Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bathroom Remodel - Key Questions to ask a Contractor

If you’re looking to remodel a bathroom, it is crucial to choose your contractor wisely to avoid wasting your time and money. There are specific questions you should ask each potential contractor to help you make the right decision. Their answers may influence the outcome of the transformation and must be carefully conducted and reviewed. Below is a list of questions to ask a contractor when searching for the right person.

1.       Do you have a license?
It is imperative that you ask a contractor whether or not he is licensed. Every state issues a different license, and it is appropriate to ask for it as a proof of competence.  Another important reason to ask for authentication is to avoid accidents that are beyond your control. A certified contractor has undergone various seminars to ensure maximum safety and protection. In cases where an emergency arises, he should be able to knowledgeably deal with it in a professional manner.

2.       Do you have insurance?
Always ask for proof of liability and worker's compensation insurances to avoid unnecessary legal obligations. This will ensure that their personnel are well-protected and that you will not be held responsible for an incidence that may happen while at work.

3.       What are your previous experiences?
Experience is an important part in every field of expertise because it will test a person's skills in handling numerous situations. Knowing a contractor’s expertise will determine responsiveness when it comes to situations requiring instant decision making. Hiring someone with extensive experience also serves as your assurance that he will competently carry out the project.

4.       Will you provide a written estimate?
This is another basic, yet important question you should ask before hiring a contractor to remodel your bathroom. With all the materials, as well the cost of labor, you can't help but get concerned about the expenses. Knowing the cost up front will eliminate any surprises down the road.

5.       How long will the project take?
It is normal for you to ask for the timetable of the project since this is a major part of your home. This is especially crucial if you only have one bathroom in the house.

6.       What is the payment arrangement?
Depending on the contractor, payment arrangements may vary. The Better Business Bureau's website suggests going by the rule of thirds: Pay one third at the beginning of the project, one third when work is 50 percent complete, and one third after it is final and you are satisfied with the outcome.

Protecting yourself from these nightmares means knowing exactly who your contractors are before you hire them. After all, it doesn’t hurt to ask - but it could hurt if you don't.

For more details on what to ask a contractor, visit our blog post Six Key Questions to Sniff out Bad Contractors” at http://www.khimprovement.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kitchen Trends for 2013

The National Kitchen & Bath Association conducted a 2013 member survey and identified some of today’s top style choices in kitchen design. Here is insider information on a few of them.

The color choice of cabinets is one of the most important decisions when redoing a kitchen because it sets the look. In the National Kitchen & Bath Association survey, 67 percent of respondents said that white was their first choice for cabinetry. This is a jump of 20 percent in just the past two years.
Homeowners want stylish, durable, and easy to care for products which is why quartz counter surfaces were chosen as the most popular countertops in 2013. They are made of about 90 percent natural quartz mixed with pigments, polymers and resins and require no special maintenance. The most popular colors right now are white and gray.

Although white and off-white are still the top colors, shades of gray are becoming popular for cabinets, counters and walls. Gray is a neutral color that can be paired with many accent colors and looks clean and modern, whether it is a driftwood gray wood finish or glossy gray coating.


Many homeowners are installing LED lighting, especially below cabinets. LED bulbs are more efficient and generate little heat. LED is more expensive in the beginning, but they save on electricity, are cool, and last a long time.
Kitchen renovations are not just about functionality and beauty, they can also incorporate the latest technology. Touch-activated faucets and hands-free faucets are gaining popularity in kitchen remodeling. Hands-free faucets respond to consumers’ kitchen work styles and help prevent the spread of germs.

Satin nickel has been the most popular faucet finish for the past several years. The matte nickel finish reflects the increasingly modern kitchen.

A survey found that polished nickel and polished chrome were less requested than last year, and the duller finish was growing in popularity. Some designers feel satin nickel best complements stainless steel appliances, others say the gray metal color sets off gray cabinets, counters and walls.
The preference for glass backsplashes has grown dramatically. With neutral colors ruling incabinets and counters, glass tile is a great way to add color and personality. Reds, greens, blues, and other vibrant colors are trending right now. Light blue glass tiles are popular as they give a traditional look when paired with white cabinets.
Kruse Home Improvement specializes in kitchen renovations. If you’re looking to do a kitchen remodel, call us today to for a quote at 860.877.0775.  Also, check out our gallery for kitchen remodel ideas at Kruse Home Improvement.