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Water Efficient Home Remodeling

Everyone talks about water efficiency and rebates, but not many home owners property managers realize the huge savings and environmental benefits associated with upgrading to more water efficient fixtures.  Anyone can easily cash in on cutting water usage while helping their community become more environmentally friendly.

If you’re hesitant about the upfront cost of retrofitting, don’t fret!  There are plenty of government rebates that allow you to receive financial assistance to implement water-efficient systems.  Here are some of the best ideas available for even the biggest water hogs:

Toilets.  Replace your old toilets with a dual flush or low-flow toilets.  These dual flush toilets can reduce the typical 1.60 gallons per flush to a reduced 1.28 gpf.  If you replace your toilet, you are eligible for a $75-$100 rebate.  Just this simple fix will save you $1,000 in water and sewer charged over 10 years.

Elite Home Remodeling - Dual Flush Toilet

Laundry.  Apartment communities can save 330% more water, or 8,216 gallons of water, per year per unit by using a common-area laundry room instead of an in-unit washing machine.  Giving tenants the responsibility of using community laundry facilities make the tenants use the machines smarter and more efficiently.

Irrigation.  Rain water is free, why not utilize it as much as possible?  Install smart controllers that will turn off when its raining and only turn on when the grounds really need watering.  Plus, be sure to install drip sprinkler heads to reduce the overall cost of irrigation.

Showers and Faucets.  According to a recent study, approximately 73% of water used in a typical shower is hot water.  Low flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce water consumption.  Reducing water consumption not only reduces the amount of water used, which saves overall water usage, but it also reduces hot water usage.  The hot water usage is especially important as this is the most costly water.  Installing high-efficiency shower heads will save about 7,800 gallons of water per year in an average household!  That is an absolutely amazing number.

Elite Home Remodeling - Low Flow Shower Head

Kitchens. Energy Star dishwasher models save both water and energy. There are cash incentives up to $3,000 for replacing inefficient kitchen equipment with water-efficient equipment.

Be sure to give Elite Home Remodeling a call today to find out how we can help you with your new renovations and remodeling projects as well as how we can help you save the environment while saving money!

 

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Countertops, Countertops, Countertops

Here’s a quick secret for your next remodeling project: a good countertop can make all the difference between a good looking space and a perfect looking space.  Making sure you have the right people ready to go to get your perfect countertop is crucial.  Check out these 4 tips before you select the right countertop for your project.
1. Sinks Away!  Whether you are installing a countertop in your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, you are most likely going to need a sink and a faucet.  The key is to always have your sink onsite before the countertop templating process begins.  With the sink will be your sink template.  This sink template is critical because it gives a diagram on exactly where the sink is to be installed.  This template not only has an effect on your countertops, but also your cabinetry, plumbing and even framing.
Before countertop template day arrives, you should already know exactly where you want your sink to go.  That way, it’ll make the templating process much easier.  It was also make adjustments to the cabinetry and plumber much less invasive.
Countertops
Image courtesy of Houzz
If you are installing an apron-front sink, there can be several different ways to place the bowl.  Think about the spot where the front edge of the counter and the sink meet.  Some sinks have a notch into which the counter fits.  The way this detail will align with your counter overhang should be decided in advance of template day.
2. Wall Faucets.  To get this piece right, you’ll need to know a few extra details before the project even begins.  For starters, the plumbing behind your wall will need to be much different than if you were having a traditional countertop-mounted faucet.  You’ll need to know where the finished wall surface will be once the backsplash is installed.  Thay way, when it comes time to install the faucet and the sink, everything will be centered so when the water comes out of the faucet it will fall squarely on the sink drain.  Before the plumbers start roughing in pipes, every decision needs to be made or you risk ending up with elements that don’t work well together.
3. Hang 10, Dude!  If any section of your countertop will overhang the cabinets, consider how you will support this area.  Overhangs of 6 to 12 inches are possible without bracing, depending on the material.  However, anything more than a foot of overhang should have some sort of additional support.  A few ideas for support include adding an attractive bracket support against a wall.  This can not only be a structural piece but also has the potential for a nice architectural feature.  Another option would be to add a support leg uner the overhang.  This piece can almost look like a stair baluster with many intricate and delicate patterns.
Countertops
Image courtesy of Houzz
4. Counter height.  Different people and different tasks require different counter heights.  If custom cabinets are not in your budget, one way to vary the finished height of the counter is to use materials of different thicknesses set on standard cabinets.  A standard kitchen counter is 36 inches off the floor, but if you have someone tall in your family, 39 inches may be a more comfortable prep height.  Different countertop heights are especially useful in your master bathroom if you have two different vanity areas.  Making one vanity taller than the other is a perfect comprise for the busy couple on the go.
After the countertops are installed, your project is almost done.  To finally wrap things up, you’ll need to think about backsplash and paint.  Your counter sets the lower line for your tile, so even though you could install the tile before templating, you’ll get a better-looking backsplash if you wait.  Muscling a heavy counter into place is a difficult job, and some walls inevitably will get bumped or dinged.  Save your finish painting until after the install for this reason.
To find out how Elite Home Remodeling can work with you on your next home remodeling project, visit our website and give us to call to find out how we can serve you today!

