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Smith&Sell

A Family Connects in their Washington Heights Kitchen

Small changes, from a banquette and grout to salvaged shelves, make all the difference

Before: Unify a mismatched and inefficient kitchen

Sarah, a managing director at an international nonprofit, WaterAid, and her husband, Eddy, a medical consultant, thought their co-op in Washington Heights, New York, was ideal for raising their two daughters. They loved the location (near Fort Tryon Park) and the design aesthetic of their 1939 Art Deco building. The problem? An outdated kitchen that had been (seemingly) randomly renovated over the years, with one section updated at a time. It resulted in what Sarah called a “hodgepodge” layout and design. 

 

 

“Overall, it was dark and dated,” said Sarah. “The cabinets seemed to be original, but we don’t know that for a fact, but they sure looked like it.” The couple also desperately needed more counter space. “There was more space for dining than food prep,” commented Sarah.

After: A united dining area and cook space

Sarah and Eddy posted their Washington Heights kitchen renovation on Sweeten and hired their design-build firm from Sweeten. “The firm was amazing! Both our designer, Ally, and our project manager, Petar, were like on-call doctors,” said Sarah. “They helped me with decision-making around all things—from what size appliances to buy to practical storage ideas.”

Sarah and Eddy decided to keep the original floors to give a nod to the origins of the building. The kitchen received new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. When they gutted the kitchen, they found beautiful brick walls hiding behind the sheetrock. The brick became a focal point behind a newly added banquette bringing a new texture to their streamlined, all-white kitchen. “The girls love to sit at the banquette and read while eating,” said Sarah. “And with an outlet installed in the banquette, it’s become a cozy work-from-home space during the pandemic.”

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A Hampton Bays Beach House Renovation Gets a Full Pop Art Redo

Artist Katy Garry’s beach house renovation in Long Island includes a garage conversion for lounging

“After” photos by Lena Yaremenko for Sweeten

Homeowners: Artist Katy Garry and her husband posted their 1970s Cape full gut renovation on Sweeten Where: Hampton Bays, New York Primary renovation: A top-to-bottom beach home renovation to give it a modern farmhouse look and an upbeat vacation house vibe Sweeten general contractor Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection— for free.

Written in partnership with Sweeten homeowner Katy

A house flood sets off a new start

Sometimes you can spin a disaster into an opportunity. That’s what happened with Hildreth Place, our house in the Hamptons. We used a devastating flood as a prompt to create a happy, modern home where family and friends can meet. 

 

Hildreth Place has been in the Garry family for more than 40 years, and my husband and I have owned it for 10. The house is in Hampton Bays, New York, 50 yards from Meschutt Beach, where families gather to swim in the bay and live music plays every night at Tiki Joes. The house was originally built in 1970, in a traditional Cape style. We have long used it with family, shared it with friends, and also rented it.

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Remodeling A Dallas Home For Resale: Tips to Boost Your Value

Focus on curb appeal and improvements like upgrading outdoor spaces or refreshing a kitchen

Sprawling ranches. Craftsman cottages. Stone or brick architecture reflecting French or English style. A particular Dallas home caught your eye, and location and neighborhood made it right.

Unless you custom-built your home, there are probably some features you’d like to change. Your home may need more efficient windows or the master bath could use extra square footage. Whether you’re planning to put your space on the market soon or in several years, it’s smart to keep in mind the potential for resale value. The clever way to approach your renovation: making it comfortable and customized to your needs, while increasing your home’s attractiveness to potential buyers. Here, Sweeten outlines some key tips if you’re remodeling a home in Dallas for resale.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

What improvements increase your home’s value?

Consider curb appeal

A home’s first impression speaks volumes. What catches your eye? You may notice attractive landscaping, interesting siding, a statement-making front door.

Replacing the front door in a Dallas home can recoup 63.7% of the job cost, according to Remodeling‘s Cost vs. Value report for 2020. This is based on a price of $1,803 for steel.

