Where Should You Splurge when Remodeling Your Kitchen?

 

A kitchen remodeling project can get expensive and it is easy for you to blow your entire budget before you really even get started. However, there are certain things that you should splurge on and others that are not worth the extra expense. We always believe that you should splurge on the cabinets, countertops, lighting, and flooring as the primary four. We will explain why later.

Lists are a wonderful way to choose where to splurge and where to save. Your first list should consist of everything you would like to have in your kitchen. The second list should be a truncated version of that list. This is where you narrow your lists down to must-haves and would-like-to-haves. We will help you find a way to get one or two of the must-haves as long as the price is right.

Here are 5 items that are worth splurging on when you are completing a kitchen remodel:

Cabinets

Your new kitchen cabinets need to be functional and it helps if they last a long time. These are one of the items that you should definitely splurge on. Proper kitchen cabinets will allow you to have the amount of storage that you need while maximizing space. You can choose to work with a cabinet maker and create custom cabinetry or semi-customize the cabinets at your local hardware store.

Countertops

Countertops are one of the top visual elements in a kitchen and you will want to choose yours wisely as it will quickly become a focal point. You will need to choose a material that will work best for you and your family and the most popular choices are granite and quartz.

Lighting

If you have an island or eat in space in your new kitchen, you will want to splurge on the lighting fixtures that go above those places. You want those fixtures to look appealing while creating a focal point.

Flooring

Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic as well as some spills, so you need to choose a material that will hold up to all that and clean up easily. A stone tile or concrete floor may be more expensive, but will last longer than vinyl and laminate.

Beverage Cooler

Normally, we don’t recommend splurging on appliances because they are generally replaced every 5 to 7 years anyway. But if you drink wine, beer, soda, and juice boxes, you can free up a lot of space in your refrigerator when you purchase a beverage cooler.

What are Your Thoughts?

We are not saying that you shouldn’t splurge on other items in your new kitchen, but if you are looking at a strict budget, then you should consider splurging on these items. If you still have money left over, then you can decide whether or not that super expensive refrigerator is going to keep your food any colder than a cheaper one or if you will really use all six or eight burners on the stove that you want.

Call Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your remodeling needs and talk about areas to splurge, save, and things that can be cut out of the project from the start. Our goal is to design and build the kitchen you deserve within the budget you can afford.

Take the Confusion out of Kitchen Remodeling Material Choices

 

The materials that are available for your kitchen remodel are magnificent, beautiful, durable, and mostly practical. Those four reasons and what makes it so difficult to choose what materials will work best in your new kitchen.

Countertops

There are almost too many kitchen countertop materials to count and each one is unique and functional in its own way. Granite is the most popular choice amongst many homeowners, but you may decide that you want something different like quartz, concrete, tile, wood, or laminate. Granite and quartz are durable and do not stain easily, plus they are easy to clean.

Tile countertops can crack if something is dropped on them and wood and laminate can get nicked with a knife or other sharp object. Concrete is quite durable and these countertops are not as porous as they used to be.

Lighting

There are lots of lighting options for your kitchen and you will want to choose many of them, because of everything you do in this space. Pendant lights work well over islands, because this is where people eat, do homework, and sometimes even do the prep work for meals. Under the cabinet lighting is perfect for the times when you are prepping meals on the counter. Inside cabinet lighting, floor lighting, and sconces all offer ambient lighting to your kitchen space.

Cabinets

If you do not really love your cabinets, but they are in excellent shape, you can change them to make them more appealing without tearing them all down. You can either repaint or stain your existing cabinets, or you can change out the cabinet doors and hardware for a new look. Glass doors or glazed cabinet doors will highlight the lighting inside and allow the entire room to glow.

Flooring

A lighter color floor will make your remodeled kitchen look much bigger, so if your kitchen is on the smaller side, you may want to take this into consideration. Vinyl is one of the most popular kitchen floor choices, because it is easy to install and even easier to keep clean and maintain. Laminate floors are nice, because they are easy to clean and you do not need to worry about things getting spilled on them like you would real hardwood.

