Looking for a Beginner’s Guide to Kitchen Remodeling?

Kitchen remodeling projects can be overwhelming, but thankfully there are many tricks of the trade that you can learn well before you even get started! This is amazing news, because it will allow you to know what you need to do first, who to turn to if you are struggling with anything, and how to create the kitchen of your dreams on a budget.

Here is your beginner’s guide to kitchen remodeling:

  1. Create Your Budget

The first thing that you need to do before anything else isis creatingour budget! You cannot even really think of where things will go, what you will buy, and how much larger you want this space until you have that magic number in mind. And then once you do, take at least ten percent of it away! That ten percent will be placed into a contingency fund, so that it will cover all those little things that go wrong during the remodeling process.

  1. Plan Your Layout and Your Lighting

Hopefully, you can keep your layout basically the same, as it will help you keep your budget in line. However, we understand that you may need to make a few changes to make this space more functional. As you are planning your layout, you will also want to plan your lighting, as that is quite important if you want to see what you are doing in any area of your kitchen.

  1. Test for Harmful Substances Before You Start Tearing Things Apart

This is especially important in older homes where asbestos and lead lurk, and it is better to know before you get exposed to it. This is one of those things that you may need your contingency fund to fix.

  1. Decide Who Your Contractor Will Be

You might fancy yourself the big DIY person but consider how long kitchen remodels actually take! If you do this on your own in your spare time, you could be looking at months without a kitchen. However, if you find the perfect contractor, you may have your new kitchen up and running in about a month.

  1. Obtain Your Permits

Sometimes a contractor will tackle this step for you, so make sure you ask. However, if they do not, then you will need to go and apply for the necessary permits to do the work that you want to do. Skipping this step may mean that you will need to tear everything down in the future.

  1. Determine What You are Splurging on and What You are Saving Money on

There are so many places where you can splurge in a kitchen, which is why you will need to determine which splurges are going to enhance this space the most. A zillion dollar stove is definitely not going to make you cook any more than you do if you hate to cook, but a wine cooler may significantly change the ways that you spend your evenings.


  1. Choose All Those Finishes


You may know what types of finishes you want in your remodeled kitchen, but it is important to make sure that they are within your budget. Therefore, price them all out and see if there are any changes that you can make, that you will still be happy with, so that you can save your budget.


  1. Create Your Timeline


We recommend sitting down with your contractor and creating a timeline of when each step of the project will be completed. It is better to do this rather than a basic end date, as a more detailed timeline will allow you to see if you are on schedule much easier.


  1. Purchase Your Items, Finish Hiring the Professionals, and Get to Work


Once you have completed the above eight steps, you will be ready to purchase your products, finish hiring any of the professionals that you need, and get the work started.


There is your beginner’s guide to kitchen remodeling, and while there is so much to do with a project like this, if you follow the steps, you will find that it is easier than you think. And, before you know it, you will be sitting in your brand-new remodeled kitchen.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Remodeling a kitchen can be a time-consuming task, especially if you have not taken the time to ask yourself a few questions and determine what the answers to those questions are. Without this knowledge, you will find yourself staring at a completely demoed kitchen having no idea what you are going to do with it!

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before remodeling your kitchen:

  1. What is Your Ultimate Goal?

Are you planning on staying in your home for at least ten years or more, or do you plan to sell it in the next year or two? Does your kitchen need to be updated before you can sell your home or are you simply looking to do a few upgrades to make the space better for your own personal use at the moment? These questions need to be answered so that you can make the best decisions for you and your future.

  1. What is Your Budget for the Project?

Knowing your budget in, in the beginning,ll keep your headaches at bay later on, because you will know exactly what you can afford and what you cannot. You need to be honest with yourself on how much money you have available, or you may find yourself with a half-finished kitchen and no way to pay for the rest of the remodeling. Of course, having a budget isn’t enough. You need to keep that number in mind and make sure that everything you are doing during your remodel is within the costs that you created.

