The Comeback Of Oak

The Comeback Of Oak

When you think of oak cabinetry what do you envision? Probably a kitchen in an older home with lighter toned cabinets and all of the “typical oak” graining showing on every door and drawer.  We have indeed torn out many of these older style oak kitchens to complete updated remodels in our client’s homes.  However, due to recent techniques we’ve developed for treating this durable wood, oak is making a comeback.  We will be featuring it in a variety of styles in our new showroom in uptown Shelby.  Oak has long been a widely used resource for cabinet building due to its hardness and strength.  It contains a high level of the chemical tannin, which makes it invulnerable to insect or fungal attack.  The grain of the wood makes it widely recognizable as well as desirable, especially when quartersawn.   As you’ll see here, the species can be used to encompass many different styles.

Victorian  

Victorian Style Oak Door – Stock Photo

Organic shapes and spiral flowing details are hallmarks of the Victorian furniture style.  While most of the cabinetry we build and the accents we use are rectangular, we can incorporate carvings, corbels, onlays, and decorative posts to achieve the Victorian look.  Glass and mirrored doors are often used in this style. We can now design and cut any shape of doors on our CNC machine, creating endless design combinations.  We used to be limited to rectangular shapes, but using the latest technology we can now create softer curves and gliding lines that fit into the Victorian designs.

Traditional 

Traditional Oak Cabinetry by Walker Woodworking

This has been the most popular style in the Walker Woodworking customer service area for many years.  Neutral stain colors are most used in this style, but neutral paints have become more popular to incorporate in recent years.  Thicker moldings, a few touches of ornamental details, and raised paneled doors and drawers are staples of this design style.  Although we don’t do very many projects like this these days, it is still a timeless classic style. 

Industrial 

Industrial Style Oak Cabinets by Wellborn Cabinetry

As the name implies, this style is characterized by its practical look and use.  These cabinets are designed with ultimate functionality in mind, not necessarily decorative appeal.  For our cerused oak industrial cabinets, we let the grain and finish speak for itself, not using elaborate moldings and ornamentation.  Often times slab doors and drawer fronts will be utilized, not unlike you see often on utilitarian lockers or workbenches.

 

Transitional

Cerused, Quater-Sawn Oak Cabinetry by Walker Woodworking

This is a recently evolving style that has developed through the years as a blending of traditional elements and cleaner more modern designs.  Cerused oak fits well into this style since many consumers already associate oak cabinetry as being a traditional design element.  We’ll use simple door and drawer styles mostly when building this style, but can dress it up with ornate hardware, or pair it down with sleek handles. See more of this project here.

Contemporary 

Cerused Oak, Quarter-Sawn Oak by Walker Woodworking

Everything about this design style says simple, simple, simple.  Slab doors and drawers are a hallmark of this look but not required.  When using cerused oak in this way the grain and coloring used really speak for themselves.  White is a popular color choice, as well as the other end of the spectrum, going extremely dark with the color selections.  There are no curves to be seen in this style, hard edges reign supreme, letting the colors and textures speak for themselves. When we use cerused oak in this style the graining brings an added level of detail and makes this widely seen style appear fresh again.  

Read more about Cerused Oak here.

Arts & Crafts

Arts & Craft style, Quater-Sawn Oak Cabinetry by Walker Woodworking

Simplicity is a common theme here as well, however, small intricacies can be added to make a large impact.  This style is hardly ever seen painted, and mostly lends to mid range stains, many times with a reddish undertone.  Furniture legs are often incorporated into this design style and moldings used can make it distinctly different from other styles. See more of this project here.

 

We love the many uses of oak – trending right now are Industrial and Contemporary styles. Cerused oak has become one of our favorite types of material to use. There are so many unique stain options to choose from. To find out more about the uses of cerused oak, and to see if it is right for your project please call us today and set up a design consultation and a time to visit our showroom.

~704.434.0823~

Charging Up Without Creating Clutter With A Charging Station

Charging Up Without Creating Clutter With A Charging Station

In our fast paced society we have a lot to keep up with; for most of us, that means relying heavily on our wireless devices to access and organize information.  Our cell phones and other devices have replaced daily planners, address books, cameras, GPS units, alarm clocks, music devices, and newspapers.  We look at them so often that they’ve become a part of our identities.  It can really throw a kink into a busy day when you’re heading out the door and realize that your phone battery is almost dead.  We’ve all been there, searching for the right cord at the last moments notice. Undoubtedly no two of our devices use the same cord and we rarely can find the correct one when we need it. Thus, it is important to plan accordingly for multiple charging stations around the house to power up our devices. Here are a few tips to help you manage your cord clutter. 

Drop Zone

Every home needs a drop station at or adjacent to the main entry point.  This high traffic area needs to be a place where we can “drop” devices, mail, keys, shoes, etc. upon our entry.  It makes sense to have a charging zone here so that we can pick up said devices on the way out the door and they’ll have their full battery life for the day ahead.  I’d recommend making the charging area as close to eye level as possible so that you will see your device on the way out and grab it.

