Design Tips for a Unique Home Renovation

renovated floor
Most home renovations in Texas consist of replacing older, inferior surfaces with new, durable materials.

While this is certainly a good way to increase the value of your home and update its look, the concept of design is often neglected. However, good design can be the difference between an average renovation and a truly unique one that makes your home stand out. Here are some design tips for a unique home remodel:

1. Expand Your Current Space

Some designers focus on accommodating more people within the space available. For example, many designers have now begun to combine the dining and kitchen areas within one contiguous space. Another way in which designers have created more space is by expanding walls outwards.

The addition of windows and skylights also creates the feeling of spaciousness. By fundamentally changing the design of your home, you will be able to take full advantage of the space that you have.

2. Create a Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are defined by their amenities. Bathrooms in particular have the potential to be true comfort zones, but they are often neglected in traditional renovations.

Suggested projects include the installation of full-body wall spray showers, whirlpool baths, ands special lighting. Kitchens can also easily become comfort zones with the addition of a professional oven or elegant cabinetry.

3. Mix Materials

While materials like natural stone have become increasingly popular in renovation projects, the idea of mixing materials is still quite novel. From a design perspective, however, mixed material renovations can be visually striking and comfortable.

By contrasting materials of different texture and color, you can create a room that will please all of your senses. If you make a lot of changes, you may end up with a lot of construction debris, requiring you to rent a 10 yd dumpster for waste removal.

How to Choose the Right Wood Flooring

Installing wood flooring during a home renovation is a great way to update your home’s look and increase its market value.

In this article, you will learn about the different types of wood you can choose for you home. For example, oak and maple are the traditional choices for homes and are quite versatile. If you are looking for a more contemporary look, Brazilian Cherry wood may be the best choice for you.

Board size also affects the feel of a room. Narrow boards, for example, tend to make a room feel larger. Wider boards have the opposite effect. Regardless of what kind of wood you’d like, it is important to request samples and evaluate them inside your own home.

Refresh Your Bathroom Experience with a New Vanity Tub, Sink, and Accessories

With a few simple upgrades you can significantly increase the visual appeal and comfort of your home’s bathrooms during your home renovation. Here are some ways in which your bathroom will be refreshed by additions like a vanity tub, sink, and other accessories:

Feel the Comfort of a Vanity Tub

Installing a vanity tub is a great way to make your bathroom more comfortable. In fact, installing a vanity tub can make even a small bathroom feel like a luxurious spa! Some vanity tubs are equipped with jets that massage you as you bathe.

If you do not have space for a tub, installing accessories like an upgraded showerhead can enhance your shower experience regardless of the quality of your plumbing.

Enjoy the Style of New Fixtures

In addition to making your bathroom more comfortable, renovations can also dramatically increase your bathroom’s visual appeal.  

There are a number of aesthetically striking sinks that will completely overhaul your bathroom’s image. Because of the bathroom’s small size, even a few small changes, such as new cabinetry and lighting, can refresh the room’s style completely.…

Read more

The Problem of Recycling in the USA

More and more cities in the United States are stopping recycling.

Since China stopped importing plastic and paper waste from other countries, recycling has become a big problem in the United States. As a result the waste that was previously destined for China is collected in the sorting centers of certain American cities and sometimes ends up incinerated.

At a time when young people are walking every week for the climate change issue, where zero waste trends are multiplying and when consumers attach more importance to consuming local, organic and seasonal products, recycling waste is a natural part of today’s eco-friendly landscape. Even if in the logic of the 5 Rs well known to environmentalists (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle), recycling does not come at the top of the solutions to avoid waste.

And yet oseveral large American cities have stopped recycling. Their way of disposing of their plastic and paper waste has to change as China, decided a year ago to stop importing foreign waste. The result: plastics and papers, however well sorted, collect in sorting centers and end up in landfills or incinerators. And the United States is not alone in losing this cheap way to sell the reuse of their waste for disposal. About 106 million tonnes, or 45% of the plastics that can be recycled worldwide, have been exported to China since data began to be collected in 1992 by the United Nations Comtrade Database. Since China closed its doors, US recycling plants have had to pay to dispose of their waste before they sorted and sold it.

Before the Chinese ban, the country bought already sorted foreign waste to clean, grind it and transform it into new raw materials. But little by little, China got tired of becoming the global dumping ground and recovering the contaminated waste from many countries in the world. Protecting the environment and the health of its people have also become more important issues for China. Beijing has closed its borders to paper and plastic and has set a contamination rate so low (0.5% of contaminated waste is tolerated) for metal and cardboard that American companies can no longer keep up. In the end all categories of waste should be rejected by 2020.

In American sorting centers however, the waste is sorted meticulously. Recyclable materials are separated from their non-recyclable waste and workers ensure that no foreign material gets mixed up with well-separated stacks of cardboard, paper and plastics. At the end of the chain, the pile of trash is compacted. Before it was sent to China, but today some waste is not picked up by anyone, even by paying for it. As a result in some factories, paper and plastic are no longer recycled and end up in landfill. Nobody wants to say it out loud because nobody likes to do it. But recycling costs are skyrocketing and it will become increasingly difficult to avoid incineration and landfills. The other importing countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and India do not have sufficient capacity to absorb the amount of waste that China manages to dispose of.

Some US cities no longer recycle

If some cities find solutions as much as they can to dispose of their waste like in Philadelphia: an incinerator converts waste into electrical energy, which makes people fear for air pollution, others find themselves in front of the unfortunate observation that they can do nothing. In Memphis the waste is still thrown in different containers, but all ends up in a landfill. In Deltona, Florida, the city even completely shut down its recycling program because of the overly high costs. Other cities have made the same decision: to continue recycling, taxes would have had to be raised. So too bad for recycling.