  1. What is Behind Your Walls?

You may want to knock down almost every wall in your kitchen to make it open to the rest of your home, but you may not be able to, depending on what is lurking behind them. While you may think that your contractor will know what is behind them, even they may not know for sure. Therefore, you need to be prepared with a plan b, if your plan a doesn’t come to fruition.

  1. Where Will You Be when the Work is Being Completed?

Kitchen remodeling projects can get messy, which is why some people will leave their home for the duration. However, others will make adjustments, so that they do not need to spend extra money that they could use on their new kitchen. If you choose to stay in your home, then you will need to set up a makeshift kitchen in another area of your home. Place your refrigerator in there, along with a microwave and crockpot, so that you can whip up easy meals to serve on paper plates.

  1. When Can You Start?

You may be ready to start your kitchen remodel yesterday, but please take your time in the planning process. After all, the more planning that you do in advance, the smoother the actual project will be, and that will make up for the delayed start.

Once you have the answers to these five questions, you will be more than ready to get started on your kitchen remodel. However, do not rush into this type of project, as the less planning you do, the more headaches you will have throughout the remodel.

 5 Kitchen Remodeling Factors to Consider before the Project Begins

Remodeling a kitchen presents a number of aesthetic and layout challenges. You might be considering a larger countertop, more storage space and new light fixtures. To make the changes that improve the look and functionality of the space, keep these factors in mind as you start planning for the project.

  1. The remodeling budget. The final look of the kitchen rests on how much you can spend. If you have a small budget, consider doing some of the work, and focus on small changes with a big impact. Seeking financing is another option, and you may be able to apply for a home equity loan. If your goal is to put the house up for sale, a kitchen remodel can boost the value. An increase in the budget is a good idea in this case.
  2. Do you need more space? People often decide to remodel their kitchens due to space concerns. However, knocking out walls and expanding the founding can raise costs significantly. This should not be at the expense of quality kitchen finishes. If the budget is not big enough, look at additional storage options to keep the space clutter free. You might also be able to expand inward to an adjoining room.
  3. Lighting. Poor lighting can make the kitchen dreary, and detract from even the most beautiful finishes. Consider larger windows to get more natural light for a cheery atmosphere. Look at different options to layer the lighting and improve functionality. Consider whether he kitchen can benefit from additional lighting in cupboards and under cabinets.
  4. Do you need new appliances? New appliances are often added to kitchen remodeling projects as some of them provide cost savings long after the project is over. Some, like range hoods, improve functionality and comfort. Other types, like refrigerators and dishwashers are more energy efficient and will help to lower your utility bills. The style and finish of appliances can also contribute to the look of the kitchen.
  5. Does the layout work? Flaws in the layout decrease efficiency and can make working in the kitchen uncomfortable. Adjustments to the layout may include repositioning cabinets or moving large appliances like the fridge. In a few cases, it may be necessary to reroute plumbing, wiring or gas lines to accommodate a layout change. However, this can be expensive, so generally it is best to leave them in place if possible.

You may consider other factors as you start planning for the kitchen remodel. The goals should be to strike a visual balance, and to make the space more functional.

 5 Bathroom Remodeling Tips for 2019 Projects

With a new year comes the opportunity to finally get around to some of the remodeling jobs you have been putting off. The bathroom is one space you should not ignore if it needs an update. A new look not only adds beauty to the home, it also increases is value. Here are some useful tips to give your bathroom a 2019 update.

  1. Be realistic about cost. Even a small remodeling project can be costly, so you need to know all the changes you want to make to create a budget. After that, you have to start thinking about financing if you can’t do it out of pocket. A home equity loan is usually the most convenient and quickest option.
  2. What do you want? Bathroom remodels do not only come up when this space is in disrepair. Sometimes the goal is to update it and keep up with modern trends. Taking the whole bathroom into account will create a fuller picture of your remodeling plan. Any spots with rot or mold growth should take priority over aesthetic changes, especially if the budget is limited.
  3. Plan for the inconvenience. It is likely that the bathroom will be out of commission while the work is ongoing. This can be tough for the household if there is only one other bathroom. So some organization will be necessary to keep the family’s routine on track.
  4. Think about the layout. Changing the bathroom layout is sometimes necessary, but this can be expensive. It usually involves moving the plumbing and electrical wiring. Do this sparingly if at all, if you want to keep your costs down.
  5. Should you refinish or replace? Your first instinct may be to replace tub or shower, but this is not the only option. Minor damage can be easily repaired and this will keep costs down. Discoloration of an old tub can detract from the look of the bathroom, but consider refinishing instead of replacing it. Another option is to buy a liner specifically made to fit the bathtub or shower, making it seem like you spent big on the remodel.