This drop zone features a charging station in a cubby.

 

There are multiple ways to disguise your charging station.

We also recommend planning a charging zone somewhere in your kitchen design.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and is where the family gathers multiple times a day. The more family members you have the more devices you’ll need to allow for.  Planning a space to tuck away all of your family’s devices will be valuable to your sanity when using and cleaning your kitchen. If possible we recommend putting all of the devices into one drawer, with a power strip mounted in the back.  This may not always be possible if storage is at a premium. However, there are also clever ways to hide your charging area neatly in a box, magazine rack, or even a breadbox.  Pinterest is full of ideas for elegant charging stations.  Even if they need to be on the countertop, the devices can still be tucked away neatly and cleverly disguised.   

Docking Drawer – cabinet drawer with charging station.

What about your cords?

Bedrooms are another key place to have charging cords setup.  Many people go to sleep after reading or playing on a device and then in turn use one of their devices to serve as an alarm clock. Many users plug up their devices and let them charge overnight, so designing these areas into the bedroom is key.  No matter where you choose to have the electric “juice” bar located within your home, the thing you will need to plan for is the cord storage.  If your devices can be adjacent to the power strip then you’ll want to cinch up the cords so you can avoid tangles and the cord clutter. The most cost effective way I’ve seen of cinching cords is using zip ties to secure the cords into neat twists.  If you want to go the extra mile and delineate specific cords, you can use brightly colored tape that can be labeled by a device.   

Tangled, unorganized cords are not the most time effective option.

Time Saver

Another thing to keep in mind is that the cords need to be easily removable for traveling when needed.  Since we rely on all of our devices so much, it seems only right that we need to plan space for them in our lives.  Always having a place for your device and the correct cord you need will simplify your day to day life and give you back a little bit more of the commodity we all seek to multiply…..time.  

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Former Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

Are you ready to organize your kitchen for technology?  Call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with charging stations.

Questions about your Kitchen Remodel: What you didn’t know you needed to know!

Questions about your Kitchen Remodel: What you didn’t know you needed to know!

When remodeling your kitchen there are certain decisions that are fairly obvious to the average consumer. For example: Do I want stained or painted cabinetry? What scope of construction will my project entail (full gut/renovation, sprucing up existing cabinets, new paint, new countertops, etc.)? What is the overall style I want to achieve? These large scale opinions are fairly easy for clients to determine early on in their project planning. However, as any distinguished designer can tell you, the small details are just as important to achieving your dream kitchen. Here I will address some issues for you to consider while planning your kitchen remodel details, things you did not know you needed to consider.

Selecting the finishes of your fixtures:

The rules of everything needing to have “an exact match” have been thrown out during recent years. Designers and clients are now mixing and matching finishes in and amongst their hardware, plumbing fixtures, and lighting. The choices are limitless and there are practical usage considerations to be made that go above and beyond the basics of being aesthetically pleasing. Brushed finishes hide smudges and droplets far better than their polished counterparts.

Polished fixtures look clean and shiny but will show fingerprints and smudges!

 

Hardware:

What will look and function best? The sheer number of styles and finishes available for decorative hardware can be overwhelming. It is best to have your designer guide you through the selection process, as there are many things to consider. Size is a major consideration, and it is not uncommon for us to use 3-5 varying lengths within a single kitchen. You want to make sure that the handle to drawer/door proportion looks and feels correct. No tiny handles on huge drawers. This is another area in which mixing and matching is allowed.

Brass is making a comeback! One main difference you will notice is that the brass is brushed or toned down.

Codes, laws, and permits……oh my:

It is important to find out what codes in your area pertain to construction; preferably before it is time for an inspection. Some cities have codes that dictate the way hood fans must be ventilated or disposals in the sink may need to drain. The city in which you live probably has their own electrical codes as well. These are definitely things to consider beforehand, as they can affect your design layout. These issues can also cause headaches on the back end, if not planned for properly.

Type of sink and mounting style:

The farm sink of today is not your grandmother’s farm sink. Deciding the type of sink you’d like is the first step: under-mount, drop in (self-rimming), triple/chef styles, and farm sinks are among the most popular choices. Think about how much you use your sink and what it is used for primarily. If you are a heavy duty scrubber and are very rough on your sink, then the ceramic ones may not be for you. The other consideration about the sink is how to mount it. If you are planning to have laminate countertops the sink will need to be dropped in and cannot be under-mounted, due to contact of water and the wooden sublayer of the top. Mounting a farm sink can be tricky too and can pose a water damage threat to the front of the cabinet if not protected. This is why we, at Walker Woodworking, recommend sitting any farm sink with an exposed front on a piece of your selected stone countertop. We also always request your specific sink at our shop during construction to ensure a proper fit.

Cabinets usually have to be cut for Farm Sinks to fit in place. Sinks must be on site for cabinet install.

