Remodel Ready?

If you turn on HGTV or the DIY network, house flipping, home staging and fixer uppers are inspiring people every day with interior design and great remodeling ideas. However, when it comes to taking on a home renovation project, you need to ask yourself… Am I remodel ready?

Whether you’re buying a fixer upper to make your dream home or you’re remodeling to sell, there are a few things you need to think about that can make all the difference with your project.

We recently had the pleasure of working with Lindsay Benton and Jennifer Helton of Helbent Properties, an up and coming remodeling team, on a home renovation project in South Huntsville. Together, we’ll share some tips that will help to ensure the success of your project and hopefully make the process a little easier.


Whether you’re giving your home a cosmetic face-lift or it’s a complete gut-job like Lindsey and Jennifer took on, you need a plan for the entire scope of the project. Both small and large remodel jobs require lots of decisions like paint colors, flooring, countertops, lighting, and fixtures just to name a few… So, having project plan in place ahead of time will help save time and money in the long run.


When remodeling a home, you need to take into consideration the style and layout of the existing structure. You want to add transitional styles that both compliment and add to the value of the home without taking away from the original design.


Once you have a basic plan, you can begin putting together the budget. Lindsay and Jennifer suggest setting aside at least 20% of the budget for unforeseen expenses. “We learned that the hard way…no matter how much planning you do in advance.”


They also suggest contacting your city or municipality to determine what permits are required and when you’ll need them. “Most projects require a city permit and you can be fined for doing the work without it, even if you’re the homeowner,” says Jennifer.


According to the Helbent Team, “When pricing a service, always get at least three quotes and remember that the cheapest is not always the best. Only use contractors who are licensed, insured, have a good reputation, and who always obtain copies of their license and insurance prior to beginning any work.”


Know what local homebuyers are looking for in a home prior to your remodel, even if you don’t plan to sell in the immediate furniture. Lindsay suggests, “Buying the most expensive and trendy lighting, installing the most expensive floors or adding over-the-top amenities, won’t translate to extra dollars in your pocket down the road. Go for functional spaces, maximize storage and choose quality products that make the most sense.”

And of course, when in doubt, consult a professional. DIY projects are a great way to save money, but you’ll save more money in the long run by hiring someone before you make costly mistakes.

For information about the Helbent Team or questions about this article, contact Haley’s at 256.536.8086.

Makeover Planning – Keeping the Budget under Control

Kitchen Makeover anyone?  The first question, that comes to mind is, how much?  According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the average estimated figure is over $17,000.  Since money matters are on the minds, of most consumers, the ability to estimate the ‘cost’ is a crucial part of the planning process.

Since an upgraded kitchen is your destination, first consider defining your Budget; which acts as a compasscompass to direct our  remodel.  This logical starting point brings comfort in knowing the direction in one’s overall design.

To adequately define your make-over starting point, you must determine the level of ‘new look’ your going for.  In doing this, it will keep the budget under control.  Ask yourself these simple questions to begin the mapping process of your makeover:

  1. What’s your main reason for changing your kitchen?
  2. Will this be a two-cook kitchen or one-cook?
  3. Do you want a Simple face-lift, Extensive replacement, or Major structural remodel?
  4. Do you simply need to replace counter tops, add recessed down lights, reface cabinets, etc. to achieve your over-all look?
  5. In general, what can you afford to spend now; what are you willing to spend later?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to a kitchen makeover.  Cabinets and appliances vary in cost drastically, depending on the type of makeover: low, middle, high, or ultra high.  Below are estimated percentages, which factor-into the new kitchen remodel puzzle:

Cabinets 37%

Labor 20%

Appliances 19%

Flooring 6%

Windows 4%

Fixtures 4%

Fittings 3%

Misc. products/ services 7%

As shown above, kitchen cabinets typically eat up 37% of the makeover pie; labor comes in second; and on average appliances add another 19%.   Structural, plumbing, and electrical changes all affect the bottom line significantly.

If your dreaming of a remodel, consider these factors.  You may begin with a simple face-lift that’s fractions of the cost.  Either way, our team of professionals are available to assist you along your makeover journey.  Our commitment to quality of work, reliability, on-time performance, and doing what we do on a ‘Foundation of Excellence’ is all very important to us.  Schedule your free consolation today!  We look forward to working with you!






Kitchen Efficiency – Work Triangle

Efficiency is a must in our fast pace, multifaceted culture.  Many families live on-the-go life’s; home time is often a rare & cherished commodity when available.  When examining family time management, often these questions are considered:  How can we be more efficient & productive with our time?  How can we consolidate & cut steps to maximize the  precious time we have? Examining, kitchen work flow efficiency, is no different.

A simple & valuable method to determine the efficiency, of your kitchen space, is with the work triangle.  This design measuring standard has been introduced by kitchen layout studies since the 1950’s.  An efficient work triangle greatly reduces the steps a cook must take during meal preparation and should not interrupt traffic flow.

There are several challenges to the working triangle, such as, elaborate island work centers, two-cook layouts and specialized appliances.  However, these challenges can be overcome with a well-planned design; such as, strategically placing the island within the work triangle.

Working Triangle test:

The three legs of the triangle connect the refrigerator, sink, and range.  The ideal sum of the three legs is between 12 & 23 feet.  Measure your space and determine if it meets the 12-23ft spacing challenge.work_triangle2

How these Kitchens measured up to the Work Triangle challenge:




Need help?  Our professionals are available to assist you, at any point, in your makeover planning stage. Make an appointment & receive a FREE in-home estimate; giving you the peace of mind at the beginning of your makeover journey.  Look forward to serving you!