Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Renovating your kitchen is a personal statement of taste, functionality and spirit. Homeowners are often attracted to the latest and greatest and focus on products and designs that are trending today. Trends aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but we always ask our customers that are looking at the latest and greatest bells and whistles if they believe that the particular color scheme, design palate or trend will withstand the test of time.

We want to help our clients avoid buyer’s remorse. We don’t want our clients to walk into their home one day and wonder, “What was I thinking when I decided that green was the right color for our cabinets?” We’ve all made fashion faux pas, buying items worn by celebrities or raved about on social media only to find that they are out of style when next season rolls around. We want to help our clients avoid those mistakes in their kitchen renovation. The bottom line is that we encourage our clients to ignore what others may be thinking or be doing and create a space that will make them smile every time they cross the threshold or ignite a burner on their cooktop.

When a new client first comes to our showroom, one of our goals is to identify the style that he or she likes and determine how that style will complement other rooms in the home. There are lots of online resources to help identify stylistic preferences – Houzz, Pinterest, interior design magazines and other social media sites. We encourage our clients to bring us images not only of kitchens but also of other rooms that tug at their heartstrings. Remember, when you renovate your kitchen, bath or any room in your home; you are making a deep personal statement that should bring pleasure every day.

If you’d like  additional guidance for designing your space, please give us a call at (401) 257-6610 or visit our showroom at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI.

Ensuring The The Best Of Intentions Result In The Best Outcomes

We’ve all heard horror stories from friends and neighbors of kitchen renovations gone awry. Their nightmares involved shoddy work, cost overruns, incomplete projects, time delays and unmet expectations. Why do projects fail? One reason may be a concept that Noble prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman calls the planning fallacy. In his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman explains that the planning fallacy occurs when there are unrealistic expectations that do not account for the unexpected.

Anyone who claims that they will deliver a perfect project should be viewed with extreme caution. There are always surprises. The key is to anticipate potential what ifs as part of the planning process. Unfortunately, there are businesses that offer kitchen renovation services that thrive on the unexpected. They make their most profit on change orders or additions to the original plan. Kahneman claims that “the failures of forecasting in these cases reflect the customers’ inability to imagine how much their wishes will escalate over time. They end up paying much more than they would if they had a realistic plan and stuck to it.”

Kahneman’s advice underscores the benefits you receive when you rely on a professional kitchen designer and showroom to help turn your dreams into realities without having to incur undue stress, unrealistic cost overruns and less than desirable timeframes. The bottom line is to work with a professional kitchen showroom that can walk you through every stage of your renovation. A detailed plan saves time, money and headaches. Additionally, when you work with an experienced professional you can be reassured that your project will run more smoothly and there will be less likely occurrences unpleasant and expensive surprises.

Avoiding the planning fallacy begins by recognizing that kitchen renovations involve making decisions on everything from cabinet quality and style, to door and cabinet hardware. The devil is truly in the details, and that’s where a professional can be a true asset and advocate for your project. Take the time to ensure that all of the I’s have been dotted and the T’s crossed before demolition begins. Changes can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive when they occur in the middle of a project. When you spend the time upfront, you minimize the likelihood of changing course midstream.

Another detail devil is to ensure that measurements are accurate. A professional who knows how to measure space for cabinets, countertops, appliances, sinks, floor, backsplash and wall covering areas, can help you avoid expensive or deflating errors. Who wants a new kitchen with gaps between countertops and appliances?

You should expect your kitchen designer to review the existing infrastructure of your home to help determine if it will be able to support any new additions that you choose. The age of your home can affect costs. Older homes may need to be rewired, re-plumbed, re-ventilated and re-engineered to meet present-day codes. Because we can’t see behind walls, we recommend a contingency fund that will deal with the unexpected should it occur once renovation begins. Typically, the contingency should be 10% of the cost, but could be less or more depending on the scope of the project and age of the home. Moving walls and reconfiguring plumbing, gas lines and electrical systems increase the price tag.

Additionally, we advise our customers to also include in the budget the cost of eating out more often during the renovation. Our plans often include setting up temporary kitchens or cooking areas that will allow for our clients to reduce the number of times they eat take out or dine away from home.

Creating a dream kitchen brings years of joy to many of our clients, and we know how to develop plan that meets your needs, addresses your concerns and offers realistic budgets and timeframes. If you are interested in adding a dream kitchen or bath to your home, call us at (401) 257-6610 or visit our showroom at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI.

What’s The Difference Between Stock (RTA), Semi-Custom, And Custom Cabinets

Is it time to update your cabinets and bring your Rhode Island kitchen out of the dark ages and into a modern and sleek style? Perhaps you’re into timeless classic designs, industrial looks, or vibrant energetic flows. No matter what your “style”, there’s no shortage of kitchen cabinets to choose from at Northeast Kitchen and Flooring Center.

