Planning for any kind of remodel project can bring on a mix of feelings. From excitement or fear, to a sense of being overwhelmed with all of the little details that go in to planning and designing a beautiful kitchen or luxury bathroom. You may be tempted to skip to the exciting stages like shopping for plumbing fixtures or selecting your new paint color, however you’d be missing out on some important key steps in the process. A full scale remodel or minor makeover of your space doesn’t have to be stressful though. With the help of an experienced remodel contractor and the following tips that we’ve compiled, your home remodeling project will run smoothly and stay on track.
#1 Identify Your Goal for the Project
Why do you want to remodel? Are you upgrading to improve the resale value or making modifications to live and age in place? Knowing your end goal for your project is vital. If your focus is around resale value, then you’ll want to consider the other home values in the neighborhood and know which projects will provide a good return on investment. For the latter, you’re likely to be more focused around such things as durability for the years ahead, safety-conscious modifications, and designing around your needs now, as well as the future.
#2 Establish a Comfortable Budget
Establishing your budget is one of the most important steps in planning your home remodel. There are two parts of budget planning that you’ll want to carefully think about.
Project Budgeting – This is the total cost that you are comfortable spending on your renovation. This number should include contingency funds for unexpected issues that arise. For example, having $75,000 to spend on your remodel, while knowing that you could come up with an extra $5,000 should it be absolutely needed. Unexpected issues are items that are unforeseen during the design and planning phase and are not revealed until the demolition and build are underway. Faulty wiring or the presence of mold is commonly unforeseeable that is not known about until the walls in your home are opened up.
Incidental Cost Budgeting – These expenses are commonly not thought about when it comes to remodeling, but can add up in a big way if not careful. Being mindful of the ramifications of doing your home remodel like having to eat out while your kitchen is torn apart or for a hotel stay for a night or two during construction.
#3 Know the Limit of What You Can Handle
While many North Jersey homeowners think they can self-perform part of their home remodel, it is important to know your limitations and the pros/cons to your DIY. While doing some of the work yourself may give you a sense of accomplishment, more often than not it comes at a cost. A professional remodeling contractor has been doing kitchen and bathroom remodeling for years and likely has the processes down to a science in order to operate efficiently. By performing tasks yourself, you are essentially disrupting their lined out construction schedule, which can cause delays and result in fewer savings than it’s really worth. Know which tasks should be left to the pros from a cost and schedule standpoint. Lastly, it may not be worth self-performing tasks that could cause limitations to your contractor’s warranty or workmanship guarantee.
#4 Think Through Your Daily Routine
Consider how the remodel will affect your routine. Be clear about your daily schedule with your contractor to avoid any mishaps or delays. It is essential during the planning phase of your project that you discuss the contractor’s start and end times each day. This will avoid the crew showing up while you’re still in your pajamas or their work day running into other appointments that you may not be able to miss.
Will you be away from your home during the construction phase? Now is a great time to discuss that schedule with your contractor and determine how they will have access to complete their work each day. Many Phoenix homeowners set up a unique garage code for access, utilize a lockbox for storing a house key that only the contractor has the code for, or having a friend or neighbor at the home to unlock and lock up each day.
#5 Water and Electricity Outages
Depending on the scope of work for your project, there could be times where your contractor will need to shut the water off from the main valve or turn off an electrical breaker while work is being done. Most commonly these are only temporary outages but are still something to be aware of for those families that are home during the day. Planning ahead by having bottled water on hand for drinking and cooking, and a contingency plan for bathroom emergencies can take the stress out of any possible situation.
#6 Set Up a Make-shift Kitchen
Most North Jersey homes have two bathrooms, so while it may be a slight inconvenience having one torn apart under construction, it is not a huge tribulation to live through. Kitchen remodels are a different story though. Before starting your kitchen remodeling project, we recommend setting up a make-shift kitchen in another room of the house. Incorporate small appliances such as a microwave, coffee maker, and beverage cooler or ice chest to provide a functional way to make food and drinks while your kitchen is out of order. Another great idea is to plan meals that you can cook on the grill outside.
#7 It’s Time to Pack
In an effort to keep your items protected and clean during the renovation process, it’s recommended that you pack up and move any items from the construction zone. Consider using an extra bedroom, storage pod, or off-site storage room to store your stuff. This will also provide a safe work area for the contractor’s crew to get to work.
