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Kitchen Countertop Replacement – The Value Home Renovation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Most homeowners when queried about home renovation priorities will state their preference for either remodeling the kitchen or bathroom. The professionals at Kenneth C Lewis Cabinet Refinishing and real estate professionals alike know that the kitchen and the bathroom make the biggest impression on buyers.  House presenters also know that making simple changes to either area can add much needed value to a seller's price.

If you are going to modify the kitchen, and you cannot do it all, start with the countertops. This will give you the most valued return on investment.  Countertops come in a variety of materials, including laminate, solid surface, quartz, and natural stone. Make a simple and honest assessment of your kitchen.  If you think your countertops look old or drab, those who visit your home think the same thing.  Realize that replacing countertops does more than simply give a new look and feel to your counters.  Your new countertops will flow with the cupboards, floor, and appliances.
 
Countertop remodeling is a bigger chore than most people realize. Typically, this involves the removal of the existing surface, disposal of old items, plumbing disconnect and reconnection, electrical work, color selection, sink and faucet selection, and more depending on the scope of your project. Is the thought of leaving this to the pros a welcome one?

For most people, the idea of new kitchen countertops is an exciting idea. They can spruce up a home, giving it the attractive feel of a new dwelling. This does not even have to be an exotic material, since any change will bring about a sense of anticipation and newness.  Let's plan it together.

What It Means To Earn An "A+" Rating From The Better Business Bureau

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 08, 2010

We thought we'd take a moment to discuss how Kenneth C. Lewis is viewed in the eyes of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  Maybe you've noticed the new BBB logo on our home page. We are very proud to display that logo and the associated A+ evaluation of our business. Below we'll share with you what the BBB does, and what it means to earn their respect,  and why it leaves no doubt why you should choose us for your kitchen and other home renovation needs.

The BBB deals with a wide assortment of industries with cabinet and countertop refinishing being just one of many. They pride themselves on being an unbiased ethical agency and their long history of truly trusted business practices has empowered that pride. We carry that same pride in our quality of service in part due to our uninterrupted qualification for the BBB seal of approval. We are contractually obligated to uphold the BBB's "Standards for Trust" and we also agree to prioritize and resolve complaints that are filed against them with the BBB. This sets us apart from other businesses. Non-BBB business is not required to be ethical or resolve complaints. We have zero BBB complaints which is just one of the contributing circumstances to our achieving the highest rating from the BBB.

When evaluating a business, BBB looks at many different factors.   Being accredited doesn't guarantee that a business earns the top grade of "A+". In fact, there are many businesses out there that treat customers well but do not rate near the perfect grade. Good business often get "C" ratings and below.   You need to realize that "A+" earners have demonstrated to the BBB that we go above and beyond in quality and service. There are close to half-a-million accredited businesses in North America with a fraction of those rated A+.
 
When you contract with us for counter top, cabinets, or any other refinishing service, you will see the same quality of service reflected in our A+ rating from the BBB. If you'd like to see the exact factors we were judged against by the BBB, navigate to and read the BBB review ratings page and know that we guarantee you the same quality of service that we've demonstrated to earn their trust.  Of course, call anytime to learn more about what we can do for you.  

How Much Overhang Can You Design Into Your Counter-Tops

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In general, people seek the maximum amount of kitchen countertop overhang possible without the assist of additional support mechanisms.  How much overhang can I have without additional support? The answer is of course, "It depends".  It depends on a calculation that considers stone rigidity and the percentage of the total counter that is "cantilevered" or independently supported. In general, the maximum overhang length will vary between 12 and 16-inches.  Our kitchen countertop service is one of the most accomplished and most respected  across RI and MA.

For overhang, 12-inches is the general rule for overhang.  It could be less when using soft stone such as Onyx.  For Granite, the most popular choice in counter tops,  the answer is up to 12 inches providing 2/3 or more is cantilevered to offset the unsupported weight.  For the other materials (Corian, Cambria Quartz, etc) the considerations are many and too detailed to discuss here.  That is why it is critical for you to consult a professional kitchen design team like Kenneth C. Lewis.  You are embarking upon some complex design engineering decision making...don't do this alone. 
 
You can add significant overhang space by integrating a supported design.  The use of Corbels or legs to support additional overhangs of course have both pros and cons.  They are:

  • Corbels- Visible but decorative
  • Brackets- Inexpensive and effective, installed properly works better on wall tops than upon cabinets themselves.
  • Legs -Visible, decorative but in the way of chairs and peoples legs.
  • Support brackets- Hidden and concealed but offers great support. They must be installed before the granite and cut into the cabinet itself. They are specifically designed for this challenge.

