Taking on a Home Renovation Project can be a nerve-racking experience. The excitement of a new dream space can be overwhelmed by the long list of to-dos, long renovation time, and the ongoing cost sheet is enough to make you back out of the project all together. How can you budget out a home renovation while maintaining real expectations and without breaking the bank? Here are just a few tips that will start you on the right path and can improve your home renovation experience:
Make a List of Your Priorities
Know what is important in your renovation and what can be negotiated on. This is an exercise that you and everyone involved in the renovations needs to be a part of, whether that is a significant other or roommate. Knowing what a high priority in your renovation is will help you determine where to spend your money and what you can reassess when the home renovation budget gets tight. If custom cabinets with unique storage abilities is at the top of your list, but under cabinet lighting is more of a perk then you know when the numbers get high the under-cabinet lighting is going to have to wait.
Talk to a Specialist and then another
When you are ready to speak to a design specialist, our talented designers at Arizona’s Interior Innovations is ready to meet you and talk about making your dream a reality. You are welcome to visit our showrooms and see what we have available or we can come to you. After the meeting our team will put together a bid and send it to you for review. Once you have received it, talk to another design team. Once you have a general idea of what materials and labor are going to cost and you have the experience of speaking with a design team talk with another one to see where the prices differ, who has better timelines, and where the quality is.
Keep in mind low prices can lead to low quality, so don’t base your decision strictly on price. Know what is important to you! If you want better quality, a shorter reno time, or a larger reno team pick the company that fits the experience you want to have in your renovation.
Add a Risk Window
We all know that during the middle of an HGTV renovation something is going to happen: Mold, Load Bearing Walls, Copper Pipes, the list could go on and on. These are not put in the shows to add drama and intrigue, but because they happen. It is best to be prepared to have an issue, the best way to prepare for this? Create a “risk” window in your budget. It is recommended at that you budget an extra 10-15% to cover any unexpected costs. Fingers are crossed it’s a small cost and not a large “back to the drawing board” issue, but the more prepared you are the less stress you will have when your General Contractor calls you out of nowhere.
Things Add Up…Quickly!
Kitchen Hardware is the sneak attack of Kitchen Renovations! Looking at a handle that has a sticker price of $4.00 seems like nothing compared to the cost of countertops and cabinets, but that $4.00 quickly turns into $140 without much effort. Be careful and be aware of the quantity of small items that are purchased for your new Kitchen or Bath. Also don’t let these “small things” ruin your budget by not even considering them. Take a full inventory of your space and understand the costs of even the smallest of details.
Don’t Be Afraid to do Your Own Shopping
It is easy to turn your project over to your design team and general contractor and let them handle the issues, however if you are budget conscious it is best to stay involved. After you receive your bid don’t be afraid to shop around. There are items on the project list that don’t need to be purchased through your design team vendors: light fixtures, appliances, and even some hardware can be purchased outside and brought into the design. Do not be afraid to take control and look for deals! This can help keep you on budget in the long run. Secondhand appliance stores or for sale sites like OfferUp contain some real treasures that can set your renovation apart and keep you on budget. It’s a win-win!
Arizona’s Interior Innovations offers quality products without the large price tag. We are happy to work with you to design a new Kitchen or Bath that is within your Home Renovation Budget and we are transparent in our pricing and services. Please give us a call today and schedule your free consultation!
After days and weeks of renovations its easy to get lost in the mesmerizing quality of a new Kitchen or Bathroom, but as life resumes some normalcy how can you keep your new Kitchen and Bathroom looking new? Here are some Kitchen and Bath Cleaning tips to keep your new space as mesmerizing as Day One!
“It’s so beautiful, I’m scared to use it!” We hear this phrase at project closing all of the time and we understand! Everything about a fresh renovation is shiny and new, and homeowners initially have a hard time letting loose and using their new space, however over time dust settles…literally!
