Lancaster PA Remodeling Tips & Tricks

May 1, 2013

2013 Kitchen and Bath Remodel Design Trends from NKBA

By Matt Blank

What’s hot… and what’s not… in kitchen and bathroom design and remodeling for 2013?

From National Kitchen & Bath Association:

“As we settle into 2013 and a seemingly healthier national economy, some kitchen and bath design trends continue to flourish, while consumer budgets for these projects appear to have shrunk just a bit. To get specific —

* Gray color schemes in both kitchens and baths have witnessed a dramatic escalation since 2010, particularly over the past year. Used currently in 55% of kitchens and 56% of bathrooms, shades of gray are growing in appeal, creating chic, sophisticated spaces that many consumers desire.

* Also, continuing an important trend from last year, transitional-style kitchens and baths have clearly surpassed traditional styles, a longstanding favorite until 2012.

* While the use of quartz finishes was in slight decline last year, it has surfaced as a clear trendsetter this year, coming a close second to granite.

* Homeowner spending on their kitchen and bath remodels was trending upward a year ago, but the latest numbers tell a slightly less robust story. Heading into 2012, the total cost of the average kitchen and the average bath design was $51,050 and $18,575, respectively. As we move into 2013, the figures have dipped to $47,308 in kitchens, while staying steady at $18,538 in bathrooms.

Over 300 National Kitchen & Bath Association member-designers participated in the 2013 NKBA Design Trends Survey, reporting the materials, product types, and styles that they specified in their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2012. While broad trends won’t be evident in every local market, the following are the top overall trends that emerged for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada.”

General Kitchen & Bathroom Trends for 2013

  1. Shades of Grey
  2. Quartz Counters
  3. Trending “Transitional” Style (a seamless blend of traditional and contemporary)

2013 Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Kitchen Design and Remodeling by MBC Lancaster PA

  1. White Painted Cabinetry
  2. Glass Backsplash
  3. LED/Energy Efficient Lighting
  4. Touch-activated faucets
  5. Satin Nickel finish faucets on the rise

 

2013 Bathroom Remodeling Trends


  1. Ceramic/Porcelain tile flooring.
  2. Undermounted sinks remain the most requested in bathrooms.

Average Total Costs: No Growth

NKBA members did not see any increase in the average costs of their bathrooms and kitchens. Kitchens actually fell by .08% (around $3700 less than 2012). Bathrooms sunk even less – .017% (about $300 less than 2012). While no growth sounds like a bad thing, these numbers are up thousands of dollars from the bottom of 2011.

You can view and download the complete 2013 report here.

When you want to make your ideas a reality, call MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC in Lancaster County, PA for the Kitchen or Bathroom of your dreams!

February 25, 2013

Making Your Bathroom into a Relaxing Retreat

Filed under: Bathroom Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , — MBCremodeling @ 2:38 pm

After the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, we all deserve to come home to a luxurious place to unwind. Your home’s bathroom, although often overlooked, could be your personal retreat.

While planning a bathroom makeover, it’s best to start from the ground up. The floor is the priority, because it’s the most permanent part of the room. Options range from luxury vinyl, to natural stone, to porcelain or ceramic tile, to marble. Tiles and marble may have a higher price tag, but they are durable and long-lasting. Vinyl on the other hand, is a lesser expensive option for a remodel, especially coupled with the intent to sell.

The right style and color of flooring can also make a bathroom feel much larger than it is. A light-colored marble floor with a thin, complementary-colored vein adds luxury, while also keeping the space fresh and airy.


Cabinetry is the next step in the remodel design and has the potential to be the largest cost in your budget. A cost-saving alternative is to give your current cabinets a facelift with a coat of bright, white lacquer.

Another option is to reface your current cabinets. This involves replacing or upgrading the cabinet door and drawer fronts and retaining the cabinet base. If the existing cabinets can not be maintained, there are many styles to choose from, including custom-made wood cabinets, oak panels washed in white, mirror-on-mirror treatments, warm pecan-stained oak, contemporary metal drawers or soft frosted glass panels.

Selecting the countertops is your next step. Often times, marble or granite can be purchased at a discount from a stone scrap yard.

Laminate or Formica are two other great options, which will give you similar look to marble or granite at a fraction of the cost.

The finishing details and accessories have the ability to take a nicely remodeled bathroom and make it into your luxury get-away.

Hardware is a simple way to add your personal touch and style. Whether it’s modern with clean lines or old and vintage, it’s about what makes you happy.

