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Blog for amazing home improvement and remodeling projects in the Philadelphia area. | December 13, 2017

4229 Ridge Ave
Philadelphia PA 19129
215-848-4444
office@dremodeling.com
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Seeing Is Believing: Behind-The-Scenes At Waypoint’s Cabinet Factories

October 31, 2017 |

Our design team takes you on a tour from the rolling hills of Virginia and Maryland, to the rolling assembly lines of the Waypoint parts and assembly factories.

As designers, we strive to stay up-to-date not only in the world of interior design, but also in sales, marketing, new products, and new technological innovations for our industry. We are driven by the desire to create and are constantly searching for new outlets of inspiration.

So when the dRemodeling design team was invited to the Waypoint Living Spaces training and factory tour, we became driven to create the desire for our office manager to approve of the 3-day trip across Winchester, Virginia; Columbus, Maryland; and Allegheny, Maryland. Waypoint is a premiere cabinet manufacturer line that dRemodeling carries here in our showroom. Where better to achieve inspiration and advance our technical knowledge than to be immersed in the rolling hills of Virginia and Maryland and the rolling assembly lines of the Waypoint parts and assembly factories?

Our designers, Stephanie, Devin and Allison, enjoying the view at Rocky Gap State Park.

We shared this trip and learning experience with other designers and dealers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Going into the experience, we were unsure of exactly what to expect.  We were hoping that we would have the opportunity to finally meet some of the Partner Team face-to-face and also get a better understanding of their management process.

But we were most excited to see how all of the cabinetry pieces come together as we toured the facilities including the 1 – Winchester, Virginia headquarters where all of the orders were processed, 2 – Cumberland, Maryland factory where the unfinished wood pieces were profiled, constructed, and finished into the doors and face frames that would then be shipped to the 3 – Allegheny, Maryland factory where those pieces were assembled into the cabinetry boxes and shipped out to the consumer.

Hello To Headquarters 

We started off our trip at their Customer Service hub in Winchester, Virginia – a 3.5 hour drive from Philadelphia. We were introduced to the key members of the Partner Team and were finally able to put a face to the names that we contact almost daily to inquire about the status of our cabinet orders. The team was so welcoming!

They started with an icebreaker to get the conversation flowing, which throughout the trip could have included anything from a history of apples in Winchester via a PPT presentation, to a casual discussion of a local rock climbing spot in Cumberland called Seneca Rocks – truly fascinating stories – look it up if you are interested, but we digress. Understanding how they are able to manage and handle 350 +/- calls and 750 +/- emails a day provided me with a new perspective and appreciation for the short hold time (Goal of <60 seconds), and email response (Goal of < 4 hours). All of the calls and emails were monitored on a digitally projected screen, so everyone on the floor could track and monitor them.

They walked us through the building, explaining each department’s role. Walking through the sea of cubicle-like desks all personalized and decorated with photos, plants, etc., you could tell everyone was working hard and genuinely enjoyed their job. But what impressed us the most was their commitment to great employee interactions. The team of employees at Waypoint were not only coworkers, they were family!

From there, we reviewed the Waypoint Website, Ordering System, and Marketing. A Specialist from the Partner Team introduced us to Waypoint’s Online Style Quiz and Cabinet Visualizer. This is a fun and interactive tool that helps us narrow down a client’s design style. It is definitely a great tool we will start incorporating while working with our clients.

Under Construction In Cumberland

The second day, we visited the door and face frame assembly factory in Cumberland, MD. The sheer scale of the building was a marvel in itself, covering 9 acres under roof, let alone all the processes that were in place to maintain cleanliness and organization.  In fact, our feet were killing us by then end of the tour, even with comfy shoes on!

The organization was beyond compare. Everything had a place, and was clearly marked with color-coordinated (for lack of better descriptor) chalk outlines on the floor. Oh yeah – that orange trash can is supposed to go in that orange, trash-can-shaped outline of the floor. This walking tour gave us a once-in-a-lifetime view as if we were on the, “How It’s Made” show on the Science and Discovery channel.

