Tag Archives: cabinets

Kitchen Remodeling – Installers

Your Kitchen Remodel Installation Team

contractor illustration, kitchen remodeling, kitchen contractor, new bern

It is critically important that you get experienced, qualified, Kitchen Remodeling Installers when undertaking a kitchen project.  I have worked with different Contractors who have experience with Kitchen installations, and ones that do not.  If your installer is not familiar with kitchen installations, your project is in jeopardy.

Because of a friend’s situation, located 500 miles away, a kitchen I designed for them was going to be installed by a Contractor that is a good friend to them.  I was hoping things would go well, even though this Contractor did mostly commercial work.  I was told he started out in residential work and was very meticulous.  So – with copious notes and drawings for a simple kitchen, I hoped for the best.  For me, the results were, at best, mediocre.

The problem is, anyone, can install a cabinet, but the devil is always in the details.  When it comes to scribing a piece of trim, or trimming an ear to properly fit crown, or even building toes for wall cabs on the floor, you need an experienced Kitchen Installer.

Always look to the NKBA members for Designers and Installers in your area.  Then you are sure to find people that are qualified and committed to their craft.


For more valuable Design Tips and Information …

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The Real World of Remodeling from the Professionals including

Design Services and Consulting Services

Local to New Bern, NC … Beaufort, NC

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Bathroom Remodeling Secrets

bathroom sink, bathroom remodel, your squarefeetBathroom Remodeling Secrets

Most people believe that Bathroom Remodeling is an expensive hassle and dread the thought of tearing up an area of their house that has so much traffic.

If you Design, Plan, and Manage your Bathroom Remodeling correctly, it can be a beautiful space in your home to be proud of while increasing your Home’s value.

A Successful Bathroom Remodel must include:

  • Design – you need to make sure you have an appropriate Design for today’s lifestyle.  Consider who the bathroom is servicing now and for the future.  Evaluate space planning and storage. HVAC and Lighting have always been issues for older bathrooms. Determine what new products are best suited for aesthetics and function.
  • bathroom remodeled, modern bathroom, your squarefeetProduct Selection – make sure any products you select will be on your job site before demolition begins.  If there are products that must be customized on site, confirm the materials are in stock.
  • Planning – time is of the essence for bathroom remodeling, this is not a project that can get out of hand
  • Plumbing – make sure you understand the limits of your existing supply lines, and all plumbing runs and any alterations before you purchase fixtures and faucets.  This can have a huge impact on your budget. Most older homes do not have the supply capacity in their plumbing lines to service many of the multi-head/jets fixtures.
  • Electrical – today’s bathrooms take much more electrical than ever before.  You will probably need additional circuits for remodeling. Make sure you have enough service
  • Waterproofing – there are many systems for waterproofing tub/shower and floors, as well as walls. Different installers will have different methods.  Be comfortable with the one being used on your home. Check with The Tile Council of North America for more information.
  • Always, always, buy or hire,  professionals who are specifically trained in this very detailed business. This is not the time for a handyman.

Cabinets are sourced from the same places as Kitchen Cabinets. Most cabinet companies have specialized bathroom cabinets or will customize  their cabinets.  For more help refer to Kitchen Remodeling.


Hiring a contractor, bathroom hints, bathroom remodel

Pre-Construction Meeting

You should always have some form of pre-construction meeting with any Contractor so you all know what to expect from each other.  You need to discuss the simple things like access, dogs, alarms, plastic protection, etc., especially when it comes to something like bathroom additions.


The biggest concern for all customers, as it should be.  You all need to be clear when your Contractor will be on or off the job and why.  If you are a small job, find out if you are a filler job (which means your work will be slotted in when time permits…which might be saving you bucks), or if you are truly scheduled. If you are a larger job, understand when there must be down times to allow for other trades to work or inspections, etc…communications is key to keep stress down.

Be Appreciative

Sounds silly that I need to point this out, but in the remodeling world there are sometimes vast class chasms.  Remodeling crews working on your  beautiful home are typically working stiff types. Even simple things –  coffee and donuts, go a long way. We have seen our guys get many cash tips, and many hugs over the years from our clients. They love having their work appreciated, the good guys really put their heart and soul into it.

Money Rules

Remodeling is an industry where cash flow is critical. Be aware of deposits,  some are necessary for the purchase of materials, and some are as good faith.  Obviously, the latter should be MUCH less. These days, more vendors are requiring deposits since very little inventory is stocked, and many Contractors have gone out of business in this tough economy. Give deposits accordingly and have a clear understanding what the deposit covers.   This is not to say you should ask for receipts for everything.  If you have done your homework by checking your Contractor, you need to have some faith by this time. These firms usually cannot produce mounds of paperwork, they just can’t afford the staff to do it.

