GKing Construction

Interior, Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Contractor


October 20, 2017

5 TIPS TO SAVE MONEY WHEN REMODELING

Saving money when remodeling is often one of the biggest wishes you will have. Nobody can say remodeling is cheap, but you can definitely make it cost less and still look good. Below are 5 tips from GKing Construction on how you can save big when remodeling your home.

 

Tip #1 – Buy materials yourself

Buying materials yourself is a great way to save money when remodeling your home, even if you can’t find them cheaper than your contractor. Why? Because your contractor will mark up materials on his estimate. Yes, its true! Contractors often take the entire bid price and mark it up 10 to 15%, by having him exclude materials from the bid you can save quite a lot of money from the get go.

 

Tip #2 – Shop Online

You can often find materials for your project such as faucets, towel bar sets, shower enclosures, and many many more items a lot cheaper than in your local big box retailer. By saving with online purchases coupled with having the materials removed from the bid, you can save quite a lot of money. Amazon is a great place to find cheap fixtures for your home at a discount. By shopping online you can save a lot of money when remodeling your home and you can find a lot of cool items you wont see in your local big box retailer.

 

Tip #3 – Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you consider starting any project make sure you know exactly what you want. If you need help with planning, make it clear to your contractor beforehand and only let the project begin when you both fully understand what you want and how it should look, as well as having all the materials you plan to use on site and ready to be installed. By planning ahead it will ensure you have a clear plan to be executed by your hired help efficiently. If your contractor knows that the job will run smoothly, knows you are workable and easy to please you will get a better price and your contractor wont feel the need to add as big of a cushion for ‘unknowns’. Another big way to save money remodeling your home

 

Tip #4 – Compare bids

Contractor estimate to SAVE MONEY WHEN REMODELING

Contractor estimate

As you will read a lot, seek estimates from at least 3 different contractors. The key is to let it be known that you are seeking multiple bids, this way the contractors know its a competitive bid. By having a contractor submit a competitive bid you will almost always get a lower price. Another benefit of having multiple bids is you can see the style each contractor uses, and see if any contractor missed anything in the bid. By having multiple bids you can choose which contractor has the lowest or medium range price and save money when remodeling your home.

Tip #5 – Use a General Contractor

This may not seem the most obvious tip, but we are often called into projects where a homeowner has pieced together a project on their own. Most of the time, this is after many problems and headaches during the course of the project and the homeowner has finally had enough and wants to have someone to come in and ‘just get it finished’. By hiring a general contractor such as GKing Construction you don’t have to worry about finding a tile guy, a countertop guy, a drywaller, a laborer, etc. That is handled for you and your contractor will have already used his guys on many projects – meaning the people he uses will be high quality. Installation will be done correctly, and you will save on wasted time and materials in the long run meanwhile having a higher quality finished product. Not only that, but if things get really bad, your contractor will have insurance, bonds, workers compensation, and will be bound by law to certain things in your favor that will definitely help you save money when remodeling your home.

October 17, 2017

Provide Rehabs, Flips & Renovation Services

forclosure remodeling and renovation

GKing Construction enjoys working with other businesses, realtors, and homeowners to complete home repairs on distressed properties. From fixing up a rental property to rebuilding a burned home, we consistently outperform other contractors in this area. Every year, we complete many home renovations, rehabs, remodels or flips and are one of the most consistent contractors out there specializing in that particular niche.

 

 

forclosure renovation

 

When budget conscious property owners need quick, cheap work to bring a property back to the market fast we will

always stick to our budget while at the same time bringing high quality work to the table.. We have a rich lineup of subcontractors that are tested and proven to exceed expectations and you can count on us to get your property listed ASAP.

Fixing up distressed properties is one of the most rewarding niches in home remodeling and renovation, we love it because we get to turn some of worst homes into the nicest one on the street, and that feels good.

 

If you are a realtor, investor, or landlord looking for repair or remodeling work on your property give us a call and we can discuss putting together an estimate for your project.

