New Video Series: Home Improvement Lessons

new sign for our new location-

The process of moving to a new building has been a lot like buying a house and fixing it up.  Over the past couple of weeks we have had to tear down down walls, remove old paneling, and build a brand new showroom and office space from scratch.   I actually forgot everything that went into remodeling- whether it is a house or an office building.   So that got me thinking… if we HAVE to build a new showroom, why not document it?

So as we go through the process of assembling, hanging, leveling, and measuring for new cabinets, we are going to create a series of videos (since these are the same exact steps you will have to go through while installing a new kitchen or bathroom).   So if you have any steps in the process that you would really like to learn more about, or that you are unsure about, leave us a comment.  We want to take this remodeling opportunity to make it as educational and informative as possible.

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Installation Instructions for the Undermount Drawer Glides

As we continue to add more and more lines to our collection, the variation in hardware is going to grow as well.  We already have installation instructions on the website for the full-extension undermount drawer glides, but there are several cabinet lines that are going to have a different installation process.

For the Rustic Brown, Bordeaux Shaker, Natural Shaker, and Vanilla Shaker, they have a very different type of undermount drawer glide.   The assembly/installation instructions that we have on the website feature a triangular piece that mounts to the drawer box and that the drawer glide slides into (this is what keeps the drawer glide in place).

On some of the new cabinet lines that we are adding, like the four mentioned above, they have a different design.   The drawer glide has a pin that actually going into the drawer box and a hook in the back of the drawer that when combined, they lock the drawer box in place.

We understand that there may be some confusion if you download the pdf that is on the site, so Jake threw together a quick video to show you how the drawer glides are installed (Thanks Jake!).  We are working on a pdf for this type of glide as well.   So in the mean time, to help answer all of the questions about the glides missing a piece or not being sure how they are installed, here is a link to the video that Jake created.

Drawer Glide Installation

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Midrange Home Improvement Projects ROI

Yesterday we talked about the return on investment for high end or upscale remodeling projects, so today we are going to talk about mid-range projects.  As I mentioned yesterday, the results are not the same.     While the most common mid-range project is a two story addition, the two projects that yield the most return on investment are adding an attic bedroom and replacing an entry way door (I was kind of surprised by that).   Kitchen remodels were right behind.

ROI for mid-range home improvement projects

Mid-range home improvement projects

Even though it is a small project, it looks like replacing an entry way door could be a good investment on a mid-range project.    The kitchen and bathroom still hold strong in this report, but still seem low to me.

This report is also based off of national averages, so it is going to vary from region to region.  The reason I think kitchen remodels and even bathroom remodels do not rank as high on this report is because of the tendency to over spend.  Both rooms have more variables and materials that go into it that can vary greatly in cost.  Even in just the cost of the cabinets and counter top materials, the price range can vary greatly.

While I don’t think these reports are 100% accurate, it does give you some food for thought when you are trying to add some value to your home or trying to decide which remodeling project to start.

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What brings the most return on a high end remodel?

Any article you read will always say the same thing when it comes to what produces the highest return on investment in your home-  the kitchen and the bathroom.   They are always going to be one of the best investments for your money, but depending upon your budget and type of home you have, they may not always be number one and number two.    Here are some interesting stats regarding high end/upscale remodels.

The return on investment for a high end remodel

High End- Upscale Remodels and Their Return on Investment

When you look at the percent of cost recouped, siding replacement and garage door replacement come in with the highest percentage for an upscale remodel.   While I think some of the numbers on the kitchen and bathroom remodel are low in terms of return on investment, the cost associated with them is also inflated.   If you were to use RTA cabinets, you can easily get the same high quality cabinets without the added cost for the name brand.   I was actually kind of shocked to see siding as the top return on investment for an upscale remodel since most of the homes that I consider high end or luxury don’t typically have siding!

In my next blog post, I will give you the stats for a mid range remodel, and I think you will be equally surprised as to what the highest return is on your investment.   Check back tomorrow.

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The End To Stainless Steel Appliances?

Stainless Steel appliances have been the dominantly preferred finish in appliances over two decades.   Ask anyone in the real estate industry and they will tell you that everyone asks for stainless steel appliances.   Has stainless steel run it’s course in popularity?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (which I read in Google Shopping), recent new designs and finishes by companies like Whirlpool, Wolf, and General Electric all appear to be shifting away from all stainless steel appliances.   Could we be seeing the end of stainless steel’s popularity?

Personally, I don’t think you will see the end of stainless steel in the kitchen any time soon, but having been at the KBIS show in Chicago this year, there were a lot of custom finishes being displayed.   The biggest problem is the price point.  Most of the custom finishes were high-end and not for the average kitchen.

Tell us what you think.  Do you still think that stainless steel is starting to lose popularity?  What colors or finishes would you like to see for your kitchen?

To read the article from the wall street journal, click here.

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What Features Should an RTA Kitchen Cabinet Have?

There are a wide range or features and quality levels when it comes to RTA cabinets- everything from the particle board Ikea type cabinets, to plywood and solid wood cabinets.   So what features should you expect and look for a higher quality ready-to-assemble cabinet?  This is one of the most common questions we get.   Spec sheets are nice, but most companies don’t list all of the key components because… well… they don’t actually know what they are.

So to make things easy, we decided to create this easy to follow diagram of what the key features are that you should look for in RTA cabinets.

Anatomy of an RTA Cabinet

Some of these features may vary from cabinet line to cabinet line, these are the basic features that we try include in all of the cabinet lines that we manufacture.  So before you go out to buy your new kitchen, make sure that the cabinets you are buying are up to these standards.

Most people end up focusing on the door style alone, without analyzing what the cabinet box itself is made of.  Don’t let them fool you with a fancy door and particle board cabinet box!

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