Why You Could Choose Unfinished Kitchen Cabinets For Your Remodeling Project

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to save on a kitchen remodeling project, but have little or no experience in flooring, plumbing, electrical and especially carpentry, you could be in for a frustrating experience. Although you can get some books and take a few classes at your local home and building supply store, you may not have the patience for all of it. Perhaps you could consider hiring help for the difficult parts and do the finishing work yourself, or maybe a good idea would be to take things on one at a time.

If all you’re looking for is a simple face lift you have a few quick options: updating your cabinets by refacing them, painting them or adding new door hardware like knobs and hinges that match the style of decor you’re going for can all be done fairly easily and inexpensively. Adding new counter tops and flooring will also help, but neither qualifies as a cheap or quick solution. If refacing doesn’t cut it for you and you would like to try your hand at some painting, consider buying unfinished kitchen cabinets instead of ordering the finished product. Choose your facing and type of wood, but do the painting or staining yourself. It may or may not cost a little less, however, you will get the exact stain or paint style and color you wish.

Since most finished cabinetry comes in only certain styles and colors, it can be difficult to get the exact look you want without spending a fortune. Say you want alder cabinetry but would prefer a color or stain that makes more of a statement. Or perhaps you’d love to have cherry cabinetry, but can only afford a less expensive type of wood. Unfinished kitchen cabinets can help in this area because with the right techniques, you can make your kitchen look like you have expensive cherry and only an expert in that area will notice that it isn’t.

Another reason to purchase unfinished kitchen cabinets has to do with installation. If something gets nicked or scratched during install, no big deal. Since the cabinets don’t have their finish applied yet you can easily repair the trouble spot before you finish them yourself and reduce the stress of possibly having to wait for the reorder and replacement of an already finished product.

Any way you look at it, redoing your kitchen will not be the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but it can be fun if you plan it correctly, take your time and choose a material and finish that you know you’ll enjoy for quite some time. Also remember to consider doing at least part of the work yourself, you will delight in the memories of the process as you sip your morning coffee in your beautiful new kitchen that you did yourself.

How to Plan and Organize Home Remodeling Projects

When we have the opportunity to improve our homes, chances are we cannot wait to tackle the project. It is a dream come true to turn our living quarters into what we exactly envision – whether it is an original idea or an innovative design we have seen on TV. Nevertheless, it can be extremely expensive and hard to create a budget, especially when we become overexcited about new ideas. Below are essential tips which will help you not only plan, but also organize your home remodeling projects.

The most important thing you should do is evaluate what needs to get done and create a list of top priorities. For instance, if you want to replace your laminate flooring with real wood flooring, it will be important to make a list of everything you need. By staying organized and then calling the appropriate services, you will easily be able to get things done in a timely manner. You should also ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” After all, there are many reasons for people to focus on home remodeling. For example, there are some homeowners who just want a new look, yet others are desperately trying to increase the value of their home. No matter what agenda you have, you can easily plan and organize home remodeling projects.

After you have picked what needs to get done, you should create a vast budget. With an overabundance of resources and stores, it can be difficult to say no to favorite items. However, it is crucial that you set a limit for yourself. Although being realistic is important, you also must remember that the majority of homeowners go way past their limit. For instance, some home owners plan on installing laminate flooring, when they end up splurging on a luxurious item: under floor heating. Although under floor heating is considered expensive, it has many different features that can benefit any home. While under floor heating is a wonderful idea, it can lead to financial problems. Therefore, it may be smart to set your budget a little higher than you expect it to be. This will not only give you room for your home remodeling, but it will keep the stress at a bare minimum.

Once you have created a budget and a list of things to fix, it is crucial that you do your research. You want to have the best quality materials in your price range, and always know how much help you will need. For instance, if you wanted to lay down laminate flooring in your kitchen, you could save a lot of money by doing it yourself. Many do it yourself kits are extremely easy to use, and can be done within hours. However, if you are looking for something a bit more complex, like wood flooring or under floor heating, you will want professionals to assist you. Therefore, it is important to research the best and most affordable services in your area. Many homeowners ask their relatives and friends for referrals, as many others have also remodeled their homes.

