How to Choose a Counter Depth Fridge

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A counter depth refrigerator is a wonderful option when you want an appliance that looks aesthetically pleasing without the price tag associated with a built-in version. Counter depth fridges are wider and shallower than a standard depth refrigerator. This allows them to sit flush with your cabinetry and countertops. The depth ranges from around 23 inches to about 27 inches, and they usually come with French doors that provide you with a smaller freezer section on the left and a larger refrigerator compartment on the right.

Counter depth refrigerators make up for any capacity lost in depth by being taller than a traditional model. They are designed to be space saving as well as beautiful. They do sit flush while a gap between the fridge and abutting cupboards allow the doors to open and close freely. This refrigerator style is considered a reasonable mid-price option between a standard depth fridge and a custom-designed model.

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Popular Counter Depth Fridge Brands

When you are planning your NJ kitchen remodeling project you will find that several of the major brands offer counter depth refrigerators. This includes Bosch, Electrolux, and Viking. It is important to buy your counter depth fridge from a reputable brand that ensures you are getting one with a longer life expectancy and better features.

The brand you choose often depends on exactly what you are looking for. For example, companies like Jenn-Air and Thermador have some of the top professional counter depth refrigerators available. GE, Whirlpool, and Kitchen Aid also offer well-made designs.

Common Features Of Counter Depth Fridges People Look For

There are several features that homeowners immediately think of when starting a NJ kitchen remodeling project. Capacity is usually your first concern because you want to make sure it will hold all of your food. The average counter depth fridge has a capacity of between 15 to 25 cubic feet. This is less than a traditional refrigerator, but less space is the compromise you make for a more elegant design.

There are four main styles of counter depth refrigerators to pick from. Bottom freezer models have the fridge on top and provide 10 to 21 cubic feet of storage space. Top freezer models have the fridge on the bottom and offer the same capacity as a bottom freezer design. French door styles are the most popular with 22 to 28 cubic feet available, and side by side models will give you a capacity of 23 to 26 cubic feet.

Homeowners are also concerned with the price. A regular depth refrigerator is your least expensive option while built-ins are the costliest. Counter depth fridges typically start around $1,000 and go up from there. If you are trying to decide between a traditional refrigerator and a counter depth design, the price isn’t drastic but still a real concern for any homeowner.

Additional Counter Depth Fridge Features to Consider

There are several decisions to make when it comes to the features offered in a counter depth fridge. Many of these are missed by homeowners when they are not working with a NJ kitchen designer like Trade Mark Design & Build. For example, have you thought about whether or not all of your hardware will match? If you purchase your appliances from within a single package offered by one brand, the hardware will all be the same. On the other hand, if you select different appliances from several different brands, you will want your kitchen designer to help you coordinate all of the handles so that they all look nice when placed together in your new kitchen.

Your kitchen designer can also help explain to your exactly what your counter depth fridge will look like once it is installed. The box of the fridge is counter depth, but the doors often extend past the surrounding cabinetry. In order to have the doors flush, you need to choose a built-in design. Your designer will also help with the height which can range from 68 to 72 inches. They will even discuss with you smaller concerns such as the capacity of ice it will produce.

Homeowners looking for a beautiful fridge that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional will love the features a counter depth refrigerator offers. The price is reasonable, and it will blend in nicely with your cabinetry, countertops, and other appliances. Talk to your kitchen designer about which models will best suit your own personal needs.

Home Inspection Red Flags

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Home Inspection Red Flags

A home inspection report is an assessment of a house. It includes a long list of everything that is wrong with the home. The inspection is done before the sale of the property is finalized. This gives potential buyers the opportunity to re-negotiate the price if there are issues that will need to be repaired. Not all of the problems an inspector finds are a big deal, but some of the issues may be significant. The following information will help you determine what you should be the most aware of when reading a home inspection and which items you shouldn’t worry about.
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The Summary

The first part of the home inspection report that you want to look over is the primary recommendations. This is also called the summary. This portion covers health and safety concerns. For example, it may state that there is a problem with mold. If you think it may be a harmful level, you can get it further checked out by a mold remediation specialist.

This section may also discuss electrical issues that could be a potential for hazard. Even a leaky roof being listed in this portion of the report can be cause for concern. Leaky roofs can create water damage that can affect the wood-framed structure of a house.

Costly Issues

The home inspection report can also list big-ticket issues. This includes electrical, structural, and mechanical problems. These are the types of problems that will be expensive to repair, and they may be cause for re-negotiating the price of a house. They are not problems that can be easily fixed during a NJ home remodeling project without costing you extra time and money.

Electrical issues worth worrying about would be old wiring that is dangerous, faulty wiring, ungrounded receptacles, or outdated knob and tube wiring from the 1950s or before. Structural issues range from older roofs that need to be replaced to cracks in the foundation that can be a sign of structural damage. Finally, mechanical problems are issues related to waste plumbing lines that do not drain properly or low water pressure.

