Kitchen cabinets – endless beautiful options

By administrator On April 4th, 2013

Kitchen cabinets, although utility items, add so much beauty and character to kitchens.  From the days before World War I to today, the kitchen cabinet has evolved and with it the look of the kitchen too has undergone changes.

The kitchen cabinets of today are ergonomically designed using technology and materials that were not available even 100 years ago.  Today, cabinets come with deep drawers, pull-out shelves and sponge trays.  Garbage containers can be skilfully hidden and yet easily removed.  You can store a lot in small spaces without crowding the area.

Kitchen cabinet refacing and refinishing have evolved tremendously.  Today, environmental friendly processes and materials continue to gain favor with families.  Cabinets are invariably constructed using wood.  Particleboard is another favorite, and seems to offer some advantages over hardwood and plywood.  The latter two are costlier.  Their repairs can only be done by a qualified person.

The is no end to the number of cabinets, you can have in your kitchen.  Cabinets can be placed both above and below the countertops.  If you wish for a modernist look, then consider metal cabinets.

When having cabinets installed, consider the workflow and the layout of your kitchen.  You are going to be using this cabinets for a long time and you want to be to be able to work comfortably everyday.

Kitchen Design Issues To Avoid

By administrator On June 3rd, 2009

For some reason we tend to approach kitchen remodels with the greatest passion and anything going wrong after our ideas have been executed causes us major distraction. Often it is nothing serious, small stuff like some chipped paint or grease marks on stainless steel appliances. Here are some things that you can avoid to lessen heartburn later on.

The first thing is to be involved; do not give the carte blanche to decide on what to do. You are paying so you make the decisions, of course…informed decisions made in consultation with the contractor. Left to their own devices, contractors are liable to place the dishwasher away from the sink.

See that you consider the durability of the material. Soapstone is soft and if you use in around the sink, then don’t wash heavy cooking pots in the sink or the stone will chip. Countertop material durability is an important consideration.

Placing wooden cabinetry above the sink is a big no no. The steam from liquids that you pour into the sink while cooking will invariably affect the wood. Also water sloshing in the sink will hurt the wood.

When adding new appliances, consider present family size and any near future additions; having the right-sized fridge can save you a lot of hassles if you have four kids and two adults in the house. Check out energy efficient appliances.

Research; don’t go for a material or an appliance because your neighbor has installed it. If your neighbor has added a granite countertop, it does not mean you too should go for it; especially if you work regularly with glassware. If your feet are worn, then don’t go for tiled flooring. Consider wood. If you wish to use certain out-of-the way materials like bamboo then ensure that it is mature. Preferably do not use it in places where traffic is going to be high. Kitchen floor is a high traffic place in most homes.

Avoid using material susceptible to heat and moisture near the cooking area. For example thermofoil on cabinets close to the gas will melt over time. It is important to ensure that the cooking range is hooded so that smoke and steam finds an outlet.

With appliances it is worthwhile to go in for a quiet noise-free model; these may cost more. So a dishwasher that makes around 46 – 49 decibels of noise is worth the additional dollars.

With kitchen remodeling, if you wish to reduce the number of regrets that you will have later on then first of all have a clear idea of what you want; then budget accordingly for the material and labor. Get expert opinion and then finally go with your gut feel.

Kitchen Countertop Options – part one

By administrator On June 2nd, 2009

The kitchen countertop adds functionality and glamour to your kitchen; there’s a whole range of options available in terms of materials, design, and of course cost. Here’s a lowdown on what’s available in the market for you.

Engineered stone is durable and tough like granite and can take a lot of abuse. But it’s cold and hard like all stone. It gives the natural look of stone but does not ask for the maintenance associated with stone. This type of stone is resistant to heat and stains. It does not scratch and can take a lot of wear. Its cost can range from $60 to $120 for per foot installed.

Natural stone is one of the all-time favorites and has been used since ages. Marble, granite, and limestone are time-honored materials. Natural stone offers a wide variety of options in colors, grains, textures. This type can fit in with all design schemes and hence offers versatility to your remodeling plan. It can set you back by $60 to $120 per square foot installed.

People are going for concrete because it is different and lighter than stone. Also low-end concrete is not very expensive. $60 per square foot is standard rate. Concrete can be embellished with stones, tiles, various designs, and can be painted. Besides concrete does not show any seams; it can be applied smoothly.

Of all man-made alternatives, stainless steel is perhaps the most durable. It does not rust and nor does it discolor. It is very easy to maintain and can take a lot of abuse. Acids, vinegar, coffee, juices, etc will not stain it. Bacteria cannot grow on it. The flip side to stainless steel is that it has a cold and sterile feel; also smudges and surface abrasions will show on it.

Copper too is a metal option but exudes warmth unlike steel. It is non-porous and thus does not attract bacteria. Copper acquires a green patina over time because of oxidation. Like steel, copper will also scratch. Its cost like that of steel ranges between $130 and $200. Customization and your region may add to or reduce the cost.

