Want a new bathroom? We all do, right? The bathroom is like our own personal spa, a place to get away from the daily grind, and to wash the worries of the day away. A beautiful oasis in the otherwise drab world of routine we sometimes find ourselves getting caught up in. So how do we go about transforming the bathroom we have into the bathroom of our dreams? Well, let’s take a quick look at the steps it takes to get from fanciful, fleeting thought to a real, tangible asset we can actually use.
First and foremost, it really does begin with a dream. Or a clear idea at least of what you want your bathroom to do for you. If you aren’t feeling particularly creative, you can look up some photos or ideas online and compare those to the space you have available in your home. Think about space, think about colors, think about little accents that really personalize the space and make it scream “this is MY place!” What sorts of faucets do you want, traditional, old-fashioned, modern? Do you want elegant curls or a functional waterfall? Should the sinks look like bowls sitting on tables or counters, should they be in-set? How many do you want?
How about the tub? Do you want a big luxurious garden tub or spa tub? Do you want a tiny tub on claw feet in the corner to make more space for a larger shower with multiple shower heads? The options are rather limitless. This is YOUR dream, YOUR vision, and there is nothing that can stop you from bringing it to fruition, except your budget.
Plan accordingly. Start saving ahead of time, once the notion of home improvements start fluttering through your mind you should start planning on tucking some funds away for the project. But keep it flexible, try to keep a little bit in savings that you DON’T plan on spending, just in case some last minute options come up that are just too good to refuse. Careful budgeting is the absolute key to an successful remodeling effort. It keeps you in reality, gives the contractor goals to acheive (and even a chance to shine if they can do more than you thought possible and come in under budget), and makes sure your investment pays off in the long run.
Research everything ahead of time. Get tons of ideas from online sources like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, you name it. Have a ton of pictures bookmarked or pinned for easy access so that you can discuss them with your contractor and keep everyone headed toward the same finish line. “Pictures speak a thousand words,” that’s how the saying goes, right? Well it’s true! Showing your contractor what you love and dislike gives you the ability to control your destiny, and end up with a final product that suites your tastes.
The second part of your research is researching the contractor you are letting all of this rest on. Take a look at some of their work on their website. If they don’t have a website, make sure you get a look at their portfolio. Read reviews and testimonials on their workmanship. Check their references. This person is getting ready to work for you, think of them as an employee that you are about to invest in. Do you feel good about them? Would you be proud to have them on your winning team? This matters!
Last but not least, work out all the small details, document them, and share them. Make sure the contractor knows you are a stickler for detail. Don’t give them a reason to think you will accept anything but the best. And if they offer up these suggestions up front, that’s even better yet. It means they know what to look for, and they take pride in their work. They aren’t going to try to slip anything by you, and they want you to give them a great big A+ on their report card when the job is done. Talk details, show details, ask questions, make sure that the relationship with the contractor is based on a strong foundation of trust. Trust comes from communication. Communication of your ideas and expectations is what will drive the contractor to perform to the top of their ability. This will give you both an end product you will be proud of, and you will be anxious to share on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and all the other social media outlets you enjoy so that you can see your new bathroom up there next to all the other photos that inspired you in the first place!
The kitchen is the center of the house. Maybe not geographically speaking, but when it comes to the place where the most action is, it is definitely the kitchen for most families. And kitchens these days are a lot more than they used to be. At one time they were a small work station where Mom would prepare a meal all by her lonesome. These days, the kitchen can be a huge, spacious entertainment and snacking metropolis, just bustling with life! Here’s how.
First decide on the size. How much wasted space is there in your house? Can you repurpose some of that unused space to make room for your new kitchen? If you are uncertain whether walls can be moved a contractor can help you determine that.
What kind of look and feel do you want for your new kitchen? Do you plan on spending a lot of time in there? Will your kitchen become your new living room? There are plenty of aesthetics to choose from. You can go with anything from a warm, cozy, country feel with natural looking wood cabinets to a cool, sleek modern look with stainless steel, granite and flat-screen televisions. A contractor’s portfolio should give you a good idea of what is available and how well they can pull it off.
