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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. 

Reface or Replace?

If you’re tired of your old kitchen and want to give it a facelift, you have two options. You can replace your cabinets which can be a considerable expense when you factor in demolition, replacing the cabinets, replacing the hardware and fixing any damage done during the installation. If you’re completely remodeling your kitchen, this is the recommended choice. It allows you to start fresh, and redesign your kitchen changing the layout. This can cost you some serious money, but you end up with a new kitchen.

The second option is to reface your cabinets. This consists of using the existing cabinet boxes, occasionally including the doors and hardware, and upgrading your kitchen cabinets. This is much more budget friendly and when well, can give you a beautifully updated kitchen.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of replacement vs updating old kitchen cabinets, including exactly what the refacing process entails and the best circumstances for each option.

Updating Old Kitchen Cabinets: The Refacing Process

Refacing kitchen cabinets consists of installing new drawer fronts and cabinet doors and covering the face frames of your existing cabinet boxes with wood or plastic veneer. The entire process takes between two and four days to complete. If you are keeping your existing doors and drawer fronts, they are roughed up and refaced. The boxes are then covered with veneer and then any nail holes are filled. The cabinets can then be stained or painted if desired.

Refacing is an option if several criteria are met. First, your existing cabinet boxes must be of good quality and condition. If you live in an older home, wood cabinet boxes were generally made of higher quality than today’s cabinets. These can be good candidates for refacing. Next, it makes sense to reface your cabinets if you are happy with your current kitchen layout. Finally, refacing your cabinets is a great choice if you have a modest budget and are looking for an update at a moderate price. In fact refacing costs about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of replacing your cabinetry.

Updating Old Kitchen Cabinets: Replacement

If you’re doing a complete remodel, or if funds and time aren’t a major consideration, updating old kitchen cabinets by replacing your existing cabinets offers a great deal of flexibility and many design options. Today, there is a huge selection of both stock and custom made cabinets. The variety of materials for new cabinetry is wide ranging.

If you choose the replacement option, pay special attention to the construction, quality of materials, door and drawer hardware, and interior accessories. Costs and options can vary widely. You also need to be aware that replacement can take significantly longer and be a more involved project than a simple refacing. You will need to allow time for ordering and delivering, or if you are having cabinets custom made, build time. The process of installation includes demolition, replacement and then repairing any damage cause during the removal and installation process. In addition, your access and use of your kitchen may be impacted and extremely limited during the course of the project.

An average replacement cost is two to three times as much as refacing, but in the end, you can have exactly the kitchen you want. Replacing cabinets is a great option if you have the budget and time is not a problem, and also if you are seeking to rearrange or add to your existing layout. Finally, if your existing cabinets are structurally damaged, or you’re looking for new features like soft closing doors and drawers or a properly fitting knife block, replacement is a better option.

Whether you choose refacing or replacement for updating old kitchen cabinets, make sure you hire qualified, experienced professionals to do the work. Both options give you the opportunity to improve the look and functionality of your kitchen. While replacement offers more options, refacing offers convenience and savings, but only if the work is done correctly by a professional cabinet installer.

 

Original post here.

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

Bathroom Vanities

The second biggest project you may face in a home is a bathroom remodel. The centerpiece to a good bathroom design is the vanity. A bathroom vanity must be both beautiful and functional. Here’s a guide to what types of bathroom vanities are out there so you can figure out which one will work for you both stylistically and functionally.

One of the most simple and classic styles eliminates the vanity cabinet all together. Pedestal sinks are a simple solution for a bathroom, but leave something to be desired for your bathroom storage. A solution that combines the sleek look of a pedestal with a cabinet, would be free standing vanities or furniture style. The legs on a free standing vanity give a detailed look while the cabinet offers storage you wouldn’t get with a pedestal sink. A more traditional approach would be a simple vanity cabinet. Though they aren’t free standing, traditional vanity cabinets still have plenty to offer stylistically and functionally. Last but not least are wall mounted sinks. This can be done with or without cabinet storage below. Additionally, this is a great option for those that need wheel chair accessibility.

