Kitchen Remodel Survival Tips

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1. Undergo triage

When you pack up, sort your kitchen gear into three categories: storage; temporary kitchen; and toss/donate/recycle. This task can be done over time, with the final items leaving the kitchen the night before demolition begins.

Give the boxes going to storage detailed labels so you can locate things you discover you need later — because in a remodeling process, you never know when “later” might be. Put them somewhere safe, but not the garage (see Tip 8).

2. Set up a temporary kitchen

Maybe move the fridge into the dining room with the toaster oven, electric kettle and countertop microwave. Your small appliances may include an electric grill, skillet or slow cooker. Prepare essential foods and a small set of dishes and utensils, packed in plastic tubs with lids to keep the dust off. Allocate yourself only the amount of dishes that you are willing to wash by hand in one session.

Which leads us to…

 

3. Control the dust and chaos

To keep dust down, your contractor should cover carpets and floors and hang plastic sheeting around the demo site, weighted with scrap lumber or taped to the floor. It won’t work very well, but it’s better than nothing. Microfiber cloths or a feather duster do a good job of picking up drywall dust.

Remove anything you don’t want bumped or broken from the route that workers will take between the kitchen and outside and the bathroom.

4. Have a plan for pets

Set up somewhere safe for them, out from underfoot, with food and water and a soft place to sleep. If your dog isn’t crate-trained and/or you don’t own a crate, invest the little bit of time and money necessary in both; there may be times the crate is needed, or that your dog may want to retreat into it.

If your dog or cat normally has free access to the outdoors, and that access involves the kitchen, this will take more planning.

 

 

Bathroom Remodeling

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Bathrooms are telling about the age of a house and they can make a significant difference when selling a house. We have a track record of updating bathrooms and we can also make them senior friendly. This includes custom walk in showers, safety grab bars and wheel chair accessibility. Oregon Trail Remodeling can make the master bath a work of art. We have extensive experience in the design and construction of modern bathrooms which have state-of-the-art steam shower systems. We have also done total make-overs of bathrooms in older homes to enhance the value and sale of the property.

Fire, Water and Mold Damage

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We have specialized training and experience with insurance claims. Some companies use us exclusively for fire and water damage restorations when insurance claims are involved because of our consistent quality and fair pricing. We bill directly to the insurance companies using the most up-to-date Xactimate software which is the industry standard.

Our team recognizes that a water or fire loss is a disruption to your family and lifestyle, and we empathize by moving quickly and efficiently making sure we do it right the first time and within budget. We want you to return to your life as quickly and as painlessly as possible. With each insurance damage claim, we continue to maintaine our outstanding reputation with homeowners and insurance companies.

How to Prepare for a Kitchen Remodel

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So you’ve decided to have the kitchen remodeled, and you think your work is done. Not so fast. Even if you have talked with a kitchen contractor and a designer, there is still some work you need to do to ensure that your remodeling process runs smoothly. This isn’t much work, but this preparation will help all parties involved.

Packing Dishes

A spare bedroom is the best place for your dishes. Basements and cellars are fine also, except that you have to walk them downstairs then back up again. If you have enough room in whichever spot you select, don’t think that you have to pack them in boxes. Lay the dishes out on the floor or on beds.

If you do pack them in boxes, pack first the items you will use the least. Try to place any breakable items on the floor so that they can’t fall anywhere.

Start packing the items that you won’t need in your kitchen one week before the project will begin. By the night before the project starts, you should have moved the last of the dishes out of the kitchen cabinets. Once the project is completed, be sure to wash all of the dishes before putting them away.

Protecting Your Kitchen Floors

In some cases, the kitchen floors have already been redone before the kitchen remodel begins. Whether you have tile or hardwood floors, buy some carpet scraps from a carpet store and lay them over the kitchen floor. A smart idea is to tape them down with duct tape so that they won’t slide, but be careful doing this on hard wood. The adhesive might damage the finish.

If you have tile, or even for hardwood, consider getting a carpet pad to go underneath. Your kitchen contractors will be moving and using heavy objects that might mar, crack, or otherwise damage a finished floor. It doesn’t matter what these scraps look like. They are purely functional.

Contractor Parking

Your contractors and sub-contractors will have to park somewhere near or on your property. If you have things that might be in their path to the house, your cars for example, move them elsewhere. You can always move them back when they leave. This will let your contractors know as soon as they arrive that you are doing the extra little things to make their job easier.

