If you walk into your kitchen and see the green, gold or brown color that made the Brady Bunch house look like a designer showplace, you#ve got some renovating to do!
Where to start?
Have you been thinking about tackling the project yourself? Maybe you should think twice.
#Even if you know what you#re doing, it takes lots of time to do it yourself. You could be without a kitchen for months, if you#re doing a kitchen remodel. It#s like trying to do surgery on yourself,# said Karen Thompson, an 11-year certified kitchen and bath designer with Home Depot.
And, with D-I-Y projects, you have to realize if you don#t know what you#re doing and mess things up, you may have a hard time finding a professional willing to fix your mess.
#I won#t go in after someone#s tried to do it themselves and failed,# said Ray Pavlovich, president of Daylight Basement Company in Suwanee.
But there are some things that novices can do. According to Thompson, installing tile backsplashes, changing out cabinet hardware, doing decorative glazing on cabinets and faux painting in bathrooms are some easy projects for do it yourselfers that also provide an updated look without costing much.
What to do and what to use
The most popular areas to remodel in an existing home are the kitchens, bathrooms and basements. But there are some considerations when doing a renovation project.
#Don#t overbuild for your neighborhood,# said Bobby Sikes of Bobby Sikes Fine Art and Design in Lawrenceville. #If you live in a subdivision with homes in the $200s, and spend $40,000 on a basement remodel, you#ll price yourself out of the market when it comes time to sell.#
You also need to have a good grasp on budget before you begin.
#Budgeting is usually the biggest mistake people make. Eighty percent of my customers think it#s going to cost $25,000 no matter what kind of basement they want,# said Pavlovich.
Materials, materials, materials
Countertops, cabinets, flooring # where do you start? When it comes to kitchens, some materials are better than others.
#I prefer using tile-like surfaces in kitchens. They#re much better for accidents than wood floors are. My favorite is an Old World brick paver that#s laid like tile, comes completely sealed with the same thickness as tile and looks very nice. For countertops, granite is my preference. It#s the most durable and natural. After all, you can#t get any harder than a rock,# said Christi Tullis with Ambiance Interiors and Gifts in Suwanee. She also suggests using paint, molding and glaze to update cabinets and installing custom backsplashes using tile, tumbled stone, mosaic pieces or even copper.
The most important thing to remember, according to Tullis, is to not expect a remodel, whether it#s a kitchen, bathroom or basement, to be completed overnight. Take the time to do it right, and you#ll enjoy living in your new space for many more years to come.