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Typical Construction Schedule

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Typical Construction Schedule

Many of our customers ask us what they should expect regarding their construction schedule. While we are not general contractors, and MTKC does not manage the construction schedule, we can speak broadly about kitchen projects, and what home owners should anticipate during their kitchen remodels. Generally speaking, you would need to get a kitchen remodel permit from your city for the construction work you do. In most cases, removing/demolishing your existing cabinets will trigger the need of a kitchen remodel permit. In it, it’d ask for things like updating electrical and plumbing up to today’s building code standard. A project such as our featured kitchen, “Two Tone Modern Kitchen Remodel (before & after)” should take roughly 6 to 8 weeks from start to finish of the construction. A general break down of construction schedule is as follow. Please note this is a general guideline, not a rule, as every home is different, and requires different level/scale of work and attention to details. Number of workers on site will also affect the overall schedule. Please consult your own professional regarding your specific details. Week 1 – Demolition. Week 1 & 2 – Take down old walls, reinforcing ceilings/foundations, framing new walls, and openings. Week 3 & 4 – Inspection if necessary. Update plumbing and electrical as necessary. This typically mean adding emergency gas shut off valve for gas stove, and title 24 compliance on lights, GFI outlets all around the kitchen. Week 5 & 6 – Sheetrock & inspection. Cabinet installation. Countertop templates. Flooring. Paint. Week 7 & 8 – Installing countertops. Backsplash, window/door trims, molding. Putting in lights, appliances. Door knobs, and other finish touches.   Depending on if you have any walls to be reframed, step 2 can be skipped, and step 3 can be moved up to the first week, and the rest of the schedule accordingly. As mentioned earlier, MTKC does not manage the construction portion of the schedule. This is a typical construction schedule that many of our clients go through, but it is not set in stone in its duration and sequence of events because various subcontractors may be available at different times, so your project can look different from this. *Disclaimer – MTKC is a cabinet retailer. Neither Eric, nor MTKC, is a general contractor. We are sharing this information from our customer project as a general source of information. Please consult your local professional and city building codes before starting any projects. It is recommended that you do not use any single source of information for all of your...

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Two Tone Modern Kitchen Remodel (Before & After)

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Blog, Feature | Comments Off on Two Tone Modern Kitchen Remodel (Before & After)

Two Tone Modern Kitchen Remodel (Before & After)

This photo album below features a full set of before and after pictures of the kitchen remodel. In this project, we had shifted the front entrance from the foyer to the center of the kitchen wall.  This allowed for a set of full depth cabinets (24″) on both sides of the room.  Further, we have taken down the partition wall between the dining room and the kitchen to connect the two spaces for an open style living, and making it easier to entertain guests and having conversations.  The contractor reinforced ceiling in this area with a header, 4×4’s on the sides, and new footings in the crawlspace/foundation. For the cabinetry here, we used two separate finishes from Sollera to create the two tone effect.  Painted white cabinetry on top for the stove and sink side, and horizontal grain, quartersawn walnut veneers for the rest of the cabinetry.  The darker cabinetry made for a sophisticated look, while the white cabinets at the eye level helped prevented the room from being overly dark.  White Caesarstone was used for the counters, along with white marble tile back splash. We freshened up the rest of the room with a new coat of paint, new recessed canned lights, new tiled flooring, and last but not least, covered up with brick wall with new sheetrock. In you are interested in reading up on the weekly break down of construction schedule, please visit our “Typical Construction Schedule” post. [Show as...

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MTKC Services

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on MTKC Services

Design Service MTKC is a cabinet design firm serving the San Francisco Bay Area.  At MTKC, we help customers understand the full scope of their project, from visualization, product selection, to hiring contractors for implementation. MTKC will provide an initial ball park estimate based on client supplied floor plan.  After reviewing the “good, better, best” scenarios, clients can choose to hire MTKC one of two ways: Option 1) $1,000 dollars for 10 hours* of design and consultation time.  This includes time for in home visit, measurements and consultation.  This is a design only service, and does not apply towards the cabinet order.  This option is most useful for customers who need to see many versions of their floor plans, and these customers will likely purchase multiple sets of 10 hours. Option 2) $2,000 dollars for the same 10 hours of design and consultation.  This deposit will apply towards the cabinet order.  This is useful for customers who are more certain about their design, and only need some minor fine tuning before they order cabinets.  This option allows for customers to work towards their cabinet order** without having to pay for the solely for design. *note – 10 hours is usually good for one full set of kitchen cabinet plans, or two to three basic revisions. This is a generalization based on standard cabinets with a typical size space, and does not refer to fully custom products on an extensively complicated house floor plans. **note – a payment of 50% or more is still necessary for cabinet ordering. Project Coordination MTKC realizes that not every home owner is an expert in remodeling, nor do they always have the right people in the network to carry out the project.  If necessary, we can introduce the appropriate parties during the planning phase of the project.  Examples of such parties would be: general contractors, structural engineers, countertop, tile, and appliance retailers.  Once everything is lined up, we would then hand the project over to the contractor for the execution. For more information, please see our blog post “typical work flow...

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Custom Color Paints!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Blog, Feature | Comments Off on Custom Color Paints!

Custom Color Paints!

