Archive for the ‘home remodeling’ Category

The Kitchen Soffit Guide: Ideas To Make It Look Better

Posted on: April 15th, 2024

Kitchen soffits might not be the prettiest part of the kitchen, but they’re definitely important. These spaces between your cabinets and the ceiling might seem a bit boring at first, but there’s a lot you can do with them. In this article, we’re going to look at some great ideas for kitchen soffits and explain why they’re there in the first place. Whether you’re planning a remodel or just curious, we’ve got some handy tips to help you make the most of this often-overlooked space. 

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Should You Paint Or Install Floors First?

What is Kitchen Soffit? 

A kitchen cabinet soffit is a built-in structure that fills the space between the top of kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. Often referred to as a “bulkhead,” it can serve several purposes. While its most basic function is to conceal plumbing, wiring, and mechanical elements that run through a kitchen, a soffit also provides a seamless look by hiding the undersides of structural components and any gaps above cabinets that would otherwise collect dust. 

In some designs, the soffit is purely aesthetic, created to add a visual balance and cohesion to the kitchen’s upper space. For others, it’s an opportunity to incorporate additional lighting, like recessed fixtures or LED strips, enhancing both the functionality and atmosphere of the kitchen. Whether functional or decorative, kitchen soffits can be tailored to blend with the overall style of the kitchen or used as a distinct design feature.

It’s Purpose 

The purpose of a kitchen soffit extends beyond just concealing utilities. It plays a significant role in defining the kitchen’s architectural aesthetics. By bridging the gap between the cabinets and the ceiling, soffits create a unified and finished look. This is especially beneficial in kitchens where the ceiling height doesn’t align perfectly with the top of the cabinets, as the soffit provides a smooth transition that visually ties the elements together. Additionally, soffits can be functional in terms of storage. Some designs incorporate cabinets or shelving into the soffit area, which can be an excellent way to maximize storage space for items that aren’t used daily. This makes them not only a design element but also a practical addition to kitchen storage solutions. 

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Kitchen Soffit Ideas

When it comes to kitchen soffits, there are plenty of creative ideas and options to enhance both their function and appearance: 

  • Painting and Decorating: A simple and effective way to integrate soffits into your kitchen’s design is by painting them the same color as your cabinets or walls. This helps create a seamless look. Alternatively, using a contrasting color can turn the soffit into a focal point. Adding patterns or stencils can also inject personality into the space. 
  • Crown Molding: Adding crown molding to the edge of the soffit can give your kitchen a more elegant and finished appearance. This works particularly well in traditional or classic kitchen styles, where detailed woodwork can significantly enhance the overall aesthetic. 
  • Lighting: Installing recessed lighting or LED strips in the soffit can provide additional illumination for your countertops, making them practical for tasks and adding a warm ambiance to the kitchen. 
  • Storage Solutions: If the soffit is deep enough, consider custom cabinetry or open shelving for extra storage. This is a great way to utilize vertical space for items that aren’t frequently used but still need a home. 
  • Tiling: Covering the soffit with tiles that match or complement the kitchen backsplash can create a visually interesting look. This can be particularly striking in kitchens with high-contrast or decorative tiles. 
  • Art and Decor Displays: Soffits can provide a ledge for displaying art, decorative plates, or collectibles. This option adds a personal touch to the kitchen and allows for easy customization that can be changed as often as you like. 
  • Greenery: Adding houseplants or herb gardens to the soffit area can bring life and color to the kitchen. This is not only visually pleasing but also functional if you opt for herbs that you can use in cooking. 

Each of these options allows you to customize your kitchen soffit to match your personal style and functional needs, transforming an often overlooked space into an integral part of your kitchen’s design. 

The Kitchen Soffit Guide Conclusion 

While they might not be the showstoppers of kitchen design, soffits are undoubtedly key players in both form and function. From clever storage solutions to striking design elements, the ideas for enhancing kitchen soffits are as versatile as they are valuable. At LNL Construction, we bring a wealth of experience and creativity to the table. We are prepared to assist with kitchen soffit remodeling, comprehensive kitchen renovations, bathroom updates, or any other home improvement projects you have in mind. Let us help you transform those overlooked spaces into standout features that perfectly complement your home’s style and your lifestyle.

