Posts Tagged 'kitchen renovation'



Kitchen Design & Home Improvement Go Hand in Hand. Survey results show 55% of consumers plan to do a kitchen remodel.

Amy Mood of Kitchen Views works with a client and her daughter on a kitchen remodeling project

A recent online survey done by remodelormove.com shows that American consumers are feeling more confident in spending money toward home improvement projects.  The survey had 5,000 participants who answered a range of approximately 70 questions to determine if the majority would rather move or remodel. Every participant showed interest in making some sort of improvement to their current home.  The results show consumers are willing to spend around 30% of their home’s value for the home improvements.

With long-term value being a factor in remodeling, homeowners are willing to use more expensive materials in their projects. A majority, 74% responded that they plan to hire a general contractor to do the work, rather than undertaking projects themselves. Along with hiring construction professionals, more than half of the respondents plan to hire an architect. Homeowners are planning their projects on a larger scale and are including multiple rooms, and will be better served having professionals to oversee the project.

The percentage of homeowners planning to do a kitchen remodel is right above the halfway mark at 55%. Kitchen remodels are taking precedence over baths, according to the survey, and this is where consumers are willing to invest more of their budget. Since the contemporary kitchen is the hub of family activities, this is really an investment in improving family life.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber has experienced designers to serve you through every phase of your remodeling projects. We can supply you with the building supplies you need and the services you deserve. Those services include getting to know the unique needs of your family. Your particular tastes and lifestyle are factored into the design. We strive to exceed your expectations. One of our designers will follow the project from concept to completion. Kitchen Views at National Lumber, where the designers are pros and the views are yours!

Resource: Americans Willing to Spend More to Remodel, Survey Says

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Can you spot the errors? Educate yourself on “good” kitchen design.

In Paul McAlary’s post, Good Intentions, Bad Designs, he poses the question “What design errors do you see most often, either in the media or in your local market?” This is in follow up to his earlier article, Death by Kitchen Design, where he defines several examples of kitchen design gone wrong.

Some examples he describes include the range or cooktop being too close to cabinetry, a window or an entry doorway. Another hazard is having an island cooktop located too close to the edge of the island where pot and pan handles can overhang and have the potential to be knocked off the stove.

dangerous kitchen design with open space under wall cabinet

Building codes are in place to regulate safety hazards in building structures, but does that mean every design project is actually safe?

Another example he gives is about cabinetry that extends beyond the counter below or not having some other protective base beneath. In this photo of a modern kitchen you see wall storage above and drawer storage below. What’s wrong with this picture?

  • One potential hazard is the possibility of hitting one’s head on the underside of the wall cabinet after going into the lower drawers.

While this design may technically be “up to code,” the potential for danger is still there. Designing your kitchen can be exciting and scary, throughout the whole process. While working with a professional designer and professional contractors are of the utmost importance, so is your own education and vision for your new space.

As you look at different ideas, see if you are able to find instances that you think might be dangerous. Then see if any of these are designed for your new kitchen. If you find something that concerns you, don’t hesitate to tell the professionals you are working with. It’s better to address something that can be potentially harmful as soon as possible, instead of having to spend more money to fix something that may have been averted in earlier stages of the project.

Better Safe Than Sorry

hammer breaking through a wall

Have a Safe Renovation Season

With warmer weather and longer days on their way, many homeowners take advantage of the conditions to start the renovations they have been planning for a while. Whether you choose to handle the remodel on your own or opt for professional help, there’s one safety issue that should stay at the front of your mind: asbestos.

If a home was built before the 1980s, it may contain asbestos-contaminated construction products. Renovations may accidentally release asbestos into the air. If inhaled, these fibers can lead to serious diseases, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Once diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, the survival rates are typically low.

On the bright side, it’s certainly possible to complete home renovations without creating any asbestos exposure hazards. Because no new kitchen or bathroom is worth a serious health risk, it’s important to take several safety precautions during the process.

