Tag Archives: cabinets

Sunday in the cabinet shop with Aaron

It’s time to work out the cabinet plan for the kitchen. Aaron Pratt from Central Texas Custom Cabinets volunteered his Sunday morning, knowing that Jacquela would not be able to escape the office during the week to participate in the design of her kitchen.

We started this piece of the remodel adventure months ago, doing our homework.

Jacquela and Steven first met Aaron in November 2014 as he finalized the Deer Pass Project, another Ranserve remodel in Austin. We watched his work over time, visited the shop, came away convinced he could design, build, install and warranty the Euro cabinets we wanted — frameless, glossy white surfaces, 90-degree corners, clean, flat, minimal, strong boxes, easy to keep clean, tons of storage.

During February and March, Aaron sent Steven on a field trip to the warehouse that supplies Aaron with cabinet-grade plywood, to research different types of white melamine finishes and materials; Steven and Jacquela also visited Ikea to explore the new Sektion system of kitchen cabinets — and experimented with Ikea’s online planning tools, attempting to turn concept into the outline of a plan, to be able to explain that concept visually using generic Ikea components (“show, don’t just tell and wave your hands in the air”), complete with preliminary numbers to help set the budget for the kitchen cabinets.

Then we went back to Deer Pass as Ranserve was pushing to complete the gig. Remarkably, the kitchen countertops there are similar to the concrete gray and marbled white quartz that Jacquela and Steven selected from Austin Stone Works. Aaron matched these with flat-white cabinets around the perimeter of the kitchen, and walnut at the island.

That proved to us he could turn our ideas into the kitchen that compelled this down-to-the-studs-whole-house remodel, forced on us by the inability to install new copper wire next to old aluminum.

As demo progressed and framing got underway, Aaron visited Emerald Hill to get rough dimensions. This past week, he walked the kitchen with Steven, placing imaginary cabinets into position, talking through near-final dimensions, wiring constraints, drawer heights, what goes into each drawer, appliance locations, lighting, how to run power down which wall with a cut in the slab out to the island, framing suprises.

Today, Sunday, is the day Aaron printed out the first draft of the detailed plans. We sat across the plastic folding table in his office extending vertical and horizontal lines across cabinet faces to add dimension and define function — these drawers will be used for cooking utensils, these for plastic storage, these pantries for cans or cereal boxes. The dog station at the end of the run of cabinets that includes the dishwasher, sink, trash cans, storage and induction cooktop will get a drawer at bottom and top, with the top of the bottom drawer set 12 inches off the floor and sealed as a platform for water and food dishes. The drawers are for pet supplies — meds, leashes, treats. Delete the two upper cabinets proposed to flank the exhaust hood and leave the focus on what is planned to be a slab of red back-painted glass that visually punches through the white and gray kitchen. A wide cabinet to the left of the sink will be narrowed to use standard Rubbermaid trash cans for waste and recycling. The adjacent space is freed to be used, instead, as vertical storage for knives and cooking utensils within easy reach inches away from the right side of the induction cooktop. The island gets two pop-up Hafele power outlets. Opposite the dishwasher, the drawer bottoms of the 36-inch-wide chest-height cabinet will be reinforced — half-inch plywood bottoms instead of quarter-inch, to prevent bowing when they are loaded with knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls. The pull-out pantry to the right of the refrigerator will become, instead, a tall door with pullout shelves behind it — because the pull-out pantry systems on sliding rails start at $1,000 if they are heavy duty and built correctly; Aaron’s experience is that the less expensive “knockoffs” quickly fail and he doesn’t enjoy the warranty calls.

Step by step, box by box, drawer by drawer, door by door, hinge by hinge, full-extension slide by full-extension slide, the kitchen is formalized. Aaron will present plans later this week for approval, to begin construction. A very productive 2.5-hour Sunday-morning visit with the cabinetmaker.

Share. Link. Like.

