10 Eco Friendly Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

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The kitchen is the heart of any home. It is the one place that handles it all – from the early morning madness to the relaxing late night dinners. The kitchen is a high-traffic area and thus need to have high volume. One of the trending way of giving this section of the home a modern touch is making it an eco-friendly place. If you are not a professional with redoing your kitchen, ask around for the modern kitchen designer or better yet, employ the service of a remodeling company. Here are several ideas that you might keep in mind for the next time you Remodel your Kitchen.

These days, we are all looking for ways every day to live in a more environmentally friendly way. To help you find that in the kitchen, here are 10 environmentally friendly kitchen remodeling ideas for you to consider:

Decreasing Energy

The kitchen is by far the room with the highest energy consumption; thus, reducing energy is a very good idea for having a “green” kitchen. You can make the room more energy efficient by finding ways to maximize the natural energy resources. For instance, you can improve the indoor air quality by having big enough windows as opposed to installing an AC. Another great idea is to opt to wash the dishes by hand rather than installing a dishwasher.

 

Modern Kitchen Storage Unique Open Shelving

Open Shelving

One of today’s most popular kitchen design trends is the movement towards open shelving. It requires less materials and in some cases, reclaimed wood is used to give the kitchen a very unique and distinctive feel.

 

Recycle, Reuse

Nothing speaks of having an eco-friendly room better than recycling and reusing materials. It might be that you find no use of certain things in the kitchen and other sections of the house. So how about finding other things for the other sections of the house that can recycle or reuse in the kitchen. Do not just remodel and end up throwing out more things that you are actually putting in; recycle and reuse.

 

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Green Themed Décor

In as much as you will aim to use eco-friendly installations and appliances, you still have to contend with the décor. Hence, you need to extend the “green” theme to the kitchen décor. Consider getting décor accessories from environmentally conscious and friendly companies. From the tiles to the cabinets, shelves, and other installations that contribute to a “green” kitchen décor theme.

 

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Hands Free Faucets

Hands free faucets help you to use less water and do so in a more hygienic way. But not having to touch anything when preparing food you have less chance of passing on germs and the faucets sensors quickly respond when hands or other items have been removed.

 

Re-purpose old furniture

Finding a new way of using the old furniture from another room in the house is a great way of giving the kitchen a new look. Sometimes, even the old kitchen furniture might just be needing a new coat of paint and a few touch-ups to give them a new look.

 

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Recycling Center in your Cabinets

Paper, plastic, metal, glass…you should be recycling it! Whether you have room for 2 bins or 4, a pull out trash storage and recycling center cabinet allows you to easily separate recyclables and insure they don’t go somewhere to sit in a landfill for the next 50 years.

 

Indoor Herb Garden

Who doesn’t love fresh herbs year round? An indoor herb garden provides instant access to a natural food source, saves money, helps keep your indoor air quality healthier and can even provide subtle touches of aromatherapy and be a therapeutic resource as well as a food one.

 

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Wood Cutting Boards

Replace plastic cutting boards with wood ones, particular regenerating species such as bamboo. Not only are the better for the environment, but studies have shown that wood cutting boards are less likely to contaminate food when used.

 

Do not skimp on Quality

While the general outlook about going green is a minimalistic approach in the use of resources, this does not mean that you minimize on quality. It would make little sense to have to tear down one green kitchen set up to put in another every few years. Doing this would only be a waste of the same energy and resources that you are striving to preserve. You can always contact us for a free no obligation consultation to see which options are best for your home and kitchen remodel.


Even changes to the smallest of behaviors can help in the fight for a better environment. Don’t stop at a few kitchen ideas. Earth Day is every day! Look for little (and big) things you can do today and every day to help the environment and make every day a little better, brighter and greener.

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Universal Design is important and helpful in Remodeling your Home.