Tile is available in many colors and designs and look fabulous in kitchens, but it can chip and crack over time. Tile is also not too forgiving to anything that is dropped on it, so you may find that you have more broken dishes and glasses if you install tile flooring.

These are the main items that you will find yourself choosing the perfect material for, but depending on how large your remodel is and how much you are changing in the space, you may find yourself making even more decisions. We recommend that you make your decisions before you begin your remodeling project, so that you do not have any delays or spend money that you were not planning on.

Call Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your remodeling needs and talk about the variety of materials available to you. Our goal is to design and build the kitchen you deserve within the budget you can afford.

Rational Remodeling!

Modern transitional kitchen remodel features a quartz countertop with waterfall edges, double stacked cherry cabinets and more...Does the idea of a kitchen remodel seem overwhelming? You are not alone. Many people will endure a terrible kitchen for years rather than be temporarily without one during a remodel. We understand. A temporary kitchen is the answer to your fears. There is a lot of stress to contend with when you remodel your home.  We can help to alleviate most of those stresses with what we call Rational Remodeling! Homework Remodels has had the privilege to remodel hundreds of kitchens across the valley. Along the way, we’ve learned how to better prepare our clients for the temporary tensions that accompany any kitchen remodeling project. Yes, it will be inconvenient. But, with a little pre-planning and a positive attitude, you too can enjoy a functioning, temporary kitchen. Emphasis on temporary!

Rational Remodeling!

This is the hardest part. Figure out what room in your home can serve as a temporary kitchen. You will need electrical outlets, counter space (a folding table works well) and most importantly, access to a sink (adjacent to a bathroom?). You will also need room for your refrigerator. This can be difficult in some situations, so we suggest using an under-counter refrigerator. Don’t forget the microwave. It may well be handier than you ever imagined.

Stock up on paper plates, cups, plastic forks, and knives. This is not the time for a lot of dishwashing. Bathroom sinks are usually too small to complete that task easily. Rational Remodeling!

Take this opportunity to get out into your neighborhood restaurants to collect take-out menus. You’ll want to keep these in the temporary kitchen. Again, let us emphasize temporary!  You will get to use your gorgeous new kitchen soon.

Embrace those small appliances that may have gotten shoved to the back of the kitchen cabinets. A crock pot will be your new best friend during these stressful days. Especially so if you remember to buy Crock Pot Liners. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are disposable liners that make clean-up a breeze. No washing! You simply throw them away. Toaster ovens are pretty versatile too. Have fun and get creative with meal prep. Remember, this is Rational Remodeling!

Grill outside and weather permitting, get outside and enjoy our beautiful scenery. Have a picnic. Use this time as an opportunity to do something you might not normally consider. Trade a meal with a neighbor. Let them feed you since they have a “working” kitchen and then return the favor and show off that fabulous new kitchen!

With the right attitude and the right contractor (of course), your kitchen remodel will progress smoothly. It is possible to have the kitchen of your dreams without living through a nightmare of a remodel!

To learn more about our processes and Rational Remodeling! call Steve at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com

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Splurge on These 4 Items in Your Remodeled Kitchen

You are finally taking the time to remodel your kitchen, which is great news, but did you know that there are certain items that you should splurge on? These items can make the time you spend in your kitchen easier, plus add additional value to your new space.

Here are 4 items that you should splurge on in your newly remodeled kitchen:

Spectacular Kitchen Cabinets

We are not saying that you need to spend the money on custom cabinets for your entire kitchen, but there are things that you can splurge on when it comes to your new cabinets. A Lazy Susan is a great addition to any kitchen and it will make it easier for you to access items that are inside that cabinet. Another great option for your cabinets is to install crown molding along the top to add architectural style to the space.

Beverage cooler

If you are a beer or wine lover, then you may want to consider installing a wine cooler or beverage cooler in your new kitchen. This cooler will free up space in your refrigerator or if you store these items in another space in your home, you will no longer need to leave your kitchen to grab a drink. These coolers can also hold soda, juice boxes, and more, which is perfect for when you are entertaining.