Issues That Vary in Price

Some of the problems revealed during a home inspection can vary in price when it comes to fixing them. For example, termites are common in older houses. How much it will cost to take care of the issue depends on whether there is an active infestation or simply damage left behind from past infestations. This is something you may want to have the seller fix before finalizing the sale.

Mold is never good to find listed on your home inspection report, but it can be removed. The question is for how much. Surface mold is easily taken care of while mold found in the attic due to poor ventilation could require an entirely new roof in order to ensure the mold is removed.

Less Obvious Issues

No home will have a perfect inspection report unless it is newly constructed. Older homes often have issues that will be noted in the report. Some of these are simply a matter of age while others are red flags.

Look at any cracks found in a house as a red flag. As a home settles over time, cracks will appear. Although the cracks themselves seem harmless, they can be a sign of bigger issues. As homes settle, problems such as loose pipes can arise. Original pipes and plumbing may also rust with age. Cracks may even create further problems by allowing pests a way to enter the home.

Soil piled up against the house is another red flag. This soil can keep the water from draining away from the structure properly. This water can damage the foundation creating devastating damage.

Items You Shouldn’t Worry About

Although every issue deserves a certain amount of attention, there are things that will show up on the home inspection report that won’t affect the sale. Top of this list is appliances. The report may list appliances such as the dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, or drier as not functioning correctly. These are items that you can have replaced during a NJ kitchen remodeling project or replaced with your existing appliances.

You can also overlook certain exterior issues. If the siding or paint is listed as being in poor condition, you shouldn’t worry. These are mainly cosmetic problems and shouldn’t change the sale of the house in any major way, but you will want to repair them on your own once the property is yours. This can be discussed with a home remodeling contractor.

Although the results of a home inspection report can be disappointing, it does allow you the opportunity to negotiate the cost of the house with the seller. A new offer could offset the price of repairs. You can also discuss whether or not the seller should pay for a portion of the repairs before finalizing the deal. Don’t become stressed over your home inspection report. Look at it as a helpful tool when considering the purchase of a new home.

What Makes A Great Home Remodeling Estimate?

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What makes a great home remodeling estimate?

Article written by Clear Estimates as a guest blogger.

Estimates are the backbone of any remodeling job. It’s the first interaction had with a customer, and it’s the framework for financial commitment between both parties. NJ Home Remodeling Estimates should always be upfront, inviting and completely transparent regarding the work involved. Some estimates may take weeks to complete after multiple back and forths, while others can be drawn up in a few minutes. Estimates are important to both parties as a contractor needs to price correctly, and a customer needs to understand what’s within their budget. Estimates are also a great way to outline scopes of work, understanding what is and is not included.

The First Interaction

An estimate is typically the first interaction between customer and contractor. It’s important to completely understand the customer’s wants and needs and to draft an estimate accordingly. It sounds simple, I know, and there are likely many revisions to occur. Different qualities of items, stone vs plastic, import vs local, engineered vs handcrafted. All can lead to quite a bit of back and forth. This is a crucial phase for the estimator to get right. Your customer has faith in you to work with them in finding the right material for their budget. More importantly, though, they have faith in you to bring their vision to light! It’s about finding that sweet spot between quality and price, ensuring that the scope of work meets the customer’s needs.

Transparency and scope of work

Does the estimate cover the entire scope of work? This is an important aspect between contractor and customer. Be sure that both parties are on the same page, as you don’t want any disputes later on over expected work. An estimate with great transparency is how you can accomplish this. Be sure that your estimate has a complete itemized breakdown, outlining the scope of work in its entirety. Be sure to also include any kind of legal language necessary. You want to make sure that both parties are aware of the ramifications if the contract is broken or not completed. Since there are no such things as “general legal language” for something like this, be sure to consult with a local attorney that specializes in contracts.

In the image below, you’ll see that the contractor has completely outlined the scope of work. Each item carries a sentence of text previewing what the task is and how much of it is being done. A categorized breakdown is typical, in the order that the scope of work should be performed.

NJ Home Remodeling Estimate

Home Owner & Contractor Personalization

Make sure your estimate has a personal touch. Not only for the contractor, but also for the homeowner. This is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. How are you different, what sets you apart? Be sure that your estimate has a company logo and even a few pictures related to the customer’s home or materials that might be used. Take it to another level and include past reviews, links to your Houzz and Home Advisor profiles. The more you can show your previous work, the more trust a potential customer might have in you and the work you do.

Home Remodeling Contractors Professionalism

How is your estimate drafted? If it’s transparent and personal but drafted on a piece of paper, you’re going to lose some legitimacy. A great estimate is computer generated and formatted consistently throughout. This gives the customer an easy to read and easy to understand professional format.

