Common Remodeling Fears & How to Overcome Them

Let’s face it, contractors have a bad name and homeowner remodeling fears are in abdundance.  Almost everyone you talk to has a story that they can share about a horrible contractor experience.  There are reality shows that make fortunes showcasing bad contractors.  You hear stories on the news about shady unlicensed contractors scamming homeowners.  If you are considering remodeling, you need to be an informed consumer.  There are good contractors out there!!!

Here are some of the most common remodeling fears and how you can overcome them.

  • You won’t get what you want.  Disappointment in the finished product is a huge fear of homeowners.  You are getting ready to spend a small fortune to remodel and you aren’t sure if you are going to love it after you have spent the money and time to build the new space.   The best way to overcome this is to work with a contractor who provides you with a very detailed scope of work, so you can be sure you and your contractor are 100% on the same page.  If you are building a major home remodel such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel your contractor should have a detailed design for you to review and sign off on.  With 3D images of exactly what will be installed – and where – there leaves no room for errors.  If you are painting the exterior of your home or replacing windows, make sure the color selections, materials, and specifications are documented.  Anything being installed in your home should have specifications that you can review and sign off on.  You might be surprised to learn that more homeowners are disappointed with the process – not the final product – when most remodels are done.  That is because they have not properly prepared themselves on what to expect during their remodel.  So how do you get past that?  Educate yourself on what to expect during the process of remodeling.

 

  • Poor workmanship.  This is another level of disappointment homeowners fear when considering a home remodel.  Contractors protect you and them with draw schedules.  Your final payment should not be made until you and your contractor have agreed that all work has been completed to your satisfaction.  At the end of every project your contractor should do a “Final walk” with you for “pick up work” that you may be concerned about.  There are “industry standards” which he must oblige to with every trade in your home remodeling project.  Construction is a long process that must take place in a specific order, so it is important that you understand when it is time to worry about poor workmanship.   Be aware that at your project is not complete until that final walk takes place.  This means you might be looking at an unfinished product and think there is poor workmanship, which is just unfinished work.  Don’t be afraid to communicate any fears you have with your contractor.  In the instance of major remodels such as whole house remodels, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, or home additions you can schedule weekly walk throughs with your contractor, so you can be informed and educated throughout the construction build.

 

  • Fraud.  This is perhaps one of the biggest fears homeowners have when preparing to hire a contractor for their remodel.  There are ways to avoid working with fraudulent contractors.  Verifying their contractor license and insurance is one of the best ways to avoid hiring a fraudulent contractor.  Of course, you always want to check out your contractor’s reviews online as well (read through them – don’t just look at the stars!).  If youspend some time researching your contractor before you hire him then you will learn a lot about what his clients like – and do not like – about him so you can prepare yourself properly.  Be wary of a contractor you cannot find online and make sure you have access to the license holder in some fashion.  The contractor (license holder) should be very involved in your project, either on site, or remotely.  If you were to call your contractor at any time he should know what is going on with your project.  This goes as early as the estimating phase.  If you are working with a salesperson, ask to speak with – and be introduced to – the license holder.

 

  • You won’t be charged a fair price.  Remodeling is expensive, and most times is at least 3 times as expensive as you initially believe it will be.  So being overcharged is a legitimate concern homeowners have.  Some homeowners will try to combat that by asking their contractor to provide prices broken down by labor and material.  This is not a wise way to try to decipher whether  you are being charged a fair price.  The only way you can truly determine if your prices are fair is by comparing 3 contractors with the same abilities (learn more about what types of contractors there are, because there are several different types and it does affect their pricing!), same scope of work, and same design.

 

  • The job will take much longer than the contractor promises.  The best way to overcome this fear is to manage your expectations by realizing your contractor can not control 100% of your project and understand there may be unexpected delays (weather, labor constraints, inspector delays, material delays, etc).  Your contractor should manage your expectations of your remodel timeline and should be within 1-2 weeks of accuracy.  The real fear here is loss of control so take some time to learn what you can do to avoid construction delays.  While your contractor is building your remodel, you won’t have full control over the schedule and that can be frustrating.  In theory you have hired a contractor you trust is a professional and it will be important for you to be open and honest about your expectations, so he can help you through understanding the remodel process and timeline.

 

  • You could do the job cheaper and just as good by yourself.  As the reality shows increase homeowners are becoming more and more convinced that they could remodel their home just as quickly and/or cheaper if they did the work themselves – or hired subcontractors themselves.  Could this be the case?  Possibly – but it depends on the type of project and your level of construction knowledge.  We have drafted an article that will hopefully help you decide if it is in your best interest to be an owner-builder.  Most homeowners that try to tackle a major remodel (kitchen, bathroom, addition) find out that they have bitten off more than they can chew and ultimately end up hiring a contractor in the end – costing them significant time and money they could have saved if they had hired a contractor to begin with.

