Melamine Cabinets? What you need to know

What is Melamine? It is a synthetic material used to produce cabinets in your kitchen and the rest of your home. Melamine has a compressed wood particle core, which is then covered with a resin and paper finish that can be manufactured to embody a variety of styles and colors. To better understand this material we will go through the pros and cons in the following list.

Pros

  • Durability - Because of the tough outer coating, Melamine is resistant to the usual issues presented in the kitchen, like excessive moisture, heat or stains. It is also really easy to clean.
  • Offer a large variety - As mentioned earlier, the synthetic material offers a huge range of finishes. It can come in any shade or color so it is easy to match your kitchen's style.
  • A uniform finish - Unlike solid wood that can vary in grain patterns and color since melamine is manufactured in a controlled setting it offers a consistent finish.
  • Low Cost - Compared to solid wood cabinets, melamine is offered at a much lower price.

Cons

  • Cabinets can be heavy - This may not be your first concern but because of the weight, you may have to purchase heavy-duty brackets to install your cabinets. Without these, the cabinets may fall off the way which will cause expensive damages.
  • Melamine can chip - Even though the outside surface is durable it can be prone to chipping. This leaves the inner wood core exposed which is not attractive. It can also be expensive to have the cabinets refinished.
  • Can be harder to install - Because of how the material is constructed, the cabinets might splinter when using nails or screws. You should use a professional installation team, like GoldenIConstruction, to install your cabinets.
  • Melamine is prone to water damage - Any wooden material is likely to water damage, but if the wood particle core of the cabinets gets saturated with water, it can compromise their structural integrity. Water can be absorbed, in general, more easily in this material than solid wood.

Mistakes that can Derail Your Kitchen Remodel

Are you thinking of remodeling your kitchen? No matter what you are trying to do, whether it's adding an island or knocking down a wall, most people's goal is to get the most out of your remodel without overspending. So what sort of mistakes would cost you more money? Here is a list to help you avoid those mistakes.

1. Not Buying Appliances First

Always choose your appliances first before you choose things like countertops or cabinets. It is much easier to match your cabinets to your appliances than the other way around.

2. Overspending on cabinets and appliances

Cabinets and appliances are incredibly important for your kitchen both aesthetically and functionally. However, there is no need to go broke trying to buy the "best" the store has to offer. Do some research before buying cabinets and appliances. There are many options that give the same look and feel as the high-end cabinets and appliances while staying on budget.

3. Failing to measure

This is one of the most common mistakes among people doing renovations. Make sure you measure twice before buying fixtures, hardware, or appliances.  Then once you do that, you should thoroughly review the product details before purchasing an item to ensure that it fits.

4. Going light on the lighting

Improper lighting can be incredibly problematic, especially in the kitchen. You want to make sure you have enough lighting for every task whether that's cutting, cooking, or using appliances. It is suggested to include a dimmer switch and under cabinet lighting.

5. Botching the Backlash

Misplacing a backlash is a common decorative mistake that many people do. The backsplash should have a clear termination point horizontally, usually aligning with the bottom of the cabinets or where the walls meet. It should never overhang the upper cabinet or turn a corner.

6. Failing to level the floor

Make sure that you check if the floor is leveled before laying the flooring. If you need to level the floor you don't want to have the floor half-laid before realizing. That is a huge extra cost.

Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations for the Fall

Now that we are starting to get into the fall season, many homeowners start to think about how they can improve their home. Fall is a great time to make updates and upgrades to your home. While it may be too late to expect to complete a major home addition or renovation project, there is definitely time before the end of the year to spruce up your home and make some key changes.

Kitchen

The time for barbequing and having dinner in the warm summer air is coming to an end. Fall is the time for many families to bring cooking back indoors. Here are a few ideas on what you can do if may not want to do a full kitchen remodel.

  • You can resurface, paint, or stain your cabinets instead of completely replacing them
  • You can also replace the hardware on your cabinets and drawers which can have a surprisingly transformative effect
  • Resurface or replace your worn or dated countertops add a fresh new feel to your kitchen
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your walls and ceiling
  • Make your kitchen energy efficient by upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient ones
  •  Get your kitchen ready for all the cooking you’ll be doing this fall and winter by installing a new range hood and fan
  • Install a kitchen island you have always wanted so it's easy to entertain guests

All these changes allow you to upgrade your kitchen little by little without having to do a complete remodel.

