West Chester Kitchen – Countertops

The biggest story in West Chester are the granite countertops!  The color they chose is called Typhoon Gold which has so much movement and character.  It’s really a beautiful top.


This is a look at the open wall as well as the “Bar” countertop.  The reason we call it a “Bar” countertop is because Beth raised it approximately 6″ above the normal kitchen counter height to 42″.  There is a small hole in the kitchen countertop by the wall; this is for the phone cord.  Our clients still wanted access to their home phone on the peninsula area, so Brian put an outlet in the cabinet beneath it and drilled a hole in the granite so all the cords and plug will be hidden.  It will keep a nice, clean countertop to show off that Typhoon Gold!

The sink they chose is a stainless steel, double bowl sink.  The left bowl is a little larger than the right and the faucet will go behind the right bowl.  Our client chose this sink and configuration based on the way she does her dishes.


The little white things lying on cardboard at the top, right-hand corner of this picture is the backsplash tile.  Brian lays all the tile out first, puts the sealer/color enhancer on it, then cuts each tile.

Brian started installing the backsplash tile right as I walked in to snap pictures. He draws on the drywall where he thinks accent tiles will look best.  Brian also tries to space them out to avoid any electrical outlets.


Unfortunately the pictures don’t do this granite justice.  Look at the movement and color variation!


The next step for Brian will be to install the rest of the backsplash tile and mantle over the fireplace.  The mantle hasn’t been delivered yet, but hopefully it comes in before the end of the week.  It’s all starting to come together!


Springboro Kitchen – Drywall

The next big installation that has taken place in this kitchen is drywall and plaster.  If you noticed in the “Before” pictures, there is a very unique texture to all the walls and ceiling throughout this home.  On the kitchen side of the room, all new drywall and plaster texture is being applied to the walls and ceiling.  The family room side just has patching where electric was added.


The bar area has all new drywall, but won’t be textured because it will be spanned with cabinets and backsplash tile.  There are three different colors of plaster you’re seeing on the ceiling.  The white is the existing, the light gray color was done the previous day and the dark gray was still drying because it had just been completed that morning.


When working in a room this large, our drywaller has lots of room to blend the existing ceiling with the new ceiling she’s texturing.  She’s able to float the ceiling, meaning add a little extra drywall mud and plaster, in order to blend the pattern from the existing ceiling to the new ceiling.


There are still a few areas that need to be hit, including around the window, the ceiling in the kitchen, and to the right of the entry to the back hallway.


It’s tough to picture what this room is going to look like with all the shades of plaster, drywall, and drywall mud.  When we check in in a few days, paint will be on the walls and the hardwood floor installation will be starting!

Centerville Lower Level – Paint and Doors

The Centerville Lower Level is almost complete!  Paint is on the walls, doors and trim have been installed.  It won’t be long now until our clients can move back in to their lower level.


As you can see by the miter saw and nail gun, Chad is still finishing the baseboard and door casing.  Baseboard is installed before carpeting and about a half inch from the sub floor.  The reason for this is so the carpet installers have enough room to tuck the carpet underneath the baseboard.  The baseboard, along with the tack strip, helps to hold the carpet in place.


The doors our clients chose are all nice 6-panel, solid core, stable doors.  The only doors that are not 6-panel are the doors to the storage/utility room and the laundry room.  These rooms need good air circulation and the louvered doors allows that to happen.


The bathroom vanity is something Chad is still working on as well.  The countertop, vanity doors, and faucet still have yet to be installed.  He ran into a bit of a problem because the faucet we helped our clients chose was too tall for the mirror/medicine cabinet to operate.  He couldn’t move the medicine cabinet up because then it would get in the way of the light fixture.  Chad came up with a couple of ideas to solve the problem, so we’ll check back in next week to see how he worked it out.

The carpeting is scheduled to be installed next week.  By that time, Chad will have the trim work and bathroom complete.  The shower door will be installed by then as well.  The shower door is measured after the shower base is put in place.  This is the only way they can get an accurate fit.  It takes several weeks for shower doors to be manufactured and is usually one of the last things to be installed in a bathroom this size.


The next time you see this lower level, Chad will have the space finished and ready for our clients to use.  The transformation is almost complete!

West Chester Kitchen – Finish Cabinets and Paint

Although it hasn’t been too long since the last time we were in West Chester, big changes have taken place.  The first big change is that the upper cabinets are in and the second change is the paint color in the family room!


The upper cabinets are not installed with the doors because it makes them that much heavier.  Our guys all install their cabinets by themselves.  It truly is amazing to see them holding a 36″ x 39″ cabinet in the air against the wall with one hand and screwing it into place on a level line with the other hand.  Then you throw in the difficulties with walls not being square and it can be a bit of a challenge.  The shims, again, are helping to keep them plum with each other.


The cabinets are held about 3″ down from the ceiling in order to give crown molding enough space to be installed.  Again, even the upper cabinets have to be level in order for the crown molding and back splash tile to look right.  Brian will normally draw on the wall exactly where he wants each cabinet so he can visually see the proper spacing while holding them up.

In this cabinet, you’ll see an outlet in the top left-hand corner.  This is for the low-voltage, LED, under-cabinet lighting to be installed later in the project.  This outlet will be linked to a switch on the wall so our clients can turn the under cabinet lights on from there.  They will also have remote control that will dim the lights as well as turn them on and off if they choose.


Our clients chose the light blue color in the family room, along with Beth’s help, to match and coordinate with some artwork that is very special to them.  Now that paint is complete in this room, Brian is ready to start doing finish carpentry and baseboard.

The fireplace tile has begun and the TV mount above has been installed.  The cutout underneath the TV mount is a spot for one of the speakers.  The other two speakers will be going on either side of the TV/fireplace.


