops — An Overview”.

Materials: Quartz, Wood, Composite, Glass

Quartz, aka “Engineered Stone”:

Popular brands include CaesarStone, Cambria, Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, Avanza, HanStone, Okite, Staron Quartz, Technistone, and Viatera.

Some people confuse quartz with quartzite; the two are not the same. Quartzite is a natural stone; quartz is manmade. Pros: Quartz is a long-lasting material, resistant to scratching, scorching, staining, and resistant to bacteria. It’s available in hundreds of alternative colors and patterns to fit virtually every style. Porcelain, cast iron, and metal sinks can be undermounted, which helps maintenance. Cons: Some people don’t like its “too perfect” appearance, and prefer the look of real stone for the same investment. Although quartz is advertised as a green product, most of the products (except Cambria) have to be shipped to the US by freighter, and then shipped to fabricators all over the US using fossil fuels.

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Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops Pros and Cons (1/3)

Which Countertop Is Right For You?

There’s more to selecting bathroom countertops than comparing price. To make an informed decision and guarantee years of satisfaction from your investment, this article details the pros and cons for each material, so you’ll get years of satisfaction for your investment. Part 1 of a 3-part series will discuss laminate, tile, and solid surface, with links to manufacturers’ websites.

Countertop Materials: Laminate, Tile, Solid Surface

Laminate:

Popular brands include Formica, Wilsonart, Nevamar, and Pionite.

Countertops-LaminatePros: Laminate is the least-expensive material for countertops. It includes hundreds of alternative colors and patterns to express personal preference and to blend with every architectural style.

Cons: Laminate is easily damaged by abrasive cleaners, chemical stains, and rough treatment. It requires top-mounted or drop-in sink with extra attention needed when cleaning around the edges of plumbing fixtures. (Photo courtesy of Julie Williams Design)

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