Bathroom

If you like having guests over, it might be time to take a look at your bathroom to see how you can make it a little nicer. Here are a few ideas to make the room a bit more presentable.

  • Repaint the walls and ceiling
  • Give your bathroom a deep clean by cleaning or scrubbing the tiles. You can do this by yourself or hire professionals.
  • Replace your vanity and mirror
  • Add a textured wall covering for a more inviting feel

Interior Renovations Step by Step

For a whole home renovation, there are some main steps that every renovation follows. Sometimes these some of these steps may not apply to your project if you are just updating the paint or the flooring.

The order of these steps may also vary based on the contractor. However, here at Golden I Construction, you will be guaranteed that these steps will be handled with the highest importance and expertise.  We will sit down with you and discuss any of your concerns as well as use the best quality materials for completion.

  1. Demolition - Before anything new can be added, you need to get rid of the old. This may mean pulling up carpeting, tearing down wallpaper or tearing down walls. Demolition projects can range in time and some can be done in a day or two while others may take much longer. You will want to have a plan in place before the demolition begins for staying somewhere else during the process or you can move the location of the demolished room to somewhere else in the house.
  2. Rebuilding - Next step is to start rebuilding. If this involves walls then this is the step where wood framing is reassembled,  windows are added, and doors are added to the framework. For room add-ons, the roof will be added and enclosed along with the gutters and exterior siding.
  3. Utilities - Now its time to add and reposition all the utilities. If you are installing new appliances or find you will be utilizing numerous electronic devices, the electrical panel may need updating as well. Gas and water utilities need to be considered especially if you are remodeling a bathroom and/or a kitchen. Water lines are not as easy to move so your remodeling project may have to be carefully planned around existing pipes. However, this is also a good opportunity to update water supply lines to new copper pipes which are not only more sturdy but allow water to run more quietly. For a remodel that is going to add gas appliances, running new pipes is a must but a larger meter may need to be installed too. During this step, the ductwork for central heating and air conditioning units will also be moved or extended to accommodate your new space.
  4. Walls - Now that all the interior stuff is properly in the walls it is time to start enclosing them. Insulation will be inserted or blown-in first. Then, drywall will be hung along with taping, mudding, and sanding. Once the walls are smooth they are ready for paint, wallpaper, or whatever finish you chose during your planning stages.
  5. Flooring - Depending on the contractor the flooring will either be installed after the walls have been painted and finished to avoid damage to floors or they could be installed before. This will depend on what you decided with your contractor during the planning stage.
  6. Cabinets - Cabinets are a great way for your own personal design choices to start showing through. This step is when any new cabinets for the kitchen or bathroom will be installed. Everything from upper storage cabinets to vanities along with countertops that have been pre-cut with spaces to accommodate sinks and appliances.
  7. Appliances - Now it is time to make the new space functional. Any new appliances will be fitted and installed. Everything from the refrigerator to the stove, sinks, and tubs with their stylish faucets and fixtures, as well as the washer and dryer. Also if you chose to keep your previous appliances they will be introduced to their new locations during this step.
  8. Final Touches - Now it's time for the last few touches before the clean up can begin. These touch-ups include any fixes to the paint or any wallpaper. This also includes customizable touches like backsplashes, and light fixtures, as well as, door and window trim, hooks, shelving, and hardware.

How to make a plan for Home Remodel

There are many reasons to remodel your home. Does your home feel small or outdated? Maybe you want a new house but you can't find anything you love? Or maybe you are trying to sell your house but want to update it first? It doesn't matter the reason because there are many ways to update your house to fit the needs and lifestyle that you want.

A whole-home remodeling project can be a large and overwhelming feat. There are numerous decisions to make from how much of the home to remodel to what actual appliances are going in. Despite all of these decisions, the improvements you do make are an investment. Any home improvements you make should elevate the functionality of your house as well as increase your home value. The first step is making a plan.