Kitchen Cleaning Tips:
Boil Your Greasy Range Hood Filter
Cleaning your Range Hood Filter is recommended 1-2 x a year. A greasy clogged up hood filter blocks airflow and can lead to unwanted damages and poor performance later. To clean your filter, you will need: a large pot (big enough to fit at least half of your filter), water, and ½ cup of baking soda. Fill your pot with water and bring to a boil, once the boil has been achieved slowly, let me repeat that again, SLOWLY add the baking soda. The pot will get fizzy, this is normal! Once all the baking soda has been added place your hood filter in the boiling water and let it site for a few minutes. Once the whole filter has been in the boiling water, rinse off with hot water from your tap. Once the water runs clear you have a clean filter!
Get Pasty with Your Sticky Kitchen Cabinets
Kids, Pets, Life, all can really add grime and dirty up your cabinets and if you are not used to wiping them down on a regular basis then that dirt and grime builds up. Owners of white and lighter colored cabinets have the blessing and curse of being visually aware of any build up, however the darker the cabinets the dirtier they are up close.
To clean off dirt and grime mix 2 parts of baking soda with 1 part of dish soap and 1 part water in a small bowl. Using a microfiber cloth apply the paste and rub the dirt off, then use a damp cloth to remove any residue. Finally, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean.
Stay Away from Your Ovens Self Cleaning Function!
Running your ovens self-cleaning function is easy but can lead to horrible smells and searching for the owner’s manual. Cleaning the oven yourself is easier than you might believe. It takes some time, but the lack of smell and stress will make the time commitment worth it.
First, start by removing the racks from the oven and soaking them in hot soapy water for a few hours and then scrub with a sponge. Dawn dish soap is notorious for being hard on grease and is highly recommended!
To clean the inside of the oven without harsh chemicals make your own cleaning paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the inside of your oven and leave for 30 minutes. Then using a soft sponge soaked in white vinegar to scrub away the baked-on grime. Finally, wipe out the paste using a microfiber cloth.
Dishwashers Need Cleaning Too
Looking at the bottom of your dishwasher will reveal that not all things are washed away in the Dishwashing cycle. Hard water, grease, and food particles attach to the bottom and walls of your dishwasher and can eventually lead to operation issues. Deep cleaning your dishwasher is recommended 1-2 times a year. Check out this amazing article by The Spruce to see how simple and satisfying it is to deep clean your dishwasher.
Steam Clean Your Microwave
The vinegar-microwave trick is one that we are all familiar with now, but no matter how often we hear about it the truth is that it works!!!! Mix 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes. Once the time is finished, leave the bowl inside untouched for 2 minutes and let the steam do the work. Remove the bowl carefully with oven mitts (it is very hot) and wipe down the inside with a microfiber cloth. Little tip: I put a little bit of the mixture on the cloth to help everything slide off smoothly.
Bathroom Cleaning Tips:
Soak Your Shower Heads
Cleaning the shower heads is the last thing you would consider when cleaning the bathroom, but hard water stains and rust can deteriorate any showerhead, not to mention the water coming out of the showerhead is landing on you!
To clean a showerhead, it is very simple. You will need a Ziploc bag, rubber band, hot water, and white vinegar. Mix equal parts of the water and vinegar in the bag and place over the shower head tying off the top with the rubber band. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then remove the bad and use a microfiber cloth to wipe away and loose dirt and particles.
Soap Up Your Glass and Tile showers
For a period of 2 months in my 20’s I worked as a maid and my favorite job was cleaning glass and tile showers! The process can get a little wet, but the outcome is worth the soggy feet.
You will need dish soap (Dawn in highly recommended), a scrub sponge, a QT or Circle K Cup, and a Squeegee. Start by rinsing off the walls of the water, then take the dish soap and apply to the walls. Using the sponge scrub in the dish soap in a circular motion. If you have a tile shower with grout be sure to scrub in the seams. Once the entire shower is a circular soapy mess, rinse the soap off by using the QT cup. Fill the cup with water and at the top of the wall let the water cascade down. Follow up with the squeegee to squeeze off the water. As a finishing touch on glass showers, I do use a window cleaner on the outside of the glass to add a shine!
