Why RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets are the best choice for Alaska

Anyone who has purchased cabinets from us knows that our cabinets are RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets or, in other words, they come unassembled. However, some may not know WHY we get our cabinets this way. There are several different benefits of getting an RTA cabinet, especially when you live in Alaska.

Alaskans are all too aware of the expense of shipping goods to Alaska. We know that, in order to live in this beautiful place, we are going to end up spending more on almost everything we purchase. Many of the larger stores don’t take shipping into consideration when they order their cabinets in Alaska, hence they ship them assembled just like they would to the continental U.S. Why does this make a difference you ask? Well, take a base 18″ cabinet (a.k.a. B18) for example, standardly this cabinet is 18″ wide by 25″ deep and 34.5″ tall. Broken down into an RTA cabinet this same cabinet can fit in a box that is 4″ tall by 24″ wide and 36″ long. Essentially you can get the same cabinet in a 1/4 of the space. After all, who wants to spend more money just for shipping if you don’t have to?!

   This not only allows us to get the cabinets here at a better price, it also ensures much less damage to the cabinets in shipping. When a cabinet is shipped assembled there is a significant amount of dead space on the interior (you know all that space your going to put your things in!) this means that it has much less support and stability on the sides to withstand any banging, moving and pressing that is inevitably going to be happening in the truck or ship all the way to Alaska. The last thing you want after waiting 3-4 weeks for your new cabinets is to find out you have to wait even longer because one or several of them are damaged! Now we can’t guarantee that NONE of our cabinets will ever come damaged, that’s just the nature of the beast, but we can say we have FAR less issues with this when we order RTA cabinets as opposed to assembled.

On the subject of those trucks and ships, and banging and moving, when a cabinet that is already assembled is on said transportation you can imagine the amount of stress your cabinets are going through. All of the joints and edges are coming to you after enduring a lot of movement. A cabinet that is unassembled does not withstand any extra stress during this process as the pieces are not already put together. So, even if an assembled cabinet does not come damaged, it is still inevitably going to be in worse shape structurally than an RTA cabinet.

The structural integrity of our cabinets is also enhanced by the fact that we only order and carry cabinets with plywood construction (or plywood carcasses). Not only does plywood hold up better over time, it is actually lighter than particle board. Again, allowing for less money in shipping, and better prices for you, our customers.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, ordering RTA cabinets allows us to give you quality cabinets for a much better price. This is not only due to the money saved on shipping them, but also the fact that there is no time in assembly at the factory. We have the option to assemble cabinets for an additional fee, however we also sell them unassembled for the person on a budget. This allows us to get cabinets to people in every price point and skill level!

Quartz vs. Granite counter tops

Anyone who uses their kitchen a lot knows that counter tops are a big deal. Not only does one need to consider the amount of space to prepare food, but the type of surface to prepare on, is equally important. Todays market boasts a large variety of different materials, and, although more expensive, stone surfaces have reigned in recent years as one of the most popular options. This is due in large part to the fact that they are a durable product that can withstand heat and cutting with ease. For the most part Granite counter tops took up a large part of the market and were revered as the “go to” counter top for newer homes and remodels. However, recently a new contender, called quartz, has come on the market.
The first thing to understand is when trying to decide between these two options is what they actually are. Granite is 100% natural stone that is cut out of the earth and sliced into slabs which are then polished. Quartz, on the other hand, is made up of 97% natural stone which is crushed and then combined with 3% polymers and resins to create a solid surface which is then cut into slabs.
Both products are exceptionally strong and hold up to heat and sharp objects, almost equally well. Being as granite is naturally created under extreme temperatures and pressure, it may hold up marginally better to extreme temperatures than quartz. However, what granite may gain in heat resistance, it lacks in ease of maintenance. As a natural stone, granite has a porous surface with inconsistent veining throughout. While this quality is often sought after for it’s visual appeal, this also means granite must be sealed upon installation and once a year, to ensure no stains occur. Quartz, however, is a consistently solid surface, therefore does not require any sealants or annual maintenance. This also makes it much more stain resistant than it’s counterpart.
For us, this simple fact places quartz head and shoulders above granite. A couple more perks to the quartz are the fact that it can be created in almost any color, and it can be created with remnant and waste stone product which makes it a tad more environmentally kind. For someone who has their heart set on the look of natural stone we are happy to provide you with a variety of beautiful granite, but for those looking for a durable, fuss free, stain free countertop we would definitely suggest considering quartz as your option.

BENEFITS OF CHANGING OUT OLD WINDOWS

Why go through the trouble of changing out your windows?

Huge savings on energy bills, 30-50%. That amounts to $30-50 for every $100 on utility bills.

