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Thursday, November 8, 2018

I Gotta Be Me!

Individuality. That is the word for the coming seasons, for describing what is "IN".
In fashion, in home decor, in retail sales, and in lifestyles in general, the trend is to "Do yo' thing, honey" in the words of Aretha. We have by and large become a nation of non-conformists. We are encouraged to follow our own star, be true to ourselves, to honor what we are.
Thus, it follows that our homes will be a reflection of what we are. Conservative, colorful, playful, or serene, the environment we create to live in is certainly representative of our personality. And this is more and more encouraged in present times. There was a time when we were all much more homogeneous: we decorated alike, we dressed alike, we ate alike. But there is so much more diversity now, and we have learned so much from others' way of living, of dressing, of cooking, so it just naturally follows that we would branch out, try new things, experiment with new colors, new foods, new textures. And our lives have been enriched. Where would we be without pizza, tacos, or French fries?
The current "flow" (because it is so much more than a trend) is to be an individual. We encourage this when you come into our showroom. How boring would it be (and how unnecessary would we be?) if everyone came in and wanted the exact same floors, the exact same bathroom design, or the exact same kitchen remodel? How much fun it is to help a customer plan a new design in their bathroom, picking tiles and designs, and making it all work together! And helping you focus on what you like and don't like! Sometimes it is our job to simply find the physical interpretation of what you see in your mind. Sometimes it is our job to fine tune the whole picture. And sometimes it is our job to pull you back from the brink of unreality, because no, a bathroom that is 60 square feet can simply not have more than 6 different tile patterns, a two-person shower, a tub, a sauna, and a 10-foot vanity, and all for $5,000!
Bold colors, tribal and ethnic patterns, and hand crafted, artisan goods are IN. Live plants are IN. Comfort is definitely IN. (New fashion lines are being referred to as Easy wear!) We are seeing lots of big patterns in tile, and in carpets and rugs. Statement walls and ceilings are a coming thing- paint them or wallpaper them or floor them- why live with boring white on a big percentage of the surfaces that surround you? Go BIG! Here in the south we have painted porch ceilings blue forever, so blue ceilings are nothing new for us. How about purple? Or patterned? You know, it's only paint! If you don't love it, it can be repainted!

And speaking of going big- wide planks are still gaining in popularity. People are loving matte finishes on their wood floors too, and learning that they need less maintenance than glossy floors. We have several big beautiful wood floors that we just love! The new Tuscany Collection from Palmetto Road, the Hand Crafted line from Somerset, and the new Fabrica woods are all just gorgeous- come in and see them!
The RevWood Plus floors are simply unbelievable! 
Waterproof Laminates, and you would swear they are wood! You must see them- they are selling like crazy, because they solve all the big problems- dogs, kids, messy husbands...
For those of you who still love sheet vinyl (count me in) we have a new line by BeauFlor called BlackTex that is stunning! The visuals are very different than any sheet vinyl you have ever seen- really amazing! I am hoping for a resurgence of sheet vinyl-easiest to care for surface ever. And about as moisture resistant as a floor can possibly be.

Regardless of what you love, we are here to help you find and achieve it. Come by today and challenge us!

For Ideas and Inspiration
We find most of our clients are very visual---it is so much easier to describe what we like with picture than with words. The internet offers a lot of tools to help with this, and Enhance Floors & More participates in many. We post pictures of recent installations on our Facebook page and on Instagram. You can get lots of inspiration on Houzz ; be sure to bring your tablet with you so you can show us your Ideabooks, so we can see what you love. And for those of you that use Pinterest, there are lots of great pictures posted on our boards that are sure to inspire you. Or you can simply google "gray carpet in living room" for images that will help you visualize how a product will look in a large area. And don't forget about Room Visualizers---many products on our website offer the option to "see in my room." You first select a specific product, style and color, then upload a picture of YOUR room, and magically, you can view the product you like in your room. Be sure to take advantage of these helpful tools that will make your decision making much easier!

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
Teresa in Sandy Springs writes:

"They installed laminate flooring for me. It was a positive experience. The thing that I liked better about them than some other places is before the floor, the process of how the folks in the showroom would help me, they listened to what I wanted to do. I have pets, I really wanted wood. They steered me in the direction with my big dogs and let me take samples home and try them out, so I liked that. That was my favorite part. And the floors turned out beautiful!"

Thank you, Teresa. We really try to consult with you so that you select the right product for your lifestyle. Let us know when you are ready to do the bedrooms.

