• Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Guide

    bathroom remodeling sacramentoKitchen and Bathroom Remodeling in Sacramento

    Many homeowners in Sacramento are looking for ways to increase the look, functionality and resale value of their homes. A great measure in this regard is kitchen and bathroom remodeling. By creating a more functional and comfortable space, a remodeled kitchen or bathroom will allow you to get more enjoyment out of your home environment. Also, if you plan to sell your home one day, it will increase your resale value.

    Wondering how much value a kitchen or bathroom remodel can bring to your Sacramento home? Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost VS Value Report is a great resource. Just choose the year, region, and city and you’ll have access to the report, which covers everything from major remodeling to smaller measures like garage door replacement.

    If you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, you’ll need to approach the project strategically to ensure a successful outcome. Consider the following tips:

    Find the right contractor. The success of a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project hinges on the contractor you hire to lead it. Look for a contractor that is responsive and qualified, communicates well, and has a collaborative attitude. Ideally, you’ll choose a kitchen/bathroom contractor that has earned the Diamond Certified award, which means they’ve been independently rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®.

    Address all aspects. A kitchen or bathroom remodel can quickly get out of control if you let it, so make sure to figure out all aspects in advance. Create a plan that addresses everything you want to do, from major structural changes to smaller details like installing additional insulation.

    Establish your timeline. A kitchen remodel can be a time-intensive process—cabinets alone can take four to six weeks before they’re ready to be installed, during which time your kitchen may be out of commission. To ensure an efficient remodeling process, be sure to plan strategically.

    Create aesthetic harmony. Your bathroom or kitchen should have a unifying theme; otherwise, it may end up looking like a mismatched mess. Make sure everything from your flooring to your countertops and cabinets ties together, both color-wise and thematically. Browse home remodeling magazines, websites, and other resources to get inspiration and guidance for design. Your contractor should also be able to provide insight on this aspect.

    Consider maintenance needs. Different products have different needs when it comes to ongoing maintenance. One example is stone countertops, which require continuous sealing to perform optimally. Make sure you’re willing to keep up with the necessary maintenance for the products you choose.

    Utilize your space. Whether you’re maximizing storage capacity with new cabinetry or adding a closet pantry, improving your kitchen’s use of space can make it more functional and comfortable. Remember to think outside of the existing layout. If your kitchen feels constrained, consider opening things up so you can utilize the fullness of the space.

    Minimize unnecessary clutter. Even with augmented storage space, it’s a good idea to consider how much cookware you actually need. Most people tend to use a few key pieces of ware on a regular basis, which means much of it gets used less than once a year.

    Choose new appliances wisely. When selecting new appliances for your kitchen, there are many factors to consider. First, make sure the appliances are compatible with your kitchen design and existing dishes/cookware. It’s also important to consider your size and storage needs, as well as the energy and ventilation requirements associated with different appliance models.

    Express yourself. Many homeowners are preoccupied with increasing the resale value of their homes, but it’s equally important to create a kitchen that reflects your personality, so don’t be afraid to have fun with it.

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  • Kitchen Remodeling Tips

    kitchen remodeling sacramentoAdvice for Kitchen Remodeling

    Remodeling a kitchen is a complex project that involves a wide variety of aspects. To ensure a satisfactory final result, consider the following advice:

    Find a kitchen countertop that fits your needs. While tile has traditionally been the preeminent kitchen countertop material, stone has become a popular choice over the past couple of decades. The three most popular stone countertop products are granite, quartz and marble, each of which has unique attributes. For example, granite is a very tough, natural stone that only needs to be sealed every couple of decades; however, since it’s a natural product, it can’t be customized in terms of color or pattern. Quartz is a nonporous, manufactured stone product, which means additional sealants aren’t necessary. Marble, on the other hand, is a natural product that’s very susceptible to etching and staining, and therefore requires recurrent resealing.

    Additionally, there are other stone countertop options outside of the “big three.” For example, one up-and-coming material is Dekton, an engineered stone product that’s similar to porcelain but with an incredibly dense character that provides superior durability. Dekton countertops are scratch- and stain-resistant, so they’re about as close as you can get to indestructible. Clearly, when deciding among these material types, it’s important to consider their characteristics and choose one that fits both your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.

    Invest in a quality kitchen sink. Due to budget limitations, most homeowners want to save money wherever they can with their remodeling projects. However, there are some aspects of kitchen remodeling where quality should never take a backseat to cost savings. One example of this is the kitchen sink. Once installed, a kitchen sink can’t be removed without damaging the countertops. Also, if you have a tough countertop material like granite, you’re basically stuck with the sink you have—to remove it, you’ll need to remove the countertops as well. For this reason, it’s wise to invest in a high-quality kitchen sink that will stand the test of time.

    Consider refacing instead of replacing your cabinets. Replacing cabinets is often the most expensive part of a kitchen remodeling project. A good, budget-friendly alternative is having your cabinets refaced. By adding new doors and drawer fronts over the cabinets’ existing structural layout, you can give your kitchen a fresh look for a fraction of the cost. Besides saving on materials and labor, you won’t need to pull a permit for refacing or perform any code-related upgrades. Additionally, cabinet refacing involves a much shorter timeline—about two weeks as opposed to the couple of months it takes to complete a full replacement. Finally, due to the substantially lower cost, a quality refacing job can bring you a great ROI when it comes to resale value. Consult your cabinet contractor about whether cabinet refacing is a good choice for your home.