But the question remains: Should you go with stock (RTA) cabinets, semi-custom cabinets, or perhaps custom cabinets?

Your choices for cabinets can quickly become more involved than you first realized, so here is a handy guide to help you make the right decision and give you some additional kitchen remodeling ideas to consider along the way…

Stock (RTA) Cabinets

Stock cabinets, otherwise known as RTA cabinets, are the most economical type of cabinet. RTA stands for “ready to assemble”. These pre-built cabinets come in limited designs and a few standard sizes but are quick, easy and simple cabinetry solutions to consider.

Although this is a cheaper method for installing cabinets, it may be difficult to fit custom areas. These cabinets can be bought straight off the shelf or delivered within 1 to 2 weeks.

One thing to watch out for with some brands and “bottom budget” options is that these cabinets sometimes use low-quality materials in order to keep costs down. These cabinets are often partially made of particle board, which is less durable and prone to damage and wear from use and moisture. The cabinets often also ship out in flat boxes and can be difficult to assemble although some can be delivered assembled for an additional charge.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-Custom Cabinets are a mix between stock cabinet benefits and custom cabinet benefits. These cabinets offer many popular styles and colors, perfect for your Rhode Island kitchen remodeling project. Adjustments can be made in three-inch increments to fit custom spaces.

Semi-custom cabinets are made of high-quality material with detailed engineering. Delivery time for these cabinets often ranges between 4 and 8 weeks. A limited lifetime warranty is usually offered.

Custom Cabinets

At the other end of the scale are fully custom cabinetry options. Custom cabinets are generally the most expensive of the three options, yet provide a level of quality and customization that can’t be had with other options.

Custom cabinets are able to fit any specifications, but often have long lead times for production. The quality of the cabinet, price of materials, and delivery time also vary widely, so be sure to discuss your needs, budget and timeline with your provider.

Custom cabinets can take up to 6 to 10 weeks, or even more, for delivery. Since options, pricing, and warranties vary greatly by company, it can be difficult to get the best deal.

At Northeast Kitchen and Flooring Center, our cabinetry remodeling and design experts can help walk you through your options, making sure you find the perfect fit for your Rhode Island home and kitchen.

The Best Option for Your Rhode Island Kitchen

While stock (RTA) cabinets are economical, and custom cabinets may offer the widest options, semi-custom cabinets are often the best fit, giving you the best of both worlds in an economical package.

Semi-custom products provide moderate customization, a broad range of design options, quality builds and mid-tier pricing that makes them an attractive offering to consider.

Why Custom Might not be the Right Choice

It is easy to assume that RTA is low-quality, semi-custom is mid-range, and custom is the best quality, but that’s a very narrow way to look at things. The difference in build quality occurs at the manufacturing level. Stock cabinets may be made of plywood, while a custom cabinet could actually be made of particle board. As such, it’s advisable to always do your research and ask questions before nailing down your final decision.

Another difference can be in the finishing. Stock and semi-custom made cabinets often come with a professional industrial finishing job, while a custom cabinet maker may not have the skills for quality finishing.

Northeast Kitchen & Flooring is a great place to discuss your kitchen remodeling ideas and find quality solutions that meet or exceed your expectations, all while staying within budget. Our friendly and experienced team can help you find the best semi-custom cabinets for your kitchen and provide you with professional, efficient installation.

There Is A Method To Our Madness

You gave your kitchen its last rights and finally made the decision to sign on the bottom line for the new kitchen of your dreams. There is a definite sequence to a kitchen renovation that is more art than science. Schedule and sequence are influenced by the scope of the renovation and enter a more unknown territory if that scope involves relocating walls, windows, doors, ceilings and other features of your new kitchen. A typical sequence for a kitchen remodel includes the following:

  • Demolition
  • Framing and installation of behind the wall electrical and plumbing
  • Insulation of exterior walls
  • Drywall
  • Cabinet installation
  • Installation of countertops, backsplash and other stone and tile covered surfacing
  • Floor installation
  • Final installation of carpentry, electrical, fixtures and finish hardware
  • Painting

From the initial kitchen design phases throughout the process, our goal is to keep you apprised of the timetable and what will be involved in your renovation to minimize the disruption to your home and lifestyle. We know what it is like to live with a kitchen that is under renovation. Internally, we establish milestone dates for the completion of each task and monitor our timetable to help assure that it is maintained or revised should the unexpected occur (which often happens). Our schedule specifies delivery dates for all materials, appliance and fixtures specified for the renovation at times that they can be installed on the day they arrive or the day after.

The types of materials specified also impact a renovation schedule. Custom cabinets can take six to eight weeks to deliver from the time they are ordered. The type of tile, countertop material (stone, engineered stone and other materials) and flooring materials can delay a project if not ordered well in advance. We understand which materials are readily available and those that take some time to produce. Generic tiles are more readily available. Custom tiles and countertops may take up to eight weeks or longer to produce.