Ceramic tile is another option that offers a lot of scope for customization because of the size, shape, and color varieties available. The tiles are easy to repair and individual tiles can easily be replaced if damaged. However maintenance can be a problem as the grouting needs regular cleaning or it could foster bacteria. You may also have to buy extra tiles and store them as they may be out of stock later on. Custom layouts and specialty tiles will cost more.

Kitchen Cabinets 101

By administrator On February 26th, 2009

If you are planning an extensive kitchen remodel and wish to replace the old cabinets; you must know that the cabinets can cost up to 40% of the total cost of renovation. The size, quality, and styling of the cabinets influence the final cost.

Having a budget in mind for the kitchen cabinets is the first step of the decision making process. The budget of course depends upon size and style considerations. This information will help you acquire estimates that are fair indicators of the actual price.

You have a choice between stock, semi-stock, and custom cabinets. Stock cabinets are the least expensive of the lot but do not offer a lot of choice in terms of style and wood type. Custom cabinets are an expensive option in which you have freedom of style and material type. Custom cabinets can be constructed on-site in front of your eyes.

You should consider semi-custom and custom cabinets if you are looking for options for storage. With these you get pullout shelves, wine rack, drawers, pull-out bins, and much more. The cabinets should be solidly built and the frames should be strong with reinforced corners and closed backs. Since the drawers will be opened and closed many times in a day, the hinges and ball bearing should be of good quality.

You may wish to go for a totally radical look and opt for metal kitchen cabinets. Stainless steel cabinets are elegant and classy, not to mention extremely durable. Metal cabinets give a feel of smoothness and luxury. Metal cabinets are extremely low maintenance as compared to wooden cabinets. Metal does not rot or warp with wetness. It also minimizes fire-hazard risks. These cabinets are resistant for scratches, burns, and stains. Metal cabinets do not require extensive chemical treatment and hence are safe for people who are allergic to varnishes, primers, and finishes used with wood cabinets.

Metal cabinets are available in two popular colors – black and chrome. These cabinets are cheaper than wooden cabinets. Metal cabinets are available as free-standing as well as mountable units. You can choose from a wide range of models and designs. In fact you can purchase modular kitchen counter-top and cabinet combinations that are easy to install and use.

Kitchen Remodeling on a Budget

By administrator On February 2nd, 2009

The kitchen is always a favored remodeling destination and also one that can be quite expensive to remodel. However, there’s plenty that you can do with your kitchen to give it a new spruced up look without dipping into your retirement savings.

Instead of replacing cabinets you can consider refacing or refinishing them. Both options are far more inexpensive than going in for cabinet replacements. Refinishing can be a little time consuming though as you need to work on removing the old finish and apply a new one. If you wish to purchase cabinets then consider buying them from stores such as Home Depot from where standard sized cabinets can be purchased for relatively low rates.

Consider inexpensive flooring options such as vinyl sheets, tile, and laminate flooring. In fact you can place laminate flooring over the existing flooring eliminating the expenses involved in removing the old flooring. Make sure that the flooring option you select is waterproof. You can actually consider a DIY flooring job.

If your kitchen remodel involves working on the kitchen countertops then you have a choice of ceramic and wood amongst the inexpensive alternatives. Stone and steel can get very expensive.

You may be tempted to create space for appliances such as trash compactors, electric ovens, and big fridges; however remember that these appliances consume a lot of power and you may have to rework your present wiring to accommodate the new appliances. Electrical work can constitute one-fourth the cost of a kitchen remodel, so give careful consideration to this fact.

If budget is an issue, then try not to shift objects from their existing locations. Uprooting the sink from one place and adding a new one requires plumbing work which will not only add to the budget but also prolong the remodeling time.

If you plan on executing some of the remodeling activities yourself, remember to factor in the expertise required, the cost of materials, and time required. Each of these constitutes a cost and if you go wrong anywhere the effort might end up counterproductive to the whole idea of saving on a kitchen remodel. So, if the remodel is going to take 10 days and for some reason you overshoot the time limit, there’s a cost attached to it.

How to Buy the Right Kitchen Cabinets

By administrator On January 27th, 2009

If you are informed on the right type of kitchen cabinets best suited to your kitchen remodeling needs as well as your budget, then you stand a good chance of getting the remodeling done fast and economically.

Once you decide to remodel your kitchen, your focus should be on the twin elements of functionality and design. Cabinets perform the function of storage. In kitchens, they hold pots, pans, utensils and sundry items of use in a kitchen.

Kitchen cabinets are made from many materials such as hardwood and laminate and come in dozens of finishes, different storage capacities, door types, etc. The price of a cabinet depends upon these factors.

Depending upon your tastes and space available in the kitchen, you can consider ready-to-assemble cabinets or have a carpenter prepare them for you in front of your eyes.

Two main design types that are present in the market are frame- and frameless-cabinets. Framed cabinets have a frame around them made from hardwood. Framed cabinets are durable. Frameless cabinets, also known as European style cabinets, offer more versatility in terms of storage options, design, and for covering with materials such as wood veneer and plastic laminates. If you’re going for a ready-to-assemble cabinet, chances are that it will be a frameless cabinet.

