Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Kitchen Remodeling - Home Remodeling Projects

Because the kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home and also one that suffers the most wear and tear, it is one of the most common of home remodeling projects. When planning a kitchen remodel, there are three major factors that you and your designer need to focus on.

The first issue is that of the look of the kitchen. Do you want to retain the same look for the remodel? Or do you want something new and different. If so, then you need to consider whether or not the new look kitchen will fit into the look and d├ęcor of the rest of your house. A kitchen that looks out of place in the home is not going to be one where you will be comfortable and will raise eyebrows with visitors. It's worthwhile consider a new look to the kitchen because it will give this important work area a fresh feel and make spending time there more enjoyable. But the designer must ensure that it remodeled kitchen is in sync with the rest of your home. Using materials that are lasting and easy to clean is a very important consideration in finalizing the look of the kitchen.

The next is the actual design and layout of the kitchen. The primary purpose of the kitchen is the preparation of food and the layout must be such that the appliances are easy to access, that the utensils are close at hand and that the raw materials are stored safely and conveniently. For example, if the area where you will be cutting is across the room from your stove, you will waste both time and energy constantly walking across the room. But a kitchen also has many other functions - it is a family meeting room, a place to do homework and odd jobs, where friends who drop in are offered a cup of coffee and so on. Examine all the things that your kitchen is used for and the work that are done there. Work with the designer to maximize the comfort and utility for all the people who use the kitchen and all the jobs that is done there.

And finally, there is the budget. Wanting a dream kitchen with all the latest technology and labor saving devices is natural, but often the finances do not permit this. What are your priorities for the kitchen? List them out and work with the designer to examine all the options and permutations and combinations that can get you the maximum of what you want. While the designer may be the expert of kitchen design, the one using it will be you and within the budget constraints and the design parameters you have agreed on, what is in the kitchen should be what you want.

Once you and your designer have the final concept and budget in place, there is still one more obstacle to be overcome. And that is the one of the contractor who may raise technical or practical issues in the design. This can often lead to long arguments and compromises that leave no one satisfied. One way of avoiding this is to work with a home remodeling company that has design-build abilities. This means that the remodeler has skills in both design and construction so that the designs that are agreed upon can easily translate into reality, because since one company does the complete design and construction, a conflict of opinion will not arise.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Smart Home Automation Tips for Your Home Security

Home automation is a big aspect of home remodeling today. New technologies are constantly emerging to make life in the home easier, more fun and more secure. While luxury and entertainment are options that will depend on the budget available, home automation that improves home security is something that should be treated as essential. Your home is, in most cases, the biggest investment you will make in your life and a major part of what you will leave to your heirs. Investing a little in protecting it makes a lot of sense.

Typically, home automation is done as a part of a major home remodeling project as it usually impacts the whole house and the exterior areas. This normally involves a lot of wiring and installation work so making it part of a remodel saves both time and money.

One of the oldest and most basic home automation options is that of the smoke detector. This will detect any levels of smoke above the normal, which would be an indication of fire and automatically sound an alarm. The earlier a fire is detected and action is taken to control it, the less the damage it will cause. Next among the older home automation technologies is that of lights that operate on a timer or by remote control. These are useful in making an unoccupied home look as if there are people in it and thus deterring burglars. It can also be used for external lighting to control the on and off time and so save electricity and reduce the utility bills. 

Among the newer technologies available are motions sensors that will sound an alarm if any unauthorized or unexpected activity takes place in the area that the sensors cover. The warning can be transmitted through an alarm in the house, via a mobile phone or over the internet. In this manner, the house owner can be notified of any unexpected activity in or around his house irrespective of where he or she is and take the appropriate action to protect the property.

Close circuit cameras to monitor what happens in a house have been around for a long time. But in the past knowing what they recorded meant spending hours watching video tapes. Modern home automation systems allow the homeowner to use the internet to keep an eye on his property in real time and take the required action if anything untoward comes to his notice.

Mobile technology and smartphones and tablets now make it possible for a home owners to control everything that happens in his home from anywhere in the world.

For those living alone or the elderly, home automation systems offer high speed medical assistance and alerts to family. This can often mean the difference between life and death. New technologies are also available to offer increased convenience to those who are physically impaired. Voice activated controls can make using appliances possible for those who are not in a position to use normal control features and give them a degree of independence that would not have been possible before.

Home automation systems that improve home security are a worthwhile investment and the additional cost that is involved is balanced by the extra safety to life and property that they provide as well as increased peace of mind. And with technologies improving all the time, the costs are reducing while new features are becoming available. Additionally, many of the additional security features available can translate into reduced home insurance premiums.