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A beautifully remodeled kitchen by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho

Since your kitchen is one of the most-used spaces in your home, it should be useable, beautiful, and somewhere you’d want to spend hours of the day. There are many reasons you may want a new kitchen, but here are some tips to know if you’re ready for a kitchen remodel.

You Don’t Have Enough Kitchen Space

If you spend any amount of time in your kitchen, you know everything about it. You know if that cabinet is deep enough for your nice plates, if this counter is large enough for you to roll out your cookie dough, and if you have enough storage space for all the things you need it for.

If you find yourself frustrated on a regular basis by your limited space, then it may be time to talk to a remodeler to see if a kitchen remodel in your Boise home will give you the space and design you are looking for.

The Kitchen Layout is Not Letting You Be the Best Cook You Can Be

If you find yourself running back and forth while cooking a meal, then you may not have the best layout for your kitchen. A kitchen remodeler would take into account your personality and what you use your kitchen for, and can look at the space you have to design a new kitchen in a way that would work for your best lifestyle. Besides you need to make sure your system is working so Clean your Drain and Unclogg It before you start using it.

Because you should be focusing on enjoying yourself in your kitchen, whether cooking or baking, and let your remodeler focus on making it an easy-to-use space for you and your family.

You Just Don’t Like Your Kitchen

There is nothing wrong with not being able to verbalize why you want to remodel your kitchen. If you just know there is something wrong with it, even if you don’t know what it is, it may be time for a kitchen remodel.

Work with your home remodeler to determine what you don’t like about it and what your dream kitchen looks like. Your designer can help you create the kitchen perfect for you in the space you have.

Your Kitchen Adds to Your Home Value

Your kitchen plays a big part in establishing your home value, and if it is outdated, that could lower that value — even if the rest of the home is completely updated.

According to HGTV, kitchen remodels are the most likely remodels to offer a return on your investment in terms of home value. Forbes also found that of all home remodels, kitchen remodels offer the highest return on investment.

Your Kitchen Is Outdated

Just like we all regret some of the clothing we have worn in the past, there are plenty of kitchens that designers regret designing. There are a few reasons to update your outdated kitchen:

Electricity Bills

If your appliances are not energy-efficient, then you are paying more in utility costs just by cooking the meals you need to cook each day. By upgrading those appliances, you will be saving money in the long run, while also making your home more environmentally friendly.

Cleaning Your Kitchen

Does anyone actually enjoy cleaning grout? There was a time when tile countertops were the hottest new item in a kitchen. But now, decades later, you could be paying for that mistake — every time you clean your kitchen.

Kitchen Aesthetics

You want your kitchen to match your style, no matter what that style is. And an outdated kitchen could affect every moment you are in that kitchen — because your kitchen should be a place you enjoy spending time in.

If your kitchen is from the ’70s or ’80s or ’90s, it may not match your current style, and a kitchen remodel could help you enjoy the time you spend there.

Your Kitchen Should Match Your Lifestyle

Beyond matching your style, your kitchen should match your lifestyle. Whether you want an open layout so you can see your kids playing in the living room while you’re cooking, or if you want to visit with your family at a countertop bar, you should be able to have the perfect kitchen for your lifestyle.

Everyone has a different story, but with the kitchen being such an important part of your life, you should have the perfect kitchen for your lifestyle. Work with your home remodeler to discuss your lifestyle, your personal style, and the space you have to create a useable and beautiful (to you) kitchen.

A kitchen remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho

Kitchen Remodel
Most folks would be forgiven for thinking that the ultimate in customization is to build from scratch. Granted, from both a design and construction perspective, a remodel always poses some constraints — for reasons of budget, if nothing else.  The sign of a great remodel project, however, is to make the “after” appear as though the “before” posed no limitations.  Here’s dramatic proof.

Vision

When the rooms you live in most are too confining, it’s time to think about annexing some interior real estate from the rooms you live in least.  Our client liked to entertain, but the kitchen was too cramped, the dining room was tucked awkwardly behind a partition wall, and the space occupied by the kitchen table obstructed the flow of traffic to the outside of the house. Our goal was to improve the livability of all these rooms and to update the look of the kitchen.

Challenge

Adding space to the kitchen meant taking it from the adjoining dining room — which meant taking out a wall.  With a full-fledged second story above the kitchen, this also meant relocating plumbing and duct work. While we preserved the basic layout of the room, we shifted its location to open up more space between it and the family room.  In the process, we removed one window and enlarged and moved a second and centered it over the new sink.

Accomplishment

Moving the wall back between the kitchen and the dining room gave us an additional five feet of kitchen area.  In the remaining space from the former dining room we created a spacious and far more useful walk-in pantry.  We complimented the added sense of openness in the kitchen by removing the drop down soffits from the ceiling and replacing the old florescent lighting with can lights.  In place of the former sit down bar we created a larger, two-tiered counter that was more appropriate for entertaining.  Rather than the more expensive option of replacing the hardwood flooring, we refinished and stained ti to go with the new cabinetry we installed.  We even had a stainless steel facade fabricated to replace the panel on the existing refrigerator.  Why replace a perfectly good appliance just for the sake of making it “fit in” with its new surroundings?

