Surviving a Remodel
Ready to remodel? It doesn't matter if the job will take two weeks or two months. When you're remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, you're investing a lot of time, energy and resources into creating a beautiful and functional room — and the end result will definitely be worth it.
But make no mistake about it. Remodeling can be very stressful. After all, you'll be living in a construction zone. It is possible, however, to survive all the sheetrock and sawdust. All it takes is some careful planning and organization to ensure your project goes smoothly and your life can stay as normal as possible.
Before any kitchen or bathroom remodeling work begins, hold a pre-construction meeting with your contractor. This way, you can ask specific questions, and your contractor can explain exactly what will be done, when it will be done and how long each task will take.
After the bathroom or kitchen remodeling starts, keep your contactor's phone number handy, and be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Expect to set aside time for telephone calls and regular meetings with your contractor throughout the kitchen remodeling process to review the progress and discuss the schedule for the remaining work. This will enhance your understanding of the project, provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and ultimately help make the experience a positive one for everyone involved.
Paying close attention to the details will go a long way in ensuring your bathroom or kitchen remodeling process goes smoothly. Your contractor should provide you with a weekly schedule of the work that's to be done, when materials need to be ordered and when they'll be delivered. For custom-made items, it is especially important to make your selections as early in the process as possible.
During the kitchen remodeling process, plan for extra storage. Your contractor will have extra tools, materials and equipment in your house to complete the project, so you'll want to find a good spot for them. And plan to protect your household items from any remodeling dust and debris. Cover your furniture and carpeting, and consider putting some furniture in storage. A good contractor also will help you cover and protect the work area.
Expect the Unexpected
The bigger the kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, the greater the potential for problems, such as late deliveries, wrong parts, adverse weather, on-the-spot changes and more. But if you keep your cool, and stay calm and flexible, you'll be able to ensure the remodeling process still runs smoothly. It helps to designate a safe haven in your home where you can escape from the chaos and commotion of the construction. And, finally, always remember to maintain a sense of humor. It's easy to get caught up in the inconvenience of the project, but look at the bathroom remodeling process as an adventure. Certain things are out of your control, so it's better to laugh than to become angry.
For most homeowners, kitchen remodeling is the largest investment they will make aside from the home itself. With so many sellers and kitchen cabinet designs vying for your business, how do you make sure you get what you want at a price that will let you cook in that new kitchen? To make such a momentous decision, you must first gain a working knowledge of cabinet construction and options. As with most products, you get what you pay for. This means the best-constructed cabinets with increased design flexibility cost more. Remember, however, skimping on the basics so you can afford hyped options or finishes is not the way to get value from an investment that should last 20 or more years. Here is some background to help you identify areas of concern and make those difficult choices when you're ready for a kitchen remodeling project.
The box component of bathroom or kitchen cabinet designs is more complicated than its simple name suggests. As a general rule, the more real wood used in the construction of a cabinet box, the better. Quality plywood is a good material that holds up the best over time. How the wood is joined together is just as important. Does the box include stronger engineered, mechanical joinery using rabbets and dados, or are abutting pieces held together with staples and glue only? Plywood is good for larger surface areas such as sides and toe boards. Exposed end panels should be covered with stained wood veneer or melamine that closely matches the exterior finish. On the interior, boxes ideally should be easy to clean and light colored for maximum light reflection and ease of viewing. This is easily achieved through the application of a light-colored (sometimes birch or maple wood grain or white) melamine over the plywood. If your kitchen cabinet designs call for open or glass-doored cabinets, make sure the line you choose offers a stained wood veneer interior to match the outer finish.
The Drawer System
The drawer is yet another box to be considered when buying cabinetry for a kitchen remodeling project. Because it is highly visible, it should be made of real wood for the best appearance. The most ideal kitchen cabinet designs will use a drawer box that is held together with dovetail joints on all four corners. Interlocking dovetail joints are attractive and stronger than pinned or doweled joints. The drawer "system" includes not only the drawer, but also the glide(s) on which it rolls. Drawers should roll easily and stop automatically so they don't fall out, while allowing easy access to contents. Full-extension glides allow the drawer to be pulled out completely for access to the back of the drawer. Better drawer glides include a spring-loaded, self-closing feature. And where the glides are mounted, under or on the sides of the drawer box, is really a combination of personal preference and current trend. When the glides are mounted underneath, they allow for a wide drawer box and they don't catch dirt the way side mount glides do.
When considering a collection of cabinetry, look beyond door styles and finishes to specific cabinet types (SKUs), modifications and flexibility. By choosing a cabinet line, you are dictating the options your designer may use when piecing your kitchen together.
Doors, Finish and More
Having a wide selection of door styles, finishes and wood species from which to choose is great, of course. However, the quality of these ingredients is of the utmost importance to guarantee a lasting investment. Be careful not to judge a finish by its sheen or feel. Ask about the finishing process. The best finishing process carefully prepares high-grade wood through hand sanding and staining and is sealed with an oven-cured, catalyzed conversion varnish. The resulting satin finish is impervious to liquids and stains from everyday use, along with being easy to clean.
Should there be a problem with your bathroom or kitchen cabinets, you'll want to make sure the manufacturer will stand behind its products with a warranty. Another reliable mark of quality is KCMA Certification. This means cabinets meet at least the minimum standards for quality set by the American Kitchen Cabinetry Manufacturers Association. But you'll still want to find out the warranty offered on each component.
1720 Dutch Fork Road, Ste. H
Phone: (803) 345-5888
Fax: (803) 764-3088
Monday - Thursday 9am to 5pm
Friday 9am to 3pm
After hours by appointment
1801 Gervais Street
Phone: (803) 345-5888
Fax: (803) 764-3088
Tuesday - Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 10am to 2pm
After hours by appointment