Countertops

Countertops can be made from many different materials, but your best option is granite. Granite is durable and it is easy to keep clean. Since most people look for granite in homes they are considering purchasing, you will be able to recoup your money if you decide to sell in the future.

Floor

Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic, so you will want to splurge on a material that will last. Stained concrete or stone tiles will add a luxurious look and feel to your remodeled kitchen and is worth the additional cost.

Spending the money on some items in your new kitchen will be well worth it. However, you will want to choose what you are spending your money on wisely, because it is not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on every single part of your new space. There are certain items that you can spend a lot less money on and still get the results that you want.

The kitchen design crew here at Homework Remodels has a lot of experience helping homeowners design and build award winning custom kitchens. Our work has been featured in a variety of magazines both in print and online. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss your upcoming kitchen remodeling project.

Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Remodel

Using reclaimed wood

 

The use of reclaimed wood is an idea that has appealed to a lot of people, and it’s not always related to being conscious about the environment. One major benefit is that it adds warmth, texture and character to the look of your home. It can instantly “age” a brand new kitchen. Reclaimed wood has a natural rawness to it that will add balance to an Industrial or Modern style home.  It has an aged patina and each piece of wood is unique with its’ inherent qualities and the natural weathering of the boards. Sliding barn doors are especially popular and it looks as though they will remain so for quite a while. Interior designers are seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting the addition of reclaimed wood into their new remodel. Here are a few things you should know about using reclaimed wood to make your newly remodeled space even more visually interesting.

Old but Not Unusable

The idea of using wood from an old building or shipping crate might lead to some worry about rot or insect damage. Reclaimed wood should always be thoroughly examined for those issues prior to use.  Not all reclaimed wood is equal in its properties.  Old growth timber generally is denser than new wood harvested from younger trees. Therefore, it would be much better suited for a humid part of the home.  Teak, considered the most rot resistant wood, is highly resistant to weather. Along with old-growth cypress, teak is considered to be an exceptional wood for use in damp area, such as a master bath. Reclaimed wood may need refinishing and will require some amount of routine maintenance, but it can be well worth the extra effort and expense. One additional perk, by using reclaimed instead of new wood, you will not subject yourself and your family to the potentially dangerous off-gassing from a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) which is found in new wood.

Other Notable Points

Even your own home can be a source of used wood if you are removing old cabinets or shelves. A big reason for the appeal of reclaimed wood is the fascinating details it contains. Odd knots, nail holes, and even the slight imperfections contribute to the character of the pieces. You may be lucky enough to find a rare species of reclaimed wood no longer being harvested. You will usually find reclaimed wood in different lengths and widths, but this is also considered a visual bonus.

Using reclaimed wood does come with a few challenges. Usually it is best to have a professional deal with this material, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Since many of the pieces are very old, some more than a hundred years, they may be covered in lead paint. Many pieces of old wood may contain nails or screws that must be removed before the refinishing.

Using reclaimed wood

You can use reclaimed wood in any part of a home remodeling project that requires this material. Think about an interesting, one-of-a-kind table made from a vintage door. Sturdy and attractive shelves and cabinets can be constructed, as well. Repurposing wood to make your floors will significantly raise your costs, especially here in the southwest, where we have no 150 year old barns to salvage!  If you have your heart set on the look of reclaimed wood floors, you have two options. You may want to consider using new wood, stain it to achieve the same look and save yourself some money. The second option would be to use a porcelain plank flooring that resembles barn wood. Tile is more durable and less expensive. An accent wall of reclaimed wood would not be as expensive as doing all the flooring, and would add a lot of visual interest and a sense of history to your home.

Where to use reclaimed wood

In the kitchen we would caution you to be careful with where you place wood in relation to wet areas. Using wood for a small butcher block counter is one thing, having all of your counters constructed of wood will be a maintenance nightmare. These countertops would have to be refinished every few years, especially near the sink area. Spills would need to be wiped up immediately. This is definitely not a countertop material for everyone! Some of our clients have asked about using reclaimed wood as their backsplash material. Again, we would caution you about the extra up-keep. It can be done, however, you would need to have the backsplash sealed multiple times with a lacquer type sealant. In a sleek industrial style kitchen, for instance, as a nice contrast, you may want to add open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Pairing reclaimed wood with other salvaged items like a vintage sink, also adds drama and interest to your new space.

