12 February 2009

Calculating The Kitchen Budget

5% to 15% Rule
The entire kitchen project (including cabinets, appliances, Countertops, flooring, lighting, trim molding, & wall coverings) should cost no less than 5% and no more than 15% of the current value of your home ... with approximately 50% of the total cost allocated for cabinets (including accessories and trim).

5% to 15% Rule
$200,000 House
% of Value Project Estimate
5%$10,000
8%*$16,000
15%$30,000
$300,000 House
% of Value Project Estimate
5%$15,000
8%*$24,000
15%$45,000
$400,000 House
% of ValueProject Estimate
5%$20,000
8%*$32,000
15%$60,000
$500,000 House
% of Value Project Estimate
5%$25,000
8%*$40,000
15%$75,000

The High-End Custom Kitchen
Those who want only the best, will find that the use of custom made cabinets, professional appliances, extensive wood moldings, granite/stone Countertops, and high-end materials along with features such as a butler's pantry will greatly increase the cost of the kitchen, rendering the typical budget percentages inappropriate.
The total cost of high-end custom kitchen should not exceed 20% of the current market value of the house. Spending more could reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

High-End Kitchen - Maximum Budget - 20%
$500,000 House
% of Value Project Estimate
20%$100,000
$750,000 House
% of Value Project Estimate
20%$150,000
$1,000,000 House
% of ValueProject Estimate
20%$200,000

80/20 Rule
All projects have a way of growing beyond initial budgets, no matter what the amount. Plan on spending only 80 percent of what you can afford. Put the additional 20 percent in reserve to cover changes, unforeseen problems, and miscellaneous charges.

05 February 2009

How Much Will Your New Kitchen Cost?

Cost for new kitchen depends on many factors :
  1. the cabinets : standard (stock), semi custom or custom
  2. the appliances : standard or professional grade
  3. the Countertops : laminate or stone
  4. type of options or accessories you choose
  5. what materials and type of construction is used
  6. how much you want to spend ... whether you are using a builder's allowance, setting up a remodeling budget, or planning a custom home
Allowances

An allowance is n a budget which the builder has established based on the neighborhood, size of the house, price of the house based on the final blueprints and/or product availability from designated suppliers.

Upgrades to appliances, cabinetry, and fixtures are determined by the builder. Make sure you understand what the limits are, and what options (if any) are available to you. If you are having a custom home built your architect or builder will help you establish your budget before the final plans are drawn.

Budgets

If you are remodeling, determining how much you should spend is harder. Factors that must be taken into consideration are :
  1. the age of the house
  2. current value of the house
  3. do you plan to stay in the house more than a few years
  4. the return on your investment when it's time to sell your home, especially if you plan to sell within a few years
Spending too much might mean not getting back part, or even all of your investment. Spending too little might actually lower the resale value of your home when buyers compare your home with others in the same price range.

On the other hand, if you plan to stay in your house for a long time, then spending whatever it takes to get what you want is not unreasonable.

Finding Someone To Do the Work

It comes as no surprise that the most complaints from consumer who want to remodel their kitchen was related to homebuilders and home repairmen. This is sometimes because homeowners don't take the time to get a clear understanding of what the work will entail and what the finished job will look like, but very often it's because they do not hire qualified people to do the work in the first place.

So how do you find a good contractor? Start with family or friends. They may recommend someone they have used before.

While nearly all states require licensing for contractors who work on commercial projects, not all states require residential contractors to be licensed.

Even if your state or area does not require contractors to be licensed, it is still a good idea to hire only a licensed contractor to perform the work. It is an easy way to determine whether a contractor has the necessary skills

Generally to get and hold a license, contractors must have :
  1. specified level of training and experience
  2. liability insurance (the amount is determined by the state or licensing locality)
  3. workers compensation insurance
  4. take a number of continuing education courses every year
How to choose contractor?
  1. ask to see not only his license, but copies of the liability insurance and workers compensation insurance policies
  2. Any contractor who cannot provide such documents, is not one you want working at your house.
  3. If a worker is injured on the job while working at your house, you may incur a legal liabilty liable unless the contractor has workers compensation insurance.
Accidents can happen. A pipe could break and cause water damage to your property, or something else could break while a repair is being made. The contractor's liability insurance should cover such damage. If the contractor does not have such insurance, you might face the prospect of having to bring a law suit against the contractor.

Do You Need a Written Contract with the Contractor?
Contracts protect both the homeowner and the contractor from misunderstandings by specifying what the job entails and how much it will cost. Always sign a written contract before making a home improvement transaction, and make sure you understand the contract before you sign it.

A Mechanic's Lien, is a legal claim on your property which gives a contractor (or someone else) the right to keep or sell your property as security for a debt that has not been paid.
However, paying your contractor in full, is not a guarantee that a lien will not be attached to your property.