Estimate Presentation For Home Remodeling

After you’ve done all that work to make sure the estimate is transparent, personal and professional, how do deliver it to your customer? If you’re drafting back and forth, email may be the best option. It allows for flexibility and for both parties to make revisions in the quickest fashion. In the final stages, though, you may consider an in-person meeting. This is a great time to discuss the estimate, making sure both parties understand the estimate and scope of work (transparency), discuss job timeline and most importantly, solidify the relationship between both parties. Be sure that the final version of the estimate includes room for a signature, and outlines the total cost agreed upon. If a payment schedule is in place, be sure that is included as well.

Home Remodeling Cost Estimate

About Clear Estimates

Clear Estimates is an easy-to-use program that allows you to quickly determine a project’s cost in a variety of fashions, manage and customize a part library, maintain a customer and project database, produce several types of reports and proposals, process change orders, integrate with Quickbooks Pro (c), and update price information in the part library through an automated price updating service. Price updating services provided by RemodelMAX cost books quarterly for 400 regions in the U.S.

Most Popular NJ Home Remodeling Projects

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Most Popular Home Remodeling Projects

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There are several possible home remodeling projects that you can do to improve your house. These projects will make your home more enjoyable to live in as well as increase the value of your house. Some are large and quite involved, but many are smaller and more affordable. In fact, smaller remodeling projects are gaining in popularity. Homeowners no longer look at their NJ home remodeling as an all or nothing adventure. Rather than completely gutting the house and starting over, many people are choosing to renovate over time by tackling one room at a time. The following are the most popular home remodeling projects that today’s homeowners are considering.

Bathroom Renovation

Bathrooms have surpasses the kitchen when it comes to the most popular home remodeling project. This is a perfect example of homeowners choosing to do the smaller renovations. When you remodel your bathroom, you can expect a return on your investment of up to 102%. Before tackling the cosmetic aspects, talk to your home remodeling contractor about the plumbing. This should be updated before moving forward. Next, you can focus on the lighting. Attractive and functional lighting fixtures can be placed on either side of the mirror or overhead as task lighting. Recessed lighting works nicely for general illumination. Be sure to include new cabinetry in your design that offers plenty of storage, and add double sinks, a walk-in shower, or an oversized tub for a touch of luxury.

Kitchen Remodeling

The kitchen is the heart of the home so it only makes sense that it is such a popular room to remodel. Any improvements done to this area are sure to increase the value of your home. Splurge on eye-catching backsplash materials such as stainless steel tiles, metal tiles, or mosaics. Flooring should be durable as well as attractive. Hardwood planks are a top choice among many homeowners. Invest in high-quality cooking equipment too. You will enjoy using it, and it will certainly give you a good return on your investment. Customized cabinetry can look elegant while providing necessary storage, and additions such as an island, large windows, and modern range hoods will take your remodel to the next level.

A Custom Wine Cellar

Finished basements always add value to a home, especially if they are turned into a useful and beautiful space. Wine cellars are so popular that they are actually becoming an expectation in many markets. The largest portion of your wine cellar investment should be devoted to temperature control. You need a reliable way to maintain the temperature as well as control humidity. Treating the room with weather stripping, vapor barriers, and insulation will help. When designing a wine cellar you need to include storage for bottles, glasses, and other necessities along with seating. Seating can be anything from a table and chairs to a full bar. Redwood and western cedar are often used in the design for its beautiful appearance and durability.

A Master Suite Addition

Creating a master suite within your home will certainly make the house more appealing to future buyers, and it will give you a peaceful area to relax in at the end of a busy day. Building a master suite can be expensive. You can easily reach a six-figure price tag if it is necessary to build on to the existing structure and add a master bath. You will save money if existing rooms can simply be converted into a master suite. In return for your investment, you can expect to get half of your final costs back when you sell. When designing the bedroom, keep comfort and simplicity in mind. Walk-in closets are a popular feature to add along with ceiling fans and large windows that provide beautiful views.

The Family Room

A family room is another great option when finishing a basement. An open and inviting space is ideal for gathering together with friends and family. It makes your home more livable, and you can expect to recoup more than half of your expenses with the increase in value it creates. Use floor to ceiling storage with cabinetry on the bottom for storing movies, games, and other frequently used items and higher shelves for electronics. Incorporate a wall mounted TV into this design, and consider a sectional and ottomans for plenty of seating when entertaining friends and family. Carpeting will warm up the space, and a gas or electric fireplaces is functional and beautiful.

A Deck

Popular home remodeling projects are not restricted to the inside of the house. Adding a deck to the exterior of your home will add value, give you a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors, and increase your living space. Homeowners can recoup 80% of their investment when they sell the house. Wood decks will give you the greatest return while costing less than many plastic composite materials. On the other hand, composites require less maintenance. Pine is extremely cost effective while cedar and redwoods are well worth their cost as they are naturally resistant to insect damage and rot.