How Much Does It Cost?
Laminates have been mentioned in this newsletter a couple of times already.  A few years ago, the experts were predicting their demise. As Mark Twain said quite a few years ago, "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."  Good quality laminate is still quite popular. To many people, the depth, texture, and realism of laminates is better visually than luxury vinyl (today's hot flooring category) and laminate is more scratch resistant than wood and vinyl.  And it is very affordable, too. We recently installed a master bedroom and guest bedroom plus closets (406 square feet) in a higher end laminate for $2500. This included removal of the existing carpet and pad, furniture moving, new shoemold and transition pieces.  Laminates are a "floating" installation, so you should always expect some floor prep/leveling to be needed, but we are experts at it and do what is needed to give you a quality installation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Don't Fall Behind This Fall

Image result for fall front door
This year autumn has been rather elusive, hasn't it?  Record setting highs in September, mild mornings and warm evenings, no fall color yet.....but that's all changing! Cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours have arrived, and now our thoughts turn to things like bonfires, sweaters, and cuddly blankets.  And the holidays. First Halloween (next week!!!) Then Thanksgiving.  After that Christmas and New Year's.  The whirlwind begins!

If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends this year, advanced planning is a must. Don't let a long Thanksgiving to-do list overwhelm you at the last minute; here are some things to do this week to keep your to-do list under control.

Look for sales at the grocery store and stock up on staple items like paper products and decorations. Purchase some inexpensive toys for the kids in your family (there are some great buys at the dollar store!) to help calm the commotion on Thanksgiving Day.

Assess all your cooking and serving equipment. Do you have enough serving spoons, bowls, pot holders, trivets, etc.? Buy or borrow what you'll need on Thanksgiving Day.

Related imageCreate your menu, make a master grocery list and print it out. Keep in mind the amount of cooking surfaces that you have and cooking times when planning your menu. Plan a few dishes that can be made ahead of time. If any of your guests are bringing food, double check or assign food dishes during the next step.

Create your guest list for Thanksgiving dinner. Check with your invitees to find out if they are bringing guests with them and what food (if any) that everyone is bringing.

Survey your home for any needed minor repairs.

If you'll be having overnight guests during Thanksgiving, inspect your guest room and other guest accommodations to make sure you have enough pillows, blankets, etc.

Clean your house from top to bottom. Wash the serving platters, china and polish the silver. Buy a few live holiday plants and give your houseplants a little TLC.

If you plan to have any food catered or prepared elsewhere for pick-up, place your orders this week.
Pull out and inspect all linens and guest towels that will be in use on Thanksgiving. Launder, press or dry clean if needed.

Prepare any food that can be frozen.

Sharpen all knives. Purge the refrigerator. Place a new bag in the vacuum cleaner and charge the battery on the hand vacuum. Keep your home de-cluttered.

Stock up the beverages you'll be serving and select the music you'll be playing.

Purchase inexpensive plastic food containers for leftover food or for your guests to take food home in.  These are just a few things you can be doing now to get a jump on the busy holiday season.

We Need Your Help
Last year, thanks to your votes, we won Atlanta's Best Place to Shop for Flooring. It's time to vote again and we would really appreciate your vote so that don't relinquish our "crown"!
Here's the link and the quick way to vote for us.  You can vote in as many categories as you wish.
Click here to vote.  We are under Design and D├ęcor and are category #32 Best Flooring Store/Company.  Type in Enhance Floors and More, then go to the end and submit.

You do not need to give any personal information and you can vote every 24 hours until October 31.  

Thank you for taking a quick moment out of your busy day to vote for us!

Design Tip
Swap out your spring/summer rugs (indoors and outdoors) for a patterned rug in darker fall colors-oranges, reds, browns, and purples. It will instantly make the room feel richer and bold.

How Much Does It Cost?
We just warmed up a basement with new carpet, just in time for the family to visit for the holidays.  This client in Alpharetta has a large basement with a great room and bedroom and installed a very plush Lexmark carpet throughout.  The cost was $4200 for 947 square feet of new carpet and padding. It's now an inviting and comfortable space!
I Was FLOORED By Enhance
We just completed some tile work for Maria in Atlanta, and she posted this review on Facebook:  "Enhance Floors is the most outstanding company EVER! Professional, detail oriented, outstanding. My only complaint is I wish I had more flooring projects! I have had two projects that Enhance Floor has done and wish I had more."

Thank you, Maria! We appreciate the opportunity to complete all of your flooring projects.  Enjoy your beautiful home!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Let's start with the good.  You are invited to our fun and fabulous Fall Open House!  It's Tuesday October 16 from 4 til7 pm. Enjoy chili with all the fixings (you can help judge the chili cook-off!), seasonal beverages, see all the great new flooring options and meet with our Vendor Reps to learn more. 

Plus, if you bring 5 items for our Must Ministries Donation Bin you get to spin the wheel to win a great prize, like a restaurant gift card or an area rug. Our events are always lots of fun. Please put this on your calendar and plan on joining us.