Universal Design Making Life Easier for Everyone

Call it what you like universal design (UD), accessible remodeling, lifespan design – an approach that considers the full range of human abilities and the full life cycle represents the future of home remodeling.
Now, as baby boom-generation homeowners reach retirement age, their bodies are telling them what’s wrong with their homes: steps they can no longer climb safely, bathrooms and kitchens that have become difficult to use, tripping hazards, poor lighting, and more.

This increasingly urgent need presents an opportunity and challenges. It is an opportunity for you to redesign and improve your living space, and a challenge of finding the right contractor. It also offers us the chance to improve your standard of living.

What is Universal Design

The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University defines UD as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” Here’s what that means for you.

  • UD creates spaces that accommodate all of the life-cycle changes people experience. That includes more than just aging. A fit young person who breaks a leg skiing might find it impossible to use his or her own bathroom. Think of UD as “grand design”—planning a home that is friendly and convenient for everyone, from grandchildren to grandparents.
  • UD incorporates green building principles, including energy efficiency, low-maintenance materials, and attention to air quality. The benefits are improved health, greater convenience, and predictable operating expenses, all of which are important to elders but attractive also to any homeowner.
  • UD helps eliminate the need for specialized, institutional-looking features that can make visitors feel awkward and carry a social stigma for their owners.
  • UD means filling a home with functional, comfortable ideas that look great and are appealing to homeowners and guests alike.
  • Done right, UD is invisible. Thoughtful features like lower light switches and higher outlets—a boon to children and people who use wheelchairs—are virtually unnoticeable.

The Struggles of Universal Design

As they have with so many cultural shifts, baby boomers are leading the charge toward universal design. They’ve watched their parents struggle with aging in homes ill-suited to the changes they went through. Now, as they face the effects of aging themselves, many are taking a more proactive approach, remodeling their homes to prepare for the hurdles to come. Most want to age in the homes they know and love, but most traditional homes were not designed for this, with second-floor master bedrooms, step-up entryways and porches, and those awful 24-inch-wide doorways into bathrooms, closets, and showers. These are problems remodelers are uniquely equipped to solve.

Baby boomers are also the wealthiest generation in American history, many having inherited the wealth of frugal, hardworking parents who experienced the Great Depression and World War II. They own a huge proportion of the country’s housing stock, often with paid-off mortgages. They are looking for comfort, convenience, and safety. And, like every generation of grandparents before them, they are thinking about their grandchildren, so investing in upgrades that make their homes work better for both young and old holds special appeal.

At SemBro Designs we understand your needs and we have new products and technologies that will make your lives easier:

  • Automatic door bottoms. These devices fasten to the bottom of an entry door, eliminating the need for a threshold while still providing a weather-tight seal.
  • Lever-type door hardware. Door levers are easier to operate than conventional doorknobs and can look more stylish too. Some have integrated LED lighting to aid nighttime navigation.
  • Bathroom ventilation fans and toilet seats with built-in lighting. These innovative products also help those with aging eyes or low vision make their way at night without turning on a bright overhead light.
  • “Invisible” grab bars. Doubling as a soap dish, shower shelf, towel rack, or toilet paper holder, these bathroom fittings provide a secure hand-hold to steady oneself in the shower or to prevent a fall.

The most valuable things we offer to our clients are insightful solutions that reflect common sense and experience:

  • We suggest installing shower valves at the opposite end from the shower head, so the cold water won’t hit you in the back of the head.
  • Place bath and kitchen sink faucets at the sides of sinks instead of behind them, so that children and people using wheelchairs can reach them more easily.
  • We can show you how easy it is to add a heated towel warmer, a toe-kick heater, or in-floor radiant heating to a chilly bathroom.

We Put the Design in Universal Design

We emphasize convenience. Wider hallways make it easier to carry luggage to the bedroom; a zero-step entry makes it easy for the twins’ Mom to push a stroller from the car to the foyer, and it makes the way easier for Grandpa and his walker, too. We stress practicality, but not at the expense of excitement. Kitchen skylight is a boon for aging eyes, plus all of that daylight will also make the colors in the new granite counter really pop. And because everyone appreciates value, these features make any home more marketable. After all, UD represents smart, sophisticated design.

