We were fortunate to have the opportunity to perform an amazing home transformation over the past six months for a wonderful client in Hudson. Our clients are recent retirees that during the project still lived in their past home in Sarasota. They purchased this fantastic waterfront home with plans to retire in comfort. The home had not been updated since it was built in the 1970’s. For lack of a better word, it needed help. We went over every square inch of the home with the client in the months before construction began. DCI was able to come up with a design and style that suited the client’s needs and brought new life to this amazing home. Over the course of the following months, the crew at DCI Home Improvements went room by room. Renovating every inch of this home from the living room, to the kitchen, the bedrooms, doorways, laundry areas, and the rear lanai. The kitchen is complimented with Designer’s Choice Cabinetry provided by Palm Harbor Kitchens, a wonderful compliment of granite and backsplash tile, as well as new lighting and flooring. The guest bathroom is finished off with floor to ceiling tile as well as a beautiful use of obscured frameless glass shower surround. As we go through the home, we see in the living area a new wide-open living space that will give our clients years of use and plenty of room for entertaining. The master bathroom is finished off again with a dramatic use of floor to ceiling tile, a double vanity with linen tower, and a new jetted bathtub. The amazing attention to detail our team put into this remodel makes us very proud.
In this post, we will go over the five main considerations or questions that often come up when deciding the finished look of your new kitchen. We talk to clients every day that want to undertake a kitchen remodeling project but are not quite sure where to start. I hope with this series, it will take some of the burden away on what to expect.
FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER
The Floor Plan
The floorplan of your new kitchen will determine if your renovation is going to be in the $ or the $$$ price range. Staying with the existing footprint is always the least expensive, east time consuming option when creating your remodeling plan. This helps avoid having to redo the flooring, trenching for electrical and/or plumbing, framing, drywall, etc (in most cases).
Don’t have enough room in your existing kitchen? Then maybe a new floorplan is the right approach for you. There are some things to consider when changing the footprint. Are are you removing any walls? If so, what are we going to do with the wiring and any plumbing located in the wall? Most modern homes aren’t likely to have may support structures in the kitchen area, but there is always the possibility that the wall you are going to remove is structural to the home. If a wall being removed is a structural wall engineering will come into question.
Adding to your design, such as adding an island, requires contractors to bring electrical no matter what due to code requirements. Reputable contractors will take that extra step and bring the kitchen up to code instead of leaving out-dated electrical in your home. When deciding on which route is best for you, consider which is best, cost vs. function.
Cabinetry is an area where clients are frequently surprised by the cost. There are two basic styles of cabinetry that we install today: MDF board or plywood. The former being the less expensive of the two, but the latter being the better quality product. We always tell our client’s that there is always a trade-off when purchasing cabinetry, cost over aesthetic.
We are fortunate at DCI Home Improvements to be able to offer to our client’s a full range of cabinetry to fit anyone’s budget. For the budget oriented client’s, we can offer a full complete custom kitchen in a ready to assemble version of cabinetry which come in a range of materials from MDF to plywood. For those client’s that want their kitchen to stand out from the rest, we offer a selection of very high end American made plywood custom cabinets. And for those who want a good overall functional kitchen while trying to stay within a budget, we offer a full compliment of reasonably priced plywood cabinets that not only look good, they are priced with budget in mind.
No matter which line of cabinets you choose, your cabinets will likely be about 50% of the cost of your new kitchen. We will help point you toward a product that is a good fit for you and your project.
Lighting is often neglected in a kitchen remodel. Many clients we talk to feel their kitchen lighting is adequate for their needs without realizing the potential of their space. Good, strategically placed lighting opens up your kitchen while showcasing some of it’s features.
We utilize the LED technology along with lighting placement that allows for functionality and aesthetics. Lighting placement is key to a well lit room. The addition of pendant lighting or chandeliers are a great way to compliment the room and add a touch of ambient lighting. You may also want to consider under-cabinet, over-cabinet, and in-cabinet lighting as well in your design. Every nuance will just add that finishing touch to your new kitchen.
