Three Modern Bathroom Remodeling Ideas for the Washington State Homeowner

The trend in modern housing in Washington State is to make the bathroom a destination for relaxation as well as the necessities. Modern bathroom fixtures and additional components of sauna and hot tub add value to the dwelling if put on the market for sale. To achieve relaxation, a bathroom needs a fresh look and feel inspired by the calming of natural décor, colors and shapes, windows and solar tunnels plus fixtures that provide reliable and comforting service.

Three Modern Bathroom Remodeling Ideas
Bathtub of the Future
When remodeling a bathroom, incorporate ideas that better reflect the owner’s situation and possible future needs. A bathtub with whirlpool capabilities is an excellent addition for warm and pulsating waters to enhance relaxation. Bathtubs with whirlpool come in corner, oval, rectangle and walk-in styles. Custom colors as well as traditional white match or augment nearly every possible theme or color scheme. The ease of entry without climbing over a tub side, plus a built in seat, makes a walk-in tub an excellent choice for the infirmed as well as athletic type experiencing a rough patch in their performance level. A walk-in tub gives the bather a soaking bath plus the experience of a Jacuzzi spa, seated in comfort and surrounded with warm pulsating waters.

Not a Basic White Toilet
Toilets are boring, and the most boring one of all is the basic white toilet. Consider a change to a bidet or washlet for a change. Bidets are basically a boring toilet, but with an invigorating and hygienic twist. Bidets include features which were rarely used in the United States until just recently. The features of a bidet include anus washing, bidet washing, seat warming and deodorization, plus automatic lid open and closure, hence its descriptive summarized name – warm water cleaning toilet seat. Modern bidets are high-tech with a wireless remote control panel to control the temperature of the seat, massage options, water jet and temperature settings, blow dryer, automatic flushing and automatic lid opening and closing. The control panel is mounted on the toilet or on a nearby wall for ease of control. Some remote controls may be set with room temperature controls, too. A washlet may be sat on facing the tank or away from the tank, or both ways for a total cleansing.

Another option is the installation of a urinal, too. The urinal and bidet may be set side by side to take advantage of available space.

One Size Fits All Shower
Household occupants come in all shapes and sizes. A “One Size Fits All Shower” has no ledges or rims, a central drain and a single shower head mounted on the ceiling or an array of not so conventional shower heads at various levels. This type of shower configuration can accommodate someone in a wheelchair or other mobility device with no ledges to overcome. A shower chair or stool will easily fit in its confines, too. Its location would be ideal in a mud room or close to the entry from outdoor activities. Parental unit and child(ren) can easily rinsing off sand, salt and the rest of the day’s residue after a day in the sun. In Washington State, this shower configuration is great for removing snow and ice from outdoor clothing and then showering the person in charge of snow removal. After a soak in the hot tub in the backyard, a quick shower gets you ready for the next event.
The basic concept of this type of shower is its no borders concept. This can be achieved with the use of an extended, oversized shower curtain or with Plexiglas held in place with waterproof sealants. The current bathtub or shower drain may be modified for best drainage along with the use of sloping floors with waterproofing.

For bathroom remodeling ideas in Washington State, go here: http://www.bizzibid.com/washington/bathroom/

One Very Popular Kitchen Remodeling Trend in Maryland

One of the hottest new trends in kitchen remodeling in Maryland is actually taking place outdoors. Many homeowners in Maryland are opting to build fully functioning outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens, you may say, are nothing new. Build a campfire. Make a hanging food pantry to discourage hungry bears. Line a cardboard box with foil and hot coals to make a reflector oven. No big deal.

Sure, that has worked for eons in the great outdoors. However, could you, or would you even want to have such a setup permanently in your back yard?

Probably not. Unless you (a) Live in the country and (b) frequently invite Boy Scouts over to prepare dinner.

But what about a more modern outdoor kitchen? One as simple as a grill and countertop, maybe? Or one equipped with those basics, plus a seating area, sink, rotisserie, refrigerator and smoker?

Granted, those more elaborate setups aren’t commonplace in Maryland. The closest the majority of us come to having an outdoor kitchen is a grill and picnic table outside the back door. Nevertheless, they’re beginning to become more and more popular in Maryland. For those with the means, an outdoor kitchen offers up a great way to expand ones entertaining space while taking advantage of the great weather during much of the year.