The Key to Streak less Mirrors and Windows
You know you’re an adult when you have a favorite window cleaner, mine just happens to be Sprayway Glass Cleaner, which you can find in any grocery store. The key to a streak less mirror is a two-part system! First spray down the mirror or window with the solution and then using a Newspaper wipe in circular motions. Then spray the window down again with the solution and using the microfiber cloth wipe horizontally and then finish up by using the dry side of the cloth to wipe vertically.
Mouthwash is a toilet cleaner?
In Arizona we experience hard water and the stains that are left on the toilet bowl are hard to remove. Instead of turning to harsh chemicals and scratchy SOS pads, grab your mouthwash! That’s right your mouthwash doubles as a great toilet bowl cleaner!
Pour approximately 1 cup of mouthwash into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Once the time is up scrub the bowl down with a toilet brush and flush. Its as easy as that!
Scrub Away the Years on Your Tile Flooring/Grout
The last thing you want to do while cleaning is getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing grout, I feel you! However, if you have an area where the grout is horrendous or that white grout you thought was a good idea is now as grey as your grout alternative here is the best homemade grout cleaner recipe that I have found. You will need 1 cup of Dawn and 1 Cup of Vinegar mixed in a spray bottle. Disclaimer: the smell is a little overwhelming. If you are pregnant or have a hard time with harsh smells, I highly recommend using a mask or opening as many windows as possible.
Once you have your mixture spray on the grout and leave for about 5 minutes. Then using a small scrub brush scrub through the grout seams and rinse off with a wet microfiber cloth. You will be surprised the difference it can make on your floors, standing showers, and even backsplashes.
We all love the look of a new kitchen! The cabinets are clean, the appliances are smudge-less, and the countertops shine. However, we all know that life happens, and new clean kitchens and bathrooms are a hot spot for dirt, dust, and messes. If you are looking to spruce up your current kitchen or bath be sure to contact us and schedule a private consultation to go over what you are looking for. Our talented design team will wow you with their designs and ideas.
As people are spending the funds they might usually be spending on traveling, many people are looking to upgrade their kitchens to get the dream kitchen they always wanted. While investing in your kitchen is always a great idea, if you want to be sure to get an ROI from your kitchen when you sell, here is the top return on investment for kitchens.
Most popular upgrades to kitchens
There are quite a few options when it comes to upgrading your kitchen. Here are the most popular kitchen upgrades currently:
- Large kitchen islands
- Quartz countertops
- Wall-to-wall cabinetry
- Multi-level islands
- Energy-efficient lighting and appliances
- Local sources upgrades
- Fashion faucets
Of course, many homeowners who have a more dated kitchen may not only be looking to upgrade the style of their kitchen but the appliances as well. Energy-efficient appliances are in abundance for kitchens, and you don’t have to sacrifice style for efficiency. For those with small budgets, even a simple coat of paint on the walls (or even the cabinets!) could do the trick, as can adding or swapping out the existing cabinet and drawer hardware. Small kitchen renovations can make a big impact!
Kitchen upgrades most likely to offer the best return on investment
An upgraded kitchen is definitely a feature that home buyers look for. As a matter of fact, 58% of buyers who purchased in the last 12 months said having their preferred style of kitchen was extremely or very important to their home-buying decision. While you may not recoup 100% of your remodeling cost, it’s one of the smartest upgrades you can do to your home for resale value. Modern, energy-efficient appliances are always high on the list. Not only do they make a kitchen appear more modern, but they’ll also actually save the homeowner (and prospective buyer down the road) money because of increased energy efficiency. Keep in mind the neighborhood you’re in. It may not make sense for the typical resale value of your house, as an example, to put in a new Viking stove.
Two upgrades that consistently return a decent ROI are cabinets and countertops. According to one study, 69% of those surveyed said they would have paid more for new appliances and 55% said they would have paid more for granite counters. Like appliances, you’ll get the best ROI if you go for good quality while keeping in mind the average home value of your neighborhood.
