Aug 29, 2019
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Fireplace Design

Picture how your fireplace will be used. You’ve probably already got a location in mind, but the practicality of the location may be affected by venting needs, installation clearance requirements and fuel choices.

Part 1: GREAT EXPECTATIONS

First, why are you installing a fireplace? Is is for recreational use and entertaining? Is it serving as a backup emergency heating system? Supplemental heat for a chilly room? Is it simply a decorative element to enhance your decor? Fireplaces are available in a wide range of designs fireplaces being used as supplemental or backup heat sources will get the most use and a higher quality (more expensive) model will be a better choice that generally offers greater efficiency.

Who will be using the new fireplace? What is your lifestyle? Elderly people and those with health problems may not be able to handle the vigors of toting firewood. But if you have the time to enjoy the rituals of cutting, splitting and stacking wood and the idea of free heat from fallen trees on your property, an investment in a wood burning fireplace may suit your needs perfectly. Otherwise, expand your possibilities to gas or electric fireplaces.

Fireplace design experts and chimney sweeps agree that low-end, builder-grade fireplaces should only be used for occasional, recreational fires such as family gatherings at holidays. If you expect to use your fireplace once a week or more during the winter, opt for a higher end model that will last for many years because replacement is an expensive, time-consuming project. Now let’s begin with the next stage of planning.

Part 2: CHOOSING THE FUEL

Wood

Do you picture burning natural firewood? Wood burning fireplaces will put the most restraints on your design. The chimney system must run vertically in a relatively straight configuration and clear the roof line according to local codes, which are a minimum of 3′ in most areas – but can be excessively more depending upon your roof pitch and home design. You’ll want the fireplace installed in an area that’s accessible to a doorway to the outside to bring in your firewood and take out ashes. A wood burning fireplace will also have the greatest requirements for a fireproof hearth that protrudes into the room and for side and top clearances. And unless you opt for a high-end, energy efficient fireplace fireplace design that offers tightly sealing doors for long burn times and upgraded designs to provide high heat output, burning wood may actually remove more heat from your room than it adds.

Opening front, decorative wood burning fireplaces are banned as new appliance choices in some areas that are prone to air quality problems. Decorative fireplaces consume a lot of fuel, can produce excessive amounts of smoke into your neighborhood, and offer little to no heat output. So carefully consider the quality and features of the models available during your planning stages. Higher end models may give you many more years of service plus convenience features that give you longer burn times, more heat from every piece of wood and cleaner burning that results in less smoke and a cleaner chimney.

Make sure you have a good source of firewood available and space to stack your wood pile. The type of wood you burn – and how you store and care for your firewood – will greatly affect your wood burning experience.

For all but the most talented do-it-yourselfers, a woodburning fireplace is a job that is best done by a licensed and experienced professional.

Gas

Gas fireplaces offer a convenient, realistic flame at the touch of a button. Remote controls are available for most models. Many can also use thermostat controls that adjust the flame or turn the fire on and off based on the room temperature. Venting options may allow installation in nearly any room, on any floor of your home.

Gas fireplaces come in a variety of styles, sizes and designs and offer multiple venting options. Decorative models won’t give you much heat, while higher end models can heat an open floor plan nearly as effectively as a furnace. Direct vent models may vent horizontally or give you enough options with offsets for the vent to terminate remotely from the fireplace. Every model from every manufacturer is different, so check installation requirements carefully to make sure your design can be implemented for safe and efficient use.

Gas fireplaces are designed to burn either Natural Gas (piped into your home by the city gas company) or LP (Liquid Propane) which is stored in a tank in your yard.

Installation of a gas fireplace will require a plumber or HVAC technician (check local codes) to run gas lines to the fireplace and to install the fireplace and venting system, so this is a project that will require professional installation.

Electric Fireplaces

Once not even a consideration for fireplaces, electric fires are now all the rage. They operate at 100% efficiency and require no venting so they can be installed any where. They may also be the only option for renters or for high-rise condos and office buildings. Designs range from small to large, traditional to contemporary. Most include a heater than can provide plenty of warmth for smaller areas. There are no special installation requirements – just plug into an existing 3-prong outlet – so this is a relatively simple installation that most homeowners can accomplish on their own.

Now that we know what type of fuel is right, let’s plan where it will be installed.

