Phil Anderson of Cut Above Wood Designs says kitchen remodeling can total tens of thousands of dollars.

Tackle kitchen remodeling

Published 5:54am Saturday, March 24, 2012

If there is a room more valuable to a home than the kitchen, Phil Anderson hasn’t found it.

The owner of Cut Above Wood Designs in Niles has been remodeling kitchens with his company for the past 15 years.

It started as a one-man operation doing mostly kitchen refacing, but has since grown to five employees specializing in high-end kitchen redesigns.

Anderson also does entertainment centers, furniture, mantles, bookcases and countertops.

For Anderson, having a quality kitchen is very important.

“Not only has the kitchen become a gathering spot for the family, it’s also a major factor in the resale value of a home,” Anderson said.

Remodeling a kitchen can be an expensive undertaking. Anderson said his company’s remodeling jobs average between $10,000 to $15,000, with moderate remodeling jobs falling between $10,000 and $12,000.

“It can fluctuate a lot depending on several things, from what style you are looking for to the size of the kitchen,” Anderson said.

There are several things to consider before remodeling a kitchen.

First, Anderson said, people need to decide whether they want painted or natural wood grain cabinets.

They also have to choose what kind of door overlay they want.

“There are basically three types of door overlays, but they are key in that they set the tone for the look of the cabinet,” Anderson said. “That is really key for the customers to understand those three door styles. Once they understand that, they can see how they lend themselves to a different look in their kitchen.”

One type of door style popular now is the full inset door. With a full inset, the door is inset inside the framework of the cabinet, giving it a “sleek, yet traditional look,”  Anderson said.

Another door style becoming less popular is the full overlay or European look.

“With that style, the doors overlay the framework of the cabinet almost entirely so what you see from the front of the cabinet is almost all door,” Anderson said.

The third style, a half overlay, is more common and traditional, Anderson said. With a half overlay, the door fits in front of the framework, but you still see about half of the framework of the cabinet.

“The half overlay is one of the things that has always been around and will always be around,” Anderson said.

Appliances also play a major role in a kitchen remodel.

“Appliances drive the rest of the design of the kitchen, so it is important for people to decide what works for the function of the family and the aesthetics of the kitchen,” Anderson said.

People also need to choose what type of countertop they want. Cut Above Wood Designs makes its own laminate and Formica countertops, but Anderson said the majority of his customers choose higher-end countertops, like granite or quartz.

Right now, Anderson said people want kitchens with a “sleek, traditional” look.

“In other words they like a traditional look, but they are looking for nice clean lines, not quite all the ornamental grandeur you might see with older traditional work,” he said.

Also popular are built-in appliances, self-closing drawers and double ovens.

Anderson said to pay attention to the quality of the cabinet boxes. Cut Above Wood Designs uses ¾-inch plywood for their boxes, while other places might use ¼- or ½-inch fiber wood or particleboard.

Anderson also said to think twice before doing a kitchen remodel on your own.

“It isn’t something for the average do it yourselfer if you want a job well done. You should get someone that is established and has experience in it if you want a high quality job,” he said.

Cut Above Wood Designs is located at 2536 Detroit Rd. in Niles. It can be reached at (269) 687-7166.

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