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Investing in the right Kitchen Designer is investing in you Home’s Value
One of the reasons we at Your Squarefeet love what we do is that our Kitchen Designs make such a huge impact on our customers lives. It’s not just a matter of having a new, beautiful Kitchen. A new Design can function better and improve the way people interact with their space, and subsequently with each other.We are Design and Remodeling Professionals for those of you who want the right Designs, Construction Services, and Information about the Real World of Remodeling. We can help you with full scale Remodeling Services from Design thru Management.
Or we can Design your project and help you brave souls that have the ambition to take on all or part of a remodeling project, but also have an idea of just how dangerous the remodeling world can be without the right advice that comes from the experienced Remodeling Professionalsat Your Squarefeet. We understand the Remodeling world can be confusing in many ways, from Installation techniques to Product selections and more. Designers can save you time, money, and best of all, give your Home the beauty and efficiency you want. All while increasing the Value of your Home.
Inspired by space-saving European design, Vinotemp’s 7-Bottle Mirrored Wine Cooler is a standard industry height and depth, but measures just 5.8” wide. The cooler’s minimal footprint is complemented by a front venting system, making it an easy to specify, built-in wine storage solution. In addition to unique dimensions, the newunit also features Vinotemp’s patent-pending mirrored trim design, dual-pane glass door, adjustable, touch screen temperature control and pull-out wire shelving. The cooler holds approximately seven standard wine bottles.
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Three Common Classes of Engineered Wood Flooring Boards
Good, better, best
Engineered flooring runs the gamut from the low end, starting at $3 per square foot, to the high, at $14 and more. To judge quality, check the thickness of the “wear layer,” or top skin of wood; the number of veneers in the core; and the number of finish coats—all of which affect price and warranty. Typically, the more layers, the better. Below, see how the three common classes of engineered boards stack up.
Good: 3-ply construction; 1-2 mm wear layer; 5 finish coats; 10- to 15-year warranty; ¼ inch thick; About $3-$5 per sq. ft.; Options limited to common species, such as oak or ash, and just a few stains.
Better: 5 plys; 2-3 mm wear layer; 7 finish coats; 15- to 25-year warranty; ¼ inch thick; About $6-$9 per sq. ft.; More species, such as cherry, beech, and some exotics; all stains and a few surface effects, such as distressing.
Best: 7-9 plys or more; 3 mm-plus wear layer, which can be sanded two or more times; 9 finish coats; 25-year-plus warranty; 5/8 to ¾ inch thick; About $10-$14 per sq. ft.; Widest selection of species; reclaimed options; and more surface treatments, such as hand scraped and wire brushed.
Why Hardness Matters
The harder the top layer, the more resilient it is to dents and the longer it’ll keep its like-new looks. But hardness isn’t the only factor to consider. Dense woods with less grain, like maple, show dings more readily than a slightly softer wood with a bold grain, like red oak. And floors with little or no gloss are better at hiding scratches and wear. The chart below compares the hardness of popular wood species.
HouseBeautiful Magazine posted Ten Home Renovation Nightmares on June 12, 2015. We thought we would share this particular one with you to see if you agree that the title of this piece should actually be “Home Renovation Roulette”
“We wanted to completely gut the kitchen, but they crew we hired could only work in the evenings. They worked for two weeks, and then one day, they just didn’t show up. We were left with a complete mess and had to hire a new crew to finish the job. We had paid as they went, but next time we’ll get the agreement in writing. Lesson learned. ” —Debor.
So these are the type of stories we hear that blame the bad Contractor, and we are to feel sorrow for the naive Homeowner.
The “naive Homeowner” needs to stop using the excuse of ignorance for what is really going on – what’s really happening is some Homeowners do not want to pay the price of the true Professionals of the industry. There is no Professional Kitchen company in our industry that would install in the evenings. That is basic business practice for most every kind of service, and we all know that. We also know that we should always get contracts in writing, again basic business practice.
The only “Lesson Learned” here, is that as a Homeowner, you need to research and hire quality Professionals to work on your Home; just as you would when you want to go to a doctor to work on yourself.
As Professional Designers and Contractors, we have the education, experience, licenses, accreditation, and continuing education that we must adhere to in order to retain our status and top notch services. We have offices or showrooms that are staffed with employees that support your project in every way. We have field personnel that are working on your project daily and constantly communicating with support, design, & executive staff. The entire process is designed to make your project as efficient as possible.