Part 3: CHOOSING YOUR FIREPLACE LOCATION

As we learned in part two, the fuel you’ll be burning in your fireplace may dictate where the fireplace can be installed based on the venting requirements of the model chosen. A woodburning fireplace in an upstairs bedroom is not practical because you’ll be toting wood up and carrying ashes down.

Sometimes a compromise will be required to meet venting and clearance requirements of the fireplace style you choose. Your ideal location between two windows may not work, but the more spacious area on the opposite wall would be perfect. Or perhaps the woodburning fireplace you prefer between the windows can’t fit, but a gas burning model will. So determine how important the location of the fireplace is to the design you have in mind and remain flexible during this stage of planning.

Placement

Depending upon the era, fireplaces have been designed through the ages with a variety of styles. A corner fireplace may provide the perfect balance for other elements in the room. Flat or low-profile hearths are more practical in smaller rooms where you’ll be less like to stub your toe walking by. Flat hearths were popular from the early 1800’s to the 1940’s. Raised hearths may bring the fireplace up to offer a better view from a bed or sofa. A hearth raised 16″ to 18″ offers additional seating in the room. Think of the design elements in your room, how the furniture will be arranged, and the type of fireplace you’re installing. Raised hearths allow less bending when loading or tending to a wood fire. If you’re trying to replicate the look of a particular era then research the style of fireplaces, surround and hearth materials plus mantel styles that were popular at that time.

I’ve chosen my fuel and the room it’s going to be installed into, now how should it look?

Part 4: CUSTOMIZING YOUR FIREPLACE DESIGN

A fireplace is usually a generic box that holds a fire. Decorative accents provided by the manufacturer (such as trim styles and door or window finishes) will be your next decision. The greatest element of your design style will be the hearth, surround, trim and mantel choices.

The hearth is the extension into the room that provides protection to your flooring while the surround provides protection for the walls surrounding your fireplace. Requirements will vary greatly for the surround and hearth based on the type of fuel your fireplace burns and the individual requirements for the model chosen. Woodburning fireplaces will most often require a hearth 18″ or more in front of the fireplace, and extending to each side to offer maximum protection for sparks and tumbling embers. Gas fireplaces and electric fireplaces may require little to no hearth or surround, although incorporating these elements into your design may offer a more authentic look and appeal for your room.

Hearths and surrounds can incorporate a wide variety of materials just be sure and choose the right material, in the correct thickness for heat transfer protection, and make sure it’s installed correctly. Make sure there is adequate weight support beneath the fireplace and hearth area to support the fireplace, venting system and hearth/surround materials. A fireproof underlayment may be needed in some installations. Here are some materials you may consider for hearths and surrounds:

Brick or brick veneers

Stone, stone veneers or cultured stone

Ceramic tile

Slate, marble, granite & solid surface materials

Metallic surfaces such as stainless steel or copper

Cement slabs

Mantels and Trim

Your mantel and trim choice may have the greatest impact on the aesthetic design of your fireplace. A grand mantel can take a standard fireplace from ordinary to exquisite! Many home owners choose to allot more of their budget for the fireplace installation into the mantel than any other part of the project, so consider how the mantel will affect your overall look and costs. The mantel is installed to from the surround and provide a finished look. Detailed mantels are most often used in homes with a traditional design. The mantel includes decorative vertical trim that sits on the fireplace hearth and most often includes a mantel shelf.

Make sure the mantel is installed to allow sufficient clearances to amply meet the fireplace manufacturer’s instructions. Deep shelves, for example, can present challenges with wood burning fireplaces as the overhang can cause fire hazards due to the excessive rising heat.

Mantels are available in a huge variety of materials, styles and designs:

Marble

Wood

Cast Iron

Limestone

Cultured Stone

Plaster

Resin

Looking for a very contemporary design? Contemporary designs use simple lines to create a harmonious feel, or exciting textures and patterns that might not be enhanced by use of a mantel or shelf. In a contemporary design, consider using a simple trim the merely finishes off the edges of your surround.

I have the perfect design in mind! I know just how it should look and I’m ready to go!

Part 5: THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF FIREPLACE INSTALLATION & PLANNING

The complexity of your fireplace design and installation will determine how much help the average do-it-yourselfer may participate in the project.

Plan, Plan and Check Your Plans Again!

Does the fireplace offer the features you most want?

Can your home accommodate any required venting needs?

Do you have adequate space for the fireplace plus the needed framing and hearth required for this model?