While bathrooms are most likely to remain the same size, certain changes will be more popular than others. Remodeling trends for 2015 include larger showers, more accessibility features, and double sinks, according to a study done by Houzz, explaining why Universal Design represents a better way to build.

After learning more about the advantages of Universal Design, you may well ask why all homes aren’t built this way. New homes still have a long way to go toward full accessibility. But that just means remodelers are here for you at every step of the way, and for many years to come. All the more reason to start today. We strive to make Universal Design our standard practice, building these ideas into every scope of work. Life is full of surprises. Find a local remodeler who creates homes that work for all people, no matter what life throws at them.

Visit our Project Gallery page to see more exciting photos of our work.

How to Make an Insurance Restoration Claim with Your Local Contractor

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Do you know how to file an Insurance Restoration Claim For Storm Damage, Structure Damage, or Fire and Water Damages. It’s always good to have the knowledge before you actually need to use it.

Have you seen that report on the news of about a car driving through the house, or the latest storm damage. Whether it was the thunderstorm that knocked down your neighbors tree onto your house, or the 100 year flood in your area that completely covered your basement. You should seek professional contractors advice along with your insurance agent. The agent is usually on the insurances side, where a Home Remodeling and Restoration Expert is on your side, so it is beneficial for you to use a Home Remodeler to help.

Minor damage can lead to big problems later on. Many insurance policies limit your time to file a claim, so don’t wait until you have water dripping through the ceiling, mold in the attic, or your roof caves in to call in an expert. Protect yourself by hiring a reputable contractor to represent your best interests. You have paid your homeowners insurance, so make sure you get the maximum value for your claim. SemBro Designs are experts in handling insurance restoration claims. Often times with little out of pocket expense.

Insurance Restoration Claim Tips

  • Don’t Delay! Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
  • You can’t be singled out for a rate increase due to storm damage
  • Insurance restoration contractors advocate for you
  • Always hire the best contractor, not the cheapest
  • Always do your homework and understand your rights


Insurance Restoration Claims Process

Filing a storm damage Insurance Restoration claim can be a frustrating and confusing process. You should remember that your insurance company is in business to make money and may try to deny your claim. So we’ve created a 7 Step Guide to make the claims process easy to understand.

Step 1: Assess the storm damage. Record the date of the storm, signs of damage you can see from the ground, and take pictures of any damage. Search online for news stories of the storm hitting your area, so you have proof if it is ever required.

Step 2: Make sure your contractor performs a full property inspection, including the roof, windows, siding, AC units, screens, concrete and all other exterior surfaces.

Step 3: Read your insurance policy carefully and contact the claims department of your insurance company directly. Be prepared to provide pictures and the estimate from the contractor you have chosen to work with.

Step 4: Insist your contractor is present during the adjuster inspection. Your contractor’s job is to make sure the adjuster plays fair, and provides you with a fair assessment. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and may have an incentive to deny your claim, if they think they can.

Step 5: If your claim is denied, don’t worry. You are entitled to meet with three insurance adjusters. Remember, even a small amount of damage should result in an approved claim. Any type of damage can devalue your home and damage should be fixed immediately before it leads to greater damage down the road.

Step 6: Once your claim is approved your insurance company will send you 2 separate payments. The first payment, or materials deposit, covers the cost of materials. Make sure your contractor orders materials in your name, and gives you a copy of the receipts for bought materials.

Step 7: After your materials are delivered, your contractor will get to work. Any changes to the written bid should be submitted in writing for your approval. No additional payment is due until all the repairs are complete. Once your project has passed a city inspection, you will have a chance to approve the job before making final payment. Make sure the job is done to your satisfaction and your contractor signs a lien waiver, before handing over the second payment.

When filing an Insurance Restoration claim, remember most state laws prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims in an Act of God storm damage situation. In most states insurance company cannot single you out for a rate increase. If the insurance company is going to raise rates, they have to raise everyone’s rates in your area. So, if you don’t file a claim, your personal rate increase will pay for everyone else’s claim except for yours.