 

Finishes and edges of your stone surfaces:

The basic materials of the countertops and tile you select are important, however, the texture that you choose to finish them in can change the entire look. Polished stone or tile will give more of a modern or transitional look to your kitchen. Whereas, tumbled, textured, or honed stone surfaces can lend to a traditional old-world feeling. Along that same line, you will need to consider the edge profile for your countertops. The straight line of an eased, squared, or pencil edge lends to a clean and modern style. While either a bullnose edge or an ogee offers a touch of softness blending more with the classical elements of a classic look.

As you can see there are many things to consider when beginning to plan the details of your kitchen. You can rest assured knowing that our design staff will assist you with any and all of these decisions that you wish.

If you would like to schedule a consultation please call Jan 704.434.0823 or contact us through our website.

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Former Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

If you are only in the dreaming stage of beginning to plan for a new kitchen? We would love to talk to you and work with you to fine-tune your very own remodel plan.  If you’re ready to be further from dreaming and closer to construction, call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with keeping your new kitchen clean.

Taking Care Of Your New Kitchen

Now that the kitchen of your dreams is actually in your home, you may not want to use it. It looks so clean and pristine, untouched by gunk, splatters, and spills. It is true that a deep cleaning of your new kitchen may be due every few months. However, the most beneficial cleaning tasks can be done every few days to help your kitchen remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

Fight Countertop Clutter in your New Kitchen

One thing you can do daily is fight countertop clutter. It is so easy to bring home things and set them all over the countertop, unfortunately, things can pile up quickly and often find a lingering home there, making the workspace feel cluttered and claustrophobic. It isn’t inviting to attempt to cook in an area covered with clutter. To fight the likelihood of unwanted items landing on your counters there should be designated places provided for bags, keys, mail, etc. along the path from the main entry to the kitchen. Most unnecessary items should be dropped off before they reach your kitchen work zone.

Another simple tip that I found to keep my new kitchen running smoothly is to begin by having a clean sink and an empty dishwasher. If you make a habit of unloading your dishwasher at night and cleaning your sink, then when you begin cooking the next big meal, the cleanup will be much easier. On the flipside of this, if the dishwasher and sink are already full you’ll only be compounding the problem by dirtying pots and pans on top of a sink full of dirty dishes. Once you make a habit of doing this it will be very rewarding, and ultimately save you time, while keeping your kitchen clean.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Having adequate trash and recycling containers located in the kitchen will also keep messiness to a minimum. Before we completed our kitchen renovation we barely had a large enough trash can, and no place for recycling. I planned that into my kitchen when we renovated and I love having a space allocated for “overflow” trash.

If you want to keep your new surfaces looking their best, I would recommend not using harsh chemicals to clean your new cabinets or countertops. Cleaners that work well on appliances in many cases are abrasive to painted or stained finishes and can quickly deteriorate the sealants used on granite and tile. The best thing to use on your countertops is a mild dish detergent and water mixture on a cloth. For the cabinetry, the same type of damp cloth can be used to spot clean a sticky mess, but we clean the cabinets in the Walker Woodworking offices with pledge every week to keep them looking new.

Maintenance on your cooking supplies is another helpful habit that can add to your kitchen’s longevity. Go through your pots and pans monthly and examine their wear and tear, toss out what is damaged and add whatever is needed to your shopping list. Such tasks as sharpening of knives and oiling of cutting boards will also help keep your kitchen functioning smoothly. This only needs to be done every few months but will be rewarding each day as you use these items.
The bottom line is: the more time you invest into cleaning and maintaining your kitchen, the more enjoyable it will be to cook in. Enjoy your new kitchen and put in the work so that you can keep enjoying it for years to come.

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Former Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

If you are only in the dreaming stage of beginning to plan for a new kitchen? We would love to talk to you and work with you to fine-tune your very own remodel plan.  If you’re ready to be further from dreaming and closer to construction, call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with keeping your new kitchen clean.

Conference Table Project

Conference Table Project

Concept & Design

A few weeks ago, Wendi Gragg asked our Designer Brandon Fitzmorris to find her a table for twenty-four, specifically a conference for seating up to twenty-four people for one of her clients. She also wanted a smaller eight-foot table for a smaller conference room. Once Brandon found a table source, Travis Walker, our company owner made a special trip with Wendi to select the perfect slab for her client.

wood-slab-table-top

In search of the perfect top.

Pictured above: This large slab had to spend 1 month in Dry Chem. Pictured below: see the difference of sizes. The 8-foot table is sitting on top of the 17-foot table.

Slabs- trailer

Travis makes special trip to pick-up slabs.

Time to sand, finish and find some table legs. Through social media connections, we found a source close to home to design and build the table legs for this project. A collaboration with Chronicle Millworks is born. Pictured below is the design concept for the metal legs.

Sanding

In order to sand the top on the 17 foot table – we had to bring in a floor sander. In this video watch as Jonathon Champion, from Champion hardwoods unveils the top layer of the slab.

 

Once the top layer was sanded – much work had to be done by a hand sander and to the edges of the top.

Final sanding before finish.

Now off to the finish room.

