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By Family Features
Special to Valley News 

Use a handy guide to start a home remodel

 

Last updated 9/14/2018 at 3:59am

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Apprehension and inexperience keep many homeowners from pursuing renovation projects that would make their homes more functional, enjoyable and comfortable. Getting their hands dirty on the front end – with some planning and preparation – is the best blueprint for a successful home remodeling project.

To help homeowners start their remodel on the right track, consider these tips from Gary White with JCPenney Home Services.

First, start with a plan. Although it may sound obvious, the first step really is to decide what the end goal is with the renovation. At the least, begin to outline rough ideas to discuss with an expert. Reaching out to contractors before determining a basic idea for the project can waste time and money. Spend time listing the must-have features, as well as some nice-to-haves if budget allows. Also think about overall functionality, design and layout. If this part seems overwhelming or the ideas don't flow, don't hesitate to turn to online showrooms or magazines for inspiration.

Next, set a budget. If there's no budget limits, skip ahead, but for most homeowners, money matters. Have a clear idea of what is affordable to invest in the renovation before getting started, and if necessary, research the financing options available. Look for financing that provides deferred interest or low monthly payments to help manage the project cost. Setting a clear budget can help keep contractors accountable, and it goes a long way toward ensuring the finished project will be enjoyable without regret.

Draw up the plans. To help set a plan in motion, there are numerous online tools to simplify each step of the process including design, budgeting and more. When planning a home remodel, a comprehensive resource like JCPenney Home Services offers a one-stop-shop for bathroom remodeling, countertops, custom window treatments, flooring, heating and cooling, water heaters and whole-home water treatment. Find unique landing pages for each service that provides product information, complimentary in-home consultations and online pricing quotes at http://www.JCPenneyhomeservices.com.

Also, involve a professional. Unless a homeowner has the time and skills, they'll want a licensed and insured contractor to lead the project when they're ready to get the renovation in motion. It can be wise to solicit multiple bids, not only to ensure the best value, but also to find someone whose work, style and experience is most in line with the needs of the project. After all, this person will be involved in planning and working decisions during a fairly stressful time period. Always check references and verify the contractor's standing with local associations.

Get ready for work. Remember that homeowners need to create a work environment that is safe for the contractors and protects valuable personal possessions. Establish a clear path to the project space for easy access and removal of debris. Furniture, appliances, room furnishings, valuables and breakable items should be removed from both the path to the work site and the work site itself. If the renovation project will involve an essential room, such as the kitchen or a bathroom, make alternate arrangements such as creating a makeshift kitchen with the bare necessities in another part of the house.

Next, kitchens and bathrooms are among the most common renovation projects, and countertops are often a focal point of these redesigns; however, choosing the right countertop can be overwhelming. To help make the difficult decision a little simpler, JCPenney Home Services experts offer insight on two of the most popular choices: granite and quartz.

Granite countertops have long been the mainstay of a beautiful kitchen or bathroom. Granite is a natural stone, quarried from large stone deposits around the world. It can have many different variations of patterns and colors, giving each slab a unique appearance that is visually rich and dynamic.

In addition to its distinctive beauty and classic elegance, granite is also extremely durable. Granite is highly resistant to heat and scratches and, with proper sealing, offers good water and stain resistance and is easy to clean.

Granite typically needs to be sealed, both before installation and at least once per year. If properly maintained, a granite countertop will last for as long as a homeowner owns their home, making it a potential long-term investment.

Quartz is another popular choice for countertops due to its durability, stain resistance and ease of maintenance.

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It's an engineered product made mostly from up to 93 percent quartz, a non-porous natural stone, combined with a small amount of binder and color. Small particles of glass or reflective metal flakes can also be added to some quartz designs to achieve a more unique look. The result is an attractive slab that can be made in a wide variety of tones and colors and can be finished to duplicate high gloss polished stone.

Quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials and one of the easiest to maintain. It is highly resistant to heat, water and stains, including stains from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and more. Unlike granite, quartz does not need to be sealed, making it easier to maintain over time.

To aid in the planning process without the need for a salesperson, a resource like the Countertop Wizard at http://www.JCPenneyhomeservices.com lets homeowners scope out the project and order samples online. Simply enter measurements, browse and select materials and options to get instant quotes.

Submitted by JCPenney Home Services.

 

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