Archive

You are currently browsing the archives for the Home Improvement category.

Oct

9

Kitchen Hub

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

Kitchen Hub

The owners of this Westchester, New York, ranch home updated the kitchen to include a marble-topped island and three Thonet bentwood stools. It now makes a comfortable hub for quick meals or homework.

Handy Outlets

Electrical outlets near the top of the island allow you to use small appliances easily, without the cord getting in the way.

Oct

9

Colonial Kitchen

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

The kitchen in this American colonial has mahogany counters, a table on casters, and chairs designed by by KBC.

Sep

1

Kitchen and Bath Counters That Inspire

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

From butcher block to marble, countertop surfaces come in an array of materials and colors to suit your style and your needs.

The counter: It’s a key component to the kitchen or bath. It has to be sturdy, practical, and, of course, look good. The best countertops are timeless, not trendy, and stand up well to wear and tear. Top-notch materials span a range of styles, from industrial-chic stainless steel to classic marble or granite, so there’s an option for every taste. Looking for inspiration?

Aug

29

3 Things About Small Bathroom Remodeling

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

  • Q: What Defines a Small Bathroom?
    A: A small bathroom is defined as being 50 square feet or smaller. This would be roughly 5 feet by 10 feet; 6 feet by 8 feet; or thereabouts. A small bathroom can either be a powder room, half-bath, or guest bathroom (all terms for the same thing, meaning that it lacks bathing facilities) or a full-bath which has either a shower or bathtub or both.
  • Q: How Does a Small Bath Remodel Differ from Larger Bath Remodels?
    A: Cost. Keep in mind that we do need to compare “apples to apples,” and so the cost of remodelinga powder room cannot rightly be compared to the cost of remodeling a large full bath. However, even small and large full bath will differ greatly in price mainly due to the fact that fewer materials are being used. This is especially important because bathroom materials (as well as professional remodeling services) tend to be unusually high.
  • Q: Can I Remodel a Small Bathroom by Myself?
    A: Yes. If you are so inclined, a small bathroom is a great place for the intermediate-level DIY remodeler to cut his or her remodeling “teeth.” But don’t feel ashamed if you do call in professionals. Because of the services involved (plumbing and electrical, mainly), it’s certainly understandable if you do call in professional remodelers you can visit them at drdrip.com.au.

  • Steps to Small Bathroom Remodeling

    1. Define Your Small Bath Needs and Desires
      First, decide whether this will be a powder room or a full bath. Powder rooms have little more than a toilet, sink, and minor electrical workto contend with. But when you bring in the increased plumbing requirements of a bathtub or shower, you also bring in requirements for other things such as moisture protection (do you have the appropriate type of flooring?), ventilation, sizing requirements, additional bathroom cabinetry, and so on. After that, it helps to define who will be using the bathroom. If this is a full bath that will act as a master bathroom, you may need to go “all out” in terms of cabinetry and higher-end materials. After all, you will have to look at this bathroom at least twice a day for many years. But if this bathroom is for overnight guests, you can probably skimp on the quality of materials. You will most definitely not need increased storage space for guests, either.
    2. Plan Your Small Bathroom
      One misconception we often hear about small bathrooms: “Well, if they’re so small, I can probably map the whole thing out in my head, right?” Wrong. Small bathrooms do need extensive planning. One reason is because stock bathroom cabinets come in pre-determined sizes. You’ll probably need to work around stock cabinet sizes (or order custom cabinets). Obtain home design software that will allow you to plan your bathroom in detail.
    3. Decide Whether to Hire a Pro or DIY
      A small bathroom renovation, performed by a remodeling contractor and using contractor-quality materials, might cost you as little as $15,000. Doing the same remodel DIY might cost the cost by 50%. One option is to do as much as possible by yourself: demolition; basic drywall installation; flooring; and painting. Then, leave the rest to the pros. You’ll need to talk with the bath remodeling contractor to coordinate with him.
    4. Strip Down to the Basics
      Strip down? We mean the bathroom, not you! The degree of bathroom demolition you do depends on the scale of your project, of course; but you can expect to strip down a small bathroom in three days, probably even less. Make sure you have other bathroom facilities available, because this one will be completely disabled. Rent a roll-off dumpster for your driveway or have a hauling company take it all away. If your bathroom pre-dates 1978, be careful for lead-based paint dangers.
    5. Install Plumbing and Electrical
      Electrical and plumbing go in first (remember, the walls are open). Rough-in the plumbing for toilet, shower, and bathtub. Have the electrician bring in the wiring, too. You will need to have two inspections done: first, at the rough-in stage; second, after the walls have been closed up.
    6. Install Flooring, Cabinets, Etc.
      If you are partially DIY’ing this job, you might decide to step in at this point and take over. With plumbing and electrical fully installed, you can lay down flooring, hang cabinets, paint the walls, and install towel bars, mirrors, and that finishing touch—the toilet roll holder!