Stay away from trendy, over-the-top upgrades
If you know that you’ll be selling your home in the next 6 to 12 months, it may not be a good idea to go for over-the-top upgrades that you can’t truly enjoy, and the next homeowner may not find value in. High-end faucets, trendy colored appliances or expensive countertop materials may cost you much more than you’ll get in return when you sell the home. Of course, if you plan on being in the home awhile, build your dream home however it will please you! If you’re not sure what the right balance is, work with an experienced kitchen renovation professional like Arizona Interior Innovations who can help you decide.
The best return is being able to enjoy your kitchen
Kitchen renovations, even the most basic ones, can be a bit intrusive. While there are many great tips for living through a home renovation project, try to do renovations that you as the homeowner will be able to enjoy for a few years. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware might be a quick spruce up for a pending home sale, but if you invest in new cabinets, countertops, or appliances, it’s nice to enjoy those wonderful upgrades for a few years while you’re still in the home!
Finally getting the kitchen or master bathroom of your dreams is exciting. Living through a home renovation is a little bit tougher. While some people may have the luxury of exiting their home and living elsewhere while renovations are being done, most have to stay put and be around for the whole project. If you fall into the latter category, we’ve pulled together a few tips for living through a home renovation.
Get organized early
Chances are, you’re working with a renovation professional that is overseeing the whole project, especially if you have more than one portion of your house being renovated, or your remodeling is more involved to include plumbing, electrical and more. It’s a good idea to create a calendar so all the moving parts are well organized, and everyone knows what is going to happen when. While it’s not always possible to nail down an exact schedule, it’s good to know when the more intrusive work is being done, like getting that old tile jack-hammered out, so you’re not living with the noise while trying to work from home.
Consider what will be important to access during renovation
Depending on what’s getting done, you may want access to your refrigerator or washer and dryer during a renovation. If that’s possible, communicate that to your contractor early so they can work with you to accommodate that request.
Pack up the room(s) being impacted as much as possible
Workers will do their best to tape off and tarp as much as possible when renovating a room, but it’ll make your life a lot easier if you’re able to pack up and empty out any rooms being renovated as much as possible. Dust debris from a major renovation goes everywhere, and even with the most diligent workers, you’ll find dust that will need to be cleaned. Best to empty out the impacted rooms to keep that issue to a minimum.
Keep a section of your home as a sanctuary
Some homeowners want to get all renovations done at once: we applaud your enthusiasm! However, it’s a good idea during a major renovation to keep a small slice of your home completely untouched so you have a place to retreat to during the time workers are in your home. Noise, dust, and people are all a part of renovating a home. Keeping a small slice of clean and quiet will go a long way in making the process as enjoyable as possible while still being able to keep an eye on progress if you must be present during renovations.
Take pictures of the progress
It’s a good idea to take before, during, and after pictures. First, it’s exciting to see the progress! Second, if there are any issues, questions, or concerns as work is being done, keeping an eye on things with an occasional picture will help keep everyone on the same page and goes a long way in keeping communication on track.
Protect your home
Experienced home renovations specialists know what it takes to keep a home protected as possible during renovations, but it’s a good idea to do your part to help ensure your home stays protected, including covering or padding handrails and corners to protect against errant tools, covering your blinds, shutters and window treatments to keep dust to a minimum (remember, dust goes everywhere!), covering any furniture or countertops with plastic, covering your A/C vents to keep the spread of dust to a minimum, and covering high traffic areas with drop cloths or a paper or plastic cover to protect against any damage while workers go back and forth.
These are just a few tips on how to live through a home renovation to make sure your experience during the project is a good one!
Functional Home Office Spaces became a necessity in 2020 due to “Work from Home Mandates” and long quarantine periods. A year later, many companies have prolonged their working from home periods and other have done away with corporate office space all together. In response many homeowners have decided to create better workspaces or upgrade their existing arrangement. Whether the space is small, has a multiuse purpose, or is a dedicated large room here are some keys to designing a functional home office space that will keep you excited to go to work.
