Oct 24, 2009
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Top 10 Must Haves For Your Kitchen Remodel


1.) Appropriate Storage: Ample storage space provides the opportunity for a neat and tidy kitchen. The options available in today’s cabinetry give homeowners a variety of ways to stay organized. These options include recycle bins, spike racks, pull-out trays, full extension drawers and cutlery dividers. These options help you follow the ever-important mantra of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

2.) Hiding Places: A common trend in today’s kitchen design is being able to hide appliances and unsightly items such as trash cans. Today, homeowners are hiding trashcans behind decorative cabinet doors with roll out capabilities. Special counter top storage cabinets are also available to store appliances, such as mixers, toaster and blenders, behind closed doors. Being able to tuck these items away reduces the cluttered look of the countertop and appears clean and tidy.

3.) Space Makers: Homeowners today are keen on using every square inch of their cabinet space for slide-ins and pull-outs. Also popular with homeowners are large pull-out drawers for pots and pan. With these unique additions, maximizing the organization of your cabinets is easier than ever before.

4.) Natural Countertops: Natural materials such as granite and quartz are strong choices for countertops because of their lifetime durability and low maintenance appeal. In spite of their cost, they have become increasingly popular choices for perimeter counter tops, islands, and peninsulas and bar tops. The biggest challenge for granite and stone products is their porous nature, which requires a sealant.

5.) Decorative Counters: Right in line with the choice of natural countertops is decorative counters. While in the same category, these choices are distinctly different. The selection of decorative countertops applies to the type and style of stone you choose. With the countertop being the focal point of the kitchen, you can amplify the look and feel of your kitchen with the right countertop selection. A manifest of its natural formation in the earth, no two slabs of granite are the same. With hundreds of colors and an endless range of possibilities, selecting the countertop with the right decorative edge is a must for your kitchen remodel.

6.) Dual-Fuel Range: Dual fuel ranges provide the perfect combination for cooking aficionados. With a cooking range fueled by natural gas and an electric oven, you have the best of both worlds at your hands. With the capacity to surface cook with gas and bake and broil with electric, you have the optimum temperature controlling abilities suitable for each type of cooking.

7.) French Door Refrigerator: Among the trendy and sleek trends of today is the French door refrigerator. These refrigerators feature two side-by-side doors as the fridge area and a large bottom drawer for the freezer. Appealing features include extra-large deli storage areas, beverage chillers and various other organizational amenities depending on the model chosen. While the latest trend in color is the stainless steel models, these refrigerators are also available in classic colors of white, black and bisque.

8.) Induction Cooktop: Although expensive, induction cooktops are the latest trend in the cooking industry. With induction technology, it is possible to boil a pot of water in 30 seconds. Induction cooktops use electromagnetic energy to heat the food inside the pan rather than heating the pan itself. If you have a busy on the go lifestyle with little time to cook, an induction cooktop is a must have for your kitchen!

9.) Classy Décor: Small decorative touches can make a big difference in your kitchen. Years ago, kitchens were very sanitary and free from decorative appeal. Today, homeowners are using kitchen décor to highlight the quality and appeal of their home. Options for adding décor include ornate tile backsplashes, textured finishes and overlays. Lighted cabinetry or spotlights to showcase specialty dishes or décor have become increasingly popular as well.

10.) Your Own Island: Nothing beats having your own island in the center of your kitchen. Islands are a common theme in many kitchen remodels and the trend continues to be strong, primarily due to their functionality and usefulness. Kitchen islands can serve as additional working space or cooking space by adding a cook top. They also provide a decorative edge by providing space to display decorative pieces that give your kitchen that extra touch. A recent trend in kitchen islands is to accent the cabinetry in a different finish from the other cabinets, providing a touch of versatility and class.

Inside San Antonio helps buyers and sellers looking for homes in San Antonio. Their website covers San Antonio real estate. They also publish a blog with detailed San Antonio real estate statistics.

