Hiring a Licensed Plumber Holds Water

A kitchen or bathroom remodel requires more than just cabinetry. Kitchens and bathrooms involve, electricians, plumbers, and installations of many products. To a home owner, this quickly becomes a very overwhelming undertaking, especially if done without the knowledge of a licensed subcontractor.

One of the first steps in a kitchen renovation is getting the plumbing in order especially if moving the sink to a different location or adding another one. What better way to ease the stress of a kitchen or bathroom renovation than to gain insight from an industry professional. Dominic Calello of Calello Plumbing provides his advice when looking to hire a licensed contractor.

Dominic has a story about a very eager flipper who hired an unlicensed individual to make all plumbing repairs. He spent thousands of dollars on what ended up being a poor plumbing job and an eventual disaster for a prospective homeowner. Among the overall faulty job, the unlicensed individual reinstalled rusted piping, used undersized, wrong fittings, and used PVC glue on CPVC water piping. These incorrect “fixes” would have caused a flood if not corrected soon and had caused a boat load of problems for the eager flipper because he did not hire a licensed and insured professional. It is illegal in the state of Florida to hire an unlicensed contractor of any kind.

Dominic suggest following these 4 rules:

1) Ask for referrals:

A good starting point is to ask anyone you trust if they know of anyone in the field you are shopping.  If someone you trust knows of someone  it can be a great starting point.

2) Do some research:

Whether someone is recommended to you or you find someone through other means, it is important to check them out.

  • First, make sure they are licensed in the field they are advertising. This can be easily checked online at myfloridalicence.com
  • Second, make sure they are insured. You should always ask for proof of insurance.

3) Get it in writing:

Whether it’s a project or a repair, you should always have an agreement in writing. Having something in writing will allow you to see exactly what you are getting and help minimize any potential misunderstandings about the work being performed.

4)  Never pay 100% up front:

There is a basic rule when it comes to the trades in general and it lands somewhere between no down payment up to 50% down.  This is generally determined by the size and timeline of any given project or repair and at the discretion of the company.  If you are having a larger or time consuming project done, you should expect to pay a down payment.


Framed vs. Frameless

Framed verses frameless is the age-old question when redesigning a kitchen. The kitchen cabinets are one of the most important aspects that makes a kitchen the center of one’s home where memories are made for many years to come. But, most importantly, the cabinets offer the storage needed for pots, pans and food. There are so many decisions that must be made when redesigning a kitchen, such as the type of cabinetry. Often, the first question your kitchen designer will ask you is, “Do you want framed or frameless cabinets?”. Most homeowners are unaware of the real differences between these two common types of cabinetry.

The Benefits of Framed

Framed cabinetry has been a staple in American kitchens for decades due to the sturdy construction of a frame that will eventually prevent the cabinets from sagging over time. The frame around the cabinet offers extra strength needed to ensure great quality and not to mention style. With framed cabinets, customization is a major plus, a popular style are inset doors, which will blend the door with the frame making the frame not as noticeable. Another popular style is full overlay, where the door is placed over the frame making the frame not even visible. It is a style that has remained very popular over the years and will continue to be.

The Benefits of Frameless

Frameless cabinetry is also known as European style, originated in guess where, Europe! This style of cabinetry has quickly been adopted by American homeowners. Frameless doors are simply explained, they are cabinetry without the frame making it easier to access items in your cabinets and provides more space to store household items. This style is also referred to as full-access cabinetry. Frameless cabinets allow for a more sleek and classy look to a kitchen. If this modern loom is what you are after than frameless is the way to go!

De-Mystifying the Triangle: What is the “work triangle”?

If you’ve remodeled your kitchen before or know someone who has, you’ve probably heard of the “work triangle”. Unless you’re in the industry of kitchen design you probably scratched your head and thought, “huh?”. That’s okay, that’s why designers spend years in design school to do the thinking for you when it comes to this mighty important triangle and many other aspects of design and flow to a room.

So, what is the work triangle? Well, it is simply a work efficiency concept to determine how well a kitchen is laid out, or should be laid out. The most used spaces in a kitchen are the sink, cooking range, and refrigerator. These are the areas that work best when configured in an imaginary triangle like shape for the most efficient kitchen. And this ladies and gentlemen is what the National Kitchen and Bath Association has deemed the “work triangle”.

real kitchen work triangle

Are there specific rules to the perfect work flow? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the National Kitchen and Bath Association has provided a small set of guidelines to achieve a well-designed kitchen:

  • The sum of the work triangle’s three sides should not exceed 26 feet
  • The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches
  • If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator
  • No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle

But it too has flaws, the concept assumes there are only three major work spaces and one cook in the kitchen. The kitchen design industry is no longer as simple as three work areas, some kitchen designs are so elaborate with multiple work stations and sinks. More state of the art kitchens will include larger ranges, wall ovens, full-size refrigerators and freezers, and so much more that it would be almost impossible to achieve the perfect work triangle. Remember that the ideal work flow to your kitchen is your lifestyle and what you need out of your kitchen.