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Here’s How to Save on Home Remodeling in Atlanta

It’s easy to save on remodeling costs in Atlanta when you know a few tricks

You love your home, and you love living in Atlanta. But there may be some parts of your home that you don’t love. Or maybe you just bought a new home, and you know you want to update it to suit you. We see renovation projects in Atlanta at a wide range of costs. Often, homeowners want to maximize their scope on a minimal budget. Luckily, there are a handful of tricks that can help you save on remodeling in Atlanta. 

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

Remodel smaller and smarter

For years, one of the draws of living in Atlanta was that you could own a large house for the same—or less than—what you would pay in northern cities. Atlanta ranks number two in the United States in home sizes. In fact, Atlanta’s average home size is just under 2,000 square feet. But sprawl has its price, which means large homes and large remodels come with higher costs. 

Find ways to remodel that don’t involve creating a new foundation or building upward. If you can, stay within the existing footprint of the house. Explore rooms that are no longer used for their intended purpose and convert them. Tour the house with your contractor and find walls that you can open to expand two rooms into one large room.

Look into Atlanta’s green remodeling incentives

Green or eco-friendly remodeling helps the environment and can certainly help you save on remodeling in Atlanta. 

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A Condo Renovation Takes a West Village Home into a New Century

Retired homeowners—and their visionary architect—went for it, floor to rafters

“After” photos by Kate Glicksberg for Sweeten

Written in partnership with architect Aaron Davis, A.I.A., and Sweeten homeowners Ilene and Neil

Homeowner: After living in their West Village condo for over 15 years, Neil Berkson and Ilene H. Lang decided it was time for a total do-over.Architect: Aaron Davis Architect agreed to helm the gut renovation of the 1,550-square-foot space and posted the West village whole-condo renovation on Sweeten.Where: Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New YorkPrimary renovation: Floor-to-ceiling reimagining of the unique space, including the kitchen, partitioning off a room, and moving the front entry.Sweeten general contractorSweeten’s role: Sweeten matches residential renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering know-how, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection— for free
Deciding to stay and renovate—or move

Ilene and Neil have lived in this enviably located West Village condo since buying it in 2004. “We’ve always loved the building and the neighborhood,” Neil said of the 1906 structure’s history as the Henry Siegel department store. The 14th Street building was rehabbed into condominiums around 2001.

 

There was a point where they considered moving on, Neil said. “We went through a period where we looked at other apartments,” he recalled, for more space to live in. Ultimately, though, they realized it would be hard to beat what they had. Instead of moving, they decided to renovate. Ilene, a retired CEO of a global nonprofit, and Neil, a retired attorney, wanted to go full-scope on the renovation and brought in Aaron as their partner.

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How Much Does It Cost To Tile a Bathroom?

Consider all of the materials (not just the tile itself!) plus labor to get a true picture of what it’ll cost to tile a bathroom

When budgeting for a bathroom tiling project, it’s easy to become focused on the cost of the tile itself. After all, tile is at the heart of the project; it’s the main look of all of this. However, crucial (and often overlooked) steps like prep and time for labor can impact how much it’ll cost you to tile a bathroom. 

 

 

Tiling prep work

Before beginning the tile project, a number of items in the bathroom must be removed. After they have been removed, the subfloor must be assessed.

Using ceramic tile in your bathroom?

Ceramic tile requires a stable base (substrate) that is rigid and does not bend. The bathroom’s existing subfloor should either be strong enough or it should be strengthened. For natural stone tile, the industry group Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) recommends that the substrate be twice as rigid as for tiling with ceramics or porcelains. If the substrate is not smooth enough, it may require an additional layer of underlayment.

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Yes! Renovating During the Pandemic is Possible.

Hear from homeowners who successfully completed a renovation during the pandemic

(Above) Sweeten homeowners Kirsty + David’s renovation

When COVID-19 hit last year, it seemed like the entire country went into shutdown. People started working from home, kids entered remote learning, and businesses had to pivot to figure out how to continue in this mainly virtual world.

Sweeten general contractors adjusted their routine by limiting the number of people on the construction project, wearing masks, using separate entrances so paths didn’t cross, and giving updates via teleconference, among other changes.

