Monday, August 15, 2011

Hardwood floors are such a good idea. Carpets can hold dust and mites. This is even more important if someone in the house has respiratory issues. But they are not without a downside. Hardwood floors can look dirty if not cleaned properly. The natural oil on our skin leaves visible figure prints that can be seen across the room (and maybe by your neighbors).

But do not fear. You have options for keeping everything clean. All of the major home cleaning supply makers have developed products to help  stainless steel clean. But you have some great DIY options.

Here are some Do's and Don'ts
Don’t wax a wood floor with a urethane finish
Do use cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue
Don’t use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor — they’ll dull the finish and affect your ability to recoat later.
Do use a professional hardwood floor cleaner to remove occasional scuffs and heel marks (just spray some cleaner on a cloth and rub the stained area lightly)
Don’t wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor (wood naturally expands when it’s wet and can cause your floor to crack or splinter).
Do clean sticky spots with a damp towel or sponge
Do minimize water exposure and clean spills immediately
Until Next Time,

Chicago Kitchen Remodeling

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Everyone wants stainless steel appliances these days. Watch any episode of House Hunters and you will see the potential buyer praise any use of the sleek modern design or complain about the of lack of the same.

But truth be told, they do not belong in ever signal kitchen and are a pain in clean. I think people think that "stainless" means "fingerprint-less." Stainless steal is steal that will not rust. Which is good, but that does mean its not going to collect ugly looking fingerprint. The readers of Alice.Com has some great advice for products that keep your modern looking fridge looking like the ones you see on TV.

Options seemed to be between classic Pledge, which cleans in its marketing that it can be used safely on Stainless Steel and Method Stainless Steel Cleaner.

Our vote is for Method with a microfiber cloth. Yes, it is another thing you have to buy, but classic pledge can leave a residue. I am fine using a multipurpose cleaner on wood, glass and tile, Since stainless steel shows figureprints so well, I feel like the extra cost is worth it.

Here is a handy video:

Until Next Time
Chicago Kitchen Remodeling

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why Marble is Never Worth it.

We were recently looking at a new apartment and the property manager was very eager to point out the marble counter top in the bathroom and kitchen as one of the apartment's best features. She felt like this alone would sell us on signing a lease. They were beautiful. The stone was a rich grey fading to light with brown streaks slashing each other at near right angles. It would be amazing, at least until I spilled a glass of orange juice at 6am. Marble stains fast. 

But how many people know that? Renters looking at new apartment or a homeowner thinking about remodeling their kitchen go in to an interior designer's studio and are sold on an amazing sample or demo kitchen. But that demo kitchen has never seen someone spill a glass of wine at a dinner party. All the marital one can use for counter tops have downsides. After a little searching, I came across blog post outlining the pros and cons of different types counters.

Learn more about custom kitchen remodeling at our website.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Update Your Home's Value with a Remodel!

It makes sense when you think about it. If your home is getting up there in years simple updates can help improve the value of your home. As real estate bubbles pop across the country, these sorts of simple upgrades can go a long way to separating your home from the heard.

Here are a few things from the article:
Entry door replacement. Removing an existing entry door and replacing with a new 20-gauge steel door proved to be a homeowner's best friend, recouping 128.9 percent of its cost at resale. Among midrange projects, this one recouped the most money by a landslide
129%! Adding a new door can pay for itself just by installing it. It also helps increase your homes security and, if install correctly, can increase the energy efficiency of your home. So really, a new door can pay for itself twice.
Minor kitchen remodel. For homeowners looking for smaller-scale projects, a minor kitchen remodel, which includes installing new raised-panel wood doors on cabinets and drawers as well as replacing older appliances with more energy-efficient models, boasts a smaller price tag and a solid return. The project recouped 78.3 percent of its cost at resale
Another easy fix. If the structural integrity of your kitchen cabinets is good, there may not be a reason to replace them completely. New doors and panels and a little paint can dramatically update the look, feel and value of your kitchen. There is no reason to do a complete kitchen remodel if you are just looking for good return on value.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Great Link

I am currently working on a step-by-step guide to kitchen remodeling. While doing some research, I came across this great bit of advice:

1. They're only as good as their last job. "General contractors often win jobs based on their good reputations," explains architect Dennis Wedlick, author of Good House Hunting: 20 Steps to Your Dream Home, "but circumstances can change. When the contractor switches subcontractors or laborers, quality can be affected." Ask your top three candidates to supply references, and follow up with the most recent ones. 
For more information about Kitchen Remodeling in Chicago visit Silver Leaf Construction.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Closer Look at Cabinets

Like countertops, redoing your kitchen cabinets can cost as little or as much as you want to spend. At the cheapest level, you can simplify, sand down, and repaint the doors and frames. Another option would be to simply repaint the framing and buy new doors. This is slightly more expensive, but can update the look and feel of the space without the huge expense or the time that comes with a full scale remodel.
However, if you are ready to take the jump and completely replace your kitchen cabinets, there are many options and issues to consider.

Modern vs. Rustic

The biggest decision you make is related to the style of your new cabinets. Once you have decided on an aesthetic, all of your other choices will flow from that. Broadly, there are two popular styles: Rustic and Modern. A rustic kitchen incorporates raw or unfinished wood and muted hardware. For example, instead of painting or veneering wood, the cabinetry is stained with lacquer in order to highlight the natural features of the wood. You can pair with that light colored stone countertops and bronzed or brass fixtures.

Modern style cabinets take a different approach, the doors and drawers are going to be made from metal or wood painted to hide the nature features of the wood. Hardware will have a modern design and made from stainless steel. The goal is to the keep the lines as clean and simple as possible.
At the end of the day, your options are almost endless. Any material or design you think of can be used.

Those Special Features

When designing kitchen cabinets from scratch, you can integrate any number of special features into the design. Drawers or built-ins can be made to hold specialized tools, like a mixer or spice racks, can be integrated in to the back of a door. As with the overall style, working with a designer will help you walk through the specifics of the kitchen layout.

When redesigning your kitchen cabinets, it is important to think about how you use your kitchen. Is it an eat-in kitchen? Are you also replacing your dishwasher or fridge? What sort of sink do you want?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Choosing the Correct Windows

There are a lot of decisions to make when building a new home. Some are big, like, “where are you going to build the home?” or “how many rooms is it going to have?” Other decisions are much smaller and often get pushed aside. When you are making big choices, who has the time to think about the sorts of electrical fixtures or the type of windows you install? This is what a contractor is for.

Choosing the right windows can be the sort of decision you pay close attention to because installing the wrong windows can cost you a lot of money.

When choosing your windows and doors, your first step is to go to the EPA’s Energy Star website and determine your “climate zone.” This will guide your purchase. Here you will have a list of features and manufactures you can use to guide your purchasing decision. Energy Star Rates windows are doors on a per-state, per-climate zone basis. By installing your ES certified windows or doors, you can qualify for state and federal tax credits.

The other thing to keep in mind is, just because one window is good for one part of the house, it does not mean it will be good for another.  For example, in some parts of the country, west-facing windows need to have a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient in order to handle the direct sunlight of late afternoon sun.
The other important thing to think about is installation. If you improperly install energy efficient windows and doors you will lose all the money saving advantages. If you are not skilled in this the installation of windows or doors, it is best to seek out trained professionals. The EPA website has more information about locating certified installers.