09 | 25 | 2014Opening New Doors!
09 | 25 | 2014Opening New Doors!
08 | 29 | 2014Case Study: North Dartmouth
The client also had a few design requests to incorporate into the new kitchen. The first was a wall message center that would also hide the alarm keypad.
07 | 30 | 2014It’s Going To Take HOW Long?
Have you asked your kitchen designer how long it will take to complete your remodel?
With the recent uptick in new construction people are quickly finding out things will take longer than expected. The common theme amongst our circle of general contractors is that schedules are booked into November.
What does this mean for many homeowners? Well, if your planning to remodel your kitchen in Massachusetts for the holiday season you better get moving! It’s not to say you’re completely out of luck because some of our contractors can accommodate a simple remodel rather quickly. Major renovations however, will be more difficult to complete in a timely manner.
You should also keep in mind the time it will take you to decide on a kitchen layout, cabinet style, finish, and counter tops. Typically it takes about a month for most homeowners to make these decisions. From then you have anywhere between 1-6 weeks for the cabinets to be ready for delivery. That time greatly depends on the quality of cabinets you select. Stock cabinetry will be in the 1-2 week time frame while custom will be in the 5-6 week range.
All of these steps will determine when your remodeling project will be ready so start planning early!
For more information or to schedule a free consultation with a designer you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
07 | 01 | 2014Tech meets countertops
The countertop industry has finally caught up with technology!
06 | 01 | 2014Installing Cabinets
Are you planning a DIY kitchen remodel? For the handy homeowner it can save a lot of money. Following are some tips to help your DIY kitchen remodel move along smoothly.
The most important part of any project is proper planning. Many kitchen design showrooms offer free design services if you purchase cabinetry from them. Alternatively, there are some designers that will produce designs for a fee so that you may shop around for the best cabinet prices. Either way, it’s in your best interest to have a professional do the design since they know how to best utilize your space while avoiding pitfalls. Once the design is complete you will have printed plans and elevation views for the installation.
You should prepare the room for the new cabinets by removing the old cabinetry and repairing the walls. It’s also a good idea to put the first coat of paint before the cabinets go in to reduce the need to cut in around the new cabinets. We do not recommend doing any electrical, plumbing or extensive construction yourself unless you are properly trained and licensed to do so.
Once your cabinets arrive you should be sure they are all accounted. I typically separate the wall cabinets from the base cabinets. If you take them out of the boxes you should cut the label off of the box and keep it inside the cabinet. You will need the nomenclature on the tag to know where they belong in the plan.
Next you want to find the high spot on the floor. This is where you will mark a level line for the base cabinets (usually at 34 1/2″ from the floor, but can be 35″ with some cabinets). You should also mark out where the appliances belong.
Finding the level line for the wall cabinets can be tricky. You will need to take into account the height of tall cabinets if there are any. If so, that will be what decides where the top of the wall cabinets should end. If there are no tall cabinets limiting you the goal would be to have about 18″ of space between the bottom of the wall cabinets and the countertop. You will want to keep in mind the crown moulding if you’ve selected any. The height of the crown moulding will be important if you are placing crown right up to the ceiling. This is where you might want to raise or lower the wall cabinet level line to allow the crown to meet the ceiling.
Many people ask me if they should install the wall cabinets first or the base cabinets. It’s a personal decision as both have their advantage. Installing the wall cabinets first will be a bit easier because you won’t have to reach over the base cabinets to do so. However, if you are not careful the base cabinets and especially your appliances might not end up in line or in the right spot.
I prefer to install the base cabinets first. To do so I install any corner cabinets first, then the sink base cabinet if it is to be centered on a window or opening. From there you can install the remainder of the base cabinets. Tall cabinets should be installed along with the base cabinets.
By installing the base cabinets first you will be in great shape to locate the wall cabinets. Typically I will just place a plumb line from the base cabinets below to correctly place the wall cabinets that flank the stove & refrigerator. From there the rest of the wall cabinets should end up right where they need to be. One area to look out for would be the window(s). You will want to have equal space on each side of the opening so plan accordingly.
Once you have installed all of the cabinets you might find areas with spaces. These would be also be reflected in the plans if you’ve installed everything properly. You would eliminate these by using fillers. The goal is to have no fillers but sometimes it is unavoidable based on the space available.
The final touches would be any crown molding and the hardware. Installing crown molding is a bit of an art, but if you have a miter saw you can do it. A good trick is to place the molding upside down on the saw as it would be installed. Since it would not be flat on the saw you should clamp a wood stop down to prevent the molding from sliding down while cutting. If set properly you can make your cuts by just adjusting the miter to the degree needed. This will eliminate the need for a compound miter saw.
The information here should be a good baseline for you to feel comfortable installing cabinets, however, your designer will be your best resource. They will be able to answer any specific questions regarding your layout. Don’t be afraid to pick their brains and ask a lot of questions because it will benefit you both in the long run. Your designer will want your installation to go smoothly as well. They would rather see you get it right the first time than to have you come back in needing replacement cabinets or parts!
Feel free to contact us if you are interested in remodeling your own kitchen in Eastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, we’d love to help!
04 | 24 | 2014Soapstone Countertops
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel one of the decisions you will need to make is what countertop surface to select. There are many options out there for you to consider such as wood, laminate, solid surface, stone or quartz.
