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What Should You Consider Before Remodeling?

You know those family meetings round the kitchen table when there’s a big decision to be made? When families discuss remodeling, the questions they most often consider (and fight about?) come down to the color of tiles and suchlike “make-up” changes. But the conversation should go deeper and ask questions that relate to your family’s lifestyle and plans.

The big question is – how do you want to live in your home? If you think carefully how you want to live, work, play – simply, be – in your home before the remodeling starts, you reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises and disappointments once the work is over.

Here are some guidelines on what you should consider with your family and remodeling contractor.

  • How long do you plan to live in your home? If you don’t think you’ll be in your home for many years to come, big changes are not advisable. But, if you want to live there for decades or even leave it to the future generations, forward thinking is in order. This affects the organization of space which should suit toddlers, adolescents, working people and elderly parents.

If you plan on staying, top quality materials will have the best return on investment. This includes durable materials for roofs and floors, isolation, stone exterior, solar panels, etc.

  • Are there any health issues to be considered? Do you have parents who plan to age at home? Then the rooms and spaces they use should be on one level. Avoiding stairs minimizes the risk of injury.

Or maybe you have a family member who is physically challenged? Adapting the main level so that the bedroom and the bathroom are on ground level will be most effective. This should also include ramps, reachable light switches, handles, and so on.

  • What’s the flow of your family life? Does your home feel cramped and crowded because you are all running into each other? Are you feeling stressed for being late every morning because everyone is getting in your way in the kitchen and the bathroom? Or maybe that big dining room is standing there deserted? Analyze the dynamics of your family – who uses what spaces and when.

Flow in the house can be improved without taking walls down and adding new ones. A better organization of rooms and storage spaces can bring a lot of order.

  • Are you energy-efficient? Energy upgrades are a great investment in your home and quality of living in general. Producing clean, renewable energy could save a great deal of money that can be put to much better use than paying utility bills. Plus, even if you decide to move in the future, energy upgrades increase the value of your property.
  • What is good about the home?  You like the community? The neighbors are fantastic? The garden is your haven from everyday stresses? It’s good to know what you like about your home and what you would like to stay the same.
  • Is remodeling better than moving?  This connects to the previous consideration. Moving has upfront costs like transportation, closing and broker commissions. The new home could also require redecorating and new furniture. Maybe there is major repair down the road or energy upgrades to be installed there. Make sure what pays off.

Similarly, you should be precise when talking with your remodeling contractor. They should know what your realistic budget is and they should be able to help you maximize the outcome at a cost that is affordable for you.

As a small preparation before meeting the contractor, we recommend you brainstorm your family’s current and foreseeable future needs. Comb the list and set priorities. What would be the crucial improvements to your life quality? Once you have these answers straight, it’s much more likely you’ll be happy and satisfied with the results.

 

Green Remodeling in your Bathroom, Kitchen and Utility Room

Energy-efficient homes are here and they are gaining in popularity, as the values of modern life shift toward eco-friendliness. The necessity for clean energy and sustainable living began to hit home as we are witnessing the severe depletion of fossil fuels. Being energy-efficient is not only a contribution to a better future, it is also a relief for your wallet. Have a look at our overview of tips on how to increase your home’s energy efficiency and how to reduce expenses. You can contact GGR Energy + Remodelling for some more customized green remodeling consultancy on how you can increase the comfort of your home and save at the same time.

Energy efficiency in the bathroom

It boils down to reducing the amount of water used. This lowers your water bills, but in a way, it reduces the electricity needed to move water. If you are using less water, less electricity needs to be produced to move the water to and from your house.

  • Change the shower valves – This move can reduce the amount of water you use to shower by half or more. And the best thing is that with new valves the water pressure won’t suffer, unlike before. So, you’ll use considerably less water without noticing it.
  • Efficient toilets – Dual-flush toilets are those with options for flushing less and more water. They have almost become the standard in newer homes. If you don’t have this toilet, you can install a flush convertor. Another option is a low-flush toilet which use 60 percent less water per flush than the old ones made in the 1980s. Another quick solution is using a tank displacement bag in the cistern which can reduce the water usage by nearly 20 percent.
  • Economical lighting – Bathrooms tend to be overly lit. You can reduce the number of lights in your vanity cabinet or replace them with LEDs. This will drastically impact the electricity bill.

Making the kitchen more energy-efficient

With the dishwasher, water heater, stove and refrigerator, your kitchen is a place of major energy consumption. But, small changes go a long way.

  • Efficient dishwasher – Modern dishwashers are usually quite efficient and consume an amount of energy similar to hand washing. But, how do you dry your dishes? Heated dry will waste a lot of energy that could be saved if you simply open your dishwasher and let the dishes drip dry. Also, check how long the wash cycle is. Try making it shorter without affecting the cleanliness. With some experimenting, you should hit the optimum duration. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full and to avoid streaks, be careful how you stack the dishes. Scrape them of leftovers and stack them facing inwards to ensure they are sprayed directly.
  • Efficient stove – Stove, and the oven especially, use most energy in your kitchen. If you are not a keen cook, you might want to consider getting a convection oven which can satisfy your needs, and simultaneously cut your electricity bills. If you have a stove top with drip pans, keeping them clean will reduce the necessary amount of electricity for your cooking. Getting the right coils for your stove top is also wise. And finally, pressure cookers will shorten the cooking time substantially.

Energy-efficient utility room

  • Washing machines – The least you can do is wash your laundry on cold settings. This will do just fine and it will shave off some additional costs on your electricity bill. If you are thinking of buying a new washing machine, give some serious thought to smart ones. They have sophisticated electronic systems that help you maximize the efficiency of every load.
  • Dryer – Living in a warm climate diminishes the need for a dryer. Why not buy a drying rack? They cost next to nothing, your home will not be heated by the dryer and you will pay less for electricity every month. Plus, your clothes won’t have static electricity, nor will they be as crumpled. If this is too difficult or you don’t have enough space, make your dryer more efficient by maintaining the lint trap, the vent and the sensor in clean condition.