Clippings by casey.1234

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RE: GC fee - Is this normal?! (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: GreenDesigns on 12.22.2011 at 03:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

11K is low for a kitchen with 11K worth of appliances. As a rule of thumb, in a redo with no changes, the cabinets should be 50% of your kitchen budget (5% of your home's cost) and appliances around 25%. With the average kitchen redo approaching 40K, that would mean that 20K worth of cabinets is about average in an average 400K house. So you might want to look at how your choices work with the neighborhood values because you do not want to be significantly under or over what your neighbors have.

As far as your quote goes, I also find that low if that includes all of the kitchen components. If that's just for the structural changes and plumbing and electrical associated with the kitchen remodel, then it's probably about right if you are in a medium to higher priced labor market. You've got to get at least 2-4 more quotes though.

This is a very involved project, as the drywall has to come off of the downstairs room, and the new floor joists tied into the framing at the correct level and the existing walls reinforced and the foundation under those walls will potentially need to have footings engineered to carry the additional weight. A structural engineer will need to be consulted to be design this. Then, once the joists are in, the HVAC will need to be reengineered to deliver the proper heating and cooling in a pressure balanced manner. New electrical will need to be run in the walls, a closet created, and then drywall hung and flooring laid.
And then there's all of the other structural issues that you are having done, plus a complete kitchen remodel. You'd better stock up that liquor cabinet now!


Our kitchen.
clipped on: 12.23.2011 at 11:37 am    last updated on: 12.23.2011 at 11:37 am

RE: What is essential to include in remodel contracts? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bill_g_web on 11.25.2011 at 11:30 am in Remodeling Forum

FWIW, here's an article I wrote on contracts based on 4 interviews, a lawyer friend, 2 contractors and an architetct as well as some research/reading.

It's about contracts but attempts to show that knowledge of the remodeling process, hiring a good contractor with excellent references and communicating well are what will make for a good experience.


clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 05:00 pm    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 05:00 pm

Kitchen Remodel Cabinet and Island Suggestions!!

posted by: casey.1234 on 11.27.2011 at 01:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am so glad I came across this website! Looking through older posts and getting insight on things that I hadn't thought of for our upcoming remodel has been very helpful. I was hoping to get some feedback on our current plans, especially in regards to the kitchen.

Our bottom floor "great room" encompasses the living room/entry way, dining room, and kitchen. Together, this rectangular space totals roughly 42 ft by 23 ft. Currently we have four structural columns that define the dining room. We planned on keeping the two remaining columns close to the kitchen to cut costs, and have tried to incorporate them into the island (See Floor Plans).

There is a fear that we are creating too large of a space between the counter space and island. If you consider the two posts as the "end" of the kitchen, the kitchen is roughly 11 ft x 24 ft. We have purchased a slab of granite for the island that has the dimensions (after taking into account for scraps) of 116 in. x 67 in. The problem is this - if you incorporate the posts with the 116 in. x 67 in. island, that leaves roughly 60 in. between the island and the counters along the wall. Is that too large of a space and if so, does anyone have any thoughts, insights or alternatives? Do you think it would be worth the cost to remove the remaining two columns considering we would have to cut costs elsewhere?

Also, the cabinetry along the wall is almost 20 feet and will be a mixture of closed and windowed cabinets, open shelving, etc. Is this too much cabinetry? We considered adding a window but the window would face a golf course and so it would have to be expensive unbreakable glass. Does anyone know of other alternatives for this space?

(note - in the attached first floor plan, we are dealing with a blank canvas. All cabinetry, flooring, built in desk, and the three french doors are all part of the remodel so any feedback is welcome.)

1st Floor Plans


clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 11:07 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 11:07 am

Finished Kitchen creamy white, lacanche, calacatta

posted by: tearose21 on 07.13.2009 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Posted earlier but pictures were too small. Hope this works.



clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 10:03 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 10:03 am

Finished pics - Creamy white, stained island

posted by: marmoreus on 01.25.2011 at 11:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is long overdue (we finished at the end of last August), but I wanted to thank all you Kitchen forum members for the great help. Thank you, thank you!!! I've really appreciated all the great information on this site. It has been such a helpful resource as we built a house for the first time.

