Trends You Need to Know About Remodeling and Contractors

Easy Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Very few homes come with large, luxurious bathrooms. If yours is rather small and cramped, you might feel that the only way you can improve it is by knocking through a wall and physically extending the space. However, this probably isn’t necessary. Bathroom renovations don’t have to be that complicated; there are lots of simple, affordable ways to make this part of your home look and feel larger than it really is.

Go for a pale colour scheme

White is generally considered the best colour choice for tiny areas of a house, as it reflects the light and thus helps to make a room appear bigger and brighter. Opting for a white wall paint with a satin finish, along with some glossy white tiles, will further intensify this colour’s light-reflecting properties.

If the idea of an all-white space doesn’t appeal to you, you can still create the illusion of a larger bathroom by sticking to another pale shade; beige, grey, pastel blue or lilac will all work well. Using the same light hue for the walls, ceiling and floors will give the space a streamlined, airy look and make even the tiniest bathroom seem more spacious.

Choose open shelving

In a small bathroom, storage is absolutely essential. However, cabinets, baskets and cupboards serve as both visual and physical obstructions, which make the room harder to navigate and negatively affect the overall aesthetic. The solution to this is to replace these items with open shelving, which won’t visually impede on the space. You can take this idea a step further by investing in mirrored, glass or white units; reflective, transparent and light-coloured materials will blend in with their surroundings and further enhance the open and airy feel that this type of shelving creates.

Keep the window unadorned

If you want to create the illusion of spaciousness, it’s important to pay attention to the window, and do what you can to ensure that the maximum amount of natural light gets into the space. This might mean you need to rearrange the furniture, shelving or even the bathroom suite, if any of these items are blocking out the window.

If you have to use window dressings, it’s best to opt for something minimalistic, such as a set of fully-retractable shades or a sheer white fabric panel, as these won’t affect the amount of light that reaches the room. If the current window panel is made from standard glass and you’re concerned that you won’t have enough privacy if you leave it completely unadorned, you may want to consider switching to frosted or decorative glass, which will prevent anyone from seeing in, whilst still allowing lots of sunlight into the space. 

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What to Remember When Choosing Stone Benchtops for Your Kitchen

Stone benchtops are a favourite choice for many homeowners as they offer a natural look that is timeless and classic, and which works with any type of décor. They can also provide a solid surface for food prep, so you have less worry about your benchtops holding germs, bacteria and the like. While stone benchtops may be a good choice for many homes, you do need to understand a few challenges in having them installed and ensure you opt for the right type of stone for your home. Note a few things to remember and discuss with your contractor when choosing stone benchtops for your kitchen.

Maintenance and care

Stone benchtops are very durable and very strong, but they do need regular sealing to keep the surface from getting damaged. You may need to seal your benchtops every year or every few years, depending on your use and the stone you choose. Be sure you understand this added cost when choosing a stone benchtop.

You also need to ensure you care for your benchtop properly. As durable as they are, you cannot use them as a workbench as the stone may still crack or break due to excessive pounding, dropping a heavy object on it, and the like. Marble, limestone, and soapstone are softer than granite so they may be more prone to breaking under excessive weight or wear, so ensure you manage your benchtops properly rather than assuming they’re indestructible.

Engineered versus natural stone

Engineered stone is made in a factory and is meant to look like natural stone, but it’s more durable and may be more lightweight than the real thing. If your kitchen benchtops see a lot of use and abuse, engineered stone might be a good option. You might also find a shade or tone of engineered stone that better suits your taste, as granite in particular has its own unique appearance and obviously cannot be painted over or stained to create a look you like, as you can do with wood or another material. A contractor might be better able to create a specific shade or hue with engineered stone, so discuss that with him or her if necessary.

Consider replacement costs

Most stone benchtops, because the stone sections are very unique, may be difficult to replace with a similar piece if you should damage a section or area. Some contractors will set aside a remnant of granite for your future use or you might buy an entire section and store that remnant yourself, so it can be cut and fabricated to replace a damaged section of benchtop in the future. This can save you from having to get an entirely new benchtop when just one section is damaged.

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3 Things You Don’t Need For a Beautiful Bathroom Remodel on a Budget

Bathroom remodelling can be quite costly, especially if you want to go all out and remove all fittings and fixtures and get new ones fitted. However, you’ll often find a big difference between what you want and what you can afford. If that’s you, the good news is that there are a number of ways you can improve your bathroom even on a tight budget. Below are three things you don’t need to replace to get a cool new bathroom.

