7 Key Things to Consider Before Remodeling the Kitchen

Basement wet bar

Kitchen renovations are quite popular in the greater Des Moines area.

I mean, there’s hardly anything better than adding a big bay window above the sink that allows you to look out into your beautiful Iowa yard while you’re doing the dishes.

But, there are a few important things to consider before remodeling your kitchen.So put down that Best Buy catalog, stop thinking about tiles for just a second, and answer these questions for yourself.

What’s Your Budget?

The first thing you should write down on your kitchen remodel checklist is your budget. This will determine everything from the type of paint you buy to the complexity of the job.

HomeWorx Iowa offers financing plans to help local residents pay for renovations. And, we’re happy to work with you to develop a project that you can afford.

But, before we can break ground, we have to draw up a proposal and make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of pricing. So, it helps if you know how much you can spend beforehand to save us all time.

Interested in financing your kitchen remodel? Contact us for more info!

What Type of Cabinets Are You Looking For?

Cabinets are the most important component of a kitchen. They’re essentially the framework that everything is built around. So, it’s important to consider them before you think about anything else.

“How do you choose cabinets?” you ask, “And how much do kitchen cabinets cost, anyway?”

Well, it depends on what you want.

Would you like your cabinets to extend all the way to the ceiling so that you don’t have to dust up top? 

HomeWorx is happy to help you brainstorm kitchen cabinet design ideas. But, the more you think about this before our first consultation, the easier it will be to get an idea of what you’re looking for and how much they’ll cost.

Is the Sink Going to Move?

Most of the people who hire us for a kitchen renovation want to keep their sink in the same spot. They usually want us to replace it with a new sink, but they’re generally pretty happy with where it sits when we show up.

If you want to move your sink to a new location, however, you’ll have to let us know ahead of time.

In Des Moines and other Iowa cities, we’ll have to obtain a permit to move a sink because it requires a plumber to reroute the pipes.

This isn’t a problem, of course. We’re happy to help. But, you should add this to your kitchen remodel checklist and let us know ahead of time. 

Are We Adding Lights?

Obviously, one of the most important things to consider before your kitchen remodel is lighting. We’re guessing that you probably don’t want to keep that old, dusty chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

These days, you have an endless number of lighting options to choose from. You can add recessed lighting, track lighting, or any other type of fixture you’d like.

If you simply want us to replace the old lights with new fixtures, we can do that without a problem. If you want new fixtures added in a spot where there weren’t any previously, though, we may have to call an electrician to handle the wiring.

Check out some pictures of our kitchen projects in the Photo Gallery!

Do You Want to Really Want to Gut the Original Architecture?

Today, it’s quite popular for people to gut their entire kitchen. They call us up and have us tear everything out so that they can add new cabinets, counters, and appliances.

And while we usually recommend this approach, it’s not the best option for everyone.

There are a lot of midcentury modern homes in Des Moines that still contain the original architecture. If you currently live in one of these houses, it doesn’t make sense for us to gut it. By keeping some of the features, you’ll be able to get much more money for the house when you sell it.

Now, we’ll be happy to add some lighting under the counter and take care of any other odd jobs you need done, but you should carefully consider whether or not you actually want us to tear down the to the studs.

Are You Selling Your Home Anytime Soon?

Are you remodeling your house to sell it? Are you hoping that these kitchen renovations will add some value?

Well, you’re making the right choice. A new kitchen can add significant value to your home.

But, you may also want to consider other renovations while you’re at it.

After all, if you already have the HomeWorx team working on your house, why not have us do some bathroom renovations, too? We’d also be happy to finish your basement or take care of any other projects you need.

Ultimately, the more work you put into it, the more likely it is that someone will want to buy it from you. And, they’ll probably be willing to pay a lot more money for it.

Click here to learn more about our remodeling services!

Where Are You Going to Eat When Your Kitchen is Under Construction?

There’s one final thing to consider before you get a kitchen remodel: where and what are you going to eat?

Your kitchen, after all, is going to be out of commission for at least a few days. During that time, you and your family are going to have to find some food.