Ever wanted to be different?  This customer (name kept private, let’s call her Stacey) certainly did.  This project was done in Fremont, CA, and Stacey here told me she wanted a set of green cabinets.  While all three of my product lines had a couple options of green, none of them had the exact shade of green Stacey wanted. Hmm, dilemma you say?  Well not exactly.  Both Sollera Cabinets and Plato Woodwork offer a custom color program.  While Plato’s offering is more extensive and customers are able to send in samples to the factory for a match, Sollera offers the ability for owners to pick certain lines of paint from Benjamin Moore. For this project, Stacey selected the Raindance color (BM#1572) from Benjamin Moore, and Sollera built it.  (Make sure you see album 36 on our flickr page to see the full before/after transformation!) Customers who are interested should know that custom colors require additional lead time. Typically, we would ask the vendor to create a custom sample (for a fee). This generally takes 2-3 weeks depending on schedules. Upon your approval of the color, the order can then go through the regular production queue. The rest of the order is the same as a regular...

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Custom vs Semi-Custom Cabinets

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Custom vs Semi-Custom Cabinets

One of the questions we get asked the most is, “What is the difference between custom and semi-custom cabinets?” Let’s take a look at the benefits of the two offerings. The versatility of custom  “Custom made” means something was purposely made to certain specifications for a particular person or situation. While both custom and semi-custom cabinets are built to order, the number one benefit lies in the fact that custom cabinets mean choices; they have the flexibility to adapt to unique situations. For example, most custom cabinet brands can manufacture many more sizes than semi-custom lines can; so custom cabinets are better able to accommodate different design layouts and different appliance sizes. As to the degree of customization—each brand varies from another because of the nature of their machinery and craftsmanship. Other than sizes, custom cabinetry is likely to outperform semi-custom cabinetry in areas such as finishes and door styles. Brands like Plato Woodwork will do custom color matching to a piece of your furniture, or even to the color of your favorite scarf. But the more important aspect of custom cabinets is their ease of installation. Custom cabinet brands sometimes allow for joining cabinets into one larger piece before finishing and shipping. For instance, instead of installing two 30-inch-wide cabinets, the customer can choose to have a single 60-inch-wide cabinet. Not only is one larger cabinet easier to install than two small ones, pre-joining also eliminates the seam that would have otherwise existed in between the two cabinets due to the joining on site. Furthermore, the ability to do all the gluing and nailing to combine different pieces at the factory before finish allows for fewer touchups on site, and fewer seams in the end product all together. This is especially true of moldings and trim pieces attached to the cabinetry before finishing. It is unlikely that a typical cabinet installer can install the cabinets and hide the touch-up. And if the installer can hide it well, what price are you paying for his time? When applicable, it’s simply more effective and economical to have it done at the factory. The value of semi-custom  One common misconception is that all custom cabinets are of higher quality than semi-custom cabinets. Quality comes from dedication to craftsmanship and details, and from the finest material and consistency of state-of-the-art manufacturing plants. In other words, quality lies in the cabinet brand. Don’t be fooled by cheap custom cabinets! If you do not have a space that requires custom sizes, and can find the right offerings within the semi-custom products, you can find many high quality semi-custom products that suit your needs at a more affordable price. KraftMaid, for instance, is known for its Harmony storage solutions as well as the value and savings of its products. So don’t dismiss a brand at first glance just because it is not custom. Semi-custom brands offer wonderful looking kitchens, too. The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in March 2007. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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Invest in Durability

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Invest in Durability

Durability in cabinetry With an abundance of similar products in today’s market, choosing the right cabinetry for your home can be difficult. When you compare manufacturers, you may find different price tags and think the more affordable product is the better value. After more research, however, you may find more flaws and limitations in the lower-end cabinetry: fewer sizes, door styles, and finishes from which to choose. While those factors may influence your decision-making, the most important aspect of your investment should be the durability of the product. You need to invest in a product that will last. Cabinet construction  The two most common construction materials for cabinets are particle board and plywood. In the higher-end market, you will also find medium density fiberboard (MDF). When compared to particle board, plywood is lighter, stronger, and tends to hold up better during installation and transportation. Plywood is also more resilient against small amounts of water damage. MDF is much denser than particle board and plywood, and therefore better withstands the stress of everyday use in the kitchen and bath. Furthermore, MDF performs much better when it comes to drilling and screw holding. Most importantly, MDF has minimal expansion and contraction, which allows for higher precision in craftsmanship. Finish  The finish protects your investment. A good finish will protect the wood from grease, sticky fingers, and muddy hands. Most of the better cabinetmakers use fine wood furniture finishes that feature catalyzed conversion varnish. This finish is part of what enables some cabinetmakers to offer a lifetime warranty. Wood products with a catalyzed conversion varnish are much harder and stronger. With this finish, stains and glazes will not rub off or fade, as happens with lower-end products. Door construction  Doors are often made of solid wood, wood veneers, or a combination of the two. Because wood veneers have their limitations in terms of bending and sanding, solid wood doors are often preferred if the door style has many details or a distressed finish. In the lower-end markets, you will find some use of lower grade laminates and melamine. While more affordable, these are more susceptible to damage. Hardware  Hardware makes the cabinet functional. Many installers choose six-way adjustable hinges because they’re easy to use and quick tuning. Nicer hinges also have a “press and release” feature, which eliminates screwing and unscrewing the hinge to remove the door. Ball bearing glides run smoother and more quietly, and with a maximum load capacity of about 75 pounds per drawer box, they are also much sturdier than most glides. The better drawer glides also come with an automatic soft close to prevent slamming. Drawer box  Melamine drawer boxes are common. The upgrade is the sturdier dovetailed drawer box. You can choose between a dovetailed plywood drawer and a dovetailed solid wood drawer; either of these performs better than a melamine drawer, and the best is the solid dovetailed style. The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in January 2007. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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