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Kitchen Renovation Ideas for Chicago [ With Images ]

Kitchen Renovation Ideas for Chicago 

If every time you look at your kitchen and the thought of transforming it crosses your mind, you probably need to. The key word here being ‘’need’’. Maybe you have putting off the idea of renovating for financial reasons or you are waiting for the right time. Well, the truth is there is simply no right time to do it. That little voice at the back of your mind is the head start you need to finally get that new kitchen counter or new lighting. First and foremost, let’s look at the best kitchen renovation ideas for Chicago.

kitchen renovation ideas for chicago

Maybe you have putting off the idea of renovating for financial reasons or you are waiting for the right time

A popular misconception about the kitchen is that the space is just for cooking, so you probably don’t need to upgrade the furniture. After all, the room is just about food. The most visited room in the house is the kitchen.

Simple, modest ideas can transform that little space your stomach loves and your waist frowns upon into a marvel of design and architecture. Cheap, DIY ideas or even professional help can make an exciting impact for you and your family.

Kitchen Renovation Basics

There are three basic kinds of renovation

  • Repair and maintenance

Repair involves using what you already have and making something more beautiful and attractive with it. It would probably cost less to repair than replace. However, if you really want to transform the look, you are better of refurbishing and enhancing.

  • Refurbishing and enhancement

Refurbishing and enhancement involves making something totally new out of what you already have. It could be that your Oakwood kitchen counter gets ruined every time it comes into contact with a knife. You would opt to refurbish it with stone or ceramic. Depending on the extent of this renovation exercise its more expensive than repairing. It is however cheaper than rebuilding.

space in the kitchen is always more desirable

  • Rebuilding

Rebuilding involves doing away completely with what you already have. Destroying the kitchen counters and installing new ones. Anything with no sentimental value becomes obsolete. You might want to consult a professional if you are rebuilding. This is the most expensive of the three kinds. You will probably need a budget of some sort before starting.

Before you start your exciting renovation journey, here’s a few ideas you can scan through to ignite your idealistic side.

Open up the kitchen

Not unless you have dust problem in your home, or just like keeping things out of site, open shelves are a thing now. Designers have it that the more open your kitchen is the more spacious it looks. Why not show off that fine china collection? Replace the kitchen cabinets with open shelves. It might even prove cheaper. Plus, there are a number of shelve design ideas you can explore.

Invest in high-end energy saving appliances

Truth be told, kitchen appliances are not that expensive. The truth is, if you invest in quality, you will get beauty as an added bonus. You are renovating and probably the next time you will be doing the same, you kids will have left for college. New appliances are also energy efficient; they will pay for themselves in energy savings. That said, remember to keep everything energy-star rated and you will see for yourself at the end of the month.

Add detail to your finish

The smallest thing like the water tap, knobs or light bulb could go a long way in making your kitchen stand out. Consult your renovation expert for advice on what’s trending. Glass and marble go well with aluminum. Adding lighting that compliments these two is a guaranteed win-win. The devil is in the detail, even the tiniest of them.

No boring ceilings

From coffered ceiling to tray ceiling to vaulted ceiling. Gone are the days when the area above was left plain. The kitchen ceiling should complement the colors you choose to use. It should also compliment the lighting you will install or already have. That said, do not forget the ceiling.

Why subway tiles?

kitchen renovation ideas for chicago

Subway tiles are the new kitchen remodeling revelation

You have probably heard this before, and if you haven’t then here goes… Subway tiles are clearly the most popular tiles to install in your kitchen. They are inexpensive and very stylish. You can even use tiles that mimic exposed brick to get that rugged feeling. Moreover, its what’s trending at the moment.

Bright white for more light

White reflects light, so it’s a guarantee that your kitchen will be brighter. Moreover, it will look cleaner too, if you are a clean freak. We are not just talking about white, we are talking bright white. This is the glossy, shiny, very bright white.

kitchen renovaion ideas for chicago

Bright white for more light

The white you only see in make-believe imagery. You might want to keep paintwork to a minimum. Ceramic and marble are the best options. You can finish off the walls and cabinets with glossy, oil-based paint for easy cleaning and maintenance. Avoid Formica, it depreciates easy over time. Want to make things even brighter? Make the ceiling and floor white too!

Kitchen lamps and lighting

If you happen to shop for kitchen lights, ensure your shopping is extensive. There are literally hundreds of lighting ideas out there. Some of them are just boring but if you know what you are looking for you are on your way to kitchen lighting supremacy. Do not worry about energy consumption, just look for lamps with an energy star rating.

kitchen renovation ideas for chicago

The kitchen is the most exciting place to renovate

What type of kitchen do you need?

