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Varmint's New Kitchen


Varmint
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Bloviatrix brings up a very good point. I have been involved for many years in very large scale contracting and incentives are used extensively. I am thinking of building that into my house contract. Basically, there is a premium available for the contractor if he finishes by a certain date. That can work to my advantage as there is the fact that I am paying for interim financing while the contractor does his thing. Then there are penalties if it drags on beyond a particular date. There are the usual caveats for weather etc. but the concept is there. You may not have to deal with too many caveats since this job will not be subject to weather and such. It is something to think about. I am continuingly appalled about how these kinds of jobs get stretched out when a little incentive contracting could prevent that.

You are so right! When I had my kitchen extended and remodeled I had both incentives and penalties included in the contract.

Of course I had spent months getting everything that was going into the kitchen, appliances, fixtures, cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc., and putting all of it in storage, except for the lumber/pipes/wiring provided by the builder, etc., but everything else was on hand when they started.

They finished a week early and got a substantial bonus which meant that the hourly workers got the wages they would have received had they worked the additional week plus extra.

They did a terrific job and cleaned up as they went so that there was no residual mess.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Note that it may not be reasonable to write in completion date incentives if the guy doesn't have the role of a GC. While you could do it for the work he is personally responsible for, the main problem is when the cabinet guy needs to wait for the countertop guy and he has to wait for the plummer (or whatever).

Which isn't to say I don't think they are a good idea. Quite the contrary, actually.

-john

You are correct if you do not have one guy in charge as in a GC. Then it doesn't work as well. You have to have someone responsible. That is why acting as the GC on your own house, for example, may be a bad idea. What you might save in paying for the services of a GC can get quickly eaten up by the interim financing charges. And that GC will probably have priority over the craftsmen needed to do the job. All I am saying is that you can build in incentives into any contract as long as you know who is responsible for what and build that in. The studies of the Construction Industry Institute continues to support the practice.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I am acting as GC for permitting purposes. Todd (the young guy) acts as GC for day-to-day operations, coordinating with the subs. I'm paying the subs directly, and I have 2 lined up. The electrician called with his quote minutes ago: $2,600. That's actually quite reasonable for the amount of rewiring that this kitchen requires (we're installing a new breaker box as the old one wouldn't pass code!).

So, plumbing is $1,600. Electric is $2,600. I haven't talked to the HVAC guy yet, but that shouldn't be much at all, as all we're doing is installing the hood and moving one floor vent. I may have him install another, as the kitchen needs it.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Have you considered putting performance guarantees into your contract to ensure the work gets done on time?

Isn't that standard? I'm not familiar with the inner workings of the remodel industry in the US, but for me at least, performance guarantees are de rigeur for any large job I do. It's just as much protection for me as it is for the client. After all, I have to pay my suppliers regardless of whether or not the client pays me :hmmm: .

The decision to act as your own GC is a tough one. Just be sure to schedule everything, and make sure Todd has a copy as well. Update daily. (It's a good thing you like this guy as you will be in each others' gaces for the next few weeks.) The kitchen is very "critical path" sensitive (second only to the bathroom) so you need to know when/if bottlenecks can occur ... or should I say will occur. :rolleyes:

A.

ps. When's the kitchen-warming party?

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I am acting as GC for permitting purposes.  Todd (the young guy) acts as GC for day-to-day operations, coordinating with the subs.  I'm paying the subs directly, and I have 2 lined up. 

Isn't this kind of sending mixed messages? Why not just say you are the GC and Todd is you primary sub or something like that?

-john

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OK, it's a semantics issue. Let me recharacterize it as follows: I'm the GC, and Todd is my foreman! I'm still relying on him to handle the day-to-day affairs, but I'm in charge of the decision-making process.

Better?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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OK, it's a semantics issue.  Let me recharacterize it as follows: I'm the GC, and Todd is my foreman!  I'm still relying on him to handle the day-to-day affairs, but I'm in charge of the decision-making process.

Better?

Now you sound like a general contractor!! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

A.

