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5 Questions to ask before selecting a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Getting your dream kitchen designed and installed doesn’t have to be a stressful process. But, unless you carefully select your Kitchen Design Studio, your dream could turn into a nightmare. Use these ten questions to select the perfect provider for your Kitchen Design project.

Many of the Kitchen remodeling contractors I interviewed realized that for at least this one section of the house, Women are the main decision makers. Sure, we made our decisions and selections together as a team, but when It really came down to it. I get the last word.

But, there was still a “good old boy” element to the many of the contractors, who either treated me as If i couldn’t understand the “complicated” decisions required for a successful remodel or made me feel like my questions about the process were silly.

They were easy to deal with, I just never called them back.

Does the Kitchen Remodeling Contractor offer in home consultations?

It should seem like common sense, but its pretty difficult to really discuss and imagine your original kitchen design ideas if your sitting in a stuffy sales office or fancy showroom floor.

By all means, you should be able to head to a Kitchen Design showroom and get examples and ideas of what could be possible in regards to cabinet selection, new granite countertops and all the other fun frills of designing your new kitchen.

But, if its all imagination, then your not off to a grounded start.

Your Kitchen Design Team should be willing to meet you in your space in order to give you an accurate assessment of what is actually possible

Do you do all work inhouse or will you be subcontracting my remodel project?

There is nothing wrong with hiring General Contractors who subcontract the various elements of your construction or remodel job. But, there is something to be said about working with specialists who have a proven history of working together. The more “moving parts” the more things might go wrong during your project.

I found that there was no significant difference in price when receiving estimates from specialized Kitchen Design Studios compared to General contractors. Either way, whoever makes the bid will be putting in some cushion room to account for unforeseen events.

Can I contact past remodeling clients with similar Kitchen Design projects?

Sounds Crazy?

But you would be surprised, in home remodel projects involve a lot of time spent in close proximity to the people working on your project. The craftsmen, carpenters, architects, installers and particularly your lead designer will all be on first name basis with you ( if you are into that type of thing)

When the project goes well and you do get your dream kitchen in the region of the budget you planned … You are actually willing to tell people about it!

Can you make a virtual representation of my projected Design?

One studio I reviewed, a Rochester Kitchen Design Specialist alerted me to this option.

Utilizing CAD programs and other specialized 3d modeling software, your design studio should be able to create a mockup of your design that you can visualize before a single tile gets ripped up or a nail laid.

No CAD design will be perfect, but they do go a long way in showing you how all your individual decisions might add up into one final design.

3d is the way to be!

Will the same Carpenters, Designers etc Be working on my project throughout?

As mentioned earlier, you will likely be spending a considerable amount of time around the tradespeople, carpenters and installers that are working on your renovation project. We all have varying levels of comfort with “strangers” in our home, but over time you look forward to visits by a good team.

But, if the faces change a lot and individuals don’t always finish the projects they start, more opportunities for errors and delays occur and your comfort level in your home may drop. Its important to try and keep a space that feels “quiet” and comfortable during the renovation process. The mess and activity can be very stressful for some people.

In fact, I heard some great stories about homeowners who just got fed up during the course of my research!

Home Remodeling for Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Remodeling Ideas

This article is a discussion of energy saving remodeling concepts, products and services for Central Texas homes. In the spirit of renewable resources, we have a preference for re-using existing building materials, salvaging windows and doors, and repairing HVAC systems. We’d like to start conversations among consumers, vendors, heating and cooling system experts to exchange information about the rapidly changing environment for green building materials and energy efficient HVAC systems in the Austin area.

Future blog topics will include home energy efficiency recommendations including
– Green building design and green remodeling strategies
– Recycling building materials for energy efficiency
– Efficient HVAC, air conditioning and heating systems
– Maintaining AC, heating and HVAC systems to save energy
– Window tinting for energy conservation
– Energy-efficient windows and doors

and we expect to expand this list as we discover more opportunities for saving energy, introducing higher efficiency heating and AC units, and implementing green home operational practices. We look forward to reader input and comments.

Window Remodeling for Energy Efficiency

Window Replacement Alternatives – Window replacement can be an expensive component of house remodeling, and it’s important to calculate the total cost vs. cost savings before deciding to replace all the windows in your home. In climates with extremes of hot or cold temperatures, it’s often the case that the energy savings justify replacement; and this is even more likely as energy costs escalate.