Technology was used to keep the process moving forward by conducting virtual site visits on Sweeten’s platform. Homeowners were able to continue to receive estimates, hire their contractor, and get their projects slotted into their calendars.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

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Get The Look: Classic Art Deco Bathroom

When Rachel and Michael’s art deco bathroom remodel came to life in 2019, we were wowed by the various shades of blue. A couple years later, this classic bath remains a source of inspiration thanks to its sophisticated style that blends old and new.

To create a “Get the Look” for this project, we connected with a NY-based interior designer. We partnered with Kroesser + Strat Design to source an inspired kit of fixtures and finishes that is just as stylish as the designer pieces and can work on any budget. The best part – these affordable materials are from the home remodeling collections available at Walmart!

“The traditional design of this bathroom feels reminiscent of the 1920’s where subway tile + hexagon mosaics were having their heyday, much like they are now.  The vanity console along with the cross handle sink faucet + old school tub fixtures transport us back in time, while the use of a navy wall color with the crispness of the materials falls very much in line with a contemporary style.”

Product recommendations:

Vanity // Faucet // Medicine Cabinet // Light Fixture // Subway Tile // Hexagon Floor Tile // Shower Head // Blue Penny Tile // Tub // Tub Fixture // Toilet // Towel Bar Holder Collection

We hope you enjoy the budget-friendly materials we’ve curated for this series. Purchases made through our product recommendation links may earn Sweeten a commission.

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Smart Home Technology to Add During Your Remodel

Get an edge by installing connected smart home technology during your home remodel

Smart home technology is everywhere today. It has made its way into our vehicles, our workplaces, and our pockets. With smart tech’s skill at automation, it’s no surprise that it has found a perfect place in the home. Nearly 70-percent of homes already own some type of smart home tech. And that number is only growing.

Some forms of smart home tech are more permanent. Sweeten outlines which ones can best be incorporated during a home remodel. 

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

Smart water heaters and controllers

Far from being smart, the average water heater is more like a blunt tool. It maintains hot water even when you don’t need hot water. Or if you turned it down before a vacation, you’ll need to manually turn it back up when you return. It can take hours for the water to heat up again.

Smart water heaters connect to your home’s internet through Wi-Fi. This gives you remote access to all of the water heater’s functions. You can adjust temperature and set schedules. You can even monitor the status and shut it down if there’s a problem. This gives you a chance to call in a technician and avert disastrous water leaks.

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How the COVID -19 Pandemic May Affect Your Home Remodel

COVID-19 brings opportunities if you want to remodel your home, but you’ll need to know how to navigate

When the global pandemic of 2020 hit, few homeowners were thinking about home remodeling. Yet as the pandemic wore on, life returned to (some) idea of normal and home remodeling once again became a topic. It was top of mind for homeowners who had already started a remodel before COVID-19 spread. Homeowners who had only considered remodeling also started to plan their projects in earnest.

However, when it comes to remodeling, COVID-19 has impacted material costs and changed the supply chain. Sweeten outlines what a homeowner might expect to encounter while taking on a remodel during COVID-19, and how to navigate those obstacles to get your renovation plans back on track.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

We’re noticing our homes in new ways, every day

Homeowners now spend more time than ever at home. Flaws that were merely annoying with that bathroom or kitchen are now magnified. Homeowners who only wondered if their home was ready for a remodel now know.

This need isn’t just imaginary, either. More people at home means that renovation is a necessity. Even if only a couple of people live there, everything in the house is being used more often.

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How to Fund Your Next Home Renovation

Daria Kirpach

With interest rates still low, here’s a look at the best ways to pay for big-ticket home improvements.

This article appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of This Old House Magazine. Click here to learn how to subscribe.

Has more time at home given you ambitions for upgrading your surroundings? Maybe you’re yearning for a “sanity shed” where you can take undisturbed work calls in the backyard. Or you have visions of a family room refresh that also creates space for a family study hall.

Ways to Pay for a Home Remodel

Once you’ve talked to contractors and worked up a remodeling budget—with room for unexpected expenses, of course—the next step is finding the funds. Do you dip into savings or borrow the money?