New windows give your home an updated appearance and increase your homes value.

DO I NEED NEW COUNTERTOPS?

How do you know when it is time to replace your kitchen countertops? Generally, it’s time to upgrade when your countertops no longer match your design vision, are too difficult to maintain, and/or are damaged beyond repair. Stone or solid-surface countertops sporting deep cracks, pitted areas, and scorched marks are prime for replacing, as are badly stained and broken ceramic-tiled counters. Laminate countertops suffering from outdated colors or patterns, deep knife cuts, water damage, or staining might also need replacing.

Give our team of design experts a call today to discuss your countertop needs.

OIL FINISH VS. SYNTHETIC FINISH HARDWOOD FLOORS


Hardwood floors are exceptionally popular today due to their beauty, durability and cleanliness. However, the finish on hardwood floors can vary, and is actually quite important to consider when choosing your hardwood floor. Two of the leading types of finish for wood floors currently are oil finished and synthetic surface coatings (aluminum oxide, polyurethane, ect). Here we will outline the differences and benefits of these finishes.
The first thing to understand, is what these finishes are. Oil finishes are pretty self explanatory, an oil based finish. Synthetic finishes are essentially a sealing top coat. While, off hand, this may seem the preferable option, there is more to consider.
Synthetic finishes create a plastic like coating on top of the wood. This creates a very shiny floor and durable surface. However, the shine of this coating is easily, and quickly dulled by any surface scratches. Scratches will often be more obvious in this type of floor and appear white when first created. While most scratches will remain solely in the protectant layer it is necessary to recoat in order to maintain this type of floor. In order to recoat this type of floor you must do the entire floor at once, which require moving all furniture and items in the room. Finally, this floor requires specific cleaners, using the wrong type of cleaner on this type of finish can not only dull and cloud the appearance of the floor but prevent future recoats from adhering correctly.
In contrast, oil finished floors have a much more natural, matte look to them. While you might initially think oil would not protect as well as a synthetic finish, the truth is oil is able to penetrate further into the wood to protect and condition it. While it will not create a full barrier between the floor and shoes, ect. floors like this actually develop a patina, and tend to look better over time. Another huge advantage of oil finished floors is the ability to spot repair scratches and other imperfections that may occur, all it takes to repair simple damage is a cleaning and a little oil. You will still want to maintain your whole floor every few years or so, but this allows you to keep your floor looking show ready all the time! This finish is also simple to clean, with soap and water and a damp mop, no need to worry about build up.
One final thing to consider is the process of refinishing. Refinishing oil finished floors is substantially easier and less dusty. Synthetic finishes tend to create excessive dust, as the entire surface coating has to be removed to get to the wood. As oil finished floors do not have an extra layers they are quite simple to sand down and refinish, should the need arise. However, if you choose a product like our Castle Combe Grande or Originals, which are designed to look rustic and already contain imperfections, the odds of needing to refinish your floor are quite slim.
While both finishes have their advantages and disadvantages, in the end it truly depends on you, the consumer, and what is most important to you in a floor. If you prefer simple, easy to maintain with a natural look I would say oil finished is right for you. If a shiny finish with overall durability against scratches is most important to you I would suggest going with a synthetic finish. Either route you decide to go we would be happy to help you find the floor you’ve been dreaming about! Visit us at either our Palmer or Anchorage location to see the wide variety of wood floors we have available.

~You can see below how scratches affect the different materials~

WHY LVT IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR ALASKA

In Alaska the weather is extreme. We have wet shoes most of the year. Using LVT you are able to choose exotic woods and stones without the constant upkeep. LVT is water resistant and will not warp when left wet for extended periods. Alaskan cabins are often remote and are not heated. LVT does not expand or contract so it is perfect for cabins or homes that are left for the winter.

• Protects against excessive wear

• Superior cleanability

• Superior stain resistance

• Durable resilient

• Resist chips and dents

• Stable – will not expand or contract

• Hide subfloor imperfections

• No glue profile for easy installation

• No acclimation necessary Hides Subfloor Imperfections

• Rigid plank technology eliminates ripples and waves caused by eneven subfloor such as ceramic tiles and concrete.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR YOUR HOME PROJECTS

Replacing old elements, such as doors, windows, and siding in general yielded a better financial return than bigger remodeling projects, such as additions. But real estate agents and remodelers say updated kitchens and baths still bring a significant payoff, especially at resale time. The report found that kitchen projects yielded a higher return than bath projects, with a minor kitchen remodel adding 82.7 percent of the project’s cost back to the home’s value.

Are you getting ready to sell your home? Give us a call to schedule your free consultation!

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