Kitchen And Home Improvement Ideas Include Creative Use Of LEDs

When looking at kitchen remodeling contractors in LA, consider one that can work with you to achieve both stylish and energy efficient results. Popular kitchen design trends in 2013 range from retro to modernistic, and from art deco to classic. Innovations in LED lighting can help one to carry out a creative vision while simultaneously cutting electricity costs.

Kitchens can get warm, and LEDs virtually eliminate the heat typically generated by halogens, incandescents, and fluorescents. Dimmable LED lights can be brightened for food preparation and then later dimmed for mood. LED rope and/or tape lights offer beautiful accent lighting under cabinets, behind crown moldings, and in coves. Such lighting is offered in cool whites, warm whites, and in many colors. It can therefore be readily integrated into almost any design concept from vintage to ultra-modern.

LED light patterns can be extremely varied. Light can be broadly and evenly dispersed when desired. Such light will typically be less ‘spotty’ than that which it replaces. This feature is particularly welcome in kitchens, where detailed activities benefit from even lighting. At the same time, spot and accent lighting can be focused exactly where it is wanted. One can essentially ‘paint with light.’

Energy costs have steadily risen in southern California since the start of the 21st century, and LEDs perfectly address this issue. A conversion to LED lighting can reduce energy costs by 50-90 percent. In fact, Southern California Edison (SCE) cites energy savings as high as 98 percent compared to some incandescents. SCE also sees other LED advantages.  Tungsten and glass are not required because there is no filament. Toxic elements like mercury and lead are not present.

At Bradco Kitchens and Baths, we are very active in all types of home improvement. As a result, we can offer our clients the latest in creative and energy-saving ideas. Please contact us today.

Choose One Of The Kitchen Remodeling Contractors Up To Date On Energy Efficiency

So, you’re excited about remodeling and updating your kitchen. Congratulations! Using one of the top kitchen remodeling contractors to complete a kitchen remodel can be one of the most gratifying investments in your home. At the same time, it offers potential energy savings that can really add up over time. Finally, a kitchen remodel is one of the top-rated home improvement projects for ‘return on investment’ (ROI). That is, a large portion of the cost can often be recovered at a later time when the house is sold.

New appliances are often a part of the effort to update a kitchen. The good news is that major gains in energy efficiency are now possible with contemporary kitchen appliances.

Refrigeration

The first and most obvious place to look for savings is the refrigerator. This is one appliance that operates 24/7. Both energy waste and efficiency quickly multiply.

At the federal government’s Energy Star website, one can quickly estimate annual energy savings generated by the replacement or removal of a refrigerator and/or freezer. Estimates are even more accurate if you take a moment to check the cost per kilowatt hour that your local utility charges for electricity. This figure is easily found on your monthly utility bill.

The potential savings can be persuasive. For example, the replacement of a twenty year-old, 22 cu ft refrigerator/freezer with an new Energy Star-rated replacement can save over $500 over five years. That’s based on a national average cost of $0.11 per kilowatt hour for electricity.

The Edison Energy Institute (EEI) advises improving your savings over time by vacuuming the compressor coils every three months or so. Avoid storing open liquids in the refrigerator. Let heated foods cool off before refrigerating them.

Maintain a temperature of 37-40 degrees F in the refrigerator and 5 degrees F in the freezer. Don’t overfill the refrigerator to the point that air cannot properly circulate.

Cooking

Although cooking with a stove or oven is an infrequent activity, energy use adds up because cooking is much more energy-intensive than cooling. Annually, such an appliance can require a third to a half of the energy required by the refrigerator. Today, cooking by convection, induction, or light energy can inject new levels of energy efficiency into the kitchen.

In a convection oven, a fan circulates hot air to speed cooking time by about a third. Induction cooking utilizes magnetic friction to transmit heat through a stove’s coils to the pots and pans. The stove’s ceramic surface stays cool while the food gets hot. Cooking via induction is very energy efficient. Finally, light energy ovens combine microwave technology with tungsten/halogen lamps to offer energy savings as high as 66-75 percent, according to the EEI. The introduction of the right cooking technology into your new kitchen can save hundreds of dollars over a five-year period.

Please Contact Us

At Bradco Kitchens and Baths, we specialize in doing kitchen remodels with integrity, creativity, and an eye toward long-term value. For personalized and expert assistance, please contact us.

Remodeling Estimate — What Is it?

Just what is a remodeling estimate? Many people have the perception, that it is the cost of having a room, or several rooms, upgraded or reworked from its present condition. That is only partly true.

An estimate, as defined in the dictionary states: To roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.

An estimate is just what it says it is. A rough or general idea of what you can expect to pay for a project. Not the actual project cost, but a close idea of what it will cost.

Don’t ever have work completed, based only, on a remodeling estimate. Here is where unscrupulous, or fly by night contractors will take you to the cleaners. It is only an estimate, and used as a tool to determine approximately, what your actual costs may be. Also to determine the average costs among different contractors.

Before any work begins, the estimate should be followed by a Contract for Work Completed. Or, something similar of that nature. Within that contract should be a copy of the written remodeling estimate, along with statements describing exactly what work is to be done, and materials used.

Also included is usually terms of payment. Upon completion, weekly draw, or other. The start and estimated, (the re’s that word again) completion date. It should be signed and dated. You now have a written and binding contract between the parties.

This way, if problems or unforeseen events happen, (which will sometimes happen) you will be told by your contractor, what your options are, and how much the additional cost will be. There will be no surprises.

Most unlicensed and “fly by night” contractors try to start work with only an estimate. They are not bound to anything, and they want to keep it that way. Always ask for a written and signed, proper work contract. This protects you and the contractor. It guarantees a smooth and less stressful, successful completion of your remodeling project.

Remember, a remodeling estimate is only a rough idea of project costs. A contract will spell out those costs, along with materials used, what to expect if problems arise, and exact costs for the project.

The Top Three Bath Remodel Projects For Improving Your Home’s Value

Selling your home for a fair price is tricky in the current housing market. Completing a few key bath remodel projects could help you attract a committed buyer. Not all projects provide a big boost to your home’s total value. Darci Swisher’s article on Interest.com says that homeowners that make midrange improvements to the bathroom tend to recoup about 62% of the money they invest when the home is sold.

New Fixtures

Nearly all tubs eventually become scuffed and stained after decades of regular use. Replacing the shower stall or bathtub is relatively easy because the plumbing rarely needs modifications if you want to keep it in the same place. An attractive and easy to clean glass shower stall can encourage buyers who weren’t enamoured with your dingy acrylic bathtub.

Flooring Upgrades

Even the toughest flooring takes a lot of extra wear in the bathroom. Humidity warps wood and encourages staining mold to grout in the grout between tiles. Removing the existing floor and replacing it with a fresh new look is relatively easy. If your current bathroom floor is unattractive due to stains or damage, new fixtures and better lighting won’t be enough to make the space feel clean and welcoming.

Lighting

Most home bathrooms are relatively small, and many are located far from exterior walls that could contain windows. Adding extra lighting helps the space seem larger without requiring you to invest in demolition to physical expand the room. Look for focused fixtures to highlight the best features and help the new residents apply makeup or shave each morning. If you aren’t sure what kind of lighting would work best for your bathroom, contact us for our professional suggestions.