That’s a Wrap: Mt. Airy Basement Movie Theater

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This week, we are putting the finishing touches on the Mt. Airy basement that we transformed into a posh movie theater and entertainment space. We are in the process of adding “soft finishes” like gorgeous custom drapes and a reupholstered chair for a reading nook, adding shiny bits like doorknobs, and installing fancy, custom, electric movie-watching recliner chairs that are being delivered via a white-glove service.

After a bit of cleaning, we’ll turn this room back over to the homeowners so they can kick back with some friends and enjoy their first movie-viewing party!

Retirement Planning: Design With an Eye to the Future

Myers Constructs Inc. can help you with your retirement renovation planning

Here in our office, we are seeing an uptick in calls from prospective clients who are preparing for retirement. Some are planning ahead for “aging in place,” if they plan to live in their homes long term, while others are making modifications for their aging parents or special-needs children who live with them. Our challenge in these projects is determining how to successfully update these older homes to make them more accessible and accommodating while factoring in the changing needs of the families who live there. Here’s a look at our process.

The first step is conducting a survey of the house to learn how it currently works. We then interview the homeowners and any in-home care providers about the pros and cons of the existing space. This allows us to learn how the house fits the needs of the people living in it and what changes need to be made. These problems find solutions in the planning phase, where the renovations are “built” on paper first. Those solutions often include the following:

Additions — A multi-story home might require a first-floor addition to accommodate the needs of someone in a wheelchair or who is no longer comfortable with stairs. We can even incorporate an elevator into a long-term plan, and the designated space can be used for closet storage until the elevator is needed.

Doorways and Hallways — These elements can be widened or removed altogether.

Accessible Bathrooms — They are fairly simple to design, and can be very stylish, as well. They don’t need to look like hospital bathrooms.

Accessible Kitchens — These can be very chic spaces everyone enjoys using together. Anyone should be able to operate a great kitchen, even if they are in a chair or scooter, have arthritis, or are simply aging. There are many great products we can specify to help with accessing cabinets, doors, appliances, faucets, and the like.

Lighting — This is a feature we notice more as we age and our eyes become weaker. Where a few high hats in the kitchen would have been fine for someone in their 30s, a middle-aged or older person will need much more light. Sight-impaired individuals obviously have other special lighting needs. Knowing what a person needs now and in the future helps us to design needed features into a project.

The key to accessible homes is making them logical, attractive, and easy to use for everyone, no matter their abilities. They are not hard to do well, but they do require some thoughtfulness and good planning.


Image: garryknight

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 13: Tile

Custom kitchen backsplash tile

This week, we’re completing the finishing touches on our Mt. Airy kitchen. The crew installed this beautiful ceramic tile backsplash, which serves as a nice transition between the upper painted glass-front cabinetry and lower cherry-stained cabinets. As you can see in the close-up view, the tile pattern features a combination of rectangular and circular shapes in gradated shades of blue — providing a nice focal point for the space!

In the next few days, we will wrap up the last bits of this project so the clients can enjoy their new kitchen for the holidays.


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1. Planning
Step 2. Demolition
Step 3. Insulation and Framing
Step 4. Prepping for Inspection
Step 5. Pre-Closing
Step 6. Drywall
Step 7. Cabinetry
Step 8. Cabinetry Pre-Installation
Step 9. Cabinetry Completion, Countertop and Flooring Prep
Step 10. Final Installations
Step 11. Detail, Trim Work, Appliances
Step 12. Finishing Touches

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 12: Finishing Touches

Panorama View of the Kitchen
Panorama View of the Kitchen

We are excited to announce that we’ll be taking the wraps off of our Mt. Airy kitchen project today or tomorrow. The only outstanding item, at this point, is the beautiful backsplash tile, which is expected later this month. Our carpenters are now busy packing their equipment and materials off site as they tackle the last small hardware items and other details.

Revealing a finished room can feel a little like opening a big gift on Christmas morning. Exciting stuff for both us and the clients! We look forward to seeing how the homeowners “move in” to their new space, which incorporates plenty of open shelving, room for artwork, and expansive counter spaces. Stay tuned for the final finished photo later this month!


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1. Planning
Step 2. Demolition
Step 3. Insulation and Framing
Step 4. Prepping for Inspection
Step 5. Pre-Closing
Step 6. Drywall
Step 7. Cabinetry
Step 8. Cabinetry Pre-Installation
Step 9. Cabinetry Completion, Countertop and Flooring Prep
Step 10. Final Installations
Step 11. Detail, Trim Work, Appliances

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 11: Detail, Trim Work, Appliances

finishing.up_Now that the cabinets are installed in our Mt. Airy kitchen, the project is coming to a head. Here is what’s happening this week:

  • Installation of extra bits and bobs on the cabinets, such as spacers and trim
  • Minor drywall/carpentry work
  • Installation of a transom window, a window to the outside, and three doors
  • Trimming out the windows, baseboards, and plumbing and electrical work
  • Installation of appliances

This is what we call “a hatful” of work. We depend on everyone being on schedule and working together to get it done. It is important for everyone to work cleanly and carefully so no damage happens to the finished products.

This is also the second most stressful time for the customers because they can see all the nice shiny new stuff, and their room looks like it should be ready to use, but it’s not quite there yet. All of these wee things still need to happen. We’re keeping the clients up to date during this furious crescendo. It’s not an easy time for anyone … but it’s all well worth it in the end.

