They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but over the last year it did. Lumber prices skyrocketed to historic highs during the
What to know about renovating your kitchen during covid
Unfortunately, a kitchen renovation means two things: You need to be prepared to spend some serious cash, and you need to be patient; the wait lists for contractor availability and access to raw materials and appliances are longer than ever.
When it comes to the first scary point — the budget — Eric Shipe, owner of Bath Plus Kitchen, a kitchen and bath remodeling company based in Alexandria, Va., says to prepare yourself for sticker shock, primarily because of the current high cost of lumber and building materials. Expect to spend $65,000 to $90,000 “if you’re replacing all materials in a 200-square-foot kitchen, L-shape with an island,” he says. A luxury kitchen will range from $110,000 to $150,000 or higher.
Claire Staszak, principal designer and owner of Centered by Design, a Chicago-based design firm with a specialization in kitchen design, says that depending on where you live and your kitchen’s size, “the average renovation with high-end appliances and semi-custom cabinets” starts at $100,000. Of that budget, both Shipe and Staszak say the bulk of it — about 40 percent — will go toward cabinets, with appliances as the second-biggest line item.
If these estimates are out of your price range, Shipe says, think about taking out a loan for your project. “Even if you have the cash, with rates so low, why not consider financing?” He continues: “The number one regret is not spending enough to get what you want. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they can finance until after they’ve spent tens of thousands on a kitchen remodel.” His advice: If you want a kitchen you’ll love and one that will last, spend the money to get you there.
As for hiring the right people, Staszak says, vet everyone with referrals, and see their work in person, either in a showroom or a former client’s home. “The execution of your project is what is most important,” she says, “so invest in the best contractor, designer, cabinet company, etcetera, that you can or feel comfortable with.” And Shipe cautions against using anyone who is too eager. “Demand is at an all-time high,” he says. “By the time a crew is available to start your project, materials should be, too. If someone is telling you they can start your kitchen remodel in the next one to three weeks, that’s a red flag.”
When it comes to selecting the nuts and bolts of a kitchen remodel, both Shipe and Staszak shared some of their top recommendations.
Countertops: Both like quartzite, because it’s a natural stone with the look of high-end marble, but it has the durability and heat and stain resistance of granite. Shipe also says to consider either quartz or Dekton because of their practicality; both are manufactured, rather than naturally occurring, and require little care. If you end up choosing a natural stone, Staszak says, make sure you see a full slab, not just a small sample, because the scale of the pattern or veining can vary.
Flooring: Both experts say that wide-plank white oak is the choice du jour. Staszak says it takes a variety of stains well. But Shipe cautions that because of its high demand, prices have gone up. He suggests considering luxury vinyl planks, because they’re waterproof and half the price.
Appliances: Shipe likes the matte white models from GE’s Café brand, but he also uses luxury brands, such as Sub-Zero, Wolf and Viking. Staszak leans toward Thermador, GE’s Monogram and Sub-Zero. For lower-priced models, she recommends Samsung for refrigeration and Bosch for dishwashers, as well as the Café line.
Because appliances play such a big role in the design process, Staszak tries to have clients commit to models before she begins drawing up the kitchen. The clients’ ultimate choices are those that meet their cooking, space and installation needs. Whatever you end up selecting, Staszak says, ensure your cabinetmaker has all of your appliance choices and measurements before cabinet production.
Cabinetry: Shipe says to consider more affordable laminate cabinets, especially given long lead times for painted and stained cabinetry. “Laminate cabinet technology has come a long way,” he notes, “and many include features such as anti-fingerprint and antimicrobial.” Shipe also recommends frameless cabinetry, which can give you 5 to 10 percent more storage space. And he says to think twice before installing trendy floating shelves. “They are a commitment. Your challenges are dust and organization,” he says. “We recommend not cramming too much onto floating shelves. If you’re using them for everyday items, such as plates, bowls or cups, it may end up looking too cluttered.”
It’s not surprising that both Shipe and Staszak emphasize the importance of working with a skilled kitchen designer or architect to lay out your cabinets, because a large portion of your budget goes to their fabrication. Staszak sees a lot of awkward cabinet designs that don’t seem well-planned, useful or beautiful. “Good cabinet design comes down to tiny quarter-inch details,” she says.
