Nov 6, 2009
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Cabinet Installation – Dealing With Corners


Chances are if you are planning on completing a kitchen cabinet installation, you will encounter at least one corner. Dealing with corners can be a bit tricky if you do not follow a certain sequence. I always start installing cabinets working from the corner out. However if you simply install the corner cabinet first, in most situations you will eventually encounter problems installing subsequent cabinets.

The chances are good that if the cabinets are to be installed against a wall, that either the cabinets or the walls are not at precisely the same angle. If you simply attach the corner cabinet first and the walls were built at less than a 90 degree angle to each other (or even irregularities in the walls themselves), then the remainder of the cabinets will not sit flush with each other. For this reason, I attach as many cabinets as possible to adjacent cabinets and then in turn to the corner cabinet before any cabinets are permanently attached to the wall. This way the best position of the corner cabinets and the attached runs of cabinets may be determined, before screwing then to the wall.

When attaching to the wall make sure that you fill any gaps at the point of attachment with shims. This will ensure that the cabinets will remain plumb when screwing to the studs. Always check to make sure the cabinets remain plumb and level throughout the installation process. A little care taken here will could save the much aggravation and time.Paul Eden is a mechanical engineer who enjoys home improvement projects. He has also recently written about best earphones and DVD VCR Recorders.

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Nov 4, 2009
Comments Off on A Kitchen Remodel Doesn’t Have to Cost You an Arm and a Leg

A Kitchen Remodel Doesn’t Have to Cost You an Arm and a Leg


Come on, admit it. You’d love to have a new and improved kitchen but you’re convinced you could never afford it, right? Remodeling your kitchen doesn’t have to put you into long-term debt. By putting these tips into practice, you could have that kitchen remodel you’ve been dreaming of and still have money left over in the bank.

1. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional. Their insider remodeling secrets could save you a bundle on your kitchen makeover. Advice from a cabinetry company can help you bring affordable elegance to your kitchen remodel.

2. Consider replacing your kitchen cabinets’ hardware as opposed to the entire door. Today’s hardware options include nickel, steel, copper, porcelain, wood and iron to suit a wide range of kitchen remodeling tastes. You’ll be amazed at how big of a transformation this seemingly little strategy can make in your kitchen remodel project.

3. If your kitchen cabinets are sound but the doors have seen better days, refacing them is a much cheaper alternative to replacing them. Glass doors allow you to show off your kitchen collection while laminate doors (in a variety of colors) and wood doors (in a variety of type) give you that contemporary or rustic kitchen remodel look you’re seeking.

4. Eliminate your kitchen clutter with affordable organizational items like pan drawers, lazy susans, cutlery dividers and pull out sink basis. Once everything is stored away inside these inexpensive accessories, your kitchen will look instantly refreshed, without spending a fortune on a complete remodel.

A remodeled and up-to-date kitchen provides one of the highest returns on investment in home improvement. These simple and inexpensive remodeling tips will help you not only enjoy your kitchen more, but will also bring you a higher dollar value when you sell your home.


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Nov 4, 2009
Comments Off on Establishing Remodel Cost – Home Remodeling Critical First Step

Establishing Remodel Cost – Home Remodeling Critical First Step

Nothing ruins a fantastic remodel more quickly than exceeding the project budget. Why is this phenomenon so common in residential remodeling? Simple: Many homeowners struggle to establish a detailed budget at the appropriate time in the course of the project.

Why is establishing remodel cost one of your most important remodeling tools? Determining your budget at the beginning of your project helps in the following ways:

-Prevents wasting time and money on a project that turns out too expensive for your current budget.
-Allows you to more carefully analyze bids from general contractors.
-Forces you to decide emphatically on what you want and what you can afford.
-Puts you in charge of the project costs, not the general contractor or subcontractors.
-Provide your designer (if needed) with cost parameters that help keep costs reasonable.

Establishing remodel cost is a four step process. Follow these guidelines, and you will save yourself time, money and a heart attack when the final bills arrive!

1. Establish Project Scope – Your first step is taking an educated guess on the “scope,” or definition, of the project. Are you looking for a complete kitchen remodel, or just some new paint and cabinet hardware? Are you going to replace a few shrubs in the yard or install a complete outdoor wildlife conservatory? Use a bunch of different sources (books, magazines, websites, design professionals, etc.) to write out a few bullet points of each component of your remodel, its current condition, and what you want the end product to be. For example: Kitchen Cabinets: Existing – Natural wood, yellowing finish, no door hardware. After Remodel – Paint-grade cabinets, white, all new hinges and door pulls. Follow this formula for each piece of the project.

2. Quantify Units – Now that you have a general idea of the project scope, assess quantities of materials you will need. Pull out your tape measure and go to town, identifying critical measurements like square footage, lineal footage, etc. Back to our cabinet example: Kitchen Cabinets – 20 standard cabinet doors and 6 drawers, 38 lineal foot of uppers and lower cabinet faces and frames, 26 door pulls, 20 pairs of hinges, etc. Do this quantity analysis for each piece of your remodel. Take it one at a time. Trust me, it is not too much. Carefully analyzing your measurements and units forces you to think logically through the remodel process piece by piece.

3. Research Prices – This is my favorite part of any remodel project. It gives me an excuse to visit every hardware store and material supplier that relates to my scope of work. Take your list established in step one combined with the quantities establishes in step two, and tour the vendors in your area one-by-one. Carefully research different options, what you like and don’t like, and most importantly, unit cost. You will quickly discover whether or not your remodel dreams are feasible and within your budget. And believe me, it is better to confirm this sooner rather than later. You will also quickly gauge which suppliers and employees know their business, and which are just there to fill space and look helpful. This information is critical once you begin purchasing material. (I will cover effective purchasing in a subsequent posting).

4. Create Spreadsheet – Now you are ready to “estimate” you remodel. I suggest creating a spreadsheet on the computer, as it reduces the chances of a calculation error. Begin by listing each piece of your project. You can either use some industry standard construction cost codes (Google “Construction Cost Codes”) or just think through your project from floor to ceiling or ceiling to floor. Once you formulate a list, put your units from step two in a column next to each item. Then use the third column to input your cost per unit for each item. Lastly, multiply the unit column by the cost column and discover your material cost for each item. Labor is a bit more complex to estimate, but a few quick calls to knowledgeable subcontractors in your area will give you a general idea of labor costs. Once the material and labor costs are totaled, I suggest adding a mark-up if you are going to use a general contractor (10-20%), and an owner contingency cost (5-10%) to the project for those items that inevitable come up in the course of construction.

I encourage you to analyze costs for any remodel project long before you commit to the time, effort and money it takes to complete such a project. For a sample cost spreadsheet, email me at, and I will send you a document I personally created to analyze kitchen remodel costs. It can be easily manipulated for different project types.

Deren S. Monday has spent over a decade in the residential and commercial construction industry, and is a graduate of the Construction Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is also the author of Your Cheap Kitchen Remodel: A Guide to Your Affordable Dream Kitchen. More information on this book can be found at

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