1. New tub

Replacing a tub is a huge commitment – as the biggest fixture in your bathroom, a lot of work goes into its placement, so replacement can be expensive. However, you can choose to refinish the tub, leaving it looking as good as new. In reglazing, the refinisher seals surfaces around the tub to avoid over-spraying and then removes caulk around the tub. The tub is then swathed in hydrofluoric acid to remove the old glaze and prime the surface for the new glaze. He or she finally installs new caulk then sprays two epoxy coats, using a fan to dry them in between. The tub is then sanded and polished, and in 4-6 hours, you’ll have a new-looking tub for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Reglazing involves use of toxic chemicals and should be done professionally in a well ventilated room.

Another option is using tub liners where the installer measures your tub precisely to give custom measurements used to create liners exactly fitting your bath. The old tub is first cleaned using alcohol, the old drain and overflow are removed and the liner is fitted in and trimmed to fit accordingly before a new drain and overflow are installed and seams are caulked. The entire process takes less than a day once the custom liner is made and delivered.

2. New tiles

It’s one thing if your tiles are loose, chipped and almost falling out. However, if you have good-looking tiles surrounded by ugly, rimy caulk, don’t go for full replacement just yet. You can simply replace loose or missing tiles and keep the rest, and refresh the grout and caulk. Adding clean lines of caulk is cheap and can give your tiles an instant facelift. Tiles can also be refinished/reglazed along with the tub if they’re in good condition. You can change up the look by changing the glaze or adding a few accent tiles in select places. Shop around for tile sales, which can save you big bucks.

3. New mirror

If the mirror isn’t broken/old, don’t think about replacing it. Simply talk to the contractor about framing the mirror as it is. Mastic adhesive can be used to install a tile frame around it, or you can tape the mirror and place the tiles with unsanded grout (regular grout may scratch the mirror during installation). You can also go for creative wooden frames or moulding or have one customized for you. Add inexpensive sconces to both sides of the mirror to brighten the space and remove shadows when looking into the mirror.

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Amazing Secrets of Doing a Perfect Kitchen Renovation on a Budget

Kitchens are an important part of the house, and how they look is something that really matters. You want to have a kitchen that makes you look like a grand chef when cooking. However, a kitchen makeover can sum up to a lot of money really fast, but this doesn’t have to scare you. If you’re working on a tight budget, then all you have to do is learn to stretch a dollar as far as it can go. A few tips would help you transform your kitchen with the least amount of money.

Focus on the Benchtop

The impact a benchtop has on a kitchen is simply remarkable. This remains one of the most important areas to focus on in the kitchen. If you don’t like the look of the benchtop, then you can choose to have another layer to cover it or reinstall it altogether. Ceramic tile for instance, can bring a new look to your old benchtop. The cheaper option would be to simply add a new layer over it, you’ll save both time and money. However, when doing so, ensure you get rid of all the rounded edges, and properly sand the benchtop so that the adhesive can stick on.

Crafting Patterns

If you’re looking for something cheaper than tile, then you can try using papers and fabrics. Yes, decoupage can come in handy particularly if you’re the artistic type. You could also get these fabric and coloured paper cuttings from your nearest crafting store. After gluing them on, you can apply a few layers of sealant on the benchtop.

Walls and Floors

The walls are among the first thing the eye catches on walking in any room. You have to ensure that they are in perfect condition. You could paint them to a different colour just to create a new look. Use light or pastel shades that are easy on the eyes. If painting the whole kitchen doesn’t seem like a good idea, try painting a single wall, or even a part of it. In addition, you could add a wall paper. Doing so creates an accented wall that adds glamour to the space.

Floors

For the floors, you can use durable and cheap materials such as stick-on vinyl. The best part about it is that you don’t even have to get rid of your old flooring, simply install the vinyl over them. You could also create a contrast on your floors by using a slightly darker shade.

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Reasons to Invest In Roller Shutters

Roller shutters are window treatments mounted above the windowpanes and roll down to provide the required protection for the windows. These roller shutters are typically made from metallic materials such as steel or aluminium. When you opt for these window treatments, you have the option of selecting manual operation or having them motorized for convenient opening and closing. Here are some of the reasons to invest in roller shutters.

Roller shutters enhance the security of your windows

When roller shutters are installed in your windows, they are snugly fit into the window frame. This makes it harder for them to be pulled away from the window by potential burglars. This makes it harder for you home to be burgled, especially if the roller shutters have been installed from the interior. The potential burglars would require power tools to pry the shutters open, and this would definitely cause a commotion that would alert you of suspicious activity outside your home. As such, roller shutters can act as a deterrent for opportunistic burglars.

Roller shutters protect your windowpanes from the elements

Another advantage of roller shutters is that they provide your windowpanes with added protection against the weather elements. If you live in a location prone to storms and high winds, your windowpanes tend to be at risk of breakage from blown branches, flying pebbles and more. If the glass of the windowpanes is not tempered, chances are they will be susceptible to breakage. To prevent unnecessary damage to your windowpanes, you should consider installing roller shutters. These window treatments will work toward deflecting the airborne debris, which decreases the chances of your windowpanes breaking.  