 

Table had 3 layers of finish applied.

Table Legs

Meanwhile – table legs are being built to support this massive conference table. Photo’s courtesy of Chronicle Mill Works.

 

Wielding

 

3 supports completed.

 

Access to data and electrical outlets.

 

Top view of conference table legs.

Side View of Table legs

Next – table legs are ready for powder coating.

At Walker Woodworking – we have completed the finishing for both tables and now it’s time to deliver to the job site. We don’t have the space to store such a massive piece of wood.

Brandon & Marty posing with slab for some perspective.

Next – a four minute video of the delivery at the job site and getting this table into the room.

Next up Final Assembly – Chronicle Mill Works delivers the table legs and we show up for extra manpower.

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

 

Travis is very proud of this completed project!

After all, taking on a 17 foot conference table was no easy task.

Wendi Gragg, Interior Designer is happy as well. This was her vision brought to life.

Table leg details by Chronicle Millworks

Table leg details by Chronicle Millworks, this center sections covers the outlet and data lines.

Table leg details by Chronicle Millworks

And this is the collaboration of three companies to complete this project! Wendi Starnes Gragg – Interior Design, Walker Woodworking, and Chronicle Millworks.

We will add more pictures after the project is completed. Walker Woodworking and Wendi Gragg did several more projects at this site including kitchen, bathrooms and more. We can’t wait to see the finished project throughout and to share it online. Stay tuned!

Home Design Trends 2017

Design Trends 2017

Every year we look to see what the emerging home design trends will be. We consider predictions from Interior Designers, major paint suppliers, social media platforms, as well as our own experiences from market and trade shows. As a result, we have combined these findings to give you what we consider to be emerging trends for 2017! Check out these great videos and photo’s for your 2017 design inspiration. 

From House & Home

In this video, you will hear what House & Home Editor-in-chief of Beth Hitchcock and interiors director Meg Crossley have to say about what they think about the top 10 home design Trends for 2017.

 

Sherwin-Williams Announces their pick for Color of the Year

Poised Taupe   “It’s like gray and brown had a baby.” It isn’t hot or cold, dark or light, but something in the middle zone.

Poised Taupe creates a cozy lifestyle and brings a sense of sanctuary into our homes. It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold.: “It signals a new direction in society’s ever-growing thirst for beautiful neutrals that bring warm and cool tones together to create one irresistibly versatile color.” We have to say, this color definitely strikes the balance between bold and subtle.

 

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Shadow 2117-30, is allusive and enigmatic — a master of ambiance.

“It ebbs and flows with its surroundings, and light brings it to life. Rich, royal amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal. Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood.”
—Ellen O’Neill, Creative Director

Pantone color of the year

Greenery 15-0343  A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. A fresh and zesty yellow-green shade, Greenery evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.
‘Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose” -Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute

 

Houzz – 28 Design Ideas for 2017

We can always count on the writers at Houzz to give us their take on whats popular in home design trends. Houzz is a website and online community about architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design and home improvement. This is a great resource for ideas and advice on any home improvement project you may be considering.

What home trends and designs are we seeing at Walker Woodworking?

After vising the Kitchen and Bath Industry show (KBIS), in Orlando – January 2017,  our analysis is that these home trends and designs are right on track. Gray is definitely becoming more of a tan and white cabinets with lights wood tones are here to stay. Look for different shades of blue with the antique brass finishes. Splashes of color both bright and dark are also really popular as well. Here are a few examples from some projects we have recently completed.

white-gray-kitchen-cabinets

2017 Home Trends and Designs from Walker Woodworking

Both of these kitchen’s feature white cabinets, and the square style lantern lighting. Especially relevant will be metal finishes. Look for many unique metal finishes this year as they all seem to be increasingly popular now. And no matter which metal finish you chose – it won’t be outdated.

antique brass fixtures, white cabinets

2017 Home Trends and Designs from Walker Woodworking

 

cerused oak bar

2017 Home Trends and Designs from Walker Woodworking

 

Finally, one of our future predictions, is that cerused oak will become increasingly popular and will be used in projects with a modern industrial design. Cerused oak in a flat finish incorporates a nice modern look without the sharp edges of going ‘all in’ on a modern design. Cerused oak finishes can vary greatly from a dark black with a white glaze to fill in the grain, to a light gray or brown. Cerused oak no matter how it is used, is classic.

Tell us what you think? We love to get feedback from visitors. What is your favorite color for 2017? Do you plan to incorporate any of these home design trends for 2017 into your projects this year? Need help? Our design pro’s are here to help, call us today for more information on how we can help you get your project started. Be sure to read our Remodeling 101 series for more information about budgeting and planning your project.

Want to see more? Visit our Pinterest board for some to see some great examples of how Pantone’s Greenery is being used in design.

Remodeling 101 Part 4 Finishing Touches

Part 4: The Finishing Touches

Construction crews have left your home now and it is time to put your space back together with the last details.