The installation of flooring is another timing challenge. Some of our clients install flooring after cabinets because it requires less material and therefore less cost than covering the entire floor. Other clients want to have the flooring material cover the entire footprint of the kitchen. Plus, when flooring is installed before cabinets, there is no chance that cabinets will be damaged. If flooring is installed after cabinets have been placed, we make sure that the cabinets are protected during flooring installation.

Anyone who is renovating a kitchen deserves to receive a realistic schedule that is monitored and maintained to help assure the least possible disruption to you and your family and to help assure that the kitchen of your dreams can be used sooner rather than later. To discuss a timeframe for your kitchen or bath renovation, please give us call at (401) 257-6610 or visit our showroom at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI.

What’s Trending In The Bath

Design that allows for aging-in-place is more popular than ever. When we design baths to be more accessible, we look for opportunities to include a full bath on the first floor of a home, offer wider halls and doorways and specify non-slip flooring, shower seats and grab bars for the tub, water closet area and shower. We often present our clients looking to remain in their home for the extended future with an option of a large walk-in shower without a threshold. For many remodels, a larger shower area can be achieved if the tub is eliminated. Double vanities are among the most requested feature when we are designing a new bath along with storage capabilities, stone or engineered stone (quartz) vanity tops and private water closet compartments.

Creating a spa-like retreat in a home is another dominate trend. System tubs that offer hydro therapy, aroma therapy and light therapy appear on a number of our clients wish lists. We can convert a bath into a wet room by offering steam and different therapies that promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle.

Freestanding tubs that serve both functional and aesthetic purposes continue to trend high. Many of our clients come to the showroom wanting to incorporate bolder colors in their fixture finishes such as bronze and black. For whole home projects, our clients are attracted to consistency of imagery among baths that feature similar products and approaches in powder rooms and secondary baths that are used for the master suite.

In baths where space is a premium, we will suggest installing vanity mirrors that reach to the ceiling, specifying pendant lighting instead of the commonly used light bars, recommending wall-mounted vanities and toilets with lighting underneath and using the same tile on walls as the floor. All of these design elements help to make a bath, whether it is the master, powder room or secondary bath appear larger.

If you have bathrooms in your home that are in need of a makeover or if you would like to create a spa-like haven the promotes health and well-being, please call our showroom at (401) 257-6610 or visit us at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI.

Useful Tips For Installing Flooring

When it comes to installing flooring in your kitchen, bath or other areas of your home, there are many factors to consider. The price, durability and type of flooring are just a few, but it’s not a bad idea to review the actual process of installation to insure a successful outcome. To make your flooring experience easier, we have compiled some useful tips so you can achieve the best results.

The Perfect Amount: It is very important to determine the square footage of the room by multiplying its length by its width. When we encounter irregularly shaped rooms,we divide the space into smaller rectangular sections and calculate the square footage of each section and then add them together. To prepare for any mistakes during installation, advise our clients to purchase an extra 10 percent and even an extra box for future flooring fixes.

Subfloor: In order to have a flat and quiet subfloor, we typically specify screwing a wood subfloor to the underlying joists helps to minimize creaking and then padding low spots with plywood or shims. We generally specify filling dips with a leveling compound for clients with concrete subfloors.

Glue-down installation: Engineered wood and vinyl are floor coverings that can be installed using a glue-down process. It is best for wood or concrete flooring, or even existing flooring. To install tiles or planks are glued to a clean, flat subfloor using a troweled-on adhesive, yet some glue down flooring is simply peel-and-stick. No vapor barrier is required.

Floating installation: Floating installation can also be used for engineered wood, plastic laminate or vinyl plank flooring surfaces. A wood or concrete subfloor works best with floating installation as well as using existing flooring for a subfloor. During installation, tongue-and-groove planks or tiles are locked together mechanically, yet some products must also be glued together at the joints. To account for minor flaws in the subfloor and to absorb sound, the flooring material is generally laid over a thin foam pad. For installations over concrete, a thin plastic vapor barrier is required.

Nail or staple-down installation: This type of installation works for solid wood and engineered wood and is best for a wood subfloor. The installation process includes using a standard ¾ inch-thick solid-wood strip and plank flooring that is traditionally nailed to the subfloor, while thinner solid or engineered material is almost exclusively stapled. Fasteners are driven diagonally through the tongue side of the material and into the subfloor, which makes them invisible once the floor is finished. Solid flooring can also be nailed straight through the surface with decorative cut nails or fastened with screws, which are typically countersunk and concealed with wood plugs. A layer moisture barrier is often sandwiched between the subfloor and floor to prevent moisture accumulation between the two and lessen sound.

Specifying flooring is something we specialize in because we understand that our clients want both beauty, functionality and flawless performance.