How To Get The Maximum Return on Investment With Your NJ Kitchen Remodel

You’ve decided that you and your family are ready to move. You got a job offer somewhere else, you’re ready to retire, or you just want to be closer to extended family. Whatever your reason, it’s important to make sure your home is ready to be sold.

Sellers are always looking to get the best price for their homes. If you could sell your home for top dollar, why wouldn’t you? That’s why updates to the home are the best way to make sure that you will get the highest offers possible during the sale.

One of the best rooms in your home to update if you want to get more money is the kitchen. Investing in your kitchen is pretty much guaranteed to add value to your home, and an 82.7% return on investment (ROI) can be expected from even small kitchen remodeling.

Don’t know where to get started while updating your kitchen? That’s okay! Here are some awesome kitchen remodeling ideas.

Get Advice

HGTV advises that you speak to professional real estate agents in your area when considering a kitchen renovation design. They have a great understanding of what buyers in the area are looking for. They can tell you what attracts buyers, as well as what repels them. The advice they give you will kickstart your kitchen renovation makeover. For instance, should you invest in sleek, modern appliances or vintage shiplap?

Keep it simple

Although you are probably coming up with kitchen remodeling ideas that are personalized to your taste, you have to remember what is going to add resale value. Neutral colors are typically the best choices for your new kitchen. In addition, try not to pick patterns or textures that are too loud or busy for the typical buyer. You want to make sure your designs will appeal to a wide array of buyers, so not choosing very specific designs is ideal.

Open Concept

If you have ever watched any home improvement shows, ever, all buyers and sellers talk about is an open concept. That’s the biggest trend right now in home design. If you have the ability to open up the space in your kitchen to make it feel bigger, or even open it up to the living or dining room with a bar space, do it. Buyers will love it.

Don’t Go Over the Top

Designers and contractors for a kitchen remodel alike will tell you not to go too crazy when picking features. Do you really need to spend 10 times the amount on cabinets because it’s necessary, or is it for luxury? Don’t risk spending too much on the renovation and not getting the ROI you want.

If you’re looking for kitchen remodeling ideas, remember these tips and tricks to make your kitchen look the best for resale.

Decorating Your New Jersey Home for the Holidays

It’s true the holiday season is upon us and the anxieties of preparing your home are ever present, especially in the ever competitive Garden State. Since we know Here are some hints to help you gain more storage and maximize space for the holidays. Now is as good a time as any to think about how clutter actually affects you.

Many of us waste hours of valuable time each season, in our own homes, hunting for packed away decorations, or even those gifts we purchased throughout the year and now need to wrap! We anguish over our messy surroundings knowing that soon we’ll have a house full of family and friends, and we wonder how we can possibly get it all together in time. This increases our stress levels causing strain on our health, lack of focus and clarity, irritability, and even depression. Clutter doesn’t give you the space needed to receive the support and comfort that is necessary in life.

Let’s start with the kitchen. Junk drawers can be a hassle or they can be a resource. Because these drawers are frequently used by the people in our homes, making them organized is key, that way it is easy for everyone to put things away after use. Have you noticed that getting things out is easier than putting things away? In the resource drawer, the key to organizing clutter is to have plenty of containers in various sizes, depending on your needs. Check out your utensil drawer or holder. Are there utensils you never use that just contribute to the clutter? Are there too many spatulas and pancake turners? Are any broken, stained, or rusty that could be thrown away to create more room in your drawer or holder? If your utensils are in a drawer, install a divider to keep them contained in one place so they don’t slide all over.

Organize the rest of your kitchen by type of space. Premium spaces are those that can be easily accessed and store items that are used on a daily basis. The dishes you use about once a week, place in a secondary space. And dishes you use about once a year, such as holiday dishes, place in semi-storage so you know where they are but they aren’t visible on a regular basis.

