Top Reasons to Remodel your Kitchen


The National Kitchen & Bath Association offers advice on when and why to update.

Many homeowners think their kitchen is outdated from the looks of their worn cabinets, dated appliances and crackled countertop. What they may not realize is that there are many other reasons, more important than cosmetic, why a kitchen needs to be remodeled.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offers the following tips to help homeowners evaluate the current condition of their kitchen and decide if the time is right for a remodel.

Adequate space: Are you satisfied with the amount of counter space, cabinet space and floor space in your kitchen? The position of your refrigerator or shape of your counter may be taking away useful workspace. According to the NKBA Kitchen and Bath Planning Guidelines, when replacing a countertop or changing the shape of your kitchen, keep in mind that a total of 158″ of countertop frontage, 24″ deep with at least 15″ of clearance above, is needed to accommodate all uses, including landing area, preparation/work area and storage.

Traffic flow: If there’s more than one cook in your household, you may want to consider making more room around the main workspace. If you enjoy entertaining, you may want an open plan kitchen that allows for more social interaction between the kitchen and other rooms. According to the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines, the width of a walkway should be at least 36″ and the width of a work aisle should be at least 42″ for one cook and at least 48″ for multiple cooks.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!


article from National Kitchen and Bath Association


It’s Remodeling Season. Vet Your Candidates Carefully

It’s Remodeling Season. Vet Your Candidates Carefully!

You’ve been dreaming of that new kitchen makeover, bathroom renovation, or addition for years, and now you’re ready to make it a reality. Selecting the right home remodeling company can be the difference between realizing your dream and ending up in a living nightmare. At first glance, all the candidates may look very similar and tell you what you want to hear. But what happens when you start asking the tough questions. The strong contenders won’t shy away, sweat under the spotlight, or try to redirect your attention to one of their talking points. They’ll welcome the scrutiny and answer your questions directly and thoroughly. Once properly vetted, only the strong will remain, the ones worthy of your vote and your hard earned investment dollars. Here are some key issues to raise as you evaluate the nominees.

What Kind of Track Record Do They Have?

How long have they been in business? What kind of references can they provide? Is it an extensive list where you can call and speak to whoever you want? Or do they just present a list of rather anonymous testimonials? “Steve in McLean, Mary in Alexandria… etc”. When you ask for references does it take days or weeks for them to get back to you? These are signs that they may have a hard time pleasing customers consistently or have something to hide.

Does their Rhetoric Pass Your Fact Check?

Don’t just take their word for it. Do your own investigating and independently verify their claims to be true. Reliable 3rd party sources, such as, the nation’s leader in customer satisfaction surveying for the building industry, provide hard data on how companies measure up, as well as reviews from previous clients. Consumer Checkbook is another vetting source. They provide not-for-profit ratings of local service companies. Angie’s List, Yelp and Google are also useful tools. Check them all. Some companies may have a few glowing reviews on one sight and a few scathing digs on another. Opinions vary, but listen for common themes. The reliable metric is a combination of quantity and quality.

Do They Have a Plan?

A renovation is a complex project that requires detailed preplanning and skillful execution. The more through and detailed the plan, the smoother the execution will go. That being said, unforeseen circumstances will occasionally arise. For the unprepared, a minor setback, such as a part damaged in shipping or a weather emergency, could create a bottleneck that delays the overall project. A reliable firm will have a comprehensive plan with built-in contingencies to stay on track.

Do they Have their House in Order?

Do the companies you are considering have a “bricks and mortar” office or showroom you can visit, or do they operate out of a truck with a website and 800-number. Be sure to get a copy of their business license and current certificate of insurance. What does their contract look like. Is it a professional document that is detailed yet easy for a layperson to understand, or is it a cryptic legalese that only a lawyer can decipher. Or worse, is it simplistic and vague. The home improvement industry has suffered many a black eye from shady contractors who disappear after a deposit has been given, or even worse, mid-project. If they do finish your project on time and on budget, what does their warranty cover. Remember, a warranty is only as good as the company providing it. If they go out of business, any warranty they’ve provided goes with them. Make sure the company’s foundation is as stable and secure as the one you’d have them pour for you.

Would You Trust Them to Hold Your Baby?

When you renovate your home, you are essentially inviting a stranger, or group of strangers into your house to tear it apart and put it back together again. Who are these people? How do you know you can trust them? A smart home owner will make sure everyone involved is properly trained, licensed, insured, drug tested and background checked. Taking these extra steps will result not only in peace of mind for the safety of your home and family, but also for the quality of the work being performed. If a problem should arise, those who go through the proper channels have recourse not available to those who gambled on a lower price, faster finish time, or some other carrot dangled to entice an easy victory.

When it comes to improving your home, vetting the candidates is a critical step. After all, once your vote has been cast, you’ll be living with the results for years to come. Choose carefully!

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

written by: Dory Clemens, Design Consultant – Foster Remodeling Solutions, Inc.



High-Tech Features That Add Comfort to Your Home

As new technologies become accessible to homeowners, prices drop and your old gadgets start to decline with age, investing in high-tech features for your home is becoming more and more feasible. From heated floors to smart thermostats, it’s easier than ever to live in total comfort, all at the touch of a button. Let’s take a look at some high-tech features that are designed to make your life easier.

Heated Floors

Heated floors, technically known as electric radiant heating, were created for installation underneath tile, stone, wood or even carpet. Designed to bring warmth from the bottom-up, this type of flooring offers a warm, soothing treat to the feet – especially in winter. How many times have you dreaded getting out from under your warm covers to take a shower when it’s cold out? Now you can look forward to getting up with heated flooring that makes your bathroom excursions, particularly in the colder mornings, a pleasure. Heated floors also do well in other cold or unevenly heated rooms in your home, such as the kitchen or an addition like a sunroom.

Smart Thermostats

These components are gaining more and more popularity as we as homeowners crave more independence from our heating and cooling systems. When you’re gone all day at school or work, there’s no need to have the heat running. Why not install a thermostat that learns your patterns and knows when to turn on and off? Sounds like something from the future, but the future is here. There are lots of brands out there, from Nest to Honeywell, and they all offer several high-tech benefits such as:

  • Auto changeover switches
  • Onscreen prompts
  • Intuitive controls
  • Full memory saves
  • Filter-change reminders
  • Adjustable cycles
  • Wi-fi sensor-enabled features

Programmable thermostats can reduce your energy bill by $180 a year because they can automatically adjust your heating or cooling depending on your lifestyle, says Consumer Reports.

Wireless LED Light Bulbs

If you’re still using a wall switch to turn your lights on and off, you’re already behind the eight ball. Try Wireless LED Light Bulbs, such as those offered by Philips Hue, which contain packages comprised of LED bulbs, a wi-fi bridge, and a mobile app, which puts all the control in your hands. As the homeowner, you can control your lighting through your smart phone or an app, even when you’re in a remote location such as your son’s football game or at work. Not only can you schedule particular room lights to go on and off, you can also alter the tone or color of the lights (white, red and blue) to suit whatever mood you happen to be in.

Smart Appliances

Make your kitchen and laundry appliances come to life with smart capabilities that can be controlled via your smart phone. Smart refrigerators like those offered by Smart ThinkQ and Whirlpool, can connect to your wi-fi enabled devices and can even sync up to BlueTooth and your smart thermostats such as Nest. From temperature controls to door alarms to child locks, your fridge has never been so intuitive.

All of these high-tech devices can increase the comfort and convenience of your home, bringing you to the forefront of technology and innovation.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!