#8 Create Drawings & Keep Them Handy
You may not be required to have a full set of blueprints drawn for obtaining a permit depending on the details of your remodel project, but it’s worthy to mention the importance of working with a reputable contractor that has an on-staff design team that will still create drawings and/or renderings of your project with dimensions. It is recommended that they remain near the work area or posted on the wall in the room where they can easily be seen. Not only does this provide a reference if any questions arise, but it also goes a long way in helping to make sure you and your contractor are on the same page with the goal for your space.
For many homeowners, this may be your very first home renovation project. Hopefully, these tips can minimize that overwhelming fear of the unknown and have you ready to get your project underway confidently. A well-done quality remodeling project takes time to complete, but utilizing these guidelines from day one of your planning will help you be better prepared and ensure that your project is a success.
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to balance between trying to stay on time, on budget, and on top of the thousands of details and moving parts that are involved in doing a luxury remodel. It’s a full-time job! That’s why you’ll want to hire the professionals for your upcoming remodeling needs.
North Jersey homeowners looking to remodel are likely to hear about the team at Berceli in their research or have used them for other home improvement projects. Our team has been a leading contractor in the Bergen County area performing full home remodeling design-build services. Over the years we have built quite a reputation for our great customer service and impressive portfolio. If you are ready to start planning your next home remodeling project, then you’ll want to reach out to our on-staff design team or stop into our Fort Lee New Jersey design showroom to begin exploring ideas for your home. Visit our website at www.bercelinj.com for our business hours and to request your appointment today.
Why Hire Kitchen Designer?
Aside from knowing what’s in and what’s out in kitchen design, a true kitchen designer will ask you many questions about your current décor preferences, the clothes you wear, the people you entertain and your favorite things you do to better understand “your type”. They can evaluate the current setup of your kitchen and recommend the changes that they needs to change for a better cooking and dining experience for you and the other people in your home.
When planning your new designer kitchen, make sure that your designer knows the activities you anticipate doing in your kitchen and dining room. High quality kitchen cabinet design of Berceli NJ will take into account the grocery storage needs, sizes of the appliances and the service area. Designer kitchen designs in North Jersey should also take into account the need for high quality materials that will also help to reduce your carbon footprint. If you are planning installing painted kitchen cabinets for your Bergen County kitchen, low VOC emissions coatings.
Planning Kitchen Remodeling
If you are planning to remodel your kitchen then various aspects need to be considered before you begin. Given below is a series of steps and guides you can keep in mind to make kitchen remodeling a fun-filled, constructive event.
A basic plan
A well thought-out detailed plan is a must before you begin remodeling your kitchen. This plan should be designed keeping in view the current good and bad aspects in your kitchen. Next you need to decide whether you plan to design the kitchen yourself, use a kitchen or interior designer or work with a cabinet distributor or home center. Also modern usage trends and optimum usage of space should be kept in mind.
Sheet vinyl has been a popular choice for kitchen floors because it is available in a variety of designs, textures, price ranges and colors. This has today replaced linoleum, which was a favorite during earlier days. Ceramic tiles, wooden floors and eco-friendly materials are other good options for good looking and durable flooring.
Modern trends show that nowadays couples or nuclear families often cook together and share kitchen chores. Thus workspace in today's kitchens should be utilized such that more than one person can work efficiently without getting in the other person's way. You can also create distinct work centers by separating workspaces with sinks, microwave or other appliances.
Modern trends also indicate that nowadays with women working out, very few items are cooked from scratch and storage space for items needs to be increased. Thus cabinets have entered the scene in a big way. One can choose from frameless and framed cabinets and can order from custom or standard design makers. Check for rollout, tilt-out and other storage features inside the cabinets.
Sinks are an important element in any kitchen. These are available today in a variety of colors, materials, sizes and design options to suit every pocket. You can choose from cast iron, stainless steel, plastic, and top-mount or under mount models. You can also select from single-bowl, double-bowl, deep and shallow models.
While purchasing appliances for your kitchen remember that these should suit the entire concept of the kitchen design. Opt from built-in or free standing styles and select ranges in materials that go with the color combinations and materials used in your kitchen.