Stay tuned to our facebook page for photos of the finished space!


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Demolition
Step 3: Insulation and Framing
Step 4: Prepping for Inspection
Step 5: Pre-Closing
Step 6: Drywall
Step 7: Cabinetry
Step 8: Cabinetry Pre-Installation
Step 9: Cabinetry Completion, Countertop and Flooring Prep
Step 10: Final Installations

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 10: Final Installations

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The early part of this week is being spent confirming details on our Mt. Airy kitchen and ensuring that subcontractors arrive on time, in the proper order, and finish on schedule. The flooring will go in on Wednesday, the stone on Thursday, and the wall and tall cabinets on Friday.

Timing is everything at this point. The kitchen counters need to go in before the wall and tall cabinets because some of these cabinets actually sit on the countertops. Likewise, the stone can’t go in until the floor is complete because a couple of base cabinets had to be removed to get the floor in. This equates to a lot of juggling and communication between multiple parties — one of the key reasons why it’s important to have an experienced general contractor handling a complicated job like this. Sometimes, there are crazy little loose ends that come up. In fact, there was a sink installation detail to clarify just this morning. So we are in touch with the customers about that even though they are out of town.

This is the real crunch time in the project. Once we get these last big strokes done, it’s all paint and trim and fun stuff from here. Follow along on our facebook page for pictures of the final stages of this kitchen!


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Demolition
Step 3: Insulation and Framing
Step 4: Prepping for Inspection
Step 5: Pre-Closing
Step 6: Drywall
Step 7: Cabinetry
Step 8: Cabinetry Pre-Installation
Step 9: Cabinetry Completion, Countertop and Flooring Prep

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 9: Cabinetry Completion, Countertop and Flooring Prep

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If you are following our Mt. Airy kitchen renovation on Facebook, you know that the cherry base cabinets were unloaded and installed late last week. Because the upper cabinets are painted, they were finished at the factory in a second run and will be delivered shortly.

Also this week, the flooring pro is scraping, sanding, priming, and sealing the Gypcrete floor underlay in preparation for the installation of the Forbo Marmoleum floor. The stone and wood counters are being templated on Wednesday, and the carpenter will return to the site this week to double check a few items on his list that need to be perfect before the rest of the cabinets and counters are installed.

We will next need to temporarily remove a couple of base cabinets for the flooring to be installed. This is because the flooring material can only be manipulated so much before it cracks, so we need to provide extra clearance. Bespoke projects can be a bit of a juggling act. Sometimes, there is a bit of back and forth to get the fit just right.

Have a wonderful week,

The Myers Constructs Team


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Demolition
Step 3: Insulation and Framing
Step 4: Prepping for Inspection
Step 5: Pre-Closing
Step 6: Drywall
Step 7: Cabinetry
Step 8: Cabinetry Pre-Installation

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 8: Cabinetry Pre-Installation

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As we head into the holiday weekend, you can see that the new custom cabinetry is being assembled for our Mt. Airy kitchen. The clients chose rich “bamboo” stained solid cherry drawers and doors with cherry plywood boxes. Our Bucks County-based cabinetmaker is currently installing the hardware — including fancy Euro hinges, soft-close mechanisms, and leveling feet — as well as doors and drawers.

Our customers are patiently waiting for delivery and installation of the bases this week, with wall cabinets to follow in the next week.

Be sure to visit our facebook page for regular updates and photos on this project.

Have a Happy Labor Day!

The Myers Constructs Team

Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Demolition
Step 3: Insulation and Framing
Step 4: Prepping for Inspection
Step 5: Pre-Closing
Step 6: Drywall
Step 7: Cabinetry

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 7: Cabinetry

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At this point, the custom cabinet designer and installer have been out to our Mt. Airy kitchen project site three times to fine tune measurements, and they will come out at least once more to complete the process. This is after many dozens of drawings, e-mails, and telephone conversations between them and our designers. Meanwhile, the cabinets are being made in sections in Bucks County, 60 minutes away from our job site.

The design detail with this type of high-end bespoke cabinetry is so fine that we have to adjust our drywall layout and window installations to ensure that everything fits seamlessly. Using various computer design programs and the skill of the designers and fabricators sets us up for a successful outcome.

The floor-pouring sub is also on site sanding and touching up the floor to make it flat and level. Before the final floor is installed, the Marmoleum sub will also do some prep, and the plumbers will replace a section of old drain line in a closet soffit.

Be sure to visit our facebook page for regular updates and photos on this project.

Have a wonderful week,

The Myers Constructs Team


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Demolition
Step 3: Insulation and Framing
Step 4: Prepping for Inspection
Step 5: Pre-Closing
Step 6: Drywall

A Day in the Life of a Kitchen Remodel — Step 6: Drywall

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Customers often find the drywall phase the most uncomfortable phase of any project. Drywall is dusty, and it gets everywhere. In the case of our Mt. Airy kitchen, the clients were smart to avoid this process by scheduling a short trip out of town. The upside? This is also an exciting period in any project. Once customers can see the walls, they can begin to picture the finished project in “real space.”

Our next tasks are to get the in-floor heating installed and the new level floor poured. After that, we are into paint, trim, counters, tile, and cabinets: the shiny bits!

Be sure to visit our facebook page for regular updates and photos on this project.


Revisit previous updates on this project:

Step 1: Planning

Step 2: Demolition

Step 3: Insulation and Framing

Step 4: Prepping for Inspection

Step 5: Pre-Closing