In my experience, there are four types of kitchen renovators. It helps to decide what type of kitchen renovator you are so you know where to invest more of your budget. Remember, a cheap kitchen renovation can start at $1000 but fitting a whole new kitchen can be as expensive as $55 000.

The Glamor kitchen

Many renovators simply want their kitchen to look more modern and to become a design feature of the home. This renovator will spend money on high-quality finishes like cupboard doors, splashbacks and appliances. A budget of at least $10 000 is necessary.

The Chef ’s kitchen

Some renovators will live without the décor as long as they have the right appliances and configuration to whip up a dinner party. For this renovator, spending money on appropriate appliances and cooking services is important. A budget of at least $13 000 is necessary.

The Functional kitchen

Some people go batty trying to cook every day in a kitchen that has no bench space or can’t accommodate two people. This renovator just wants to change the configuration. This could be achieved with some ingenuity and a budget of as little as $1000.

The budget kitchen

kitchen renovation in chicego

A budget kitchen

Other renovators don’t care much about the function of the kitchen, but need it to look presentable for resale. Of course, for this renovator, cost is the most important consideration. If the current fittings and fixtures are serviceable and all that is necessary is some maintenance, paint and the replacing of door handles and splashbacks, a budget of as little as $1000 may be adequate.

Main Kitchen Components

Kitchens are expensive because of the amount of materials used. These include:

Cupboards

The expensive part of the cupboard is the door. It can be melamine, timber veneer, solid timber or polyurethane.The doors are attached to the carcasses, and with the benchtops this assembly forms the common kitchen cupboard. You can buy carcasses cheaply from suppliers and fit your own doors to save money, or you can engage a kitchen company to look after all supply and installation. Cupboards can be custom-made by a carpenter or architect, but it is cheaper to use a kit kitchen.

These usually consistent of melamine carcasses with hinged doors or drawers attached.The carcasses are propped up on legs to which a kickboard is attached. Kit cupboards are mass-produced in factories and then assembled onsite in your home. These are the most common type of cupboards for kitchens. They are used in most new apartments and houses as well as in renovations.

Benchtops

kitchen renovation ideas for chicago

A bamboo benchtop

The finish of a benchtop is dependent on price—laminate is the cheapest, with granite and stone at the expensive end. Benchtops are fitted on top of cupboard carcasses, at a height of between 850 mm and 950 mm, with holes cut out for sinks and stoves. If you are handy, you can try installing them yourself but, if your measuring is slightly off, it can cost you a lot for a new linear strip of benchtop material.

Door handles and hardware

‘Hardware’ refers to the hinges that hang the cupboard doors and the drawer runners. Look for good-quality solid metal hardware rather than plastic. Moreover, if you’re refurbishing or just maintaining and repairing, remember that shiny new door handles will revive a tired old kitchen.

Dishwashers

There are dishwashers for all applications and they can range in looks from standard white to stainless steel or integrated models which look like another cupboard. Most are 600 mm wide, but there are also 450 mm wide models to save space (although these usually cost around the same price as the 600 mm ones).

Fridges and freezers

kitchen renovation ideas for chicago

The fridge is a standout appliance in the kitchen

Leaving space for the right fridge or freezer is important when planning your kitchen, as they vary widely in size. You can also choose to buy integrated refrigerators that are concealed as part of the kitchen cabinetry. That said, the size of the fridge or freezer you buy will depend on the number of people it has to service. Couples who live in the inner city and eat out will need something much smaller than a family with three kids.

Stoves and ovens

You get what you pay for when it comes to cooking equipment. Moreover, separate stovetops and ovens are more flexible, as you can lay out your kitchen in a way that suits you. Ranges (with the oven and stove in one unit) are often sturdier. Electric cooking equipment has gone high-tech and now can be just as efficient as gas. The better the cooking equipment, the more powerful the heat and the more control you will have over it.

Exhaust systems

The more you spend on powerful cooking equipment, the more you will need to spend on ducting the cooking fumes out of your kitchen. This is because any cheap apartments or project homes have a rangehood that vents into the ceiling cavity, which is not good if you cook a lot of stir-fries at high temperatures. No doubt, the steam carries droplets of fat into the ceiling cavity, leaving your ceiling prone to damage and your house smelling like a fast-food outlet. In this case, the cheapest rangehoods are the single-motor slide-out types starting at around $500; the good quality, top-ducting rangehoods with stainless steel canopies can cost between $1500 and $5000.

