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Contemporary Kitchen Remodel Washington DC Did Not Start Out That Way.

A classic colonial built in 1939 the year the great depression ended and World War II began. The average house in the US sold for $3,800.00 and you could probably get a complete kitchen remodeled for less than $500.00. In 2016 when the owners called Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths to begin discussing a kitchen and bathroom remodel the house was still a classic colonial now 77 years old. Similar to most 77 year old people the house’s bones were a bit creaky & cracked, the kitchen’s style and fashion were very yesteryear. The owner described being in the kitchen as being “sent to the kitchen” a secluded room with no real space for more than one person. She describe feeling alone. Abutting the kitchen on the west side was a breakfast nook that was really just a wide hallway to the rear door, basement door, small closet door and the door to the living room. You could describe it as a small room made of many doors leading elsewhere. Abutting the kitchen on the south side was the dining room with it’s own small door to the kitchen. The combination of rooms on this east side of the house was tight and boxy.

Kitchen & Bath Showroom Design Meeting

Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths senior kitchen designer Hamid Fadakar and the owner met in the showroom in the early summer to discuss remodeling aspirations, style and budget. The owners adamantly loved their house, loved the neighborhood (Wagshal’s Delicatessen was a block away what more could you want in a neighborhood! So good I have provided a link.), they hated the cramped kitchen, dining and breakfast rooms. They wanted an open floor plan and a contemporary kitchen. A clean uncluttered look, minimalistic. The showroom displays several huge kitchen 24′ by 20′ or more and several smaller kitchens along with several bathroom displays. The cabinetry shown is by five manufacturers Medallion Cabinetry, Design Craft Cabinets, Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Jay Rambo Cabinetry, Miralis Cabinets and Belmont Cabinetry. Most offer hundreds of door variations and finishes and cabinetry can be had in framed or frame-less. The owner honed in on Design Craft Cabinets, a frame-less full access cabinet, a flat panel door called Bella and a Reconstituted Heartwood Finish.

Kitchen Remodel American University Park DC

The next meeting was at the house for measurement and an assessment of infrastructure. Based upon conditions found a decision was made to have one of our construction crews come out to open up a few walls and the ceiling as soon as the project was retained. Hamid Fadakar is a meticulous and creative designer an enviable combination. He is an expert with our software Chief Architect. Our software is able to render a room or the entire house in almost photographic quality. You could say Hamid and Chief together are experts at turning the intangible; it does not exist, into the tangible; a series of photo’s of what could exist. Over the course of the next couple of weeks Hamid and the owners worked hard on the design and selection of materials.

I could not be happier. You have transformed my house & in many ways our life.

Small Kitchen Remodel greatly improved by Open Floor Plan

The carriage house was obviously once a house for horses and carriages. The neighbor also said it was many other things over her 80 years living next store, first as a child when here parents were alive. It was a Speakeasy in the 1920’s during prohibition. It may have been a Blacksmith’s house before that and a house of ill repute afterward. It was a mechanic’s house and garage. Makes sense small house large front yard.

More recently after the Washington DC home had been remodeled it was sold to a young couple from Illinois. An excerpt from the Realtors notes to the public reads; “Hit the must haves with 2 real BRs & a classic bath… newly updated kitchen. Dig the details, such as original claw foot tub, built-in book nook & back brick patio. Short stroll to Potomac Ave Metro, the Market or Barrack’s Row.” Then of course there were all the pretty pictures taken after the home was professionally staged.

What it should also have said was newly renovated first floor structure sitting in the dirt waiting to rot away. Original cracked second floor structure waiting to fall onto the first floor. Or perhaps renovated by Lips-Stick on a Pig Incorporated.

Soon after their purchase an email came to Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths from the new owner Dave “Hi there, we just recently closed on a home in SE Capitol Hill. We have had the opportunity to review some of your portfolio online, and wanted to reach out to contact you for availability and interest in taking on a new project. Our row home is just within the boundaries of the Washington DC Capitol Hill historic district. A two-bedroom, 1.5 baths. We are seeking your expertise in a renovation and re-imagining of the kitchen – dining space; a laundry – powder room all are on the first floor; and a complete transformation of the upstairs bathroom in our new DC home. We would love to have the opportunity to meet with you and discuss further, and would appreciate your experience advice on next steps.”

Design Process at Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths

Shortly thereafter we met in our bath & kitchen showroom for the first step in our bath & kitchen design process to discuss their budget, tastes and aspirations for the remodel. Our next meeting the second step was at Dave and Amanda’s house.

