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Friday, June 29, 2012

If Mamma Isn't Happy

Spend Smart
The July 2012 Consumer Reports is a special issue all about KITCHENS. If a kitchen update, large or small, is in your future, it is a great guide to have. Some of our favorite pointers include: 

~~Adding undercabinet lighting is an inexpensive way to add critical task lighting to the kitchen. "Tape lighting" and LEDs are the most common options.
~~Avoid the temptation to "save" with shoddy choices, assuming that you'll replace them with what you really want later. "In 30 years, I've never had a client actually come back and make those changes," says Mark Karas, a well-known designer and president of the NKBA.
~~Buying a new refrigerator? Pull-out shelves, split shelves and deep door bins maximize storage space. Through-the-door ice and water dispensers are convenient, but they can add to the cost and energy use--and fridges with those add-ons tend to be more repair prone. 
~~$1920 is about all it takes to get a new range, refrigerator, and dishwasher that deliver both performance and efficiency.

Great Websites To Help Collect
Ideas For Your Dream Kitchen
Storage Solutions from Better Homes and Gardens

HGTV's Planning Guide

Southern Living Dream Kitchens

Kitchen Don'ts
~~DON'T forget to take the time to consider and plan your kitchen remodel. Changing one's mind after the work got started typically tacked $1,500 onto the kitchen project, according to survey of nearly 3,000 readers.
~~DON'T fail to consider these popular options: lazy Susan, pull-down soap and sponge holder, roll-out shelves, deep pot drawers, message-center cabinets, toe-kick cabinets (perfect for holding shallow items like cookie sheets), drawer dividers, slide-out wastebasket, pantry cabinets (with roll out trays and adjustable door racks), lift cabinets(for mixers and food processors), cubby units, and vertical cabinet dividers.
~~DON'T fall in love with a farmhouse sink without realizing that special cabinets are required.

Before you order your cabinets, start by making a list of all the items you plan to store--from pots and pans to utensils, dinnerware, dry goods, and dish towels. Make sure you'll have easy-to-access spots for everything, plus a bit of room to grow.

There's Not Much Time

left if you are a teacher planning to get home improvement projects done around your house.  Teachers are due back at work on July 25 in Cherokee County, August 2 in Fulton, and August 6 in Cobb.  We always have a mad rush for installation dates prior to back-to-school time, so if you are on a deadline, please call or come by today and let's work together to get it done!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Kitchen Is The Heart Of The Home

Budget For A Typical Kitchen Remodel
The average cost for a major kitchen remodel is roughly $60,000, a minor one under $20,000, but you can spend a lot more---or less.

Per John Bredemeyer, spokesperson for the Appraisal Institute, a standards-setting organization, you should spend 10 to 15 percent of your property value and expect about 75 cents back on the dollar at resale on a kitchen remodel.

The NKBA says for a "gut" remodel, plan to spend approximately 30 to 50 percent of the budget on cabinets (including installation), 5 to 20 percent on countertops, 10 to 20 percent for appliances, 5 to 11 percent for flooring, 2 to 5 percent for lighting and other electrical work, 1 to 2 percent for a tile backsplash, 3 to 6 percent for plumbing and fixtures, and 10 to 20 percent on fundamentals like windows and wallboard.

Using these guidelines, let's say your home is valued at $250,000. Your budget for the kitchen remodel should be $35,000.

By category:
Cabinets $17,500
Countertops $4,500
Appliances $3,000
Flooring $2,500
Lighting/electrical $1,000
Backsplash $1,000
Plumbing/fixtures $1,750
Misc. $3,750

You should also set aside a minimum of 10% of the budget as a contingency fund (in case of unforeseen structural problems, for example.)

Spend Smart
The July 2012 Consumer Reports is a special issue all about KITCHENS. If a kitchen update, large or small, is in your future, it is a great guide to have. Some of our favorite pointers include:
~~Open shelving (instead of closed cabinets) keeps the frequently used items accessible and adds decorative interest-as long as you keep them neat.
~~Seemingly small touches like cabinet hardware or countertop appliances can help create a sophisticated, finished look on even the tightest budget-so stay detail oriented.
~~Concrete countertops, limestone backsplash tiles, enameled sinks, and white-painted cabinets are all gorgeous options. But they are also risky ones because they're vulnerable to staining and chipping, and they therefore require more care.
~~Add freestanding storage like armoires, hutches, and chests. Flea markets and estate sales are great sources for these storage-rich furniture pieces.
~~Consumer Reports tests showed quartz countertops outperform granite and that factory-finished wood floors are more durable-and less messy-than those finished on-site. Plus the finish on the prefinished floor is covered by the manufacturer's warranty

Kitchen Don'ts
~~DON'T be trendy. Kitchen-design trends are nearly as fickle as runway fashions. The more up-to-the-minute something is today, the more dated it's likely to look in a few years. Trendy choices today include translucent glass tiles, industrial-style lighting fixtures, super-dark hardwood floors, and retro red and blue appliances.

~~DON'T try to fit an island into a small kitchen. You need at least 36" of walkway on each side of the island. A 12-foot-wide kitchen is too narrow for an island.
~~DON'T trust a swatch when you pick your countertop. A visit to the stone yard is a must.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Staircase Balusters:

This is our best selling finish, with Satin Black in second place. The most popular styles are twists, baskets, knuckles, and balls. Visit our website and begin designing your custom staircase makeover.

New Venetian Gold Granite

This is our best selling granite countertop. This is definitely a stone that you must select in person, as it can run grey or gold. That is the beauty of natural stone----no 2 slabs are exactly the same.

Chiaro Tumbled Stone Backsplash

This 4" x 4" travertine is a popular choice for backsplashes. The subtle color variation is visually interesting and you know it is real stone, but it is not so "busy" that it fights with your granite countertop.

Faux Painted Cabinets

More of our clients are faux painting their cabinets instead of replacing them. If you like your cabinet door style and foot print, and your cabinets are in good shape, why spend $15,000 plus to replace them? Nick is a true artist and will assist you in selecting the color and glaze that makes you think you have a brand new kitchen for a fraction of the cost.

Wallpaper Removal

Another popular service we offer is stripping wallpaper, repairing sheetrock, and painting the walls. If your wallpaper is screaming out the 1980's, we can help your look become current and on trend.

Spending More Time Outdoors?

Many of us are enjoying our patios and screened porches this time of year, or want to! One quick and easy way to make your porch more inviting is adding outdoor carpet. Enhance Floors & More has a nice variety of outdoor carpets including patterns, solids, berbers, even carpet tiles, that are moisture, fade, mildew, and stain resistant.