October 17, 2017

SORTING THROUGH KITCHEN COUNTERTOP CHOICES: QUARTZ, QUARTZITE, LAMINATE AND METAL COUNTERTOPS

kitchen remodel with new kitchen countertops

Four different kitchen countertop materials were selected for this project for practical and aesthetic reasons. They include quartz, quartzite, metal, and laminate.

With manufacturing technology constantly developing and improving, kitchen countertop choices have exploded in recent years, often creating confusion for the consumer. The sheer number of materials available — even for modest remodeling projects — can be overwhelming to take in all at once.

In this blog post, I will discuss some of the major materials selections in kitchen countertops, and provide a case study for Quartz, Quartzite, Laminate, and Metal Countertops.

 

Quartz:

kitchen countertop and cook top

Above: Quartz counters used on the perimeter counters of the kitchen and work surfaces in the pantry.

Quartz, often referred to as “engineered” or “manufactured” stone, is a very durable, low maintenance material ideal for kitchen countertops — for example, on perimeter counters and actively used pantry counters.

Quartz is one of the hardest minerals on earth. Mixing ground quartz (usually 90–94%) with polyester resins and compressing with high-pressure results in a nonporous slab that is very stain and scratch resistant. Unlike natural stone, it does not require periodic sealing.

The colors and pattern varieties are now vast in quartz. The first introductions tended to lack the patterns and colors found in natural stone. Today manufacturers have the ability to produce multi-colored tops with flecks, swirling, and random patterning to rival natural stone. Even flecks of mica and recycled glass are added to replicate that found in natural stones.

Quartzite (How are Quartz and Quartzite different?):

bar top

Above: White Macaubas Quartzite on the island top appears to be marble but is a much harder and easy care counter than marble.

Though the names can be confusing, in the world of countertops, quartzite and quartz are two different things. Quartzite is “nature-made,” whereas quartz is created through a fusion of nature and technology.

Quartzite begins as sandstone. A transformation occurs when the empty spaces between the sandstone are filled with the mineral quartz, then fused together under heat and pressure resulting in a very hard metamorphic rock. On the Mohs scale of hardness (from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest), granite measures in at around 6-6.5 and quartzite measures in at approximately 7.

With light grey and white stones being popular stylistic choices for kitchen countertops now, quartzite offers a multitude of optimal materials to use. Many selections ranging from grey and whites to golden tones and browns are available.

countertopsMetal Tops:

metal countertops

Above: Aluminum top on a worktable in the kitchen.

When you’re looking for that special, unique touch for your kitchen countertop material and not worried too much about care, metal tops can fit the bill. Here, the top for the worktable was made of aluminum and distressed with a copper drip.  Many unique looks are available ranging from copper to various distressed finishes. Expect some etching and staining as the metal is a “living finish” and changes over time — like a shiny copper that patinas to a greenish cast.

Stainless steel is another great kitchen countertop choice for durability, hardness, stain and heat resistance. Sinks can be seamed for a one piece sink and counter, and no-drip edges and coved backsplashes are all possibilities. Fair warning, however: stainless will scratch.

Plastic Laminate:

Often called by the brand name Formica, high-pressure laminate countertops offer a cost effective counter with a vast array of colors, wood grains, abstracts, textures, and patterns available. Many kitchen countertop choices for low end homes use formica.

formica tops

 

 Laminate posing as maple plank tops offers a rich and warm look to this country pantry.

I always jump on the chance to tour any factory and certainly did when the opportunity arose to see how plastic laminates are made. High-pressure laminates consist of paper, the top layer being the color and pattern, with a layer of melamine impregnated into the top. Imagine a stack of brown paper bag-type paper, approximately 10–12” high, with a colorful top layer pressed through a machine to approximately 1/8” thickness.

With high definition photography and improved printing technology in use today, many laminates look like the real thing — putting wood, granite, metal or stone textures into play at a more affordable price point.

Laminates are prone to scratching, staining and chipping. Many people love the idea of laminate until they learn that under-mount sinks are not recommended. (Water penetration will eventually cause swelling and delamination.) Laminate is best reserved for vertical surfaces or low use areas such as the desk and pantry in the Country home at right.

home before addition

Before addition.

