DIY Projects Tools

Toolbox Essentials

Our hardware managers have given their recommendations for a variety of toolbox essentials from dust masks to levels.  We broke their selections down into categories and have put together a list of basics to start your collection.

Save time and effort with the right tools in your toolbox.

Here are our suggestions for the types of tools to have on hand so that you’ll be ready for any task. The right tools can make the difference between success and frustration.

The Toolbox

Before you invest in a lot of tools, you’ll want a place to store them to keep them clean, dry, and ready for duty. Maybe that means a wall or pegboard system, or maybe it means an actual container.  Here’s one suggestion for a tool box that you can store or carry: from DeWalt, the TSTAK® deep box with flat top (DWST17806). This flexible platform from DeWalt allows different combinations; all units can stack on top of each other and are able to connect with durable side latches for easy carrying and safe stacking. This model can be used for storage of corded and cordless tools and features a removable tray for access to essential tools. Heavy duty metal latches and hinges are built for durability.

Utility Knife

This is an upgrade from the throw-away box cutters you can pick up anywhere. A good quality utility knife is a favorite cutting tool. From opening boxes to cutting carpet, a utility knife can do it all. Try the Stanley Quick Change Retractable Utility Knife (ST10499) – a trustworthy tool at a reasonable price point.

Our Pro pick is the DeWalt Premium retractable Utility Knife (DWHT10295) which is water resistant and has a lifetime warranty.


You could buy a whole set of screwdrivers, or you can buy one that can handle many jobs: the Lutz 15-in-1 screwdriver (7965001). This screwdriver has a an easy grip handle and integrated storage for 7 double ended interchangeable bits. Ratcheting action in the handle gives you some extra power. This truly is a toolbox essential that you will reach for over and over.


Pliers are universal tools that can perform a range of duties. They can be used for light electrical work and other tasks because they can grip, bend, and cut. These tools are indispensable for your toolbox, work bench, or tool belt. A good basic set of pliers is the Stanley 3-piece set (ST84056) which includes 6″ diagonal pliers, 6″ long  nose pliers, and 6″ slip joint pliers.

Our Pro pick is a single set of Stanley Long Nose Pliers (ST84097). This plier has a rust resistant finish, hardened cutting edges for strength, and machined jaws for a slip-resistant grip.

Safety Gear

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is important, and it doesn’t cost a lot.  Some items to consider:

3M masks – for chemical use, painting, sanding, and recently, virus protection! For a one time job, keep a pack of 2 masks (under $10) in your tool box: 3M N95 Particulate Respirator our item # 82MMM8654.

For a bigger job or if you have people helping you, stash a box of 10 with your gear  – at under $25, you’ll save on buying in bulk and have them ready when you need them – item # 82MMM8511BX.

Other PPE to keep nearby: high visibility safety gloves – reusable single pair item # 82BG8412M (or L, or X depending upon size – just $6); safety vest  – under $10 for a basic hi-vis vest with reflective stripes; safety glasses & ear protection (under $10 for a combo pack of glasses and ear plugs, item # 590541839, plus other items to choose from.


For small jobs around the house, like leveling a shelf or picture frame, a toolbox size level may be all that you need. The Johnson 7500 aluminum torpedo level measures just 9″ long and is under $10. for larger projects like doors and windows, you may need a longer level, such as the Johnson 4800 (JL4800) – a 4′ aluminum box level.

Our Pro pick is the Stabila (STA37532) Jammer set – this 2-piece set includes 78″ and 32″ aluminum box beam levels for leveling headers, sills, thresholds, door frames and more.


You’ll want a good hammer for nailing or pulling nails. The Vaughan 999 (VAU999) rip hammer, 20 oz, is a classic tradesman tool, and a good fit in any toolbox. This one has a hardwood handle, a rust-resistant finish, and is made in USA.

Step up your game with the EstWing E320S (ESTE320S). This 20 oz hammer is forged from steel and has a shock reduction grip for more comfort when you’re using it all day. At under $35 each, either of these will serve a wide range of people and projects.


Our hardware experts have 2 recommendations for measuring tapes that are go-to items for the trade, and equally useful around the house: Stanley Fat Max 25’ tape item # ST33725.  Or try the DeWalt 25’ Tough Series tape, with a 17’ stand out (meaning you can extend it 17’ before the tape will bend). At under $30 each, these are both reliable tape measures you will reach for again and again.