We at bercelinj.com have a wide range of options to suit your every design requirement. From helping you choose the right materials, colors and designs, our experts are here just to make your kitchen remodeling exercise a wonderful experience.
Five affordable centerpiece options that will spruce up your kitchen without breaking your budget.
Centerpieces are a timeless form of decor. They have a long history as a traditional method of home improvement.
Today, these classic accessories are used to complement the kitchen table and add a stylish touch to an otherwise blah surface.
You’ve probably seen elaborate centerpieces used at important events like weddings and galas. By definition, they’re the center of attention, intended to catch the eye and turn heads. The same idea is used in the home, with no special event necessary. Simple, classy centerpieces are placed in the middle of the kitchen table to add a splash of color or style to the empty area.
This can be done with something as basic as a flower vase or as elaborate as a cornucopia. Whatever statement you want to make, you can do it with a few simple steps. If you’re not sure how to decorate your table, there are thousands of ideas out there.
To keep it simple, here are five affordable centerpiece options that will spruce up your kitchen without breaking your budget.
The simplest centerpiece idea is also one of the oldest:
With a few tapers and some accessories, you have a beautiful adornment for the middle of your kitchen table.
Dining by candlelight is a relaxing way to enjoy a meal. But, you don’t actually have to light your candles if you don’t want to — that’s up to you!
To create an affordable centerpiece, start with two tapered candles in colors that match your kitchen theme. Find some candle holders you like to set them in. Then, arrange a few flowers in a vase to set in between the candles, or leave them bare if you prefer. For those who want to make a bigger statement, pillar candles are the way to go. Set a variety of candles in complementary colors and sizes on a glass or silver tray. Arrange them in groups and accessorize the tray with colorful stones or greenery.
Related: 53 Kitchen Essentials for Your Brand New Apartment
Plants are another popular type of centerpiece and are smart to have in the home.
The health benefits of indoor plants extend to both the mind and body. When you’re sitting around the table, it’s impossible not to enjoy the perks of nature in front of you!
Replacing flowers every time they wilt gets burdensome. An easy way around this is to stick with succulents.
These plants are vibrantly colored, and they don’t need much maintenance. They hold moisture in their leaves, stems, and roots, so a little water goes a long way.
Also, you can put them in just about any holder as long as it anchors the stems. Flower pots, clear bowls with colored rocks, and floral foam are common choices.
Make sure the succulents you choose are low enough that everyone at the table can see each other during conversations. Mix and match varieties to create a finished centerpiece with lush, vivid colors.
3. Large-Leaved Plants
When you have a minimalist kitchen that’s already elegant and understated, you don’t want to go overboard with a bulky centerpiece. Sometimes, simple is best. This look can be achieved with a clear vase and some plants with large, lush leaves. The bright green shade will look sophisticated against your classic background colors.
And if your plant has a flower, the splash of color will pop even more brightly on your kitchen table.
4. Seasonal Looks
Changing your decor for every season sounds like a hassle, but it’s a lot of fun.
Ask yourself this question:
What makes me happy in each season? Combine those ideas into your kitchen table spread! A summer look, for instance, can be a glass bowl full of beach sand, shells, and doll-sized plastic beach chairs. Winter styles tend to include decor in colors like white, red, silver, and green. The best part about seasonal centerpieces is that they are personal. Use flowers, accessories, greenery, or holiday decor to create a design you’re happy to keep on the table for those three months each year.
5. Holiday Cheer
Similar to seasonal centerpieces, these kitchen table designs change with the passing holidays.
It may sound difficult to switch up your centerpiece every holiday. But once you’ve created a look for each one, you can toss it in storage and pull it out when the time comes. For floral centerpieces, use artificial plants and greenery to make them a yearly tradition in your home. Some decorations, like fairy lighting and neutral-colored garland, can stay out all year and adorn your kitchen table regardless of the holiday.
Great Feng Shui Tips For the Kitchen
The kitchen is the most important area of the home when it comes to promoting good health and prosperity. A kitchen with a good feng shui will bring good fortune and good health for the whole family.
One of the most important tips is to make sure that the kitchen is not visible from the main door. Imagine the house to be your body, the main entrance being your mouth and the kitchen your digestive system. The kitchen should be located deep within the house. It should be towards the back of your home, but not exactly at the back of the home, to prevent the good luck generated from escaping to easily.