What hearth and surround will you use?

Have you chosen a mantel that meets clearance requirements?

We recommend that you draw your fireplace project on paper and plan all dimensions very carefully. A great next step is to use newspaper and create a template on your floor and wall so that you can visually see the amount of space that will be allotted to your new fireplace installation, how close furniture will be to the new fireplace, etc.

Buy your fireplace and find your contractors

Now that you’ve chosen your fireplace, your surround, hearth and mantel, what’s next?

Purchase from a retailer or supplier that meets your individual needs. You may even find that a single store can help with everything you need: the fireplace, venting, mantel and surround plus the installers to get the whole job done for you. Or you may need to buy from several sources to get all the materials needed for the project. Buy from the store(s) that offer the technical support and product selection that you most desire.

Framing and sheetrock will probably be needed. Is this a job you can do yourself, or is a carpenter or handyman required? Make sure framing allows not only the proper opening for the fireplace but the hearth and mantel as well.

If you’re installing a gas fireplace, make sure you have a licensed tradesman to run gas lines. Arrange for delivery of the LP gas tank or connection of gas lines to your home if you’re adding a gas fireplace to a home that doesn’t already have gas appliances in use. Gas service may include a wait from a few days to several weeks, so plan early!

After the framing is done, the fireplace is installed. Check building code requirements and make sure you or the contractor apply for the permit and have the required inspections done to help assure the fireplace is installed safely and correctly. Installation of a wood or gas burning fireplace, the venting system and the gas lines are jobs best left to a professional. A safety inspection is performed after the fireplace is installed, checking for proper clearances to framing, proper installation of the venting system and proper installation of gas lines.

After the framing inspection is done, you may install sheetrock, surround and hearth materials, and the mantel. This part of the project may be done by talented homeowners, or may be left in the hands of tradesmen specializing in the materials you’ve chosen such as tile installers, carpenters, general contractors or talented handy-man companies.

After your fireplace installation is complete, a final inspection by the building inspector is required for gas or wood burning fireplaces. This helps assure that another tradesman has not covered combustible areas of the fireplace with surround materials (such as covering vents on the fireplace with tile) and that the hearth and mantel are installed with proper clearances. Final gas inspections are also done at this time, perhaps by a different inspector.

After final inspections are done, follow your manufacturer’s instructions for break-in use. This usually involves small, low fires that help cure paint and refractory materials used on gas and wood burning fireplaces. Review use and safety instructions with everyone in the home who will be operating the new fireplace.

Now uncork the wine, call your friends and family, light a fire and enjoy! Your new fireplace will add a special warmth to a chilly evening. You’ve made a great investment in your home’s value and to your quality of life.

This article copyrighted by THE FIREPLACE CHANNEL

Karen Duke is a fireplace, chimney and hearth industry expert of over 25 years in both the retail and service sectors. She is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and has numerous hearth industry certifications. She is the founder and webmaster of [http://www.TheFireplaceChannel.com] and she is the co-founder and webmaster of http://www.TheVictorianFireplace.com , which is one of the largest online fireplace retailers in the world. She makes her home in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Karen’s contact information can be found on either of the above sites.

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Aug 27, 2019
lkncabadmin
Comments Off on Almost 10 Years with Angies List!

Almost 10 Years with Angies List!

About Us on Angie’s List for over 9 years!


Locally owned small company that offers turn-key remodeling at affordable pricing. Specialty is kitchen and baths. Dealer of several cabinet lines with a Showroom by appointment only located in Cornelius. Additional DBAs – Skyefox Homes and LKN Cabinets. Additional contact name – Blake Fox. Additional emails – blake@lkncabinets.com, brian@lkncabinets.com. Cost is determined by the job.
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Ratings and Reviews for LKN Cabinets & Remodeling
A
Review: Home Remodeling Service
2 months ago
Total Kitchen redo

Our kitchen flooded one day after we took my husband to Hospice. I can not say enough GOOD about Brian and his whole crew at LNK cabinets. Quick, professional, excellent craftsmanship and sensitive to what was going on. I HIGHLY recommend and am scheduling them to come back and do bathrooms. TOP NOTCH!

