Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop for Your Home

Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop for Your Home

Kitchen Countertops

When selecting a new countertop for your home, it can be a challenge. You want something that looks amazing, but you also want high-quality performance and function from your countertops. 

There are a few main factors to keep in mind while shopping for new countertops:

  • How you’re going to use them
  • How much maintenance you’re willing to do
  • How much space you need
  • Your current kitchen’s style
  • Your budget

How You Use Your Countertops

You’ll want to think about how you’re going to be using your countertops. If you have kids or entertain often, you will probably want a more durable option that can handle wear and tear. Your cooking habits also impact your decision; some materials are more resistant to heat than others. 

How Much Maintenance You’re Willing to Do

When you’re making major changes to your home, it’s important to be honest with yourself. If you know you aren’t up to the task of maintaining your limestone or granite countertops, they may not be the best option for your home. 

How Much Space You Need

Measuring and estimating the amount of counter space you need to cover will allow you to work with contractors to compare the cost of materials for the space you need. You can then make the decision of how much you’re going to spend. Note: kitchen islands are a highly-popular option for folks with limited or an uncoventional space.

Your Budget

There’s a huge range when it comes to the cost of countertops, but if you select a great material and maintain it well, it can last a lifetime. Luckily, with so many options out there, you can focus on the style and look of the countertop and then find a cheaper alternative if a material like marble doesn’t fit your budget. There are many alternative countertop materials that are extremely similar to the cost of granite or marble, so find a style you love for your kitchen, then worry about the actual material and cost later.

Which Materials & Colors Fit Your Home

The most important thing to consider when purchasing new countertops for your home is what will look great in YOUR kitchen. Complimenting the rest of your kitchen and home with beautiful cabinets can help give your home a cohesive design. Many other aspects of your home will likely change; new appliances, new paint, etc. but your countertops will remain, so choosing something with a versatile and timeless look is one of the best suggestions we can make. 

Contact Us

Why put your kitchen remodeling plans on hold? Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our team; we can break down different countertop options for you and help make your home beautiful.

Why You Should Think Twice Before Doing a DIY Remodel Project

Why You Should Think Twice Before Doing a DIY Remodel Project

With the popularity of websites like Pinterest and HGTV shows on the rise, many homeowners are taking a DIY (do it yourself) approach to home remodeling projects. While internet tutorials can make DIY projects seem like a breeze to complete, the reality is often much different. 

Even a well-planned DIY project can result in headaches and frustrations, which is why we recommend that you think twice before you take on a remodeling project yourself. Here’s a closer look at how DIY can quickly turn into DI-Why.

DIY projects are time-consuming

Let’s say you have a thoughtful plan in place for your remodel. You’ve laid out a budget, meticulously planned a timeline, and you’re ready to get started. But, what happens when life gets in the way of your plans? An unexpected sickness, a busier than normal week at work, or any other curveball that’s thrown at you likely means your remodeling project will get pushed to the side. 

A project that was supposed to take a few weeks to finish can turn into months or even years if it ever even gets completed. By hiring a contractor instead of trying to do it yourself, you won’t have to worry or stress about unfinished tasks hanging over your head. You’ll also have a professional team working on your project that’s got years of experience completing projects on time and on budget. If you choose the right contractor, that is. 

DIY projects can end up costing you more money

Many homeowners decide to take on DIY remodeling projects in the hopes that they’ll save money, but more often than not, a DIY attempt can end up costing you more money in the long run. 

By taking on a large project that’s outside of your skill level, you face the risk of doing accidental damage to your home, which may leave you looking for a contractor to finish what you started. Additionally, some jobs are dangerous to attempt alone or may require permits. It’s better to leave projects like this to a professional to save you time – and headaches – in the future.

DIY projects often aren’t up to code

Like we briefly mentioned above, whether intentional or not, many DIY projects aren’t done in compliance with city permits and building codes. This could lead to serious issues if you try to sell your home in the future. 

These codes are in place to keep homeowners safe, so if you move forward with a DIY remodel without following building codes, you could run into possible structural, electrical, or plumbing problems down the road, leaving your family in potential danger. By hiring a professional contractor, you can have peace of mind that every aspect of your project is in compliance. 

A poorly done DIY project can hurt your home’s value, not improve it

We know that everyone starts a home improvement project with the intention of improving their home and making it look beautiful, but that’s often not the outcome. When it’s all said and done, a DIY project can actually hurt your home’s value. As a result, your project might end up costing you more than what you paid to complete it. 