Lighting

Lighting your kitchen the right way can make a whole lot of difference

Task lighting is important in the kitchen—you need good light over the sink, the stovetop and preparation areas. That said, plan your lighting needs in advance and go for washable and hardwearing light fittings.

Taps

You need one good-quality kitchen tap—usually a mixer. Moreover, most taps, regardless of price, will do the job you need them to do, but some people are prepared to pay a lot more for the right design.

Electrics

If you change the configuration of a kitchen, the power points to run the dishwasher, rangehood, fridge and stove may need to be moved. It is also wise to plan where you need benchtop power points and install ‘quad’ points rather than ‘doubles’.

Plumbing

The kitchen sink, garbage disposal unit and dishwasher should be the only kitchen features that require plumbing. However, these can be moved, but bear in mind that it is cheaper to leave any plumbing where it is as moving drains and pipes can be expensive.

Laundry facilities

Installing laundry facilities in a kitchen can be a useful space saver, but make sure you check the latest Building Code of Australia requirements and amendments. Moreover, there are two key issues when it comes to creating a concealed laundry within a kitchen. One is making sure that there is enough ventilation in the cupboard for the washing machine and dryer to run efficiently (some cupboard manufacturers are creating ventilated—and expensive—doors for this purpose) and the other is creating space for a separate laundry wash tub.

The most common kitchen layouts

Most kitchen design experts agree that you need a ‘work triangle’ between the sink, fridge and stove (above).These are the appliances you will use the most and you need an unbroken walk, of 3.5–4.5 metres, between them. Here are some examples of kitchen layouts:

The L-shaped layout

kitchen renovation

L-shaped kitchen

This is suitable for small or narrow rooms, especially in terraces or semis. Thus, there will be a lack of bench space, but adding a roll-away chopping block can help.

The U-shaped layout

kitchen renovation

U-kitchen layout

This is the most space-efficient kitchen, offering the most bench space and a good working triangle.

The galley kitchen layout

Another good use of small space, but beware of fridge doors blocking the thoroughfare.

The island bench layout

kitchen renovation

Island bench layout as a style for kitchen renovation

The classic country-style kitchen, this layout is great for large rooms or kitchens near open-plan family and dining rooms. Beware of making the working triangle too large to be efficient.

How to Save Money On Kitchens

Planning is the best money-saver. For this reason, use the kitchen grid planner to form your designs and know your plans and measurements off by heart. If you come across a bargain, you will then know instantly whether it will work in your kitchen. It’s no good paying 15 per cent less for a fridge if it doesn’t fit in the cabinet space.

Sometimes, paying a kitchen company to re-do the kitchen is the most cost-effective way for a busy family to renovate a kitchen. That said, there’s no point in putting up with a makeshift kitchen for three months to save money if it means forking out for takeaway for a family of four for 92 days!

If money is extremely tight…

For the budget-conscious, you could spend less than $10 000 on a kitchen renovation provided you have the time to invest in shopping around and you can do things yourself. Often, you can re-use existing kitchen components and spend money on the things you really need—maybe a new stove or a modern splashback?

Seconds and second-hand kitchen fittings are easily obtained through factory retail outlets, auction houses, the Trading Post, and demolition yards. Auction houses can sometimes take your plans and, for as little as $3000, give you a standard U-shape or L-shape configuration which you can tailor to fit your home.

Buying a second-hand kitchen through the Trading Post or eBay can save you thousands, especially if you know what you are looking for. However, if you just need new appliances, search only for good appliances. Check the auction listings in the newspapers. Accordingly, sometimes manufacturers auction their end-of-year stock and run it out for half the retail price.

Talk to other renovators about how they saved money on a kitchen or where they think they blew their budget.

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Violation Alert: A Comprehensive Guide of the Chicago Building Code

What Is The Chicago Building Code?

The Chicago Municipal Council developed the Chicago Building Code in partnership with the American Legal Publishing Corporation (ALPC). The ALPC provides codification services to over 2000 municipalities across the country, including the Chicago Municipal Council. The ALPC develops and updates the Building Codes of its clients around the country. The following is a comprehensive guide of the Chicago Building Code

Almost every city in the United States had adopted some form of the regional building code. These codes were non-standard and varied from city to city. The City of Chicago adopted American Legal’s codification process which includes

Chicago Building Code

The ALPC develops and updates the Building Codes of its clients around the country.

  • Recording, republishing and reformatting local government codes
  • Providing supplements for existing codes
  • Researching and analyzing local government codes and ordinances

It is important to note that building codes are not retroactive, but are meant to mitigate imminent hazards. The Building Code applies to any construction be it new or an alteration of an existing one.