Aug

27

Mirrored Bathroom Cabinets Guide

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

A mirror is an essential part of any bathroom. Without it, people would have a very difficult time getting ready for their day. However, some bathrooms are small and don’t allow much room for large mirrors. A great way to overcome this particular challenge is to install mirrored bathroom cabinets.

Bathroom cabinets that have mirrored doors are a very useful addition to any bathroom. Not only do they provide much-needed storage space for small, cluttered bathrooms but they also provide that mirror that’s crucial to the morning routine. Often called “medicine cabinets,” these handy little storage units provide a place for everyone’s essential personal items. Some even have adjustable shelving to make room for various sized bottles and personal hygiene products.

The mirrored doors are useful since they alleviate the need to find space for traditional mirrors. Just open them up, grab what you need, and close the doors to finish preparing for the day ahead. It’s a no muss, no fuss solution for bathroom organization. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Mirrors are often used to make small rooms appear more open and spacious. In much the same way, mirrored bathroom cabinets can help to make small bathrooms look and feel larger. They’re easy to clean and require very little maintenance so they make a great addition to any bathroom. Many home improvement stores sell these cabinets in many shapes and sizes, so finding one that’s affordable is a snap.

Make sure to choose one that matches your current bathroom decor. Shop around online and visit local retailers to get a good idea of what’s available. Installation is easy and can be done in a short amount of time. It won’t be long before you’re able to enjoy the beautiful new addition to your bathroom!

Aug

22

Home kitchens

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

Your kitchen design represents one of the best opportunities you’ll get to inject your own personality into your home.

This is important.

After all, they say that most important room in any home is the kitchen, so you’ll want it to reflect exactly who you are.

Finding the right kitchen that suits your home is imperative.

Here are some useful pointers for designing the ideal kitchen for your home:

  • Choose your style of kitchen carefully. The design needs to reflect not only your personal taste, but also your home. For instance, a contemporary kitchen design in a rustic country cottage is going to look strange, as is a more traditional kitchen in an ultra modern apartment.
  • Make sure you measure the dimensions of your kitchen before drawing up your wish-list of all the amazing things you want to include in the design. It is very easy to get carried away but always be realistic about what you can do with the space you have available. A kitchen design needs to start off by including the basic essentials. The snazzy extras can always be added later.
  • Think about the flow. The flow is the transition from one room to the next. What you don’t want is adjacent rooms that look completely different in terms of style and design. Creating a seemingly effortless flow from one room to the next is vital when planning any room in the house.
  • Keep it functional. Don’t let yourself become so immersed in the aesthetics of your kitchen design, that you forget that the room needs to be used to carry out numerous day-to-day tasks. A successful kitchen is one that looks great and functions just as well. If you only achieve one of these things, then you’re always going to end up disapointed.

Hopefully these basic tips have proved helpful. We’ll be adding more articles right here that go into more detail on specific subjects.

