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Adding granite counters to your kitchen isn’t as expensive as you might think. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it might only be a few thousand dollars more than installing upgraded formica countertops.
2 Options for Installing Granite:
There are 2 basic ways you can get granite kitchen counters for your home.
Order Granite Counters from a Hardware Store:
The simplest way to purchase granite counters is to go to a hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowes. These stores carry a limited selection of granite options.
Granite is categorized as low cost, medium cost and high cost. The granite styles you can buy at the hardware store usually are from the low cost patterns since the entire slab is more likely to look like the sample, eliminating complaints after installation.
Choose Your Own Granite Slab:
While it does take a little more work to choose your own granite slab, going to a granite importer to pick your own slab will give you more choices for your new kitchen counters without added cost.
Steps to Choosing Your Own Granite Slab in St. Louis:
1. Choose a granite fabricator
There are many granite fabricators in the St. Louis region. These companies specialize in cutting the granite slabs to fit your kitchen. While they often carry a limited supply of granite themselves, you can also pick your own slab at an importer and the fabricator will purchase the slab for you.
2. Visit several granite importers and pick a slab
I have visited most of the big granite importers in St. Louis when looking for granite for my last 2 kitchen remodels. My favorite granite importer is Global Granite. They have one of the biggest selections of granite available in town.
3. Choose your slab
Once you choose a slab of granite, the importer will contact your fabricator to let the fabricator know which slab you would like priced. The fabricator will then provide you with a price based on rough estimates of the size of your counters you provided. Once you finalize your selection, the fabricator will come to your home to measure and will then will give you a formal cost for the slab you chose.
At this point, you will pay a deposit, the fabricator will purchase the slab you picked and will start cutting the slab for your kitchen. From the time you pick the slab at a granite yard, you should plan on 2-4 weeks before installation.
Contact Karen Goodman to find out if adding granite counters to your home will make it easier to sell your home for more money.
I have done kitchen updates in every home I have owned. In the first home, I just painted the original wood cabinets, replaced counters and floors, and reglazed the olive green oven so it was a shiny black.
With each home, the remodel became a little bigger.
There is no doubt that a moderate to full kitchen remodel can transform your home.
But nothing transforms an older home like opening up the walls and creating a kitchen that is open the the adjoining living spaces.
The pictures above are of the kitchen remodel I did in my current home. I removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, moved the sink and dishwasher to the new half wall, added a raised serving bar which also hides things like the soap dispenser from full view and removed the historic cubby that was designed for a 42 inch stove.
Here are a few more pictures to show you what this kitchen remodel did to transform my home.
I decided that I really didn’t need a space for a large table, but I did want a big pantry. So I added a pantry cabinet in the adjoining breakfast room. The next project is to build a L-shape window seat next to the pantry for extra storage.
I just listed a home that is one block away with the same original floor plan as my house. This home has an updated kitchen, but the kitchen was kept separate from the dining room.
This kitchen has nice cabinets and a great work triangle for cooking efficiently. Many people would leave this kitchen exactly the way it is. But for someone who wants a bigger kitchen with more counter space, you can see the potential by simply opening up the wall and adding more cabinets to connect the two sides.
Insulating your home not only lowers your energy bills, but it also makes living in your house more comfortable.
Instead of turning up the heat or putting on another layer of clothes, consider a trip to the hardware store to eliminate drafty windows, doors and cold spots in your home.
I found this great video that shows exactly how you can fix 3 problem areas yourself without hiring a professional. I’m not handy at all and even I could do these DIY insulation projects.
Be sure to watch the video all the way through because the last tip shows you how to eliminate drafts coming from switches and outlets on outside walls.
Are You Thinking About Moving?
I specialize in selling St. Louis homes regardless of whether they will be the hot listing to hit the market or if they have a challenge that makes it much harder to sell. I also work with buyers who want to find the home of their dreams, but don’t want to overpay.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the St Louis area, give me a call at 314-265-8073 and let’s talk about your options.
When I started working in real estate 15 years ago, the trend in St. Louis homes was white, off-white or sage green walls.
Other colors were muted tones, though dining rooms and kitchens were often red.
It was also very popular to have an accent wall of a different color in a room to make the focal wall stand out.