Cleaning up

Now that everything is in its place and the dust has literally settled, it’s time to clean up.  As was mentioned in our article on Part 3; if you used a contractor some cleanup may be included in their estimate.  This is probably basic and may not include wiping down all of the surfaces.  Your new cabinets will be dusty inside and out.  First from being assembled in the shop, then from installation, and finally from the countertops and appliances being put in.  Hopefully, the dust barriers you put in place helped some, but you should still plan a large chunk of time to devote to the task of straightening up.

Tile backsplash  

Photo by Walker Woodworking Staff – All Rights Reserved

If you have a tendency to procrastinate, you’re in luck.  Your tile backsplash can be decided on and installed after you’ve lived in your kitchen for awhile.  In fact, mine wasn’t installed until after 6 weeks of using our kitchen.  We had narrowed our selections down to three options and my husband requested to wait on deciding until he could “see it all come together”.  Once it was all together we went with my original selection from months earlier…..happy wife, happy life, right?

Artwork

All of the photos and prints you took down to avoid being damaged can now be put back into space.  Since the walls have likely been freshly painted you can get creative with the way you rehang your photos.  Mixing frame sizes and finishes is gaining popularity.  Now that you’re living in the renovated space you will most likely want to buy some new artwork to bring the space together.  Don’t be afraid to play with scale and color when making art purchases.  If you live with something for awhile and don’t love it then you can always switch it out.  That is what makes decorating with artwork so fun.

Finding a place for everything

Great storage with drawers.

Restocking your new cabinets is an exciting time.  Think through where you want to put things based on how you utilize the space.  You probably planned this out with your kitchen designer in advance, but now you can put your plan to work. I’m talking about all the utensil dividers, spice pullouts, mixer lifts, custom corner storage, etc.  At Walker Woodworking they pride themselves on making use of every square inch available.  My favorite part of my new kitchen was using my silverware drawer.  We had not previously had one close to the sink in our old 80’s kitchen, so we’d been using a silverware tray set in an upper cabinet.  I now have a huge silverware drawer with a custom divider and knife block inside, courtesy of Walker Woodworking.

Grocery shopping

Now for the fun part.  If you’re like me you may be thinking “How on Earth will I fill all of these cabinets?”  Believe me, you will be able to. When I had gone shopping prior to our renovation I had to buy only necessities for the next meal; due to having very little extra pantry storage in our kitchen.  We now have a snack drawer, bread drawer, sippy cup drawer, a full tall pantry cabinet, places for stock pots, crock pots, storage for my broom/swiffer, and even a recycling nook.  I love being able to shop knowing that I have space for all the food to fit in my kitchen.

Cook and enjoy

You can now use all of your wonderful appliances and the gorgeous new deep sink you put in.  Once in your new kitchen, you can branch out and try some new exciting recipes.  Hopefully, you will be inspired to move beyond the microwave for cooking and learn some new techniques.  The only bad news is that using your kitchen means it will get dirty again.  Have fun in your new space……cook, clean, rinse, and repeat.

Article by guest blogger Jeneane Beaver, former Designer at Walker Woodworking.

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

Ready to start your next project? Call Walker Woodworking today and get the process started. 704-434-0823

If you have recently completed a renovation and you want to share your perspective, please comment below.

Check out the other parts of our remodeling series.

Intro to this remodeling series? Click this link to see it now.

Part 1 Budgeting and Planning Remodel Budget Analysis? Click here to see it now.

Part 2 Making your selections. Click link to view post.

Part 3 Under Construction. Click link to view post.

Remodeling 101 Part 3 Construction

Part 3: Living in a Construction Zone

under sonstruction

It’s here, it’s finally here!!! The day you’ve been dreaming of has arrived……construction begins! Then it hits you…..construction chaos has arrived! I now realize, I need more time!

It can be stressful to have your home torn apart and even more daunting to think of living in your home the entire time during the renovation.  But you can do it.  If you’ve read and followed our previous blog posts in our remodeling series, Part 1 and Part 2, then you should be well prepared for the demolition and construction phase.  The pre-planning done during those stages of your project should make this most arduous phase as brief as possible, getting you smoothly to Part 4 – Finishing Touches –  and ultimately to the reward of tasting the first delicious meal in your new kitchen.  

Before the construction crew arrives  

  • Clean out the cabinets and haul off old appliances.  This is a good time to purge.  You probably have more than you need in terms of kitchen gadgets, and cookbooks that have been replaced by e-versions.  Use this time to clear out the clutter.  Bonus: if you give them to charity you can keep the receipt for a tax write-off.  
  • Set up a makeshift “kitchenette” somewhere that is easily accessible.  During my own personal experience, my husband and I used a mini fridge, toaster oven, and microwave to survive our construction phase.  Coffee is essential for me as well, so I also set up a coffee station in our bathroom.  Keep your take out menus in a convenient spot; they will come in handy to help you survive life without a kitchen.
  • Find a place to store excess food until the job is completed.  We turned a spare closet into a temporary pantry while our home was being disassembled.
  • Setup dust barriers if possible, or have this quoted from your contractor.  This will depend on your layout and the scope of the project, but if possible you can hang sheets at the construction entrances to minimize dust and debris extending beyond the work zone.
  • Breathe – you’re prepared, enjoy the process as much as you can   🙂

Demolition Day  

The contracting crew will disassemble walls, cabinets, floors, etc.  Whatever is required to create a “clean slate” for your new design to become reality.  It will be exciting to see the old cabinets leave the space.  Seeing the new open area can help you envision how the new plan will come together.  Once our space was emptied I used my plans to draw out the footprint of the kitchen.  I really became excited, to see the reality of my vision finally appearing before my eyes.

