Cabinet Hardware Explained – From Decorative to Functional

Today’s cabinets vary as much in style as they do in functionality. Although styles can range wildly from simple big-box manufactured face frame cabinets with slab panel doors to intricately crafted custom cabinets hewn from the hands of generations of craftsmen, some things just never change. The cabinet hardware that makes these cabinets both functional and decorative is virtually universal throughout.

Yes, there are minor differences in cabinet hardware from one style of cabinet to another, however, the major types of hardware can be found in any style or construction of cabinet. The two main types of hardware are decorative and functional.

DECORATIVE CABINET HARDWARE

Decorative hardware, sometimes referred to as surface hardware, consists of the pieces that are mounted to the outside surface of your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. They not only provide the means with which to open your cabinet doors, they also give your cabinetry that finishing touch. The various types are:

*handle pulls

*cup pulls

*knobs

*backplates

*ring, bail and pendant pulls

Handle and cup pulls are rigid and require two mounting screws to attach to the cabinet door or drawer front. Bail pulls also require two mounting screws, however, they can be rigid or swinging type bails. Knobs are just simple post-pulls that require one mounting screw. Ring and pendant pulls can be rigid or swinging and normally require one mounting screw although some may require two with a small center-to-center measurement.

The mounting hole spacing measurement is the most important measurement of a cabinet handle pull if you are replacing existing hardware. This measurement is taken from the center of one mounting hole to the center of the other, thus it is called the center-to-center measurement (abbreviations include: C-C, C/C, CTC). Obviously if you are replacing existing cabinet pulls, you will need to match your new hardware center-to-center measurement with that of the holes already drilled into your cabinet doors. Common measurements are 3″, 3-1/2″, 96mm and 4″, however there are many more than just those four.

FUNCTIONAL CABINET HARDWARE

Functional hardware consists of the hardware pieces that make your cabinets do what they are suppose to do. Doors open and close, drawers slide out and back in, giving you access to the items you have inside. Basically, if your cabinets didn’t have any of this type of hardware in and on them, they would be pretty useless. These types include:

*door hinges

*drawer slides

Door hinges are simply the hinges that connect your cabinet doors to the actual cabinet but as simple as their function is, the types, sizes and options abound. The three main distinguishing types of cabinet hinges are concealed, semi-concealed and non-concealed. These all can come in a variety of opening angles, swing types (free-swinging vs. self-closing), overlay sizes, insets as well as finishes.

Drawer slides are the pieces of hardware that allow your drawers to slide in and out. They are sometimes referred to by other names such as drawer guides, drawer glides, drawer runners and drawer tracks. The three main types used on cabinets are: side-mount, side/under-mount and under-mount. These types can be further classified by the distance they allow a drawer to be opened such as 3/4 extension, full-extension or over-travel extension.

Cabinet hardware is not very complicated on the surface. It is the many options that these basic pieces come in that gets a little more in-depth, too in-depth for this simple primer on cabinet hardware.

Shopping for Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Selecting new kitchen cabinet hardware is a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun. New kitchen cabinet hardware can completely change the look of a kitchen. Getting new hardware is the perfect way to feel like you are getting a new kitchen while not spending the amount of money it would take to completely redo your kitchen. Of course there are a number of things that should be taken into consideration whenever you start shopping for new kitchen cabinet hardware.

Quality
Everyone wants to find the highest quality items for the lowest prices, and this can seem to be a bit difficult when searching for cabinet hardware. It is important to realize that most retailers will mark up hardware two or three times what you can buy it for online. In most cases you can go directly to the manufacturer online and purchase the exact same kitchen cabinet hardware for a fraction of the price you would pay in a retail store. Just remember to start out by purchasing only one piece of each kind of hardware you intend to purchase. This will allow you to feel the hardware and test its weight to see if it is high quality. To find out if a piece of kitchen cabinet hardware is high quality, feel the weight of the piece in your hand. Higher quality hardware will weigh a lot more than lower quality hardware. Once you have confirmed that the pieces are of high quality, then it is time to order enough pieces to fill your need.

Style and Color
Of course it is very important to think about the overall look of the kitchen when purchasing cabinet hardware. There are so many different styles of hardware available that anyone can find one that will fit perfectly into their kitchen. Some pieces of hardware have very ornate designs, while others are very simple. Just think about your kitchen and the color of the cabinets. Also take into consideration the design of the cabinets and try to find pieces of hardware that match.