The leader by far right now is still natural granite. The second most popular choice is quartz, such as Silestone. Quartz countertops are man made using a combination of about 93% natural quartz and the remaining composition is a polymer to bind the quartz together to form a nonporous surface.
Today I want to talk about natural soapstone as a countertop surface. Soapstone has been a countertop choice for at least 100 years and likely longer. Soapstone has a softer feel than granite due to its high talc content. It’s also very durable and stain resistant. There’s no need to seal Soapstone and you need not worry about acidic food or cleaners. Lemons and tomatoes can etch the surface of granite but this isn’t the case with soapstone. That’s the reason soapstone has been the countertop preference in science labs. Soapstone is a softer material than granite so scratches will occur. This adds to the natural beauty of the tops but if it’s bothersome you can easily sand them away with fine sandpaper.
There are many varieties of soapstone. The base color is typically gray with veins of colors running through such as white, green, or blue. The color will be enhanced over time with everyday use however, you can speed up the process by treating the tops with food grade mineral oil. The mineral oil will create a deep charcoal gray base and will make the other colors pop.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like some more information to help you decide on the perfect surface!
03 | 01 | 2014Full Access Cabinetry
Full access cabinetry, also called frameless cabinetry, has arrived at Southcoast Kitchen Designs!
I’m sure this will generate many questions for anyone out there planning a kitchen remodel. So today I will do my best to offer you the key points regarding our new offering. Let me start first with the different types of cabinet door configurations.
If you have a kitchen that was installed in the 80’s you probably have a standard overlay door. With this style the doors and drawer fronts sit against the wood frame (face frame) of the cabinet. The doors and fronts are smaller so the face frame is mostly visible as you look at the cabinets.
Another type of construction is the inset door. I’ve written a blog about a year ago discussing the inset style. With inset cabinetry the doors and drawer fronts are cut to fit within the openings of the face frame, instead of sitting against the face frame.
Next there is the full overlay door style. This type of cabinet has been the most popular in recent years, with inset running close behind. Full overlay means the doors and drawer fronts sit against the frame and they are large enough to cover just about all of the face frame. If this is the type of kitchen cabinetry you are interested in you’ll love full access cabinetry!
Similar to the full overlay style, full access cabinetry has door and drawer fronts that extend just about to the edges of the cabinet boxes. The concept of full access cabinetry has been around for many years. During the 90’s it was popular in office cabinetry. At that time the buzz word was European cabinetry. The reason it was popular in that setting is the same reason it is gaining ground in residential kitchen cabinetry today. By manufacturing a cabinet without the face frame you save the cost of the hardwood needed to create the frames. With the increasing costs in lumber this can result in a fair savings. For most people looking to remodel on a leaner budget the savings would be reason enough to consider a frameless cabinet. You might be surprised to hear the advantages do not stop there.
The term full access cabinetry describes the biggest functional advantage to a frameless cabinet. By eliminating the frame you have no interior width restrictions when using the shelves. A framed cabinet encroaches on the front opening of the box. Without the frame you have “full access”. In addition the drawer boxes can be made at wider widths since they have no frame to clear. On average your drawers will be 1 1/2″ wider than they would be on framed cabinets.
So if you’re looking to save some money on your kitchen remodel and you prefer a full overlay look, I’d imagine you’d find a way to use the space that comes with a full access cabinet!
If you would like to learn more about what we have to offer please visit the contact page where you can schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our talented designers!
01 | 05 | 2014Ice Belongs Outside (or In Your Freezer)
It’s official, winter has arrived in full force here in New England! This morning it was 2 degrees in Boston, -8 in Plymouth, and a bone chilling -11 in Taunton!
I bet you noticed every draft in your home last night, and I’m sure there were some in the kitchen and bathrooms. Drafts are not only uncomfortable but they could lead to frozen pipes. These frozen pipes may thaw over the next couple of days leaving you with a burst pipe and water damage. Some signs of a frozen pipe would be a slow running faucet, a faucet that does not work at all, or ice surrounding a pipe in the cabinet or basement. If this has happened to you call a plumber right away. Leave the cabinet doors open to circulate the heat into the cabinet, run the faucet at a trickle if you are able to, and try to isolate the faucet by turning off the supply lines if possible. This will limit the water damage should the pipe burst. Do not attempt to thaw the pipes with a torch or heat gun because you may cause a fire that can go undetected in a wall.
If you just have a drafty kitchen or bathroom without the frozen pipes, there is still hope, especially if you are planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel. For instance, while the wall is open you can insulate or re-insulate the exterior walls. You can also insulate around the wiring and pipes. This is code now, but depending on the age of your home it may not have been done. Windows and doors are also drafty areas. Replacing the existing windows and doors with new energy efficient units will pay dividends later.
Perhaps your room simply requires more radiators or vents than it currently has. If you have room along the walls you could add more, however, if the space is tight you can always add a toe-kick heater. Alternatively, you could go with my favorite heat source, radiant floor heating. Using radiant floor heating with your hardwood or tile floor has a few advantages. First, you’ll have warm feet! Also, radiant floor heating is perfect if you want to free up some wall space by removing those long radiators you may have now. Not ready to make the switch now? That’s okay, you can plan ahead by adding the radiant floor tubing before installing a new floor. With the tubing in place it will be a breeze to connect later!
Would you like more ideas? Feel free to contact us anytime to discuss your options for a beautiful new and toasty warm kitchen.