Before you remodel the bathroom, make sure that there are no areas of dampness which will cause rot and the growth of harmful bacteria. You can find many great ideas online to inspire the look of your bathroom for 2019.

How Much Will This Project Cost?

Clients deserve a straight answer, but getting it requires an honest conversation,

Everyone wants to get as much value as possible for their investment and that makes the balance between cost and value a high priority for many remodeling clients. Not surprisingly, a lot of people approach the remodeler with costs gleaned from internet articles. Those articles typically say it should cost X dollars for a simple bath, from Y to Z for a full kitchen remodel, and so on.

We encourage people to do their own research, but we also caution that such numbers should be considered a starting point.

Some clients get fixated on the online numbers but don’t take the time to define exactly what products and details those numbers represent, or how closely the products and details match the products and details the clients want in their home. This is a recipe for miscommunication.

We understand the need to simplify a complex subject like estimating costs, but there’s also a more fundamental issue at work. Yes, clients want to know if they can afford a given remodeler, but they also want assurance that the remodeler will be a good steward of their budget, their vision, and their home. It’s up to the remodeler to provide that assurance.

While a professional remodeling company relies on proven, scientific management systems, creating an accurate budget is still as much craft as science. No ethical company will quote a hard price before asking for more information, because doing so would risk misleading the client.

The remodeler is tasked with helping the clients realize a very personal vision for their home. Because each vision is unique, estimating the cost of that vision requires the clients to answer some questions.

First, we need an overview of what the project will include. Will the proposed kitchen remodel include relocating walls or removing the ceiling to create a cathedral? Do the homeowners want stock cabinets or custom ones? Do they want the new space to match the other rooms in the home? A colonial-style home with intricate moldings will have different material and labor costs than a modern structure with minimal trim.

We also need to define the level of interior finishes the homeowners want. Generic terms like “medium grade” aren’t too helpful, but we can clarify expectations by starting with some easy questions, like their preferences between two levels of plumbing fixtures, flooring, windows or siding.

After creating this baseline, we can then show plans and photos from completed projects. And we can often provide a ballpark estimate of what it would cost to do something similar in their home.

The conversation is also a chance for the remodeler to clarify the clients’ expectations, as well as learning about their remodeling history. For instance, if their last project went over budget, we can explain how taking time up front to write clear specifications can eliminate that problem. If their home wasn’t treated with the care they expected, then we can demonstrate how our processes ensure that it will be.

Ultimately, what most people want is assurance that they’re working with someone they can trust. A good remodeler earns that trust by investing the time and effort needed to understand all the variables involved, by using that information to calculate an accurate price, and by making sure all the clients’ concerns are addressed before work starts. Clients deserve nothing less.

Think Your Small Bathroom is Too Small for a Window? Consider These Ideas

Almost every homeowner thinks that their bathroom is tiny, and most of the time, they are actually correct about that. Unfortunately, that also means that their bathrooms are too small for a real window.

If you are in the same situation, you may be disappointed, since you won’t have a lot of natural light within this space. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to either include a window in this space or increase the natural lighting that you currently have.

Here are 6 ideas for including a window in your small bathroom:

Add a Skylight: Since a skylight is up on the ceiling, you probably have enough room to put one in your bathroom. We recommend placing one over your shower, so that you can enjoy the shining sun during the day and the sparkling stars and moon at night.

Add Shutters: Smaller bathrooms normally mean not as many places to put a window of any size, which then leads to privacy concerns. If this is part of your problem, we recommend installing shutters over your window. This way, you can close the shutters when you want privacy and open them when you don’t.

