Kitchen Countertops – Tips From Home Improvement Contractors

If you’re a homeowner that loves to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen then there’s a good chance new countertops are at the peak of your wish list in preparation for your next home improvement. The materials and designs are extremely diverse, so if you want to get the best look and performance for your money then follow these countertop material tips from home improvement contractors:

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is popular in home renovation projects, especially in the kitchen, because it mimics natural stonework in most environments. It’s made from fired clay and can be custom designed to look like rough stone or even smooth porcelain. Smaller tiles tend to be used for a backsplash while larger tiles are used on countertops for easy cleaning.

Ceramic tile is a great choice for kitchen countertops because it’s heat and scratch resistant, easy to install and the price range is relatively low in comparison to other materials ($10 to $10 per square foot). The only downside to keep in mind is that grout lines in ceramic tiles can sometimes be difficult to clean.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Plastic Laminate

If you’re looking for a lot more range when you remodel your kitchen then plastic laminate is a great home renovation material for you. It comes in the widest variety of style options over any other material and the price is in line with ceramic tiles – costing about $20 to $35 per square foot. The greatest benefit to installing laminate during your kitchen remodel is that the material naturally resists mold and bacteria; it’s extremely easy to sanitize and keep clean.

On the downside, this fabricated material can be easily scratched, chipped, burned and even stained. It’s extremely important to protect your laminate kitchen countertops after a round of home improvement by using cutting boards, trivets and place mats while working in the kitchen.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Stone Tiles

When you work a general contractor to install tiles cut from natural stone, you gain the substantial look of an expensive countertop (like granite) for a bit less on the price. Natural tiles run about $20-$40 per square foot and vary depending mainly on the material. Common choices are slate, travertine and granite, where slate tends to be the popular choice because of the rich, deep color and soft surface texture.

Being a natural polished material it cleans and sanitizes easily, but only after sealing. This is also a downside, because natural stone is extremely porous and will require good sealing – including the grout lines. Otherwise the material can foster the growth of mold and bacteria, mildew and even stain easily.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Wood

Homeowners love to use wood in their countertops during kitchen home improvement because it adds a rustic feel that dates back to the traditional farmhouse or cabin in the woods. Butcher block is one of the most natural and common selections because of its look and durability. The cost varies depending on material ($20-$50) but wood is extremely forgiving; a benefit – since even when you bang it up it seems to only gain character and color. On the downside, wood needs to be sealed and oiled regularly to sustain its luster and durability.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Natural Stone (Quartz and Granite)

While different in style, granite and quartz are gifts of Mother Nature that add a great deal of appeal to a kitchen during home improvement projects. Granite comes in a variety of colors and patterns giving opportunity for customization even with natural stone work while Quartz is the granddaddy of toughness. Quartz is also highly appreciated for its resistance to bacteria. The cost for solid stone countertops is approximately $45 to $80 per square foot. Just make sure your cabinets can stand the weight of the countertop.

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Identifying Potential Do-It-Yourself Opportunities to Enhance Home Improvement

There are many home improvement opportunities an individual can take advantage of when trying to improve the appearance of their home and increase the value of their property. While hiring a professional may provide a nice opportunity in relation to convenience, the incredible expense associated with these services can often encourage individuals to seek alternatives. When looking into the opportunities that exist with alternatives for your housing improvement projects, take advantage of the do-it-yourself opportunities that exist with landscaping, painting, flooring, and bathroom remodelling.

Landscaping

The appearance of a home is often directly related to the common real estate expression of curb appeal. When you have a property that has vegetation, which is out of control or offers very little character, it can help in deteriorating an individual’s opinion of your home, before they have even viewed the interior. When looking to improve your home’s curb appeal, the do-it-yourself landscaping home improvement solution can offer many advantages, as you look to spruce up your existing environment and improve appeal through cost-effective projects that can complement the look and feel of your home.

When looking to significantly alter the interior or exterior of your home, one of the most efficient methods you can take advantage of is found with do-it-yourself painting. This home improvement opportunity can enable you to completely alter the feel of your home. Simply by changing your color scheme you can give your rooms new, unique ‘personalities’. Whether you are painting a room for a child or looking to create a welcoming living room environment, the resources of painting can provide you with many incredible possibilities.

Similar to the opportunities that exist with painting, flooring represents another unique opportunity that can help to completely change the environment this flooring exists within. If your home is covered in old carpeting, then a fresh change of wood or stone flooring can prove highly beneficial. If you have outdated linoleum, the do-it-yourself solution of ceramic tiles or stone can help to accent a kitchen or bathroom.

Bathroom Renovations

Another incredible do-it-yourself resource that homeowners can take advantage of, when looking to benefit from the objectives of home improvement, can be found with bathroom remodels. Bathrooms are often environments that are very personal, and the difference a clean, bright look gives to the room’s ambiance should not be underestimated. A remodelled bathroom can prove highly attractive to potential investors, as they will get a better return for their investment due to the appeal of new features, rather than worn and outdated materials.

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The Need for National Guidelines and Testing in the Home Improvement Industry

It is time for Washington to step up and put legislation in place that will force states to better regulate the home improvement industry. Up to now Washington has left the regulation of the home improvement industry up to state regulators, and for whatever reason(s) many states have fallen considerably short.

There are still some states that do not even have contractor licensing in place for home improvements. For some of the states that do have licensing, the license requirements do not include that the applicant demonstrate the ability to do any type of home improvement work. (That is like saying I will issue you a license to cut hair but you don’t have to demonstrate that you know how to cut hair……… ouch!) Then why do states bother issuing licenses if there are no requirements to demonstrate competence? Revenue? Or could it be that they need more consumer complaints for Consumer Affairs and BBB to handle? The unfortunate consequences of this problem are that homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by receiving poor workmanship and a cascade of home improvement problems.

