Kitchen Remodels for Rookies: Dos & Don’ts

So, you’ve made up your mind and are going for that much-needed kitchen remodel? Great! Deciding to take the leap is undoubtedly exciting… but the feeling of joy is all too often followed by an inevitable sense of anxiety. Where do you begin? What do you prioritize? How do you balance the functionality of affordable kitchen cabinets with aesthetics?

If your head is spinning with more questions than answers, you’ve come to the right place. As you’re getting your ducks in a row, consider these vital do’s and don’ts of a rewarding kitchen makeover. Let’s dive in!

1. DO think about how you use your kitchen. It’s easy to stick to what you know, instead of considering whether you’re using your space as effectively as possible. After looking at others’ kitchens, many people start to believe that a big island, a cozy window seat, and ample countertop space are the be all end all. But this traditional set-up isn’t the only way to go – and may not even be desirable, depending on how you plan to use the room. Do you go all out when you cook, or do your meals tend to be simple? Do you have children who like to do homework or play in the kitchen? Do you enjoy entertaining guests? Taking the time to answer these questions will allow you to design your space in a way that’s best able to meet your particular needs, so give them plenty of thought before setting anything in stone.

2. DON’T underestimate the importance of storage. From pots and pans to pasta, kitchens are often filled to the brim. One of homeowners’ most common complaints is that the room is not equipped with sufficient storage – or that the available cabinetry does not enable them to make use of the space as efficiently as it should. The good news, however, is that trendy, practical, and affordable kitchen cabinets are no longer an unattainable dream, but rather an increasingly popular and available option. Installing pull-out drawers as opposed to traditional cabinets with doors is all the rage today, as the former are easier to access and have an increased storage capacity. Oh, and why not include drawers in your island, too? You can never have enough storage space, after all!

3. DO consider your layout carefully. Just as you’ll want to think about how your design can best meet your needs, casting a critical eye over the layout is an absolute must. Even if you get the techy appliances and affordable kitchen cabinets that you’ve always wanted, they’re useless if a wall or countertop obstructs them. To spare yourself from frustration (and maybe even a second remodel!), ensure that your layout allows you to make full and proper use of your appliances and cabinetry. Taking close measurements of your space and furnishings is the key to success – and if you’d like a second opinion on your chosen layout, it’s never a bad idea to hire a contractor to help you crunch the numbers.

4. DON’T forget about the budget. It’s tempting to treat yourself to nothing but the crème de la crème of countertops, cabinetry, and appliances, but do a reality check before you swipe your credit card. While you may want a chic island that’s everything but affordable, kitchen cabinets that exude opulence, and the latest, built-in coffee machine, do you really need them to create an amazing space? After setting a realistic budget, make a list of items that you absolutely need, and another of items that aren’t essential, but that would be nice to have. After adding up the total cost of the first list, you’ll have a clearer picture of how your budget stacks up – and whether you can treat yourself to a few things on the second list, too!

These do’s and don’ts are only the tip of the iceberg, but they serve as an ideal starting point for a successful remodel. Trust us: once you’ve laid out your initial ideas, creating a space that’s both functional and beautiful will be a much more manageable challenge. A little bit of planning goes a long way!

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How to Prepare for a Meeting With Your Kitchen Designer

As industry experts, we know just how daunting the task of remodeling a kitchen can be. From deciding on affordable kitchen cabinets to choosing the color of your walls, it’s easy – and normal – to agonize over decisions both small and large. The important thing to remember, however, is that you don’t have to go through the process alone. To help you create a space that you’ll love for years to come, hiring an experienced designer is becoming the norm – and for good reason! Not only will the advice of a professional help you narrow down your choices and stop you from second-guessing them, but you may also receive new insights into how you could transform the room for the best.

But while designers are often the key to creating the kitchen of your dreams, they’re not psychics. In other words, they can’t design a space that you’re guaranteed to like out of thin air – they need to build on your initial vision, as well as your requirements and restrictions. So, don’t keep your designer guessing! Prepare for your first meeting by carefully considering the following five points.