With mortgage rates hitting historic lows, tapping your home equity seems like a good idea, even if recent changes in the tax law make it less likely that you can deduct the interest. A soaring stock market may have left you with a plump portfolio to draw from, while interest rate cuts mean the cash you have sitting in the bank isn’t doing much of anything, making that a tempting target.

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What to Know Before Upgrading Your Garage Door

Nat Rea

For many of us, the garage door is the primary way we come and go. While replacing one is a big decision, it’s also an opportunity for a major upgrade. Here’s how to pick the right one.

Shown: Steel pulls and X-bracing simulate the look of swing-out carriage doors. Coachman door, $4,300; Clopay

This article appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of This Old House Magazine. Click here to learn how to subscribe.

They’re battered by the elements, assaulted by basketballs, and commanded to perform their disappearing and reappearing act countless times each week. When, after decades of service, a garage door stops working well—or looking good—you can take comfort in the fact that a new one is among the best investments you can make, allowing you to recoup nearly 95 percent of the cost when you sell.

“Garage doors have come a long way over the last fifteen years. Springs are safer, R-values are as high as 18, and they’re quieter and need less maintenance. Manufacturers now realize that looks matter, adding design options that make them a focal point.” —D.J. Seeber, Business Development Manager, Cambek Designer Door, and a 43-year industry veteran

Why Upgrade My Garage Door?

A new garage door is also a comparatively inexpensive upgrade given how drastically it can bump up your curb appeal.

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How to Know When to Replace Wood Floors

Sweeten’s guidance on replacing wood floors covers everything from cosmetic updates to functional concerns

(Above) Maggie and Adam’s new floor renovation

Natural, versatile, timeless…wood floors can last for decades or even generations. But if there’s damage after years of wear, or the stain just isn’t suited to your style, replacing them may be your best bet for safer and better-looking floors. Ahead, we share five reasons Sweeten homeowners decided to replace wood floors and revitalize their spaces.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

1. When it bolsters the overall design

With low ceilings at just a little over eight-feet high, Maggie and Adam worked to create an illusion of a taller height. A ceiling plan for each room was planned out by the couple. This included narrow interior doors, white walls, colorful art, and 7-inch wide hickory flooring throughout.

2. When you want to add soundproofing

When Christina decided to renovate her studio co-op in Murray Hill, the building requested that she install a layer of soundproofing. Even if soundproofing isn’t mandated, it can add a layer of ease and “acoustic comfort” to your space. And, Christina pointed out that the installation process isn’t as bad as you might think. About replacing her floors, she said: “the entire removal and installation was surprisingly a relatively fast process.”

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Support Black-Owned General Contractor Companies | Sweeten

Support black-owned general contractors and contracting firms with Sweeten

At Sweeten, we value every clients’ vision for their home. And we value our shared vision for a better, more just, and inclusive world.  

Many Americans are now wondering how they can best effect change. One way is to hire professionals from groups who have historically been overlooked, and provide opportunities to those who have had to work harder to succeed. 

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

Please consider supporting the following black-owned general contractors on Sweeten’s platform. We heartily stand behind these contractors’ work. They all have the expertise and dedication to build the home of your dreams.

Sweeten General Contractor Saladin | NYC

General contractor Saladin co-owns her contracting firm. She joined Sweeten back in 2018. Servicing all of New York City, Saladin can complete full-service gut renovations, additions, basements, and decks. Additionally,  her firm also specialize in kitchen and bathroom remodels. At Sweeten’s annual awards ceremony for their contractors, the firm earned the 2019 Breakout Performance Award. Sweeten Stories featured two of their renovations on the blog: Kyli and Luke’s 1920 house (top image), and updating the brownstone of actor Danielle Brooks of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black (bottom image). Click here to read reviews and see more of Saladin’s work.

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Here’s How to Make a Galley Kitchen Bigger

A bigger galley kitchen is just around the corner, thanks to “kitchen stretching”

The key to making a galley kitchen layout work is all about maximizing the available square footage. But when you’ve optimized every inch and still need more space, the question becomes: how do you make a galley kitchen bigger?

