Tag Archives: kitchen remodel

Kitchen Remodel: Homeowners Guide to Countertop Choices

Kitchen renovations are among the most popular home improvement projects. In most homes, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms, making it an obvious area of focus when the time comes to upgrade. Remodeling the kitchen is also a great way to boost the resale value of your home, and when it’s done with care, you can even generate a positive return on your investment in the form of appreciation.

If you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen, chances are you’re looking long and hard at your countertop options. A kitchen’s counters are one of its most visible elements, and you’ll need a good balance of beauty and practicality, while not breaking the bank. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most popular options to help you narrow down your list of possibilities.

Kitchen Remodel: Homeowners Guide to Countertop Choices by Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement

Performance Characteristics of Popular Countertop Materials

It’s important to look beyond the surface when evaluating the various materials on the market. A certain option might look great, but it may not be the best fit from a performance standpoint.

Here’s the low-down on 10 popular countertop materials:

  • Bamboo. This environmentally friendly option looks great, especially when it’s new. However, moisture can warp it, making it a poor choice for use near sinks. It’s also easily damaged and stained, so you’ll have to take extra precautions to protect it.
  • Butcher block. Like bamboo, butcher block isn’t a great idea near sinks, as water can damage it. However, it is an economical option for larger areas, especially if you like the look of natural wood. It also has outstanding stain resistance characteristics.
  • Concrete. Excellent at resisting moisture, concrete is also very stain-resistant. However, heat can damage it, and it can also crack and chip easily. Expensive, but worth the investment if you take care of it.
  • Granite. This is one of the most popular options for a reason: granite is extremely versatile, and holds up very well under practically all usage conditions. It’s also available in a broad range of colors and patterns, making it easy to match with any design scheme.
  • Laminate. Be sure a cutting board and this economical option will never let you down. Knives will damage it, but otherwise, it holds up well against heat, stains, and moisture.
  • Limestone. If your counter is serving a more decorative than functional purpose, limestone is worth considering. However, it’s not the most practical option for everyday use and heavy wear and tear, as it scratches easily. Limestone does excel at resisting heat, though.
  • Marble. Another premium option, marble is fantastic as long as you’re careful not to chip or crack it…and it tends to chip quite easily, so proceed with caution.
  • Quartz. Designed to look like stone, quartz is a high-performing option with very few drawbacks. It’s easy to care for and maintain, and resists abrasions, chipping, heat, and moisture with ease.
  • Recycled glass. Another eco-friendly option, recycled glass is prone to chipping, but otherwise, it performs well and is a great way to add a colorful, vibrant feel to any kitchen.
  • Soapstone. While it can chip, scratch, and stain easily, soapstone is highly resistant to heat and looks dazzling, especially when it’s new.

Still not sure? A home renovation expert or professional contractor can help you sift through options and decide which style will work best for you.

Whether you need to upgrade your kitchen, add a bath or paint your interiors, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience in residential construction & home improvement.

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote

Build the kitchen of your dreams!

Get your no-obligation quote!

5 Kitchen Renovation Tips from Your Home Improvement Contractor

Kitchens are among the most visible areas of a home, and they can have a profound effect on the property’s resale value. These are two of the leading reasons why kitchen renovations are one of the most popular home improvement projects.

Budgets are always a factor when it comes to renovating a kitchen. Knowing where to spend and where to save is one of the keys to success.  The good news is, you should be able to recoup most of your remodeling costs at resale.

5 Kitchen Renovation Tips from Your Home Improvement Contractor

Every kitchen renovation project should start with a thorough plan. There are many things to consider including remodel goals, budget, looks and functionality.

It may seem daunting at first, but once you find a great local contractors for the job, they can guide you through the process and even offer insider tips on how to maximize storage, smart substitutions for high-end materials.

The five tips below, curated from leading professionals, will help you get started!

5 Kitchen Renovation Tips from Your Home Improvement Contractor

A quick kitchen facelift, or a full reboot?

Before you begin, decide whether you want to focus on cosmetic improvements that improve the look of the space, or a full renovation that actually changes the configuration of your kitchen. Cosmetic improvements are cheaper and easier to carry out, but if your kitchen suffers from a lack of functionality, you might benefit more in the long run by investing in a complete reboot.

If you decide to just spruce up your kitchen with a quick facelift, here are some suggestions for areas to focus on:

  • Cabinet exteriors and hardware
  • Countertops
  • Chrome and water fixtures
  • Flooring
  • Lighting

Refinishing your cabinetry, adding new cabinet knobs and hardware, and replacing your aging countertop or dull backsplash can make a dramatic difference for a relatively small investment. The same is true of your chrome surfaces, water fixtures, and flooring. Upgrading your lighting can transform the feel of the space in exciting ways.

Invest in quality appliances

If you do decide to invest in a more significant renovation, replacing your appliances is the first upgrade you should consider, especially if your existing ones are old or inefficient. Renovation and interior design experts usually say that the stove serves as the centerpiece of your kitchen, as far as appliances go. It will attract attention, so it’s an area where you may want to give appearance and performance equal amounts of consideration.

