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Kitchens Over The Last 100 Years

There was a time when kitchens weren’t the special spot in the house. It didn’t really have a social atmosphere for people to congregate to. They were purely used for servants and women of the house to prep food and that was it. Usually small unless it was the rich and then it was big because of all the servants who needed to prepare meals for everyone. Things have changed dramatically over the last 100 years.  Kitchens are now a place for the whole family to relax, work and socialize as well as cook. Modern kitchens spill out into the living room, garden area or patio to emphasize on entertaining family and friends. Below, we take a glance at how far and how much change has the everyday kitchen evolved into what it is today.

 

Before 1940

This was the era before kitchens were more than just a prepping area. Kitchens mostly consisted of wood. Kitchens started to take a turn in 1920 when the electric dishwasher was built but it wasn’t easy. Magazines would have to encourage husbands that he’d have a happier life if he had a happier wife. Women didn’t have the upper hand in buying things for the household so to free themselves from the curse of dish-washing, advertising companies had to convince the husband that it was a good investment. Some women reported washing 200+ pieces a day back then.

   

 

1940’s-1950’s

This was the era of appliances. Waffles irons, toasters, and percolators were some of the first to take popularity. Kitchens started to become more decorated with built-ins and pops of color especially in appliances like the fridge and stove. It was the age of fancy for the kitchen trend through the 60’s. Minimizing work was very important to the housewife and easy cleaning was a must so metal cabinets, stainless steel counters, and linoleum floors started to become the trend. The washing machine and wringer made its debut during this time and back then laundry rooms were non-existent so it was set up in the kitchen. Refrigerators stepped up their game and offered glass shelves, indoor compartments, crisper drawers, and freezers which made daily grocery shopping a thing of the past. The electric oven also became a household need instead of the original wood, coal or gas stoves. During this time is when kitchens started to become more inviting to friends and family trying to include the cook with the rest of the household. 

   

1960’s-1970’s

This was the decade for colors! This is where the harvest gold and avocado green were born. Kitchens started to become more opened up to include the eating area which created the work triangle and the U-shaped kitchen. It still gave kitchens the feeling of intimacy without completely enclosing the walls but also providing an open feel to it. Creating extra space for cooking and storage as well. Storage was huge in the 60’s and 70’s because of all the gadgets that were being invented so design ideas that helped with storage were a growing factor. Kitchen pegboards were one design that seemed to take off. It added a convenient way to keep pans within arms reach while adding an unexpected decorative element to space. Another boundary-breaking design that hit kitchens in this era was busy prints, especially in wallpaper. A few devices that were popular in the kitchen were microwaves, which changed how cooking was done from here on out. Fridges even stepped up their game and added more features like water and ice dispensers from the door. The phone also became a household item and usually was found in the kitchen. 

 

 

1980’s-1990’s

This is the era we are all running away from now. Oak cabinets, frilly window treatments and color palettes that are now heavy-handed. Bright colors and busy patterns started to fade from kitchen decor and neutrals started to make its way into the kitchen. Pastels and bright hues were still popular but it tended to be more in the accents. Natural light, open shelving, and islands were trendy now that the kitchen started to become a place for socializing. The 80’s brought the home computer and a new fad was eat-in kitchens. After the 90’s, Linoleum floors and Formica counters faded into tile floors and granite counters to make kitchens look more timeless.

   

Modern Day

One style that is sticking around since the 80’s and 90 ’s is natural light, open shelving, and islands. 2000 kitchens differ greatly from 2018 kitchens and will also continue to change by 2030 but the design goal with kitchens of the 21st century is to reach an aesthetically pleasing and functional kitchen that is timeless. Kitchens today are all about the amenities and unique storage options. While modern minimalist designs are popular so is the old-fashioned farmhouse look with a modern touch. Kitchens have become the center of the home bringing families closer together. Appliances have become smarter than the average joe, from remote access to automated encyclopedia by voice activation, the wave of the future has changed the way we do things. With both parents working full-time careers, the kitchen has become less for prepping and more for gathering.

 Kitchen  

Kitchens have definitely changed a lot over the last 100 years and will continue to change in the next 100 years to come. One thing to remember when renovating your kitchen is choosing a contractor to listen to your wants or needs and communicating with you every step of the way. Need a free estimate give us a call and we will make your dream kitchen come to life.