Islands are an important consideration for kitchen remodeling. Islands can be used as an extra prep area with a sink and plenty of counter space, or they can be used as extra dining space with an extended counter top and seating. Plan to do a lot of cooking? Well that island can have cooktops, ranges or even your own hibachi grill! The choices are literally limitless, and they are all yours.
Windows play a huge role in creating the new dynamic in your newly remodeled kitchen. Did you always feel trapped in your kitchen before? Well since you are opening the room up to more of the house, now is the time to open that area up to the outside as well. You can feel at one with nature with giant windows overlooking your glistening garden as you wash your freshly picked produce to create that crisp summer salad. In winter, you can watch the snow fall outside as you are all cozy inside with your hot chocolate and fresh bread baking in the oven.
Once you have decided on all of this you can then pick out the accents and small details. Will your kitchen sink have form over function? Will the look of everything seem like a work of art? Will your sink be huge so that you can give your organic produce a quick rinse all at once? Do you like straight lines or elegant curves?
If you are ready, take a look at some ideas online and then contact a contractor that has the credentials and portfolio to get the job done. Testimonials and a great looking portfolio should tell you everything you need to know about the contractor you decide to work with. This is an investment in your home and in your lifestyle, make sure you are confident in who you invite into your home!
You are ready to create a family room. What’s the first step? Well, assuming you have the family already under control, it is time to start budgeting.
Budgeting doesn’t necessarily mean money. It means space, lifestyle, and lots of other things too. Is there enough space in the house to create or extend that family room where it is? If it doesn’t seem so, don’t get too worried yet, there are ways around some of that. Creative contractors can find ways to fit a lot of living space into otherwise skimpy looking quarters. Have you seen what they’re doing with tiny houses these days?
Ok, well tiny houses are pretty extreme, and we assume you want more space, not less, that’s why you’re here. So some ways contractors make more room is by working inward and getting rid of empty space that isn’t being used properly. Closets, hallways and other rooms can be redesigned to share some of the space they are misusing to give your family room that little bit extra it needs.
If working inward isn’t an option, outer walls can be extended by a few feet to sometimes seemingly double the size of a room. The room you want to extend is on a second story? No problem, this can be done on a second story as well.
Now it is time for the look and feel of that room. Do you want contemporary art museum, country cabin, the great outdoors, or a cinematic experience? These are only a few of the unlimited options that spring to mind, but that choice is up to you (or maybe your family depending on how diplomatic you’re feeling).
Furniture. Do you want a big comfy sofa for the family to share? Or maybe you prefer theater seating, or a combination of individual seats, beanbags and oversized pillows? Do you need desks for projects and homework? How about a nice bar for refreshments?
Walls. What kind of walls do you envision? A natural wood grain for that relaxing country lifestyle? Shelves for books and other media built into the walls for maximum storage and functional design? How about an accent wall with a different paint scheme than the rest of the room or house, or maybe some stonework to make the area special?
Design. Wall art, decorative keepsakes, or lots of windows to enjoy the natural art surrounding your home?
Entertainment. Big screen tv with surround sound? Small, conservative record player in the corner with dim lighting for a relaxing escape from the information overload of daily life? Even with that approach it might still be nice to have a central system to control speakers hidden in the walls or ceiling. Just sayin’.
Fireplace. Will you have a fireplace? It is a traditional staple in any family room, and even a necessity in some areas. There’s something magical about curling up next to a fire with hot cocoa during the holidays that will create memories that last a lifetime. Isn’t that what your family room is all about?
Whether your family room is meant to be a place for spending time with your kids to build lasting memories, or a place to bring your parents to thank them for the memories they’ve given you, you want to make sure you choose the most reliable, capable contractor you can to get the service you want. A strong portfolio and happy client base are paramount. You are getting ready to begin the journey of a lifetime, and are going to be spending a good portion of that lifetime in your new family room. Make sure it is what you envision, and make sure it is done right the first time by a competent, trust-worthy crew. You’ll be glad you did.