 

Most homeowner fears revolving remodeling involve money, loss of control, disruption to their home life, and possible disappointment.   A homeowner who is diligent about educating himself or herself on the process will have less surprises and be less likely to encounter the fears they have.  Don’t make common homeowner mistakes……Spend the time to find a contractor you feel confident and comfortable with and educate yourself on the process and you will have a pleasant experience!

 

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Save Money on Your Home Remodel

Everyone wants to save a little money now and then, right?  Home remodeling in San Diego is expensive, there are some ways to save, though!

  • Understand peak seasons for remodeling.  No one is really looking to spend money in December for their home remodeling projects.  This means contractors are usually sitting around trying to fill their buckets for the Spring.  If you want a good deal on your remodel, hire during the holidays!  Don’t forget, you don’t have to spend all the money up front.  Contractors, by California law, can only charge you 10% of the contract value up to $1,000 for the deposit.  This means you get to select your contractor in November or December at a discounted rate (because contractors are usually trying to fill up their schedules for the Spring) – and then not really pay anything else until it is time to buy materials and start building.

 

  • Purchase your materials during sales.  Holidays like Labor Day, 4th of July, and Black Friday always bring on great savings!  What you don’t want to do though is purchase the appliances or materials before you have selected your contractor.  Remodeling is like a puzzle, everything has to fit together perfectly to make the space beautiful.  Also, sometimes purchasing a super-discounted item might sound great, but if the quality of material is poor you could end up paying double in labor fees.

 

  • Act as your own general contractor.  If you have the time and experience in construction,  you could act as your own contractor.  This will absolutely save you some money.  It will absolutely not save you time.  So – weigh your pros and cons, carefully!

 

  • Finance the project.  No, this does not save you money….but it does delay when you have to pay.  HELOC loans are very popular for home remodeling projects but if you have an exterior renovation you could also consider using financing such as The Hero Program.

 

  • Negotiate.  You can negotiate with most contractors.  Have you found the contractor you LOVE but he is too expensive?  Ask if there is any room for negotiation.  Sometimes there is, sometimes there is not.  It does not hurt to ask!

 

  • Hire the right type of contractor.  This means you need to know what type of contractor you are looking for.  If you just need to do some quick repairs around the house, you may not need a contractor, but could actually hire a handyman!  There are plenty of qualified handymen out there that can help with your project if you are looking to spend $500 or less on your project.

 

  • Trade.  Offer to make trades with your contractor for a discount.  For example:  Offer to provide testimonials or provide feedback on social media in return for a discounted rate on your remodel.  Social media is huge and your contractor is always looking for ways to get more positive exposure.

If you would like to schedule an appointment for a free consultation, give us a call at 858-224-7373!  Mention you saw us on our Facebook ad and we might offer you a discount too!

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Kitchen Remodel For the New Year

We are hearing more and more frequently that homeowners are having a hard time getting return phone calls from San Marcos kitchen remodel specialists.  It’s really the same all over San Diego and Temecula!  The reason is because this is the busy season for remodeling contractors.  Most projects are coming out of permits and are getting ready to build in September and October.  If you are planning a kitchen remodel for the New Year then you need to start getting your estimates TODAY.  Not tomorrow.  Do not wait!  Below, we have included some timeline information  that you need to be very aware of when planning your San Marcos kitchen remodel (this really applies to anywhere in San Diego and Temecula, all areas we service, by the way!).

 Kitchen Remodel Timeline

No PermitsWith Permits
Selecting A Contractor2-3 Weeks2-3 Weeks
Finalization of Design1-2 Weeks1-2 Weeks
Obtaining Permits06 Weeks
Product Selection & Delivery6 Weeks6 Weeks
Construction6-8 Weeks8-10 Weeks
Total Time15-19 Weeks23 – 27 Weeks

The kitchen remodel timeline above is a rough projection.  Your specific kitchen remodel timeline will vary depending on the scope of work being performed and the size of the kitchen remodel itself.

Selecting a contractor – 3 weeks

When you start looking to get estimates for your San Marcos kitchen remodel, you need to budget 3 weeks to meet with contractors.  Typically you will have two meetings (per contractor). The first meeting is to gather information, formulate a kitchen remodel design, and take measurements.  Your second appointment is typically to view the 3D design and review the proposal and estimate.   San Marcos kitchen remodel contractors usually ask for 7-10 days to prepare your estimate.  Will the process start-to-finish take you 3 weeks?  It depends on your availability as much as it depends on your contractor’s availability.  It also depends on whether or not your contractor NAILED it on the design and estimate on the first round.  3 weeks is a safe bet in our opinion if you are motivated to get started and have a flexible schedule.

White Kitchen Cabinets - Kitchen Remodel Encinitas

Designing your kitchen – 2 weeks

Finalizing the design between you and your contractor, schedule and taking final measurements of the existing footprint, and creating architectural drawings to build adds 1-2 weeks.  Most of the time delays are in scheduling coordination between you and the contractor.

