Guide To Understand The Costs Involved In Your Remodel

Many Knoxville/Maryville home owners have called asking about remodeling projects for their home. The areas of remodel in question include: finishing a basement, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, and new or replacement decks. This usually follows by the question of how much.

Home owners typically do not have a great deal of experience with these things, and feel a bit “in the dark” when it come to pricing comparing a remodel. Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement would like to make this a bit easier with some helpful tips and price comparisons.

Home owners all want to know how the pieces fit together. The design, product selections, demo, framing, drywall, electrical, plumbing, inspections and much more all effect the process and price.

So, How much will it cost?

The problem with phone estimate figures is the idea that a remodel is an item like a appliance or TV, but it’s not. We need to sit down with you and see what it is you are really wanting.

Some things are more pricey than others. Carpentry, for instance, is an art. It is a skilled trade and needed heavily in Kitchen remodels.

Some companies may sell a new bathroom “system,” but that isn’t a custom renovation project. And the “systems” usually do not work the way it is shown on TV.

No two projects or remodels are the same. The design, and the choices you make will determine the overall cost of your project.

Tip 1: Ask for a price range. This is a reasonable request, just understand what those numbers mean. Know the pitfalls with this method:

  • Low price: Sounds completely do-able but this will not account for hidden issues as the remodel begins, nor will it account for the possible costs of materials being delayed to the site.
  • High price: Holy $%*!, is the most common reaction. This is an over estimate of the worst case scenario. Do not let this scare you away, but you need to be aware what it could be if hidden issues are found.

Tip 2: Where to start getting price ideas.

Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for the Knoxville area is a great place to get an idea of what you will spend and what you will recoup on the sale of your home.

Cost vs. Value 2014  Knoxville, TN  Remodeling

Tip 3: Watch some of the remodeling shows on TV for ideas you would like tot see incorporated into the design of your newly remodeled space. This can be from small space saving ideas to large automation projects.

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Let Off Some Steam: 3 Tips On Proper Bathroom Ventilation

Did you know that more than a pint of moisture is injected into your home during the average shower? If your bathroom is not properly ventilated, that moisture and its potential mold and mildew can compromise the air quality and structural integrity of your home. Don’t worry, Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement will “B” there for you.

Here are 3 tips on proper bathroom ventilation.

1. Operable Windows Offer Natural Venting:

  • Ventilating your bath can be a esthetically pleasing experience.  Operable windows not only ventilate, but also provide design value, views and natural daylight and help balance the air pressure in your home.
  • You do not have to be an extrovert to use windows into your bath. Simple inside window shutters allow airflow and modesty to work in conjunction. Look for shutters made of composite materials to prevent warping commonly associated with wood and moisture combination.
  • knoxville bathroom operable skylightOperable skylights are another way to introduce natural light, and vent moist air out. If you have a skylight that is out of arm’s reach, consider adding a motorized option to ensure you take full advantage of its function.
  • A door from your bath to the outside can be a big change that also provides lots of fresh air. If your bathroom does not have deck or ground access, you could still have doors with a Juliet balcony (a false balcony utilizing a railing mounted outside the doors with no true walkout).

2. Install Exhaust Fans, Mechanical ventilation is not like it used to be.

  • Call us to be sure your bath fan is sized properly for your bath before you purchase one. If you are unsure, we can pick one out for you and install it. We can also verify that it’s properly vented to the exterior.
  • knoxville bathroom exhaust vent installExhaust fans are essential to properly remove moisture (and the occasional bad smells) from your bath. Look for Energy Star rated exhaust fans, which ensure energy efficient, effective, and quiet operation. Many newer models have motion sensors and or moisture sensors to automate the process for you.
  • Exhaust Fan Timers for your bath exhaust fans should stay on for at least 30 minutes after showers to effectively remove excess moisture from your bathroom. A fan equipped with a timer will ensure the fan remains on as long as needed to exhaust moisture. Most timers have settings for the length of operation to insure removal of leftover moisture.