On to the pictures.







So far the kitchen is working out really well for us. Other than not loving the performance of my wall oven, I am happy with how it all turned out.

The details:

Perimeter cabinets: Decora (Chantille finish on maple)
Island cabinets: Sorrento (Hermosa finish on alder)
Backsplash: Walker Zanger Gramercy Park (Heirloom White and Pipe Smoke)
Granite on perimeter: Antiqued Nordic Black (love this!)
Granite on Island: Alaskan White
Pendant lights: Schoolhouse Electric
Knobs & pulls: Amerock Highland Ridge
Barstools: Restoration Hardware (bought during Friends & Family sale--20% off--yay!)
Wall color: BM Revere Pewter
Flooring: walnut w/ Waterlox finish
Sink: Shaw's farmhouse sink
Sink faucet/soap dispenser: Danze Opulence
Range: NXR
Wall oven: Kitchenaid
Fridge: Bosch
Dishwasher: paneled Bosch
Micro: cheapo GE

Thanks again!


clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 10:01 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 10:01 am

Finished Finished! Rancher Remodel, dark to light! (tons pix)

posted by: firsthouse_mp on 06.28.2010 at 02:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are done, we are moved in.....after 17mos living with my mom and enduring living out of cardboard boxes! Love love love my new kitchen!! Thank you to all of you who deeply inspired me (redroze,elizpiz,rm,theanimala,segbrown,many many more!), and I hope you don't mind that there's a piece of each of your kitchens that I copied because I admired it so much. I learned so much by lurking, reading everything then finally posting.

--Our cabinets were so reasonable and they work beautifully. We LOVE Precision Cabinets! Their install was immaculate and perfect. When we had a glitch with the warming drawer, they fixed it perfectly! While I couldn't afford every "bell & whistle" inside the cabinets, I love them.
--White Princess honed. It's gorgeous and I no longer have the OCD urge to constantly wipe my counters (our old granite was polished). I also love my backsplash done in the same material--I am attracted to visual simplicity so couldn't pick a tile :)
--Cheap dishwasher. Paid $500 and we love it.
--Deep cheap sinks. Our main Ebay sink is awesome($500)! Love the 10" big single bowl. The island sink was cheap too, and is the perfect size, $150.
--White everywhere and one big room. Not for everyone, but my DH and I love the big open light-filled room. Far cry from the dark rancher that it was. We tore down two walls and raised the ceiling.
--The soapstone buffet. It was a remnant piece and I love that it doesn't match the rest of the kitchen. Sets it apart and boy does the texture feel nice!
--The papertowel niche. Not important, but I like that the towels are off my counter and totally accessible.
--The two hidden cabinets in the island near the stools. All my Xmas dishes, Thanksgiving platters and everything fit in here!

--The Vent Hood: Modernaire was a NIGHTMARE to deal with here in the NorCal area. You have to go through a distributor who will upcharge you $2,000 to order a hood. Modernaire won't sell directly to anyone who is in the area of one of their distributors. The rep here was a complete idiot, ripped me off and in the end didn't deliver what I had ordered. I had to then hire someone else to fix the goofs. Not worth it!

--Order our range through AJ Madison. Total pain to get this stove delivered. The rest of our appliances came without a hitch but the delivery of the range was a disaster. They refused to deliver it until we had a concrete pathway, but our city had some issues with solid pathways and the runoff, etc. Had 4 delivery dates and they turned around each time and refused to bring it in the house. In the end I would have purchased this through our local store (there was no discount on this by buying on internet, unlike the other appliances).

--Help me pick kitchen table chairs! Those pictured are folding chairs for holidays. Our old ones were falling apart, so we ditched them in the move. What should I put there?
--Shades ordered and we are waiting for them to come and be hung.
--The stools (CB2 Vapor) are too tall and we need to have the legs cut down. They only come in 30" or 24" and one is too tall and the other is too short. Sigh.

