Check out my building blog to learn more about construction for your home or office in Austin! David L. Traut, President, CAPS Certified (512)444-0097

Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 @ 15:11 PM

    Whether you're looking for a local residential construction contractor to accomplish a kitchen remodel or a construction professional to complete an entire gutting and remodel of your entire home including a home office transformation,  the final accenting finishes most likely will include the use of fine cabinetry. The choice between frameless European and Northern face frame cabinetry styles will highlight any design.

Principles Of Universal Design

Certified Aging In Place Specialist  

     When the time finally arrives for remodeling an Austin kitchen,  there are many choices to be considered concerning the new kitchen cabinetry.  Frameless European full overlay style cabinets are a type of fine cabinetry having either a painted or stained wooden exterior or one with the exterior  totally covered on all exposed surfaces in plastic laminate per your choice of color, pattern, or manufacturer.  The laminated exterior application provides a much cleaner and more modern look for easier maintenance.  The doors and drawer fronts on all European cabinetry are flat having no crevices to conceal grease and grime and directly overlay the cabinet box. Each door is mounted on the inside of the box using fully concealed and adjustable two part hinges.  The frameless European style is represented only by the cabinet carcass or box, composed of the walls, bottom and top (if needed), and back without any face frame components yielding only a 3/4" outward appearance for all the stiles and rails.  This European style which eliminates the usual two inch face frame gives full access to any stored contents with more usable room.  These frameless cabinets limit the amount of exposed stile and rail surface area between the door and drawer faces.  The exposed cabinet area is normally limited to 1/8-3/16 of an inch.  This holds true between any two finished faces coming together presenting a half overlay situation on either a horizontal rail or vertical stile; hence, exhibiting the full overlay method.  This clearance is also typical at the juncture toward the outside walls beside the cabinets. One other characteristic of the European design lies in the adjustable shelving.  A series of 5mm holes are repeatedly drilled in 32mm increments (approximately 1 1/4") continuously at the front and back of all vertical cabinet pieces receiving shelves.  This configuration allows for shelf supports to be inserted to adjust the shelves.  In time, the shelf supporting "dogs" might wear out the holes and become loose causing the shelves to collapse.  The retro use of metal pilasters will remedy the problem.

     Following cabinet installation,  there is no room for the application of wall trim in the European method.   Spaces against the walls should be caulked in place to seal the carcass to the walls.  If the gap toward  the side walls is greater than 1/8 inch preventing a reasonable caulkable joint, a laminated filler must be constructed.  This new filler should be cut and sanded to fit the taper tightly filling the gap. As mentioned above, the narrow but typical gap from the side of the cabinets to the wall can and will be a problem when European style cabinets are specified for a remodel. 

     Don't forget that the 1/8th inch spacing rule means that no passage door or window trim can be any closer to the new cabinet faces than the cabinet drawers themselves are deep.  Any such trim will always be 1/2 inch or more in thickness thus impedes cabinet function.  By practicing this rule of thumb you will allow the drawers to fully extend. Cabinet doors will also have a clear swing radius and not be wedged against any perpendicular entry door trim.  If the above needed clearance from the cabinet faces to the door trim is nonexistent the entry doors themselves must be relocated.  This aspect will include any wiring for light switches or outlets and should be done by a qualified electrician.

     Kitchen remodel ideas in Austin, Texas like most other cities includes many of the same aspects.  Be sure to choose a local qualified remodeling contractor whose personality and qualifications are agreeable with you personally.  You are about to undertake a very important short term relationship in your life with someone you may know by reputation only.  The relationship needs to be comfortable and free flowing thus enabling the contractor's creativity level to be at it's highest during your remodeling project. Look at it as a partnership between your needs and the remodeling contractor's abilities.  This is not new construction and the use of the European cabinetry must be accomodated for.  His professional remodeling experience will include his capacity to identify many construction limitations and hazards.   These variables underlie the major pitfalls that can be avoided while enabling a remodeling design to come to reality.  His experience can also aid you in accomplishing remodeling upgrades that include dissability issues.  The job needs to flow between the various trades involved to produce a better final outcome.  This too is a reflection on his remodeling experience for which there is no substitute.

A Frameless European Kitchen Design

Frameless European kitchens in Austin, Texas

Kitchen Remodeling

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Home Office Designs In Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 @ 18:03 PM

     Perhaps your getting a break at the workplace and are given the chance to work remotely from home or maybe it's just something  you've always wanted to create for your own privacy.  For what ever reason customized home offices are becoming very popular in this day and time in our digital world.  There seems to always be emails that need to be dealt with  or personal research endeavors on the internet.  Many homeowners are feeling the need for a defined space within their home.