Let the sunshine in! A skylight may be just what you need to allow natural light into your space. A skylight is also quite private.

For windows that need a covering, bamboo or other natural fibers add tranquility and warmth, while allowing natural light to pass through.

Turning your bathroom into your personal retreat is all about reflecting your style, attention to detail and selecting the right materials.

February 7, 2011

Top Remodeling Projects for 2011

As the new year is picking up steam, I thought it would be a good time to share my views on the future… the future of home remodeling that is. I present to you the top remodeling trends for 2011.

This year has been challenging for homeowners and remodelers alike. The good news is that although progress is slow, remodelers across Lancaster County, PA say that things are looking up.

Many homeowners are looking to 2011 with a renewed sense of optimism about remodeling their homes. Home prices have stabilized and the economy is moving in a positive direction. Astute remodeling contractors have found ways interesting ways to help homeowners stay within their budget. Many people think that 2011 will the best time we have seen in years to remodel.

The focus will be on creative use of existing space and moderate sized additions. The use of color as a way to define space and bring out architectural features will continue to gain popularity.

Kitchens will be made over to be brighter, open and less formal. Granite and quartz continue to be the countertops of choice, but soapstone is emerging as a unique alternative for an earthier feel in a solid surface countertop.


Many kitchen and bathroom remodels will include cost effective techniques to recycle or renovate features rather than replacing everything.


There has been great interest in renewing fireplaces to create a family centered area. The stacked stone fireplace continues to be a favorite. Creating open floor plans will be one of the leading home improvements this year it seems. Formal spaces in the home will be repurposed by opening up existing walls and creating more usable family centered space. Many people will find that their home can take on a whole new feel and function by reorganizing the seldom used formal living and dining rooms.


Master suites and bathrooms will also be designed around how we live our lives, with less focus on over the top extravagance. By focusing more on function and reasonable scale over flash, home remodels will have the feel and features we want without unsustainable budgets.

Lastly, home energy performance improvements with various types of remodeling projects will continue to grow in popularity due to their positive return on investment. Homeowners are discovering that advances in building science have illustrated that there are numerous cost effective adjustments that can be made to their homes. These adjustments and repairs will improve energy bills and make homes more comfortable at the same time.

When it’s time to think renovations and remodeling in Lancaster County, PA, please think MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC.

December 9, 2010

(our very first!) Project Spotlight

Filed under: Bathroom Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , , , — MBCremodeling @ 12:54 pm

Well it’s the Lancaster PA Remodeling Tips & Tricks moment you’ve all been waiting for… our very first Project Spotlight blog! And don’t worry, we’ll have plenty more for you in 2011.

THANK YOU to Doug Vogel & his family for letting us spotlight their project, and extra big ups for supplying the pictures and answering all my questions!

Now, sit back, relax, and let’s close our eyes and drift off to Before-the-project land… (hint: make sure you open your eyes again to read the Q&A):

what was your project?
Remodeling our backroom and bathroom. The shower was only a stall, and the bathroom itself was very tiny.

before 1

how long have you lived in the house?
We have been in the house for a little over 6 years.

had you ever done a major remodel before?
No, this was our first one.

how long had you been wanting to do it?
Ever since we moved in.

before 2

why did you decide to do it?
We were trying to sell the house, then I lost my job. So we had to take the house off the market. We then decided we were going to be in this house a little longer so why not have a bathroom we actually liked and could use without bumping into the wall.

before 3

Now, in this During section, I’m hoping to portray a real, honest perspective of the remodeling process. Homeowners who have never done a major project before are often surprised at how ‘routine-changing’ they can be.

how did the process go?
The process went very well.

was it easy choosing the color/flooring/etc or did you consider a lot of options?
For the most part, seemed like Lowe’s was switching items when we were looking for them. So that made it a little difficult.

was the remodeling process more or less difficult than you expected? The remodeling was fine, except for that the floor we wanted had like a 14-day wait on it. Had we known that about the floor we would have had that ordered before it was needed to go in. That held up the remodel.

pros and cons of the remodeling experience?
Pros – new bathroom, large shower/tub downstairs/more room to move around/backroom doesn’t feel cavernous
Cons – having to take a bath for over a month and not a shower

So, is all well that ends well? After:

after 1

after 2

after 3

after 4

how did it turn out?
I thought it turned out great.

are you happy you did it?
Yes. Taking a shower in a stall everyday is slightly better than taking a bath on a daily basis.

how often do you use the room?
It’s a bathroom/laundry room, so just about every day.

do you think you’ll remodel in the future?
Someday, but hopefully not in this house.

is mbc the raddest lancaster county remodeling company on twitter? _X__YES ___ NO

Hope you enjoyed our Project Spotlight. I can’t say THANK YOU enough to Doug & the Vogels for choosing us to do their project, then helping so much with this blog. Please check out Doug’s design company Get Fresh Designs.

