Flagstone vs. Interlocking Pavers. Interlocking pavers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. This makes them a top choice of many landscape designers and makes then suitable to be used for many different types of projects. If installed properly, there should be a very small amount of movement in the pavers over time. For there to be no movement or very little movement, the pavers must be installed on top of a compacted road base foundation that extends down to undisturbed ground. All organic topsoil that are compactable must be removed. The surface of the interlocking pavers will be even and quite smooth. Flagstone pavers are often referred to as natural stone pavers because they are made from natural stone. They can be made from limestone, granite, slate or other quarried stone. One benefit of flagstone is that it can be cut into different shapes to look however you want it to look. The natural colors compliment most outdoor living spaces. After all, rock comes from outside, so it should fit right into the backyard. Indoor Outdoor Guy Custom Built Cabana. Digital image.Indooroutdoorguy.ca. Water Feature: Pondless Waterfall vs. Pondless Basalt Pillar. A water feature is often the focal point of your backyard and adds the relaxing sense of sound to your visually beautiful gardens. Pondless waterfalls and pondless basalt pillar features are all the rage right now as they do not have the maintenance that ponds and fountains have. They also benefit the backyard by providing ambient sound that helps drown out neighbourhood noise. Another benefit is that the sounds from a good, pondless waterfall may interfere with the noisy neighbor who tries to overhear your private, backyard conversations. Without a pond, one does not have the high maintenance of bugs and algae that typically accompany a poorly designed water feature. To be fair to pond lovers, a pond and/or waterfall feature that has a well-designed filtration system can be very low-maintenance. Water features are high tech now and allow the home owner the ability to control the amount of water that is being pumped and to turn on special water feature lighting at night time. Sitting in your backyard and listening to a babbling brook is bound to relax you. Pondless Cascading Waterfall by The Indoor Outdoor Guy Renovations Inc. Digital image. Plants & Shrubs. The beautifully landscaped backyards you see in magazines did not happen by accident. The plants and shrubs were chosen with care and consideration for the climate, plant longevity, appearance and many other reasons. When planning your backyard layout, your design build company will help you decide which plants and shrubs are best suited for your outdoor living space. Perennial plants and shrubs, ones that grow back year after year, are the top choice of landscapers and home owners. Why pay for new plants every spring when you can pay for plants once and enjoy them for years to come? It’s important to take into consideration what a plant or shrub will grow into over a few years’ time rather than what they look like as a 2 or 3 year old plant. A new seedling may look dwarfed in a 4’ X 4’ area, but by the end of the summer that seedling’s foliage may cover that entire area. Plants and shrubs come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. It’s important to plan for the shapes, sizes and colors of the plants in advance. Advanced planning can provide you with a stunning yard when the greenery matures. Willem Outdoor 24-Bulb Standard String Light. Digital image. Wayfair.ca
https://www.indooroutdoorguy.ca/an-outdoor-living-space-in-vancouver.html Raised Walls/Stacked Stone Walls. Also known as retaining walls, raised walls have many benefits, both structural and decorative. If you have a hilly yard, a raised wall is a common way to both correct the hill and create a lovely focal point. A retaining wall will reduce soil erosion and turn a difficult-to-mow section of yard into a stunning flower bed. A raised wall bed is often used along a fence to help break up the hardness of the wooden fence. As the soil in a retaining wall is looser than compacted soil, perennial flowers and vegetable plants may take root and produce more prolifically. Raised walls need to be planned and in some cases, if higher than 3 feet, may need a professional engineer’s stamp. A good design build company will use retaining walls as a feature in your outdoor living space to make it even more stunning. Backyard Living Space by Indoor Outdoor Guy Renovations Inc. Digital image.