As I approached the house I thought ‘I bet there is no crawl space.” There was a row of soldier in the brick work just above the dirt. In masonry a “row of soldiers are a course “row” of bricks cut in half and turned short side out. It’s an Architectural element often under windows or a row denoting the start of a floor. If this was the start of the first floor it was mighty close to the ground. I thought this reminds me of our open floor plan kitchen and bath remodel on 4th St Capitol Hill SE (where the rear of the house had its joist sitting in the dirt since Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre). When Dave opened the door I had to step up 4″ at the threshold. There was an alarm going off in my head.

Dave gave me a tour of the house. Like so many houses in the District of Columbia “recently renovated” or not, it desperately needed to be designed and remodeled. As we stood around in the kitchen I asked Dave is there a crawl space? After he said no I think he was surprised when I said I thought we should put a camera through the floor and see what this kitchen is sitting on. I described a recent kitchen remodel 8 streets closer to the Capitol where we discovered the entire rear of the house had no footer; its foundation was two rows of brick in a trench with joist in beam pockets at ground level in touch with the dirt. Part of our remodel was to replace a rotted sub floor, after doing so we discovered all of the joists had rotted out of the beam pockets and with no sub floor to hold them up those not in a substantial amount of dirt simply tilted over or fell over completely. Dave’s eyes went wide… an Oh Sh.. moment.

Ryobi Phone Works Inspection Scope to investigate below the floor & behind the walls

A week later after the inspection camera below the floor revealed a joist sitting in the dirt, I could not tell much more than that. We agreed to open up the kitchen floor the size of a sheet of plywood. It was not a pretty sight. Whoever “recently renovated the house” had duplicated the position of the joist he obviously found in contact with the dirt. We were looking at fresh pine not pressure treated in direct contact with the ground. A termite party. Heck a termite all you can eat convention.

Our plans had changed. Dave and Amanda came to grips with the facts the entire first floor had to be replaced. You cannot put wood in direct contact with the ground certainly not wood which is not pressure treated and pressure treated wood should not be in direct contact with the ground either. We proposed a poured concrete slab foundation. All utilities; waste line, water supply, gas, and all electric not connect to a wall or a ceiling, such as the electric required in the kitchen island would have to be run and inspected by DCRA in its proper place before we poured the concrete slab. DCRA is the building permit and inspection department of the District of Columbia.

Home Resale System sometimes fails to protect home buyers

During the second or third day of demolition the other shoe dropped. Some of the second floor joist had been cut and sistered incorrectly, some were not sistered at all and were short of a supporting wall to transfer their load. The second floor would have sooner or later have been on the first floor. Dave and Amanda were disappointed and for the first time I was getting really mad. The home resale system Realtors and all their forms, title companies and all their forms, home inspectors and all their forms, appraisers with all their new mandates as well as the termite inspectors etc. had done a great job at shepherding through another sale for all concerned but had done a lousy job of protecting Dave & Amanda from and unscrupulous house flipper.

Luckily for Dave and Amanda, and the future purchaser of their house, they had the financial capacity to increase their budget to repair the damage and still move forward with the remodeling of their dc home.

Open Floor Plan Kitchen & Bath Remodel worth the wait done right

The happy news after running all the utilities and pouring the slab foundation, replacing all the cracked and short joists of the second floor, we got on with what became a really stunning open floor plan remodel of kitchen and living room. We also rebuilt, remodeled the powder room, utility room, staircase and upstairs bathroom as well as pointed and painted much of the outside brick work.

Home designers open floor plan details

The floor is ceramic a light or white gray pho-wood floor. We had to put down a product which was most compatible to a concrete floor. Although we water proofed the concrete with the same products we water proof entire bathrooms with we wanted a product on the concrete that would not be affected by even the hint of moisture.

The cabinetry is Medallion’s Design Craft frame-less which Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths has been a dealer of for a decade. We really like the entire line it’s a great value. The perimeter door style is Providence, species is maple and the finish is divinity white, the island is the same door style but cherry is the species and the finish is called appaloosa, a distressed gray stain. In the upstairs bathroom we also used Medallion but this time a more value oriented line Silverline species maple with an Avalon slab door in a Castle Rock Sheer finish a shade of gray which was a perfect match to the various shades of Carrara marbleused throughout the bathroom.

The perimeter counter-top and the island are a stunning Cambria Seagrove quartz top, upstairs we used MSI concrete. The back splash tile is  hand made Subway tile.