No matter what type of home remodeling project you are trying to accomplish, it can easily be done. With the appropriate amount of planning and organizing, any homeowner can create something beautiful, without overspending. As long as you take your time and pay attention to the small details, the opportunities are endless.

Designing Your Basement Remodeling Project to Add Value And Save Money

Don’t wing it. Many people start basement remodeing projects without a plan and end up making mistakes that drive up costs and affect the long term safety and functionality of their lower level living space.

The nice thing about adding space in a basement is it can save money vs. a room addition since the perimeter walls and foundation are already in place. The challenge with this project can be obstructions (support beams), wet or damp basements, code requirements for egress, and how to work with and around the utilities. These problems require careful design and planning before beginning construction.

In this article learn 5 ½ steps for a successful lower level remodeling design.

Step 1 – Fix what’s broken – Do not begin this project without an inspection of the basement. First clean out the basement of unnecessary junk (this may be the toughest part of the project for many people). Once the basement is clean – look for dampness, mold, leaks and fungus. If there is a problem contact professional waterproofing contractors to identify the best solution to your problem. If you see cracks in the walls and floors make sure they are sealed. Check for the existence of radon gas.

Step 2 – Make a layout of your existing space- Create a floor plan of your lower level as it exists right now. Include in your drawing the following:

  • Poles or obstructions
  • Location of windows and doors
  • Location of utilities – fuse box/circuit breaker, shutoff valves for gas, water
  • Appliances – furnace, water heater, washers/dryers, slop sinks
  • Pencil in where the heat/air ducts are located

Step 3 – Design it and then it will work- You’re not building a field of dreams here – so design it and then they will come doesn’t really make sense. The key is to think through what you need and want and then to overlay your future design with your existing structure (what you completed in step 2) of the basement. Here are some questions to help you prioritize:

  • What type of room(s) do you need?-Separate your needs from your wants. Yes -everyone would love the coolest looking basement with all the bells and whistles but if you’re like most you’re working on a budget. To address your needs think about what pain is driving you to investigate doing this project. Do you need a bedroom because a family member is moving in or a teenage needs their own space? Is an extra bathroom required? Are you looking to save money in a small business and looking to move your office into the home?
  • What type of room(s) would you want - Depending on your budget you may spend on your needs first and then continue the remodeling project with your wants in the future. Some common wants for a basement remodeling project include creating a ” man cave ” (a recreation/entertainment room for the big games), adding a home theater, a hobby/craft area, or a gym and workout room.

Step 4 – Look for ways to reduce costs, improve your design, and make sure your project is done correctly and safely the first time- The reason to design first and start your demo and construction second is to properly plan before spending money or creating a finished space that is unsafe. Here’s a few ideas to cut costs and make sure you’re project’s done right the first time:

  • Find the plumbing- Locate your bathroom, kitchen or laundry rooms as close to existing plumbing as possible.
  • Know the egress codes- improve light and air flow- In most local building codes an operable emergency exit window or door is required for each bedroom and also for common use areas like TV and exercise rooms. The open space for this window needs to equal or exceed 5.7 square feet. Adding additional light and ventilation can make a huge difference in how the lower level living space feels and can improve your future resale value for this improvement. Also if you’re doing your crafts and hobbies in the basement you may need to design in improved air flow.
  • Identify cool ways to work around poles and pipes- Coolness will be in the details. You may want to buy fiberglass columns, decoratively box around poles, or include the obstructions inside the finished walls.
  • Add sound deadening insulation between rooms- If you’re going to use one of the rooms for a home office or bedroom you’ll want to make sure to use the right type of insulation between the walls to deaden the sound between different areas of the basement.

Step 5 – Have a little fun – What would a basement remodeling project be without a little bit of fun? At least design in one or two fun elements into your project. Would you like a steam room or glass block walk in shower in the bathroom? Would adjustable tray type lighting provide a nicer mood in the space? Perhaps you want to add a wet bar with a granite countertop?