How about the Bedroom or Bathroom?

 

The master bedroom is a great place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood, you may not even need to use a headboard. In addition, an entry or a dining room is also a perfect place to add an accent wall of barn wood.

The master bathroom is also a excellent place for reclaimed wood, as it will add a lot of warmth. It is a wonderful contrast to the cold finish materials we normally see in a bathroom like marble, granite, glass and tile.  Special considerations must be made in such a wet, humid area to protect the integrity of the wood. Proper ventilation is a must. All wood must be completely sealed, this usually takes more than one application. One other thing to be aware of when working with wood, it will swell and contract depending on the ambient temperature and the amount of humidity in the air. It is very important to use a flexible silicone caulking for installation purposes.

Call or email us for a free in-home estimate

If you would like to discuss more ideas using reclaimed wood or get some ideas rolling on how to remodel your home, we can be reached at 602-478-5102 or Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com.

The Absolute Worst Things You Might be Doing to Your Wood Floor

 

 

Anyone will agree that a well-maintained wood floor is a thing of beauty. If you take the time to learn about all the things you need to do for your floor, shouldn’t you also know what you should try to avoid? Hardwood floor care is more than just cleaning and occasionally sanding and refinishing. A lot of it involves knowing how these stylish surfaces can be so easily damaged.

  • Dragging heavy furniture. Furniture can leave scratches and gouges in floors as you move them. Get some help lifting heavy pieces, or use felt pads. Sweep thoroughly before you move heavy furniture. Dirt that gets trapped under the furniture will leave very deep scratches in your hardwood flooring.
  • Waiting too long to refinish. If your hardwood floor is beginning to look stale and worn, it is time for a refinish. Putting this off will only made the work harder, and force you to spend more time restoring the surface. Timely refinishing is especially important for high traffic areas.
  • Using chemicals. Cleaning a wood floor is easier than most people think. You don’t need soap, vinegar or strong cleaners to do a good job. In fact many cleaning products can damage the surface of hardwood floors.
  • Steam cleaning. Steam mops are more suited to use on tiles. Aside from the moisture which is not good for wood floors, the heat from steam mops can cause the top layer of the wood to deteriorate over time. On that note, avoid using too much water when mopping up your floors.
  • Poor pet management. Dogs and cats can do a lot of damage to this type of floor in a relatively short time. Keep their nails or claws trimmed to protect the wood.
  • Not using a welcome mat. Anything that gets tracked on your floors is slowly wearing away the surface. Make sure that you use a welcome mat to keep this to a minimum.
  • Tacking down rugs. Trying to keep rugs from shifting can be frustrating, but tacking them is not always the best answer. When you have to move the rug, some of the adhesive may be left behind. You can also strip off some of the finish as well.
  • Wearing high heeled shoes. Your amazing stilettos might look great, but they are not so great for wood surfaces. They can leave impressions and marks in the wood. This can be even worse if the heel is damaged.

Preventing any type of damage to your floors will actually make maintenance much easier. You can’t possibly protect your floors from everything, but you can help that beauty to last longer by taking several precautions and preliminary measures. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re interested in installing hardwood flooring or restoring your existing hardwood floor in Phoenix or the surrounding area.

Espresso Cabinetry & Two Different Looks

Rich, Dark Espresso Cabinetry

Do you love the look of rich, dark Espresso cabinetry in a kitchen? Are you having trouble choosing materials for a countertop or a backsplash? We have two totally different looks for kitchens that feature these gorgeous cabinets.

 

In the first example, our kitchen designer and client chose an active countertop and backsplash. The Alaska Granite has a multitude of colors and movement. Veins of chocolate, cream and white gently flow across a silvery gray background. The backsplash is composed of strips of glass tiles in the same shimmering hues. Due to the energy of the various colors and the movement of the granite, the door style of the Espresso cabinets and the flooring have to be on the calm, subtle side. This kitchen is warm, fun and inviting!