Now the bad.  Tariffs. Your first thought is probably no big deal, they don't really affect you.  Wrong. On Monday, September 24, 10 percent tariffs were assessed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.  Items include networkrouters, computer components, pork and other agricultural goods, a variety of fish including tilapia and some shellfish, many processed foods, chemicals, plastics, leather, wood and wood products, paper, textiles including raw wool and cotton, certain electrical equipment and appliances including refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and air conditioners, parts for autos, trucks and agricultural equipment, building blocks and bricks, even dog leashes, collars, muzzles and harnesses.  And flooring. Hundreds and hundreds of flooring products are made in and imported from China: luxury vinyl, hardwood floors (primarily engineered), ceramic tile, and laminates. The price increase has been pretty much instantaneous.
Now for the ugly.  The tariffs will go up another 15% the first of the year, making the tariff a total of 25%.  That is a lot of money. Here's an example of how the pricing has changed and will change:

COREtec Plus HD was previously $5.20 per square foot for the product.  It is now $5.75. (Our price for basic installation of $2.00 per square foot is unchanged.)  As of the first of the year it will be $6.55. That's a big increase!

We won't make this a political debate.  Even economists disagree on the long-term impact of tariffs.  Good, bad, we don't know. We just know that it has happened. So---if you want new floors, and the product you want is imported from China, it is more expensive today than it was two weeks ago. And if you don't make your purchase by the end of the year, it will be even more expensive.

You can also make it a point to buy only made in the USA items.  The pricing will be much more stable on domestically produced products.  Ask your Enhance Design Consultant to show you our Made in the USA products as you research new flooring options for your home.

Let's end on a good---the vast majority of carpet is domestically produced and is not impacted by the tariffs.  When you purchase new carpet, not only is it made in the USA, it is almost certainly made in Georgia!  Fun fact:  Dalton is considered the Carpet Capital of the World.

Design Tip
There are so many ways to decorate your home in a tasteful and festive way for fall. Pumpkins, gourds, fall foliage, and pine cones are a handful of popular themes that can serve asinspiration. You can mix all of these elements together across your mantle or you can stagger them artfully down your front steps. You can make a fall wreath out of miniature pumpkins. Use all cream for a more modern look or brightly colored orange for more Halloween-centric curb appeal. Or maybe a garland made out of oversize pine cones that incorporates fresh magnolia or greenery secured with florist wire. When decorating for fall, it is best to get the most bang for your buck and pick one look that will carry you through the tailgateHalloween, and Thanksgiving seasons. There's no need to be too holiday specific.

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
Here's what Camille in Roswell tells us about her recent installation: "Enhance Floors was professional and on time, and they did excellent work. It was a really great job. They did what they said they were going to do when they said they would do it, and they cleaned up afterward. We have pets, and there were no issues with keeping doors closed. They were just very reliable and kept everything suited for us. They are clearly an A+. I'd use them again in a heartbeat."

Thanks, Camille, for taking the time to write a review.  We hope you are enjoying your new laminate floors.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Tips To Get Top Dollar

Bathrooms pretty much follow along the guidelines ofkitchens:  refresh, upgrade, or renovate. Bathroom remodels can range anywhere from around $5,000 for a simple update, up to $45,000 to $50,000 for a truly splendid spa bath with lots of special touches. Again, we strongly recommend keeping it reasonable with a few updates if your goal is to sell. Re-tiling the shower, painting or replacing the vanity, new lighting, and maybe a new frameless glass door would make a big difference.
So. This summer you watched houses in your neighborhood go on the market and wondered if it was time to do the same. Some sold as if they were under priced by thousands, and some just sat all summer. What makes one house sell while another doesn't? Well, sometimes it's just the luck of the draw. Sometimes it's the first impression. Sometimes, it is indeed, the price.

But sometimes, there are things that you can do to make your house for sale look better and get you a better price than the other houses for sale in your area. Here is some industry information on what to do, what NOT to do, and how 
much to spend if you do it:

~~Paint in neutral colors
~~Install new flooring
~~Update bathrooms
~~Improve landscaping
~~Remodel the kitchen

A kitchen remodel may seem daunting, but you may not necessarily need to gut the whole thing and start from scratch. If the kitchen is basically in good shape, and just a little dated, you may be able to do a minor remodel, or a "refresh". This may include painting your cabinets, new hardware and plumbing fixtures, new flooring, new backsplash, and/or new countertops. Doing most of these could cost around $10,000 to $15,000.

A more significant remodel may include the previously mentioned items and new lighting, as well as updating some or all of your appliances, and would probably drive your cost up to $15,000 or $25,000, depending on some of your choices of materials. With this level of upgrade, you would not be changing the footprint of the room or installing new cabinets.