The laundry room tile floor has been completely installed.  Brian has not grouted the floor yet, but will be doing that soon.  Most likely, he’ll be waiting until foot traffic coming in and out of the garage door is down to a minimum.  There will be less chance of getting dirty.


The surround sound speakers have also been installed in the ceiling in the front and back of the room.  They are flush with the ceiling and almost disappear.  This will be a great room for 3-D Action movies!


The next major change we’ll be looking forward to will be the granite countertops.  I’ve seen the actual slabs of granite they chose, and the color will absolutely blow your mind!  The granite has tons of movement and lots of character that will blend wonderfully with the cabinets and flooring.  I’m very, very excited (I know our clients are too)!

Springboro Kitchen Project

Although Randy had a bit of a slow-down dealing with the load-bearing wall, the project is still moving along quite well.  Randy and Erich met with an Engineer who confirmed Randy’s assumption that they needed a triple LVL Beam to hold the upstairs load.  The picture on the right shows where the new LVL Beam was tied in to the existing framing.  The new beam consists of three 2″ x 9.5″ planks lined-up, glued, and nailed together running horizontally in the picture.  From now on, it will be much easier to photograph this space because it’s so open with the wall gone.


In the shot on the left, the triple LVL Beam is at the top of the picture.  It’s sitting on a post that is four 2″ x 4″s wide.  Randy buried the post behind drywall and created more framing in front because he still needed to run a return air duct from the basement to the main floor.  The drywall makes it easier to create a chase to put the duct in.  The vent is the metal rectangle at the top.  The shot on the right is where the custom-built bar will be.  Hot and cold water lines have been added as well as the waste line for the bar sink.


Rough electric took quite a while to finish in this large space because so many recessed cans were added to help lighten up the kitchen and family room.  As you can see, Randy had to drop the ceiling in the kitchen area because so much woodwork had consumed it previously.  He did not have to drop the ceiling in the family room area and was able to snake the wire through where he needed it.


The kitchen area looks empty now, but once the drywall and cabinets start to be installed, it will really take shape as a kitchen.


Now that rough electric and plumbing have been complete, drywall, paint and flooring will be the next main tasks over the next couple weeks.  The entire main level will be getting gorgeous new hardwood floors.  This kitchen will be one of a kind!


West Chester Kitchen – Cabinets

Now this is going to be a beautiful kitchen!  Brian has accomplished a lot since our last post.  Once our carpenters get moving on these types of projects, it’s tough to interrupt them.  Brian finished the drywall, moved right into painting, and refinishing the hardwood floors came immediately after that.


Brian has started to set the base cabinets in the kitchen because the countertop measurement is a very critical date.  It takes several weeks for granite countertops to be fabricated and to keep the project moving along, Brian had to get the base cabinets set first.


As you can see, the island has been removed completely and our flooring experts have weaved and blended new flooring with the old.  They sanded, stained, and refinished all the wood floors in the house so it looks as though it has always been that way. Brian takes great pride in protecting the work he’s completed so far.  This is why you see cardboard taped in place to the floor so he can protect them from cabinets, tools, appliances, etc.


The small strips of wood you see underneath the cabinets are called “shims”.  Brian uses these when the floor slopes to make sure all the cabinets are level.  If that does not happen, the countertop, backsplash tile, etc. won’t be level either.  For everything else to be installed correctly, it’s imperative the cabinets are all in one level line.


The beautiful new floors you see below are in the front entry.  Our Designer, Beth, put a lot of thought into the new stain of the floors.  She wanted to blend the floors with the existing wood work in the house as well as compliment the new, lighter, cabinet color.  She ended up choosing a Cinnamon color for the crown molding, which then blended with the floors.  This is going to tie the new kitchen in with the rest of the house.  It will be absolutely gorgeous.

The fireplace is completely framed and has been wired for the television and other audio/visual equipment.  The hearth has been eliminated and porcelain tile will replace the face frame.  The beautiful mantle our clients chose will be installed after the tile.

The next step for Brian will be installing the upper cabinets, countertop and fireplace tile.  This is the really exciting part of a project, when you start to see big changes and the rebuilding starting to take place.  Check back to see how the kitchen transforms again before your eyes!

Centerville Lower Level – Drywall

After the installation of drywall, this lower level is really starting to take shape.  We’re now able to visualize what a fantastic space this will be!  Recessed can lights have been installed, the floors have been cleaned of all the drywall dust, and paint is ready to be applied!

The storage room has been framed, drywalled, and doors are ready to be installed.  Anyone needing access to the water heater and furnace will have optimum space.          

The fireplace room has been cleaned up and the walls have been skimmed.  The term “skimming” means applying a very thin layer of drywall mud to any imperfections in the wall or where drywall sheets have been taped together and screwed to the wall.  This is done to make absolutely sure the wall is flat and prepped for paint.  Chad also skimmed the areas where the chair rail was removed.


The hallway to the laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom has been completed as well.  Chad framed in the doorway to the washer and dryer which is ready for a new door.  The new doorway into the bathroom is ready and will provide much easier access now that the traffic pattern doesn’t force you to enter through the bedroom.


The bathroom is now ready for flooring, vanity, toilet, and plumbing fixtures.


The electric panel has been upgraded with Arc Fault Protection, a much safer panel for our homeowners.


The column and stairs are also ready for finishing touches.


The next step for this project will be to paint throughout the entire lower level.  Then the electrical work will be completed, including the installation of energy-efficient LED light kits.  Chad will also be installing all of the doors and trim, and working on the bathroom.  Carpet will be the last item to be installed.  Check back soon to see the color our clients chose for the walls!  They are very excited to see things taking shape!