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Kitchen Remodels That Scoff at the Recession

As the family meeting ground and the room where it all gets done – cooking, entertaining, conversation, math homework – the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whatever lifestyle revolves around your kitchen, making it a place you want to spend your time is an exciting venture. The folks at The Detroit News recently highlighted this fact in an article titled “Remodel your kitchen, the heart of your home.”

Therein, the newspaper cited Remodeling magazine’s 2008-2009 “Cost Versus Value” report to reveal that “nationally, the average cost for … a major kitchen remodel is about $56,000, while the cost of a minor remodel is roughly $21,000.” While that may sound like a lot of cash, fortunately, a kitchen remodel affords homeowners an excellent return on investment.

In spite of a firmly entrenched recession, the phrase “The kitchen is the heart of the home” holds especially true today. And “with more people staying in their homes rather than moving, kitchen remodeling is a hot topic” even at the hefty price tags quoted by Remodeling magazine. The economy is simply causing homeowners to approach kitchen remodeling differently. “Today’s typical homeowner is more cost-conscious and is leaning toward more sleek and simple designs. For example, “people [are] remodeling with general cabinets, but spending more on their countertops and backsplashes to provide the accent.”

Other kitchen remodeling trends the recession is spurring include a toning down in design choices and a leaning toward “green” kitchen designs. Homeowners are yearning to get back to basics and many of them are opting to make their kitchen makeovers an environmentally friendly one. Price, of course, is still the determining factor when it comes to implementing eco-conscious kitchen elements.

Perhaps that’s why, then, many kitchen remodeling experts are seeing their “remodelers coming in to buy the low-end cabinets because their customers just want to replace their old ones at the least cost, or do-it-yourselfers who are buying the high-end cabinets because they are saving money on the installation.”

Cabinetry isn’t the only place remodelers are cutting corners, however. They’re also opting for less expensive countertop surfaces. Because its prices have remained stable, granite is still a very popular kitchen countertop selection. And no kitchen makeover would be complete without new appliances, where the global financial situation is leading to “a shift away from all-stainless appliances toward a fully integrated look that blends in with the kitchen design.”

It’s in their new appliances as well that homeowners can realize their yen for a greener kitchen without breaking the bank. That’s because “appliances are much more energy efficient today.” In fact, many of today’s refrigerators can be run for “about the same cost as a 100-watt light bulb, which is around $70 a year.”

An online kitchen super center can provide ideas, sparks of inspiration, assistance and advice, so that homeowners can save money while still getting the kitchen of their dreams. With links to major manufacturers of kitchen cabinets, countertops, appliances, hardware, faucets, sinks, flooring, lighting, windows and wall coverings, it can also assist homeowners in making that single focalized impact they’re craving.

Clean Your House This Spring with These Tips

As spring gets underway, it is once again time to partake in the annual spring cleaning tradition. Regardless of how you feel about this extensive task, there is no point in putting it off.  Here are a few tips to keep your spring cleaning from driving you absolutely crazy.

Before beginning any cleaning, you should first create a plan of action. You do not need to go to the extent of writing down every single chore that needs to be done.  However, it is important to have a clear idea of what tasks you want to tackle and the order in which you want to complete them.  There is little point in spring cleaning, if you cannot see an improvement when you are finished.  You want to know ahead of time what rooms and areas of your home, such as the attic or garage, you plan to focus your attention on.

Spring cleaning is a great time to get the entire family involved. Getting your entire family to pitch in is essential to the spring cleaning process while bringing the family together for an all around bonding experience. Delegating jobs will help prevent everyone from attempting to tackle the same task, and can speed up the entire process.  Let everyone know what tasks they have and what changes you would like to accomplish.  This will prevent arguments as well. More often than not if you have children, they have completely contradicting opinions than you on what it means to be clean.  Be careful, and try not to delegate any tasks that you know they will be unable to accomplish, or tasks that you are particular about.

If you have younger children that are eager to help you out, you can turn your spring cleaning into a game that will get them helping and keep them happy at the same time! You can play music and your family can dance and sing together while making improvements to your cluttered living area. You can also try to race to see who can finish their task first, awarding the winner with a prize. Treat your family and yourself to a special lunch or dinner to thank them for their hard work.  The idea is to get your family to have pleasant memories of your spring cleaning and good times together. This will also make it easier to get them to pitch in the following year.