Layout: A skilled designer will help you think about how the space meets your needs. Take, for example, the case of an island design. Before beginning, Shipe would ask his clients if, when hosting, they want a large, open island where everyone can sit and be part of the action, or an island that hides the kitchen mess but provides great storage. Depending on the answer, he provides a design in which the island top is all one level, so the kitchen is open and inviting, or has a raised bar and a tall storage area to hide the kitchen mess. A designer should listen to your needs and be able to translate them to the design.
Trends: Lastly, both Shipe and Staszak are cautious of kitchen trends. Although they realize that Pinterest and Instagram are great resources for gathering ideas, picking a timeless design, especially when making such a big investment, is more prudent. Staszak says that if you want a trendy note in your kitchen, then focus on lighting and hardware; they are the easiest to swap out and experiment with. And whatever you do, Staszak says, gather samples of all your materials, look at them together before you order and pick your paint color last.
Mayhew, a “Today” show style expert and former magazine editor, is the author of “Flip! for Decorating.”
Complete Guide to Bathroom Remodeling
For many homeowners, bathroom remodeling is a project that can be intimidating. The sheer scope of the project can make it seem like an overwhelming task to take on. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure your bathroom remodel goes smoothly and successfully! In this article, we will go over these steps so you have all the information necessary for starting your own bathroom renovation.
What you need to know before Remodeling?
Before you start remodeling your bathroom, there are a few things you need to know. First of all, what kind of shape is your bathroom in currently? If it’s outdated and worn down, then you’ll want to consider remodeling the entire room. However, if the existing space isn’t so bad off and just needs some updating here or there, this project will be much easier on you!
Finally, how long do you plan on staying at this home? If it looks like you’re going to sell your house in a year or two anyway, then now might not be the time to start with major renovations that could cost thousands. Keep these factors about yourself in mind before starting any projects.
How to pick the perfect contractor?
Picking the perfect contractor is maybe the most important part of a bathroom remodel. The following are some tips to help you find the right one for your project:
-Ask friends and family members if they know any good contractors in the area (this is always step number one!).
-Look at reviews online, on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. Research what kind of licenses they have so that it ensures that coverage and experience levels meet your needs
-Check out their portfolio to see past work before hiring them for your job. Ask questions about how long ago these jobs were completed if there isn’t an exact date listed. You should be able to tell by looking at photos whether this contractor will produce quality results based on previous projects!
Selecting the right bathroom remodeling contractor is key to a successful project. With the right company, you can be sure your bathroom will look amazing and function better than it ever has before!
Also, make sure to get an estimate from at least three contractors before deciding which one to hire.
Budgeting for your project
There are a number of things to consider when planning a bathroom remodel. It’s important that you have realistic expectations and a budget for your project, especially if it is part of the mortgage process. Here we will cover how much square footage costs as well as other factors you may not be aware of!
Square Footage: The cost per square foot can vary wildly depending on where in the country or what city you live in. The average starting price ranges from $70-$150/sq ft, but some experts estimate prices up to 300$. Keep these numbers in mind when looking at quotes from contractors.
Budgeting For Materials: You need to calculate approximately 25% more than the usual materials allowance because they won’t be discounted the same way as when you buy in bulk.
Budgeting For Labor: A contractor will charge by the hour, and usually starts at $35-$40 per hour. This can tally up quickly depending on how many people are needed for your remodel project!
Planning Ahead: Getting a quote from a contractor ahead of time is important so that you have an idea of what it might cost to get started with planning. Once they know more about your space, then they’ll be able to give you accurate numbers and make sure there’s enough money set aside for materials or labor costs.
Planning out the design of your new bathroom
Planning out the design of your new bathroom is the best first step to take when you want to start renovating. It’s also one of the most important steps because it will inform all other decisions going forward.
The planning stage can be both exciting and daunting at the same time but if you stay organized, have a timeline in mind for how long you want everything from demolition to drywall installation to last, and are realistic about what needs to be done (and what doesn’t), then this process should go smoothly!
