Kitchen Trends: What’s Hot for Kitchen Remodels?

Kitchens are the central part of almost every home and a kitchen remodel is one of the best investments a homeowner can make. According to the home design site Houzz remodeling is on the rise in 2013 and a kitchen remodel is at the top of a lot of homeowners’ wish list. Here is a list of a few kitchen remodel trends for 2013 that can help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams.

Soft or Neutral Colors

Darker finishes and bright colors are popular for cabinetry and décor respectively but homeowners are opting for neutral colors for the overall scheme of their kitchen. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) grey color schemes have seen a dramatic increase in kitchen remodels since 2010.

Grey kitchen remodel

White Cabinets

Over the years white cabinets have always been a popular choice, but in the past two years there has been a huge jump in popularity. In a 2013 survey by the NKBA 67 percent of respondents chose white as their first choice in cabinetry, up from 47 percent just two years earlier.

“Green” Materials and Products

Many homeowners are paying more attention to sustainability when doing a kitchen remodel. Reclaimed wood flooring and countertops, led lighting, recycled materials, glass backsplashes, and energy star appliances are just a few eco-friendly choices for consumers.  

Quartz Finishes

Quartz Kitchen RemodelWhile it still finishes in second behind perennial favorite granite, quartz has made a huge jump in popularity this year. Homeowners like quartz for their kitchen remodel because it is a perfect harmony of the beauty of stone and the easy care of solid surfaces. Quartz has a long lifetime, is scratch resistant, available in multiple colors, and does not need to be sealed.

Designer Lighting

Kitchen lighting is no longer only functional, it is also an expression of your personality. Hand-blown-glass shades on pendant lights, modern drum shades and sophisticated chandeliers are ways homeowners can infuse their style into a kitchen without making a big commitment.



5 Energy Efficient Home Improvement Projects

Energy efficient home improvement projects should be on the mind of Western MA homeowners with another cold winter on the horizon.  Here are a few projects that can make a drastic difference in your energy bill.

Energy Audit

Before you can decide which energy efficient projects are right for your home, you need to recognize where you stand. This can be done by doing an energy audit. An energy professional will examine your home and let you know where efficiency can be improved. Once the audit is done you will have a better understanding of what projects will give you best return on your investment.

Weather Stripping

An easy and inexpensive way to make your home more energy efficient is to install weather stripping around leaky doors and windows.  Air leaks can be a significant factor in heating and cooling loss in your home and weather stripping can considerably cut down on these losses.

Energy efficient replacement windows
New windows by Paradis Remodeling and Building

Replace Old Windows and Doors

If your windows and doors are too old or run down to fix with weather stripping your next option is to replace them. Replacing old and leaky windows with newer more energy efficient models will result in great savings in your heating and cooling bill. Make sure to contact your local remodeler to install your new windows and doors to make sure they are air-tight and are installed correctly.

Programmable thermostatSwitch to Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive and can save homeowners up to $150 a year if used correctly. These thermostats can be programed to a lower temperature while nobody is home or when you are sleeping which makes them very energy efficient.

Update Outdated HVAC System

After making sure our home is insulated and sealed properly, take a look at your current HVAC system.  Replacing your old HVAC system for a new energy efficient system can drastically reduce your home’s energy bill.

Top 5 Bathroom Flooring Options

Bathroom flooring could be the most important and difficult decision when remodeling a bathroom. There are numerous bathroom flooring options out there today, and they all have their specific advantages and disadvantages. As a homeowner it is important to go over all of these bathroom flooring options and contact your local remodeler to help you decide which fits your need.  Listed below are the top 5 bathroom flooring options for households in the Northampton MA area.

Porcelain Tile Flooring

Ceramic/Porcelain Tile

The most popular bathroom flooring choice for homeowners is tile. Remodeling professionals like ceramic/porcelain tile best because it is water-resistant, stain-resistant, exceptionally durable, and relatively inexpensive. There are countless designs and finish options for tile making it a great option for any design style; in fact tile manufacturers now are making ceramic and porcelain tiles that mimic the look of slate, granite, and numerous other natural stones.  Certain ceramic tile however, can become slippery when wet so be sure to choose a tile that is certified slip-resistant. It can also be uncomfortably cold unless it is installed over a radiant floor.

Vinyl Tile

The bathroom flooring option for the price conscious homeowners is vinyl tile. It is easy to install (think DIY project), easy to clean, water-resistant and available in a multitude of designs. The main downside of vinyl is the aesthetics. While it does come in many designs it look and feel is not up to par with the other bathroom flooring options.

Stone

Even though the most expensive bathroom flooring option on the market is stone; homeowners today are still opting to go with marble, concrete, pebble stone, slate, or limestone for their bathroom. With stone there will never be problems with moisture, mold or mildew and is also very easy to clean. Stone is not only the most expensive bathroom flooring option it is also can become very cold and slippery. You can however, have your local remodeler sandblast the stone or choose a style of stone that naturally has a little texture.

Wood bathroom flooringSolid Wood

A classic bathroom flooring option is solid wood. It creates a great look for the bathroom that actually feels warm on your feet.  Durability is the major downfall to solid wood, water and moisture can easily seep into the small cracks of the wood and cause major damage.

Laminate

Another bathroom flooring option for the price conscious homeowner is laminate. It has the look of solid wood but is water resistant, stain resistant, and can withstand heavy foot traffic. However, since laminate flooring still contains some wood, moisture is still an issue. Eventually, the wood can expand and harbor moisture, which can lead to major problems with your bathroom flooring.

Home Additions: Pros and Cons

Home Additions
Home addition by Paradis Remodeling and Building

Western MA home additions require substantial investment of both time and money, but can provide huge paybacks in terms of both home value and space.  Deciding on a home addition is a difficult decision that depends on your specific situation and personal preferences.  Before making this major financial decision you should contact your local remodeler and weigh the pros and cons.

Pros for Home Additions

Good cost-value ratio

A home additions are a terrific project option to add value to your home resulting in a greater resale price if you do decide to sell. In fact in many cases homeowners actually make their money back on their home addition project.

Saving Money for Home AdditionCheaper alternative to new construction or moving

While it is not true in all markets, in Western MA home additions are often less expensive than selling your current house and buying a new home with the additional space needed. This is a major pro to homeowners who are attached to their current home, neighborhood, school system, etc. With a home addition you can make your dream home without having to relocate.  

Creativity in design and decoration

Home additions can be a blank canvas for a homeowner and an opportunity to change flooring, paint colors, and decor. It is a chance to completely redesign and create the living space you’ve always dreamed about at a fraction of the cost of new home construction.

Cons for Home Additions

Over-Improving Risk

Be cautious when adding too much square footage, this could push the value of your house beyond the limits for your neighborhood. If your home becomes the largest and most expensive in your neighborhood it might dissuade buyers if you ever plan to sell.

thermostat in Home AdditionIncreased utility expense

With an increase in square footage, inherently comes an increase in heating and cooling costs. The upgrades in the doors, windows and insulation may help a little, but you should still expect to see your bills increase.

Inconvenience and clutter

Home additions require some degree of demolition, this is sure to affect your day to day lifestyle. You will be dealing with dirt, dust, building materials, and general upheaval during the construction process.

In conclusion, home additions are a great choice for the budget-conscious family that needs extra space and loves their current home and neighborhood. It can create a happier household by adding space, and establishing a new look and feel to your home. If you think a home addition is right for you, contact your local remodeler and set up a consultation.