How to Avoid Asbestos Exposure During Home Renovations

We know you’re excited to give your home some changes – but don’t be so excited that you overlook necessary safety measures.

These four steps can help you safely renovate your home:

  • Before touching anything, get a professional inspection. You can’t spot asbestos with your naked eye. That’s why it’s essential to have a trained asbestos inspection team take samples of potentially contaminated products, then have them tested in a laboratory. It doesn’t take long, it’s more affordable than you think, and in a best-case scenario, you won’t have to make any adjustments to your remodeling plan.
  • Develop an action plan. If the inspection does reveal asbestos in your home, you’ll need to develop an action plan for each contaminated item. Sometimes this plan is as simple as “leave it alone and tell all members of the home not to disturb it.” However, if the fibers are loose, this plan needs to be more extensive. If an asbestos-containing product in your home is friable (loose), an abatement company will need to come out and seal it off or replace it.
  • Renovate with caution. Even the most basic of construction activities has the potential to release asbestos from a contaminated product. Sawing through walls, tearing up carpet, cutting drywall and replacing tiles can all release asbestos into the air. Never perform construction on any materials that you know contain asbestos, and always have an abatement team address any threats before you begin renovations. If you hire a professional remodeling crew, make sure they’re certified to handle asbestos.
  • Choose asbestos-free home remodeling materials. Sad to say, but asbestos isn’t banned in the United States – even though it’s a known carcinogen. Roofing materials, vinyl tiles, home insulation products, and even potting soils can still contain the fibers. To keep your home free from the toxin, be sure to purchase products from brands that use alternatives.

If you follow these guidelines, you can enjoy your newly remodeled rooms without the stress of an asbestos exposure threat. However, if other experiences in your life have brought you in contact with the fibers, we can help. Our organization offers free information and patient advocate services; if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can work one on one with you to help you find local doctors, treatment centers and support groups.

Faith Franz is a researcher and writer for The Mesothelioma Center. She advocates for alternative medicine and encourages cancer patients to explore all of their treatment options.

Pipes covered with asbestos

Years ago, it was common practice to insulate heating pipes in basements with asbestos. Have you seen pipes like these in your home?

Do you want a low maintenance kitchen when you remodel?

Schrock Thermafoil White Cabinetry

Schrock Thermofoil White Cabinetry

An important consideration when planning to remodel your kitchen is how much time you plan to spend cleaning and maintaining the cabinetry. It will only look beautiful for years to come if you care for it on a regular basis. With today’s hectic lifestyles, few people want to spend their precious free time cleaning. Of course, if you can afford it, you could hire someone to do this work. But for the moment, let’s say that’s not an option.

White cabinetry is very popular, and one type of white cabinetry is particularly easy to clean. Thermofoil cabinets are an easily maintained product. Sleek and smooth-surfaced, Thermofoil cabinetry from Schrock offers a sophisticated appearance along with exceptional durability and ease of maintenance for today’s hard-working kitchen. You should be aware that White and Cashmere color may change slightly over time, depending on environmental conditions.

Thermofoil is a process where heat and pressure are used to bond a thin layer of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) film to a shaped and glued component made from MDF (medium density fiberboard). The result is a seamless surface that covers a panel’s face and edges. The component back uses a white, seamless melamine surface – excellent for easy cleaning.

Cleaning guidelines from Schrock Cabinetry:
A soft cotton cloth dampened with warm water is usually sufficient to clean your cabinets. If more thorough cleaning is required, please use a fresh solution of mild hand dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water. After cleaning, wipe all surfaces with a clean, damp cloth. Dry immediately using another soft, clean cloth. Click here to read more, such as cleaning products to avoid.

Next time, we’ll talk about easy to clean and maintain countertop material.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

Kitchen Remodeling: It’s A Process

Click here for the Kitchen Views "Getting Started" page

If you add “renovating/remodeling the kitchen” to your to-do list on a Friday, don’t expect to cross it off by the end of the weekend.  The average kitchen from start to finish takes about 3 – 6 months, sometimes even longer.