Remodeling on a Budget

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need loads of cash to remodel or renovate your house.  There are plenty of projects that Elite Home Remodeling can do for you without breaking the bank.

A great way to update a boring laundry room or mud room is to add a built-in bench, some new shelves or some beadboard paneling.  These great additions will not only provide plenty of organizational and storage space, but you will get plenty of new design elements out of a once boring room.

Elite Home Remodeling - Northern Virginia Kitchen Renovations

In the kitchen, upper cabinets are a great way to increase the amount of storage space.  Having taller upper cabinets allows you to not only store more things in your kitchen, but it will also make your room look taller which in turn gives your kitchen more value.  Another great tip for your kitchen remodeling project is to refinish or reface your existing cabinets.  This is a small fix that can make your kitchen look brand new.  Plus, doing something as simple as changing the cabinet door hardware can give your kitchen a new style.

If you are looking to do some work in your dining room, a great and less expensive way to improve the look of the room is to add some chair railing and wainscoting.  Keep the profiles of these trim features low and you will be surprised at just how affordable they really are.

Elite Home Remodeling - Renovating on a Budget - Northern Virginia

Sometimes staying flexible is the secret to renovation success.  No matter what room you are looking to remodel, always be on the lookout for discounted materials and fixtures at specialty stores.  This is a great way to keep the overall cost of your projects down.  Even ask your contractor if they have any leftover materials from previous jobs that they can use on your job.

Just because you are on a budget, does not mean you have to sacrifice style and elegance in your new renovations.  Keep searching for unique and creative solutions and you can have a great looking home.  Be sure to call Elite Home Remodeling to find out how we can serve you today!

Extended Home Remodeling Warranties

At Elite Home Remodeling, we strive to make sure that everything is working properly and is to your satisfaction before we can call any project complete.  However, just in case we did miss something, we provide home owners with the guarantee of a one year warranty.

This twelve month warranty takes effect from the day your punch list is completed.  If you have any malfunctions or anything wrong with any of your systems that we installed, whether we provided the materials and products or not, we will be sure to visit your project and determine where is the problem.  If the problem is an installation defect, Elite Home Remodeling will take care of the repair for free within the first calendar year.

Extended Home Warranties - Elite Home Remodeling

For all of your products and materials, Elite Home Remodeling stands behind any product and manufacturer’s warranty.  If there is a defect with any product or material that was found to be installed correctly, we will help you determine what your next steps of action are to resolve the problem.

Most home owners tend to stay in their home for more than one year.  What happens when something goes wrong after one year from project completion?  In this case, your extended warranty will be there to protect you and your systems in the event of a malfunction or defect.

Elite Home Remodeling has teamed with First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC & Maryland communities to provided home owners with the best possible extended warranty solutions.  There is no better assurance for your home systems and appliances than that of an extended home warranty.

Be sure to give Elite Home Remodeling a call today to find out how we can help you with your next home remodeling project and how an extended warranty can benefit you.

Extended Home Warranties - Elite Home Remodeling

Top 5 Trends for Bathroom Remodeling in 2012

Interested in remodeling your bathroom this year to get the best value and stay up to date with what is going on in the remodeling industry?  Well then you need to know the top 5 trends of bathroom remodeling for 2012.  In this list you will find that you can take advantage of new features that enhance your enjoyment and functionality, while also potentially increasing your home’s value.