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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The Scoop On White Kitchens

White kitchens have definitely stayed a trend for homeowners over the last 20 years and is continuing to rise for the next few years to come. All white kitchens tend to have a timeless quality and are almost able to camouflage their age. Since it is such a universal color, white is appropriate for any style of decor, whether it’s traditional Victorian, modern contemporary, retro and vintage, mid-century, or industrial. The versatility is another reason why white kitchens are so popular, it tends to be appealing to most people due to being both basic and bold, vivid and dramatic and not too flashy. They could also be considered a template for additional personalization if you choose, such as adding colored accents or material to make the space your own.

While white kitchens aren’t going anywhere, expect to see a rise in color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets. The two-toned look started catching on in 2017, in which cabinet colors were mixed and matched in the kitchen. For example, the bottom cabinets might be a darker color, such as gray, and the upper cabinets then all in white. Having a color that is bolder for the kitchen island contrasts the rest of the kitchen and makes a statement. This is why white has many benefits because then you can play with color in unique ways. White is such a basic color, that you can go along way with design and it also makes the space feel light, airy and clean. White can also make your small space look bigger than what it really is.

In kitchen remodeling, cabinets receive the highest allocation. They take up a lot of real-estate and are costly to manufacture and install. White cabinets avoid the decision of having to select a wood finish that dates a home quicker than is needed. You can also rest easy knowing that your kitchen can easily be updated with accessories and appliances while keeping the cabinets longer.

 

Versatility

Whether your kitchen has an upscale or shabby chic vibe, white cabinets are workable. This adaptability can be appealing to potential home buyers. While they may not see eye to eye with you on your kitchen decor, they know they won’t have to completely gut the kitchen when they move in. White plays well with nearly every other shade, making it convenient to coordinate countertops, appliances and lights fixtures, and backsplashes.

Warmth

Even though white is the name of the game, one mustn’t forget that the kitchen is part of the house and therefore in its design, it must project warmth and preserve an inviting appearance. In order to prevent a cold and sterile feeling, it is recommended to select a number of elements that will disrupt the monotony of the cold white and that will provide splashes of color and warmth to the space. Herbs of an intense green color, placed in a decorative vase on a white work surface would do the trick wonderfully. Adding paintings with splashes of color will give your kitchen an inviting look without cluttering the countertops. Even adding colored appliances might warm up the white monotony of the space.

Natural Light

High electricity prices and environmental awareness contribute greatly to energy-saving LED lamps. This trend is welcomed but full of potential home-lighting catastrophes in the form of white fluorescent bulbs. In order to prevent an office atmosphere in your kitchen, choose lighting with a warm color, not fluorescent. Warm natural light completes and emphasizes white surfaces without creating a cold feeling. If you are able to, try to plan your kitchen ahead of time so that during the day, those sitting in your kitchen can enjoy natural light entering through large windows which are essential for the ventilation of an active kitchen, among other things.

Wood

In order to generate interest and break the uniform appearance of the space, you can incorporate segments of wood (butcher) into your work surface. The segment can be a part of the work surface that is integrated creatively such as in a zigzag formation or a portable element such as a large cutting board that can turn into a hosting platform in an instant. You can always integrate into the general kitchen design cabinets made of wood and create a complex design combining materials.

Color

A color’s character is often determined by the material on which it “lies”. When designing a white kitchen, it is important to remember that for different materials, different finishes influence the manner in which the white reacts to the material, and what amount of light will reflect from it. A glossy finish, with a reflective characteristic, gives depth to the white color that will also be affected, among other things, by the colors of the elements around the space that reflect off the white. On the contrary, a matte white finish, which absorbs the light, allows, relative to the glossy, for the white color to appear as a single unified piece.

 

 

How to add color to your white kitchen

  • Get furniture with color to add a pop to your white space
  • Add wood to your white space to help add contrast
  • Add a dark color to window treatments will add a pop to the white space and you can change them out when you want to update it.
  • Be Bold! Give your island a pop of color.
  • Put a splash of color in the backsplash to break up the white concept.
  • Add a dark flooring or dark countertops to a white kitchen
  • Get stone white countertops with excessive dark veining to add texture to your white space without taking away from the white concept.
  • Make your oven hood the centerpiece of your white kitchen by making it extraordinary. Think copper or a wood material.
  • Embrace black stainless steel appliances or even colored.
  • Paint the walls using color to make your white kitchen pop with warmth.

 

     

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Kitchen Remodeling Tips And Advice

Why Remodel?