Services Performed
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Countertop Installation Service
3 months ago
Kitchen and bath remodeling

We have used LKN Cabinets and Remodeling three times, first to redo our master bathroom, then for our kitchen and guest bath a few years later. Most recently they redid bathrooms and the kitchen of an investment property. If we ever need similar services we would use them again. They are amazing to work with and they never try to get you to spend more than you want…in fact, they guide you to less expensive options when appropriate. They do a great job estimating the costs and coming in on time and on estimate. I have recommended them to others who have also been totally satisfied.

Services Performed
Countertop Installation
Flooring
Home Remodeling
Interior Painting
A
Review: Home Remodeling Service
8 months ago
Order and install kitchen cabinets

Wonderful! The cabinet quality is great for the money. LKN Cabinets and Remodeling beat all of the other quotes we received. The turnaround time for the order and installation was also weeks faster than other companies. We look forward to our next remodel project and will definitely use LKN Cabinets again.

Services Performed
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Cabinet Making Service
10 months ago
Complete kitchen and 2 bathroom remodel

Very professional service. LKN Cabinets schedules a consultation then sets up an appointment to review the space that you need remodeling. Pristine work and Craftsmanship throughout. I would highly recommend their company and would definitely use their services again.

Services Performed
Cabinet Making
Tile Installation
Countertop Installation
Room Remodeling
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Cabinet Making Service
10 months ago
Full cabinet install for a new home

I have nothing negative to say about Brian and his team. We have been building a custom home which has been quite the challenge and out of all of the companies we dealt with, they were the best. On time, responsive, and very professional. I would recommend them to anyone for sure.

Services Performed
Cabinet Making
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Home Remodeling Service
1 year ago
Kitchen Renovation

Brian and his crew were great to work with. Brian gave us a clear explanation of the cost involved with our renovation and he stayed true to that list. He also made suggestions to keep us within the budget. Brian responded quickly to any questions or concerns, which made the process stress-free. We are extremely happy with the end result.

Services Performed
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Cabinet Making Service
1 year ago
Kitchen Remodel

Brian Powers of LKN Cabinets is PHENOMENAL! This was our first “renovation” and I could not have asked for a better experience. Brian was patient, HONEST, and most notably, went above and beyond. Brian is so much more than a contractor – he was basically my interior designer as well! When I couldn’t decide on a backsplash he went to the tile store and picked me up samples he thought would work. He did multiple iterations of the kitchen’s layout and somehow figured out how to get everything I wanted within budget. He is trustworthy, would always give me his honest opinion and was always reachable. I can’t wait to have him back to do my bathrooms (one day – hopefully soon!)

Services Performed
Cabinet Making
Countertop Installation
Plumber
Room Remodeling
Marble & Granite
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Marble & Granite Service
1 year ago
Replaced old oak kitchen cabinets and laminate counters with new shaker style cabinets and granite with marble back splash

We replaced all of our old oak kitchen cabinets and laminate counters with new white and gray cabinets, granite counter tops and marble tile backsplash. Brian was very helpful and was easy to reach when I had questions. I also had sketched out a design that I hoped to have in addition to the replacement cabinets. Brian took my sketch and brought it to life with his computer program and was able to design the area I wanted by exact measurements. I am very pleased with the outcome and highly recommend LKN cabinets for a kitchen remodel. Very friendly and great communication. Quality of work was awesome!

Services Performed
Marble & Granite
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Home Remodeling Service
2 years ago
My wife & I had just purchased a new home that was in need of remodeling in the kitchen & upstairs bathrooms. After we had received a outrageous quote from another company we decided to reach out to Brian for a quote. He came out to measure and gave us our options. He even provided us a rendering on what the new cabinet layouts would look like.

Brian and his workers did a great job. He kept us informed throughout the entire process and stayed within the price that he quoted us. The new cabinets, countertops, can lighting and all that look great and we couldn’t be happier with their service. We look forward to hiring them for further projects in the future and would highly recommend them.

Services Performed
Home Remodeling
A
Review: Cabinet Making Service
2 years ago
Kitchen Cabinets & New Counter Tops

Install was smooth and timely. When they place the order for the cabinets it is a 10 business day turn around for installation. After cabinets, it will be about 2 more weeks for counters.