During your spring cleaning separate items that can be sold, donated, or trashed into separate boxes or piles. The overall goal of spring cleaning is to ultimately decrease the clutter in your home. Getting rid of some stuff is vital.  Do not let emotions and sentiment keep you surrounded by twenty years worth of your children’s clothes that will never be used again. Instead, donate those clothes to a charity helping children and families in need.

After giving away unneeded items, look for better ways to organize the stuff that you plan to keep.  See what items can be stored away in trunks, totes, or chests.  Understand that putting everything back where it was prior to your cleaning will detract from all of the cleaning that you have done. Better organization does not always mean storing items away.  You may find a better way to display stored items such as pictures, trophies, and figurines.  For instance, a shelf kit could give a stylish and affordable way to display smaller items that you have not had the opportunity to enjoy in years.

It is important to try and clean your floors last.  This may go unsaid often, but cleaning your floors last will keep you from having to clean your floors over and over again.  As you and your family clean, you will pull out items onto your floor repeatedly.  Not to mention the fact that, dust, dirt, and mud tracked in from cleaning the yard, garage, and basement areas often keep floors pretty dirty throughout the day.

Another good tip is to remember that spring cleaning may take longer than a day to complete. Getting your house to this point took your family months or years and cleaning will take some time as well, especially if you are including major cleaning projects such as attics, garages, and basements. When you realize that it may take you longer than a day to clean, start to look for good stopping points.  Reaching a good stopping point before you decide to call it a day, will help you quickly assess what tasks are left while hopefully keeping your home from looking like a disaster area in the mean time.

Spring cleaning will probably never be as exciting as a family vacation, but hopefully if you follow these tips you can get through it with help and maybe even a laugh or two.

Tips To Help You Improve Your House

  1. It is expensive to buy new furniture. You can spice up your rooms with nice furniture by using previously owned pieces that you have found at a garage sale or similar location. You might uncover some true gems among things that someone else didn’t want. Some items may need a little fixing up, but by investing time, it will be a great addition to your home.
  2. Vinyl tiles can be a cost effective product for tiling floors if you want something cheaper than stone or ceramic.Vinyl is easy to install, durable and water resistant. You can buy this flooring as individual tiles or by the roll for large area.
  3. Use bleach in your toilet bowl. Although you may dislike the smell of the bleach, it is quite effective. Scented bleaches can also help keep the smell.
  4. It can be rather costly getting rid of all the rubbish, so having a plan ahead of time is essential to saving you money and ensuring that your project continues as scheduled.
  5. Homes with an appealing view can sell for a lot more than like houses on the market.
  6. A well-made and contemporary front door can potentially increase a home’s value up to 10 percent. If you want to add a bit of pizzazz to your front door, you can choose from a lot of options.
  7. Landscaping work that does not relate to your house or even clashes with it will be a waste of time and money, while landscaping that clashes can really lower the total value of your home.
  8. Mounting a tv from on wall mounted bracket can free up floor space from the no longer needed stand, which can make a huge difference in a small room. This can take as little as 30 minutes to install if the instructions are followed correctly.
  9. You can save money if you purchase your materials in a bulk fashion. A lot places have a long lead times.
  10. If you are going to do any work outside of your home, tell your neighbors about it before it happens. Your neighbors deserve some warning before you start the work and inconvenience them this way.
  11. You should drain all of the water out of the hot water heater in your home at least every six months. This will help your water heater running efficiently for as long as possible.Just attach a hose on the drain value and release the spigot.
  12. A great time to do remodeling or add space to your home improvement projects is during a real estate market. There is no set time-frame for home improvements. When you make renovations during a slump, those improvements will be even more valuable.
  13. Make sure the contractor you are considering is properly insured.If they do damage to your house and do not possess any insurance, you might have to take them to court if they are not insured. All you must do to find out if a contractor and ask for their proof of insurance.
  14. Again, learning as much as possible about home improvement and your ability to complete a project is in your best interest. If you abide by the guidelines in the article, you can prevent yourself from make expensive and possible catastrophic mistakes. A little research and planning can makes things go smoothly, while saving you time and money.

Stay tuned for more home improvement tips!