Demolishing the entire kitchen and its surrounding walls is not always a realistic option. Bringing down walls partially provides some openness while not eliminating all walls which are important for storage. Another way to expand a galley kitchen layout is by allowing the kitchen to extend into nearby living spaces. See how the five Sweeten renovations below snuck in a little more outside their two walls.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

Bring out the best in high ceilings

To lessen the overlap of paying rent and a mortgage at the same time, Martha aimed to renovate her new co-op as quickly as possible. Her first decision was to open up the 700-square-foot apartment that she’d share with her daughter. Bringing down a wall—even partially—between the galley kitchen and the living room highlighted the 10-foot ceilings in the rest of the apartment. The now-open kitchen had enough space to straddle a small dining area between the two rooms. 

A patio comes inside

Laura and Tim were ready to trade in their “old and grungy” kitchen in their 1929 brick townhouse.  They remodeled their galley kitchen and kept the layout—with one major change. They enclosed an outdoor patio at the back of the kitchen that had a drafty door which was poorly located as well. The new plan was to envelop the patio into the cook space and the adjacent dining area. What started as a kitchen remodel turned into a full-blown extension project. A skylight in the new enclosure brought in a stream of natural light.

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A Guide to Small Bathroom Renovations in Houston

Dreaming of a bathroom renovation in Houston, but don’t know where to begin? Start with this guide. 

It’s no surprise that baths are topping many remodeling lists these days. In Houston, real estate comes in a variety of architectural styles, from French Country and bungalow to Queen Anne and ranch. Plus, bath trends today cover a range of décor styles that are compatible with your home’s architecture. For those considering their own Houston bathroom renovation, here are the need-to-knows and items to plan for before you begin.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

What are your goals?

For most people, updating the bathroom design is the #1 priority. Who doesn’t welcome a glow-up, especially in the bathroom? Modernizing dated cabinetry and hardware, and installing more stylish faucets are go-to options. So is swapping out a tub for a shower. Or, upgrading the shower with a thermostatic system with integrated volume control. Maybe your luxury shower dreams include multiple body sprays and a rain shower! Many homeowners opt to remove old, tired for a refreshed version. Another key focus in bathroom renovations is adding extra storage. 

What are your needs?

That’s easier to figure out. Who will use the bath? In a medium-sized bath, do you prefer a tub or shower? Single or double vanity? Take clear notes on any must-have features in your bath. 

Budgeting for a bath remodel in Houston 

To help you sort it out, here is what you can expect to pay in Houston, on average. Retaining the footprint in a mid-range bathroom remodel in Houston starts at around $15,000, up to $25,000. Costs will vary based on the materials used, as well as the complexity of installation. For example, a mosaic backsplash is more affordable when the tiles are installed on a sheet. Micro mini tiles installed individually will be more labor-intensive—and more expensive. 

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An L.A. Bath Remodel Reveals a Wet Room-style Vibe

Teaming up with a woman general contractor in L.A., a remodel partnership delivers a dream bathroom

“After” photos by Madeline Tolle for Sweeten. Stylist: Emily Bowser

Before: Turn a must-do gut reno into a custom master bath remodel

When they bought the Spanish Revival Mediterranean in South L.A.’s Park Mesa Heights, they’d pulled off a victory: a first-time home purchase in SoCal. But Liz and Kevin’s 1923 house had a secret: water damage beneath the master bathroom floor, thanks to a shower pan installed incorrectly a decade before. “To deal with it,” said Liz, the executive director of an education nonprofit, “we needed to take the bathroom down to the studs.” With this, Liz and Kevin started planning for a bath remodel in their L.A. home.

Liz and Kevin, a technical production senior manager at Disney Studios, viewed the dank discovery as an opportunity “to add storage and maximize space,” Liz said. But also to showcase their style. The two Mid-Century enthusiasts, who live with daughters Omari and Naiobi, love each piece they’ve hand-picked for the 1,850-square-foot home; they wanted elements of the era in the new bathroom as well. When they happened on a vintage-modern walnut dresser they liked, Liz envisioned it in a new role as a vanity. “We purchased it without knowing what the conversion would entail,” she said. Finding a contractor who could turn it into a sink while retaining drawer space below was key to their search. 