Then the trend shifted to beige.
Off-white walls started looking very vanilla, making those homes feel plain. More and more homes used beige through most of the rooms other than children’s bedrooms. Color was brought into the room through furniture, artwork and backsplash tile.
Warm yellow beige has been the go-to color in St. Louis for almost 10 years, but times are changing.
We’re seeing less beige and more gray or gray-blue colors in homes.
Bright colors including orange and green are also making a comeback in urban areas.
Regardless of the colors you like, wallpaper is still something to avoid. With thousands of patterns to choose from, the chances that your future buyer will like the one you picked is slim. And when it’s time to change the wallpaper…for you or a future buyer…it often damages the walls in the process of removing it.
Stick with paint…and change the color as often as you like.
Are You Thinking About Moving?
I specialize in selling St. Louis homes regardless of whether they will be the hot listing to hit the market or if they have a challenge that makes it much harder to sell.
I also work with buyers who want to find the home of their dreams, but don’t want to overpay.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the St Louis area, give me a call at 314-265-8073 and let’s talk about your options.
Anyone who has ever moved knows that moving everything you own from one home to the next can be overwhelming. As a real estate agent, I’ve helped hundreds of people plan their move. I’ve also moved several times myself and know how much of a hassle it is to deal with cardboard boxes.
So when STL Rent A Box agreed to let me try their service for free in exchange for sharing my experiences here at Arch City Homes, I was really excited to try an alternative to standard moving boxes.
STL Rent A Box Review:
I first heard about STL Rent A Box about a year ago, but I’m always hesitant to recommend a company or contractor without trying them first myself. My clients count on my recommendations and I want to make sure I’m always giving them the best possible advice.
I’ve been a real estate agent for 14 years and have helped over 280 families with their move.
But living through a move is such a totally different experience than advising someone else on their move. I should know. I move a lot.
I have moved 3 times in the last 10 years. In the past, I used cardboard boxes and a lot of bubble wrap. I’ve kept my moves as green as possible by reusing boxes I got from friends or neighbors instead of purchasing new boxes, but dealing with boxes is never fun.
Cardboard boxes…even flat…are a hassle to move to your home when you are ready to get started packing. You need a big vehicle and a dozen trips from the car to unload them. Then you have to tape up every box before you pack it up, going through rolls of tape and slowing down the packing. With STL Rent A Box, the crates are delivered to you ready to pack. No tape required.
After the move, you simply unpack and stack the empty crates. When the last one is unpacked, STL Rent A Box comes back to get them.
While I did get STL Rent A Box services for no charge this time, I will never make a move again without them.
I put together a short video to show you how the reusable plastic crates from STL Rent A Box made my packing experience so much easier.
Along with the crates, the standard package includes a 4 wheel dolly, zip ties, labels, delivery and pick up after the move.
I also received a roll of green wrap which I highly recommend for protecting your valuables.
While most people won’t need a 2 wheel dolly, you can rent one of those too. If you have a large home or will need to move a lot of empty crates to the 2nd story or basement before you pack them up, the 2 wheel dolly would come in very handy.
I found it easy to carry 2 empty crates at a time while packing. While I was provided with a 2 wheel dolly, I didn’t use it even once during my move.
If you are moving yourself rather than hiring movers, you’ll definitely want a 2 wheel dolly!
While almost everything you need to pack for a local move will fit in the crates, I did have a few things that were too big.
STL Rent A Box has just started carrying some wardrobe boxes and easy to assemble boxes (no tape needed) for those bigger things like lampshades and pizza pans. They didn’t have them yet when I arranged my move, so I used some boxes I had already.
You’ll also want to transport by car your pantry items, cleaning supplies, lamps and expensive electronics including televisions and computers.
The movers loved the green crates as much as I did. They agreed that using nested plastic boxes speeds up the loading process (which means a cheaper move) and there was no risk of heavy boxes crushing cardboard boxes below.
Honestly, I have nothing negative to say about my experience with using STL Rent A Box services!
If I was moving again, I would pay for 1 extra week so I could have 2 weeks before moving and 1 week after to unpack. I would get 2 rolls of green wrap and some of the new wardrobe boxes. The 40 box package for my 2 bedroom condo was perfect, so I suggest you trust their guidelines on how many crates are needed per bedroom.