1. Assess Your Current Kitchen

Before dreaming up a new space, evaluate what you currently have. Equipped with a piece of paper and a pen, stand in the room and create two lists: one of what you like about it, and one of what could use improvement. These lists can include everything from the material of your countertops and floors to the overall layout of the room. Could your appliances use an upgrade? Do you have sufficient storage? Is the style still working for you? As you move forward with your remodel, you’ll discover that casting a critical eye over every inch of the room and jotting down your likes and dislikes was a critical first step, helping you identify your priorities for the space.

2. Brainstorm

The fun part’s next: collecting ideas for your dream kitchen. Before you start worrying about whether or not your ideal space is realistic, spend some time browsing through magazines and compiling a wish list of appliances, surface materials, etc. You may even find yourself evaluating your friends’ or family members’ kitchens, making mental notes of aspects that appeal to you. To compile your thoughts, we recommend creating a mood board, which may also help your designer get a better sense of your style.

3. Set a Budget

While you’ll want to be 100% happy with your new space, you don’t want that happiness coming at the expense of a depleted bank account. Before meeting with your designer, setting yourself a carefully considered budget is essential. This will not only help you further evaluate your priorities, but will also enable your designer to give advice that’s financially feasible. You may want to return to your initial brainstorming ideas and ask yourself what you want and what you actually need. For example, will you only be satisfied with the newest, most expensive coffee maker? Do the affordable kitchen cabinets meet your requirements?

4. Pay Attention to the Appliances

Having a general sense of what appliances you’re considering before your first meeting goes a long way. Will they be counter-depth? Are you keeping any of your current appliances? Are you a fan of built-in microwaves? Your designer will need to have the answers to these questions before planning out your cabinetry, as its dimensions will be dependent on the height, width, and depth of your appliances. While you don’t need to be set on particular brands or models yet, arrive with your initial ideas in place – and ensure that your plans are in line with your wishes, but still affordable. Kitchen cabinets’ size and layout will then follow naturally.

5. Ask Questions

It pays off to do your homework before the meeting, but that doesn’t mean that you’re expected to have all of the answers. If you come across a few stumbling blocks along the way, write them down and don’t hesitate to pick your designer’s brains. For instance, you may be unsure of how to maximize your storage space, how to create a layout that’s both practical and energy-efficient, or where to find elegant yet affordable kitchen cabinets. In addition to giving you a clearer idea of how to approach your remodel, asking your designer these questions will also give him/her a better sense of your priorities and requirements. So, don’t be shy and ask away!

Remodeling can pose challenges, but working with a qualified designer is certain to lighten your load. By following the five steps above, you’re sure to get a clearer picture of your wishes and needs, and enable your designer to create a kitchen that meets – and even exceeds – your expectations. Ready, set, plan!

Most common boiler types suitable for homes

There are many types of boilers on the market, however, choosing the right one for your home requires doing some research and taking some details into consideration before wasting your money on something that is not suitable. A boiler is an important feature that every house needs to have, it heats and provides hot water or steam for heating. Usually, the types of fuel used for boilers for homes are electric and gas.

The most common types of boilers that are suitable and recommended to use for houses are combi boilers, system boilers, and conventional ones. All of them have their pros and cons, depending on how much space you have inside for it and what are your personal needs when it comes to the use of hot water and heating.

Combi boilers
Combination boilers tend to be the most popular type of boilers used for a house. this type has a wide variety of sizes that you can choose from and there is no need for a separate water storage tank or cylinder. That is why it is very suitable for small properties that lack free space. Another advantage the makes combi boilers to be one of the most favorite types is the fact that there it provides unlimited hot water with no waiting time for the cylinder to refill. However, some say that one of its cons is that in case the boiler breaks down there is no other alternative source for hot water, but you surely have heard about boiler rental in such unexpected situations.

System boilers
This type of boilers heats the central heating directly and meanwhile it provides hot water form a cylinder. It is ideal for homes with more than just one bathroom because of the faster response of providing hot water if multiple taps are used at the same time. Still, if you do not have a separate room to store the cylinder it is not going to be the best choice for you. Moreover, take into consideration that the cylinder needs to be properly isolated because otherwise, it could lose heat.

Conventional boilers
Also known as regular boilers, can heat your house very efficiently, especially if there are many rooms to heat. If combi and system boilers are not compatible with solar thermal panels, conventional ones are, which can be a save of money. However, the free space of your house might stop you from choosing this type. It surely needs a big storage room because it comes with two cylinders for both hot and cold water. As well, the hot water can run out and again you will need to wait for it to reheat.

