Thursday, November 5, 2009

Decorative Options For Your New Kitchen Cabinets

Whether you're remodeling and renovating or building a new house, you need to focus a large amount of energy on the look of your new kitchen. The look of your kitchen can say a lot about your individual style and personal preferences. Modern kitchens can be accented with up to date, energy efficient appliances and luxurious countertops. The cabinetry, however, will be the first thing that guest notice when they walk into your kitchen.

The kitchen is widely used as the focal point of any home. It is usually the busiest area during parties and meals are prepared and eaten in there. Your kitchen cabinet design needs to reflect your family's personality and unique style.

Kitchen cabinets are available in many different colors and styles, not to mention materials. For the most part, the colors and stains are chosen to best match the particular wood grain that is used in cabinet carpentry. Stains can range from light and natural looking to deep and rich. Darker woods look great with a deep stain, while lighter colored woods can take light or dark stains. The type of wood used to make the cabinets can also play a role in how the stain takes to the wood. You may want to test out the stain on your particular type of wood before it is applied so you get a good sense of how it will look in your kitchen once it is applied.

Many people decide to install metal cabinetry in their kitchens. These metal cabinets are easily modifiable whenever you want to update the look of your kitchen. Just paint on a new color and your kitchen can take on a totally different personality. You can purchase metal kitchen cabinets that are already painted a certain color to match your existing appliances.

No only do you have to think about the color and material of your cabinets, but you will also need to take into account the cabinet hardware. Handles, knobs and hinges are available in an almost endless array of styles. For the most part, cabinet handles are a gold, pewter or brass in color. There are also some available in molded plastic, but these are of a lower quality and will not stand the test of time. Mounting for the hardware ranges from easy screw-in applications to more comprehensive installs. Be sure to match the hardware with the cabinet as best you can before you install all the metalwork. Make sure you are comfortable having a knob instead of a pull or vice-versa. You can even buy cabinet hardware that is uniquely designed to match the theme of your kitchen or your silverware pattern.

Take the entire kitchen into account when deciding on the best kitchen cabinet design. Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house and it should accurately reflect the personality of your family and show off your great sense of style.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kitchen Cabinets - Tips For Finding And Buying The Right Cabinets For You

With the number of home sales dropping, and the tighter restrictions in the mortgage industry, many homeowners are finding it harder than ever to sell their homes and upgrade to a larger home. Because of this trend, home renovation projects are on the rise as homeowners are finding ways to make their current homes more livable, while adding value to their home at the same time. The easiest way to add value and create the feel of a new home, is to renovate your kitchen.

In a kitchen renovation, the kitchen cabinets represent the largest expenditure in your remodeling budget. Since they are the centerpiece of your kitchen, many of the other decisions about your kitchen will be based off of your cabinet choice. Your countertop, appliance, and hardware decisions will depend on the style and layout of your kitchen cabinets.

The biggest issue with traditional, store bought cabinets is that it could take 8-10 weeks before delivery, so it is very important to make your cabinet selection prior to do starting any demolition or remodeling of your kitchen. There are cabinets available on-line, that could be delivered within 2-3 weeks, but it will depend on what style and construction you are looking for. We will talk about the differences in cabinets later on in the article.

Before looking at cabinets, it is important to come up with a target budget and a basic floor plan or layout. With the average kitchen remodel costing $40,000-50,000 it is important to accurately calculate all of the expenses involved with your project. While it may seem like a challenging project, even a DIY Homeowner with minimal experience can design and layout their own kitchen with accurate measurements and a couple of templates. This could save you a significant amount of money by not using a kitchen designer.

In the event that you think this is a project that you are comfortable tackling, you can either use a kitchen designer or go to one of the home improvement centers and take advantage of their free design services.

There are several factors that are going to affect the cost of your cabinets: cabinet brand, construction, wood type, and features. It is important to research all of your options. What you will find is that a higher price doesn't always correspond with higher quality, and some of the lesser-known cabinet lines will actually have a stronger construction.

There are however, a few general kitchen cabinet buying tips that may help you in your kitchen cabinet research.

Kitchen Cabinet Wood Choices

Whether you are buying custom made cabinets, stock cabinets, or RTA cabinets, they will all offer a wide range of wood choices. Solid hardwood cabinets, such as Cherry, Maple, Birch, Hickory and Oak typically cost much more than laminate or veneer finished cabinets.

Face Framed Kitchen Cabinets

Face framed kitchen cabinet construction is the most prevalent kitchen cabinet construction type in the United States and usually it is lower cost. This construction technique involves the building of a kitchen cabinet face out of hardwood pieces. Typically the cabinet face is constructed using several 1"x 2" vertical and horizontal hardwood pieces. The face frame is then married to the front of a particleboard or solid plywood kitchen cabinet box. It is highly recommended that you try to find cabinets that use solid wood or solid plywood for the cabinet box.

