Lancaster County Home Improvement Professionals
Magazine: Ask the Experts » Kitchen & Bath
|[ Click each Question for the Answer ]
What should I consider doing to increase the safety in
my bathroom as I age in place?
Answer provided by: Andrew Baker, Design and Project Manager, Brubaker Inc.
Given the high cost of moving into a retirement home, as well as the
general desire for many people to stay in their home as long as possible,
aging in place is a common phrase when it comes to bathroom
remodeling. There are many options to consider that go well beyond
the standard answer you're likely to hear which is "add grab bars".
Commode: consider changing to a "comfort height" commode, which
is typically somewhere around 18" high off the floor. This height will
make sitting down and getting up off the toilet safer and easier.
Grab bars: grab bars are an excellent way of making your bathroom
shower or tub surround as well as the commode area safer. Today, you
have a myriad of designer grab bar options that can actually enhance
the overall look of your bathroom. There are even special anchors
available so that you can safely install a grab bar on a fiberglass surround.
Flooring: there is not a specific floor that is best, however you certainly
want to avoid anything slippery like a polished porcelain or marble. In
an older home, it is common to have floors installed over the years on
top of each other, which builds up the height of the threshold. Consider
having all of the old floors removed down to the subfloor so that your
new floor is the same height as the adjacent flooring. This will make it
safer, especially if you need to use a walker or a wheelchair.
Faucets: replace your bathroom faucets with lever handles, both at the
sink and in the showering area. Knobs can be difficult to use, especially
for anyone suffering from arthritis. Adding a handheld showerhead
in the bathing area makes it easier to use a shower seat, as well as
making it easier to clean the shower walls.
Tub to shower conversion: more people than ever are taking out their
existing bathtubs and replacing them with showers. This even applies
to homeowners with only one bathroom. While most people will still tell
you that you need 1 bathtub in the house to sell it, people are realizing
that a safe bathroom to let you stay in your home is more important
than when it eventually comes time to sell the house. Consider a
shower with a built in seat if you have the room, or a flip down seat in a
Lighting: a vent fan is often overlooked in a bathroom, yet it plays a
very important role. Consider changing your existing vent fan, and
while you're at it, install a new one with a night light feature. Also,
change out old vanity lighting fixtures with new LED fixtures for better
and brighter lighting. You can always install the lights via a dimmer
switch if you want complete control over the brightness.
Vanity Area: almost all new vanities installed today tend to be "kitchen
counter height". This will help reduce stress on your back as you bend over to use the sink. When changing
your cabinetry, also consider having more drawers installed and/or pull
out shelves included in your new cabinets. Just like in your kitchen,
drawers and pull outs help you access what you need without having
to get down and crawl into your cabinet.
If you'd like to learn more about aging in place and how it can help you stay in your home longer, or about our other services such as kitchen and laundry room remodeling, please give us a call at 717-299-5641 or stop in our designcenter.
What is the difference between custom and stock
Answer provided by: Mark Hochman, Sales Designer, Red Rose Cabinetry, Inc.
The easy answer is attention to detail. But what exactly does that
Cabinets tend to be classified into three categories—Custom, Semi–Custom and Stock.
Let's start with Stock
cabinets. Just like the manufacturer of automobiles
today, stock cabinets are typically made in large factories in
an assembly line process. These cabinets are mostly built by robotic
machines. Cabinet pieces are machine cut and usually assembled
by either machines or humans.
Finishing is also either done by machines or people spraying parts as
they go by on an assembly line. Preparation for finishing is minimal.
Careful inspection will reveal the lack of finish quality of these cabinets.
Stock cabinets come in predetermined sizes that cannot be altered.
The purpose behind this type of construction is to keep handwork to
a minimum, as the cost of labor is a major factor in the price of the
Next is Semi–Custom
. What this generally means is that there is
more attention to detail and therefore more human involvement.
Some alterations of the basic sizes are available, usually custom
depth and sometimes width and height as well. Generally the construction
quality tends to be better than traditional stock cabinetry.
That brings us to Custom
cabinetry. Here you have total human
involvement. Parts are all hand cut and hand assembled. While custom
cabinets do use set cabinet sizes, they are not bound by these
Cabinets can be built to just about any height, width and depth
that is required. Cabinet parts are cut and assembled by qualified
carpenters. Also more types of overlays are available, such as flush
and beaded inset, as well as almost limitless stain and paint options
and a much broader choice of door styles. When it comes to custom
cabinetry, the sky is the limit.
Finish quality with custom cabinetry presents a major difference as
well. All parts are hand sanded. Stain and glaze are applied by hand
by experienced finish technicians. And finally, the finish top coat is
applied by hand in the precise amount to give a high quality finish
that can be seen and also felt.
Because custom cabinetry is built specifically for each project it typically
requires a longer lead time.
The choice is yours to make—dependent
upon your budget and the quality you
desire. Stock and semi-custom cabinetry
tend to be more budget conscious, but if
you can afford custom built cabinetry, like
fine furniture, it will last a lifetime. At Red
Rose Cabinetry, we offer our own custom
cabinetry built to your exact specifications.
We also carry several lines of stock
and semi–custom cabinetry to meet just
about any budget. For your next cabinetry
project, please consider Red Rose Cabinetry
as your go-to source.
Should you have any questions, please
don't hesitate to give us a call at (717)
I'm not sure if I can afford a complete bathroom remodel — what are my best options?
Answer provided by: Ray Kauffman, Manager, Groff's Bathroom Makeover Team
A professional contractor will know
how to work best with any and all
budgets. Consider breaking the
bathroom remodel into components-
-prioritizing them based on your
needs as the homeowner. Ask yourself,
what are your needs and what
are your wants?
Some homeowners with a limited
budget may only have cosmetic concerns.
Some may have a more urgent
concern to get certain parts remodeled
or repaired quicker based
on their condition—such as the
discovery of water leakage, rotting of
floor boards, mold, cracked piping,
fiberglass, or plumbing lines, etc.
One might also consider breaking
down the project in phases such as
replacing the rotten subfloor from a
toilet leak and repairing or replacing
the toilet before doing anything else
in the bathroom.
Some may have a desire to keep
their shower and toilet as is and just
replace an unsightly or outdated
vanity and replace an old vinyl floor
with a newer tile for a better appearance.
The contractor will evaluate the
project as a whole and could, if
needed, divide them into components.
Your first step.
First and foremost,
have a professional come out
and give you an estimate. There are
numerous companies to choose
from so do your homework. We
suggest that you don't commit to
the first company you come across.
Instead, keep this criteria in mind
when choosing your professional:
(1) are they licensed?; and (2) do
they offer ALL trades required for
my project (plumbing, HVAC, electrical,
remodel (drywall, painting,
etc.)? Generally speaking, overall
costs will be significantly lower if
you find a company that is locally
based and offers all trades (rather
than subcontracting certain aspects
of the project).
