Posts Tagged "Kitchen Renovations"

Cedar-Roof-in-Waccabuc,-NY

4 Home Renovation Ideas for Spring 2019

March 6, 2019

Spring is right around the corner, the perfect time to start your next home renovation project. The weather is favorable enough to begin preliminary construction, and if you plan correctly, you may be able to make the most of your renovation by summer.

Pros and Cons of Today’s Most Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

November 6, 2015

It’s easy to take your countertops for granted.

They collect your mail, hold your keys (although you may forget you put them there), and support countless cooking triumphs… and failures. They’re spilled on, leaned on, and relied on, from breakfast through supper.

You could say your counters are the strong, silent type.

If you have ever tackled a kitchen remodeling project, you know that suddenly countertops call for more attention than you maybe have ever given them before. There are seemingly endless materials, styles, and colors to choose from, ranging from quiet and unassuming to packed with natural character and unpredictable patterns. In fact, there are a huge number of popular kitchen features to decide on and evaluate in general, adding to the complexity of the process.

You also might start experiencing another common part of the remodeling process: “helpful” advice from friends. If you don’t keep firm footing you can easily get washed away in a flood of tips and stories, all tinted with their unique experiences and situation.

Advice is great (in small doses), but the simple truth is that you need to make your countertop choice on your own. It all comes to down to your needs, taste, budget, and interest in maintenance. We’d like to take you on a quick tour of a few of your options, and offer what we hope are helpful considerations.

Our goal isn’t to be just another voice in the crowd, but rather to help you cut through the noise and find what will work best for you.

Popular Countertop Materials

First, let’s zoom out a little and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of your options. After that, we’ll zoom back in and take a closer look at a few of the most popular countertops being used in today’s kitchens.

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Manufactured Quartz
  • Soapstone
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Tile
  • Laminate
  • Concrete
  • Stainless Steel
  • Wood

Pros and Cons of Granite Kitchen Counters


Granite has become synonymous with the idea of quality countertops, and an immediate feature of interest for home builders, buyers, and renters alike. Let’s take a closer look at this popular option.

PROS:

  • Style – Granite has earned its place as a countertop frontrunner for good reason. It’s stunning, timeless, and can find a happy home within a wide variety of kitchen styles. It also offers character, meaning that it has a story to tell in every natural swirl and color explosion across its surface.
  • Price – We’ve put this in the “PROS” category because pricing is highly-dependent on the color of the stone, the thickness of the slab, how rare its qualities are, and seasonal considerations. Talking with your remodeling professional about your specific goals and needs is the best way to determine if it is the right material for your budget.
  • Longevity – With care, this is a choice that can last a lifetime.
  • ROI (Return On Investment) – Granite counters are a quality feature that adds tremendous “wow factor” to your home. Investments in kitchens and bathrooms offer high ROI, making this a material choice that will likely pay you back someday.

CONS:

  • Natural Look – Let’s take one of the benefits listed above and turn it around. Because of its natural qualities and aesthetic, there is a lack of predictability with granite. If you are looking for a consistent, uniform finish, granite likely is not the right option for you.
  • Maintenance – Because it is a natural material, it does require light maintenance. This typically includes regular cleaning and sealing it 1-2 times per year.
  • Delicacy – Granite may last virtually forever, but that doesn’t mean it is indestructible. You will need to be cautious of scratches, harsh cleaners, staining, and contact with high-temperatures (such as a hot pan being placed on the counter).

Pros and Cons of Marble Kitchen Counters


Marble counters are not quite as common as granite, especially in the kitchen, but they are a well-loved option.

PROS:

  • Beauty – Marble goes beyond “style” and steps into a world of true beauty. Available in a stunning array of colors and patterns, it offers a soft, timeless elegance, and adds an air of class to any space.
  • Unique – Every slab is different, so your counter is guaranteed to be one of a kind.
  • Withstands Heat – Unlike granite, marble is capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of heat without experiencing surface damage.

CONS:

  • Price – While this may be more of a consideration for some than others, the price is still substantial.
  • Staining – As cold and hard as marble may seem to be, it actually is porous. This means that it is very susceptible to stains, absorbing liquids that are left standing on the surface.
  • Durability – Marble just isn’t cut out for life in an active kitchen. It can be chipped, cracked, and scratched fairly easily, making it less than ideal for most homes. This is why it is primarily used in bathrooms, or in display areas like a mantel over a fireplace.

