Category Archives: Home Improvement

15 Amazing Bathroom Remodel Ideas, Plus Costs 2018

Updating or remodeling your bathroom can be a great investment of your home improvement dollars, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years.

Remodeling this small space can also enhance its functionality, enabling you to enjoy the often-forgotten area of your home to its fullest.

open space bathroom

Here are some of the top bathroom remodeling ideas updated for Summer 2018, along with their costs and the pros and cons of each remodeling upgrade.

Flooring

1. Stone tiles

modern bathroom with mosaic tiles and a bidet Stone tile creates a natural look to your bathroom while providing the durability you need in a humid area.

While tile has long been popular for this room, the look of stone creates warmth while being a good long-term investment option. Choose marble, limestone or even onyx for a unique look on your bathroom floors. Travertine is an upscale version which is stylish and long-lasting.

Pros: Beautiful, adds value to the bathroom

Cons: Can be expensive, depending on the stone you choose

Costs: Prices begin at $200 for a 100 square feet room, but can increase for more custom styles.

2. Wood floors

amazing-bathtub

Hardwood is seldom a good idea in bathrooms because of the wetness and humidity. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the look of wood to create warmth in the space.

Engineered wood is the better option because it uses plywood as the base and real wood for the top layer. Another option is to choose a high-quality laminate that looks like wood. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference.

Pros: Popular flooring choice, adds warmth to a space

Cons: Susceptible to mold and damage if you choose the wrong kind

Costs: Higher than for tile, you can expect to pay at least $500 for real wood or $250 for laminate

3. Heated floors

bathtub surrounded by natural stones and design candles

While heated floors aren’t a new trend, they are continuing to gain popularity as they become more affordable. Radiant heat is installed under a new floor or with an existing floor, which makes taking a shower and getting dressed in cold weather a little more bearable.

Pros: Adds value to a home, you’ll enjoy the warmth all winter

Cons: May require professional installation

Costs: Around $600 to $800 for 100 square feet.

Lighting

fancy-sinks

The right lighting is essential for such a small space, especially for getting dressed and applying makeup. The latest trends in lighting focus on providing more natural lighting to brighten the room and make it more practical.

4. Multiple Vanity Lighting

Instead of using one strong light with a lot of glare over the vanity, bathrooms today incorporate multiple fixtures. One light may be placed over the mirror while two sconces are set to the sides.

Lower watt bulbs are used while the multiple fixtures provide enough light without being too harsh or glaring.

Pros: Select the amount of light you need, can save on overall lighting costs

Cons: May need to hire an electrician for installation

Costs: Starts at less than $100 to several hundreds of dollars, depending on the style and installation.

5. Ambient Lighting

accent-lights

Gone are the days when one overhead light fixture was all you needed. Modern bathrooms use light to create a soft mood. Recessed lighting over the shower ensures better illumination while sconces that point upward soften the space in other areas when you don’t need bright lights.

Pros: Enhances the functionality of the space

Cons: May require electrician for installation

Costs: Ranges from $50 for sconces to several hundreds of dollars if you have to add lighting with a professional.

6. Accent Lighting

vanity with Strip-LED-Lights-for-bathroom-accent-lighting

Not all lighting has to be practical in a bathroom. You can use soft accent lighting to create a mood or showcase a specific area.

For instance, miniature chandeliers hung over the bathtub create a sense of luxury. Use accent lighting to highlight artwork or a special mirror or cabinet just as you would in another room.

Pros: Easy to install with an electrical outlet

Cons: May require additional outlets or professional installation

Costs: Depends on how many lights you need, can start at less than $100 each.

Continue reading

How Much Do Seamless Gutters Cost in 2018?

Most homeowners choose seamless gutters because of the value and home protection they provide.

Copper Seamless Gutters via Advanced Seamless

Without seams, the gutters are better looking and eliminate much of the leak threat posed by sectional gutters with multiple seams on each side of a house.

Cost

Aluminum offers the best combination of cost and durability, which makes it the most popular choice with a cost of $6.50 to $13.50 per linear foot installed including downspouts, brackets and endcaps.

Copper is the upscale choice at $20 to $30 per linear foot and often includes the maintenance cost of polishing it, unless a natural copper patina is preferred.

Coated steel is the budget choice at $5.85 to $10.15 per linear foot installed including downspouts, brackets and endcaps.

Common Seamless Gutter Project Scenarios

We’ve configured a 2,000 square foot home three different ways to show how the linear feet of seamless gutters are affected. Each hypothetical house in the examples below has an attached 2.5-car garage (approx. 22 x 26).

Home #1: 36’x56’ ranch

Home #2: 25’x40’ saltbox two-story

Home #3: Bi-level

House type Ln. ft. Aluminum Steel Copper 6″ gutters Hip roof 3×4 downspouts
Ranch 206 ft. $1,926 $1,473 $4,944 Add 12% Add 20% Add 5%
Bi-level 146 ft. $1,365 $1,044 $3,504 Add 10% Add 17% Add 5%
Two-story 132 ft. $1,234 $944 $3,168 Add 8% Add 15% Add 3%
For premium colors, add 5-10% for any home style.

Typical gutter installation project costs

Continue reading

Top 15 Kitchen Remodel Ideas and Costs 2018 Update

Updating or remodeling your kitchen can be a great investment of your home improvement dollars, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Remodeling this center-stage space of family gatherings can further enhance its functionality and utility, enabling you to enjoy the heart of your home to the fullest.

Here are some of the top kitchen remodeling ideas for the year, along with their expected costs and pros and cons of each update.