4. Backsplash Tile
Backsplash tile is what makes your final design come to life. There are two common forms of backsplash tiling. The traditional 4” countertop backsplash that goes up the wall behind all countertops. This is a great technique for a budget-friendly kitchen renovation. The other is a full tile backsplash to help finish off the remodel. Either approach will look spectacular in the end.
Whether you choose granite countertop, quartz countertop, or something in-between, a full tile backsplash is a great way to bring a complimentary color into the room and finish the countertop design. The choices are endless as well with only your imagination as the limit.
Typically tile backsplashes are ceramic or porcelain, but you can go with glass, travertine, or any other material that catches your eye. You can add touches like medallions, pencil finish tiles, specialty outlet covers, etc.
Time is the biggest consideration in a kitchen remodel. Historically, the average time for a kitchen remodel is approximately four to six weeks. There are some key elements that could make your kitchen remodel take more or less time. These elements are typically the choice of countertop, if flooring being installed, if the footprint is changing, etc. Be sure to ask yourself, realistically, can you be without a fully functional kitchen for four to six weeks? You can always use that time to have dinners with friends and family.
We had the pleasure of performing this spectacular bathroom renovation for a wonderful client in Seminole. We met at the beginning of this project and discussed the needs and wants of what they wanted to accomplish. We listened, gave suggestions, and came to an agreement on a game plan. The client wanted to open the shower area to bring more light in. Also, a free-standing bathtub was a must in the new design. The room itself had to be re-configured to a certain extent to allow more flow and just make more sense in the overall design of the room. We added a frameless glass enclosure, new vanity, beautiful new wall and floor tile, and finished it off with stunning fixtures the client chose for this project.
With each and every new client that I meet and discuss renovations options with there always seem to be those specific points that we need to cover in order for us to give our clients exactly what they want. You would be surprised how many things get overlooked by the homeowners when deciding a style of the project, and even more surprising is the amount of contractor's that don't ask the right questions. I have decided to do a series entitled 'Five Things to Consider' that will touch on the five most important parts of a renovation in my mind. The first topic in this series will be bathrooms.
FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER
1. The Floor Plan
When thinking about renovating your bathroom, one main concern is space and how to better utilize it. If you are lucky enough to have a home that has an abundance of extra space in the bathroom area that you can change locations and maximize the square footage, you're one of the lucky ones. Most of us do not have that luxury. The standard master bathroom floor plan that you will find in the area if the home was built in the past 20 years is a double vanity, bathtub, and a small shower. Some homes in the area do not even have this kind of generous space available and sometimes still have a single vanity and shower in their master bathroom. Available space can be one of the hardest decisions to wrap your head around when coming up with a new floor plan if you plan on expanding from the existing plan. There are heavy costs involved once you start moving walls, plumbing, and electrical. Its not as easy as you might think, "Oh, lets just knock down this wall and move the bathroom into the closet". More often than not it just doesn't work out that way. And you have to consider the costs involved with this because the amount of money you spend on moving walls, plumbing, and electrical is going to dramatically cut into your budget for the remaining in the five things to consider for your bathroom.
When coming up with a new floor plan, there are certain codes that licensed contractors have to work with that you as the home owner might not consider or even know they exist. Things like the amount of space needed around a toilet, the amount of space needed for a shower door opening, the proper pitch needed for a main drain line. All of these things come into factor once you start to deviate from the original design of the bathroom. It takes a lot of labor to move a toilet drain across a room. If you're on a second story, you run into different challenges with drainage because of floor joists and the direction that they were framed. There are many options that an experienced contract will help you explore if you decide to change your floor plan. Some clients, in designing a new floor plan for your bathroom, want to expand their bathroom floor plan past the existing roof of the home. That expansion is considered a room addition, which can be one of the most costly renovations you can do to your home and often does not come with a return on the investment.
When we talk to clients about the tile they are going to use in their bathroom areas, more often than not they do not have specific tile in mind. There are so many types and styles of tile out there from ceramic to porcelain, from travertine to glass, the choices these days are almost endless. From traditional to contemporary and everything in-between, there is something out there that will fit your style and taste. When you walk into a tile showroom, sometimes our clients are taken a back just from the sheer number of choices.
