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Remodeling your Home?

When remodeling your home, remember this: the kitchen and bathrooms are renovations that often pay for themselves when it is time to sell your house.

As the population ages, studies show buyers are willing to pay more for safety and style.

But the kitchen and bath are rooms that require careful planning to get the look you want at a price you can afford.

When choosing a kitchen and bathroom remodeling contractor, choose one with the expertise to help you plan comfortable rooms that appeal to you, your family and future homebuyers.

Find a style

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends clipping photos and articles from shelter magazines and design books. This is a family project. You will need to meet the style preferences of every family member who will use the rooms.

Create two lists. A "must-have" list of features that you require and a "want" list of features you would like.

Think about maintenance when you create your lists. Most people have too little time, or little desire, to deal with high-maintenance features.

Finally, create a budget for the project. Remodeling Magazine recommends not raising the value of your house more than 10 or 15 percent above neighborhood values.

Take your budget, lists and clippings to a qualified kitchen and bath contractor.

Choose a contractor

The contractor can take your ideas and help you plan your remodel to meet your style, within your budget. Planning is the most important part of the remodeling process.

Some contractors specialize in remodeling kitchens and baths.

Water, plumbing, safety, workflow

The kitchen is the work center of the home. The contractor you choose should be expert at designing floor plans. Whether for one cook or several, designing a good workflow gives you the opportunity to enjoy your new kitchen.

They can also design your new kitchen or bath for safety and comfort.

They are also well-versed in "universal design" guidelines. Originally developed for the elderly and handicapped, universal design improvements have caught the eye of everyone for their comfort, safety and functionality. If you ever do decide to sell your home, buyers will be looking for these improvements, especially in the bathroom.

Kitchen and bath specialists are also expert at handling the two areas in your house where plumbing and humidity are a concern.

They know the building codes for these areas, understand how much weight, like the weight of a filled bathtub, your structure can tolerate, and can track down any problems, like leaks, that may need to be fixed during construction.

They can also help you choose the right materials and features. Non-slip floors, task lighting and accessible storage are features you will be glad you have.

Pick a kitchen and bath specialist that will help you carefully plan and execute your kitchen and bath remodel. They can help you get the right style at the right budget with the convenience and features you need.

If you sell your home, buyers will be willing to pay for these conveniences.

If you stay in your home, you will be grateful you picked a kitchen and bath specialist


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