Home Improvement :: The Construction Management Pro

Your Kitchen – Appliances and Color

July 31, 2013

Last time we spoke about kitchen layout. This week we will take it a step further and add visual elements:

Step 3.           Appliances and Color

When I think of a kitchen remodel, the first question I ask is “Do we have to move any of the appliances or change the layout?” You, on the other hand may ask “Am I keeping my appliances or getting new ones?” If you have a poor layout, want to create a more open kitchen or change your appliances, one must consider how the energy (or water) gets to them. Do you want to change that electric range to gas? Maybe you want to get that new induction (electric) range because it’s safer for your toddlers. That new killer refrigerator may need more power than the existing circuit can deliver. Your microwave was on the counter now you want it over the range. All of these decisions have a major impact on the unseen cost of remodeling.

Your appliances and where they are placed have a major impact on how the kitchen functions. Are you left or right-handed, do you bake a lot, use counter top appliances (mixers, coffee maker, food processors) all determine the functionality of your kitchen and how it is laid out.

We are all familiar with energy star guidelines for refrigerators, but don’t forget the ranges, ovens and water use!

When you think of color for the kitchen, you probably think of the cabinets, floors and walls. But your appliances, chairs and backsplash are also ways to introduce  color to the space. My brother has a traditional white kitchen but adds bright red toaster, mixer and tea pot which adds punch to the space.  An island can have chairs that are lime green or purple for a more whimsical look. Be careful to consider lighting. Proper lighting can change the color rendition of your cabinets and counter top. Your light fixtures (pendent lights in particular) can add to the overal color pallet. The point here is to think outside the box when it comes to color.

Houzz.com has some great resources, http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/query/colorful-kitchen

or check out our new website: www.FlamingoConstructionNJ.com

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So You Want to Remodel Your Kitchen

June 15, 2013

You have been thinking about remodeling your kitchen. So you have gone on line and looked at cabinets, hardware, sinks, faucets and now believe you are ready to negotiate with a contractor. You know what you want and how much it will cost you for materials. So, all you want is the contractor to provide the labor to install it, right!  Well not so fast.

A good contractor is not only an installer, but can solve problems as they arise. A good contractor is a manager of the entire construction process, design consultant, plan reviewer, purchasing agent, material expediter, project manager and trouble shooter. In order to get the best project, we ask questions that will help us meet your needs. By listening carefully we can take the work you have done online and meld it together to create a unified design and construction process.

While our clients are most often concerned with the style and look of what is to be installed, we must also consider HOW it is to be installed. Only experience and expertise can look at what currently exists and make assessments of how the new materials will be coordinated seamlessly into the renovation. This is often a problem with older homes. The materials used 30 – 40 years ago are often of different dimensions compared to what is used today. Walls are not plumb or square, floors are not level. Making these adjustments add not only to the material cost but add time to the project as well.  These must be considered in the total cost of the project.  And then there are the hidden costs: do outlets need to be adjusted, do electrical connections need to be modified, will the new plumbing fixtures fit in existing fixtures etc.

A remodeling project, especially in an older home, may be more of a renovation project. Not only are you installing new materials, you must also ensure that it matches up with the existing materials. Remember the old saying “You get what you pay for.” It takes experience, expertise and dedication to detail to ensure that the final product has the fit and finish consistent with the excellence you deserve.

For more information, check out our new website: www.FlamingoConstructionNJ.com

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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: www.FlamingoConstructionNJ.com

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Do You Have an Out Dated Kitchen?

June 8, 2013

We at TCAI, LLC have created a Home Improvement Construction company, Flamingo Construction, LLC specializng in upgrading and renovating kitchens.  Our mission is to convert your existing kitchen to meet your needs and lifestyle. Kitchens are the heart and soul of the home. Let us give you the kitchen you envision. Whether it’s changing the layout, cabinets, counter tops, sinks, faucets, flooring or hardware.

In this blog we will discuss and review the many options that will modernize and convert your kitchen into a state of the art cooking and eating area for you and your home.

A Great kitchen is all about a well-planned space that makes the cooking experience a completely interactive and enjoyable one between family and friends.

Step 1. Identify what’s WRONG with the Kitchen

Your first step in considering remodeling your kitchen should be to identify what’s wrong with your kitchen. Now that may sound obvious, but you would be surprised as to how many people start with style and color and never address why they hate their kitchen!! We want you to identify the biggest problem you have with your kitchen. That might be the lack of counter space, storage for food, pots or utensils. Maybe the layout just doesn’t work for your lifestyle or the way you cook.

For additional ideas, check out our new web site: www.FlamingoConstructionNJ.com

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Origins of the Canopy Bed

October 11, 2012

Canopy Bed in Teak

In the 1500′s there was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. Roofs were made of thatch at best. This posed a real problem particularly in the bedroom. Bugs and droppings and other stuff could fall in and mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

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