The City of Chicago in the recent past has experienced a tremendous rise in construction of buildings, both residential and commercial. There is, therefore, the need to have a standard set of building codes that are in tandem with the city’s special needs.  The Chicago Building Code sets these standards, and the construction industry adopts them as a standard mode of practice.

The Chicago Building Code Decoded

As of mid-December 2016, the City of Chicago published the most recent Chicago Building Code. The code is of threefold; the Building Code, the Municipal Code,  and the Zoning Code.

The Municipal Code Overview

It contains details of the City’s

  • Occupation and consumer protection
  • Health and safety, offenses affecting public peace
  • Environmental protection
  • Fire prevention, land use and all codes affecting streets, public ways, parks, airports, rail and all other modes of transportation
  • It also contains details related to the government and administration, revenue and financing, housing and economic development.

The Building Code Overview

The building code excerpt details

  • The codes governing the duties and powers of government officials,
  • Permits and fees,
  • Construction documents,
  • Inspections, regulation certificates and licensing.
  • It also details the relevant boards and commissions the City has mandated to oversee the administration of the Building Code.
  • The code further outlines the details on how to obtain a building permit. The code is an administrative guide containing details of the mandate of all the boards and commissions involved during the construction process.

Division 4 of the code details the special detailed requirements of buildings based on use and occupancy. The division details the codes that govern high-rise buildings, motor-vehicle related occupancy, special institutions, special amusement buildings, combustible storage buildings and hazardous materials.

The Building Code further outlines the codes that govern the height and area limitations, fire resistive requirements, fire protection systems, accessibility requirements, lighting, and ventilation. Also included in the code are details concerning structural tests and special inspections, soil and foundations requirements, types of construction material and special construction guidelines.

The Zoning Code Overview

This is Chicago’s Zoning Ordinance and Land Use Ordinance. It details the city’s zoning plans with relation to construction while factoring in the city’s planning and development strategies, both short term and long term. The City’s planning department while issuing out licenses has to follow the code’s guidelines. About land use, the code details the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection guide, flood control areas, the City’s manufacturing districts and enterprise zones.

The Chicago Zoning Ordinance code contains details affecting residential districts, business and commercial districts, downtown districts, manufacturing districts and special purpose districts. The code also outlines regulations affecting overlay districts, planned projects, parking and loading zones, review and approval procedures, landscaping and screening, enforcement and penalties, signs and nonconformities procedures.

These codes are available online through the American Legal Publishing Corporation website, or physically at Chicago City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street – Room 107, Chicago, IL 60602.

Chicago building code violations

Chicago building code violation

The City of  Chicago skyline.

On May 19, 2012, the Acton Justice Department convicted a man for violating the Building Code when he constructed a residential complex labeled ‘’Phonehenge West”.  The Los Angeles County penalized Alan Kimble Fahey, 60, a former technician in a telephone company to the tune of over $80,000. He was also required to perform two months of community service for not obtaining the required building permits. He was found guilty of 12 counts of Building Code Violations.

Building code violations are more or less the same in all the 50 states with variations being at the municipal level. The Commissioner of Building administers the Chicago Building Code under the Office of the Mayor.

All permits as outlined in the Chicago Building Code can be obtained from City Hall, although permits for minor construction can be obtained at the local county offices.

What is a code violation?

A code violation is a failure of a building’s structure or setup to pass the required standards of construction and occupancy, as laid out in the Chicago Building Code.

The Most Common Types of Building Code Violations

Research by the Common Code Violations Survey reveals that 45% of inspections have resulted in a code violation revelation and failure of the building to pass the inspection. The International Codes Council (ICC) and National Association of Home Builders periodically release reports of the most common types of code violations. We have compiled a list of ten of these violations that match the findings from these two organizations. These are the most common reasons a home builder or remodeler will fail a standard building code inspection.

  1. Incomplete Documentation

Chicago Building Code

The building department mandates the inspector to stop any work where any of these documents were not available on site.

This is the most common of the reasons, the cheapest too correct and easiest to avoid. Most builders and remodelers do not obtain all documents required before commencing work. In efforts to mitigate the violation, the department of housing now requires that all buildings under construction have the necessary documentation on site.

If any site does not have all the documents required, the inspector would have to issue a Stop Work Order. The documents are an Engineer’s Foundation Letter, structural plans for the building, truss drawings, HVAC Duct Work, gas pipe installation and the energy code documents. The building department mandates the inspector to stop any work where any of these documents were not available on site.