Once you have chosen your professional–– he/she would be able to go
over your plan and advise you what
will and will not work. Invaluable to
the process, an experienced contractor
can use their professional
eye to picture the final project before
it even begins. They will provide
you with a copy of the layout as well
as samples, color selections, fixture
Why hire a Professional/
Contractor versus a do-ityourself
many benefits to using a professional.
Contractors have access
to pretty much everything you will
need for your home remodel or
repair project. They already have
long–established relationships and
accounts set up with numerous
vendors/supply houses and will
communicate all of your needs
directly. Contractors can have products
delivered in a short amount of
time with no hassle or headache to
the homeowner. Most contractors
have a warranty system in place.
If you find a part to be faulty, they can quickly process warranty claims
and order replacement(s) if and
when the time comes.
Most townships/cities require permits
and inspections. The contractor
will handle all of the processing
of permit paperwork and communications
directly with the township/
city office and set up appointments
for inspections throughout the project
and final sign off. The contractor
is also going to have a very good
understanding with regard to the
code requirements and stipulations
for your particular municipality.
Generally, when faced with a larger
remodeling project unforeseen
things tend to come up—such as
opening up a wall only to find a
corroded pipe, or worse, a leaking
one; or you pull a vanity and find a
substantial amount of mold. These
little surprises can be a huge setback
to a homeowner in terms of
both time and expense. A qualified
contractor, on the other hand, will
have the knowledge to handle the
setback in a timely and professional
manner and get the project back on
For more than 25 years, Groff's has
been helping families in Lancaster,
Chester and York counties. In addition
to our bathroom makeover services,
we provide heating and cooling,
plumbing, and electric services
and repairs. Yes, we do it all!
For more information or assistance,
call us at 717.464.9446 or visit us
online at www.Groffs.com. You can
also visit us at the BIA Spring Home
Show—we'll be in booths 612-614.
We are designing a new kitchen for our home. What storage features should we be sure to include in our cabinetry?
Answer provided by: Arlin Fox, Sales & Design, Foxcraft Cabinets LLC
I am glad to hear you asking this question while you
are still in the design process. Your new kitchen may
be large with lots of cabinets, but unless you design
your new cabinets for functional storage, your kitchen
will be cluttered and you will be disappointed. There
are many innovative storage possibilities; I'll try to
point out some of the most popular.
Corner Storage. Most kitchens end up having one
or more corners in the cabinet layout. Many older
kitchens have blind cabinets – cabinets that extend
back into the corner with no easy access. These require
you to literally crawl into the cabinet in order to
reach the items that have gotten pushed back into
the corner. The most common improvement has been
the lazy susan which allows the user to rotate the
shelf in order to access all the items. Now, however,
there are new systems that make access even more
convenient. These systems allow easier access to the
corner space by allowing the shelves to swing, pull, or
slide out of the cabinet.
Roll–out Shelves. Nobody likes digging in cabinets!
Roll-out shelves allow you to pull out the shelf for easy With a traditional shelf, you always need to have clearance
above the front items in order to access the items in the
back. But with a roll–out shelf, you will no longer need to have
extra clearance since you will be pulling the shelf out into
the open, putting everything within reach from the top. To get
this extra benefit, be sure that your roll-out shelves feature
tool-less adjustability so you can easily maximize your storage
potential as your needs change.
Pot/Pan Storage. Your pots and pans are key items that
should have proper storage, or they will end up stashed on
a heap. A common storage option is large drawers near your
cooktop; these can be further organized by using adjustable
dividers or peg systems. Remember to make your drawers
deep enough to accommodate your large pots. If large drawers
are not an option with your design, consider using adjustable
roll-out shelves which give you the flexibility to adjust
their spacing. Another great option is a hanging organizer on
a pull–out slide. Simply slide the pullout from the cabinet and
grab the pot that you need.
Tray Storage. Trays are thin and all your trays can easily be
stacked on top of each other without using much space.
But, you know the frustration of digging for the pan on the
bottom! In most kitchens, this becomes the default because
there was no planning for trays. Try to include a cabinet in
your kitchen design with upright tray dividers, allowing you to easily get the tray that you need. Or better yet, have a pullout
drawer with tray dividers.
Charging Station. The kitchen is the heart of your home
since everybody's life centers around it. How many counters
end up being cluttered with mobile devices and cords?
There are some great products that allow you to incorporate
outlets and USB ports into your cabinet or drawer. By
keeping all the cords in a designated spot, your counters
will be clutter–free.
Everyone uses their kitchens in their own unique ways.
Partner with a kitchen designer who will be able to understand
your needs and make recommendations on storage
solutions. By using custom cabinets, your designer will be
able to design creative, custom storage solutions specific
to your needs. For more information about making your
kitchen functional, give me a call at 717.859.3261 or visit
I'm thinking of remodeling
my kitchen, but I'm not sure where to start. Can you give me some ideas on how to go about it?
Answer provided by: Karen Benn, Design Technician, Red Rose Cabinetry
There are many things to consider
when deciding to begin a remodeling
project. Do walls need to be
moved or removed? Does plumbing
and/or electrical work need to be
done? Are you replacing flooring?
Doing any painting?
If it's a major remodel you may
want to consider hiring an experienced
General Contractor to
oversee your project from beginning
to end. Or, depending on the
company you choose to purchase
your cabinets from and the scope
of the work to be done, they can
also act as the GC and take care
of everything for you – sort of a
one–stop shop. If it's just a matter
of tearing out the old kitchen and
installing a new one, most cabinet
suppliers will take care of that for
you as well or, if you're handy, you
may choose to do the tear–out and
To get some ideas on the kitchen
design itself and what style of
cabinetry might appeal to you, the
internet is an invaluable resource.
Sites such as Pinterest and Houzz.
com are wonderful as they have
many different pictures to view and
get ideas from. A good kitchen designer
is also an excellent resource
to help guide you in the design and
Of course, one of the most important
decisions you'll make is where
to purchase your cabinetry. There
are many venues available from home stores and cabinet distributors
that carry stock cabinetry to
custom shops that build and finish
the cabinets to your exact specifications.
Budget comes into play
when making this decision but
should not be the sole deciding
factor. My recommendation would
be to go to a shop that specializes
in cabinetry rather than a huge
home store simply because the
shop that specializes in cabinetry
only is just that – a specialist.
There is no comparison when it
comes to expertise and experience.
The big home stores may be
more convenient but not necessarily
less expensive and, most,
simply, do not have a sales staff
with extensive design experience
or background. Choosing a cabinet
company such as Red Rose
Cabinetry that offers both stock
and custom cabinetry, several
countertop options to meet most
any budget, and a knowledgeable
and experienced design staff
would be ideal.
