Is Contracting in Your Future?

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Bergen County Home RemodelingThe majority of our Bergen County contractors have known they wanted to build things with their hands their entire life. These men and women are the ones who grew up practically glued to wooden blocks, Legos and tree house sets. Taking a pile of sticks and turning them into a home is practically in their blood. Is it in yours?

If this sounds like you, and if you are someone who has been building since the first moment you realized you could, a career in Bergen County home remodeling might be for you. Becoming a contractor is not as easy as one might think, but for those who simply have to work with their hands to feel satisfied, it is completely worth it. Learn the steps it takes to become a reputable contractor, and then call Trade Mark to see if we have room to take you onto our team.

Some contractors work for themselves, others join a team. Either way, you will need to take an honest look at your skill sets. What do you excel at? Where can you grow? Identify the areas where growth is needed and sign up for a class. Then get your documents in order. Write up contracts, send out resumes, gather before and after pictures for your portfolio. Once you have done all of this work, start marketing yourself. Build a website and post the link on social media sites. Then answer every reply. This could be the start of your new life!

Old Appliances: More Than an Eyesore

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Why The Answer To Your Health Woes Might Be In A Bergen County Kitchen RemodelingWhen contemplating Bergen County home remodeling, one of the first factors folks consider is what the process will look like financially. In today’s financially shaky world, people are often operating on a tighter budget than ever. While your budget absolutely should be a deciding factor, there are times when action simply needs to be taken. This very well could be the case with your home’s old appliances.

Many people fail to realize that their old appliances are more than a visual eyesore. They could actually be contributing to a host of health problems for you and your family. Opting out of calling a Bergen County contractor when it is purely a matter of aesthetics does make a degree of financial sense. However, when the problem has become one that is affecting the physical well-being of your family, it makes significantly less sense.

The appliances that have been serving you so well for the last decade are probably rusted by now. This rust can lead to the growth of allergens in the environment, which can lead to chest problems. Additionally, mold is likely to accumulate on appliances that regularly use water. These mold spores can wreak havoc on your immune system. If this is the case for your home, a remodeling job might mean the difference between a healthy lifestyle and constantly being sick. That seems worth it to us!

Remodeling To Make Room for Ailing Parents

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home addition for ailing parentsOne of the hardest decisions that adult children face is whether or not to put their parents in a nursing home. And, if so, at what point? How do you break the news to them? Is it really necessary? Will they be devastated? Can you trust the facility? These questions, and more, can keep us awake at night for weeks on end. We want to do right by mom and dad, but their health needs are more than they can manage on their own and our homes are not big enough for them to move in with all the needed medical supplies.

The care of your parents is an intensely personal decision. But, before you decide where to have mom or dad housed, consider a Bergen County home remodeling. If you would love to move your ailing parents into your home and care for them the way they did for you all these years but do not have enough space, a home addition might be a viable solution. This gives you more space and lets mom or dad have a little privacy. Additionally, it costs significantly less than moving to a bigger home. And over the long run, a home addition ends up being less expensive than paying a monthly fee for a nursing home and all the services it provides.

Think it over and talk to your family. This might just be the solution you have been searching for.

Break Bread In Style

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For centuries, the kitchen has been the most sacred room of a house. This is where we break bread with those we love. Whether or not you use the term in a religious sense, the act of sharing a meal with someone is an intimate and personal experience. Inviting someone into your home for a meal is a clear act of inviting them into your life. It is a display of love and affection. This is one of the primary reasons why the kitchen is so frequently the room that gets the most traffic from visitors.

Therefore, when considering where to start on your home remodel, the kitchen makes the most sense. After all, if you are going to have friends and family come in and out of this important room on a regular basis, you want it to look spectacular. Additionally, focusing on one room gives your budget a little room to breathe.

Hiring a Bergen County kitchen remodeler to handle the overseeing and execution of your kitchen remodeling project is the surest way to ensure that the backbone of your friendships comes out looking and feeling elegant and inviting. While challenging yourself with a DIY project can produce wonderful results in some instances, a task like a kitchen remodeling is not the place to start breaking out your construction skills. Call and hire a professional who does this work day in and day out.