 

 

 

 

In this example, the backsplash is Calcata Oro Marble. This sophisticated marble is polished and has veining that pulls in the gold from the floor tile along with the taupe and beige that run through the River White Granite countertops. As you can see, the warm Espresso cabinetry is a wonderful contrast to the lighter, cooler colors in the backsplash and countertops. Also, notice the door style of the cabinets is more detailed than the previous example. This space has a more sedate, quiet ambiance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Reasons to Choose to Add a Kitchen Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash makes a big difference in the overall look of this room. There are many reasons to add a backsplash.

  • A backsplash makes cleaning up a breeze. Since the kitchen is one of the messiest rooms of your home, a backsplash is a timesaver.
  • A tile or glass backsplash behind the stove will help prevent the wall from absorbing food odors.
  • A backsplash protects your wall. For instance, a backsplash behind the sink is great for protecting the wall from water damage. Moisture and water can lead to mildew and even mold. You definitely do not want these in your kitchen.
  • The backsplash can also serve to cover or hide any defects or gaps in your wall. Sometimes, countertops do not go straight back to the wall so there is an obvious gap. A properly done backsplash will hide this gap. Also, if the wall is defective you can use a backsplash to cover the defects.
  • The visual effect can be breathtaking. With the right design and tiles, a kitchen backsplash can immediate transform your kitchen into a thing of beauty.

How to chose the right one for your space.

The next step after deciding to install a backsplash is to know how to choose the right one for your kitchen. Some steps in choosing the right backsplash for your kitchen call for following certain steps. Luckily, these are easy ways to get the type of backsplash that you will enjoy for years.

  • Decide on the color: Take into consideration the overall color scheme of the kitchen. You also have the option of going with neutrals. While a colorful design can be immediately eye-catching, neutral designs give you lots of leeway to play with other colors in the kitchen such accessories and wall paint.
  • The material: You also need to decide on the type of material you want to use. In addition to a choice of tiles such as porcelain and ceramic, you also have glass, stone or a mixture. For example, if your kitchen is rustic, brick veneer may be a great choice, however, for a more modern looking kitchen glass may be the perfect choice.
  • The height: How high do you want the backsplash? This will depend on personal taste as well as the design of the kitchen. When deciding take into consideration your cabinets or if you want a part of your wall to show.

To get the right type of backsplash and ensure a professional design and installation it makes sense to hire an experience contractor to get the job done. The designers and builders here at Homework Remodels take your design ideas, style, and specific needs into consideration when designing your project. We will help you choose the best materials for your kitchen backsplash and ensure that it meets your idea of perfection before we begin laying tile. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss new kitchen backsplash ideas with us or to schedule a consultation.

Refinishing Existing Cabinets

With home remodeling trends lending their prowess not just to the dilapidated spaces but, also to those desiring an update, keeping quality kitchen cabinets has become more prevalent.  Recently, we have completed several kitchen remodel projects that include refinishing existing cabinets.  In our experience the quality construction of the cabinets, functional layout of the kitchen and hope to not add to the landfill has led more remodel clients down this path.

Throughout the Valley of the Sun, from Ahwatukee to Phoenix, Chandler to Tempe and Scottsdale to Mesa we have worked with home remodel clients that desire an update to their kitchen with out the larger scope of work to include all new cabinetry.  We have added design details like: light rail, wainscot panels and glass door panels.  We have increased storage capacity by adding custom cabinets.  Additionally, we have modified the space plan of the kitchen by adjusting the locations of several existing cabinets to increase functional counter space.  All are work expectations of our remodel design projects whether kitchen, office or bathroom.

