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A Few Signs You May Need to Remodel

#1: You hate being in your kitchen.

There may have been a time when you were excited to spend time cooking in your kitchen, but as a decade or two have passed you find yourself exhausted. Updated kitchen cabinets and countertops can offer not only a new look, but kitchen organization. Using a kitchen is the only way to figure out whether or not it works for you and most of us find several problems with old floor plans. A kitchen remodel would remedy this.

#2: You want to keep up with trends

A good enough reason to remodel is the simple fact that you’re a trendy person. Updated kitchen cabinets can provide a fresh feeling that is sure to “keep up with the Joneses.” A good perk of this is that it’ll also add value to your home.

#3: Your kitchen is a mess

This could happen for a couple of reasons: one being that you’re just a messy person or for a lot of us it happens because we lack adequate kitchen organization. New kitchen cabinets give you the ability to customize your organization to your needs. Moving into a house with a dated kitchen can be frustrating. Trash cans aren’t conveniently located, cabinets are hinged on the wrong side, dishwashers get in the way when open, or the floor plan simply doesn’t make sense. Several design mistakes could be present and might have you in desperate need of a remodel.

Considerations for Your Kitchen Remodel

1.     CHANGE UP YOUR LAYOUT.

The layout is the foundation of every kitchen design, and without an effective layout the best cabinets and appliances will not make your kitchen function well.  Try to imagine your kitchen as a blank slate and design it the way you want it.  You may find this requires moving the kitchen sink to a different location or re-configuring your kitchen cabinets.  Get this level of planning right and everything else will fall into place.  You will find it easier to move around in your kitchen and to peacefully co-exist with your family, friends, and guests.  You may even find with the perfect kitchen layout that you are ready to tackle new recipes or to entertain guests for a dinner or holiday party.

2.     KNOCK IT DOWN.

Maybe you find your kitchen is too small or awkwardly shaped.  While some changes can be made within the confines of your existing space, getting the kitchen design you really want may require more drastic measures.  No, we don’t mean you have to sell up and move, but you might consider making a structural change to your existing home.  Knocking down an internal wall, moving a wall, or bumping out an external wall are all options that allow you to turn a small, enclosed kitchen into an open plan space that is a dream for everything from cooking to relaxing to entertaining.  Before you pick up a sledgehammer yourself, remember that some walls contains electrical wiring or pipes, while others are load bearing walls.  Work with a kitchen design and remodeling professional that has experience in kitchen projects to make sure your project gets done right the first time.

3.     ADD MORE STORAGE.

If a key concern with your kitchen design is lack of storage, look beyond the confines of your kitchen to create more effective storage solutions.  Consider first what you need to store, the size of the items, and how frequently you use them.  If you only use your stand mixer for holidays, find it an off-season home in the basement or attic.  If, however, you have items you need to access on a more regular basis that are creating storage issues, look at the areas surrounding your kitchen for a solution.  You may have a small closet, hallway, or another space that could be re-purposed into a kitchen pantry.  To deal with kids dumping their muddy shoes and school bags in the kitchen, consider adding customized entry way or mudroom storage. 

4.     LOOK BEYOND THE KITCHEN.

Remember that your kitchen is an integral part of the functioning of your home, but it does not work alone.  What is your goal in remodeling your kitchen?  Are you trying to improve family life or make your kitchen design more conducive to entertaining?  While you are engaging a professional and embarking on a kitchen remodel it may make sense to also update your adjacent laundry room, utility room, or powder room.  Taking care of these requirements at the same time can save you time and even money, and it means you get the dream space you need rather than a sparkling new kitchen next to a dull, outdated powder room.  You home will function better and you will be ready to host amazing parties in your newly remodeled space!

On Trend: Contrasting Cabinets

Contrasting Perimeter/Island Cabinets

One of the most common ways to create a two-toned kitchen is to have a contrasting finish on the island while keeping the all the perimeter (wall) cabinets the same. We recommended keeping the perimeter cabinets light as they provide a neutral backdrop for the island finish. The kitchen island, the centerpiece of your kitchen, should be the show stopper! For a more traditional look, you can go for a warm wood stain for the island finish and pair it with a white or similar painted cabinet on the perimeter to finish the look.