There are so many factors that
come into play when remodeling
your kitchen that it may seem a
bit daunting at first. But choosing
a company that offers quality materials
as well as an experienced
design staff will make your project
much easier. And when your new
kitchen has become a reality, you
will feel a genuine sense of accomplishment,
along with having
a beautiful addition to your home
that you and your family will enjoy
for many years to come.
For more information, please don't
hesitate to give us a call. Better
yet, stop in and visit our showroom
and speak to one of our experienced
designers. We can design
the perfect cabinet and countertop
configuration to maximize available
space and make using your
kitchen the joy it should be. Ask
us about corner shelving, Lazy
Susans, creative lighting options
and so much more!
Keep in mind that we are not limited
to just kitchens. We design
cabinetry for other spaces such as
bathrooms, home offices, entertainment
centers, hobby rooms,
Installation services are available
for just the cabinetry and countertops,
or we can act as your General
Contractor and handle all aspects
of your remodel
project from start
to finish. Just let
us know how we
I'm looking to fully remodel my bathroom and kitchen. Is it possible to accommodate my day to day needs for organization,
storage and usability with practical and reasonable solutions that are also attractive?
Answer provided by:Nicole R. Martin, Remodeling Project Specialist, Brubaker Inc.
Homes are meant to be lived in and
enjoyed. They should be a comfortable
refuge from the stresses of life. While
rooms must always be beautiful to look
at, design needs to make sense, work
in the real world and make the resident
family's lives easier.
Magazines and design shows are great
for inspiration but often offer impractical
and user UN-friendly solutions. It
may be something as simple as the
placement of a tub faucet or shower
shelf to something as fundamental as
the location of appliances, but each
detail of a kitchen, bathroom or laundry
room remodel needs to be considered
to not only maximize the benefit of the
remodel but also to avoid mistakes that
make the features inconvenient to use.
A dedicated remodeling project specialist
will be able to lead you in finding
solutions to meet your needs and that fit
in your budget while being aesthetically
pleasing to not only you but your guests.
For example, there are many inexpensive,
unique ways to add storage and
usability to a room without creating the
appearance of a locker room or office.
Clearing the clutter in a kitchen can be
as simple as adding a message center.
This feature can be built into the
interior of a cabinet to hold keys, mail,
a corkboard and even USB and phone
chargers. Recessed shelves in bathrooms
and kitchens are a great way to
add storage without intruding visually,
or spatially, on what may be a tight area.
These space–savers can be installed in
showers, backsplashes and walls to add
instant storage without depleting floor
Touch–free faucets are a great, low–cost
addition to kitchens where messy hands are an issue or to bathrooms used by
guests or children. No more worrying
about whether the faucet is turned off!
Myriads of cabinet inserts make it easy
to custom–design organization to meet
your lifestyle and needs. Units can store
and organize pots and pans, dishes,
glassware, spices and small appliances.
Accommodations can even be made
for pet supplies and food dishes! These
inserts are very cost effective compared
to custom cabinets that were necessary
in the past to receive such convenience.
Even the materials, from counters to
tiles to cabinets to sinks, are much
easier to care for and require very little
maintenance. Dazzling materials including
natural stones, ceramics, glasses,
metals and woods are available in a
wide spectrum of colors, finishes and
designs to fit in any budget.
Most importantly, an experienced
remodeling project specialist will help
you to select the materials you love that
fit within your budget and work with
your lifestyle while thinking through
each aspect of the design such as:
What height is best for my vanity? Will
a single – or multi–level island work best
for my family? Considering the way I use
my kitchen, what appliance placement
makes the most sense for me?
Planning for such usability (and then
making the details beautiful!) will turn
your kitchen or bathroom into the organized,
functional, magnificent room you
The Remodeling Project Specialists at
Brubaker Inc. are excited to hear from
you. Please contact us at 717-299-5641
to explore your unique remodeling desires
I want to update my kitchen, but my cabinets are in good shape. What can I do to bring my
kitchen up-to-date while keeping my existing cabinets?
Answer provided by: Design Center Sales Staff, Bomberger's Store Inc.
There are many different options available to update a kitchen
without replacing the cabinets.
Start by looking at the cabinets
themselves. If they are in good
shape, painting your cabinets is
an inexpensive update that a novice
DIY-er can tackle. Sandpaper,
primer, paintbrushes or rollers,
and some gallons of your favorite
color will give your kitchen a fresh,
new look. The paint options out
on the market today for cabinetry
finishing are stronger and more
durable to withstand daily use.
Another update that can make a
big difference would be to change
out your cabinet hardware. New
hardware can be a very quick
and easy change to make your
kitchen look like new. Browse
some of today's popular finishes
available—such as satin nickel,
chrome, pewter, and oil rubbed
bronze. Think of your hardware as
the jewelry to your cabinetry, and
If painting the cabinets is not
something you choose to do, you
could look at changing out the
countertops. With many possibilities
out there for updating your
countertops, there are options
available to fit any budget. Laminate
countertops are a great way
to get a modernized look on a
tighter budget. From stone and
granite looks, to metal, fabric and
wood-look patterns, you're sure
to find a style that fits your taste.
Granite is an option that is available
in simple to exotic patterns,
and is definitely the way to go to
make your kitchen one-of-a-kind.
Due to granite being a natural
stone, it gives a truly unique appearance
to any kitchen. Quartz
follows in the footsteps of granite,
both in appearance and quality.
One benefit of quartz is that it has
a more uniform—and therefore
more consistent—pattern from
one slab to another. With virtually
no maintenance, quartz would be
a great option for the family on
Adding a tile backsplash is another
great example of a quick
kitchen upgrade. Usually done as
a two-day project, you can easily
add trendy glass, metal, or stone
to your backsplash to give it a
more up-to-date look. Tie in fixture
colors, paint colors, accent pieces
and more to give your design a
more cohesive, personalized look.
Replacing the flooring in your
kitchen can dramatically change
the look and feel of the space.
Adding hardwood or wood-look
floors to the room will make the
room feel warmer and richer.
There are many different wood
options on the market. From traditional
hardwoods to natural corks,
laminates, vinyl planks, or tiles
that mimic wood patterns, you're
sure to find the product that best
meets your needs and enhances
your space. Other durable options
for kitchen flooring include tile,
natural stone, vinyl and luxury vinyl
tiles. Adding tile or stone looks
can make the room feel sleek and
modern, add a rustic flair, or create
a timeless classic look.
Last but not least, a fresh coat of
paint on the walls can be a quick
update. Go bold with a bright color,
or keep it calm and subdued
with a muted color palette. You
can pull colors from the countertop,
flooring, tile, or accent pieces.
It's amazing what a new coat of
paint can do to make the entire
room feel bright, fresh, and clean.
If you're unsure what color would look best in your space, most
paint collections offer a sample
size that you can take home and
try out first.
Whether you choose one update
or multiple updates, be sure to
stop by and talk to our design
center experts. They have the
knowledge and expertise to guide
you to the products that not only
fit your budget and your lifestyle
but will make your kitchen look
great for years to come.