CabinetryPrecision Cabinets, Brentwood, CA; painted in stock color which matches Simply White
WallsBM Simply White
Kitchen CountersWhite Princess granite, from DaVinci Marble & Stone in San Carlos, CA, with 2.25" mitred square edge
Buffet CounterBrazilian Black soapstone from Texeira, SF, with no edge finish
Door and Drawer PullsTop Knobs, Square Pulls, Polished Chrome; ordered off the internet
Main SinkEbay purchase 36" SS Farmhouse w/apron front , single bowl, flushmount
Island SinkDawn 19X17 single bowl, undermount
Main FaucetBlanco Meridien Semi-Professional in Brushed
Island FaucetSantec Penza pull out in Brushed
RefrigeratorElectrolux WaveTouch; ordered off
DishwasherWhirlpool Gold Quiet Partner III; ordered from AJ Madison
Microwave DrawerSharp 24"; ordered from AJ Madison
RangeViking Range w/6 burners and griddle; ordered from AJ Madison
Hood Modernaire custom hood
Trash CompactorGE Profile in SS; ordered from AJ Madison
Warming DrawerKitchenaid Architect Series II; ordered off; panel from cabinet co.
BacksplashWhite Princess granite
Flooring-DuChateau pre-engineered floors in Lugano
Big Slider DoorCustom made 10 bypass doors by McFarland Doors, w/custom screen
Island PendantsHudson Valley Pelham 13" ordered from Butler Lighting
Breakfast Table PendantRound 26" linen chandelier by Restoration Hardware
Buffet SconcesBoston Library Sconces by

Before Remodel
Family room:Before Remodel
Before Remodel



clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 09:58 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 09:59 am

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

posted by: jbrodie on 03.01.2009 at 06:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the day would come, and boy am I enjoying it. I owe so much to this forum. I can't tell you how much you all helped me. Thank you!!! I hope I can help others in return.

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

Quick description (feel free to contact me if you have questions)
-Soapstone: Julia
-Cabinets: Custom, inset/flush shaker style with single bead (waiting to see if we get some issues resolved before I recommend the cabinet maker)
-Bookcase and desk tops: walnut
-Sharp microwave oven drawer (love it!)
-GE fridge
-Shaw 30 inch apron sink
-Wolf range top
-Thermador double ovens
-Vent-a-hood hood
-Dal tile
-potfiller: Newport Brass
-hot/cold faucet Newport Brass
-Main faucet: Mico
-Door to garage: one panel painted with chalkboard! The kids love this and it's fun to put messages to guests, each other, holiday wishes, etc.
-Pull out baskets (love these...I keep bread in one and potatoes, onions, etc. in the other)
-Wine shelf--love it!
-Bar stools from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (love these and they were so reasonable!)
-What would I do differently? More than 12 inch overhang on seating area of island (maybe 14-16 inch). And I might skip the bead board in the backs of the bookshelfs and glass cabs.

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 09:52 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 09:52 am

RE: Contractor late fees - need advice! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: melissastar on 12.20.2011 at 07:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

Having just finally finished the legal and emotional battle that ensued when my 3 month renovation turned into a one-year-plus renovation, some words of advice:

1) Reread your contract carefully. What does it provide, if anything, for legal remedies? Does it require binding arbitration? Are you entitled to late fees? Does it have a date certain for finish? What were the provisions for when you were to pay and how much? Are you entitled to fire him and with what kind of notice?

You say you haven't paid him for the last part of the you're ahead? In other words, if you were to fire him and you paid him for only what he has done now, would you have enough left to pay someone else to finish?

2) You MAY be able to insist on a contract amendment specifying a date certain for finishing and imposing a late fee from then on. But unless it was in your contract to begin with, you probably can't collect or deduct them retroactively. And you can try to negotiate a fair deduction with him and write it up as a contract amendment. Otherwise though, he can sue you or put a lien on your house...something you don't want to have happen.

3)Search online for your state's rules about licensing and home improvement contracts. Find out if he has broken any of those rules.

4) If you are talking about a significant amount of money, consult a lawyer.

5) If you are 95% done and you haven't paid him more than 50%, he has all the incentive in the world to finish promptly. And frankly...compared to my story and some others, you're not in bad shape at all. You might want to just urge him to get done, heave a sigh of relief and try to forget about it.

Best of luck


clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 09:42 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 09:42 am

RE: Suggestions on paint color for walls of white kitchen (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: breezygirl on 11.03.2011 at 02:48 am in Kitchens Forum

I couldn't get into your album. My cabs are Simply White also. Don't you love the color?