Start with a Plan

Home renovation is in essence just a really really large project. Like with any large project the first step is always to make a plan since there are usually too many choices to make during the actual project. For a home renovation, it is important to make sure everything you want to improve is well-thought-out, researched, and discussed. Here are some factors that should be included in your overall plan.

Have a vision - It is a good idea for you to begin by looking through magazines or visiting home improvement stores for ideas and inspiration. However, no matter your dream or wish for your home you will need to make sure it'll work in the layout of the house, add to its function or even fit into the budget. It’s a good idea to prioritize the top 5 -10 must-haves before making a definite plan.

Size - How much of your home are you remodeling? Are you adding on a new room or adding a whole new floor? If adding on is part of the plan, you’ll need to check if permits are needed or if there are neighborhood covenants to consider. Of course, all of these questions will depend on your budget.

Style and Design - Everyone has a personal style or design that they want in your home. However, you should make sure you pick a design that fits the test of time. Don’t pick a style that is so trendy that you will need to update again in 3 years or get so customized with your lighting or built-in cabinets that it’s impossible to resell later. There are many different styles to choose from like rustic, industrial, or modern and many more.

Budget -  The biggest decision to consider when making your plan is how much are you willing to spend? Once you set a budget you might discover your dreams are bigger than your pocketbook, but you can always scale back or put off part of the project until another time. Also when making your budget, many experts will tell you that you should plan for a contingency of 10 to 20 percent of your budget to cover any unforeseen discoveries that are made during the renovations.

Contractor - Hiring a contractor might be one of the best ideas you can make when doing a whole-house renovation. since they will be able to guide you through all aspects of the project. Contractors like Golden I Construction can help make the whole process simple and stress-free. Not only will we be able to tell you what will work or not work with your current home, but we’ll also provide suggestions for design, style, and the most current technologies in home improvement that you may not have considered.

Look into the Future  - It is important to consider how your remodels will fit your life and your family's life in the future. As your family grows or kids move out it is important to consider how the customizable spaces you have will still be relevant and usable in the future. A tip is to make sure the spaces will last 20-30 years in the future.

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Staying vs Moving out during a Renovation

Renovating a space can many times stir up old toxins like asbestos and lead and bring new toxins into your home, which is a huge pro for wanting to move out while renovating. However, moving out can add on to your budget and is an inconvenience. Moving out isn’t always necessary for every project. There are many things that you can do with your contractor to lessen the impact of a renovation. Some include installing drywall that converts toxins and setting up humidifiers. Here are some of the questions to ask your self so you can make an informed decision.

What are you Renovating? 

This is an incredibly important question when deciding if you are going to stay or go. If you are doing a complete gut renovation it will end up taking over your home and contractors suggest moving out. This will speed up the timeline and keep you away from any toxins. 
However, if you are not doing a complete overhaul, staying for most of the renovations is a good medium. Contractors, however, do encourage you to move out during the dusty demolition phase for at least a week so that the dust can settle and they can do a thorough cleaning. 

Can you stretch your budget? 

You should try to know if you are going to be relocating during the renovation as soon as possible. This will allow you to include your other living plans, whether that is a hotel or short term rental charges, in your budget. You could also plan a vacation during the renovation to get you out of the way as well. However, this could backfire if you are planning on keeping constant tabs on the renovation. 

Do you have children or a sensitive adult? 

Lead exposure has a harsher impact on children since their brains are still developing. If your home was built before 1978 it is possible that lead paint was used on the walls. When the paint is disturbed that's when the toxins are released. Your contractor will do a test for lead paint in older homes. When children are involved staying or going carries extra weight since the particles could get in the air or on their hands when they crawl around.  
Toxins can have a range of effects on an adult. If you are immune-compromised from cancer or some other disorder that will make it harder for your body to expel toxins. Asthma sufferers also have a harder time since they are more sensitive to air quality. 

Can you live without a bathroom or kitchen?

