Author Archives: donnapk

Backsplash Options

 

What lies in-between your countertops and cabinets can dramatically enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen design. While you may choose to extend the granite or quartz used on your countertops to the backsplash area to camouflage where the countertop stops and the wall begins, there are obviously many other choices for your backsplash. For example, various vendors offer an extensive variety of tiles in glass, porcelain and ceramic. River rock, sandstone and tiles made out of natural stone are also possible backsplash choices that may pair well with your chosen granite or quartz countertops. Even certain metals are sometimes used as a backsplash, such as copper, tin, stainless and industrial steel. Some of these choices have gained extreme popularity, and all offer a range in pricing from ‘economical sophistication’ to ‘luxury standard’ which may somewhat help your decision-making process.

 

Besides your personal preference and budget considerations, other things to keep in mind when making your choice are ease of cleaning, stain resistance and durability. Also determining the appropriate backsplash height to complete your design look is key. Of course, a full-height backsplash will protect your walls between the counter and cabinet. If your choice is granite or quartz for both countertops and backsplash, enough stone would need to be ordered for both areas prior to your remodel so they would match. However, due keep in mind that this may add one or more extra slabs of granite or quartz to your job, plus the stone’s fabrication to your total price which can be very costly.

For all other choices, we highly recommend that you choose your backsplash AFTER cabinet refacing is completed and AFTER your new countertops are installed for optimum design consistency.

For more ideas, give award winning Pacific Kitchens a call at 858-277-0701.  We would love to have the opportunity to make your kitchen dreams come true.

 

Out With The Old And In With The New For 2018!

Out with the Old and In with the New!  It’s a New Year and time for New Year resolutions. For most of us, our traditional holiday festivities are nearing the end. We scheduled time to party with friends, family, co-workers, distant relatives, and sometimes even perfect strangers throughout the holiday season, and who can blame us. We indulged in our favorite food, drink, caroling, and possibly other festivities like dancing and wearing shiny little hats while tooting our New Year horns. So now that the New Year has begun and we’ve had our fill of over-indulging, it should be easy to keep our well-intentioned New Year resolutions. Right?

While making New Year resolutions has become much more popular in the last century, some may not think kindly of whoever was originally responsible for the concept. Some of us dread the thought of vowing to lose weight, stop smoking, join a gym, eat healthier, stop procrastinating, get organized and the list goes on.  So let’s make resolutions that we’ll look forward to keeping. For instance, we can pledge to travel more, get more sleep, reconnect with old friends, start a hobby, spend more time with family, and our personal favorite here at Pacific Kitchens:  “Get a Makeover” . . . . . . For your kitchen, that is!  Our customers tell us that’s one resolution that’s easy to keep and that ensures many Happy New Years to come!

Happy New Year from Pacific Kitchens!

 

HOW TO PLAN A FESTIVE WINE TASTING PARTY!

Anxious to show off your beautiful new kitchen to your friends? How about turning your kitchen island into a wine tasting bar for a festive holiday get-together. Wine connoisseurs and complete novices alike will get a ‘taste’ of your festive holiday spirit, and an eyeful of your good taste in your newly remodeled kitchen design.

glasses of wineFirst, send or email a creative invitation. Pick up five to eight types of wine. Consider perhaps a theme in your selection process by selecting  personal favorites, wines from different areas, various brands of Rose’, Merlot or Zinfandel, or a sampling of California wines. You get the idea!  While connoisseurs say that too many variations during the tasting will overwhelm the palette, the wine novices may not be quite so discerning! Once you’ve made your choices, buy two bottles of each wine for each half-dozen guests. This should be enough for a 1 to 1&1/2 ounce taste and a glass afterward.  Keep the wines chilled to between 50  (for whites) and 65 degrees (for reds) so flavors aren’t dulled. For an interesting twist, you might consider wrapping each wine bottle with holiday fabric to hide the labels. Then simply write a number on a sticky label and affix to the fabric of each bottle for corresponding identification later. Your guests may be surprised at which wine they discover to be their favorite.

Considering serving some light hors d’oeuvres as guests arrive and begin to mingle, and heartier hors d’oeuvres or desserts after tasting so no tummies will be ‘growling’. Food will affect how the wine tastes, so it’s best to serve only bites of French bread, water crackers, or plain crispy breadsticks and a glass of water during the tasting to clear the palette between tastings.