However, when you hire a contractor to properly complete your remodeling project, you can increase your home’s value should you decide to sell. For example, a minor kitchen remodel, completed by a professional, can recoup an average of 81% of its cost

DIY remodels may lack a luxurious feel

Homeowners often decide to tackle remodeling projects themselves as a way to save on costs, which is totally understandable. However, they may use cheap materials, and even when the work is done well, the end result can lack the look and feel of a more luxurious remodel, which leaves them feeling disappointed that they spent time and effort on a result they ultimately don’t love. 

If you’re looking for a luxurious, custom remodeling project, your best bet is to hire a contractor who specializes in home improvement projects. While the initial cost upfront may be higher, you’ll be left with a result you can enjoy for years to come. 

Why choose Gehman Design Remodeling for your project?

Once you decide to hire a contractor for your project, look no further than the Gehman Design Remodeling team! We operate efficiently, in a way that makes the entire remodeling process easy on you. 

We’ll work with you to determine your style, needs, and home specifications to develop a plan for the perfect remodel for your home. Once we complete your project, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that we offer a 5-year warranty on our craftsmanship and a 10-year structural warranty so your investment is protected. 

Get started today

Why put your home remodeling plans on hold any longer? Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our team. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, bathroom, deck, or basement, our team will get the job done right the first time, communicating openly with you throughout the project until you get the remodel of your dreams. 

We can’t wait to get started on your project!

Which Bathroom Upgrades Can Increase Your Home’s Value the Most?

Which Bathroom Upgrades Can Increase Your Home’s Value the Most?

There are a lot of thoughts that run through the minds of homeowners who are considering a bathroom remodeling project.

“How much does a bathroom remodel cost?”

“How long will a bathroom remodel take to complete?”

“Which contractor should I hire?”

“Will a bathroom remodel increase my home’s value?”

Often, they share these same thoughts with our team when we sit down to talk about the logistics of their project. While the answer to each question varies, let’s focus today on the last question: 

“Will a bathroom remodel increase my home’s value?”

The Importance of Upgrading Your Bathroom

Did you know that a bathroom remodel can benefit your home’s value more than other remodeling projects? It’s true! A midrange (or average) bathroom remodel has a national average return on investment (ROI) of 72.7%.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well. A badly done bathroom remodel can ruin your whole house in the eyes of prospective buyers. Investing in your bathroom may not only increase your home’s value but it could also be the final selling point that sets your home apart from others. 

But, don’t just take our word for it. 

According to Zillow, an online real estate database, “Zillow data shows that bathroom remodels yield the biggest returns in terms of boosting your home’s resale value. For minor cosmetic changes, you’ll see a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1 you spend. This includes things like painting and refinishing cabinets, swapping out the mirror or upgrading hardware.”

Bathroom Upgrades That Have a High ROI

While many bathroom renovations can boost your home’s value, there are some upgrades you should consider a high priority and others that you may want to skip altogether. Here’s a closer look at the projects that are most worth your investment. 

Flooring

Is your grout looking dirty? Does your tile look like it’s straight out of the ’80s? Time to update it! We recommend changing out your flooring with porcelain or ceramic tile, which is waterproof, durable, and inexpensive. 

You might also consider installing heated floors, which are perfect for cold winters and may appeal to buyers more. 

Vanity

The vanity area is often overlooked in favor of “bigger” renovations, but don’t underestimate the impact of updating it. Consider upgrading your countertops, faucet, and sink for maximum impact. 

You also might want to extend your vanity to include double sinks, particularly in a master bathroom. And, if you’re looking for the highest ROI, opt for granite countertops with a modern sink and faucet design. 

Cabinets

Take a closer look at your cabinets and try to see in from the perspective of a buyer. Do they need to be upgraded? Buyers are looking for modern, clean cabinetry. Refacing your cabinets can help make your space look more enticing. 

And don’t overlook the details! Replacing the hardware on your cabinets and drawers can be an easy and relatively cheap way to freshen up the look of your cabinets.

Shower and tub

The focal point of any bathroom is the shower and/or tub, so it should come as no surprise that remodeling them offers the highest ROI. If you’re upgrading your master bathroom, replacing your tub with a large walk-in shower can raise your home’s value. 

However, make sure at least one bathroom in your home has a bathtub, as buyers with small children will consider that a “must-have” feature. 

Adding glass doors to your tub or shower is a high-impact upgrade that will also appeal to most buyers. 

Bathroom Upgrades With a Low ROI

The most important thing to remember during a remodeling project is that your home should first and foremost serve the needs of you and your family. So, if there’s a feature you’d love to add, you should do so! 

However, if your primary goal is to increase your home’s value and be more competitive on the market, you might want to skip these upgrades. 

