An interior designer approached me about 4 months ago about a project she was working on in the Denver Highlands. She had purchased a approximately 1,000 sqft property that basically needed gutting and needed a G.C. who could not only manage the project, but who could leverage their carpenter skills for built-ins, a kitchen, bathrooms, the works.
From digging out the basement to add another 1,000 sqft, finishing that basement, putting in two bathrooms, tiling and putting in a kitchen, the overall project turned out beautifully. The interior designer sold the property this past week, exactly one week after putting it on the market, for a full-price, cash offer.
Below are some pictures of the finished product.
Many customers I encounter are looking to upgrade their existing kitchen, bathroom, or some other heavily used room in the house. Often, there’s not something actually wrong, it just needs sprucing up.
If you’re contemplating a renovation, think about the following:
- Kitchens and bathrooms sell a house.
- Kitchens and bathrooms are the most commonly used rooms in a house.
- Kitchens and bathrooms can be redone on a smaller budget than you think if you shop around.
The following kitchen was remodeled just before I moved to Arvada, Colorado. After selecting the style of cabinets he wanted, I installed them and designed a wine rack and cabinet area on the opposite wall. After installation, I put up the backsplash. It’s often hard to visualize what you want, so I advised him along the way.
The pre-renovated kitchen was outdated and had space that wasn’t properly utilized. Here are some pictures of the kitchen after and during the renovation.
I began working on the home I purchased in Arvada, Colorado this January, 2014. The kitchen was a major issue – I wanted to open the space up by taking down a load baring wall, removing the plaster walls, raising the ceiling over a foot, replacing all cabinets & appliances and adding an island.
It was quite a project, but the final product looks amazing. When beginning a kitchen remodel, it’s important to remain realistic about the time it will take, the scope of the project, and the budget. I ended up purchasing RTA cabinets from Lily Ann Cabinets – amazing quality at an unbelievable price. I did the kitchen at a fraction of the price it would have cost and I couldn’t be more pleased.
The following pictures give a visual time line of the before, during, and after.
The first set of pictures was the initial stage in the renovation. Built in the 1950’s the kitchen needed everything replaced. It was also a tiny space, so I knew I wanted to open it up by taking out the walls that closed it off from the family/dinning room.
After realizing the wall was supporting the ceiling, I had to carefully support the ceiling before taking out the walls. These pictures show that process-the sistering joists, the raising of the ceiling (that’s a whole other project), and taking out the kitchen walls.
The kitchen cabinets required assembly, but we’re amazing in quality and price. Once they were assembled and hung, the kitchen just needed granite to be complete. Quite an improvement!
Kitchen remodel Chester county
So one thing I take pride in, is planning a project thoroughly. So that when it comes time to execute, I have all the pieces of the puzzle ready to go together. Recently I completed a bathroom for a friend in the business; he is an electrician. He provided me with all of the material for the tile floor and tub surround, or so i thought. I went along with my normal routine like usual.
Hardibacker the walls and floors. There was an extra step for this one, as we installed a in floor electric heating system.
Tape and seal seams.
Install waterproof membrane.
Set ledger board layout tile and start tiling.
This was all going off without a hitch; no problems whatsoever, not a cloud in the sky. Or so I thought.
Here is were my lesson was learned. I got about 85% finished and realized that the border they supplied me was short by 4 pieces!
Okay remain calm, call customer to inquire about the tile. He told me, “Oh call mohawk tile, that is were we got it.” Well sure enough they can’t identify the tile, can’t tell me who can, and don’t know what to do, double DOAH!
So what am I left to do but chip out what I already installed and replace it with something new. Now, the finished project turned out great, maybe better than it would have with the tiles originally supplied by the customer, depending on your taste.
Bottom line is always make sure you have enough material to finish a job prior to starting. Or at least know you can get more of it if you run short.
Here you see version 1.0 of the shower surround.
An Array of photos of the finished product. The customer wanted to continue the bullnose on the edge of the shower surround to the floor as baseboard. I was skeptical but it turned out great. Even got to do some mitered corners for the tile baseboard, a first for me.
The surrounding suburbs of Philadelphia contain many beautiful homes, especially along the main line. Areas like Bryn mawr, Villanova, Radnor have homes that were built in the 1940’s and 1950’s that sit on lots of land, have gorgeous views and a lot of custom touches. Problem is, many of these older homes do not contain much storage to speak of. This last project I finished consisted of some custom construction and renovations in a Main Line home built in the 1950’s. Here is some before pictures of the first closet.
There was some duct work that needed a custom plywood enclosure.
Here are the after pictures. As you can see the small door was removed and the wall was
re-framed to accept a modern bi-fold door 48″ is much more useful of the space given.
Here you can see the custom plywood enclosure for the duct work.
Now they have a nice clean usable space to create a new closet in.
Here is the second closet remodel. There were two rooms that shared a wall.
The room pictured below had the closet a 30″x90″ space.
The adjoined room had no closet.
You can see some of the “built-in’s” There was a large portion of this closet that was occupied by a “cedar chest” type closet in a closet situation. There was no lighting in this closet. Finished product. A new door was cut in and framed in the unfortunate room with no prior closet. Lighting was added to both closets. The closet was divided in half by a plywood partition wall.
Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? Want to re-do your master bathroom? Need more space and have an unfinished basement? Making the decision to remodel any room in your home or office isn’t an easy one, so preparing beforehand is key.
There are some preliminary steps to do before you start your project that will not only help you prepare, but will help the project move smoother.
1. Set a budget. You need to know what you’re comfortable spending. Sometimes you’re dream kitchen or bathroom is not within your budget.
2. Design. Come up with a preliminary plan based on you’re current living conditions, and think about how they may change in the future. You’re ideal layout may not work for you in a few years with growing kids, possible in laws etc. It is crucial that you relay any and all aspects of the way you use, and intend to use your space, so that a designer/contractor can provide a plan custom built to your needs. Explore opportunities within your project plan and budget. It may be possible to say take down a wall to provide an open concept design, and forsake a level 7 granite, to remain inside budget concerns.
3. Finishes and Finish package. It’s easy to imagine the project being done, but have you thought about the finishes
you’d like? The final touches on a project can impact scope & budget, so before getting started consider the finishes you may want. Examples of finishes are below:
- Trim packages
- Type of tile (man made: glass tile, ceramic, porcelain; natural stone: travertine, granite, marble)
- Faucet style and brand
- Hardware (kitchen knobs, exposed visible hinges)
- Pendant lighting
- Undermount lighting
- Appliances (make sure they fit the space & budget)
4. Realistic time line. The scope of your project should help you formulate a project timeline. Are you taking out walls? Does the room need any demo? Are you getting a basic finish package or going all out? And always plan for unforeseen issues. More often than not, everything goes smoothly, but it’s good to pad a few days in case issues arise.
Ant questions? Feel free to contact me before your remodeling project.