Start with collecting ideas about what you want your kitchen to look and feel like.  When looking through magazines, tear out any picture that has something you like in it, whether it is a cabinet color, door style, backsplash or layout.  It makes it easier to explain the look you want when you sit down with a designer.

Next you want to think about how you use your kitchen.  Think about your current kitchen and what you love and hate about it.  What do want in your new kitchen?  More counter space?  More storage?  Do you entertain?  Are you a one or multi-cook family?  Do you need space to store several small appliances?  Does your kitchen need to include an eating area?  These are just some of the questions that a designer will go over you with when you sit down to discuss layout.

Appliance and cabinet selection coincide with designing the layout.  You should have a good idea of what appliances you want to use in your kitchen when you sit down with a designer.

You may go through several renditions of the design of your kitchen.  The more intricate the design, the longer the process may take.  Once you finalize your layout, your cabinets can be ordered.  Depending on the line of cabinets you are using, lead time for delivery can be anywhere from 2-14 weeks.  Stock cabinets are available much quicker.  The average lead time for semi-custom and custom cabinets is anywhere from 6-14 weeks.

Preparation!  Renovating or remodeling a kitchen involves a lot of details.  The more prepared you are, the better off you will be!

To help, we have a page called “Getting Started” on the Kitchen Views website. You’ll find a PDF there that gives ten tips for getting started and another that gives measurement guidance. Click here to check it out!

How to Stay Sane in the Midst of A Major Kitchen Renovation Project

“How to Stay Sane in the Midst of A Major Kitchen Renovation Project”
by Pam Kuliesis

Kitchen Remodeling in Progress

Let’s face it – while the rewards are great and the idea exciting, the process can be daunting.

At Kitchen Views, where the designers are pros and the “Views” are yours, you will be in great hands as you head down the path toward a brand new kitchen.

Doing a major renovation project is a journey. All great journeys require planning, preparation and a good map. Your kitchen designer will be there to help you draw you the map.

Patience is a virtue – a difficult concept to grasp in this day and age of well choreographed HGTV episodes. Rely on your designer and your installer to give you a realistic time table and know that unexpected problems and unforeseen roadblocks are going to happen. Stay flexible. There are a lot of factors that go into setting a time table. While our professionals can give you a pretty good idea – know that there are a lot of moving targets. Things can change quickly, be prepared for the time “table” to become a time “estimate”.

Along the way minor details may not workout as planned due to issues you can’t control. Don’t get hung up on the little things. Be creative. Work with your designer and your installer to find solutions to whatever pops up that will enhance your beautiful new kitchen.

My husband and I are almost finished with a major renovation that involved 3 rooms – kitchen, pantry and master bath. The excitement, the apprehension, and the fleeting moments of frustration, are still pretty fresh.

Pam's Kitchen Cabinets Being Installed

I say “almost” finished because while the major components – cabinets, counter tops, new appliances and new floors, fresh paint, are all done, there are still a lot of little things left to do – back splashes to be tiled, trim to be painted and put back in place and a bathroom tub surround I still have to decide what to do with. Three months, three rooms, a lot more storage… so much new storage that I can’t figure out what I did with my favorite coffee mug.

You will be without your sink and possibly your range and refrigerator, basically without your kitchen for awhile, possibly for weeks, during the installation. This will be inconvenient. There are ways to get through it.  Think of it as camping… but with better sleeping arrangements.