Let the insurance restoration experts at SemBro Designs give you peace-of-mind when it comes to working through the process of filing insurance restoration claims, working with adjusters and restoring the damage.

Should You Save or Splurge When Selecting a Bathroom Remodeling Project?

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas Columbus Ohio

Bathroom Remodel, Mid-range

Average Cost: $16,724

Bathrooms are four of the five most expensive Cost vs. Value projects ranked by cost per square foot. Bathroom Remodeling and renovation doesn’t have to be costly, it is all up to you and how much comfort you need in your new bathroom. That said, fixture prices are reasonably consistent across manufacturers. Keep in mind that while high-end fixtures and fancy tile can bust the budget, it’s labor you will pay the most for in these small spaces.

Ceramic tile: For the shower surround, we found 4-inch square ceramic tile for as little as 8 cents each, but double that if you want something other than plain white, and continue up to $13 per square foot, including accent tile for $1 or more each. On the floor, 12-inch square ceramic tile ranges from less than $1 per square foot to more than $5 per square foot for slate-look or patterned tile. Clients who want glass, natural stone, metal, or specially formatted designs can easily top their tile allowances.

Bathtubs: This bathroom project calls for a 60-by-30-inch alcove tub, which we found for as little as $220 for acrylic or $550 for porcelain-on-steel. Both materials topped out at around $1,500, with no bells or whistles. Add jets or other therapies and $1,500 can become the starting price.

Toilets: A quick $100 will buy the specified “standard white toilet” for your bathroom, but what does “standard” mean? One piece or two? Gallons per flush? Some design flair? Generally, two-piece toilets cost less than one-piece units, though either can be had for less than $250. Higher-price units can run $650, though we found some ornate designs priced as high as $1,400.

Major Kitchen Remodel, Mid-range

Average cost: $56,768

The heart of the home is no place to skimp, but a major kitchen remodel doesn’t have to break the bank. High-ticket items, such as cabinetry and appliances, make up the largest chunk of the project cost but also allow for the most savings. Meanwhile, fixtures like sinks and faucets have smaller price tags but can quickly add up in cost. Here are some price ranges we found for the kitchen. Remember, lower-cost solutions, such as cabinet refacing and countertop resurfacing, broaden the price ranges even more. We do not recommend retouching for a few reasons that you can read about here.

Semi-custom cabinetry: $15,000 to $50,000 for 30 linear feet of cabinetry and a 3-by-5-foot island. Based on these numbers, outfitting the kitchen with top-of-the-line semi-custom cabinets costs almost as much as the entire national average project cost.

Appliances: Like kitchen cabinetry, this category can vary widely. Homeowners who want the basics can spend as little as $2,500, while high-end customers can spend six times that on the refrigerator alone.

Laminate countertops: Look for $20 per square foot for standard styles, to $40 per square foot for materials using the latest imaging technologies. Are you dead-set on granite? You will have to double that price range. Granite comes in many different styles, and depending on the region it comes from, the starting price ranges in the $40 per square foot and up from there. Quartz can look fabulous, but it’s price range starts at $69 per square foot.

Standard faucet: Pick up a no-frills chrome-finish faucet for as little as $50. But if your definition of “standard” includes a pull-out, pull-down, or side spray, prices quickly rise. Count on $150 to $550 for models with those features.

Deck Addition – Composite, Upscale

Average Cost: $36,385

With so many options on the market, composite decking may be among the more challenging product selections for homeowners to nail down, so to speak. Considered by some deck builders to be a step up from pressure-treated lumber for its durability and longevity, composite decking has been joined in recent years by all-plastic PVC decking and other selections that incorporate varying amounts of wood, plastic, and recycled content. Product composition plays into pricing, along with board dimensions, solid vs. hollow construction, capped vs. uncapped material, and capacity for hidden fasteners.

For this category, manufacturers asked us to remind users that pricing will vary by region and that labor will play heavily into the price of a decking project. Several companies also advised considering product life cycle and life span when choosing composite decking.