According to Dave Burcher, CKD, of New York City’s In-House Kitchen, the changing role of pets in Home Design is what’s currently driving the trend toward design that accommodates pets as well as people. He explains, “I think the overarching idea is how do we, as consumers, view the animals we live with? We’ve begun to see them as members of the family and, as a result, we’re integrating them more into our daily lives, and our homes. And that colors our design. They’re family, and we’re designing for family, and I think that trend will continue to grow.”
Just as a designer may make a space more comfortable for aging family members by including easy-grasp handles, better lighting, fashionable grab bars or wheelchair-accessible walkways, or address children’s needs by providing a child-height refrigerator drawer, they can also address pet needs by incorporating niches for pet beds, storage for pet food, toys, leashes and accessories, fabrics and furniture that hold up well to paws and claws, or a bathing/grooming area to simplify pet clean up.
And, in many cases, they can do this using their existing skills and existing products, merely adapting these to work for the pet’s specific needs, he says.
As Burcher points out, “When we talk about designing spaces to accommodate these needs, what we have to realize is that we’re already doing these things – we’re just not thinking about them this way. There’s no difference between doing this for people and pets. So why not make ourselves more valuable in the market to homeowners who have pets and want their homes to be comfortable for them, too?”
He believes this can be done with everything from pet-friendly flooring and easy-care fabrics and materials to re-imagined storage spaces, built-in sleeping niches and feeding areas, bathing/grooming areas designed to be accessible to pets and even pet-friendly exercise areas.
Dogs, in particular, are “pack animals,” which means they like to be with their family. But cats, too, often like to “hang out” with their people. So how do you create spaces for them to relax near the family, without getting in the way?
As Burcher notes, “Our pets want to be with us and we want to be with them, so we have to look at where the activities happen in the home and where we can craft that space for the animals. The kitchen is typically the biggest gathering space in the home and we spend the most time there, so that’s a natural fit.”
However, the need varies depending on whether one is accommodating a 100-lb. golden retriever, a 10-lb. cat or a couple of 15-lb. Yorkies. If it’s practical, Burcher recommends “creating a low shelf out of cabinetry or creating a crate-style space out of cabinetry” that keeps the pet nearby, but out of the main traffic flow. Window perches can also provide a quiet spot for a cat to sunbathe or a small dog to relax and watch the world go by.
Color coordinated dog beds can also be integrated into an entryway or alcove in the kitchen, or an adjoining room that looks into the kitchen.
Of course, sometimes, a pet needs to be confined to a specific area for safety reasons. While furniture-style crates provide one stylish option, Burcher points to a kitchen remodel he completed where elegant hideaway gates became part of the design, making it easy to confine a pet as needed or keep them out during cooking or dining (see photos, above right).
Bathing or grooming areas are also seeing increased interest among pet owners, according to Burcher, who notes, “These spaces are being integrated naturally into the laundry room or mud room, as these rooms are usually off the rear or side of the house where people are bringing the dog in or out. I think there’s also a real trend with luxury home builders offering these as an option for homes they’re building.”
And, as pet ownership continues to grow in apartments and upscale city dwellings, he sees “builders creating spaces where all of the tenants can use a shared grooming/bathing space in the building for their pets.”
Once again, adaptation of existing products makes these spaces a natural fit for the talents of design professionals accustomed to creating bathing and showering spaces. He explains, “There are so many choices – both modern and traditional – with handshowers and pull-out faucets, tile shower basins, fiberglass or cast iron shower pans. And you adapt it to the need. So maybe you raise that a foot or two off the floor, provide little steps for the dog to climb up, lower the shower doors so that you can reach over them – in short, you go with products and design ideas you’re already using, you just change the size to fit.”
Wood-Mode recently launched a ‘Pet Parlor’ concept space, which incorporates everything from a built-in pet fountain with faucet system, custom hideaway dog dish drawer with adjacent food storage bins, integrated lockers for leashes, collars and accessories, extra-large sink for bathing/grooming and island with integrated doors and cabinets.
And Burcher expects other manufacturers to jump in on this trend in the future. However, he believes that, with the level of customization today, designers can easily repurpose existing products to meet pet needs in the home, noting that doing so gives designers a competitive edge in marketing to the growing demographic of pet lovers.
Just as people require storage for their “stuff” – whether food, cookware, bathing supplies or electronics – pets, too, come with their own collection of “stuff.” For a dog, that might mean finding space for a dog bed, toys, food, leashes, poop bags and medicine, while a cat will also need a private space for a litter box and scooper, and fish will need a fish tank plus space for food, water additives, etc.