Then, invite friends over and break bread in style.

Pristine and White

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New Jersey kitchen remodeling trends come and go. Cozy and rustic was all the rage for a couple of years. Then modern and stainless comes into favor. As a homeowner, it can be hard to keep up with all these changing preferences. And the last thing you want to do is fork over all that money for a NJ home remodeling and then have to replace the style a few years later.

Kitchen Remodel in Wyckoff, NJ

White Kitchen Cabinet Variations & Options

White kitchens save the day here. Whether they are paired with black for a classic black and white look or warmed up with dark wooden tones, white is here to stay. It is the epitome of timeless and classic. While it might at first seem like your style options are limited with such a basic color, this is not at all the case. Many options for white kitchen cabinets exist, from whites that are cool tones to whites that are warmer tones – creamy neutrals to grey whites and everything in between. You will be surprised at how many different types of white kitchen cabinets are available. The hardest part may just be which one to pick!

What To Look For When Choosing A White Kitchen Cabinet

Now that you are aware of how many options are out there for white cabinets in may seem overwhelming to select one. Look at a large sampling of the different choices available, lay them all out side by side – right away you should see some you can exclude based on the color direction you have in mind. Then think about how the remaining choices may pair with some countertop options, if you color scheme is close in color, like a white on white, it’s best to view these samples against the actual countertop choices as well to ensure the two do not clash. Then take your final choices along with you countertop samples to the tile store to select the tile backsplash, here is where all the items will come together to create a beautiful symphony of color and textures, make sure to select a tile that pulls it all together.

Here are two of the most timeless styles you might want to try.

  1. Black and White: Adding black accents (such as appliances or tiling) to a white kitchen instantly imparts class to the room. Or, opt for a tiled black floor and keep the rest of the kitchen pristinely white. Regardless of what you choose, this is sure to be a stunner.
  2. Accent with Wood: Using wood accents in your white kitchen is the perfect way to warm up the room. Try a wood trim to your countertop or add solid wood trim around the windows in a dark, saturated color.

Need help choosing a white for you kitchen?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100 to get started.

Remodeling Your Kitchen Without Breaking the Bank

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Cost Saving Ideas For A NJ Kitchen Remodeling Project

Kitchen remodeling projects can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. The final price tag depends on the size and scope of the remodeling. Revamping a set of cabinets will be far less financially burdensome than scrapping the entire kitchen layout and rebuilding. Alternatively, keeping most of the room in tact is another great way to shave cost – the way it works is by not having to replace insulation, drywall, update electrical wiring or plumbing which would be required by the town if you opened up the walls. The idea is to just open up as much as you need to make the changes for the new kitchen design plans.

NJ Kitchen Remodeling

Planning A Kitchen Remodeling Project

With advance planning, the cost of your Bergen County kitchen remodeling project can be broken down into the cost of labor, mechanical costs and needed fixtures. Plan for these costs, and leave funds available to cover unforeseen costs. Work with a contractor who is very detailed from the onset of the relationship with the initial proposal through the final proposal and cabinetry order listing all the prices of the various materials and services that are to be provided by the kitchen remodeling contractor. This will also help when it comes time to make changes to the scope of work, no hiding behind a vague proposal with a lump sum at the end with no certain way of know what an items costs.

Hiring A Professional Bergen County Contractor

While it might seem like yet another cost, hiring a professional Bergen County contractor is absolutely required. In today’s busy remodeling market it is very difficult to find a qualified kitchen remodeling contractor, here’s a great article to help you avoid being ghosted by the contractor. We will help you assess what needs to be replaced, what can stay and what needs an upgrade. Once you have this information, we can begin drawing up the plans. If you are experienced in repairs, save money by making the needed repairs yourself. If this is something you have never attempted before, now is not the time. Taking on a large scale project without the proper know how will quickly become a disaster which may further complicate hiring a professional since they may not feel comfortable pick up where you left off.

