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Finding Storage Space Means Thinking Outside the Cabinet

No one has ever claimed to have too much storage, and if you’re looking for more storage opportunities in your kitchen or bath there are probably more than you realize, it simply takes clever design and construction techniques to take full advantage of them.

For example, maximizing the storage space in your kitchen or bathroom can sometimes be as easy as looking at a wall – more specifically the space between the studs in your wall. This space may be narrow, but floor to ceiling shelving it can accommodate a lot of stuff, and containers hung on the wall can open up counter space.

Another way to find storage space is to look up, also referred to as “thinking vertically” – cabinetry which goes all the way to the ceiling can add valuable square footage and put things where there handy. Open shelving on these same walls puts your kitchenware (or bathroom amenities) on display while opening up cabinet space.

Wasting space in that corner cabinet so deep you can’t even reach, let alone remember, what’s back there? There are a myriad of carousel-type racks and shelving to get the best use from this space.

Narrow vertical drawers under the sink or next to appliances are another great way to put unused space to work. And drawers aren’t just for junk and dishtowels any more – consider installing drawers to hold your spices (a better storage option to keep them fresher, longer by reducing their exposure to moisture and sunlight) and a drawer under your oven to keep pots and pans handy and out of their precarious piles in the cabinet.

A well designed pantry can be worth its weight in gold – combining shallow drawers, various size shelves and pullout baskets (among other amenities) can turn even the smallest closet into a spacious walk-in.

Tenant Improvement Contractors and why you need one

Most new lease transactions contain some type of tenant improvement, or TI allowance, provided by the building owner. A TI allowance allows the tenant to modify or improve a commercial or retail space to fit the needs of his business. TI allowances often come with strict rules for its use and generally cover three areas: 1. design, engineering and project management fees, 2. permit fees and, 3. actual construction costs.

The tenant has sole responsibility to see that the work is completed within budget and on schedule (the landlord is off the hook), but it gives him control over the process and is likely to result in lower cost and a higher quality space. If improvement costs come in below the allowance amount the tenant is often able to use the difference to upgrade materials, add fixtures, etc. The flip side is that any cost overruns become the sole responsibility of the tenant. And of course the impact of an unmet completion date can be catastrophic. With these things to consider the right contractor can make all the difference.

It’s common for tenant improvement projects to require a fast turn-around and the work often occurs around occupied areas. Tenant improvements can also differ from other projects in planning, change orders, and closeouts. But the biggest factor by far is the speed of the work, often completed in days as opposed to weeks or months. One of the best ways to ensure your project is successful is hiring a contractor who is experienced and knowledgeable in tenant improvement projects

Although the tenant improvement approach is necessary when the buildout has specialized needs the landlord is not equipped to handle such as; high-end finishes, laboratory space, or unusually high levels of security or technology it can also benefit a tenant seeking standard quality office space at the most affordable price.

Greater Pacific Construction has been a leading Tenant Improvement Contractor in Orange County since 1989. Family owned and operated, Greater Pacific creates the most functional and affordable TI which improve your workflow and profitability.

What is a Commercial Architect?

A Commercial architect is a licensed professional who works as part of a team to design a variety of commercial buildings and structures. They contribute artistic, construction and engineering skills to a project and typically take part in every step of the building process.

In the U.S. a commercial architect must be licensed by the architect’s registration board in the state they’re working in. To obtain a license a person must pass a test administered by the state. In order to sit for the test they must have a Bachelor of Architecture degree from an accredited school and complete an internship (for practical work training). Licenses are state specific, although neighboring states may acknowledge another license through a process called reciprocity.

Commercial architects aren’t purely about aesthetics, they must also consider an array of factors during the design process, such as functionality, building codes, safety regulations and construction costs. You’ll typically find a commercial architect working in an office environment developing construction plans and consulting with clients, however you’ll also find them in the field monitoring the construction process and addressing any conflicts which may arise.

As stated above, commercial architects are part of the entire building process. They typically begin by determining design factors through client consultations, then they are usually responsible for creating the blueprints, coordinating the building process, collaborating with engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and construction contractors. They can also be involved in post-construction activities such as testing and inspections.

Successful commercial architects have a variety of skills beyond the ability to design aesthetically pleasing structures. They must be great communicators, and be able to manage and supervise contractors and sub-contractors involved in the actual construction. Problem-solving, leadership and creativity are all hallmarks of a great commercial architect.