The stove of the kitchen should be positioned in such a way that when a person is cooking, he or she is facing the dining or living room with her back against a wall. This is known as the “command position".
All sharp objects and the kitchen utensils should be neatly tucked away out of sight in the cabinets, to keep the kitchen uncluttered and airy. Hanging pots and pans out into open is bad feng shui, as it promotes the accumulation of negative Chi. This is especially true when it comes to kitchen knives and other cutting instruments. Sharp objects emit a lot of shar-chi (killing energy), and are therefore best kept in drawers and cabinets.
Another great tip is to use your kitchen often. When you use your stove, wealth energy is created. So the more often you use your stove, the better. Traditional gas stoves are preferred over electronic stoves as they produce real flames. The element of the kitchen is fire. So the constant ignition of flames is beneficial to the sector.
The auspicious colors for a kitchen are reds, yellows and greens. Try to use these colors as much as possible to strengthen that element of fire in the kitchen for good luck!
The biggest challenge of a formal living room or drawing room is decorating it so that you want to use it more often than just high days and holidays,' says Emma Sims Hilditch, Creative Director & Founder, Sims Hilditch.
'The dining room – as we once knew it – has had to reinvent itself over the years as many people opt for open-plan and, more recently, broken-plan living ideas.
'What is the point of a room that doesn’t have regular usage? Every formal reception room should have atmosphere. It should be a reflection of the owner, not a soulless room without personality,' advises Emma.
Berceli of New Jersey can design a space inspired by home library ideas. The textures and colors of the books give this formal living space a more welcoming, characterful feel.
Need a kitchen or bathroom countertop? - Berceli will guide you on choosing the right surface.
If you’re looking for the best selection of kitchen and bathroom countertops, you’re in the right place. Not only do we offer a huge selection of materials, but once you find which stone you want, we can fabricate gorgeous countertops, vanity tops, kitchen sinks, marble showers and much more!
The various patterns, grains and colors can give your kitchen or bathroom a stunning appearance. These surfaces offer durability, uniqueness, scratch, heat and stain resistant features provided by nature.
We are unmatched in our ability to provide you with the best natural stone selection, Silestone quartz, marble, and other premium surfaces for fabrication and installation in your home.
Click HERE Schedule a free consultation & estimate
Inaccuracies Due to Overbidding
When you overbid a job – meaning you estimate that it will require more materials or labor hours than it realistically calls for – you’re likely to lose out on a lot of projects.
If you’re worried about the cost of materials or unsure of how long it will take your team to complete the work, you might be tempted to put a high price tag on your proposal just in case. But general contractors closely compare the bids they receive from subcontractors for an idea of price ranges, and many of them also perform their own takeoffs to check measurements. If your bid comes in significantly higher than others, the job will go to a lower bidder, and you’ll be back to searching for other projects.
Inaccuracies Due to Underbidding
Underbidding can win you the job, but you shortchange yourself in the process. When you underbid a project, you’re held to the quote you originally provided even if the job costs more than you anticipated. So you won’t recoup the cost of any materials that are more expensive than you planned for or any added manpower or overtime – these costs will come out of your pocket.
An exception to this is change orders. When plans change in the midst of a project, you’ll have the opportunity to reevaluate your estimate and provide a new quote for the changed work – but again, if you underbid on the change order, you are responsible for covering any extra costs.
There might be times when it’s worth it for your overall business strategy to intentionally underbid a project, which we’ll discuss later. But remember, in order to underbid on purpose, you still need to have a strong handle on what an accurate estimate looks like for the job.
Developing a Positive Reputation with Contractors
If you consistently submit accurate, professional proposals to Contractors, they’ll begin to take notice. General contractors measure success on the same things you do – time and monetary efficiency – just on a larger scale and with more moving parts.
Your accurate bid means they can spend less time checking your estimate – they’ve worked with you enough to know that you have a good grasp on the cost of getting the job done without price gouging, and this way your company can give the Contractor peace of mind.
When a Contractor knows they can trust you to bid the job correctly and deliver on your estimate, you can expect to win more jobs from them.
Saving Time with Accurate Estimates
Bidding accurately is also a simple time saver for your construction company. An accurate estimate allows you to order the right amount of materials – no scrambling to source more supplies or find storage for a surplus, and it keeps your crew schedules on track.