For this Ahwatukee kitchen remodel project we had our custom cabinet maker craft wood wainscot

Refinishing Existing Cabinets within this Ahwatukee Kitchen RemodelRefinishing Existing Cabinets in an Awhatukee Kitchen RemodelRefinishing Existing Cabinets in this Ahwatukee Kitchen

panels and install them on a back panel to the pass through and around the exposed end of the peninsula.  The homeowners hoped the existing quartz counters and natural stone backsplash would still coordinate with the cabinet paint color.  As the designer on this project, I reassured our clients that the counters would look brand new once the cabinets were  painted.  The end result is spectacular.Refinishing Existing Cabinets in the Kitchen of this Ahwatukee home

 

The homeowner for this kitchen remodel project in Tempe hoped to have additional storage cabinets to fill Refinishing Existing Cabinets in this Tempe Kitchen Remodel some of the cavernous space above the existing, but also wanted some decorative elements added to give her kitchen the custom look she hoped for.  We even found/made a spot for wine bottle storage. Refinishing existing cabinets in this Tempe kitchen 1 She was hesitant, at first, to choose either white or espresso as the paint finish due to the amount of caRefinishing Existing Cabinets in this Tempe kitchen remodelbinetry. We procured a custom sample in a beautiful dry brush finish with a soft white background and grey accent.  While this color is beautiful, once it was in her space she could see how it could make the space feel even more cavernous with the monochromatic color pallet.  At the suggestion of our designer the homeowner agreed to refinishing existing cabinets on the espresso finish.  This combination complimented to the other finishes fabulously.  The end project is stunning.Refinishing existing cabinets in this Tempe Kitchen 2

 

The original space for this kitchen in Phoenix left the homeowner running into the refrigerator every time he opened the stove. Refinishing Existing Cabinets in this Phoenix Kitchen We relocated the cabinet above the refrigerator swapping it with the cabinets to the left of the refrigerator.  This move provides more functional counter space right where its’ needed, next to the stove.  Once the laminate counters were removed and we realized how much space was unused in the peninsula, we decided to add a corner open cabinet for more functional storage.  The finished space functions much better than before and looks amazing.Refinishing Existing Cabinets in this Phoenix Kitchen RemodelRefinishing Existing Cabinets in this Phoenix Kitchen Remodel2Refinishing Existing Cabinets for this Phoenix Kitchen Remodel 8

 

 

Transitional Kitchen Remodel in Tempe

 

A ROOM WITH A NEW VIEW

Transitional Kitchen Remodel in Tempe

BEFORE

Transitional Kitchen Remodel in Tempe

AFTER

This stylish Transitional kitchen remodel in Tempe maximized the use of the existing square footage.  We created a spacious kitchen for multiple people to work in and enjoy together.  The wall dividing the dining room from the kitchen had to be removed to set the tone for our open concept space plan.  Our homeowner wanted to relocate the dining table to the other side of the kitchen for easier access during parties.

Transitional Kitchen Remodel in Tempe

BEFORE

Transitional Kitchen Remodel in Tempe

AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working alongside our homeowner we designed a large island for five people to sit at comfortably.  A homeowner “must have”, as seen by the blue tape on the floor, this island had a predesignated location no Designer could move.  The kitchen sink, dishwasher and concealed pull-out trash can and recycle center are all in this island.  We were careful to design the countertop so that no seam would be necessary to detract from the marble like pattern of the quartz solid surface.  This large island with waterfall ends is a beautiful focal point that reflects our homeowners love of entertaining family and friends.

TRANSITIONAL KITCHEN REMODEL IN TEMPE

BEFORE

TRANSITIONAL KITCHEN REMODEL IN TEMPE

AFTER – A stunning Transitional Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

This amazing vaulted kitchen ceiling called out for taller wall cabinets to maximize storage and minimize clutter.  We designed a stacked wall cabinet layout to include several glass door cabinets with LED tap lights.  Now those decorative pieces collected during travels abroad have a home.  The shaker style cherry cabinets really speak to the style of this Transitional kitchen remodel in Tempe.  Clean lines are created with the sleek crown molding, light rail and linear stone and glass mixed mosaic backsplash tile.  The stove hood is capped with a wood panel and crown molding bridge that continues the visual line around the top of the kitchen giving your eye something to settle on.  The creation of this break point helps the kitchen not seem as cavernous as the 12′-6″ tall ceilings are.   An amazing transformation . . .  check back in for more details in future blogs.  

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