If you are renovating a kitchen you need to be prepared to adapt to not having one. This will mean having those extra charges of takeout constantly. Or you can set up a makeshift kitchen in the bathroom with a hot plate, microwave and running water. 
A bathroom renovation can be trickier especially if it is your only bathroom. Sometimes you will be able to use the bathroom before the contractor arrives but there will be a point where the bathroom will be unusable. 

What is the layout of your home? 

This is an important question to think about since you want to separate where you are living from where the work is happening. If there is only one point of entry to your home the contractors will be tracking dust through your space. 
Contractors can do certain things to prevent the spread of dust and toxins through your home. The renovation will be sectioned off with thick plastic and tape. The negative air pressure also stops contaminated air from leaving the renovation zone whenever a worker exits or enters.

10 Ways to Add a Splash of Color to Your Kitchen

Do you want to brighten up your kitchen? Adding some color is a great way to do this. Here are some great suggestions that you can implement in your own kitchen. 
  1. Accent doors- Having two different colors for your cabinets allows you to add a pop of color. You can make a few of your cabinets, like a row of uppers, have a colorful door and then it adds an intriguing pop of color to your kitchen.
  2. Wallpaper- Instead of using tile or paint for wall finishes in your kitchen, wallpaper is a great alternative. Using wallpaper(make sure its wet-space-safe) allows for a fun wall pattern or color in your kitchen. It can either be an accent or an all-over treatment.
  3. Wall Paint- You can also add an accent wall really easily with wall paint. This is great for a wall without cabinets or if you want a small bold color you can add it on a wall with cabinets and the cabinets will break the color up.
  4. Counter and bar stools- Feel free to use these as a way to get creative with adding colors. the stools around the counter are a great place to put a pop of color right in the center of your space. 
  5. Pendant lightening- Small glass pendant lights are now great sources of light because of the power of LED lights. They also are a great way to add a splash of color without being right in your face. 
  6. Open Shelving- Open shelves allow your kitchen to be part of your decor since it makes your kitchen supplies and tools viewable at all times. Also just having a few opens up your space to pops of colors because of the different hues from pots and supplies. 
  7. Color changing LEDs - These lights allow for you to add a variety of color accents to your kitchen without the permanence of paint. You get to change the colors whenever you want for different events and more. 
  8. Glass accents -  Translucent or frosted glass objects are really nice for kitchens because of the way that light reflects off the surface of them. These can be any different types of objects that you place around your kitchen.
  9. Warm Metallics - Warm metallics like Brass and Gold work really well in spaces that don’t have much color but they still add a sense of warmth and color to your space. They also work really well with stainless steel and other cooler metals. 
  10. Window Treatments - Window Treatments are pretty normal for more traditional spaces however they are great for modern spaces as well. Having an in window shade allows an opportunity to add a color or pattern to your kitchen. 

The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Shopping for countertops can feel very overwhelming since there are hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures. However, there are really only a few basic categories of materials for countertops that you should know. Let's break down the pros and cons as well as the important information to know for each type of countertop.

First off, when choosing a counter material you need to think about your needs and habits in the kitchen.  For example, if you cook a lot and do prep on the countertop, you don't want to use a soft porous material. You also have to consider your overall kitchen design. You want to make sure the counters fit with the appliances, the backsplash as well as the cabinets in your kitchen.

Natural Stone

Granite: This is a very common and popular material for a countertop since it comes in a variety of colors. The colors offered range from vibrant reds and blues, midnight black, as wells as white.

Pros - no (or low) visible seams, durable surface, heat-resistant

Cons - must be sealed to resist heat as well as can be expensive

Marble: This is a softer stone and more high end then granite. It is also comes in much fewer colors. However it is great surface for baking but since it is softer might show knife scars or be discolored by citric acid.   