You may end up paying twice for home improvements if the contractor fails to pay a subcontractor for completed work on your project, or fails to pay a supply company for the building supplies used. The supply company or a subcontractor might try to get its money directly from you by placing a lien on your property.
Most states have some type of Home Improvement laws, which protect consumers in their dealings with contractors. The laws vary from state to state. Make sure you know the law in your state.

01 February 2009

House Plant and Outdoor Plant for Kitchen

Plant can make your kitchen more natural and live. You can find a house plant/flower that will live and grow inside and brings color and life into your home. Small plants is great and can be sit on a kitchen counter. And for the outdoor plant, choose plant that will live in a pot on a shaded balcony, again, would like something colorful. What’s the plants? Here they are :
  1. Coleus would fill the bill for the pot on your balcony. Coleus is a excellent plant for indoors and out and because of the many colors it is such a versitile plant I have 4 of them in my house and I set them out side in the summer.
  2. Orchids are beautiful and would do well in a kitchen because of humidity, just be sure to keep it out of direct, hot sunlight and the splatter of grease from your stove. They do not require light out side, but inside light and humid areas, not direct sunlight inside.
  3. For outside, coleus, coral bells, begonias, and fuchias will all give you some nice color in the shade.
  4. You can put any houseplant in the shade on your balcony. No houseplant can be put in the sun in the summer. The sun is way to strong and the plant would just burn up. Coleus, they like sun plus there not a houseplant, neither are begonias.
  5. Some other colorful houseplants include African Violet,pothos,ivy,or even geraniums if you have enough light. Now for outside on a shady balcony I would suggest Impatience because they come is such beautiful colors and they cascade perfectly in pots.
What to grow? Well, grow what you use, but be aware of the cardinal rule of herb gardening. Herbs need sun; a lot of it. If you plan to grow your kitchen herb garden indoors, make sure that you have a suitable location that receives direct sunlight for several hours each day.

If you are planting your kitchen herb garden in a container that is kept outside, learn which herbs will over-winter well and which you will need to replant each year.

Kitchen Types

There are three main functions in a kitchen are storage, preparation, and cooking (kitchen work triangle), and the places for these functions should be arranged in the kitchen in such a way that work at one place does not interfere with work at another place, the distance between these places is not unnecessarily large, and no obstacles are in the way. A natural arrangement is a triangle, with the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove at a vertex each.There are few common kitchen forms, commonly characterized by the arrangement of the kitchen cabinets and sink, stove, and refrigerator :

A single-file kitchen (or one-way galley)
  • Has all of these along one wall
  • The work triangle degenerates to a line.
  • This is not optimal, but often the only solution if space is restricted.
  • This may be common in an attic space that is being converted into a living space, or a studio apartment.
The double-file kitchen (or two-way galley)
  • Has two rows of cabinets at opposite walls, one containing the stove and the sink, the other the refrigerator.
  • This is the classical work kitchen.
In the L-kitchen
  • The cabinets occupy two adjacent walls.
  • The work triangle is preserved, and there may even be space for an additional table at a third wall, provided it doesn't intersect the triangle.
A U-kitchen
  • Has cabinets along three walls, typically with the sink at the base of the "U".
  • This is a typical work kitchen, too, unless the two other cabinet rows are short enough to place a table at the fourth wall.
The block kitchen (or island)
  • Found in open kitchens.
  • The stove or both the stove and the sink are placed where an L or U kitchen would have a table, in a freestanding "island", separated from the other cabinets.
  • In a closed room, this doesn't make much sense, but in an open kitchen, it makes the stove accessible from all sides such that two persons can cook together, and allows for contact with guests or the rest of the family, since the cook doesn't face the wall anymore.
Restaurant and canteen kitchens
  • found in hotels, hospitals, army barracks, and similar establishments are generally (in developed countries) subject to public health laws.
  • They are inspected periodically by public-health officials, and forced to close if they don't meet hygienic requirements mandated by law.
  • Canteen kitchens (and castle kitchens) were often the places where new technology was used first.
Today's western restaurant kitchens typically have tiled walls and floors and use stainless steel for other surfaces (workbench, but also door and drawer fronts) because these materials are durable and easy to clean. Professional kitchens are often equipped with gas stoves, as these allow cooks to regulate the heat quicker and more finely than electrical stoves.

Galleys
  • kitchens aboard ships or aircraft
  • On yachts, galleys are often cramped, with one or two gas burners fuelled by a gas bottle, but kitchens on cruise ships or large warships are comparable in every respect with restaurants or canteen kitchens.
  • On passenger airplanes, the kitchen is reduced to a mere pantry, the only function reminiscent of a kitchen is the heating of in-flight meals delivered by a catering company.

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