FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q-  I have an average size kitchen, how much should I budget for remodeling costs?

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:

  • Using LED or CF lighting will dramatically reduce your electrical load, and will also help keep your home cooler and increase the efficiency of your air conditioner.
  • Using engineered lumber such as plywood, oriented strandboard (OSB) panels, engineered floor and roof joists and structural insulated panels (SIP’s) reduce or eliminate the need for dimensional lumber. This helps preserve our forests as engineered lumber is usually constructed from young, replanted forests, NOT from old-growth timber.
  • Use floor and finish materials made from concrete or clay instead of hardwood.
  • Employ solar (PV) panels which generate electricity and offset what you draw off of the grid. Everyday, solar panels get cheaper, reducing the time required for pay back.
  • Use reflective roofing or roof coatings to help reduce A/C loads in hot summer months.
  • Consider a greywater recovery and reuse system. Water is NOT an unlimited commodity. Recover, filter and reuse greywater wherever possible.

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.

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 4-8 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.  
Presently, we are averaging about 4-5 weeks for a kitchen remodel from the date we start 
to the date we finish.  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 kicthen 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 fizzures, cracks and viens.
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:
 Using LED or CF lighting will dramatically reduce your electrical load, and will also 
help keep your home cooler and increase the efficiency of your air conditioner.  
 Using engineered lumber such as plywood, oriented strandboard (OSB) panels, 
engineered floor and roof joists and structural insulated panels (SIP’s) reduce or 
eliminate the need for dimensional lumber.  This helps preserve our forests as 
engineered lumber is usually constructed from young, replanted forests, NOT from 
old-growth timber.
 Use floor and finish materials made from concrete or clay instead of hardwood.
 Employ solar (PV) panels which generate electricity and offset what you draw off of 
the grid.  Everyday, solar panels get cheaper, reducing the time required for pay 
back.  
 Use reflective roofing or roof coatings to help reduce A/C loads in hot summer 
months.
 Consider a greywater recovery and reuse system.  Water is NOT an unlimited 
commodity.  Recover, filter and reuse greywater wherever possible.
Q-  Why is “green” technology so much more expensive than standard construction?
Answer:  Until such time as supply catches up with demand, 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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