Kitchen remodels can be exciting and discouraging at the same time. There are many reasons why you may want to remodel. You may not have enough space and storage to work comfortably in your kitchen, or everything is so outdated that it is needed. Whatever the reason is, focus on your main reason so that your vision will be achieved. Also, take into consideration improving the value of your home and your budget. When it’s all said and done these two things will give you a piece of mind.

 

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What is your objective?
  2. How long do you plan to live in the home?
  3. Do you have children or pets?
  4. Do you have allergies or health issues to consider?
  5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what has been their limitations?
  8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?
  9. What’s behind those walls?
  10. When do you want to start?

Get A Professional Involved

It is very important to not take on a kitchen remodel without a professional because kitchens are one of the more complicated projects to tackle. It also provides a relief to know it will be taken care of and you won’t have to worry about it every time you have free time that you need to spend it on your remodel.

 

A Few Things To Ask A Contractor:

Are you licensed and insured?

Can you draw up a detailed proposal?

Do you have in-house workers or do you sub-contract jobs out?

Do you have a designer on hand?

How often do we meet to check-in on the renovation?

How is your warranty protocol?

 

How A Project Is Sectioned Out

  • 29% cabinets and hardware
  • 22% design and installation
  • 16% walls, ceiling, floors, doors, & windows
  • 14% appliances and ventilation
  • 9% electrical and plumbing

 

Ways To Save On Your Cabinets

Choose a manufacturer that offers the door style and finish you want as a standard option, with no up-charge. Don’t pay for factory-built or custom organizers. Aftermarket utensil dividers, rollout trays, and back-of-the-door spice racks are a fraction of the cost. Websites such as organize.com and cabinetparts.com are good ones to check out. Avoid custom configurations. You can often use stock wine organizers, cubby units, and even appliance panels to fill awkward spaces that might otherwise require you to buy a custom cabinet.

 

Think About The Details

  1. Installing multiple outlets along the backsplash or on the island is a detail that most forget. It helps to provide electricity wherever you need it.
  2. Having a cabinet for your garbage and recycle bin is very helpful in clearing space up in your kitchen and keeping the smell to a minimum, some cabinet companies are even designing a board to separate the drawer from the garbage pull-out to keep the smell contained even further.
  3. Newer cabinets are now being designed for organization and so you can find soft closing drawers, inserts for knives, pull out storage for large appliances and spice racks. Think about your lifestyle and how easy you want to make it when working in the kitchen.
  4. Another detail to think about is designing with future cleaning in mind. Find products that will keep cleaning minimal to save you time and energy in the long run. Flush-set or under-mount sinks don’t catch as much dirt and grime. Quartz countertops have way less maintenance than granite countertops.
  5. Designing wide pathways for your kitchen is important for easy traffic flow. The standard paths throughout the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide and in the cooking-zone area should be about 42 inches wide. When planning makes sure your kitchen island or peninsulas have a good width for you to get around with ease.

 


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5 Common Myths About Remodeling Your Kitchen Or Bathroom

Remodeling is not something one does every day. In fact, most people do not understand the ins and outs of home renovations or remodeling. Many homeowners are apprehensive about tackling the projects themselves or hiring a professional for fear of being ripped off. Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bath? You’ll find lots of misconceptions that can confuse your decision-making process. Below we have listed the top 5 myths behind remodeling to help you make a better decision.

 

Doing a renovation yourself, hiring a relative or your local handyman to the job will save you more money.

It’s not an easy project doing a home renovation whether it’s one room or the whole house. If you just wanted one specific thing done like flooring or installing appliances then that might be a good option but if it’s an extensive project then hiring a professional contractor will provide you with the experience and a written contract with all your expectations on paper to give you a piece of mind. Do your homework and make sure you interview at least 3 different companies. Three things you should look for in these companies is time management, price, and quality of work. Pick two that mean the most to you and go with the contractor that meets those two. A professional contractor should provide you with a written estimate of the project, a calendar of events, and will proactively communicate with you throughout the process.

Most projects run longer and end up costing more in the end.

This can be true if you decide to add more to the budget or change products to pricer ones. Another thing that can sometimes happen is things occurring that were not accounted for in the budget like plumbing or electrical problems, this is especially true if it is an older home. If you properly plan and set up a budget this is less likely to occur and if it does then change products around so that you don’t go over budget. Depending on the age of the home, you may want to have a contingency fund available for unexpected issues. Even the best contractors can’t determine these issues ahead of time until they start to dig into the project.

Doing a home renovation will trash the whole house and yard.