I will soon be doing a kitchen renovation and I'm very interested
in using granite for my
countertops. To be honest, I
don't know much about granite
other than I really like the look. What can you tell me?
Answer provided by: Sharon Sweigart, Outside Sales, Natural Stoneworks
You are not alone in your preference for granite...in fact,
granite has become today's countertop of choice for architects,
cabinetmakers, kitchen designers and contractors.
Properly sealed granite is virtually impervious to abrasions,
stains and extreme heat. Granite is extremely durable. It
is one of the hardest materials known to man and is only
slightly softer than diamonds.
As for its appeal, because of its unique natural beauty,
granite has been used in architecture throughout the ages.
The intrinsic beauty of this natural stone is its uniqueness.
In choosing your granite, be sure to hand select your slabs
as no two slabs will be identical. These slight irregularities
are what will make your project unique and different from
any other. Other than its popular appeal and natural beauty,
there are a number of practical reasons why granite would
be a great choice...here are a few to consider.
Are granite countertop tops expensive?
technology has made granite countertops very affordable
compared with man-made solid surface materials.
Depending on the stone selected, granite is often less
expensive than quartz. Granite is about the same price as
Corian. Granite countertops will increase the resale value of
your property; they are an investment.
ls it easy to maintain and seal granite?
Granite is ranked #1
in clean ability. Granite can be cleaned with mild, antibacterial
liquid dish soap and water. Your countertops
should be sealed when they are installed. Annual resealing
is recommended. If sealing is a concern, ask your fabricator
if they offer a 15 year guaranteed sealer.
Does granite harbor bacteria? Granite is used and approved
in food and medical applications. The Center for Disease
Control and Prevention has no records of granite harboring
bacteria and no reports of people becoming ill from
bacteria in granite. With regular cleaning, granite is far
less likely to support bacteria than butcher block or laminate
How easily can granite countertops be damaged?
solid surface, high impact blows could cause harm to your
granite counters. Because of its crystalline structure, it
can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. These chips
can be repaired by an experienced professional. Under
normal circumstances, heat from your pots and pans or
burning liquids will not affect granite.
Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Yes, however, granite
surfaces are harder than your knife blades and will dull
them very quickly. If you have expensive knives, you
should cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board
placed on top of your granite surface.
Will my granite countertop have tiny pits on the surface?
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, has pits, which
are tiny spaces between the mineral crystals. You do not
see them on a larger piece because the surface is polished
to a mirror–like finish. Granite has natural fissures
as well, which may have the appearance of cracks, but
are not defects. These fissures are naturally occurring
and the result of the immense heat and pressure under
which the granite was formed over millions of years.
These characteristics are part of the stone's natural
beauty and will not impair the function or durability of
Hopefully, this information will prove helpful in your
upcoming decision making. For more information,
please give us a call or, better yet, stop in and see us.
We have a huge display of slabs from which to choose, a
well-appointed showroom to help with your other project
selections, and a very creative and experienced design
team to assist you. Come see us today!
What things should I consider
when setting a budget for my
bathroom or kitchen remodel?
Answer provided by: Nicole R. Martin, Remodeling Project Specialist, Brubaker Inc.
The prospect of designing your perfect
bathroom or kitchen and selecting the
beautiful fixtures you will enjoy for many
years is an exciting adventure. The first
step in that process, however, should be
setting a budget for your project. Many
aspects of the renovation will greatly
affect the price. Having a realistic expectation
of what can be done within
your budget will eliminate frustration
and disappointment at the outset of
your project. It's important to ask yourself
some preliminary questions: what
type of cabinets do I want? Which countertop
material best suits my lifestyle?
What floor covering is attractive to me?
The most cost effective design option
for your kitchen or bathroom is to keep
existing mechanicals such as plumbing,
gas and electric lines in the same
location, as well as retain the existing
placement of bathroom fixtures. Remodeling
projects are often predicated
by a need for better room flow or more
floor space. Relocating tubs, toilets
and appliances can often make your
room more functional. Often walls can
be removed or cut down to open up a
room or annex adjoining space. Such
changes are worth the additional cost
incurred but this construction work
needs to be considered when setting
Perhaps the biggest effect on price is
the style of fixtures and materials you
select. Cabinets generally incorporate
the majority of material costs in a
kitchen and are available in several
constructions. Custom cabinets have
the highest price tag but also give you
the greatest flexibility in style, finish
and size. Semi-custom cabinets are a
popular option that allow for the quality
of custom cabinets but with a price
closer to stock cabinets. If standard
cabinet sizes work with your floor plan,
stock cabinets will help save money
while offering attractive options in finish
Countertops, both in a kitchen and
bathroom, greatly affect the price of
your project. Counters can double or
triple in cost from one material to another.
Vinyl, tile, laminate and luxury tile are
popular choices for floors. These selections,
including the necessary installation
costs, will affect your overall price.
Labor costs within a remodeling project
are usually as high, or higher, than
the cost of the materials. The necessary
labor hours to do a project can
vary even within the same type of project
when done in two different houses.
Circumstances that significantly affect
the number of labor hours, and thus
the overall job cost, include but are
not limited to the age of the house,
the type and construction of existing
fixtures to be removed, the intricacy of
new tile or moulding work to be performed
and the type of new fixtures to
Setting a budget at the beginning of
your project and sharing that amount
with your remodeling project specialist
will help him or her to point you
towards attractive, quality products
that will meet your needs and your
budget. Should the preliminary design
and material ideas you collect and
present to him or her not fit within
your budget, an experienced remodeling
project specialist will be able to
make suggestions and offer excellent
alternatives to be certain you achieve
the room of which you truly dream...at
If you have any questions or would like
to explore some ideas, the Remodeling
Project Specialists at Brubaker
Inc. would be happy to hear from
you. Please feel free to contact us at
We will be re–doing our
kitchen this summer and I
just love the look of granite
countertops. My husband is
the cautious type and is concerned
about staining and
burning (we're not all that
careful with our cooking). Is
my heart going to be broken
or is my husband's concern
Answer provided by: Anastasia Kolawa, Sales Manager, Classic Granite
Being cautious with your home improvement
selections is a good thing.
It's wise to do your homework and find
out in advance the pros and cons of
various product options. In this case, I
think you'll be pleased with my answer.
Regarding burning, granite is formed
by extreme heat and pressure combined
underneath the earth's surface,
so no, it cannot burn with ordinary use.
As for staining, as a natural stone,
granite itself is 95–98% stain resistant.
There are a few colors, however, that
may absorb moisture with prolonged
contact easier than others, and a
problem may arise with darker pigmented
liquids. To reduce this risk
and for added protection, however,
our company re-seals the countertops
after fabrication with a specially
formulated stone sealer which
impregnates the granite. We also
recommend a product called Dupont
Revitalizer, for daily use as a cleaner
formulated with a sealer that actually
seals your granite every time you
Because of its natural beauty, durability
and ease of maintenance,
granite continues to be a very popular
choice for kitchen countertops as well
as various applications in the bath.
