Three Popular Bathroom Remodeling Ideas in Massachusetts

The most popular bathroom remodeling trends in Massachusetts focus on comfort and ambiance. As homeowners continue to favor home remodeling projects that help them relieve stress at the end of a hectic day, features that help the bathroom achieve a relaxing atmosphere are the most sought-after improvements. These three bathroom remodeling ideas currently top the list of popular design trends in Massachusetts.

1. Ambiance Reigns Supreme

Today’s must-have features are less about impressing guests and more about enhancing personal lifestyles. While homeowners still enjoy bathroom improvements that make them feel pampered, achieving the right mood and atmosphere within the space has become the primary design goal. Materials and products are selected for their emotional impact as much as for their visual appeal. Stone tile and countertops in muted colors give the room a natural, organic feel. Neutral colors are no longer reserved for bathrooms decorated in traditional styles but are being featured in sleek modern design styles as well.

Today’s homeowners are looking for renovations that make the utilitarian room feel less like a laboratory and more like other living areas of the home. Furniture-like vanities are popular choices, as are above-mounted vessel sinks. Accessories and hardware are likely to feature distinctive finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel. The overall goal is to create a space that feels warm, cozy and inviting.

2. Designer Lighting Schemes

For today’s bathroom renovations, bathroom illumination from a single generic overhead light fixture just won’t do. Homeowners want light from a variety of sources that will provide clear illumination for grooming tasks yet create a relaxing mood and atmosphere within the space as well. Some renovations feature pendant lighting and wall sconces more typically found in living areas of the home. Others take advantage of natural light by adding skylights or by enlarging existing windows.

3. The Big Splurge

Homeowners still see a bathroom remodeling project as an opportunity to upgrade the space with modern fixtures. Instead of cramming an assortment of luxury amenities into the space, however, they are more likely to indulge in a single luxury amenity to use as a centerpiece for the room. Because they offer both relaxation and ambience, soaking tubs are replacing whirlpool bathtubs in popularity. Large, walk-in showers are another popular option, particularly those with frame-less and door-less designs. Rain showerheads and multiple showerheads remain popular shower additions.

When it comes to choosing an amenity that offers the ultimate in comfort, more and more homeowners are opting for radiant flooring in their bathroom renovations. Radiant heating uses coils of tubes filled with hot water installed beneath the surface of the floor to generate gentle, even heat throughout the room. Radiant flooring is ideal in the bathroom, allowing bathers to enjoy a long soak in the tub in a warm environment.

Today’s Massachusetts homeowners are becoming more confident about making remodeling choices that reflect their own personal taste and style, ensuring that their renovation projects result in interiors that make them feel at home. That kind of confidence may be the most significant design development currently trending in Massachusetts.

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/

North Carolina State Home Improvement and Remodeling Contractor License Requirements

To continue on our series of what a state requires of a home improvement company before issuing a contractor license, we discover what North Carolina contractors go through.

To obtain a contractor’s license in the state of North Carolina, there are several requirements to be met. There are also three limitations. They are as follows:
1) Unlimited $150,000 no limit
2) Intermediate $75,000 less than $700,000
3) Limited $17,000 less than $350,000
All applicants must submit at least three letters of recommendation. These recommendation letters must be current. No letters older than six months will be accepted.

NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE

To obtain a general contractor’s license in the state of North Carolina, the Licensing Board requires that each applicant pass an exam that will cover each of the following contracting areas:
 Residential
 Building
 Highway
 Public utilities
 Specialty license
 Fuel distribution
 Water and sewer lines
 Swimming pools
 Water purification and sewage disposal concrete construction
 Boring and tunneling
 Asbestos
 Grading and excavation
 Marine construction
 Insulation
 Interior construction
 Roofing
 Masonry construction
 Railroad construction
 Communications
 Electrical (ahead of point of delivery) metal erection

PLUMBING/HEATING AND FIRE PROTECTION SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE

In the state of North Carolina, obtaining a Plumbing/Heating and Fire Protection Sprinkler Contractor’s license requires the approval of the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. There are three classifications of this type of contracting license; Class I, Class II, and Fuel Pumping license. There are different requirements for each one. They are as follows:

Class I- To obtain a Class I Plumbing/Heating and Fire Protection Sprinkler Contractor’s license, the applicant must have completed:
 A minimum of two years of experience in the plumbing, heating, and fire protection business (having spent half of the 2 years as a student in an accredited technical program)
A Class I license covers the fields of plumbing, heating, and fire sprinkler systems for all types of building structures.

Class II- To obtain a license as a Class II Plumbing/Heating and fire Protection Sprinkler technician, the requirements are as follows:
 A minimum of two years of experience in the field (having spent half of that time in an accredited technical program)
A Class II licensed Plumbing/Heating and fire Protection Sprinkler technician is qualified to work on plumbing and heating systems in single family detached residential dwellings.

Fuel Piping License- To obtain a Fuel Piping license, the applicant must have completed the following requirement:
 A minimum of one year of experience in that field with half of that time having been spent in an accredited technical program.
A Fuel Piping license covers installation of fuel pipes that extend from an approved fuel source which is at or near the area that supplies fuel to any systems, appliances, or equipment.