It really depends on your contractor that you choose for the job. Make sure to ask about the after-cleaning and site maintenance. Most of the time when your remodeling your home you plan on living in the home while it is being renovated. A reputable contractor will clean up each day and maintain a living space for you. Always check with the contractor and calendar on days when power and water might be turn off for construction so there are no surprises.

Kitchen and bath remodeling is too expensive.

Once you set a budget for your remodeling needs you can begin your research to determine what works for your kitchen or bath remodel. No matter the budget for updating your kitchen or bath it will increase the value of your home automatically. Just don’t go overboard on upgrading unless you plan on living in the home for another 10+ years. Kitchen and bath remodeling is the best investments when adding upgrades to your home, just keep that in mind.

Hiring a reputable professional contractor is too expensive.

A professional contractor is the most experienced person to remodel your home and wouldn’t you rather save time, stress and money in the long run if you choose the right person for the job. Do your homework and interview at least 3 different companies to make sure you have the right fit for you and your project.

 

 

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Modern Farmhouse VS. Country Farmhouse Styles

Do you like a modern farmhouse style or a country/rustic farmhouse style? The styles vary slightly but the look changes everything. 

Long before Fixer Upper on HGTV became a hit, the farmhouse style always had something about its character and rustic beauty. Nowadays, you can mix that farmhouse style with clean and modern lines that create a whole new style in our modern day.

Modern Farmhouse Style

 It’s not often that the term modern and farmhouse are heard together but the combination of design styles has become quite popular amongst homeowners. A contemporary farmhouse evokes feelings of warmth and comfort but stays classic and timeless. Not too cluttered with old stuff but more of a mix of new adding a touch of rustic woods and rusted metals. It’s a balance between comfortable furniture and decor with a hint of salvaged materials like reclaimed wood or old antiques. Everything is tactile and tangible.

 

Country Farmhouse Style

Country Farmhouse style is more casual with less sophistication. It lies heavily on accessories of old stuff than a minimal standpoint. This type of style feels more original and carries true elements of vintage throughout. The furniture and appliances are true to the style but sometimes a laminate is laid over the top of new appliances to match the cabinets. It creates more of a homey feel than a clean feel like the modern farmhouse style. Antiques and old decor flourish in this style. Everything is eclectic and comfortable. 

 

For your bathroom you could add these:

  • Refurbished old dresser for a vanity
  • Brushed metal handles (bronze or black)
  • Antique touches or knick knacks
  • Natural textures
  • Distressed wooden framed mirror
  • An old footed tub or copper colored tub
  • Barn wood accent walls

 

For Your Kitchen you could add these:

  • Farmhouse Sink
  • White cabinets
  • Beadboard
  • Shiplack
  • Rustic Table
  • Mason jars or large glass jars as accents
  • Rustic touches
  • Plank wood floors
  • Barn wood accents or door
  • Half door
  • Open shelving
  • Plate racks
  • Old photos framed
  • Old windows used as wall hangings
  • Mixing wood and metals together with furniture
  • White subway tile as a backsplash

 

 

                    

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What To Do With A Galley Kitchen

What is a galley kitchen? A galley kitchen is a narrow usually small kitchen with one long aisle lined with countertops, cabinets, & appliances on either side. Below gives you a general idea of a galley kitchen layout.

 

 

Small kitchens aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If the space is designed correctly you will find a galley kitchen is functional. If your kitchen is an outdated galley kitchen then yes it was probably badly designed and creates a hectic workspace. Fear not remodeling your galley kitchen can help make the space more efficient and give you just as much storage as a large kitchen. It truly is an effective space and makes the most for a true chef as long as you have the right designer in place to give you what you are looking for. With the long aisle and parallel counters, this is designed exactly how the professional kitchens are in restaurants. The only thing you may not get in a galley kitchen that you do with a large kitchen is the open concept. When you entertain an open kitchen gives you a chance to mingle with your guests while still working in the kitchen, this is less likely to occur with a galley kitchen but isn’t impossible if it’s designed right.

Look at the positive side of a galley kitchen. If you love to cook this is an ideal way to control traffic flow in and out of the kitchen. It’s ideal for one person in the kitchen so it’s a great asset if there tends to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Tidying up a galley kitchen is usually easier because the design is minimal. It keeps the cook organized and utilizes the space around them. It also follows the design technique of the “kitchen triangle” which is an invisible line that is drawn between the sink, stove, and refrigerator creating optimal efficiency.