Once you have covered repairs, start shopping for cabinets, tiling and appliances. A trick here is to look for discounted or warehouse models. This simple step does not take very long and will save you a bundle in the end. Work with a contractor who will provide you with their trade discounts to even further stretch your remodeling dollars. Trade discounts are typically passed on at tile, countertop and plumbing stores – higher end contractors also get discount on appliances, furnishings and much more which is a value added benefit to consider when hiring a larger firm.

Finally, be clear about what you do and do not want to avoid any add-ons that you were not planning for. Clear and direct communication is crucial here. Changes tend to add cost and time at a higher rate than if it were planned from the start so take the time to work thru the details from the start.

Try these tips and see what your total ends up being. Surely, you will have saved quite a bit.

Need help planning your kitchen remodeling project?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100

Restaining Your Kitchen Cabinets

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Restaining your kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a new look without signing up for an entire NJ kitchen remodeling project. The process of restaining will completely transform your cabinets!

What color should you restain your kitchen cabinets?

The first decision to make is whether you want your kitchen cabinets to be darker or lighter after the process. If you want to stain your cabinets darker, all you have to do is apply a gel stain over the existing finish after some light sanding. However, if you want to lighten your cabinets or stay close to the shade you have now, you have to remove the old stain completely. Obviously, going darker is the easier option, but it depends on your personal preferences and your willingness to put some elbow grease into the process.  One quick note as you’ll see below, not all wood types are suitable for a darker stained finish so you will need to determine which type of wood species you have to work with first.

Which wood types are best for restaining kitchen cabinets?

There are many different types of wood species available that are made into kitchen cabinets that are very suitable for a light or dark stained cabinet finish. Some of the most commonly used wood species are: Cherry, Maple, Alder, Walnut, Hickory and Oak.  Cherry kitchen cabinets are the single most  popular type of stain the cabinets.  The cherry wood species takes a stained finish very well and develops over time into a very mellow finish.  Maple is most suitable for a lighter stained finish as it tends to get blotchy on the darker side. Alder  is similar to Cherry but not quite as good.  Walnut, Hickory and Oak are all similar open grain wood types and take a light or dark stain very well, on the darker side the open wood grain will be very pronounced.

How to restain your kitchen cabinets

The next order of business when restaining your cabinets is to make sure to cover all the surrounding surfaces. This will protect them from sanding debris and the stain itself. Not doing so can result in disaster.  Start by applying a painters tape in all areas where the cabinets abutt other surfaces.  Then tape plastic sheets to the surrounding areas to protect them from possible splatter and sanding dust.

Assuming you will be restaining your kitchen cabinets lighter –  you will need to strip the old finish of the cabinets completely by either sending it out manually or using a chemical stripper or a combination of the two.  Consulting a local paint store with a sample of your cabinet door in hand would be the best recommendation at this point .

Depending on how dark you are looking to go, you might have to use more than one coat. Open windows before starting, especially if you are going to be doing multiple coats. If you are unsure as to how many coats you need, call a NJ kitchen remodeler. Our professionals can talk you through the process.

Above all, read all directions and follow carefully. This is not a project you can afford to ruin.

 Is restaining your kitchen cabinets a durable solution?

Absolutely nothing compares to the quality and durability of a professional cabinet finish that is performed at the factory in a controlled environment. Having that said, you can certainly give your kitchen and updated  look and do a quality job with the right guidance and products.  It certainly is a big undertaking so be prepared to put in many hours.

 Need help planning your kitchen remodeling project?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100

Design Ideas for Narrow Kitchens

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narrow ktichenHomeowners with narrow kitchens are often at their wits end over how to make the most of their room. Frequently, these homeowners are tempted to overlook design aesthetics for functionality, thinking they have no other option. While it is true that considering function and purpose is crucial when planning a NJ kitchen remodeling project, it does not mean you have to forgo style and aesthetic pleasure. This is where the expertise of a NJ kitchen remodeler will come in handy. As professionals, we have worked with all shapes and sizes of kitchens and have learned what works and what does not. We know how to give you the kitchen of your dreams, even in a limited space. Call us and save yourself a headache.