Highlights

The new kitchen was a stunning success, and redefined the look of the home.  We should mention, however, that one of the children in the family had severe allergies.  We’re pleased to say that because of our efforts in isolating the construction area, no one experienced any ill effects.  We also set up a temporary kitchen in the garage, complete with carpet, so the family could maintain some normalcy in their lives. When it comes to transforming a family’s living space, we believe in taking the trauma out of the drama.

Click photos to enlarge:

A remodeled kitchen by Strite Design + Remodel in the Boise Foothills, Idaho
Kitchen Remodel

In reading our stories about kitchen remodels, you’d be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that we have a thing about drop ceilings.  Suffice it to say that we’ve removed more than a few of them in our career.

It’s not a bias per se, it’s just that they generally serve no other purpose than housing florescent light fixtures — and we think there are better alternatives when it comes to bringing light into a living space, as this case study demonstrates.

Vision

In this remodel project, our client wanted to not only update the look of their kitchen, but address an issue unique to its original design: the quality of the light.  In the process of improving this aspect of the kitchen, we also suggested a change that enhanced the flow of activity in the adjoining room.  In our business, the obvious is quite often hidden.

Challenge

While the original kitchen was spacious and well designed overall, it suffered from one particular drawback.  Because it faced east, with a wall almost entirely of windows, it received early morning sun.  With no other windows to balance this out, there was a lot of contrast.  To address this, we removed the drop ceiling and added a skylight along with strategically placed can lights to achieve the balance we were looking for.  An additional challenge in this kitchen was that it had only one wall to serve as both the location for appliances and storage.

Accomplishment

To update the overall look of the kitchen, we added new cabinets and stained a built-in bench to match them.  We also replaced the existing linoleum with hardwood and put in new windows with a raised sill height to reduce the amount of splash clean up.  To give folks the option of standing at the kitchen bar, we raised the height of the counter.  In addition to improving the light in the kitchen, we also improved its functionality by taking out an existing double oven, which we replaced with added counter space and cabinets.  We then added a range and oven in the center of the kitchen wall, along with a stone tile back splash.

Highlights

Before undertaking this remodel, we noticed that the existing placement of the sliding door to an outside deck in the adjoining room resulted in wasted space.  We suggested moving the sliding door further along the wall.  Our client’s trust in letting us do this created a more logical pathway outdoors, as well as a better seating layout.  When you look holistically at the relationship between one space and another, good things happen.

Click on photos to enlarge. 

 

 

 

 

 

South Boise home with complete kitchen remodel by Strite Design
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.

Click photos to enlarge:

Bright new kitchen after remodel by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Kitchen Remodel

No other room in our homes combines functionality and esthetics in quite the same way as the kitchen. When both these elements need improving, it’s high time for a remodel. No one wants to fix pipes once a new kitchen is installed.

Vision

Our clients loved the setting and overall layout of their recently purchased home in south Boise, but their passion waned a bit when it came to the kitchen. Not only did it feel isolated from the rest of the home, but that sense of constraint carried over into the available storage space. STRITE solved both issues with a new design, while also updating the kitchen’s overall look.

Challenge

While our clients’ kitchen was workable, they were used to having more available storage in their former home. Not only was the storage in their new kitchen limited, but part of that space was composed of over-the-counter cabinetry that created a visual barrier to the adjacent dining nook, and made the kitchen feel cut off from the rest of the home.

Accomplishment

We replaced the kitchen counter with an island that combined both seating and prep space, while allowing for traffic flow on either side of the kitchen to the dining nook and family room. Removing the overhead cabinetry further opened a line of sight between the kitchen and dining nook, while creating an opening over the cooking station further extended the line of sight all the way into the formal dining room and living room. We added matching granite counters to the left of the sink all the way along the wall, and installed cabinetry above and below for the added storage our clients were looking for. New cabinets, appliances, and laminate flooring combined with the new granite counters and matching backsplash to update the look of the kitchen as well as improve its functionality.

Highlights

One of the keys to STRITE’s success as a remodeler is the quality of the trades people we work with on our projects. In the case of this remodel, one of those skilled trades folk turned out to be our client. Recently retired as a carpenter, he elected to install the laminate flooring himself. Our cabinet maker crafted the matching baseboard, and the results were not only beautiful, but also saved our clients some money on their project. Part of a good do-it-yourself effort is knowing the limits of your skills and making sure that they compliment the competencies of your remodel partner. In this case, the fit was as perfect as the finished product — as the “after” picture below will attest.

Hit here to go to another article about this home. 

Click on photos to enlarge. 