Of course, if your guests are all wine novices rather than wine connoisseurs, and the sniffing and swirling are far less appealing than the sipping, you could just ask everyone invited to bring a couple bottles of their favorite wine. Here’s our toast to hoping your new kitchen brings you much happiness and many happy memories for years to come!

If you’re still in the ‘consideration’ stage and looking for kitchen remodeling ideas, Pacific Kitchens is happy to provide a free in-home estimate.  Just give us a call at (858) 277-0701 to request a design consultation.  We look forward to making your kitchen remodeling dreams come true!

Making More Efficient Use of Kitchen Cabinets While Refacing

When transforming your kitchen cabinets to fit your favorite modern design, something to consider is how to maximize the interior storage space in your drawers and cabinets. Whether dramatically changing or subtly altering the appearance of the cabinets’ exterior, certain design adjustments will customize the interior space for maximum efficiency and functionality, completing the overall transformation.

Here are a few simple ways we can help you better utilize the space inside your kitchen cabinets and drawers at the same time we reface your kitchen cabinetry:

  • add new drawers with full-extension glides which will completely reveal the contents of each entire drawer, front to back — no more hidden space.
  • convert lower stationery cabinet space into all pull-out drawers for maximum capacity storage, clear visibility to all stored items, and 1-step access — no more cabinet doors to open; no more squinting and reaching for something way in the back. OR if you still prefer doors to drawers:
  • convert your stationary cabinet shelving into pull-out shelves, allowing clear visibility and easy access to every item, pot or pan concealed behind the cabinet doors. Just open the cabinet doors and slide out shelf.
  • add a lazy susan into a corner cabinet, making that once awkward hidden space much more useful — just ‘twirl’ to reach everything.

If space allows, we can also:

  • add extra cabinets, an island or counter top eating area.
  • enlarge an existing island and possibly its storage space.
  • install a roll-out trash and recycling center.

For a free in-home estimate from Pacific Kitchens, give us a call at (858) 277-0701. Our friendly kitchen professionals will show you how to get a brand new look — and make the most of your kitchen storage — at a fraction of the cost, compared to a complete remodel. We look forward to making your kitchen remodeling dreams come true!

Dreaming of a “Dream Kitchen”?

The words “Dream Kitchen” elicit a wide range of visual interpretations from traditional to modern contemporary, or something in between. Over the years, our kitchens have become an area for socializing, in addition to serving the function of food storage and food preparation for our families. And in amply-sized modern kitchens, the kitchen table has been replaced with an ‘island’ which serves a multi-function purpose.  We’ve become accustomed to gathering and entertaining guests there. The kitchen is, after all, the ‘heart of the home’ and now has the honor of also being known as the ‘most used’ room in our homes. In fact, that ’most used’ look may be why you’re reading this blog and looking for ways to modernize your kitchen before the holiday frenzy sets in.

When architects design kitchens, they usually create the most efficient use of the space as the majority of kitchens are built with functionality in mind.  This eliminates the need to have to start from scratch and tear out all your existing cabinetry.  Keep in mind, that with a complete tear-out, you will lose your existing counter tops. If you choose to reface, they can be saved.  Refacing has now become a very popular and high-quality alternative to complete cabinet replacements.  Cabinet refacing is an environmentally friendly, green alternative at about half the cost of a brand new kitchen. So whether your kitchen looks tired and outdated, or you would simply like it to fit your own design style, consider refacing for your dream kitchen.

There is no obligation or pressure to buy from Pacific Kitchens once we have completed your free in-home estimate. However, we hope you will check our references, our business’ reputation in the industry and make the wise choice! Choose Pacific Kitchens – San Diego’s award winning kitchen refacing company.

Call us for a free in-home estimate!

858-277-0701

Refinishing versus Refacing.  What’s the difference?

We often get calls from potential customers who use the word ‘refinishing’ interchangeably with ‘refacing’.  When I get that call, my first objective is to find out what the caller really wants to achieve in their kitchen.

Many times customers have cabinetry that is constructed of solid hard woods such as cherry, maple, mahogany, oak, etc. that was custom made for their kitchen.  Before they call us, the customers have assumed that Pacific Kitchens will come out, remove the doors and drawers and take them away to be stripped and re-stained or re-painted.  This process is referred to as ‘refinishing’.

