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The kitchens of today are often a far cry from kitchens of old. The kitchen has become one of the most important rooms of a house. Not only do we cook and eat in our kitchens, but the kitchen has become a room for social gatherings. With the kitchen evolving into a "multi-purpose" space, the need to maintain the space or even the desire to improve the space has become a top item in home improvement. Food prep is only one part of the function today. The counter tops alone are likely to cost more than an entire kitchen 20 years ago. Today's kitchen requires more electrical service and contact points and the layouts are often much larger with some designed to accommodate two cooks at once.

For those who want a new kitchen but are staggered by the prices quoted, understand that contractors typically mark-up cabinets and appliances 50% or more. If you, the home owner, purchase those components and take responsibility of scratches and dents, etc.; you might be able to find a kitchen contractor who will do the installs without the markup. This approach is likely to save you thousands.

For more information and helpful tips scroll down and check out our selection of articles. And if you have a question that you can't find an answer to, head on over to our Ask Us section and let us know about it.

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The resilient sheet goods, seen here as kitchen flooring, have not been properly sealed down at the edge. Even with adequate adhesive beneath the flooring materials, it will always tend to turn up around the edges. That is why most professionals prefer to install quarter round or shoe mold trip around the edges.

Unfortunately, this is all too common with remodeling jobs. The work is largely done but not completely finished. Thus, it is recommended that homeowners who deal with remodeling contractors hold back some of the funds as they are dispersed, usually around 10%. In most remodeling or construction contracts, the money is paid out on what is called a "draw schedule". This means that the money is paid out as certain portions of the work are completed. In most cases, that "completion" is rarely 100% as the total project moves along.

Homeowners need to understand that contractors will tend to write remodeling or repair contracts in their favor and that will often mean that the contractor gets ahead of the homeowner on the money. That can result in too much money being disbursed for work done. When that happens there is no incentive for the remodeling contractor to complete the project.

When in doubt, follow the home improvement "Golden Rule" - he who has the gold, rules. If the contractor puts in work beyond what he/she has been paid, then the homeowner has the "gold". If the contractor has been paid in excess of the work performed, the contractor has the gold.





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