Moving Items of Value

On your refrigerator there are school pictures, good grades, postcards from friends, wedding announcements, and other things of value that you have placed where anyone can see. Don’t forget to move these things, even if the contractors are just going to move your refrigerator into another room. Also, if there are any trinkets, plants, or other items on the kitchen window or on the window ledge, move them as well.

Kitchen Prep Goal

The overall goal is two part. First, you want to move everything of value or anything that can be damaged someplace safe. Second, you want your contractors to have an easy place to work in, where they don’t have to worry about tiptoeing around certain things or damaging others. Kitchen contractors work best when they don’t have to think about anything but their own work. By taking these steps, and any others you may have come up with, you will ensure a smooth start to the remodeling process.

3 Kitchen-Saving Renovations that Cost Less Than Your First Car

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Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to be a money-sucking headache. In fact, you can give your kitchen a new lease on life in no time for around $2,000. Here’s how:

Update your paint. A new coat of paint will spruce up any kitchen. Apply a lighter shade to open up a cramped space or choose a deeper hue to add a splash of class to dated décor. How much does a kitchen-saving coat of paint cost?

Install a new backsplash. Old paint and peeling laminate can drag a kitchen down. Update the room with an awe-inspiring backsplash. Classic subway tile, modern glass tile and useful (but beautiful) stainless steel are great ways to change up the look of your kitchen.

Add stylish hardware. Install a new faucet or cabinet pulls in your kitchen for a quick-but- gorgeous update to your kitchen. Swapping out your cabinet pulls is a simple DIY job — all you’ll need is a screwdriver and a little time. Installing a faucet requires some know-how.

How to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Front Door

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Good looks and value — what’s not to love? Not only does replacing your front entry door kick up your curb appeal, it’s a solid investment with a decent payback.

Steel Entry Door

If you’re looking to save money, a steel door is a great choice, especially if you have the skills to hang it yourself.

A simple, unadorned steel door can sell for as little as $150 (not including hardware, lock set, paint, or labor) and typically runs as much as $400 at big-box retailers.

Steel offers the strongest barrier against intruders, although its advantage over fiberglass and wood in this area is slight.

Still, the attractive cost of a steel door comes with an important compromise: It probably won’t last as long.

A steel door exposed to salt air or heavy rains may last only five to seven years. Despite steel’s reputation for toughness, it actually didn’t perform well in “Consumer Report’s” testing against wood and fiberglass for normal wear and tear.

With heavy use, it may dent, and the damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. If your door will be heavily exposed to traffic or the elements, you may be better off choosing a different material.

Fiberglass Door

Fiberglass doors come in an immense variety of styles, many of which accurately mimic the look of real wood. And if limited upkeep is your ideal, fiberglass may be your best bet.

Fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract appreciably as the weather changes. Therefore, in a reasonably protected location, a fiberglass entry door can go for years without needing a paint or stain touch-up and can last 15 to 20 years. Although it feels light to the touch, fiberglass has a very stout coating that’s difficult for an intruder to breach; and its foam core offers considerable insulation.

Fiberglass generally falls between steel and wood in price; models sold at big-box stores range from about $150 to $600.

Wood Exterior Door

Wood is considered the go-to choice for high-end projects; its luxe look and substantial weight can’t be flawlessly duplicated by fiberglass or steel — though high-end fiberglass products are getting close. If your home calls for a stunning entry statement with a handcrafted touch, wood may be the best material for you.

Wood is usually the most expensive choice of the three — roughly $500 to $2,000, excluding custom jobs — and requires the most maintenance, although it’s easier to repair scratches on a wood door than dents in steel or fiberglass.

Wood doors should be repainted or refinished every year or two to prevent splitting and warping.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your door as well as its energy efficiency, you can purchase a solid wood door certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which assures you that the wood was sustainably grown and harvested.

Tracing the environmental impact of a particular door — from manufacturing process to shipping distance to how much recycled/recyclable content it contains — is quite complicated and probably beyond the ken of the average homeowner, notes LEED-certified green designer Victoria Schomer. But FSC-certified wood and an Energy Star rating are an excellent start.

A final note on choosing a door based on energy efficiency: Because efficiency depends on a number of factors besides the material a door is made of — including its framework and whether it has windows — look for the Energy Star label to help you compare doors.