COUNTRY HOME

Goal: The clients built their original 1,850 sq. ft. Northwest Contemporary-style home in 1974, on property that had been in their family for over 100 years. As time went by, the clients’ tastes changed to a more comfortable Country style; décor reflecting a love of the outdoors, gardening, and a country lifestyle quickly filled their home.

When we first met to discuss a new addition, the homeowners had a well-developed list of needs but no idea how to accomplish their goals. The list included:

– Create a Country-style home from a 1974 Northwest Contemporary-style home
– Attractive, warm, and welcoming for family
– Easier driveway access than current steep and short driveway with increased parking area
– Gain a view of the yard and valley
– Open layout with enlarged kitchen, family room and dining room for entertaining
– Walk-in pantry
– Kitchen desk
– Breakfast nook
– More light
– Wraparound porch
– Outdoor living space
– Improve traffic flow throughout the home

 

home after addition

After remodel.

home with addition

After remodel.

Solution: A 940 sq. ft. addition changed the orientation of the home toward the south, making access easier and gaining an interaction with the yard.

The kitchen and wrap around porch overlook the valley to the northwest and the additional space allowed the wish list to be completed.

Additional light pours into the home through window well/dormers in the roof and breaks up the mass of the roof. All surfaces inside and out were touched with fresh paint, floors were refinished, new interior trims and stair railings installed, wraparound porch and outside patio added, and the chimney was widened and covered in stone.

 

new addition

After remodel.

interior photo of remodel

Above: Dormers create space for light to flow into the new addition.

MORE DESIGN TIPS FROM THIS PROJECT

kitchen cabinet knife rack

Knives are handy beside the cook top in a narrow pull-out cabinet.

kitchen cabinet drawer

Located next to the door leading to the patio this drawer refrigerator provides easy access to drinks for entertaining.

 

If you are interested in getting new kitchen cabinets or countertops give GKing Construction a call to discuss options.

October 16, 2017

Creating an open kitchen layout

Opening up your kitchen can be one of the most rewarding things you can do to your home. Closed-off kitchens were a design of the past and an open kitchen with islands are the new thing these last few years. Some of the benifites of kitchen remodeling is that it can significantly increase the resale value of your home, much of the cost of the kitchen remodel can be recovered when the home is eventually sold, and homes with remodeled kitchens sell faster than similar homes that are original.

Pictured below in this Martinez, ca kitchen remodel is the kitchen wall before we removed it. This was actually a load bearing wall, and a 4×14 glulam was put in place to support the ceiling joists.

GKing Construction did extensive remodeling at this property! We changed the window sizing, rewired the entire kitchen. textured the entire home, increased the kitchen drain sizing and relocated it, installed recessed lighting, installed new cabinets, granite, and flooring and baseboard throughout and did two bathroom remodels as well as a whole lot of dry rot repair.

After we were finished, the kitchen turned out beautiful. Not only the kitchen, but the entire home since this was a full on whole house remodel. It was listed and sold immediately.

Yes, almost unbelievable but this is the same house.

October 03, 2017

Top Five Tips in Selecting a Remodeling Contractor

Considering a home remodel? Not sure where to start.

We often get asked what are the most important qualities to look for when selecting a general contractor. After thinking long and hard, we have compiled a list of helpful tips we think are CRITICAL to ensure the right fit and have a great experience.

