Thursday, 27 June 2013

Budget Friendly Bathroom Makeover Ideas

The modern bathroom is no longer just a functional bathing area. It is a place to relax and unwind and enjoy a little quiet “me” time to balance to hectic rest of the day. Those with large houses and budgets can think of converting their bathrooms into home spas. But that does not mean that those with smaller homes and limited budgets have to make do with an old fashioned and uncomfortable room. There is a lot that can be done on a budget to turn a dull and functional bathroom into a place where you will want to spend more time. Here are some budget friendly bathroom makeover ideas for you to consider.

The DIY Option

If you are an accomplished home handyman with the skills to do a lot of the remodeling work yourself, the savings in labor costs can be huge. The key factor here is having the required skills. Starting a project and making a mess of it can result in additional costs for cleaning up and repairing the mess you have created and then doing the work properly. Additionally, you need the time to be able to work on the remodeling on a regular basis to complete the job in a reasonable timeframe. If you are not sure of your abilities to do everything yourself, consider taking on what you feel comfortable with and calling in a contractor for the rest of the work. The savings will still be considerable.

Ways to Cut Costs
  • Covering your old and worn looking vanity with fabric is an inexpensive way to give it a new and pleasing look.
  • You could also consider repainting your existing cabinetry instead of replacing it.
  • Instead of expensive solid marvel countertops, why not use less costly marble tiles?
  • Adding new molding to the bathroom is an inexpensive way to give it a whole new look.
  • If you have space on the walls, think about putting in some elegant shelves that match the rest of the d├ęcor. Not only will you have more storage space, which is always welcome, the new shelves will add another dimension to the existing bathroom.
  • Look for deals online. You can often find cheap, used or even slightly damaged bathroom items at throw away prices at online auction sites. Buying used or slightly damaged items may not seem to be appealing initially, but the economics makes a lot of sense. For example, if you are able to buy a slightly damaged, but still completely functional stand-alone bathtub very cheap, you can use the money you save to splurge on things like elegant shower doors and luxurious fittings which will work to disguise the damage to the bathtub and give the bathroom a very elegant new look.
  • Before beginning your bathroom remodel, check for ongoing and upcoming sales at local hardware stores. Spend some time visiting as many as you can. You could find a bargain that you had not previously considered because you thought it was too expensive. The trick here is not to be taken in by just the low price. Make sure that the bargain you are buying is something that you can use, even if it means changing your remodeling plans a bit. That is why it’s important to visit the shops before you actually begin the work.
  • The mirror is a focal point of the bathroom. Replacing mirror is expensive but if yours is in good condition, simply using new molding around it is an inexpensive way to give it a completely new look.
  • If you have a talent for painting, adding a bold mural to the walls of the bathroom (or even using stenciled pattern) can give the room a completely different look and feel at a very low cost

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Kitchen Cabinets – Refacing vs. Replacing

Remodeling the kitchen is one of the most common of remodeling projects. The kitchen cabinets play a major role in remodeling and the homeowner has 2 options before him when it comes to these cabinets. He can either reface them or replace them. Both options can improve the look of the cabinets and so enhance the overall appearance of the kitchen. But these are 2 very different activities and before making a decision on the way to go it is important to understand the pros and cons of each option.

Refacing Pros
  • Cost savings. On an average the cost of refacing cabinets is about 50% of the cost of installing new ones.
  • No removal or demolition of the existing cabinets is required, so time is saved and the risk of damage to the walls is reduced.
  • The money saved can be used elsewhere in the remodeling.
Replacing Pros 
  • New cabinets with new designs and interior layouts that better suit current needs can be created.
  • New cabinets will use modern fabrication techniques and materials and so will be more sturdy and have a longer life
  • Putting in new kitchen cabinets will add to the value of your home more that refaced cabinets ever can.
Issues to Consider

When deciding between the refacing and replacing options, there are some issues that should be considered to help you reach the right conclusion.
  • What is the condition of your present cabinets? Are they solid and is the hardware in good condition? If so, you can think about simply refacing them. If the condition is not good, then replacement is the better option since you will otherwise be spending on refacing the cabinets which have only a little usable life left in them.
  • Do you need to change the location and design of your cabinets to increase work and storage space and to make using them more convenient? If new cabinets with increased functionality can save you time, effort and energy, then replacement is the better option.
  • Are you going to town with your kitchen remodeling? If you are changing everything, including all the appliances and are aiming for a completely new feel and look to the kitchen, then not replacing the old cabinets could be a mistake. Having one part of the kitchen old and difficult to use when compared to the newness of everything else can ruin the pleasure of the new look kitchen.
  • And finally a lot depends on your budget. It is common to have a kitchen remodeling wish list that exceeds the money available. When this happens compromises have to be made and one of the easiest and safest is that of refacing cabinets instead of replacing them.
The Choice Is Yours

In the matter of refacing kitchen cabinets or replacing them, there is no right or wrong. The choice you make will be based on the condition of the existing cabinets, the look you want to give to your remodeled kitchen and the money available for the project. At times, evaluating these criteria and giving them the right weightage can be difficult. That is why it is important to have a home remodeling contractor that is focused on client service and is willing to go the extra mile to talk the client through the implications of the options available to him to ensure that he makes the right choice. And if the contractor has design-build expertise that allows for various design concepts to be discussed and evaluated, the chances of making the right decision increase greatly.