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The T1-11 Siding Guide

 Should You Paint Before Or After Flooring? The Easy Guide

Posted on: March 28th, 2024

When it comes time to renovate a room in your home, you may wonder if you should paint before or after flooring. A lot of people assume that painting should be done first to prevent any paint spills or spatters from getting on your new flooring. However, experts agree that new flooring should always be installed before painting walls. If you live in the Sacramento area and are thinking about installing new flooring and/or painting your interior walls, give us a call at LNL Construction for a free quote. With over 3 decades of experience, we can help remove any guesswork for you.

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Why You Should Install Flooring First

Most people assume that painting your walls should take place before you install new flooring. But, as we stated above, the opposite is true, and we’ll explain why. 

Before laying new flooring in any room, several tasks must take place, and many of these tasks can potentially damage your walls, which could require repairs. 

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow before laying new flooring:

  • Old carpet and flooring will need to be removed, which can be very messy. The process can unearth large amounts of dirt, dust, and debris. If you are removing old flooring in a room with freshly painted walls, particles of dust and dirt can easily land in the paint which disturbs the finish. During the process of installing new flooring, damage often occurs to your walls. This can leave marks and blemishes on your newly painted walls which would require touch-up paint. This costs you both time and money and is one of the reasons why you should install new flooring before painting your walls.
  • Replacing or repainting your trim: To install many types of flooring, you will need to remove your trim. Once removed, your trim may need some repair or repainting. Once your trim has been reattached to the walls, the nail holes will need to be filled and touched up. Again, by choosing to do your flooring first, all of your painting can be done at one time. This makes less of a mess and is much more efficient than painting your walls first.
  • Some trim and baseboards will need to be installed slightly higher than the previous trim. If you have already repainted your walls at this stage, there may be areas that still bear the old paint. You would have to add another coat of paint to these areas to ensure the entire surface is covered with the new paint.
  • Preparing the walls before replacing flooring: If your walls need any preparatory work before being painted, like wallpaper removal, patching, or sanding, it is better to do all of this before you lay your flooring. This is particularly an important step if you plan to apply epoxy flooring.
  • Masking: Once your new floor has been installed, you can protect it with the use of drop cloths and painters. These two will protect your new floors and keep the mess to a minimum. 

Most professionals consider painting to be “finish work”, and therefore, we leave it until the end of the job. If you have the right precautions in place, laying your flooring before you paint poses no risk of damage.

Does The Type Of Flooring You Use Make A Difference?

Different types of flooring require different types of precautions. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that it is best to lay your flooring before painting.

Some types of flooring such as finished hardwood can be installed as-is. However, unfinished hardwood needs to be stained then sanded. Stain can easily get splashed on walls which would ruin a fresh paint job. Dust and wood shavings can also get into paint that isn’t completely dry, ruining the finish. If you plan to refinish hardwood floors, it is essential to complete the flooring installation before you paint because of the messiness of the sanding and buffing required.

If you are installing new tile flooring, you will be working with a trowel close to the walls which creates the risk of chipping the paint on the baseboards. Installation of laminate or wood flooring also requires using tools near your baseboards which also creates a risk of baseboard damage.

What If You Want To Install Epoxy Flooring?

Should you install epoxy flooring before painting? The answer is “yes”. Installing epoxy flooring is a multi-step with several curing times before coats. As with other types of flooring, you can use drop cloths to prevent paint spots on your new flooring. If you happen to get paint on new epoxy flooring, it wipes right up with little to no effort. Also, if you get epoxy on your walls, it will be covered up when you do your wall painting.

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What About Ceiling Work?

Should you install your new flooring before you refinish or repaint your ceiling? Unlike wall work, ceiling work should be completed after your flooring has been installed. There is very little risk of flooring installation damaging your ceiling work, but the tall ladders used to do ceiling work could scuff, scrape, or gouge your beautiful new floors. 

What About Cabinet Installation?

In general, it’s best to install flooring after old cabinets have been removed but before new cabinets have been installed. Installing floors first provides the cleanest look since it flows directly beneath the cabinets. It is also safer for your cabinets since it allows you to prevent possible stains or nicks that occur during the sanding or installation process of your flooring. 