  1.  Experience/Reputation and Reviews- We can’t stress this one enough, Do Your Homework! Ensure they have similar experience working on projects similar size and scope of your remodel and ask to speak to former clients of theres. If the contractor isn’t willing to provide that, it’s a Big Red Flag.  The Internet is your Best Friend! Client satisfaction and a quality experience come through in reviews. Many sites like Angie’s List, Houzz and Yelp are good resources to verify your contractor has a solid reputation and past work history.
  1. Make Sure Your Contractor is Licensed, Bonded, Insured and belongs and is active in trade associations. – A contractor with a license and insurance demonstrates credibility and knowledge and minimizes the risk to a homeowner. A licensed contractor reduces the chance of a homeowner getting ripped off. In Arizona alone the state licensing board gets over 12,000 contractor complaints a year. Take a quick moment and verify the contractor your considering not only has a license but doesn’t have any complaints.  A contractor who is active in the building industry whether it be though NAHB, BBB, NARI or local building associationsshow they care about their community and reputation.
  1. Go with Someone You Trust  – Meeting your contractor face-to-face is important to ensure there is a trust level and you have a good feeling that they will be a fit with your job and expectations. If you get an uneasy feeling about them, it’s probably for a good reason so reconsider moving forward with them for your project.  Listening… we know this is a lost art. However, we think this is one of the most important qualities. Does your contractor ask you questions and listen to YOU? We know from experience that all projects are a little different and clients have different things that are important to them. In order for you to have a Great Experience you need a contractor that can listen and understand what is important to you.
  1. Detailed Scope of Work/Contract – A successful project starts with a Clear Goaland a well-defined scope of work. This really helps clearly define what you can expect out of the contract. It’s OK if you don’t have this written out but know you will need to spend the time with your contractor to have this important piece created. The Scope of Work is a formal document that describes the work activities, deliverables, timelines, milestones, pricing, quality requirements and terms and conditions.   The contract sets the expectations upfront and saves the homeowner from the always Dreaded Unexpected Surprises.
  1. Know What You Want – Spend some time before selecting a contractor on what your goals are of the project. Are you looking for a small scale or larger scale remodel? Research the type of Look and Feel you are trying to achieve and determine upfront before you meet with a general contractor what your needs are. The resources we recommend are Houzz, Pinterest and Magazines. They have hundreds of thousands of photos and you know what they say…. “A picture tells a thousand words.”
September 04, 2017

Interior remodeling with kitchen and bath remodel

Kitchen remodel

We fully remodeled this 800 sqft entire home in only 2 months. In order to remodel this property we had to do a LOT of work.

First we Demoed the original lath and plaster. Next we framed the house to the clients specifications which were to convert the home into a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom house. During the course of demo we discovered lots of termite damage on the rear wall from the foundation sill to the bottom of the wall studs. We replaced all of the damaged wood members and rebuilt the back wall.

Next we Framed in 5′ closets, two bathrooms, new doorways, a closet for stackable washers. We removed the galvanized water supply pipes and drains and plumbed it all up with new ABS & pex plumbing to the main just outside of the house.

All of the changes needed electrical upgrades as well, so we removed the old mixture of mc cable and knob and tube. Installed a new electric panel, all new wiring & fixtures.

We then hung new sheetrock, taped and textured the entire house with orange peel texture, Installed new laminate flooring, cabinets, quartz countertops, 2 panel doors and all new trim work throughout the house.

All-in-All, this was a major project involving a full kitchen remodel and two bathroom remodel that took around 2 months to complete.

February 18, 2017

Hercules Interior remodel project

We fully remodeled this once run down home into a beautiful house. We redesigned and relocated the kitchen, the rear windows and sliding glass doors and in the master bathroom remodel portion of the project we redesigned the master bathroom and closet layout, turning it into a walk-in closet.

Some of the things we did are:

  • Relocated kitchen to new area – Full kitchen remodel.
  • New finish electrical throughout (switches/plugs/fixtures)
  • All new wiring in the kitchen
  • All new plumbing in the kitchen
  • New furnace
  • New retrofit windows, with a mixture of nail fin windows on stucco area’s
  • Re-Stucco the back of the house from all the patches everywhere
  • Re-Frame the master bathroom so it has a walk-in closet and enclosed toilet
  • Two full bath remodels with new vanities, fixtures, tubs, and floor and wall tile.
  • We cleared the pest inspection and home inspection for the client.
  • New interior/exterior doors and baseboard throughout.
  • New laminate flooring throughout.
  • Reframed front entry to fit a 8′ door with sidelights.
  • Removed accoustic ceiling texture and retextured the ceiling
  • We installed about 30 sheets of rock and retextured all the areas that needed it