Bathroom appliances

TVs integrated into bathroom mirrors will be hotter than ever this year.  The technology has finally come to a point where electronics and humidity can work in perfect harmony so you’ll never have to worry about a foggy picture ever again.

Tankless Water Heater - Elite Home Remodeling

Tankless water heaters are big.  No, not in size, but in popularity.  2012 will see a surge in hybrid water heaters as they become more efficient, less expensive and even better for the environment.  The newest systems integrate technology from both tankless and traditional models for consistent water pressure and hot water availability.

Bathroom fixtures

Have multiple people using the same shower?  Tired of always having to adjust the dials to get them exactly the way you want them?  You need a digital shower.  These digital showers come with preset comfort levels for each user.

Conservation is another strong trend.  WaterSense — the EPA’s water-saving equivalent to Energy Star — logos will direct you to the most sustainable fixtures.  Not only will you be saving the environment, but you will also be saving on your utility bills.  A win-win for everyone.

Elite Home Remodeling

Square sinks and shallow vessels are also on the rise.  Although these tend to attract a certain clientele, you can find sinks that are integrated and blend seamlessly into the counter top, making the contrast of the vessel not as noticeable.

Cabinetry

One of the major features of a bathroom is its cabinetry.  “Wood-toned finishes are growing in popularity, compared with the painted wood that was popular in the past,” shares Sarah Reep, KraftMaid’s director of designer relations.  Reap attributes the trend to homeowners and designers more closely connecting the bedroom’s décor with the bath, especially in open-plan master suites.

Another trend to keep an eye on is frame-less.  The contemporary appeal of both high end and affordable European imports makes this design trend one of the most affordable design options you can go with.

Tile and tops

In the world of tile, bigger is always better.  Make the individual tiles as large as possible will minimizing the size of the grout line and you will have one sleek looking kitchen.

For those looking for something out of left field, be sure to check out some graphic-inspired Spanish and Italian tiles too.

Paint

This year’s Color of the Year, according to color authority Pantone, is Tangerine Tango.  If you’re looking for a fresh, happy color for a powder room or a kids’ bath, you are in luck.  Tangerine Tango is not only fun to say but it is also fun to look at.

Elite Home Remodeling - Tangerine Tango

For those who aren’t quite as risk-averse, you should go with a calmer color for your master bath.  Although some trends come and go, when it comes to bathrooms watery blues and greens are always a good bet.

Make sure to give Elite Home Remodeling a call today to find out how we can help you with your bathroom remodeling project and how we can make your bathroom the best bathroom in 2012.

Remodeling Tips for Small Kitchens

The National Kitchen and Bath Association considers a small kitchen to be less than 150 square feet.  However, many larger kitchens can feel like a small kitchen too because of a poor layout or too few cabinets.  If your small kitchen could use a little upgrading, keep reading!

The most important thing to consider when remodeling your small kitchen in Northern Virginia, Washington DC & Maryland is storage.  Storage is key.  Just how to you optimize your storage space?  Use the space you have while making it look like you have much more room than you really do. Here’s how to make that illusion a reality:

The more natural light, the better.  Just like any room in your home would benefit from natural light, so to would your small kitchen.  It is great for making any small space seem larger.  Don’t be afraid to put a window in your kitchen where you would normally put a cabinet, natural lighting is key.  If you can fit a skylight into your kitchen remodeling budget, even better!

Love your cabinets.  Although darker kitchen cabinets and surfaces are all the rage, they just don’t work as well in a small kitchen.  Another great tip: use long and slender upper cabinets to make the kitchen seem taller.

Elite Home Remodeling Kitchen Remodeling

Location, location, location.  In the world of kitchen real estate, location is critical to your appliances.  Instead of opting for a stovetop and separate oven, try a combination of the two to save on space.  Build the microwave into the cabinets to keep the area streamlined and provide you with more counterspace.

Next time you are looking to remodel your small kitchen space in Northern Virginia, Washington DC & Maryland, talk with Elite Home Remodeling to see how we can help you today!

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