Category Archives: Home Tips

Pacific Kitchens Recognized as “Beloved Business” on Yelp

Pacific Kitchens Inc., has been recognized as a “beloved business” on YELP FOR 2023!

We started this family-owned business 38 years ago with the goal of making your vision of a dream kitchen your reality!  Our office staff, design consultants and installers all work very hard to earn your “OOHS” and “AAHS” for every job, so we truly appreciate the recognition and want to thank our customers for the many awesome reviews you have written over these 38 years.

We know that online reviews are an important part of your initial decision-making process in choosing an experienced refacing kitchen remodeling company.  We appreciate your kind words about our company and the quality of our work and employees.  It makes us very proud to measure up to your expectations.  A sincere thank you to our customers and to Yelp.


Pacific Kitchens Voted a Neighborhood Fave Again in Nextdoor’s Local Business Awards


San Diego, California – Pacific Kitchens Inc., has been named to the winning list of Nextdoor’s 2023 Neighborhood Faves for two years in a row. The only annual awards where neighbors vote to celebrate their favorite local businesses. This year, Neighborhood Fave winners like Pacific Kitchens will receive greater visibility and ranking on the Nextdoor app as well as a sticker to showcase their win in the real world.

“Neighbors know best, and Nextdoor’s Neighborhood Faves are the only annual awards celebrating the businesses that are most loved by locals. This prestigious recognition is only awarded to 1% of the local businesses on Nextdoor and is a testament to the positive impact they have had on their community,” said Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar.

Used by one in three households in the US, Nextdoor is the neighborhood network where verified neighbors and businesses connect to the neighborhoods that matter to them.



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!

Pacific Kitchens Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer serviceAngu

Pacific Kitchens Inc., has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016. This is the sixth year in a row that Pacific Kitchens has received this honor. Pacific Kitchens specializes in Kitchen Cabinet Refacing with over 30 years’ experience serving most of San Diego County.

“Only about 5% of all kitchen remodeling companies have performed consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie”s List Founder, Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the companies in San Diego were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”


Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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.


Making the Right Move – Part I: First Time Home Buyers

First time home buyersWhether you are a first time home buyer, staying put, trading up or an empty nester planning to down size, you have a few challenges and advantages unique to your position.

Consider the following strategies (from Money Magazine Spring 2016) to max out your purchasing power and settle into the home that suits you.

As a first time buyer, your big challenge is that you are probably bringing less cash to the table making it harder to compete with seasoned buyers. But your competitive edge is flexibility – you aren’t dependent on selling your current place to fund the deal.

 Your best moves:

  • Lock up your financials. Clean up your credit before you start shopping and save for a bigger down payment to help you qualify for a better mortgage rate. Putting 20% down helps avoid costly private mortgage insurance and positions you to beat the competing offers. Start a dedicated account to amass a down payment.
  • Check for errors on your credit reports (free at and get your FICO score.  Many credit cards offer it for free or you can get one report for $19.95 at For the best loan rates, you will need a score of 740 or better. To boost your score, pay down credit cards so your balance is less than 30% of the limit and avoid late payments.
  • Investigate Alternatives. If you can’t get close to 20% down or have a credit score less than 740, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans allow you to put down 3.5% and offer better rates for those with less than perfect credit.  But know the tradeoffs – with a 30 year FHA loan, you’ll pay an extra 1.75% of the purchase price plus at least 0.8% in annual insurance for the life of the loan.
  • Get Pre-Approved. A mortgage lender has checked your credit and verified your income and assets.  Pre-approval gives you an edge with sellers who want a quick, smooth deal.
  • Find a True Advocate. A good buyer’s agent can help you find listings and guide you through price negotiations. Bargaining skills are key so ask agents for sale-to-list price ratios for their last 12 deals. The lower the better.
  • Make Unsolicited Offers. Look for homes not yet on the market to avoid competing with more established buyers.  Looks at rental ads or note new listings that look overpriced and revisit them in a month.  Unsold homes usually drop in price after about six weeks.
  • Play Up Your Flexibility. One advantage you have over more well-heeled buyers is the ability to delay move-in. Have your agent reach out to the seller’s agent to find out exactly what they need – like a longer closing window or an option to rent back.

11 Creative Uses for Lemons in Your Home and Kitchen

Lemon works wonders in the kitchen.

    Make the interior easier to wipe down by heating a cup of water and a chopped-up lemon on high until the microwave’s window is steamy. Let the bowl sit for 15 minutes before you open the door, and clean away any grime and grease with ease.
    Run a few lemon rinds through the disposal and follow with cold water to dispel any sour odors.
    This tip is safe for even delicate or vintage fabrics: Treat a set-in stain with lemon juice and salt. Let the mixture sit for a half hour, then rinse with vinegar and warm water.
    Run the cut side of a lemon over the board to remove food stains and smells. For extra cleaning power, sprinkle it with salt or baking soda first. If your stains are particularly stubborn, let everything sit overnight before you rinse with water. Wipe wooden boards with mineral oil to seal.
    Sprinkle tarnished spots with salt, and then lightly rub with a sponge dampened with lemon juice. Rinse with water and dry well.
    Try the trusty lemon juice-and-salt combo to fight these tricky stains. Let the item sit in the sun as it dries, and reapply the mixture as needed until the spot disappears.
    Run the cut side of a lemon over faucets, drains, and more to remove mineral deposits and make ’em sparkle. Rinse and dry thoroughly when you’re done.
    Fight those troublesome set-in stains by rubbing them with lemon juice (vinegar works well, too) before you toss the clothing in the wash.
    Spray any garden offenders with a little lemon juice to banish them from your yard. But keep the juice away from the plants you want to keep — the acidity could damage or kill flowers and bushes, too.
    Simmer a saucepan of water and some lemon slices (and other aromatics, if you like) to combat dry indoor air, and make your home smell nice in one punch.
    Can’t free the last bits of cheddar from your grater’s holes? Run the flesh side of cut lemon over the tool to help cut through and free the residue.

If you are ready for a kitchen refresh, consider refacing.  Refacing your kitchen can save you 50% and more over the cost of a major remodel.  Pacific Kitchens is a highly respected, award-winning company with proven results and happy customers.  Give us a call today for a free estimate!  (858) 277-0701.