Find us on Google+

Archive for March, 2012

Kitchen Resurfacing

So, you are ready to revamp that kitchen and give it a new look. You have been paying close attention to your friends’ cabinet materials and hardware. You study the aesthetics of the kitchen on your favorite television show. You find yourself online looking at kitchen designer and cabinet supplier sites daily in the quest for the style you want. You have bookmarked way too many pages.

Your actions beg the question “What are you waiting for?” Your answer: “The money!”

Everyone knows that the first hurdle when deciding to remodel is figuring out how to afford it. You probably called a contractor you know to ask for a quote and were displeased that your dream kitchen was perhaps just a fantasy.

We at Ashbury understand this concern completely, and have dealt with lots of people in this situation. Although the quality work we do is less expensive than our competition, sometimes a full kitchen remodel is just too expensive, even when getting the best value through Ashbury.

The solution is what we in the industry call “resurfacing.” It means just what it sounds like: improving the surfaces of the kitchen. Now, there are different ways to go about this, depending upon what you want. For most people, the most basic resurfacing involves removing all existing doors and drawer fronts from your cabinets. Then, all visible cabinet surfaces are refinished with a high-quality laminated coat of the particular color you desire. Next, new doors, and perhaps drawer faces, are installed along with brand new hardware and hinges. This gives the kitchen a stunning new look. For many people on a budget, stopping here adds significant value to the kitchen without costing much at all.

For others, more surfaces need to be updated. This often includes counter tops, backsplashes, and sinks. Or, perhaps new flooring that accentuates the new cabinets is more important to you than countertops. One great thing about resurfacing is that you don’t have to do everything at once, like remodeling requires. You can pick and choose what you would like done. And, you can always do more later when you can afford to or when you are ready for more refreshing changes.

Another benefit of resurfacing is that it only restricts kitchen usage for a few days, whereas remodeling often takes weeks. It is tough to put a monetary value on your discomfort during a remodeling period, and people often forget about this cost when re-imagining their kitchen.

For those getting ready to sell, a resurfacing can be just as effective as remodeling. Resurfacing those dingy-looking cabinets, adding new paint or wallpaper to the walls, and even reflooring the room if necessary makes a big difference in the appearance. Even just a few basic upgrades can drastically improve the value. Just be sure to go with a classic design and, if possible, use high-quality materials.

When you work with Ashbury, you can be assured that your resurfacing project is completed with quality craftsmanship. We are an experienced contractor that can handle all kinds of kitchens, having completed over 500 kitchen remodels. If during the resurfacing it turns out that one of your existing cabinets is too worn, that is no problem. Our carpentry and custom cabinetry workshop can replace it with a matching cabinet of the same material without any issues or long waits. Let our experienced staff help you get a beautiful, new looking kitchen for a fraction of the cost of remodeling.

A Strong Foundation: Part Deux

Two small, back-to-back earthquakes shook San Francisco early this morning around 5:30am, the larger registering a 4.0 on the Richter scale. Many people were probably still sleeping, but we were awake here at Ashbury General Contracting and Engineering. Every time the ground quakes, our thoughts turn to how important a strong foundation is for those living in the Bay Area. While you may be preoccupied with what could fall from above and land on your head during the shaking, the destruction following a quake is often due to a poor foundation.

USGS seismologist David Schwartz told KGO-TV on Monday: “These earthquakes, these 4’s, are just an indication of ongoing activity, ongoing stress on the fault. They do nothing to relieve the likelihood of something larger happening.”

Something larger could mean many different things for a home with a bad foundation that needs foundation repair. Often, it is the lower story that fails, a phenomenon called racking. There could also be sliding (house slides off its foundation) and overturning (house lifts off its foundation). All these phenomena can have serious costs, both in dollars and lives.

Ashbury is an experienced foundation construction specialist, familiar with the various forms of structural retrofitting, such as bolting, cripple wall bracing, hold down bracketing, grade beam and moment frames, and all the rest of the foundation enhancing techniques out there. We work with engineers to determine what your house or business needs, and consistently provide it quicker and for less money than our competitors. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post on earthquakes and their impacts (Earthquakes and a Strong Foundation), we have invested heavily into owning the equipment necessary to utilize the most labor efficient processes to perform foundation work, which saves you time and money. Ashbury also utilizes shotcrete in the construction of foundations, which saves time in foundation pouring and increases PSI strength in concrete walls.

A proper foundation is designed to save lives, so take a look down at your foundation now so that you don’t need to look up for falling objects later.

For more information about other services Ashbury offers, please look at our Construction Services page.