Changing up the Upper and Lower Cabinets

Recently, we have seen contrasting finishes between the upper and lower cabinets. It’s a great twist to this kitchen cabinet trend! For balance, our designers recommend keeping the upper cabinets lighter in color, such as white, oyster, or light gray painted, and have the lowers be a darker shade. If you do the opposite, it looks like the upper cabinets are too heavy for the space.

Same with the design of contrasting perimeter and island finishes, you can have fun with the finish combinations. We see a lot of light painted finishes selected for the top with a darker paint or stain for the bottom cabinets, but you can also switch it up with stained finishes for a more traditional look.

What Cabinets Should you Pick?

While there are a wealth of details in cabinet design styles, they all fall into two main groups: framed and unframed. Framed cabinets, with a raised panel of wood circulating the perimeter of the face of the cabinets, offers a warm, traditional look. If you’re looking for a warm and inviting style that fits with traditional aesthetics, then framed cabinets are the way to go. Unframed cabinets, consist simply of single, sleek panels as the faces of the cabinets. These types of cabinets are excellent for conveying a modern and sophisticated style.

After you’ve decided whether you want to go traditional or modern, the next step is to choose the material your cabinets will be constructed from. If you’re looking at wooden cabinets, then maple, cherry, oak, and pine are all gorgeous choices that won’t put too large of a strain on your wallet. If you have a bigger budget, then you may want to consider ebony, walnut, or bamboo for a more custom look. Many modern frameless cabinets are made of synthetic materials. Materials like glass, laminate, and lacquer. These materials offer more flexible and unique styles. If you’re looking to create a modern kitchen that stands out and impresses your guests, then looking into these modern materials will be beneficial.

Many homeowners do not require any sort of custom design in their kitchens. However, there are many others who find that the design of custom kitchen cabinets fits their lifestyle better and makes working in the kitchen much easier. Of course, custom kitchen cabinets will cost more than the regular stock cabinets, but if you have room in your budget, it’s definitely worth the expense for all the trouble it will save.

Questions for your Contractor

Although kitchen and bath cabinets along with countertops are a huge part of your kitchen remodel having a contractor that you trust is incredibly important for the remodel to go smoothly. Below we’ve gathered some questions to ask your contractor before signing on with them:

1. How long have you been in the home building and remodeling business?

2. Who is on your staff? – Are they a full-service company, or do they sub-contract elements of the job?

3. If they use subs, who are your sub-contractors?– For example plumbers, electricians, tile work, etc.

4. Will I have a project manager on-site or is there a particular contact within the company? – You want a single point person if you have questions that need immediate answers!

5. How do you handle change orders? – The approval process, additional fees, timelines, etc.

6. What is your payment procedure, how often do you invoice? – Deposit, milestone payments, monthly, bi-monthly payments, etc.

7. Will you itemize your estimate? – Ask for an itemized list include demolition, framing and finish work, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc. Is your bid an estimate or a fixed cost? Make sure you know before you sign a contract.

8. Can you provide references? Ask for three.

9. Has your company built any projects/homes like this one?

10. Are you fully licensed, bonded and insured?

11. Why are you interested in our project, what are your qualifications? A project goes much more smoothly if you have a connection with your contractor. Personality and rapport is important!

What To Ask A Remodeling Contractor About Your Project:
12. What is our specific project schedule? – Don’t begin a project without a detailed timeline including days and times workers will be on site and what tasks are to be accomplished by a specific date.

13. How will you protect my home and property? – Have this conversation before anything happens! Make sure that your contractor will seal rooms for dust, ask who will move large items and remove books, art etc..

14. What’s the best way to communicate if I have concerns? – Email, phone, text, make sure you have a way to get in touch, immediately if necessary!.

15. Is there something that concerns you about my project? – Ask this early. Hidden surprises can blow up a budget. Ask your contractor if there may be hidden issues and what it might cost to remedy them.

16. How will you let me know if there’s a decision to be made? – There are decisions that happen throughout a project. Make sure you have a clear method and timetable for making critical decisions.

17. Can I reach you after hours? – Make sure you can get in touch at any time. Pipes break, stuff happens! Make sure you can reach your contractor if an emergency happens after hours.

18. Will you need me to be available regularly to meet? – Some contractors like to have a weekly meeting to go over progress. For example, when the electrical boxes are set and can lights are placed to check placement before wires are run.