Obtaining City Permits – 6 weeks

Do not forget that permits may be required for your kitchen remodel!  If you are moving walls, moving or adding plumbing or electrical then you will require permits.   If you are getting permits you need to tack on at least 6 weeks in your schedule (permits usually take 4-6 weeks if there are no city delays, corrections, or additional reviews needed).

 Warm Kitchen Cabinets - San Marcos Kitchen Remodel

Product selection and delivery:  5-6 weeks

Selecting the finish materials for your San Marcos kitchen remodel can take quite a long time. Classic Home Improvements provides 4 hours product selection time with a coordinator to help expedite the process.  This is not a standard service though in San Marcos so ask your contractor if they help you with picking out your countertops, sinks, lighting, flooring, painting, etc.  Once materials are ordered you are looking at 5-6 weeks to get all the materials delivered.  Most reputable contractors will not start on your project until all your finish materials have been delivered.  This helps to reduce construction time in your home if there is a material back-order or defective item.

Construction:  6-8 weeks

Once you start on construction there are some variables that need to be considered.  Each project is very individual in scope, complexity, and size.  We think it is best to budget 8 weeks. Holiday schedules, the access your contractor is given to the job site, and potential delays due to inspections may increase this time frame.

Budgeting for 8 weeks should keep you from disappointment.  Best case scenarios (if you are not using a handyman service) you can expect your kitchen remodel construction time to be to 4-6 weeks if you are just updating.  If you are doing a complete makeover with custom work (adding an island, removing a wall, etc) expect 8-10 weeks.

For the purpose of this article, we are going to suggest budgeting 8 weeks.  Use the higher time frame if you have a complex project.  ALWAYS get your schedule from your contractor because each remodeling contractor has a different schedule and timeline (which change throughout the year depending on how much work they have going on).

Scheduling to get started on your San Marcos kitchen remodel

As you can see by the kitchen remodel timeline above – if you want to have your San Marcos kitchen remodel completed by the New Year then you are a little behind the eight ball.  We took the highest range of each stage of your remodel to get our point across.  Can you hire a contractor in September or October and have your kitchen remodeled by the end of January?  Yes, but you had better move QUICK, be planning a simple remodel, and be very available to your contractor (and know that you have hired a contractor that can expedite the process on his/her end).  You will have to make quick decisions, resist making changes in scope of work, and select finish products which are not on back-order.  Most importantly – you must pick up the phone TODAY to get your free estimate.

Whether you are planning a San Marcos kitchen remodel – or anywhere else in San Diego or Temecula – give us a call to schedule that free consultation.

Ask to speak with Nicole!  858-224-7373, email us at sales@choosechi.com, or fill out the form below for us to contact you!

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San Diego Room Addition Contractor

San Diego Room Addition

San Diego and Temecula homeowners often reach out to Classic Home Improvements because they want to expand their living space.  Either they have adult senior family members moving in, have had more children than the home can handle but don’t want to move, or in this client’s case – they now have a situation where they can work from home and they need a quiet space to do so.  Sometimes we are brought out to homes that need a larger kitchen (so many homes in San Diego have teeny tiny kitchens that need to be expanded).  No matter what your reason is for needing a San Diego room addition, we are happy to consult with you on your project!

One of the first questions we are generally asked is – can you meet with us before we have any plans?   Yes, we can absolutely meet with you prior to having plans drawn for your room addition.  In fact, we prefer it!  As a design build contractor, we have the in-house ability to prepare your drawings so there is no need to meet with an architect separately from us.  However if you have already met with an architect and already have plans designed – we are more than happy to provide you with a “build only” estimate.

When you want to reach out to a home addition builder it is important to know what their capabilities are because not all builders have the ability to coordinate preparing architectural plans.  They would prefer you meet with an architect first and then contact them for an estimate.  We believe it is best if you contact a design build contractor because then you have one firm completing the entire project for you from start to finish.  It is not well known, but architects are not truly trained on building costs.  So they may design your perfect room addition without any consideration into the cost of building the room addition.  When you meet with design builder they take your budget in consideration when designing your room addition.  Many times a room addition – especially a second floor home addition – will require almost a whole house remodel!  This is because you will need to create a way to make it up to the second floor – by building stairs – which will alter your downstairs home layout.

This second floor San Diego room addition was built so the homeowners would have a space to work from home.  The original 1920’s home did not have enough space for a home office on the first floor so the only option was to create a second floor addition.  Located near Northpark San Diego there were some extra considerations that needed to be made in relationship to parking and material deliveries for the project.  When you meet with a design consultant, they will walk you through all the extra nuances your project may have.  Many homes in San Diego have to go through a few extra permitting review processes – especially if you are located in a historical neighborhood, near the beach, or near the airport.  Additionally if you in a high risk fire zone there may be more review processes by the city before you can get your permit to build.  Regardless of where your home is located in San Diego or Temecula, our consultants are trained to provide you with expert knowledge about what needs to take place before you build your room addition and we will be frank with you when it comes to the pros and cons of building a room addition.

