Handyman

Kitchen Updates: How Often to Replace Appliances and Cooking Supplies

Original Article Written By: Angie Bersen

Nothing good lasts forever, and that includes the appliances and equipment that you may have already replaced during recent kitchen updates. While your kitchen will look gorgeous when everything is brand new and state-of-the-art, that shiny new look doesn’t last forever. Sooner or later, you’ll need to invest in replacements or repairs to keep everything up to par.

When contemplating kitchen updates, it’s important to understand that even if you think functionality is still intact, there may be issues lurking under the surface. Here’s what you need to know about maintaining the state of your kitchen.

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When Do You Need a New Dishwasher?

Replace As Needed – Every 10 Years at the Latest

For many households, dishwashers are indispensable, providing a valuable way to reduce post-meal tasks and improve overall cleanliness. However, dishwashers get old, break, and need replacements during kitchen updates, just like any other appliance.

Modern dishwashers are designed to last around 10 years, but if you start seeing these signs of wear and tear issues before that point, it may be time to invest in a repairman or a new dishwasher:

  • Rust on the exterior that can indicate a water leak that isn’t necessarily visible

  • Standing water in your dishwasher, indicating a serious clog

  • A door that doesn’t properly latch or lock

  • Cold dishes following a cycle

  • Cracks or damage to the door or frame

  • Leaking water on the floor under the unit

  • Dishes that are spotty or dirty after a wash cycle

In some cases, a repair or parts replacement can fix these issues, but most of the time, a full replacement is the best option. Replacing a dishwasher will increase energy efficiency and improve the quality of your kitchen cleaning endeavors.

How Long Do Refrigerators Last?

Replace As Needed – Every 10 Years at the Latest

It’s hard to imagine living in a modern home without a refrigerator, which is why prompt repairs or replacements are so important. When refrigerator parts are on the fritz, it can cause plenty of issues, including ruined food, wasted money, and the risk of bacteria development, which can cause food poisoning such as salmonella.

The average lifespan of a refrigerator is about 10 years, but these signs can be indicative of a need for a timely replacement:

  • Excessive condensation; in some cases, this can be remedied by a new door seal

  • A motor that runs too hot

  • Food that spoils faster than normal

  • A freezer that is far too cold and leaves an ice buildup on items or causes freezer burn

  • Excess energy use with no changes in habits

  • A loud motor

  • Uneven cooling, including freezing within the fridge space

It’s not uncommon for attachments such as ice machines or water filters to break after three to five years. If you live somewhere with a hot climate, it’s crucial to stay up to date with these smaller repairs. However, if your refrigerator has broken parts and kitchen updates are a priority, a full replacement may be the best option.

When Is a New Stove Essential?

Replace Every 10 Years at the Latest

Cooking is virtually impossible without a functional stove or oven, but this stable kitchen appliance doesn’t last forever. If you are in need of a new range, these tips can guide your decision between replacing and repairing.

Like most kitchen appliances, a lifespan of 10 years or more isn’t uncommon. However, if you’re seeing signs of trouble and your stove is more than a decade old, replacement is most likely the right choice, especially if:

  • The glass is cracked

  • One or more burners won’t light, or won’t heat up properly

  • The oven heats unevenly, with particular areas heating faster than others

  • Preheating takes longer than usual

  • Burners are uneven

  • There is a strong smell of gas in gas units, indicating a potential leak

Even if a repair is possible, it may not be worth the investment. If the cost of the repair is 50 percent or more of the cost of the unit, it’s time to take on something new.

Timelines for Countertops and Cabinet Installation

Update Every 10-15 Years

Despite common perception, counters and cabinets aren’t meant to last forever. After excessive use, counters wear down. Eventually, cupboard doors don’t close properly and shelves begin to buckle and bend. Every 10 to 15 years is generally the recommended time frame for a full kitchen remodel. Whether the functionality of your kitchen isn’t meeting your needs, or you simply want an updated look, it may be worth considering a kitchen remodel.

Countertop Replacement

While the functionality of cabinets can actively disturb storage and the protection of your cooking utensils, countertops rarely interfere with function, no matter how old they are. However, the look and feel can decrease the value of your cooking space, and it’s possible for cracks to hold bacteria before any kitchen updates. If your counter is cracked, stained beyond repair, has any signs of structural problems, or simply looks outdated, it’s time for a countertop replacement.

Cabinet Installation

Unless your cabinets are significantly newer than your countertops, it’s recommended to replace both at the same time, with cabinet installation taking priority. When cabinets are installed first, you can be sure new countertops will fit around or on your new cupboards and will not be damaged during the process.

 

Replacing Microwaves and Small Appliances

Replace As Needed – Every 5 Years at the Latest

Unlike large appliances like refrigerators, stoves, ovens, and dishwashers, most smaller appliances won’t make it to a decade of life. As such, you may need to replace things like microwaves on a more accelerated basis.

