Tim Robinson

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

1495 Warren Road
Lakewood, OH 44107

Cell: 440-552-4677   
Phone: 440-552-4677 
Fax: 216-221-1956

Housing Trends

December 2018

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How to Have the Kitchen You’ve Always Wanted

Ever notice how whenever you have a party, everyone winds up in the kitchen?

A kitchen is where family and friends are nurtured with food and fellowship. That’s why kitchens are often at the top of our remodeling wish lists.

Of course, in this new economy, you may be spending less money, but your remodeling can be sensible as well as stylish. For instance, the annual Consumer Reports kitchen issue notes many of its top-rated appliances have the stainless-steel finish consumers desire.

For ideas, head over to your nearest home-improvement store and find magazines and books about kitchen design. Of course, the HGTV cable network has many idea-inspiring shows. HGTV.com, the Better Homes and Gardens Web site (BHG.com), and Move.com (see the Home & Garden section) have a wealth of information and photos.

Make notes on what you like and don’t like about your current space. Are the cabinets stuck in the 1950s? Hate the wimpy vent hood? Need a real pantry? Want an ice dispenser or more freezer space?

First of all, understand what you can and cannot scrimp on. If you haven’t bought appliances in a few years, you will get sticker shock. Check sources such as Consumer Reports for reliability of brands and models, watch for sales, and shop at stores such as Sears Outlet to save money. Buying an energy-efficient appliance can pay off in the long run, so compare energy costs too.

Consumer Reports suggests saving on flooring and lighting fixtures, and defraying costs with some do-it-yourself work. Structurally sound cabinets can be painted for as little as $50 per door; and a tumbled-stone backsplash or granite-tile countertop can be a classy update.

Of course, electrical and plumbing work should be done by professionals. Also, local building codes probably require an architect’s or engineer’s approval if you’re knocking down walls or rearranging fixtures and appliances. Staying in compliance with all building codes is crucial to save yourself headaches in the short and long run.

When 6,000 readers told what remodeling mistakes cost them the most, Consumer Reports compiled five tips for the most efficient remodeling project:

• Don’t rush in. Do your research and create a comprehensive project plan or written contract listing every product and finish.
• Prepare for the unexpected. Structural problems cropped up in 10 percent of readers’ kitchens. In addition, electrical connections in older homes may need to be upgraded for today’s appliances that draw a lot more power. A good contractor will anticipate problems, but have a contingency fund for your project.
• Low price is not the entire story. The tight economic climate is forcing contractors to lower their profit margins, but there’s only so far they can go. Make sure you get several estimates so you know the “new normal” cost for your project. An extremely low bid may mean a contractor is willing to cut corners to get your work. Check contractors out on rating sites such as Angie’s list, look on www.nahb.org for resources and check out references carefully.
• Get the paperwork in order. Have the contractor attach copies of his license (up-to-date), and insurance and workers’ comp policies to your written contract. He should get permits and give you a lien waiver when the job is done.
• Focus on the boring details. Specifying ventilation, lighting and placement of trash cans isn’t as much fun as choosing counters. But it’s the little things that drive us crazy, so be sure to take care of them.

Written by CJ Yeoman