Services Performed
Cabinet Making
Countertop Installation
Marble & Granite
Home Remodeling

About Us

  • on Angie’s List for 9 years

Locally owned small company that offers turn-key remodeling at affordable pricing. Specialty is kitchen and baths. Dealer of several cabinet lines with a Showroom by appointment only located in Cornelius. Additional DBAs – Skyefox Homes and LKN Cabinets. Additional contact name – Blake Fox. Additional emails – blake@lkncabinets.com, brian@lkncabinets.com. Cost is determined by the job.Contact Us

Aug 22, 2019
lkncabadmin
Comments Off on Kitchen Remodel Increase Home Value

Kitchen Remodel Increase Home Value

Kitchen remodeling is among the most popular of remodeling projects each year, as kitchens have become the center of activity in the home. Kitchen remodeling is the home improvement job that adds the most value to your house. Because kitchens have become the center of activity in the home, kitchen redesigning is among the most popular of remodeling projects each year.

A kitchen remake is one of the most desirable home improvement projects for many Houston area homeowners. A Kitchen remodeling is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to home improvement and often adds more than the cost of the project to the value of the home. Specifically, a kitchen remodel provides the highest return on value of any form of remodeling. Kitchen remodeling is a lot of work, but the results can be spectacular.

Remodeling Projects

Remodeling your kitchen can be a very large job, and there are many important aspects to take into consideration when remodeling. By remodeling your kitchen you can add value to your home, and at the same time save money with energy efficient kitchen appliances, or by replacing your drafty kitchen windows. Redesigning your kitchen can be expensive, especially if you hire a contractor to the work, but a new kitchen can greatly increase home value. Remodeling costs will vary depending on the number of new appliances (and their price level), and price quality of cabinets, type of counter tops, and labor to do the job. Remodeling any room of your home takes a lot of creativity and commitment.

Remodeling your kitchen can not only add to your home’s value, it can give you additional storage and work space. Remodeling your kitchen is no small task and there are many important considerations, but the end result is worth the commitment especially if you make wise choices along the way. Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to give your home a face lift.

Real Estate Value Enhancements

A real estate agent can be a good resource when considering how extensive a kitchen remodeling project to undertake. Even if you are not considering moving, but rather want to remodel for your own satisfaction, Real Estate Agents are usually quite aware of how much previous clients have spent on remodeling and how much the value of the home increased as a result, and how much would be too much. In the past, “home remodeling” simply meant repair jobs, but modern trends and increased home improvement options have fueled a demand for homes that are customized to individual needs.

Contractors

Contractors usually charge by the hour for their labor plus the cost of materials. Contractors that understand the business know that fulfilling the needs of the customer is what gets the deal. Contractors can eat up a large portion of your budget. Contractors that specialize in kitchen remodeling are far more experienced in working with the kinds of plumbing, gas, and the electrical issues that can arise during a kitchen remodel.

Appliances

Appliances are expected to blend in with the rest of the room and to work diligently but quietly. By remodeling your kitchen you can add value to your home, and at the same time save money with energy efficient kitchen appliances, or by replacing your drafty kitchen windows. Appliances usually come in fairly standard sizes, so they won’t be difficult to replace once your kitchen remodeling is done and you’ve had time to save up some more money. Appliances can be one of the most costly items to replace in a kitchen so it is a good idea to look carefully at what features are of greatest importance to you. Appliances today are sleek, flexible, and offer more convenience than ever before.

Budget

You will want to make sure you are choosing the right kitchen remodel for your home and your budget. Depending on your needs, your wants, and your budget, the costs can vary widely. Budget kitchen remodeling is a challenging task that requires you to have a creative bent of mind and come up with your own innovative ideas that also suit your pocket. A kitchen planner/designer’s focus should be to design for the way a person lives, and asking the right questions will ensure your finished kitchen fits you and your budget. Whatever your budget, there is a large variety of cabinets and counter tops available that will fit your taste and budget.

Conclusion

Kitchen remodeling is worth your expense, provided your kitchen is in hands of experienced kitchen contractors. Kitchen remodeling is a great way to help transform your house into your dream home. Kitchen remodeling is limited only by imagination and your budget. Kitchen remodeling is one of the best investments you can make in your home.

For additional free Home Sale Tips or information on how to sell your Houston home, please visit http://www.houstonproperties.com.

Paige Martin is a member of the prestigious Martha Turner Properties’ Circle of Excellence, an award given to honor the company’s top producers. Paige is a member of the Houston Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. Her website, http://www.HoustonProperties.com, features over 500 pages of Houston real estate information and details on over 40,000 properties of Houston Texas Real Estate for sale as well, as free tips on how to quickly sell Houston homes. Paige Martin, Realtor, Martha Turner Properties.

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