    Invest in a durable cabinet finish. Whether you choose to replace or reface your kitchen cabinets, don’t ignore the importance of a quality finish. Many cabinets come with a lacquer finish—a single-component clear coat that’s air-cured following application. However, a better option is a catalyzed conversion varnish—a two-component, chemical-cured finish that’s reinforced with a hardening agent added during application. Since a catalyzed conversion varnish has twice the dry film thickness as lacquer, it offers superior durability against wear. Additionally, conversion varnish is slightly more elastic than lacquer, which is a beneficial attribute when it comes to wood joint expansion. While it may come at a higher cost, the superior durability a conversion varnish provides will pay off when it comes to preserving your cabinets’ integrity.

    Take advantage of cutting-edge technology. When remodeling your kitchen, make it a point to choose fixtures and appliances that offer you the latest and greatest performance and convenience. Here are a few options to consider:

    Galley Workstation sink

    Known as “the Swiss Army knife of kitchen sinks,” the Galley Workstation sink is revolutionizing the way homeowners utilize their kitchens. When not in use, the sink’s stainless steel body is covered with cutting boards to create additional counter space. When in use, its double-tiered design allows you to slide accessories like bowls and strainers beneath surface components like cutting boards, which makes it easy to maneuver between various food preparation tasks.

    Steam oven

    Cooking with steam not only retains flavors better than traditional oven or stovetop cooking, it also retains more nutrients in the food, which makes it a healthier way to cook. You can even use a steam oven to do small-scale baking and roasting. To accommodate a variety of needs and tastes, some manufacturers are now making oven appliances that combine conventional heating and steam.

    Microwave convection oven

    A microwave convection oven offers a couple of key advantages for cooking in a small kitchen. First, it gives you an extra oven to use. That way, when you’re preparing a large meal, you can have your main dish cooking in the main oven while your smaller dishes cook in the convection oven. Second, since it also functions as a microwave oven, if you need to heat something at the last minute, you’re covered.

    Because of its modest size, a microwave convection oven can usually be added to a kitchen without requiring a major redesign—in fact, all that’s typically required is to modify one of your existing cabinets. So, if you’re tired of being limited by your small kitchen, take a step to expand your culinary horizons without expanding your budget.

     

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  • How to Find the Right Contractor

    kitchen remodel sacramento5 Steps to Find a Quality Remodeling Contractor in Sacramento

    The choice of a contractor is a crucial aspect of a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. However, rushing this process can leave you frustrated, disappointed and left with a substandard product. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and thoroughly evaluate prospective hires. Here’s a five-step plan for finding the right remodeling contractor:

    1. Round up a few good candidates. There are several different starting points for finding contractors. One is getting referrals from friends and neighbors who have hired contractors in the past. You can also utilize directories and online resources (such as the Diamond Certified Resource) to locate prospective candidates for your project. Ideally, you’ll find at least three contractors to contact—this will enable you to compare apples to apples when interviewing them and assessing their bids.

    2. Do some research. Once you’ve rounded up your candidates, do a little research into their background and reputation. For example, you should look at each contractor’s online reviews to see what their past clients are saying. An equally important step is verifying proper licensing and insurance. A contractor should carry three forms of insurance: workers’ compensation, liability and bonding. Together, these protect you from being sued by an injured employee, cover any incidental damage to your home and ensure the contractor honors your contract. You can verify a contractor’s license and insurance through the Contractors State License Board’s website (www.cslb.ca.gov).

    3. Make a call. Give each contractor a call and ask them a few questions. After the call, take stock of your impression of this initial interaction. How were you treated on the phone? What sort of vibe did you get from the contractor? Were they willing and able to provide references?

    4. Meet in person. The in-person meeting is very important, as it allows each party to get a feel for whether the partnership would be a good fit. Look for a contractor who can clearly convey information and is able to understand your vision for the project. Be sure to ask plenty of questions during the interview so you can stay informed about the process and get a feel for the contractor’s communication style.

    5. Compare quotes. Within a few days of meeting you in person, each contractor should provide you with a price quote for the job. The quotes you receive should be mostly similar, but there may be key differences in the details. These details include the total price of the project, specifics regarding the scope of work, estimated start and completion dates, a specified payment schedule, and statements regarding warranties and the acquisition of permits. Looking closely at the details will help you determine which contractor is offering the best value for your investment.

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  • Getting Ideas for Your Remodeling Project

    sacramento kitchen remodeledLocations to Visit for Remodeling Ideas

    When planning a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, it’s not enough to look at pictures of products and materials—to make a truly informed decision, you need to experience them in person. Here are some different types of locations in Sacramento where you can do this:

    Home improvement stores

    At big-box home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, you can get an idea of pricing for low- to mid-grade remodeling products.

    Remodeling showrooms

    Remodeling showrooms give you an opportunity to sample high-end remodeling products and materials. Keep in mind that showrooms only display the specific product lines they sell, so be sure to visit a few different ones to get the full scope of your options.

    Home shows

    Home shows (aka home expos) provide a great opportunity to see a wide range of remodeling products in a single location. Check the Sacramento area events calendar to find out when the next home show is scheduled.

    New housing developments

    Visiting newly built residential properties in Sacramento will allow you to get a firsthand glimpse at the most cutting-edge trends in home design.

    Open houses

    Similar to new housing developments, visiting open houses for residential sale properties in Sacramento is a good way to glean some remodeling inspiration. Depending on the age of the home, you may find either modern or vintage design ideas.

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