Home Remodel

When you just can’t justify selling your home in this market, the next best thing is to make your old home look new. It is the goal when remodeling your home to improve the overall look and feel but it is also important to recoup your investment when the time comes to sell.

PREMIER Home Design

Remodeling Your Home: Part 1 of 6

The Kitchen

When you just can’t justify selling your home in this market, the next best thing is to make your old home look new. It is the goal when remodeling your home to improve the overall look and feel but it is also important to recoup your investment when the time comes to sell. Our last issue (Vol 32) featured 11 tips to planning a remodel that will get the largest return on investment.

For more information on these 11 tricks of the trade, look for “Return on your Investment” in the Design section on this site for more in-depth information. For the next 6 issues, PREMIER will take you through remodeling your home room-by-room. We will tell you ways to save and smart choices to make. We will also show you the newest trends and must-haves out there today. And in the end, we hope your newly remodeled home will be everything you could have hoped or imaged it would be.

We will start Part I with the most important room in the house THE KITCHEN.

The statistics from Remodeling Magazines 2008-2009 Cost Vs. Value report show that a major kitchen remodel recoups 83.8% of its costs on average. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) any remodeling project that brings your homes value up to the level of your neighbors is a worthy investment. Beware though; it doesn’t necessarily pay to be the most expensive house on the block. Real estate experts recommend that a remodeling investment should not raise the value of your home to more than 10-15% above the median sales price in your neighborhood. In some neighborhoods the comp prices (what other homes around you sold for) can be hard to compare with so many variables that come into play, as in Rancho Santa Fe. In such areas you may need to talk to a local real estate agent and get their advice before putting together a budget for your remodel. Most agents are more than happy to answer questions and help local homeowners. For a list of top producing agents please look at PREMIER’s Agent Directory in the current issue.

The Kitchen When it comes to remodeling and redecorating your kitchen there are so many things you can do and change, from simple upgrades to completely gutting everything and starting over. You can knock down walls to open up and brighten the space, replace and reconfigure the cabinets, choose granite counter-tops from hundreds of patterns and colors, change the flooring, lighting, windows, appliances, molding, paint, furniture, rugs, fixtures, art work…and we could go on. The kitchen can be one of the most fun rooms in your house to remodel. Here are some of the most popular products and designs suppliers in and around San Diego are offering today.

Quartz Countertops

A new star on the kitchen countertop scene these days is quartz. With the beauty of a natural stone countertop but less of the maintenance and worry, quartz is gaining converts by the thousands.

Harder than granite (actually only diamonds, topaz and sapphire are harder) it is naturally scratch, ding and stain resistant. All quartz countertops are created from at least 93% quartz with the remaining materials comprised of pigments and resins. The resulting surface is non-porous and durable making it ideal for kitchen use. Because the quartz surface is impervious to water, moisture and bacteria it creates a more sanitary environment for the user and because the surface is non porous there is no need to periodically reseal the surface as you must do with granite.

CeasarStone, one of the pioneers of the quartz surface industry, offers a 15-year warranty on their quartz surfaces when manufactured and installed by a certified fabricator and installer like GMG Stone & Quartz in San Diego. There is a rigorous certification process so you are assured the absolute finest quality product and complete satisfaction.

Functionality aside, quartz is also being embraced for its looks. Since the pigments are added to the raw quartz in the production process you can create a look that will suit your kitchen perfectly, with an incredible variety of color options. Seams are also virtually unnoticeable on the surface because of the consistency in the mottling color and texture. Quartz countertops are also available with the popular beveled, bullnose, and ogee edges usually associated with granite.


A kitchen isn’t really a kitchen without appliances. Choosing the right appliances for your needs can be an overwhelming process with so many incredible options out there today. Here are a few of our current favorites to consider:

Refrigerator: LG LMX Series, the first and only ice and water dispensing, 4-door, French door refrigerator. Unrivaled organization and access with four climate controlled crisper compartments and ENERGY STAR rated. What is not to love.

Cooktop: GE ProfileTM 30″ Built-In Gas Downdraft Cooktop. It is the specialized burners that got us on this one. With 1 high output burner to boil water in moments, and 1 precise simmer burner that can be set at a really low 140 degrees, even the least experienced chef can create a masterpiece.

Oven: KitchenAid Architect Series Double Oven with Steam Assist Technology. Dual fan convection with Steam Assist eliminates the need for manual steps like basting or spritzing, maintaining the perfect balance of internal moisture and external crispness without all the extra legwork.

Dishwasher: Bosch Integra 800 Series. Bosch offers the most energy efficient dishwasher on the market at only 190kWh/yr. Cutting edge ECOSENSE® technology, determines the soil level in the wash water and automatically deletes fresh water fills if they’re not needed, saving time and money while cutting energy usage by up to 20%. And all this is done while remaining one of the quietest dishwashers on the market. They call it the strong and silent type, we call it a keeper.

Wine Cooler: Vinotemp Eco Series. For your wine, dual zone temperature controls for whites and reds. For the environment and your energy bill, Thermoelectric cooling, that uses no ozone depleting chemicals such as CFCs or HCFCs, and uses less electricity so you will be saving money for years to come, with the perfectly chilled glass of wine in hand of course.