So, you should plan on ordering up from your favorite pizza place while we work. It won’t be long until you’re enjoying home cooked Iowa meals in your brand new kitchen!

Ready to get started? Call HomeWorx at 515-850-7501 for a free consultation today!

How Hard is Painting for DIY Home Renovation?

DIY

When we think of remodeling and renovation projects, it’s often on a grand scale. A whole home makeover could add value to your home and have you falling in love with your living spaces all over again. But there are times when just a small touchup is needed, or, maybe you simply want a new color theme to change the mood. Paint is an extremely simple and cost-effective way to update a room. Painting is a home renovation project that is often suited to DIY.

If you’re debating whether to call a Des Moines handyman or start the job alone, this is the guide for you. We’ll explore what goes into painting a room, the tools that are needed, and the steps to get fantastic results. DIY isn’t for everyone, and with the right information, you’ll be able to decide the best way to move forward with a minor home makeover.

The Basic Steps of Painting a Room During Minor Home Renovation

In DIY, people often approach jobs in a way that seems most logical to them. Painting isn’t the best project for improvisation. You will want to have a structured approach, no matter the space you are working in.

The actual process can be broken down into a few unique steps, which should be carried out in the following order:

  • Removing furniture and other items from the room.
  • Prepping walls and performing minor repairs.
  • Taping off trim like baseboards and molding.
  • Painting the walls.

These steps will get you through the most basic makeover in a living room, bedroom, dining room etc. Each step is important and will involve a few sub steps. We’ll dive into details in the following sections, helping you to decide whether you should call Des Moines contractors or get the job done yourself.

Removing Furniture Before Home Renovation Painting

This is the easiest step. It’s also one of the most important. Removing all items from the room will give you more space to work in. If you are in a larger room like a living room, you can move furniture and other items to the center of the room, before covering everything with a heavy duty drop cloth.

Relocating furniture to another room is recommended but it all depends on your situation. If you have a spare bedroom or garage space, then temporarily storing your items won’t be a big deal. If you have a smaller home without a lot of free space, then centering and covering your items will make sense.

During this step you need to ensure that there’s absolutely nothing left on your walls. Nails, picture hangers etc. should all be removed prior to preparation and repairs. This will allow you to get the most consistent finish across the whole wall, and it will help if you ever choose to sell in the future. A room with a perfectly painted wall will look much better than one with odd patches and hangers sticking out.

Don’t forget about curtains and blinds during this step. The room should be bare, sparing minor features like outlet and switch covers. If you have large decorative shades around ceiling lights, these should also be removed during painting.

When the room is emptied or all items are covered, you can move on to your preparation.

Prepping Walls and Performing Minor Repairs

Prepping is all about getting a smooth surface so that the paint adheres well without visible imperfections once the job is done.

If there are holes left from nails and hangers that you won’t be reusing, you will need to fill these ahead of painting. You can purchase spackling paste from your local hardware store. Filling in holes is as simple as applying a small amount of paste, smoothing it with a spatula, and allowing it to dry. This can take up to 24 hours. You can check the spackle with a light finger touch. If it’s hard and there is no fingerprint left behind, you’re ready to start sanding.

The easiest way to do this is with a sanding sponge or 120 grit sandpaper. Most DIY enthusiasts prefer a sponge because it allows for a consistent finish, even without prior experience. Sand the outside of the treated area until the spackle is smooth with the wall, and then lightly sand over the center of the spackle until you can run your fingers smoothly along the surface.

Wipe around the area with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dust leftover, and then allow the area to dry again. Once the area is completely dry, use a brush to apply a light coat of primer. If you don’t prime the spackle, you will end up with an irregular coat once you start painting the rest of the wall.

You can follow these instructions for holes left from screws, nails, and decorative hangers. Even larger holes from mounted shelves and other features can be repaired with spackling paste.