Consider the size, what’s the most appropriate-sized base- or wall-cabinet for your kitchen. Usually cabinet manufacturers offer cabinets that start at 9” and go on to 48” in 3” increments. The heights can be up to 24” for over sinks and stoves type cabinets and up to 36” for above-counter type cabinets.

Since you are paying to install a quality product, learn where to look for signs that the manufacturer has compromised on quality. The kitchen cabinet drawers are a good place to start with; check them for the quality of what’s inside and how well the joints have been made. Extend them completely to see if there are any mismatched woods used. The drawers should extend smoothly, for this they need to be run on good-quality ball bearings and not cheap plastic runners.

Also check the cabinet doors. They should swing open smoothly and the hinges should be steady. Remember that for most cabinets you will be paying upfront so any defects or shortcomings in workmanship.

How to Plan a DIY Kitchen Remodel

By administrator On January 6th, 2009

A kitchen remodel is a surefire way to add value to the price of your home if you are planning to sell it. Even otherwise, a kitchen remodel may be the need for your house if you have neglected it for some time. Depending upon your comfort level and expertise with handling cutting, sanding, assembling, and finishing tools you can embark upon a kitchen remodel  – a do-it-yourself project that will not only spruce up your kitchen but also save you megabucks while you are at it.

You can cut down the remodeling costs by around 50% to 60% if you choose to go the DIY way for remodeling your kitchen. There is no dearth of resources for ideas on a layout for the kitchen. You can search online, refer home improvement magazines, ask friends, and check TV shows to get an idea on how to make the best use of the available space.

Once you have a sketch of the layout ready, plan a time-frame for the remodeling and work accordingly. Do not attempt things that you feel are beyond you. If replacing the kitchen door goes beyond your capabilities then by all means take help from an expert. If the job involves moving heavy appliances such as the refrigerator then get the neighbor to help you. Of course there will be many things that you will be able to accomplish with some grit and imagination – you might even develop a liking for the process and smells associated with something like refacing kitchen cabinets.

A few cool things that you can do to your kitchen to spruce it up include adding a kitchen island, changing the sink, adding new cabinets or refacing the old ones, changing the kitchen countertop, painting the kitchen walls, etc.

Remember the chief lures of opting for a DIY kitchen remodel are the satisfaction of getting things done by your own hand and the cost savings. Depending upon the level of remodeling you may have to avail the services of a finishing carpenter, plumber, or electrician.

Refrigeration Contractor For The Summer

By administrator On July 27th, 2008

Everynow and then if you have an old refrigerator, you’ll notice that it will sometimes break down, or not work as well as it used to. If this is the case, then it sounds like you need a refrigeration contractor for the summer. You need to make sure that when you are looking for a refrigeration contractor, you get a good one so you’re not left worrying about the job that he/she is doing. In order to research good contractors you need to look online to find information on contractors good or bad. You can hear multiple customer reviews from contractors that are good or bad in forums, or you can check with the better business bureau/the local chamber of commerce to see what they have to say about certain contractors. It is very important to find a good contractor quickly though, because if your refrigerator isn’t working, the longer you take to repair it, the more money it’s going to cost you in damaged/spoiled food.

Kitchen Remodeling Design

By administrator On June 27th, 2008

Finding the area that you cook in a little too small or cramped or crowded? Then maybe it’s time to remodel your kitchen with a brand new design. By doing this, you will
free up space to cook, or as I like to call it “creative space.” If your kitchen looks like something Chef Ramsay would curse you out for, then it’s time to remodel your kitchen
at an affordable cost of course. There are a plethora of kitchen remodelers who simply love to remodel kitchens, so if there’s something that you don’t like about your kitchen,
simply go online and see what people have to offer. A small, dark kitchen is no place to prepare lavishly decorated meals! The type of the dish you prepare deserves the atomsphere
it deserves. The only food that can be cooked in a small, dark kitchen and still be delicious is Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. I’m sure that you’ve fed this to your kids before if
you have a family, but trust me, your kids will get sick of it. For all those without kids, it’s still great to remodel your kitchen and find new designs for it because some things
in life just call for change.

Small Kitchen Remodeling Idea

By administrator On June 27th, 2008

If you’re a big man with small dreams or a small man with big dreams, than small kitchen remodeling ideas are right up your alley. Remodel your small kitchen with small ideas
because a small kitchen requires small ideas to remodel it. You can’t really cook much in a small kitchen but hot pockets, but I guess people want it to look nice all the same.
If you think your kitchen is small and scrawny, then it is! Remodel it already! What are you waiting for? Get a small kitchen remodeling idea and ask someone to remodel it for you! Or
if you’re too poor, do it yourself but don’t blame anyone but yourself if you were too cheap to hire someone and you accidentally get hurt. Then who’s going to pay for your hospital bill?
Exactly. So remodel your small kitchen by looking online and getting ideas. Your kitchen needs ideas to remodel it, and if it’s small it needs even smaller ideas for the kitchen. A small idea
is only as small as the person that dreams it up, so if you have a big person dreaming a small idea then that means the idea is actually really big which means if your kitchen is too small for
the idea, you’re not going to have enough room in your house to remodel your kitchen so you need to keep track of the idea to size of person ratio at all times.