7 Questions that Need Answers before Your Kitchen Remodeling Project Begins

Kitchen remodeling in Phoenix requires that a lot of questions be answered. We don’t want you to be overwhelmed during the initial consultation, so we’ve put together a list of 7 questions that need answers before the project begins. These questions will help the process go much more smoothly.

What is the objective of the kitchen remodeling project?

The most common reasons for remodeling the kitchen include:

  • Preparation for selling the home
  • Updating appliances and style
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Creating a smart kitchen with all the bells and whistles

Be committed to the reason for remodeling your kitchen. The finished product should meet your idea of the perfect kitchen!

How long do you plan to use this kitchen?

Homeowners who remodel the kitchen with the intention of retiring and growing old while living independently should consider the future. Start making changes now that will have a positive impact on your kitchen for when you’re 75 or 80 years old.

Do you have any existing health or mobility issues?

We need to know if you or anyone in the household suffers from allergies before we start recommending materials to install in your home. We also need to know if anyone has mobility issues or other health concerns that need to be taken into consideration.

Will you live in your home during the remodeling process?

Some homeowners prefer to stay in a hotel or go on vacation while we’re remodeling. We often remodel kitchens during the winter months while the homeowners are in their northern homes. Imagine coming back to Phoenix to your summer home and you have a whole new kitchen!

Do you want to modify any walls or doorways?

This is a very important question because some walls help support the roof. We can tell you which walls are support walls and which walls are okay to modify. We can modify support walls, but we have to maintain that structural stability. Sometimes we can find other ways to offer that support while giving you the kitchen you want.

How do you use your kitchen?

We get a lot of strange looks when we ask that simple question. What do you mean, how do I use my kitchen? It’s a kitchen. We understand. But we get a lot of varying answers to that question. Some families use the kitchen only as a spot to grab a quick breakfast on the go then maybe the occasional evening meal. Others have traditional breakfasts and dinners as a family. And some also incorporate a homework area, an arts and crafts area, or even board games.

What’s your remodeling budget?

You knew we had to get there eventually, right? We need to know your budget, because that will help us design the best kitchen for you without breaking the bank. We can show you tricks and tips for splurging on the things you really want while saving in other areas without sacrificing quality. Never sacrifice quality.

7 Finishing Touches that Will Make a Major Difference in the Appearance of Your Kitchen

No kitchen remodeling project is complete without the finishing touches. In fact, the finishing touches are what bring out the best in a great remodeling project regardless of the room in question. But our focus for today is on the kitchen and the things we recommend in order to give your kitchen that highly polished appeal.

  1. Light Fixtures: Lighting styles come and go. We suggest that you purchase light fixtures that you like and that go well with your existing decor and style. You can change them each season or every 2-3 years if you get tired of seeing them in time.
  2. Proper Height for Lighting: The proper distance for a chandelier to hang above the dining room table or for pendant lighting to hang above the countertop or kitchen island is 30 to 34 inches. Raise the fixture another inch for each foot past an 8 foot ceiling.
  3. Faceplates: The faceplates in your kitchen show the room’s age faster than any other part. Older faceplates are often discolored and make the kitchen appear as if it is in need of renovation. Choose decorative faceplates when possible. Metal faceplates add a lot of pizzazz to the room.
  4. Crown Molding: Add a touch of elegance and customization to your kitchen cabinets by installing crown molding. The area where the ceiling meets the wall isn’t the only place that can benefit from crown molding. You can turn plain cabinets into amazing cabinets with just a little crown molding.
  5. Base Trim: Base trim perfectly finishes the bottom of the lower cabinets and creates a finished appearance where the floor meets the wall. It’s an excellent addition to help tie the room together.
  6. Vents: A/C vents rarely get much attention, but when you use decorative vents, people notice because it’s unusual. Decorative vents make a style statement.
  7. Hardware: Hardware is definitely a place we recommend splurging. It can get a little expensive if you decide to use custom pieces of hardware, but it’s a decision that you will not regret any time soon.

Adding the Finishing Touches to Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Each of these finishing touches can be installed as part of a DIY project. The project will go much more smoothly if you have experience with the required tools. Give us a call if you would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us.

15 Kitchen Design Tips for Your Remodeling Project

 

The planning process is the most important part of your kitchen remodel. We can build a great kitchen based on your needs, but it becomes an impressive kitchen design when we really dig into the space available to efficiently plan the design. Here are 15 kitchen design tips that will help transform your kitchen.