From a construction aspect of the project, the of style of tile does not impact our installation, however some options that might increase the cost your renovation. Larger tiles might take up more real estate in a shower than a subway tile, but both come with pros and cons that might change the budget. Glass tile is a popular item for accent striping for a shower but we are also starting to see it in some of the ultra-modern designs. Full glass tile sheets can add a tremendous amount of labor to a project because of the care involved with cutting glass. Slate tiles can add costs because of the fact that they typically need to be sealed during installation because of the natural properties. Natural river rock stone, although beautiful when installed, can cause problems especially in smaller areas because of their nature of being variable sizes which can lead to water pockets. Rectified tiles have become more popular in recent years but be cautious of inexpensive rectified tiles as the manufacturing process can vary greatly from one country to another.
Whatever type of tile that you choose, make sure your contractor has the know-how or at least the experience with that particular type of installation. Make sure your contractor will take those extra steps to install even substrate and seal it as this will go a long way to creating a good foundation for your tile.
The vanity is one of those items I see so many people fail to really consider the pros and cons when deciding to remodel their bathrooms. Many clients look for inexpensive vanities at big box stores as a way to cut costs and because the vanities are attractive. Vanities go beyond looks and assessing how well it will function and hold up during daily use is extremely important. Vanities are not all the same. If you are looking fro a really nice piece of furniture for your vanity, that is made of wood, that has modern drawer and door treatments, you are going to have to expect to spend quite a lot more money on than a vanity you are going to purchase from the local supply house. The difference is in the details. Although vanity A and vanity B might look the same on the outside, they way the function will not be the same. Getting custom cabinetry made for your project allows you get something that fits your space perfectly. You have the ability to add slide out drawers, or custom areas that you won't find from a vanity you purchase online. But, with that being said, if the budget is the concern, you might be okay with purchasing a lower end cabinet. You can save a lot of money with this option as the off the shelf cabinets typically come with countertops and sinks. If you were to purchase a custom made cabinet, the countertop and sink are yet another expense to figure on in the final cost of the project. We like to say that everything comes with a trade-off and vanities have some major trade-offs to consider when purchasing.
4. Shower Door
Remember before where I talked about 'trade-offs', well shower doors and enclosures have some major trade-offs. If your new design is going to be more of an open concept design, frameless glass makes a major statement. If your design does not necessarily change the floor plan of your existing bathroom and you can still utilize standard measurements, you do have some less expensive options. Frameless glass is pretty much the standard these days for shower doors and enclosures. They give the homeowner a 'wow' factor in the room that they use everyday. Frameless glass can be a bit expensive up front but typically they can be a savings over framed walls and tile work once everything is said and done. If your bathroom has a more typical design of a alcove bathtub, you do have the option of some very varying prices for enclosures that you might find at a big box retailer. You can find standard 60" enclosures for as low as $300 or as much as $1,200. It all depends on what your budget can handle for the overall project. Some of our clients still opt to go with the tried and true method of curtains as they are a huge cost savings point and they are typically relatively maintenance free compared to the glass that must be cleaned on a regular basis. For whichever style you choose, you should go with the factors of the project are most important.
Finally, one of the most over looked things during a bathroom renovation project is the lighting. Proper lighting can be the difference between a bland, un-inspiring bathroom design, and a magnificent, magazine worthy, remodel. A lot of the clients I meet with that aren't doing what we would consider a full renovation tend to want to keep the lighting as-is. All client decisions work for us, but we will encourage bringing proper lighting into the space. Not only will it make your bathroom a beautiful space but it will also provide some major every-day uses. We typically encourage our clients to not only have a beautiful vanity light, but also add LED ceiling lighting to flood the room with light when needed. A small bathroom that might have a single sink vanity, toilet, and a bathtub/shower combo, can typically get away with a single overhead LED. But once your bathroom starts to gain square footage, you could find yourself adding four or even six overhead LEDs to properly light the space. Never let lighting go un-noticed and make sure it is one of the five things you consider for your next bathroom remodeling project.