Should You Paint Your Ceilings Before or After Installing Flooring: Conclusion

Most of the time, the proper order of things is obvious: wash before dry, socks before shoes, etc. However, when it comes to flooring installation, the process isn’t as clear. Remodeling projects are a lot of work, but end up being well worth the effort. Redoing your floors, ceilings, walls, and cabinets in the proper order will reduce stress, minimize the risk of damage, and produce beautiful results.

If you are in the process of home renovation and are looking to replace your current flooring and have your walls painted and would like to turn the job over to an expert, give us a call at LNL Construction for a free quote. With over 31 years of experience, our main goal is to provide top-quality work and also to build a level of trust with our customers like no other. From proposal to contract, everything is done with honesty, integrity, and common sense in mind. We service Sacramento and surrounding areas. 

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The T1-11 Siding Guide: What It Is & How To Install

Posted on: March 20th, 2024

Whether you’re building a new home or replacing the current siding, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right materials. T1-11 siding is a popular option, but is it the right one for you? 

T1-11 siding was used heavily throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Although other siding options have risen in popularity, T1-11 siding is still a great option for some homes. Read on to learn everything you need to know about T1-11 siding, including why it fails, how to make it last longer, and how to make it look better. 

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What Is T1-11 Siding?

T1-11 siding is a type of plywood siding that is often used for residential homes. The name comes from the manufacturing process, where the plywood sheets are “textured one side” and “smooth one side,” hence T1-11.

This siding comes in sheets of 4 x 8 feet or 4 x 10 feet. The sheets come with vertical grooves that are spaced evenly across the wood, although T1-11 siding can also be installed horizontally. Because of its durability and relatively low cost, T1-11 siding is used for exterior siding on homes, sheds, and cabins. 

T1-11 siding can be made from various types of wood, like pine, cedar, or fir. It can also be made from a composite material called OSB (oriented strand board). OSB is made from strands or flakes of wood that are glued and pressed together into sheets. OSB typically costs less than plywood T1-11, but it also is less durable. T1-11 siding is available in different thicknesses and grades, depending on the design of your home as well as your budget. 

Why Does T1-11 Siding Fail?

T1-11 siding is an inexpensive option that gives your home a rustic look. However, T1-11 siding is susceptible to certain types of damage that can make it fail. When T1-11 fails, it’s usually for one of these reasons: 

  • Moisture: One of the most common reasons for T1-11 siding failure is water damage. This siding soaks up water easily, especially when made from OSB. When water seeps in, the siding can swell, warp, and rot. 
  • Insects: T1-11 siding is also susceptible to insect damage. Termites and carpenter ants burrow into the plywood and weaken the structure, leading to cracks, splits, and other damage. 
  • Lack of maintenance: Like any other exterior siding, T1-11 requires regular maintenance. Repainting or restaining the siding every few years protects it from water damage and UV degradation. If you don’t maintain your siding, it will deteriorate over time. 
  • Improper installation: Proper installation is important to the longevity of T1-11 siding. When done poorly, water can penetrate the siding and cause damage. 

How to Install T1-11 Siding

Installing T1-11 the right way is an important part of making it last a long time and looking polished. Sloppy installation creates gaps or loose panels that allow moisture buildup to form and damage the siding. 

To install T1-11 siding, use either 1 ⅝ inch exterior screws or 12d galvanized nails. Start from the bottom, avoiding direct contact with the ground to prevent moisture accumulation. Use a level to ensure panels are plumb and adjust before you secure them. T1-11 sheets have ⅜ edges that overlap. Secure them over studs with fasteners spaced about 8 inches apart. Make sure your nails or screws penetrate the studs. 

Before you install the sheets, you’ll want to measure for windows and doors, and cut with a circular saw. Once all the sheets are installed, you can attach trim with 8d galvanized finish nails. Seal any gaps or joints in the siding with caulk or sealing, and then make sure to paint or stain as the finishing touch. 

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How to Make It Last Longer

While T1-11 siding is susceptible to water and insect damage, there are certain steps you can take to make it last longer. The most important step is to install the siding properly. This ensures that the siding is sealed and protected from moisture. 