Working with Classic Home Improvements you can be sure we will assist you through the entire process of your second floor room addition!  Check out the photos below of the beautiful new space!

 

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Interior Painting: Sheen Choices

living room painted in a light neutral tone

Deciding to re-paint the interior of your home is one great way to express your personality in your home.  The experience of customizing your home can be both exciting and overwhelming. In the beginning, all you are deciding upon is which color to apply in which room. Then suddenly you realize each color is available in about 30 different shades and before you know it your head begins to spin. Amazed that you finally decided on those perfect shades of Grey and Blue for their respective rooms of the home, you get asked if you know which level sheen you would like in each color and you realize you have no idea how to respond. Is there a right or wrong sheen to have in certain areas of the home? How many levels are there and does each level offer something special other than more or less shine? In a nutshell, placing the appropriate level sheen is certain spaces will ultimately enhance the look and even the durability of the paint so it is important to that you make yourself familiar with exactly what it is each level has to offer.

Paint Sheen Levels

The most important thing to remember with paint sheens is that the higher the level of sheen, the more shine you are ultimately going to get. The highest level sheens, referred to as gloss sheens, have increased light-reflective appearances. Therefore, the farther away you travel from gloss sheens the more flat the pain will appear. The levels are ordered as follows:

  • High-Gloss
  • Semi-Gloss
  • Satin
  • Eggshell
  • Flat (Matte)

Where to Apply Different Levels of Sheen in the Home?

Deciding how shiny you would like each room to look ultimately has little to do with deciding which level sheen goes in which room of the home. Of course some prefer the Matte look over the Gloss look and preference is always something to keep in mind however, the first thing you should be considering is if the room is high traffic or not. If it is then it’s important to consider how durable you might need the paint to be based on how often, as well as how rigorously, you will be cleaning the painted area (walls, cabinets, furniture, etc.). If you plan on using some serious elbow grease to scrub the area clean you are better off going with a higher sheen rather than a flat sheen. This is also where, as previously mentioned, preference comes into play.

High-Gloss: Because High-Gloss paint is so durable it is recommended for the re-painting of extremely high traffic items such as furniture, doors and cabinets. More often than not however, High-Gloss paint is primarily used for furniture only.

Semi-Gloss: This level of sheen is preferred over High-Gloss for items such as cabinets and doors for the reason that is maintains its durability but is not overwhelmingly shiny. When painting trim however, Semi-Gloss is considered the best route hands down for the aforementioned reasons. Using a Semi-Gloss sheen on trim will leave it looking elegant even after you have used a little elbow grease cleaning off any scuff marks it may have accumulated. When it comes to choosing a level of sheen for the Bathroom, Semi-Gloss is bar none the best! Before painting a Bathroom you will want to seriously consider how well the paint will hold up long term after it has undergone years of moisture and humidity leading to stains, chips in the paint and peeling of the paint. For the same reason Semi-Gloss is one of the more washable sheen choices, it is a perfect fit for the walls and ceiling of a Bathroom as it will hold up best without being as overwhelmingly shiny as the High-Gloss option.

Satin: Considered to be one of the most frequently used sheen levels through-out the home, Satin is a perfectly acceptable choice for just about any room in the home including the Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedrooms (specifically Children’s Rooms), Laundry Room and although not the preferred choice it is even acceptable to use Satin sheen in the Bathroom or on the Trim if you desire a little less shine to your sheen in those areas. Because of Satin’s ability to maintain after having frequently been cleaned, it is considered to be most desirable in the Kitchen. This is such a high traffic area that it requires a regular wipe down but is rather neutral in regards to the level light it reflects.

Eggshell: Just as the name suggests, the amount of shine this level sheen gives off is identical to that of an actual eggshell. Still able to maintain after a mild cleaning, Eggshell is appropriate for areas such as the Living Room, Dining Room and Bedrooms.

Flat (Matte): This level of sheen is most appropriate for a little to no traffic area such as a ceiling although, it is surprisingly the most common choice of interior paint used in Bedrooms and Common Rooms. Just because it is the lowest level sheen choice does not mean it cannot maintain after a cleaning. The trick is to test out a spot of the painted area and make sure you are aware how much pressure you can wipe with before the paint begins to fade. It is recommended though, to only use water when wiping this type of paint rather than any harsh cleaners.

As long as you keep in mind both the look and durability you will get with each option, the decision of which level to use in each area of the home will be a much easier one to make. It is important to note however, there is no industry standard with paint sheens meaning different brands may show different results in regards to the amount of shine you end up with. Though as long as you compare your choices, you will know which brand best suits your needs.

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You Must Remodel When You Age In Place

An attractive senior couple at home on the couch together. Isolated on white.

Every morning we wake up another day older. Although day by day this may not seem to make a huge difference, year after year we start to feel the changes happening and suddenly realize we have shifted into a person who requires a bit more convenience in order to live comfortably. Because these changes can make a pretty significant impact on our daily activities we are required to ultimately decide where we want to spend the portion of our lives when we shift from adult to senior to elderly. While some choose to move in with family or live in an assisted living facility others choose to stay in the comfort of their own home as long as possible. This is referred to as Aging in Place and is coming up more and more frequently with homeowners in Escondido.