1. Low-budget Remodel – Do It Yourself can be a Viable Approach here

A kitchen remodel can be done on a shoe-string budget. Just update one part at a time as the budget allows. You can do some or all of the work yourself, in some cases, if you are handy and have the necessary time and desire to get your hands dirty. 😉

Otherwise, an investment of $21,000 will buy a minor kitchen remodel completed by a professional remodeling contractor, but doing some of the work yourself can also bring that price down quite a bit. A minor kitchen remodel could include, but doesn’t have to be limited to the following:

  • Refinishing cupboards
  • Replacing outdated appliances with new, more energy-efficient appliances
  • New paint or wallpaper
  • New faucet
  • New countertops
  • New but inexpensive flooring

New countertops don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

Even a new laminate countertop, which is fairly inexpensive, can make a huge difference. Decide what needs to be done, figure out the cost and have that one part done, or do it yourself, when your paycheck can cover it. — This remodeling approach could take a while, but eventually, you’ll have a beautifully updated kitchen and won’t be too broke to buy groceries. 😉

  • In 2018, a minor kitchen remodel will give you an average ROI or recouped value of investment of about 81%. Thus, a $21,200 kitchen remodel should add about $17,200 to the value of your home.

2. Refinish the Cupboards

kitchen-cabinets

Give your kitchen a face-lift by refinishing the cupboards and drawer fronts instead of replacing them. New pulls and knobs will complete the look. This is fairly inexpensive and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. You can save even more money by doing it yourself but, be forewarned, it is not as easy as it seems.

If the cupboards are in good shape and do not have lots of grooves or intricate carving, it is pretty straightforward. The job will take time, elbow grease and paint that costs about $30 to $60 per gallon plus $10 to $25 for new pulls and knobs.

However, the cupboards will almost certainly look better if you have the refinishing done professionally. Plan to pay between $800 and $5,000, depending on the number of cabinets and how much repair needs to be done. The average cost is around $2,500.

  • Investing $2,500 in cupboards will add about $2,000 to the value of your home.

3. Reface those Cabinets

Have the cabinets refaced instead of replacing them if the doors and fronts are too damaged to refinish or if you just want a completely new look. This must be done by a professional.

It generally costs between $2,000 and $13,000. When cupboards are refaced, the doors, drawer fronts and the actual veneer or wood finish on the outside of the cupboards is replaced. There are a few up-sides to refacing, as opposed to replacing:

  • Refacing costs less.
  • You regain the use of your kitchen more quickly.
  • You don’t have to deal with the hassle of new cupboards that don’t fit.

Even though this option is more expensive than refinishing, it will be worth it if your cupboards are old and outdated. They will look brand new.

  • The ROI for a $5,000 refacing will be about $4,000 and a big wow factor that you get to enjoy every time you go into the kitchen.

4. Refinish Walls

New paint or wallpaper, along with the refinished cupboards, will leave your kitchen looking fresh and brand new. You can do this yourself, of course, or hire a professional.

If you hire a professional to paint, plan on spending between $400 and $1,000, depending on the size of the room. Having wallpaper installed by a professional will generally cost between $150 and $800. Doing it yourself is much cheaper but painting or hanging wallpaper in between the cupboards can be tricky.

  • This minor investment may not give you much in the way of ROI but it will probably help sell your home more quickly. Think of this as curb appeal for your kitchen.

5. Replace Flooring

Replace your kitchen flooring with cork or vinyl tiles. These materials are inexpensive and easy to put down yourself in most kitchens.

Cork tiles cost around $3 to $6 per square, while vinyl tiles are $1.50 to $4 per square foot. There are some pros and cons to consider here.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy DIY project in most kitchens.

Cons:

  • Not usually a very long-lasting flooring, although some come with a 25-year warranty.
  • Existing flooring may need to be removed or underlayment might be required.

New flooring makes a big difference. The floor is the largest surface area in your kitchen and the first thing you see before you even enter the room.

  • The ROI on $500 worth of new flooring won’t add to your home value but it will make a big impression on prospective buyers.

6. Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel

modern-upscale-kitchen

Larger, total kitchen remodels generally cost between $20,000 and $40,000 and entail a complete tear-out of the old … well, everything. Consider all possibilities and come up with a plan before the work begins.

Give plenty of thought to what works best for you in addition to what materials you want. Keep in mind that this room must be built for function, not just aesthetics.

Let your intentions guide your remodeling plans. Return on investment for kitchens is generally only 60 to 80 percent, although this varies considerably from area to area. This means you will likely only recoup a little over half to three-quarters of what you invest in most locations.

It may, however, help your house sell more quickly. If you are remodeling to sell, keep the colors and materials on the neutral side. A prospective buyer may be turned off by too much bright purple.

  • The national average ROI on a minor kitchen remodel is 80.2% but in Chicago it is 102.9%. You should only expect to recoup about 65% of the cost on a major remodel.

7. Small Kitchen Planning

mid-range-minor-kitchen-remodel

Even though a small kitchen may seem like an easier remodel than a large kitchen, you actually may need to get a bit more creative. Small kitchens can be difficult.

Rip out the old cupboards and appliances in your mind and let your creative juices flow.

Imagine the cupboards, sink and appliances in every possible configuration to get the most out of the limited space. Plumbing can be moved. It will cost an additional $1,000 to $1,500 or so but that extra cost may be well worth it in the long run.

Keep the kitchen sink in front of the window, if possible. Use cupboards that extend all the way to the ceiling to get as much storage space as possible.

  • Spending $25,000 will add about $20,675 to the value of your home. Do not invest too much. You could add more value to the home than the area housing market will support. Rule of thumb – do not spend more than 5% to 7% of the home’s value on remodeling.

Continue reading