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Kitchen Renovation

Bathroom Remodeling Now Can Cost at Least Ten Percent Less

Everything seems to be working to the advantage of homeowners who want to remodel their homes right now. A bad economy is driving prices down, some contractors and skilled workers are reducing their rates to stay busy, and there are rebates, tax credits and tax exemptions available for energy-efficient products. When you add up all of the opportunities to save, bathroom remodeling now can cost at least ten percent less.
There are four important ways to save money by remodeling your bathrooms now. In fact, the incentives could make it possible for you to upgrade your bathrooms in ways you never imagined!
First, shop carefully and compare prices on everything you need for the project. The crisis in the housing market, combined with a bad economy, has driven down prices of many building materials. For example:
> Lumber and plywood prices are at a thirteen-year low.
> Cabinetry manufacturers have seen sales drop by as much as 40% in the last couple of years and are offering discounts of as much as 50%.
> Drywall prices are down.
> Floor covering prices are being discounted by 10% or more
Shop carefully for the right contractor for your project and keep in mind that many top-notch contractors are discounting their prices now. Learn everything you can abouthow to save money when you remodel. You can get higher quality materials and workmanship for a lower cost. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunities.
Second, choose environmentally-friendly product options and take advantage of Federal tax credits. The Economic Recovery Act provides for homeowner tax credits of 30% of the cost of qualifying items for their remodeling (up to a total tax credit of $1,500 per year). Several items you might need in your remodel include:
> Either install a storm window over your bathroom windows or upgrade to high-efficiency UV-coated windows.
> Add an energy-efficient skylight or roof window.
> Upgrade to better insulation in the walls.
> Choose an energy-efficient spa tub with inline heater.
> Install an instant tankless water heater for the bathroom.
> Put the bathrooms on a separate super-efficient water heater, or upgrade the whole house to a solar water heater.
Third, check on State tax credits, as well as rebates and other incentives from utility companies. Most states offer sales tax exemptions, rebates or personal or real estate tax deductions for energy-efficient appliances. Many utility companies also offer an array of financing options, credits and rebates for energy-efficient appliance, lighting and other items. Local water companies also frequently offer rebates or lower rates for homeowners who install water-saving plumbing fixtures. To find out what is available in your city, visit and call your water company.
Finally, once the remodel is complete, enjoy the comfort of your new bathrooms and the knowledge that your choice of efficient products will continue to save you money by reducing your utility bills for as long as you own your home. Choosing energy-efficient and water-saving items for your bathroom remodel will result in lower bills every month, and you will be helping to save the environment.
Shop wisely, looking for bargains, choose environmentally-friendly products, take full advantage of tax credits and other incentives, and discover how bathroom remodeling now can cost at least ten percent less.
Copyright 2009 by ABCD Publishing…