When one job is bid accurately, your time is freed up to evaluate other projects and keep a steady flow of work for your team.
Knowing When to Aim for Submitting the Lowest Bid
If you’re trying to break into a new area of specialization and get a foot in the door, underbidding can be one way to catch the attention of the general contractor. This could be the case if you’ve expanded to a new trade and your team doesn’t have many projects under their belt, or if you’re trying to get into government contracting, where those with the lowest responsible bid tend to win.
In these instances, the main goal might be adding these projects to your portfolio rather than simply making a profit. Perform your takeoff and create your estimate as you normally would, and then you’ll be able to see how much of the total price you can shave off to increase your chances of winning.
You need to have a strong understanding of your overhead and other indirect costs to make cuts to your price. When you know your normal markup for labor, for example, you’re able to reduce it by a fraction if needed. Be careful of coming in too low, however, because this can still result in losing the job if your qualifications are questioned. You also don’t want to set the bar so low that you can never make a profit in this area.
How to Create More Accurate Estimates
You may already understand why accurate estimates are so important, but how do you go about improving your process so that you can be more precise? These 5 tips can help.
1. Get ahead of deadlines
If you’re always working down to the wire on submitting proposals, your estimating team is stressed and playing catch up. Instead, be proactive. Find a tool that lets you increase your takeoff speed so that time isn’t wasted in the measurement stage.
The faster you can perform takeoffs, the better able you are to decide which projects are worth bidding on in the first place, and you have time to gather more information, conduct potential site visits, and create a comprehensive proposal that will get your company noticed.
2. Eliminate mistakes caused by human error.
Sometimes a ruinously inaccurate bid is a result of something as simple as a misplaced decimal point or a typo. This is an easy fix, so don’t let it happen to you. Use a pre-construction platform that keeps all your data in a single source of truth. You should be able to go from takeoff to estimate to proposal in one software without transferring data elsewhere and introducing the opportunity for mistakes.
3. Get familiar with the details.
Even if you want to send only a high-level overview in your proposal to the Contractor, get in the habit of making your internal estimate as detailed as possible. A labor and material estimate allows you to break down costs in terms of items and assemblies, but even if you prefer unit cost estimates, you should separate all indirect costs, rather than adding markup into the price of your measurements.
Knowing your true direct costs enables you to adjust markup, overhead, or labor charges as desired both per estimate and company wide. Don’t forget to include other indirect costs associated with the project, like freight, delivery charges, or refuse containers.
4. Take material cost increases into account.
If you can, share your takeoffs with your suppliers along with your quote request to ensure the most accurate possible order. And remember that prices rise regularly, so be sure you’re informed about supplier increase cycles. Don’t assume your materials will cost the same now as they did three months ago – double check before finalizing your estimate, and if you anticipate an increase mid-project, include a clarification about time-sensitive pricing in your proposal. This way your cost remains accurate and the Contractor isn’t caught off guard.
5. Anticipate waste.
We’d all like to think our crews are perfect, but in reality they’re human. People have off days and don’t accomplish as much as they intend. They make mistakes when measuring and have to scrap some supplies.
Account for this in your estimate by tracking how much waste is generated on average per measurement or per material (and labor) and add that percentage into your total price so all your bases are covered.
By following these 5 practices you should see your estimated costs start to line up much more closely with actual completed job costs, so you can bid more, win more, and grow your business.
Looking for a pre-construction estimate that will help you save time and improve your home remodeling processes? Click Here
Homeowners of all generations are paying even more attention to the health of their homes and everyone living in them - especially after the pandemic in which we were ensconced. This includes but also goes beyond using low-VOC materials, paying attention to ventilation and incorporating nature light. Homeowners are paying closer attention to more hygienic products that can instill a sense of control. In light of this, Berceli is keeping in mind the aspects that make up wellness design and how to help our clients choose products that will support their healthy lifestyles that are becoming ever so important. We also focus on what goes on behind the walls to ensure today’s homes are as safe as they can be, The new remodeling designs and technology along with our remodeling expertise can help augment this ever growing need.
How to Make Your Small Kitchen Sizzle
Sometimes there are limits to where you can go with size alone, when you decide to update your kitchen. The proportions of a charming bungalow, for example, might be worth preserving for their own sake – or they might cloak load-bearing structures that just aren’t going anywhere. Whatever the apparent limitations, it’s good to know that size alone is no reason your kitchen can’t sizzle.
