Last Post: April 26, 2016

How to Stay on Budget During a Kitchen Remodel
April 26, 2016

Every homeowner has a budget as they move through a remodel. Unfortunately, remodels are notorious for going off-budget fast. So, instead of crossing your fingers and hoping you stay on track during your kitchen remodel, here is a quick “how to” for keeping your budget on track and getting the kitchen of your dreams.

Get all of your quotes before you start

Obtaining quotes for all of your projects before you begin the remodel will help in two ways:

1. You will have a general idea of what your dream kitchen will cost.

2. Many quotes will have disclaimers that note what has to happen for the quoted price to go up. For example, someone refacing your cabinetry may quote an amount, but if the cabinetry has any structural problems or if mold if found, the price will go up.

Interview the companies that will be working on your project

If you decide to go with a remodeling company, be sure you are kept in the loop if they will be using any outside companies. Many remodeling companies are not going to be able to do every aspect of your project without bringing in specialists. Here at Milan Stoneworks, we often work with remodelers to both provide and install kitchen countertops. In this case, we still work with their clients in finding the perfect stone for their kitchen.

By talking to these companies yourself you can feel confident in their work, understand what kind of warranties they offer, and get an idea of anything that could make project costs increase.

Set a maximum and a minimum budget - then go for the minimum

Every remodel is different. Some encounter challenges that require a larger budget and some do not. Setting aside some additional “just in case” money and then working to spend only the quoted amounts may leave you with money to spare on splurges like new dishes, curtains, pretty appliances and more.

Have your ideal kitchen in mind before you start

It can be hard to get everything laid out in your head, which is why so many remodelers have imaging software. Be sure to take advantage of your remodeler’s tools to get a comprehensive idea of your ideal kitchen, with a cost assessment, before you start the project. This will help you keep to the original plan.

We hope you get your ideal kitchen in your next remodel. If you would like fantastic countertops in your kitchen, be sure to give us a call!

Five Ways to Use Countertops Around the House
April 19, 2016

Countertops can bring beauty and utility to many locations around your home that you may not have thought of. Here are five great places that could benefit from a beautiful countertop:

1. A bar area

If you have always dreamed of having an in-home bar, you can install one fairly easily. Simply install any cabinetry needed to store drinks or mixers. You can also install a wine rack for your favorite wines. Then, install a bar top and a mini fridge. You now have your very own bar space! You can fancy it up with drawers below the countertop containing everything you need to make great cocktails and add in a sink, but those are not completely necessary for you to have your very own home bar.

2. Your outdoor kitchen/barbecue area

When you are outdoors barbecuing, food preparation can become a big problem. Instead of going inside constantly for food, spices and utensils, install an outdoor countertop. Having that outside work surface can give you the elbow room you need to create real grilled masterpieces this summer.

3. Inside a walk-in closet

If you are one of those lucky people who have an enormous walk-in closet, you may be able to install a countertop with dresser-type drawers beneath and make it into a walk-in armoire.

4. As a matching sideboard in the dining room

One way to carry a lovely kitchen look over to your dining room is to install a sideboard in your formal dining room that matches or uses the same stone as that used on your kitchen countertops. Additionally, a sideboard in a formal dining area can add extra room to the space and give you an extra table when you are entertaining.

5. A technology nook

Installing a workstation or having a docking area is becoming more and more popular in modern kitchens. You can make this space feel seamless by using the same stone type as that of your kitchen countertops.

We most commonly install countertops into kitchens and bathrooms, but those aren’t the only places countertops can be useful! Let us know about your stone project today!

Is Your Countertop Install a DIY Project or a Professional Task?
April 13, 2016

Updating a kitchen can be a big expense. Because of this, many homeowners attempt to do as much DIY work on their kitchen remodel as possible. However, as a number of people have discovered, there are some jobs that should be left to professionals. So, the question we are answering today is, can you do a DIY install of a countertop?

There are some countertops that you can install in a “do it yourself” fashion relatively easily. These are called laminate countertops. They can be purchased prefabricated or can be created and installed yourself. While it’s harder to build and install a laminate countertop by yourself, this material is probably the simplest to install. You basically use contact cement and pre-installed plywood to attach the laminate material to your countertop.

When you get to stone, things get trickier. Stone needs special blades to cut it, it can break if not transported properly and it often needs additional support installed so that it does not harm your cabinetry. We recommend getting a professional to do the full install of your stone countertops. Here are the benefits to getting a professional installer:

1. If anything goes wrong, the installer will fix the issue.

2. The installer will be able to easily assess your cabinetry to discover if extra support must be installed. They will also make sure everything is level and add height anywhere that is needed.

3. The installer or stone fabricator will come out to your home beforehand and do every measurement needed. That way, the piece comes as pre-cut as possible.

4. The professional stone installer knows how to carry stone so that it doesn’t break. Additionally, he or she will understand just how much the stone weighs - a 2 ft by 6 ft countertop can weigh over 400 pounds, and they will have the right material and people to transport your countertop safely.

5. Because stone isn’t always perfectly level, a professional installer will have the tools and means to properly fit and install your countertop.

The long and the short of it is that stone countertops take a lot of work, planning, and on-the-job technique that not every homeowner will want to take the time to learn. Additionally, many professional countertop installers will back their work and get any problems fixed. Here at Milan Stoneworks, we back our countertop installation services with a 1-year product guarantee.

If you would like to install stone countertops in your home, contact us today. We work with clients all the way through the process, from stone selection through install.