A complete renovation would include new cabinetry, new lighting, new floors, new countertops, new backsplash, new EVERYTHING, and may involve a change of footprint. Depending again on materials chosen, this type of major remodel could run as high as $75,000 to $100,000, but usually finishes up closer to the $50,000---$70,000 mark.  Unless your kitchen is just in really awful condition, we would never recommend a complete renovation in order to sell your home. Experts say that spending this amount of money nets a smaller return on investment. So, we would encourage and advise you to just refresh your kitchen to make it more attractive to potential buyers, and let them live with it and decide what big changes they want to make.

Painting in a neutral color seems like a no-brainer, but if you have ever watched HGTV, you know that people will put some crazy colors on their walls! It seems like it is mostly in children's bedrooms, and it is understandable, but when you are putting the house on the market, Junior may need to live with a nice greige for a while.  When choosing a wall color, just choose a cream, light beige, or grey that works with your floors.

When your floors need replacing in order for the house to look its' best and bring you the best return, look at what other homes in your area have. If it is a neighborhood where most have wood floors, then by all means, install wood floors. Make them a medium brown, not shiny, and 3 ¼ to 5 inches wide. Don't choose what you love.  Choose what will sell!

This is something we struggle with occasionally-- customers come in to make a purchase to update the home so that it can be put on the market, and they inevitably want to pick what they like. We try to keep them focused on the point that, bluntly, it doesn't matter what they like, but that their choices need to be totally generic, and appeal to the most people.

We guide our customers to choose a less expensive carpet to put the house on the market unless the house is a million-dollar stunner. Again, chances are the new owners will want to customize the home and make it their own, so why spend more than necessary on carpet that will probably not be in place very long?

There are a few DON'TS that we need to mention here-- several of them reiterate points we have already made:
~~Don't over personalize when you are making improvements.

~~Don't over improve-- don't spend $75,000 on a Chef's kitchen for a $300,000 house. You will never recoup the investment.

~~Don't install a pool or an outdoor kitchen.

~~Don't forget to ask the contractors you interview the following:
Are you licensed? Can you provide a current Certificate ofInsurance? OK with you checking reviews and ratings with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, etc.? Can you provide references that you can speak with, not just quotes on a sheet of paper?

The answer to all of these should be YES! IF the answer to any of these is "No", that is a red flag-- keep looking for another contractor. And if he can start immediately, that is usually a bad sign. Business is booming, and good people have plenty of work. If someone is not busy, you need to wonder why--

So, you want to put your house on the market?  You have a lot to do! Let's get started!

Design Tip
Here are some popular neutral paint color choices for you to consider:
--Sherwin Williams
Accessible Beige
Aloof Gray
Barcelona Beige
Canvas Tan
Essential Gray
Kilim Beige
Passive Gray
Popular Gray
Repose Gray
Requisite Gray
Sedate Gray
Silver Strand

--Benjamin Moore
Bennington Gray
Grant Beige
Lenox Tan
Manchester Tan
Stone House

How Much Does It Cost?
From Home, the cost to paint an average size room (10 x 12) ranges from $380-$790, not including ceilings, trim or cost of the paint. DIY, this can cost between $200-$300.

I Was Floored by Enhance
Suzanne in Marietta is getting her house ready to sell, and we just replaced her carpeting.  Here's what she says about the experience: "I love my new carpet -- had the WHOLE house done at once! The people at Enhance did their best to expedite my installation because I had company coming. I experienced good customer service from beginning to end, and the installation crew rocked it!"
Thank you, Suzanne, we hope you get your house sold quickly for top dollar!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Should You Have Carpet If You Have Allergies?

Many people believe that if you have allergies you should get rid of all of your carpet.  It actually depends on what you are allergic to. Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air) including:~~Dust mites are microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They're the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

~~Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often called hay fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. 

~~Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and outside in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

~~Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the salivagets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn't cleaned.
Most carpet sold today is made from harmless materials like polyester and nylon, the same stuff clothes and bags are made from. These synthetic blends are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens, in part because they are nonorganic and offer an inhospitable climate. For example, mold has nothing to eat and particulate (pollen, dander, etc.) can be easily vacuumed.  Wool should be avoided because allergens and mold can thrive in it. Regardless of material, avoid shag -- the shorter the strands, the fewer places the particles can go. Also choose carpet with tightly woven strands for the same reason.

But no matter which carpet type you choose, dust, pollen and other allergy-aggravators are still in there, so get rid of them. Vacuum regularly and have your carpets professionally cleaned (hot water extraction) on a regular basis.  Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps allergens; some vacuums are even equipped with them.

Allergens sink into the carpet and out of the air, but even with frequent vacuuming, they're still down there. Hard floor coverings offer no haven for allergens -- they just sit on the surface. They're easier to clean than carpets -- a simple sweep and vacuum quickly gets rid of allergens.  If you opt out of carpet, however, note that hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning. If not maintained, the result will be a dusty, sneezy environment that is inferior to the allergen-trapping properties of a carpet-covered room.

