When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, there are more details to consider than just the choice of counter tops, flooring and appliances. Some of the intricacies include working with subcontractors. This third post in our kitchen remodel series is going to address a few topics in this area with Interior Designer Jack Ovadia, offering his expertise.
Jack, who are the subcontractors that we might expect to be working on our project? And is it possible to have just one contractor do all the work?
The most ideal situation is to have contractors working on the areas that they specialize in, as they will be able to handle potential obstacles that can arise in the process of working within structures. In terms of their areas of expertise, you may have the following involved at some point in the process of building your kitchen:
- General Contractor
What are you finding to be the most installed types of lighting in a kitchen?
It’s important to consider the type of ceiling in your home. In new homes, we will typically do recessed (or canned) lighting.
But in older homes or apartments with concrete ceiling slabs, we do surface mount pendants because we have nowhere to recess the housing of the spot lights. With islands, we will typically hang pendant lights. The size of the island determines the number of pendants we will use.
Having good lighting in a kitchen is really important from a cooking standpoint. But, don’t some bulbs generate significant heat? Is there an alternative?
Yes, that is true as halogen bulbs will get really hot. I used to do a lot of fluorescent lighting but am now using LED fixtures. Manufacturers are now making a retrofit LED that can be installed in the existing housings that you have in your home. In addition, they use less electricity and may not be as hot as your standard light bulb fixtures or if you have MR 16s.
Thanks for the education on lighting. Now, I would like to discuss an issue that comes up quite often in kitchen design: planning for and placement of electrical outlets.
When you like to cook, there are a number of appliances that we might use in the preparation of each dish or meal including blenders, mixers and food processors to name a few. Having an outlet in the area of where you are prepping is most helpful.
Choosing the number of outlets to add isn’t so much a specific number but rather based on convenience. If code allows, I typically do under cabinet outlets. This allows you to having a clean backsplash yet having the most outlets possible.Outlets are typically installed by linear feet and have two outlets for about 6 feet. Each outlet should be a duplex. If you are able to install them under the top cabinets, they are not as visible as on a back splash. Regardless, you may want to choose the plate cover that matches your décor. It is important to remember to install under cabinet outlets about 1 to 2 inches away from the backsplash so you can use the larger black plugs that sometimes come on appliances.
If you are unable to do under cabinet outlets, it is nice from a design standpoint to have them at the height of some of the appliances you may be using so they will be hidden behind the equipment. This is where those matching or coordinating outlet plate covers can come in handy. Here are a couple of creative solutions:
Homeowners frequently forget to put outlets in the islands they are installing. For ease of use, having outlets on the side cabinets, panels or even hidden in a drawer with a flap down panel is a good design trick.
Thanks for those suggestions on the electrical aspect of our kitchen remodel. Any recommendations for cabinet design?
Cabinetry is very much a personal choice. If the homeowner wants a modern vs traditional kitchen, the cabinets will reflect that aesthetic. With a modern style, we may recommend a flat pattern door and expose some wood grain based on the color of the cabinets with an overlay design where you don’t see the frame around the door.
Sometimes we suggest a mix-and-match wood with lacquer to give it a little more of a dynamic. Another cabinet idea would be an inlay where the door is recessed inside the frame. With this design, you sometimes want to have exposed hinges. It gives a nice traditional or contemporary feel but is not mandatory when you don’t see the frame around the door. It’s called an overlay for a more modern design.
There are really helpful designs that can be implemented within the cabinets and drawers themselves like a built in flatware drawer that matches the wood of the cabinetry. It’s even possible to have a sliding drawer inside the main flatware drawer for additional storage. If your preference is to not have your knife block on the counter, you can have a built in knife drawer designed and customized to your preferences. Finally, if you use your heavy-duty mixer or powerful blender often, lifting it in and out of the cabinet can be a challenge. There is a platform that you can use to have the shelf pop up to main counter height making it very user friendly.
Thanks, Jack, for helping us to understand these technical details.
We hope these tips and tricks are informative whether you are considering a kitchen remodel or in the process of starting one. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions from your own experience, please share it with us. We welcome the feedback.
Thanks for following us on our kitchen remodel journey. Our final blog post will be coming in October. We will be sharing trends and innovations in the kitchen remodel industry with you. Be prepared to want to remodel your kitchen after reading this post!
Thanks for stopping by!