  1. Wasted Space: Deep cabinets are a great idea in theory, but they create a lot of wasted space when you can’t reach certain items. Then they just become long-term storage for items you rarely use. Avoid wasted space by designing more efficient storage.
  2. Wasted Steps: We understand that your pedometer pushes you to hit 10,000 steps a day, but they don’t all have to be in the kitchen. Food prep shouldn’t be a chore.
  3. Define Traffic Flow: Your kitchen design should effectively direct traffic without causing chaos.
  4. No Banging Doors: Make sure all appliances and cabinetry can open without banging the door or corner beside it.
  5. Microwave Placement: There is actually a scientific method to placing your microwave in the kitchen. It can cause burns and other injuries if it is too high, too low, too far away, or too enclosed.
  6. Double Appliances: Add a dishwashing drawer in addition to the traditional dishwasher and a mini fridge in addition to the family fridge. These secondary appliances may seem like overkill, but they will be used.
  7. Landing Space: You should ideally have at least 15 inches of space on each side of the range as well as on each side of the kitchen sink. This area is called the landing area because this is where dishes and food land while you’re preparing meals.
  8. Plenty of Counter Space: Create your kitchen with plenty of counter space in mind. Cabinetry will likely be below most of the counter space in your kitchen, so you’re doing yourself a favor in the long run by adding more.
  9. The Importance of the Triangle: We mentioned wasted steps as tip #2, and this tip follows that same idea. The purpose of the kitchen triangle is to have the sink, refrigerator, and range within easy reach. A few steps between each would be a good distance. But you don’t want to leave a boiling pot to walk 15 feet across the kitchen, past the kitchen island, to get something from the refrigerator only to discover that the pot has boiled over and there’s a big mess to clean up before you can continue on with dinner.
  10. Knife Storage: Knives and other dangerously sharp items should always be kept out of reach of children. A metallic strip attached to the backsplash or a knife block are great options.
  11. Eat-in Areas: A breakfast nook, an eat-in kitchen area, or space for eating at the kitchen island are excellent ideas for in-kitchen snacks or meals.
  12. Electronics Charging Center: Create an area for electronics to be safely stored and charged away from food and liquids.
  13. Message Center: Phone messages, medication lists, and grocery lists are common messages for a chalkboard in the kitchen. This allows every member of the family to get creative while leaving messages.
  14. Kids Center: A couple of our previous tips mentioned doubling up on a few appliances. This is a good lead-in for that discussion. You can create a specific area for after-school drinks and snacks that won’t interfere with dinner prep areas when kids come in from school.
  15. Pet Appropriate Areas: 68% of American households have a pet. That means more than half of the people we work with probably have a pet to take into consideration. Pet-safe areas are becoming more common in time.

Kitchen Design and Remodeling in Phoenix

Give us a call if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us. We’ve helped many greater-Phoenix area homeowners improve their kitchen’s functionality and style throughout the years. We also do whole home remodeling on request.

5 Basic Factors to Consider when Remodeling Your Kitchen in Phoenix

 

So you’re considering remodeling your kitchen? You have a lot of decisions to make and plans to create. The planning process can get a bit overwhelming, and material selection can be even more frustrating if you let it. Our goal is to make the process as painless as possible for you. Let’s look at 5 basic factors you need to take into consideration when planning the project.

Storage

You can never go too big with kitchen storage. Obvious storage options include cabinetry, drawers, and a pantry. Also consider open shelving for decorative items or items that are used on a regular basis. Here are a few other kitchen storage ideas:

  • Decorative Baskets
  • Hidden Trash and Recycling Bins
  • Custom Cabinetry for Small Appliances
  • Extra Large Custom Cabinetry for Large Dishes
  • Vertical Storage – Cabinet Doors, Walls, etc…

Flooring

Wood flooring such as hardwood or more sustainable bamboo flooring is an excellent option for the kitchen. Tile looks great, but is often considered too hard and cold, even here in Phoenix. Many homeowners with tile flooring in the kitchen end up using rugs to make it more comfortable. Choose your kitchen flooring based on the way you use your kitchen.

