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Seven Tips to Modernize Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in any house, and one of the areas that can make or break an owner’s satisfaction with their home. If your kitchen feels old and outdated, you won’t enjoy spending time in it nearly as much as if it reflects up-to-date style and features. There are a variety of ways you can modernize your kitchen, from simple fixes to more involved upgrades.

Seven Tips to Modernize Your Kitchen | Sea Pointe Construction Blog

1. New hardware – Replacing old knobs and drawer pulls with new hardware in more contemporary styles and finishes is a fast way to add a splash of modern style. With literally hundreds of choices available, you can easily find an attractive update for your cabinets.

2. Appliances – Your refrigerator doesn’t have to be avocado green to feel like a relic from the past. Replacing your aged appliances can offer benefits beyond sprucing up your kitchen with a modern look, however. Modern appliances are continually improving in energy efficiency and convenient features unavailable even a few years ago, so an upgrade here can lower your utility bills as well as enhancing your enjoyment of your kitchen.

3. Backsplash – A beautiful backsplash can be an attractive backdrop for your kitchen. This is a great place to add an accent of modern tile in contemporary materials, patterns, or textures to show off your personal style.

4. Countertops – The counter is not merely a functional work surface, it is also one of the largest design elements of your kitchen. Replacing your countertop with natural stone, a high-performance manufactured stone, or other innovative modern materials can transform the look of your space.

5. Flooring – You may not think much about the material underfoot when you’re cooking, but changing out the flooring can be a smart choice. New trends in tile design offer a plethora of options for creating a more modern aesthetic. Looks aren’t the only reason to consider updating your floor, however. Materials like tile and stone are sturdier than traditional vinyl or linoleum flooring, offering good long-term value.

6. Cabinets – It isn’t necessary to completely replace your cabinets in order to update them. Existing cabinets can be refinished, or repainted in bright modern colors or contemporary faux finishes. You can even replace the doors on existing cabinets, swapping in more modern finishes and trims or even some glass-front doors on upper cabinets to change up your kitchen’s look.

7. New lighting – This is another area where a modern update can be a wise move to reduce your power bills. Whether you want to replace existing light fixtures with those featuring sleeker lines and more contemporary finishes or you want to install recessed lights to replace outdated overhead fixtures, LED options offer attractive illumination and considerable energy savings.

The win-win of modernizing your kitchen is that you increase your home’s value while you also increase your enjoyment of ownership. If you’d like to find out more about remodeling options that can bring your kitchen into the twenty-first century, contact the experts at Sea Pointe Construction.

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3 Things to Consider When Picking Out Custom Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets often represent the single most costly item in a kitchen remodel. A custom cabinet design can help make the most of your kitchen, creating an efficient and attractive space for you enjoy as you cook and offering you nearly unlimited options as to style, material, and finish. What should you keep in mind as you pick out new cabinets?

3 Things to Consider When Picking Out Custom Cabinets | Sea Pointe Construction Blog

Custom Cabinet Material

One of the first things to consider is the material of the cabinets. Some popular options are wood, MDF (medium density fiberboard), and laminate. A traditional choice, wood offers a wide variety of styles and profiles. The construction is sturdy and scratches can be repaired. Cabinets can be refinished or repainted if you want to change the look. Depending on your choice of wood and finish, wood cabinets can be expensive, and solid wood doors may warp from moisture. MDF is a wood-fiber composite that can be molded into a variety of profiles and either factory painted or painted on-site. While it can’t be molded into fine detail and tends to dent more easily than wood, it can be an economical alternative. Laminate cabinets are made of layers of plasticized kraft paper over a substrate of either MDF or particle board. Resins and dyes give the laminate its color and texture. Because laminate sheets are flat, your cabinet doors will be flat as well. Other options can include stainless steel cabinets, cabinets from reclaimed materials, or cabinets made of ecofriendly materials such as bamboo. Be sure to research what kind of design finish is possible with your desired material, its durability, and requirements for upkeep to ensure that the type of cabinet you choose is suitable for your kitchen.

Appliances

The next thing to know is what appliances you will be installing. It is important to know the exact dimensions and placement of your refrigerator, dishwasher, stovetop, oven, and any other built-in appliances to determine the available space to install cabinets. The layout of your kitchen will also determine the location of additional features you would like to maximize the efficiency of the design. Architects typically recommend keeping a clear, convenient path between the three most-used parts of any kitchen: the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove. When you know where those items will be located, that will help determine the most sensible design for the rest of the kitchen and the appropriate types of cabinets and special features to install in each location. For example, you will most likely want to have a pull-out with your trash and recycling located conveniently next to the sink, while you may want a drawer with a knife block at your main food prep area.

Installation of Custom Cabinets

Installation of custom cabinets tends to be similar to installing manufactured cabinets. However, should a problem need correcting, you may get a quicker solution with custom cabinets, especially if you are dealing with a local cabinetmaker. In the case of manufactured cabinets, fixing the problem may require ordering a replacement cabinet and waiting out a similar lead time as you had on the original order. Custom cabinetry can also be a great advantage if you are remodeling an older home with unusual nooks that may not lend themselves to standard-sized manufactured cabinets.