At first glance, bathrooms seem simple enough – just pick out some tile or carpeting and get started with construction. But there are so many factors that come into play before choosing a style or material that it helps decide on options early on. For example, you want to make sure the materials are durable and resist mold or mildew. You also have to decide on whether you want hardwood floors that will be sealed with an appropriate sealant or carpets that should be steam-cleaned regularly.
The first thing is figuring out what kind of bathroom remodel would work best for your space and needs – which can take a little bit of time but it’s extremely important not only in this stage but going forward as well! If you’re considering adding tile flooring, there’s the initial factoring when choosing between porcelain tiles (which range from $20-$50 per square foot) versus ceramic ($15-$35 per square foot). There’s a size too: Porcelain tiles come in a variety of thicknesses, from thin (about 20mm) to thick (around 30mm).
Once you’ve sorted out what kind of bathroom remodel is best for your space and needs, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. If you’re looking at replacing the toilet or sink, there are some other important considerations – like whether you want an elongated model versus a round bowl. The next step would be how much storage do I need? One thing that can make bathrooms feel cramped is if they don’t have enough room for towels or items during use. In terms of tile options, there’s a lot more than just subway tiles these days! You could go with something sleek and modern by choosing a glass or porcelain tile to create an elegant, yet minimalist bathroom.
We hope this article has given you some helpful information and tips for your bathroom remodeling project. If it’s still too intimidating or confusing, don’t hesitate to ask us anything in the comment.
Planning to remodel your bathroom? Keep these 7 things in mind
A bathroom remodel can be a serious undertaking.
On average, HomeAdvisor says it can cost $10,768 with most homeowners spending between $6,144 and $15,411.
In addition to the cost, a bathroom renovation isn’t the easiest to manage.
“It’s a less efficient room to renovate than others in the house because it’s so tight,” Cameron Snyder, president of Roomscapes Luxury Design Center in Boston, and former president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association told HGTV. “You can normally get one trade in there at a time.”
Remodeling a bathroom can involve juggling electrical, plumbing, cabinetry and tile among other things. There are a few steps we recommend you take before making over the powder room. Here are seven of them.
Think about the space
Along with considering local codes, you need to make sure you have ample space to move around in your bathroom. When replacing a vanity or installing a new tub, make sure you know the correct measurements. Houzz has a list of standard dimensions of fixtures and key measurements.
Recessed spaces for toiletries
Rather than taking up valuable bathroom real estate on shelves, installing a shower niche can provide an easy, semi-hidden space for your toiletries. HomedIt says ideally the niche is installed at eye level, which is 48-60 inches on average.
Proper accessory height
Knowing where to place towel hooks and a medicine cabinet is important. This Old House suggests mapping out where you’d typically reach for these items before installing them.
Give wiring a boost
This is particularly important in an older home. The National Electric Code requires that homeowners’ bathrooms have at least one 20-amp ground fault interrupter (GFCI) protected branch circuit for power receptacles, according to SFGate. This is required of newer homes, according to DenGarden. Also, make sure a 20 amp circuit has a 20 amp outlet.
Lighting the vanity properly
Part of lighting your bathroom right is placing fixtures in the correct spot.
“It’s important that there is some light between your face and the mirror,” Anne Sneed, owner of the Del Mar, California-based Anne Sneed Architectural Interiors told Architectural Digest. “If you’re just backlit, you wind up with your face in shadow.”
This Old House notes that fixtures should flank the mirror at around 66 inches. Ideally, space them 36 to 40 inches apart.
You may not want to try installing wallpaper in the bathroom. Moisture and humidity may cause it to peel off, which could cause problems, The Spruce said.
Insulate the pipes
Not only does pipe insulation help protect them from freezing during the colder months, but it also can help keep your home safer and increases its efficiency. Bob Villa has some tips on how to insulate them.
9 things to consider before remodeling your bathroom
Bathroom renovation tasks can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s best to be sure of every decision you make. Here are a few things to keep in mind before remodeling your bathroom into your dream space.
It’s a good idea to know how much you want to spend on your bathroom renovations before undertaking the project. A set budget will help you decide what you want to include in your remodel. With a clear idea of what you have to spend, you can start to deduct from the money allotted to labor.