Pools, Swim Spas and Hot Tubs. Pools, hot tubs and swim spas are a commonly desired feature when renovating an outdoor living space. Backyard swimming pools are literally the stuff that children’s dreams are made of. The health benefits and amount of fun a swimming pool can provide is incredibly valuable. No room for a swimming pool? What about a swim spa? They have a much smaller footprint than a pool and are more affordable. Swim spas have an area for swimming that can be heated to your temperature of choice, as well as hot tub area that can be heated to 104 degrees for heat therapy purposes. They are also available as individual units, just like a hot tub, with only one area with an adjustable temperature for either swimming or soaking. They can be used year round and come with a hydraulically powered resistance current so you can swim laps in place as long as your heart desires. If swimming is not your thing but you absolutely love to soak in hot water, then a hot tub may be a great choice for your home. Hot tubs come in many sizes to accommodate even the smallest backyards, can be built into a deck or gazebo, and can be set to a temperature that is comfortable for the whole family. Indoor Outdoor Guy Landscaping Blueprint. Digital image. IndoorOutdoorGuy.ca Other Landscaping Elements. Other elements that clients often ask about are in-ground trampolines, shed-saunas, putting greens, and studio or office sheds. The physical and mental benefits of saunas have been known for decades. Adding a sauna shed to your backyard provides a relaxing place to sweat out all the stresses of your day after work. In-ground trampolines have become very popular in recent years, and for very good reason. An in-ground trampoline that is level with the ground and has no coil springs is easy to use and is safer than a traditional trampoline that is raised off of the ground with safety netting. Backyard office studio sheds are in demand now more than ever. A backyard office gives you a quiet space to work surrounded by nature once it’s been landscaped into the backyard. Heated, insulated sheds are also used for She-Sheds, Man Caves, Potting Sheds and Storage. Every golfer’s dream is to have their very own putting green in their backyard. An artificial grass putting green offers all the fun of being on the green without driving to the course or paying the course fees. Discuss these landscaping elements with your design build company and they will work with you to give you the outside living space you’ve always wanted. Indoor Outdoor Guy Landscaping Blueprint. Digital image. IndoorOutdoorGuy.ca
- IndoorOutdoorGuy.ca Digital image. Ceiling Mounted Natural Gas Heater, 09 December 2020,
- Amazon.ca. Digital image. AZ Patio Heater with Table, 09 December 2020,
- Amazon.ca. Digital image. AZ Patio Heater with Table, 03 December 2020,
- IndoorOutdoorGuy.ca Digital image. Ceiling Mounted Natural Gas Heater, 03 December 2020,
- Magic Lazy Susan. The Lazy Susan finally has a comparable option called the “Magic Corner”. As most people know, Lazy Susans are circular and you have to rotate the dish to access the item you need. While Magic Corners are more like a sliding L-shaped drawer that completely slides out so you can access everything in it. The main functional difference between a Magic Corner and a Lazy Susan is that you have to crouch down and reach in to get the item you want. Whereas the Magic Corner is more like a drawer where you just pull it out and pick out the item you want. The primary difference between a good quality Lazy Susan that doesn’t wobble or tilt and a Magic Corner is price. Lazy Susans are generally between $250 and $300, while Magic Corners start at $800 and go up from there.
- Google Nest Hub with display and voice recognition. Smart hubs will allow you to get things done with voice recognition while having sticky fingers from cooking. Google, Facebook and Amazon all offer products that will work in your kitchen. However, for the purposes of this article, we will simply talk about what we consider the leader: Google Nest Hub. Imagine your hands are covered in cookie dough and you need to read an email or check the weather. All you have to do is say, “Hey Google, show me the weather, or “hey, Google, read me the last email.” Or, if you’re stuck and need a recipe, just ask Google for one. “Hey, Google, what’s the recipe for chocolate chip cookies?” This wonderfully amazing product takes up very little space on your countertop, connects with your Hello Google Doorbell to show you who’s at the door and your Nest Yale Lock to allow you to unlock the door when your kids get home from school.
- Barstools Those who have them often take them for granted. Those who do not have them often pine for them, (no pun intended). Barstools have multiple uses. They can give you a place to sit in your kitchen when you’re tired but need to keep an eye on those cookies in the oven. Two stools in the kitchen can turn a counter into a breakfast bar or homework centre. It’s especially handy to have barstools in your kitchen if you often help your children with homework. These moveable, often stackable and even spin-able seats enable you to multitask. Barstools are also great for friends to sit at while you visit with them in the kitchen. They come in a huge variety of colors, shapes and sizes. There are table height, counter height and bar height stools. They can be made with nearly every type of wood or metal. Choose stools in a contrasting color that pops against the background of your kitchen, or in a complimenting color that blends in and makes your kitchen feel incredibly warm and cozy. The options are limitless. Indoor Outdoor Guy Renovation, 2020.