Composite decking: Keeping labor, originality, and life span in mind, we found composite decking prices ranging from $1.63 to about $4 per linear foot. PVC products cost slightly more at upward of $5 per linear foot for some brands.

Railing: To complement the composite deck, this project calls for composite railing, which we found for $10 to $70 per linear foot. Vinyl options cost from $8 to $25, and aluminum from $5 to $35. Stair sections may be priced differently, and premium balusters and glass panels can run up to $150 per linear foot.

Roofing Replacement, Mid-range

Average cost: $19,528

Asking for the price of asphalt shingles is like asking how much an airline ticket will cost. Pricing for commodity building materials such as shingles is heavily dependent on the cost of raw materials, and manufacturers regularly send “price increase alerts” to their distributors. In 2014, those price increases were around 5% to 9% for roofing materials.

That said, industry professionals note that downward price corrections do happen as the market demands. Additionally, contractors can often take advantage of bulk or package pricing options that reflect discounts off list prices, but may include labor costs—which can be hard to call out from the total. Take all those intricacies into account when considering the price for a 30-square roof. Pricing cited here reflects retail figures, which can vary significantly from distributor pricing.

Asphalt shingles: Three-tab shingles will be the most economical option at as low as $23 per bundle, but architectural shingles are a more popular choice and can run from $30 to $60 per bundle. With three to five bundles per square, the materials cost works out to $70 to $280 per square. Expect premiums on cool-roof products.

Felt underlayment: For $15 to $20 per roll retail, a roll of 15-pound felt covers about 4 squares, or half that with 30-pound felt. (Expect to spend $8 to $10 per square.) Synthetic underlayments cost about $14 to $25 per square, but their peel-and-stick properties may help reduce labor costs.

As you can see price varies deeply from the run down of the most used materials in various remodeling projects. We can determine from the price point of the bathroom materials what kind of comfort you are willing to live with. The logical conclusion on savings with your next remodeling project is the bathroom. Plus the renouncement value that you receive in return on your bathroom remodel is 90% to 95% of the value. You can always find other ways that you can save on Bathroom Remodeling. Feel free to leave your comments below and read our previous post about Bathroom Remodeling by clicking here.

Contemporary Modern Bathroom

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Minimalist and clean-lined, contemporary Modern Bathrooms appeal to those who prefer living without clutter or visual clatter. Explore our gallery of bathroom pictures to learn how to put the principles of contemporary bathroom design into play for streamlined lavatories that reflect your individual style.

 
 

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Modern bathroom design can work well in bathrooms ranging from tiny to titanic, but because of the relatively unadorned, seamless aspects of modern design, this style is particularly attractive for homeowners who wish to maximize a smaller bathroom space. One element of modern bathroom design that can be a great complement to a small space is a raised or pedestal sink, often in angular, rounded or gently curving stainless steel or porcelain. This efficient fixture choice can make a style statement while doing double-duty as a space saver, as it doesn’t require the sink to be set in a larger cabinet, allowing for an elegant and airy effect.






Build a contemporary bathroom design around understated earth tones or a monochromatic palette that you can energize with an interesting interplay of smooth, polished, rough, and woven surfaces; sculptural fittings; and mod motifs. Choose freestanding bathtubs with simple lines, or opt for a walk-in shower outfitted with seamless glass doors and gray tile walls. Consider adding a wall-mount angular sink or a contemporary bathroom vanity that appears to float a foot or two above the floor. See how different types of contemporary bathroom vanities and cabinets — equipped with slab doors treated with natural wood finishes, colorful stains, or lacquer veneers — contribute progressive profiles that turn a bathroom’s vanity wall into a focal point. Contemporary bathroom design also calls for style-apt illumination, so take note of the contemporary bathroom lighting fixtures, including statuesque chrome sconces, colorful glass pendants, recessed down lights, and hip track lights that underscore a bathroom’s up-to-the-minute leanings.


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