In short, if you want to sweep/vacuum more frequently, a solid surface may be better. But, if you aren't able to maintain the flooring almost daily, carpet may actually serve you better.
But maybe you have chemical allergies.  There are carpets that are low/no VOC. First, you need to know exactly what chemical(s) you are allergic to.  It is usually the latex that is used in carpet construction that a client is allergic to. Air.o by Mohawk has no VOCs and is latex free.  SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets are made with Dupont Sorona which is OEKO-TEX® certified free from harmful substances. The SmartStrand fiber is also made in part with plant-based materials.  A wool carpet with a woven (axminster) backing is also extremely low in VOCs, as there is no secondary backing and wool is a proven air purifier. A synthetic fiber pad or a rubber waffled pad is usually your best choice for carpet cushion when VOCs are a concern.

Most clients need assistance choosing the best product for their situation.  Enhance Floors & More Design Consultants are trained in the questions to ask to guide you to the right product for your home.  Come see us today!

Design Tip-Transitioning Into Fall
It is still late August, and we just enjoyed a brief moment of cooler weather, and it was wonderful! The kids are all back in school, so our thoughts are turning to making some changes in our homes: putting away all the swim paraphernalia, finding your fire bowl, and making the house generally feel a little more "Fallish."

Image result for fall decor dried hydrangeaThere are several small steps you can take that won't scream autumn, but will start to welcome the season. Start bybringing some natural elements inside-- dried hydrangeas if you have those in the yard, interesting small branches and berries, acorns if you can find some (or were smart enough to snag a few last year and put them away).
Use some of those same items to put together a fall wreath for the front door or a tabletop bouquet. Create a display of acorns, pine cones, pretty leaves, and maybe small pumpkins. You can definitely find artificial ones at the crafts store if there are none in your yard or market.

Next, add a few layering pieces in the house-- a cozy throw on the sofa or over the foot of the bed. Other ways to bring in texture and warmer colors are with linens, pillows, dish towels, and place mats. Little touches in the main rooms of your home can add up to a big "feel" in the whole house! Be sure to also include a small number of metallic accents and deep, saturated color touches.

The last and most all-encompassing element to add is something that evokes the smells of Autumn. Candles, candle warmers, pot pourri, or wall plug-ins-- make them spicy and fruity. Think cinnamon, apples, that fall leaf smell. Not too floral or minty. And just a hint of a scent, not too much. But remember, it's still too early to buy that turkey!

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker---a tribute to the contributions and achievements of our workforce.  We will be open Saturday, September 1 from 10 until 5. We will then be closed Sunday and Monday.  Enjoy your well deserved holiday!

You Don't Have To Lift A Finger
I listen to a radio commercial most mornings as I drive into work that brags about when this shop-at-home flooring dealer  installs your new floor, you don't have to lift a finger.  That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's not entirely accurate. Per their website: All you have to do is move your nick-nacks.  What does that really involve?

You will need to move small items (decorative items, lamps, plants, TVs, DVD players, and fragile, irreplaceable and/or sentimental items) out of the area being done.  Please clear out closet floors. Strip beds.  Hallways that have hanging or breakable items should be cleared.  Remove any pictures andwall decorations in the area being done, as well as in adjacent areas and rooms beneath the room being covered.  Remove light globes or fluorescent tubes in the areas below the rooms
we are working in.  (Much of our work requires hammering and these items may be jarred and break from the vibration.) If you have a grandfather clock, pool table, piano, organ, or aquarium that requires special handling, please make arrangements to have them moved before the installers arrive. Wall units and entertainment units should be emptied and separated if they are bolted together.  We do not move computers, televisions, stereo systems, and similar items. If the china cabinet or hutch is to be moved, please remove all dishes, crystal, etc.  

Flooring installers are prepared to move furniture, not empty out a bookcase filled with books or unload your china cabinet so that the new flooring can be installed.  Yes, there is prep work that you will need to do prior to your installation. We will tell you what you need to do to get ready, and not surprise you the day of installation by telling you what you must hurridly do before we can get started.  

I Was Floored by Enhance
Stephanie in Roswell writes:
"We used Enhance Floors nine years ago to put hardwood floors in our home. Most recently, they did granite countertops and a backsplash for us. They were on time and cleaned up, and I would say they are excellent."
Thank you, Stephanie.  We are very grateful for our repeat clients.  Enjoy your "new" kitchen!