Microwave

Your microwave should hold up for at least five years, but inexpensive models may only give you a year or two. Signs like smoke, sparks, burning smells, improperly cooked food, suspicious sounds, and trouble with controls often mean it’s time for a replacement.

Microwaves can be repaired, but the cost is often not worth it. When in doubt, a new microwave is generally a better deal, with prices averaging around $100 or less–a steal compared to larger appliances.

Toasters

Toasters and toaster ovens can be important for convenience and easy cooking, particularly for meals that don’t necessitate the time commitment preheating the oven requires. However, like microwaves, these items aren’t meant to last longer than around five years of regular use, either. If you see sparks or smoke, experience uneven cooking, or smell strong metallic scents, it’s time for kitchen updates and potentially a replacement.

Stand Mixers

Stand mixers can make baking fast and simple, but they’re big investments. As such, most people are hesitant to drop cash on a replacement. Little things, like worn gears, may require simple parts repairs that you can do yourself, but bigger problems, like cracked stands, power troubles, or strange smells, usually entail a new unit.

Before jumping the gun, be sure to check the warranty. Some units may come with long-term protection that you can use to minimize or eliminate the cost or a replacement.

How Long Do Spices Last?

Between 1-5 Years

Spices are a staple in any kitchen, but contrary to the habits of standard home cooks, spices don’t last forever. Even though spices are generally dried and intended to be preserved, they do come with an expiration date. Here are a few guidelines for how long spices last:

  • Whole spices should be replaced every four years

  • Ground spices should be replaced every two to three years

  • Herbs should be replaced every one to two years

Spices don’t actually spoil and are unlikely to make you sick, but they do lose flavor and effectiveness, compromising the food you cook.

Common cooking oils, like olive oil or canola oil, should be replaced every one to two years. In theory, white kosher and sea salt will last indefinitely, but table salt should be replaced every five years.

When to Throw Away Non-Stick Pans

Replace Every 5 Years

Pots and pans, particularly non-stick varieties, do need to be a part of your regularly scheduled kitchen updates. Based on the chemicals used to manufacture the non-stick surface, non-stick pots and pans shouldn’t be used for more than five years. If there are any scratches or the surface begins to peel, replacement should be expedited.

A great kitchen has a lot to offer your quality of life and your diet, but maintaining functionality means proper replacements. From broken appliances to outdated countertops, it’s up to you to keep your kitchen in perfect working order.

Original Article Published by Redfin




10 Repairs You Should Always Hire a Handyman To Do

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When it comes to home remodeling, sometimes DIY is not the answer. Be sure to call a handyman at a house renovation service near you if any of these scenarios pop up in your home.

Put up cabinets

You want your cabinets to stand out in your kitchen, but not because they weren’t put up correctly. Lining up and installing cabinets can be tricky business – letting a professional do it is well worth the cost.

Fix leaky plumbing

There’s no worse feeling than discovering a puddle under your pipes. Whether it’s a leak under your kitchen sink or (aak!) a running toilet, a handyman should be the first person you call for help.

Rewire light fixtures

Electricity is not to be messed with – it’s complicated and can be dangerous. Whether you’re installing a chandelier or simply notice an arc in your circuit, call in a professional.

Repair a furnace

Furnaces are complicated creatures and they tend to break at the most inconvenient times. A handyman in your neighborhood will be able to identify and resolve the problem, fast.

Painting the house

Sure, you could paint your own house – but have you thought about how long it might take? Your local house renovation service has the handyman and the equipment to make the job go faster and better. 

Replacing a door

Replacing a bedroom door might be a DIY job, but entry doors - especially sliding doors and screen doors – really require a special touch. Same goes with changing locks. Better safe than sorry!

Installing a gate

Gates are both functional and aesthetic – it’s important that they match your landscaping, work well for years, and are built level so they do not scrape on the ground. 

Changing out a spigot

Plumbing on the outside of the house is just as important as the inside and can be just as difficult to repair. Before you get frustrated, call in your handyman to fix your spigot in a minute.

Fixing a floor

Whether you’re repairing a patch of carpet, a cracked tile, or a damaged floorboard, your friendly neighborhood handyman will have the right tools to do the job.

Repair the stairs

Stairs not only involve finding the right materials, but they must be built to code and can include railings. Luckily, there are professionals who can help!

When choosing a handyman, it’s important to make sure that they have good references, the right qualifications, and they understand your wants and needs. At Bright Star Handyman, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today for more information!