19. What documentation will I receive upon completion? – Ask about “end of project” paperwork. You should receive lien releases, marked up plans with as-built like electrical and utilities showing shut offs, copies of permits and inspection reports, list of subs and contact info, etc. Knowing what you’ll receive before you start, will make sure you have everything you need at the end of the job! Include all appliance manuals, warranties, and care information!

20. What type of warranty do you provide on your work and how long is it covered? – Most contractors offer warranties on their work, Ask your contractor what they will stand behind, how long they will cover their work, and what happens after the warranty is up!

 

When letting someone into your Omaha home to install your new cabinets and countertops getting a person trustworthy is key to the success of your remodel. Here at Cabinet Factory Outlet we have a list of contractors we can refer you to. We’ve been working with these guys for years and would be happy to help you find the right contractor for your kitchen or bath remodel. 

Pros and Cons of Common Kitchen Floor Plans

Every kitchen remodeling is unique regarding the aesthetic needs of the homeowner. Cabinets, appliances, flooring, tile, and countertops may be specific to each home, but kitchen designers typically stick to design templates concerning kitchen floor plan layouts.

These floor plans have become standardized specifically because they offer homeowners the most efficient use of space for their particular remodeling situations. Of course, there are often design variations within specific plans, but for this topic, let/s explore the pros and cons of the five most common kitchen floor plan shapes.

The L-Shaped Kitchen

The L-shaped kitchen is a well-established design whose ergonomics make it a sensible and popular choice for many homeowners. What makes it work is that it supports the kitchen work triangle with specific preparation, cooking and clean-up areas. The L-shape is a perfect choice for smaller kitchen spaces that cannot fit an island into the design or are not large enough to accommodate a “G-shaped” design.

The L-shape design is timeless and works well in any aesthetic style or décor. The shape refers to the floor plan layout where the kitchen design is built into a corner where two walls form a perpendicular angle, where one wall is at least twice as long as the other.

G-Shaped or Peninsula Kitchen Floor Plan

The G-shaped or peninsula kitchen is the term used to describe a situation where cabinetry includes a prep-area peninsula and four walls of storage. It got its name because this design resembles the letter “G” on a blueprint grid.

This design is an extension of the “U-shaped” kitchen and is often a logical upgrade for those homeowners who already have the U-shaped kitchen cabinetry installed. A G-shaped kitchen increases the number of base cabinets included in the design, and this increases storage space along with a more streamlined cooking area.

This design is popular not only for the increase in storage but also the facility offered to the home chef, surrounding them with a variety of close countertop options for prep and immediate access to cooking tools and supplies. The extra counter space is reachable during the entire food preparation process and can make preparing complex meals more efficient. It’s a great design for prep, cooking, and clean-up with all stations conveniently accessible to the central area of the kitchen. The peninsula or G-shaped kitchen offers a tighter countertopconfiguration that is perfect for larger kitchens.

The U-Shaped or Horseshoe Shaped Kitchen

The horseshoe or U-shaped kitchen features cabinets and appliances lining three walls. It’s an efficient design that is perfect for freeing up floor space in the kitchen.

The U-shaped kitchen maximizes wall space by using the walls for cabinets and appliances. The nature of the design makes it easy for the home chef to access various areas of the kitchen without needing to cross the room. If the existing kitchen doesn’t allow for three walls to be used, an island can serve the same function. The U-shaped kitchen works in many different kitchen styles, and the size of the space is not a determining factor. When designing the space, make sure to place your most used appliances within a single working triangle. This will allow you to use the space efficiently.

One Wall Kitchen Floor Plan

This design is built along a single wall. It’s typically found in smaller homes and efficiency or studio apartments and is used to conserve floor space and lower construction costs.

A one wall kitchen has all of the cabinets, countertops, and appliances built along one wall. This means that the homeowner must perform all of the tasks associated with cooking in a single space. Because of the limited space, a one wall kitchen will often contain smaller appliances like a compact refrigerator or range. These appliances are typically separated by the sink. Modern one wall designs will often feature an island located directly across from the wall which allows the chef more space to work. While this design does offer limited options, it does have benefits. A one wall kitchen allows the homeowner to prepare, cook, and clean-up in a single compact space which is very convenient. This layout has become more popular recently with owners who have plenty of space, yet want their kitchen to have a more open feel.

Galley or Corridor Kitchen

A galley kitchen is perfect for homes with a smaller space for a kitchen, which features more length than width. Regarding space, galley kitchens are economical but can be inefficient if not thoughtfully designed. This style is found in many apartments. While most homeowners would prefer more space, it’s important to understand that the galley kitchen is the choice of most restaurants and professional chefs because it can be an extremely efficient design if a proper kitchen triangle incorporated.

