When money is tight and there are tons of different jobs that need to be done around the home, it can be difficult to know which home improvement you should invest in. While committing to a kitchen renovation might be considered a “massive” step for most homeowners owing to the amount of financial investment that is required (which isn’t always as big as you might think by the way), it’s certainly one of the projects that can have the biggest impact upon your quality of life and the perceived value of your home too. If you can’t make your mind up with regards to whether you should “pull the trigger” and invest, we’re going to talk you through some of the main signs that indicate it is the right choice in your situation.
Signs That Indicate You Should Invest in a Kitchen Renovation
Yes? No? Maybe? Stop going round and round in a giant circle and look at your kitchen and your circumstances and see whether any of the following apply.
- Is Your Home Up for Sale? – One of the main things that puts home seekers off a property is a run-down kitchen as they know that after moving in they’ll have to shell out a substantial amount to get it sorted out. On the other hand, a new kitchen renovation can really “wow” any people that come round for viewings and increases the chances that they will want to part with their cash.
- Doesn’t Meet Your Needs – The thing about our needs is that they change as the years pass by. Your kitchen might well have been big enough when it was just you and your wife 15 years ago, but now that you have three kids it might seem a little on the small side. If your cabinets are constantly overflowing and no longer able to store all your kitchen items effectively, it’s a sure sign that you need to seriously consider a kitchen renovation.
- Is it in Poor Condition? – Scratched or marked countertops are something that can be resolved with fairly minimal expense, but if parts of your floor have gone soft or the kitchen cabinets look like they are going to collapse, you’re not really left with an alternative to a full blown kitchen renovation. Years and years of usages, exposure to moisture and build-up of dirt and grime can have a damaging affect!
- Does Everything Work? – If your kitchen has some serious performance deficiencies, it’s often a good time to take the “plunge.” If your cooker no longer functions as well as it once did (which could be seriously increasing your energy bills by the way!) or your plumbing is leaking water all over the place, a kitchen renovation can not only improve your quality of life, but it can extend the lifespan of your kitchen and lower running costs too.
- People Comment About Your “Vintage” Decor – This is never a good sign, unless you’ve intentionally tried to style it in this way. If your kitchen hasn’t been renovated in decades that will most likely be apparent to anyone that walks into the room. A kitchen renovation will help to bring your kitchen into the 21st century and make the room more attractive and easier to use on the whole, which is extremely important given it’s one of the most heavily used rooms in the average household.
If you are thinking about a kitchen renovation and would like to talk to an industry expert about the matter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Parada Kitchens to arrange a free onsite consultation.
Contact us today for your kitchen renovations
Some people are of the opinion that unless you spend a fortune it’s not possible to remodel your bathroom. However, that’s simply not the case and with the proper planning and by prioritizing your needs, you can achieve a bathroom renovation you will be proud of on a limited budget. Funnily enough, cost is one of the main reasons we would recommend you seriously consider working with a bathroom renovation expert in Toronto, as inexperienced DIYers often waste hundreds of dollars on things that they don’t need or make mistakes that end up costing a small fortune to put right. Whether you are just interested in bathroom vanities or you would like a complete redesign, bathroom renovation experts can help you achieve your goals without spending more than you want to. During this article we’re going to talk you through some of the top cost-cutting tips that we provide our Toronto based clients with on a regular basis.
How You Can Cut the Cost of Your Bathroom Renovation
The quality and value of a home is often judged on by the standard of its bathrooms and due to it being one of the most used spaces in the average household (let’s face it, you couldn’t live without one), you need to ensure that you are satisfied with its condition and design. Here’s a few tips to help you achieve that without breaking the bank.
- Set a Budget – This might sound like one of the most obvious pieces of advice that you could receive, but believe us, it’s one of the most effective. One of the biggest reasons that homeowners spend more on a bathroom renovation that they really should is because they simply don’t come up with a solid budget before they start buying materials left, right and centre. You need to break this budget down to what you want to spend on each element of the renovation too, otherwise it’s very easy to blow 70 percent of your overall budget on a single part and have very little left for the rest of the project.
- Make a List of Priorities – Before you start contacting bathroom renovation companies or you start going to showrooms and looking at specifics, take some time to write down a list of all the features that you would like to have in your “new” bathroom and then list them in order of priority. If you are on a very limited budget, you might not be able to have many of these items, so it’s important that you do get the ones that are going to be most valuable to you. Sometimes this choice will be fairly easy to make, as if something is broken (leaking toilet or shower) it will obviously need replacing, while if you are only making changes that affect the aesthetics of your bathroom it can be more difficult to choose.
- Leave Main Features Alone- This might not always be possible (as just mentioned, if something is broken it needs fixing), but try to avoid replacing items like sinks, toilets or bathtubs just for the sake of it as these are the most expensive items to buy and can seriously bump up the price of your bathroom renovation. If your bathtub is heavily scratched, before you commit to having it replaced, look into having it resurfaced instead as this often works out to be much more cost effective.