Often times, homeowners and designers strive to tie an outdoor kitchen in with the general décor of the house, while at the same time doing something fun with the kitchen and seating area. To that end, outdoor countertops and tile floors are often made from same material as found on their indoor counterparts, creating a seamless transition from inside to out.

When dealing with outdoor environments, care must be taken when selecting materials for appliances and various finishes. Stainless steel is usually selected for outdoor grills because it won’t rust. Likewise, redwood cabinets are protected from the weather and the elements.

If rain does happen to be falling, many outdoor kitchens are designed so that guests can eat on tables that – like the kitchen itself – are fully covered. Sometimes homeowners put an additional kitchen inside their poolside cabanas where the cooking and eating areas are also completely enclosed.

Either way, an outdoor kitchen doesn’t come cheap. Many outdoor kitchen designs start at around $25,000. More elaborate, open-air constructions can cost the homeowner about $100,000 for the structure, appliances, bathroom and outdoor fireplace.

Not surprisingly, price is probably the No. 1 reason more people don’t have an outdoor kitchen.  Plus, with weather in Maryland, an outdoor kitchen can only be used about half the year.

Still, an outdoor kitchen could be built less expensively. For example, it could be built on an existing patio. The
grill wouldn’t have to be so fancy. (Whichever kind you decide on, make sure it’s placed so smoke blows away from the eating area). Moreover, while a grill and countertop are necessities, a sink and refrigerator aren’t. (But they sure come in handy).

For more information on Maryland kitchen remodeling, go here: http://www.bizzibid.com/md/kitchen/

Six Top Tips to Getting the Most From Your Home Remodeling Contractor in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has been a busy spot for home remodeling requests so far this spring, which may be a good sign that the economy is rebounding in the New England area. A good residential remodeling contractor can breathe new life into your home. Most can handle a wide variety of renovations that include anything from refreshing an aging kitchen or bath to adding and constructing a new room. As is the case with most home improvement and repair projects, a small amount of due diligence can eliminate misunderstandings and make sure you get what you want. The following six points are vital considerations before making your choice:

Experience Suited to Your Massachusetts Project

Whenever you are constructing a separate addition or remodel to your residence, make certain your Massachusetts contractor possesses the proper background and has completed comparable assignments previously. As much as this seems common sense, always make sure hire you don’t hire a flooring contractor to perform your entire renovation job. Their measure of experience is going to be restricted to ensuring your tile or wood floors are done correctly – not necessarily other kinds of construction.

However, a suitable home remodeling contractor will likely be a person who has practical experience supervising virtually all stages of construction from the basic foundation, to roofing, and interior finishing. If you are only seeking to have your home painted, a painting professional will likely be acceptable to complete this sort of work on your house.

List of Materials

Any sort of estimate you get from a licensed contractor needs to include a reasonably comprehensive list of materials, yet it will obviously be determined by the extent and difficulty of the project. The listing supplied by an individual adding a counter top in your kitchen will be significantly different that one a contractor putting in an additional room in your home would provide. In either situation, it is best to make certain you get a written summary of the supplies being used in your project.

Verify Massachusetts Insurance

This is a huge consideration and it must be asked early in the process and verified. Make sure you request proof of liability insurance coverage and worker’s compensation protection from the prospective contractor. The obligation to have liability coverage must be considered an unconditional requirement for every service provider, which means you will want to avoid anyone undertaking work on your residence without this. For most contractors, worker’s compensation insurance is required.

Always Get Local References

Any reputable contractor that does good work and has a favorable background should be able to present you with references from recent happy customers. Phone or e-mail these people to ask how their experience was, and if they would endorse the contractor.

MA State License

Depending on the type of work being performed, virtually all contractors must have some kind of state or county license(s). Obtain the telephone number and get in touch with the proper state or county board for proof of licensure and to ensure it is current. Many people advertise themselves as registered, yet not everyone has current credentials. If the contractor will not supply you with their licenses, it is a good idea to avoid doing business with them.

Deposits & Down Payments

Based on the extent of your project, the contractor may request a down payment before carrying out the work. Use caution so as not to pay an excessive amount upfront before any work is performed. 10% is generally sufficient to show your commitment to getting the work done. The outstanding balance should be disbursed during the remainder of the undertaking. This can be usually be determined by how big the project is and the costs involved. In the event the contractor needs to make large investments in supplies for your assignment, anticipate making staggered payments as the project progresses.