Particleboard and Fiberboard will have a tendency to sag or warp over time from moisture. Even mid-priced RTA cabinets are available that are made from solid Plywood sides. Hardwood or veneered/laminated cabinet doors and drawer faces, are then attached via hinges and roller mechanisms to the face frame and cabinet box.

Frameless (European-Style) Kitchen Cabinets

Frameless kitchen cabinet construction is becoming increasingly popular today as frameless kitchen cabinets are considered to be more contemporary. With frameless cabinets there is no face frame. The kitchen cabinet doors attach directly to the sides of the cabinet and are secured with pins and dowels. The advantages of this type of construction, is that there is wider access into the cabinet space and the hinges are completely hidden. Typically "ready-to-install" kitchen cabinets are constructed in this manner.

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

There are many Kitchen cabinet finishes to choose from when using natural woods. Cabinet finishes include stain, paint and glazing options. In addition there are my types of distressing techniques that can also be employed on kitchen cabinet surfaces. Some options include Rasping, Antiquing and Rub-thru.

There are also many types of laminates that you can choose from.

Kitchen Cabinet Sizes

Kitchen cabinets come in a variety of standard shapes and sizes, however custom sizes can also be easily specified and manufactured - at a price. Standards kitchen cabinet sizes, known as stock cabinets, are usually much more affordable then custom or semi-custom cabinets and usually have shorter lead times. Most manufacturers, unless custom built, stock universal sizes so if you have a kitchen designed at supply store or by a designer it will usually be transferable to another cabinet line.

Kitchen Cabinet Quality

If you plan on living in your home for many years, do not skimp on your kitchen cabinets. They are constantly used and abused, and only the sturdiest will stand the test of time.

The best kitchen cabinets employ solid frames, doors and drawers and are fully self-contained (closed backs), with reinforced corners. As I mentioned before, it is important to look for cabinets that have a plywood box versus particleboard or fiberboard. This is why it is important to look at all of the cabinet lines that are available, even cabinets that are sold on-line.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Before You Buy Cabinets

Before you buy cabinets for your new kitchen or bathroom remodel, there are some important things you should know and important questions you need to answer. This guide can help you zero in on the basics of buying cabinets, including budget, size, style, quality, construction, and finish. These should all be considered before you make a final decision to buy.

Set the Budget for Your Cabinets

Cabinets account for 40% to 50% of the total cost of your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, so setting your total budget figure will be one of the first things you’ll need to do. But don’t let this decision scare you off. The cabinets you select will set the tone of your new kitchen or bathroom and play a major role in transforming your space.

Measure Your Space for the Cabinets

You’ll eventually want a professional to come to your home and look at your space, but you should measure your area and think about where you might want the new cabinets to fit. With these preliminary measurements in hand, you’ll be able to give more accurate information to the salesman at the home center or kitchen store, and he’ll be able to give you more precise estimates and ideas for your project.

Choose Stock, Semi-Custom, or Custom Cabinets

Stock cabinets are least expensive, are constructed in standard shapes and sizes, and are available in a limited number of woods or styles. Semi-custom cabinets are factory-built in standard sizes, with many options for storage, design and style. The high end of cabinet construction is custom cabinets. They are constructed in either a workroom to designer specifications or on-site in any style and finish.

So Many Options in Cabinet Design

Stock cabinets offer few options beyond drawers and cupboards. But semi-custom and custom cabinets provide endless solutions to your storage needs. Pullout shelves for pans, a lazy Susan, a wine rack, vertical dividers for trays and cookie sheets, an appliance garage, or pullout bins are some of the standard add-ons. If you have a space too narrow for a cabinet and counter, a tall pantry closet provides lots of space, either for pots and pans in the kitchen or towels in the bath.

You Have a Choice in Quality of Cabinets

If you’ll live in the home for a short time, you can select a basic style of cabinets. But if this is going to be your “dream kitchen” or bath, you should look for top-quality construction. Cabinets should have solid frames, door and drawer fronts, reinforced corners and closed backs. Drawers and doors of cabinets will be opened and closed many times a day and should operate smoothly and quietly. The finish on the wood should be smooth.

Choose Your Decorating Style for Your Cabinets

Look in magazines and stores to find what look you like. Stock cabinets come in a limited number of styles, whereas semi-custom and custom cabinets offer more choices. Choose a style that blends well with the architecture of your home as well as the interior design of the other rooms. You can choose natural wood finish in a number of colors and woods, painted or stained, or laminate finished.