The appliances were Kitchen Aid. The hood actually was an important part of the entire design. Take a second look it is flush with the ceiling. If you think about it in a small house with an open floor plan and a center island cook top a hood hanging down and dominating the room would be a challenging design element. Especially for a tall client and Dave is over 6′ and Amanda is close an island hood would block the cooks view of everyone at the party, to everyone else in the room the cook is decapitated a headless hostess. The hood which we also used in Jonathan Zuck’s NW DC kitchen remodel is by a company called Best Range Hoods and the model is called Cirrus pronunciation: “Sear-rus”. Best’s description of their fantastic product “Today’s open-living concepts integrate rooms, and allow uninterrupted sight-lines within the living space and on to the world outside. Cirrus won’t get in the way. It is discrete, virtually out of sight, masquerading as a high tech lighting system.” I think says it best. Learn more about their cool hoods.

In both the bathroom upstairs and the powder room down stairs we used wall hung toilets to save space since the tank is in the wall cavity. Each was Kohlers Veil. The decorative plumbing in the bathroom was Danze Reef Mini Wide spreads and matching shower fixtures. The faucet in the kitchen was Danze Opulence a single handle pull down. Also in the kitchen we used a Whitehaven under mount cast iron farm sink and a Mountain garbage disposer called the perfect grind. A new  line which we are very happy to represent.

Out side of the kitchen the windows were JeldWen, the doors fiberglass ReliaBuilt and Larson security doors.

Bathroom Renovation Washington DC

A bathroom renovation is one of the most effective ways to increase or maintain the value of a home…provided its a high quality bathroom remodel. Sometimes the worst owner of a house is the last owner, especially if they had no passion for their kitchen & bathroom renovation efforts. Either may have been the case with a 2400 square foot row house in affluent Woodley Park Washington DC. The house is located on Klingle Road NW. Woodley Park has an interesting history it was originally part of a 250 acre purchase made by the Uncle of Francis Scott Key. Yes that fellow who wrote the Star Spangle Banner. Of course there have been quite a few owners since the house was built in 1923. So we might not be able to blame the quality of prior bathroom renovations on the last owner.

Washington DC Bathroom Renovations across the City

The house was recently purchased in 2013 by a young professional couple working in the Nation’s Capital. Like so many buyers in the District of Columbia over the last decade they purchased a house that had been generally neglected for 4 decades. All across the Washington DC and its suburbs those dated 1980’s and pre 1980’s old bathrooms have been or soon will be torn out and replaced with a modern 21st century style bathroom renovation in DC.

Design & Renovate Master Bathroom

Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths of Rockville MD a design build remodeling company was approached by the owner to design and renovate the master bathroom. Senior kitchen and bathroom designer Hamid Fadakar described the bathroom as “a dingy impractical space dominated by a soaking tub that basically soaked up all of the room. It was a bad remodel with shoddy workmanship.”
Hamid and the new owners tackled their bathroom renovation with great enthusiasm. The new bathroom design is layers of White Carrara Marble. The floor a classic Carrara and gray dot pattern over a Warmly Yours heated floor. The walls selected were MS International 12” by 24” slabs of Carrara marble laid horizontally with a tight grout line. Niches were added in the shower and a wall embellished with an Amba heated towel warmer. As the owner said “my baby simply loves being wrapped in a heated towel. It was a luxury but so worth it.” The shower was wrapped in a frameless glass doors. The vanity is a furniture piece within Dura Supreme Cabinetry Vanity Furniture offering. The counter top also Carrara was fabricated as banjo top covering the toilet and providing more counter top space. A large tri fold mirror was installed and then the abutting wall was mirrored to create very spacious feel with the reflection of all that marble. The decorative plumbing used in this beautiful bathroom renovation was Kohler Marguax.

Why not call or email today. Let’s get your project started!

Bethesda MD Small Bathroom Design Remodel

Harry Potter had to live below the steps at his Muggle Aunt and Uncles house. Kristine B has such a small bathroom that she has to shower above the steps. The house on Augusta Lane in Glen Mar Park in Bethesda MD was built in 1948. Harry Truman was running for a second term against Tom Dewey. We don’t know who the builder was but we know for sure he thought one bathroom was more than sufficient.

Bethesda Small Bathroom Design

Sometime in the 1950’s a bathroom remodeling contractor was hired to design a master bathroom for this Bethesda home. He was a creative fellow. There was only one place it could be and that was in the master bedroom closet above the entry foyer. The foyer is very small and the steps start just three feet from the front door. The stair case ceiling begins pushing through the second floor just 3′ from the front of the bathroom. Therefore the only place to put the shower was on top of the stair case two riser heights above the bathroom floor. The antithesis of a zero threshold shower is a 17″ threshold shower! But it worked…sort of. The small bathroom design in the Bethesda MD home had a good life nearly 60 years. Now it was dated and leaking. Time to remodel!