Here are some of my favorite survival tips:

  • Once your cabinets have arrived and the installation is scheduled, clean out your old cabinets a few days before the tear out.
  • Take your time. Pretend you’re moving – label the boxes meticulously.  It will make unpacking go much quicker.  Also, you may need to find that cork screw or bottle opener – you are probably going to need it.
  • Take this opportunity to clean out the dust collectors – donate the collection of small appliances your aunt has been sending you every birthday that you’ve never even opened and are just taking up space. Toss the ratty 10 year old plastic containers that you can’t find the tops for.  Throw out the accumulation of twist ties that have been working their way to the back of the drawer for years, you will never use them.
  • Find a place for the microwave to hang out and create a “temporary kitchen” around it.
  • Stock up on paper goods.   The less you have to wash dishes in the tub the better.
  • Make sure your collection of take-out menus is up to date and close at hand.
  • Stock a cooler with ice for the perishables. Or do what we did – park the fridge in the foyer.  It took me days to not head out there when I needed something after it was back in place.
  • If you plan to move the cooking outdoors to the grill – make sure you have enough propane for the duration.
  • Check your local supermarket fliers for prepared foods that you can purchase daily and help you prepare healthy meals.

During the installation, keep your designer’s phone number on speed dial and try to stay available to the installer.  There will be unforeseen issues along the way that will need to be dealt with and decisions that will need to be made.  During our granite installation one long wall was found to be bowed.  The installer needed to break through a small section of the sheet rock to get the top flush.  I don’t know what, if anything, would have been done if we hadn’t been there to give permission.  It’s much better to be a part of the decision making, understanding why something needs to be done differently than planned instead of having the decision made (or not made) for you and wondering what happened after everyone is gone.

Keep your eye on the prize – waking up and walking into your beautiful new kitchen.

For me, when all is said and (nearly) done, and I’m humming and cooking, my favorite chili recipe is simmering and the crusty rolls are baking, the journey is a warm memory. The glitches and bumps are long forgotten.

Now, where is that mug…?

Kitchen Remodeling Near Completion

Pam Kuliesis
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St
Mansfield, MA 02048
(508) 339-8020

Stretch Your Money with Careful Renovation Planning

mood_amy_kitchen_north_attleboro_ma_after1

With all the home renovation shows getting our imaginations running wild, we have more options to consider than ever before. However, your budget might not match your wish list. For those of us who can better afford a less elaborate renovation, our designers can help you to make your dream kitchen fit within your budget, with some careful choices and wise substitutions. Click here for a series of before and after pictures of the new kitchen shown above.

When planning your dream kitchen, include every option you think you might like to have: cherry wood instead of maple, roll-out trays, trash bin, glass-front cabinets, etc. Once the design is completed, if the cost is above of your budget, then you can decide which elements you can or can’t live without. Your designer can recommend which selections will be most cost-effective. It’s easier for the designer to take out options depending on their importance rather than add more elements after you have received a base price. While the design cost is included in your cabinetry purchase, if there is an unusual amount of re-work design time involved you may be charged for the extra time required.

One element that varies greatly in price depending on brand and style is decorative hardware. You might select a lower cost brand to help the budget right now. The most important choice in the original planning stage is whether to use a knob or a pull since the contractor will need to drill either one or two holes. Deciding now which works better for your situation will avoid problems later. Many economical brand choices are available that complement a wide selection of cabinetry styles. Later, once you’ve had time to consider an upgrade that would make you happier, you can easily change the decorative hardware yourself as an afternoon project one weekend.

Wilsonart Laminate Countertop

Wilsonart Laminate Countertop

Another way to save money during your renovation would be to install laminate counter tops. They come in a wide variety of patterns, including many that mimic various stone. Laminate is durable and will serve you well. Then, a year or two down the road when you can afford to make a change, arrange to swap them out with granite or quartz.  It’s also helpful to keep in mind that once a granite countertop is installed you cannot easily change cabinetry underneath it, since most likely the granite will not survive such a change without cracking. So if you expect to renovate in stages over time, planning ahead will save you from some problems and reduce overall costs.

Kitchen Views designers are skilled at exceeding your expectations, no matter what your budget.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
www.kitchenviews.com


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