- Don’t Move the Plumbing – Just as we wouldn’t recommend replacing the main features of your bathroom, we also wouldn’t recommend you make any changes that require your plumbing to be moved. Even moving a toilet or a sink just a metre or two can add hundreds or sometimes even thousands to the total cost of your bathroom renovation. Look to use your existing layout if possible, adding features that make it even more functional.
Bathroom remodeling can be expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing. To speak to people who do know what they’re doing about your bathroom renovation.
Contact us today for your bathroom renovation needs
It’s always important to maximize the space you have available when coming up with a kitchen design for your home, but that’s even more true if your kitchen only occupies a small area. As one of the busiest and most used rooms in any household, it becomes vitally important to carefully fit all of the required features into the design to ensure that all your needs are met. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in Toronto come up with a functional kitchen space over the years and whenever we work with a client that isn’t blessed with a large open space, we always tell them that it’s vital to focus on three main areas above all others: Storage, lighting and appliances. Many people think it’s impossible to create an impressive kitchen area if they don’t have a lot of space but that’s not true, and while it certainly is more challenging, if a small kitchen design is done right if can be extremely functional, visually attractive and efficient. During this article we’re going to make a few design suggestions and point out certain features that can help you to make the most of a small area.
I’ve Only Got a Small Area to Work With: How to Come Up with a Good Kitchen Design?
We’ve worked with many clients in Toronto that own a small one or two bedroom apartment in the centre of the city and while space does place a certain limit on you in terms of what can be achieved, it’s certainly not the “make or break” factor that many people make it out to be. To have the best chance of coming up with a small kitchen design that you can be proud of, take note of the following tips:
- Utilize the Centre – All too often we see people leaving the centre of a small kitchen empty, which is a big mistake since it doesn’t need to be left blank. Rather than doing this, think about having an island unit in this area, which can provide tons of additional storage as well as offer additional food preparation space. It could even serve as a place for you to eat your meals. This multi-use feature has to be part of your kitchen design as it helps you to make the most out of the space you have.
- Opt for Compact Appliances – Bigger is not always better and it certainly isn’t when your kitchen is on the small side. Rather than wasting lots of space by filling your kitchen full of bulky appliances, opt for smaller, compact appliances. This is particularly relevant to the types of appliances that typically take up a lot of room, such as the fridge. Select one that isn’t quite so deep and doesn’t protrude into the floor space too much.
- Hanging Pot Racks – This is something that’s definitely been “in” for a new years now and is a feature that can really work wonders in a small kitchen design. Rather than stuffing your kitchen cabinets full of pots and pans, install a pot rack and simply hang them up. Not only is this a great space saver, but it can also really add character to your kitchen too. Copper pot racks are particularly popular.
- Don’t Neglect Lighting – Lighting plays a particularly important role in a small kitchen design and can help to make your kitchen appear bigger than it really is. There’s nothing quite like natural lighting to illuminate and expand an interior space, but in terms of functionality and efficiency, task style lighting is popular for kitchen areas since it only lights the area you are using, therefore minimizing energy consumption.
- Only Install What You Really Need – Over the years we’ve worked with many homeowners that had a kitchen design that didn’t really work for them simply because they had packed it full of features that they didn’t really need or use. Sometimes less genuinely is more. Cut out anything you don’t need and stick with those features that are essential in your day-to-day life.
If you’re struggling to come up with a kitchen design for your home and need some help
Contact us today for help with your kitchen design
Whether you’re contemplating a full-blown kitchen renovation or you only have enough money (or only need) to make one significant change to your kitchen’s current design, kitchen cabinets are an important consideration. Visually, they occupy a significant amount of space and can have a considerable impact upon the overall aesthetics of your kitchen and they are obviously vital in a practical sense too since they are the feature that keeps everything tidy and organised. If you break it down even further, the main thing you need to think about when buying new kitchen cabinets is the material they are made from. This material will impact upon how well the cabinets perform, how long they last and how attractive they look. There is a range of materials available these days, all of which have their own various pros and cons, and during this article we are going to take a look at some of the main options.
What Material Should Your New Kitchen Cabinets be Constructed From?
You should have a set budget in mind when undergoing any kind of kitchen renovation and in terms of kitchen cabinets that budget will often dictate the material you end up selecting, since some are relatively cheap while others will require a larger investment. If you contact a kitchen renovation company in Toronto they will most probably introduce you to the following options:
- Solid Wood – Solid woods have long been considered the “default” choice for kitchen cabinets. It’s important to point out that there is a wide range of different hardwoods that are typically used to construct kitchen cabinets. Red oak is one of the more common choices due to its aesthetically pleasing pronounced grain patterns, its strength (and consequent durability) and the fact that it’s one of the cheaper hardwoods that can be used. White oak is similarly popular, and while it has a more subtle grain pattern, it does boast additional strength that often provides a longer lifespan. Then there’s hard maple, which features a fine grain pattern and a light colour, which is often a perfect fit if you are planning a contemporary style kitchen. The main thing to remember with kitchen cabinets constructed from solid woods is that in order to resist frequent exposure to moisture (which is likely in the kitchen area due to cooking), they must be periodically re-sealed and properly cared for.
