Category Archives: Home Improvement

How Much Do Seamless Gutters Cost Fully Installed?

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

Copper Seamless Gutters via Advanced Seamless

Without seams, seamless gutters are better looking and eliminate much of the leak threat posed by the 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 end-caps.

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 end-caps.

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 10 Countertops: Prices, Pros & Cons in 2020 – Countertop Costs

Today we’re exploring countertops and solid surfaces for kitchens, bathrooms, and for all related home improvement and DIY needs!

Selecting a new countertop for your kitchen can not only be exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. After all, there is such a wide variety of materials and countertop surfaces to consider, along with their thickness, benefits and drawbacks, colors, costs, and other options.

It’s not at all surprising that many homeowners are easily dazed and confused by the wide array of choices and options. In fact, many people who have already been through the process of installing a new countertop in their kitchen or bathroom will readily attest that it’s not at all an easy choice! 😉

Some of the top questions being asked by many of the “quality and cost” conscious consumers, have to deal with the cost of materials, their pros and cons, and labor or installation costs for most common surfaces including granite, Formica, quartz, marble, and the good ol’ laminate.

If you have not faced any major remodeling decisions before, then you should know that all modern countertops have their inherent strengths and flaws. It’s up to you to decide which particular factors and material characteristics are most important to you.

Yes, it’s all about your wants and needs! 🙂 — Some of the main ones to consider are: durability, luster, heat resistance, maintenance, price and style.

In this guide, will cover the top ten most common materials for countertop surfaces. We’ll give you the necessary information, so you can make an informed decision.

| 1. Granite |
| 2. Quartz |
| 3. Solid Surface |
| 4. Wood |
| 5. Laminate |
| 6. Concrete |
| 7. Nanotech Matte |
| 8. Glass |
| 9. Stainless Steel |
| 10. Soapstone |

1. Granite

For years granite has been one of the most popular surface choices among the US homes, owning to its natural beauty, durability, and ruggedness. It’s a natural stone, so every individual slab is 100% unique in its hue, pattern and shading.

Mediterranean-style-granite-countertop-McCullough Design Development

By McCullough Design Development

Since each piece is different in appearance and size, many consumers will often have go to their local granite warehouse and select the actual pieces of granite that will go into their kitchen or bathroom.

Each slice of granite is approximately 9 to 10 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. There are some places carrying granite slabs as large as 12 feet long for those extra long open-space kitchens.

If your countertop is larger than this, the granite will need to be installed in pieces, thus inevitably resulting in some seams.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Unique – One of a Kind!
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Water resistant (when sealed)
  • Easily cleaned
  • Variety of colors and patterns

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • High maintenance
  • Can break when exposed to excessive stresses during transportation or installation

Price: Granite has an average material cost of $55 to $100 per square foot depending on the size, pattern, and thickness of the slab. Although, some select species of granite can be as expensive as $150 to $250 per square foot! It will be a grand total of $3,000 to $6,500 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.

Tips: Save money by using a thinner slab of granite, or use granite tiles for a fraction of the cost.

2. Quartz

Quartz can give granite a run for its money (especially considering the cost of higher-end granite) surfaces, with the durability and look of natural stone, minus the maintenance. It’s a very hard, impervious to water drops or moisture stone quarried out of the earth, ground into small pieces, mixed together in a sheet layer and held together in a resin as part of its manufacturing process. As with all countertops, it has some advantages and disadvantages.

White Quartz Countertop by Marble of the World

By Marble of the World

Like granite it will have seams, but they will be less noticeable. Its consistent look and pattern allows the seams to blend more easily.

Quartz is a nonporous pre-engineered material, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it’s not completely heat resistant. A hot pot can be sat on the counter, but it can’t be left there for very long, as the heat will react with the resin and leave a burn mark!

Pros:

  • Durable
  • More flexible than granite, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to stress
  • Available in glossy and matte finishes
  • Non-porous
  • Stain and crack resistant
  • No sealing
  • Wide range of colors
  • Easily cleaned
  • Antibacterial

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Seams

Price: $65 to $100 per square foot. It will cost you in the range of $3,500 to $5,500 for an average 40 square feet pre-engineered quartz surface installed.

3. Solid Surface

An acrylic manmade product created by DuPont under the brand name, Corian. The seamless material provides a durable, hygienic and nonporous surface.

Orange Corian Countertop Kitchen - Susan Jay Design

By Susan Jay Design

Corian comes in a variety of colors, hues and patterns that can be designed to fit anyone’s style. Choose a stone pattern for a warm, traditional decor, white or black for a minimalist style or brighter colors for a more eclectic look. Custom colors are also available.

Its look is consistent and lends itself to soft curving designs and integrating features like sinks, drain boards and backsplashes.

Pros:

  • Nonporous
  • Stain resistant
  • Easily repaired
  • Seamless
  • Customizable
  • Several colors, patterns and finishes
  • Quick installation
  • Easily cleaned

Cons:

  • Not heat resistant
  • Can be scratched and dented
  • Not a natural material

Price: $45 to $90 per square foot instealled

4. Wood

Wood countertops have been used for hundreds of years. They’re unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and lifestyles.

For a traditional style use cherry, teak, yellow cedar, mahogany or white oak with an oil finish. For a modern or more carefree wood countertop, you can finish the wood surface with a waterproof varnish. For an eco-friendly, rustic style, reclaimed wood can be used.

rustic-wood-kitchen-top

By Hill Farm Furniture

Wood naturally contains enzymes which attack and kill bacteria, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage.

While the thought of using a butcher’s block countertop as one long chopping block may sound convenient, it’s not advisable. It would cause scratches, chipping and damage to the surface. Other options are to have a separate chopping block or have one built in.

Pros:

  • Appearance
  • Works with all designs
  • Durable
  • Gentle on glasses and dishes
  • Heat resistant
  • Recyclable

Cons:

  • Maintenance
  • Requires special care
  • Must be kept dry
  • Not scratch and dent resistant

Price: $50 to $100 per square foot installed

5. Laminate

Although it’s often scoffed at by natural material lovers, laminate is still a widely used countertop option. Not only is it budget-friendly, new designs are helping laminate make a huge comeback.

Laminate Countertop Travertine Silver Formica

By Formica

Manufacturers are teaming up with top designers to create amazing on trend designs.

For a fraction of the cost, you can have the look of marble, granite or wood. Or, if your tastes are more modern, you can choose to go with bolder, brighter colors and patterns.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Variety of styles
  • Low maintenance
  • Easily cleaned
  • Stain resistant

Cons:

  • Laminate can crack, scratch and scorch over the years
  • More difficult to repair

Price: $10 to $25 per square foot installed

Continue reading

15 Amazing Bathroom Remodel Ideas, Plus Costs in 2020

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, 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 can add that beautiful, 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: As, can be seen here, there is a great variety of natural stone tiles, with mid-range tiles costing from $3.00 to $10.00 per square foot, on average, but material costs can increase greatly for more custom and exquisite natural stone tiles. For a typical mid-range project, expect to pay between $7.50 and $20.50 per square foot to install natural stone tiles in your bathroom

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: On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $7.00 to $15.50 per square foot of engineered wood flooring installed

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: Will require professional installation

Costs: Around $800 to $2,800 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, but material costs can start at less than $100 each

Continue reading