Slideshow:

"BEFORE" of toilet alcove

A general contractor that’s the right fit

Liz had already received bids from two recommended contractors, she said, but neither wanted to do the dresser/vanity retrofit. “I wondered if I might have a different experience communicating with a woman contractor, if only I could find one,” remembered Liz. Then she came across Sweeten, posted their project and got a match with a woman-owned contracting firm. “Her bid came in lower than the others,” Liz said, “and her communication was more clear and direct.”

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Steam Showers: How to Create a Luxury Home Spa Experience

Andrea Rugg

Here’s a guide to installation and costs for a luxury steam shower unit and how to find a dealer.

These days, you may have been hearing homeowners opting to invest in steam showers to recreate a luxury spa experience at home. So what is a steam shower? Simply put, it’s a warm, vaporous steam room haven that takes the place of your ordinary shower stall.

Along with the benefits to your skin and sinuses, a steam shower doesn’t take a long time to generate heat like a whirlpool tub or sauna. And when you’re done steaming, you just turn on the shower for a refreshing rinse.

How Does a Steam Shower Work?

Harry Campbell The Anatomy of a Steam Shower

Steam shower design is fairly straightforward. To summon steam, you simply hit the digital controls in the shower stall. That triggers an electric valve to fill the breadbox-size steam generator with about a gallon of cold water. Then, just like a plug-in teakettle, the generator's electric element brings the water to a boil. A pipe channels the hot vapor to the steam head, or disperser, which fills the stall with tropical moisture that never gets above a safe 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Luxuriate as long as you want: Steaming for 20 minutes consumes a mere 2 gallons of water. By that reckoning, steam is a "green" way to bathe. (Even a water-saving showerhead sprays about 50 gallons of water in the same period.) Your electric bill is bound to go up, however.

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Read This Before You Hire an Architect

Whether you’re redoing a room or planning a whole-house remodel, an architect can be a sound investment. Discover Personal Loans unveils how to find—and work with—a pro who will help you accomplish your home goals

Sponsored by Discover Personal Loans

Does a new addition to your family have you thinking of a new addition for your house? Has your home business outgrown your kitchen table? Or maybe you need to open your home to an elderly relative who can’t navigate the stairs of your center-hall colonial. The fact is, our lives change—but our houses don’t, at least not on their own. If you want to stay in your home as your life progresses, you’ll probably consider remodeling.

Whether you’re adding a bath, enlarging a kitchen or doubling the size of your house with an addition, remodeling usually involves money, lots of planning, and often more than a little stress. It can also raise many questions beyond design and other choices, such as what tile to use on the new bathroom floor. One of these questions usually is: Should I hire an architect?

In this DIY world, an architect is often seen as a luxury—and can be a costly one at that. You can certainly complete a masterful remodel—even a large one—without an architect’s help. You typically can, that is, if you or your builder have a talent for design, if you have a clear idea what you want, and if you (or your builder, or someone you know) can produce plans that satisfy your local building authorities. In all these situations, you could get by without an architect. But then there is another question you might ask, ‘Do I really want to?’

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How To Drill Through Ceramic Tile With Ease

iStock

With the right tile drill bit, you’ll be able to drill into ceramic without cracking it. Read our guide to learn how.

Whether it’s a newly tiled bathroom or an existing one, having to put holes in tiled walls is a common task. Almost anything that mounts to the wall—from installing hardware for toilet paper rolls and soap dishes to a new medicine cabinet—is going to require drilling through tile.

In most cases, these bath accouterments will be mounted using wall anchors, so getting through the tile is only part of the job. You also need to drill through the substrate behind it in a way that doesn’t cause damage which would prevent the wall anchor from working.

Steps for Drilling Through Tile

Step 1: Figure out what kind of tile you have

In general, there are three kinds of tile:

Glazed ceramic tile is the most common, what you’ll find in almost every older home, and the easiest to drill through. Glass tile is used more as an accent and has only been around for 15 years or so. Porcelain tile looks a lot like regular ceramic tile, but it’s much harder.

Step 2: Have the right bit for ceramic tile

Standard drill bits don’t work on tile, but not to worry. Ceramic tile can be drilled with a carbide bit, while glass and porcelain call for a diamond-tipped bit.

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