Monthly Archives: June 2012

Kitchen Remodeling Wars: Ready-To-Assemble Cabinets Vs The Brand Names

RTA, or Ready-to-Assemble cabinetry, is rapidly growing in popularity as a  significantly lower cost and higher quality alternative to many, if not most, of  the made-to-order option that you find from your local custom cabinet  manufacturers or big box home improvement stores. While a custom made kitchen  can run anywhere from $10,000 to upwards of $50,000.00 or more, RTA cabinets can  help you save a significant amount on the kitchen cabinetry itself, and possibly  cutting a $20,000 budget by nearly half. And unlike most times where “you get  what you pay for,” often with RTA cabinets, the quality of the materials used  and the construction could be significantly better than mainstream brands. So if  you’re thinking about a renovating or holding off on that new kitchen, here is  my side-by-side comparison between RTA and the brand names.
Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to materials and construction, RTA cabinets score a big win  among the leading brand names. While you can expect solid wood doors in both  categories, the major difference comes when looking at the rest of the  construction. For one, most, if not all RTA cabinets come equipped with plywood  boxes, usually ¾ inch thick, where as much of made-to-order cabinetry found in  the major retailers or local manufacturers use some variation of compressed  wood, such as particle board. And although a salesman at the home improvement  store may talk to you about a ¾ inch wood framed cabinet, they are generally  speaking exclusively about the front face of the cabinet where the door is  attached to. Usually they are excluding the sides and back of the box.  Furthermore, traditional or made-to-order cabinets are also known for using  particle board in their drawers, where as RTA usually use wood connected by  dovetail joints to ensure long lasting durability for years to come.

If you’re wondering what’s the difference between wood or plywood  construction versus particle board is? Then place a piece of particle board in a  cup of water for a day or two, and you’ll see what we are talking about.  Particle board is extremely susceptible to moisture and can warp and expand  overtime when significant moisture is present, particularly around dishwashers  and sink or in moist environments where humidity is high; even mopping can  sometimes present a problem to particle board. RTA cabinets also significantly  differ in the way the cabinetry is put together because of the strength of the  plywood. Particle board cabinets usually are assembled using a variety of  methods, from staples to wooden dowels and glue on the higher end cabinets,  whereas RTA cabinets usually use a sturdy cam lock system that ensures your  cabinets won’t pull apart down the road.

In terms of cabinet door styles, choices do seem to favor the made-to-order  or custom option. One con in the pros’ and cons’ of RTA, is that the cabinets  are prefabricated, meaning they are manufactured and mass produced in one set  color, door style, and in specific sizes that usually come in increments of 3  inches. However, RTA cabinetry comes in many styles, colors and finishes and  it’s almost for sure that there is one available that matches any given  individual’s taste and lifestyle. As for the set sizes, careful planning and  good measurements from a skilled professional carpenter of kitchen remodel  professional will ensure your kitchen looks as custom as the finest customs  kitchens out there. Bar none, pre fabricated means mass produced, which means  lower labor costs and turnaround times, which ultimately means less money  spent.

Turning dream kitchen and baths into affordable realities is what we are all  about. Superior Kitchens &  More a leading manufacturer and wholesale distributor of high quality  kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as the Klazz line of plumbing fixtures  and accessories. Located in South Florida, Superior operates a large design & manufacturing center that features a state-of-the-art showroom featuring  all of our all wood cabinetry lines, as well as our kitchen  and bath plumbing products. Here, we are staying ahead of our  competition by finding innovative ways to improve and lower production costs  without compromising the trusted quality we have come to be known by. Klazz is a  registered trademark of Superior Kitchens and More.

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Home Remodeling Is Still Big Business in a Shaky Economy

Driven by a continuous slide in home prices, consumers are reevaluating and  redesigning their living spaces for the long haul, and with more than 20% of  mortgages still underwater and foreclosures still plaguing many housing markets  across America, the “long haul” could be a while.

So what does this mean for general contractors and remodeling professionals?  According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home  Builders (NAHB), home renovation projects are up from a similar survey conducted  in 2010, with nearly 50% of the contractors surveyed seeing an increase in the  number of home owners who undertake remodels to avoid moving. Bath and kitchen  remodeling projects jumped 17% from two years ago, with bathroom taking the lead  as the most common job reported by remodelers, followed by kitchen remodels. In  addition, other popular remodeling categories included window and door  replacements (44%), whole house remodels (35%), room additions (33%) and  handyman services (31%).

And in February, the NAHB stated that the residential remodeling market will  continue to experience measured growth in 2012 after the Remodeling Market Index  (RMI) rose to a five year-high at the end of 2011. These numbers probably give a  good indication that Americans may be inclined to spend some money on sprucing  up their current homes while they ride out the sluggish housing market. And  while average folks are hunkering down, well funded investors are out in full  force, securing low priced deals on foreclosed properties to answer the demand  of a rising renter’s market.

From kitchen cabinets to bathroom vanities to flooring to appliances, it  seems that this remodeling trend is breathing new life into old homes. In 2010,  the remodeling industry saw Americans spend $116 billion on improvements to  owner-occupied units, and if the recent NAHB survey is any indication, the home  remodeling industry should see another banner year as consumers invest in  renovations and remodeling again. Finally, beyond an improvement in the U.S.  housing market, other key factors that should drive remodeling expenditures over  the next few years will be a rapidly aging housing stock, particularly due to a  lack of new construction starts throughout the housing crisis, as well as an  increasing interest in improving home efficiency and green remodeling.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a Washington-based trade  association representing more than 140,000 members, and is affiliated with 800  state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder  members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for  this year.

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Kitchen Trends: The Ever Evolving Kitchen

Over the past several years, I have seen an incredible transformation occur with many, if not most of my customers. The residential kitchen is no longer where mom goes to whip up a meal, but a true, bona fide home living space; a place where family and friend gather to share in good times, or the kids sit to surf the internet. And now companies, from cabinets to appliances manufacturers, are pushing the envelope to bring beauty and technology to the ever growing popularity of the ever-evolving kitchen.

Here are a three great trends happening this year:

The Island: Getting together in the kitchen is raising the demand for larger islands that can accommodate for dining and socializing, as well as cooking and prep work. Mom’s can now help kid’s with their homework while preparing dinner, and dad can check his emails or watch TV, integrating the kitchen and family life. These larger center pieces are eliminating the need for the traditional kitchen tables, while adding many functional benefits ranging from food prep to storage.

Hi-Tech Cabinetry: Besides style, cabinet manufacturers are adding practicality to sleek, modern cabinets. From push-to-open drawers, self closing hinges, and retractable cutting boards, manufacturers are bringing a little more than great looks. Also for 2012, watch for European inspired styles and dark espresso colors in upcoming kitchen cabinets, and a slow exit of the recently popular cherry color.

Decorative lighting to set the mood in the kitchen is another up-and-coming design trend. From LED lighting fixtures to color lighting accent to sconces, lighting is playing a major role in kitchen to draw attention to the décor. LED will be the dominating force in the kitchen, because of its high efficiency and long lasting properties, together with its ability not to heat, even after long periods of time.

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