Archive for Bath Remodeling

I Wish I Had Thought About That – Master Baths

Posted in Around Your Home, Home Maintenance, Homeownership, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by Pat Hansen

Building a new home or remodeling is an opportunity to consider some new concepts or products for your new Master Bath.  Creating a wish-list will help you identify the must-have items and help eliminate those last minute, budget-busting extras.

Here are some of the ideas you may want to consider:

Euro-Shower-with-seat-and-Oil-rubbed-BronzeShowers

  • Larger showers with frameless enclosures
  • Coated, clear glass enclosures for easy cleaning
  • Dual shower heads; wall-mounted, hand-held shower heads with sensor temperature controls
  • Shower fixtures in oil rubbed bronze, Tuscan bronze, black, brushed nickel and more
  • Pulsating water jets that provide spinal and foot massage
  • Warm, neutral tile tones with colorful glass tile accents 
  • Recessed shelves for shampoo, etc. tall enough for Costco-size containers
  • Built-in benches

Soaking-TubBathtubs

  • Tubs separated from showers
  • Smaller soaking, jetted and non-jetted tubs
  • Sunken Roman tubs
  • Eco – friendly stone and wood bathtubs
  • Artificial stone bathtubs available in various shapes

Toilets

  • Pump powered, pressure-assisted quiet, dual-flush system
  • Comfort height versus regular height toilets
  • Water efficient models
  • Heated seats

Armoire-Linen-StorageSinks

  • Vessel sinks in glass, porcelain or metal
  • Geometric and free shaped modern sinks
  • Hand painted sinks integrated into vintage furniture  vanities
  • Stainless steel sinks

Cabinets

  • “His” and “Hers” separate vanities; his with additional height.
  • Separate vanity locationsFramed-Mirror
  • Storage garages for hair styling equipment
  • Coffee bar cabinets with refrigerator
  • Side storage cabinets above countertop
  • Armoire cabinet for linen storage

Mirrors

  • Antique framed mirrors above furniture vanity
  • Contemporary, stainless steel custom frames
  • Wall-to-wall, countertop to ceiling or crown molding
  • Steam-resistant glass

Tile

  • Glass tile in ocean colors
  • Metallic accent pieces for ceramic tile
  • Combination of glass and porcelain tiles creating borders or accents

Today’s homeowner is looking to make the master bath more comfortable, stylish and personal. For homeowners who aren’t confident in their design capabilities, it is best to consult a professional. It is better to get expert advice ahead of time, instead of after a project has gone wrong.

Remodeling? Don’t Forget the Permit

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation, Worth Repeating with tags , , on September 6, 2011 by Pat Hansen

As Remodelers, we often hear the comment, “Why do we need a permit?”

The following article, by Melissa Dittmann Tracey, appeared in REALTOR Magazine’s September, 2011 issue, and illustrates the problems that do-it-yourself enthusiasts and unlicensed contractors face by not securing permits with their municipality.

Home owners who fail to get a building permit for a remodeling project can jeopardize a sale.

When home owners take on a remodeling project, they’re often far more focused on choosing glistening fixtures for a new bathroom or debating the type of granite to use on a kitchen countertop than, say, navigating the intricacies of the building permit process. That could be a huge mistake, however, and it may not even come to light until the house is put up for sale. Ignoring local approval requirements not only poses safety and legal problems but also can potentially derail an otherwise smooth sale.

Home owners using licensed contractors for remodeling work typically don’t have to get involved with permitting. Most licensed contractors will handle the cumbersome process for them—filling out the paperwork with the municipality, collecting fees, and being present for the required inspections, says Michael Hydeck, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. But when home owners tackle do-it-yourself projects or use unlicensed contractors, they risk problems later.

The permit process varies widely from city to city and state to state. But the purpose of the document is the same everywhere: It offers assurance by a municipal building department that the work being done meets all safety codes.

Ask Sellers before You List

Home owners may be asked about permits in the process of selling a home. At closing, they may have to disclose any remodeling work they did and verify permits. A home inspector evaluating a property for a buyer may want to know whether a permit was obtained. Furthermore, the buyer’s appraiser may want to see permit records to check the legality of any home renovations.

“If no permits are found and it’s obvious the home has been renovated, the bank will likely refuse to make the loan,” according to the American Bar Association’s book Legal Guide to Home Renovation (Random House Reference, 2006). If the permitless work isn’t discovered until after closing, the home’s value could even be subject to a lawsuit, such as in cases when an addition added extra square footage to the home’s value but the construction wasn’t done legally with a permit.

