Choosing a cabinet that fits your home and lifestyle

It's easy to fall in love with the look of a kitchen on line these days with so many photo related apps and sites that we spend our lunch breaks or leisure time dreaming and drooling over. More times than I can count I have had to break the news that we can't put a huge island in a 12'x10' kitchen,  or apply white paint to a set of existing 1970s damaged plywood cut out (you know the ones I'm talking about, that came in your 1976 ranch style home with the dark mocha stain) cabinets for $1,500. It's always fun to dream, those of us with healthy imaginations do it on a daily basis, often while stuck in traffic or in the office on a sunny day while a new policy that has nothing to do with our position is being explained in a painfully drawn out process.. The one thing to keep in mind, even enjoy, about sitting down with a designer after going over your budget and long or short term plans with your home is to keep an open mind. Often when you talk with one of us or perhaps a friendly competitor, there may be a few valid points that are brought to the attention of the soon to be project that will play a huge factor in making the best choices for your unique kitchen. One of the biggest issues with the current trends are white cabinets. Everyone loves white cabinets when they are photographed and uploaded onto a design web site gallery or app, but unless your budget and home life fit the bill to keep them looking new, you will be disappointed in a hurry. The ideal situation for a white kitchen is in a custom kitchen with a large budget that will never see the abuse of young children, medium or large house hold pets, or well worn and dirtied work pants like the ones of many of my friends working on machinery or exterior construction projects. There are many ways to do a white kitchen now, with tints being put into fast drying lacquer, higher quality paints specifically designed to be sprayed on cabinets, doors that can be "shrink wrapped" onto paint grade doors for a consistent finish, or even laminate sheet goods like in a commercial application, the options are vast these days for doing a modern kitchen. The most important realization that is often difficult to grasp for a consumer is that NOTHING holds up as well, or is as durable and timeless as a more traditional hardwood kitchen cabinet. When it comes to upkeep on your investment in cabinetry, let's face it, you will scratch, ding, spill, bang into, rub up against- and who knows what else over time- in your kitchen. A stain grade or natural door or cabinet box is cheap and easy to repair with pens, putties, or finish. A kitchen with a more unique finish or modern color that has been painted, wrapped, or adhered to your cabinet component is never easily repaired. Unlike wood, which has grain, maybe stain or knots, and can easily be blended right on site, a door that has been damaged after paint, wrap, or a sheet good over it will have to be removed and restored in a shop or spray booth adding to cost considerably and rarely possible by the average home owner. Another factor is material consistency over time, trends come and go, and if paints or sheet goods are still available a few years down the road, you have to consider fading of the original materials, slight color variation in new materials being produced, and other complications that may arise when tackling repair on paint grade and other current styles.  

If you don't plan on putting your kitchen through heavy use, or spending much time using it, go white. White or any of the solid colors look great when they are first completed. 

Making sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured will protect you both if an issue ever arises

These days, with everyone trying to save a few bucks, Oregon has been experiencing more and more disputes with home owners and contractors or handymen and women who solicit work on your home with out the proper skills, certifications, or insurance coverage. The process of getting set up to be a licensed contractor is not particularly difficult, time consuming, or even expensive as far as starting a business goes, yet when adding things up sometimes costs are cut in the wrong places. When ever considering a new home project or repair, a home owner should ask to see business' or individuals contractors license number. The contractors license number is their registration with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. This will help not only if their is a dispute that may arise, but also in making sure your selection is a wise one. With out a current bond or insurance policy, a contractors license will be in suspension or inactive status until the Board receives proof of current coverage and deems the individual or company to be in compliance with the regulations set to protect your project and most often, most sacred financial investment, your home.  If as a home owner you choose to go with an unlicensed contractor, you will have no warranty on any work performed on your home and will be left with no other option than a threat or civil court. A residential bond on the other hand, which your contractor needs to pay for and provide use of in case of an "oops" or failed material will be released to you with the help of the Oregon CCB to quickly remedy your issue if the contractor or handy person can not make the situation right themselves. 

Protect your home and your family, check with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board to verify your contractor is some one who has the legal right to be there before you sign anything or give consent for work to begin.