Pros and Cons of Engineered Quartz Kitchen Counters


Engineered quartz is made from ground, natural quartz, bound together by resin. In recent years it has received huge recognition, making it a heavy contender in the countertop popularity contest. Let’s take a closer look at some of its benefits and drawbacks.

PROS:

  • Price – While certainly not a cheap option, manufactured quartz is cheaper than high-end granite and marble.
  • Style – Because it is an engineered material, it is available in a nearly limitless array of styles. You can definitely find the look you’re looking for.
  • Strength – It is stronger than marble and granite, offering a high level of durability.
  • Low-Maintenance – It never needs to be sealed, and it’s scratch and stain resistant.

CONS:

  • Quartz does not handle intense heat well.
  • Because of its incredible weight, installation can be a tricky process. Also, you need a building or remodeling professional to ensure that your home can handle the load, especially if your counters are on a second floor.
  • While beautiful, it does not quite have the recognition and “wow factor” that granite does.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Kitchen Counters


For many years laminate counters have been the go-to product for budget-conscious kitchen remodelers. Are they the right option for you?

PROS:

  • Cost – Laminate counters are a low-price option, allowing you to save money as you update your kitchen.
  • Style – While not exactly sporting natural beauty, laminate options are incredibly diverse.
  • Installation – Laminate materials are easy to work with.
  • Maintenance – Certainly no sealing is necessary, and you can confidently use any cleaners you would like without risk of staining.

CONS:

  • Easily Damaged – You have to be careful of scratching, gouging, or burning the surface. Repairing a laminate countertop is not easy.
  • No Resale Value – Because it is the cheapest option, there really isn’t any “wow factor” or long-term value offered.

Pros and Cons of Soapstone Kitchen Counters

A photo posted by Melanie (@ranchhouserehab) on


Circling back to a naturally-occurring material, let’s talk for a minute about soapstone. This smooth, rich, quarried stone is becoming more and more popular for a few distinct reasons.

PROS:

  • Style – Character abounds in this almost silky stone, and that character only develops as the surface grows older.
  • Heat-Resistant – A hot pan won’t scare a soapstone counter.
  • Low-Maintenance – Non-porous, durable, and water-resistant.
  • Resistant to Bacteria Growth – What’s not to love about that?
  • Lasts Nearly Forever

CONS:

  • The surface can be scratched, but it’s possible to buff the damage out with sandpaper.
  • Limited color options

So, How Do You Pick the Right Kitchen Countertop?

Having so many options is both a blessing and a curse. It can be difficult to narrow it down, and to keep on track with your goals when that specific slab of marble starts to call your name.

Just like it’s a bad idea to grocery shop when you’re hungry, it can be a bad idea to shop for counters without a specific plan in place and a determination to stick to that plan.

Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is my budget? – Stay as true to this figure as possible.
  2. What are my priorities? – It may be that you can afford a pricier counter, but that might mean that your budget needs to be cut down somewhere else. Is your countertop worth it?
  3. Is this your “forever home”? – If you’re planning to sell in a couple of years, investing in a more marketable option that increases home value might not be a bad idea.
  4. Are you willing to maintain a counter? – Options like granite or wood that require occasional sealing and care may be attractive, but they are a commitment.
  5. How much use does your kitchen experience? – If you are an avid cook, a more decorative option like marble is definitely not right for you. If, on the other hand, your counters won’t hold much more than a coffee pot and a take-out box, a more fragile stone might be completely appropriate.
  6. How busy is your home? – If there is a high level of wear and tear, picking a more durable, scratch-resistant surface would be a wise choice.

The key is to look down the road, evaluating your long-term needs rather than simply picking a material because of its beauty. That can be more easily said than done, but it is important!

Align Yourself with a Trustworthy Building and Remodeling Professional

Our last suggestion is to work with people you trust. Find a professional who can you help you navigate your options, and is really interested in actively discussing your needs.

If you live in the Westchester County, NY, or Fairfield County, CT, area, we hope that you might reach out to us at Gerety Building and Restoration. It would be a pleasure to serve you!