Think about the worst case scenario such as someone deciding to jump up and sit on your counter-top. Then ask yourself, "would that be safe"?  Would you or your spouse forget about max supported weight and step up on the unsupported  counter to change a light bulb?  So your unsupported counter tops should be designed to support human weight.  Think of your heaviest relative...there's your target support weight.  You can trust Kenneth C. Lewis to make that happen for you.....no matter how big your husband's brother is.

Expert Counter-top Refinishing

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 23, 2010
In this post we'd like to shed some light on counter-top refinishing, which some people may not even be aware of. Counter-top refinishing is a process of repairing and restoring an existing kitchen counter or bathroom vanity to extend its functional life, without replacement. The process involves the application of a very hard and durable acrylic coating to the existing counter. But counter-top refinishing isn't just for counter-tops, it works equally well on bathroom vanities, laminate breakfast bars, and even cultured marble sink vanities.

Most all tile, cultured marble, Corian and other laminate counter-tops can be refinished. We mention Corian because Corian has been a popular countertenor brand that we sell, and has been widely used for a lot of our clients. Counter-top refinishing has been popular for years, but recent technological advances have made counter-top refinishing more durable, affordable and attractive to homeowners. So it becomes a more attractive option over replacing your counter-tops. Counter-top refinishing is almost always more affordable than replacing old and worn counter-tops, and especially custom counter-tops or large counters with curves and unique angles. After crunching some numbers we found that counter-top refinishing will typically save homeowners 30% to 50% over total replacement costs.

Refinishing is a great advantage to the alternative mainly because of the sentence above; refinishing can be up to if not over 50% savings compared to replacement. Equally important is avoiding the demolition mess associated with counter-top replacement and the days waiting for the new counter-top installation. A refinished counter-top can usually be returned to light duty within 24 - 36 hours. With our expert and professionalism you’ll have the kitchen you want in days, not weeks.

A refinished counter-top is durable and can extend the useful life of your counters for 10-15 years with basic care and maintenance. Counter-top finishes are available in dozens of colors and textures to fit almost any decorating plan. Take a look at some of the textures we have to offer and see how we can help to refinish your kitchen counter-tops today. We use only the best materials and procedures to give you a durable and attractive counter-top that you can be proud of for many years to come.

Kitchen Islands Are Functional and Offer Great Return On Investment

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do you need more preparation space in your kitchen? How about storage space? Strongly consider installing a kitchen island to increase property value, kitchen aesthetics, and functionality of your kitchen.

We specialize in kitchen island installation. Considering the fact that the kitchen ranks high in the most utilized space in any house, why not increase both the comfort and utility of that space?   Below is a compiled a list of the benefits of a kitchen island:

  • Even if you don’t have a kitchen the size of a basketball court, an island transforms transient space into workable and efficient areas. Storage areas for relevant appliance for each area will enhance the efficiency of the space.
  • If you need additional workspace, an island can provide it. You can choose a specialty top for the island (butcher block, stone or stainless steel) to make is especially useful for baking or chopping.
  • If you don't like the look of a traditional island, you can add extra space with a large table. Same concept, different form!
  • If members of your family like to eat in the kitchen, or if you love to talk to them while you cook, an island can add additional casual eating space.
  • If you need extra work surface in more than one area of the kitchen, an island can add flexibility and mobility with a movable space. An island on casters can be moved to whichever area you need - near the stove, near the sink, or out of the way!
  • If you lack a focal point or if you would like to take attention away from flaws elsewhere in your kitchen, an island is a perfect way to do so.
  • If your home has an open plan, an island can serve as the outside wall of the kitchen to give visual separation for the space.
  • If you need space for appliances or an extra sink, an island can be a perfect solution. You can add a small refrigerator, a cook top or an additional oven to enhance the usability of any island.
  • If you want to be able to keep an eye on the kids in the family room while you are preparing dinner, an island can separate rooms without blocking the view.
  • Of course, return on investment. Kitchen upgrades and remodeling consistently rank in the top 5 home improvement investments when measured by positive return on investment.
 
Contact Kenneth C. Lewis today for a professional assessment of what a new kitchen island can do for you.

Kenneth Lewis Is Ready To Roll For Northeast Cabinet Repair

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today was one of those truly rewarding days when a customer celebrates your work almost as much we did. We love what we do and that passion translates to an every increasing professional satisfaction.  