Getting ready for your galley kitchen remodel. The vertical cabinet is a great way to utilize space. Getting bins and baskets to store extra cooking tools and various accessories like cookbooks can be stored up higher while the necessities can be stored at arm’s length. Get rid of countertop appliances that you don’t use much and invest in multi-use appliances. Pot racks are another good addition to save on cabinet space and can add some style to the kitchen.

Choosing a style. Choosing the right style for a galley kitchen can be tricky, first of all, remember that galley kitchens can be dark and dungeon-like because of the space confinement. It is best to go light and bright when designing your galley kitchen. This will help make the kitchen feel open and spacious. Making sure to have a lot of natural light is important so, make a larger window or add skylights will help open up the kitchen. Choosing lighter paint colors will reflect the light in the space also. White is the trend for kitchens now so this will also add a timeless look if you are trying to sell. To add depth pick out colorful accents to make the space inviting. Under cabinet lighting is another nice feature especially for cooking.

Dining in a galley kitchen. It might be hard to dine in a galley kitchen but you can possibly create a breakfast bar or nook that will give you somewhat interaction with your guests. This is popular in large kitchens also but usually, it is an island in the middle of the kitchen.

 

 

 

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Remodeling A Bathroom For The Aging

Whether you need to remodel for yourself or for your elderly parent moving in with you, you might have to take into account some additional items that would benefit the space. Accessibility is the number one factor for people with disabilities or restricted movements. A home remodeling project when you are at retirement age requires a little more planning than just picking out what looks best in your mind. Your future needs and finances are changing and you need to keep a closer look at what you will need and what will benefit your lifestyle as a senior. Bathrooms are the number one accident-prone rooms for seniors which can put you in a nursing home if you don’t plan for your age. Nowadays they have come up with better designs to make the decor match the accessories that you wouldn’t think would be appealing like grab bars and tubs for seniors. Take a look at some of these safety features to help make a decision on what is best for you.

Additional Safety Features:

  • Bathroom Grab Bars- One of the most highly requested items in accessibility are bathroom safety grab bars. Seniors need more support in the bathroom to avoid slips and falls especially on wet surfaces. Grab bars are helpful in public restrooms and we are starting to use them in the home now. They are also starting to come in more decorative styles as their popularity increases. In the shower or by the toilet are more popular for the assistance needed.  
  • Raised Toilet Seat- Family members with accessibility needs will be grateful for a raised toilet seat. They run a little bit taller than the standard toilet and typically are between 17”-19” tall and take pressure off the joints and lower back when using it. They can be extremely cost-effective.
  • Walk-In Tub- If it is important to have a tub considering a walk-in bathtub would be great for an elderly person. Instead of climbing over a bathtub wall, these tubs have a door that keeps water in but lets you step in easily. The only thing it might hinder resale value if you were to sell the home, as the younger buyers may not care for it.
  • No Barrier Shower- This type of shower has a curbless barrier which means no lip or threshold which makes them ADA compliant and easier accessibility for those who have wheelchairs or physical disabilities.These showers provide a seamless transition from the bathroom floor into the shower. The floors have a slightly angled floor to keep water from running out, and this is done by recessing the floor to create the angle.
  • Seated Shower Bench- This will add a secure space for someone to sit down in the shower. Adding a special handheld showerhead would be another thing that would be a benefit when sitting.
  • Non-slip Flooring- Avoid natural stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile because it is the most slippery when wet. The best reasonably priced material is luxury vinyl planks. They are very durable and can be cleaned with anything.
  • Widen Doorways- If your planning to remodel the whole bathroom to improve the accessibility, widening your doorways can surely help tremendously. This will allow for wheelchairs and walkers to enter without hindrance. You will likely need to replace the door as well and a pocket door is a space-saving and safe choice. Pocket doors roll into the wall, so there’s no obstacle in or out of the bathroom.
  • Incorporating Home Automation- Some home automation systems are designed to increase lighting when needed and turn off when the bathroom is no longer in use. Digital bathroom shower control is something that is becoming popular. This new gadget can get the shower temperature to a perfect setting without having to bend over and turn multiple handles.
  • Install Lever-Style Door Knobs-levers are usually easier to grip than round doorknobs, and they don’t require a twisting motion. That can be especially helpful for people who have arthritis or other conditions that limit motion. You can find lever-style knobs at home improvement stores starting around $20 each. Changing doorknobs can be a do-it-yourself task, or you might hire a handyman.