Home Improvement Ideas That Will Increase Your Property’s Curb Appeal

April 16, 2015

Spring is the perfect season for giving your home a fresh start.

This process might begin on the inside, and could involve cleaning, organizing, interior painting, and rethinking decorations. It’s also nice to open a window or three and let the warm, refreshing air pour in.

On the other hand, how does the outside of your home look? A little springtime maintenance can go a long way toward preserving and beautifying your property, and it also will boost that important element of curb appeal.

A Walk through a Kitchen Remodel and Addition in Larchmont, NY (Part 2)

January 15, 2015

In our last entry we asked you to join us as we explored a kitchen remodel and expansion project in Larchmont. Specifically, we shared a few exterior pictures and discussed just how much of a difference can be made by even a relatively small addition, debunking the misconception that a life-improving change in your home can only come from a massive project. There is a quiet, valuable power in strategic planning and quality work.

As promised, let’s zoom in even closer now, throw open those beautiful French doors, and take a stroll through this custom kitchen.

A Total Kitchen Transformation

Below you’ll find a picture of the finished interior. Quite a difference!

 

Custom Cabinetry, Wood Floors, and so Much More

Our mission was to completely transform this part of the home. With this goal in mind, we started by demolishing the original kitchen and building the addition to provide the precious square-footage that the client needed.

The scope of the project included:

  • Custom cabinetry
  • Gorgeous wood floors
  • Window and skylight installation
  • French doors (to let in even more soft, natural light)
  • Granite countertops
  • Tile backsplash

We also installed custom lighting to help create the perfect soft, warm ambience, as well as spotlights for specific work areas in the kitchen.

As an additional valuable feature, we installed radiant heat. This is an incredibly comfortable heating system which, in addition to being extremely efficient, also keeps your feet warm as you make the morning coffee. What could be better?

 

What do you think of how it all turned out?

 

Kitchen Features and Amenities

This kitchen obviously boasts some good looks and quality finishing touches. It isn’t just a pretty face, however, but still needs to function as the day-to-day activity hub for this home. To answer the call, we included:

  • New appliances
  • A sub-zero refrigerator
  • A rugged, attractive, and timeless farm sink
  • Nickel hardware

Perhaps the best part of this project was the fact that not only did the addition and remodel turn out beautifully, but our client was absolutely thrilled with the result. After all, that’s what it’s all about! At Gerety Building and Restoration, we want to help you make your home everything that you dream it could be.

Do you have any questions about home building, construction, or remodeling? If so, we would love to hear from you and help however we can. Please feel free to contact us!

High End Kitchen Remodels Promise High Returns

August 31, 2012

The kitchen is the heart of most homes. If you love to cook and entertain, you probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. This is the room where families and friends gather most often, especially if you like to entertain and cook at the same time. Why would you want to spend all that time in a drab, outdated room that lacks space, warmth, and modern design?

While there may be high initial costs, high end kitchens allow for function, great design, and will actually add value to your home. Working with a designer to figure out a plan that will suit your current needs, as well as meet any future needs, is the best way to do a high end remodel. They will steer you in the right direction in order to help you meet those current needs and contemplate what the next homeowner may find useful or off-putting should you sell your home in the future.

 

Even though high end kitchen remodels will cost more than your average do it yourself modifications, the knowledge that everything will be done properly and with care is priceless. When a buyer walks through a home that is for sale, a nice, modern kitchen is usually one of the top things on their list of must-haves. In other words, your kitchen remodel will definitely bring high returns and pay for itself as the value of your home increases over the years.

Even when working with a designer, a high end kitchen remodel does not have to empty your pockets completely. There are many ways to ensure that your money is spent and stretched while still assuring the best quality of workmanship, design, and products.

 

Some things to consider when remodeling a kitchen are custom cabinetry, contemporary lighting and task lighting, ample workspace and storage, and modern, appealing and energy-efficient appliances. Choose pieces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. A lot of people look for stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and lots of storage.

When choosing a designer to help you with your kitchen remodel, do some research and find the one whose tastes fall in line with your own. Each and every piece of the remodel must be planned and approved, and you want to choose a designer who will not butt heads with you over details. You need a team who will work together to get the work finished in a timely manner.

