Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

10 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid #2

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Tip #2 Don’t waste storage space.


Tip #2 Don’t waste storage space.

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but kitchen items are often oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

Almost every kitchen design has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought. If the kitchen is small, consider installing extra-long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up. Also remember to always install cabinets over the refrigerator. Not to fully utilize the space above the refrigerator is a waste of potential storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items. Install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet, which can preserve about 4 square feet potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.

10 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid (intro and tip #1)

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

In this next blog series we will share an excellent article I uncovered with very valuable information regarding kitchen design mistakes to avoid. We will post one design tip at a time so stay tuned for all 10 in this series. First I must give credit to the original author: Andreea of Freshome Design & Architecture.


A lot happens in the kitchen both — cooking and socializing — whether we’re cooking, preparing a quick snack, eating breakfast or serving a three-course dinner to family and friends. The kitchen is one place that needs to be both beautiful and functional. This raises a double challenge of do’s and don’ts in kitchen design. Specialist warn us about 10 mistakes we should avoid in order to achieve both practical and elegant kitchen design.

Tip #1 Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen work triangle.


Tip #1 Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen work triangle.

Experts refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen work triangle, the area of greatest activity, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your counter top workstations.

Sinks need to be installed in close proximity to the plumbing, but often kitchens are designed with the sinks installed right above the plumbing or in a poor location. Instead of making this kitchen design mistake, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the drains and the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

Regardless of kitchen size or layout (L-shaped kitchen, galley, U-shaped or island style), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet nor greater than 25 feet. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Costs?

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Cost?

Bathrooms are easily the most expensive room per SF to remodel. They average bathroom easily contains as many as 30 to 40 different products all with both material and installation costs. Pricing easily varies around the country but in our area the South West, San Diego to be exact. The Cost versus Value report published each fall in the remodeling magazine shares that for a small average bath in our area costs about $19K. This means some are less and some are even more. I tell clients that 12K to 18K is typical and that $20 to $25K is very possible.

What is the Lowest Possible Price for a Small Bathroom?

About four years ago I did a work up for the lowest possible bathroom cost for a simple 8′ by 5′ bathroom and still have it professional installed it was about 8K then probable would cost about 9K now. Obviously we looked at using very economical priced materials that included: a stamped steel tub, plain white tile tub walls a rod and curtain (no shower door enclosure), low cost chrome plumbing fixtures, a simple 24″ or 30″ oak vanity cabinet, the medicine cabinet was the mirror, vinyl flooring and the $89 box store lowest price toilet special. If it was a flip and sell dwelling then maybe but in someone’s own home by the time they add the things they really want and expect in today’s remodeling world the starting price realistically is $12 to $15K.

If it is a shower stall add at least an additional $1K and a shower door adds even more. Many people want the brushed nickel finishes this add at least $500 to even a $1000 to the price tag. Then maybe you want ceramic tile flooring, cherry cabinets or a medicine cabinet and a mirror and a better quality toilet. Well each of these also adds to the price even further.

Can We Do the Bathroom One Area at a Time?

You can break down the bathroom into three major areas and do them individually if needed. The tub shower area is easily the most expensive portion at about 40 to 50% or $6 to $9K+ of the budget or cost. The vanity alcove or corner including: a cabinet, top, bowl, lavatory faucet, mirror, medicine cabinet and light fixture is about 30 to 40% or $4 to $6K+. The rest of the bathroom: the flooring, toilet, accessories and maybe a vent fan is the about 15 to 20% or about $2 to $3K. This break down yields a $12 to $18K total approximate project cost.

Remember this was a simple small bathroom with a single lavatory bowl and a small 30″ or less vanity. If it has a double lavatory bowl add another $2K to $3K+ for additional cabinets, counter top, lavatory bowl and faucet plus more mirror and a bigger or second light fixture or medicine cabinet.

A larger master bathroom retreat; falls into a completely different category and easily start at about $35K and can be $60K or more. Powder rooms or half bathrooms are not very common but do exist can still be remodeled for about $5 to $7K+.

These are typical numbers found in most US remodeling markets. It has been at least 20 or 25 years ago that we could tell a client that there bathroom would only cost $5 to $7K.

Call us if you have any questions we offer No Cost in home consultations where we can further answer any remodeling questions you may have and discuss a realistic price range for your project.

Kitchen Remodeling Explained

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

An In-Depth Look at the Different Levels for a Kitchen Remodel

What is a kitchen remodel?

Funny that such a simple question can have so many different answers. A kitchen remodel can be as simple as replacing counter tops and as complicated as breaking down an entire kitchen and completely rebuilding it from the ground up with all new materials, appliances, and color schemes.

Many people have asked me about what goes into a kitchen remodel, how much it costs and how long it takes. The vast dichotomy of options is why it is so difficult to answer these questions.

So, at long last, I’m going to lay it all out in a comprehensive series that attempts to define the many different levels or types of a kitchen remodeling project starting from the least expensive and moving up in price. If you are or will ever consider doing a kitchen remodel, stay tuned for this blog series. This information should be extremely useful in helping you determine what type of kitchen remodel you want and an approximate price range at each level.

Here are the main categories I will be reviewing:

Sneak Peak Into A Remodeling Project

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Phase Four: The Remodel

You’ve found a great contractor. The two of you have spent a lot of time planning exactly how the remodel will go. Your contractor has ordered all the materials you picked out and, after a long wait, everything has finally arrived.

Are you finally ready to get started?  Probably not.

Most good contractors can be booked out a few weeks or even several months at any given time. After everything is ready on your end, you may need to wait for your contractor to finish up other projects before he or she can concentrate on your home. This can be extremely frustrating, but it’s also a reminder that your contractor is skilled enough to be in high demand. Consider it proof that you picked a qualified contractor.  K B Design and Remodeling will always place approximate start and completion dates in our contracts.

The length of this phase will vary depending on the scope of your project. A bathroom remodel will be much less disruptive than a kitchen renovation or a large room addition to the home.

No matter what your project, expect noise, expect a mess, expect to be cut off from the portion of your house that will be getting remodeled. This may mean that you won’t have a kitchen for a number of weeks.  You will also have people in your house working throughout the day.

A remodeling project is never easy or pleasant for a homeowner, but this is where your contractor can really shine. They will guide you through this difficult process. Strong communication means that you will know exactly what to expect and that the contractor’s team will respect your schedule and your house rules. Your contractor should also give you regular updates and let you know anytime there is a change in the timeline and cost.  (Our policy is to keep our client so well informed that they never have to call us first.)

The actual build portion of the remodeling project can last weeks or months depending on the scope of the project. Replacing countertops in the kitchen can be done in a day. Ripping an entire kitchen apart and putting in a whole new lighting scheme, appliances, and adding an island will take longer.

This is a very stressful time, and you may feel like your home has been invaded by loud power tools, but keep your sense of humor and remember why you started this process in the first place: to make your home even better.

Soon, the power tools will be turned off, the plastic sheeting will come down, the dust will be swept away, and you will have a wonderful new addition to your home.