When the walls are fully repaired and sanding is completed, you can start to clean the surfaces. This will remove any gloss from existing paint, as well as imperfections like dust and dirt. A clean cloth or squeegee can be used with a household paint prep cleaner. There are plenty of options on the market, this Chomp cleaner is one of them. Visit your local hardware store and talk to the staff if you’re unsure about what to use. Clean all surfaces and allow time for drying, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

For many people who complete DIY painting, preparation will be the hardest part of the job. If you aren’t confident filling holes and sanding off your repairs, a Des Moines handyman or home renovation company will be your best bet. Try starting small on a minor repair and see how you go. If you aren’t happy with the result, you can always call in the professionals.

Taping Off Your Trim for Home Renovation Painting

If you perform a thorough prep, it could take a full day (with drying time allowed). On the second day you will be able to move on to taping and painting.

Taping is especially important because it will allow you to achieve a professional finish. It will also keep your colored paint off molding and baseboards. Don’t rush this step, or you could be disappointed in the results!

Multi-surface painter’s tape will be your best bet. There are countless brands on the market, although it’s always safest to go with a trusted name brand like 3M Scotch or FrogTape.

  • Tape off baseboards and molding completely, especially if you have never painted before. If you have hardwood or solid floors, extend the tape down to the flooring surface. It’s best to be completely safe when performing DIY home renovation.

  • Run your finger along the edge of the tape smoothly and with moderate force to ensure that painted edges are crisp.

  • Cover the rest of your flooring with a canvas drop cloth (for carpet) or rosin paper (for solid flooring). This will eliminate any paint splashes.

  • Tape off light switch covers and outlet covers, as well as any mounted accessories like smart devices or thermostat controllers.

 DIY Painting Your walls

Next comes the most critical and rewarding part of the project. It’s time to paint!

You’ll need to make sure that you’re covered with all the accessories for painting. You can purchase the following from a hardware store or big box home improvement store.

  • Paint – Color is completely up to you. Eggshell paint is a good option for modern homes. It features a semi-matte finish that still provides some luster in the right lighting. Be sure to consider how color will completement your home décor and overall theme.

  • Paint Stirring Stick – You can pick up a stirring stick for free when buying paint at most home improvement and hardware stores. You need to ensure that paint is well mixed before you pour it into your tray and get to work. Up to 30 seconds of stirring is enough for most home renovation If in doubt, follow the manufacturer instructions on the can.

  • Paint Tray – A metal or plastic paint tray will do. If you plan to paint again in the future, a metal tray will be more durable. You can also use a tray liner to make cleanup easier.

  • Brushes – 3” and 4” flat edge brushes are best for wall painting. Aim for mid-range quality. Wooster, Presa, and Purdy are some well-known brands suitable for DIY.

  • Roller Brushes (Covers) and a Roller – Invest in an adjustable telescoping paint roller so that you can easily reach the tops of your walls. A small room could be painted with a single roller brush, but for living areas, it’s best to invest in a kit of roller brushes (at least three). Stanley, Purdy, and Wooster rollers are good choices.

Now comes the painting itself. Most DIY painters will start with brushwork in the corners and around the edges of molding, baseboards, switches, and outlets etc. It helps to have two people working simultaneously, one with the brush, and another with the roller.

The idea is to make smooth and consistent passes and reapply paint to the roller when the coat starts to become thin. Rollers help a lot with spread and consistency, so even if you aren’t a pro, you’ll still get impressive results. If you’re painting a darker color on a lighter wall it will be easy to see exactly which sections are finished.

Here are some simple tips to get the job done:

  • Roll in long vertical strips to distribute paint evenly across the wall. After the initial coat, go back with a second layer (while the paint is still wet) to ensure a uniform finish.

  • Work from edge to edge and don’t leave isolated patches. This could cause you to go back over covered areas, leaving an uneven finish.

  • Don’t dip the roller completely into the paint tray, this will cause drips and gobs down your wall which you will then need to go back over.

  • If you have a spare piece of drywall from an older home renovation, consider practicing on it first. Prime it and then use the roller to paint long, even strips.

  • Work carefully but not so slowly that you will be rolling back over semi-dry and sticky paint.

You can follow these steps and even watch some online tutorials to get an idea of the work involved in painting. While one of the simpler home renovation projects, this can still be quite challenging for first time DIYers.

