Friday, April 29, 2011

Alpharetta Kitchen Remodel: Short Before & After Video

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Atlanta Home Remodeling Trends

   Functional kitchens, luxurious baths, outdoor living spaces...all current trends in home remodeling. As we continue to spend more quality time with our homes, we continue to find new ways to make our spaces work for us! However, we wanted to talk about some other kinds of trends we're seeing in Atlanta remodeling. We're seeing more of these two kinds of projects in the past two months, than we have in the past two years!
     Lately we have received many calls from potential homeowners looking to buy a home and wanting to remodel the home before moving in. These are fantastic projects for the client & remodeler alike; and in today's market, there is more opportunity for buyers to undertake these remodels than ever before! Finding an "imperfect" home in the right area, right neighborhood, right school district for the right price has an easy solution. Turn the new home into your dream home before you even move in!
     AK has met with several clients at their contracted homes to give them estimates on work to be completed after closing. Clients love having the AK team ready to go so they can pull the trigger on the project immediately following their closing. This minimizes the amount of time they need to stay in their current home or alternate housing. The work done on newly purchased homes has ranged from window replacement, new decks,  and kitchen remodels to complete historic home renovations!
     The second trend we've seen in Atlanta remodeling is much less positive. We have received more calls than ever from homeowners who hired a contractor to complete a remodeling project, gave them a deposit or money for work done, and now the contractor has disappeared. We know that when the economy headed south many unscrupulous people tried to turn to building and remodeling, by identifying themselves as a contractor and attempting to win projects with low prices and, sometimes, bad intentions.
    We've heard from trusting clients who have been left with demolished, unusable bathrooms. We've heard from homeowners with a partially completed basement renovation where a load bearing wall was inappropriately removed! We even caught our local news covering similar stories on last night's evening news. Our hearts go out to these clients each and every time we receive their phone calls. Rest assured, AK can help them turn their nightmare into a dream by working with them every step of the way until they are completely satisfied with their new space.
     We know contractor horror stories are nothing new, and as a reputable and professional  remodeling company the negative stereotypes are something we constantly try to dispel. AK constantly strives to educate potential clients about what to look for from a contractor or remodeler by offering remodeling resources, our code of ethics and other things to look for when starting a project or hiring a remodeler. While we ALWAYS like the phone to ring and to speak with a potential client, we hope that the trend of hearing from people after a bad experience will soon be just another out-of-date fad! (We'd much rather help them get it right the first time!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome Home: Funny Doormats

We just couldn't resist this silly post! 
These just may give your home a different kind of curb appeal than an AK Renovation...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bathroom Design with Ventilation in Mind

Today's Product Options Ensure Design Is Not Sacrificed 

In the kitchen, Americans have accepted giant vent hoods as a design element and, in some cases, a focal point. However, in bathrooms, we do our best to make ventilation equipment less conspicuous.
Homeowners and occupants seem to have a love/hate relationship with ventilation systems. They love them because they understand the benefits vents offer: They remove unwanted odors and pull moisture from the room to prevent mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew are unsightly, do damage to homes and are hazardous to our health. Yet homeowners don't like seeing ventilation fans because they have grown up with unattractive and loud fans hanging over their heads.
Although designers love an aesthetically pleasing bathroom, our job is to make sure the bathroom functions properly and doesn't have a negative impact on health. Properly designed ventilation systems are key to meeting these goals, and today's various product options ensure design is not sacrificed in the process.

Design Guidelines
Technical guidelines established by the Home Ventilating Institute, Wauconda, Ill., ensure ventilation systems pull the proper amount of moisture out of the room. For a typical 5- by 8-foot bathroom, one 40-cfm fan is required. If a bathroom is 100 square feet or larger, follow the guideline of 50 cfm for toilet, 50 cfm for shower, 50 cfm for bath and 100 cfm for jetted tub.
With that in mind, if a bathroom is larger than 100 square feet and it has a separate shower with a nonjetted tub and a toilet, you need a 150-cfm vent fan. In this situation, you could have one vent fan with the power of 150 cfm or a 50-cfm fan in the shower, one 50-cfm fan above the toilet and one 50-cfm fan above the tub.
Most homeowners don't use their ventilation units because they are too loud. When considering ventilation options, look for the sone value. A sone is a measurement of sound in terms of comfortable hearing level for an average listener. Sones are not decibels or volume; they reflect how sound is sensed. One sone is half as loud as two sones and is equivalent to a quiet refrigerator. The lower the sone value, the more comfortable the environment. In some situations, you may consider a unit with a higher sone value to drown out noise, especially when a bathroom is located in close proximity to the entertaining areas in the home.