But in temperate climates where the major heating or cooling season is very short, the energy savings math may not justify replacing the windows. If the 12-month energy loss through the windows is relatively small, the payback period for recouping the replacement cost could be many years. This is especially true if your current windows are in fairly good condition — no major air leaks to allow heat infiltration.

There are two main challenges to window improvement: Keeping the heat out in the summer, and keeping it in during the winter. Here in Texas there is a LOT of sunlight and heat trying to get through our windows in the summer, and keeping this out can really cut our air conditioning bills. In the winter, conversely, we generally want the sun and heat to come in the windows.

Source – Fireplace Remodel Phoenix

Gift Ideas For Your Handyman

The Handyman in your life dreams of these things!

All handymen dream of these kinds of things. They help get that job done. Most of these ideas help get things done faster and better. Do you want the handyman in your life to open his present and like Tim the tool man said huh!huh!huh! You don’t have to but please believe it when I say you will be a hero.

Suggestions for the handy person in your life! 

I am an avid DIY guy. I spend a good deal of my time repurposing furniture for resale. This is a hobby that not only gives me a little extra money but it also is a great way to keep trash from getting to the landfills. The importance of having good tools is huge. The proper tools not only allow the job to get done correctly, but it also is an easy starter to get your handyman going. It is fun to use tools that make the job fun! I hope this short list will help you with your shopping and also give him or her that gift that makes life a little better.

The Black & Decker ratcheting wrench! 

This Black and Decker ratcheting wrench is ideal for the jobs big and small around the house. It comes with 16 color coded sockets for easy sizing. The wrench comes with 16 different SAE and Metric sizes to give the tool great versatility. Great for putting together small projects and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The Black & Decker Air Station! 

The air station is a great gift because it has portable air when you need it. The air station comes with both home current and auto plug-in capability. It will pump up to 160 PSI and will automatically shut off on the pressure you set. It weighs approximately 6 pounds and this makes it very portable for those home or away needs for air.

Kreg K4MS Jig Master System 

The Jig master set is an incredible tool for strong joinery of wood projects. Anyone that builds small or large wood projects will recognize the versatility of this gift. I have used the smaller set many times and I would find this to be a great gift under the tree. The range of material you can use this on and the workmanship and durability of the jig set is unbeatable.

Black & Decker 12 volt Drill! 

This is a great 12 volt drill for those home needs. The keyless chuck makes changing bits a breeze. The easy to read settings give assorted settings for torque. Designed for use with wood, metal, or plastic you have the perfect drill to tackle all those tasks. It comes with a t-shape handle for comfort. The drill comes with one 12volt battery and charger.

10″ Compound Miter Saw! From Hitachi 

Does your handyman need precise miters and crosscuts on a variety of materials? This versatile saw will give you smooth accurate cuts. The Hitachi 10″ saw offers miter range L and R up to 52 degrees, and compound miters up to 45 degrees. Thumb stops make for quick changes in settings and the 10″ tungsten carbide tip Blade gives you sharp precise cuts. At just 26 lbs it is very portable and you can order an optional stand as well.

Hitachi 18Gauge Brad Nailer! 

This Brad nailer is very versatile, with the ability to use from 5/8 inch to 2″ brads it will work effectively with many different wood types and depths. This nailer has adjustable depth settings for better finishing, It has a high capacity magazine for less down time and you can choose from intermittent to rapid firing setting. The brad nailer weighs about 2 pounds and its soft elastomer handle makes it very comfortable for small or large jobs.

Crescent Mechanics Tool Set 

This 170 PC tool set has all the hand tools your handyman needs for those “honey Do’s” 3/8 and 1/4 inch socket sets in deep and shallow sizes. Quick release drivers and metric variety. Screwdrivers and pliers adjustable wrench and hex keys in metric and sae. This is the tool set that is going to keep the handyman busy and efficient.

The Genesis Multifunction Oscillating Tool 

The Multifunction Oscillating Tool using 21,000 oscillations per minute is terrific for fast sanding, cutting, grinding and scraping jobs. A four pin flange design keeps accessories firmly in place. This tool’s versatility makes it great for tackling those unique jobs around the house.

Black & Decker Thermal Leak Detector! 

The thermal heat detector can save its own value by finding heat loss that is running your utilities up. Its infrared sensors help you find sources of heat loss. It comes with a 5 step guide for fixing the causes of the loss and helps to save energy for the home. The thermal heat detector can even be used to check your refrigerator and freezer. With rising utility costs, simple steps can help save up to 20%.

Apollo Pink Tool Chest! 