- An integrated work station/colander set that fits into your kitchen sink.These lovely workstations are incredibly functional and are becoming more popular as news of their versatility spreads. We are happy to design one of these new, modern sinks into your kitchen. Both the colander and the sink have to be manufactured by the same company and be compatible. Imagine being able to chop and lay out all of the ingredients for your favorite chutney in a stunning custom colander tray that sits in your sink? No more moving veggies, wet from rinsing them in the sink, all the way over to your counter, leaving a trail of water on your kitchen floor. No more overflowing cutting board holding a variety of veggies you’ve chopped up. No more onion juice spoiling the flavor of the other veggies sitting on your cutting board. This will save you time and look great, too! One of our favorites is the Krause Workstation Accessory Set.
- Command Centre. The importance of being organized has never held more truth than it does today. Rapidly changing schedules, bills, letters, homework, grocery lists, etc. Having all of those things in one place saves a great deal of time and energy. Although some smart refrigerators offer a digital command centre, many families find there is just no substitute for silly notes and photos with magnets, and the quick and easy flexibility that a magnetic or white board provides. You are the captain of your command centre. Your wish is its…you know.
- Built in desk for paying bills and organizing recipes. Along the same lines of a command centre, having a built in nook in your kitchen to help you stay organized is an upscale idea. One step further than a command centre would be a desk and chair with a drawer for filing bills and a shelf for storing cookbooks and knick knacks. Complete this with a pegboard for posting notes and pictures on, as well as file folders to store school forms and completed tests in, and you have an incredibly functional area to enjoy. If you have children, keeping all of the forms that come home from school will save you time and frustration. Can’t remember what time the field trip bus is dropping your kids off? It’s on the form you filed away, you smart cookie. Can’t remember your kids’ teacher’s email address? It’s on a form you filed away during the first week of school. Your high schooler cannot find his or her volunteer hours records. No problem – this, too, is filed away!
- Smart refrigerator. We are not quite at the technology level of the Jetsons, but we’re getting close! Smart refrigerators are connected to your phone through the internet. Not all smart refrigerators offer the same features. Some of these advanced appliances allow you to see what’s inside the refrigerator so you know if you’re out of milk or eggs. You may have the ability to send and receive short messages to and from a smart screen on the fridge. Some of these appliances will send an alert to your phone if your family has left the fridge door open. One of the most useful features, however, is the ability to search up things on the internet, such as, recipes. Some smart refrigerators work with IFTTT, Google Assistant and Alexa so you can ask for status updates about your refrigerator from wherever you are. “Alexa, more ice, ice, baby!” Family Hub Smart Refrigerator. Digital image. Home Depot.com. 30 September, 2020,
- Rolling kitchen cart. How many times have you wished for just a tiny bit more counter space? Perhaps you don’t really need more counter space day-to-day, but during holidays and around birthdays having extra table space would save your bacon – literally. We regularly design a space for a rolling cart to sit when not in demand as part of our kitchen plans. Rolling carts can have a granite top for chopping fruits and vegetables, a built in wine rack, a drawer to store spices or barbeque utensils, or may be designed and equipped to your exact specifications.
You’ve finally done it. After years of humming and hawing over renovating your kitchen, bathroom, basement, bedroom, living room, addition or backyard, etc. you have decided to actually get the job done. Congrats! That brings you to this blog and your current, burning question: how do I go about hiring a home renovation contractor?
Well, most people think they’re looking for a home renovation contractor but what they are actually looking for is a design build company. What you really need to understand is what the difference is between a home renovation contractor and a design build company.
Differences between a design build company and a renovations contractor.
What is a home renovation contractor? One who may do all or only parts of the project, and will be responsible for fluctuating measures of the overall planning and management of the project. Many of the responsibilities that would be taken on by the design build company may instead fall upon you, the home owner. The leadership and accountability of the project will be on your shoulders or perhaps will be jointly shared with your home renovation contractor, with varying degrees of success.
What is a design build company? One that will walk you through the entire renovation process, step by step, in the easiest and most timely way possible.
When you hire a design build company if something goes wrong they cannot blame the designer because they ARE the designer. This results in much less passing of the buck. You will also have much better knowledge transfer because you are dealing with just one company. If you are dealing with a home renovation contractor and you have a question about the design of your kitchen, he or she will have to contact the designer to find the information you’re after. A design build company on the other hand, in this instance, will have those answers for you because they are designing and building your kitchen. Due to the fact they are designing and building your project from start to finish, they will better understand your vision, needs and desires. That will translate into saved time and saved money.