Cabinet refinishing is much like the process of refinishing furniture.  It’s messy, smelly and time consuming.  The doors and drawer fronts can be taken offsite to a refinishing shop to be done, but the frames (or boxes) have to be done in your home.  This process takes your kitchen away for quite a while, sometimes weeks.  And you have to live around the mess and the smell of paint and lacquer odors.

Refacing on the other hand is kinder and gentler. When we reface your kitchen we remove all the doors and drawer fronts and make brand new doors and drawer fronts out the material you choose (solid wood, Rigid Thermofoil (RTF) or high pressure laminate).  The outside surfaces of the cabinet frames are covered with matching material.  All the components necessary to reface your kitchen are ready to be installed before we arrive on site.

We don’t want to imply that there is ‘no mess’ involved in refacing, but it is greatly diminished compared to refinishing.  When refacing, brand new doors and drawer fronts are custom built, allowing you to completely change the look of your kitchen.  However, when you refinish, you still have your old and dated doors and drawer fronts that have endured a lot of wear and tear over the years. If you choose to refinish, keep in mind that it’s very difficult to go to a lighter color of stain because the wood grain will retain some of the previous color.

At the end of the day, the decision to reface or refinish is up to you and what you want to achieve.  We are here to raise awareness for the art of refacing and to help our customers to be completely satisfied with their decision.

For a free in-home estimate from Pacific Kitchens, give us a call at (858) 277-0701. Our friendly kitchen professionals will show you how to get a brand new look at a fraction of the cost, compared to a complete remodel. We look forward to making your kitchen remodeling dreams come true!

Reface or Replace? – The Big Decision!

Tuscany stained select maple juliano cabinet doors

Tuscany stained select maple juliano upper doors and revere lower doors were used in this kitchen remodel.

When it comes time to remodel your kitchen, your preliminary research may find you a bit confused about the direction to take.  There are companies that specialize in total kitchen remodels (i.e. tear out and build new cabinetry) and companies like Pacific Kitchens that specialize in refacing your cabinets.

If your kitchen starts to look dated, worn out or perhaps in need of more modern conveniences – new appliances, additional storage, etc. – but the frames are in good condition – refacing can achieve a remarkable transformation without the mess, downtime and most importantly, the expense of a complete remodel.

Whether you want to modernize your kitchen or prepare your home for sale, refacing is an excellent choice. According to industry experts, minor kitchen remodeling (like refacing) provides the highest return on value of any remodeling project – even more than tearing out the entire kitchen and starting over.

A majority of kitchen cabinet refacing projects can be done in as little as a week for about half the cost of a complete kitchen tear out.  Most tear outs take a minimum of six weeks to complete and some extend into months.

Real Estate experts have always agreed that a kitchen reface is one of the best improvements homeowners can make, especially now in these challenging economic times. According to Remodeling Magazine, a minor kitchen remodel including refacing is the #1 interior project for recouping costs at home resale. It beats a major kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel and window replacements.

For a free in-home estimate from Pacific Kitchens, give us a call at (858) 277-0701. Our friendly kitchen professionals will show you how to get a brand new look at a fraction of the cost, compared to a complete remodel. We look forward to making your kitchen remodeling dreams come true!

Making the Right Move – Part IV: Downsizing

  • Downsize your home

    Downsizers typically want less space but not fewer amenities.

    Primp for Sale – Clear out the clutter (this will help when you move). Add newer bedding and towels.  For higher priced homes, a professional stager can add more contemporary furnishings.  Staging services can vary in price but the median cost is approximately $675.  90% of selling agents and 81% of buying agents said staging increased the price buyers would pay.