Plenty of Storage Space:
The Home Office is a central location to a hub of technology, piles of paperwork, and every office supply accessory imaginable. Having dedicated storage space to keep files, conceal cords, and hide the clutter creates a more productive work and headspace. Arizona’s Interior Innovations Custom cabinetry can fit your unique needs for storage and create a durable workspace built to last.
Large Work Area
Whether your work area is a dining room table, a small corner in the bedroom, or a private den your actual desktop space is important. Once the clutter is cleared and assigned its designated space your desktop should be durable and have the ability to hold more than just a laptop. Creating expandable desktops has allowed many work-from-homers to use a large space and hide it away during times of un-use. This concept has grown in popularity with homeschooling moms. The ease of creating a focused workspace for children to complete their schoolwork and then the ability to hide the mess and the clutter during afterschool hours and over the weekend has made the adjustment to homeschooling easier on a lot of families. Arizona’s Interior Innovations can help design this creative space with our dedicated team of innovative designers.
Displaying Personal Mementos
Creating an office space that features personal touches provides motivation and positive reinforcements throughout the workday. Bulletin boards featuring photos, custom shelves to hold personal books and photo frames are just a few examples of the little touches that you can add to your home office to make it a space you enjoy being in.
Flexible Sitting or Standing Availability
Research shows that sitting at your desk for long periods of time contributes to weight gain, back problems, and increase blood sugar whereas standing periodically can help reduce all of those and increase productivity. Higher desktops are one way to help with the versatility of sitting and standing for long periods of time. Meanwhile some home offices are welcoming treadmills and bikes to help with increased movement during the workday and reaching fitness goals while on the clock.
Gone are the days of long office hours in a cubicle surrounded by fluorescent lighting. Custom home offices provide a more productive workspace and add value to your home. If you are thinking of customizing your office space or looking for inspiration for a functional home office space contact Arizona’s Interior Innovations and set your appointment with one of our design experts to create your ideal office workspace.
Feeling stuck with your home renovation? Looking for some ideas to kickstart your project? Check Out our Top 5 Home Renovation Trends of 2021
I believe the old adage goes, “New Year, New You!” While self-betterment is the focus of many new year’s resolutions there also seems to be a drive to better your home or your living space. If you found yourself looking around your home this holiday season and dreaming up a new kitchen or imagining the better bathroom you are not alone! Whether you are looking for a total remodel or some ideas to update or add value to your home here are some of the home renovations trends we are seeing:
1. Fewer Cabinets, More Functional Shelves
Kitchen Renovations are moving away from custom cabinets and extra storage to more open and minimalistic. To bring down the bulky kitchen feel and open the area up to an airier atmosphere we are seeing more floating shelves used as open storage. To make up for the lack of storage, base cabinets are going deeper, or walls of cabinets are being stacked higher. Pantries are getting larger and many are being redesigned to hold storage shelves or cabinetry.
2. Large Islands That Double as Sitting Areas
As open living areas become more popular the space that is used as a Family Room, Dining Room, Kitchen Combo can seem smaller. Homeowners are making better use of the space by designing large kitchen islands that double as a main sitting area. Kitchen bars are getting wider to accommodate more sitting room and islands are growing to incorporate dining and kitchen into one.
3. Duo-Colored Kitchens
Why have one colored cabinets when you can have two…or three. A lot of homeowners are asking for custom cabinetry and doing darker wood or paint on the bottom and lighter cabinets on top. Accent islands have been rising in popularity over the last few years and now homeowners are using the accents to add dimension to their cabinetry throughout.
4. Gold Hardware
Adding hardware is a simple and easy way to update or add a pop of color without breaking the bank. Gold hardware used to be associated with the 90’s and early 2000s, but it seems gold has made a comeback. Gold Hardware Accents are rising in popularity and are highly requested for kitchens, bathrooms, and all storage.
5. Non-Traditional Shaped Mirrors
Add some pizzazz to your bathrooms by getting rid of the square standard mirrors and replacing them with a custom mirror. Custom mirrors are extremely easy to find and come in all shapes and sizes. The Circular mirror was very popular in 2020 and we can expect to see a lot more of them today. Adding a custom mirror is easy to do and very cost effective.