Kitchen Demolition before renovation by Strite Design in Boise, Idaho
Remodeling Experience

In thinking about the process of a home remodel, I’m reminded of an old blues song: “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”  The inescapable fact of any significant home makeover is that in between the “before” and “after” is the rather messy “during.”

Walls come down, soffits are demolished, plumbing and wiring are relocated, trades cadres come and go as their craft requires…it’s like living in a construction zone.  Which is, of course, exactly what it is.  And while it’s not as though a new build doesn’t have its share of dust and drama, the difference is that folks don’t generally try to live in a home while it’s being constructed.  By the time they turn the key in the front door and walk inside, it’s all bright and shiny, with everything in its place.  At least, that’s the expectation.

If a remodel project is extensive enough, our clients will, on rare occasion, choose to relocate to a hotel or rental until their remodel is accomplished.  More often, however, we simply devise temporary solutions that minimize the impact of the project on their daily lives.  Take this current kitchen remodel in south Boise for example.  The following pictures illustrate the ways that STRITE helps our clients “manage the chaos” that ensues in the necessary transition between “before” and “after.”

The demolition phase of any remodel project is probably the most traumatic, but we’ve learned a lot of ways over the years to minimize its impact on our clients’ lives.

The demolition starts now!

The demolition starts now!

The door between calm and chaos (or an orderly sort). We've constructed a temporary wall between the kitchen and dining room with a door for access between the space under construction and the rest of the home.

The door between calm and chaos (of an orderly sort). We’ve constructed a temporary wall between the kitchen and dining room with a door for access between the space under construction and the rest of the home.

During a kitchen remodel, we will usually set up a temporary food preparation area in either the garage or in another room, based on whichever option is most convenient for our clients.

During a kitchen remodel, we usually set up a temporary food preparation area in either the garage or in another room, based on whatever option is most convenient for our clients.

All the comforts of home.

All the comforts of home.

Separating the family room from the kitchen/dining nook during the demolition and construction phases.

Separating the family room from the kitchen/dining nook during the demolition and construction phases.

Protecting the furniture in the living room, which also serves as a holding area for furnishings we removed from an impacted dining nook.

Protecting the furniture in the living room, which also serves as a holding area for furnishings we removed from an impacted dining nook.

Why do these people look so happy about their kitchen being demolished? Perhaps its because they know what awaits them when their remodel is finish.

Why do these people look so happy about their kitchen being demolished? Perhaps it’s because they know what awaits them when their remodel is finished and assuring its prosperity, One of the easiest ways to keep tiles longer new for longer is by applying a grout sealer. By protecting the grout lines, dirt and water is repelled and doesn’t stain it.

Trades Party
Inside A Trades Party

If you think of celebration in the context of a residential remodel, its timing would more logically be at the completion of a project rather than at its beginning — but then, a “trades party” is not your chip and dip, lampshade on the head, pony keg type of affair.

Although we certainly keep it congenial, it serves a serious purpose — one that is essential to bringing a project to completion on time, within budget, and in alignment with the expectations of our clients.

 

STRITE president Bob Mundy looks for possible complications.

STRITE president Bob Mundy looks for possible complications

If you’re unfamiliar with the “trades party” concept, it helps to place it in the scheme of our overall remodel process.  Between our clients’ approval of our preliminary remodel plan and their authorization for us to proceed with it comes the all-important step of inviting our construction partners to review the project and provide their input.  More than just sitting down over a set of drawings in our offices, this review takes place at the project site — the real world environment where our project management and trades will be operating.

STRITE designer Michael Snow -- the man with the plan.

STRITE designer Michael Snow — the man with the plan.

Depending on the type of work to be accomplished during the project — cabinetry, flooring, plumbing, electrical, etc. — the experts in these disciplines have the opportunity at a trades party to assess the scope and possible challenges they will face, and provide their feedback accordingly.  This information is vital to helping us prepare a comprehensive description of work (DOW) detailing each step of the construction process, from framing to finish work, as well as specifications and details about the product and material selections.

Besides its role in creating the DOW — and the subsequent fixed price remodel agreement that is standard with any STRITE engagement — the interactions between our design staff, project management team, and trades is invaluable in anticipating potential “gotchas” that could adversely affect the budget and timetable of a project if not anticipated through the trades party.

 

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Terry Scott of Western Electric considers the electrical requirements of the project.

By giving our trades partners the opportunity to share their expertise and experience at the onset of a remodel, we not only identify potential challenges, but also potential savings.  We also ensure that our trades folk fully share the knowledge we have of the project plan, and can safely and profitably fulfill their part of its completion.  According this professional courtesy to our trades partners is one of the reasons that the best in the business want to work with us.  Chips and dip aside, that’s reason enough to celebrate the trades party process!

A trades party brings a third dimension and more to a set of drawings.

A trades party brings a third dimension and more to a set of drawings.