Expert tips for updating your kitchen and bath

If you like your current neighborhood and are generally happy with your house but find some of the rooms in your home lacking, you may be a good candidate for a remodeling project. You'll probably find it simpler to remodel your current home than to try to get what you want by buying another home. Perhaps the kitchen doesn't have the counter space you'd like or your cabinets may be old and dingy and in serious need of replacement. The shower and tub area in one of the bathrooms may have seen better days or the vanity might never have been to your liking but you've just let it slide all these years.

If you're thinking about doing a kitchen or bath remodel or perhaps being bold and updating both the kitchen and one or more bathrooms, this can be a fun and rewarding project. It can also be pricey, of course, but most things in life that are truly worthwhile require some financial sacrifice. You may find the following tips and advice helpful once you've decided that it's time to start transforming your stale, boring house into your dream home.  

Get Inspiration Wherever You Can Find it

Given the excitement you undoubtedly have at the idea of a kitchen or bath remodel, you probably don't even need to be told to do this part. Your first inclination has probably been to peruse websites and home magazines and browse pictures of kitchen and bath layouts to get ideas for your home. Figuring out what you really want to do with the space in your home can be the most fun part of the process, so enjoy every moment of it. Beyond simply looking at pictures and layouts, you'll also want to go out to showrooms and talk to designers in order to get ideas and explore the practicality of any tentative plans you may have.  

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Aim High and Bite Off a Piece at a Time

You spend a lot of time in your home, so you should consider making a fairly serious investment in transforming it into your ideal living space. You've undoubtedly looked at kitchen or bath layouts on websites and in magazines, and they've inspired various desires for what you'd like to do in your home.

If money is an issue, which it will be for most people on a major project like this, you may want to plan big and then do it a portion at a time. Prioritize various aspects of the remodel based on what you feel needs changing the most. You may have some ideal cabinets in mind, but in the event that your countertops are all scratched and scraped from years of use and abuse, they might need to be changed first. You may also want to look into securing financing if you wish to begin the remodel before you have the cash on hand. A home equity loan may be something to look into since you'll probably get a good rate because it's secured by your home.  

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Create a Checklist for Your Remodel

Since a home remodeling project is a fairly major undertaking, you'll want to plan it out thoroughly. Having a checklist on hand for what you want to do and the steps you want to do them in can be invaluable. From visiting remodeling product showrooms to meeting with your designer to any number of other steps, you want to make sure you're organized.  

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Focus on Updates That Also Enhance the Home's Value

If you're planning to keep the house for at least a few more years, then your enjoyment of the updated spaces in your kitchen and bath should, of course, be the primary motivation behind the designs and products you select. That said, some remodels will add more value to your home than others. You may be selling the house some day and kitchen remodels are the top return-on-investment project that any homeowner can engage in. Bathroom remodels can be a close second. These rooms happen to be more expensive to update than most with all the plumbing, countertops, vanities and appliances. At least you'll have peace of mind knowing that you'll also get a little more for the house if you sell it in a few years

Also, certain upgrades within your kitchen remodel can have a greater effect on your home's resale value. For example, high-quality stainless steel appliances are highly sought after by potential home buyers. Functional features like pantry drawers and waste-recycling cabinetry also appeal to the masses, which means they'll catch more buyers' eyes when looking at the kitchen.  

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Don't Try to Go It Alone

A home remodel is a major project, and unless you happen to run a home renovation business, you'll want to get professional help. An excellent example of a company that helps homeowners with this type of project is Lang's Kitchen & Bath located in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

You can start by browsing the "kitchens gallery" on their website and then visit their design showroom. After getting inspiration for what you'd like to accomplish, their designers then learn all they can about how you want the desired space in your home transformed. They will then ascertain your budget and make design, product and installation suggestions within that budget. Wherever your home is located, you need to find professionals in your area because kitchen and bath remodeling is not cheap, and you want to make sure it is done right.

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Enjoy the Process

Look at the whole process as an adventure rather than a job. It may seem tedious at times with all the running around you have to do to showrooms and meeting with contractors or installers, but keep your eye on the prize at the end of it all. When it's all done, you'll have your own dream kitchen, bath or whatever room it is you're having redone, and you'll have years of enjoyment out of it. If you've done it well, you'll also find you've added value to your home.

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