2. Work Flow
It is possible to save a lot of time and effort by completing bathroom renovations in a specific order. You must begin at the top of the room when you want to sand or paint the room. Replace your ceiling first, then the walls, and finally the floor to ensure protection for your new fixtures.
Many people assume that a small bathroom remodeling will take only a few days or, in any case, a lot less time than larger bathrooms. While that is sometimes true, it’s not always the case. If you have more than one item that needs to be altered, the process is similar to a larger-scale job. Additionally, in the planning stages, you must work out the duration of the renovation works and the order and purchase of custom cabinetry to make sure it’s possible. Additionally, taking a bath or shower while the bathroom is being dismantled presents a challenge to those who have only one bathroom.
4. Bathroom Issues
When doing a major renovation to your bathroom, it’s good to go through a complete renovation plan that includes the space’s previous problems. When hiring experts to help renovate you might minimize the risk of problems arising, but they still might be there. Your house’s most significant potential hidden problem may be due to water damage in the floor, bad plumbing, rusted fixtures, non-waterproof tub or floor/wall tiles, leaky connections or bad bathroom ventilation capabilities. If you want to ensure that your bathroom is safe from water problems, you can seek plumbing services from companies like A-1 Sewer and Septic Service to determine whether you need to change plumbing and move fixtures.
5. Functionality And Style
Think about how you want your bathroom to look before choosing what types of fixtures to put in it. There are several things to think about, such as paint color choices, tiles, showers, vanities, tubs, among other things. After some time and research, the results can become bewildering. It is possible to choose a specific feature, which you may then use to formulate the rest of the design, or you can piece together the items you like into an overall look for the room. Functionality should go hand in hand with design, and if you are thinking about the eventual resale of your house, think about how the design will work for others. Things such as water monitoring and water recycling systems can help you go green and increase buyer interests.
No remodeling project is ever done without repairing or remodeling fixtures. Additional or necessary maintenance also involves having your mirrors and shower doors cleaned. Your bathroom’s appearance can be easily changed by changing faucets, towel racks, cabinet pulls, and the hardware for your shower doors. A completely new set of doors can also alter your bathroom’s overall appearance.
Here are some other simple changes you can make:
- Shower Sills: What’s critical is that the sill built into the bottom of your shower slopes into the shower slightly. Make sure you pick a rigid material, like granite or quartz. Even though the water sits on the grout lines when it’s tiled, it can get into the framing.
- Drawer Storage: Consider installing a bathroom drawer instead of vanity doors if you want to store your cosmetics or toiletries in the vanity area. Drawers are more easily seen and can be more easily accessed. They can be trimmed to fit around the plumbing and accommodate more prominent items in size.
- Lighting: Include recessed lighting fixtures to lighten the ceiling. Consider lighting options to have near or over your shower, to provide the best lighting. Also consider lighting near the bathroom sink; better light fixtures make it easier to see close-up work for applying makeup or shaving. Natural lighting can also help to avoid your bathroom looking too dark.
- Wall-Hung Toilet: Fixtures such as these have seen a surge in popularity for genuine reasons. They are no longer breaking the bank, and they save on room space because the tank is behind the wall.
7. Floors And Walls
Generally, any non-porous material can be used for surfaces in the bathroom, as long as they are waterproof. Depending on your funds and preferences, porcelain, marble, and granite wall and shower tiles are lovely and long-lasting. You may also consider cement (painted or stained) or sheet vinyl in addition to tile flooring. No matter what you decide, it’s essential to choose flooring with durability and slip resistance.
It is essential to ventilate a bathroom when it is wet. It’s an involved process: deciding on the correct location, as well as wiring, must be taken into consideration. Damp, moldy conditions can result in ill health problems. Wood trim and insulation can be protected from deterioration and saturation with proper ventilation.
Your contractor must be registered with the state. Check with your city’s building department to learn local ordinances, as the state regulates them. Get in contact with all prospective contractors and check the validity of his/her license.
The layout, costs, logistics, and contractor choice are all essential aspects in the re-design of a bathroom. Before starting a bathroom remodeling project, it is essential to think about these things. Create a checklist of the crucial things you need to accomplish and to help avoid making mistakes on your dream bathroom remodeling project.