3. Use a Dehumidifier.

  • Dehumidifiers can remove large amount of excess moisture from the home but can be constant strain. They require frequent emptying and are usually bulky and not esthetically pleasing.  They are however an easy alternative to new installations
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3 Tips To Help Lower Your Electric Bill

Most of us in East Tennessee do not like to live in the dark. You can save money on your electric bills and be informed with these 3 tips for Knoxville and the surrounding area. If you would like to implement any of these tips, give Bizzy B Plumbing & Home improvement a call. Let us “B” there for you.

1. Kill the Vampires:

  • You should plug many of your devices into a power strip so that you can turn off when not in use. This is a good choice for mobile device chargers that are commonly left plugged in. Use a switched outlet or power strip for computers, monitors, printers, DVRs, cable boxes, and more to save when you are not using them.knoxville vampire electronics save

2. Make the switch to LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights:

  • Substituting LED bulbs in your light fixtures is a great way to lower your monthly electric bill. You should know that incandescent bulbs are not energy efficient. LED bulbs provide 80 percent more efficiency than incandescent lighting. Don’t be shocked by the price of an LED bulb when comparing it to your regular incandescent. Check the numbers in the charts below. LED lighting uses less electricity and can save you thousands over time. Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement can help you with the switch to LED lighting if you need us to “B” there for you.
    Cost Comparison between light bulbs

    LED CFL Incandescent
    Light bulb projected lifespan
    50,000 hours
    10,000 hours
    1,200 hours
    Watts per bulb (equiv. 60 watts)
    10
    14
    60
    Cost per bulb
    $35.95
    $3.95
    $1.25
    Kilowatt-hours of electricity used over 50,000 hours
    300-500
    700
    3,000
    Cost of electricity (@ 0.10per KWh)
    $50
    $70
    $300
    Bulbs needed for 50k hours of use
    1
    5
    42
    Equivalent 50k hours bulb expense
    $35.95
    $19.75
    $52.50
    Total cost for 50k hours
    $85.75
    $89.75
    $352.50

Energy Savings over 50,000 hours, assuming 25 bulbs per household.

LED CFL Incandescent
Total cost for 25 bulbs
$2,143.75
$2,243.75
$8,812.50
Savings to household by switching
from incandescents
$6,668.75
$6,568.75
Source: Comparison chart data from Eartheasy.com

3. Add motion sensors or optic sensors for lighting:

  • Motion and or light sensors can help reduce your electric bill. In addition to using LED lighting, automatic systems can help avoid wasting light energy when you are not using it. You may be familiar with automatic night light fixtures that only turn on when the room is dark. You can even have outdoor lighting that is solar-powered, which saves another addition on your electric bill.

 

  • knoxville motion light swich installSome motion-sensing devices are built into light switches like the one shown here, but you should have this type of switch professionally installed by Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement for the best results. The device will shut the light off after no motion has been detected for a set time, which can be convenient for bedroom, bathroom, closet, and kitchen light fixtures.

 

  • knoxville dimmer switch installedDimmer switches are another choice for reducing energy consumption. You should have a Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement electrician install dimmer switches for the best results.
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Outdated Kitchen? 3 Tips To Help Get The Results You Want

Creating your dream kitchen in Knoxville and the surrounding areas takes time, money, and lots of patience. Time to plan, and time to implement. Money to get the features you want the first time because you do not want to do this very often. And of course patience to deal with the unknown factors. At Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement we can “B” there for you every step of the way.

Knoxville Kitchen Makeover Knoxville Kitchen Makeover

1. Time: Give yourself plenty of it. Don’t make spur of the moment decisions on features, space, and design. You should spend some time looking at kitchens that interest you and the cost of them to get a good base to start from.