Color is also an important part of style. Choosing the right color for your hardware is important because certain colors of metal look better with certain colors of wood. Start by considering the color of the metal you need, and then you can start thinking about what kind of metal to choose. Some common metals for kitchen cabinet hardware include nickel, pewter, copper, and bronze.

Types of Hardware
Another important consideration to make involves the various types of hardware. You can choose from either knobs or cabinet pulls. Knobs are usually much more simplistic in nature, although the more ornate ones can even be two-toned. Cabinet pulls look more like handles, and they can sometimes be extremely ornate. On the other hand, they can also be fairly simple. Deciding whether you want knobs or pulls really just depends on how much metal you want to display on your cabinets. Also keep in mind how easy the hardware pieces are to use. Choosing hardware that is easily missed or hard to grab will only make it more difficult to open your kitchen cabinets. If anyone in your family has arthritis, then try out the hardware to see if it is difficult for them to use.

Another option that some people even choose is the option of no kitchen cabinet hardware. This is certainly the most simplistic way to go, and it is a valid choice that some people decide to make after considering all options. Some cabinets do not necessarily need hardware, so choosing to go without is a stylistic choice that is perfect for some decors.

Tips For Picking Out Quality Cabinet Hardware

When selecting cabinet hardware for your kitchen or bath you should first determine if your cabinets have existing holes in them. If you have existing holes drilled you will need to make sure your new cabinet hardware will fit in the holes. For example if your cabinets are drilled for cabinet pulls you will need to measure the distance between the holes. The new pulls will need to match your existing conditions. If you have single holes drilled in your cabinets you may have to use knobs in this situation as pulls normally require two screws and may not end up in the correct location on the cabinet door or drawer. Most cabinet pulls have a 3 inch screw hole spacing. However, pulls can come in many other dimensions. If your cabinets are brand new chances are they do not have holes drilled in them. In this case you have many more options.

When selecting cabinet knobs and pulls you should take into account the size of your doors and drawers to make sure the hardware you choose will fit. Most cabinet hardware is packaged with a standard size screw. You should measure the thickness of your cabinets to make sure the screws in the package will work for your condition. If the screws are to long or short you can purchase screws separately at any home improvement store.

When installing cabinet hardware on new cabinets I would suggest purchasing a template to help you locate the screw holes on your cabinet doors and drawers. Templates can be ordered online from most sites that sell cabinet hardware. The template will help you mark your cabinets before drilling screw holes. Before you measure use masking tape so you can mark the cabinets with a pencil. The tape will also protect the finish of the cabinets.Drill holes using a drill bit that is 1/16 of an inch larger than the diameter of your screws. Take your time when drilling holes. Do not push to hard or you could damage the cabinets when the drill bit comes out the back side of your door or drawer.

Popular brands of cabinet hardware include Amerock, Top Knobs, Dynasty Hardware, Jeffrey Alexander and Hickory Hardware. There are others but these brands offer affordable options. Check the internet for deals on cabinet hardware. Ordering your hardware over the internet is easy. There are several sites where you can view the various styles and designs. You can always order just a few pieces to make sure they are what you want before placing your order.

Cabinet hardware does vary in quality. Here are some things to consider when judging the quality of the hardware. Do the knobs or pulls have hollow backs. Most quality cabinet hardware is solid. Look at the finish. Does the manufacturer offer a warranty on the finish. Most quality cabinet hardware is made of zinc. Other metals include brass or bronze.

When shopping for cabinet hardware, consider the design of your kitchen. Are you going for a modern look or a traditional look. Do you want your cabinet hardware to match the finish of your other fixtures, like faucets or lighting fixtures. Choose a finish that will contrast with the finish of your cabinets. Do not be afraid to be bold. Have fun and enjoy your new hardware.

Complete Cabinet Resurfacing With Cabinet Hardware

If you have spent time and money in choosing the cabinets in your home, or if you are looking to renovate or redesign the cabinets in your home, then you may already know that cabinet resurfacing is a great way to do this and save money while you’re at it. However, there is one aspect of cabinet resurfacing that sometimes goes overlooked. The cabinet hardware is a vital part of the renovation that is sometimes not given the proper attention.

Cabinet hardware has an important function of allowing the cabinet drawers and doors to be easily opened and closed. However, there is also an aesthetic appeal to cabinet hardware. People choose the hardware in order to match the existing decor of the room or to help to create a new design of decor in the space.