Our most recent kitchen remodeling effort transformed (it seemed) not only the kitchen itself, but the owners of the property.  I would not label these customers "tired and boring" like their kitchen cabinets, but at the end of the project, their new kitchen brought forth an enthusiasm for their home that was clearly lacking just days ago. They seemed almost as proud of this work as we were. The experience of improving our client's pride of home ownership makes every job a self-motivating and passionate experience. And yes we do much more than kitchen cabinets.

We recently reviewed our customer feedback forms and uncovered common themes such as  "Attention to detail", "Quality Materials", and "Professional". One great customer wrote that even our van shouts "professional". Click to read more about what our customers are saying, and while your out there, be sure to view the picture of one of our rigs that represent our brand and a rolling example of the best the Northeast has to offer in cabinet and general home repair.  

Many Cambria Quartz styles to pick from for your countertop

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Many Cambria Quartz styles to pick from for your countertop - see the Qaurry collection choices below:

Refinishing Your Cabinets Can Equal a Big Return on Investment

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 26, 2010
If you have cabinets built 20 to 30 years ago, chances are they are higher quality than what you can buy today. If your cabinets fit into this age bracket, they are square and plumb, it makes more sense for you to refinish and improve what you already have rather than spending big bucks starting from scratch. On the other hand, if you have rusty metal cabinets, cheap particle board cabinets, or have structural issues like unlevel floors causing your cabinets to warp, refinishing isn't a good idea and replacing might be your best option.

Refinishing your cabinets can have great return on your investment if you are planning to sell your house. You can make or break someone’s buying decision with your kitchen interior, and if you have a nice layout chances are they will be more interested in buying. Even if you aren’t about to sell your home, refinishing your cabinets is a great return on the aesthetics. Giving your home a new look makes it more clean and positive feeling. Refinishing cabinets isn't rocket science but it is tiring and dirty work. A lot of time and energy is spent on refinishing if you don’t know what you’re doing, so let the professionals at Kenneth C. Lewis take care of your cabinets. We can give you that fresh new look and save you money in the process.

Keeping Your Granite Countertop In Tip Top Condition

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Granite countertops are naturally resistant because of their naturally smooth and shiny surface. However, despite the tough exterior of granite countertops, they are sensitive to stains and scratches after prolong use. Here are some ways on how to care for your granite countertop and maintain its shiny and polished surface.

Clean granite countertops regularly. Your granite countertop has to be wiped down after each use. This is done not only for sanitation and hygienic purposes, but also to remove any leftover particles or substances that can scratch or stain it. The best cleaner that you can use is a simple solution of mild soap and water. Remember to rinse it with water to remove excess soap. Never use detergents, abrasive soaps, and rough sponges or scrubs to clean your granite countertop because they can cause scratches.

Seal granite countertops periodically. Sealing is a process of closing the granite pores to make them resistant to any type of absorption that can lead to moisture buildup and stains. Sealing also gives granite countertops their noticeable shine. We at Kenneth C. Lewis recommend having your granite countertop sealed once or twice a year, depending on how frequent you use it. However, if it is exposed to acidic or oily substances often, consider sealing it more than twice a year.

Use a chopping board or other alternative surfaces during food preparation. Using a chopping board to prepare food can protect your granite countertop from the cuts and scratches. Also, there are protective pads that you can stick under the blender, food processors, or other appliances. These pads do not only help you move around your appliances effortlessly they also protect your granite countertop from scratches and abrasions.

The New Trend In Countertops

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
New to the countertop market and put into the same category of natural stone is engineered quartz. Quartz is great by combining 93 percent of natural quartz with 7 percent resin to create a highly durable material that is twice as strong as granite. Just recently quartz has been marketed in North America but it has been in Europe for 15 years. Engineered quartz offers a countertop that is nonporous and stain resistant. The slabs being manufactured have uniform colors and patterns, making it easier for consumers to know that they will get what they want. Unlike granite, engineered quartz doesn't require a sealant, just a cleaning on a regular basis.
 
The only drawback with this type of countertop is that a hot pad is required when placing a hot pan on it, and it is as expensive as granite. However, the money invested is worth the quality, value, and the durability these countertops will have to offer. An option that some consumers take to save money is having the natural stone cut into pieces and placing them like tiles. Another affordable option is placing a slab over an existing countertop. Both natural stone and engineered quartz require the proper maintenance to avoid any discoloration, scratches, or other costly damages. Natural stone requires special sealants about every six months to a year. And always avoid acidic cleaners or solutions to prevent severe damage to the countertop

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36 Donahue Way
Stoughton,
MA 02072
Email: info@kennethclewis.com/a>
Phone: (877) 574-9195