Add Textured Glass: Privacy will never be a concern when you add textured glass to a window in your bathroom, and that means that you will never need to go without natural light either.

Add a Glass Block Window: Glass block windows are similar to textured windows, as they allow you the privacy that you want while the light shines through. That means that you can place a window anywhere in your bathroom and never worry about someone looking through.

Add a Transom Window: Transom windows can work beautifully in smaller bathrooms, as they can be tucked up closer to the ceiling over a toilet or a shower.

Add a Hopper Window: If you want to be able to open the window that you have in your bathroom, we recommend installing a hopper window. These windows are normally placed high up on a wall, but you can open it downwards for some fresh air. This is a great option if your bathroom is used for numerous hot showers every day, as it will give you a way to get rid of the moisture.

These are six excellent ways to either add a window or a way to increase the natural light that enters your small bathroom. If you are not sure which one will work best in your bathroom, give us a call; we’ll help you figure it out and advise on what’s best for your bathroom remodeling project.

Make Your Guests Feel at Home with These Quick Decorating and Remodeling Ideas

While you may love entertaining guests in your home throughout the year, we can completely relate to not wanting to go overboard when it comes to doing more than you need to during the preparation of each visit. Unfortunately, there are some areas of your home that you should focus on, to ensure that each one of your guests has a wonderful time when they are at your home.

Here are 4 quick decorating and remodeling ideas to make your guests feel at home:

  1. Update Your Guest Bathroom: No one ever wants their guests to use their own personal bathroom, which is one of the numerous reasons guest bathrooms were created! However, since you may not use your guest bathroom that often, you may not realize that it is a little worse for wear. We encourage you to go in there and take a good look around to see if the toilet is working properly, the fixtures are in good shape, and there are no issues with the flooring or lighting. This might be difficult, because you may walk out with a full list of things to do, but better to know before guests arrive or they will end up using your bathroom!
  1. Add Space to Your Kitchen: Kitchens can become cramped easily when even just a few people have been added to the mix, which is why we always recommend adding space. We know you can’t just knock done walls and expand out, but you can create additional counterspace and sitting areas without much trouble. You may want to consider adding more storage in the process, so you have enough room to get everything off the counters that you do have.
  1. Add a Drink Station: Guests always need to feel welcome in a home, and while you may not mind if they get their own food and drinks, they might be hesitant if you are in the kitchen preparing the next meal. That is why we recommend adding a drink station to your home and putting it somewhere out of the main area of the kitchen. This way, your guests can get a drink when they want and won’t need to worry about interrupting you and getting in your way. We recommend keeping everything that they need to make a cup of coffee or tea in this area and you can even take it a step further by including a beverage fridge for cold drink options.
  1. Add Natural Décor: Bringing the outdoors in is becoming more popular, so we recommend adding some natural décor to your home throughout the year. During the winter months, evergreen branches, pinecones, and colorful leaves can be placed on the table in the kitchen or other areas of your home. Fragrant flowers work wonderfully in the spring, as well as during the summer months.

These four things will ensure that your guests are comfortable and feel at home when they are visiting you at any time of the year. Most of them will not take that long do, so do not worry that you are going to be spending weeks or months remodeling, just so you can entertain.

Get into the Holiday Spirit and Prep Your Home Now!

Preparing your home for the upcoming holiday season is much more than putting up your tree or menorah. There are many other things that you are going to need to do to make sure that you can entertain and pull off a fabulous season without a lot of stress during those few days. We recommend that you start early, so you can enjoy your time with family and friends.

Here are 6 things that you can do to get into the holiday spirit and prep your home now:

Clear Out Your Kitchen

Yes, the kitchen is the heart of your home, and it is quite evident by all the items that are in there, even though they shouldn’t be. This is the time to pull out all those piles of papers, throw out broken or unused items, and toss all of those expired items. You might be surprised at how much more space you have when you are finished with this one small task!

