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!

December 28, 2011

MBC Whole House Remodel Award Winner!

This year brought us another award! Pictured here is our Building Industry Association Whole House Remodel award-winner done here in Lancaster County, PA. On this project, we added a kitchen room addition and moved a chimney out of their bedroom, plus completely resided the whole home when we were done!

This homeowner had quite a dilemma. They LOVED their location… but their house was getting cramped for their growing family. We opened up the back of the house by removing the existing mudroom and wall that was there separating it from the kitchen. Then, we expanded the kitchen space by putting on an addition, which also allowed room for a dining area. Along with that, we moved a chimney out of a bedroom to add square footage to that space as well.

Also, energy efficiency on this 1920’s house was becoming an issue. Over the years the roof, siding and insulation had worn down. We solved this by putting new high-quality siding around the whole house and by repairing and replacing the roof.

Check out these pictures to see exactly why it won. Now they have the home of their dreams!

Front Porch Remodel by MBC

Front Porch before.


Front Porch Remodel After Photo by MBC

Front Porch after.


Kitchen Addition by MBC

Kitchen addition and siding before.


Kitchen Addition after by MBC

Kitchen addition and siding after.


Kitchen Addition inside before

Kitchen Addition inside before.


Kitchen Addition after

Kitchen Addition inside after.

November 9, 2011

Kitchen Trends for 2012

Filed under: Kitchen Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , — MBCremodeling @ 10:09 am

The new year is quickly approaching! In the spirit of change, we decided to put together a list of some of the kitchen remodeling trends that are in store for 2012. The general contracting we do here in Lancaster County, PA brings us into a variety of kitchens every year. We get to experience first hand these growing trends, and have decided to discuss the following topics – Design Styles, Appliances, Colors, Cabinetry, Countertops and Lighting.
Kitchen renovations by MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC, Lancaster County, PA.
Design Styles – A recent survey done by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has shown that remodeling clients really are looking for “a multi-functional space, which reflects their individual style. One component of this trend is the integration and concealment of appliances, which opens the kitchen floor plan, embracing adjoining areas of the home, rather than becoming an intrusion into them. The economy continues to encourage homeowners to consider products and designs that are affordable and deliver long-term value.”

Traditional style remains the most popular kitchen design, although it has dropped slightly in popularity compared to last year. Shaker style, which is characterized by its simplicity, un-ornamented yet functional, finely crafted style, overtook ‘contemporary’ style in 2011 as the No. 2 most popular kitchen design style, and that trend should continue into 2012.

Appliances – Concealed appliances, such as warming drawers and steam ovens are more popular than ever. By hiding appliances away during your kitchen remodel, you allow more space to incorporate multiple guest functionality. Kitchens are fast becoming a warm gathering place for the clients family and friends.

Colors – Stainless steel will continue to be a favored choice for your kitchen appliance finish. It has been used in kitchens for over 100 years. This is due to its universal appeal, its ability to provide a sterile surface and its shiny appearance. All of this has helped forge its association with luxury.

The next most used color is currently black. It usually gives the space a more formal appearance in relation to the rest of the common areas of your home. The top 5 colors list is rounded out by grays, beiges, and bones.

Cabinetry – Maple cabinetry looks to be the front-runner in 2012. As for finishes, various shades of white/off-white hues, some finish distressing or glazes remain popular. Dark natural finishes also have been trending. Light natural and colored painted finishes also remained fairly common.

Any of these finishes can help contribute to a comfortable and relaxing kitchen many homeowners and buyers are looking for.

Countertops – Natural stone and quartz counters remain remodeling prospect favorites, but other renewable and recycled materials, such as laminate, concrete, paper, glass and stainless steel are seeing increased interest. Consider a low-maintenance surface to help cut down on cleaning and disinfecting time!

Lighting – LED energy-efficient lighting options continue to rise in popularity. Not only do they offer fresh, modern designs, they also help you save money and energy!

Thank you for reading our blog! I hope these trends will give you some fresh ideas to spice up the new year. If you have any questions or are thinking it is time to remodel your kitchen in Lancaster County, PA, please give us a call!

-Matt Blank
MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC
[717].[371].[5136]

July 11, 2011

Kitchen Island Innovations

Filed under: Kitchen Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , — MBCremodeling @ 3:27 pm

Dreaming of your own fantasy island here in Lancaster County, PA? No, I don’t mean the island with white sandy beaches, palm trees and sun… a kitchen island. They are increasing in popularity here; and with the interest both the attractiveness and innovations of kitchen islands continue to grow. Centrally located, islands are easily accessed and ideal for kitchen tasks such as food prep, cooking, clean up and entertaining. Here are the newest kitchen finds and options to consider when building or turning your fantasy island into a functional, stylish workspace.

Create Levels – Multi-level islands are becoming increasingly popular since most homeowners not only want a work area, but also an informal place for entertaining guests. With the kitchen as one of the main gathering areas in a home, your guests will be able to sit, chat or rest their beverage glasses on the high-top counter, while the lower tier of the island features an ample work area and storage area.

Be sure to incorporate enough drawers and shelves below the work area to keep key ingredients, utensils and your favorite cookbooks right at your fingertips.

If you love to entertain, consider adding a wine refrigerator to maintain proper temperatures for your reds and whites. You could also use the other side for seating like the picture above shows.

Turn Up the Heat – Installing cook tops as part of your kitchen island brings counter top burners within easy reach, while also creating room for amenities below, such as additional storage or warming drawers.

Easy Clean Up – Install a sink and faucet in your kitchen island to make food prep and clean up quick and easy.