Adjustable wrenches

An adjustable wrench is a great tool to have in the home because they are used for tightening loose nuts and bolts, making them essential for assembling furniture, working on the car, and a myriad of other tasks. For general use, you can try a Stanley 8″ adjustable wrench (ST87369).

Our Pro pick is a socket kit. With 69 pieces including both 3/8″ and 1/4″ drive sockets and ratchets, this Stanley (ST92824) set this will serve you well for common home and automotive use.

Tapes and Adhesives

Yup, you saw it here, a good old roll of duct tape is handy to have. Plus other kinds of tape, such as masking or painter’s tape, electrical tape, teflon tape, double sided adhesives, hook and loop fasteners or wood glue. When it comes to having the right tools for the the job, sometimes the word tool is used loosely.

Dropcloths or tarps

Maybe a  dropcloth won’t fit in the toolbox, but it is nice to have on hand. Quite often this is the item that is forgotten until you start sawing or making holes in drywall and realize what a mess it makes. Tarps are useful for covering projects outside.

We hope to see you at one of our many locations where you can meet the Riverhead Building Supply team and take advantage of their knowledge. See our calendar for information about tool shows and other upcoming events.


Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring is here and that means it’s time to go outside and start enjoying the warmer weather.  But before you fire up the barbeque, it’s important to take care of some outdoor home maintenance tasks. Winter weather can be tough on homes, and while the interior of your home may be fine, the exterior of your home may not be. Tackling preventative maintenance tasks now can avert costly repairs or replacements in the future. The experts at Riverhead Building Supply recommend putting the following tasks on your spring maintenance to-do list:

Check outdoor decks

Examine your deck carefully for loose boards or components that are worn, damaged, cracked, rusted or rotted.  Inspect the floor of your deck, stair treads, posts, beams, joists, railing, balusters, footings and fasteners. Repair or replace damaged components and secure anything that is loose.

Clean/prep decks and railings

Clean and prepare your outdoor decks and railings. Get rid of the dirt, debris, mold and mildew that could damage your decks and railings. Keep in mind that there are different cleaning solutions and methods for natural wood vs. composite materials. Be sure to use the care and cleaning guidelines appropriate for your decking and railing material.

Examine outdoor steps and handrails

Broken or worn out steps are not only unsightly, they are also a safety hazard. Inspect your outdoor steps for signs of damage or missing components.  Look for tread damage, weathering, insect damage, mold, and splitting.  Check handrails to make sure they are not loose or in need of replacement. Anything that is damaged should be repaired and anything that is missing or beyond repair should be replaced.

Inspect your roof

Harsh winter storms can wreak havoc on any roof. Even one missing shingle can cause leaks and draining problems which can lead to mold, rotted wood, and more. Look at your roof for signs of damage, missing shingles or anything that needs to be repaired or replaced and take care of the problem as soon as possible.

Clean siding

Mold, mildew, dirt and grime accumulate on all types of siding, even the ones that are considered low-maintenance. There are different cleaning methods for vinyl, composite and other man-made materials vs. wood.  Many people rely on high pressure power washing to clean siding, but most experts suggest against that. The high pressure can damage wood fibers and push dirt further into the wood. Pressure washing can also damage vinyl siding as well as windows, planters, etc.  One of the worst things high pressure power washing can do is force water behind the siding. This is never good. The water can remain there and cause mold. Soft washing and cleaning by hand are less harsh cleaning options.

Inspect windows and exterior doors

Well-maintained windows and doors are important for your home’s security, energy-efficiency and aesthetics. Now is the time to inspect your windows and doors to make sure they are operating properly. Casement windows should open easily, double hung windows should be easy to push up, doors should close securely, and sliding doors should glide well. Prefer a pro take a look, connect with our installation services team. Here are some other window and door maintenance tips:

  • Make sure the locks are working
  • Tighten loose screws or hardware
  • Clean sliding door tracks
  • Adjust screen rollers so screen doors glide easily
  • Oil any squeaky hinges
  • Replace broken hardware
  • Replace ripped screens
  • Check weatherstrip and replace if necessary
  • Clean windows and casings
  • Check paint or finish

Install your screens

Get ready to let in the warm fresh air and install the screens in your windows and patio doors. Check all screens for damage and repair or replace if needed. If you have young children or pets, you may want to consider using screens made with special stronger materials that can handle more pressure on the screen.