The work continues

Depending on the scope of your project the work may take a few weeks to complete.  However, things will generally happen in this order:

  • Plumbing and electrical rough in changes will be made.  New pathways will be made for outlets to be accessed and for a new sink placement if needed.  
  • Framing and drywall will be completed.  This is where the dust barriers will come in handy.  The process is messy.  I’d recommend painting the new walls once they are ready; that way the walls will be completed prior to new floors going in.
  • Floors are installed.  Whether wood or tile, the flooring installation can last a few days. They will be beautiful in the new open space.
  • Cabinets will be installed next.  I believe this is the most exciting part of the construction process, because these custom components are the backbone of the new work-space.  The day they arrive will be better than Christmas.  The beautiful finishes, hardware, spacious drawers, and custom pullouts are finally arriving in your home! Yay! The installation will last a few days, then a counter-top template can be finalized.  
  • Counter-tops are next to go in.  The gorgeous tops you’ve selected will be the icing on the cake.  If you need any of these to be cut on site, the dust barriers will need to be in place for this as well.  You are almost to the finish line!
  • Last electrical and plumbing can now be completed.  Appliances can be installed, and you can now have a working sink, as well as a better place for your coffee machine (no longer in the bathroom).

Cabinets Arrive! Work Continues.

Prepare for hiccups:  I know what you’re thinking. “That doesn’t sound too bad,” and you’re right. The idea of living in a construction zone doesn’t sound too bad here.  If only a project could be finished in the time it takes to read this article, but alas, it cannot.  Any home project takes time, and a major remodel is definitely a lengthy process.  Be flexible and expect at least one delay to come up; they are inevitable.  Be courteous to the people working in your home, if you are respectful to them, they will be more inclined to treat you and your home with respect. Be sure to report anyone that comes into your home that is not courteous. Small business owners appreciate knowing of any problems as soon as they arise.

Working Toward a Completed Project

Take some before, during, and after pictures to share with friends and family. It is exciting to see the progression.

Last tip: Don’t bother trying to clean up until the job is truly complete, because you’ll be dissatisfied and will be doing it more than once. If a General Contractor is looking after your project, he may have clean-up included as part of your estimate.

Once construction is done it will be time to put your kitchen back together and get ready for Part 4 –  The Finishing Touches (coming soon to complete our renovation series).

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Former Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

If you are only in the dreaming stage of beginning your project, we’d love to talk to you and work with you to fine tune your very own remodel plan.  If you’re ready to be further from dreaming and closer to construction, call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with remodeling.

Did you miss the intro to this remodeling series? Click this link to see it now.

Did you miss Part 1 Budgeting and Planning Remodel Budget Analysis? Click here to see it now. 

In case you missed it – Part 2 Making your selections. Click link to view post.

Remodeling 101 Part 2 making your selections

Remodeling 101 Part 2 – Making Your Selections.

We continue our remodeling 101 series with part 2 –  making selections for a kitchen remodel project. A remodel is like a journey, so to speak. To make a journey successful and memorable, much planning must take place. The purpose for the journey must be established up front, of course.  Financially, plans must be made and adhered to. Small details must be addressed while at the same time, the big picture of the journey must not be lost in the details.   Otherwise, the journey may result in a miserable experience for everyone involved.  Avoid these types of problems when planning for a kitchen remodel.

Let’s get started

Now that you have determined your budget goals (Remodeling 101 Part 1:  Budgeting and Planning Remodel), it’s time to talk “ design.” A kitchen remodel must begin with focus on planning and designing for the space you have. Cabinetry will most likely consume the majority of your budget in the kitchen and will dictate the space and layout.  

A major kitchen remodel must be completed in the right order for maximum efficiency.  Working with an experienced kitchen designer is a key factor to obtaining the best layout for function, organization, aesthetics and overall flow of your kitchen remodel.