Although the idea of staying in your own home seems simple enough, it requires some significant changes to assure any elderly persons living there will have access to all areas of the home.  The goal is to also ensure seniors living in the home will be able to complete all activities of daily living. The ultimate goal when remodeling your home with the intention of Aging in Place is to not only maintain quality of life but to possibly improve it as well. Granted, there are a plethora of senior-friendly features that can be added to home to make it even more convenient but first and foremost individual changes need to be made to specific rooms.

 

 

What Rooms Need to be Remodeled When You Age In Place – and Why?

  1. Exterior

When you age in place, changes to the Exterior of the home are just as important as changes to the Interior of the home because it serves as both the entrance and exit. This means the first thing that needs to be addressed is the access point to the front door. Considering those who are elderly tend to be at an increased fall risk and the use of stairs can enhance that risk 10 folds it is necessary to add a railing for those who are capable of using the stairs and also a ramp for those who require mobility assistance such as a walker or a wheel chair. Should you choose to add some sort of ramp it is worth noting that there are a variety of features that may be implemented, such as adding walkable hill or slope, to avoid placing a bulky handicap ramp in the front of the home.  Additionally, stair treads can be added to the stair case and walkways to prevent slipping (which poses an increased risk during the winter months).

  1. Kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen is all about enhancing convenience. Everything should be easily accessible without having to struggle by standing on a stool, for example, or even bending down to the bottom cabinet and then reaching to the very back just to find the cast iron pan that somehow made its way just out of reach. This specific inconvenience can be avoided by installing cabinets equipped with pull-out shelves. Also, if you are considering adding an eat-in counter top it may be beneficial to consider placing it at least 30 inches from the ground so you can utilize dining chairs rather than bar stools. Lastly, lifting the dishwasher 10-12 inches off the ground can dramatically decrease the need to bend down.

  1. Bathroom

Being one of the most utilized rooms in the home as well as one of the most slippery, when you age in place the bathroom needs to be remodeled not only for convenience but for safety as well. It is important that the home contain at least one bathroom on the main floor. If this is not already the case, you might consider either a bathroom addition or at the very least adding in a chair lift to the stair case for easy and safe access to the upstairs bathroom. All other changes to the bathroom are technically just a series of added features to decide upon for increased safety and convenience. Something people tend to over-look however, is the amount of space elderly persons may require in order to properly and safely move around the bathroom area. Those who require assistive mobility devices require additional space to move around as well as additional space to store those devices such as walkers, canes and even wheel chairs while they bathe or use the toilet.

  1. Common Areas

Common areas include anything from Doorways to Living Rooms. Essentially, anywhere that is consistently used by both guests and those living in the home. It is important that these areas can be easily maneuvered around by those who are walking as well as those utilizing walkers and wheel chairs. For this reason, when you age in place the doorways and hallways are recommended to be a minimum of 32 inches wide (ideally 36 inches wide). Non-slip flooring is also essential in maintaining a safe home for elderly persons. Replacing tile or wood flooring with carpet is best however in areas where water is frequently used such as the kitchen or bathroom it is acceptable to simply add in some form of non-slip floor covering (throw rugs should be taken out entirely as they are unsecured and can lead to a fall). Lastly, it is important to eliminate any struggle that may come along with hard to open doors, cupboards or drawers. This can be achieved by replacing the cupboard and drawer handles with “D-shaped” pulls and replacing all turn style door knobs with levers.

 

Considering each home is unique in the way its floor plan is laid out there may or may not be additional areas that require remodeling. The aforementioned room remodels are however, a necessity in maintaining a safe and accessible home when choosing to Age in Place. Once those specific changes have be decided upon throughout the home, there are a plethora of additional features that may be added to increase safety, convenience and overall quality of life.

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Home Features For Aging In Place

Choosing to Age in Place is a big decision, but if you remodel your home properly it can improve your quality of life considerably. Staying put requires a fairly significant home remodel in order to accommodate any future needs you may have as you grow older and therefore less capable of easily completing activities of daily life. If planned out properly, the experience of remodeling a home with the intention of Aging in Place can be exciting once you realize how many fun and innovative features there are to choose from. These features range from the widening of doorways to installing smart appliances and light up walkways. Of course each feature applied to the home remodel should be directly correlated with your specific wants and needs.

  1. Exterior Features

Low Maintenance- Because the end goal of this type of remodel is all about creating convenience, a low maintenance exterior is one of the most important things to consider. Unlike just about every other area of the home, this is one feature you can add to the home that is universal to every persons needs because no matter your capability or even your age, having a low maintenance exterior is always going make life just that much easier. Such features include metal roofing, which are not only low maintenance but conserves energy as well, composite decking and even vinyl sliding doors and windows.