Check and clean gutters

Leaves, sticks and dirt can get clogged in gutters causing roof leaks and water damage both inside and outside your home.  Clogged gutters also attract rodents, insects and mold. Make sure water is flowing into the downspout and draining away from your foundation or any structures. If your gutters are clogged, take the time to clean them or hire a professional. This is also a good time to clean debris out of the dry wells around basement windows.

Preventative outdoor home spring maintenance tasks are essential for keeping your home in optimal condition. By identifying and taking care of any issues now, you can prevent them from becoming bigger and more expensive problems in the future. If you are looking for an installer for some of these items, contact our installation services team.

Build Smarter DIY Projects Tools

Spring Power Tool Shows

Limited Time Specials on Your Favorite Professional Power Tools.

Special deals available on these dates and at these locations only. Get there early for the best selection. #tools

May 18 & 19 – Middletown, RI

7 AM – 2 PM

The Power Tool Show and Sale at Riverhead Building Supply is the perfect place to find new power tools, new batteries, and new accessories to upgrade your work tools.

Batteries Not Included

That phrase might give you a headache at the holidays, but we’re here to make sure that’s the only time it’s an issue. During the Power Tool Show and Sale you’ll find a variety of bare tools, just the way their maker made ‘em. The only thing missing from our bare tools is the battery pack. Batteries can be pricey, and since tool makers are on top of their game, you can move batteries between certain models of tools with ease.

We’ve made it even better to buy bare. During our Tool Show and Sale, we’re offering a free battery with some purchases. Double up on power packs, and keep them charged and ready to swap out.

Build a Kit

Build your own kit with the tools or batteries that you need most. On sale days, we’ll let you choose how you match up your tools and batteries from either DeWalt or Makita.

Powerful Nailers

Cordless is king, and Paslode has you covered whether you want to use a battery or fuel-powered nailer. Check out our special offers on framing nailers, finish nailers, and brad nailers.

More Power, Less Noise, Reduced Fatigue.

Whether you are a professional landscaper or a weekend gardener, you’ll love our selection of battery-powered alternatives for lawn care. With so many communities adopting new codes about when and where (or even if) you can use gas-powered mowers, blowers, and trimmers, it makes sense to check out the DeWalt and Makita outdoor equipment in our sale.

Our Level Best

Stabila tapes, levels, and now lasers have been keeping your jobsites level and square for over 100 years. Find a great deal on the latest in measuring accuracy at our show and sale.


5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

Perception is everything and first impressions count. That’s why your home’s curb appeal is so important.

What is curb appeal?

Curb appeal is how people perceive your home from the street. Curb appeal is essential if you are selling your home, but it is also important to have even if you are not. A home with nice curb appeal is an asset to the neighborhood and can increase an area’s property values.

Here are five projects that can have a major positive impact on the curb appeal of your home.

Paint your home’s exterior

One of the easiest ways to give your home’s exterior a picture-perfect makeover is with paint. Whether you choose a neutral color or something more vibrant, a fresh coat of paint looks clean and crisp.  It will update the appearance of your home and significantly enhance its curb appeal.

If you want a new appearance without having to paint, vinyl or fiber cement siding are good options. These high-performance wood-siding alternatives look like the real thing, without all the maintenance. Complement your siding with decorative trim and moulding for a custom designer touch.

Add or replace fencing

While fencing is practical for safety, security, privacy and defining your outdoor space, it can also create – or detract from – curb appeal. A fence that is falling down, rotting, or shabby looks bad and may also decrease the value of your property.

Repair and repaint your fence as needed to ensure that it is both functional and attractive. If you decide you want to do a more complete renovation of your landscape, you can replace your fence with a brand new one. Today there are many gorgeous wood fences to choose from, as well as maintenance-free vinyl fencing options.

Replace windows

Windows contribute greatly to your home’s overall curb appeal. Make sure yours are as nice as they can be.

Touch up window frames that have chipped or peeling paint. Fix any ripped screens. Dress up dreary old windows with new shutters or repaint your current shutters. If you want more of a transformation, consider having new windows installed. Custom or replacement windows will not only add aesthetic appeal to the exterior of your home, but they may also be more energy-efficient. There are beautiful window shapes, grill configurations and glazing options to match virtually every budget and architectural design.