Now that you know the most important pros and cons of any type you can choose the perfect one for your house. As well, you look for a company that has boiler rentals and try all of them to see which one fits your needs better.

Servicing Your Air Conditioner Before Summer

If summer arrives as quickly as spring did, we’ll all need our air conditioners soon. Cold air is a modern luxury that many of us don’t want to do without during the hot summer months. Unless we properly maintain our air conditioning units, cool air may be a luxury we go without this summer. Here are four reasons to perform yearly maintenance on your air conditioner.

Efficiency: Time, age, and lack of use during the cold months cause air conditioners to wear down. Air vents and filters become clogged with dust and other debris. The result is a reduced ability for your air conditioner to circulate cold air throughout your house. In many cases, cool air may never reach the rooms in your home that are farthest from the unit.

Energy Costs: If your air conditioner isn’t running at maximum efficiency, you’ll be spending a lot more money this summer. If your Salt Lake City air conditioner is unmaintained, it uses more energy and runs longer than normal in order to cool your house. Added energy use and longer run times are most noticeable when it comes time to pay your electric bill.

Air Quality: In addition to cooling your home, your air conditioner is responsible for circulating air. Without proper maintenance, your air conditioner can’t do this effectively. Poor circulation leads to stagnant air as dust and moisture accumulate. Increased dust buildup occurs when air filtration systems are full or clogged and no longer filter air.

Safety: Poor air quality isn’t the only health concern caused by bad air conditioners. Each year, thousands of U.S. house fires are caused by air conditioners that are in a state of disrepair.

Each of these problems is preventable with a straightforward solution, annual maintenance. Hiring a certified technician to inspect and repair your air conditioner probably isn’t another bill you want to pay. However, yearly maintenance pays for itself in three ways, reduced energy costs, more efficient cooling, and increased air conditioner lifespan. A small investment now leads to big savings later.

It was mentioned in the beginning that summer is right around the corner. Don’t wait until the Salt Lake City summer hits to have your air conditioner inspected. Summer is the busiest time of year for technicians, and that means their availability goes down and their costs go up. Have your air conditioner inspected this spring and ensure that it’s ready to keep your house cool before the summer heat hits.

Protecting Your Home’s Roof from Storm Damage

Without a roof, your house would not be home. A roof provides shelter, security, and protection from all outside elements. When your roof becomes damaged from those outside elements, like a tree falling on it during a storm or large hail puncturing through it, it’s important to seek professional help right away to prevent any further damage. But who do you call when something like this happens in the middle of the night or on the weekend? Is it considered an emergency? What are the common causes of emergency roofing repairs? Below, we will help answer these questions to provide you with knowledge, so you will know what to do if something like this happens to your roof. 

What is considered an emergency?

If a roof is allowing water to enter the home, caving in, or looking like a potential hazard, then it most definitely needs to be repaired ASAP. In most instances, a roofing company in Columbia can address the issue right away with a temporary solution until the weather permits and the roofing company can map out a plan and schedule with you at the time to determine the exact issue and its costs.

What are the common causes of emergency roofing repairs?

There is a variety of things that can cause roofing emergencies. It is your job, as the homeowner, to react quickly as soon as you notice your roof’s damage. Here are the more common causes of roofing repair emergencies: 

Rain- Rain, in general, should not cause any issues to your roof, but if it rains for a long period, the more it can affect your roof. For example; your roof may have an area that forms a crevice in which it will gather the rain for the total duration of the storm causing that area of the roof to weaken. If it becomes weak, the easier it is for holes and leaks. 

Hailstorms – When weather conditions get severe and form into hailstorms, the hail in Columbia can cause major storm damage in a matter of minutes. You might not notice the damage during the storm, but for precautions after each hail storm, it’s best to inspect your roof to make sure the hard hail did not puncture the roof.

High winds – High winds can affect your roof because of the effects it can have on trees close to the roof. The high winds can knock over a tree into your roof and home, causing a large puncture to its form. 

Who do you call?