  1. Unsafe Anchor Bolts

Chicago building code analysis

he new regulation requires that all anchor bolts be installed at the center-third of the width of the foundation plate.

Improperly placed anchor bolts are second on the list. According to the Department of Building, previous inspections revealed improper rebar placing to be the biggest violation when it comes to footings and foundations.

Further inspections revealed that improperly placed bolt locations that do not correctly match the mudsill joints to be the most common violation. In 2015, the IRC reviewed the regulation concerning anchor bolt placement. The new regulation requires that all anchor bolts be installed at the center-third of the width of the foundation plate.

 

  1. Incorrect Bathroom Venting

Chicago building code violation

A correctly vented bathroom

There is nothing wrong with installing humidity-controlled venting fans in the bathroom ceiling. However, if the space above the bathroom ceiling is closed up, say for example that is here the attic is, you are in violation of the Building Code.

The code requires that the humid air from the bathroom gets expelled out into the open air through a 16 square inch ventilation outlet. A good example of an approved vent is the Soffit vent. All this is to prevent the humid air from the bathroom from causing mold problem or rotten wood problem. Summer in Arlington Heights, Glenview, Bridgeview and the like is always hot and humid, thus the need for such a code.

  1. The Junction Box Conundrum

chicago building code violation

A metallic junction box

Junction boxes are installed mainly to prevent electric fires, by protecting electric connections in and around a building. Junction boxes come in all shapes and sizes depending on the size and type of the building and depth of wiring. If you do not have the right junction box installed, you might be in violation of the Chicago Building Code. There are a few guidelines you could use to ensure your building passes the junction box inspection. Your junction box

  • Must be visible to the naked eye and easily accessible
  • The wires inside the junction box must be at least six inches of length for ease of establishing accurate connections.
  • No loose wires should be allowed to linger inside the box and all must be clamped onto the box to prevent unsafe movement.
  1. The Stairs

chicago building code

The code requires safe terminal installations both at the return and at the top

Staircase rise or run problems occur when a builder runs out of enough space to make evenly spaced stair-steps. Most builders ‘’solve’’ this problem by making uneven spaces on the stair-steps.

This would result in a rise that is too steep or steps that are too narrow. These squeezed steps are a danger to anyone using the staircase the uneven steps present an unforeseen but imminent accident. Residential staircases require 7.75-inch risers and six ft. 7inch of headroom. This is also the minimum for commercial stairways.

  1. Stair Handrails and Guardrails

The building code requires stair handrails be 34 inches above the tread but not more than 38 inches high. The code also requires the connections to the walls be firm and secure. Weakness is brought about by poorly installed handrails that tend to loosen up with time. The code requires safe terminal installations both at the return and at the top, of the guardrails or simply end inside the wall. This is to ensure that the handrail does not catch on garments causing a fall. This regulation is also in line with the fire safety code to protect firefighters’ equipment from being caught up at the end of the rail.

  1. Smoke Detector Placing

The smoke detector alarm is the first line of defense against fire. The code requires that they are installed in any sleeping area and outside every bedroom entrance. The code also requires that the alarms be four inches clear of walls. Any smoke alarm installed on the wall should be 4-12 inches away from any wall-to-ceiling intersection. There should also be a 3-inch space between any smoke alarm and an HVAC vent, a lighting source and ceiling fan. All smoke alarms require hard wiring, with a DC battery backup in case of power failure. All smoke alarms should go off at the same time, meaning all smoke alarms should be connected to each other in a series connection as opposed to parallel connection.

  1. Faulty or Missing GFCIs

cicago building code violation

GFCI’s detect faulty wiring among other electric problems

Outdoor circuits require a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter; a form of protection against electric short-circuits or fire. This also applies to the kitchen, bathroom and garage area. The GFCI works to cut power to a circuit if there is an unprecedented change in current that would, as a result, cause an electric shock. To steer clear of this violation, you can test for the presence of the GFCI within the circuit. This is done by using a GFCI receptacle tester that detects the presence of GFCI once plugged into a power outlet. The receptacle also detects faulty connections including reverse polarity or open grounds. The gadget is available in convenience stores for not more than $15.

 

  1. Insecure Ledger Boards

building code violation

The load capacity of the beam should exceed the weight of the load itself

To ensure the deck is properly attached to the building, the code requires correct deck flashing. Deck flashing involves installation of flashing equipment that prevents the deck from detaching from the frame or siding of the building. Ledgers tend to pull loose from the attachment point and flashing prevents this from happening.