     Well thought out home office transformations and home office designs in Austin can provide you with that secluded space to both function and concentrate away from all of life's minor distractions. In order to make your new working area fully functional for all your specific needs you must first identify those needs. What do you want to accomplish on a daily basis within your new office?  Plan out the command center, starting with your desk, and visualize your monitor's new location.  Know where items like the printer, CPU, keyboard, or mouse will be located.  Will they be visible or concealed?  The careful design of fine cabinetry in your new office can provide for any specific needs.  Good planning will solve any other problems you might face concerning storage that weren't better served by one or more of the fully shelved closets.

     A typical custom desk can utilize a pullout keyboard unit with mouse tray, either an open CPU storage or one concealed by a beautiful hardwood door, plus the standard file and other specialty drawers.  The printer can be concealed on a pullout tray behind a drawer front or simply placed on the desk top with the monitor.  Storage for small office items can be accomplished using an upper unit which sits on the desk top in the old "Roll Top" fashion of design. (See Attached Photo)  Your desk can sit against the wall or out in the middle of the room.  Again, function!

 

Austin Texas Home Offices

     What other custom office cabinetry would help you to function properly?  Do you have a lot of books and want to display them?  Maybe you want to display only a select few.  Should you protect the visible books with a pane of glass set into a door or leave them out on an adjustable shelf within your new bookshelves?   Do you have enough books to go from floor to ceiling in one unit or can you use a credenza near the floor that is even deeper than the upper bookshelves?  The credenza can contain a series of drawers over pairs of doors hiding adjustable shelves.

     If your design requires hardwood raised panels on the finished sides of the desk this design can spill over onto the walls creating that "courtroom" look.  The wooden raised paneling can go from the base board to the ceiling's crown molding or used only as a lower wainescot with cap molding.  And hey let's not forget about the ceiling to share some of the new woodwork.  This repetition of style can also enhance a more sleeker European look formulated in the framess appearance of the fine cabinetry.  With only imigination to slow you down remember to design for function.

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Fine Cabinetry Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 @ 20:01 PM

     If you plan to remodel the ‘food production room’ in your home, then choosing your kitchen cabinets is probably going to be part of the plan. Not surprisingly, kitchen cabinetry is up for scrutiny in terms of the modernization tsunami changing home decor trends in recent times.

     Modern cabinets are breaking away from the ornate design found in traditional cabinet styling, rather reflecting minimal trends such as simple, clean design features. Streamlining and modernizing kitchen cabinetry or the storage cabinets used in bathroom transformations works in tandem with other kitchen or bathroom furnishings.  The use of new-age quartz countertops with complimentary glass tile backsplashes is becoming the norm.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     To the untrained eye a cabinet is just a box within a given space that fulfills a storage need.  But have you ever taken the time to look closer at the cabinet's makeup beyond the cost?   Before investing your hard earned money into cabinetry for a fine bathroom or kitchen upgrade take some time to get acquainted with the cabinet's parts and pieces.

     Cabinets are like anything else in our lives and sometimes we can be deceived by the bells and whistles the cabinet manufacturers want us all to see.  They create a sense of false quality for the consumer by blinding them with noticeably concealing finishes  masking the innermost important aspect of the cabinets general makeup.  In the North American face frame cabinet type the use of hardwood stiles and rails covered by hardwood cabinet doors fills the bill.  The most important weight bearing carcass sides, the top, and bottom or floor in a base cabinet are buried by the outer window dressing. The makeup of these aspects  is not aesthetic but structural.  These are the parts that sit perpendicular to the floor holding up the cabinet top and whatever is upon it.  They may cut this expense by using 1/2" or 5/8" thick matrix materials like MDF or particle board and covering these with a vinyl similar to shelf paper that creates "picture wood"of any wood species.  The European frameless cabinet types are generally covered entirely in a thin plastic exterior as in the case of melamine which covers up the particle board insides.  Check out the picture below representing how a simple plumbing leak creating melamine failure has lead to an entire cabinet replacement.  This customer had no choice!

     Our kitchens are no longer the "Orphan Annie’s” of our homes. This space now integrates with the rest of the home, and beautifully remodeled kitchens now serve as the main meeting space for our friends and families. You can even have wireless built into the kitchen cabinetry to power up all manner of gadgetry. It all goes to prove that kitchen cabinet design trends are moving in line with advances in technology, and why not – kitchens are the hearts of our homes.

melamine failure in Eurropean cabinets in Austin, Texas

     Their next trick is to associate quality cabinet type buzzwords like dovetail jointed drawers, European concealed cup hinges or other specialty hardware, special finishes or paints, and hardwood trim with faces as mentioned above.