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Oct 24, 2009
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Estimating Kitchen Remodel


When it comes to making changes to the way your kitchen looks estimating kitchen remodel costs is usually the first step. In coming up with an estimate you need to identify the items that you need to change and the type of changes that you are going to effect. The types of changes you put into place will be related to many things.

Are you going to go for a new kitchen layout or maintain the existing one? The kind of materials that you are going to use will have an impact on the overall cost. Most kitchens mainly comprise of units made out of chip board. Chip board is not very durable unless it comes coated with some other water resistant material. You could also opt for genuine wood units or ones made of stainless steel.

Compare the costs of the different materials taking the issue of durability into consideration. Another thing that will determine how much you are going to spend is who going to carry out the remodeling. You could either opt to do it yourself or get a contractor to do the job. There are contractors who will be happy to come to your house and help you with estimating kitchen remodel costs for free.

They will come and look at the scope of work involved and come up with a rough figure of how much your intended repairs will cost. You must understand that remodeling the kitchen yourself will only be cheaper if you know how to do it. Also if you have all the necessary equipment needed to finish the project and if you have lots of free time available.

It is really of no benefit trying to do it yourself if you risk doing a shoddy job that won’t look nice at all. Estimating kitchen remodel costs will be more accurate if you make use of a professional. Remember to explore all your options first.

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Oct 24, 2009
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Remodeling Your Kitchen is an Investment Which Pays For Itself


The price of kitchen and bathroom remodels range widely depending upon several factors.  One of the biggest factors that will determine how expensive a remodel will be is the quality of materials.  Higher quality grades of cabinets, countertops, and flooring all require more highly skilled laborers to produce.  Most of the highest quality materials are not produced in a cookie cutter fashion, such as the average run of the mill cabinets or laminate countertops which can easily be found in any large brick and mortar hardware store.

 A jump in price is extremely common from basic laminated chipboard cabinets, which are found in every basic new home,  to real solid wood cabinets, whether it be oak, maple, or especially exotic woods like African Sapele.  The same is true of countertops. 

Laminate countertops are the easiest and cheapest manufactured countertops available.  Much like laminate cabinetry, laminate countertops are simply a manufactured pattern that is glued onto a section of chipboard.  While the selection of colors and patterns of laminate countertops has increased, granite and engineered stone countertops have almost infinite color variations not to mention that granite countertops are the most durable and versatile of all countertop material.

Invariably, when a homeowner remodels a kitchen or bathroom, cabinets and countertop material make up a very large part of the budget.  The reason for this is due to the fact that both components receive the highest amount of wear and tear.  The cliche “you get what you pay for” is very true in regards to kitchen upgrades.  The actual kitchen hardware, such as, drawer pulls, drawer slides, fold out racks, etc. can either last 3 months or 20 years. Many home owners are surprised and shocked to find out the cost of the hardware alone when remodeling a kitchen can easily reach into the thousands depending upon the size, layout, and features a kitchen offers.

As of 2007, the average price of a kitchen upgrade was in the neighborhood of $40,000.  This figure is largely skewed due to the housing and overall real estate market enjoying a huge boom in the past decade.  A realistic everyday expectation for kitchen remodels can be achieved for well under $20,000.  While that is still a substantial figure, it should not be viewed as an expense, but an investment.  Homeowners can realistically expect to recover at least 97% of the cost of upgrading a kitchen with the sale of the home.

For more information and guidance about granite, marble, engineered quartz, soapstone, and other natural stone materials, visit http://www.northstargranitetops.com. Northstar Granite Tops is a custom fabricator and installer of kitchen and bar countertops, bath vanity tops, fireplace surrounds, table tops and more.

Daniel Elliott is an independent contractor who authors articles and media on a variety of topics for diverse audiences. WebDrafter.com, Inc. (http://www.webdrafter.com) produces Website design, hosting, and search engine marketing services for many of the clients, industries and markets related to the articles and media authored by Dan Elliott. If you would like Dan Elliott to ghost write or pen an article for you or your company, please contact him with your specifications.

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