Now let’s focus on streamlining the bathroom. All too often bathrooms fall short on storage space, and items become cluttered. Use our bathroom storage solutions to keep this highly trafficked room tidy, orderly, and looking great. By optimizing the available storage and keeping basic necessities in plain sight, visitors can easily navigate the bathroom to find what they need. Start by clearing off all of your bathroom surfaces. Next, decide which items you can toss and which can be stored away in a closet or drawer. Then, organize the essentials you want to keep out for easy access.

On a vanity, set out a folded hand towel and a collection of your essential toiletries on a decorative dish next to the sink. Plastic or acrylic dishes are inexpensive, unbreakable, and easy to wash. Use the top of the toilet tank as a resting spot for a slim basket filled with holiday hand towels, soap, lotion, mouthwash, and other everyday needs. Keep a basket in a bathroom closet or under the sink that is filled with other items like extra hand towels, toiletries, air fresheners, and toilet paper so you can easily and quickly replenish those that have been used-up. Whether your bathroom is large, small, or in between, you can use our tips to organize a frequently used bathroom and store various necessities in attractive and useful ways.

Bathroom spaces can be tricky, especially when they are small, but creating zones and maximizing storage will help immensely. Keep clean towels visible. Use shelving to provide guests with the access they need to certain items. Baskets can provide texture and flare to a space while providing additional storage. To best maximize a small space like this, put yourself in your guest’s shoes and visualize their needs.

When your home becomes hectic during the holiday season, simple and straightforward organization really comes in handy. Transform your home into a haven for you, your family, and your guests with special, organized touches. By simply creating a home that is efficiently organized, more than half of all housework can be eliminated. Instead of stressing during the holidays, you can thoroughly enjoy spending time with your loved ones.

Make Your Bathroom Feel Twice as Spacious With These 3 Tips

A remodel in any part of your home can be frustrating, especially if you’re not quite sure what to do with it. The design options are potentially limitless if you can figure out a way to achieve them. However, if you’re unsure of how to go about tackling a certain project then things can get complicated.

A remodel without a plan is a remodel that takes twice as long to finish. The best thing you can do in any remodel situation is to plan first and then execute with contingency plans in place for the surprises. If you’re stuck on what you want to do with your bathroom design, for instance, gather some ideas ahead of time before you start the demo. There are several options such as a retro bathroom, or a spa bathroom. You’ll just need to decide ahead of time. This is especially true for smaller bathrooms, since you’ll have less space to work with.

There are ways to increase the spacial feel of your bathroom, and reaching out to a contractor or renovation company would be a good call to make. If you want to try some DIY bathroom remodeling ideas to make your bathroom feel bigger, then here are some tips for you to try out.

  1. Clean Walls: Take down anything protruding from the walls like towel racks or shelving. Not only will this create actual space, it will add to the overall feeling.
  2. Clear Shower Enclosures: Adding clear walls to your shower can be a great way to increase the perceived capacity of your bathroom. The transparent barriers add visual space even though it doesn’t really exist. Semitransparent or translucent shower enclosures may also work but will not be nearly as effective. In addition, the majority of homeowners (79%) prefer glass shower enclosures.
  3. Small Vanity: Even though it can be a sacrifice, choosing a smaller vanity is a good idea for those cramped bathrooms. This is one of those bathroom ideas that can be a double-edged sword; your bathroom feels bigger but you lose counter space. If it’s a guest bathroom or half-bath, then a small vanity probably wouldn’t be too much of a compromise.

For more information about remodeling your New Jersey bathroom, contact Flansburg Construction today!

Winter Maintenance Tips For Your Home

For many homeowners, it is that time of year to prepare your number one asset for the upcoming winter, “your home.”

The tips that will be suggested could extend the life of your furnace, boiler or home and prevent costly repairs. Taking just a little bit of your time will payoff dividends in the long run.