If you’re considering a bathroom remodeling project of your own near Lancaster County, PA, please give Mike Blank, CGR CAPS, a call @ (717) 371.5136 to set up a free appointment!

Thank you for reading!

Matt Blank

June 22, 2010

Ready for a Home Makeover? Here’s How To Do It.

Today people are looking for ways to improve their homes for better living and more enjoyment. Investing a little time and money will go a long way to transform your home into the pride of the neighborhood.

Curb Appeal – Let’s begin outside. Mow the grass, pull the weeds, edge the lawns and give the bedding areas the attention and maintenance they deserve. Liven up the planting areas with perennials for substance, and then go for color with annuals. Select a color scheme such as reds and yellows then use it throughout the bedding areas for a well-planned professional appearance.

Your Home’s Exterior – Addressing your home’s landscaping is the first step to improving curb appeal. Next you have to pay attention to the physical structure of your home. You can easily make over your home in a few days time by replacing windows, painting, adding new siding, or replacing an old roof. On top of transforming your home, these improvements will increase the value of your home and can greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency. This translates into lower heating bills in the winter and lower cooling costs in the summer. Combine these savings with tax credits and rebates and these improvements will pay for themselves several times over while you experience the pleasure and pride of owning a beautiful home. If you are in Lancaster County, PA, feel free to contact us with any tax credit questions.

Clean Up Your Entry – Analyze your walkway and repair wobbly cobblestones or bricks. If the sidewalk is cracked get it repaired or replaced. Next place to turn is your porch. Erase clutter by removing excess plants, kids toys or old knickknacks. If you’re unsure, remove it. The best bet is to get back to a clean slate with simply a welcome mat and a chair or two. If you’ve got additional room, a nicely placed plant will make the area look inviting and create an ideal area for after-dinner coffee or a glass of wine.

Your Main Entry – One of the most important areas of your home is the main entry. It can set the mood for the homes occupants and visitors. Make your entry room feel comfortable by opening it up and making it feel as big as possible. The first step to this is with the right paint color. Select colors that give the illusion of space and light and even small entry rooms magically seem to double in size. Eliminate clutter, excess furniture, and all unnecessary items from your entry room. Most homes have too much furniture and too many objects occupying valuable space and making living space cramped.


Your Kitchen… Is For Living – Today the kitchen is the most popular room in the home. You can’t truly have a dream home without investing properly in your kitchen. Outdated appliances, cabinets, flooring, countertops, and layout all contribute to an overall feeling that the entire home is outdated. Take stock of your kitchen and identify which of these items need attention. Your kitchen can make or break your homes style so make sure to use a professional, in the end it will make all the difference in the world.

Your Bathroom is Your Sanctuary – The bathroom is also a room where the touch of a professional is important, and like your kitchen, outdated materials, color, and layout can make your bathroom extremely uncomfortable and can severely decrease the overall enjoyment of your home.

Sometimes quick fixes are all you need. Fresh paint, new tile, updated shower or bathtub, new fixtures, etc. When you find that you have more than one of these items it’s time to consider a complete remodel. Today bathroom remodeling is a lot more cost effective than ever before and you’ll be amazed at how an updated bathroom will improve your every day disposition as well as the value of your home.

Lancaster County, PA Residents: If you’d like to setup a free consultation to discuss transforming any part of your home, give me a call today. You’ll be delighted at how easy it is to get started.

Sincerely,

Mike Blank, CGR CAPS
President – MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC
(717) 371-5136
Serving Lancaster County, PA Since 1999!

February 16, 2010

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Enhancements

Filed under: Bathroom Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , , , — MBCremodeling @ 10:29 am

Is your bathroom is leaving you less than flush with pride? Without question, beautiful bathrooms help sell houses and enhance homeowners’ enjoyment of their living space; an investment for the day when you’ll need to romance potential buyers with a knockout bathroom. Knowing what’s in and what’s out in bathroom design is important for homeowners deciding where to spend their hard-earned dollars. You can easily and inexpensively update your restroom with a fresh, modern look, without sacrificing style, by focusing on 4 key areas: Paint, the mirror, hardware and lighting.