May

26

Preparing to Install New Kitchen Cabinets

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

When installing new cabinets, plan to do the job after completion of rough wiring and plumbing but before the finish flooring has been installed. By installing the flooring after cabinet installation, you won’t use more flooring than needed and the new floors are less prone to construction damage.

Unpack your cabinets and make sure all components are on hand. If your cabinets arrive disassembled, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly. Wait until after cabinet installation to add drawers, doors, and shelves. If you remove any parts, be sure to label them so you can return them to their proper places.
Solid Cherry Kitchen Cabinets 
The wall that backs cabinets should be level, smooth, and clean. To check it for flatness, place a long straightedge against it. Mark any bumps or voids so that, during installation, you can adjust for them.

When moving them around, you will discover that upper cabinets are heavy–just imagine their weight when they’re loaded with dinnerware and food. For this reason, it is imperative that they be fastened very securely to the wall stud framing behind the wall’s surface material. And the screws you use must go through a strong part of the cabinet such as a support rail that runs along the cabinet back. Every cabinet should be secured by at least three screws which penetrate the wall framing by at least 1 1/2 inches. For cabinet installation techniques, see How to Install Kitchen Cabinets.

May

19

Kitchen Redesign: Advantages and Disadvantages

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

There are a number of advantages to having a kitchen redesign. The greatest benefit is that the value of your home is increased. The increased value depends on the quality of the workmanship in the project. If your kitchen redesign is done properly, the value goes up. If you do not decide to sell and you are enhancing its aappearance based on your needs or the needs of your family, you will find that a kitchen redesign project will make the room your family spends a lot of time in more warm and inviting.

A disadvantage of a kitchen redesign project is the cost. If you decide to make small improvements such as replacing appliances the cost will be less than if you decide to do a major kitchen redesign which may include moving walls, changing the surface of the floor, changing the kitchen cabinets, adding marble countertops, and so on.

kitchen-redesign-advantages-and-disadvantages.jpg

A kitchen redesign project can be a do-it-yourself project or it can be professionally designed and the work can be done by a professional contractor. If you are handy with plumbing and electricity, you may want to make small changes yourself. However, it is always better to have a professional install an appliance such as gas stoves. Leaks can prove fatal to you and your family. Another disadvantage to do-it-yourself is familiarity with all the tools you will need to work with. You may injure yourself and this could cause you to lose time from work. You also need to consider the time it will take for you to make the changes.

An interior designer can assist you in the proper placement of fixtures and accessories as well as help you with the overall look and feel of the room. The interior designer draws up the plans and the contractor completes the work. Interior designers may also be able to get you a discount on the fixtures you need for your kitchen redesign.

You should research your ideas as to how you want your kitchen to look. Looking through magazines, books, and rooms on the Internet will give you ideas. You should clip pictures or print them out so you can discuss them with the designer if you decide to work with a professional.

When you decide on a kitchen redesign project, you will essentially get a new kitchen. It does not matter if it is just a change in cabinets, putting in a new sink or a new floor. When the project is completed, you will feel good about your new kitchen.

Mar

13

Elegant Kitchen Countertops

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

Elegant Kitchen Countertops

countertop-granite.jpg

Three considerations to remember:

  • When you choose your countertop, select a color and texture that compliments your cabinetry, floor or paint selection.
  • Don’t be afraid to combine two or more countertop materials in one kitchen. Complimentary colors or textures on adjacent surfaces can create visual interest.
  • Remember also that it pays to select a material that will withstand years of use without extraordinary maintenance requirements and is easily repairable should an accident occur.

Your options:

countertop-granite2.jpg

Granite Countertops

Granite is…well…hard as a rock. Though costly, when buffed to a shine it creates a smashing look for kitchen counters. It is also riding a crest of popular style that began over 10 years ago. With granite tops, the experience and expertise of the fabricator is vitally important.

Marbel Countertops

Granite, marble, and limestone, all popular for countertops, are beautiful natural materials. In most areas, you’ll find a great selection of colors and figures.