That’s why contractors and legal experts say real estate practitioners are well advised to ask sellers before they take on a listing for a renovated home: “Did you get a permit for that?”

Remodeling contractor John Price in Merced,Calif., has been called in to help home owners after permit problems have been uncovered. He once worked with a home owner who installed siding by himself, but added it too far down along the wall of the house, so it rubbed up against dirt and picked up moisture. Eventually the poor installation led to mold growing in the drywall throughout the inside of the house.

Some home owners, however, are tempted to sidestep the permit process not wanting to pay the fees (municipalities generally charge a minimum issuing fee—such as $25—as well as an additional fee—sometimes 1 percent—of total construction costs), or they might not want to risk delaying a project or a sale by waiting for city inspections (obtaining permits can take anywhere from a day to six weeks or more).

“People have strong incentives to cheat, and some of that lays squarely on the feet of policymakers who have sometimes created a system that is time-consuming and frustrating,” Price says.

But caught without a permit during resale, home owners may face big consequences. They may have to pay fines (possibly up to quadruple the original permit cost) or may have to tear the project down and redo it.

Virtually No Job Is Too Small

Home owners making any changes to the structures of a home will likely need a permit—and you may need more than one, Price says.

While kitchen and bathroom remodels and housing additions are obvious permit candidates, people may not realize they might also need one for such projects as installing a window, adding a new light switch, or replacing a shower. “There are not too many jobs you don’t need a permit for,” Hydeck adds. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

I Wish I Had Thought About That – Master Baths

Posted in I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation with tags , , , on August 31, 2011 by Pat Hansen

Building a new home or remodeling is an opportunity to consider some new concepts or products for your new Master Bath.  Creating a wish-list will help you identify the must-have items and help eliminate those last minute, budget-busting extras.

Here are some of the ideas you may want to consider:

Showers

  • Larger showers with frameless enclosures
  • Coated, clear glass enclosures for easy cleaning
  • Dual shower heads; wall-mounted, hand-held shower heads with sensor temperature controls
  • Shower fixtures in oil rubbed bronze, Tuscan bronze, black, brushed nickel and more
  • Pulsating water jets that provide spinal and foot massage
  • Warm, neutral tile tones with colorful glass tile accents  
  • Recessed shelves for shampoo, etc. tall enough for Costco-size containers
  • Built-in benches

Bathtubs

  • Tubs separated from showers
  • Smaller soaking, jetted and non-jetted tubs
  • Sunken Roman tubs
  • Eco – friendly stone and wood bathtubs
  • Artificial stone bathtubs available in various shapes

Toilets

  • Pump powered, pressure-assisted quiet, dual-flush system
  • Comfort height versus regular height toilets
  • Water efficient models
  • Heated seats

Sinks

  • Vessel sinks in glass, porcelain or metal
  • Geometric and free shaped modern sinks
  • Hand painted sinks integrated into vintage furniture  vanities
  • Stainless steel sinks

Cabinets

  • “His” and “Hers” separate vanities; his with additional height.
  • Separate vanity locations
  • Storage garages for hair styling equipment
  • Coffee bar cabinets with refrigerator
  • Side storage cabinets above countertop
  • Armoire cabinet for linen storage

Mirrors

  • Antique framed mirrors above furniture vanity
  • Contemporary, stainless steel custom frames
  • Wall-to-wall, countertop to ceiling or crown molding
  • Steam-resistant glass

Tile

  • Glass tile in ocean colors
  • Metallic accent pieces for ceramic tile
  • Combination of glass and porcelain tiles creating borders or accents

Today’s homeowner is looking to make the master bath more comfortable, stylish and personal. For homeowners who aren’t confident in their design capabilities, it is best to consult a professional. It is better to get expert advice ahead of time, instead of after a project has gone wrong.

Selling Your Home? – Top 8 Returns on D.I.Y. Fix-up Dollars

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation, The Drawing Board, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by Kevin Fox

Foreclosures continue to negatively impact the housing market.  Homeowners wishing to sell their home today must do everything possible to differentiate their home from other homes on the market.  Spending a few dollars before putting your home on the market can pay big dividends if you know how to spend those dollars wisely.

HomeGain recently surveyed nearly 600 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low-cost (less than $5,000), do-it-yourself  home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell. The following are the top 8 do-it-yourself projects for under $1,300.  Note: Costs and returns are national averages.