The first thing to determine when choosing a design build company or renovation contractor is how much experience they have. Does he or she have at least ten years of experience? Ten or more years of experience is highly beneficial to you as an experienced contractor is going to save you costly mistakes. An experienced contractor will understand building materials suppliers better and will almost certainly have better trades people working with him or her. He or she is going to be better at keeping to a schedule as this contractor will be used to the rhythm of a home renovation. They will be able to foresee certain things, such as: the shutdown of a wood processing facility due to COVID-19 may cause a shortage of a particular type of wood that is needed for your project. A good design build company contractor will likely be coming up with a solution to the wood shortage problem before it appears on the local news.
What sort of certifications does your design build company or renovations contractor have?
The construction industry is now a science. Does the person or company you hired belong to any professional organizations that help keep them up to date or provide training on the industry?
Verify how long a contractor has been in business for. One way to do this is to check how long they have had insurance with WorkSafe. Another way is to check how long they have belonged to the BBB and/or the local home builders association. If they do not have WorkSafe, that is a huge red flag as WorkSafe is required by law.
Questions to ask your home renovation contractor.
- – Does your contractor have his own staff or does he sub everything out? A good design build contractor will have a staff carpenter/foreman onsite to help supervise the jobs. Staffmembers have more loyalty to the contractor than to sub trades. A sub trade has split loyalties as he or she is working on several jobs at the same time. A good design build contractor will have greater quality control and greater control over the schedule.
- – Does your contractor own or rent his construction equipment? A design build or renovations contractor who owns his scaffolding, plate compactors, and other medium-sized construction equipment is probably going to save you 5% to 10% of the job costs because he/she does not have to pay rent for his/her equipment. He or she doesn’t have to add an extra hour each day picking up and dropping off the equipment from the depot. A double whammy is that not only does it cost you money to rent equipment, but it costs you something even more precious: time. If he rents a $1,000 plate compactor, he will spend 1 hour to pick it up and 1 hour to return it. About $100 of his time billed to you for each hour. That’s $200 total. Plus, it will cost $200 per day to rent the equipment and another $50 worth of damage insurance. So the plate compactor will cost almost the same amount to rent for one day as one third of its purchase price. Just imagine how much of your time and money is being wasted if your contractor is renting tools. The best case scenario is one where your design build company or renovations contractor owns his own heavy equipment such as excavators and dump trailers. You’ll save even more money and time that way.
- Be sure to ask him what quality of materials he buys and uses. High quality materials will save you money. Period.
- Is he a jack of all trades – a one man band? If he gets sick or injured or has a family crisis, your job will come to a screeching halt. If he takes on too many jobs he will get stretched thin and things may fall through the cracks. Your project may be one of those things.
Does your home renovations contractor fit the size of your job?
As mentioned about owning and renting tools, if you are implementing a larger project such as a home addition, a contractor who owns all of his own equipment will be a better choice than one who does not. One who has employees, a larger staff, will be a better choice as many hands complete a job much more quickly than one pair of hands.
If the job you have in mind is a small contract, such as changing a few fence panels, hiring a renovations contractor is probably a waste of your money. You would likely be better off with a handy man.
In our experience, kitchen renovations specifically run much more smoothly with a design build company that has all of the staff and trades available when he or she needs them to keep your project on schedule and thus on budget.
Does the design build company or renovations contractor have good reviews?
One or two negative reviews may just be a sign that the contractor is doing a lot of work and not that there’s anything wrong with them. However, if you start to see a pattern in their reviews about him or her not finishing jobs on time, quality control issues, or being difficult to reach, you should consider yourself forewarned.
A good contractor should have at least 10 or 15 good reviews under his or her belt. A review with one paragraph or more shows that the client really appreciated the job as opposed to a review that is just one sentence long.
Insurance and liability
- As mentioned earlier, does he or she have WorkSafe? It is required by law. They must have it.
- Does he or she have $3 to $5 million of general liability insurance? Because no liability insurance or just $1 million of liability insurance doesn’t go very far if there is an accident.
- Does the design build contractor have a good credit history? If he doesn’t have a good credit history then he won’t have lines of credit with all of his suppliers. Lines of credit keep a project running smoothly. Ask if they have accounts with their suppliers. If they have accounts, they likely have lines of credit. If they don’t have lines of credit, they will be asking you for money every day. Or they will be asking you for large sums of money up front.
Hiring a home renovations contractor or design build company is a task that should be undertaken with great care. Ensure you research your candidates thoroughly before you hire anyone. It will save you time and money and provide you with the peace of mind you need to begin a home renovation.