Whether you are looking for a housewarming gift for a new home buyer, a wedding present or a holiday gift for your favorite homeowner, these 10 unique gifts for the home will be a big hit.
As a real estate agent, I’ve purchased tons of closing gifts for home buyers over the years. The ones that are the most appreciated are the ones that match the gift to the personality of the recipient.
Today I’m sharing with you some great affordable home gifts for sports and nature lovers, dog owners and cyclists. Plus a couple of gifts for the person who is always laughing. All are priced under $100 with many of them under $50.
All of the items come from the online store Uncommon Goods which sells creative high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. Many of the items are handmade. You can even search specifically for items made from recycled materials, handmade items or products made in the U.S.A.
I’m so impressed with their merchandise that I signed up for the Uncommon Goods affiliate program, which means that if you click one of the links below and decide to buy something, I’ll be paid a small commission. I’m very selective about which products I’m willing to recommend, and I think you’ll agree that these items are so much better than a generic home gift like a picture frame, serving platter or candlesticks.
Sports Lover Home Gifts:
This Home Plate Doormat is made of durable tufted coconut fiber and is weather resistant. It cleans up easily with a hose or brush, making it ideal indoors or out. Priced $22.
Handmade by Massachusetts-based artist Michael Bellino, this Wall Mounted Hockey Stick Coat Rack is made from repurposed hockey sticks and pucks, worn in from their days of slashing and slap shooting. Priced $74.95, sold only at Uncommon Goods.
Dog Lovers Home Gifts:
This Dog Greetings Sign will provide visitors with a laugh and a sigh of relief that humans don’t greet each other like the rest of the animal kingdom does. Handmade by Stacey Lamothe in Californai using powder-coated steel, these two friendly dogs are a humorous way to welcome guests. Priced $65.
Available in a variety of breeds, each Dog Lawn Stakes is cut from 16 gauge steel custom and comes with or without your street numbers. The metal finish and clean lines of the design tell the neighborhood that your dog is a part of the family. Handmade in Connecticut. Priced $75 without house numbers or $100 with house numbers.
Cyclist Home Gift:
Handmade in Kentucky by artist Eric Gross, this Bicycle Bookends is made from carbon steel and then finished with automotive paint. Several other bookend designs are available by the same artist including elephants, monkeys, giraffes, cannon, women and a strangling tree. Priced $65.
Nature Lovers Home Gifts:
A playful way to introduce wildlife to your garden or yard, these this Spiky Owl Balancer Stake on top. Handmade by artisans in Bali of welded sheet metal painted a rich palette of autumnal hues that naturally oxidize over time into a lustrous patina. Priced $46.
Handmade by artist Chris Crooks in Arizona, the Tree Hugger Squirrel develops a rich patina that grows darker with age and gives it an industrial touch, while sweet cut out detail creates a silhouette that can be viewed from both sides. Whether climbing up the tree trunk, across a sturdy limb, or up a garden post, this squirrel attaches using two brackets and won’t harm the tree. Priced $40, sold only at Uncommon Goods.
Another Chris Crooks creation exclusive to Uncommon Goods, this rust colored steel Tree Hugger Koala that darkens with age will make everyone smile. The two-sided design can be easily hung we three brackets that won’t damage the tree. Made in Arizona. Priced $90, sold only at Uncommon Goods.
Funny Home Gifts:
Your friends will surely laugh when they open up these fun Warm or Cool Face Mugs – Set of 2. The perfect snack-time companions, they hold beverages up top and have a special cubby for your favorite treats. Perfect for milk and cookies or marshmallows with piping hot chocolate. Priced $35 for a set of 2, sold only at Uncommon Goods.
What time is it? What time does it have to be done by? What time are you supposed to be there? Sometimes, you just have to say “Whatever.” This Whatever Clock has fabulous reviews and is the perfect affordable for your friends who like to laugh. Priced $22.
Hi, I'm Karen Goodman. I run Arch City Homes and sell homes at the Circa Properties brokerage. I've been working in real estate since 2002 full-time, personally working with 25-35 select clients each year. My personal time is devoted to my dog Milo and my foster dogs.