Many times, existing storage products can be easily adapted to pet supplies. For instance, Burch notes, “Pull-outs originally designed for trash or recycling (which have a large capacity and can hold a lot of weight) are being repurposed for pet food; it’s a really natural fit for that. Likewise, bread bin inserts with stainless steel pieces are really well adapted for this as well.”
Cabinets can include interior fittings perfect for hanging leashes or storing pet supplies, he notes. Likewise, cabinet drawers can accommodate pet food and water dishes that can be pulled out during meal time, and tucked away when not needed. Furniture pieces can accommodate everything from aquariums to shelving that doubles as cat perches.
Additionally, evolving pet care trends can also impact pet-friendly design trends. For instance, the growing movement toward home cooking or raw feeding pets might drive the need for additional refrigerator space, or perhaps a secondary point-of-use refrigerator drawer to be used exclusively for pet food.
Some pet owners even look to incorporate exercise areas for their pets – everything from wider walkways to facilitate play to shelves for cats to climb or even side-by-side human and dog treadmills. As Burcher notes, “The way we think about our own bodies and exercise and health needs is being integrated with our needs for our pets. That might mean adapting a space into an exercise room so they can exercise together. As a health conscious person myself, seeing how we can integrate our health needs with our pets is really interesting to me.”
He also suggests that designers looking to accommodate pet needs consider how pets move around a space, the same as they would with humans. For instance, he notes, “Cats have very specific ways of moving through spaces that impact design. They need multiple points of entry and exit from a room, and offering that creates more harmonious spaces.”
Even pet issues can provide clues that help with the design process. He explains, “Often, when pets engage in destructive behavior, they’re really saying, ‘I’m frustrated because my needs aren’t being met.’ Their negative behavior can define our positive design results. As designers, we need to solve problems, and if we listen to our pets, the negative things they’re doing can really tell us the solutions that they’re looking for in the space.”
There are many ways of “collections and paybacks” in our industry. Some of them, a little nasty.
There was a drywall contractor that kept getting called backed by an Owner to go over and over and over different spots the Owner perceived as rough. Apparently, the drywall
contractor was pretty sure he wasn’t going to be paid by these people, so he took out insurance. What could that be you ask? He put a dead fish he caught inside the wall, behind his
drywall and sealed it up. If he was paid, he would come back and take out the fish and repair the wall. If there was no payment, the fish stays and decays and the sweet smell of revenge stays for a very long time.
Now, I have never been able to figure out if this is an urban legend, but I do know every crew has a story to top it!
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On certain occasions, you may need to replace locks on the doors of your home. However, before you take any action, you need to clarify whether you should go for lock replacement or will simple re-keying of your existing locks. Re-keying locks involve…
Basements Are a Great Place for a Home Office Having your own basement home office can be one of the best investments you can make. Being able to get all of your work done in a comfy, quiet place full of distractions is an easy way to increase your productivity….
So what really can happen to a nice young couple with their own remodeling plan….
One of our clients,”Buffy”, had grand plans of being the Designer and General Contractor to remodel their newly purchased home while Hubby worked to pay for it all. It was a large house, (with six baths), for a steal of a deal, that was to be completely remodeled for their tastes and standards.
Buffy spent the first six months of construction loan interest playing with her own design program. After finally realizing you don’t spend that kind of remodeling money on something you designed yourself, (when you were educated to be a lawyer), they found us. We designed modifications and additions that made the house work properly for their family, and increased the value of the home with proper layouts, budget conscious parameters, quality construction techniques, and architectural interest. We gave them everything they insisted on with a full written proposal for all the work, (labor and materials), which came out to be much higher in costs than Buffy and Buddy wanted to spend.
They insisted on keeping everything for the project per our proposal, but believed they could save mega bucks by being their own General Contractor. So Buffy and Buddy asked that we perform just the labor through framing to be ready for their subcontractors. (We will always work with Owners to accommodate their needs, but we sincerely tell them to hire us or someone on as remodeling consultants when they are planning to be a General Contractor, for good reasons…).
Buffy selected exquisite, expensive plumbing fixtures, on her own. When her plumbers roughed in, according to the plan, Buffy found out the non-refundable materials she ordered from the internet on her own were not going to fit.
To find out more about this story and others like it, please go to “Hard Learned Lessons” on our Website and read some of our trade horror stories from our years of experience.
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