Kitchen Countertop Materials: Comparison Shopping for your Renovation Project

I was helping my daughter having the kitchen in her Raleigh home remodelled recently. She was having problems trying to decide on a new countertop material. Walking through the counters area in Lowes gave her a few ideas, but she was still undecided when the time came to choose a month later. I decided to write out a quick comparison of all the materials and costs for her and when I was done I thought other people might find it useful as well, so here goes.

Most people are familiar with laminate countertops. (Formica is one brand name.) They’re a thin surface of high-pressure laminate applied to a thicker base of plywood or particleboard. Pluses: The standby, available in literally hundreds of patterns and colors, laminates are the least expensive (next to tile) and durable, requiring less upkeep than tile. Minuses: Easy to scorch with hot cookware, the use of layers in their construction makes it tricky to repair chips, show scratches, especially lighter colors, so not usable as a cutting surface. Less durable than natural stone or solid surface; use with under mount sinks is not recommended. Cost: $25 to $50 foot

Solid surfacing, (brand names Corian, Fountainhead, Avonite and Surrell) a newer countertop material, is durable and mimics the appearance of natural stone materials like marble or granite. Pluses: Gives seamless surfaces, easy to care for. High impact resistance, easily repaired, nonporous and seamless, so won’t trap dirt, collect bacteria or stain; easily. Minuses: May melt from hot pot; looks non-natural in some color schemes, licensed contractor required for installation and repair work. Cost: $60 to $110 per foot.

Natural woods. Used in butcher-block style arrangement. Maple, oak and other hardwoods, make durable and elegant countertops. Pluses: Good surface for cutting foods; scratches easily repaired by sanding; easy match with wood cabinets and floors. Minuses: Requires a finish to preserve appearance, may scorch with hot cookware, allows bacterial growth, so needs regular cleaning. Not practical for entire countertop – good for small sections. Cost: $50 to $75 per foot

Granite. Popular for their elegant and rich look, natural stone countertops will last longer than most kitchens. Pluses: Adds to value of home, hard durable surface, very heat resistant. Minuses: very expensive, requires care since it is porous and must be sealed periodically, grease will stain. Cost: 60 to $200 per foot for granite $60 to $130 per foot for marble (stains easily and not recommended for food prep countertop)

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: This is the countertop material my daughter was replacing. While the counters were in pretty bad shape, refurbishing was an option. Tile has a comforting, classic look and is inexpensive.. Pluses: Easy to clean up after a mess. More heat resistant than laminates solid surfaces, inexpensive, unless you are thinking about custom or hand-painted tiles. Minuses: Can chip and crack easily; needs regular maintenance to keep bacteria out of grout. Scrubbing grout. Cost: $10 to $25 per foot.

While she didn’t go for this option, I feel it is important to mention. While carrying out my research, I ran across something I had never considered. Countertop refinishing is something that can be done yourself with a kit bought at any large home improvement store or you can hire a professional. You can keep your current countertop, repair any dings or damage, choose whatever color you like, and the job can often be completed in one day. The costs were significantly lower than replacing the countertops and I am still unsure why she did not go this route.

So, what countertop material did she choose in the end? For it’s reasonable cost and reparability, Corian got the nod for the new kitchen. We found a color that was very close to a granite look and we also liked the ten year warranty.

Learn How To Organize That Clutter And Improve The Image Of Your Home

How frequently have you heard the doorbell ring, and your initial thought is that you are not able to open the door because your house is such a mess? Are you ashamed for your friends to drop by because there is stuff all over your house? Have you been reluctant to tell your children to clean their own rooms because it might make you look like a hypocrite? Here at Image Maker we have a few quick tips to help you get that clutter under control and improve the overall image of you home.

An organized and decluttered home is easy to accomplish.
An organized and decluttered home is easy to accomplish.

There is a publication out that may help you, and it is called Declutter Fast, by Mimi Tanner. You are going to be on your way to a clutter-free house by downloading this under-thirty dollar ebook to your computer. One key thing to keep in mind is that the amount of clutter you have in your home does not have any bearing on your income status. Decluttering could start immediately and you may be able to do it in a couple of days for little to no money.

Even when the four-box technique does not work for you, make an effort to declutter as fast and as stress-free as possible. There is actually a five-minute option that will stop you from delaying. This will give you the inducement to organize all of your life’s paperwork, along with organizing your clothes to the place where you will wear what you love. There are 17 essential things that need a place in your home and the book clearly explains them. You’ll find just about everything you have will fall into one of those categories.