Roller shutters can provide temperature regulation

Your windows are one of the ways that your household both loses heat as well as gains heat. During the colder months, a drop in temperature in your home can be attributed to heat escaping through your windows. In the warmer months, you may have to overuse your air conditioning to keep your house cool as heat from the outdoors permeates into the home through the windows. To keep a handle on this, you should consider installing roller shutters. Quality roller shutters that have been snugly fit into your windows can prevent drafts of air escaping into the home from the outdoors. Additionally, they can also work toward preserving the temperature in the home by reducing the chances of heat loss. All this can work toward decreasing the amount of heating and cooling you require in the home and could have a positive impact on your heating and cooling costs. 

For more information about roller shutters, contact a local window treatment supplier. 

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3 Common Mistakes Made When Remodeling Your Home

When you are renovating your home, it is important that you choose high-quality materials, use the right tools, and follow simple DIY instructions for each individual project. There are also some common mistakes other homeowners make that you can learn from and work to avoid.

Failing to Get a Permit

A very common mistake made by people who are new to remodeling and home renovations is not getting a permit. It might seem like your renovations are simple to complete and since you own your home and property, it shouldn’t be up to the city when you choose what to do in your home. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. Many renovations require a permit, though it depends on your city ordinances. Some common reasons you will need a permit is if you are adding a room to your home, doing major plumbing or electrical work, or are working with the home’s sewer system. Make sure you visit your local building permit office to find out if you need a permit or not.

Not Being Aware of Plumbing and Electrical Work

If part of your remodeling project has to do with tearing down a wall with a sledgehammer, you should not just swing the hammer and have fun with it. While this can be a great stress relief, it puts you at risk of permanently damaging these systems in your home. You first need to be aware of exactly where the electrical wiring is located behind that wall. If you accidentally hit a wire, you will need to call an electrician to have it repaired. The same goes for the plumbing, which could lead to a burst pipe and major flood damage in your home.

Ignoring the Importance of Waste Pickup

You might be halfway through your home remodeling project before you realize how much of a mess you are making. It is important that you consider how your waste will be picked up before you even get started. If you are remodeling a small part of your home, such as replacing a bathtub in your bathroom, you might be able to get it done the same day. In this case, you will often put the waste in the back of your truck and haul it to the dump yourself. However, bigger remodeling projects last longer and have more waste than you can handle on your own. You will either need to rent a dumpster to be placed in your driveway or in the street during the project, or hire a hauling company to pick it up for you. This keeps the area clean and allows you to deal with the waste expediently.

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4 Things to Include for an Amazing Laundry Remodelling

Compared to more glamorous rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room, laundries are often overlooked in terms of importance when it comes to remodelling your home. Considering the often endless piles of washing that a busy family can generate and the many hours that parents spend utilising the laundry space, it’s a good idea to put a bit more thought and planning into the remodelling of your laundry. Here are four inclusions that will make your laundry a delight to spend time in.

1. A window

Many laundries are small spaces with almost no natural light. Installing a window in your laundry can turn your laundry from a dark, cramped space into a bright and warm environment. Natural light means it won’t always be necessary to turn on the light while you’re ironing or investigating clothed for stains. It may also give you a pleasant outlook while you’re folding up clothes instead of having to stare at a dull, blank wall.

2. Extra-large bench space

Sorting out clothes, folding clothes, and creating piles of freshly ironed clothes will be much easier and more enjoyable if you have plenty of space to put it all. Ask your remodelling contractor to build a bench top that is larger than a standard laundry bench top. If you are short on space, then you could always have a hinged bench extension installed. This way you can simply tuck the extra bench space against the wall when it’s not needed.

3. A ceiling-hung drying rack

After a bout of rainy weather, you may be sick of the sight of clothes and other laundry items draped over your furniture to dry. While some families will turn to their clothes dryer in this scenario, some people may not have one or may find the increase in the power bill off-putting. The solution is to have a drying rack installed on the ceiling of your laundry. This can be accessed using a simple rope and pulley system, and it can be safely stored out of the way when not in use.

4. Plenty of storage

A top-quality laundry remodelling will include an ample amount of storage. This is good for keeping all of your laundry products and can also be used for storing your other household cleaning products. If you have a good-sized laundry, then you may even use the space for other activities, such as sewing, crafting, painting, or scrapbooking. Plenty of storage space means that all of these extra items can be safely stored away, close at hand, until they’re needed.

For such a small and generally neglected space, the laundry performs an essential function in a busy, modern home. By including the above ideas in your laundry renovation, you will have a laundry that is not only highly functional but also a pleasure to spend time in.

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