We saw the process for profiling, constructing and finishing the doors and the face frame of the cabinets first-hand. The finishing process for paint and stain was also fascinating to watch – all done mechanically by undulating and rotating machines for a “factory finish.” We ended the night at a new location, the beautiful Rocky Gap Resort located on the Rocky Gap State Park. Getting to marvel at the neighboring mountains and lakes enveloped in fall foliage was an unexpected perk on our Waypoint journey.

Assembling In Allegheny

Design Inspiration!

We watched a quick safety video and we were off to the 2nd tour! Upon entering the doors, we walked through some of the plant’s inventory (would you believe only a 3-day supply of cabinetry is stored here) and on through to their assembly lines. From this point on, our jaws never ceased to close.This facility took all of those parts and pieces and assembled, packaged and shipped to the consumer. It was pure amazement to watch these employees construct a full-blown cabinet under 10 seconds while handling 400 degree adhesive glue!

Amidst immense rack aisles of finished doors, employees were offloading the packed doors in a seemingly unorganized fashion. However, we later learned that this was a thought out system – each door had a scannable tag that was recorded into a numbered and coded slot, allowing all of the doorstyle and finishes to be loaded into the most available slot.

This detailed system allowed the pickers (picking doors for an assembly) to be guided by an audible system to the oldest available door in the racks, while not being crowded together in the same area. After the cabinets were assembled, they were boxed and loaded into the trucks guided by labels indicating their load order and stackable location in the truck – finally they are shipped!

Shipping Back To Philly

Overall, we were very impressed by the facilities and management of the Waypoint Living Spaces brand. This trip was definitely an eye-opening experience. Throughout the process we were able to see first-hand the commitment of all of the employees to the quality of both their service and products. We think that the personal face-to-face communication with the Waypoint Partners has given us the insight to better communicate our ideas and issues with them for our clients, and getting the firsthand look into the construction process will allow us to better educate our clients. Waypoint strives for quality, their goal is for value. They offer a limited selection of products, but the products that they do produce, they have down to a science.

 Visit us in our Showroom at 4229 Ridge Avenue  or give us a call at (215) 848-4444 for more info on Waypoint cabinets or remodeling your home!

Shower Systems For an At-Home Spa

October 24, 2016 |

Who doesn’t want to end their day at a spa, relaxing their worries from the day away? What would happen if we told you that we can bring the spa to your home? There are a number of different shower systems that can provide you with the same relaxing, peaceful feeling as if you just ventured out to the spa!

Shower Heads for Anyone

In looking at shower heads and systems, there are a number of different types: standard wall-mount, top mount, sliding bar, and handheld.

  • A standard wall mounted is directly mounted to a wall in the shower and is typically installed at a height specific to the client’s preference to allow for ease of use while showering. A shower head can range from simple design to elaborate.
  • A top-mount shower head is affixed to the ceiling in the shower and usually best accompanies a rainhead shower to give the full access of bathing in a rainforest!
  • A sliding-bar shower head allows for each user to adjust the shower head height based on their personal preference along a wall-mounted base.
  • A handheld shower can be in addition to the wall-mounted shower head, where it can be removed or stationary depending on client preference as well.

In terms of finishes, typically all shower systems are available in polished chrome, satin nickel, and antique bronze.

Wall-Mounted Shower Head

In the simplest form, a shower can contain a wall-mounted shower head and temperature valve as pictured:

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This allows for a shower head to distribute water and a temperature gauge to have the user turn the dial to the desired temperature and water pressure.

Handheld Shower

A tier above a simple shower head and temperature gauge, an additional item can be added for better utilization from the user, a handheld shower. A handheld shower can be installed in addition to a shower head. This handheld shower can be of great use to clients with children, pets, or just for easier use of water distribution. A handheld shower can exist on either a bar where it has the option to move vertically or can be affixed to a stationary bracket, respectively.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-12-16-19-am spa_1 spa_2

A popular option for the handheld shower is to have this affixed to the wall with either a stationary or moveable bracket and have an overhead rain head shower:

Alternate Nozzles and Sprays

In further upgrading your bathroom getaway, a shower can have alternate nozzles and sprays for steam and alternate water distribution.

img_2210 img_2214 pic-3

Feeling Overwhelmed?