Lighting

Make the most of natural light when possible. We can add a window, transom windows, sidelights to a patio door, or even skylights or a sun tunnel to bring in additional natural light. Here are a few other kitchen lighting ideas:

  • Pendant Lighting
  • Recessed Lighting
  • Task Lighting
  • In-Cabinet and Drawer Lights
  • Toe-Kick Lighting
  • Under-Cabinet Lighting

Sink and Faucet

Sink and faucet options are nearly endless. You can use traditional sinks and faucets that are readily available at your local home improvement store or you can opt to use specialty items. Some homeowners choose to browse second-hand stores or antique stores for this type of item. The choice is entirely yours.

Countertop

This is quite possibly the biggest decision you’ll make during your kitchen remodel. You will see your countertops every single day for the next 7-10 years based on the frequency of which more kitchens are remodeled. Make sure you choose a material that you like in terms of appearance and maintenance as well.

Kitchen Remodeling in Phoenix

Remodeling your kitchen is a big project; make sure you have the right team on your side. We’ve helped many Phoenix area homeowners remodel various parts of their home to improve flow, functionality, and style. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Strategies for Designing the Perfect Walk-in Closet for Your Master Suite

For a master bedroom, you will need more than the standard sized closet. Most people are no longer satisfied with the average closet due to storage limitations. A walk-in closet not only solves this problem, it can also work as a dressing room. Here are a few tips to get the walk-in closet that perfectly complements your master suite.

  • Determine the dimensions. The amount of space available for a walk-in closet will vary from house to house, but 7 by 10 feet is usually considered the basic size. Couples generally prefer a walk-in closet that can be divided in half so they can each have their own space. If you are trying to work out the right size, think about space for a bench and maybe a small table for folding laundry.
  • Plan your storage. If you want your walk-in closet to be a model of functionality and efficiency, you have to plan out the storage. Remember that storage is the answer to the question of avoiding clutter, but deciding on a large closet is just the first step. You can choose the quicker route by purchasing a closet organizing kit. For the best results, consider getting a custom built organizing system design. This is more costly, but it may be more suitable for your personal needs.
  • The custom option. The main advantage of getting a custom built storage system for your walk-in closet is that it allows you to make the best use of the entire space. You will also be able to choose the material, unlike with ready-made systems which have fewer options. When you custom build your closet storage system you can account for every article of clothing no matter how small. You can have space and hooks for socks, scarves and ties. You can include a slide-out ironing board and mirror for convenience and space saving.
  • Think about DIY. For one reason or another, a DIY closet storage solution may be the best fit for you. Closet kits are available in a variety of sizes and styles. You will first have to start by measuring the space to make sure that the modules you buy are at least a close fit. If you know the size of the units you can try out different layouts on paper until you find one that is most suitable. Make sure the modules do not intrude in the space for clothes and other items you need to store.

Your walk-in closet should be well lit and properly ventilated for comfort. Make sure that any electrical work in the walk-in closet is up to code.

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Tile Backsplash for Your Kitchen

 

While kitchen trends come and go, one mainstay is the backsplash. It is ideal for its functionality, but it helps to add a finished look to the space. In addition to keeping greasing and food splashes off your walls, the kitchen backsplash should strengthen the design of the kitchen. Here are a few tips to help you get started on choosing the right type.

  1. Leave it for last. Leaving the backsplash as the final design feature does not diminish its importance. So start with flooring, the countertop, cabinets and lighting. Choose a backsplash based on its ability to fit with all of these.
  2. What is the design role? The size, material and colors of the backsplash can help it to either stand out or simply be part of the décor. Decide whether you want it to immediate grab attention, or whether you want another part of the kitchen to be the focus.
  3. Will you use different patterns? The availability of different colors and patterns gives you room to be creative. Blending different patterns can be tricky, so choose a basic layout, like one type of tile framing another.
  4. Choose a style. You can find backsplash materials and patterns to suit any kitchen, regardless of the theme or décor. Glass and natural stone can provide a natural look, but many tile products can do the same for less. Consider your long term plans, as you may want to make a change or have plans to sell the home in a few years.
  5. Use trim. Smaller pieces around the edges of the backsplash can give it a finished look. You can use a different pattern to achieve this, but for a trendy look, consider a different material.
  6. Match tile and budget. While some of the most expensive tiles might be beautiful, you don’t have to strain your budget. Keep the budget in mind when looking for the best backsplash ideas. Even though they generally do not take up a lot of space, you also have to consider the cost of installation.
  7. Think about maintenance. If your busy lifestyle leaves you with little time for frequent kitchen cleanups, choose a tile that is easy to maintain. Some textures can take more time to clean.