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OK, it's a semantics issue.  Let me recharacterize it as follows: I'm the GC, and Todd is my foreman!  I'm still relying on him to handle the day-to-day affairs, but I'm in charge of the decision-making process.

Better?

I understand I'm being nit-picky, but I suspect things will work a bit better if all the subs are clear about the roles, esp. you and Todd! :-)

(And, yes; better!) :-)

-john

Edited by JohnN (log)
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I have a question about doors. It appears that cabinet makers make their slab doors in one of two ways: when they use solid wood, they glue together several panels, creating a "batten" that prevents warping. You end up with a very solid wood door, but instead of a uniform front, you get several "strips" of grain.

The second option is to use plywood that is covered with veneer. This way, the grain on the front of the door is uniform.

Here's an example of a flush batten door.

Now, I'm not willing to go with anything but slab, so I have this choice to make. I like the look of uniform grain, but I'm somewhat reluctant to choose the veneer/plywood combination.

What are y'all's thoughts?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I have a question about doors.  It appears that cabinet makers make their slab doors in one of two ways: when they use solid wood, they glue together several panels, creating a "batten" that prevents warping.  You end up with a very solid wood door, but instead of a uniform front, you get several "strips" of grain.

The second option is to use plywood that is covered with veneer.  This way, the grain on the front of the door is uniform.

<SNIP>

What are y'all's thoughts?

What sort of wood are you considering? And what colour?

A.

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If it's high end woodwork some attempt will be made to match the grain in a slab door. Your picture shows low end quality with the mixing of the grain. You can get lumber core plywood that gives the best of both worlds. Plywood is more stable.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Please expand on your thoughts. I feel that I'm heading in a direction towards inferior cabinets, but in my price range, that might be what I'm able to get.

Realize, when it comes to wood knowledge, on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 behind totally ignorant), I'm now up to a 3, tops.

FYI, I did receive a sample flush batten door, and it is very heavy, but the grain is not at all matched.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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If it's a light colour, the difference in grain may not be very noticable. I just took a look at my kitchen cabinet doors which are solid wood, cherry in colour. While there are some discrepancies, they only serve to give the whole kitchen character. When working with wood, no two grains will be the same and that's part of the beauty of wood. Plywood and veneer look like well, plywood and veneer.

I'd rather have a solid door with a few character grains.

edited to add: it will also depend on the style of your cabinet door. If the style is broken up (mine for example is kinda like vertical slats), the difference in grain will hardly be noticable. In a wide expanse, I'd expect to see more of it.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Please expand on your thoughts.  I feel that I'm heading in a direction towards inferior cabinets, but in my price range, that might be what I'm able to get.

Realize, when it comes to wood knowledge, on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 behind totally ignorant), I'm now up to a 3, tops.

FYI, I did receive a sample flush batten door, and it is very heavy, but the grain is not at all matched.

That would concern me, because as winesonoma says, in a quality cabinet, there will be a significant attempt to match or at least harmonize the grains.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The cabinet maker did tell me that he was sending me a sample with the most pronounced difference in grain that he could find. He did a good job. Geesh, this is starting to concern me. I'll talk to him tomorrow.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I would also rather have a solid wood cabinet front. And I also agree that the picture you show has a relatively poor grain matching but grain matching is difficult and expensive.

The look of a continuous grain that you get with a veneered door seems a bit fake to my eye. I certainly understand that solid door and drawer fronts are not within everyone's price range, but in those cases, I prefer colored laminates or paint-grade cabinets of a species like poplar (I know, most folks don't agree with me).

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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You might also ask your cabinetmaker what "maple" he is using. Onscreen the grain character comes across as oak. He may be using soft maple or tupelo (a gum actually). White hard maple is more expensive but has fewer color variations for the finishing guy to deal with. Also I would talk to the person who will be finishing the cabinets to see what his ideas are, many times this is not the cabinetmaker.

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Check out the custom doors available from this place:

Rockler

Perhaps you should also consider plywood, in particular marine plywood.