5 Easy Steps to a Stress Free Home Renovation Project

January 9, 2012

With spring around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your home renovation projects. Take the next several weeks to analyze, research, and evaluate your current home to find out what you really want and need. This will save you from wasted time and potentially costly mistake down the road.

Whether it’s that gourmet kitchen you’ve been dreaming about, the outdated master bathroom you’ve been putting off, or the new bedroom addition you desperately need, winter is for planning and spring is for building.

Following this five-step approach will take the stress and anxiety out of the home renovation process, at the same time saving you valuable time and money.

1. Dream It!

Assess Your Situation: Taking a realistic look at your current situation will make all the difference between a good home renovation project and a great one! What problems need to be solved? Walk through your home room by room and take great notes along the way.

Inspiration File: Educate yourself on the materials, finishes and appliances that are available to you. Check out the design magazines and the plethora of home design shows to gather ideas that inspire you in some way. You’ll see a pattern beginning to emerge.

Wish List: Creating your wish list will influence the overall concept and design that you ultimately want your home to reflect. Gathering all of this information will help you determine the overall scope of your project.

2. Plan It!

Budget and Financing: If you plan on staying in your home for ten years or more, then budget what you can to create the home of your dreams. Be realistic, as your lenders will let you know exactly how much you’re qualified to borrow.

Professionals: Hiring the right design professionals will definitely save you valuable time and money, and eliminate any planning mistakes down the road. Pre-planning is undoubtedly the biggest money saver!

The Contract: Once you’ve committed to a licensed contractor review the bid and contract line by line and make sure that the scope of your project is documented throughout. If you’re unclear on a item, ask for clarification.

3. Design It!

Floor Plan: Designing the floor plan is where you begin to see your dream
take shape. Try to visualize this space three dimensionally.

Details: Whatever your style, focusing on the details will set your space apart from the rest and will provide you with a true reflection of your
personality.

Shopping: Selecting the perfect materials, finishes, appliances and fixtures
is what will infuse the detail and character into your project. Take your
plans, samples and photos with you on every single shopping trip. You never know what you’ll find.

4. Do It!

Demolition: This is chaos at its best. If you want to release some deep seeded aggression now’s the time to grab a hammer and crowbar and help the demo crew. I highly recommend it!

Construction: The most exciting phase of the renovation process. This is where you begin to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Attending weekly site meetings and following an agenda will keep your project
running smoothly.

Coping with Construction: Be realistic and plan for delays. It will reduce the level of stress and anxiety you could potentially feel. Be flexible.

5. Live It!

Punch List:

Do a final walk-through with your contractor and list all the outstanding minor repairs and completions that still need to be done before your project is one hundred percent complete.

Clean Up:

Even if your stipulated a clean up clause in your contract, hire your own cleaning crew to come in just before you move back in. Just remember though – it will take weeks for the dust to settle.

Moving Back In:

It’s all behind you and you’ve made it through the renovation process relatively unscathed. Now roll up your sleeves and put your personal signature on everything. Invite some family and friends over for that dinner party you’ve wanted to host – and start living the dream.

Kitchen Renovation: Adding Value To Your Home

December 8, 2011

A kitchen renovation is one of the smartest ways to add value to your home. Real estate experts agree that a well-designed and updated kitchen attracts buyers. Whether you are completely remodeling or simply making a few updates, homeowners can improve the appeal of their home and increase the value with a kitchen renovation.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report, a homeowner will recoup about 60% of the cost of a major kitchen renovation. This makes it one of the best remodeling choices for homeowners looking to build equity in their home. A modern kitchen makes your home more valuable and more attractive to buyers when the time comes to sell.

The kitchen is the heart of a home. It is a place to gather as a family, visit with friends, and share meals. Because it is one of the most popular rooms in the house, kitchens tend to suffer a lot of wear and tear over time. Countertops, appliances, and flooring can get worn and damaged, decreasing the style and appeal of the room.

A kitchen renovation may include knocking down walls to add space or redesigning the layout to improve functionality. Homeowners have the chance to design the room they have always wanted. Make the most of it by increasing storage space and improving traffic flow.