If you are looking for a full room remodel or just a fresh take on an old space, Arizona’s Interior Innovations is ready to help! Our talented and dedicated staff is ready to customize your plans and provide inspiring home renovation trends to keep your space updated. Start 2021 with a resolution you can keep! We can help you dream up and design your new space and keep you within a budget. Contact us today to set up your consultation and we can get started on your dream design today!
With the second round of stimulus checks on the way for many American households, some are wondering if they can use the money for some needed repairs and upgrades to their homes. Here are a few small kitchen renovations you can do with your stimulus check.
Upgrade your kitchen’s look with a backsplash
Adding a backsplash to your kitchen is a lot like a coat of paint: it doesn’t take much time, money, or effort, but the impact can be big! What’s exciting is that the latest trends in kitchen backsplashes are fun, fresh, and easy to install, while the cost remains reasonable. Here are a few of the latest backsplash options you can choose from to upgrade your kitchen’s look in no time:
- Natural stone
Depending on the material you choose, you can literally change the whole look and feel of your kitchen!
Add hardware for style and functionality
There are a surprising number of kitchen cabinets in homes around the country that have no hardware on them, forcing cooks to grab edges to pry open cabinets and drawers. Stop the madness! Adding hardware to your kitchen drawers and cabinets not only add functionality but can also add style as well, from elegance to whimsical. You can choose from looks that are more contemporary, traditional, eclectic, or contemporary, depending on your style. There is also a vast array of finish choices, such as bronze, stainless steel, pewter, or nickel. Install all handles, a mixture of handles and knobs, or all knobs, your choice! There is no wrong option when it comes to hardware! Install yourself using a template, or work with a professional specializing in interior design services that can help you choose a style, size, colors, and placement of hardware. You’ll be amazed at how different your kitchen will look afterward without spending much money at all.
Replace outdated or damaged countertops
Even the most durable countertops can get a bit worn over time, especially if you’re in an older home that still has laminate countertops. Even newer countertops like granite can become pitted over time, or perhaps you’re simply looking to update your countertops to something fresher and newer. Kitchen countertops can be surprisingly affordable depending on the material you choose and how much counter space you have. Here are a few materials that kitchen countertops can be made from:
- Ceramic tile
- Carrara marble
- Wood or butcher blocks
- Stainless steel
With all these different options, you can imagine that cost and durability will fluctuate significantly depending on what you pick. Laminates, wood, tile, granite, and Corian are on the lower end of the cost scale, while marble and other materials will cost more. To find the best countertop for your budget and lifestyle, work with a remodeling professional who can guide you through options, costs, and what will work best for your kitchen.
Having an opportunity to finally do a small kitchen renovation can be an exciting way to make good use of your stimulus check, since updating your kitchen is an investment in your home’s value. Any of these kitchen renovations can make a big difference in the style and functionality of your kitchen without breaking the bank.
Are you ready to start your kitchen renovations? Contact us at Arizona’s Interior Innovations and see how we can help you get the kitchen you always wanted!
Homeowners who have been in their home for several years may find a time when they’re faced with the decision of either remodeling to update their home with the features they want or moving to a new home that already has the features they desire. If you’re trying to decide if you should remodel your home or move, here are a few things to consider to help you make your decision.
Consider the costs
Moving can be an awfully expensive undertaking, so it makes sense to compare what it would cost to renovate your home versus moving. Renovations come with immediate, out-of-pocket expenses, whereas moving can put money in your pocket now but cost you a lot more down the line depending on what the new house needs done. Make a quick budget of what it’d cost for you to move, including moving costs, closing costs, possible required repairs that need to be done to sell your home, and compare it to what renovations may cost you. Depending on the outcome, the financial aspect alone may help you decide whether it’s better to stay or move.
What kind of changes do you want in your home?
