Construction Materials :: The Construction Management Pro

Considering Remodeling Your Kitchen?

June 15, 2013

The first step in problem solving is Problem Identification. So, last week we asked you to focus on what is wrong with your kitchen. In this installment we will look at one of the most difficult things to address in kitchen remodleing:

Step 2.           Assess the kitchen layout. Does it work for how you want to use it?

A myriad of non-cooking activities such as watching TV, entertaining, homework and talking on the telephone have been a “but of course” comment for many families when it comes to what is done in the kitchen. Have you ever asked the kitchen designer did they cook? Does your kitchen match your life style? Do you entertain a lot and need the capacity to serve a lot of people. Do you need to cook for a lot of people? Do you like folks to hang out while you cook? Maybe you have kids that like to help out so you want a separate prep space (and sink) for them or whoever is that second cook in the kitchen. Multiple cooks mean multiple work triangles or at least minimize their conflicts. Design and color are wonderful, but if they don’t enhance the cooking experience, then we can never have a truly GREAT kitchen.

So what is a “Work Triangle” and why does it matter? The concept for the kitchen work triangle was developed in the 1940s,  The kitchen was looked at as a space where only cooking took place. The kitchen work triangle connects the three main work areas in the kitchen — the sink, the range, and the refrigerator. As a general guideline, the distance between these areas determine the effeciency and the amount of energy you expend in the kitchen. The total of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet and 26 feet. If the distance is too small, the kitchen will feel cramped, too large and you spend a lot of energy going from station to station.

Today, more activities are done in the kitchen, so this concept has changed. In addition to the big three, you may have a clean up area, food prep, serving, computer/homework areas as well. If there are more than one person that cooks, then you have to envision how they will work together in the same space while reducing conflicts and improving flow in and around the space.

Adequate prep space is often forgotten because it’s not explicitly thought about. It’s a good idea to have one prep space near the sink and one near the stove. Put utensils, pots and spices near the stove for easy cooking — it’ll save additional steps. Your clean up space should be near your dish and tableware storage, or maybe you want them near your serving area. In kitchen design, there are no hard and fast rules, it’s how you want and use the space.

While all this is good, do you have the space for making these changes? Do you have the infastructure to support it (plumbing and electric), will the appliances fit, are there structural walls that make it difficult to optimize your design concepts. Now you know why I say this is the most difficult thing to address.

For more information on kitchen design, see our new website:

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Origins of the Threshold

October 19, 2012

Did you ever wonder were some building component names come from? Well I have. Here is the answer to one of them.

In the 1500s floors were principally dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt floors. Hence the saying “dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet. So, to combat that problem, they spread straw (also know as thresh) on the floor to help with their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. This was soon know as a “thresh-hold.”

Home Depot carries more than 700 different thresholds! You can find them made of wood, metal, plastic, composite materials, marble, bamboo or just about any material. They are mostly used to assist in closing the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor as well as acting as a transition from one floor type to another (think hallways to bathrooms). Check your exterior thresholds as they are a primary area for not only heat loss, but an inviting avenue for unwanted pest to invade your home or property.

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9-9 Thurmon A. Cohen, PMP earns CGP designation from NAHB

September 9, 2010


Robbinsville, NJ, September 9, 2010 – Thurmon A. Cohen, PMP, of TCAI, LLC recently became one of the select group of professional builders, remodelers, and other industry professionals nationwide who have earned the Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation, identifying him as someone with knowledge of the best strategies for incorporating green building principles into homes.

The CGP program is administered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Education and sponsored locally by New Jersey Builders Association. The CGP curriculum incorporates a variety of information tailored to green building and business practices. The CGP curriculum incorporates training by leading building industry practitioners and academics on a range of topics, including strategies for incorporating green-building principles into homes using cost-effective methods of construction, and how green homes provide buyers with lower maintenance and good indoor air quality.

Techniques are also discussed for competitively differentiating your home products with increased indoor environmental quality as well as energy and resource efficiency. CGP program graduates are required to maintain their designation by completing 12 hours of continuing education every 3 years a portion of which pertain to green building activities.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 175,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country.

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Green Construction Materials

April 19, 2010

Jennifer at discussing Green Building Materials.

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12-9: Bamboo – an Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Hardwood Flooring

December 9, 2009

iStock_000006163063XSmallI installed Bamboo flooring in my property in Orange this week. It is an alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. It came pre-finished and installed using the same techniques and equipment as traditional hardwood floors. Bamboo floors are not technically made of wood. Though they are harder than most hardwoods, they are actually a form of grass. The hollow shoots are cut down, sliced into strips, and then laminated together to look like traditional wooden plants. This product came from China. One unique benefit of bamboo flooring is that it is exceptionally environmentally friendly. Bamboo reaches full maturity in just a few years. Also, its initial production has almost no impact on the environment because pesticides and fertilizer are not required to grow it.

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