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Kitchen Renovation

Green Kitchen: Tips For Going Green In The Kitchen

Today, we need to keep the environment in mind in most everything we do and that includes remodeling and building especially in the kitchen which is the room in the home that gets the most use. If you are either building a house that needs a kitchen design, or you are in the midst of a kitchen remodeling project, trying to be eco-friendly should be part of your plans. Here are a few green kitchen tips you might want to consider:
Cork, Bamboo or Recycled Flooring: When it comes to green kitchen tips, your choosing an eco friendly kitchen flooring can go a long way towards being green. Consider using a cork, bamboo or some other type of natural or recycled flooring product. There are a number of options out there, and most are very durable. The most readily available recycled flooring is a rubber flooring. These are made of 80 – 100% post consumer product including tires. Rubber floors are extremely durable and come in a variety of colors and styles. Cork and bamboo, while not recycled, both offer quickly renewable products that don’t require deforestation of millions of trees to produce these types of floors. Both cork and bamboo are natural products as well.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring: If you prefer an older, more traditional or even antique look, you might want to consider reclaimed wood flooring which will give you a traditional look in your eco friendly kitchen. This is exactly what it sounds like; used wood that has been removed from another house or building, then reconditioned and made ready to install in your home. For the rich warmth of aged wood, this product can provide the look without destroying more trees.
Eco-friendly Lighting: When it comes to going green in the kitchen, you should choose your lighting carefully. When you choose the lighting for your new or remodeled kitchen, you can use products that will keep to the green theme. First, look to the types of bulbs you will use. Fixtures that have CFL bulbs rather than incandescent bulbs use one quarter of the power. LED lights can reduce energy consumption by 80-90%. Lamps and fixtures that use LED lights are usually built exclusively for that type of bulb. CFL bulbs can be used in any fixture that accepts a regular incandescent bulb. In addition to artificial lights, also consider the use of skylights and sufficient amounts of energy efficient windows in your plan. By making natural light readily available in your kitchen, you can significantly reduce the need for artificial light sources, at least during the day. You may also want to consider solar powered options for lighting.
Recycled Counter Tops: One of my favorite green kitchen tips is recycled glass counter tops which are quickly becoming a popular product for use in kitchens. These glass counter tops are very durable, and have a variety of styles that actually mimic the look of granite and marble. They are a mixture of recycled glass with a concrete base, or resins that are non-petroleum based that can be used for safe and beautiful eco-friendly kitchen countertops.
Energy Efficient Appliances: One of the most talked about ways of going green in the kitchen is to by energy efficient appliances. When you are ready to outfit your kitchen with new appliances, be sure to look for appliances that are marked with the energy saver labeling. All large appliances are now energy rated, so you will be able to comparison shop for the most efficient ones out there.
Solar Power: While many people think that solar energy only comes in the form of a whole-house system that includes panels that cover the roof of your home, there are other options that can provide solar power for efficient applications that are much less complicated. Rather than taking on the large scale solar conversion for all your electric needs, you could consider a small solar system that runs your water heater to take care of all your hot water needs which can help add to your eco friendly kitchen design. These systems are compact, and designed to work exclusively on your electric hot water heater system. This type of system costs only a fraction of what a whole-house solar system costs, and can save you hundreds of dollars per year off your electric bill.
Once you have your new eco-friendly kitchen in place, there are a few things you can do every day to be more eco-friendly and live a greener life in your kitchen:
Use Fabric, Not Paper Whenever Possible: This goes for shopping as well as kitchen clean-up. When you do your grocery shopping, opt for fabric, reusable bags to carry home your purchases. This keeps literally tons of plastic and paper out of the landfills each year. Another fabric …

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Kitchen Renovation

Should You Install a Shower Stall?

Most homes in America have a bathtub that doubles as a shower. Not that many homes have a separate shower stall and a separate bathtub. You may be remodeling your bathroom and feel that it would be a nice option to have a separate shower stall rather than a combined shower/bath.
Your first consideration when thinking of installing a separate shower stall in addition to your bathtub is whether you have enough room. If you are doing a major bathroom remodel then you can plan it down on paper, all the measurements of the various items like the shower, bath, toilet and cabinets so that you can fit these items in your bathroom.
If you’re not doing a major bathroom remodel, you’ll have to evaluate any spare space you have in the bathroom, measure it up, and do some research to find a shower stall with those dimensions that will fit easily into the bathroom.
Once you have your measurements for your new shower stall it’s time to go shopping. You can find complete shower stalls at most home improvement stores. These usually come with a molded shower floor and walls and the shower door. These all in one shower stalls are quite easy to install as everything you need is built into it.
However you may want to make use of the tiles you’ve already got laid on your bathroom floor and use those as the shower floor. You’d obviously have to put in a drain and build up the sides of the area to create the base of the shower, and then buy some sliding doors to finish it off.
This entails a lot more work than just buying the all in one shower stall, so it comes down to weighing up the amount of money you have to spend versus the amount of time you have to build a shower from the ground up yourself, or have it done for the professionally.…