8. Paint Interior Walls. Repair any damaged interior walls by patching all chips, holes and cracks; then touch up or repaint interior walls with neutral color. All woodwork like stairwell railings and doors should be repainted and or stained.

  • Average Cost – $1,012
  • Increase in Selling Price – $2,112
  • Average Return on Investment – 109%

7. Replace or Shampoo Carpets. If carpets are only lightly soiled, shampooing and/or spot removal should suffice. If your home has hardwood floors with room-size rugs, get the hardwood into its best condition with fresh non-slip floor polish or other coating to make it shimmer.

  • Average Cost – $647
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,739
  • Average Return on Investment – 169%

6. Update Kitchen and Bathrooms. Update kitchen and baths by resurfacing cabinets or painting with neutral color. Replace toilet seats, dated fixtures and drawer/cabinet handles. If the appliances are included with the sale of your home, make sure they are operating and have proper documentation such as warranties and repair information.

Average Cost – $1,265

  • Increase in Selling Price – $3,435
  • Average Return on Investment – 172%

5. Repair Plumbing and Electrical. Consider repairing or replacing any defective plumbing or electrical items in your home. Make sure that all smoke and burglar alarms are functional.

  • Average Cost – $535
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,505
  • Average Return on Investment – 181%

4. Landscaping. Hire gardener or landscaper to trim back the overgrowth and maintain yard. Add colorful plants or flowers near front door and porch area.

  • Average Cost – $540
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,932
  • Average Return on Investment – 258%

3. Home Staging. Buy some fresh flowers, live plants and other decorations to liven up the home. Consider hiring a staging consultant. Set the dining room table for a dinner party.

  • Average Cost – $550
  • Increase in Selling Price – $2,194
  • Average Return on Investment – 299%

2. Lighten and Brighten. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and use higher wattage bulbs, if possible. Keep drapes open during the day. Turn on enough lights so home is well lit during showing.

  • Average Cost – $375
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,550
  • Average Return on Investment – 313%

1. Clean and De-clutter. Rent a storage space or sell excess items, if needed. Keep every room very clean during open homes. Appliances should be cleaned – inside and out

  • Average Cost – $290
  • Increase in Selling Price – $1,999
  • Average Return on Investment – 586%

The article above is excerpted from HomeGain’s 2011 Home Sale Maximizer Survey, initially posted by: Louis Cammarosano on January 18th, 2011.  Read the entire article HERE

To Remodel or Not To Remodel …

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation with tags , , , on February 10, 2011 by Pat Hansen

Since the economy has slowed down, most of us are afraid to dip into savings or income because banks are making it more difficult to get loans. We think that holding on to our money in case times get worse is the best way to go. However, most people don’t know the smart ways to invest in their home. Remodeling is an investment that can help in the long run.

The first step towards successful Home Improvement Remodeling is to find out how much your home is presently worth.

The next thing you need to know is the top sales price in your area for totally updated and renovated homes of the same approximate size as your home.  You can start this investigation by talking to neighbors who have just sold their homes, by scanning your local newspaper, by searching your local area on the internet, talking to real estate agents who have an in-depth knowledge of your area and finally by visiting other homes for sale in the neighborhood to see what they have to offer that your home does not.

The end result of this search will give you the present top or “ceiling” price for similar homes in your area. The difference between the present value of your home and the “ceiling “ price of similar homes in your area is your maximum Home Improvement Remodeling budget for all and any work you plan to have done around your home.

Choosing the right project for your home remodeling is easier if you have seen the standard of finish and amenities featured in top priced homes in your area, the ones that are selling and not sitting on the market.

  • Kitchen Remodeling – An updated kitchen including energy efficient appliances, plumbing, wiring, flooring, lighting, quality cabinetry and countertops go a long way in raising the saleability value of your home.
  • Bathroom Remodeling – The more up-to-date facilities your bathroom offers the better, like Jacuzzi tub, spacious walk-in shower with body massaging jets, neutral tile and updated fixtures and lighting. The key here, as in the kitchen, is not over spending on designer fixtures and fittings when good quality options would update your project, reflect the value of your home and fit your remodeling needs.
  • Master Bathroom – The most popular home improvement remodeling options for the master bedroom is the inclusion of a master bath, and if space allows, a walk-in closet and/or dressing area. The potential for maximum results may be determined by any available space situated beside the present master bedroom, i.e. a small spare room that you can incorporate without adversely affecting the value of your home.
  • Energy Efficient Equipment – In all home types, updating all fuel consuming equipment for energy efficient options is going to be a solid investment now, on saved energy bills, and a great selling point backing up the value of your home in the future.
  • Exterior Renovations – Nine out of the ten most cost-effective projects, nationally, in terms of value recouped, are exterior replacement projects. These include front entry door replacement, siding replacement, both fiber-cement and foam –backed vinyl, window replacement and garage door replacement with an insulated steel door.