Once the siding is installed, it’s important to protect the siding with paint or stain that is specifically made for exterior wood surfaces. Both paint and stain protect the siding from moisture and UV rays. 

Regular maintenance of your T1-11 siding is also important. Make sure to repaint or restain the siding every few years. Check for signs of damage, like cracks, peeling paint, or water stains, and quickly repair any issue. Seal any gaps, cracks, or joints with caulk or sealant to prevent water infiltration. You’ll also want to check regularly for insects. If you find termite tunnels or carpenter ants, make sure you treat the affected areas quickly. You can also apply insect repellents to vulnerable areas to deter insects from nesting. 

How to Make It Look Better

One of the appeals of T-11 siding is its simplicity, which fits in especially with rustic settings. But when T1-11 siding is left without care, it can start to look old and tired. Proper installation and regular maintenance are two of the best ways to improve the appearance of T1-11 siding. Here are some more tips for making it look better:

  • Use trim: When installing your T1-11 siding, use trim to hide joints and create a more aesthetic look. Using 1 x 4 inch trim gives the siding a more polished look. If your T1-11 doesn’t have any grooves, you can install vertical trim for a board-and-batten look. 
  • Paint or stain it: Whether you opt for classic white paint, dark stain, or something trendy, the way you paint or stain the siding will have a huge effect on the aesthetic of your home. If your siding starts to look faded, fresh paint will make it look so much better. Plus paint and stain protect your siding from damage. 
  • Regular maintenance: If your siding is starting to look a little tired, maintenance can go a long way to freshen the appearance. Start by thoroughly cleaning the siding to remove dirt, grime, and mildew. Repair cracks, splits, and rotted areas. Fill holes with wood filler, sand the surface, and repaint to match the surrounding area.

Should You Use it?

T1-11 siding can be a great option for use in Sacramento, California. It’s affordable, attractive, and easy to paint. But is it right for you? Here are some things to consider:

  • Sacramento has hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. When T1-11 siding is properly installed and maintained, it can handle Sacramento’s climate effectively. However, you need to make sure to manage moisture to prevent issues with the siding. 
  • If you opt for T1-11 siding, you need to stay on top of maintenance. Repaint or restain every three to five years. Fill cracks and holes as soon as you notice them. 
  • Consider whether the appearance of T1-11 siding works with the aesthetic of your home. T1-11 has a distinct textured look that can complement a lot of different home styles. But you’ll want to make sure it will work with the overall design of your property. 
  • Explore alternative siding options available in the Sacramento area, like fiber cement, vinyl, or stucco. Compare factors like cost, durability, and ease of maintenance before making your choice.
  • T1-11 siding is not an effective insulator, especially when compared to other siding options. If the cost of your energy bill is a concern, you may want to invest in an alternative.  

Alternatives to T1-11 Siding 

T1-11 siding is an attractive option, especially when you’re on a budget. But there are alternatives to T1-11 siding that perform better and last longer: 

  • Fiber cement siding: Fiber cement siding, often called James Hardie siding or Hardie board, is made from a mix of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. It’s both durable and low-maintenance, and it comes in a variety of styles. 
  • Vinyl siding: Made from PVC resin, vinyl siding is affordable, low maintenance, and available in many colors and styles. Vinyl siding is very resistant to moisture, fading, and insect damage.  
  • Wood clapboard or cedar shingles: Traditional wood siding options, such as clapboard (horizontal boards) or cedar shingles (also known as shakes) offer a natural and timeless look. While they require more maintenance than some other materials, proper installation and maintenance can provide excellent durability and aesthetic appeal. 
  • Stucco: Stucco siding consists of a mixture of cement, sand, and water applied over a wire mesh or substrate. It offers a smooth and durable finish with excellent resistance to fire, insects, and rot. Stucco siding is commonly used in regions with warm and dry climates. 

If your siding needs to be replaced, give LNL Construction a call. We’ll help you choose siding for your home–whether that’s T1-11 siding, vinyl, or fiber cement. At LNL Construction, we have the experience and expertise to properly install your siding and boost the curb appeal of your home. 

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