If your BR is gray like I think of the typical in my head, how about accenting that with your wall color? BM Nimbus is a very pretty light gray. BM Revere Pewter is a popular light greige that might work also.

Is the kitchen open to other rooms with colors that should be taken into account? What general direction were you leaning?


Simply White-bm
clipped on: 12.18.2011 at 10:29 am    last updated on: 12.18.2011 at 10:30 am

RE: Can anyone identify this Hood (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: clinresga on 12.15.2011 at 10:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

It's a fairly generic design these days and I suspect many manufacturers could reproduce it. However, I'd suggest this is an exact match:

Check this hood out

Same hood with different trim

The PS15 is a "stock" hood from Modernaire, but they are a small outfit and they can customize hoods exactly to your requirements, so you could start with a PS15 and then ask them to change materials, finishes, types of trim, etc to get exactly what you want. But the PS15 is pretty close stock out of the box.


clipped on: 12.17.2011 at 09:49 am    last updated on: 12.17.2011 at 09:49 am

A Few Things to Know/Keep in Mind (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 03.25.2011 at 03:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Aisles widths...are determined by measuring counter edge-to-counter edge, not cabinet-to-cabinet (unless there's no counter, of course!)

    For appliances, measure from the part that sticks out the furthest (usually the handle...this info is contained in appliance specs).

  • Seating overhang...for counter-height seating should be a minimum of 15" (I think you already have that, and more, but I thought I'd mention it just in case you don't...and for anyone just lurking and reading this thread to learn more!)

    BTW...if you put decorative doors on the back of the island, they will take away approx 1" from the overhang.

  • Walkways....In a seating area, 36" of clearance from counter/table edge to wall/obstruction if no traffic passes behind seated diners. 65" of total clearance when this includes a walkway (i.e., traffic). [From the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines With Access Standards]

  • There are three primary work zones...Prep Zone (70% of kitchen work/time), Cooking Zone (10% of kitchen work/time), and Cleanup Zone (20% of kitchen work/time)

    Of these, the Prep & Cooking Zones work best when either next to each other or across from each other, but across no more than a 48" aisle.

    The Cleanup Zone usually works best if it's separated from the Prep & Cooking Zones. Sometimes that means different parts of the kitchen (usually with a prep sink in the Pep Zone), other times it means the only sink in the kitchen separates them...Prep & Cooking Zones on one side of the sink, Cleanup Zone with DW on the other side of the sink.

  • Trash & recycle best in the Prep Zone, near the Cooking Zone, and, if only one and possible, near the Cleanup Zone. Far more trash & recyclables are generated while prepping and cooking than while cleaning up. So, if you have to choose, put the trash & recycle in the Prep Zone instead of the Cleanup Zone. (That's the biggest mistake I made, I put it in the Cleanup Zone across a 6' aisle from the Prep's my biggest regret by far in my kitchen.]

  • Prep sinks...should be no smaller than 12" x 12"...and bigger is better - I recommend no less than 15" in each direction, 18" would be better, IMHO. Anything smaller is not very useful for prepping. Those smaller sinks are often called "bar sinks" b/c they're really only big enough for filling a glass with water or dumping a glass. They're not big enough to clean veggies/fruit or empty a colander.

  • Zone protection...strive to protect the Cooking Zone from traffic - both through-traffic as well as in-kitchen traffic. While cooking, you are dealing with very hot pots/pans/food and you don't want to be tripping over or dodging traffic, open DW doors, etc. This usually means putting the Cooking Zone in the most "secluded" area...but not always, it depends on the workflow in your design.

  • Work/Landing Space...Be sure you have adequate work and landing space near/around appliances and in zones. Sometimes skimping is required when it's a small kitchen, but your kitchen is not small.

    [The following items are from the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines With Access Standards]

    • Prep Zone...36" continuous countertop at least 16" deep for the preparation center, and be immediately adjacent to a water source.