If you’re not confident at any point of the process, or if you simply don’t have the time, a Des Moines contractor will be able to help.

The Advantages of Working with Des Moines Home Renovation Experts

At HomeWorx Iowa, we’ve seen great results from DIY painting. We’ve also been called in to remedy homes where painting didn’t go according to plan.

Ultimately, deciding on whether you perform DIY painting will depend on your confidence and the time that you have.

  • Do you have the time to get all the tools, paint, and accessories?
  • Do you have a weekend to set aside for painting?
  • Are you confident that you can remain focused throughout the home renovation project?

If you can’t answer yes to all these questions, then a professional home renovation will be the best option for you.

We offer cost-competitive renovation and handyman services for the smaller projects around your home. We can also perform complete home renovation work, so if you have a bigger project in mind, we can offer a free consultation so that you can make the right decision.

Whether it’s DIY or with a Des Moines handyman, you can refinish your living spaces to be brighter, more inviting, and more modern. If you aren’t ready to take on the job of painting and other home improvements, talk to your local professionals at HomeWorx.

Home Remodeling Made Easier with Simple Tips

home remodeling

Without the right planning, a promising home remodeling project could turn into a logistical and emotional nightmare. However, if you get things right, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, comfortable, and efficient home to enjoy forever.

From your budget to material choices, there’s a lot to think about. We’ve broken down some of the most important aspects of home remodeling so that you know where to focus.

Remodeling doesn’t have to be overly complicated. There are ways to make the process simpler and with minimal stress. Learn some tips that will make your project more manageable with better results.

Remember the Bigger Picture When Planning Improvements

It’s easy to focus on the big improvements when planning whole home remodeling. The aesthetic and the feature improvements come to mind first. You could get excited about your new living spaces and forget some of the critical yet hidden aspects of home improvement.

Efficiency is one thing that many homeowners fail to calculate. Failing to improve the efficiency of your home could limit the value you get from a major project.

  • Fill your walls in every room if you want lower heating and cooling costs in the future. Insulation doesn’t last forever. If your home was built more than 20 years ago, you’ll need to have insulation inspected to see if it needs to be replaced. The right insulation will make your home more energy efficient and can even address noise problems.

  • Replacing older windows can also increase energy efficiency while keeping your home quieter. Low-e glass is specially designed to filter sunlight and its heat-producing radiation. It also keeps heating and cooling energy inside.

  • Small cracks and gaps around windows and exterior surfaces could be causing energy leakage. If you are investing in whole home remodeling, have your contractor inspect the interior and exterior of your home for damage that could be repaired or filled.

Addressing efficiency during home remodeling will give you the most comfortable home, and you’ll make better use of your budget without having to come back and perform improvements later.

Plan Your Home Remodeling Right Down to the Finest Detail

The more you plan, the smoother your Des Moines home remodeling project will be. Some homeowners plan at a high level and then let contractors fill in the details. This can result in a situation where you aren’t completely on-board with the decisions that are made. Eventually, this could lead to change orders while the project is underway, which is a sure way to blow your budget and increase turnaround time.

Work with a contractor that can provide 3D modeling of all your planned improvements. At HomeWorx Iowa we work closely with our customers using CAD software so that they can visualize how their homes will look. It results in better decision making without surprises once work is underway. Talk to us today if you want to learn how our planning and consultation process results in better homes.

The areas of planning where you should place extra attention include:

  • Material selection and alternatives for items that aren’t available from a supplier.
  • Colors and textures. Make sure you have seen samples for materials and fixtures before you settle on a decision.
  • The floor plan of remodeled areas. If you are removing walls, changing room layouts, or adding to your home, make sure you’ve seen a detailed floorplan so that you know exactly what you’re in for.
  • Storage for personal items. Many homeowners underestimate just how disruptive a remodeling project can be. Make sure that valuables are stored in a designated area. You may also need to cover or move furniture and electronics that could be exposed to dust.

You may also want to explore alternative accommodation options for the duration of remodeling. This can make the process less stressful because disruption to your daily routine will be minimized. Some homeowners even coordinate home remodeling projects with vacations and business trips.