Pros - durable, striking natural patterns

Cons - high-maintenance, needs repeated sealing, expensive

Soapstone

pros - won't need sealing

cons - soft and may show knife marks

Slate

pros - won't need sealing

cons - brittle especially at corners

 

Engineered Stone

Quartz : This is stone is what most engineered stone is made out of. It comes it lots of different colors and is a hard material so it doesn't need any sealing

pros - no sealing, durable, low maitenance

cons - expensive 

Concrete

 

Precast: These concrete slabs are extremely smooth and flat. These countertops can also have a variety of colors as well as have glass or other materials embedded in to give it an artistic feel. 

pros - won't scratch, durable, heat resistant

cons - must be professionally installed, expensive, needs sealing

Solid surfaces

Acrylic or Polyester: These counters show no seems since the pieces get fused together. This is great for long stretches of countertop. You can also get sinks to match

pros - low maitenance, lots of colors, repairable, non-porous

cons - not heat resistant, shows knife marks and scratches

Plastic Laminates

pros - very affordable, durable and hardwearing, ready-to-install,

cons - not heat resistant,  can chip or scratch

Tile

Ceramic or Stone:  Lots of color options and many different styles. Has to be applied over laminate or fresh plywood topped with cement backerboard. 

pros - lots of colors,  affordable, lots of choices,  ceramic is non porous

cons - regular grout cleaning is necessary

Wood

Edge-Grain: These counters have long, thick strips of wood that are glued together with the edge grain facing up

End-Grain (aka Butcher Block): These counters have relatively short, square sticks of wood that are joined together with the tough end grain facing up

Wide-Plank: These counters are made by edge-gluing wide boards together. These counters are the most susceptible to warping and cracking.

pros to wood - warm, ideal work surface, heat resistant

cons to wood- medium maintenance, will show knife marks

Storage Options for Your NYC Kitchen

Storage is extremely important in NYC, as the average kitchen here is definitely smaller than it would be in the suburbs. That being said, it is important to have a decent array of storage options in your kitchen, as everyone needs a convenient place to put their kitchen appliances while also allowing them to be readily accessible at any time. Here are some tips to better your storage options in the kitchen.

Change up your cabinets! Cabinets can be custom-made for a relatively affordable price, which gives you a wide assortment of options. They can be made to fit your specific needs, like custom building them to fit into a corner. Sliding cabinets can also allow you to have deep storage, while also providing easy reachability to the back portions. You can also get creative with the doors of the cabinet!

Hang your pots and pans! This saves you a lot of space and also gives your kitchen a modern, chic finish.

Replace your cabinets with shelves! Smaller kitchens can especially benefit from this, as there are no restrictions on where a shelf can be fitted, and shelves will allow a smaller kitchen to look bigger by taking out all the extra space a cabinet would usually take.

Kitchen Islands. If you have room for an island, it is definitely highly recommended you get one, as it will both increase your countertop area as well as increase your storage space, giving you many drawers to work with.

Create Space For Your Next Renovation

According to The New York Times article, “Making the Most of a Tiny Kitchen On A Tiny Budget,” Laura and Ian Greig found new ways to create more space during a home renovation. They did this by remodeling their small kitchen. 

Before the kitchen renovation, Laura and Ian did not have space to store a dishwasher. Many of their belongings would block the only window they had in their kitchen. Their kitchen was deprived of natural light. They were also burdened by the lack of space caused by their bulky cabinets and large air-conditioning soffits. They always thought that a kitchen renovation would not help their situation until they were made aware of a few renovation tips that would help any living space look bigger. 

Open The Window 

The first tip is letting in some light. The key to renovating Laura and Ian’s kitchen was to create space in front of their window. Along with rearranging their kitchen appliances, they painted other areas of the kitchen white so that the natural light looks like it’s bouncing off the surface. White and other light colors create space by creating a reflective quality that allows for light to bounce around and make a kitchen look bigger. 

Get Creative 

Laura and Ian were then advised to play with the layout. Playing with the layout of your kitchen is a key tool in creating space. By moving their sink flush against the wall with the window and new refrigerator, they were finally able to fit that dishwasher they’ve always dreamed of doing! For tips on playing around with your kitchen layout, contact us by clicking here

Think Bigger

Laura and Ian then took the final step of looking for other areas where space was being wasted. During the renovation, they realized that soffit around the refrigerator was much bigger than it had to be. Getting a smaller soffit, allowed for them to gain about six inches of overhead space. Laure and Ian made their hove not only look more spacious, also feel more comforting. For advice on your next hove renovation visit:
For more information on the article, click here.