Should you have any questions regarding
its maintenance or repair, or
if you would like to discuss possible
applications within your home, I invite
you to call me at 717.333.2133,
email me at email@example.com, or better yet, visit me at our Lititz
showroom and design center at 569
Furnace Hills Pike.
hours are Monday thru Friday 9–5:30,
and Saturday 10–3.
My bathroom is on the second floor of my
home and it takes forever to get hot water to
the faucets not to mention the waste of water
going down the drain. Is there anything
made to help with this?
Answer provided by: John Leibley,
Leibley Plumbing, Inc.
Yes there is! The GRUNDFOS hot water circulation system
is a great solution for this problem and it's available for
both new construction as well as existing homes like
You are right...why wait for hot water? Not only is it an
inconvenience, it wastes time and money not to mention
a lot of water! Hot water recirculation, on the other hand,
means a continuous flow of hot water in the hot water
supply line of your home––without a separate recirculation
line. Without this system hot water in the line cools and
must be evacuated before hot water can reach the faucets.
This system uses the cold water supply line as the
return line to the water heater and a circulator pump is
installed on the hot water supply line of the water heater — a patented thermostatically controlled valve (comfort
valve) is then mounted under the sink furthest from the
water heater. The circulator pump is also equipped with
a timer so that you can set it to run when you desire. This
system not only adds value to your home, but delivers
comfort and convenience of instant hot water when you
Think of it this way...what happens to the two to three gallons
of water that goes down the drain during the wait?
Those gallons are wasted and in an average household
that can add up to thousands of gallons a year.
GRUNDFOS has developed this system specifically for the
existing home market and it is very energy
efficient––using less energy than
a twenty–five watt light bulb and can
save up to sixteen thousand gallons
of water a year per household! Hot
water recirculation is a cost-effective
method that can help the community
and the environment by controlling
additional waste of water.
For more information, give me a call at
We are remodeling our kitchen.
Our real estate agent told
us that granite will add the
most value to our home. After
researching all of my countertop
options, I can’t wait to
get my new granite tops. But
now what? How do I "shop"
for granite countertops?
Answer provided by: Ken Morris,
First of all, you are making a great
choice in using granite. I've been in
the granite countertop business for
over twenty years, and it is such a pleasure
to see how this countertop surface
has evolved. Back in the day, we used
marble. Then along came granite, a
much more durable stone that is highly
heat, scratch, and stain resistant. Just
like any new product, though, it has
taken years of educating the consumer
for granite to rightfully be recognized as
the best investment in countertops. To
me, granite goes way beyond the value;
it is a piece of art created by nature.
You as the homeowner have the opportunity
to show your style and personality
through your unique stone.
There are several ways to buy your
granite countertops. Your best path to
new granite tops depends on several
factors: the scope of your project, your
time, and your desire for professional
design coordination throughout your
If you are simply :popping off the old
tops," and replacing them with granite,
you may wish to go directly through a
granite fabricator. Some granite fabricators,
like Natural Stoneworks, offer free
design services to coordinate countertops,
backsplashes, and flooring. On
the other hand, a personal interior designer
would help you to pull together
other design elements throughout your
home. Your designer would utilize the
fabricator's stone yard and showroom.
Well-appointed showrooms display
stone and ceramic tiles to allow design
of floors and backsplashes with slabs.
Most likely, your designer will take you
along to approve selections.
If you are replacing cabinetry or doing
other renovations, you will probably employ
a quality cabinet maker or general
contractor. They will coordinate the installation
of your tops with the fabricator.
However, even in these instances,
you should have the right to select your
fabricator, visit the fabricator's facilities,
and look at your granite slab in
The best answer I have for this one is:
Reputation, Reputation, Reputation.
You are probably accustomed to researching
a product; making a choice
on make, model, and color; and then
looking for the lowest price on the internet
or store-to-store. Because granite
is a product of nature, comparison
shopping for what may appear to be
the same color and edge treatment is
a mistake. It will not be an "apples for
apples" comparison and you may end
up with a bad investment. As with any
business, there are ways to cut corners
and use inferior materials in order to
give a low ball price to an unknowing
The intrinsic beauty of granite is its
uniqueness. No stone is alike and may
go by various names. So the best way
to make the right choice is to use a
fabricator with many actual granite
slabs on display. A good fabricator will
also offer that you may visit his importers
to hand-select your stone if you
wish. If a fabricator will not let you see
your individual granite that is a red
Most importantly, granite countertops
are not created in a factory sense.
They require the expertise of craftsmen
who use the proper cutting machinery
and tools, who know how to
lay out your tops in the most attractive
manner, who can make needed seams
go almost unnoticed, and who take
pride in their work.
All projects, no matter how much you
think will be simple and straight forward,
have issues and nuances. You
will want to be sure that your granite
fabricator is prepared and willing to
deal with whatever challenges arise. If
your cabinetry isn't quite level or if your
existing backsplash is a smidgen too
high above the countertop, you want
your installers to know how to make
Enjoy Your New Granite
I hope that I have given you some direction
to get you started and to make
you feel confident and excited about
getting your new granite countertops!
As I said, you will be pleased with this
rugged yet beautiful surface. Just remember
that no matter what path you
take, whether it is on your own, with an
interior designer, or through a cabinet
maker or contractor, you should ultimately
be able to rely on your quality
fabricator. He will provide the showroom,
slabs, and expertise to help in
your selections. Then he will coordinate
with you or your designer/contractor to
install your countertop (along with the
tile backsplash and floor if included).
From your first showroom visit to actual
installation, the granite countertop
portion of your kitchen remodel will
be a fascinating and pleasant journey.
After having our counter-tops installed, friends
have asked if granite can stain or burn? Our countertops look
beautiful and have had no problems, but is this something I will
need to watch out for?
Answer provided by: Anastasia Kolawa, Sales Manager, Classic
Regarding burning, granite is
formed by extreme heat and pressure combined underneath the earth's
surface, so no, it cannot burn with ordinary use.
As for staining, as a natural stone, granite itself is 95-98% stain resistant.
There are a few colors, however, that may absorb moisture with prolonged contact
easier than others, and a problem may arise with darker pigmented liquids. To
reduce this risk and for added protection, however, our company re-seals the
countertops after fabrication with a specially formulated stone sealer which
impregnates the granite. We also recommend a product called Dupont Revitalizer,
for daily use as a cleaner formulated with a sealer that actually seals your
granite every time you clean it.