Install a new front door

An outdated front door with old hardware or chipped paint can leave passersby with a negative impression about your home. Create a more welcoming entrance and boost your home’s curb appeal by replacing your front door.  Whether you choose a standard size door or a custom configuration…a distinctive wood door with decorative glass or a sturdy fiberglass door…there are plenty of style selections that can dramatically enhance your entranceway. Find one that complements the design of your home.

Don’t have room in your budget to replace your door?  Give your existing door a coat of fresh paint in a bold color. Try something fun and unexpected. This is an easy and affordable way to transform a bland door into something unique and special.

Repair or replace your roof

A roof that is discolored or missing shingles is more than just an eyesore; it can also be putting your home at risk of major damage. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against rain, snow, wind and other weather elements. A roof that is in poor condition can let in moisture that can seep into the roof’s underlayment. This can eventually lead to leaks, ice buildup, mold and other dangers.

Add beauty, value and energy-efficiency to your home and prevent expensive problems in the future by repairing or replacing an aging or damaged roof. Shingles are available in many colors, materials and styles including composite slate shingles, eco-friendly shingles, and asphalt shingles that look like slate or wood shakes.

Ready to improve your home’s curb appeal?  Riverhead Building Supply has all the supplies and accessories you need to give your home’s exterior and landscape a fresh and eye-catching new look. Contact Riverhead Building Supply and see how we can help you!


Kitchen Remodel: Factors that Determine Costs

Keeping Kitchen Budgets In Check

One of the first things people do when they are thinking about a kitchen remodel is to look for ideas online. It’s hard not to fall in love with all those picture-perfect kitchens on Pinterest and Houzz. If you are just starting the kitchen renovation process, you may be wondering if you will be able to afford your own dream kitchen.

The cost of a kitchen remodel can vary dramatically depending on what types of materials and appliances you choose, the construction, electrical and plumbing work involved, and the size of the space.

Here are a few of the elements of a kitchen remodel and the factors that can influence cost.

Cabinet materials, construction and finishes

Certain cabinet materials are more expensive than others. Stainless steel and solid, rare hardwood cabinets will cost more, while melamine or wood veneer cabinets will cost less.  Painted, glazed or custom distressed cabinets are more labor-intensive to create so these will increase your cost. Glass inlays, unique features, and entirely custom designs will also add to the price.

Kitchen layout, utilities and windows

Your kitchen remodeling costs will be affected by the room’s layout, cabinet configuration, the number of cabinets and panels that need to be installed, as well as any mouldings.

Removing walls and moving windows and utilities also need to be considered. Knocking down walls, rewiring the electrical, moving a gas stove, or relocating your sink can be expensive and may also require permits.

Changing the location of your windows and appliances, especially the sink or plumbing, can increase costs. JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer at Riverhead Building Supply said that, “If your workflow traffic patterns work and are comfortable, keeping appliance and sink locations in nearly the same locations can help with your installation budget.”


Countertops are available in a variety of materials from affordable laminate and tile to higher-end butcher block, granite, engineered stone, marble, concrete, stainless steel and quartz countertops. Don’t base your material decision on just aesthetics or price. Each material has its pros and cons so it is important to do your research to ensure that you understand the maintenance involved and how the materials hold up to scratches, stains and heat.


There are many flooring options at various price points. At the lower end of the price range are linoleum and laminate floors. Porcelain, hardwood and cork flooring are considered mid-range flooring choices. Natural stone tile flooring is among the most expensive type of kitchen flooring material. Similar to countertops, it is essential to compare the materials and understand how they will fit into your lifestyle. Consider the maintenance required and how the material will hold up to foot traffic, spills, pets, and even sunlight (which can discolor certain materials).

Set priorities

To keep your kitchen renovation budget in check, establish what is most important to you. If you love to entertain, buying professional-grade appliances may be essential. Do you want more light?  Moving your windows or installing larger ones may take priority. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and go from there.

Creating your dream kitchen while staying within your budget can seem overwhelming. Your kitchen designer and your contractor can be great resources to help you sort it all out. JoAnn Lyles, CKD said that contractors “are very helpful in guiding you with construction decisions that may affect your overall budget. Your thoughts of moving a wall or changing a window location may stretch your budget and the amount of money you thought you would have for cabinetry, appliances and countertops.” That is why, she added, it is important to talk to them “very early in the process, before you start the designing of your new kitchen.”