  • Examine the existing area. Take lots of measurements to get a clear idea of the dimensions of your current layout, and the space you have to work with.
  • Pros & cons. Ask yourself what you like about your current kitchen. Then ask yourself what features you would like to see changed.
  • Make goals. Create a list of all your kitchen remodel goals. Include everything from simple colors, to more in depth tasks like cabinet & drawer organization, and decorative elements

2. Money: Set A Budget. Try to spend no more than 25% of the total market value of your home on your kitchen remodel. This should help to come up with a reasonable budget.

  • The most important part of any kitchen remodel is deciding how much to spend. Come up with a firm number for the overall remodel first. If you try to make budget determinations feature by feature or appliance by appliance, you can quickly exhaust your budget. Buy early and set delivery when needed. Shop around well before the remodel starts to get the best deals.
  • Be realistic, don’t go crazy. Consider all the features involved like flooring, lighting, electrical outlet placement, insulation, paint, appliances, cabinets, and counter-tops. All of these features can impact the value of your home and home-owners insurance. You will not see a return on your investment, until you sell your home. Home values are not static, so there is no definite way to predict how much the value of your home will rise due to your kitchen remodeling work. Anything that improves the style and usability of your home is generally worth it.
  • Set aside a contingency fund of 20%. This buffer will cover contingency expenses. Things do not always unfold as planned during a kitchen remodel, so it is wise to create a little extra money to cover the unexpected issues that can and will arise.

3. Patience: Well, need we say more. Kitchen remodels can take a toll on you and you need to keep in mind the impact they will have on everyday living in your home. Try not to walk in your kitchen for a day. It is not as easy as you think. Remodels can be unpredictable and there will be delays and set backs. Just remember it will all be worth it when completed.

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Do You Love Hot Water?

Water heater cut-away

Water heater cut-away

If you are like most people in Knoxville you know the importance of nice hot water for showers, baths, and so on. But did you know that routine maintenance on your water heater can help lower your energy bills and extend the life of your water heater.

Out of sight and out of mind, water heaters generally are forgotten until something happens with them, that unexpected cold shower or the sound of water shooting out of the busted water heater. And when things go wrong, too many home owners reach for the quickest fix. And that could lead to paying more than you need to for emergency service.

Water heaters will generally last between eight to 12 years but, like a car, there are some that have lasted for 17 to 20 years. Age has a lot to do with it, If there is a lot of calcium build up, it may go quicker. There is not much you can do about getting rid of lime.

Water heaters are one of the most important purchases you can make for your home; they account for about 15 to 30 percent of your home’s total energy consumption. And now may be a good time to take a look at your water heater. If your water heater is 10 years old or older and needs replacement, a new more energy efficient model can save you money on the electric bills too.

Bizzy B Plumbing techs say there are a few indications your water heater may soon be on its last leg.

 

  1. The main sign is getting less hot water from the tap, The length of time you have hot water diminishes. But 9 times out of 10, we usually start getting calls when people see a leak or a drip. Those drips are caused by a buildup of minerals, such as calcium and lime, over the years. One way to help limit the clog is to drain your water heater. Drain it three or four times a year, That is the best way for the water heaters not to generate lime build up. Drainage is one of the biggest things you can do to help your water heater. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot you can do. When it comes to draining, follow the steps suggested by the manufacturers for that specific tank.
  2. Changing the anode rod – which essentially runs down the middle of the tank to catch mineral build up and prevent corrosion – every six months or so.
  3. On gas heaters, the thermal coupling, which keeps the pilot light lit, can go out. The gas valve also may need to be replaced.
  4. On electric heaters, the thermostat and heating elements are sometimes in need of replacement.
    These routine maintenance tips can save you money in the long run, because replacing your average 40- or 50-gallon electric water heater can cost between $800 and $1,200.
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LED Lighting: For A Greener Knoxville

LED, or light emitting diode, lighting is the new trend in home and automotive lighting. But is it worth the switch?
How do the energy savings compare to the cost to upgrade?
The answer depends upon the rates you are paying for electricity and how many hours you are using lighting.

A typical LED light will use about 12 to 18 percent of the electricity that a traditional incandescent or halogen bulb would use for comparable light/lumens (the amount of brightness a light gives off).