2 Modern, Do It Yourself (DIY) Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Lately you’ve been thinking that your kitchen seems a bit dated. Although you dream about designing and installing a brand new modernized kitchen, like many people these days, you may not be able to afford a complete kitchen remodel. Well, you basically have two choices: You could just decide to live with it the way it is for now, or you could try an inexpensive do it yourself (DIY) update to bring your kitchen decor into this decade.

Before you start ripping up floors or taking down cabinets, it is important to understand both the costs and skill level required for the project you choose. Flooring and cabinetry can be quite expensive, even for the handiest DIY remodeler. If you are looking for a simple and inexpensive update, then these projects are probably best left for another time. However, a simple project such as updating the backsplash could be just what your kitchen needs to give it a whole new appearance.

Depending on your skill level and your budget, the materials and methods you could choose from to update your backsplash are seemingly endless. More traditional options would include materials such as ceramic tile or wallpaper. However, if you are looking for something more modern, perhaps glass tile or stainless steel would be your best bet.

Many modern kitchen backsplash designs use glass tile as a way to add an accent color with a bit of texture to the room. The tiles range in size from the very small (about 1 inch squares) to much larger subway tiles (about 3 inch by 6 inch rectangles). The larger tiles would work well if your backsplash is quite large. However, if you are working with a small space, the smaller square tiles would be your best choice. Either way, glass tiles would work well with existing wood or laminate cabinetry.

Stainless steel is another material that is very popular in modern kitchens. You’ve probably seen all of the newer appliances that are available with this finish. But if new appliances just aren’t in your budget, you could try updating your backsplash with this modern finish. Similar to glass tiles, stainless steel tiles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. This option would also work well with existing wood or laminate cabinetry. Furthermore, as stainless steel is more neutral, it may be a better choice than colorful glass if your existing kitchen already has an extensive color palette

Either of these two options would be a great, inexpensive way to give your kitchen a fresh, modern look. However, whether you choose glass tile or stainless steel, the most important things to remember are to measure accurately before you purchase your supplies and to follow the manufacturers instructions for surface preparation and proper installation.

Also, be sure to shop around before you make your purchase. Since you’ll be doing the installation yourself, you aren’t limited to buying from expensive specialty stores. Check out the clearance aisles of larger home improvement stores, since you only need a small amount compared to someone tiling an entire floor or wall, you may find just what you’re looking for at a fraction of the original cost. Online discount outlets are always a good bet as well. Just be sure to read the fine print to make certain you understand what you’re getting, or if there are any hidden shipping or delivery charges.

The Average Cost of a Basement Remodeling Job

As part of our very popular “Average Cost” series, we would like to address the question; “What is the average cost of a basement remodeling project?”

The average cost of a basement remodeling job can depend on a lot of things. The three biggest factors affecting the cost are the size of your basement, its present condition, and the desired finished product. While the average cost nationwide is $45,000, you could spend anything between $500 and $100,000 depending on what you’re going for.

The current state of your basement can have a big impact on your final cost. All finished basements need moisture-control and insulation. If this has not already been taken care of, it’s going to add to the cost. Installing plumbing and electrical wiring is another expense. Adding windows and extra lighting will up the cost as well. A basement that is partially finished may cost much less to complete than an entirely bare space.

It’s generally accepted that in newer homes, basement remodeling will cost on average $20-$25 per square foot, meaning around $30,000-$50,000 for a 1,500 to 2,000 square foot basement. It’s also possible to finish part of your basement and leave another part unfinished.

Converting a basement into a comfortable and legal renting unit usually costs between $30,000-$50,000 as a national average. This could mean adding bathrooms, kitchens, and windows if necessary.

What you want out of your basement is the ultimate factor in determining the final cost. You can finish the walls, ceilings, and floors to create usable added living space for as little as $1,000-$5,000. It’s additions such as bathrooms, wet bars, entertainment areas, elaborate moldings, heating, and additional wiring for lighting that can increase your price tremendously. It’s possible to spend upwards of $100,000 depending on the dream in mind. As with all home improvement projects, the more elaborate the plan, the higher the price tag.

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