 

 

   

Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling

  1. Remodeling and then moving
  2. Forgetting to plan for future needs
  3. Going into deep debt to remodel
  4. Depleting retirement money to remodel

 

 

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Choosing A Kitchen Sink

When choosing a kitchen sink, it’s important to do your research so you can make a good decision on what’s best for your lifestyle and your family’s needs. Kitchen sinks come in so many varieties of styles, materials, and colors now that choosing one can be overwhelming. Whether you want the standard timeless look or be a little unique with your style below are some ideas of what’s on the market so you can make a better choice when the time comes.

Kitchen Sink Styles

Farmhouse Sink- One of the most trendy styles today. The front of the sink is exposed and typically is a rectangle shape. They are very deep and heavy which you want to make sure your cabinetry and countertop can support it. Farmhouse sinks can come in a variety of different materials and it is one of the more difficult sinks to install so a professional would be important when installing it.

 

Drop-In Sink- If you’re looking for an easier installation sink then these are number one. These sinks are mounted above the counter and are more affordable. This style comes in many varieties also.

 

Undermount Sink-This is the most popular sink because of the varieties of colors and materials. This type of sink is installed under the counter and creates a cleaner look. It is also a lot easier to keep up with everyday maintenance when cleaning it.

 

Bar Sink-This kind of sink is an addition to a regular sink and is usually used for entertaining. Good for prep work or a quick rinse. Usually, they come in round or square shaped.

 

Sink Basins- The way your kitchen functions is how you should consider what type of basin to get for your kitchen. They usually come in one, two, or three basin varieties. More basins don’t mean more room to wash. A single basin is the most versatile and can come in variations like a small compact drop-in sink or a farmhouse sink. These are perfect for large pots and pans. The most common is the double basin sink, which also comes in a variety of depths for your needs. Triple sinks are not as common for residential homes but are useful if you need multiple purposes. After choosing your style of sink now you have to make a choice of what your sink is made out of and the color choice.

 

Stainless Steel- For a more affordable choice and to keep a timeless kitchen look go with the popular stainless steel. This is a little more care when it comes to cleaning but now they come in a variety of finishes like brushed or mirrored to match your kitchen.

Cast Iron- These type of sinks are durable and affordable. They are heavier and require more care as they can chip over time. They are also easy to maintain and show fewer watermarks than other sinks.

 

Acrylic- Because the material is a lot lighter, Acrylic offers more affordability and ease of installing. It is unfortunately not very durable and scratches easily over time. It is best to sand it as a maintenance routine to keep the smooth look.

Fireclay- This is one of the most durable sinks out there. It is popular in the farmhouse style sinks to create the vintage look and is one of the most expensive sinks on the market but the maintaining of it is minimal.

Here are some different types, styles, and colors of sinks:

 

 

What “Fixer-Upper” Can’t Teach You About Home Remodeling

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Fixer-Upper! The show that is the greatest difference between showbiz and what really happens when remodeling your home. Why do they make it look so easy? Why do they make it seem so cheap? The real question is why do we believe the fantasy behind it but not the reality of remodeling a fixer-upper? HGTV implies to the viewer that remodeling is easy and gives a sense of having relief to what is expected during remodeling. It also dampens our moods when we realize that it is nothing like the real world and more issues arise during the process than we even dreamed of. Problems also equal to more money needed in the budget. From permits to inspections, to even product back orders, there are always things causing delays and costing money in the remodeling process. The more prepared you are as a homeowner the smoother things tend to go because you expect it.

 

 

 

 

Remodeling Times Are Often Rushed

Whenever you watch a home renovation show usually they always have a ridiculous turnaround time on a project. If you’re not aware of this when you go to hire someone, you will have a preconceived thought that you are being taken advantage of. On HGTV when you see a large project get finished quickly, you don’t really see all the scrambling that goes on behind the scenes to do the job and get it done on time. It may look like you see 3-5 people working but in reality, there are 30 people working to get things done in a short amount of time and they work around the clock which your normal contractor would never do that. Sometimes even details of the project are left undone for filming and then later finished up.

 

 

Renovation Budgets Aren’t Realistic

A long list of must-haves and a very tight budget doesn’t usually go well together in reality. The budgets made for TV are specifically designed for TV. Networks often partner with advertisers and they usually give materials away because of the free publicity. The contractors may also discount their services because of the publicity, which can cause a lack of workmanship on the project. Homeowners should be prepared when they see an estimate from contractors because some things they don’t tell you on TV. For example, some evaluations need to be done through county laws like testing for lead paint or asbestos which is standard for older homes. Usually, jobs can go from 3-4 wks to 3-4 months depending on how big the job is.