If half your electric utility bill is comprised of lighting use, you can probably expect roughly an 80% reduction in that half of your bill. or a 40% overall reduction in the electric bill.
This reduction doesn’t include the use of CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, which are already very efficient but contain dangerous materials and do not last nearly as long. LED lighting does not contain heavy metals such as mercury and last many years longer than CFL bulbs, with average life spans in the 40,000 to 60,000 hour range.

Besides the money saved on your electric bills the use of LED lighting is green. We all know “Going Green” is the “in” thing. But this way saves you money and helps save the environment. Reducing electricity usage in the home is a big step in reducing your carbon footprint.

LED lighting is easily installed in a variety of ways:

  • First, the bulbs can simply be changed in existing fixtures.
  • Second, the trims on recessed lights can be changed into LED style trims, which is very helpful in those high hard to get to ceilings.
  • Finally, new locations can be used to install the latest technology in LED lighting in either recessed ceiling can lights or low profile surface mounted lighting.

LED also comes in a variety of styles.

1. Strips are a very popular form of LED Lighting. These strips can have lifespans decades long depending upon usage. Commonly used for under cabinet and in cabinet lighting.

LED Strip Example

LED Strip Example

 

 

 

 

 

2. Replacement bulbs are the largest growing area of use. These LED bulbs replace your current incandescent bulbs in existing fixtures.

Replacement LED Types

Replacement LED Types

 

 

 

 

 

3. Decorative uses for LED lighting are becoming very popular. Using it for ambient lighting or to add any color to a space or area with the push of a button.

Accent or Ambient LED uses

Accent or Ambient LED uses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another big advantage of LED over CFL is the ability to dim, with a proper dimmer, and is a great choice for using as a low level night-light in bathrooms and children’s rooms and dark exterior areas. In a dimmer setting, the cost to run LED is so low that leaving the lights on isn’t so much of a worry.

The important question to ask when considering the value of LED lighting replacement is what is the ROI (return on investment)? As stated at the beginning of this article it depends on the electricity rate you are paying and how many hours you are using the lighting (total kilowatt hours).

The lighting sales industry states that it takes about three to five years on average to recoup the cost of LED lighting when used to replace incandescent lamps. Certainly, LED lighting is more efficient and saves money over time, but it also does a great job environmentally. Again this is due to reduced energy usage and the fact that they last so long, eliminating additional manufacturing tolls on the environment, reducing your carbon footprint.

LED lighting is the future, proving to be greener for the environment, cleaner, safer and more cost efficient in your home. Is it time for you to consider LED lighting for your home?

Call us today if you would like LED lighting installed in your home.

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Pex Piping: The New Choice of Plumbers

We know, your first question is, what is Pex Piping.

Pex, or cross-linked polyethylene, is a water supply piping system that has several advantages over metal pipe, like copper, or rigid plastic pipe, like PVC systems. It is very flexible, resistant to scale and chlorine, it won’t corrode or develop pinholes like copper pipe. Pex is faster to install than metal or rigid plastic, and uses fewer connections and fittings.

Wirsbo Pex with Compression fittings

Wirsbo Pex with Compression fittings

Some advantages of using Pex:

  • Flexible PEX tube is manufactured by extrusion, and shipped and stored on spools, where rigid plastic or metal piping must be cut to some practical length for shipping and storage. This leads to several advantages, including lower shipping and handling costs due to decreased weight and improved storage options.
  • PEX plumbing installations require fewer fittings than rigid piping. The flexible tubing can turn 90 degree corners without the need for elbow fittings, and PEX tubing unrolled from spools can be installed in long runs without the need for coupling fittings.
  • Attaching PEX tube to fittings does not require soldering, and so eliminates the health hazards involved with lead-based solder and acid fluxes; PEX is also safer to install since a torch is not needed to make connections.
  • PEX resists the scale build-up common with copper pipe, and does not pit or corrode when exposed to acidic water.
  • PEX is much more resistant to freeze-breakage than copper or rigid plastic pipe.
  • PEX tubing does not transfer heat as readily as copper, and so conserves energy.
  • Water flows more quietly through PEX tube, and the characteristic “water hammer” noise of copper pipe systems is virtually eliminated.
  • PEX plumbing installations cost less because:
  1. PEX is less expensive than copper pipe.
  2. Less time is spent running pipe and installing fittings than with rigid pipe systems.
  3. Installing fewer fittings reduces the chances for expensive callbacks.
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Top 3 Knoxville Home Remodeling Trends in 2014