Barry Gano, a Riverhead Building Supply Kitchen Designer, suggests that you develop a budget for your entire kitchen project. Your designer can then break down the numbers into different areas such as construction, appliances, flooring, and lighting. Those amounts subtracted from your overall budget is roughly what you will be able to spend on your cabinets which experts say can eat up between 40-60% of your kitchen renovation budget.

It is always best to be in constant communication with both your contractor and kitchen designer to ensure everyone is on the same page as you.

Build Smarter DIY Projects Tools

Must-Have Tools for Everyone

Spring and summer are popular seasons for home improvements. If you’ve got a bunch of interior and exterior tasks on your to-do list, put some power behind your projects with these must-have power tools.

Save time, improve results with the right power tools

Want to repair, renovate or construct something new? These are a few power tools that can help you save time and produce optimal results.

Visit the Riverhead Building Supply tool section in store or online where you can find the kinds of power tools that you’ll reach for again and again for home Improvement projects.

A cordless drill and impact driver kit is a great all-around combination for every home. Use the drill for creating pilot holes, then switch to a flat- or Phillips-head bit to drive screws.  Projects like repairing drywall, hanging shelves, or assembling furniture and cabinets becomes so much easier.

Here are a couple of combo kits to check out:

  • DeWalt 2 pc Drill/Impact driver kit: This kit packs extra power with a 20 volt Max XR battery for long run time.
  • Makita 2 pc Makita Drill combo kit: This drill/driver combo kit combines a lightweight tool with a powerful 18 volt lithium ion battery.

The Fein MultiMaster is the ultimate multitasking tool.  Use this precision-crafted oscillating tool for precise sawing, efficient sanding, filing, scraping, even polishing.

Experienced DIYers and Pros will enjoy using these tools

Sliding compound miter saw

A compound miter saw is an indispensable tool for cutting crown moulding, pictures frames, and wood for projects that require angled cross cuts. The blades pivot and tilt so you’ll have the ability to make both miter and bevel cuts.  While stationary and sliding compound miter saws are similar, a sliding compound miter saw increases your cutting capabilities. You’ll also be able to cut thicker materials, such as lumber, which can be useful if you are constructing a fence.
The DeWalt DWS780 Sliding Compound Miter Saw is an excellent sliding compound miter saw choice. It is durable, lightweight and designed for optimal cutting accuracy. It has a 15 Amp motor and an exclusive back fence design that cuts up to 2×16 dimensional lumber at 90° and 2×12 at 45°. See us at a tool show for special savings on this saw and get a bonus heavy duty stand with its purchase.

Cordless circular saw kit

A cordless circular saw kit is ideal for experienced DIYers and professionals who need to rip and crosscut wood including solid hardwood, MDF and hardboard, plywood and dimensional construction lumber. With a suitable blade, a circular saw may also be able to cut glass tile, metal, brick and other materials.

Cordless circular saws combine performance with portability. Simply charge the battery and take your tool wherever you need it without being tethered to an electrical outlet. You also won’t have to worry about a cord getting in the way of your cutting.

Ready to unplug for your next cutting project? Consider the Makita XSH06PT1 Cordless Circular Saw Kit to make maneuvering easy. It is compact, lightweight and comes with two free additional batteries for extended work time. It includes a dual port rapid charger, 24T ultra-coated saw blade, hex wrench, dust extracting attachment and carrying bag. Take advantage of special show savings of more than $140.

Framing nailer

Home builders already know the benefits of a framing nailer. This time-saving power tool easily drives nails into a framing assembly.  Framing nailers are much stronger and more powerful than a hammer so you can get your job done in a fraction of the time.  Plus, since they are lighter and more comfortable than a hammer, you can work for long stretches of time without fatigue.

While it may be warm now, nailing during the colder months can be challenging. Some framing nailers will freeze up.  If you’re looking for an all-season solution, try the Paslode Cordless XP Framing Nailer. This tough tool drives nails into a variety of harder woods and works well in temperatures as low as 14 F°.

If you need a higher holding capacity, a coil framing nailer could be right for you. Coil framing nailers have a magazine that can hold hundreds of nails which will minimize reloading interruptions. The powerful Bostitch BTF83C Coil Framing Nailer has a 200 magazine capacity and its low profile design enables it to fit between studs under 13” tall.

We hope to see you at one of our many locations where you can meet the Riverhead Building Supply team and take advantage of their knowledge. See our calendar for information about tool shows and other upcoming events.