Upgrading to new appliances also holds the potential to save you a great deal of money on energy and operational costs. Technological advancements that improve performance and energy efficiency can make a substantial difference. These savings can really add up, or even cover the retail price of the appliances you bought.

Functionality first

In kitchens, efficiency rules. Before committing to any design plan, think carefully about how you use the space when you’re in it, and base your ideas on ways to improve functionality. The fridge should be within easy reach of your main food preparation area, for example. Flooring and backsplashes should be made from resilient, easy-to-clean materials like tile.

Remember the “golden rule” for kitchens

On a related note, remember the “golden rule” for kitchen design: the main sink and faucet should form a tight, compact triangle with your stove and fridge. These three elements dominate usage patterns in most kitchens, so be sure to pay careful attention to how they work together as you plan and execute your remodeling.

Your remodeling contractor can rearrange the placement of your appliances, reconfigure your water and electrical lines, add or remove walls/cabinets, etc. If it can be imagined, it most likely can be done. Plan the smartest kitchen layout, then calculate if you have the resources to get there.

Lighting things up

Recessed lighting is trendy in kitchens, but there are other configurations that may actually be more functional. The key is to give yourself plenty of task lighting, or bright lights that effectively illuminate the areas where most of your food prep takes place. Overhead lighting is an excellent option, and there are plenty of ways to incorporate style and flair.

Finally, remember that cabinets can interfere with lighting, so adding some lights below your wall-mounted storage areas can really improve things if you have cabinets hanging over your counter space.

Whether you need to upgrade your kitchen, add a bath or paint your interiors, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience in residential construction & home improvement.

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

Build the kitchen of your dreams!

Get your no-obligation quote!

6 Save Vs. Splurge Kitchen Remodeling Tips

6 Save Vs. Splurge Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Budgetary constraints often force homeowners to make difficult renovation decisions, particularly while remodeling the kitchen.

One common strategy to extract maximum value from limited resources is the “save versus splurge” model, which stresses high-impact but economical choices for the majority of the kitchen’s elements while reserving funds for a few key splurge items.

Planning the renovation then becomes a matter of deciding where to save and where to splurge.

6 Save Vs. Splurge Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Here are some proven tips, culled from a cross-section of home renovation experts:

1. Plan with care. Take a big-picture view during the planning process. Don’t commit resources to any single area, such as appliances, counters or cabinets, before performing a thorough analysis that takes all the elements to be renovated into careful account. Once started, avoid changing your mind. Choose timeless style for a kitchen that never expires , especially if you’re planning on selling in the near future – natural stones and neutral-colored tile work and sell well.

2 Identify what’s important. If you’re looking for a good return on investment, bigger is not necessary better. Mid-range kitchen upgrades fair much better than over the top overhauls.

Instead of simply indulging your desires, focus on what’s important to you and your family. Foodies and avid cooks can justify and investment in professional-grade ovens and cooktops to boost the kitchen’s functionality. If aesthetics are a primary concern, leave more room in the budget for premium-quality cabinets, countertops and other elements that draw the eye. And for busy families the priority might be functionality or more storage. Bottom line: Your remodel should center around your unique needs and style, not the latest trend.

3. Research appliance options. While it’s important to balance appliance spending against elements like counters, cabinets and flooring, the key is to consider factors like warranty protections and energy efficiency alongside the actual up-front cost of appliances.

Buying higher-quality appliances that use less energy can save money in the long run – aim for unified look that adds appeal. Stainless steel appliances can also add value when it comes to attracting future buyers.

4. Invest in visibility. As a general rule of thumb, the more visible a particular element is, the more consideration it should get as a potential splurge item. The condition of the kitchen has a major impact on a home’s resale value, so investing in elements that garner the most visual attention can really pay off down the road.

Things like countertops and cabinets are often the first thing people see when they enter your kitchen and so those elements deserve extra attention. If your cabinets are still in good working order and the layout works well, you can restore, repaint or replace doors. Resurfacing your old cabinets can save a lot of money while still dramatically changing the look of your kitchen. And if you have an island, choose a statement surface like granite with a beautiful pattern, while installing laminate everywhere else.

5. Save on floor. By and large, functionality outranks visual appeal in importance when it comes to kitchen flooring – so this is one aspect of a kitchen remodel where it’s smart to save. That being said, choose a waterproof, low-maintenance and economical flooring option with neutral visual characteristics. There are tons of options—reclaimed wood, porcelain, bamboo, engineered cork, luxury vinyls, rubber—that won’t break the budget.

6. Splurge on accessories and accentuations. While it isn’t generally the wisest idea to invest heavily in accessories and accentuations, sometimes the smallest items can add the biggest bang. Knobs, pulls and handles can refresh the look of an entire kitchen for cheap. An attractive sink and faucet, under-cabinet lighting fixtures or a stunning window treatment are all great ways to add value without braking the bank.

While there are endless ways to apply the “save versus splurge” model, keeping its general principles in mind is a good idea when drawing up a renovation plan and setting a budget.

Professional guidance can also illuminate many other possibilities, so don’t hesitate to discuss your ideas with a contractor if you’re not going the DIY route.

Whether you need to upgrade your kitchen, add a bath or paint your interiors, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience in residential construction & home improvement.

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

Build a home you want

Get your no-obligation quote!