Joe Geletich senior Bathroom Designer at Signature Kitchens Additions & Bath

When Kristine B came to Joe Geletich to redesign her fifty year old Bethesda MD bathroom he had to shake his head. The space could simply not have been any smaller and could not be made any bigger. What a small bathroom design challenge. But Joe did it and Kristine loves it and that is all that counts.

Small Bathroom Remodeling Bethesda MD

At Signature Kitchens Additions and Bathrooms we have been designing and remodeling bathrooms for years. We have a vast experience in all aspects of remodeling, and specialize in kitchen and bathroom design. Signature Kitchen Additions and Bathrooms has earned the reputation for outstanding interior design, full service construction, and uncompromising customer service. Make an appointment with a designer today.

If you are considering a bathroom design, here are some things that you may want to look for in your new space. Today’s bathrooms are all about luxury and convenience. Trends come and go, so make sure that you incorporate elements in your design that is efficient, space saving, and timeless. Perhaps you are looking for the perfect soaking tub, or a whole new color scheme, fixtures that will stand the test of time. Some of the most important elements in your bathroom design should include smarter storage, the best ventilation, and energy efficiency. Don’t tackle that Bethesda bathroom design alone call a designer at Signature there is no obligation to sit down and talk.

3″ of concrete

“The bathroom design & remodeling of my Bethesda MD home could not be better. I love it” Kristine B.
We know this Bethesda bathroom was built in the 50’s because of its mud set. The mud set is the substrate the tile was set upon. The mud set was 3″ thick. It took two men with a jack hammer three days to take the concrete floor and walls out of this tiny bathroom. The new modern substrate hardi backer added a 1/2″ inche on each side of the room and allowed us to lower the shower floor almost 3″ to a 14″ threshold.

Tag: Bethesda bathroom design


Washington DC Kitchen Design by “Fabulously talented DC Kitchen Designer”

“We turned a tired old 1950’s kitchen design in our DC row house into a beautiful, open space that has become the hub of our house. We enjoy meals here with our children and entertain with our friends. The new kitchens design and flow has actually changed out families life.

Our Fabulously talented kitchen designer at Signature Kitchens Additions &amp: Baths was able to take the kitchen design we had in mind to the next level. It really is true that having a professional makes all the difference in the finished product. He steered us away from our bad ideas…but kindly, and toward a vision that felt like ours, but better. Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths did everything for us from the initial kitchen design consultation too careful in home measuring, initial selections including trending colors to final decisions on products, to removal of the old kitchen including a wall, to installation of our brand new kitchen.” said Homeowner Cindy Chance.

DC Kitchen Design Materials  & Features

“Our kitchen designer introduced us to custom kitchen cabinetry Dura Supreme Custom Kitchen Cabinetry Napa Panel Plus was the door.” Cindy Chance
Counter top is Caesarstone Desert Limestone honed.
Back splash is Glazio Cane Blend Creek Bed an exclusive line.
Garbage disposer is controlled by Mountain Air switch.
Under cabinet lighting by TASK
The faucet & soap dispenser are Kohler Archer

The Showroom Difference in DC Kitchen Design

Cindy’s husband Camilo Garcia said “The kitchen design process was fun and stress free. We paid a very reasonable retainer of $2,900.00 to protect our designer’s time. Which really gave us time. I mean the amount of time he spent with us was extraordinary. The kitchen designer was very honest with us about the options and creative about working within our budget to get the best possible results. With careful planning, we had a very predictable kitchen remodel. The materials all arrived on time and the old kitchen was removed (including that ugly wall) right on schedule. The job was much, much cleaner and neater that we had imagined because Signature’s in house craftsmen were very careful about how they treated our space. They cleaned up every day so that we did not feel displaced in any way. They even lent us a microwave and let us keep our old fridge (when the other appliances had already been carted off) to make the our DC kitchen remodel easier on us and our kids. Their craftsmen arrived on schedule and work was performed on schedule. Communication with Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths owner Gary Case and Joe was excellent. The project was completed on time and on budget. What I really appreciated was the design difference that having a professional made for us. Everyone who walks into our home comments on how this kitchen is totally trans-formative.   Guests always mention the back splash that Joe recommended. The kitchen design firm warned us about the moments when delays could occur given the issues we were managing in terms of infrastructure in our home, although we didn’t have any surprises, I appreciated the open communication. I’d use them again without question for any dc kitchen design or remodeling. It is hard to spend the money on a big project like this nearly $70k, but when it exceeds your expectations and you know you’ve made an important investment in your home, its future resale value and your family life, it feels really great in the end.”

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