To solve the problem it would be necessary to raise awareness among citizens upstream of the consumption chain. The ultra-rapid expansion of single-use plastics and disposable packaging in the 1990s was certainly one of the causes that led to increased exports of American plastics. The sooner we accept the economic impossibility of recycling, the sooner we can make serious progress in solving the problem of plastic pollution.…

Read more

The Kitchen Renovators Secret Weapon

kitchen remodel
I recently did some interior design work in my house as I remodeled my kitchen. The house was quite chaotic for a while with all the construction workers from the contractor, and they made a big mess. I had to rent a dumpster container just to get rid of all the debris materials. But this post is about the most interesting part, ie how to renovate your kitchen. So here are the 16 secrets experienced kitchen renovators know that you should know, too.

Ah Ikea, the mecca for all things domestic, it makes me feel a bit like a two year old in a lolly shop dazzled by the hip yet quirky homemaking it promises. I am thrilled at the mere suggestion of an impeccably organised shoe collection, neatly separating tie drawers and the epitome of domesticity in the autonomous laundry hamper that sorts the whites from the coloured.  A place for everything and everything in its place.

But it is the kitchen department that truly excites any hot-blooded woman with a penchant for renovating.  The tantalizing displays of Lego inspired cabinetry that provides a mix and match solution for just about any kitchen challenge and an endless parade of clever accessories to complete the experience.

Just in case you think the company sponsors this article, you would be absolutely wrong; my motivation is to share the magic of this product that makes life easier and gives me a high-end look at a rock bottom price.

I used to turn my nose up at Ikea joinery when I subscribed to the “you get what you pay for brigade” but since it saved me from a potentially fatal renovating crisis, I have become a convert. I was endeavoring to completely fit out in the kitchen of a rental property with endless meters of draws and got a quote from the cabinet maker that left me feeling weak at the knees.  Ikea saved the day where I was able to gatherer up a stash of lovely white glossy drawer units and get out the door with out having to take out a mortgage!!

What is so good about Ikea joinery?

  1. You don’t have to allow for any lead-time, they carry stock all the time.
  2. You can return surplus pieces without a receipt and get an Ikea card with you refund as credit.
  3. They have a 25-year guarantee and you have any issues with any component, you can replace it in an instant.
  4. The have a good range of colours, styles and configurations so you can create almost any look and colour combination imaginable.
  5. They look super cool.
  6. They use the best quality Blum door and drawer hardware which is engineered to within an inch of its life.
  7. Soft close is standard.
  8. Everything is adjustable and they think of absolutely everything – attention to detail is second to none. 

What’s not so good?

  1. Most tradesmen think they are rubbish and don’t treat them with the respect joinery requires resulting in poor installation.   You need to use an installer who is familiar with Ikea flat packs.
  2. Their sink units don’t have full backs in them.
  3. The kickers come in maximum 2.2 meter lengths.
  4. Some of the drawer hardware is Ikea badged.
  5. The maximum drawer width of 800mm.

Tips for the uninitiated

  1. Don’t use units that scream Ikea, you know the ones with the quirky look and funny handles that only the Scandinavians could love.
  2. Use an experienced Ikea installer.
  3. Don’t use Ikea appliances, they usually have the Ikea badge plastered all over them and they are usually pretty ordinary. If you shop well you can usually get nice European appliances for the same price but that’s a subject for another day.

Read more

Top Features Of Profitable Rental Property

beautiful house
Owning a rental property can be a lucrative way of earning long-term income, especially when you select the perfect tenants. But the real estate business is tough, and first-time property rental owners may find the process of becoming a landlord daunting.

Let us take a look at some of the features Kale Realty broker considers a profitable rental property.

1. Neighborhood

The quality of the neighborhood where the property is placed can attract the right type of tenants for your rental property. For example, if you have a property that is at a school district in Chicago, your vacancy rate may increase. Families with stable jobs may contact you to rent your property. When your property is near a University campus, your tenants are more likely to be students.

2. A Single-Family Property

If you are new to the tenant-landlord business, investing in a single-family property first is an excellent way to start in this business. Compared to a multi-family home, smaller properties have easier upkeep. Moreover, there is less likelihood of wear and tear on the property. When something breaks, you will only have to fix a few things.

3. A Rental With A Written Lease

Although the property owner establishes the written lease, having one can line up your expectations as a tenant. These include termination fees, payment dates and of pets are allowed. The contract will also state what kind of condition the property should be if renters decide to leave. The lease will basically contain all the rules the tenant needs to follow.

4. A Home With An Outdoor Space

Prospective renters want to enjoy a cozy are where they can entertain their friends and family over. Generally, tenants are not that picky when it comes to an outdoor space. As long as it is useable and private, they can simply put their personal touches on it. Outdoor space also allows the tenants to use lights and other decorative furnishings of their choice.

5. A Semi-Furnished House

If you are renting out a small property, consider semi-furnishing it as it helps increase your tenancy rate. For example, if you are renting out a one bedroom apartment near a university, chances are, students will rent the space. These prospect renters may not own any furniture, so it is best to set the dining room and living room for them. You can also throw in bed frames.

6. Location Near Amenities

A rental near a public transit and other amenities are definitely lovely to renters. Properties like these tend to have a high tenancy rate because of the convenience the place provides. College students love places like these, and their parents often guarantee tenants of at least four years of rent.

Keep these features that Kale Realty provided in mind when selecting your rental property. When you do, you will surely avoid costly real estate investment mistakes.…

Read more