You call a professional roofing company that provides a 24-7 emergency hotline. Do not call in a panic. The damage to the roof is already damaged. Once you call the roofing company, they will send over help to prevent issues from worsening. It’s also best to contact your insurance company to analyze what’s covered and what is not. Together, yourself and the roofing company can go over your coverage to determine a plan of action best for your roofing needs.

Why You Should Clean Your House and Protected It from Moulds

It is critical for your health to detect and clean any moulds that have infested your home. Mould is another term that associates with a group of fungi that grows and spreads very easily in domestic conditions. There are various types and they are all harmful to the human body. Depending on the species of fungi, there are various ways to clean your home or office. We have summarised the most common symptoms and allergies in a simple classification to aid you in your quest for a better lifestyle and healthier household.

Non-toxic Moulds and Their Negative Effects
The good news is that most common moulds don’t pose a deadly threat to you. The bad news is that they are still very dangerous and you should invest time and effort in properly cleaning your house. At the end of the article, we have gathered a list of preventing technics and tips how to keep your home clean from fungi. That said non-toxic moulds seriously could harm the human body if it is exposed to them long enough. They can cause:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • throat asphyxiation
  • Sore eyes
  • Dry or irritated skin
  • Different types of skin rashes
  • Headache

Clean the Mould Regularly and Don’t Expose Yourself to Toxins
Some moulds can be classified as toxic (Aspergillus, Stachybotrys) and are quite dangerous for both the humans and the animals that live in the home. You should not lightly take the threat that they pose to your health and always use protection when you do a house cleaning. Toxic moulds can cause:

  • pulmonary bleeding
  • depression
  • irritation of the skin and eyes
  • neurological damage
  • internal damage and in some cases bleeding
  • fatigue
  • skin allergies
  • asthma attack
  • lung infections

Moulds are especially harmful to people with a low immune system or to those who have autoimmune illnesses. The deadly fungi pose a threat to people with chronic diseases and heart conditions. The simple inconvenience of having black spots in your kitchen or bathroom can quickly escalate to a month stay at the hospital. Stay safe and have a mould check at least every four months and if you see some of the symptoms listed above immediately contact your doctor.

How to Clean and Prevent Mould from Appearing

  • Flooding and pipe leakage are the best way to provide the mould with the ideal environment to grow. Be careful and after every big home renovation make sure to properly clean and disinfect your home.
  • If you are renovating and painting your home considers using mould inhibitors before placing the paint. Do not paint mouldy surfaces and always make sure that everything is cleaned properly afterwards.
  • It is important not to leave wet surfaces and tiles. Water is the fungi’s best friend, that is why you should carefully clean and wipe all the moist.
  • Try to provide a fresh airflow in your home. Ventilate all the rooms where water condensation may happen – bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms.
  • Stay aware of the humidity levels in your home. If they are above 50 there is a good chance you have a mould colony hidden somewhere in your house.
  • You should never mix bleach with other home cleaning detergents. This will result in the creation of toxic fumes. Always wear a mask when dealing with chlorine or ammonia-based substances and follow carefully the instructions on the bottles.

How to Hire a Professional Painter

Painting your home is actually a big deal and like every other job that matters, you need a real pro to bring life to your home with an impressive paint job. If you are looking to paint your house soon or seriously considering it, below are some great tips to help you find the right paint contractor for the job.

• Check Past Customer Referrals This is a no brainer. Since you are after the best contractor for the job, you can start by finding one that has done a great job elsewhere. You can ask family or friends for referrals or simply go on the internet and search for painters in your area, check out their websites. Are they professionally presenting their business? Check online review sites like Trustedpros, Yellow Pages and Google Maps.

• Pay Attention During the Quoting Process It is often recommended that you invite at least three different contractors and request a quote. Also, it is crucial that these contractors actually come to assess the area to be painted themselves. This should be more than a quick glance. Pay keen attention to how much the contractor spends assessing the area to be painted. A professional contractor will do more than glance at your home and give you a quote.

• Be Straight with Your Expectations You can expect fair treatment, fair and square. State your demands and be sure that the contractor is on board with what you hope to achieve. Usually, the number of coats applied to the wall isn’t the only thing that affects the final paint job quality. Preparation is also crucial and be prepared to pay extra if you want a professional job. If you wish to compromise on some of the preparations, be sure to agree to what extent with the contractor before the job begins. If you skimp on the preparations then don’t expect the contractor to provide a warranty.