Painting any room is a tried-and-true way to make a big impact with minimal cost and effort. Remember that color trends do change. Stay away from dated color choices, like mauves or pinks, in favor of timeless, like earth tones. Chocolate, aqua, olive and gold, all colors drawn from nature, are hot right now and promise more enduring style.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – If your home was built in the past decade, you probably have one enormous, unframed mirror, but unframed mirrors are out.

The mirror is the focal point of your bathroom, and frames complete the mirror, giving a bath a finished, updated look. You can remove the entire mirror and buy a new, framed replacement or you can frame your existing mirror.

When choosing a frame style, select a frame that reflects the style you would choose for a piece of artwork for the room.

Easy Hardware – Few accessories shout “last decade” like outdated hardware. Fortunately, updating hardware is a quick, easy and cost-effective. If your hardware is mismatched, get yourself to a home supply store and check out their collections of matching drawer pulls and cabinet handles. Your hardware should also complement your metal fixtures.

If the finish is dated, like brass, replace it with new styles, like brushed nickel, pewter, antique or oil-rubbed bronze. These finishes coordinate well with current lighting and fixtures, bath bars, knobs, pulls, and switch and receptacle covers. These fixes pull a room together with one modern, cohesive look.

Make Light of Things – Lighting fixtures that add beauty and soft lighting with shades or sconces are in. They can run above your (newly framed) mirror, or flank it. Select a style that is right for you and makes a statement in the room.

Strategic and cost-effective changes can go a long way to giving you the new updated bathroom you desire.

-Mike
www.MBCremodeling.com

December 23, 2009

How To Choose Your Remodeling Contractor

As anyone who has any experience working with contractors will tell you, finding the RIGHT contractor for your project entails much more than just finding the lowest price. Less tangible items like your ability to communicate and feel comfortable working with your contractor will inevitably prove to be much more important in determining your eventual satisfaction with the job – particularly if it’s a large project.

It’s always good to start your search with local building associations, like the Building Industry Association of Lancaster, National Association of Home Builders and the Better Business Bureau for accredited contractors in your area. You also want to make sure the contractor specializes in Home Remodeling and not Home Building. While they sound similar, they are very different. After you get a few names, the following are important tips that will help you choose the right contractor for your Home Improvement project:

Ask For References

Talk to homeowners this contractor has done work for in the past. Were they satisfied with the work? Did they keep the job site clean? Was the work finished? Did the contractor keep to the agreed-upon schedule? Did the contractor return phone calls?

Get Two or Three Specific Written Bids

Different contractors can vary widely on pricing and level of detail even when bidding for the same job. Make sure and get several estimates on your project, especially if it’s a large project. As much as possible, make sure that you explain the job fully to each of the contractors to ensure each one bids on the same exact job so that you can compare the estimates ‘apple-to-apple’.

DO NOT Automatically Accept the Lowest Bid

The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. A large number of complaints filed against contractors are the result of homeowner taking the lowest bid and then being unhappy with the low quality of work. Even when the contractor promises to do the same job, be careful – often contractors will bid a job extremely aggressively in order to get it. When the work takes longer than originally planned, the contractor can feel ‘squeezed’ by the budget and try and cut corners. What you ‘save’ up front could easily cost you when they don’t guarantee the estimate and charge you much more then promised. It could also actually DECREASE the value of your home because of unprofessional work.

Make Sure Your Contractor is Properly Registered

It is very important to know that a license is not an endorsement of the quality of work. It does however provide some financial protection for you, the customer. As of July 1st, 2009 Contractor Registration is required in the state of Pennsylvania. Their registration number should be on all paperwork they show you. You can verify any contractors’ registration with the Attorney General.

Make Sure Your Contractor is Properly Insured

Ask your contractor for a copy of his proof of liability insurance and workman’s comp insurance or the name and number of his/her insurance agent to call and verify proof of coverage.

Most Importantly… Do You Trust This Person to Work on Your Home?

When it comes down to it, the most important thing to check is your own gut feeling. How do you feel about this contractor working on what is probably your single largest investment – your home? Do you trust this person inside your home? Around your children? Can you communicate well with this person about the project? Are they ‘in tune’ to your needs?

I hope you found this information useful. Choosing the right contractor for your project is the most important step to guaranteeing your satisfaction, and will make all the difference in the long term.

[This article was also published in the Lancaster Newspapers Spring Home, Lawn & Garden Issue on Page 2.]

Until next time,

Mike Blank, CGR CAPS

www.MBCRemodeling.com

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