    • Cooking Zone...See Cooktop/Range

    • Cleanup Zone...See "Sink (Only or Cleanup Sink)"

    • Sink (Only or Cleanup Sink)...At least 24" of counter frontage to one side of the primary sink, and 18" on the other side (including corner sink applications) with the 24" counter frontage at the same counter height as the sink. The minimum allowable space from corner to the edge of the primary sink is 3".

    • Sink (Prep)...At least 3" of countertop frontage on one side of secondary sinks, and 18" on the other side (including corner sink applications) with the 18" counter frontage at the same counter height as the sink.

    • Refrigerator...At least 15" counter space on the latch side of the refrigerator or on either side of a side-by-side, or at least 15" of landing space no more than 48" across from the refrigerator. If an oven is next to refrigerator, refrigerator should be the one placed next to available countertop.

    • Cooktop/Range...Open-ended kitchen: at least 9" of counter space on one side of the cooking surface and 15" on the other, at the same counter height as the appliance. Enclosed kitchen: at least 3" of clearance at an end wall protected by flame retardant material; 15" on the other side of the appliance, at the same counter height as the appliance. Countertop should extend a minimum of 9" behind the cooking surface, at the same counter height as the appliance, in any instance where there is not an abutting wall/backsplash.


      • Experiences here have shown us this is actually too little for an island or peninsula setup or when the cooktop/range is at the end of a cabinet run. For safety reasons, you need at least 18" on each side and 18" behind if there is no seating behind the cooktop/range, 24" behind if there is seating.
      • For functionality, at least 24" on each side is better, regardless of location of cooktop/range. This space can be shared with the Prep Zone on one side.
      • In the case of a range/cooktop next to a door or wall, check your local Codes, they may dictate more space b/w the door or wall and cooktop/range.]

    • Ovens (Wall)...At least 15" of landing space, at least 16" deep, next to or above oven if it opens into a primary traffic pattern. If it does not open into a traffic area, at least 15" x 16" of landing space needed [(i.e., it can be across or next to it)].

    • MW...At least 15" of landing space, a minimum of 16" deep, above, below, or adjacent to a microwave oven

    • Combined countertop for 2 adjacent locations...For two adjacent work centers, determine the longest of the two required counter lengths and add 12".


clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 02:30 pm    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 02:30 pm

more pics (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: threegraces on 12.14.2011 at 11:48 am in Kitchens Forum



clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 12:09 pm    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 12:09 pm

RE: Me again, back with another layout (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: threegraces on 12.14.2011 at 11:41 am in Kitchens Forum

Here's a new layout to view. I wanted additional storage and did not care if I lost the double door to the backyard (down to a single) since we're planning on building a mudroom off of that door eventually. That little pony wall the KD put in to hid the fact that the panel will have a seam due to the height of the ceilings. I'm actually ok with that because I do think it gives the entry a somewhat separate feel which will be nice until said mudroom gets built (could be a looong time). The KD put a table in to represent where the banquette would be.

Things I'm still unsure of:
1) The open bookshelves on the island. Not sure I want these, especially not 2 of them
2) I really do think I'd rather have the micro on the counter instead of in the island
3) Not sure if the aisles are wide enough. My guestimate is that they are about 42", maybe less between the fridge and island? I would be willing to give up some of the island size.

Be back with a few more pics...


clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 12:07 pm    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 12:08 pm

RE: What am I looking for in custom cabinets (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: GreenDesigns on 12.12.2011 at 03:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

A lot of builder's "custom cabinet guys" AREN'T! They either do the outmoded build everything in place where nothing is adjustable and everything is finished in the middle of the dustpile that is construction or they only build some sizes, or some doorstyles, or some wood species. An actual custom cabinet maker will create anything you want in his well equipped shop and finish it in his dust free clean room.

Ask the cabinet maker if he can make you a frameless 32 1/8 wide 33" high base cabinet out of low VOC bamboo plywood for the box with a bamboo door with a wenge inlaid strip with Blum hardware. If he looks at you like you have three heads, then he's not a custom guy. He's a "cabinet assembler" and orders parts from various places and puts them together.

Ask him what h3 offers standard and what his standard method of construction is. It's easier to critique his process than to go through the huge list of what a good process is.


clipped on: 12.12.2011 at 09:30 pm    last updated on: 12.12.2011 at 09:30 pm