You’ve binged watched dozens of home renovation programs. You’ve read several home repair and maintenance books. You’re handy with tools and love DIY projects. Naturally, the next step is for you to undertake a kitchen renovation, right? Before you plan a kitchen demo day, there are several things you should be aware of.1. Are you doing this yourself or are you hiring a professional design build company?
Fair warning: if you try to do this kitchen renovation yourself, YOU will be the general contractor. This means that it will be you who is responsible for ordering materials and products and ensuring they arrive on site in time for each of the trades to do their portion of the work.
Not only that, you will be responsible for quality control, which means you’ll be firing the trades people if and whentheir work is not up to standards. You will be the one returning and rejecting any defective products or building materials that you have had to accept delivery for.
Scheduling and organization will be your new best friend as you’ll also be responsible for coordinating the overall schedule of the job and staying ahead of the steps in the project. There is an order that the trades must be completed in. The electrical and plumbing work needs to be done before the cabinets go on the wall and the drywall is installed and finished and so on.
You may safely assume that more storage space, a larger food preparation area, and an eat-in island are needs for your kitchen. Do you need quartz countertops? How about a magic corner instead of a Lazy Susan? Would an industrial range hood be the difference between delicious, home cooked meals and TV dinner fare? Well, we’ll leave that to you and your spouse to decide. There are countless options to consider when you renovate your kitchen. This is where a design build company will come in very handy, as they will lay out the options for you based on your input and help you make good decisions.
Like a general contractor, when something goes wrong, when something is delayed, or when someone makes an excuse, it will be your responsibility to fix the problem while keeping the train on the tracks.
When managing or acting as a general contractor for your own kitchen renovation, expect to budget an hour or two of your day to the management, scheduling and trade oversight of your project. Not to mention some time for communication with your designer. So, if you’re already working an 8 hour job, managing your own kitchen renovation means you’re probably working 10 hours a day for the next four months and on weekends. Who needs sleep, anyway?
Keep in mind that because you are not actually a general contractor with connections in the industry, you may not get the priority on your job with trades that a full time general contractor gets.
Finally, unless you have a really large home or unrented secondary suite,you probably only have one kitchen for you and your family to use. It’s easy to go without one bathroom for a few months while you renovate the other one. It’s easy to take your time redoing a bedroom. What is not easy is cooking in a kitchen that is a construction zone. The cost you spend on eating out during the kitchen renovation that takes longer than it should take could add up. Not to mention the fact that your family will be putting pressure on you to hurry up and get it done. It can be very stressful to be caught between your family and the suppliers and trades people who are not complyingto your schedule.
For these reasons, if you can hire a professional design build company to renovate your kitchen, by all means, do so!2. What are the needs of your new kitchen and what are the wants?
Are you a home chef? Is there no room in your kitchen to prepare food? Are your cabinets and appliances outdated? Separating the wants and the needs of a new kitchen is very tricky.
You may safely assume that more storage space, a larger food preparation area, and an eat-in island are needs for your kitchen. Do you need quartz countertops? How about a magic corner instead of a Lazy Susan? Would an industrial range hood be the difference between delicious, home cooked meals and TV dinner fare? Well, we’ll leave that to you and your spouse to decide. There are countless options to consider when you renovate your kitchen. This is where a design build company will come in very handy, as they will lay out the options for you based on your input and help you make good decisions.3. What is your budget?
A typical kitchen renovation in BC is going to start at $50,000 and go up from there. The average price will be between $75,000 and $100,000.This will vary greatly depending on the type of materials you use in your renovation. Before you start looking at show room kitchens for inspiration for your renovation, have an honest conversation with your spouse to determine what your budget is. Knowing your budget ahead of time will help you make decisions with your head and not your heart. Be forewarned, as you go through the process with your design build kitchen company you may have to make some tough choices such as cutting some of the items on your “wants” list to keep your project within budget.4. Are you replacing your appliances?
40 years ago, practically every kitchen appliance on the market was the exact same size. One size of refrigerator, but it comes in two colors: white and olive! Flash forward to present day and not only can you buy your appliances in many different colors, but some of them come in a huge variety of different sizes. The dimensional choices of refrigerators have gone up exponentially. What that means is if you are redesigning your kitchen, you will almost certainly need to purchase new appliances.
Let’s be honest: you want new appliances anyway. When you install brand new, sparkling, beautiful cabinets and countertops, your tried and true, old appliances will stand out like a sore thumb. We wish it wasn’t so, but it is.
