Thursday, May 31, 2012

Latest Trends in Bathroom Design...

Say goodbye to the jetted tubs and sliding glass doors! Some of the latest trends in new bathrooms that have been seen include dual-flush toilets, LED lighting and walk-in showers. According to recent survey by the American Institute of Architecture, homeowners nowadays are focusing mainly on affordability and universal design.

Over the past couple of years, “going green” has become increasingly more popular. In both home design and home decor, Eco-friendly features are becoming more mainstream, especially, LED lighting andwater-saving or dual-flush toilets that change water volume depending on the type of waste being flushed.

Another trend being seen in new bathrooms is applying features that improve accessibility. The National Association of Home Builders reports that 20% of home builders expect new construction to embrace aging in place with more universal access. Some of these changes may include grab bars, “curbless” showers, floating vanities that allow wheelchair access and wider doorways.

Have you incorporated any of these changes into your bathroom? Let us know on Lighthouse Shower Doors Facebook page linked here

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

31% of Americans want to Remodel Their Bathrooms and Reduce Utility Costs...

In a survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens magazine, a third of Americans or 31% reported they want to remodel their bathrooms while 25% reported wanting to remodel their kitchens. Bathroom remodeling has increased by 17% over the past two years and has become the most popular remodeling job.

Many people aren't interested in luxurious master bathrooms anymore. They would rather a bathroom that is practical, classic and basic. Whirlpool tubs are being removed and larger showers with a bench, a ceiling-mounted rain shower head and a hand-held shower is what is most commonly being seen throughout homes. 

Homeowner’s main concerns nowadays is reducing utility costs. Many are doing so by incorporating efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures and water-saving toilets seem to be an increasing popular demand as well. Besides conservation, some other popular trends include larger varied tiles and sunlight inviting windows.

Here are some space-saving tips for your next bathroom remodeling project!
  • Enhance space and storage by swinging the door outward. Use hooks or pegs to hang towels, put a storage cabinet or shelves above the toilet and use below-sink cabinetry and mirrored medicine cabinets.
  • In smaller bathrooms, create a larger, spa-like shower bygetting rid of the shower/tub combo. If a dedicated bather, go with a space-saving built-in soaking tub.
  • Install lighting that can dim as well as go off (along with exhaust fans) automatically after a period of time.
  • Separate the toilet from the sink area with a frosted glass wall, or if there's more space, with a toilet room (add venting for noise and odor control).
  •  To enhance counter space, use a single-bowl rather than a double-bowl vanity. If there's enough room, use two sinks and add privacy by separating them with built-in wall storage.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Remodeling Your Beach House

Are you an owner of a beach house? If so, there are probably a couple of remodeling ideas on your to do list. Here are a couple of remodeling tips for you to take into consideration this summer.
First, enhance the spaces where you spend the most time. Kitchens and screened porches seem to be the biggest hangout spots in beach homes. Therefore, consider making the porch bigger and add an extra bat stool to expand your kitchens island.

Second, accommodate technology. To prevent rooms full of power cords and chargers sticking out of every wall outlet, think about adding built-in charging stations in the bedroom closets.
Third, replace dated or flimsy doors or doorknobs. Doors and doorknobs are constantly being used throughout the home and could always use some touchups or repairs!
Fourth,rethink the height of the bathroom vanities. The standard height for bathroom vanities was 30 inches in bathrooms and 36 inches in kitchens. Most people find 36 inches to be more comfortable. Consider making this change to keep your house as up to date as possible.

And lastly, start a construction blog! Starting a blog is a great way to share pictures of your home and poll your family members on project ideas and details. You can then turn all of your before and after photos into an album on the coffee table!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bathroom Remodeling: Often the Hardest & Most Expensive Room to Remodel

When looking to remodel your home, the bathroom in particular, this is often one of the hardest and most expensive rooms of the house to remodel. Plumbing lines are set to certain spots and the sink and toilet are set in a specific space. Also, if your bathroom is on the smaller side, there is very little you can do without spending a huge chunk of change to renovate!
If your bathroom falls into the small space category, here are a few “space-busters” you can try to make your small space appear larger.

  • Swap out the vanity. If your cabinet is a vanity, consider switching or replacing it with a pedestal sink. It will minimize the storage potential in the bathroom and make the bathroom appear to be more spacious.
  • Ditch the shower curtain. Fabric or patterned shower curtains tend to make bathrooms look smaller. Think about installing glass shower doors, they will keep the view open and light. If you are relatively handy, installing glass shower doors yourself is relatively easy.
  • Clear the clutter. Baskets, bins and shelves can help to keep a small space stay tidy. Consider installing wall-mounted or built in storage to keep your bathroom looking neat and clean.
  • Paint it. A simple coat of paint can transform any room. If your bathroom lacks natural day light consider adding lighter and more neutral colors to give your bathroom a new look. Lively colors allow for bathrooms to look more spacious.
  • Let there be light. If your bathroom is on the older side, it is easy to assume you have outdated light fixtures. There are many options out there for new bathroom lighting and a modest investment is certainly worth the cost in the end.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring Cleaning "Must-Do's" According to Bob Vila!

Now that spring is in full bloom, it’s time to make sure all your spring cleaning projects are checked off the list. May is a great time of year to fix up the house from damage from the winter, and prepare it in full for the upcoming sunny summer months. 

Here are five “must-dos” for your spring maintenance, provided by Bob Vila, that if you haven’t got to yet, you can now add them to the list!
  • Seal your driveway. Winter has many mysterious ways of taking a toll on the exterior of your home, but don’t let the driveway be an exception. Damage from the sun, oil, gas spills, rain, wind and fluctuation in temperature all contribute to the breakdown of the driveway overtime. Water creates cracks and can then settle into the base. If your driveway hasn’t been sealed in two years, get to it now! This is the perfect DIY (do it yourself) weekend project.
  • Check air conditioning units. Now that the warmer weather has arrived, it’s assumed that you will be putting your air conditioning units to good use. Check the filter, check hose connection for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. Also, make sure to vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit and its connections- it can affect its functioning! If you’ve experienced any trouble with the unit in the past, it may be time to call in a professional to check it out. Warm weather is known for elevating humidity, especially in the basement and garage, so be sure to set up a dehumidifier to reduce any issues!
  • Tend to your lawn. The winter months allow for many soil complications, along with chemical changes that alter the soil’s PH levels. Even if you are unable to physically see weeds, they are more than likely waiting for optimum conditions to propagate.  If you want to reduce the chances of them germinating, consider an organic herbicide. Also, reseed on a regular basis!
  • Ready the grill. If your gas grill has any remaining gas from the winter months, check the burner jets for any clogs or obstructions. Also, be sure that all gas hoses and connections are sound and secure. For charcoal grill owners, make sure your grill is ash free and free of grease and residue.
  • Inspect deck and patio. Inspect the deck for any warped or splintered boards. Give the deck a good sweep to remove and excess leaves or debris that may have accumulated over the winter. No matter if your deck is wood, plastic or composite; a deck should be cleaned thoroughly every year to extend its life. If the wood finish on your deck is faded or worn, May is the perfect time to clean, stain and reseal it.