  1. Weak Joists and Beams

Sometimes beams and joists are not strong enough to hold the load attached to them. With time the attachments weaken, creating vulnerable points. This weakens the structural integrity of anything attached to the joists and beams. The load capacity of any hanger in and around the structure should exceed the actual load carried so as to compensate for any additional weight not accounted for during construction.

The Chicago Building Code and the International Code Council (ICC)

Chicago is yet to adopt the International Building Code, developed by the International Code Council more than a decade ago.

There is already discussion surrounding the need for the City to adopt the internationally accepted code, with industry stakeholders calling for uniformity of the codes across the country. The Chicago landscape and skyline is continuously undergoing improvements. Northbrook, Oak Park, Park Ridge, River
Forest, River Grove and Riverside are growing steadily. That said, he existing codes are not as up to date as the IBC. With changes in technology that goes into construction and home improvement, certain progressiveness movements are hot on the council’s heels to adopt the new codes.

Advantages of the International Building Code against the Current Chicago Building Code

The International Building Code is up to date – The ICC is continuously updates its codes to match changes in the industry regarding technology, innovation, and new regulation. That said, the accuracy, reliability, and efficiency of the information contained in IBC’s regulations are more reliable compared to the Municipal Council’s codes.

Uniformity – The International Code Council develops uniform codes and those who adopt the regulations get access to standard codes. This ensures standardization in the industry, and thus efficiency and reliability of the codes.

Access to information. The IBC provides vital statistics and information to administrations that adopt their codes, alongside the actual codes. This information can be useful to industry players both in the public and private sectors.

Summary

Chicago is yet to adopt the new codes involving fire and life safety. It is currently the only major US city yet to adopt all the building codes set forth by the ICC. The last time the City Council made attempts to adopt the new codes and standards was back in the 1990’s. The codes that made it through include plumbing, electrical, energy, building mechanics and elevator codes.

In addition, he new regulations require technological support and infrastructure that the city is yet to incorporate into its administrative system. However, with the world that has already adopted the newest and most effective ways to regulate buildings, the Metropolitan setup, and safety of citizens, there has never been a much better time to cross over to 21st century standards and codes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 Split Level Exterior Remodel Ideas For Chicago

If you are planning to, have already started or just curious about remodeling the exterior of your home, these 100+ ideas can help you get to turn your imagination into reality. Remodeling your home can be easy and hard at the same time. It all depends on how much you are willing to put into the work. That said; check out these ideas, guaranteed to transform your old tired home into an awe-inspiring work of art.

100+ Split Level Exterior Remodel Ideas For Chicago

Light up your front yard with lamps of your choice. You can use halogen, fluorescent or incandescent lamps depending on your preference.

Front Yard

The grass should always be greener on your side of the fence. Start off with knowing your options when setting up green on your front lawn. Planting the right kind of flora that will go through all seasons; warm or cold is the first step.

Lighting

Halogen, LED, Fluorescent and incandescent lights are the best for lighting up the front yard. You will want your neighbors to have a second gaze at the beauty that is your front yard. You can nver go wrong with lamps. If the added energy costs are off-putting to you, you always have the option of solar-powered lamps.

Gardening

This is by far the simplest way to spruce up your front yard. While looking for appropriate flowers and bushes for your front yard, keep in mind the season, the color of your house and the surrounding vegetation. Well manicured gardens stand out from a distance.

Fountains and pillar exterior remodeling ideas

Adding a fountain or sculptures at the front add detail and beauty to your home

 

Flowering and gardening ideas

Summer flowers and green that go together with the color of your house adds the marvel of nature to your front yard

 

Fountains, Sculptures and Garden Statues

Water fountains, carvings, statues, and sculptures can really make your front yard stand out. Did you know that you do not have to dig deep into your pockets to get amazing works of art to your home? While shopping around for these artifacts, don’t go for the extremely rare ones with deep historical significance. You just want things that will add vigor and life to your front yard effortlessly.

Driveway

There is a lot you can do with your driveway apart from getting your car off the street. The driveway is one of the best locations for potted flowers and plants, intimate lighting, imported gravel, pavement or tiles.

Paving your driveway

You want a pavement that is both cost-effective, stylish and durable. Concrete slabs and bitumen-based surfaces are sure options while laying gravel is also an option. When considering your pavement options, the more permanent the better. Gravel does not require regular maintenance, but rigid concrete is prone to cracks and would require maintenance from time to time.

Gravel Remodeling Ideas

Gravel is cheaper and easier to maintain. It is also a great DIY opportunity you can try out

 

Tile your driveway if you prefer a cleaner and more characteristic drive-in experience

 

Alternative Driveway Experience Ideas

Do not limit your imagination. There are cooler ways to build your driveway with the right professionals.