 

Storylines Are Embellished For TV

The stories that just seem so good to be true are usually the case. Not true or embellished enough to make it more interesting. For example, during a fixer-upper episode, they ended up picking the house that was the owner’s grandparent’s house. Well, what they don’t tell you is she had already purchased the house from her parents. So the story doesn’t sound as intriguing as you viewed it on the air but it does intrigue you hearing the made-up version. So the old saying “don’t believe everything you hear,” definitely goes the same for don’t believe everything you see on Tv.

 

Flipping A Fixer-Upper Isn’t As Easy As It Seems

In today’s housing market every dollar counts and lately flipping houses have decreased about 2% compared to 2013. Determining on which investments will sell your home quicker is more important than investing too much into a property just to watch it sit on the market for months. Do your research of your neighborhood, keep an eye on what’s selling and stick to a budget that is affordable. Make sure the updates you do is beneficial for the new homeowner not what you want. Keep everything neutral and create staging to create a more pleasing atmosphere for the future homeowner. Remember it is about selling your home as quickly as possible for the price you want.

 

Buying A House Is Never As Easy As On TV

Many shows make home-buying seem so simple and painless. What may seem like a day on TV most home-buying experiences take a least a few weeks but mostly it can take months depending on circumstances like if you have to sell an existing home or if you want to live in a specific community, can take longer. One of the biggest hurdles is getting approved for a mortgage loan. There is a significant amount of paperwork involved. What you don’t see is someone struggling for 60 days to get approved for a loan, only to be turned down because the criteria changed. When they are on the show they have already gone through this portion of home-buying maybe even already bought the home in some cases. So beware on the look of HGTV because they are just there to entertain you not give you valuable information concerning what your home-buying experience will be like.

 

 

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Counter-tops! Which one is right for you

INTRODUCTION:

Home is where the counter-top lies. The most popular spot for the family is the kitchen. A lot of time is spent in the kitchen socializing, working, and prepping. It’s where you gather friends and family for holiday get-togethers. If your kitchen is feeling dated, worn out or inefficient, it is time for a change. Remodeling a kitchen is one of the areas of the house that has the most decisions to make and the most beneficial when you go to resell. This room not only expresses you and your style but it has to have functionality and durability also.

 

Counter-tops are the most important piece aside from cabinets in your remodeling project. When choosing a type of counter-top you must think about your lifestyle over the next 10-15 years. A few things to think about is durability, maintenance, and style. There are so many varieties of counter-tops out there that we have made a list with some pros and cons to help you make a better decision.

 

 

POPULAR CHOICES

GRANITE- Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen and bathroom counter-tops. Adding a granite counter-top can instantly increase the value of your home. If you choose to put a granite counter-top in, it will be cut according to your specific measurements.

 

So depending on the design of your kitchen, if you decide to upgrade another area with granite, later on, you will not be able to match your current stone exactly, because granite is a natural stone, and you will never have 2 identical pieces. Granite stone has its own unique pattern, similar to a fingerprint, which means every piece is different. However, if the granite is mined from the same location, there will be enough similarities to allow for some consistency throughout your project.

 

Granite is a good option in the kitchen as it is great when it comes to withstanding high heat and scratches. This means you don’t have to worry about placing hot pans directly on it and damaging the surface. It is also safe to cut directly on the surface and you do not have to worry about scratching it, so no cutting board is necessary! It is also resistant to UV rays from the sun, unlike quartz, so it’s ok to use in outdoor kitchens and bar tops. Since granite is a natural stone, it is susceptible to damage, but with the proper care, it can resist stains, scratches, and bacteria.

 

In order to properly maintain the granite, it is suggested to seal it once a year. If this step is taken, then the counter-tops can be easily cared for by just cleaning with mild soap and water. You can also purchase special cleaners that have a protective coating in them.

 

 

 

MARBLE- Like granite, each cut of marble is completely unique. It too is cut in one piece from the mine with its own one-of-a-kind fingerprint. It is a stone that will never go out of style and adds a classic look to your kitchen. Also, just like granite, if you decide to add on later, if you do not get a cut from the same mine, you might have a hard time matching the coloring and fingerprint of the stone.

 

If you are on a budget then a basic marble might be the way to go as it is usually the least expensive option of the three. With that being said, it is also the more porous of the three options which means it is more prone to scratches and stains. One thing to keep in mind is the stain factor. Because of the porous nature of this stone, things like juice, wine, and coffee can dull the finish of the stone and ruin your counter-tops.