Fine Cabinetry

     Fine cabinetry Austin, Texas consists of an entire 3/4" plywood carcass with a 1/4" plywood back.  The plywood gives you some moisture protection against a leaking sink drain trap or faulty supply line or stop valve.  European frameless cabinets can be painted on the interior using oil base enamels then covering all the visible exterior surfaces plus the doors and drawer fronts along with their edges with any choice of high pressure plastic laminate.  North American face frame cabinets can either be painted or stained and finished with polyurethane.  The finish on the plywood makes even more less vulnerable to moisture problems. 

bathroom cabinetry Austin, Texas

Bathroom Remodeling Austin

Austin kitchen remodel

Austin kitchen remodel

Kitchen Remodeling

     Don't get sucked into thinking that quality is behind the brightest glowing box on the sales floor and never forget that you get what you pay for in this life especially where cabinetry is concerned.  Do your homework!

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Kitchen Cabinet Remodel Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, May 14, 2010 @ 16:05 PM

      Know that a kitchen remodel is not a DIY situation and that you will need to consult with a residential remodeling professional at some point. Be sure to choose a local qualified kitchen remodeling contractor whose personality and qualifications are agreeable with you personally.  Check out the reviews on the company to find out how clients have responded to their experiences. You are about to undertake a very important short term relationship in your life with someone you may know by reputation only.  The relationship needs to be comfortable and free flowing thus enabling the contractor's creativity level to be at it's highest during your remodeling project. Look at it as a partnership between your needs and the remodeling contractor's abilities.  The use of many finishes must be accommodated for.  His professional remodeling experience will include the capacity to identify many construction limitations and hazards.  These variables underlie the major pitfalls that can be possibly avoided while enabling a remodeling design to come to reality.  Don't forget that you get what you pay for and it certainly isn't about the lowest bid but the remodeling company's integrity and knowledge.  Some CAPS certified remodeling companies have the experience and education to assist you in accomplishing remodeling upgrades that include accessibility or disability issues.  It is important that the job flows between the various trades involved to produce a better final outcome.  This too is a reflection on his remodeling experience for which there is no substitute.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     Fine Kitchen Cabinetry in Austin, Texas is about the cabinet carcass and the finishes applied to it's front making up a Northern face frame or a frameless European look of your fine cabinetry.  Each type will accommodate mounting doors using a concealed cup Euro 32 mm bore hinge and installation is accomplished by varying the type of mounting plate that attaches to the carcass. The mounting plates are specific for the design once the doors are applied in an overlay fashion.  If the doors are recessed to be flush with the carcass face then other types of hinges can be used such as wrap around or door stile bore types.  Non concealed hinges come in many forms such a strap, Youngdale kerf units, flush, or offset and are used to create a certain style such as an antique look.  These hinges also come in many finishes like brass, chrome, or black to name a few.

Kitchen Remodeling

 

  • Door styles include Flat Panel, Raised Panel, Shaker, Lip Molded, and Slab
  • We Create Interesting Cabinets by Varying Both The Height and Depth Along a Cabinet Line
  • Featuring Red or White Oak, Poplar, Alder, Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Birch, Ash, Pecan, and many other Exotic Wood Species
  • We offer full extension drawers with SOLID WOOD construction for durability mounted on ball bearing guides
  • Our cabinets contain fully adjustable shelving supported by metal pilasters
  • Many choices of hinges are available from concealed 32mm hidden hinges by Blum or many other surface mounted varieties
  • Many convenient pullout options for convenience and clutter reduction are available used for  pantries, trash cans, mixer lifts, or under sink storage to name just a few

 

     Frameless European cabinets can either be wooden or covered in plastic laminate per your choice for your Austin kitchen remodel.  The laminated application makes for a cleaner application and provides for easy maintenance.  These doors are flat with no crevices to conceal grease and grime. 

     If you go for the wooden look there are many choices from which to choose.  These include a slab as above with the edges banded with heat tape or a 1/4" rip of the same wood specie as the door, a flat slab using a lip molding on the edge creating a 3/8" offset door, a raised panel with a 3/4" insert, a flat panel with a 1/4" insert, or a Shaker style with a varying divisions of the face.

     Any of these will work for a kitchen or bathroom cabinet remodel Austin, Texas and it is truly a personal preference.  So whether you are furnishing a new kitchen or bathroom space or are going for a kitchen or bath upgrade be sure you consider all the possibilities and design the room for function.