 

A kitchen designer can help you with all the elements involved and will suggest that you make your selections in this order. Consider the Selection Guide shown here:

  • Cabinetry design & space planning                         
  • Appliances
  • Flooring
  • Cabinet finishes
  • Countertop material & finishes
  • Backsplash
  • Sinks & fixtures
  • Lighting
  • Cabinet hardware

While the Selection Guide may seem daunting and overwhelming, the biggest factor is to understand all the possibilities up-front instead of as an afterthought. Please note that cabinets are mentioned 3 times in this process. After 15 plus years of remodeling kitchens, we know the process that works best for most of our clients. The only time the process doesn’t follow this order – is when the planning & design function is completely left up to the designer. (Omitting the client)

Keep in mind that this Selection Guide will provide the order in which your decisions should be made.   It’s okay to be thinking about all of these components at the same time. But, ideally this is the order that works best for most clients, even those that are well organized and know exactly what they want. Based on our past experiences with our clients, the more our designers use the Selection Guide with clients, the better satisfied the clients are with the final product.  Now, let’s break down each step.

cabinet design ideas, kitchen design ideas, remodeling

Cabinetry design & space planning in your kitchen layout.

Cabinetry design & space planning

During this stage of the process, you really should postpone thoughts of  everything else and focus on designing your space. When remodeling a kitchen, think function, efficiency, style and longevity. Choose cabinets you love and a layout that works for your family’s lifestyle. If you like to cook, organizing your kitchen for your cooking style may be your priority. Let’s say that you love to entertain in your kitchen.  If so, you need a layout that allows for people in your kitchen while maintaining your work zone. Maybe you want your kitchen to be the main command center in your home. A desk area where you would sort mail and work on your computer may be needed. Of course some people like  the “WOW factor,” and insist on the newest styles and trends.    Kitchens are used in different ways by couples and families. Allow your cabinet design & space planning to meet your specific goals.  Needless to say, the majority of our client time is used for design & space planning.

custom hood, wolf range, appliances

Appliances need to be selected early in the process. Location and sizes are important in design.

Appliances

If you thought about appliances during your budgeting phase, you probably have an idea of the features you would like. In order to finalize your cabinet design, you need to make your final appliance selections. Size matters and depending on your selections, you may gain or lose space for your cabinets. So plan carefully and discuss your decision with your design team.

Flooring

I am sure by now you have been thinking about what type of flooring to use. Many people already have hardwood floors in their kitchen and opt to have those refinished for a fresh new look. Changing out and replacing your floors can be an expensive part of the project compared to keeping and refinishing an existing floor. Before you make other finish selections, we recommend you give much consideration to the flooring selection.

Choose cabinet finishes

Over the years we have found that often people approach cabinet design with a picture. And while we can certainly replicate most finishes, we can’t make a picture of a kitchen fit into your space. Once you have decided on the cabinet design and your appliances, (the most expensive parts of the remodel), you can think about your finishes.  We provide sample finishes in our showroom from which our customers may make the selections.  If a custom sample is needed we usually start with a selection of crown molding in order to establish a color.  Once that decision is made, we provide a sample cabinet door. Sample cabinet doors will prove to be invaluable  when you are ready to select the countertops and backsplash that you prefer.  

white cabinets, quartz counter-tops, marble backsplash

Cabinet finishes, counter-tops and tile backsplash bring together all the elements for the final touches.

Countertop material & finishes

Now that you have your cabinet finishes selected, it’s time to shop around for the perfect countertop. The options are only limited by your budget as price is usually based upon the type of material used and the quantity available. Of course the most common material used today is granite, but marble and man-made stones are in very close second place.

Backsplash

Often you can select your backsplash at the same time you select your countertops. It’s highly recommended to make an appointment when you decide to shop around for tile and granite, the most popular choices for a backsplash. When you enter a showroom with an appointment, you are more likely to be served quickly. Be sure to bring an elevation view of your design drawings so the vendor will be able to provide a quick estimate of materials that you will need for the backsplash.   For the visit to your first vendor, we recommend that you allow yourself at least 1 hour for your tile presentation /discussion and 1 hour for your granite presentation/discussion.  By the time you visit your next vendor, you will be much more informed about what you are looking for and can narrow your selections down much faster. We would advise that you to visit only two vendors per day.  Too much information and too many choices can be overwhelming.

For a bathroom remodel

If you are working on a bathroom project and plan to have floor and wall tile with several patterns and pieces, you will need to schedule two hours at each showroom.

white cabinets, antique brass fixtures & hardware

This homeowner chose to use antique brass for her lighting, fixtures and hardware finishes.

Sinks & fixtures

Selecting your sink and fixtures will likely be the easiest decisions to make. However, keep in mind that specs for farm sinks, apron front sinks, and oversized sinks need to be provided to your cabinet designer early in the planning stage.  Nothing can be more disappointing than having a sink too big for your countertop  due to lack of communication. Clients tend to worry about fixture finishes. There is no right or wrong selections when it comes to mixing metals. For example, a stainless steel sink and faucet will complement just about any type of hardware or light fixtures.   

Lighting

Lighting can be a great selection to add a touch of your own personality. Many people consider lights to be a complement to the kitchen design. Selecting the perfect pendants or chandelier can be time consuming with so many options available online. We recommend selecting lighting components that will provide you with plenty of light, that are easy to clean, and will add charm to your kitchen.