In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an average annual salary of $79,650 for architects in general, and $74,560 for those working in nonresidential building construction. The BLS also reported that jobs for architects were predicted to increase by 17% from 2012-2022. For more information visit the American Institute of Architects website, http://www.aia.org/

Family owned since 1989, the design staff at Greater Pacific Construction works closely with Commercial Architects to deliver the most functional work space.

Who is the Top Orange County Contractor?

The one who successfully completes your job of course! Awards and recognition notwithstanding, the best contractor for one project, may not be the best for yours. So how do you go about finding YOUR best contractor in Orange County? There is no shortage of good contractors around, but to find the best one for you, consider following these simple steps and you’ll be on track to finding the best contractor in Orange County.

Write a Job Description

It only needs to be a paragraph or two (or longer depending on the project) and should include all the necessary details a contractor will need to provide an accurate estimate. As you receive estimates from individual contractors and compare their responses you can be confident they’re working off the same page…your description.

Get at Least Three Estimates

Getting fewer estimates may not give you enough comparable information, more than three and you may be bogged down under an avalanche of numbers. Keep in mind while comparing estimates that price should not be your only determining factor. Extremely low bids should be considered with skepticism, if it’s not evident how a contractor is able to complete the work at a decidedly less amount (one explanation may be that they own the needed equipment while other contractors need to include the cost of leasing the equipment) it’s possible the cost savings will show up in materials or workmanship of lesser quality.

Get Everything in Writing

The best contractors will not hesitate to provide estimates, pricing, and schedules, etc., in writing. This is just a sound business practice and for good reason; it protects both parties’ interests if problems arise down the line.

Know Before You Sign

Verify the contractor’s credentials prior to signing a contract for the project. Licensing and insurance are examples of relevant credentials.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Both you and your contractor need to be kept informed of the project status, changes and any number of issues which can arise during construction (and sometimes even before and after). Don’t wait for your contractor to contact you, if you have questions or concerns contact him or her directly. Your best contractor is a professional and will respond to you accordingly. Encourage them to contact you with any question or concern they may have as well.

Don’t Skip the Final Walk-Through

After completion walk through the project with a copy of your contract and job description and compare results. This is your opportunity to point out any deficiencies, or better yet to appreciate the contractor’s workmanship.

Family owned and operated since 1989, Greater Pacific Construction is considered the top Orange County Contractor for residential and commercial projects.

 

 

Shopping Center Remodel – Commercial General Contractor

When it comes to shopping centers, the hot trend is reuse and recycle. Developers nationwide are sprucing up older shopping centers as opposed to building new ones making them more appealing and bringing consumers back into malls. Green building has made its way into the retail real estate industry. Sustainable centers are being created by implementing “greener” methods into everyday practices. From the land where the centers are located to the materials used when remodeling, green methods can be found in many of today’s shopping centers.

Did you know?

  • California has the most shopping centers—14,993.
  • Wyoming has the least with 74.
  • The average enclosed mall contains 876,256 sq. ft. of total floor space.
  • In 2012, shopping center sales accounted for $2.4 trillion.
  • Shopping center-related employment totaled 12.4 million jobs in 2012.
  • Supermarkets are the most common anchor in open-air centers.
  • The last enclosed mall that was built was in 2011—City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This process of going “green,” has resulted in a favorable outcome; malls are now more eco-friendly and operating more cost efficiently. Sustainability isn’t the only a trend when it comes to renovating the traditional enclosed shopping center. Modern shopping centers are likely to feature:

New technology such as Wi-Fi availability is common place these days. Shopping center tenants are also utilizing social media as never before, informing consumers of upcoming events and promotions.

Luxury products and experiences are more commonly found in shopping centers, such as high-end retailers, spas and swanky restaurants (where you can be adding to the waiting list via Facebook or twitter).

Family “experiences” including amusement parks, petting zoos, family friendly entertainment and dining.

Smart Parking; never search for your car again with an app that will direct you right to your car, if you have a car. Many shopping centers now offer dedicated public transportation service.

And expect lots of open spaces. Consumers have voted with their dollars and now open air shopping centers are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Family Owned, since 1989, Greater Pacific Construction is a commercial general contractor specializing in Shopping Center Remodels in Orange County, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego.

 

 

Tricked Out Orange County Bath Remodels

Smart, unique and high-tech alternatives and additions to a bath remodel are a world apart and out of this world. They’ll bring a lot of bang for your buck and if you’re bath remodeling, these ideas are easy to incorporate.

For example, if you often struggle to find items in your dark bathroom cabinets try built-in cabinet lighting like recessed downlights (use glass shelves so light will filter down) or a backlit panel to illuminate the entire storage space.

