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The kitchen truly is the heart of the home! More time is spent in the kitchen and dining area of a home than any other area. It’s the place of family gathering where we not only share a meal, but we spend and share our lives! Kitchen remodels are among the most popular type of remodel. With the advancement of high-tech appliances, stunning counter surfaces, innovative faucets, lighting and custom cabinetry, today’s modern kitchen has gone to a whole new level of custom!
A very vital part of the kitchen is the pantry. Today’s newly designed kitchen’s will usually feature a nice walk in pantry, or at least a full length pantry for easy access and a good amount of storage space. Everyone knows, the pantry is essential! When we walk into a kitchen for instance when shopping for a home, for instance, or getting ideas for a remodel, when we see a nice large kitchen pantry, we want it! Having enough space to keep things easy to reach and neatly organized is a huge part of having an efficient kitchen that we love to cook in!
But we don’t just want efficient. We want pretty! And the pantry door is what our guests see! And we not only want pretty, we want UNIQUE! We want the pantry to compliment and coordinate perfectly with our individual decor. There’s no better way to add a custom feel to a pantry door, than having it feature custom frosted glass. The glass creates an “open feel”, and a contrasting surface to compliment the others we see: the granite or other counter surface, the wood, the stainless steel perhaps, are all complimented by glass. So we know glass is the best choice to achieve an open and varied surface, BUT… we don’t want to be able to see IN to the pantry! Even a with a neatly kept pantry we don’t want to see the cans or the boxes and all the other goodies inside!
Solution? Etched glass, or also what’s referred to as frosted glass.
They both mean the same thing, but did you know there are several TYPES of etching, that actually create various textures and effects?
There’s sandblast glass etching, acid etching, cream etching, ceramic frit, and of course there’s also vinyl decals. All of these methods will provide a flat, white frosted surface. The biggest difference comes in with the SANDBLAST method, and that’s because sandblasting the glass allows the artist to actually penetrate deeper into the glass, as the sand is sprayed through a hose with varied air pressure. Unlike the other methods and materials that only allow for a “surface etching, the sand acts as a carving tool, with the ability to create depth and shading, which are areas in the glass that fade back out to clear glass, creating a 2 dimensional effect in the design. The sandblast nozzle is actually used as both an artist’s brush, and a sculptors carving tool, as you would think of … Read More
Almost any contractor is willing to come out, take a look at the job, and give you a bid. The only question is: How accurate will that bid be?
At an early stage of the game, chances are that the contractor will make a high bid, figuring that you do not really know what you want and will change your requirements over time. The contractor has to build in protection in case you end up wanting something substan¬tially different from what you are now asking for. Often a contrac¬tor’s bid will include a variety of options. Here’s a typical ballpark bid for an upgraded kitchen:
Complete Kitchen Cabinets, Installed
All new cabinets, in stained wood $11,400
All new cabinets in plastic white $7,300
All new cabinets with glass doors $12,200
Existing cabinets with new doors and veneer $6,100
Existing cabinets sanded and restained $4,200
Since you don’t know what you want, the contractor is offering you a variety of options to choose from. Of course, each option is still a guesstimate, probably high, of what it will really cost. You have to sit down and pick out the specific cabinets, the stain you want, the configuration, whether you want to buy new or refinish old, and so on. Obviously, the choices you make will dramatically influence the cost. Nevertheless, the contractor’s initial bids here can help you see relative costs and what it will take to do the job with different types of materials.
How do you find contractors to give you guesstimates? Ask friends who are pleased with the work they had done. Ask real estate agents. Look for cabinet shops, tilers, kitchen specialists, and so on in the phone book.
Call several. Ask them to come by for an evaluation. Most con¬tractors will do this for free. Typically they will stop by and spend around an hour with you. They’ll give you options, possibly with a quick sketch of what they plan to do, and supply a ballpark estimate of costs.
Also check out contractors who specialize in remodeling jobs. They’ll come out and look at your overall job, suggest options, per¬haps come up with a brief plan, and give you a variety of costs depending on the options you choose.
To get an accurate bid from a contractor, you need to have a set of plans, a list of specs (an indication of the materials you want), and a timetable for completion. If you don’t have all that, you’re just getting a ballpark figure.… Read More
Some of the 17,000 poultry at Seldom Rest Farms located, north of Myerstown, PA, on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The chickens are kept in a two story chicken house and produce approximately 2.5 million chicks each year. To supplement their electrical needs, they chose a contractor who knew about United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America program (REAP) grants and helped them through the application process. The farm was awarded a $152,000 grant (25% of the cost). to install the 1001kW solar array to power their farm, a neighboring farm and homes on the local electrical grid. The 240 solar panels were ground mounted with 5-foot clearance underneath to allow sheep to graze and rest underneath protected from the rain, sun or snowfall. Ten inverters change the DC electrical energy from the panels into AC energy that goes into the local power grid. Spring statistics show it is producing more than expected. REAP offers grants and/or loan guarantees for the purchase and installation of renewable energy generating systems and for energy efficiency improvements. For additional important details about REAP, see www.usda.gov. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
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