How Much Does It Cost?
We recently installed a new quartz countertop in a smallish Marietta kitchen with a simple subway tile backsplash for a little less than $4400 for both.  We installed new luxury vinyl floors in the kitchen last year, and the cabinets still looked great---the new countertop and backsplash truly made our clients kitchen look brand new!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Holidays Are Just Around The Corner

No, we are not confused, and that was not a typo. Believe it or not, if you are thinking of making any changes to your home anytime soon, and want them finished before the holidays--NOW is the time to act! Our installation calendar is already filling up for August and September. We understand, it is hard to think in those terms when it is 90 degrees outside. We're still thinking swimming pools, and the TV is full of commercials for Back to School Savings.

Before you know it, Labor Day will have come and gone, and you will be buying Halloween candy. And just. like. that. Thanksgiving! The whole family will be there, gathered in your living room. There you are in your kitchen, pulling that big perfectly browned turkey out of the oven. And you will be so proud and happy that your home is so beautiful and looking its' best, because you thought ahead to call us in August and get started on that new wood floor.  And countertop.  And backsplash. What a perfect moment! Kudos to you!

Flooring and remodeling are not changes that happen overnight. There are so many choices to be made. You put a lot of thought and effort, and hopefully research, into making these decisions. They are big ticket items, and disruptive to your life, so a mistake is a very big deal. We make an extra effort to educate you on your choices when you are here at Enhance.

Our skilled installation teams are wonderful. We only hire the best, men who we have worked with us for years, and who know how to maintain our high levels of quality. The real estate market is booming, and the down side of that is that there is a scarcity of qualified service contractors.  For our customers, that unfortunately means a wait to have their remodeling done, or their new floors installed. And that is true for most reputable companies right now. If you do speak with a contractor who is available immediately, that should raise a red flag. Why aren't they busy?

Please Be Careful
And speaking of raising flags- our children are all back in school as of this week. I don't know about you, but I had definitely gotten used to not having to stop for the school buses, or slow down for the school zones. Traffic has really increased this week. Plan accordingly-- allow more time for your commute, and be sure to watch out for the buses! Here are the rules:

It's Crazy How Time Flies By

And yes, school is back in, but while the weather is still cooperating, make the most of these last few beautiful hot days of summer. Go to the pool, go on the picnic, take that last weekend getaway. Because soon enough, the fun will be over, and the mornings will be frosty again. We'll be roasting marshmallows and carving pumpkins before you know it!
Our schedule is filling up with customers who are making plans and getting their flooring and remodeling projects started now. Call us, and let's get your project started!
Are you hoping to get new carpet in before the in-laws come to visit? That is certainly do-able.  We have some beautiful new styles just introduced by Karastan, and this month, Karastan is offering an Instant Rebate on all their SmartStrand carpets.  .33 cents of each square foot of carpet!

If you have been thinking about putting in new hardwoods, we have some wonderful looks for you, as well as some wonderful
pricing. And we have recently added new wood lines by Anderson Tuftex, U S Floors, and Fabrica.  All very different, and all gorgeous! The Fabrica line includes patterned wood floors, and some great wall treatments, as well. Come in and let us show them off! And in case you're concerned, there is still time to have them installed before the Holidays, so don't worry, but don't wait!

And if you're wondering when our next event is- stay tuned! Announcement coming soon ☺ Our events are always fun and loaded with good food, cold drinks, and great prizes!

Design Tip
What is NEW and popping up everywhere? Hexagons! Referred to as Nature's Perfect Shape, we are seeing this shape on everything in design--floor tiles, wall tiles, on vinyl, in porcelain deco tiles for the shower and bath. So, whether you call it honeycomb, beehive, or hex---plan to incorporate it in your next design project!

How Much Does It Cost?
A recent total kitchen makeover in Smyrna featured new cabinets, new lighting, and new counter tops. The customer had beautiful wood floors which did not need to be replaced.
The total of $42,000 included all new KitchenCraft cabinets with under cabinet lighting, a whole new pantry with pullouts, Quartz countertops, and a glass backsplash. The customer is thrilled with her gorgeous new kitchen!  Look for more pictures on our Facebook page and on Instagram and get inspired.

I Was Floored by Enhance
Nancy in Roswell tells us:
"Enhance did a great job. We've had them several times. They're very good, and they follow up. We were very pleased. The first time they carpeted our whole downstairs and did a good job. But the second time was much more extensive. They totally redid a bathroom and painted the bedroom and re-carpeted the floor and tiled the bath. We had an old bathtub; they had to rip out the bathtub. They put in a beautiful walk-in shower. We'd had a hole in the floor where we used to put dirty clothes through like a chute, they had to go in and fix that, and they had to move the toilet over. It was an extensive job, and it was beautiful. Great job. Very pleased."