Vent Options
Once you determine what a bathroom needs for proper ventilation, you can decide which system is the best option. There are a number of ventilation options to consider, including the following:
  • Vent-only unit
  • Traditional vent/light combo unit
  • Vent/light/heat lamp combo unit
  • Humidity-sensing unit
  • Motion-detecting unit
  • Decorative vent/light combo unit
For example, for a teenager's 5- by 8-foot bathroom, a motion-detecting and humidity-sensing vent fan would be the best option. Teens don't always remember to turn the fan on and when they do, it's never on long enough to properly pull moisture and odor out of the room. They also may not remember to turn it off, which isn't very energy efficient, so an automatic system is the best fit. Those clients who spray perfume and hairspray into the air also may benefit from motion-detecting systems.
In a larger bathroom, you could specify a combination of ventilation units. Today's product options don't require a ceiling to look like ventilation heaven. You may consider a humidity-sensing fan/light combination in the shower, a motion-sensing unit (with or without light) above the toilet and a decorative light fixture/vent fan combo above the bathtub. Several manufacturers offer vent fans in semi-flush and flush-mount decorative fixtures and in recessed light fixtures. They are designed in traditional and contemporary options.
Ventilation is one of the most important drivers of health and hygiene in a bathroom. Using good-quality bathroom-ventilation fans ensures a bathroom is free from odors, mold and mildew. With today's varied product options, design doesn't have to be sacrificed to ensure your clients' bathrooms are properly ventilated.

By Lisa Loushin, CKD
Lisa Loushin, CKD, launched Haute Kitchens in 2007, after more than 15 years in the kitchen and bath design industry. Many of Loushin's projects have been published, won design competitions on both the regional and national levels. She has been a featured guest on the DIY Network's "Kitchen Renovations" program, where her expertise helped create a dream kitchen. Loushin has served locally for the NKBA as vice president of communications, long-range planner, and most recently as a second-term chapter president and certified instructor. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Smarter kitchen Sink

 AK recently connected with Dino Rachiele, ACSD, who we think has a really neat product! We'd like to share a little information on his behalf. What do you think of this sink? We love the apron front and undermount options with customization and smart design!

"I have been working for many years to perfect the kitchen sink. Thanks to the feedback from many of you, as well as one forward thinking engineer (and customer) by the name of Robert Pennybaker, I have put together the best sink design in the industry. Here are some of the design elements that are unique to our sinks. If you love to cook, this is your kitchen sink!" - Dino

  • Rear Corner sink drain location - Allows for set-off space and even a dish rack on one side, while having the ability to wash dishes on the side with the drain.
  • Long single bowl kitchen sinks - Double bowl sinks became extinct with the invention of the dishwasher. I feel a 36" long sink is the ultimate size for a kitchen sink if you have the space in your kitchen for one.
  • The Smarter Kitchen Sink option - a 3/4" lip, 2" down from the front and rear of the sink. This ledge allows for many timesaving components such as: Cutting boards and grid drains, This option is available on copper apron front sinks, under mount and top mount sinks - both in copper and stainless steel. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What To Expect From Your Natural Wood Cabinets

   It’s hard to believe, but your cabinets had a life long before you. Before they took residence in your home, they lived in nature. And, in many ways, nature lived in them. This is evident in the grain of the wood, the pinholes, the knots, the burls and the eclectic coloration left behind by mineral deposits. If you look closely, you can read the story of their former life. As with all organic material, there are also things to expect as the wood adjusts to a new life in your home.
Joint Lines – Wood is in a constant state of expansion and contraction. This normal movement may cause some hairline cracks at the joints in the finish surface on cabinet doors and face frames. This is a natural occurrence and does not weaken or diminish the strength of the joints.

End Grain – End grain surfaces are softer in composition than other areas of the wood. As such, they absorb more stain and often appear darker. This is a natural reaction and potential variances cannot be prevented.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Creative Kitchen Remodel

   This Marietta kitchen is currently undergoing a facelift - courtesy of The Kitchen Doctor at AK Complete Home Renovations. The kitchen before was well cared for, with upgraded touches and very similar to what many of us in Atlanta have! If this kitchen looks familiar to you, be sure to stay-tuned to see the finished product. You may just be able to see a similar renovation coming to your Atlanta kitchen soon!

The Kitchen Before

Stay Tuned For The Finished Product - It's Almost Done!! 
For more on this project, or on starting a similar one - Click here!