If such a multitude of people didn’t have a disorder problem, there wouldn’t be so many programs out there helping people get organized. There tend to be those whose full time profession is helping people with their clutter. The writer, Mimi Tanner experienced serious clutter issues which caused her to create Declutter Fast. This woman experimented with many strategies before coming up with what worked for her. Not many individuals would be able to try every method until they found one that was effective. She ended up being able to include what worked and write it in an easy to read format. As opposed to trying different methods yourself, use this book alternatively to see if it works.

Most people do not want to completely get rid of their possessions, just get them more organized. One great suggestion in the book that is often overlooked is to move the items that you want to hold onto but do not use very often into storage. You can rent a storage unit or another great option is to buy a storage container and put it on your property. AllStates is a container supplier that rents and sales shipping containers in the Charlotte, NC area. These containers are very inexpensive when considering the size of storage you will have at your disposal.

You will find once your house is clear of clutter, that you will experience a glowing feeling when you see your house in order. Experiencing a home that’s chaotic sucks the life right out of you. Especially when it is so terrible that uncovering a path to the bathroom is difficult. It is not the preferred way to live and it shouldn’t have to be this way for any of us.

Outdoor Security Cameras Home Surveillance Systems

Ok, so you have followed all the advice we have provided to update the image of you home and have made it a real neighborhood gem. Not only have your neighbors noticed, but it is quite possible so have some unsavory characters. The beautiful home that you have created may lead a burglar to assume that they want to break and get to the awesome stuff you must have inside since your home is so beautiful from the outside. Have no fear, a home security system is a great deterrent to theft and break-ins and the inclusion of a security system will also increase the value of your home and its resale ability.

Advancing technology has made outdoor security cameras home surveillance systems products affordable for more homeowners and easier to use. Homeowners have plenty of options when it comes to surveillance system products. They can also utilize DIY installation or pay professionals.

Camera types include self contained, wireless and wired. Self-contained cameras are ready to use. Once plugged in, they begin recording. They record to themselves so no other connection is required. This type of camera is a simple outdoor security home surveillance systems setup.

Most security cameras require connection to a TV, VCR or DVR in order for images to be recorded. All security cameras require a power supply. Wireless cameras must still be plugged in to an outlet. Wireless cameras connect to a wireless receiver that must be plugged into a power source and plugged into a TV, VCR, DVR or other recorder.

Cameras often feature LUX ratings. LUX is a form of measurement. The LUX number tells the user how much lighta camera needs to capture images and operate correctly. The lower the LUX measurement; the less light is required by the camera. The LUX required by an outdoor security home surveillance system will depend upon conditions and setting.

Cell phones and other wireless products can interfere with the performance of wireless cameras if operating on the same frequency. Wireless computer networks, 2.4GHz cordless phones and most satellite dishes can cause the most interference. Some cameras allow the frequency channel to be changed, helping homeowners avoid the issue.

Typical outdoor security cameras home surveillance systems products feature weatherproof cameras. Weatherproof wired color video cameras with sound can be purchased for around $50. The small camera mounts almost anywhere and provides live feed to TV or VCR.

Outdoor security cameras can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Homeowners preparing to purchase an outdoor security cameras home surveillance system will need to gather information before going shopping.

Where will the camera be placed? How much area will need to be covered? Diagrams of the area will help. Take the information to a professional who can assist in making the correct choices.

Outdoor Security Cameras Home Surveillance Systems Providers

Outdoor security cameras can be purchased locally at security installation and monitoring companies such as ADT, Brink’s and ADS. Electronic equipment stores, some discount and department stores and online suppliers sell cameras. When dealing with an online supplier, it is important to deal with reputable companies. Verify that complete contact information is included. Check with business bureaus or go to ripoffreport.com to see if complaints have been filed.

Using a credit card when purchasing outdoor security home surveillance systems can help protect buyers if cameras arrive damaged or in any condition other than what was advertised. If you purchase a system online, you may need to hire an electrical professional that specializes in all the aspects of home security installation from wiring to camera placement.

Homeowners who do not wish to tackle an outdoor security home surveillance systems DIY installation can leave everything up to professionals. Brinks, ADT and other reputable installers will usually provide a free assessment.

Completing the assessment helps define the cameras and equipment needed to offer the best protection at the lowest necessary price. If changes are planned to the outdoor area to be secured with cameras, consider installing a system that can be upgraded or changed as necessary.

Outdoor security cameras home surveillance systems give homeowners a means of affordably protecting and monitoring property.