FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q- I have an average size kitchen, how much should I budget for remodeling costs?
Answer: Kitchen remodels can run between $30,000 to $120,000 depending upon your selection of cabinets, flooring, countertops and appliances. If budgets are tight, consider using RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets from a quality manufacturer. Many RTA cabinets are very good quality and use all hardwood ply construction, soft close hinges and drawer guides and solid hardwood doors and frames. If a layouts allow, try using pre-fabricated granite or quartzite countertops wherever possible. When constructing a kitchen, labor is the single-most expensive commodity. Reducing labor costs by carefully selecting materials, fixtures and surfaces can greatly reduce remodeling costs.
Q- How long should my new kitchen or bathroom take to construct?
Answer: That depends a lot upon the amount of design changes or structural alterations required. It also depends a lot upon how prepared you as the consumer are when going to contract. Typically, it takes between 4-5 weeks for an average kitchen, and 3-4 weeks for an average bath. Once we start a project, we work everyday until it is completed. If you are ordering custom cabinets, these can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to fabricate and deliver. Making sure all design, fixture and material selections are made prior to starting demolition is always the best plan. I don’t like to start a kitchen or bath project until I either have all materials on site, or know EXACTLY the day they are being delivered. This reduces down-time and delays due to not having materials, fixtures or supplies on hand.
Q- Do you have any referrals you can provide?
Answer: YES! Please take a look at my client testimonials posted on this site. If prior to going to contract you need to talk to any of my prior customers, I can arrange that.
Q- Are you licensed, insured and bonded?
Answer: YES! I am a licensed and bonded general contractor and carry full liability and workman’s compensation insurance.
Q- Will you work with my insurance company to help settle my claim?
Answer: YES! I have been doing major insurance repairs (fire/flood/earthquake) since 1980. I will represent you as your contractor, and work with any insurance company to help expedite the best settlement possible. We use Xactimate, an industry-standard estimating system and database to make sure our pricing stays within accepted industry guidelines. Because I understand the insurance estimating and repair process, I can help streamline the handling of your claim so that repairs can start quickly.
Q- What’s the difference between custom, modular and RTA cabinetry?
Answer: Custom cabinets are designed and built specifically for each installation. Many times custom cabinets may be the only solution when existing site conditions will not allow for the use of modular cabinets. This is usually due to non-standard dimensions, ceiling or soffit heights or depths found in many older homes. Custom cabinets always come unfinished, and require all trim, crown, toe-kicks and moldings to be finished to match. Modular cabinets consist of upper, lower and full height (pantry or oven) cabinets which are normally pre-finished, and use standardized dimensions. Modular cabinets come in many different wood species and finishes. After measurement, a design is completed that maximizes the best use of space using available modular cabinet units. Filler panels are added as needed to give the look of custom cabinetry at a much reduced cost.
RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets are the hottest trend in kitchens. They are inexpensive, and readily available. RTA’s are usually manufactured oversees in large factories. Cabinets are shipped flat in boxes, and are assembled on site by qualified installers. Many RTA’s are constructed using all-hardwood plywood box construction. Beware of boxes or frames that utilize MDF or particle board construction. The frames eventually fail, and end quality is many times lacking.
Q- What is the difference between granite, marble, quartz and travertine floors and countertops? Which is best?
Answer: We love working with all kinds of natural stone. Each variety of stone has its own character, advantages and disadvantages. But beware! Using the wrong stone in the wrong location can be a disaster.
QUARTZ is one of the hardest known minerals known to man, second only to diamonds in hardness. This makes quartz perfect for countertops as it is extremely strong and resistant to heat, chipping, scratching and stains. Quartz is harder to fabricate, and thus generally more expensive than granite or marble. Since most quartz materials are man-made, slabs
are always consistent with each other in size, thickness, density and coloration.
GRANITE comes in thousands of colors, patterns and styles. Granite is an igneous(volcanic) stone and is very hard making it perfect for countertops and flooring. It has a high resistance to stains, is easy to re-polish or resurface if it gets scratched. Granite slabs cost from a few hundred dollars each (for “tropical” granites) to several thousand dollars each for exotics. Granite must be “sealed” to ensure dirt, oil or food does not penetrate into its many fissures, cracks and veins.
MARBLE, TRAVERTINE and LIMESTONE- unlike granite, marble, travertine and limestone are quarried from sedimentary rock. This allows for great consistency from slab-to-slab as marble quarries can span hundreds of acres and marble deposits can be hundreds of feet thick. Marble is softer than granite and very porous, making it a poor choice for kitchen countertops. It is mainly used for flooring, usually in the form of tile, but marble is also used in many bathrooms, showers and walls. Marble must be carefully sealed as it will absorb dirt, oils and moisture. Once sealed, it is easy to keep clean and maintained.
Q- What is “green” building, and how can I integrate green technology into my home remodel project?
Answer: There are many ways to employ green, renewable or sustainable resources into any project. Here are a few:
Q- Why is “green” technology so much more expensive than standard construction?
Answer: Until such time as consumer demand increases, green construction will continue to be higher than traditional methodologies. Little by little, the cost of green products is coming down. Photovoltaic electrical panels (PV- solar electric) used to cost hundreds of dollars per panel. Demand, combined with manufacturing efficiencies has brought down the cost of PV panels by 80% over the past six years. As consumers continue to demand more green products and materials, the cost of these will continue to fall. At some point, green materials will become the industry standard, and old archaic building methods (like stick framing) will be forever replaced with renewable, sustainable technologies.
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