Consider upgrading your appliances to high-efficiency models. Not only can they save you money in energy costs, you may be eligible for tax rebates. Be sure that your electrical wiring and plumbing are properly installed to prevent damage and ensure that your appliances will work correctly.

Your existing cabinets can be re-surfaced or you may decide to replace them entirely with new ones. Choose a countertop surface that will blend well with your cabinets. Stone, especially granite, gives your kitchen an up-scale and classic look that will last the lifetime of your home.

Hardwoods and ceramic tiles are the most popular choices for kitchen flooring. Both materials are attractive to buyers and need very little maintenance to look good.

Lighting is extremely important in the kitchen. Ambient lighting will keep the room bright. Task lighting illuminates the food prep and cooking area. Under cabinet lighting can accentuate the beauty of your room.

Find a wall color that will accentuate your new cabinets, flooring, appliances, and countertops. Consider the addition of a colorful backsplash or accent wall to create a focal point in the room.

A kitchen renovation is a large project and can take months to fully complete. Discuss a timeline and a specific budget for your project with us so you will know what to expect.

Not everyone is willing or able to complete a large-scale renovation of the kitchen. Even minor improvements can change the entire look of your kitchen and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Whether you are selling your home or simply want to improve the room’s appearance, small projects like painting or replacing outdated appliances can make a big difference to the value of your home.

How To Choose Custom Kitchen Cabinetry

August 12, 2011

If you consider choosing custom kitchen cabinets an open and shut matter, you are gravely mistaken. Whether it is a new or a remodeled variety that you want, you could have a tough time getting hold of the variety that you want. Since the choices and options are endless; you will really have a tough time finding the item of your choice. Cabinets add up to 70 percent of almost every kitchen’s cost so you need to ensure that you are getting the best return on your investment. A single mistake on your part and it could ruin your entire investment! So make sure that you are carrying out each and every process of selecting your custom kitchen cabinetry with the required amount of attention and precision.

If, you wish to control your costs, and at the same time want to have great looking custom cabinets, you will need to do some research. Or you can even go for the option of purchasing standard sized cabinets and then opting for upgrades. You would have fewer finish options but you would surely get custom kitchen cabinetry at a much lower cost. You can always get custom units which offer the perfect fit and exact dimensions if you are ready to research adequately. Top-quality materials and craftsmanship can be used if you are not on a tight budget and these superior quality items are easily available in the market.

Your first task will be to analyze your kitchen’s layout and cooking habits of your family. Depending on these factors, analyze what you would need to store in your custom kitchen cabinetry. You may even have plans to get accessories for your cabinetry, but for that you need to organize your kitchen activities through the skillful organization of your cabinetry. If you feel that you are not competent enough to carry out the task, seek professional guidance. An architect or a kitchen designer can help you in the process of making choices thereby making the most of your space.

You should always select your cabinetry based on the material used to manufacture it. Take some time to select the wood and the desired finish. Try to choose those which are easy to clean and are durable. Opt for those manufacturers who offer warranties and cover typical repairs. Browse through showroom samples in order to get a broad idea of the items that these manufacturers make. Since custom kitchen cabinetry should be designed on the basis of your desires and demands, you need to spend a good amount of time and energy finding a design that is appropriate for you and your kitchen. You can even get help from your friends and relatives who have purchased such cabinets at some point of time. Their suggestions can be of great help when it comes to choosing your cabinetry.

Custom cabinetry is the best investment you can make in your home improvement. Make your house a home with kitchen cabinetry crafted to your exact requirements for the kitchen you only dare dream of. Now it can be reality. You’ll be surprised how affordable your dream custom kitchen cabinets can be.

Kitchen Remodel in Chappaqua NY

July 13, 2011

 

The kitchen is the one room in your home that you will immediately feel the benefits of remodeling since it is one of the most frequented room in most homes. We do our best to make the whole process as easy and painless as possible.

Here is a brief description of a kitchen remodeling project we are in the process of completing:

For this particular kitchen remodel our client decided to go with Candlelight Cabinets.

The Door Style was Nottingham Square and the finish selected was a Davinci Snowflake.

A Model Engineered Oak flooring with a Colonial Stain Semigloss finish was selected (pictures coming soon)