Automatic Lighting- Automatic lighting is another great feature used to increase convenience and even safety. This can be automatic porch lights and if you choose to add a walkway or slope for easy wheelchair access it is a great option to add automatic lighting to pathways. Lastly, the front door should have a low or no-lip step (1/2” or less) to avoid falls and to increase the simplicity of pushing a wheel chair through or stepping over with a walker.

  1. Kitchen Features

Kitchen Appliances- If you are considering buying new appliances, one of the best features you can add to your newly remodeled home are smart appliances. These appliances should have both a large and clear display. Some even have the ability to work via voice command which can prove to be very useful. Additionally, a useful feature to have on appliances, which is conveniently a fairly universal feature already, is a large elongated handle making it easier to reach for.

Height- One of the most important things you can change about your kitchen is the height of certain appliances, cupboards and countertops simplifying access and eliminating the need to bend over and reach for things. The dishwasher should be lifted approximately 12 inches off the ground and any eat-in counter tops should be around 30 inches from the ground to avoid the need to use bar stools rather than dining chairs.

Kitchen Cabinets- A feature is available for both upper and lower cabinets to eliminate reaching and bending for items. This includes pull-out shelves on rollers for the lower cabinets and pull-down shelves on rollers for the upper cabinets.

Kitchen Sink- There are many different features that can be added to the sink to enhance convenience. One of which is the sink itself. A motorized sink is available that gives you the ability to move the sink up and down based on your specific needs. It is recommended however, that if you choose this feature you also leave space open below the sink for those who need to use a chair of some sort while utilizing the sink in its lower position and that the sink itself be no more than 6 inches deep. There are also features such as anti-scald devices and touch free faucet sensors (which can be added to bathrooms as well).

  1. Bathroom Features

Tub/Shower- There are a lot of options for senior friendly bathroom remodels.  Ideally the bathroom will be equipped with a separate bathtub and shower rather than the run of the mill two-in-one set up. If this is not the case it may be a good idea to consider making the change. Bathtubs and showers pose one of the biggest fall risks in the home so there are a variety of features that can be added to increase safety such as non-slip floor covers, grab bars and shower seats.

Toilet- Although adding a grab bar is really the only necessary feature you may require for a toilet, there are a plethora of innovative features that you can add to your toilet. The only additional recommended change is to purchase a comfort-height model toilet which is higher than normal making it easier to stand up and sit down. Additionally there is the option of purchasing a smart toilet whose features are more fun than functional when it comes to the needs of a person remodeling to Age in Place. Even still, smart toilets are a thing of the future and include features such as heated seats, charging ports for your phone, music players and so on.

  1. Miscellaneous Features

Lighting- Increasing the lighting through-out the home is essential in maintaining a safe living environment considering the fact that age has an uncanny way of stealing away our vision. Adding lights to places such as stair cases and hallways can greatly increase an elderly person’s ability to maneuver around with ease.

Elevator/Stair-Lift- Although a one floor layout is ideal for those choosing to stay put in old age, there are certain instances in which a multi floor layout is preferred by the home owner. Should this be the case, an elevator just might be the feature for you. If you have the budget for it, an elevator can not only assist with maneuvering up and down the levels of the house but can also assist with moving items through-out the levels. If an elevator is a little too “hotel” for your taste, there is always the option of a stair lift which can serve the same purpose with the small exception of moving larger items from the first floor to the second.

Furthermore it is worth mentioning that any seasoned remodeling company will have the ability
to provide additional senior friendly home remodeling ideas that may be catered to your individual needs incorporating safety, convenience and style into your forever home.

 

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Top San Diego Kitchen Design Elements

We all know that trends come and go.  Sometimes they stay for a day and other times they stay for many years.  One of the highest trending San Diego kitchen design ideas we have seen in 2017 is the addition of two toned kitchen cabinets.  We admit, we kind of love them!  Are you wondering what other San Diego kitchen design elements are popular this year?

white kitchen cabinets along the wall with a darker color wood on the island

Two Toned Kitchen Cabinets

Some fun design elements that are being added to kitchen remodels is the mixing of cabinet colors. While a white kitchen is a classic and most desired cabinet choice, most homeowners want a classic look but they also don’t want to white out their entire space. Adding a dark cabinet color for an island or a separate area is usually done. This gives the kitchen a unique look but keeps the classic element alive.

large kitchen renovation with porcelain wood floors and two toned kitchen cabinets

Porcelain Wood

Porcelain wood is also a very popular flooring option in all areas of San Diego and Temecula County.   The days of maintaining hardwood floors is over.  Since porcelain wood hit the design scene homeowners are opting out of hardwood floors and replacing them with porcelain. Since this tile trend comes in various shades this tile is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. This is the most seen flooring option and it looks sleek and modern in any room.

white subway tile displayed in kitchen renovation with white cabinets

Subway Tile

Subway tile is still in the forefront of kitchen remodels in San Diego.   We see a healthy mix of subway tile in the traditional size but we also see quite a bit of homeowners leaning towards oversized tile as well.  Either way, subway tile in the kitchen gives your backsplash a beautiful look.   Another thing to consider in San Diego….subway tile is comes in so many different shades, from classic white to glass and multicolor shades.   You can be very creative with your tile!

