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2013 Remodeling Trends

Attic bedrooms is a cost effective, home remodeling project (┬ácame out with their 2013 Cost vs Value report in January, so we wanted to give you an update. The big news is homeowner confidence is up, and that’s reflected by rising home prices and a corresponding uptick in the returns you should get for home improvements you make to your house. All 35 projects included in the report had higher Return on Investment (ROI) that the previous year.

Similar to previous years, the exterior renovations (windows, doors, siding and roofing) are at the top of the list with respect to ROI, taking 7 of the top 10 positions. This... 

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Kitchen Countertops: Picking One to Fit Your Home & Budget

countertops give your kitchen personality as well as working space

Kitchen countertop choices used to be really limited in types of materials. Laminates offered 100s of different colors and patterns, and tile also had many sizes and colors to choose from.

Today we have an amazing number of countertop choices, and it’s okay to use more than one type of countertop in your kitchen which is great until you start down the path of picking out new countertops and you have no idea where to start your research so this article provides an overview of today’s most popular choices.

While it’s exciting to pick countertops to give your kitchen a personality, you... 

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Kitchen Islands for Home Gatherings

kitchen islands mean there's enough space for everyone to cook

While we might want to host our family gatherings and parties in the living room and dining room, people somehow migrate to the kitchen so why not make your kitchen island the center of your parties?

Kitchen islands are so practical that it seems like every house on HGTV has either a stand-alone island or at least one wall of cabinets open on both sides, often with seating “outside the kitchen”. If you don’t have a kitchen island yet, maybe you’re starting to plan one?

Funny how we’re still designing kitchens around the kitchen triangle from more than 50 years ago —... 

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Unusual Homes for Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen cabinets need blocking to securely attach to the walls

Kitchen cabinets are beautiful when they’re new and they’ll last for many years but someday you may want to reconfigure your kitchen or update your kitchen cabinets to look more stylish.

Your first decision is whether to reuse your existing kitchen cabinets by keeping the wood frames and replacing just the front pieces (learn more about kitchen cabinet construction) or you can replace all the cabinets.

Here we’re going to explore the different ways you can recycle your kitchen cabinets, so we’re assuming you’ll replace them. In fact kitchen cabinets are one of the most popular home features to recycle because they’re... 

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Home Product Labels: Learning to Read Them

Take time to read your energy star labels & learn which product is really less expensive

We’re used to reading labels on boxes, cans and other packaging at the grocery store. If you’ve bought any home products with an Energy Star label recently, we hope you read the “energy smart” labels as there’s lots of important information to help you make more informed decisions.

When you’re buying a refrigerator, it costs a lot more than your food … and it’s going to be there in your home much longer than a box of cereal or can of soup. The bright yellow, Energy Star labels help you make long term (sometimes up to 20 or 30 year) decisions.... 

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Kitchens and Holidays

Everyone likes to decorate their table during the holidays

Kitchens get their biggest workout during the holidays. We tend to have big family meals, maybe a neighborhood gathering and of course, people always gather in the kitchen. This presents some challenges for those who aren’t happy with their kitchens. That’s why you ought to consider making a few quick changes so you’re happy when you’re cooking, baking and entertaining this year.

Our idea — rather than invest lots of time and money decorating for the holidays, make changes in your kitchen that you can enjoy this year and every year. As people stay in their homes longer, the need to... 

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Clearing Kitchen Clutter

Keep frequently used items where you can see & access them easily

How often have you looked for something in your kitchen and been unable to find it? Or worse, you can see the dish you want but you’ll have to climb on a chair or ladder to reach it and you don’t have enough time?

An inexpensive way to find more storage space in your kitchen is to get rid of things you’re not really using. You’re not the only one suffering from too much stuff. There are professional organizers like Jamie Martin, who can help you de-clutter your home if you’re unable to do it yourself. Most homeowners will cook and... 

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Ideas for More Kitchen Storage

Shelves let you use otherwise, unused space in your kitchen or any other room

During the holidays, many of us spend more time in the kitchen, preparing meals and baking cookies. If you don’t bake a lot the rest of the year, it might get a bit challenging to find all your baking pans, cookie sheets, spices and even your favorite recipes. It might be time to try something new this year.

We’ve got some tips to share on sliding shelves and various kitchen storage ideas to help you stretch the space you have. It’s also important to clear the clutter by letting go of some gadgets you haven’t used in years, to make it... 

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Light Up Your Kitchen this Winter

kitchens remain a popular home remodeling project

When the days get shorter, we rely on our indoor lighting more. One way to update your kitchen in time for the holidays is to add some extra lighting, and if you use the new CFL or LED technology, you won’t really add much to your electric bill.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about the lighting in your kitchen. Lights are like many other features that make your home run smoothly – you don’t notice them until there’s a problem. When all your lighting illuminates the space you’re in, it’s working right. At the same time, you might not realize if... 

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Replacing Washing Machine Hoses

Buying a new washing machine is fun but pay careful attention to how it's installed

Washing machine hoses? Just as important as picking the right (energy efficient) washing machine, is making sure your new washer is installed and maintained properly.

We get interesting questions from our customers and many of them are things every homeowner should know, so we wanted to share this advice with you.

A recent email from a customer asked if she should replace the rubber hoses to her washing machine to avoid dry rotting, as someone had recommended. She also asked about the right type of metal hose to use … so here’s the answer, and if you’re not comfortable making this... 

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