Cabinet Construction – Building the Recessed Base

There are a number of ways to elevate your base cabinet to allow for a recessed toe-kick area. Some cabinetmakers build the tor-kick integral with the cabinet box. I prefer to build a simple box and then elevate it in one of two ways.

The first way is to use scrap plywood and simply build a base platform, usually about 4 inches tall and to a depth of four inches less then the depth of the cabinet. The base is constructed in a manner similar to the way a wall is framed on the floor before it is erected. But instead of studs that are 8 feet you are using plywood “studs” 18 inches or so in length. Once the platform is built, it is shimmed level, and screwed to the wall. The cabinet boxes are then placed on top of this level base or platform.

A second method that is popular is to use adjustable feet. This method is used in frameless cabinet construction and is easy to makes leveling your cabinets a breeze. The cabinet bottoms do have holes bored in them at the proper location, in order to mount the adjustable feet. There are several manufacturers of adjustable feet; my advice is to not select based solely on price. Even the pricier feet are cheap when considering the cost of the job, and they will make installation much easier.

There are a number of ways to level cabinet bases. The two described above are my two favorites, and in my opinion are the easiest to implement.

Questions to Ask Your Home Builder Before Any Construction Begins

If you are considering contracting with a home builder, it is wise to ask questions before making any contract decisions. Here is a helpful list to start with:

1) Do you carry commercial general liability insurance? Consumers will know immediately if this contractor had gained industry stability by carrying general liability insurance. While not mandated to do remodeling, it shows a commitment to protecting client property in case of unintended damages caused by the contractor or his employees.

2) What trade organization do you participate in or are a member of? Building contractors who do so are more apt to be current in their training and knowledgeable about construction codes and materials.

3) If we encounter problems during the project, will it be completed on time? How do you schedule your projects? There are basically two types of home remodeling firms, and should find one that suits your personal style.

4) May I have a list of referrals from past clients?

5) Are your investment dollars and supply purchases going to local businesses or subsidizing a national company and headquarters outside of Minnesota or the United States? Living, working and being involved in the local community generates accountability to our economy, resources, community security, trust, and a sense of pride.

6) Do you guarantee your prices? Many homeowners discover hidden costs well into the project that were are not included in their project estimate. Hiring a contractor purely by price is erroneous. The builder may know in advance he will submit sub-standard blueprints that the city’s building department will absolutely reject, just to gain the contract.

7) Ask if they have experience in building the type of hone you are interested in. If it is to be build with an “European Influence”, for example, is he willing to work with the extra time finding the unique building materials it may take.

8) Is a permit needed, and if so, are you obtaining one? Although many ignore it,, most construction projects, including plumbing and electrical relocation jobs, require a building permit from the city the home is in. Paying more to ensure everything is done properly and having that permit allows consumers to know that construction codes are being adhered to and your home won’t be in danger of electrical fire or numerous other potential problems.

Homeowners can take further precautionary steps and learn more about the home builder choices available, their reputation, and business niche by asking others several key questions.

* Find addresses of completed home builds or remodeling projects and drive by during off-work hours and see if the owners are available to meet. Compile a list of opinions. The more personal references you can gain, the more confident a perspective consumer will be of a builder. At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are visually appealing.

* Local real estate agents can be a great resource. Being absorbed in the home industry, they are sure to know of homeowners who have been pleased with a home builder. Home sellers often enlist a contractor for home renovations or repairs to increase market value and the ability to sell a home quickly.

* Local home builders’ associations are easy to obtain a list of builders who construct homes per geographic area. The National Association of Home Builders has a list. The Better Business Bureau is a great resource, complete with reviews and ratings.

A little homework goes a long way. With answers in hand to the questions you asked your home builder, you can anticipate a great experience and completed home build on time, on budget, fully complaint, and beautiful done to enjoy for years to come.

The Remodeling Stages of Construction – A Homeowners Guide to Their Home Remodeling

Remodeling will consist of one of three stages. The following describes these three stages and what materials they involve. Initial, Intermediate and Extensive Remodeling.

Initial Remodeling: “Face-Lift” Construction

When a home is first constructed, generally it is built to satisfy basic needs. The house will have the necessary bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. that allow the occupants to live humbly. This construction will come at the expense of the finish materials, such as floor coverings.

Typically, the first remodeling process will consist of renewing the finish materials that were economically installed when the house was first built. This will involve replacing materials such vinyl flooring, laminate counter-tops, and fiberglass tub/shower surrounds. The upgrades will be to tile, granite, hardwood, etc. Amateur remodelers can do “Face-Lifts”, but they must have at least a few years experience in order to get it done properly.

Intermediate Remodeling: Secondary Materials

This remodeling process will happen further down the road when secondary materials get outdated or start to fail.

Generally, this will happen 10 years or more form the time of construction. Remodeling will include sub-floors, roofing, windows, etc. This construction process is more in-depth than the first and requires a contractor with more experience in the industry.

Extensive Remodeling: Structural Members

As a home increases in age, the amount of occupants will increase. Different owners will bring different spatial values to the house. Remodeling will get more extensive and consist of changing structural members, making additions, replacing walls, etc. This is the most difficult construction process and needs to be done by a professional only.

Even if you plan to do the improvements yourself, it is important to contact a construction professional in your area before attempting any remodeling. Many professionals will lend you free advice or estimates. This will give you knowledge about your individual project and help you plan the process.