Bathroom Remodel Change Orders

The public has as impression we love these things because we make lots of money on them.  This couldn’t be more false, if you are dealing with reputable Contractors.  These things always cost more than they’re worth. We can never charge enough for them, because they are always too much to begin with! Plus they mean a ton of paperwork. Then, even though it’s the customer asking for the additional work or product, it’s always the Contractors fault the whole project escalated in price!  Hhmm, I think I was venting. Best scenario – listen to your Designer and Contractor during Estimating and Proposals, you will probably wind up going with the products they suggest in the first place.  That’s not to say there won’t be Change Orders.  There are what we call Hidden Conditions in remodeling.  Things like termite damage, insufficient joist sizing, etc., that may have to be addressed. We always advise clients to consider 5%-10% of the Contract price as a reserve for change orders on larger jobs.


Home Remodeling – An Emotional Roller Coaster

HAPPY DOG, new bern home remodeling, new bern kitchen designRemodeling is not easy

We have never seen a home remodeling project where everyone is happy all the time.  Except of course on TV where they do all the work and give you everything for free.  Then again,  I have actually seen recipients grumble on some of these shows also!

The biggest reasons home remodeling is tough is that your routine is upset, your unsure of your decisions, and everything is more expensive than you thought. It’s no wonder you’re grumpy.

These issues can be overcome.  The road to success in remodeling is PLANNING.     Planning involves everything from research through contracts. Even on small DIY projects, things can go horribly wrong if you have not planned the entire project through as though you were a real Contractor.

Our friend in this picture has some  stories to tell you, we call them  “Hard Learned Lessons” on our website.  You may be surprised to find out how construction horror stories really get their start.  But if you PLAN correctly, follow advice we give you and more, the biggest hardship you should still have is parting with your cash.  It’s  going to cost you, but at least if you Plan, you will know how much!

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The Real World of Remodeling


Design Service and Consulting Services

Home Lighting for your Remodel

schonbek crystal chandelier, home lighting design
Schonbek crystal chandelier

Home Lighting –  It’s not your Granny’s Chandelier anymore

My mother always told me a  little sparkle is always a good thing.  I am grateful to her for teaching me the difference between enough and too much when it comes to design. So of course, I steer away from the wild world of  “Bling”  when it comes to home lighting, where reality stars declare themselves designers.

A little sparkle, can be the jewel of your room.  After you have spent an enormous time and effort remodeling a room, one dazzling @Schonbek  light fixture can be the sparkle that brings attention to a fantastic architectural element like these Palladian windows.  This fixture is a piece of functioning artwork. Schonbek is one of YourSquarefeet’s favorite Lighting Vendors.  Their line spans contemporary through traditional. Give your space that final touch of sparkle it deserves.


Visit www.yoursquarefeet.com for The Inside Information about The Real World of Remodeling

Bathroom Remodeling

Bathroom Remodeling Advice

Bathroom Tile Ideas, Bathroom Design, New Bern Bathroom Design, Your SquarefeetBathrooms can be FUN!  This is a place where you can use color to your best advantage.  Bathrooms can demand certain color spots, so take the opportunity to break away from the safe and boring beige.  You can go neutral  on the big dollar items that you know you are not going to want to change in the near future, like the bath tile and cabinetry.  An inexpensive glass backsplash tile, (there is such a thing), combined with a kiwi green Ceaserstone quartz top, can really brighten up a morning. In this eye-popping bath, even the bottom of the cabinets light up! Custom window treatments and shower drapes make the whole bath the color of wonderment!

Visit www.yoursquarefeet.com for The Inside Information about The Real World of Remodeling

Kitchen Remodeling

kitchen remodeling project with white cabinets

Kitchen Remodeling Advice

Cabinets, cabinets, cabinets….the choice seems endless. Except it’s not at all.  Advertising would have you believe there a tons of choices and vast differences between cabinets.  Not so much.  There are distinctive categories.  It starts at the least expensive, the RTA’s (Ready to Assemble), – this is the stuff you put together yourself, and to put it succinctly, you get what you pay for. Then there’s Stock cabinets, these you pull off the shelves at the Big Box stores, you just paid them for the assembly and maybe a bit better quality. Next is Semi-Custom Cabinets, now we’re getting somewhere, both in quality and price, but this level is for a Kitchen that means business. Of course the top of the list if Custom Cabinets, pretty much anything you want, with a price tag to match. All these cabinet categories have particular uses.  You first need to determine how you want and need your Kitchen to perform and for how long.  Then you can decide what category of cabinetry you should be looking at for your Kitchen remodel. Once you have your category figured out, then have the Kitchen Designer explain the nuances of that particular category of cabinets so you can be sure it fits your future.

Visit www.yoursquarefeet.com for The Inside Information about The Real World of Remodeling