Top It Off – Add character to your island countertop with a dramatic surface finish, such as granite, metal, solid-surface, marble and new custom, hand-applied finishes with unique designs, such as full circles and waves.

Finish off your counter with a thick butcher block, making it an easy spot for all your cutting needs.

With a few island innovations, you’ll make the most of your kitchen space and create your own, customized fantasy island! When it’s time to do your kitchen in Lancaster County, PA, please contact MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC.

March 29, 2011

Banish Kitchen Boredom with Color

Filed under: Kitchen Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , , — MBCremodeling @ 8:50 am

We are often asked by Lancaster County, PA homeowners of the best way to update their kitchen without completely remodeling. We always tell them the best place to start is the color! The kitchen is the perfect place to add character to your home with the use of new colors, whether it be painting walls, staining cabinets or both and more. Choosing the right color palette is an important part of the decision making process. But how do you choose colors that are compatible with your space and your taste? Here are a few helpful tips for guiding your color choices:

Cabinetry Color vs. Wall Color – Painting your kitchen walls is an easy way to add color and personality to your space. Soft blue wall paints, which are calming and easy to live with, are also versatile as they work well with both light and dark cabinetry. The color can balance cabinetry with a darker finish, such as cherry spice, or accent cabinetry with a lighter finish like maple butterscotch.

Go Bold – If you prefer the colors in your home to be trendy, consider using dramatic hues to brighten up your kitchen walls. Experts say that bold colors such as red and gold, the colors of China, are expected to gain interest because of the upcoming Olympics, while botanical greens are strong partly because of the environmental movement. If you are not quite ready to make such a bold commitment, buy a small container of paint and test it on an inconspicuous area of the wall to see how it works with your kitchen and your style.

Mixing Finishes and Countertops: How to Avoid a Color Trap – Another simple solution for taking a kitchen from drab to dazzling is to mix cabinetry finishes and/or countertop colors. Mixing finishes and countertops is a surefire way to avoid the common color mistake of matching everything. When everything in a room is the same color, it becomes either too intense or too bland. To avoid this painting trap, choose two finishes that balance one another. Or, keep the finish the same on both and use contrasting countertops for the main kitchen and the island to achieve the same balance.

It’s the Little Things that Make a Big Difference – If you do not want to transform your entire kitchen into a colorful oasis, but still want to show off your style, a little bit can go a long way:

  • Incorporate a backsplash in a patterned, multi-colored, or even metallic tile to easily add personality without committing to a full-on color renovation.
  • Include glass front cabinetry to create a dramatic backdrop for your vibrant glassware.
  • For a quick and easy color pick-me-up, change your cabinet hardware; add colorful art prints; or invest in some bright appliances such as a toaster, food processor or mixer.

If you are considering your own Kitchen Remodel or Renovations in Lancaster County, PA, please give us a call!

MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC – [717] 371[.]5136

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.

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!

March 1, 2010

Give Yourself a Present: Get that Kitchen Organized

Filed under: Kitchen Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , , — MBCremodeling @ 1:35 pm

A kitchen can be a wonderful place to work but, at times, it can also be a bit of a nightmare. Trying to juggle stacks of skillets or dig around for potholders when something is already burning is no fun, but it happens, at least occasionally, to anyone who uses a kitchen. Fortunately, there is hope for lasting and substantial organization to be brought into a kitchen. This hope comes primarily in the form of kitchen cabinet organizers.

Kitchen cabinet organizers are pieces of hardware that can be installed in a cabinet or cupboard to make it easier to get things in and out of storage. The organizer often takes the form of a pull-out shelf or rack, which is mounted to a rail in the bottom of the cabinet, so that items in the cabinet can be set or hung side by side, rather than stacked. In this way, it becomes possible for you to pull out a pan that’s all the way in the back of the cabinet, and rarely used, without having to move all the other pots and pans in the cabinet.

One great thing about kitchen cabinet organizers is that they can be installed in the existing cabinets in your kitchen.

The installation can be completed quickly and easily, and your kitchen cabinets can go from a frustrating mess to an easy to use, well-organized storage system at surprisingly little cost to you. This new level of organization can be particularly helpful as the holidays approach – it will be much easier, and much more fun, to entertain friends and family this holiday season if all your pots, pans, platters and plates are in easy reach, even if you haven’t used some of them since the last holiday season.

All the best!

Mike
MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC

December 28, 2009

What’s Cooking in Kitchen Design

Filed under: Kitchen Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , , , — MBCremodeling @ 1:43 pm

The kitchen remains one of the most popular places in the home.  Even with slowing home sales in many U.S. markets, kitchen remodeling projects continue to provide positive returns at the time of a home sale.  So, instead of major renovations and overhauls, this subdued market has kicked off beautification and smart kitchen re-dos to improve the home.

A successful redesign depends on making choices that enhance the kitchen and its role in today’s families.  The kitchen is not just a place to eat but a place to entertain, to show off culinary skills and to gather with your family and friends.

Remember, not every kitchen remodeling project has to be a total ‘tear it all down’ operation to be an effective one.

Here is a sampling of some hot trends that are simple, yet effective ways to improve the design and look of your kitchen:

  • Consider adding crown molding, corbels and appliqués.
  • New hardware can immediately revitalize old cabinets.
  • Add trashcan pullouts and plate and utensil organizers to improve organization and convenience.
  • Replace older countertops with more popular ones like Corian or granite.
  • Add new cabinet fronts to bring a refreshing look to an older kitchen.

Consider mixing cabinet colors. This is a growing trend in today’s kitchens.

-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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