Heating System (Preventive Maintenance)
  • Have your furnace or boiler checked and serviced or tuned up by a licensed contractor before the heating season begins.
  • Clean or replace the furnace filter on forced hot air systems.
  • Have your chimney checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year.
  • Pay close attention to having creosote build-up removed from chimneys servicing woodstoves and fireplaces.
Insulation
  • Add extra insulation. Adding insulation is not only for comfort, but can also help prevent ice dams. This happens when too much heat escapes into the attic, warms the ice and snow on your roof. When this melting occurs and refreezes it can cause an ice damn which can lead to water damage inside your home. Ice dams generally form at the gutter line and will work back up under the shingles of your roof.
  • Apply new weather stripping to your exterior doors if needed and caulk windows to prevent against heat loss and drafts.
  • Install storm windows on storm doors and windows if needed.
Safety Measures
  • Change the batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.Test the units to make sure they are in working condition. Replace the units if they are not functioning properly
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of obstructions to ensure the proper flow of water to prevent water damage.
  • Repair steps as needed to keep safe during ice and snow.
Utilities
  • Protect pipes in crawl spaces or unfinished areas by either insulating or shutting off the water to the pipes not in use such as hose bibs. You can also search thermostatically controlled heat tape for certain pipe applications. Please read manufacturers specifications if using this product to ensure this will work for your particular situation.

Moisture in Basements

This is a problem that can cause damage to your health and home

Moisture problems in existing basements are common, but often not understood or properly treated. If your basement is unfinished this may not present a great problem.

Finishing a basement prior to dealing with a moisture problem can result in creating health problems or lead to damage to your house as well. This could take form in molds or mildews.

Basement water problems are solvable, but this comes with a cost to have it done right. It is best to contact a professional to evaluate the water issues you may be experiencing.

Understanding The Problem

To correct the problem you must first understand where the water is coming from. There are 3 sources of moisture.

1. Water from rain or ground water.

2. Interior moisture sources such as humidifiers, unvented clothes dyers, bathrooms and cooking, or moisture in concrete after construction.

3. Exterior humid air that enters the basement and condenses on cooler surfaces.

Basement Moisture Sources

In one inch of rain, 1,250 gallons of water falls on the roof of a 2,000 square foot house.

Without proper grading, gutters and downspouts, some of this water flows into the basement. Below grade the water table can also rise due to flooding or seasonal conditions.

Typical Causes of Moisture Problems in Basements

1. Poor or inadequate grading: If the ground level slopes toward the basement the water will be directed in. Solution: The grade around the house needs to be sloped at least one inch per foot for no less than 6 feet from foundation wall.

2. Defective or missing gutters: Without proper drainage from your gutters and downspouts, rainwater can be directed toward the foundation perimeter. Solution: Place a minimum of one downspout per 50 lineal feet of roof eve. Extensions to the downspouts should extend at least four feet from the wall.

3. Window wells: This can be a source of entry for water if improperly built. Water will be directed toward rather than away from the foundation. Solution: Window wells should be filled from the footing to the window sill with 3/4″ coarse aggregate. This will allow the water to disburse properly along with proper slope away from foundation.

The examples above are just a couple of potential problems that may be related to the moisture problem you may be experiencing. Other areas to watch are ineffective drainage systems, and structural cracks in the foundation walls.

It is recommended to remove interior moisture sources, then evaluate the gutters, downspouts and grading around the house. With those items corrected first could take care of the issue easily. If the problem persists then proceed with an interior or exterior drainage system.Keep in mind that all exterior drainage systems must drain to a sump that can be pumped back out. The sump  must have an airtight, childproof cover.

How to Clean a Dishwasher

It’s tempting to think that your dishwasher gets a good cleaning every time you run it through a cycle, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Here’s how to keep it sparkling clean, sweet smelling, and effective.

