Today’s Kitchens Require Attention To Detail
The devil is in the details. Today’s classy kitchens entail great attention to details by the general remodelers and contractors when it comes to planning, designing and installing a Kitchen, says Hank White, the president of a Houston based bath and kitchen remodeling firm. Still the end result of careful attention to such things is customer referrals and client satisfaction.
“People show a lot of interest in getting more detailed in the kitchen’s functionality. They are asking things such as, ‘I saw this on HGTV.’ or ‘Where can I put my pots?’ ”
Hank White sums up a number of kitchen design trends:
Larger kitchens = more appliances and features. Contingent on the client’s lifestyle and the kitchen size, appliances play a dominative role. Think about the niche items, like an extra dishwasher that’s placed for convenience (and even additional dish storage), a pot filler faucet on the wall adjacent to a stove, warming drawers and double ovens, as well as specialty refrigerators and wine chillers.
Kitchens as gathering centers. Remodeling contractors who are involved in kitchen layout, millwork or design, should pay attention. “The trend towards being entertained when cooking or entertaining other people while you are cooking has led to a change in kitchen layouts,” Hank White says. He observes emphasis on islands as a serving buffet area, or as a center for food preparation or baking. So are flat screen televisions, smartly hidden behind slide out panels or framed by pieces of wood and integrated into the wall or into the cabinetry.
Dimensions do matter. Likewise, Hank White says today’s appliances that frequently take on more roles (like a microwave convection oven combination), may be too complicated from an installation perspective. High-end European lines may be too complicated from the hook up perspective. And the design trends dominate today. “The integrated look of wood overlay panels over dishwashers and fridges and fitting out trim pieces like pilasters and fillers on the fridge’s sides means that no room for error can be allowed in measurements,” Hank White says. “Contractors should also plan for precise hinging of makes such as Sub Zero fridges so that they can open fully, given these fillers.”
Planning the installation. Allocating for plumbing and electrical considerations is important. White suggests that contractors should pay more attention to utility hookups and appliance specifications so that they get the bids correct the first-time. “Utility hook ups are always essential in bidding out to your customer. Do not forget basics such as ensuring that outlets are included every 24-inches and including GFI plugs.”
It is also important that you know all the specifications of the individual models of the appliances. On a Décor in wall coffee system, for example, a 200-dollar option upgrade allows for the system to use a water line, instead of a tank in the standard model. “The contractors should allow for heavy duty ranges, most 36 inches wide, which require extra ventilation,” Hank White says.
Uniqueness sells. Hank White observes that some customers just want to have something unique. He advises that you should work closely with the kitchen designer. He added that that it is up to the contractor to be prepared for the work involved around selections that are highly unique. Although granite and other stone composition countertops are nowadays common, he has even installed a pewter-countertop. Other selections include treated-concrete surfaces as countertops. Hank White says that clients are taking a cue from the institutional sector and asking for stainless steel counters and cabinets for an elegant, modern look. Decorations such as ornate tile or granite inlays in the backsplash are in high demand