Add a Little…Gain a Lot

Kitchen Remodel

It’s amazing what adding just a little space can do when it comes to redesigning a room.  There are times, however, when creating that additional space uncovers unanticipated structural challenges.  Of course, turning a challenge into an opportunity is the hallmark of a good remodeler!

Vision

The goal of this kitchen remodel was to increase its size and give it a u-shaped layout that would include a large combination food prep area and counter as its centerpiece.  We also wanted to update the look of the kitchen with new cabinetry and hardwood flooring, as well as tie in an existing brick accent by repeating it in a new space for the range and oven.

Challenges

The existing kitchen included a nook that we bumped out to add the small amount of additional space required to realize our client’s vision.  As we got into the construction phase, however, we discovered a structural error in the original construction.  A beam that had been canted out to bear the weight of the wall had been mistakenly cut off by the framers, who then toe nailed an extra length to the beam when the mistake became apparent.  Unfortunately, this resulted in the floor system hanging down by an inch and a half.  We lifted the house up to correct the error, then brought it back down on a load bearing post that was incorporated into the center island (the other post used to make the design symmetrical was strictly decorative).

Accomplishment

The roughly 8×12 area we created with the bump out gave us little bit of square footage we needed to create the u-shaped design for a more spacious kitchen.  We added skylights in the roof of the addition to bring in natural light. Our design approach had an additional benefit by smoothing out the angularity of the home’s exterior.

Highlights

One of the signs of great remodel plan is not only its functional longevity, but its esthetic appeal over time. This remodel was done in the late 1990s, but it still has a fresh and contemporary look.  As for the construction error we encountered in the process?  Rest assured we let the builder know about it.

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Who Says Economical Can’t Be Exciting? Construction and Remodel tips

Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling can be a bit like a potato chip…it’s hard to stop at just one. This lower level guest bathroom was part of a larger remodel project, and with so many other rooms getting a makeover, it was hard to resist this long overdue update. If you own or are planning to work with a construction company make sure they use Crew Management Software, otherwise the working times may not be optimal due a bad organization, read more.

Vision

While our primary objective was to give this bathroom a more contemporary look, it was a perfect opportunity to address a very obvious issue: the bathtub. At 48-inches long and half again that deep, it hardly seemed useful for more than just a catch basin for the shower…or a good place to wash the family pet!

Challenge

We kept the layout of the bathroom as it was and replaced the tub with a shower. To make the shower more accessible, we borrowed space from an adjoining closet. The green toilet and matching sink had to go…along with the shag carpet! You may give new life to your carpet with Zerorez San Jose – Bay Area Carpet Cleaning specialists, who use enhanced water that is electrolyzed and oxidized to create a powerful cleaning solution without harmful toxins or chemicals.

Accomplishment

In addition to a new sink and toilet, we gave the bathroom a more contemporary look by removing the drop down soffit and putting in a floating cabinet. In place of the previous lighting, which was in the soffit, we added more stylish pendant lights. We replaced the shag carpet with tile that complimented the new counter top.

Highlights

As dramatic a difference as this remodel made to the guest bathroom, it was a very economical project. While new construction seldom contains any surprises, the same cannot be said for remodeling. In this case, the demolition phase revealed some very interesting wallpaper, and evidence of two previous remodels. We think this last one is the best one.

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A Kitchen Rejoins the Family

Kitchen Remodel

Somewhere in the evolution of home design, kitchens were relegated to a “separate but equal” status in the hierarchy of home life.  This is especially apparent in the example of this North End home, in which we reunited an isolated and lonely kitchen with a larger family space as part of a more extensive remodel.

Vision

The kitchen of this home was cramped, dark, and separated from the flow of family activity by a wall dividing it from the dining room, and by a hallway of near epic length.  With the help of some 3D designs, we showed our clients how removing a wall and splitting up the hallway would completely change the feel of their home, as well as open up the kitchen to the rest of the house.

Challenge

Given the larger remodel effort we undertook in this home, we wanted to keep the kitchen update as economical as possible.  In addition to opening up the kitchen space, our clients wanted a good sized pantry and a mud room that would create a transition between the garage and the living area.

Accomplishment

By splitting the hallway into three new spaces, we were able to add a pantry to the kitchen, as well as create an entry space and mud room leading from the garage.  We took out the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and gained even more space for the kitchen by removing the upper portion of an existing stairwell to the basement, which had the additional benefit of allowing natural light to enter the basement through two new skylights that we added in the kitchen area.  We kept the sink, refrigerator, and stove top in the same locations, but upgraded the appliances and cabinetry.  We refinished the floors, patching in the hardwood between the newly joined kitchen and dining rooms.  Adding a new color scheme completed the effect of a more spacious and brighter kitchen.

Highlights

This remodel had a dramatic impact on the functionality and feel of this home.  As our architectural sketch demonstrates, removing the long hallway that had divided the house not only made a world of difference to the kitchen area, but also created new points of access to the home’s master suite and children’s bedrooms through a single hall location.

Click on photos to enlarge.