Because of its natural beauty, durability and ease of maintenance, granite continues
to be a very popular choice for kitchen countertops as well as various applications
in the bath. Should you have any questions regarding its maintenance or repair,
or if you would like to discuss possible applications within your home, I invite
you to call me at 717.333.2133,
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better yet, visit me at our Lititz showroom
and design center at 569 Furnace Hills Pike. Our showroom hours are Monday thru
Friday 10-6, and Saturday 9:3-3.
are thinking of remodeling our kitchen and bathroom, but we
are a bit apprehensive about finding a quality construction
company. How do we go about finding a reputable construction
firm and what kind of questions should we ask?
Answer provided by: J.D. Burkholder, President,
Affordable Bathrooms and Kitchens
people are inspired to start new projects with the new year.
If you are looking to start a remodeling project, there are
definite things to consider as you put your dream into a
concrete plan. First, make a list of your expectations/desires
and then be willing to do some legwork and actually interview
construction firms to see if they can match your expectations.
Main expectations that need to be discussed are quality,
contracts/payments, and communication/scheduling.
More important than any of these concerns, however, is that you feel comfortable
with — and not intimidated by — the company you choose for your construction
project. Trusting your contractor is critical. You can build that trust with
open and honest communication through every step of the process. You want to
be sure that your contractor is a trusted advisor, not a salesman.
No one intends to hire a less-than-qualified contractor,
but how do you identify one who will be able to provide the level of quality
you desire? The best referral comes from a satisfied customer — so asking
friends and family is definitely a good option. Granted, what your friend may
consider quality or exceptional service may not match your standards. If you
find a contractor that you feel might work, you should ask to see a complete
list of his clients to broaden the scope of your sampling. A quality company
should have available a list of clients who are willing to invite you into their
home to view the craftsmanship or at least be willing to discuss their experience
In 2008, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the Home Improvement Consumer Protection
Act. The law requires that all contractors who perform at least $5,000 worth
of home improvements per year register with the Attorney General's Office. You
can check to see if a contractor is registered by calling the toll-free hotline,
Contracts and Payment:
Once you have established that the quality
of craftsmanship meets your expectations, you should discuss contractual agreements
and payment guidelines. Nothing will sour your dream remodel as fast as finding
out deep into the project that it's costing you more than you can afford! At
the onset, ask whether your contracts are guaranteed. Guaranteed contracts mean
that the construction firm has taken the proper precautions when bidding the
job to assure that the labor time included in the contract is sufficient for
the job to be completed within the contract price. Make sure to make allowances
for special materials like cabinetry, custom windows, plumbing fixtures, electrical
fixtures and items that may need to be special ordered. This allows you, the
homeowner, to have the freedom to spend or save as much as you would like while
selecting the products you want. Items such as lumber, drywall, paint, insulation
and other construction materials that don't have as much of an aesthetic appeal
are usually automatically included in the contract price. If the cost of these
items or the labor to install them exceeds what is estimated by the contractor,
the construction company eats the cost, not you. In the event that you want to
change the floor plan or select a different item than was originally selected,
the contractor should have a system in place to inform you of any extra costs
that might be associated with the changed order. These steps will allow you to
stay informed as money is spent to ensure you don't exceed your budget.
Communication and Scheduling:
Communication and schedule expectations
are key to any relationship with a contractor. Find out if the contractor guarantees
his schedule. This guarantee should include a detailed, written schedule that
spells out what will take place each day. The power of preparation and having
a written plan is essential for a remodeling project to be completed effectively
and efficiently. In addition, a detailed job schedule will ensure the proper
products will be ordered and the right construction applications will be completed.
If you have any questions or concerns about your remodeling project, contact
one of the experts at AB&K — Affordable Bathrooms and Kitchens at
husband and I are planning to remodel our bathroom this fall.
We've selected a remodeler, but otherwise, we don't even know
where to start. Do you have any advice?
Answer provided by: Dee McCarty, Lead Designer,
YC Design Center, Lancaster
aren't alone. Many homeowners realize that their bathroom
isn't functional but don't know where to begin when trying
to make it better.
Your remodeler will tell you this, too, but the first thing you should do with
any remodeling project (not just your bathroom) is to take an inventory of what
you'd like to change about the room. Think about the times of day when you use
your bathroom (how many people are trying to get ready in the morning and at
what times) and what changes can be made to make it functional for you. This
process will also help you solidify what you are truly looking for from your
Once you've made an inventory of changes, my next suggestion is to research what
products are on the market. There are literally hundreds of vessels, tubs, showers,
and faucets to choose from, so your best bet is to visit a showroom.
Showrooms are also an excellent resource for learning about the new products.
When consumers visit our showroom, there are two design specialists on hand to
help them through the often overwhelming process of picking out the components
of their new bathroom.
Let's say you know you want a soaking tub, but there are dozens of soaking tubs
on the market from which to choose. By visiting a showroom and speaking to a
design specialist, you can find out the differences between each manufacturer
and discover what amenities are available.
For example, one tub on the market is the new Release Bathtub Series by Pearl.
The Release tubs are ergonomically shaped to offer you two comfortable sitting
positions—designed for relaxing at one end and reading at the other. This
series also offers a wide array of therapies including hydrotherapy with True
Whirlpool®, air therapy with Aerofeel®, thermotherapy with ThermaZone
™, Chromatherapy (colored lights) and the new aromatherapy with AromaScents™ to
lavish you with total relaxation. A skilled design specialist can walk you through
this selection process to ensure you pick the tub that's right for you.
Or perhaps you want to remodel your bathroom to accommodate your parent's needs
when they come to town for a visit. Handicapped accessibility is more than grab-bars,
although those are certainly important. But did you ever consider replacing your
current shower unit with one that doesn't have a lip to step over? There are
several great showers on the market today that will match the existing floor
height of your bathroom. Furthermore, today's ADA bathrooms do not have to feel
sterile like a hospital. There are plenty of choices to make your bathroom attractive,
yet still ADA accessible. Again, a skilled design specialist can help you through
Perhaps the biggest benefit to visiting a showroom is this: Many showrooms are
laid out into vignettes, and these
"mini-rooms" help you visualize what the bathroom will look like when
completed. The vignettes allow you to see and touch all of the components that
go into making your bathroom complete.
Making your selections from a catalogue is okay, but when you visit a showroom
(rather than making your selections online), you can actually see and touch the
various finishes first hand. This is an important step in selecting the right
colors, textures and styles for you, and ultimately you will create a bathroom
that you'll be happy with for years and years.
YC Design Center is a division of YC Company. The YC Design Center in Lancaster
offers a full array of bath and kitchen products and presents contractors and
homeowners the opportunity to consult design specialists in developing the baths
and kitchens of their dreams. Creating your dream bath is a collaborative effort
between you and your designer. Visit or contact us at (717) 569-8616 and together,
we can begin your innovative and unique process.
decided to remodel our kitchen and our master bath, but with so many
options available, we’re not exactly sure how to begin. What
can we do to assure a high-quality, yet affordable, outcome to our
Answer provided by: Bill MDevitt, Branch
Manager, HAJOCA Corporation
is one of the age-old questions when it comes to any kind of home
renovations. And with a kitchen or bath remodel, the answer is perhaps
even more important, because these are two areas of your home that
provide the greatest return on your investment.
