The clients wanted a modern, functional kitchen with specialty features including a farm sink, an over-the-range hood, custom-painted cabinets, and wood floors in the kitchen and dining space.
We laid out the design concept with the clients in a 3-D model and, as always, we collaborated with our cabinet designer so that he could offer suggestions and correlate the design with the actual product. Project schedules are generally coordinated around the delivery of the cabinets, which on average take about three weeks to come in.
This project presented unique challenges because of the specific specialty features that the clients desired. As a rule, these out-of-the-ordinary amenities are considered luxury items. They tend to increase the estimate dramatically because they demand more management, installation is more difficult, and the components are more costly.
Farm sinks pose a particular challenge as they are not typically used in Florida homes, so there is a general lack of the familiarity which comes with repetition of installation. Before the installation can occur, the complexity of planning for a farm sink must be considered; The height and width of the sink must be very carefully calculated to determine the correct sized cabinet to order, which requires modification at installation to support the sink properly. The visual exposure of the sink itself, countertop edges, and adjacent cabinetry, this “trifecta” of three mediums, makes the incorporation of a farm sink a far more complex selection than a standard under-mount or drop in sink.
For the issue of wood flooring in the kitchen, unless a client is adamant, we typically do not suggest the use of wood in a wet area like a kitchen or bathroom for the obvious reason that if there are any leaks, the floor will be damaged quite extensively in many cases.
Paint-matching the cabinetry was the biggest learning curve of this project. When cabinets are custom-painted, it is done with a lacquer paint sprayer at the factory. It is then very difficult to find matching touch-up paint to repair the little dings and scrapes that naturally occur during delivery and installation. We eventually had to hire a master furniture artist to match the color and finish exactly. With a little breathe holding, the final finish came out virtually perfect, however I am still not an advocate of the process.
The over-the-range hood is one great example of why you should hire a licensed contractor who clearly understands the particular dynamics of your project, will ensure the project is code compliant and that the required permits are in order so that your project is not issued a “Stop work order” by a city official, causing unnecessary delays and fines.
If a range hood consumes more than 400 cu ft. of air per minute, the equivalent amount of air must be compensated for from the outside of the home through what is known as a “make-up air system”. This system is barometrically controlled and can be a significantly unexpected challenge to install. The make-up air system alone can almost double the cost of installing a range hood and have hidden costs depending on the construction style of the home. In addition, a range hood over a gas range must duct outside the house, not only to meet code, but to ensure the safety of your family. In this kitchen remodel, a make-up-air system was not required since the code was changed after this remodel was completed. The challenge with this kitchen were the angled ceiling, requiring custom fitting working and the low height of the ductwork from the previous range hood.
Despite the numerous unique challenges, each of these features were completed with beautiful results.
The functional island with seating was an additional added amenity. Kitchen islands are required to have power running to them; not a problem in this case, being that it was a wood frame, stilt house with easy accessibility. Obviously this can be more of an issue when having to excavate through concrete sub-floors to provide the required power.
Another electrical requirement, added to the code in 1984, in kitchens is that there must be a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt) outlet every four feet for safety and functionality, so these were added wherever necessary. A GFI outlet is a type of electrical outlet that detects an imbalance of current and automatically trips a breaker when the imbalance reaches a specific level. The GFI is designed to protect against electrocution in high-risk areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoor areas.
Replacing the low-hanging track lighting with recessed can lights opened up the space and made the angled ceiling seem even higher. And the addition of a small custom wine fridge at the end of the kitchen counter created added functionality.
The clients reused and transported their own refrigerator which leads us to offer one word of caution. We always suggest that our clients be cognizant toward the idea of re-using anything from the existing space being remodeled, if it can be helped; pre-existing damage, lost parts, damage caused upon removal or from transporting are several reasons for this consideration, which at the the time of installation can pose an uncomfortable situation in determining the culprit.
This project was started on May 16, 2011 and completed by June 28, 2011. The clients loved their new kitchen.
Owner & President Logan Steege relocated to Tampa in 2003 to assist in a local start-up building 25 new homes in under two years. In 2005 Jack O’ Trades was launched. In 2010 he acquired a State Certified Residential Contractor license (CRC 1330291). Logan has an uncanny eye for detail and imaginative functionality. Jack O’ Trades is more than a contractor bidding and completing your job, we will share ideas with you, inspire design, and work with you to visualize and create the best use of your space. Logan continues to keep both hands on every project, but also offers you his eyes for aesthetics and ears for understanding your desires to make you love where you live.