Because there is such a wide variety of cabinet hardware, homeowners today have more options than they previously did when it comes to choosing theirs. Since cabinet designs vary from home to home, you will need to choose the one that you prefer the most. If you move into a home that does not have the cabinet design that you would like, it is fairly easy and affordable to renovate them but when planning your budget, you need to remember the cabinet hardware as well.

There are so many different types and styles of cabinet hardware out there that you are sure to find something to meet your needs. The real challenge lies in determining which one is best for you and your needs amongst the many types that are out there. Some research will help you to make this decision more easily.

Cabinet hardware can be anything from traditional and simple to ornate and highly detailed. While the style itself does not matter so much, what is important is making sure that the hardware you choose matches the type of cabinets that you have. What may seem like a small detail can actually be a very important piece to the overall look of the design of the cabinets.

It’s especially important that your hardware complement your cabinets when you go with a more decorative or ornate design. A plain and simple design or a contemporary look can work well with a simple but bold hardware piece. There are so many different combinations that you can choose to complement your cabinet resurfacing project and have the perfect options for you.

Useful Link:ยท Cabinet Hinges always a great inexpensive way to spruce up a kitchen resurfacing project and a must have to really complete your project. don’t forget to make sure to purchase hinges that match your new cabinet hardware. If your cabinets have concealed hinges this does not apply

Selecting the Best Cabinet Hardware

Shopping for cabinet hardware is a lot of fun because it involves putting the finishing touches on a brand new kitchen. Even if you decided to save some money and replace just the cabinet doors and cabinet hardware, it is still as if you are getting all new kitchen cabinets because the look of your kitchen will change drastically. The type of cabinet hardware you select says a lot about your personality, so it is very important to choose carefully. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you go about choosing new cabinet hardware.

Style and Material
The two most important things to think about when you first start looking for cabinet hardware are style and material. Brushed nickel is currently one of the most popular materials, although there are also many others to choose from. Other options include copper, pewter, and stainless steel. Just think about the color of the hardware and what would look good with the type of wood you chose. In addition to color, also think about the style of the cabinets and the overall feel of your kitchen. Is it simple or fancy? Elegant or country? Modern or classic?

It is also important to take your appliances into consideration. If you intend to have stainless steel appliances, then you will probably want cabinet hardware that shares the same silver tone. Some pieces even have two toned looks to them, so it is certainly possible to get that silver look in the hardware you choose, while still paying homage to another metal-colored tone that is in your kitchen.

Pulls or Knobs
Another important question when it comes to cabinet hardware is whether you prefer knobs or cabinet pulls. Knobs tend to be a little bit more simplistic in their styling because they are often just one solid color with very little decoration. Cabinet pulls, on the other hand, are a full handle that can be used to open the cabinet. They have much more room to be fancy, so it is not unusual for those with a fancier kitchen to choose cabinet pulls instead of simple knobs for their hardware.

Ease of Use and Cleaning
One thing many people do not take into consideration when shopping for hardware is how easy the pieces are to use and clean. For example, some hardware has very intricate designs, but these intricate designs will be very difficult to keep clean. Also hardware pieces that come in some shapes are very difficult to use for people with arthritis or other problems with their hands. Keep both of these in mind as you shop for the right pieces for your kitchen.

Saving Money
One thing many people do not know about hardware for cabinets is the fact that it is so easy to save money on the pieces. Purchasing from a retailer is like asking to pay more for the same pieces. Most retailers or cabinet companies will sell these hardware pieces for three times what they are actually worth on a retail level. However, many companies that make hardware sell the same pieces wholesale over the internet. Purchasing hardware online is a great way to save a lot of money on hardware. However, always be sure to purchase just one piece of hardware to start. This will allow you to test the quality of the hardware and make sure that it really is comparable to what is marked up three times the price in the retail store. Heavier hardware pieces are of higher quality, so keep this in mind as you compare the feel of the pieces.

Bringing Your Dreams To Life With New Construction Homes

New construction homes offer many distinct advantages over older ones. While purchasing a residence that has had a previous owner might be easier than constructing a building from the ground up, you should take a patient approach when making your next investment. Older buildings can develop structural problems over time that may cause their value to decrease. On the other hand, newly constructed properties are in the best condition they’ll ever be in. Spend a good deal of time researching the pros and cons of building your next residence, and you’ll be more likely to make the best decision for your family.