Check to Make Sure Everything Works Properly

You are not going to want to start baking all your holiday goodies to only find out that your oven is not up to the job, which is why we urge you to make sure that everything you will need this holiday season is in working order. In addition to checking your stove and oven, you might want to check the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer. Other items that you might want to give a once over, or quick cleaning, include your dishwasher, coffee maker, and vacuum cleaner.

Check the Heat

You may be used to the small amounts of heat that your furnace and vents emit in your home, but that doesn’t mean that your guests will be walking around comfortable. We encourage you to have your furnace inspected and cleaned, to ensure that it is up to the job of keeping everyone warm this holiday season.

Replace that Running Toilet or Leaking Faucet in Your Guest Bathroom

You may have forgotten that the toilet in your guest bathroom doesn’t work right or that the faucet leaks, especially if you do not use this space too often. However, this room will have a lot of use during the holidays and you are not going to want to deal with these issues when you have a houseful of guests. Therefore, go purchase a new toilet and have that leaky faucet fixed. You’ll thank yourself later!

Check for Safety Issues

Everyone has a few safety concerns in their home, so do not think that you are being neglectful by ignoring them. You are simply busy, and those things get pushed further down your list. We recommend going from room to room in your home, as you replace burnt out bulbs, tighten loose handrails, secure rugs, and move candles out of the reach of little hands. You should also have a fire extinguisher ready in the kitchen and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, just in case a fire starts or there is a gas leak.

Prepare Special Treats for Your Guests

We are sure that you know exactly what special treats all your guests enjoy, so we encourage you to make those as a little surprise. You can fill a table with them and have each one labeled with the guest’s name, so that they can take it home with them.

Doing some of these things will make your holiday season even better, because you will be prepared and have everything in working order. Plus, you will have little surprises for all your guests, which they will love!

End Your Year Perfectly with an Amazing Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodels can be time-consuming, but what better way to end the year and start a new one! You may be hesitant to start this type of project at this time of the year, when you are super busy already, but once you realize how easy it will be to find a contractor and how much less you can pay for certain materials and labor, you’ll be ready to say, “Let’s Go”!

Here are 4 options for an amazing bathroom remodel to end your year perfectly:

Widening Your Bathroom Door

Older bathroom doors are so small, making it virtually impossible to walk through them as you are carrying anything. Plus, they make remodels difficult, since it can be hard to get some materials through as well. We recommend widening your bathroom door if you can, but if not, you can at least gain a couple inches by installing a pocket door instead.

Moving Light Switches

Everyone seems to think that they are stuck with where the light switches are in their bathroom, but that simply isn’t the case. It is not that difficult to move light switches, especially for a professional, and then you can easily turn lights on and off as you please.

Replacing the Toilet

Older toilets use a lot of water, which is why many homeowners like yourself are replacing theirs with the newer eco-friendly models. Of course, we also recommend checking out the newest toilets that offer heated seats, music that plays when the lid is raised, and our favorite, the ones that self-clean!

Choosing Tiling

There are plenty of choices when it comes to tiling your newly remodeled bathroom. You can tile your shower, your walls, your floor, and even the countertop of your vanity if you wish. We are not fans of that much tile, but we do know that if you do it right, your remodeled bathroom will look like a million bucks! We love the ceramic tiles that look like marble and they can be used in your shower and on the floor. Another option that we like are the tiles that look like wood, as they allow us to continue a wooden floor theme from the rest of the house.

These four things will make your bathroom look amazing when you are finished remodeling, but your contractor will also be able to recommend other things that you can do to maximize this space and turn it into the bathroom of your dreams.

AzBusiness LEADERS 2019




We are proud to announce that Steve Shinn  CR is currently featured in AzBusiness Leaders list of 2019’s top businessmen in Arizona.

Steve Shinn leads a talented group of design and construction professionals at Homework Remodels doing home remodels across metro Phoenix.

He is also a local leader of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. He is currently the only remodeler in Arizona recognized by NARI as a Certified Remodeler, Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler, Universal Design Certified Professional and Green Certified Professional. The Greater Phoenix NARI Chapter’s members are a group of the valley’s top quality remodelers and subcontractors.