• Ask to See Pictures of Completed Projects and Certifications Since you need to gauge the expertise of your potential painter, be sure to ask for past painting jobs that they have undertaken. Ideally, something recent – three to six months ago. If you are impressed with what you see, then go ahead and give them a shot. Also, since we are obviously talking about hiring a real professional, you may want to ask to see credentials or membership to a professional or recognized painters group. This isn’t a clear reflection of the painter’s skill, but it goes a long way to show that they are dedicated to their work and are fairly reliable.

• Get It In Writing Ensure that the contract clearly stipulates what is to be done, in what order, the complete cost and in what period it is to be completed. The contract should also contain key details about the contractor such as office address, name, telephone number, email and make sure the paperwork stipulates your rights to change your mind. Also, request a copy of the painter’s liability and workers compensation insurance records. If the painter doesn’t have any coverage, and someone gets hurt in the course of the job or any damage is incurred, you just may be the one to cover the cost.

• Make Sure You are Getting Quality Paint Some painters will go as far as recommending a paint for you. This isn’t a bad idea. However, do not simply take their word for it. If a painter suggests any particular paint brand or type, ensure you independently find out if the paint suits the paint job and what you hope to achieve.

• Hold out and Ask for Guarantee Resist the temptation to pay the complete fee before the job commences. You should pay at most 50% of the total fee as a deposit. Also, request that the painter guarantees you that any imperfection or blemishes in the final paint job will be corrected before you complete the payment.

Why Should You Know Well About the Furniture Upholstery Services?

Because furniture is extremely vulnerable to dust accumulation and stains, it ought to be cleaned on a semi-regular basis. Dusting, vacuuming, wiping, etc. and so forth and when it has to do with cleaning many kinds of furniture, that’s when frustration hits the absolute most. When you’re cleaning upholstered furniture, the very first point to be mindful of is the kind of material on the furniture. Even simple aged furniture may benefit from a superior cleaning.

Typically, leather furniture ought to be cleaned and conditioned every 6-12 months based on the sort of leather and the surroundings in which it resides. Keep in mind, when you place the fine furniture into your residence or office, give it the care it deserves to keep the life of the piece for generations to relish. Upholstered furniture is both stylish and functional, but nevertheless, it can be more challenging to clean than other sorts of furniture.

Since you can see, some forms of fabrics may call for expert cleaning. If it is a pile fabric, it is going to want to get brushed after cleaning to restore its normal appearance. Before attempting to search for any “sofa upholstery near me”, you need to check the fabric to make sure the procedure suitable. Please remember that all upholstery pricing depends upon the sort of fabric that the furniture is created out of. Then the fabric needs to be tested to create sure it is going to be safe to wash and it will not shrink from cleaning.

Furthermore, different upholstery fabrics are dyed with distinct colors, in various ways, and the age of the upholstery also needs to be taken into consideration. Others just want to safeguard the original upholstery. Furniture upholstery prices may be a tall order. The absolute most important point to remember when it is to consider the fabric.

Some stains you might be in a position to get out yourself should you act quickly, but you don’t know whenever your efforts may damage the upholstery, doing more damage than good. Most forms of upholstery have delicate fabric which will be damaged by regular carpet cleaning procedures. It should be marked with a code that allows the buyer to know in advance, what type of cleaning is suggested.

Before you settle on which upholstery cleaner to buy, you want to comprehend the various sorts of upholstery cleaners and what their labeling means. Leather upholstery and the maximum grade of fibers and plastics are utilized to create the interiors of the vehicle.

If you’re a pet owner, you are in need of a carpet cleaner to look after accidents which may occur. The Hoover carpet cleaner does all the work so you are able to move on to more desirable tasks around the home. The carpet cleaner you hire should check the form of fabric your upholstery is created to figure out the suitable cleaning technique. Portable carpet and rug cleaners on the market can provide you with the best solutions.

Relaxation chairs are an ideal means to relax without having to visit bed and it can be of benefit to the whole family in or out of the house. They are an ideal way to relieve stress and promote relaxation in your body and leave you feeling refreshed. Since car seat covers get lots of wear, it’s only practical to select automobile seat covers made of materials that are waterproof, machine washable, in addition to being tough and long-lasting.