Multitasking day

Ron Dahlke took the day off. He missed “Multitasking Day.” Patrick Welsome from Ranserve stepped in to provide “adult supervision” and keep Steven operating within the lines.

Above … electricians, plumbers, cabinet makers at work.

Outside, the masons are rebuilding the brick wall in front of bedroom 2 -- removed to put in the new window.
Outside, the masons are rebuilding the brick wall in front of bedroom 2 — removed to put in the new window.
Cris from Ranserve shows Steven one of the metal pans to be installed under each exterior door. The pan is another layer of defense against water entering the house from under the door -- just in case.
Cris from Ranserve shows Steven one of the metal sill pans to be installed under each exterior door. The pan is another layer of defense against water entering the house from under the door — just in case.
Here is one of the metal pans installed under the back door -- the aluminum sheet folded down over the concrete slab, with the metal threshold of the door above it.
Here is one of the sill pans installed under the back door — the aluminum sheet folded down over the concrete slab, with the metal threshold of the door above it.
Cris from Ranserve demonstrates how the windows are flashed -- heavyweight peel-and-stick Straightflash VF taped over the window and door flanges, helping to make the window and door watertight.
Cris from Ranserve demonstrates how the windows are flashed — heavyweight peel-and-stick Straightflash VF taped over the window and door flanges, helping to make the window and door watertight.
Kevin Oliver from Custom Plumbing demonstrates how to connect PEX tubing to a copper fitting that will be connected to the tankless water heater in the upstairs utility room.
Kevin Oliver from Custom Plumbing demonstrates how to connect PEX tubing to a copper fitting that will be connected to the tankless water heater in the upstairs utility room.
The PEX array at the master bathroom -- red for hot, blue for cold, white for water supplies to toilets. This array will feed two sinks, two shower heads, and a toilet.
The PEX array at the master bathroom — red for hot, blue for cold, white for water supplies to toilets. This array will feed two sinks, two shower heads, and a toilet.
Capstone Electric hung the service panel in the upstairs closet, with a road map hung nearby identifying which "home run" is to be connected to which breaker inside the box.
Capstone Electric hung the service panel in the upstairs closet, with a road map hung nearby identifying which “home run” is to be connected to which breaker inside the box.
Aaron Pratt from Central Texas Custom Cabinets sketches designs for the kitchen cabinets.
Aaron Pratt from Central Texas Custom Cabinets sketches designs for the kitchen cabinets.
With adult supervision from Patrick Welsome at Ransom, standing in for Ron Dahlke, who took the day off, Aaron and Steve plotted out the kitchen cabinets. After which Patrick computed with the electricians how to run electric power to the kitchen island. Cris and Kevin from Ranserve next pulled out the power tools and sliced into the slab for the cable run.
With adult supervision from Patrick Welsome at Ransom, standing in for Ron Dahlke, who took the day off, Aaron and Steve plotted out the kitchen cabinets. After which Patrick computed with the electricians how to run electric power to the kitchen island. Cris and Kevin from Ranserve next pulled out the power tools and sliced into the slab for the cable run.
Outside, the mason -- Edgar in stripes and his father, Felipe, work with Cris from Ranserve to figure out how to set bricks between the narrow front windows -- or to frame the windows with side casing, head casing, apron and stool. The decision for the day is to discuss with Ron, because Ron, Cris and Steve earlier talked about using PVC trim over the window flashing,  instead of running brick up to the window, making it impossible to remove the window if needed without first taking down brick.
Outside, the mason — Edgar in stripes and his father, Felipe, right, work with Cris from Ranserve to figure out how to set bricks between the narrow front windows — or to frame the windows with side casing, head casing, apron and stool, with Hardie Planks in between each window. The decision for the day is to discuss with Ron, because Ron, Cris and Steve earlier talked about using PVC trim over the window flashing, instead of running brick up to the window, which would make it impossible to remove the window if needed without first taking down brick.
Share. Link. Like.