  • Share the Walls – Townhouses and condos can get you a better deal. Their prices rose 3.1% in 2015 versus 7.2% growth among single family homes. They also require less up keep.  Just be wary of high homeowner’s fees and other surprise costs.  Ask the seller for the building’s financials and meeting minutes, look for red flags:  a history of assessments, problems raised by owners or reserves that look too small to cover planned work.
  • Rightsize Your Mortgage – with money from the sale of your home, you can afford a bigger down payment which improves your buying position against rival bids, and cuts your ongoing costs. With 30 year loans still below 4%, financial advisors consider it prudent to still have some housing debt even in retirement.  If you are still working, mortgage payments should top out at 28% of gross income.  If you are retired, aim closer to 15%.
  • Take on a face-lift – downsizers typically want less space but not fewer amenities. You will find houses in need of cosmetic upgrades.  Fixer discounts can range from 15% to 55% in several big U.S. cities.  So, even if you factor in remodeling costs – you will still come out ahead.  Remember to give Pacific Kitchens a call for a free in-home estimate on kitchen refacing!
  • Test Drive a New Locale – if you are thinking about a big change – a move to another city – don’t buy immediately. Sell first and rent something to make sure that it’s really the square footage you need.

Making the Right Move – Part III: Trading Up

House for sale

Sell first to remove many contingencies.

You face the trickiest balancing act – getting the most for your house and shopping for a new place.  The forces that work against you as a buyer – tight inventory, rising prices – – are in your favor as a seller.

  • Sell First – to remove as many contingencies as possible. If you have to rent for a while, experts say that’s better than juggling two mortgages.  You should be able to sell quickly.  The national median time on the market was 59 days in February, NAR says, a 5% drop from the previous year.  Continue to shop around while you are marketing your home so you can move quickly to bid on your next home.
  • Don’t Overprice – As a trade-up buyer, you’ll need flexibility as well as a high price, so you should try and get multiple bids – which will give you more room to negotiate your exit. Don’t be more than 1% to 2% higher than comparable recent sales.  To find comps, ask your agent or check a site like Zillow or Redfin for several sales from the last two to six months.
  • Look at New Homes – Most new developments are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. This can simplify your buying process.  There are no bidding wars.  You will pay a deposit up front (usually 1% to 2% of the purchase price) and the balance won’t be due until you close on your mortgage. This gives you time to sell your current house.
  • Consider the Burbs – Americans have been moving back into urban areas since the recovery began six years ago… according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials in particular are living in cities at higher rates and intend to stay there.  You should head in the opposite direction – – for the bargains.

Making the Right Move – Part II: Staying Put in Your Home

By staying in your existing home, you get to enjoy your home’s growing equity and move thoughtfully about your next moves without feeling market pressure.

  • Scale Your Upgrades. Kitchen and bath remodels are the most popular improvements. You should choose your upgrades based partly on need and also on how long you plan to stay in your home.  If you plan on selling in two years, favor projects with a higher return on investment. Owners planning to move soon should choose exterior projects that boost curb appeal.  Another way to improve your odds of recouping costs is to make sure your upgrades fit your neighborhood. Keep a file of all your receipts.  If you will have taxable gains when you sell, you can add to your cost basis by proving what you spent on improvements.  And, be sure to give us a call at Pacific Kitchens for a free estimate on refacing your kitchen cabinetry!
  • Keep Financing to a Minimum. Unless you can get a low interest rate (below 4%) and pay it off within a couple of years – it is best to cover your improvements with cash.  If you are going to borrow, choose a Home Equity Line of Credit because you can usually get a lower interest rate for a short term loan.
  • Pare Your Payments. Mortgage rates have been falling so refinance soon. Don’t bother if you are selling within two years, you probably won’t get back the closing costs. If you are staying put longer, lock in a lower rate and shorten your time frame.
  • Solar panel technician with drill installing solar panels on roof

    Solar panel technician with drill installing solar panels on roof

    Look for Energy Savings. A federal energy-efficiency tax credit is going to expire at the end of 2016. You can get up to $500 off your taxes for some energy saving projects including installation of energy efficient windows and doors, replacing older furnace and water heaters. Insulating the attic and basement also get you a tax credit of almost $6,000 for each.  And it shaves 20-25% off your utility bills. Without the credit new LED fixtures, ceiling fans and energy-efficient window treatments can yield big short term savings on heating, cooling and other utility bills.  If you plan on staying longer, consider solar panels.  Solar pays off within 7 to 12 years. They qualify for a separate tax credit.

  • Keep Things Up. Routine maintenance is a must for preserving your home’s value.  Fixing a small foundation crack now can help prevent a major rehab later.  Have major appliances serviced twice and year and inspect the roof annually for damage.