Let’s be honest, the home improvement industry does not seem to attract the most reliable, honest and competent individuals. The lure of a quick buck and the relative ease to “qualify” to do home improvement work, brings many a “character” to your door. When I was a contractor I needed to hire people for a variety of field positions. Most of the people, who I interviewed and sometimes hired, seemed to have the same type of problems with past employers. These problems consisted of substance abuse issues, honesty issues, and reliability issues. The labor pool never seemed to have an over abundance of talent and employability to pick from.

I remember always reading article after article that dealt with the significant manpower shortage in the home improvement industry. The bottom line of each article would always be the same, “If you can find an honest, reliable and competent person to work for you, pull out all the stops to keep them!!!! Do whatever you need to do to keep that person happy because you’ll never know if you will be lucky enough to find someone to take their place.” As an owner, it was a very constant and stressful problem to deal with. You were almost afraid to try and increase project production because you knew you would have to try and find someone to do the additional work. Finding employees was always an adventure, an adventure that I never looked forward to.

For the last 10-15 years the number one problem in the home improvement industry is the lack of manpower. Many contractors are training and hiring minorities to try and solve this major problem.

If you were to talk to your state authorities about what is being done to improve regulations and screening in the home improvement industry, they will probably tell you something is in the works or there is no money for more regulations (testing). I have been hearing this for 30 years. The county in which I live (Suffolk County, New York) still does not require any demonstration of home improvement ability to obtain a home improvement license. The fee has consistently gone up but the requirements have pretty much stayed the same. We are one of the highest taxed counties in the country, so I refuse to believe there is no money to develop and implement a better policing and screening process in the home improvement industry.

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Practical Home Improvement That Makes the Difference

Most of us are thrilled at the marvelous transformation of drab home interiors into one of the most astounding Naperville home improvement you have ever laid your eyes on. These masterpieces are usually showcased in popular TV shows and in printed media in their entire splendor. This makes us pause and wonder if indeed we can also achieve such perfect and dramatic Wheaton home improvement just like how the professionals are doing.

We are easily swayed by all the claims we hear and read that indeed things can be done following a proven DIY scheme that is so perfect for our home improvement. However, you have to take a more pragmatic approach to your home renovation project as this would involve significant investment and would redound to how much it can add to the value of your home property.

Once you are dead set in launching a major home upgrade you should always consider the essential works that must be done on your home to make sure that your home improvement will deliver the results that you want and expect. Another variable that you have to integrate in the equation is the budgetary requirement of your home improvement project.

If you are now confronted with a structure that is no longer reflective of the character that you want from your home and giving it up for another home property is not one of your options, then it is time for you to consider a serious home upgrade venture.

Your home improvement project may include one, some or even all of the more common home improvement works. These would include repainting, upgrade jobs on the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, converting certain parts of the home and the construction of home additions.

On the other hand, if you are facing resettlement sometime in the near future, then you might also consider some special work on your home particularly to address the curb appeal of your home property. You want to at least get the maximum return from your real investment when you finally put your home on the selling block.

You can start out your home improvement project by considering the following:

o The things that you must have
o The things that you like to have
o The dreams that you want to realize

Once you have your wish list, the next thing that you have to do is to determine your budget for the home improvement project. You have to decide whether you are going to fund the home makeover from your own savings or borrow the funds needed.

Once you are done with the preliminaries that will set all the possibilities of your major home makeover, decide on the type of technical and professional assistance that you will require in order to undertake the major works of your project. It is important that you are able to get the services of professionals particularly on the critical aspects of the project that require high level of technical know how and expertise. This is not the time where you can scrimp on the amount of money to spend.

These are the things that one must accomplish as you take you first few steps towards a perfectly executed home improvement project.

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Home Improvement Companies – Helping You Improve Your House

Home improvement is the passion homeowners undertake to maintain the look and value of their property. It is about maintaining the character of your property or creating character for your property. It is a way of putting your signature or stamp of approval on something that belongs to you. For most folks your home is your biggest long term investment. It is important to protect that investment with proper and timely maintenance and repair. A properly appointed home is also an asset to the neighborhood and the community in general. It speaks volumes to those passing through and lets everyone know that we care about our neighborhood.

Clinard can help you define that character and put the right kind of signature on your home for the entire neighborhood to see. From gutters to sun rooms let the licensed professionals of take care of your home improvement needs. Fully licensed and insured Clinard Home Improvement offers workmanship warranties on all their products.They provide the home owner the ability to protect your investment and maintain, and often times increase, the value of your home.

Beginning as a small family business in 1958, the Clinard family mainly sold and installed gutters. Over the years, Clinard Home Improvement has grown into a multi faceted improvement mogul ready to take on most of your how improvement needs. Despite growth, Clinard Home Improvement has maintained a consistent standard of quality workmanship and professional service that has set the industry standard for home improvement.

A Better Business Bureau A+ rated business since 1992; they are sensitive to the needs of its customers and works diligently to build customer confidence in all work they do. With attention to detail and professional service, they provide its customers with reliable, second to none service and quality workmanship. The service representatives work closely with the client and provide a detailed explanation in easy to understand terms of what their project entails. Clinard Home Improvement prides itself on project and customer satisfaction with careful and accurate planning.

They are not only a family oriented business but a Christian based organization dedicated to the betterment of the community through several neighborhood initiatives and professional business associations. Clinard is a responsible business leader as well as an environmentally conscience developer with a sensitive eye to its surroundings.

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