Talk to Friends and Family

If you have never remodeled or renovated, you could be in for a shock. The best contractors work to minimize disruption and inconvenience. However, the reality is that whole home remodeling is a massive undertaking, and you will be surprised at how quickly you can feel like you’ve lost control of your private space.

Talk to friends, family, and colleagues who have performed major renovations or remodeling. They can give you insights surrounding the process while also sharing their own coping strategies.

Remodeling fever is a term given to the temporary loss of control and anxiety that can come from having contractors and other professionals in your personal space. It happens to even the calmest homeowners and the only way around it is to plan and understand that it will pass upon completion of the project.

The quality of your Des Moines contractor can limit the impact of remodeling fever, so it’s important to work with the best.

Keep Track of Your Budget and Prepare for Cost Overruns

If you plan well, your allocated budget should cover the entire project… right?

Not exactly.

One of the hardest things to understand on your first complete home remodeling project is that your budget can and likely will go beyond your initial estimate. Professionals recommend that you budget 20% above the contract price for unexpected work and overruns.

There are countless variables that can increase the cost of remodeling.

  • Material prices can change mid-project.
  • Labor fees could increase.
  • Your contractor may discover problems that need to be repaired before remodeling starts. Some problems can’t be found until demolition begins.

A payment schedule will be developed before work begins. Larger projects use milestones to track progress and keep the budget in line with estimates. Make sure that you follow every milestone and keep an eye on costs. There will be fewer surprises when you are actively involved.

Experienced Des Moines contractors can limit budget bloat, which is another reason why you should only work with a reputable local home improvement company.

Get a Detailed Contract

You wouldn’t take out a loan without reading the terms. You wouldn’t accept an employment offer without reading the agreement in full. In home remodeling and renovation, you should never give the green light for work without signing a detailed contract.

If you go into your project with an ambiguous contract you are only setting yourself up for a high amount of risk. If the contract isn’t detailed, the project manager could go ahead with work that is completely out of line with your original vision.

You might think this is an obvious suggestion, but there are countless homeowners who end up in disputes and even litigation because they failed to get a detailed home remodeling contract.

The contract protects you and the home improvement company. If a contractor is willing to go ahead with only a basic agreement, then that should be an instant red flag.

Set Some Basic Rules to Keep Everybody Happy

You don’t want to be inconvenienced beyond reason during your whole home remodel. Likewise, contractors and their teams don’t want to cause contention and issues that could compromise the working relationship.

You need to set ground rules to follow so that everybody is on the same page. You also need processes in place so that potential problems are communicated before they snowball. Some important things to consider include:

  • Where will contractors park, and what are acceptable working hours?
  • Which areas of the house are ok for access, including bathrooms?
  • How will a contractor communicate setbacks or anything that could increase the budget or project completion time?
  • What happens if materials or hardware are unavailable? In most cases you should expect to sign off on any alternative choices. If you are confident in your contractor, you can have them make the call, but this will need to be stated in your agreement to avoid disputes later.
  • Where will materials and tools be stored?
  • Where will construction waste be stored, and how often will it be removed during the project?
  • What specific steps will contractors take to protect areas of your home that aren’t being remodeled. A dust mitigation plan is essential.
  • Who is the point of contact when issues arise?

Make a Home That You Will Love to Live In

Most importantly, plan a home that will bring convenience, comfort, and enjoyment. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trends and make hasty decisions regarding home improvement. The latest fad wasn’t designed for you and your unique needs. Keep your improvements personal and you’ll get better overall value, especially if you plan to live in your home right through to retirement.

HomeWorx Iowa makes renovation and home remodeling simple because we understand how important the planning process is. We will work with you to create designs that are functional and beautiful. We provide detailed drawings and 3D models so that you know exactly what you will get at the end of the project. Every one of our projects is professionally managed and we operate on a culture of ownership and transparency.

Our mission is to make the process stress free, while building homes that matter.

You don’t need to be a home improvement expert to get amazing results. Talk to us today for a free consultation, and we’ll take your concept and create a proposal to bring it to life.