10 Tips For Getting Through Your Kitchen Remodel

#1 Choose a contractor you feel comfortable with. Someone you can talk to and explains the process. Little things come up during the kitchen remodel. You’ll need to have good communication with the contractor

#2 Plan on a temporary kitchen in the area with your refrigerator, coffee pot, microwave, toaster, crock pot. Like your camping out in your own house. Where can you wash things up?

#3 While you have your current kitchen make up some easy meal plans. Crock pot meals, homemade casseroles, plan foil wrapped dinners and of course check out local restaurants.

#4 Don’t forget about your pets, demolition days you may want to plan to have a plan day away from the house.

#5 Depending on how much construction must be done this can be stressful to your whole family. Plan to spend time away from home and come home to see the changes. On intense demolition days you could plan a mini staycation  at a local motel and see your city like a tourist.  

#6 Safety first. Keep pets and  children from being a concern for contractors, keep small children out of work area and away from tools while the kitchen remodel is underway.

#7 Put away valuables and breakable, this keeps them safe, and clean.

#8 Plan on a good cleaning at the conclusion of the kitchen remodel. Kitchen cabinets will get dirty inside and out during the remodel process.

#9 Pack up things up according to when you’ll need them back in your new kitchen. Ornaments and such can wait, while a priority should be on functional items.

#10 It’s an exciting time, relax and go with the disruptions and have fun with the whole process. Although the process can be stressful just think off all the fun you’ll have in your new kitchen!

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.

Cabinet Care

It is recommended that you clean the interior and exterior of your kitchen or bath cabinets once a month with a clean cloth and dry immediately with a cloth. Any spills need to be wiped up as they occur, they could soak in and leave permanent damage or discoloration to your cabinet’s finish. It is advisable to dust or vacuum panel ledges, use caution around the edge profiles and use vacuum attachments that are soft.

Paper towels are often not recommended because of their abrasiveness. The best option for wiping kitchen cabinets is a clean, soft cloth. Avoid using your dishcloth to clean or dry cabinets because they could have remnants of grease or harsh detergents. Always dry the interior and exterior of your cabinets with a clean cloth using light pressure. A common cause for damage to cabinetry is over scrubbing during maintenance which can raise the gloss and destroy the original finish.

Avoid using harsh detergents, strong soaps or any cleaners that have abrasive additives, bleach, or ammonia in them. If food or grease gets on your cabinets dampen a clean cloth with a mild soap and water mixture. Following the cleaning, rinse and wipe any existing moisture off the front and back doors of the cabinets. Liquid waxes and self-polishing waxes contain cleaners or silicone and can cause deterioration on the cabinets finish.  Furniture polish can be used if waxing is preferred. Make sure to wipe off any extra polish to avoid buildup.

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.

 

 

Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Often called “European style”, frameless cabinets have been becoming more popular in the US as of late. Typically the US market has praised kitchen cabinets with a face frame, but trends are bringing frameless into the lime light. Frameless cabinets are sometimes referred to as “full access” cabinets due to the fact that they offer up to 20% more storage space.

So how do they get away with this? Well frameless cabinets are built out of higher-grade case material. This keeps the cabinet strong while ditching the solid frame. Therefore, frameless kitchen cabinets are slightly more environmentally friendly as they use less resources. Although frameless cabinets tend to be the way to go for more modern looking kitchens they can also be used for more traditional kitchens while keeping that extra storage. Come down and talk to one of designers about making the switch to frameless cabinets!

Koch Cabinets Just Keep Getting Better!

Since starting in 1999 Koch and Co continue making improvements to their kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Keeping up with the times is important to the company. Here’s some of the things they’ve been doing to stay on trend. The finish is now applied flat lined. This results in a thicker, more durable application that’ll outlast the competitions. Since the cabinets are made in their factory making changes to keep up with current door style trends is easy to do versus those who outsource. Koch has been able to simplify cabinet construction while keeping it stronger with a ½” back, making it more durable than competitors at similar price levels. Getting rid of the middle style on wall cabinets has not only added more space and accessibility, but looks much cleaner. As far as hardware goes Koch now offers plenty of premium upgrades. Self-closing drawer guides, under mount drawer guides, concealed hinges, and soft closing hinges just to name a few.

We’re proud carry such an innovative cabinet line!