Sometimes, the cost of buying a property currently on the market is actually greater than that associated with building. However, there are good deals on existing structures out there for those who know where to look. Also, consider the state of the housing market when deciding on the type of investment you should make. In a seller’s market, moving into a newly constructed residence will probably offer more value in return. The land on which you build is also a deciding factor in the value of your house, so you should consider every option when looking to purchase property.

Once you have a suitable lot for your next investment, it’s time to begin working with a contractor who can bring your vision to life. Some homeowners want properties that are programmed to suit their routines. Other investors want to create aesthetically stunning spaces where they will spend their time. The design process should be thorough and painstaking, and you should refer to drawings or renderings of your residence before work begins. The beauty of new construction homes is in their ability to be customized, so have fun and maybe consult a professional designer when deciding on the finer details.

Over the years, building codes have become stricter to ensure newly built properties are able to withstand the test of time. Older residences may be poorly insulated or exhibit structural problems. Investing in new construction homes means your money will be spent on materials that offer superior durability and performance. This is one of the reasons investing in a newly constructed residence is a better investment than an older home. A building with a previous owner might require a series of renovations to boost its energy efficiency and get it back into top form.

Lastly, finding the right building company is a crucial step when you’re looking to construct a new property. Ask any prospective contractors for references and make sure they’re on the same page with you in terms of design and budgeting. It’s important to maintain a clear line of communication through every phase of your project. The extra time and energy you spend in the design and building phases will be in a deciding factor in how your property’s value increases or decreases over the years. Whether you’re looking to purchase your very first property, or you’re finally ready to build your dream home, make sound investment decisions.

New Construction Progress Inspections

Having a new customized home built can be an exciting experience. Getting through the process however can be a long and at times difficult ordeal. People having a new home built often rely solely on their builder to help guide them through the construction. Unfortunately he may not be the best person to advise them on their project.

Consider the following:

Home builders and many contractors involved in home construction are not licensed professionals
No license means no mandated formal training or apprenticeship, no continuing education, and minimal accountability

City building inspectors check for code compliance, not quality

Codes do not cover all aspects of the building process

These are facts that the majority of people building new homes or for that matter having work done on their existing home, do not know. But who can a new construction home buyer find who will objectively and competently oversee an entire building project and provide knowledgeable, unbiased information on construction techniques and materials? An independent, licensed, professional home inspector.

Most often home inspectors are called in after the new home owner has been experiencing problems with the house, often for many months or even years after it was built. What new construction home buyers almost never consider is hiring the inspector while the house is being built.

When problems do occur and the homeowner is asked about new construction inspections some reasons heard for not enlisting the help of an independent home inspector are:

The local building official is inspecting the home

As previously stated these inspectors look for code compliance, not quality. They are in the home only briefly during different phases of the construction. Do they miss things? Yes they do and no they are not usually held accountable for their mistakes. Also they are municipal employees and are not directly responsible to the persons buying the home. In other words they won’t contact the buyer if there are problems. They simply instruct the builder to correct the issues and move on to the next home.

Cost

It’s always about the money and for good reason. Costs can escalate quickly when building a new home. Buyers often want upgrades and these push up costs. So hiring an independent inspector can be an expense that is hard to justify. After all they believe the city building official is inspecting the home.

The builder has a good reputation

He may, but how do you know. Many people do not research the builder before signing on with them to build their home. This may be even truer when purchasing the home through a third party such as Realtor. Get references and check them before signing a contract.

It is also important to understand specifically what the builders’ job is. He generally is the person who manages the entire construction process. He must hire and coordinate many sub-contractors to install the vast amount of components that make up a house. This can be an overwhelming task for just one home, but if he is building several homes at once it can be nearly impossible to effectively manage.

It’s a new house; there should be nothing wrong (Very likely the biggest misconception related to new homes)

If you have ever bought an item, taken it home and it broke the first time you used it then the absurdness of this statement should be glaringly apparent. But never the less many people who have a home built believe because it is new and there is a one year builders warranty there will be no problems.

A house is a complex structure containing many different systems that must all function correctly and in harmony. It is built over the course of several months by many different people. Assuredly there are going to be problems and most often they are minor or cosmetic. But there are those occasional big problems that can make the home barely habitable or in extreme cases uninhabitable.

Was not aware that an outside inspector could be hired

When paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to have a home built, you are certainly entitled to have whom every you choose oversee the process. If you meet resistance to bringing in an outside inspector, this should be a red flag that something could potentially be wrong.

But why is it important to hire an independent inspector to look after the project?