Thank you, Nancy! And Thank you for being a repeat client!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Have A Better Summer

Kitchens Are Made For Bringing Families Together
Thanksgiving is less than three months away.  Can you believe it? Time flies! Is your entire family coming to your house this year?  And if so---is your kitchen ready for them all? If you are ready for a new kitchen, NOW is the time to get started.
A kitchen makeover can be as easy and affordable as painting your existing cabinets, updating your cabinet hardware (knobs and pulls), and adding new flooring, countertops, and a custom backsplash.  Or as complex and expensive as a complete remodel: new design, cabinets, appliances . . . .a brand new kitchen! We can assist you with either scenario.
To help you get started, here are some of the most common questions our clients ask about Kitchen Makeovers.

Will a kitchen remodel add value to my home?
Breathing new life into an outdated or inefficient kitchen can be the smartest money a homeowner spends. Kitchen remodels deliver more bang for the buck than any other home project, offering 80-85 percent return on investment. When planning your kitchen redo, the first step is setting a budget.

What is the average cost of a kitchen remodel?
REMODELING Magazine does an extensive survey every year of recent kitchen remodels in Atlanta.  In 2017, a minor kitchen remodel averaged $21,230.  A major kitchen remodel was $64,074. An upscale kitchen renovation averaged $127,292.  These are all-inclusive prices, including new appliances, countertops, sink and faucet, flooring and paint. What is the distinction between a minor and major kitchen remodel? Primarily what is done with the cabinets.   A major kitchen remodel includes new cabinets. A minor remodel does not include changing the cabinet boxes, only refinishing the cabinets, or painting the existing cabinets.  

One of the biggest cost drivers for a kitchen remodel is structural issues. Changing the footprint of your kitchen in any way will bump up your budget. Moving the kitchen or building an addition involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring.   Opening up to another room could require structural work and unforeseen costs if load-bearing walls are involved. Even relocating the sink or range would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines.

Every remodeling project is unique, and costs vary depending on the homeowner's budget, tastes, and priorities.  In general, however, materials account for 80 percent of the budget, while labor costs represent 20 percent. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the largest expense in a kitchen remodel is cabinetry, which can 
account for up to 50 percent of the budget. After labor, appliances are the next biggest expense, eating up about 15 percent of the budget. Countertops are about 10 percent, and flooring makes up 7 percent. The smallest expenses, at about 5 percent each, are lighting, plumbing fixtures, doors and windows, and walls and ceilings.  Understanding that there are no standard costs for a remodel -- every home is unique because of its age, layout and construction type -- will help you be more realistic about the potential costs of your project.
What are some trends in kitchen design?
~Today's kitchen looks less like the mechanized, high-tech kitchen of the Jetsons and more like your Grandma's kitchen--homier, more organic, less angular, like a comfy sitting room where you happen to cook

~Emerging trends include wall-mounted flat screen televisions in the kitchen, induction and steam cooking, more color, and French door ovens

~Social kitchens with adequate and comfortable seating

~Open floor plans, kitchens that are open to the family room

~Cabinets installed all the way up to the ceiling

~Black stainless steel appliances (white appliances are "out")

~Cabinets that look like furniture

~Farmhouse kitchens featuring natural materials, lots of wood (usually rustic), unpretentious design, and cooking spaces that can accommodate large meals

~Clean lines and simple designs

~Touch activated faucets, pull-out faucets

~White and grey are the most popular colors for the kitchen, followed by blue, black, and beige.  

~Per a recent Houzz survey, the most popular cabinet color choices are white (34 percent), medium to dark wood tones (27 percent), and gray (9 percent)

~Under cabinet lighting, task lighting

~Best-selling hardware finishes are chrome and nickel (both available polished or brushed), oil rubbed bronze, and black. Gold and rose gold are coming on strong

~Smart storage solutions like lazy Susans to make potentially wasted corners fully functional, pull-out drawers, customized drawers and cabinets

~Large sinks with deep bowls

~Barrier-free design and products:  they make life easier for children, pregnant women, and seniors as well as individuals with disabilities

How long should it take from showroom visit to finished kitchen?
It can take several months, even after the design is finalized.  Custom cabinets usually take around four to six weeks for delivery.  The extent of the job, the contractor's workload and the availability of materials also have an effect.  Once the materials have been delivered, installation can often be completed in as little as two to four weeks.
Where do I start?  What do I need to be thinking about?
Start by putting together a detailed wish list indicating your goals for remodeling. Do you want more space? More storage? More style? A built-in dog bed? Organize it 
by priority, from the "must-haves" to the "in our dreams."
Use websites like Pinterest and Houzz to view and collect pictures of rooms, products, materials, and architectural details that appeal to you. Visit model homes and vendor showrooms and make pictures of what appeals to you.  Make notes on what you like about friends' kitchens (and hate about your own) and general concepts translated from other areas of your life. For example, glass-front cabinets and open shelving are very popular, but if you are not a cleaning fanatic you may be happier with solid doors that conceal clutter.