luxury wolf oven with blue interior

Luxury Appliances

San Diego Homeowners are starting to splurge on luxury appliances. They are telling us that since they are staying in the home for the next 5-10 years, they want to “go all out”.  Stoves, mega refrigerators and wine fridges are on the top of the list when it comes to what homeowners want in their kitchen.

unique lighting fixtures over a kitchen island

Lighting Selections

Homeowners are opting to add multiple lighting fixtures in their kitchens.  Many of them include pendant lights, canned lights, and track lighting all in one space!  Another currently trending kitchen remodel upgrade is to add custom windows and folding doors to add natural lighting into the space.  Don’t underestimate the power of your light choices in your kitchen renovation!

We are happy to meet with you for a free design consultation for your kitchen, see what we can do for you!

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Bathroom Faucet Trends 2017

Сurrent Bаthroom Fauсеt Trеnds

Ваthrоom remоdеlіng projeсts аrе often too shоrt аnd lіmіt our tіme to bе creаtive.  Іt іs simplу much more fun to deсorаtе а lіvіng rооm or bedrооm. Вut in a stуlish and well thought-оut bathroоm, aesthеtiс dеmаnds and рure prаgmatіsm саn bе соmbіnеd. Thе bеst ехаmрlеs оf this аrе the рrеmіum bathroom fauсets, which arе incrеаsіngly used in luхurу homеs.

Thе dеsign of these faucеts іs no longer strict and sуmmеtriсal, but rеmіnds us of organic, nаtural forms. Thеу also help protесt the environmеnt and аre stunnіng.   New fauсеt dеsigns have rеplасed thе traditіonal bath hеаds, while nowadаys the fittings аre shіnіng іn сорреr, gоld, pure whіtе оr роlishеd niсkеl.

single hole bathroom faucetLess іs more in fаuсet dеsіgn

Аt thе same time, mіnimаlіsm sеts thе tonе, as sіmрlе аnd tіmeless lines are used to fіt thе mоdеls as seаmlesslу as possible into thе rest оf thе interіor. Аs а mоdеrn аltеrnаtive tо traditіоnаl wаtеr fаuсеts, еlectronic, sensor-соntrollеd vаriаnts are currentlу оn thе rise. This іntellіgеnt blеnd of design аnd technоlоgy may make the сlаssіc hand levеr soon а thing of the рast. Аs we arе now delibеrаtеlу аddressing thе issuе оf saving wаtеr, a system with buіlt-іn resіstance has been dеvеlорed, which аutomаtiсallу reduсеs the outflow of watеr.

In terms of desіgn and trеnds, we keep our fіnger on the indіvіdual tastе of each home owner.

While remodеling а bathrоom, you may find that thе toughest choіcеs you’ll have tо make аre thе fіnishіng touches. Тhеse small detаils arе the elеmеnts that bring anу rооm to lifе, so findіng the right cаbinеt hardwarе, tоwel bаr, оr even thе оcсasіonal bathmаt сan really hеlp tіe a rоom togethеr.

Вathrоom faucets аre another fеature that needs carеful cоnsidеrаtіоn not only becausе of their usefulness but also for their dеsign as well. However, if you gо into anуоne’s bаthroоm, you’ll find that no two аre ever аlіkе. Аs thе rеmodеling industrу has grоwn, sо have the available орtіоns. It саn bе overwhеlming, but here аrе few tiрs about choоsіng thе apрroрrіate faucets for your hоmе.

Іnstallаtіon

Ѕіnks arе often stаndаrdizеd, which means they are fіttеd with prе-еxіsting hоles аnd mountіngs that arе able to aссommоdаte anу typе of sink, sрout, or handle desіgn. Howеver, before you shoр, make sure you look underneath thе sink and make sure yours can cоrrеspоnd with the particular рroduct yоu’rе looking for. And since plumbіng іs always а trісky tаsk, always consult а prоfessіоnal remodeler.

 

Design

Though you may immediately think bathrоom fauсets consіst only of а spout and а hаndle, think agaіn. Тhеrе іs а limitlеss supрly of сhоіcеs out there dереnding оn your реrsonal tаstе. Тo get you started, here are a few stаndаrd mоdеls:

Ѕіnglе-Levеr: A spоut with only one uр-аnd-down lever that cоntrols water pressurе; it alsо swivels tо contrоl tеmрerаturе level. Іt doesn’t take up much rоom around thе sink, is еаsy tо usе, has a slеek look to its aрpearаnсe, and іs tуpіcаlly less expensivе.