To keep your hair dryer, electric toothbrush or shaver easily accessible use a compact cabinet located on the top of your vanity with a lift-up door. Position the cabinet at a convenient height and next to outlets so they’re ready to go.

If you have kids reaching on tip-toes for the faucet consider a pull-out or fold-down step. Position it at the base of your cabinetry to give little ones an extra boost. It can also give you a boost to reach the top of the mirror for cleaning.

Use drawer organizer to bring order to messy drawers. Similar to kitchen organizers, with inserts that divide the storage space into separate, easy-to-manage sections.

Push-touch drawer systems and soft-close door hinges are a solid investment for any bathroom, especially one for families with young kids or people with motor or mobility challenges. They’re safer, durable and ergonomic and they offer smooth and silent function,

Medicine cabinets with a mirrored interior a mirrored interior allow you to see items that are hidden at the back of your cabinet, which means you’ll be able to quickly find whatever you’re looking for.

Go high tech. For those who wish they could watch the news while getting ready in morning, or a favorite TV show while in the tub at night, get a medicine cabinet that features a mirrored door with an integrated LCD TV screen. Also, consider adding some built-in speakers to your cabinets to listen to music while preparing for the day or night ahead.

Greater Pacific Construction is an innovative Orange County Bath Remodeling Contractor with years of experience in unique solutions to create the most functional bathroom spaces.

Can’t Miss Kitchen Renovation Ideas

You want to be cautious of the “hot trends” when it’s time to renovate your kitchen. A kitchen that appears outdated in just a few years because you followed a trend with no staying power is not a good investment. Instead, look at the trends for the value they’ll bring to your home and your life for the long run!

Below are seven popular can’t miss trends that will add value for years because they address lifestyle and convenience and enduring style.

  1. White Cabinets & Appliances

White kitchens are still popular, white cabinets are the choice for 67% of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) members.

 

  1. Don’t want white? Try Neutral Gray

A grey color scheme was the fastest growing choice for kitchens in 2014, especially matched with a splash of yellow or another bold color.

 

  1. Smaller Appliances

Small is big these days, especially for retires or millennials. Micro-living may be a new movement but experts say it’s not going anywhere. Micro-appliances include a two-burner cooktop, a microwave/convection oven combo, and an 18” dishwasher among others.

 

  1. Quartz Countertops

Quartz and granite countertops have been almost tied in popularity up to now. Now the trend is definitely towards quartz. Quartz is easy to maintain and doesn’t require annual sealing like granite.

 

  1. LED Lighting

Below cabinets, along toe-kicks, concealed in crown molding, on the inside of cabinet doors; LEDs are showing up everywhere! They emit practically no heat, come in a variety of color, last longer than traditional bulbs and use less energy to boot!

 

  1. Point-of-Use Refrigeration

Put the cool where you need it. Install a counter height unit for produce next to your prep area for example or as a juice/soda fridge for kids.

 

  1. Touch-Activated Faucets

Trendy? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely! There so convenient you’ll wonder what took them so long to produce. Another important feature available with many models is their ability to turn off automatically, which can add up to significant water savings.

 

When you’re ready for a kitchen renovation contractor in Orange County give us a call at Greater Pacific Contractors for a free quote. Our team of experienced designers can help you find the best option to make your kitchen renovation a big deal. At Greater Pacific we will show Can’t Miss Kitchen Renovation Ideas.

Bath Renovation ~ Big Ideas for Small Spaces

Trying to make everything fit in a small bathroom can feel like to a crossword puzzle. The challenges can include separating the sink and toilet to meet code, room for a shower and even where to put the towels. Below are tips for renovating a small space to the perfect size.

Use a large-scale pattern. Patterns like wide stripe, can trick the eye into seeing a bigger space and the bathroom will feel bigger.

Install a wall-mounted faucet. A wall-mounted faucet allows you to use a narrower sink or vanity, and frees up square footage in the whole bathroom. Wall-mounted faucets are a popular choice this year.

Choose a corner sink. A corner sink across from a toilet works better than placing a sink across from your shower because you’ll avoid awkward “walk around” situations.

Use a shower curtain. A shower curtain in lieu of a shower door that opens in and out.

Install a round the vanity. Tight spaces can make sharp corners hazardous. A round vanity can be perfect in a square space and no more bruises.

Build shelves or a counter over the toilet. This arrangement can take advantage of wall space often overlooked in the bathroom. Toilet placement is unaffected, and the look is clean and modern.