Very simply quality control. If the construction company in charge of building your home knows that the customer has hired an independent, knowledgeable inspector to oversee the build, they are very likely to be more diligent in their quality of work. The psychological effect can be just as influential as the actual physical inspections.

Home inspectors and home builders encompass similar knowledge of home construction. However home inspectors are formally trained individuals who are licensed and consequently must also attend a specific amount of continuing education for license renewal. Home builders are not licensed, only registered, and therefore are not required to be formally trained or attend continuing education. They must only pay a yearly fee to remain registered and in business.

This is also true of the majority of contractors who perform work on a new or existing home. The term Home Improvement Contractor is a catch all category for companies that do any type of improvement work on homes. For example carpenters who frame the home fall into this category, as do roofers, foundation contractors, sheet rockers, flooring installers and many other individual companies that are part of putting a house together.

Another important aspect of the home inspectors experience is they view all types and ages of homes. They see the results of poor construction practices and understand better than anyone the consequences of inferior workmanship. It’s an important and unique perspective that no other profession can claim.

Finally a hired independent home inspector works for and reports directly to you. He is your advocate and can be an invaluable asset during the building of your new home.

Before you buy a new home consumer groups advise protecting your rights by taking these steps:
Research your builder thoroughly before signing any agreements.

Consider hiring a real estate lawyer to negotiate your contract. There is no better time to negotiate than before you buy.

To protect your right to sue, strike any requirement that disputes will go to binding arbitration.

Ask for the names of subcontractors building your home. Investigate their work before you buy.

Hire a professional inspector to examine your home during construction. Point out flaws that can be fixed before you move in.

Discuss your warranty thoroughly with the builder. Put everything in writing.

Leave a paper trail. Send all correspondence to the builder by certified mail, return receipt requested.

James Quarello, the founder of JRV Home Inspection Services, brings to the company an over 20 year background in industrial equipment installation engineering and home remodeling. Mr. Quarello is a graduate of The Home Inspection Institute of Americas’ intensive Connecticut certified HI-100 Home Inspector training program. He is also a graduate of Inspection Training Associates (ITA) New Construction inspection program and has passed the National Home Inspectors Exam (NHIE).

New Construction Incorporates Green Methods

Since the financial crash of 2008 one of the major changes that has taken place on the home building industry has been the rise of the green building in new construction. In 2011 the green segment of the market accounted for 17% of all construction projects with an economic impact of $17,000,000,000. In 2013 this rose to $87,000,000,000. Green buildings, also known as sustainable buildings, are designed to incorporate building processes and materials that are resource and energy efficient. Because of the long history of standard house design and construction methods, the new goal of going green requires the cooperation and feedback from not only the architects and engineers but also the end user at all stages of the building process.

The goals of more efficiency that are being demanded by consumers are being helped by the development of new technologies that complement current practices. Some of the new practices that are being implemented are more efficient use of water, energy and other resources. Other items of concern for builders are homeowner health and the reduction of waste and pollution in the building process.

One method that is being put into practice to achieve this is new construction using natural materials. One of the materials of choice that is being widely used is the straw bale. Straw is a material that is widely available and modestly priced. If you use straw bales as the material of choice in your home, after they are placed they can be sealed with plaster or adobe to help increase the bales structural integrity. Another common design is the Earth Ship. This housing unit uses discarded automobile and truck tires that are packed with earth. After they are packed the tires are then formed into the house shell, which can then be covered with adobe or plaster for additional structural integrity. Many of these Earth Ship homes also use plain dirt and grass for the roof structures. This type of structures emphasizes the green goal of using sustainable resources and reducing the environmental impact of standard construction techniques.

Although these types of structure can seem extreme to some, it is a viable subset of this whole movement. This movement has also had an impact on standard construction practices. New construction techniques may not embrace these types of materials but they have embraced and are utilizing more energy efficient electrical appliances, water and heating systems. One of the big shifts in this area is the use of appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and HVAC systems that are Energy Star rated. Energy Star is a government organization and an Energy Star rating will give prospective buyers an insight into how the new construction ranks in terms of overall energy efficiency.

This concept of sustainable development and efficiency can be traced back to not only the financial crisis of 2008 but also the explosion of energy prices worldwide. Green building today incorporates many different practices, techniques, and innovations that are designed to achieve its goals. These innovations can include passive and active solar systems for energy production and heat to the use of low impact building materials in the construction process. Even though going green is still in its infancy it holds out great promise.