Jet tubs

Sure, the idea of soaking in a whirlpool tub in the comfort of your own home sounds great, but the reality is that they’re expensive, hard to maintain, and they break down frequently. Except in rare cases, installing a jet tub won’t bring a good ROI. 

Steam showers and custom spas

Again, while a steam shower or custom spa sounds like an undoubtedly cool feature, they don’t provide a great ROI. Skip them unless you want to add them for your own enjoyment. 

Easy and Cheap DIY Projects to Increase Your Home’s Value

Keep in mind that bathroom upgrades can impact your home’s value without putting a large dent in your wallet. There are several easy, low-cost projects you can do yourself to make your home more appealing. 

Paint

Paint can be powerful. After all, you can transform the whole look and feel of a space with a simple coat of paint. Check out the selection at your local hardware store and get to work. You might be surprised by the impact it makes!

Lighting

Do you still have the original light fixtures in your house? If your home is more than 10 years old, chances are that your fixtures look outdated. Swap out your bathroom’s main lighting with a chic new option to refresh the whole space. 

Shelving

Try adding vertical shelves to your bathroom, which take up less room than other shelving options, while still adding a good amount of storage space. All you need is a hammer, a few nails, and a level to make a significant impact in your bathroom. 

Mirror

Consider replacing your old mirror with a new one to instantly update your bathroom. There are even options available now that include built-in lighting to give your space an updated, luxurious feel. 

Talk to Gehman Design Remodeling About Your Bathroom Remodel

Ready to take the next step toward a new bathroom and increase your home’s value as a result? The team at Gehman Design Remodeling is here to help! We’ll work with you to determine which upgrades make the most sense for your family and your needs, develop a budget and timeline, and get to work. 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’d love to hear from you!

5 Kitchen Upgrades to Help Increase Your Home’s Value

5 Kitchen Upgrades to Help Increase Your Home’s Value

If you’re considering investing in home renovations, there are probably a few questions going through your mind…

“How long will it take?”

“How much will it cost?”

“Will it help increase my home’s value?”

The answer to all of these questions ultimately depends on what type of renovation you choose to do. As experts in design remodeling services, we believe that upgrading your kitchen is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value. 

Why are kitchen upgrades valuable?

It’s been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and for good reason. Kitchens are high-traffic rooms, used for everything from the obvious, like making dinner, to other special family moments, like working on homework, laughing during late-night talks, and hosting guests. 

According to an article from Forbes, “Kitchens will give you one of the biggest returns on your investment.” The article goes on to say that even simple updates can make a significant impact on your home’s value.

Experts at HGTV agree, saying, “Ask any real estate expert what the No. 1 upgrade with the greatest return is, and the answer will be the kitchen.” 

So, how can you decide which kitchen upgrades will be worth your time and money? Start by thinking about what will provide the most value to you and your family. Then, narrow down your projects by reviewing the following list of upgrades that can help increase your home’s value. 

Areas of your kitchen you should consider updating

Here’s a closer look at some of the most valuable kitchen renovations you can to in your home. 

Floor plan

Open floor plans are becoming increasingly popular because they give your home a warm, open, and inviting vibe. Millennials, in particular, look for open concepts when house hunting. Additionally, opening up your kitchen allows you to choose from more customization options, like adding a kitchen island to your space. 

Countertops

Updating your countertops can give your whole kitchen a refreshed look, but it can be hard to know which type of counters are best for your needs. At Gehman Design Remodeling, we offer the following countertop options: 

  • Quartz
  • Granite
  • Laminate
  • Concrete
  • Solid-surfacing

Our remodeling experts on staff can walk you through the differences of each type and help you determine what you should choose. 

Floors

The most valuable upgrade you can do to your floors is to install or refinish hardwood floors. Why are hardwood floors a smart upgrade? Homelight, a real estate referral company, explains, “The NAR’s (National Association of Realtors) 2017 Remodeling Impact Report projects that homes with existing hardwood floors will likely see a 100% return as the average $3,000 cost to refurbish them adds $3,000 in value.”

The Homelight article continues, “Installing wood flooring pays off almost as well, with a 91% return. Wood flooring installations that cost $5,500 are projected to add around $5,000 to the home value. However, these estimates vary depending upon the type of wood flooring you install.”

Appliances

If you’ve ever seen a house with pink appliances from the 1970s, you know that old appliances can make your whole house look outdated. When upgrading your appliances, be sure to look for energy-efficient models, which can help lower your energy use, and in turn, your monthly utility bill. You may also consider “commercial look” appliances which will give your home the look of a beautiful, high-end commercial kitchen, in a size that fits your space. 

Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the first things someone sees when they walk into your kitchen. What kind of impression are your cabinets making? Whether you only want to upgrade the look of your cabinets, or you want to reconfigure them to maximize your storage space, we recommend installing all-wood cabinets in your home. 

At Gehman Design Remodeling, we offer a variety of styles, colors, finishes, and hardware so your cabinets will perfectly fit your aesthetic. 

What is the average ROI of a kitchen remodel?

So, how much value can you expect to get back after investing in kitchen renovations? It depends on the project, but a minor kitchen remodel can recoup an average of 81% of its cost. However, it’s important to remember that all renovations are not weighted equally. 

Minor kitchen renovations have a higher ROI than luxury upgrades since they are more appealing to the masses. So, unless you want stone countertops or commercial-grade appliances for your own use, you can skip them during your renovation since they won’t add much to your home’s overall value. 

What NOT to do when renovating your kitchen

Now that you have a better idea of which kitchen upgrades are worth your time and money, here are a few things you should avoid. 

Non-neutral paint colors

Skip the bright colors in favor of shades of beige or gray, which will appeal to more people when you go to sell your home. If you really can’t live without a bright green wall, just be sure to paint it a more neutral color before putting your house on the market. 

Wallpaper

Similarly, wallpaper can be a polarizing design choice. It can also be difficult to remove, so it’s best to avoid it altogether during the design phase of your remodel. 

Luxury kitchen renovations

Like we mentioned above, luxury upgrades don’t always have a high ROI. For example, a brick pizza oven could be cool to have in your house if you’re a chef or a pizza connoisseur, but the average person doesn’t gain many benefits from having one in their home. 

You’ll need to find the balance of upgrading your home with features you genuinely want and will use with features that will also appeal to a large number of people once you decide to sell. 

Get a free estimate today

Ready to get started on your kitchen upgrades? Contact Gehman Design Remodeling today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. Or, check out our kitchen design portfolio to get a better idea of the work we’ve done in the past and how we can help you with your project. 

Click Here to get started

As a company that’s been around for nearly 30 years, you can trust that if you come to us with an idea for your home, we’ll get it done with the highest level of customer service every step of the way. We can’t wait to help you bring your kitchen dreams to reality. 

Planning your Basement Remodel

Planning Your Basement Remodel

 

Remodeling your Basement will not only give you a relaxing space to spend time with family and friends, but it can also increase the value of your home. Just like any home renovation project, designing the perfect Basement is a process that requires careful thought and planning. 

This guide will walk you through every step of the process, from the visual planning to the hands-on labor, to help ensure you don’t overlook anything while planning your Basement Remodel project. Let’s get started:

Finished Basement Remodel

Step 1: Evaluate your space

Before you can think about the placement of decorative items, paint colors, or flooring, you need to take a few moments to evaluate your existing space. Think of the elements you want in your basement and where you want them. Do you want to make it into a man cave? Will it be a game room? Think about how you would want yourself and others to use this space. 

Next, look over the items that you want to keep, you have to keep, and the items you want to donate or throw away. It may feel unnecessary, but it will save you a lot of headaches once the construction aspect of the project begins. 

Keep in mind the items that you will have to keep, no matter how much space they may take. These items include the heater/AC unit and associated ductwork, water heater, well pump, sump pump and pit, electrical panel and wiring, pipes, support columns, and beams. 

It’s important to remember while these items will still need to be part of your Basement, you may be able to move them to a new location during the construction process. Just be sure to work with a professional to make sure you choose a logical and realistic location if you decide to move these items. 

For example, you’ll need to account for minimum space requirements and for fresh air intake for heaters. Check with your local code officials and establish these requirements for all your units before finalizing your floor plan. 

Now that you have visualized your space and checked over items you’ll either keep or remove, you can move on to the next step of your Basement Remodel process.

Step 2: Beams and columns

The next step is to evaluate the fixed items in your Basement. These are items that can’t be moved and thus need to be incorporated into your planning. Home builders aren’t concerned with a basement’s feng shui when placing support beams and columns. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make them look nice. 

Let’s take a look at some solutions for your existing beams and columns:

Support columns are generally unmovable, as they are supporting the weight from above. 

Here are some solutions to work around columns:

    • Solution 1: Box them in and make them look decorative with trim and moldings. 
    • Solution 2: Plan walls so that they incorporate the column inside of the wall.
    • Solution 3: Design the columns so that they’re part of the room’s environment and vibe.

Beams usually need to stay in place as well, as they span openings and are weight-bearing just like columns. 