If you want to find out more about how a custom cabinet design can transform your kitchen, contact the experts at Sea Pointe Construction.

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How to Prepare for Home Remodeling

When you’re planning your home remodeling project, don’t forget to put some thought into how construction is going to affect your daily life, the rest of your home, and your nearby neighbors. Thinking ahead can help minimize disruptions, protect your furniture and belongings from harm, and keep the peace in your neighborhood.

How to Prepare for Home Remodeling | Sea Pointe Construction

Whether or not you can stay in your home during a remodel depends largely on the scope of work. If it will affect more than half of your home, will involve removing the roof or otherwise opening your house up so much that it can’t be heated or cooled properly, or take both the kitchen and the bathrooms out of commission at the same time, you should strongly consider moving out for the duration of the project. Your personal circumstances may also determine if moving out is the right choice. If you have young children or pets who can’t handle loud noises and strangers coming in and out constantly, or if you work from home and need peace and quiet to conduct business, staying put might not be a realistic option. Be sure you factor your relocation costs into your total remodeling budget.

If you do decide to stay during the remodel, consider what daily tasks will be affected by the construction and make contingency plans for how you will handle them. For example, if you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere in your house, and you may want to budget for more frequent eating out. You will also want to discuss working hours with your contractor so you know exactly when workers will be on the premises, so you can anticipate when your family will have privacy—and when they won’t.

Construction inevitably generates a lot of dirt and dust. All of your belongings should be removed from the area to be remodeled, and the area itself should be isolated from the rest of your house with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from spreading. If your contractors will need to walk through your house to access the area to be remodeled, rather than being able to enter it directly from the outside, the path they take should be covered with runners to prevent carpets or wood floors from becoming dirty and worn. Discuss your contractor’s cleaning plans; daily cleanups will help keep the site and the rest of your house neat.

It is always good form to notify your nearest neighbors when you are planning remodeling work. Make sure your contractors adhere to local guidelines concerning what times of day and days of the week they can work; even the most understanding neighbor will quickly grow tired of hearing the sound of pneumatic nail guns at the crack of dawn. You may also want to give your neighbors an additional heads up before days you expect to be particularly noisy or disruptive—say, if the contractors will be breaking up a concrete slab in your back yard with jackhammers. Good communication with your neighbors can help keep everyone happy.

A remodel can be stressful, but putting thought into the big picture will help reduce that stress. Having a living situation you can cope with, the mess under control, and your neighbors happy will help you enjoy the process of improving your home as well as the finished product.

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Home Improvements That Increase Resale Value

Conventional wisdom says that homeowners tend to live in their houses about 7 years before they sell and move. Whether you intend to stay in your own home a longer or shorter period than that, you may be considering how the improvements you make might affect the resale value of your home down the road. Not all home improvements will give you the same return on investment, so you need to choose wisely if you want to boost the value of your home without overspending.

Home Improvements That Increase Resale Value | Sea Pointe Construction Blog

Before you decide on any improvement to make, you should consider some general points about home improvement. First, improving your home way beyond what is typical for homes in your neighborhood, or adding a feature that is out of step with your home’s general architecture, is unlikely to pay off, and may even turn off future buyers. In a similar vein, design elements that are difficult to change easily, such as tile or countertops, are best done in neutral colors, to appeal to a wider variety of tastes. Finally, no addition or remodel is going to capture a buyer’s interest if the general maintenance of your house has been neglected. Make sure you maintain and upgrade your home’s basic systems as necessary.

According to a March 2014 U.S. News & World Report article, the top renovations with the greatest return on investment were entry door replacement (96.6%), adding a wooden deck (87.4%), converting an attic to a bedroom (84.3%), garage door replacement (83.7%), and minor kitchen remodel (82.7%). However, when considering a remodeling project, you should think about what your home in particular needs, rather than simply consulting a list of what, on average, brings the biggest bang for the buck. In thinking about resale value, you especially want to consider any features your home might lack relative to other homes in the neighborhood.

For example, if your home is smaller than the average home in your area, you may want to consider a remodeling project that adds extra square footage to your home to boost its value. If your house is the only one-bathroom on the block, a second bathroom could be your best bet for adding value. On the other hand, if your home is pretty typical for your area, then you may want to think about updating the areas of the home that get the most use—kitchen and bathrooms. Attractive, up-to-date kitchens and baths are often selling points for prospective buyers. And make sure you strike a balance between improving the interior and exterior of your home. Like a book’s cover, a home’s curb appeal can lead potential purchasers to make a snap judgment—and walk away if they don’t like what they see.

When you’re thinking about what future owners of your home might like, however, don’t forget the comfort and preferences of its current owner—you! Even if you only intend to stay in your home a few years after the completion of your remodeling project, make sure you put priority on what will make your home more enjoyable for you. Chances are, prospective buyers will see the value in the comforts you add and the improvements you make to your home, whatever they are, just as much as you do.

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