Cedar Ridge Designs & Custom Cabinetry

Quartz or Granite Countertops?

Quartz, also known as engineered stone, is a man-made material consisting of ground natural quartz mixed with resins, polymers and various pigments. Granite is a natural stone quarried from the earth in mines across the globe. Granite is composed mainly of quartz and a mixture of other minerals. The percentage of these varies and therefore provides variations in color and pattern in every slab. It is crucial to select the exact piece you want installed rather than choosing from a sample which may vary significantly from the final product that is installed. This natural variation of granite often leads homeowners to choose it over quartz, as quartz is more consistent and uniform in color.  Although most quartz patterns are consistent, we can find many quartz slabs with interesting and sometimes very intense patterns and colors as well.  In both cases, a slab viewing before cutting your countertop pieces is strongly recommended.   Our suppliers can also take a picture of your slab and show you where they would place the counter layout before cutting the pieces. Quartz is by far the most environmentally friendly option, especially if you pick one that is manufactured locally.  It is a highly durable, non-porous surface, because of the resins and polymers that are combined with the natural quartz, which give it a surface that is free of cracks and pores.  With proper maintenance, granite can last a lifetime, however, it is a much more porous material than quartz and can break or chip if struck with heavy objects.  Granite also requires maintenance in the form of regular polishing, whereas quartz does not. We hope that this information helps you in your decision making when it is time to select your countertop!

Planning Your New Kitchen Renovation

Remodeling a kitchen is a very extensive renovation and should be planned well in advance.  The more research you do, the more you will know what works and doesn’t work for you.  Visit sites such as HOUZZ or Pinterest to find ideas of style that you like, colors that attract you, or a layout that will work in your own space. You can also visit one of the Cedar Ridge design centers to find ideas for different accessories, door styles and materials.  Start looking at appliances to know what sizes you will need or special cabinets you might want to incorporate into your new kitchen.  It is important to keep in mind that changing an appliance halfway through the planning will require an adjustment in some cabinet sizes, etc.  Therefore, it is very important to supply your cabinet designer with your appliance dimensions and specifications as soon as possible. Be clear and upfront with your budget. Planning a kitchen is time consuming for both you and your designer and knowing what you can spend helps you to make better choices when it comes to choosing materials and accessories.  Also, be realistic about time frame.  In general, when working with a custom cabinetry shop, it takes time to plan the new design, finalize all details, and sign off on final drawings.  After final sign-off, the project will take approximately 5 weeks for production. Talk to your contractor to see when the site will be ready for the new cabinets to be installed, and work your way back to find the date that all details need to be finalized. Finally, working with a designer will be helpful if you have difficulty making decisions, or you are not sure how to fully take advantage of your space and are looking for advice on how to make your kitchen as functional as possible.  At Cedar Ridge, we are here to discuss your needs, and work with you to create a space you will enjoy for many, many years.

What to Expect on Installation Day

On the first day, plan on being home in the morning of your installation starting so that you may convey any specific instructions you may have regarding your home. For example where to park, pets etc. Please allow for unobstructed clearance around the installation site in your home. It is asked that all work areas be clear of any furniture. Our installer will also need access to electricity to power his tools, so please have it available when they arrive. They will bring their own extension cords to use. A few other preparations and considerations:
  • We require a storage area for the cabinets while the installation is in progress and also an area where we may cut/saw materials on your property
  • Please remove all valuables/breakables from the install area, these include: lamps, dishes, etc prior to the arrival of the installer
  • Although precautions are taken to minimize dust, adjacent rooms are subject to having some fine dust accumulation on flat surfaces
  • Ensure that there is a secure area for pets outside of the area
Our installer will require you to inspect the installation site with them on the final day and sign off on the project. Please be available on that day to finalize this last step in the process of your installation. Thank you for being a Cedar Ridge Designs client!

Measure Twice, Cut Once: Monthly Musings of a Home Renovator

I am the sometimes proud, sometimes disheartened owner of two small homes that have one thing in common: they both need a lot of work. When my husband and I were married sixteen years ago, we moved into a fixer-upper on his family farm. Over the years, we’ve removed walls, replaced floors, gutted the bathroom, changed the kitchen cupboards and countertops, added built-in storage, painted the exterior, painted the interior (twice), and added a verandah. Our ramshackle cottage is gradually becoming a home. A few year’s ago, we bought another two-bedroom house in town (an hour’s drive from the farm). Like our first home, it has a bit of charm and a lot of potential; and so the tools have resurfaced. We are now in the process of adding a third bedroom, second bathroom, back deck, and if there’s money left over (unlikely), a new and overpriced kitchen window. The word renovate does not, surprisingly, come from the latin root for headache or chaos. Renovate means to make new again. One of the things that I’ve learned during our journey in home improvements is that there is great pleasure in making an old room look new. Whether it’s aesthetic (like a fresh coat of paint), or functional (like a new wardrobe), there is nothing like a renovation to re-inspire a love-affair between you and your house. For me, one of the advantages of renovating over buying a new house is purely emotional. I love that our home has a history. I enjoy noting the transformations that our house has gone through over the years, and knowing that these changes reflect the growth of my family. I am comforted by the idea that despite new colour schemes and reconfigured rooms, I still live in the house that welcomed my infant children. Before having two kids (and a cat), I had a very different notion of home renovation. I thought (silly me) that renovations had a beginning and an ending. What I’ve discovered is that owning a home (now two!) involves an ongoing process of maintenance and upgrades. But instead of feeling dissatisfied that the end will never be in sight, I’ve learned that with the right planning, home improvements can be highly rewarding and even fun. I invite you to join me on my monthly musings as I embark on yet another mission of madness.