Make a list of what kind of features you wish your current home had. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may or may not be able to do those renovations to your existing home. Want a second story in a neighborhood that only allows single stories? Chances are you’ll have to move. Looking to significantly increase the square footage of your home but don’t have the lot size to accommodate it? Again, moving may be your only option. However, if you’re looking to have a gourmet kitchen, a luxurious master bath, or a functional outdoor living space, remodeling may be the better option. Working with remodeling professionals that can come in and tell you what’s possible from a structural standpoint is a great way to find out for sure. Oftentimes, homeowners can’t envision how they could possibly get the kitchen of their dreams while a renovation company can see past the current layout of the home and know what’s possible.
Is the timing right to sell your current home?
With current conditions, many people are hesitant to buy or sell a home. As a seller, you may not want people outside your protected circle to enter your home out of health concerns for your household. Buyers may not be interested in buying a home if they can’t look at it themselves multiple times, and really see all the features of the home. On top of health concerns, the economics might be challenging at the moment for a move. Will your house sell? How is the inventory in the neighborhood you’d like to move to? If it’s limited, you may end up in a bidding war and paying more than you want to for a home simply to get that dream kitchen you always wanted. Knowing the market can help you decide to whether to stay and renovate or move.
Consider how you feel about your neighborhood
If you’ve lived in your home for some time now, chances are you’ve developed strong feelings about your neighborhood. Renovating your current home will allow you to stay in the neighborhood you’ve come to love, whereas relocating will put you in an entirely new community most likely. Understanding how emotionally attached you are to your neighborhood and neighbors can help you decide what to do.
How flexible are you in getting what you want?
With the real estate market fairly hot right now in Arizona, chances are your choices might be somewhat limited. Understand that you may not be able to get the exact home you want. Remodeling, on the other hand, puts the control in your hands. As long as your budget and house can accommodate it, you can get the kitchen or bath you want without having to settle.
Deciding whether to stay and renovate your existing home or find your ideal home to move to is a big decision. Use these guidelines to determine if you should remodel your home or move to get the house you want.
It might be a bit hard to think about needing a fireplace when we’ve barely gotten out of the 100 degrees plus weather, but fireplaces are nice to have in Arizona homes when the days and nights start to get chilly. Here are a few fireplace options to consider during a remodel, or if you’re looking to add something fresh and new to your home.
Fireplace options to consider
There was a time not too long ago when your choice of fireplaces in your home was wood-burning but not anymore! There are so many options now, it’s exciting to see all the choices. Here are your three basic choices for fireplaces:
- Wood burning
- Gas log
- Gas insert
We’ve provided a brief description of each to help you decide what might work best for you during a remodel.
Wood burning fireplaces
Wood burning fireplaces are the most traditional type of fireplace, using wood as its source of fuel. They give off a lot of heat, are inexpensive, and offer an ambiance that’s hard to replicate with other types of fireplaces. You can change up your fireplace by using different types of woods for different scents in the house. It’s also a great standby should your power go out in your home! There are a few potential drawbacks to wood-burning fireplaces. First, there are many days in Arizona that are no-burn days, which means you can’t use your fireplace on that day, no matter how cold it is. Second, these types of fireplaces can be messy when you’re dealing with embers to clean up. Third, there is some maintenance when it comes to your flue; keeping it clean and unobstructed is paramount. And of course, there is a level of fire danger if you don’t use a screen to keep those embers in the fireplace.
Gas log fireplaces
Gas logs offer the ambiance and warmth of a wood-burning fire but without the mess of embers, etc. Gas logs are usually made up of ceramic but look like wood. Gas logs are a great option if you don’t want to deal with the mess of real embers, chopping and hauling wood, or the maintenance of a fireplace flue. You’re also not restricted by no-burn days.
Gas insert fireplaces
Gas inserts are an insert that is installed into an already-existing fireplace. It requires little, if any, construction because it is made to fit into any opening. Inserts are designed to replace wood fireplaces for a cleaner alternative. They don’t always give off the heat of a real fireplace, and of course, you won’t get that nice, cozy smell of real burning wood but again, no mess and little fuss.