We recently had the pleasure of working for a fantastic couple in St. Petersburg, FL. The home, originally constructed in the 1950's still had the original kitchen that was in desperate need of a re-design. The kitchen, as with any older kitchen from that era, was small and cramped, and closed off from the rest of the home. The client came to us with a set of ideas and we discussed the best path to complete this renovation. The main goal was to open the kitchen to the rest of the home. This was completed by installing a laminated beam to carry the load of the roof above. We were able to salvage the architectural design of the coved plaster walls in the living room which worked out great. The kitchen cabinets that the client went with for this build were manufactured by Designer's Choice Cabinetry and provided to us by Palm Harbor Kitchens. The color was a perfect choice for the home. We also loved the traditional backsplash tile that the client decided to install that is very period for the home that blended well with the traditional style. Finished off with a beautiful quartz countertop and new appliances. Another stunning project that our client will be able to enjoy for years to come.
Good news for those of us that are getting spoiled by the easiness of Apple Pay. DCI Home Improvements has now added Apple Pay as a payment form for all of our clients home improvement projects. As always, we have accepted Master Card and Visa, but now we have added the extra security and ease that comes with paying with either your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad.
We had the pleasure of working with a fabulous couple in New Port Richey on the renovation to their kitchen. The home was a 90's era house that unfortunately had a real closed off feeling from the rest of the house. The effect that the builder created when the home was originally built was what I like to call the 'cave effect'. Where everything is closed in, dark, and tight. With un-utilized spaces that builders typically overlook because of costs. The homeowner had some great ideas that they brought to the table. Among the goals for the space were creating more storage, opening the room to allow for more free-flow entertaining, adding new cabinetry, and much needed new lighting. In the end, I believe this is one of the more impressive kitchens we have remodeled. We were able to open up the room to not only allow more of a open-concept, but it came with the additional bonus of giving the space much needed extra natural lighting. The cabinets the homeowner went with gave them the look that they had always wanted. The additional lighting in the room brought the home into the 21st century with a nice contemporary feel. We had a great time on this project and the homeowner will have years of enjoyment with their new space.
My wife and I are huge fans of Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is known for Michelin-starred restaurants and tirades aimed at contestants on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, a reality TV show. Off-screen, there’s one former contestant who elicits nothing but praise from the notoriously hard-to-please Scottish chef. And that’s Christina Wilson. Christina Wilson was, in our opinion, the most deserving champion of Hell's Kitchen and it is great to see how easy it is for Gordon Ramsey to utilize the tools available on Houzz to find exactly what you need.
We must admit that even sometimes we are stumped when it comes to designing the perfect space when the existing space is so limited. A wonderful client contacted us in regards to their bathroom and bedroom renovation that they wanted to achieve. The existing bathroom space was a very limited, 1980's era design that incorporated unnecessary column work, a platform bathtub, and a very dark and dreary shower area. Along with that, the bedroom was lacking on storage space and the flooring was subpar. Over the course of a few weeks, we presented the client with variation after variation of the new space and how we could best use the square footage available to us. The client had ideas of their own that they presented as well that gave us a goal to shoot for. In the end, the design that the client went with is stunning. We utilize in the build of the shower area more space as well as a zero threshold design for a modern feel. The client purchased a beautiful bathtub that gives the bathroom class. The vanity and surrounding furniture couldn't look any better. And we finished the project off with a brand new double closet and new flooring in the bedroom.
DCI HOME IMPROVEMENTS of Tampa Bay Area
Awarded Best Of Houzz 2018
Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World
Tampa, FL, January 11, 2018 – DCI Home Improvements of Tampa Bay Area has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The family owned and operated company since 1980 was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.
The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
"We couldn't be more happy to win this award for the third year in a row. The competition in the bay area that Houzz has created by holding all of its recommended pros to the highest of standards will help continue to make us grow as a company. - Jeff Akins, COO, DCI Home Improvements
"The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year's recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise."
Follow DCI Home Improvements on Houzz
About DCI Home Improvements
Tampa Bay's Premier Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation Experts with over 30 years in business. Based in New Port Richey, FL, DCI services all regions of the Tampa Bay Area. Founded by master carpenter Pete DeCillis, DCI Home Improvements have become synonymous with top quality and communication. DCI Home Improvements helps their clients with a step-by-step process that takes the difficulty out in performing a home renovation. They strive to hold themselves to the highest levels of customer service.
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.
# # #