 

However big or small your budget is, you can always find something that works for you. One of the best things about renovating your driveway is that you can actually do most things yourself! You can choose from great DIY options or ideas from experts.

Patio

While most houses have standard two to three steps at the front pouch, you can make the most out of what you already have.

Lighting

Your imagination and exterior design expertise will be needed to make the front pouch a marvelous work of art. If you prefer an open-plan front pouch consider adding potted plants and lamps that complement the color of the paintwork of your pouch. If you want the pouch closed up, allow as much natural light as possible by installing top-bottom windows and glass doors. You can then add lamps for the night, when the moonlight is not enough. Meanwhile, you can ensure your energy options when it comes to lighting the driveway.

Front Pouch Remodeling ideas with lights

Wooden floor front pouches are here to stay. Add some lighting and rocking chairs, you have peace and serenity right at your doorstep

 

Closed Front pouch remodeling ideas

You can turn your front pouch to an extra room with large windows and sliding doors if you prefer a more intimate doorstep experience.

 

Front pouch lighting

Incandescent lights bring a warm feel to your front pouch

 

Hanging pouch swings adds vigor and comfort to your front pouch.

 

If you have enough space, for example, you can add pouch swings, plantation or even lighting for your quiet time moments outside the house. Make your front area stands out with these amazing ideas.

Patio Furniture

There are tens of patio furniture out there, it all depends on the size, your preference and the design of the patio. Furniture options include all-weather chaise lounges, hammocks/swings, chairs, sofas and others.

Roofing

There are tens of roofing ideas you can work with during your renovation process. Whether its Asphalt shingles, slate and tile roof shingles, metal or flat floor roofing, there is always something you can work with.

Roofing Options

Asphalt Shingles. Probably the most popular roofing types, asphalt shingles are known for their durability, cost effectiveness and ease of installation. They can withstand extreme weather and have a life expectancy of 40-50 years.

Slate and Tile Shingles. These are expensive but very attractive. They are built with upscale customers in mind. Their luxurious and stylish finishing make them popular with modern houses. They are durable, fade resistant but would require extra maintenance efforts.

Slate and Tile roofing

Slate and Tile Roofing

 

Asphalt roofing

Asphalt shingles roofing

 

Metal Roofs. Metal roofs are inexpensive, easy to maintain but would require expert attention while installing. They come in all sorts of styles and colors, and you can always repaint them if the shine fades. They can withstand adverse weather but have a shorter time-span of 10 to 20 years compared to other roofing options.

Wooden shakes and cedar shingles

 

metal roofs

Metal roofing

 

flat roofing

Flat roofing

 

Flat Roofs. If you require a certain visual appeal, flat roofs are the way to go. These roofs are usually concrete slabs supported by pillars as they tend to be very heavy. You will need to regularly clean out debris and stagnant water. Technology has improved flat roof installation, as more heat resistant options are coming up.

Wood Shakes and Cedar Shingles. These are the ”green roofs” as they are made of environmentally friendly and renewable sources of material. This is because they are a sustainable roofing option, and durable too, with a lifespan of up to 20 years. Fir the environmentally conscious, this is the best roofing type.

 Windows

Windows have that hidden ability to transform the overall look of your house, whether you are looking to flood the interior of your house with natural light or prefer the vintage square framing, there are a lot of options to choose from.

Large windows remodel ideas

Large windows stand out from afar effortlessly

 

Top to bottom windows remodel ideas

Top to bottom windows can make your house look taller, and allow more natural light

 

Tall windows and doors remodel ideas

Sliding doors and windows are a great alternative to traditional framed windows

 

Backyard window remodeling ideas

Add more windows to the back area of your house for that shiny and clear ambience

 

While shopping for window replacements, get to know the types of windows that compliment your home. From transom windows, stationary, bay or bow windows to awning windows, there is always that one type that will give your house an opportunity to stand out from the rest.

Window options

Casement Windows. Casement windows open at the turn of a crank, either outwards or inwards. They are essentially best for the kitchen area as they are huge allowing natural light in.

Awning Windows. They are hinged at the top and open either inwards or outwards. If you value scenery and views, these are your type of windows.

Slider Windows. Slider windows are simple to install and are popular with most types of houses especially split-level.

Stationary Windows. Stationary windows are designed not to open but you can customize their shape to any design. Install stationary windows in contemporary or modern houses for areas of the house that need natural light.