What makes a kitchen remodel more or less expensive?
~Structural changes can be minimal or extensive.  Cabinets account for about one-third to one-half the total cost of a typical project and range in price considerably based on quality, the type of material they are made of, and whether they are stock (ready made in specific sizes) or custom (produced specifically for your kitchen in whatever sizes and finishes are needed).

~The material you choose for surfaces including counters, backsplashes and floors can also account for variations in price.

~Other key elements that factor in to the equation are talent and workmanship.  In the remodeling business, you tend to get what you pay for.  An accomplished designer, skilled tradesmen and expert installation crew will cost more.  But you'll appreciate their ability every time you use your kitchen.
What is a Kitchen Designer?
A Kitchen Designer is a professional, qualified by education and experience to research, design, plan and supervise the installation of residential kitchens.  Enhance Floors & More uses a Kitchen Designer as part of the renovation process, particularly in the design and layout of the cabinetry. Our Kitchen Designer will meet with you and survey your existing kitchen to develop the design plan for your new kitchen. There is a fee for this service, however, it is well worth the nominal charge to meet with a true kitchen expert.

What is the kitchen "work triangle" and why is it important?
The "work triangle" is the kitchen area from the refrigerator to the main cooking area to the main sink.  Connect the three and it should form a triangle (unless you have a 'one-wall' kitchen).  It's important because at or immediately adjacent to the triangle's points, all the key kitchen activities - food preparation, cooking and clean up - take place.  The work triangle helps to ensure that your kitchen will be functional.  It keeps cooking activities centered in one area, with all the necessities close at hand. Whatever your plan, the sink should take central position if at all possible, as it's used more often than either the refrigerator or the stove. If you locate the sink on the same wall as the stove, with the main work area in the middle, you won't drip water on the floor when you go from the sink to the cooktop. When placing the refrigerator, make sure the single-door model, when open, faces into the work triangle, not out of it.

What types of kitchen counter tops are best?
Replacing counter tops is a great way to update your kitchen. Hard surface counters such as quartz, granite and marble are the most widely used at this time. Their price varies depending on your stone selection. Quartz holds up as well or better than granite, never needs sealing, and costs a little more than granite, but usually less than marble.

What are pull-outs?  pot drawers? appliance garages?
These are just a few of the specialty features that increase the functionality of your cabinets.  If you have not looked at new cabinets recently, you will be amazed at the options that are now available.  A pull-out is a shelf that can be independently extended from the cabinet for easier surveying and retrieval, like a drawer.  Waste cans are now often on pull-outs. Pot drawers are an upgrade from shelves that pull out. They lend themselves nicely to storing all types of kitchen cooking and storage necessities. As they are full extension drawers, you will have maximum storage and complete access to items in the back of them with no digging to the back of your kitchen cabinets.  An appliance garage is a general term used to reference any number of customized countertop compartments that are specifically designed to house and conceal large kitchen appliances. The appliance garage will usually be on the countertop and will match the facade of the existing top cabinetry. Within the compartment, there is typically a dedicated electrical outlet for the assigned appliance. Appliance garages will usually house appliances like coffee pots, microwaves or other large movable kitchen machines.
How many electrical outlets does my kitchen need?
A guide is outlets every four feet along your kitchen counter tops and at least one on the side of a kitchen island or peninsula. You will also need outlets for your stove, microwave, garbage disposal and dish washer. If you want less clutter on your walls above your kitchen counters, power strips can be installed under the wall cabinets. The strips will create convenient locations to plug in your kitchen appliances without the clutter of wall outlets.  Many clients are adding charging stations (usually drawers) as part of their kitchen renovation.
Do all my new kitchen cabinets need to be the same style and color?
This is personal preference.  Depending on your taste, your new kitchen can be designed with contrasting cabinets. Unique looks can be achieved by contrasting the kitchen island cabinets from the wall mounted upper and lower cabinets. Contrasting upper cabinets from the lower cabinets will create a custom look.

Contrasting countertops is another design tool used to customize kitchens and create unique looks.

What is installed first-my new cabinets or my new flooring?
Floors are almost always installed after the cabinets.  We will go over the timeline once we have visited your home and your product selections have been made.

What is the process?
An Enhance Design Consultant will meet with you in the showroom to discuss the scope of your project.   We will assist you in our Design Center with the preliminary selection of cabinets, countertops, backsplash and flooring.  We will schedule appointments for you to meet with our Kitchen Designer and to visit our vendor partners for fixture and appliance selection. Remember, the best-case timeline for a kitchen remodel is three to four months start to finish, so if there is a deadline for your new kitchen, be sure to begin the process well in advance.