We understand choosing the right shower experience can be overwhelming with all of the different options available, so here are a few items to think about to help narrow down the options:

  • Think about your dream shower/bath experience and make it come to life!
  • Adjustability to all users of the shower is key, so if you are on the fence about choosing between a stationary or removable handheld shower, go for the adjustable option so each user is able to customize their spa-like experience
  • If you see a product that breaks your budget, try to narrow down what specific features you like about that fixture and look for those features in alternate models below your budget

Overall, coming home after a hard day’s work is most rewarding if your bathroom space helps you to relax and separate yourself from daily life. So why not have the spa treatment in your own home?

Convenient and Stylish Shower Storage Solutions for Any Modern Bathroom

October 21, 2016 |

Storage space is hard to come by in a bathroom. Even with a recessed medicine cabinet, a linen closet, and vanity space, I still have trouble storing items for daily use. More storage solutions are hidden right in front of your eyes! Focusing on just one area, the shower/tub, we can already point out 4 points of added storage space: recessed shower niche, in shower bench seating, wire baskets, and corner shelving. Check out how you can maximize your bathroom storage below!

Recessed Storage Niches

Recessed storage niches can maximize storage greatly. While updating your walk-in shower and/or tub in your bathroom, we get so excited over the new finish material opportunities but often neglect to design specified storage within the shower for ease of use. Niches are great at accommodating small and large shampoo bottles, soaps, and anything else one needs in the shower. Compared to any other storage solution in a shower, niches do not take up any additional space. A typical recessed niche is 12” W x 24” H. The 12” width allows the recessed niche to fit between vertical studs behind the wall which are typically 16” apart. The typical depth of a recessed niche is 3.5”, which is the width of a wood stud. Niches can range in width and height but should be discussed prior to starting so as to make sure any plumbing or electrical wires are not in the way as well as supporting of cut stud if make larger in width.

Recessed niches should be installed in interior walls compared to exterior walls. Materiality for these niches have to be taken into consideration as well. Niches can be tiled and can be framed with different edges to retrieve a different look. For example:

Metal edges on a niche vs. bullnose tile.

Metal Edges on a Niche

Metal Edges on a Niche

Bullnose tile

Bullnose Tile

 

Recessed niches can also span to large widths such as:

master_bath_remodel_-24-of-54

Wide Niche

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Niche

Wire Baskets

Wire baskets can be installed to either corner of the shower. These are meant to provide secured storage for soaps and shampoo/conditioner bottles without them slipping and falling off shelving. This is an alternative to recessed storage niches and pie shelves. These items are typically finished to be rust resistant. The wire baskets allow for moisture to completely escape, allowing for no moisture build up. Wire baskets provide a more contemporary/modern aesthetic to any shower.

 

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Wire Baskets

shower-caddies

Wire Basket

Corner Shelves

Corner shower shelves are an additional alternative to recessed storage niches and fixed wire basket storage. Pie shelves are meant to be installed in the corner of showers and tubs. Unlike the wire basket storage, pie shelves come in a few different materials such as marble, glass, and stone.

Shower corner shelving can come in the shape of a 1/4 pie and triangle size. Typically more 2-3 corner shelves are installed in a shower to allow for ample storage space for multiple users in the shower. A corner shelf can even be installed as a seat and/or foot rest for shaving. Heights for installation of pie shelves are based on their specific users. If you are designing for clients that are shorter or taller than average, it is recommended you install based on the needs of your client. As a point of reference, the corner shelves should be installed within minimum and maximum reach distance for the user, 36”-60” off the finished floor.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-11-17-45-pm

Pie Shelf

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-02-03-am

Shower Corner

Shower Benches

Shower benches can become another means of storage within a shower. Typically they need 15” in depth to allow adequate enough space while the seat comes 17”-19” in height from the finished floor. Corner benches are typically installed out of the spray area from the shower head, anchored at 18” from the ground so that feet can be tucked underneath. At this height, this bench can be utilized at a foot rest for shaving or lowered storage for shampoo/conditioner bottles.