Are you thinking about a home improvement project in 2014? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

After two straight years of solid growth in the home remodeling industry, the Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University predicts “double-digit percentage gains in annual home improvement spending” through the first half of 2014.

Here are the top 3 Trends in Knoxville, TN and surrounding areas for home remodeling.

1. Open Concept Kitchen.

Open Concept Ktchen

Open Concept Kitchen

Removing a wall between the kitchen and an adjoining room remains one of the hottest trends in home remodeling. The project appeals to homeowners because it instantly creates more space and dramatically changes the look and feel of the home.

The project was also a top trend of 2013, and re-modelers and interior designers say it maintains its popularity for a variety of reasons.

“Having an open concept kitchen helps make smaller homes seem larger and more welcome,” says Lance Ford, owner of Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement.

Ford says modern families see the kitchen not just as a place for cooking, but for eating, schoolwork and hanging out as well. “Just having that visibility from the kitchen to the adjoining living space seems to be a more inviting kind of concept”.

2. Separate Shower and Tub. (Walk in Showers)

Glass Shower

Glass Shower

The time when the shower & tub combo ruled are gone. Home experts say the latest trend is to ditch the tub altogether, or at least to keep it separate from the shower.
“Stand alone showers are extremely popular,” Ford says. “Folks do not want the tub and shower combo. They want the shower separate, particularly done with lots of tile & glass.”
Leading Realtors state that updating small and mid-sized bathrooms generate a large return on investment in the Knoxville area.

3. Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

No matter the shape or size of your yard, your outdoor living spaces can work better together if you establish boundaries. You can do this in a variety of ways, including laying formal walkways, creating shifts in hard-scape materials, or planting shrubs or trees to establish corners and borders.

You can also add a lot of function to your outdoor space with things like outdoor kitchens. A great investment if you love to entertain and or grill out. With built in amenities like sinks, fridges, ice makers, grills, and other cooking and prepping surfaces, you don’t have to run back and forth to your indoor kitchen to feed and entertain a group.

Let Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement help you implement any of these ideas or your ideas with a simple phone call.

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Bizzy B Plumbing: Your Knoxville Plumbers and More

When you have a long day at work, the last thing you want is to come home to a plumbing issue. Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement of Knoxville will “B” there for you. We can handle all of your home repairs and remodels.

knoxville plumbersBathroom looking a bit dated? We can give you an updated style in many price ranges.

Kitchen just not the way you want it? We can redesign or just update your kitchen with a plethora of options from Knoxville and USA based companies.

If you have questions about any of our services give us a call at 865-591-8500 or send us an email to info@bizzybplumbing.com, we would love to hear from you.

Remember us for your next repair or concern, and take the hassle out of finding the right company to “B” there for you when you need them.

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Bathroom Remodels

Are your bathroom colors stuck in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s?

pepto pink before Bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Want to update it to a new or cleaner style?

Blue-white after bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

That is a great idea because an updated bathroom can benefit in more than one way. According to many Realtors and Home & Garden Magazine, depending on where you live you can expect your return on investment to be from 81 to 102% on the mid-range priced complete remodel. Larger, more upscale bathroom renovations can expect a 70 to 85% return on investment.

Not a bad investment! With home values fluctuating, spend your hard earned money where it will count.

At Bizzy B Plumbing & Home Improvement we can handle any renovation or remodel you need and financing is available. Give us a call for your free estimate today. Let us “B” there for you and all your home improvement needs.

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