Bay windows split level ideas

Bay windows provide extra space on the inside of the room

Bay/Bow Windows. These windows protrude outwards and can be a great idea for colonial homes, split-level houses and mansions. They provide extra room on the inside of the house and you can show off your drapes with these types of windows.

Exterior Siding

Do not limit yourself to the boring adage brick, concrete or wooden sidings. Add color, décor, and definition to the siding of your home with alternative exterior siding ideas. Sidings highlight the uniqueness and special features of your home.

Stone siding remodeling ideas

Stone siding can be very attractive especially for country houses

 

Siding remodeling ideas

Working with one theme for the whole house, especially for wooden sidings.

 

Brick remodeling ideas

Bricks are durable, attractive and never disappoint. You can also leave the interior bricks exposed

 

Depending on how much you are willing to spend and the scope of renovation you are undertaking, there are tons of siding options to choose from. Check out these siding ideas you and your architect or remodeler can explore.

Siding Options and Ideas

Wood Sidings. Wood sidings are popular with classic and colonial homes and can be a warmer alternative to concrete. They are however high maintenance as wood tends to wear out with time.

Fiber-Cement Sidings. The latest development in exterior siding, cement fiber sidings are made of recyclable material, are easy to install and maintain, are durable and very attractive. Cement fiber sidings are not as expensive and you can experiment with different shapes and sizes.

 

fiber cement

Fiber Cement Siding

 

Vinyl siding

Vinyl sidings. Vinyl sidings are both strong and durable. They mimic wood-grain sidings but you can straight away know they are not made of wood once you feel the texture and weight. Of course the upside with Vinyl is that you will not have to repair or maintain it for the next 20 years. The downside is that they cost $2-$7 per square foot, making them considerably costly to install in large houses.

Synthetic Stone Sidings. Synthetic stone is a fusion of cement, sand and aggregate. With technology, manufacturers have been able to develop synthetic stone siding to resemble most stone types including gemstone and limestone. What you have in return is a beautiful stone-like finish for your siding. Synthetic stone is very durable, customization is limitless and they are strong. the only downside is that they are fairly more expensive than most types of sidings.

Garage Area

If your garage area is part and parcel of your renovation process, there are several ideas you can take up to transform the look entirely. The garage door is perhaps one of the few stand-out installations that can transform the overall look of your house’s exterior.

Garage door remodeling ideas

Over the years, designers have come up with alternative garage door ideas. Explore your options before settling one

Wallpaper garage door design ideas

Wallpapers for your garage door are a great way to make heads turn

Your imagination is your limit. If you love contemporary artwork, try wallpapers instead of the adage garage door painting

 

Garage door remodeling ideas

Sliding garage doors save on space and can be more attractive than alternative garage doors

 

Get to know about what’s new in the market when it comes to garage doors and pavements. You can actually select a theme that will go along with your house’s look. Check out these garage area remodel ideas you can use as inspiration.

Balcony

The balcony is perhaps one of the most exciting features of a split-level home. You can explore your options while remodeling the balcony area to maximize the limited but invaluable space. The balcony can be a great relaxation point especially if you are living upcountry.

Balcony remodeling ideas

Your balcony is your relaxation area. Add furniture and potted plants for comfort and tranquility above ground

Balcony remodel ideas forchicago

If you love nature, the balcony is one of the best places to set up a small garden above ground

Or just a simple balcony area for scenery and tranquility day or night

 

Enjoy the view and a royal sensation as you enjoy the scenery from one or two floors above ground. With the right professional assistance, you can get to know your options and actually know if you can create one, if not several balcony areas if you do not have one.

Backyard

You do not have to blow your budget while remodeling your backyard. For example, you can work with what you already have to create an awesome backyard. Depending on the space, you can stretch the limits of your imagination with these backyard renovation ideas to complement the needs of your household.

Bakyard remodeling ideas

Why not keep the cold away with a chimney area in your back yard

Cottages at the backyard are an amazing way to transform the backyard for intimate family moments

Backyard remodeling ideas

A barbecue area, fountain and clay brick surfacing for your backyard

Backyard remodeling ideas

Artificial fountains can be magical and should add life to your remodeled backyard

Pool area remodeling ideas

There is so much you can do with a pool area at the backyard besides just leaving it squared off and isolated

Whether you want to create a great barbecuing spot for friends and family; a playing ground for your kids or even a pool area, these ideas should inspire your journey of backyard transformation!

And Finally

Always consult professionals before you start remodeling to avoid costly mistakes along the way. That said, there is always that voice at the back of your head that tells you to consult someone with the right expertise and experience. With the right professionals, You can transform your house into an unimaginable and blissful home you and your family will live to admire for years.