Typical materials utilized for shower benches ranges from stone to wood, specifically teak. Shower benches can opt to fold for storage while showering and while not in use can store itself for added space in the shower.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-11-47-19-pm

Stone Shower Bench

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-11-48-35-pm

Teak Wood

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Wall Mount Teak Seat

With all these storage solutions possible in just the shower/tub area alone, how can you just choose one? Each offers their own unique solution. When choosing some of these solutions for your bath remodel, don’t forget to consider what you seem to be missing in your current space and what can appeal to all users of the new space!

Express Yourself: Define Your Remodeling Wants & Needs

March 21, 2012 |

Here is a great solution to help define your remodeling hopes and dreams to express them clearly to your contractor/ designer. Remodeling is not just fixing the bad and broken.  It is a total upgrade; a renovation of tired materials, old technologies, and dated design. Think of remodeling as you would a new car purchase. You consider the reliability and warranty when shopping for your new vehicle you.  While these are seriously important, you also consider the comfort, desirable accessories, beauty, and color. Let’s simplify this idea down to three main considerations:  lifestyle essentials, aesthetic desire, and resale value.

Lifestyle essentials – Research Your Daily Needs

What do you do in your space? How does it help you complete daily tasks? Is that basement space perfect for the kids, or maybe it will be an adult retreat?  Does your kitchen need a breakfast space for you and your family? For example, let’s say you have a love for baking.  Your kitchen should be a reflection of this passion. Marble slabs to prep tasty treats, ample oven space to bake all your delectable desserts, and counter space aplenty to cool cookies. These are all essential design elements in creating a space tailored to a life full of sweet creations.  So, get started by taking mental notes of your daily rituals and needs within your project space.  Keep in mind contractors/designers do not know your personal needs.   A clear understanding of how you live in your space allows you to pass along this knowledge to your remodeling team.

 Aesthetic Desire – Find Your Style

How do you want your new space to look and feel? Cozy and warm? Rusty and rural? Clean and modern?  Sleek and urban? Find terms that express your style and taste. To provide yourself and your contractor/designer with a clear definition of the stylistic direction of your project, create a small collection of images representing your desired taste, color palate, and atmosphere. To get started, check out the website HOUZZ.  The site provides a tool to surf their vast database of remodels and collect your favorite images to create a virtual idea bank.

Resale Value- Make It Timeless

Always consider the permanence of your decisions. Keep all investments such as cabinetry, tile work, countertops, and technology neutral.  And let’s get one thing clear… beige isn’t the only neutral, so don’t fear.  You still have many options!  Going neutral doesn’t mean you should avoid color or eclectic elements, but always incorporate your personal touches and vibrant accents to applications easily swapped out. This will allow your tastes and your space to evolve together and become a reflection of you. If in the future you decide to sell, neutral spaces become an asset to your home’s market appeal.

Bring this approach into all remodeling projects as a guide in your decision making process.  The end result will be a successful space that fulfills your needs and your dreams. Speak up about your needs. Speak up about your style. And be smart about your investments. Contractors/ designers can’t read your mind, so tell us what you want. Insist on what you need. Get started!

Be sure to contact the dRemodeling team if you have questions or ideas about your next remodeling project. 

Drexel Hill, Philadelphia Dream Bathroom Remodel

March 14, 2012 | 1

A recent remodeling project took the dRemodeling team to Drexel Hill to renovate a cramped, outdated bathroom. The homeowner wanted to update her drab bathroom and turn it into a luxurious, hotel-worthy space. Rich, warm tones combined with high-end materials easily turned this bathroom into a chic and sophisticated room that could easily be found in any 5-star hotel.

 

Remember, if you’re ready to give your bathroom a facelift, contact dRemodeling for all of your Philadelphia bathroom remodeling needs.