If you are replacing your appliances, spare a moment to consider what type of refrigerator you will purchase. Firstly, will it be a standard depth refrigerator or a counter depth one? Standard depth refrigerators typically measure 30 to 34 inches deep, whereas counter depth refrigerators typically measure between 23 and 27 inches deep. A standard depth refrigerator will generally have more square feet of food storage than a counter depth one. However, a standard depth unit will also jut out further into your kitchen than a streamlined counter depth one. A counter depth refrigerator is more costly than a standard one is, however, you will have a little more floor space in your kitchen with the counter depth size.
Let’s not forget the ice and water features of modern day refrigerators! Approximately half of all new refrigerators have a built in ice maker. Many others also have a built in water dispenser as well. You will need a plumber to run a water line to the back of your refrigerator to access all of the bells whistles. It is most certainly worth it. The joy of never having to fill the ice cube tray again is paradise on earth.5. Are you redesigning the entire kitchen, or just updating it?
A kitchen update is more economical than a kitchen redesign. With an update, all of the cabinets and appliances stay in roughly the same place give or take a few inches so you won’t have to do any major plumbing or electrical work. Significantly moving the location of appliances often requires the costly process of removing and reinstalling drywall, concrete and other finishes.
A good design build company should be able to get much more out of your existing kitchen layout than a regular contractor would. A redesign costs more but may be required to get the design that you’ve always wanted. Permits and inspections are needed in the event of a kitchen redesign. They take more planning and more time to complete. In British Columbia once you touch one electrical circuit in the kitchen, you must upgrade the entire kitchen to meet current electrical code. You’ll have to add more plugs and appliance circuits to the kitchen, which will require you to run new wire back to the main electrical panel in your basement or garage, which will necessitate the opening of drywall and then the re-installation of the drywall.
If you’re happy with the current layout of your kitchen, there are savings to be had. You can install new cabinets and get more drawers and have a better overall kitchen design while still keeping your appliances in relatively the same place. Appliances can often be moved a few inches one way or the other to make room for a larger fridge or pantry without requiring significant additional plumbing and/or electrical work.You may replace lower cabinets with drawers. You can replace your countertop with quartz and retile the sink backsplash with a new pattern and/or color. Replacing the lighting in your kitchen may also be affordable and can change the entire look of the area. It is definitely worth considering an update versus a redesign when it comes to your kitchen.6. Are you renovating any other rooms in your house? You want the kitchen to fit in with your house, not stand out and put the rest of the house to shame.
Ifyou’re renovating your kitchen, you should consider renovating the main floor of your home as well. This way, you’ll have a consistent theme throughout your home with finishes that match in quality and newness. It is cheaper to undertake two renovations at the same time than to spread them out. Not to mention the benefit of having your home exactly the way you want it – all of your home, at the same time.
A kitchen renovation takes an average of four months to complete. During those four months an entire renovation of your whole main floor can be done at the same time. The demo would be done at the same time. The electrical, flooring, drywall, and painting would be done at the same time. Installing kitchen flooring typically takes one day. Installing new flooring in the rest of your house typically takes 3 days. That means you can have the flooring done in your whole house or an entire floor in just 4 days’ time. While the kitchen cabinets are being installed the finishing carpenters can be installing the baseboards and mouldings in the rest of the home. The plumber can be working in the bathroom while he does work in your kitchen, saving him an extra trip and saving you money. Cabinets must be installed prior to measuring quartz or granite countertops. You have to wait for them to be measured and then wait another two weeks for the countertops to be fabricated. In those 2 weeks a lot of work can be done to the rest of the home. It’s worth considering. There are other instances like this that can be taken advantage of.7. Cabinets vs. Drawers
Gone are the days of lower cabinets with doors. If you have lower cabinets with doors you are only using about half of the available space. You have to bend down and reach in to get at whatever is buried at the back of that cabinet. However, with drawers you are using about 90% of the space. This is because you can slide out a drawer and see everything that is in there. You can also easily organize everything inside the drawer and access it whenever you need to. Consider the wear and tear on your knees after years of crouching down on the floor to track down that elusive rice cooker or electric knife.
Drawers are more expensive than doors, yes, it’s true. It is understandable that you would be tempted to cut costs here and just install cabinets with doors. I beg you – don’t do it. The cost of difference between door units and multi drawer units is not that great when considering the overall cost of the renovation. It is certainly not an enormous cost to gain the ease of use and maximization of space.