You might decide to make plans to change the backsplash in a few years. This could be for a simple update, or it may be part of a complete kitchen remodel.

Do you remember…

Middle Kid & Missing Hamster

Do you remember…

Perhaps you and your spouse bought your dream home years ago. Maybe, you even got to choose the finishes and materials. Fun for some people, torture for others! You discussed, fretted over and researched everything. You solicited everyone’s opinion on all details; like paint colors. Navaho White, Nonchalant White or Nebulous White? Which one will it be? Then there’s tile, carpet, countertops, cabinets, lighting… More fretting, more discussing and finally….your dream home is finished! And it is perfect. Until…

Three kids, two dogs, and one missing hamster later, your dream home has become a nightmare. When it comes time to remodel, do you really think that you will remember whether it was Nebulous, Navaho or Nonchalant White? You can’t even remember your middle kid’s name right now! You know, the one that let the hamster go, last week : (

Do you remember…

We will remember. In fact, we go to great lengths to make sure that we, and our clients have a precise, detailed record of every finish, every material and every product we specify for your project. It is extremely important for us to keep detailed records of these items. We use that info to order products for your job. Then, if there is ever a question, years down the road, we will know the name and the source of each and every product and finish material. And so will you. We make it a practice to give our customers all of this information, along with all warranties, manuals and detailed care instructions.

Do you remember…

You haven’t forgotten about the hamster, have you? Homework Remodels will  professionally and expertly complete all phases of your remodel. We are a trusted design-build firm serving the Greater Phoenix area. We would love to provide a free, in-home estimate and talk about your remodeling needs.

Call Steve at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com

Oh, and about that hamster, have you tried building a staircase out of books next to a tall bucket? Put a few pieces of his favorite snack on the stairs and the rest in the bucket. Then, by morning the little guy should be scurrying around inside the bucket, problem solved!  Now, if you could just remember….

 

2017 Color of the Year

 

  2017 Promises to be more Colorful than 2016!

 

At least, on our walls. Last year almost all of the colors of the year were pretty neutral. But, oh how things have changed! This year, Pantone looks to brighten our day with Greenery. As stated on the their website, Pantone believes their 2017 Color of the Year symbolizes “new beginnings, lushness, renewal and restoration”.  And, of course, they hope you will use Greenery, a “fresh and zesty yellow-green,  to rejuvenate and revitalize your spaces”. Referring to it as “nature’s neutral,” Pantone sees this shade as “life-affirming”. Now,  I’m not sure that I would ever refer to a paint color as “life-affirming”, but I will say this is a bright, cheerful shade of green that reminds me of spring foliage and Kermit the Frog!

Sherwin Williams:

The only real neutral on this years forecast list is Sherwin Williams’ Poised Taupe. It is a classic balance of cool and warm, bold and subtle. As Sherwin Williams likes to describe this shade, “It’s as though gray and brown had a baby.”  Poised Taupe is “weathered, woodsy, cozy and harmonious.” Consequently, it is a classic background that will work in rooms that have either gray or brown in the color palette. The aftereffect of this color depends on whether you choose warm or cool colors to pair with it.  So, for those of you who are not ready for the vividness of Greenery, Poised Taupe may be your answer.

Olympic Paint:

Next, is Olympic Paint. They decided to go with a soothing, soft shade of violet. Cloudberry is “refreshing, calming and serene.” As stated on their website, Olympic Paint intends Cloudberry to be a hue to help you “escape outside distractions and create balance in your surroundings.” I would definitely use Cloudberry to create a tranquil and mesmerizing master bedroom suite.

Benjamin Moore:

Because Benjamin Moore decided to go a little darker and more mysterious than Cloudberry, their Shadow is “allusive and enigmatic, a master of ambiance.” On their website, they refer to Shadow as a “rich, royal amethyst that is provocative, poetic and sophisticated.” This is quite a departure from last year’s color of the year,  Alabaster. Shadow is dark and intense, you may want to experiment with this shade in small doses. Therefore, it would positively make a eye-catching accent wall.