Step 5 1/2- Don’t be afraid to call for help – As you can see there are a lot of decisions and design considerations in a lower level home improvement project. Don’t be afraid to call a qualified design/build contractor to help you out – this can save you a lot of money in the long run and you’ll get a guarantee as well. Check out their rankings with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List as well.

Know that you’ve equipped with these 5 ½ steps to basement remodeling success you’re ready to add that much needed space for your family.

Home Remodeling Projects to Consider

If you’re thinking about home remodeling, there are many possibilities to consider. You can look at everything from your roof to your floors and think about what might need some work. Choosing whether to do your own remodeling or to find professional help is another factor you have to consider. We’ll now explore a few home remodeling options in more detail.

Remodeling your kitchen can be one of the most satisfying projects you can undertake. You might wonder if your budget can handle the expense of remodeling your kitchen, as this can be one of the costlier areas of your home to work on. Sometimes you can make real improvements to your kitchen in creative ways that won’t stretch your budget. When it comes to your cabinets, you may want to consider resurfacing and painting them and maybe replacing the doors and hardware rather than having a whole new set installed. Take a look at your sink and note if there are any leaks that need repairing or if it’s time to invest in a new one. If your counter tops are the worse for wear, you have the choice of replacing them or perhaps just refinishing them.

The proper tools are crucial in order to get the desired results from any type of home renovations. The best time to purchase any tools is before starting any home remodeling, as it can really break up your momentum to have to run to the store for every little thing. Your tools should not be lying around in random places, but contained in a proper toolbox. Without a toolbox, you’ll be constantly misplacing your tools or maybe even tripping over them. Then make sure you have some quality basic tools, including a complete set of screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, a pry bar, a tape measure and a utility knife. You should also consider goggles, face mask, gloves and other things to ensure your safety.

Don’t hire someone to do repairs or remodeling without verifying their credentials. It’s best to avoid people who come to you first, and offer to make improvements at suspiciously reasonable rates.

With this type of operation, they will either use shoddy materials or even collect an initial payment and do nothing. Some scammers are especially active in areas that have been hit by disasters, offering to help you repair your home at a low price. The best rule to follow when hiring any kind of repair person or contractor is to do the searching yourself rather than trusting anyone who makes contact with you.

Depending on what you need and how much time and money you have at your disposal, you can figure out the home remodeling project that’s ideal for you. You always want to leave some extra room in your schedule and budget when doing any kind of renovations, as you have to be prepared for delays and unanticipated expenses. Home remodeling can be a great way to improve your home’s look and ambiance, so consider where the best place to start might be.

Options For Financing Your Remodeling Project

Cash – If you have enough money in your savings account to pay for the proposed remodeling job in cash then that would seem to be the most logical course of action. Never pay too much to your chosen remodeling contractor upfront though. Payments for a larger job – like a basement conversion- should be staggered at agreed intervals throughout the course of the project. Come to a reasonable agreement with your contractor in advance and make sure you get it all in writing.

Home Improvement Loan – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) administers two different loan products available to home owners looking to remodel or upgrade their property – Title 1 and the lesser known Section 203(k) program. A loan under the Title 1 program is allows people to borrow up to $25,000 for remodeling projects but for a single family home only and the loan can only be made by an FHA approved lender.

The Section 203k program is geared toward the homebuyer who is considering purchasing “a fixer upper” and is essentially a single long-term, fixed or adjustable rate loan that covers both the purchase of the home and the costs of remodeling. Again the loan has to be made by an FHA approved lender but fortunately most mortgage lenders are approved to make loans through this program.

Home Equity Line of Credit – A home equity line of credit is a form of revolving credit in which your home serves as collateral. You can tap into the funds as necessary and the credit line is usually set at about 70-80% of the appraised value of your home after the balance from your first mortgage is deducted.

This form of financing is great for those with good credit and a decent amount of equity already built up in their home. If this is the way you choose to go though only use what you really need to finance your remodeling projects, do not be tempted to use the money for purposes unrelated to remodeling (vacations, new car etc.)

Refinancing – If interest rates today are significantly lower than when you first purchased your home then refinancing the mortgage on your home may be the way to proceed. This option allows you to pay off your existing mortgage with the new loan and use the remainder to pay for your remodeling projects.