Here are some unique kitchen design and appliance ideas recently featured in our monthly newsletter. Although they may not be practical for every kitchen, they are sure to inspire some out-of-the-box ideas.
Add some creativity and elegance to your kitchen. Water flows naturally through the sink's wavy, 50" long design and makes an interesting focal point. When entertaining, fill the sink with ice and drinks for a useful self-serve station for your guests. The Mystic Sink by Elkay sells for $1,228.50 and can be found at http://www.elkayusa.com.
The Microwave Drawer
Dispose of countertop clutter with a microwave drawer appliance from Sharp Electronics. The Microwave Drawer is designed to fit under counters, stovetops, or wall ovens, as well as within islands. Learn more at www.sharpusa.com.
Undercounter wine cabinets are convenient and stylish and are perfect for the wine connoisseur and entertainer alike. Most will allow for two different temperatures settings and range in price from a couple hundred to a couple thousand. Undercounter installation provides greater organization and space savings.
Drawer refrigerators are now available and can be installed under your kitchen counter or integrated into any room in your home. The perfect solution for eliminating clutter and adding convenience. Save valuable space in your kitchen with two drawers and over five cubic feet of food storage.
In our work with older homes, we are always surprised to see how many homes have not had additional insulation added to supplement what little may have initially been installed. This is especially evident in our valley's historic homes in that many of them were never insulated in the first place.
Homeowners have a wide selection of choices for upgrading their home's insulation. The types we recommend most often are blown cellulose and spray foam insulation. They are excellent alternatives to the much used fiberglass, and are much friendlier to the environment.
Foam insulation is the best at both insulating and air sealing. It's downside is it's initial cost to install is many times higher than blown cellulose.
Cellulose is an excellent choice because it is made from 80% post-consumer recycled newsprint.
The newsprint fiber is chemically treated with non-toxic borate compounds to resist fire, insects, and mold. The Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association claims that insulating a 1500 sq. ft. house with cellulose will recycle as much newspaper as an individual will consume in 40 years. Cellulose also requires less energy to manufacture than fiberglass. The Environmental Building News reports that fiberglass requires approximately eight times more energy to make when adjusted to reflect energy cost per installed R-value.
Blown cellulose can be installed in new or existing structures in attics and walls. Construction-savvy homeowners might be able to install it themselves in open attic spaces. You can use blowing machines from rental centers or building material centers to blow numerous bales of product into the attic. The process requires two people to use the equipment. A great deal of care must be taken to apply the insulation properly and protect yourself and your ceiling from damage in the process.
Our recommendation is to have the process done by professionals. This is especially true regarding insulating walls either during remodeling or retrofitting existing walls.
Remodeling homes is a messy business. We are constantly tearing things out before we can go to work improving our client's home. I'm sure you've seen the dumpsters or demolition crews carrying the rubble away. Some years ago we discovered a way to recycle the reusable items while getting our clients a tax deduction. Plus, on numerous occasions we've been able to locate and buy one-of-a kind historic building materials such as doors, sinks, tubs or other unique items that fit very well into the home we were remodeling.
Common items we donate during kitchen remodeling would include old kitchen cabinets, kitchen counter tops, kitchen sinks, refrigerators, ovens, ranges, cook tops, dish washers and lighting fixtures. Bathroom remodeling items include toilets, bathroom vanities, pedestal sinks, shower fixtures, old tubs, and lighting fixtures. Other household items include water heaters, ceramic tile, usable paint, tools, door hardware, doors and windows.
As a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), we have grown to appreciate that our donations and purchases have been supporting numerous people in need through another NARI member, Stardust Building Materials, a non profit corporation.
Stardust Building Materials is totally focused on community service. The concept that they embody is that of "A Hand Up - Not A Hand Out". They have contributed to a huge list of under-funded community service organizations and also operate two major outreach programs, one that helps underprivileged homeowners, and another that helps children.
Angels on Call is an all-volunteer army of skilled tradesman, technicians and local corporate sponsors who have donated their time, money and expertise to make their community a better place.
Local churches, civic groups and other charitable organizations refer low or fixed income home-owners in the area that are in desperate need of basic safety, security or quality-of-life repairs.
Angels on Call uses the proceeds from sales of donations and some of the reusable items donated to Stardust Building Supplies to replace broken toilets or sinks, repair damaged roofing, flooring, windows, doors, and more.
Computers for Kids is a special program created by Stardust Building Supplies. It is designed to benefit the students, families and schools in less-advantaged school districts in the area.
Computers for Kids' unique vision: getting computers into the hands of students who may never be able to afford them and having a positive impact on the literacy rates in these districts.
Computers for Kids' unique plan: for every book that a student reads, that student earns points towards owning a computer. When the student has read the agreed upon number of books, the student is awarded with a computer for his or her home.