This is special for the Handy Lady in your life. This is a great tool kit and when you purchase this a donation goes to help with breast cancer awareness initiatives. Make her happy and help the cause.

Features:
100 Piece Fastener Set
4.8V Cordless Screwdriver
18mm Utility Knife
Twenty bits
8in Scissors
8oz Claw Hammer
Four Screwdrivers
UL Electrical Tape
6in Long Nose Pliers
9in Plastic Magnetic Level
12ft Measuring Tape
6in Adjustable Wrench
UL Recharger
2in Putty Knife

Junk Blossoms 

This is our blog that follows the progress of our assorted repurposing projects as well as the unique items we find on our yard sale searches. If you are looking for the best handyman in your area then search in Google “handyman near me” and look at who has the best Google Reviews.

Acupuncture and Massage Therapy in Kimberley, BC: Alternative Healers in Canada’s East Kootenays Region, North America

Visitors to western Canada seeking quality massage therapy or acupuncture will find both in Kimberley, British Columbia. Located a short distance from Cranbrook, this charming North American ski town boasts at least two expert alternative healing providers. Revolution House of Wellness offers acupuncture, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), and an assortment of related services. The Healing Table Massage & Esthetics provides massage therapies and energy work as well as spa treatments.

Revolution House of Wellness

Revolution House of Wellness specializes in using acupuncture to treat migraines, infertility/other gynecological issues, sports recovery, injury recovery, and pain management. During each acupuncture treatment session ($80/hour), the practitioner strives to address and resolve the patient’s specific complaints and/or issues. The patient’s comfort level with acupuncture is monitored throughout the treatment.

Run by husband-and-wife team Troy and Yana, Revolution also offers a full complement of related services, including massage, facials, TCM, cupping, and even intuitive tarot card readings. These modalities are often integrated with an acupuncture treatment as appropriate complements or enhancements of the treatment. For example, an acupuncture session might be followed by a brief massage or a TCM prescription.

Revolution House of Wellness is situated on Kimberley’s Platzl, the downtown shopping area that embodies the city’s long-held Bavarian theme. It comes as no surprise, then, that the front area of the facility is dedicated to retail. The store’s diverse and colorful assortment of books, clothing, jewelry, and home décor stimulates curiosity and invites browsing.

To make an appointment, call 250-427-1535, or visit the Web site.

The Healing Table Massage & Esthetics

A short walk up Spokane Street from the Platzl brings the visitor to the peaceful, well-appointed downstairs studio of The Healing Table Massage & Esthetics. Here, husband-and-wife team Yuka Shimizu and Akira Masago work together to provide a different range of alternative healing techniques than those found at Revolution, with a menu focused around massage, energy work, and spa treatments.

Members of the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada, this Japanese couple’s wide selection of therapeutic treatment options include Swedish, therapeutic, Thai, hot stone, and seated massage; Shiatsu; lymphatic drainage; Craniosacral therapy; Reiki; and reflexology. Spa treatments include manicures and pedicures, as well as comprehensive waxing services. Customers can choose one particular treatment, or select a package deal, combining two or more services in one appointment.

One popular package ($75/hour) involves a massage plus Craniosacral therapy given by both practitioners simultaneously. Four skillful hands work together to provide pain relief, loosen tight muscles, and heal. Discerning and professional, the expert therapists do not harangue the customer with small talk. They instead focus their energy and attention appropriately on working their magic on sore muscles.

Community Style Acupuncture: Affordable Complementary Medicine Clinics In The United States

Community-style acupuncture is gaining popularity in hospitals, independent practitioner offices and health clinics across the United States. Private Acupuncture treatments can range from $50-120 per visit and almost always require a larger initial session fee to offset the practitioner’s time during the health intake portion. A community-style acupuncture session is frequently available on a sliding scale of $15-40 for regular sessions.

What is Community Style Acupuncture?

Community style acupuncture may be performed in many different environments including but not limited to:

  • Hospitals and Medical Centers
  • Health clinics
  • Tents in disaster or devastation areas
  • Acupuncture clinics

This type of acupuncture is performed in a group setting with one or more acupuncture practitioners. Some clinics use muted lighting, relaxing music and screen dividers to create a welcoming space for multiple clients receiving acupuncture simultaneously. At other sites one may experience acupuncture in conjunction to allopathic treatments in a hospital setting. Community acupuncture in disaster areas is a no-frills treatment to help volunteers and victims with physical and emotional needs.