Use a bigger mirror. A mirror that stretches across the wall instead of just over the vanity enables two people to use it at once. It also reflects light making the space feel roomier.

Mount the towel bar on the shower door. A towel bar on the shower door keeps towels handy. You may have to store most of your towels in a nearby closet, but it’s essential to have one handy.

When you’re ready for a bath renovation contractor in Orange County give us a call at Greater Pacific Contractors for a free quote. Our team of experienced designers can help you find the best option to make your bath renovation a big deal. We will show you big affordable bath renovation ideas to make the best of small spaces

 

Commercial Renovation Contractors – What to Know

The commercial renovation industry is big business. .And to be honest, not all contractors do business in the same way. Here are a few tips on how to avoid a “shady” commercial renovation contractor:

Appearance Matters – If you want to know about the attention to detail you can expect from you contractor pay attention to the way he presents his company. He may not be wearing a suit and tie, but his appearance should be neat and professional. This applies to his company vehicle as well; does it display the company’s name and logo? Is it tidy and well maintained? Even whether or not he presents you with a business card can be a reflection on his professionalism.

Check and Verify – Canvassing family, friends and business associates for a recommendation is often the best way to find a great contractor. Requesting references is a great, but only if you check them! The same is true for their professional credentials.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…yep, you guessed it – it probably is. Be cautious of low-ball offers and estimates that are drastically different.” Offers of a “one-time-only, special low price,” should probably be given a pass.

Don’t Pay in Cash – Contractors who want to work on a cash-only basis do so for a reason, avoiding taxes for example. Pay by check, no more than 20 percent (some states limit the amount of a down payment to 10%) and never make the final payment until your completely satisfied with the job.

It Pays to do the Research – Check out industry websites to get a sense of what to expect, get an idea of the associated costs and trends. Information is power, and the more familiar you are with the process the better!

Read the Fine Print – Which means read the whole contract, word-for-word. Ask for explanations if there’s something you don’t understand. Remember, if it’s not in the contract it doesn’t exist.

At Greater Pacific Construction we are an affordably priced yet high quality commercial renovation contractor. Our business relies on our reputation for excellence. We maintain the proper insurance. What we quote is what you pay. We keep our promises and time frame and we put that all in writing!

Ask Your Orange County Kitchen Remodel Contractor

Homeowners will spend more money on their kitchen remodel than on any other home improvement project, and because kitchens act as the hub of our home life the time and money spent on a remodel should be spent thoughtfully. The right kitchen remodel contractor can help you with the decisions and strategies which make a successful remodel project. Because of his experience your contractor can be a terrific partner, so don’t be afraid to ask.

  1. Plan, and then plan some more.

The planning of your remodel project should take more time than the actual construction. Working with your contractor during the planning phase is beneficial in countless ways, from reducing the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction to staying on budget.

  1. Keep the same layout.

Changing plumbing pipe locations, electrical outlets, and knocking down walls will drive up the cost faster than anything else. Your contractor can help you get the features you want with your existing footprint.

  1. Don’t get more appliances than you’ll use.

Don’t get carried away with sub-zero refrigerators, or six-burner cooktops. These may be eye-catching centerpieces but appliances are essentially tools so invest in the ones that best suit your cooking needs and lifestyle. Ask your contractor, he’s familiar with a variety of appliances.

  1. Understand the power of lighting.

Task lighting installed over food prep areas will help you works safely and efficiently. Recessed lighting and track lighting can also add value and appeal to the kitchen. Your contractor can help you with lighting design and then hardwire it in!

  1. Buy quality.

Resist low-quality bargains, ask your contractor for recommendations on products that combine low maintenance with a long warranty. Also, products with substantial warranties can be a great selling point if that’s in your future.

  1. There’s never enough storage

If you’re working with the same footprint, adding storage can be a challenge. Consider installing cabinets that reach the ceiling, mount small shelving units on unused walls, hang pots and pans on a ceiling-mounted rack, and add hooks to the backs doors for mops and brooms.

  1. Communication is key.

If you’ve started your project working with your contractor back at planning stage, you’re already ahead of the game, keep it up. And don’t forget if you have a question, ask!

 

At Greater Pacific Construction we are experts and high quality kitchen remodels. We use only top grade materials and skilled artisans on your kitchen remodel. This is why so many home owners choose Greater Pacific Construction as their Orange County Kitchen Remodeling Contractor. And since our business is family owned and operated, our reputation is at stake in every kitchen remodel.