Electric fireplaces are becoming extremely popular for their style, functionality, and ease of maintenance. You can choose from a linear or a traditional style fireplace. An electric fireplace is an electric heater that is created to look like a fireplace burning coal or wood. When renovating a home, people often opt to replace their conventional fireplace with an electric one because of the various benefits they have to offer such as no fumes, low maintenance, and is quite easy to clean. They are a great, stylish, and safe choice for your home and come in a variety of styles.
Taking your fireplace style a step further
Several of the above options allow for extra customization, including clear or smoked glass fronts, custom framing in glass, tile, or other materials, or swapping out the plain glass for colored fire glass for an extra level of elegance. Depending on the style of the fireplace you choose, adding a mantel can make your fireplace the focal point of the room, whether it’s a living room, dining room, or master bedroom.
If you’re looking to add a fireplace to your home, or perhaps upgrading your existing fireplace, it’s a good idea to chat with a remodeling professional that can advise you on what your best options are. Depending on your choice, you’ll have to consider access to an electrical outlet, gas line, or ample ventilation.
Homeowners have a dizzying array of materials to choose from when it comes to kitchen countertops. What’s the best way to choose the countertop that’s right for you? We’ve pulled together some helpful information on kitchen countertop materials and how to pick the best one for your dream kitchen.
There are a few tried and true countertop options to choose from for your kitchen, or you can try something different to give your kitchen a unique twist. Here are a few material options that you can choose from:
Granite – the top choice in countertops, and always available in a variety of shades to get just the right color. We are aware that no two pieces are exactly the same so it’s a good idea to lay your eyes on the piece you’ll be using to get what you want. Granite is available in two finishes: polished (shiny) or honed (soft and matte). They’re both equally durable so finish is a matter of taste. Costs depend on many variables, including color, finish, and origin of the stone.
Other natural stone materials – other stone options like marble, limestone, and soapstone, are softer than granite and require delicate use and greater care. All stone countertops must be sealed periodically. These can give your kitchen a unique, elegant look, but know you’ll likely pay more and have more upkeep, so consider that when choosing any of these.
Engineered stone countertops – these come in a wider variety of colors than natural stone countertops and are easy maintain. Engineered stone costs about the same as granite. Homeowners opt for this countertop material for its durability and ease of maintenance.
Concrete countertops – these are a fun, new trend and can be customized with pigments to get the exact color you want. Concrete countertops are available in several different finishes: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate) and pressed (a tool is used to reveal marblelike veining). These take more maintenance and extreme or abrupt changes in temperature may cause concrete to warp or curl. They’re also not very forgiving if damp sponges or towels are left on the counter; discoloration is common if not careful and acidic spills may etch the surface.
Wood countertops – like butcher block, wood countertops add warmth to a kitchen and makes virtually your whole kitchen counter a cutting board. They are easy to clean and any scratches can be sanded out. Water damages butcher block, so wood countertops must be oiled frequently to seal the surface. Other than that, they don’t require much maintenance if handled with care.
Laminate – this material has been around for years and is the most affordable countertop material on the market. It comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. Easy to maintain, laminate can scorch if a hot pan touches the surface and can scratch fairly easily, so some care needs to be given to these countertops.
How to choose your ideal countertop
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a countertop:
Almost all the above material choices have pros and cons in each area, so it really is a personal preference. If maintenance is a big concern, stay away from high maintenance materials like natural stone and concrete. If price point is a concern, you can’t go wrong with laminate. Here are five questions to ask yourself to determine what kitchen countertop will work for you:
- How will you use your countertops? Are they workhorses or display areas?
- How much maintenance are you willing to do? Don’t get something you won’t keep up.
- What are your kitchen requirements? How much countertop material will you need?
- What is your budget? Determine a range and stick to it.
- What materials do you love? You don’t want to settle for something that’s “meh”.
The best way to determine what’s right for your décor and lifestyle is to work with a professional kitchen remodeling company that can guide you through the pros and cons, and help align your countertop choice with the overall vision of your kitchen.