Rates for Community Acupuncture

Members of the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) cannot require income verification for their sliding scale rates. This initiative is appealing to minimum and low wage earners as well as those requiring more frequent sessions than their budget would normally allow. Such considerations would be for twice weekly treatment protocols held over several months.

Other community acupuncture efforts are paid through donations or grants, such as the Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) organization. Acupuncturist Without Borders has responded with volunteer acupuncturists to support communities affected by natural disasters such as the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster and the 2007 California wildfire disasters.

Acupuncture in the Hospital Setting

The popularity of acupuncture in hospitals is growing. Most commonly acupuncture is being made available to oncology, or cancer, patients who may benefit from the relaxation of acupuncture. This introduction of acupuncture in a hospital setting is following the trends of Integrative Medicine – the use of both traditional medicine and alternative or complementary medicine (CAM) to treat a patient.

Life Coaching Skills to Achieve a Balanced Life: Try These Exercises Recommended by Professional Life Coaches

Many people enter life coaching programs desiring greater life balance. Clients often express a yearning to pursue personal goals or enjoy more family time but feel stymied because of work demands and other responsibilities. Life coaches work with these clients to assess their current life balance status, help them set goals, and motivate them to take action. While there are many benefits to being part of a life coaching program, these exercises can be practiced without the services of a life coach.

Two Life Coaching Tools to Assess Life Balance

Chicago Life coaches use many methods to gauge life balance status. Two common tools are the life balance wheel and the time tracking diary. The life balance wheel is a circle divided into eight wedges representing common life areas such as career, relationships, finances, hobbies, etc. Consideration is given to how much attention is devoted to each life area. The spokes of the wheel are numbered from 0-10, with 0 being at the center of the wheel and 10 placed at the outer edge. Dots are placed on the appropriate numbers, with 0 representing no attention and 10 representing a great deal of attention. When all areas have been assessed, the dots are connected to provide an image reflective of the current life balance status.

The time tracking diary is a tracking system where all activities are recorded over a specified number of days. The amount of time spent in each activity is recorded, and at the end of the predetermined time period the total time spent in each activity is tallied. This provides a clear picture of how time is spent. Many people are surprised to see how much time is spent engaged in time wasters such as internet surfing or watching television.

Visualize a Balanced Life

To visualize balance in life, relax and imagine an ideally balanced day. Feel the sense of ease and deep satisfaction. Picture the ideal work and home environments, a stress-free commute, and fulfilling leisure activities. Feel the emotions, and experience the sensory images. When the image is clear and feels real, go through the exercise again, this time writing down all the details and feelings. Be as specific as possible.

Set Life Balance Goals

To set goals that will help improve life balance, begin by reading through the balanced day exercise and compare it to the time tracking diary and life balance wheel used for the initial assessment. What needs to change to live that ideal day? Make a list of things that are not in alignment with the vision, such as chaotic mornings before work or evenings spent in volunteer activities. Don’t worry about how to make the changes yet, just write down everything that comes up.

When the list feels complete, choose 2-3 items from the list and use these as a focus. Select something that is achievable in a relatively short time to build momentum. Be clear and specific, writing each goal as if it were already accomplished, such as, “I play guitar for an hour every evening after work.”

Create an Action Plan for a Balanced Life

Life coaches recommend breaking goals down into specific, actionable measures. Think about the necessary steps to make the goal a reality. Using the example of playing guitar for an hour each evening, one possible action step might be cooking in large quantities on the weekend so meals can be microwaved during the week.

Depending on personal circumstances, other action steps to find an hour to play guitar after work might include cutting back on television viewing or hiring help for cleaning and yard work. Perform the action steps, and when a goal has been met, practice the new routine for a few weeks until it is a firmly established habit. Choose new goals at a comfortable pace.

Life Coaching Skills to Maintain Life Balance

When a client participates in a life coaching program, they learn that maintaining a balanced life is an ongoing process. Skills are introduced to help clients stay on track.

Some of the more helpful tools for maintaining life balance include living mindfully, journaling, and reassessing life balance with the life balance wheel or time tracking diary every few months. Libraries and the internet are packed with resources for those who need help with time management, organization, and other topics helpful in achieving and maintaining a more balanced life.

While a little imbalance in life is inevitable, it is possible to live with greater ease and less stress by practicing life coaching skills. By taking the time to assess life balance, visualizing a balanced life, creating an action plan to achieve life balance goals, and using the right tools, even those without a personal life coach can make confident strides towards a more balanced life.

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