Corner cabinets present the unique challenge of using the space effectively while keeping the space accessible. Although Lazy Susans were unreliable and wobbly in the past, they have now become a very solid, dependable part of any kitchen storage solution. While magic corners, the other main choice for corner cabinets, offer greater accessibility for items, their mechanical mechanism requires the sacrifice of the additional storage space a Lazy Susan provides. Like anything, there are better and poorer versions of Lazy Susans and magic corners on the market.It’s worth taking the time to figure out which one is best for you.
Like many kitchen renovation and design decisions, a good design build company will lay out all of the options and help you make the right choices.8. Maximize the space
A good design build kitchen renovation company will listen to your needs and desires and then present kitchen designs, options and choices that meet those needs. For example, someone who loves to cook soups, stews and broths will have different kitchen design needs than someone who primarily uses the oven to bake meals. This will require different layouts.
If your kitchen is primarily used to prepare food strictly for your family, your kitchen needs will be different from those of someone who loves to host dinner parties. If you entertain, you need to store more dishes, utensils, serving plates, platters etc.
If you regularly have house guests, you’ll want to own a 4 slice toaster versus a 2 slice one. You’ll want to own a big coffee maker such as a Keurig and you’ll likely want to have a good selection of Keurig cups on hand. These are all more things to store in your kitchen, so be mindful of not only the need and purpose of these items, but the storage needs of them as well. You will likely need a larger refrigerator to store more food if you are a super host. Instead of a 30” width refrigerator, you probably would desire a 33” + width one.9. Colors, layouts – decisions, decisions.
You’ve been itching to reach this one, haven’t you? And who could blame you! This is the fun part. Firstly, what type of layout will you have for your kitchen? There are basically 6 different ones.
- Galley: If you don’t like Lazy Susans or magic corners, this kitchen’s for you. A galley kitchen is a svelte, highly-efficient use of space. If you do not have a great deal of square footage to work with or there is only one cook in your family, this layout should be at the top of your list. There are no corners in a galley kitchen, therefore, there is no need for a Lazy Susan or a magic corner. These types of kitchen are clean looking cost effective.
- Peninsula: A peninsula kitchen layout is what I like to call the “Almost Island” kitchen. In essence, an island is connected to the rest of the kitchen. This is a space saving design for a room that does not have enough square footage to host an island. Peninsulas may have both upper and lower cabinets oronly lower cabinets. Many peninsulas have an extended ledge on one side to serve as a breakfast nook.
- Horseshoe: This type of layout features three walls of cabinets, shelves and appliances.A horseshoe kitchen may also contain an island that acts as one of the three walls. The horseshoe layout of kitchen has a very cozy feel as it feels like its own room.
- One Wall: A one wall kitchen is the most cost effective layout type. All of the cabinets and appliances are on one wall. These types of kitchens are frequently seen in lofts and studios and often have a minimalist feel to them.
- Island: The kitchen layout of many home chefs’ dreams. The island layout is wildly popular and incredibly functional. The island portion of the kitchen may or may not have a sink, stove, dishwasher, wine cooler or more. It may have an overhang with stools to be used as a breakfast nook. If you are lucky enough to have the square footage to have an island kitchen, you are truly blessed.
- Two Island: The family that cooks together…eats together? Two islands is double the space of one and double the options! With two islands, you have an extra food preparation area and extra storage as well. This type of kitchen can be as extravagant as you wish. You may have one island for eating and one island with a stove top for cooking. Or you may have a kids’ island and an adults’ island. The options are nearly endless if you have a very large amount of space to work with and a matching budget.
Quality is king when it comes to faucets. Choose quality faucets and fixtures as defective products may take five years to show up. Cheap sliders may break, low cost hinges may tarnish and affordable cabinets may not have enough varnish on them and chip or fade.
Kitchens are more mechanical in nature than other areas of your home. For this reason you should seriously consider hiring a quality design build firm that listens to you and your spouse. Your needs and desires should be heard and suggestions should be made based on those needs and desires.
Look for a solid design build company at the very beginning so you know you can afford to build what you have paid to have designed. Having one designer and then another builder means you may have a gorgeous kitchen design that you have fallen in love with but that is too expensive for any builder to create. A quality design build company will design and build a beautiful, functional kitchen that is in your price range. They will coordinate all of the details of the project and take the stress of the renovation off of your shoulders.