If you have a computer to donate to this program or if you would like to volunteer in helping refurbish used computers, please contact Stardust Building Supplies.
Stardust Building Supplies is always glad to arrange to come to you to pick up reusable building products or computers, or you can drop your items off at either of their locations. Their phone number is 602-424-1575. Their locations are at 4240 W. Camelback Road Phoenix AZ 8509 and 1720 W Broadway Road Mesa AZ 85202.
It seems like everyone is concerned with the best thing to do especially when it comes to saving energy and money. When we speak to homeowners about remodeling, the subject of water heaters almost always comes up.
Overall, our experience has been positive regarding the benefits and lack of downside.
Personally, I have two neighbors who have had floods as a result of a standard water heater tank giving out inside their home. Both had the entire interior severely damaged. One lost an entire houseful of wood flooring, the other lost all her flooring, plus the insurance company emergency crew cut the bottom two feet of plaster walls out to promote drying inside the walls.
These disasters gave my wife, Sally and I the motivation to get serious about investigating tankless water heaters before we had the same problems.
In the years that have followed, we have personally enjoyed the benefits and have had numerous clients install both electric and gas versions of tankless water heaters.
The water heaters come in both inside and outside versions. We encourage homeowners to go with the exterior versions if possible. It will free up interior storage space and remove the possibility of any mechanical or water issues from your home's interior.
We have found that there are numerous quality brands available. Our advice is to go with gas whenever possible, and be sure to choose one that will produce 5 to 8 gallons per minute in order to have enough for more than one usage at a time.
If you are tired of running out of hot water and have interest in a heater that will save enough to eventually pay for itself you need to look into switching to a tankless water heater. Contact me for questions or further information at: Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com
We serve homeowners in Phoenix and the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale and Mesa with full service remodeling and home improvments.
Bathroom remodeling is one of life's great mysteries. I'm sure many people wonder, how the smallest room in the house can be so complicated to redo?
The truth is that there are an awful lot of details contained in every bathroom large or small. Not only do all of the bathroom components need to work well, they need to look great together. Sometimes a new bathroom will require rearranging the floor plan. This can be challenging to come up with the perfect lay-out, but the work will be worth the effort when your new dream bathroom comes together.
Of course the most complected feature to be remodeled in your bathroom will be the shower. There are many parts of a bathroom remodel that you can do yourself as a homeowner. This is not one of them.
A bathroom shower must be built in such a way that it will be water tight for years to come. Many homeowners have taken their time and put together a tile bathroom shower only to find it developing a curious odor as it ages. This is a sure sign that mold is developing somewhere between the beautiful tile and the interior of the bathroom wall.
This is bad, but the worst news is that the only cure is a new shower. Any shower that leaks water is almost impossible to repair without starting over.
If you are looking for a way to create a new look for your shower on a tight budget, consider having the tile refinished. This process works well on any bathtub or shower as long as the surface is basically sound and the tub isn't rusting. Minor repairs can be made prior to refinishing and the renovated bathroom fixtures will look great after being refinished.
As an older home remodeling specialist, people often ask me what that means to them as they consider working with my company, Homework Remodels.
I realized that I was taking a chance when I decided to promote this specialty. Some people might think that their home might not be old enough to qualify for an older home remodeling company. Of course people who live in the historic neighborhoods of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Glendale have no problem with our skill and experience with homes built as far back as the 1800s.
The truth is that we like variety and have experience working on homes of all ages including newer homes. We have done our share of new construction on the additions we have added to a wide variety of homes of all ages.
The value we bring to homeowners, no matter what the age of their home, we will not be stumped by something that we haven't seen before due to our wide spectrum of remodeling experience. With the new construction slow-down, there have been many newcomers to the remodeling field. These craftsmen do have construction experience, but they will have limited remodeling know-how.
Remodeling is not like building homes. We do use the same tools, but working to merge your existing home with your new vision is a specialty that is totally different from building from scratch and not having to deal with hundreds of existing conditions that will affect the outcome.
Remodeling takes good listening skills, creativity, design skills, quality construction, and attention to details. Above that your remodeler must have a total focus on service and the ability to work within your home while minimizing the impact on you, the homeowner.
If there is a new kitchen, bathroom or other home improvement in your future we would love to help you with it . For additional information on kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling or any other area of home improvement remodeling visit our main website.
Welcome to my new blog focused on all things related to residential home improvement and remodeling. My company Homework Remodels specializes in improving homes of all ages and styles in Phoenix and the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale and Mesa.
I hope to expand my connection to homeowners in the valley by offering this blog. I will be posting helpful information on an ongoing basis. If you have questions or comments please email me at Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com so that I can respond with further info on your subject.
You will also want to visit my website www.homeworkremodels.com has been designed to be an informative source for homeowners on all aspects of home improvement.
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