Cabinet hardware

Cabinet hardware has improved greatly in the last 15 years. With so many options, narrowing down your favorites can prove difficult.  As much as we would love for hardware to be selected when the cabinet finishes are selected, it is rarely the reality. Clients tend to let hardware be one of the final decisions they make. Selecting the perfect hardware for your kitchen is, of course, another big decision.  We understand that you want the hardware to coordinate with all of your other selections. It can be difficult to visualize which hardware will look best.  For example, some pieces are minimal while others are bulky.  Don’t hesitate to seek the advice of your kitchen and bath designer. Having seen many styles and finishes over the years, we have a good idea about which pieces look really great and those that only look OK.

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Taking things one-step-at-a-time and having the guidance of a kitchen and bath designer will make your kitchen remodel a more enjoyable experience. Following our recommended order in the Selection Guide will allow you to soar through the process with all decisions made at the appropriate times. Kitchen and bath designers can help with as little or as much of the process as you need. Some of our clients prefer to take an active role in making the decisions while others leave all the options to us.

The scope of your project will determine how long this process takes. The process of simply removing old cabinets and installing new ones is definitely less complicated than removing walls and/or changing plumbing and electrical locations. Whatever the scope of your project may be, please maintain patience and focus so that you will be pleased with the end result.

The next part in our Remodeling 101 Series is Tearing it out and Replacing it with beautiful Walker Woodworking Cabinetry. Click this link to view post. 

Thanks for reading, tell us what you think, was this article helpful? We would love to have your comments.

Did you miss the intro to this remodeling series? Click this link to see it now.

Did you miss Part 1 Budgeting and Planning Remodel Budget Analysis? Click here to see it now. 

Remodeling 101 Part 1 Budgeting and Planning Remodel Budget Analysis

Project PlanningRemodeling 101 Part 1  Budgeting & Planning

Setting a realistic budget

Does remodeling your kitchen and bath seem so intimidating that you are not sure where you should begin?

Do you want to remodel but can’t get started because you know you must stay within a certain budget?

Whether you are planning a kitchen or bath remodeling project, or some portion of that, the questions stated above are the common obstacles that keep many people from taking on what may seem like the daunting task of getting the process started.

It has been our experience over the years that most people want to know what the overall project will cost before they start.  If the project is out of your total budget then you may have to re-evaluate what you can realistically afford or make decisions on how you want to spend the funds you have.

Not so fast…  

Cabinets are probably the first thing most people think about when remodeling a kitchen. Cabinets can be a major portion of the expense of a kitchen remodel but not necessarily the most expensive. Most people don’t realize what cabinets, countertops and appliances really cost. Discussing these topics with a professional will help you make the most of your budget by explaining the different options and the cost of each.

How we integrate this into our process.

Getting a ‘budget analysis’ is the first step we like to start with to help our clients narrow down expenses for each part of the remodel task. We determine the products that are needed and the amount willing to be spent on them.

-calculator-webWhat is a “Budget Analysis”?

A budget analysis will give you an idea of what the scope of your project will cost. We have found that this method is very beneficial for all of our clients. We simply take some preset formulas, add them with measurements in your home and then discuss each element of the project with your preferences to determine an estimated cost.

So how exactly does the Budget Analysis work?

For starters we will need to know some simple things, we ask A LOT of questions. Are you keeping your same cabinet layout or starting with a fresh plan? Do you want to remove walls to open up your space? Are any of the walls that you want to move load bearing? Are you wanting to add a new addition to your home?

Determine how to spend your budget.

Another area of important topics that we will ask; What is the purpose of remodeling? Are you remodeling to sell? Is this your forever home? Are you updating to get newer appliances? What is the value of your home? This will help determine what your budget levels should be.

As an example, Walker Woodworking offers 3 types of cabinetry; basic-standard cabinets, semi-custom cabinets and custom cabinets. The price difference can vary from 30% to 50%. If you are updating your kitchen in order to sell in a couple of years, you may not want to spend your budget on custom cabinets. 

Other options; you can mix and match cabinets. Let’s say you have a fairly large kitchen or you want to splurge on appliances. You can spend less money by purchasing semi-custom cabinets and have a custom hood built. There are solutions for most situations. We help our clients get the most out of what they want to spend while making their space functional and unique to their lifestyle.

Are you overwhelmed yet?

Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the questions. People remodel for many different reasons. By determining what your goals are will ultimately help you determine where you should invest your budget. As professionals of our industry, we are here to help guide you along the way.

At our very first meeting with our clients we discuss budget. By asking questions and taking some simple measurements, we will leave you with a budget we feel is a close estimate of your project. Is it exact science? Of course not, but we are usually within 8% of the actual cost. This process can take up to 2 hours or more depending on the scope of the project.

Don’t be discouraged by the numbers, there are always ways to save. Once you make your final selections you still have plenty of ways to decide what you want to spend your money on.

Once you have settled on a budget that you feel comfortable with, it’s time to make selections.

NEXT ~ Making selections is our next phase of the remodeling process.  Let’s see what that entails.

Tell us what you think, was this article helpful? We would love to have your comments.