Wood: Wood fits a variety of décor styles and lends an air of warmth to the room. The durability of wood depends on the species of wood chosen. Of traditional wood flooring options Brazilian Walnut has the highest Janka Hardness rating at 3680, but also high on the scale are Brazilian Cherry, Southern Chestnut and Caribbean Rosewood. For a greener option, bamboo has become extremely popular. Teragren recently introduced their Synergy Strand Bamboo Floating Floor, averaging 150 percent harder than red oak and 125 percent harder than North American maple. Don’t forget that wood floors can always be sanded and refinished to their original glory after some years of wear and tear.

Ceramic Tile: Ceramic Tile is a popular kitchen flooring option due to the vast array of customization available in color, texture, and style. Primarily made from clay and other natural minerals and materials, these tiles get their strength once exposed to extreme heat. The durability of tiles are ranked using a strength grading system, from the lowest I to the highest (strongest) V. For kitchens it is important to have a tile with at least grade III strength. Also remember that while the variety of tiles available is fantastic it may be difficult to find the exact same tile in the future so buy extras to have for replacement just in case.

Cabinets & Doors:

Cabinets completely set the tone for the style and flow of your kitchen and should be a very thoughtfully planned out choice that will generally account for 40% to 50% of the total cost of your kitchen renovation project.

Your first decision will be whether to go for Stock cabinets that come in standard shapes and sizes available in limited styles with limited customization, Semi Stock that are factory built in standard sizes but offer many more options for storage, design, and style, or Custom cabinets built on-site for your specific kitchen and needs. The only limitation with custom cabinets is your imagination and budget. A kitchen design professional can be of enormous assistance in property implementing kitchen design principles that create the most functional space. Smartly planned cabinets and the right accessories, like lazy Susans and pull out storage systems, can greatly increase storage capacity even without increasing square footage. If you already have a cabinet configuration and accessories that you love but you still want to create a whole new look, consider replacing just the cabinet doors. This combined with refinishing can give you the look of a total remodel at a fraction of the cost.

Cabinet Door Inserts: One stylish way to brighten and custom tailor your cabinets is with door inserts. Large kitchens loaded with base and wall cabinets can look a little bland. Inserts made of glass, metal, or wire create visual interest and let in the light, while also giving you spaces to showcase heirloom pieces or artwork. There are door insert choices to compliment any style from modern to French country.


While you have a formal dining room for those special occasions, the kitchen table can be the place where most of your family time is spent. There are chic, comfortable, and luxurious options to go with any décor.

For a Modern take check out the Think Dining Table by Speke Klein combining modern aesthetics with traditional craftsmanship. The solid-wood base has an intriguing, interlocking centre joint, creating a beautiful interplay of wood grain and color where the volumes intertwine with a polished-edge glass top.

For traditional but artful pieces there is The Smithsonian collection by Bernhardt, inspired by historic furnishings The Heritage Dining Table, designed with elaborate carvings on a pedestal base, feels as good at a family breakfast as it must have in the office of the first secretary of the Smithsonian. Surround it with the Statesman Side Chair and the look is complete.

Another important furniture choice in any kitchen is the bar stool. When looking for bar stools it can be easy to fall in love with one of the almost endless choices in style, color, and materials but don’t forget that getting the correct stool height for your particular bar is crucial. Take measurements before you go shopping of the height of your counter. Ideally you should have a 10″-12″ clearance between the seat and the counter for comfortable seating. So a 36″ barstool is perfect for a 46″-48″ high countertop.

Contractors: When working on any remodeling project it is important to have a licensed contractor on the job. There are different types of city permits required based on the project from structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and combination permits used for single family home construction and other small projects. Projects as seemingly minor as moving or adding an electrical outlet can require city permits and an experienced contractor will know all the ins and outs to make this process smooth and painless. In addition to handling the red tape a knowledgeable and skilled contractor can make recommendations on everything from time frames to paint to appliances.

Your garage doesn’t have to look like a garage.

When doing any home remodeling project don’t forget about that “other” room in your home, the garage. Rather than simply a place to shelter your car from the elements, your garage can be an extension of the main living areas, with all the style and comforts that go with them. One of the first ways to accomplish this is with garage cabinet systems. Not only does this organize the hodge-podge of items that tend to congregate in the garage, it creates an environment and a room that you can use as effectively and as often as all your other indoor spaces.

When choosing a cabinet system for your garage you have a huge array of design choices in materials, finish, and color to go with any style and décor but tailored specifically to the needs of your garage space. Stainless steel cabinets offer a combination of beautiful surface and tough structure that is ideal and timeless. If you would rather go for a splash of bold color, powder-coated cabinets are available that have the sleek and polished look of anything you would use in the rest of your home but are incredibly durable and easy to clean. These come in a bold red that will make your garage a serious standout. For a more traditional look you can choose maple wood cabinets in a cherry or honey finish that will seamlessly blend with any design aesthetic but are specially created to withstand the additional challenges of your garage. And the choices don’t end there, customize your drawer pulls to suit your tastes just as you would with your kitchen cabinets. Your friends and neighbors will be in awe of the gorgeous new space you created and you didn’t need to add a single square foot to your home.

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