How Much Is Enough?

So you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. Have you thought about a budget? Setting a budget is often the first step of the remodeling process and one of the most stressful. You find out the cabinets you fell in love with on Pinterest are slightly out of the realm of possibility, what do you do now?

Set a budget and stick with ithidden refridgerator
This task in and of itself can be difficult if this is your first remodel, but it doesn’t have to be. First look at your personal  finances and see how much you can spend. The next question is, is this (your current home) your forever home? Or are you planning on selling in the next 5 years? If so, think about all your remodels as improvement to a real estate investment. If you’re in your lifetime long home, the average percentage to spend on a kitchen remodel is anywhere between 8% to 16% of your home’s value.

Know the cost breakdown 
There are endless options of cabinetry, backslash, and accessories that it almost seems impossible to select the right combination to stay within budget. Here are 3 samples of realistic costs for a kitchen redesign/remodel:

Budget: 20K                                       Budget: 30K                                              Budget: 40K

Cabinetry: $10,000                          Cabinetry: $10,000                                 Cabinetry: $12,000

Counter Top: $3,000                       Counter Top: $3,000                              Counter Top: $3,500

Back-splash: $800                            Back-splash: $800                                  Back-splash: $800

Flooring: N/A                                     Flooring: $1,000                                      Flooring: $2,500

Labor: $2,000                                    Labor: $6,000                                          Labor: $9,500

Demolition: $500                              Demolition: $1,000                                 Demolition: $1,500

Appliances: $2,500                            Appliances: $3,000                                 Appliances: $3,000

Construction Materials: N/A           Construction Materials: $3,500            Construction Materials: $5,000

Fixtures: $700                                    Fixtures: $800                                           Fixtures: $800

Contingent: $500                              Contingent: $900                                      Contingent: $1,400

Make a list of must-haves for your renovation

What are you wanting the most out of your new space? Is it new appliances, new cabinets, or a gorgeous farm sink you saw on Pinterest? No matter what it is, if it’s important to have in your kitchen, budget for it and save money in other places.

Realities of a Remodel

#RemodelLife is a real thing. Any remodel is stressful, but a kitchen or bath room renovation typically are a lot more involved than any other type of remodel. There are so many details to worry about and so much more mess involved in a kitchen or bathroom! And, let’s not even talk about the inconvenience! But, when all is said and done and the last nail has been hammered and the small touches are in place, and you can finally step back and admire your beautiful new space knowing that everything turned out perfect in the end.

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With any renovation, it is a long process. In the beginning, there are so many decisions to be made, and it can easily become over whelming. With the help of your personal designer, the start of the process can be much smoother. You find out the beginning is the most fun part! You haven’t done anything yet and your space is still a blank slate of ideas and possibilities. Your designer shows you all the potential designs and you get excited and finally decide on a design for your new space! Colors have been chosen, the cabinetry and small details have been ordered and the room is finally coming together with color swatches and Pinterest photos.

In the Midst of a Mess

At this stage of the remodel, everything has been ordered, the cabinets, the knobs, the lighting and all the fancy upgrades are on their way. Demolition is well under way and you’re there through all the dust, cement floors, and living off a foldable table for a kitchen or bathroom vanity. And then, finally, pieces have arrived and you’re one step closer to the finished product! But wait, not so fast, one of the cabinets is chipped on the corner! You immediately panic and call your designer. At this point, remember that mistakes happen during a renovation and it’s not necessarily anybody’s fault. Just stay calm and patient and know that your designer will do everything to make you happy.

The Final Hour

Everything is done—except for the smudges on the cabinets, there’s one wrong knob on the cutlery drawer, and the countertops are dirty. The installers arrive for the last time to finish up and then your space is done! Your designer who has been through the whole process with you knocks on your door with the finishing touches to your space, the personalized hand towels or the special kitchen décor are all ready for their permanent home in your brand-new space. The whole process automatically becomes worth all the headaches and the issues along the way, because right before your eyes is a new space in your home to create memories in for years to come.