Wood Countertops

countertop-curved.jpg

The quality of the countertop edge treatment is important. As an example, a solid surface counter is easy to clean and repair and will take years of use. It might look terrific with a wood edge to match the cabinets, but the wood will not withstand constant exposure to water and household chemicals like the solid surface material. Restrict the wood edge to an area such as a freestanding hutch and use matching or contrasting solid surface material for the front edge.

Consider combining quality decorative materials such as tile, granite or marble with solid surface. Many fabricators can create custom designs for a spectacular visual effect without compromising durability and easy maintenance.

When there are budget constraints, it makes sense to use the highest quality material for the counter areas that will sustain the greatest amount of use, specifying other materials to less often used areas.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless steel countertops are not very elegant and look “cold”. They do not absorb stains oils or odors, but it will scratch easily and scratches cannot be repaired. You can view stainless steel countertops on this page

Other Resources

Kitchen ebook from TapDirect. A time and money-saving reference guide for KITCHEN REMODELING to add value to your home.

Subscribe to Mr. Skinner’s Remodeling & Home Improvement Newsletter with hundreds of money saving tips and tricks (scroll down the page for the subscription form).

Nov

19

Installing Kitchen Cabinets

By KBC Kitchen & Bathroom

If you are considering replacing your upper kitchen cabinets, you may want to try doing it yourself. Hanging cabinets is really good in the skill set of the average homeowner.

With a little planning and the right tools, you can achieve a professional

look with your cabinet installation.

The easiest way to install the cabinets are pre-assembled and pre-finished cabinets that can be found in any large store home improvement. The benefit to them is that they come in stock sizes and can pick up when it’s convenient for you. They are also much less expensive than custom cabinets. You can also buy them unfinished and paint or stain to really personalize your kitchen.

After removing the old cabinets, take care measures. Since the cabinets come in a wide variety of sizes, you can mix and match to fit your space. If you like the design of its original furniture, but just want the new style, then buy the same size as the old. You also want to buy a stud finder, a level and a couple of pieces of 2×4 lumber.

If you are doing both upper and lower cabinets, always install the upper cabinets first, since it is easier to do without the base cabinets in place! Use the stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. Typically, studs are placed sixteen inches apart. Mark the location of each bolt with a pencil. Now you have to find a point of reference for the cabinets. Normally there are about twenty inches of space between the counter top and the underside of upper cabinets. So the distance measured from the floor (or on your desk) and mark the wall. Now he wants to use their level and trace a line along the wall where the bottom of the cabinets will be. Attach the 2×4 to the wall with screws temporary, with the top right of the wood in pencil line is level to the bottom of the cabinets. This piece of wood will give you a little time resting point of hanging the cabinets and make sure they are the same level. Then, remove all cabinet doors – this will make installation easier.

Installing the offices of the first corner. Place the cabinet against the wall with the bottom edge of the 2×4 and drill a screw into one of the bolts. You must attach the cabinets to the studs to support the weight of your dishes. Make sure not to over tighten the rope, as you may have to shim the cabinets. Make sure the parts are level and shim if necessary.

Now install the next cabinet. This is the hardest part – to ensure that the cabinet fronts are painted with each other. You probably have to shim the second cabinet, or adjust the wedges in the corner cabinet to be of color. Once you download, screw in the second cabinet wall studs and then screw the cabinets to each other with the long screws provided. Clamp the cabinets together.

Follow these steps for subsequent cabinets. If there is more space between the cabinets, or end, you can buy strips of filler in the same material as the cabinets out in these gaps. Simply screw the long screws in adjacent cabinet and clamp.

Once installed the cabinets, tighten all the screws, remove and put the clamps on the doors. Take care to ensure that the doors are level with each other, adjusting as necessary. Remove the 2×4 and patch the screw holes. Now, connect the hardware.

Installing new upper cabinets can be done in a weekend and will add value and beauty to your kitchen.