Here are some solutions to work around beams:

    • Solution 1: Use the bottom height of beams to establish soffit heights. These soffits can be used to create visually pleasing coved/coffered ceilings.
    • Solution 2: If ceiling height and design style permits, you can establish a dropped beam pattern across the ceiling of certain spaces to hide the beams.
    • Solution 3: Again, use the bottom height of the beam to establish your ceiling height, effectively making the beam disappear altogether.
    • Solution 4: Plan your walls to line up with the beam.

Now that you have covered solutions on how to work around the columns and beams, you can move on to the next step in planning out your Basement Remodel.

Step 3: Waterproofing your basement

The next step is to determine if your basement is waterproofed, i.e. dry. If it’s anything but a resounding “yes” you will need to address this prior to starting your Basement Remodel.

Major signs that indicate you may have a waterproofing issue:

  • Watermarks or stains on the floor and/or walls
  • Efflorescence on walls or floors
  • Musty or moldy smell
  • Mold growth on items stored in the space
  • Rotten wood framing members; especially those that are in contact with masonry surfaces
  • Cracks in the walls or floors

If any of these signs are present, make sure to be diligent in remediating the issues prior to moving forward with your project. The most cost-effective and timely way to address water problems is before you start remodeling your Basement. 

It’s best to work with a professional when seeking help in addressing water problems in your basement. Don’t settle for subpar work. Remember, doing a thorough job now can prevent future issues from occurring down the road. Be smart in choosing the professional that fixes your water problems. 

Step 4: Developing a floor plan

Now you can start the exciting step of developing a new floor plan for your Basement. Two things that are important to address are your exterior walls and your stairwell walls. 

Exterior walls are what cover your foundation walls. The best thing to do is to keep them as far against the outside walls as it allows. This will maximize your usable floor space. Consider items like plumbing and water pipes, electrical wiring, and the need for access panels when planning for the walls. Keep in mind, one of the first interior walls that are generally placed is for the utility room since hiding utilities is typically a priority. Remember to take into account the code requirements for service space in front of and around the units.

Establishing your stairwell is an important aspect of your floor plan. You will need to decide a few things around your stairwell. First, do you want an enclosed or open staircase? Second, how will you utilize the space underneath the staircase? Would you want it to be a closet? Keep in mind, most codes require the underside of the staircase to be drywalled.

After the walls have been placed, take a step back and look at the remaining space. Try not to put up more walls than you need, since too many of them can restrict the usage of the space. Use a roll of masking tape and layout the placement of the interior walls to give you a feel for how the walls will impact your layout. You might also consider hiring a professional interior designer for a professional opinion on how to best utilize the space.

Step 5: Egress

For modern homes, this isn’t an issue since newer homes have a second entryway. This step applies more to older homes that never built a secondary entryway. Depending on the use of your space, you may be required to provide more egress than just two exit points. 

If you add a Bedroom to your Basement, it will require its own source of egress to the outside. It could be a door or a window, but this would be an Addition to the main egress points in other parts of the Basement

Many clients ask the question “How can we get out of complying with the code?” and this comes up when we discuss the budget. An additional means of egress to your basement can easily add $5,000 or more to the cost of the project. 

In response, we recommend that our clients instead ask “Why would I not want to comply with the code?” These regulations are intended to keep you and your family safe. 

Let’s say you are in a situation where you and your family need to get out of the Basement quickly but two of the exits are blocked. Wouldn’t investing in the extra egress make sense? Your family’s protection is a priority and with the addition of egress, it will ensure that your family can get to safety and be protected in case of an emergency.  

Finished walk out basement remodel

Step 6: Enjoy your new space!

So there you are relaxing in your Kitchen on a Monday morning when you notice that something seems off. You don’t hear hammers, power saws or drills. None of the workers came up to grab some coffee and the fresh batch of cookies you left out is untouched. Then it finally hits you that the carpenters and painters finished the project up on Friday afternoon. Your new Basement is ready to be enjoyed!

Hopefully, the project has been completed just the way you envisioned it would look. After the contractor has handed the project over to you, make sure to take the time and do the following:

  1. Take a walk through the new Basement with your contract in hand, along with any and all additional work orders. Make sure to note any discrepancies or deviations that need to be addressed. 
  2. Look over any outstanding items that need to be completed at a time yet to be determined. You should receive this detailed list in writing, accompanied by a financial commitment and a timeframe for completion, as well as who is responsible for the completion of each of the outstanding items.
  3. Visit and look over each space to make sure it’s similar to what you envisioned.
  4. Enjoy and embrace your beautiful new space! Enjoy the time you spend there, as that’s why you did the project in the first place.
  5. Throw a grand opening party. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing guests enjoying the environment that you created.

Does this guide have you feeling ready for a Basement Remodel of your own? Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll be there for you every step of the way so you can be enjoying your beautiful new basement in no time. 

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