Fine marine plywood is strong, handsome and can be stained any color from pale blonde to deep walnut and can be trimmed on the raw edges with all types of molding from plain to fancy.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Check out the custom doors available from this place:

Rockler

Perhaps you should also consider plywood, in particular marine plywood.

Fine marine plywood is strong, handsome and can be stained any color from pale blonde to deep walnut and can be trimmed on the raw edges with all types of molding from plain to fancy.

Veneered trupan mdf with solid wood edging is also an option. Very stable, but veneer still is not solid wood. More info. http://www.schallerhardwood.com/new_page_2.htm :biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I have had solid wood doors, and will never have them again.

The doors in the overcounter cabinets on either side of the sink and the door in the undercounter cabinet next to the dishwasher warped, cracks developed between the boards and the doors would not close all the way.

The drawer fronts also warped in a couple of places.

These were supposed to be top quality cabinets, we paid a great deal for them from a kitchen design company and I was very disappointed with them. We replaced them with plywood doors which were painted to match one of the tile colors on the wall. They remained in excellent condition, closed with a solid "thud" instead of the clatter of the solid wood (plank) doors and were altogether much better.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thinking back on it . . . I have never had solid wood cabinet doors in a house I have built. Now I remember why. The ex-inlaws built a very expensive house in New Orleans. She had to have these solid cherry (I think) cabinet doors. They had the same problem that andiesenji reports. They ended up having to call the cabinet maker back in but I don't remember what he did to stabilize them. He may have replaced them with a plywood veneer or something. (I wasn't paying much attention as the MIL was the most annoying woman in New Orleans when things weren't going her way and I tuned her out. :laugh: ) Then we moved into a rental duplex that had solid pine plank doors. Even though they were quite old, they still "squirmed around" with changes in humidity. The doors would close fine one day and not the next. Even though we had air conditioning, it wasn't very predictable at dehumidifying.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I've had pretty good luck with wood, but in a different style. In a panel door, the panel is supposed to float in the frame (no glue) and the frame helps stabalize the panel. Also, the pannel should be made with alternating grain directions. For example:

\__/ /---\ \__/

Note this alternating pattern is going to highlight the contrast of the individual boards. All my cabinets are built in this style. (You can see them close up in my remodel gallery. I'm not worried about them warping, but I did visit the cabinet maker in his shop and got good warm fuzzies about his work. Of course I could be wrong! :-) You an also see the exterior doors as described below in the photos as well as four panel interior doors.)

The wood is going to need to be very well dried before you do this or it is going to warp.

Some high end solid entry doors are sawed out of a solid piece of wood and then glued back together like this:

[||||||||||||||||||]

[||||||||||||||||||]

I don't know if you can find this done for cabinet doors or not. Probably not so likely. I guess you could pull this off by request with a good cutom cabinet guy, but it is probably going to be expensive (and might not work for doors so thin). You probably get better bang for you buck having a custom guy carefully pick the wood.

The key to matching will be using all extra-extra select wood and then hand matching it. It will also depend on the type of wood and finish. As is pointed out here, while it does exist, it is more costly.

Most people don't find the variation in wood color so distasteful. To most this is part of the charm of wood. Certainly I think so. And I like wood! :-)

There is also a practical upside of solid wood, which is refinishing. While it is possible to refinish veneer doors, you have to be real careful (esp on the edges*) and you can't do it many times. Most good wood cabinets can last as long as you want.

In either case they need to be maintained. Once the finish wears through on either a veneer or a solid door, you need to re-finish. If you don't do that it is only a matter of time...

-john

* although in better thought out veneer doors (read, better quality), they try to use real wood at in the key locations.

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:laugh: ) Then we moved into a rental duplex that had solid pine plank doors. Even though they were quite old, they still "squirmed around" with changes in humidity. The doors would close fine one day and not the next. Even though we had air conditioning, it wasn't very predictable at dehumidifying.

Sounds like they weren't finished or the finish was wearing off. Pine isn't a great wood for this anyway and are prone to this kind of behavior, but theoretically it could be avoided by proper construction and finish.

-john

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