Links:

Robert R Jones Homes Remodeling

Hardwood Door & Bevel

KSI Kitchen Cabinets

Aging In Place

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That with tags , , , , on December 8, 2010 by Pat Hansen

While few of us want to admit that we are aging, an overwhelming number of home owners have made the decision that they want to live independently in their own homes.

The easiest way to prepare for aging-in-place is to include design features when building a home or embarking on a remodeling project. The following features can be added during construction or remodeling jobs for little or no extra cost:

Getting safely in and out of the house         

  • Better outdoor lighting, such as path lighting to the front or rear door
  • Attractive ramps or a “zero step entrance” for the home
  • Handrails at steps and porches
  • One-story ranch  designs for new homes

Changes in the kitchen for easier meal preparation and eating

  • Lever-handle faucets with a pull-out sprayer
  • Raised dishwasher to avoid back strain
  • Rolling island that can be placed back under the counter
  • Revolving corner shelves and pull-out shelves
  • Lower, side-opening oven
  • Pull-out cutting board
  • Adjustable height sink
  • Side-by-side refrigerator with slide-out shelves and a water/ice dispenser
  • Cooking range with controls on front
  • Larger, more accessible cabinet and drawer pulls

Changes in bathrooms (the number one place for accidents in the home)

  • Lever handles on the faucets
  • Two to three attractive grab bars in the shower
  • Slide-bar type hand-held shower, for sitting or standing
  • Shower seats
  • Inset shampoo nooks
  • Curb-less showers that can be rolled into for wheelchair use
  • Moving tub and shower controls closer to entry point
  • Anti-scald, temperature and pressure balanced tub shower valves
  • Widening entry doors to at least 32 inches for wheelchair access
  • Higher toilets

Moving around in the house

  • Improved lighting with recessed fixtures  in common areas
  • Lever handles on doors and windows
  • Grab bars at key locations
  • Lower light switches and thermostats; raised outlets
  • Stacked closets on the first and second floors.  Frame the floor to accommodate a future elevator shaft should the need arise.  Make sure you size the closets appropriately
  • Blocking in walls to accommodate a future chair lift – straight stairs work better for this

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) training program, created in collaboration with AARP, can help you create your “livable home,” whether you are building a new home or retrofitting your existing residence. Look for the CAPS credential as a reliable way to identify professionals to modify your home or build a new one that is designed for a lifetime.

To find a CAPS designee in your area, visit NAHB.

Lead-Safe Renovation

Posted in Housing News, Renovation with tags , , , on July 20, 2010 by Kevin Fox

Was your home built before 1978?  If so, you need to be aware of the risk of lead paint dust if you are contemplating a remodeling project.

In June of 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a set of rules to address the hazards created by renovating in the presence of lead-based paint. The law also required that contractors successfully complete an 8 hour training course and register their company with the EPA.  Since October 2009, thousands of contractors have been trained in the lead-safe work practices that are mandated by the law. As of April 22, 2010, those rules must be followed when renovation, repairs and/or painting is conducted for profit, in homes, schools and child-care facilities built before 1978.

What does all this mean to you?  Lead paint, disturbed by renovation projects, is a serious health risk.  In children below the age of 6, lead poisoning can result in reduced IQ, behavior problems and learning disabilities.  In adults, exposure to lead paint dust can result in high blood pressure and other health risks.  Pregnant women are at higher risk because lead poisoning can be transferred to the fetus.  You can visit the EPA’s web site here: EPA Lead Info to find more detailed information on the health risks associated with lead-based paint.

What should you do if you are contemplating a renovation project or repainting?  The first thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the risks and procedures for renovating in the presence of lead-based paint.  You can find that information here: Renovate Right Pamphlet.  Secondly, it is important that you select a remodeling contractor who is certified.  You can find a list of contractors in your area here:  Find Lead-safe Contractors.

The risks of exposure to lead during a renovation project are real.  Prudent homeowners should educate themselves and hire a Lead-safe certified contractor to do the work.

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