A galley kitchen works best when outfitted with open shelving and less cabinetry. Closed cabinetry can visually shrink the space and give it a more confined look and feel. A popular addition to the galley kitchen is a pass-through window to facilitate moving food from the kitchen to the dining area efficiently. Galley kitchen designs are cramped, but the can be incredibly functional if you carefully plan your design.

Your kitchen designer or design-build team can offer you more options regarding layouts for these five favorite designs. It is important when planning a kitchen remodel and choosing a floor plan, that you make sure to take your lifestyle and space needs into account. Chances are, you’ll find your perfect floor plan design in one of these five popular options

Original Post: https://www.toulmincabinetry.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-common-kitchen-floor-plan-shapes-described

Cabinets and Humidity

When humidity conditions are high, which they can be here in Omaha, wood will absorb moisture and swell or expand. To avoid problems, it is recommended that relative humidity be maintained within a range of 35%-50%. Expansion and contraction of the kitchen and bath cabinetry often results from improper humidity levels during site storage, installation, or use. All solid wood is hygroscopic, meaning that when it is exposed to air it will release or pick up moisture until it is in equilibrium with the humidity and temperature climate. As humidity levels increase, wood products will expand due to moisture in the air. In a dry climate home with no humidifier, wood will shrink and expose gaps at the joints. Wood can expand and contract depending on the moisture content, but it does not always move equally or in the same direction. Larger cabinet doors are more prone to warping and center panels may also be affected by shrinkage. Although some cabinets have finishes on them, they will still take in moisture through contact with liquid or absorption through the air. This movement may cause hairline fractures in cabinets or drawers where the wood is joined.

Examples of humidity imbalance include swollen cabinet doors or drawer fronts, butt doors which no longer close properly, door or drawer front panel expansion or contraction, joint separation especially in mitered doors and bowing of rails and stiles. Some hardwoods, such as cherry and maple, are more sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Raw or unfinished wood can also show effects of humidity. Small lines in the finish may appear at joinery points if cabinetry is in unstable humidity conditions.

               The best way to balance humidity in your home is to make sure that you are consistently running air conditioning, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers if needed to help maintain proper levels of moisture; 35%-50%. During storage of your cabinets, keep them in a room temperature space with temperatures anywhere between 60 and 90 degrees. Before installing your new cabinets, bring them into the space they are going to be installed so the cabinets have time to acclimate to the temperature and environment. Check with manufacturer to ensure that you are keeping your cabinets at the proper level of humidity for their specific cabinets.

Laminate Countertops and Our Shop

Being one of the few kitchen dealers in Omaha with an in house shop, we’re able to bring you laminate countertops at a great price. Marissa is our shop tech and she takes great pride in her craftsmanship. Laminate countertops could be the addition to your Omaha home that brings everything together. Formica and Wilsonart now offer more patterns for your countertops that are more realistic than ever. Wilsonart offers Wilsonart HD with etchings that mimic natural stone to bring you convincing look at a low price. Furthermore a variety of edge profiles give you more of an opportunity to personalize your kitchen or bathroom. Having an in house shop we’re able to get you your laminate countertops in approximately a week, depending on the intensity of the project. Come on in to Cabinet Factory Outlet, Plus for a quote to make some life changing improvements to your Omaha home.

 

 

Our New Designers!

Amber and Dana have recently joined our kitchen design team! We’re happy to have them aboard, here’s a bit about them:

Amber Evenson grew up in Wisconsin where she went to school and graduated with a degree in Interior Design. After traveling the world, she has settled down making Omaha her new home. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and the outdoors. Her favorite part of kitchen design is helping people understand how they use their space, and creating kitchens they will love for years to come.

Dana graduated from Iowa State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design.  She has made her career in kitchen and bath design for over 35 years. She enjoys keeping up on trends in the industry through the educational articles and programs provided by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  In 1995 she received her Certification as a kitchen designer from the NKBA, since then she has actively participated on the board of officers for the Nebraska/Kansas Chapter of NKBA.  Dana’s attention to detail transforms dreams into reality, you can be confident that your project will be efficient as well as beautiful.  “I love kitchen design, because every case is different and poses new design challenges to overcome.”