 

You will also need to be sure to always use a cutting board as sharp objects can scratch the counter surface. There are products made for cleaning stains on marble, however, the best option is to have it sealed to prevent any stains in the first place. Like granite, it is suggested to seal your marble once a year.

 

 

 

 

QUARTZ- Like granite and marble, quartz is also a natural stone, however, quartz countertops are man-made and not cut directly from mines like granite and marble. This means it goes through a manufacturing process before it is put in a home, which can have advantages as well as disadvantages.

 

Something to take note of is the fact that quartz counter-tops use a binding agent during the manufacturing process. This may or may not be a factor when making your decision. Because of the use of the binding agent these countertops may have high Volatile Organic Compound (VOC’s) as compared to granite or marble. If you are concerned about your homes air quality, this is something to take into consideration. While for others it would not be a determining factor. Quartz is also susceptible to UV rays. If your windows do not block out the sun’s harmful UV rays, this could affect the coloring of your counter-tops over time.

 

An upside to quartz is the color selection is much greater than that of granite or marble. Another positive is because it is manufactured, it is easier to get matching pieces and have more consistency if that is something that is important to you, or if you plan on doing more upgrades later on. Another positive is the durability, quartz requires much less maintenance compared to granite and marble as it is more resistant to acids from drinks and stains. It also does not require the annual sealing like the others do and do not harbor bacteria.

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER CHOICES

 

Concrete- This is one of the newest types of counter-tops offered. New innovative ways formulated concrete now to make it light and come in a variety of colors and textures. It is usually a custom material and is often framed and poured right into the space being renovated. It is very durable and hard and doesn’t chip easily. You can even go as far as customizing by embedding shells, tiles, pieces of colored glass or stones. They tend to be expensive and run in the price range with granite and quartz. Concrete counters need to be sealed regularly and can be stained by some liquids like coffee and juice. This is also a specific look giving you a contemporary and somewhat industrial feel to the space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycled Glass- This is another unique counter. It can look very modern and contemporary. They can also be made to look antique or traditional. These counter-tops tend to not be good with children because they are fairly expensive. Also, can show water spots or fingertips easily. In some cases can crack on installation, so using a professional is highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eco-friendly- These counter-tops are growing in popularity because they do as much for your space as they do for the environment. The most common eco-friendly counters are Bamboo, reclaimed wood, recycled HDPE, palm-wood, recycled glass and recycled paper counter-tops. They are all reasonably priced, durable and you are putting your part and giving back to the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lava- This is a unique counter-top and also highly functional. These counters are made from lava stone quarried from the site of ancient volcano eruptions. Specifically, from Auvergne, France but they are starting to be developed as the demand becomes higher. It is custom cut for each order and then glazed with enamel with heat in excess of 1,300 degrees. The glaze gives it a smooth, non-porous finish that is water-resistant. After it cools small cracks in the glazing appear and give it a unique appearance. They are very expensive exceeding any other counter-top but will last you 50 years plus no maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resin- They are a solid surface that has a seamless finish and is offered in many colors and styles. Crafted from cured epoxy, acrylic or polyester resin which is a synthetic material used in a wide variety of applications. It is cut to order and can be customized and excel in attractive appearance and durability, even red wine! Also, resin counter-tops are non-porous and you can use common household cleaners on them. Another thing to note is they are quite affordable. Be sure to ask the contractor what type of resin is used in the brand. Make sure you know the durability, brittleness, and heat resistance information along with the cost. Corian is the most durable and highly-rated material which is made from acrylic polyester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stainless Steel- With so many large kitchen appliances now featuring stainless steel finishes, you can select counters that blend seamlessly with your appliances. It looks gorgeous with anything and compliments materials such as wood cabinets and natural stone flooring. It’s very durable and non-porous. The only downside is it’s not affordable and it can make the space feel cold and uninviting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laminate- Even though laminate counters are becoming outdated they still are a popular choice due to affordability. They offer excellent versatility and value. Nowadays you can find colors and patterns that match surfaces like marble or granite to make it look more lavish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

It is important to understand all aspects of each type of stone before making your final selection. It’s hard to say that one is any better than another. It really comes down to personal choice and how it will be utilized. Pricing also varies by class of the stone, each stone type is categorized by a class rating from 1-5. Class 1 would be your more basic color and design. Class 5 would be a higher quality, more detailed “fingerprint”. Retro Pro’s experienced design staff can answer any questions you have and will help guide you through your selection process. Whether your primary concern is durability, cost, or uniformity, there is an option for you!

 

 

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