Home is… your castle, your sanctuary, your shelter from the storm. In
your home is most likely the largest single investment you’ll make in your
lifetime, so when making a change or addition, you want to be sure it's done
You can get the most out of your time and money by hiring a reputable contractor
and having them supply all the materials for the job. I remember an adage that
I heard many years ago, which still rings true today: “The bitterness of
poor quality will remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” There's
a certain comfort and satisfaction that comes from knowing your renovation has
been done professionally and with the highest quality products available.
The best recommendation we can offer is that you start with a professional plumbing
contractor. They can help with layout and design, while providing safe, practical
and legal applications of the plumbing system. You can rest assured that a professional
plumber will use the most dependable products available, because they warrant
what they install. They do it right the first time and contrary to some advertising,
it's more than a one-day, bandaid job. Good things take time!
Kitchens and bathrooms should fit your lifestyle. A visit to a local showroom,
such as HAJOCA, will be time well-spent, as you will get the benefit of dealing
with knowledgeable, highly-skilled consultants who are offering the best, state-of-the-art
products available in today's industry, personally tailored to suit your needs
or desires. And that is worth making note of, because in a world where consumers
are lured into buying goods sight-unseen over the Internet, or at a “You-get-what-you-pay-for” big-box
retailer, the old-fashioned, hands-on assistance of a qualified sales person
provides the comfort of helping you know what it is you’re buying. And
there is definitely a difference in the quality you buy through the experts!
This is a very simple, yet tried-and-true process for Kitchen and Bath remodeling.
By visiting our showroom and then hiring a professional contractor to handle
your project, start to finish, you will absolutely save yourself time, money,
and even aggravation in the long run! The oldest rule of buying will always apply-
You Get What You Pay For! Make your remodeling investment a sound one! To find
out more, contact us at 717-299-3611
remodeling our kitchen and adding an outdoor living space. We are considering
granite countertops in both areas. What do we need to know to make
a wise purchase?
Answer provided by: Ken
Morris, President, Banta Tile & Marble
timeless beauty, lasting durability and ease of maintenance make
it the perfect choice for indoor or outdoor applications. Adding
granite countertops to your kitchen and outdoor living space will
enhance the appearance of your home and improve its value. That being
said, it makes sense to do some research and planning up front. Time
spent now can ensure your ultimate satisfaction—both with the
process and the final result.
A word about granite: Granite
comes in an array of colors and styles, varying in appearance from
granites with small crystal patterns that tend to be more uniform
to granites with more “movement”
or veining. Surfaces or finishes also vary. Traditionally granite was
only available as a shiny, highly polished surface. It is now available
in a number of beautiful alternate finishes such as: honed (a smooth,
matte finish) and brushed or antiqued (a matte finish with texture).
Choose an experienced granite fabricator displaying a large selection
of granites, a knowledgeable sales staff, and an in-house design consultant
who can guide you as to the best stone for your application and lifestyle.
Granite quality also varies.
Make sure your fabricator offers only the finest quality granite.
Look carefully at the slab you are considering. If you can see light
swirl scratches remaining from the polishing process, it is of inferior
quality. Also, the granite should have depth and richness of color.
If it looks dull and flat, it is not a good quality slab.
Other things to consider before
you move forward: Make sure that you will be able to view the actual
slab used on your job. This is critical, especially if you’ve
made your granite selection based on a small sample and have never
seen a whole slab of your chosen material. Granite colors, shading,
veining and crystallization vary from lot to lot and in some cases
even from one slab to the next within the same lot. A reputable fabricator
will not only encourage you to see and approve the slab(s) that will
be used on your job, but they will also welcome your participation
as they determine how your templates will lay out on the slab. They
will also discuss in advance where seams will be placed. If the fabricator
tells you there will be seams every few feet, he is using remnants
rather than full slabs. Make sure you see previous work that the
fabricator has done. Seams should be tight and veining should match
up. If the fabricator is good, seam visibility should be minimal.
Granite countertops are an
investment that will last a lifetime. You should be comfortable and
confident throughout the whole project and proud of the end result.
If you are considering updating your countertops, whether inside
or outside, we invite you to call or visit our well-appointed showroom.
See our web site at www.bantatile.com for more information, hours
to replace my bathtub with a shower. What is involved and what are
Answer provided by: Michael
L. Martin, Sales & Design, Brubaker Inc.
your existing bathtub with a shower is becoming increasingly popular
for its convenience and style options. Depending on the age of the
house, different sizes and materials are used for the new shower
but generally a shower can be installed right into the existing tub
space with very minimal disruption to the rest of the bathroom, even
the existing flooring. Usually only a small amount of drywall patching
is necessary around the new unit.
Options for the shower range
from fiber-glass units to solid surface surrounds to ceramic tile.
Most showers are done in tile because it offers the most design flexibility,
best compliments the style of the house and offers lifetime durability.
Trends in tile lean towards 6”x6” to 12”x12” sized
tile installed to the ceiling to hinder mildew above the shower.
FireplacesColor and style are brought in with decorative tiles in
many shapes and materials including metal and glass accents.
Available add-ons to the shower
are plentiful. Many people find recessed lighting above useful. Corner
or recessed shelves can be installed for shampoo and soap. Corner
or bench seats can be added and tiled in to match the surround. While
a standard shower head is always available, many clients choose to
use their new shower as a true spa experience by adding handheld
showers, rain heads and body sprays. Grab bars in complimentary finishes
can also be added for the safety conscious. Shower
doors vary from pivot to sliding by-pass doors with multiple finishes
to match the faucets and a myriad of glass options. Doors are also
now available with minimal framing for a cleaner, simpler look.
The average cost of a tub to
shower replacement is $3,000-$5,000 depending on size and the materials
chosen. The project generally lasts about 3 days from start to finish
and your shower will be unusable during this time.
A new shower can be an excellent
investment in the convenience and beauty of your bathroom. Brubaker
Inc. will custom design your shower to meet your desires. Call us
today to schedule an appointment for this exciting renovation. Brubaker
Inc. 717-299-5643 or email us at email@example.com
ask for Nicole or Mike.
I recently started remodeling my master bath and I would love to
have a whirlpool tub. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about air jet tubs as an alternative to the traditional whirlpools. Which tub will we be most happy with?
Answer provided by: Megan Grier & Ron Brand, Sales Consultant, Thos. Somerville, Co.