Widеsprеаd: Тhis comes іn thrее pаrts: а sроut and two hаndlеs (оne for hot аnd соld). Тherеforе they tend to take up more rооm around thе sink аnd аre a bіt more comрlіcаtеd іn tеrms of installаtіon since it requirеs three seрarate fіttіngs. Althоugh thеу’rе a bit more eхpensіvе, these units рrovіde а unіque, оld-wоrld сharm аnd come with more available design optіons (inсluding smaller unіts that won’t take up as much spаce).

Wall-Mоuntеd: Тhеse аre іnstаlled into thе wаll above thе sink. Thеy’re grеat for frее-stаnding bаsins аnd pedеstal sinks which need a lоnger sрout. Тhese take up no rооm which сreatеs a sharр, сlеan lооk. And though they аre more dіfficult to install, thеу’re unіquеness makes up for initіal cоsts.

widespread chrome faucetOthеr Fеaturеs

Тhesе units аre no lоngеr just tооls to regulаte thе flоw of wаtеr. Now they сome with other fеaturеs tо make them more cоnvеnіent аnd safe.

Water Fіltratiоn: Watеr fіlters can either соmе buіlt into the unit itself (with а pull-down fauсet) or they can be a seрaratе unіt installеd near thе sіnk. Еіthеr way, this fеаture аllоws for cleаnеr watеr while still retаinіng а stуlіsh lоok.

Ѕрrауers: Mаny still come with sprayеrs that allow for more maneuverаbіlitу around the sіnk tо clеan mіscеllаneous іtems. Onсе agaіn, these сan be аttached sеparаtelу, but they tend to cоmе аttachеd tо thе sрout itself, allowіng for even еasiеr mоvemеnt.

Matеrial: Mоst impоrtаntly, you want to make sure your bаthrоom faucets are made from gооd materials. Іt’s bеst to spend a bіt ехtrа for a high-qualіtу unіt made from durаble metals. Thesе mаterіals wіll not only last lоnger against the cоnstant strаin оf wаtеr, but they also look grеаt іn аny bаthroom.

Νо mаtter which fеaturеs оr materіаls you сhoose, always make sure your bathroоm faucets fit the dеcоr оf your hоmе. Мany рeoрle try to mаtсh these unіts throughout thе hоusе (еsрecіally іn new home сonstruction), but if this is not pоssible, at least make sure they cоmplement thе look of your bathrооm by mаtchіng them with other deсоrativе highlіghts (hooks, mirrors, towеl bаrs, shоwer/bath fаucеts, etс.) іn thе rоom.

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6 Benefits of Having a Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands are one of the hottest trends in kitchen remodeling. And they are here to stay – with good reason. Versatile and attractive, they add both style and functionality to your home. As our knowledgeable kitchen remodel Escondido CA experts point out, kitchen islands also add resale value.

If you are on the fence about having one in your kitchen, here are several benefits of having a kitchen island you should consider.

Additional storage space

There’s never enough storage space in the kitchen, especially if you’re a baking enthusiast. A kitchen island may easily solve this problem. Whether you need hanging utensil racks or a coffee mug holder, there are endless storage possibilities to consider. Customize the island with additional drawers, shelves and cabinets to get instant storage for your kitchen gadgets and cooking supplies. You can also have a recycle bin installed underneath.

Additional seating

With a row of barstools, an island will become a perfect place for casual family meals and gatherings. Large kitchen islands can provide seating for as many as six people. Even small ones can accommodate two people, inviting your spouse, kid or a friend to pull up a chair or stool and share conversation while you’re cooking.

kitchen island with chairs - kitchen remodel escondido ca

Additional amenities

Kitchen islands can significantly increase your kitchen’s functionality. Adding preparation sinks, extra cooking space and refrigerator drawers will make the kitchen space more useful. If you have a large kitchen and you like to cook, consider adding a stove or a grill on your island. With a range hood over it, you’ll create a new edgy hub of cooking.

More preparation space

It may seem that you have enough countertop space, but when you place all the appliances on top of the counters, you’ll find yourself lacking functional space for food preparation. A kitchen island allows you to have a separate working station, where you can chop, peel and prepare food without feeling cramped.

Perfect for kids

A kitchen island is a great place for kids to do their homework or even pitch in to help their parents make a meal. You may place a microwave and other kitchen amenities within their reach. This way, they can feel independent and have an early breakfast or an after school snack without the help of others.

 

Focal point

Your kitchen island will catch the eye of any guest and emphasize the overall style of your kitchen. It is a powerful design element that you can use to display your kids’ drawings or your favorite cookbooks.

kitchen island - kitchen remodel escondido ca

Best kitchen remodel Escondido, CA

From extra storage and preparation space to additional seating or even just for show, kitchen islands can offer the versatility any homeowner will love. If you’re interested in a kitchen remodel in Escondido CA or another San Diego community you live, consult our experienced and skilled team of experts.

Classic Home Improvements is a licensed and insured San Diego home remodeling contractor with headquarters in Escondido. We offer a wide range of services to the local community. Whether you need kitchen and bathroom remodeling, room additions, roofing, painting, window replacement or outdoor living transformation, we will help you get space you’ll enjoy and adore!

 

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