- Plywood – If your budget doesn’t allow for kitchen cabinets made from a solid hardwood, plywood can be a good alternative. It’s a man-made material that’s produced using a specialized manufacturing process that essentially joins many “sheets” of lower quality wood together, which lowers the overall cost of the material while increasing its strength and durability at the same time. It’s also possible to stain plywood, it’s more resistant to moisture than other options (which is important in the kitchen as already mentioned) and it’s well known for being able to hold screws very tightly.
- Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) – Just like plywood, MDF is an engineered material, but is much “denser” than standard particle board (which is generally considered the lowest quality option), giving it added strength. MDF is made from millions of small wood fibers that are combined with wax and a resin binder before being pressed together at extreme temperatures. The end result is a material that doesn’t have a visible grain (hardwood are your only option if you consider this a “must-have” feature of your kitchen cabinets), but it also doesn’t have the huge voids that you see in standard particle board, as the particles are compressed together much more tightly.
- Stainless Steel – Commonly used in commercial settings due to their hygienic qualities, kitchen cabinets produced from stainless steel are the next most popular option after those listed above. As you would expect, stainless steel is extremely durable, ideal for food preparation and storage areas, but does tend to highlight any scratches and marks that are accidentally made.
The material you choose for your kitchen cabinets can impact upon almost all aspects of performance and your kitchen’s aesthetics, and due to the wide range of different options that are made available nowadays it can be difficult to know which way to turn.
Contact us today for your kitchen cabinets queries
There’s a strong argument that can be put forward for any room when it comes to remodeling, but the number of reasons when it comes to the bathroom area perhaps top all others. If you are considering making a home improvement in 2014, a bathroom renovation should perhaps be the first thing you should consider, with the potential to increase your home’s value and make it more attractive to potential buyers, in addition to improving performance and maximizing the amount of available space. However, do you simply go down to your local big box store and get an independent plumber to install the fittings and fixtures you select, or should you buy into the many benefits that Bathroom Renovations offer? To be able to answer that question, you first have to be aware of those advantages…
Why Bathroom Renovations are Superior to Generic Solutions
You might not have ever thought about it before and you certainly won’t have timed it to check whether the following statement is correct, but…the bathroom is undoubtedly one of the most heavily used rooms in the average household. That fact alone makes it worthy of a more significant investment than other areas of the home, and here are a few reasons why Bathroom Renovations are worth the money:
- The Perfect Design – If you’re someone that has a clear vision of how you would like your bathroom space to look, then Bathroom Renovations are the ideal choice, since the possibilities are virtually unlimited. Whether you want granite, marble or quartz countertops, Bathroom Renovations make that possible. You pick the design of your bathroom rather than letting it pick you!
- Efficient Use of Space – While they are one of the busiest rooms in the average household, they are also typically the smallest, which makes it vitally important to utilize every bit of space available. Bathroom Renovations make use of every square inch and leave very little, if any, “dead space.”
- One of a Kind – Fed up of spotting the same home improvements done at several properties throughout your neighbourhood? Bathroom Renovations offer you the chance to differentiate yourself and really put your own stamp on the property. A custom design will allow you to choose colours, shapes and sizes that you like.
- Cater for Specific Needs – Everyone is different, isn’t that what they say? When it comes to the layout and features that are found in a bathroom, it’s the fact that everyone is different that results in our clients all having different needs and preferences. Bathroom Renovations allow you to incorporate those needs and preferences into the design, i.e. if there’s a person in the house that struggles with their mobility, specific features could be added to make their life easier when using the toilet or the bath. Another good example comes in the form of people that have children; they are often worried about the safety of their children, but custom bathroom designs enable you to almost eliminate this issue altogether.
- Higher Quality Materials – Whenever you buy something, you want to know approximately how long it is going to last, right?! We can tell you with absolute assurance that Bathroom Renovations will always outlast more generic fixtures and fittings. Why? It’s simple really, the way in which they are constructed and the materials that are used to construct them are of much higher quality, able to resist the stresses put on them by daily use much better than “regular” fittings.
Studies show that we spend close to a year and a half inside the bathroom at home over the course of an average lifetime. The first time we read that statistic it really hit home how important it is to have a bathroom that fulfils all of our needs and looks great, as spending all that time staring at something old and beat up would be depressing!
At PARADA Kitchens & Baths we pride ourselves on how thorough we are when working on a home renovation and always come out to your location to carry out an on-site assessment of the space you would like renovating, in addition to listening to your ideas and providing you with some expert advice.