Over the past few years there has been a large growing demand for an alternative to the traditional whirlpool. Years ago the whirlpool industry flourished as homeowners wanted a spa like master bath suite with a private luxury bathing area, as well as wanting to add value to their home. The whirlpool was the way to achieve that goal. Through time the homeowner was not using the whirlpool as much as they had anticipated for a few main reasons; large jets that only hit the bather at specific points, the inability to use essential oils, bubble bath, and other bathing products in the bath because of the risk of harming the jets, the maintenance required to keep bacteria from growing in the piping, and the worry about children's safety while bathing because of the strong suction and a higher minimum water level requirements.
First, we need to point out the differences between the standard whirlpool and an
air jetted tub. Standard whirlpools use water with 4 to 12 jets for the massage and
air tubs use air with 30 to 70 jets. This sounds simple enough, but a big difference is
that with air tubs there are no external pipes to hold water from the previous bather
or to develop future leaks. For further indulgence you can use your favorite bath
oils, bubble bath and aroma therapy but with standard whirlpools the pumps could
be damaged with these products. Many air tubs also offer an automatic drying cycle
after each use to prevent bacteria and mold growth anywhere in the unit.
Bain Ultra air tubs featured on HGTV in October's “Save My Bath” and “Medieval
Bathroom Gets a Makeover” is the founder of the Air Jetted tub system. Bain Ultra
offers many standard features not available on other units. They start with an easy
to use control that allows the user to adjust the massage from soft champagne
like bubbles to an invigorating massage. A heated backrest to sooth back and neck
muscles and help maintain water temperature up to 30 minutes is standard on all
models. Many units offer an inverted V backrest for additional comfort and an elevated
seat area which allows massaging action even on the bottoms of your legs.
The Thermo Masseur is a great option for bathers who enjoy the use of aroma therapy
and chemotherapy. Aroma therapy provides therapy through nasal and skin absorption while the bather is immured in their bath. The use of aroma therapy products is completely safe for your air jet system. Chemotherapy. is the use of the
energy embodied in specific colors to balance your metabolism and emotions. Most
light systems are made up of 6 different colored lights, each of which promotes a
different stimulating or calming experience for the bather. The use of a hydro-thermo
massage along with aroma therapy and chemotherapy. is a great way to create a complete therapeutic bathing experience.
Other areas of concern which the air jet system has eliminated are hygiene and
safety concerns. The Thermo Masseur air injection system ensures full drainage of
the tubs air channels by sending a powerful 90 second drying cycle though the channel,
which activates automatically 10 minutes after you end your session. This drying
cycle creates perfect hygiene by not leaving any water behind in your tub to create
mold or bacteria between baths. Since hydro-thermo massage systems are able to
run without water there is no minimum water level required, and with no suction or
large, higher placed jets this makes the Thermo Masseur completely safe for the entire family to enjoy!
When choosing the perfect tub for you, don't forget to consider the ease of installation of your product. We have received many positive comments on the simplicity and ease of installation of the Thermo Masseur. With the ability to install the turbine in a remote location, up to 15’ away, the bather can enjoy their spa experience quietly, with the water action being the only sound. Also, have a comforting knowledge that the remote pump installation will never develop leaks since only air moves through the pipes. For your added convenience, the easy to use standard control on most units allows you to adjust the turbulence and the temperature on the heated backrest. It can be mounted on the deck or any wall, or for further indulgence you can use the optional remote control.
Since Bain Ultra so highly regards total body and mind relaxation, it is no surprise that they use only top quality materials like an acrylic shell instead of fiberglass. Acrylic is stronger than fiberglass and the color is through the entire material, unlike fiberglass which has only a thin color top coat. To ensure your long term satisfaction, an industry leading 20-year warranty on the acrylic and turbine comes with each unit.
After learning about the features and benefits of an air jet system we hope you will better be able to decide
which systems you personally will be the most happy with. If you would like more information on Bain Ultra's Thermo Masseur or any other air jet and whirlpool systems please visit us at The Thos. Somerville Showroom, or on the web at www.tsomerville.com.
We are considering an addition that would also include a
complete renovation of both our kitchen and downstairs bath. What are the advantages of hiring a builder to serve
as the general contractor versus me coordinating all the subcontractor work, i.e. plumbing, electrical, appliances,
windows, cabinet, flooring, deck, landscaping, etc.?
Answer provided by: Rick Martin,
President, Wheatland Custom Homes
There are many considerations and steps involved in taking on a project of
this magnitude. The advantages of hiring a contractor are varied and often not so obvious. Though the job seems
simple as you are only pulling out old cabinetry, flooring, plumbing fixtures and appliances, there are multiple steps and trade partners involved in the process. Initially acquiring the necessary permits from the municipality is at the top of the list, and can be fairly simple, or as complicated and painful as a root canal. Nevertheless, there will be plumbing and electrical work involved that require the municipality's blessing, and require plans and specifications,
which are not always easy for the layman/homeowner to obtain.
A kitchen renovation will start with a kitchen design plan that can either be accomplished by an independent fee paid kitchen designer or by the cabinetry supplier who will include the costs of the plan as part of their kitchen package. The kitchen designer will work with you to get exactly the layout you want, but space requirements for appliances,
sink, and faucet requirements and electrical specifications are not addressed by the kitchen designer, but must be addressed before products are ordered. A bath renovation will include much less cabinetry, but will require a plan showing the amount of space allotted to each of the fixtures, plumbing accesses, and electrical requirements.
Plumbing showrooms showcase their products, but do not provide any type of working plans.
The most time-consuming and arduous task in the process is the one of coordination and scheduling. A typical homeowner isn't skilled in knowing how long it will take to rip out the old floors, cabinetry, fixtures, etc. and as things
are put back together, what order they go in. Would you know that if you don't put the finished flooring under the cabinetry,
when you are ready to install the dishwasher, will you have the necessary height requirement to accommodate
it? Are you planning for solid surface or granite countertops? Will you know to allow at least two weeks lead time
to schedule for them to “template” the top, and then will you realize the countertops will take another 2-3 weeks to be made, delivered and installed on the job? Will you know what size trash container to order and from whom? Will you
remember to tell the electrician that you’re getting a gas cook top and an electric wall oven and one is 110 volts and the other is 220?
The advantage that you gain from having an experienced contractor handle your job is that you get the most complete and satisfactory job with the least amount of stress. The contractor's experience will give thought to all the things that go into making your newly renovated kitchen or master bath the one that you’ve been dreaming of for years. Contractors deal with every day
issues that make the job challenging, and that experience provides them with the scheduling knowledge to accommodate
backorders and delays.
There's also the cost factor—yes, you’re paying them to supervise and coordinate, but the pricing structures that exist with other trade partners is not easily duplicated, and long-standing relationships provide the opportunity for
cooperation if something goes awry. (If budget is a concern, some contractors may allow you to provide some DIY
(do-it-yourself) labor, i.e. painting, with the understanding that this may impact the scheduling). These trade partners have also been selected with regard to the quality of work and the value they bring to the table. If there's a problem down the line, they’re going to be there for the contractor and for you—the satisfied customer.