There are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when designing a remodeling project and design scheme for a narrow kitchen.

When choosing cabinets, remember that in most narrow kitchens the cabinets are all on one wall, and generally, tall cabinets work better than deep ones. Furnishing these kitchen cabinets with pullout shelves is a great way to maximize storage space. When it comes to choosing color schemes, avoid large, bold patterns and overly bright colors. Your goal should be to focus on a design, not on size or shape. Neutral colors will help make the room’s design flow well. Keep window treatments simple with mini blinds.

But, your best bet is to call a remodeler. Let us do what we do best.

Remodeling on a Budget

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Regardless of where you go or who you hire, kitchen remodeling is an expensive proposition. When it comes to one of the single most used rooms in your home, you do not want to skimp on quality or craftsmanship. You also cannot afford to break the bank with your New Jersey Kitchen remodeling project. Instead of giving up on the idea entirely, or going for broke, there are a few ways to remodel your kitchen on a budget.

  1. Replace Your Countertops: The simple, and relatively inexpensive (depending on the material you choose), act of replacing your old countertops with new ones will add a drastic change to your kitchen.
  2. Paint Your Cabinets: Most cabinets do not come painted (some dislike the look). Painting them yourself can add a pop of color and an additional interesting element to the overall design.
  3. Add a Tile Backsplash: Tile backsplashes can add a whole new color and depth to your kitchen and give you an entirely different impression as you enter.
  4. Replace Your Cabinet Hardware: The incredibly simple move of replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets can revolutionize your kitchen and add a burst of newness to an otherwise old room.
  5. Minor Kitchen Remodel: Although this one is still a size-able investment it comes at a much lower price point than a major kitchen remodel. What’s the big difference? Only remove what is absolutely necessary to make way for the new components, limit the rough mechanical work that needs to be done and decrease the overall time it takes to complete the project.  This all translates to big savings for you without sacrificing the overall integrity of the project.
  6. Semi Custom Cabinets: The single largest line item in a kitchen remodeling proposal belongs to noe other that than the star of the show, you guess it, the kitchen cabinets. No need to break the bank and go all out on full custom cabinets. Semi custom cabinets now offer many features that rival the offerings of their full custom counterparts.

With all of these ideas, and any others you come up with on your own, be sure to hire a Bergen County contractor to oversee it all.

Add Interest with an Island

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Adding an island to your kitchen is certainly not a new idea. Kitchen renovators have been doing it for years. The popularity of the island has increased over the last decade. The reasons behind this are not too hard to imagine. Adding an island to your New Jersey kitchen remodeling plans is an easy way to automatically increase storage and working space, add visual interest and depth to the room and establish a décor and style schematic. Additionally, islands work with almost every kitchen style out there–making them incredibly easy to work into your plans.

Planning Your Dream Island

Before you start planning your dream island, take the time to measure your kitchen carefully. You must allow at least three feet from your cabinets to where you would like your island to begin. This is the absolute minimum, and more space in between is actually preferable, but not too much or you will decrease the effiency due to all the extra steps you will have to take form one side of the kitchen to get to the island. Another consideration is to plan the negative space around the island to be in balance with the remainder of the room so the kitchen island does not feel lost in the room.

Once you know the measurements you are working with, establish the function of the island. Is it purely decorative? If so, you have few considerations to worry about. However, if you plan to use it to house a microwave or something akin to that, you will need to make sure it has the appropriate outlets, etc. careful planning needs to take place to ensure the appliance will fit and operate both safely and correctly in the new kitchen island cabinets.

Finally, leave the kitchen. Go to the adjoining room and imagine how the island will look from that room. Many forget this step and end up with an unappealing visual. Advance consideration eliminates this risk.

Finally, call in the New Jersey home remodeling experts here at Trade Mark Design & Build and let us guide you.