Stairwell Rehabilitation

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One of the things I love the most about my job as programming manager for DIYNetwork.com is discovering the things you love about us, but also the things you want to see. And long have I labored on a piping-hot laptop eager to fulfill a common desire among passionate DIYers: staircases!Let's face it, very few of us could add an interior staircase where there isn't one now or heavily remodel an existing one. More approachable DIY staircase projects are utilizing them for additional storage or painting them. A wooden staircase, especially one that has lost its luster, can be painted with powder-room-esque gusto, as Shannon Kaye demonstrates here.

Shannon's project — coupled with your response to it — caused us to dig around for more painted staircase inspiration, like Bryan Patrick Flynn's step-by-step faux runner and seven more colorful examples.

Continue Reading…

Fall 2018 Color Trends by Pantone

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It's that time again, Pantone has unveiled its Fashion Colour Trend Report Autumn/Winter 2018 edition ahead of London Fashion Week. The report features the top seasonal colours we can expect to see on the runway, which inspires fashion, home décor and design.

The Autumn/Winter 2018 palette incorporates 12 top colours and a collection of five 'classic' colours. So if you're planning to decorate your home and are in need of some inspiration, take a look at the colours that will shape home décor palettes this year.

But what can you expect? A bold palette of deep and rich autumnal hues complemented by some more surprising shades that expresses originality, ingenuity and creativity.

Whilst mixing and combining unexpected colours can help to create a wonderfully bright and bold space, many of these unique shades can be similarly impactful when used alone.

CONTINUE READING...

Beginning a Basement Conversion

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Remodeling magazine conducted a study that shows that the average basement remodel will offer a 75 cent return on every dollar spent, placing it in the top 10 best investments for home improvement, behind bathroom and kitchen remodels.  This top 10 placement is based on the useable square footage addition, adding an extra bedroom, bathroom, in-home office, or family space.

 

There are several things to consider when looking to finish your basement.

  1. Moisture
    One of the number 1 destroyers of basements is moisture.  There are multiple ways to test for moisture levels and prevent leaks and mold from ruining the hard work you put into your new space.  While a dehumidifier may help alleviate some density, it can sometimes pull moisture through unsealed walls from the surrounding earth.  Alternative ways to reduce water problems include professional HVAC installation, sealing walls, and choosing correct flooring like floating vinyl slat flooring.  A vapor retardant is also recommended between floor slabs and foundation walls to help reduce the amount of water that comes from the outside.  If you plan to install a bathroom in the basement, make sure it is properly equipped with exhaust fans and ventilation that will help reduce steam buildup. 
  2. Lighting
    Most basements have limited options when it comes to natural lighting.  Organizing your space around optimizing the available light will create a warmer space to spend time in.  Optical tricks, like lighter walls and mirrors, will help the space look larger and allow more natural light in.  If you’re unable to harness natural light, there are lots of lighting options that mimic sunlight that could be better fitting alternatives.  Planning the layout to be more open around your light source can also allow more light into the subterranean space.
  3. Soundproofing
    Being on the garden level of a home can be the noisiest place in the house.  While vinyl slat flooring may be the best option for moisture control, it will only help to amplify the sound that is coming from the floors above.  It’s up to you to choose your flooring in respects to soundproofing your basement.  Water & mold resistant carpeting could be your best option if you’re looking to add an extra bedroom, playroom, or movie room, as the carpet absorbs quite a bit of sound.  Other ways to soundproof the basement include adding fiberglass batts behind the drywall to create an extra layer of insulation.  Sound absorption pads and matts can also be added between the first-story floorboards and the basement ceiling.  
  4. Storage
    Take into consideration how much space in your basement is currently used for storage.  If your answer is “none” than this will be less important than the last 3 suggestions.  However, as you grow into your home or your family begins to grow, having designated storage space will benefit your entire family.  There are creative ways to add storage without reducing the useable square footage of your home.  Adding a closet underneath the stairs will offer great storage space without cutting into an open floor plan.  Creating a full closet wall can also minimize the intrusion of storage into an open layout.  This can be created with an extension of added drywall just a few feet from the original basement wall.  Another option includes building a cabinet and cubby system on one of the walls for all of the kitsch things you may have.

 

There are so many other factors that go into a basement remodel, like egress/emergency exit installation, ceiling heights, etc. but these will give you a framework of important things to note when considering finishing your basement.  One other noteworthy point includes examining the stairwell to the basement.  Basement stairs are often not even or have deteriorated over the years due to moisture and most likely need maintenance too.

 

If you’re thinking of adding on to your house, we would love to offer a free consultation for renovating your basement space.  Contact Bright Star Handyman Service for more information today!

Stunning Before & After Kitchen Remodel by Bright Star | Philadelphia

Bright Star Handyman is the best handyman service in Philadelphia, providing everything from kitchen and bath remodeling to carpentry. This quaint little kitchen got a total update with some paint and new white, subway tile backsplash.

BEFORE & AFTER