Dunn Edwards:

Honey Glow, which is Dunn Edwards’ color of the year, rivals Pantones’ Greenery in it’s brightness and energy. This “warm, golden yellow hue is cheerful, bold and lively.” Dunn Edwards has actually partnered with a nonprofit organization called HoneyLove to promote urban beekeeping and educate people about making their gardens bee friendly. Consequently, Dunn Edwards has agreed to donate 10% of the proceeds of Honey Glow to HoneyLove! This shade, too, may be one to start with in small doses, unless this happens to be your all-time favorite color.

Glidden Paint:

Byzantine Blue, from Glidden Paint, is meant to be considered “gender-neutral.” And, according to their website, Byzantine Blue, which is really a “playful, yet peaceful purple” is uniquely versatile. Because this really is an adaptable color, I could see it being beautifully used in a variety of spaces.

Pittsburgh Paint:

Finally, we have Pittsburgh Paint’s Violet Verbena. As you can see, many companies went with a blue-violet shade for their 2017 Colors of the Year. Probably not really surprising though, as blue is the most often quoted as being people’s favorite color. Violet Verbena has a grayish purple “chameleon-like hue that adds depth and luxury,” according to their website. In addition, it could be the “perfect backdrop” for a little “subtle and serene pampering.”  Violet Verbana is” bohemian, playful, moody and tranquil” in style.

 

Phoenix Home and Garden 2017 Garden Tour

Outdoor MakeoverPhoenix Home and Garden 2017 Garden Tour is on Saturday, April 8, 2017

from 10am to 4pm.

This yearly event hosted by this distinguished Phoenix publication offer valley residents and visitors an exclusive opportunity to tour the amazing gardens here in the Valley of the Sun.  Along the self-guided tour you will meet professionals in the industry of Landscape Design, Gardeners, Magazine Editors and even some plant enthusiasts.  This rain or shine event in and around Paradise Valley promises to pique your gardening interest and satisfy your inner philanthropist with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Desert Botanical Gardens.  Follow the link below to purchase tickets on-line.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/phoenix-home-and-garden-magazine-2017-garden-tour-tickets-31134821088

Come back and comment as to your favorite feature of the Garden Tour.

Included here are some pictures of Gardens in the Valley of Homework Remodels clients’.

 

 

Scottsdale AZ home renovation front entry detailsGarden Tour 001

Here’s Why You Should Always Choose High Quality Materials for Your Remodeling Project

After coming up with a plan to remodel your bathroom, you will move on to checking out the various types of materials available. Any contractor will tell you that it makes sense to spend a little more to get the best. For some people, this might mean doing only a partial remodel. This is preferable to buying cheap materials that you will have to replace quickly.

Attractiveness. People spend more on remodeling materials that help them to get the luxurious look they want. When you are shopping around, you will see that items like granite, marble and hardwood can cause your budget to balloon. Quality materials are still highly desirable despite the cost, because they often defy trends, and they can make any bathroom look elegant.

Durability. When you spend money to remodel your bathroom, you want it to last. A higher price is not the only notable feature of quality bathroom remodeling materials. Durability makes the expense worthwhile for many, and spending a little more always pays off for years after the work is done.

Low maintenance. In the bathroom you use a variety of products, plus you have to be mindful of the possibility of water stains. Some cheaper materials, like vinyl can withstand staining, and porous materials like marble can become stained. Generally however, high quality materials offer the advantage of easy maintenance, so you can cut the amount of time you spend on cleaning. Also, because of their toughness, you will have fewer repairs to deal with over the years.

Less strain on your budget. It is true that quality bathroom materials are more expensive initially, but this is only in the beginning. You will not have to deal with frequent repairs typical to remodeling jobs done with cheaper materials. Another point to consider is that a beautiful, well designed bathroom will not need a quick update. So you could keep the same look for longer, while others are changing features to keep up with the latest trends.

The bathroom is usually a high traffic area, plus there is the additional concern of moisture. You can always save money when remodeling a bathroom, but you should never try to cut corners when it comes to picking the best materials. Ultimately, this will cost you more, and you might have a renovation that you are not completely happy with.

Homework Remodels specializes in remodeling bathrooms, kitchens, and entire homes to increase the overall functionality and design of the home. We have helped many Phoenix area homeowners remodel their homes to achieve their ultimate goal. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss remodeling your bathroom.

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