North Carolina ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE

To obtain an Electrical Contractor’s license, the applicant must meet the requirements of the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. The licenses that they issue are as follows:
 Swimming pool bonding
 Limited
 Groundwater pump
 Elevator
 Intermediate: A bod of $25,000
 Unlimited: A bond of $75,000
 Low voltage
 Specialty
 Single Family detached residences
 Plumbing and heating
 Electric sign

The State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors has reciprocal licensing with the states of Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.

It is advised that all applicants check for additional municipal contractor license requirements. These requirements can sometimes vary from county to county.

New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor License Requirements

Have you ever wondered what a home improvement contractor in New Jersey must go through for licensing?

In the state of New Jersey, a home improvement contractor must be issued a license by the state before accepting any major home improvement jobs. This includes those who are in the business of home material sales as well. The following is a list of home improvement jobs that fall under that category:

 Attached floor coverings
 Kitchens
 Bathrooms
 Wall to wall carpeting
 Doors
 Cabinets
 Aluminum siding
 Insulation installation
 Doors
 Solar heating or water systems
 Patios
 Fences
 Landscaping
 Porches
 Central heating and air conditioning equipment
 Water softeners
 Purifiers
 Windows
 Terraces
 Sidewalks
 Driveways
 Garages
 Swimming pools
 Fire protection devices

In the state of New Jersey, some other niche contractor licenses have different requirements.

PLUMBING CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

To obtain a plumbing contractor’s license issued by the Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers in the state of New Jersey, the applicant must be over the age of 21 and pass a plumber’s exam. He must also obtain one of the following degrees:
 One year of plumbing work that has been approved by the plumber’s board.
 A Bachelor’s degree in sanitary engineering, mechanical, or plumbing service.

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

To obtain an electrical contractor’s license in the state of New Jersey, the applicant must be able to pass an electrical contractor’s exam. To be eligible to take the exam, the applicant must be over the age of 21, have a high school diploma or a GED, and show proof of having completed one of the following requirements:
 A Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering combined with a minimum of two years of work experience in a plumbing business with a board-approved supervisor.
 A minimum of five years of experience in working to repair or install electrical wiring for power, heat, or light.
 A minimum of 8,000 hours of experience in working to repair or install wiring, and a minimum of 576 hours of an accredited plumbing class.
The state of New Jersey requires that all electrical contractors have their license renewed every three years. The New Jersey electrical contractor’s board requires that all licensed electricians carry a minimum of $300,000 bodily injury and property damage as well as $300,000 combined property damage and bodily injury insurance.

WELL DRILLER’S LICENSE

To obtain a well driller’s license in the state of New Jersey, the applicant must have a minimum of three years of well drilling experience be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. The requirements are as follows:
Journeyman Well Driller
The applicant must pass a well driller practical exam that will cover the following topics:
 Geological formations
 Laws
 Well testing
 Health considerations
 Tools and equipment

Master Well Driller
To obtain a Master Well Driller’s license, the applicant must have completed all of the requirements of the Journeyman Well Driller’s license and have a minimum of two years of experience in a board approved well driller business.

Because a New Jersey contractor’s license requirements may differ from county to county, it is recommended the applicant also check for any municipal contractor’s license requirements that may be in effect.

Maryland Home Improvement Contractor License Requirements

The Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) implements and enforces state law related to home improvement contractors. The MHIC has established a set of requirements for licensing home improvement contractors to ensure that consumers can be assured that their jobs will be completed by competent and qualified individuals and firms.

There are a number of requirements an applicant must satisfy before obtaining a license. To qualify for a license as home improvement contractor in Maryland, they must prove they have at least two years of construction or home improvement experience and/or education. If applying as a corporation, the contractor must submit their Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Good Standing. Applicants are expected to check with MHIC to ensure a specific trade name is available.

Additionally, the MHIC requires that applicants show financial solvency, based on their net worth, credit rating and size of their business. If financial solvency is not met, MHIC allows a two-year $20,000 surety bond for this requirement. Documentation required includes a copy of the last three months of bank statements, copies of vehicle titles and a printout of the Kelly Blue Book to show value. If real estate is listed as an asset on the financial statements submitted, an appraisal of the property values is required. A current and original credit report less than 90 days old must also accompany a license application.

Third, contractors must submit a certificate of liability insurance for $50,000 or more of general liability insurance that includes the name of the individual applicant and the company name, and designate the Maryland Home Improvement Commission as the certificate holder.

A contractor with any felony convictions or drug offenses committed after January 1, 1991, or any misdemeanors related to home improvement transactions must provide copies of all conviction records, a letter of explanation for each conviction and a letter of completion from the designated parole or probation officer. The MHIC will review this information as part of the application process.

Contractors must also pass the home improvement examination with a passing score of at least 70% to obtain a license. The examination includes questions on home improvement laws, safety regulations, payroll taxes, estimating and applicable Maryland laws. Test results are valid for two years.

A Maryland home improvement contractor license is valid for two years from date of issue.