Fine Cabinetry

 

Raised Panel Doors Can Be Square, Single, or Double Arched

Raised Panel doors in Austin Texas

Bathroom Remodeling Austin

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Fine Cabinetry in Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, May 04, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

    

     If you plan to remodel the ‘food production room’ in your home, then choosing your kitchen cabinets is probably going to be part of the plan. Not surprisingly, kitchen cabinetry is up for scrutiny in terms of the modernization tsunami changing home décor trends in recent times.

     Modern cabinets are breaking away from the ornate design found in traditional cabinet styling, rather reflecting minimal trends such as simple, clean design features. Streamlining and modernizing kitchen cabinetry works in tandem with other kitchen furnishings such as new-age countertops and complimentary backsplashes.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     To determine what style of kitchen cabinets are in your home you need to look  directly into their face beyond the doors.  Are they the face frame North American type or are they the European frameless version?  Fine cabinetry comes in many choices to suit your desires.

     The face frame North American type has long been a popular cabinet style.  It is characterized by the plywood cabinet box, or carcass, having a 3/4" thick hardwood front frame  application of 1 1/2"-2" widths.  These are present on both the vertical components, or stiles, and on the horizontals called rails.

     The frameless European style is just the carcass without any face frame yielding only a 3/4" outward appearance at the stiles and rails.  Both the frameless and the face frame styles use the same carcass body enabling the same European hinges, drawer guides, and cabinet legs to be used.

     The greatest difference is seen once the door or drawer fronts are mounted on fine cabinetry in Austin, Texas.  The European frameless type makes the adjacent door spacings smaller showing less of the stile beyond.  The framed units have more space between the door applications showing more of the stiles and rails beyond. 

    Frameless is a little less expensive to construct than the face frame style so that it really becomes a matter of personal preference and different styles can be mixed within the same house using one type in the kitchen and the other in the bath.

A Typical European Cabinet Design

Custom European Cabinetry in Austin, Texas

Typical Face Frame Look

Face frame cabinetry in Austin, Texas

Fine Cabinetry

     Typically bathroom vanities are 21" deep and approximately 29" tall. The depth is not a problem but most folks would prefer a universal design height of 34".  This height will work for your son or your father making the vanity more accessible to all.   Fine cabinetry is a must for any bathroom makeover.  As for the vanity, you can work your way down from the upgraded cabinet top that has been installed at the correct height for you.  The vanity should have adequately accessible storage satisfying your needs.  Incorporating  easy operating and properly sized drawers and pull out shelves within the design can be very beneficial.  Linen, medicine, and "over the potty" wall cabinets need to be well thought out. The correct species of wood used for the construction of your fine cabinetry and the style of you cabinet doors are two very important factors to consider.  Remember, you do have a choice and you are going to be looking at these new cabinets for a while.

     There are basically two styles of ADA vanities that comply with an unobstructed 27" tall roll under area below the sink.  ADA sinks with a rear drain location provide for better plumbing drain hook ups.  This modification has everything to do with both the water supply lines and the waste line connecting the sink.  There must be provisions made to protect the user from being scalded when coming into contact with any one of the plumbing pipes serving the sink.  These connecting pipes may become heated merely by the water passing through them creating the problem.  The open type model should always receive both waste and supply insulating jackets applied directly to the pipes providing protection for the wheelchair user.  The closed model concealing the pipes will be equipped with a removable face or face board covering the pipes.  This pipe concealing panel must be installed at the correct wheelchair user clearance angle.  This allows for the needed unobstructed legroom required for the  user.  The vanity can extend beyond the sink but the area containing the sink is required to have this roll under capability.  This section of the vanity top must not be any taller than 34 inches above the finished floor with sufficient lower leg clearance.  Clear unobstructed reach distances around the counter top area must be observed.  Any motion controlled sensors integrated into the various dispensing devices and/or plumbing fixtures throughout the restroom present a true hands free benefit to all the restroom users.  If these aren't in the budget then at least wrist handles used for controlling the faucet can be incorporated into the design of the vanity.  Furthermore, automatic flush valves should be used on all toilets and urinals that provide for hands free use.

Austin ADA Vanity

    A completely serviceable special needs bathroom must contain at least one ADA vanity and the accessible route must be defined.  The vanity must be one with a clear underneath scald protected area having an unobstructed roll under capability for wheelchairs.  These new residential vanities do not need to look institutional.  They can be designed like any other piece of fine furniture.  A five foot turning radius allowing the wheelchair to maneuver into any approach must also be associated with the ADA vanity.  A 36x48" clear approach area to the vanity must be observed and this can overlap the five foot turning radius.  The area of travel will then be enhanced by an unobstructed clear accessible barrier free route dedicated to reaching the vanity. 

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