In fact, what’s true in so many design challenges often comes into play in the kitchen. We find that the obstacle points the way to the solution. Just as the world’s favorite cuisines came from societies in which you had to find a use for everything, so too, in design, it can be the pressure that produces the diamond.
Connect to the Life of the Home
The size of your kitchen is no reason not to take advantage of the biggest change of the past century, where kitchens are concerned. You can connect the space you have to the rest of the flow of your home. Way back when, a kitchen was a place where people prepared meals behind closed doors, and then presented them – voila! – with a flourish and a swinging door. That hasn’t been the way it works for a long time, and eventually home designs caught up with that fact.
Today’s kitchen is the heartbeat of the home. Cooking is less and less seen as one person’s solo domain; more and more as a couple’s or even a whole family’s chance to rub elbows a bit, at the beginning or the end of the day.
This doesn’t mean your kitchen has to be big enough for everybody. It only means that it has to be connected. As far back as the 1960’s, pass-through counters and breakfast stools began to define the border between the kitchen and the family room. More and more, that opening has expanded further and further, until kitchens often appear to be a kind of stage, or showcase, in full view of the dining room, living room, or even the media room.
Arrange for Comfort, Convenience, Efficiency
Ever visit the home kitchen of an accomplished caterer or chef? Often it is not large. What you notice is how everything is arranged like a drummer’s drum set. Everything is right where the hands would naturally reach for it. A whole array of pans becomes a design element when hung there in order, in full view. Chopping boards are stacked vertically, like file folders in an office, for quick and easy use. The knife set – the personal toolkit of the trade – is in easy reach and arranged by type, in order.
None of these touches that bespeak an expert’s kitchen require a lot of space. What’s called for is resourcefulness – a constructive view of what space is available. This is what we bring, together with the perspective of many kitchens behind us, and the talent for listening to how uniquely you would like for your kitchen to look and work and feel.
The Joys of the Galley Workstation
One solution for space that’s become extremely popular is the Galley Workstation. Inspired by the efficiencies demanded on a yacht, the galley places what you need, where you need it. Each arrangement is composed in answer to the individual vision and desires of the persons or the family who are going to use it. In a way, the galley is a particular distillation of what makes any kitchen a pleasure, large or small.
Considering your needs and desires first and connecting them with the finest concepts that design has to offer, this is our passion and our pursuit. Let’s have a talk about how you’d like your kitchen to feel, and we’ll help you decide then how it should look. We can help you bring that feeling to life.
The ultimate—and glamorous—entertaining space
Project: Highlight a skyline view with an open, modern kitchen
After: With one partial wall separating the living area and kitchen, Jennifer had her heart set on creating a seamless, or wall-less, space. Upon inspection, the couple learned the entire wall couldn’t fully come down because it was load-bearing. Instead, their contractor left a little under three feet of the wall remaining—a perfect spot for the refrigerator.
In place of the knocked-down wall came a marble waterfall island with a deep black base and white veins. The rest of the kitchen’s palette picks up from the marble, juxtaposing the two colors. Glossy black drawers are one side of the island, while all white upper and lower cabinetry, plus a white quartz counter-top make up the rest of the cook space. Since the whole concept revolved around clean lines, the renovators chose sleek, linear hardware for their cabinets and installed the microwave drawer underneath the counter to keep the surface clear. Not one detail was spared, from the under-cabinet lighting to the textured back splash.
“We walk in and with all the extra light, open air, clean lines, and high gloss finishes, and I feel as though I’m in a Soho penthouse and there’s a concierge downstairs that will gladly bring us a plate charcuterie for our enormous new counter.,” she said.“We feel like we are out when we stay in. It is just the best.” Bonus: Jennifer’s tip for future renovators? “Sign contracts that give you a firm start date, end date, and budget they will commit to. Our contractors were absolutely exceptional in each of these areas. A contract that you can all live with and by is essential.” Style finds: Flooring and backsplash: Porcelanosa. Bright white quartz countertops and Eternal Marquina island: Silestone. Sink and faucet: Kohler. Refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher: Samsung. Lighting: Lutron. Barstools: Wayfair.
Berceli NJ Marketing team.