Important Things to Consider Before Adding a New Kitchen Island

One of the main things that a homebuyer is looking for in a new home is an updated kitchen. A kitchen island is actually one of the things that most people look for in a new home. Even if you are not selling your home, you may want to think about having one added to your kitchen as the benefits are many. However, there are several important things that you will need to consider before you add a kitchen island.

Size and Shape
The first consideration for the addition of a new kitchen island is whether or not you actually have room for it. There is nothing worse than a kitchen that is too crowded, but if you are adamant about having one consider installing one in a less than traditional shape. It is not written anywhere that one must be rectangular. The important thing is that you have enough room to move around your kitchen with ease. If an odd-shaped design is the only thing you can use to make it work than this may be the solution for you.

Storage Capacity
A great benefit of a kitchen island is that it can provide you with a lot more storage space in your kitchen. When designing your island, take into account how much extra storage space you need. As stated above, you do want to make sure the size of your island does not disrupt the efficiency of the kitchen, but you do want to make sure you are able to have some storage space underneath it.

Seating Capacity
Another thing to consider when adding a new kitchen island is whether or not you wish to utilize the island for extra seating. In many homes, the kitchen island is the place where the first cup of coffee is enjoyed in the morning or an informal dinner is served in the evening. You will want to plan ahead for the amount and type of use it is going to get.

Additional Features
When adding a new island kitchen, you also want to consider what additional features you want to give you the maximum efficiency in your kitchen. Many choose to have plumbing installed in it so they can add in another sink. This is especially beneficial if you do a lot of cooking. Along with this, you may want to consider having electric outlets in the island, as it would provide you additional space for any kitchen appliances.

Adding a new kitchen island is not just going to improve the value and appearance of your home. It will actually help you to create a more efficient workspace for cooking and can provide you with additional seating. As long as you keep the above things in mind, especially the size and shape of your new island, you will find it will give your family a lot of enjoyment.

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The Average Cost of Kitchen Remodeling in California

Establishing a renovation budget will define the scope of the kitchen renovation. The average cost of renovating a kitchen in California is approximately $17,000 to $25,000 for minor remodeling jobs and between $60,000 to over $100,000 for extensive renovations. Most homeowners see a 93 percent return on their investment, with regard to increased property values. The whole renovation should not cost less than 5 percent and no more than 15 percent of the total value of the home. The price of a kitchen remodel is generally based on these features: room layout, the size of the space, amount of cabinets and whether they are stock, custom, or semi-custom, professional grade or standard appliances, type of countertops materials, additional features and the cost of the construction materials.

Remodeling a kitchen can be extremely costly or very reasonable depending on what the customer can afford and the extent of the remodeling they want done. The key to any kitchen remodeling is to make a list of the renovations necessary to upgrade the room and estimate the amount of money needed to accomplish that goal. Minor kitchen remodels can be done, if the electrical wiring and the plumbing are up to code and do not need to be replaced and the floor plan for the kitchen does not require alterations. Often in this type of scenario, all that may be required is to update cabinet finishes and replace countertops. The price can increase dramatically depending on the choice of countertop materials and whether or not the cabinets are completely replaced. In the case of a high-end remodel of a kitchen, the homeowner may spend more than 15 percent of the home’s value. A high-end remodel may include stone countertops, butler’s pantry, professional grade appliances, custom cabinetry and a catering style kitchen for large gatherings. Even in the case of a high-end renovation, the homeowner should not spend more than 20 percent of the homes total value or they will not see a return on their investment. It is important to plan on spending 80 percent of the budgeted amount and leave 20 percent to cover any additional costs. Most renovations usually go over the originally projected amount, so this will keep the client within their means. Work closely with the contractor to make sure they are using the specified materials and adhering to the budget guidelines. Also, look into possible material replacements. Choosing wood countertops over stone can have noticeable cost savings.

An updated kitchen will boost the value of a home and it will provide years of enjoyment. Remember to take the time to research what features are needed to upgrade the kitchen. Locate a contractor, who has a good reputation and can show samples of their work. Determine a manageable budget to meet those renovation goals. A home is a sizable asset, so be knowledgeable about the economic issues, with regard to renovation costs and eventual investment returns. A kitchen is the heart of most homes, a place where the family gathers; an upgraded kitchen makes life better.

For more California kitchen remodeling information or estimates click here: http://www.bizzibid.com/california/kitchen/

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/

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.