At first, the idea of cleaning a dishwasher—an appliance that fills with suds and water on an almost daily basis—may seem a bit strange. But think of it this way: You regularly maintain your vacuum, right? Well, the dishwasher isn’t dissimilar. Whereas there, the sucked-up dust and debris are what threaten to clog and hinder the performance of your vacuum, food scraps, soap scum, and stubborn grease are what can compromise your dishwasher. Even if you installed the unit pretty recently, you should know how to clean a dishwasher in order to maximize its efficiency.

MATERIALS
– Rubber gloves
– Dishwasher safe container
– White vinegar
– Unsweetened lemonade mix (optional)
– Baking soda
– Bleach (optional)

STEP 1: Detach the dishwasher’s bottom rack.

Access the dishwasher drain by pulling out the detachable bottom rack. Thoroughly examine this crucial area, and remove any gunk or chunks you find by glove-covered hand. (These not only impede drainage but can also damage the appliance.)

STEP 2: Run a cycle with nothing but one cup of vinegar.

Fill a dishwasher-safe container with one cup of white vinegar, and place it on the upper rack of the otherwise empty machine. A natural cleaner with many talents, white vinegar takes care of two big problems that often plague dishwashers: clogs and smells. Count on it to cut grease that may line walls from previous loads of dirty dishes, clear away old detergent build-up, and even dissolve mineral deposits—all of which could one day clog the plumbing and cause your appliance to underperform. The fact it neutralizes food odors so that your dishwasher won’t smell is practically a bonus!

Close the door and run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. Once the vinegar has worked its magic, you should open the door to a clean dishwasher—all grease and grime washed away, and any musty odors that may have been present now removed.

Note: You can use a package of unsweetened lemonade mix rather than vinegar to achieve similar results when you clean a dishwasher. Its citric acid works similar to vinegar in cutting through lingering food particles. Look for this in the list of ingredients, and remember to stick with regular lemonade, though; flavored options can leave stains.

STEP 3: Complete a short rinse cycle with baking soda.

Now sprinkle a cupful of baking soda across the bottom of the appliance, then run it on a short hot-water cycle. Whatever food smells weren’t wiped out with vinegar will be absorbed by the baking soda, the same way they are when you place a box of Arm & Hammer in the fridge. The slightly abrasive nature of baking soda will act like a scrub, to boot! When the cycle’s done, you should notice that your fresh-smelling dishwasher now boasts a brightened, stain-free interior.

STEP 4 (optional): If there’s mold or mildew leftover, consider a cycle with bleach.

Has your dishwasher suffered a vicious attack from nasty mold? While vinegar will kill mildew, some dire cases may need the harsher cleansing power of bleach. Add a bowl filled with one cup of bleach to the bottom of the basin, then run the machine on a full cycle—that is, unless the interior of your dishwasher contains stainless steel, in which case you should completely avoid the use of bleach. Bleach and stainless steel are not friends. If your dishwasher with stainless steel parts still has a mildew problem after following this how-to, repeat a vinegar cycle as instructed in Step 2.

STEP 5: Add this routine clean to your calendar.

Repeat the above steps every one to two months, and you’re likely to add years of service to the machine that tackles your least favorite chore.

Keeping Your Dishwasher Clean

Now that you know how to clean your dishwasher, perhaps the best way to keep it this way is to treat it with basic respect and consideration day in and day out—after all, the machine isn’t invincible. Observing a set of simple usage guidelines can help you wring the best possible performance from this workhorse appliance, even as you prolong its lifespan.

• The dishwasher shares a drain with the kitchen sink, so if you have a garbage disposal, run it before washing the dishes to ensure that the drain is clear.

• It’s smart to conserve electricity and water by running the dishwasher only when it’s full, but resist the temptation to pile dishes too high or too tightly. This prevents the sudsy water from traveling around all sides of each dish and getting your load completely clean.

• Don’t prewash dishes too thoroughly before adding them to the dishwasher. For detergent to do its job effectively, there needs to be a certain amount of grease and food residue present. Otherwise, the detergent simply creates foam during the wash cycle, and that excess can be detrimental to the appliance.