Kitchen Remodel: How to Determine Your Kitchen Style

This article will help answer one of the most common questions our kitchen designers are asked: “How do I determine my kitchen style?”

Deciding what style you want your new kitchen to be is something that should be done prior to your first meeting with the kitchen designer. Understanding what type of kitchen style you desire will help your designer make the most suitable recommendations for many components of your kitchen including:

  • Colors
  • Countertop material
  • Cabinet material and style
  • Hardware
  • Lighting
  • Seating
  • Flooring
  • Wood type and finishes
  • Backsplash
  • Shelving
  • Sink style
  • Accessories

Popular Kitchen Styles

When comparing kitchen styles, think about your family’s needs and lifestyle as well as the overall design of your home. Do you want to reflect the rest of your home’s style or do you want something completely different? Take your time and explore all your options, because as JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer at Riverhead Building Supply says, the “kitchen is the most important space in your home.”

Here are some popular kitchen styles you may want to consider:


The modern kitchen is sleek and elegant. The cabinets have a minimalist look and simple hardware. Modern kitchens typically possess a monochromatic neutral hue but may have stainless steel lighting and appliances, wood accents or an accessory in a bold pop of color.


The rustic kitchen evokes the feeling of being in a mountain lodge. Reclaimed wood, wrought iron, and antiques are often found in this type of kitchen. Wood cabinets, hardwood floors, and ceiling beams create a space that has a weathered, lived-in look that is warm and welcoming.


Traditional kitchens incorporate designs that are characteristic of American or European homes from the 18th through early 20th centuries. Curved lines, decorative moldings, wainscoting, and raised panel cabinets are some of the distinctive features of this classic and sophisticated kitchen style.


Homey and comfortable farmhouse kitchens often feature knotty wood floors or slate floors, hardwood cabinets in white or warm tones, open shelving, and an apron front sink. Large areas for food preparation and eating are characteristic of the farmhouse kitchen and make the space ideal for entertaining.


Cottage kitchens unite white or bright colors with vintage-style details and decorative touches to create an inviting and cheerful space for food preparation and serving.  This charming style may also feature open shelving, wood countertops and flooring, and hand-painted accents.

How to find inspiration

Home design magazines, Pinterest, YouTube, our website and the Houzz app, are excellent resources for researching kitchen styles. Or you can simply do a quick Google search for “kitchen designs” and you’ll immediately be presented with photo-rich websites that describe and detail virtually every type of kitchen style. There are also fun online quizzes you can take that can help you choose the style that best fits your preferences and lifestyle.

Riverhead Building Supply’s Kitchen Designers all recommend bringing any magazine clippings and links to photos you like to your first meeting with the designer. Many of our Designers suggest that while looking through the photos, be sure “to note what you like about each kitchen.”  Be specific. Is it the colors? The lighting? The cabinets? The overall look?  The more information you share with the designer, the easier it will be for them to understand your likes and dislikes and create a kitchen design targeted to your taste and aspirations.

Questions to ask yourself

If you still aren’t sure which kitchen style is right for you or are a bit overwhelmed by all your options, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What kind of countertop material do you like? Granite, wood, quartz, marble, etc.
  • Do you prefer furniture with straight lines or more curves and embellishments?
  • What kind of vibe do you want your kitchen to have? Laid-back, formal, fun, cool, etc.
  • Do you like colors and patterns or a monochromatic look?
  • What type of light fixtures do you like? Crystal chandelier, steel pendant lights, recessed, Tiffany-style, etc.
  • Do you like open shelving or cabinets?
  • Do you want your kitchen to reflect the architectural style of your home?

Answering these questions can guide you toward the dream kitchen design that you will be happy with for years to come.


Kitchen Remodel: Working with a Kitchen Designer

A kitchen renovation may seem daunting – but don’t be overwhelmed. Riverhead Building Supply is here to offer you the best advice in the industry when it comes to planning and navigating through the design process. And who better to ask than the experts? We have asked each of our Riverhead Building Supply Kitchen Designers to share their experience and the best practices for each stage in the planning process. At Riverhead Building Supply, we pride ourselves on not only providing the finest products but on making sure you have the best kitchen remodeling experience possible.

Enjoy The Ride – What a kitchen renovation should be!

The kitchen is the hub of the house. Does your kitchen work for your current lifestyle needs? If not, it might be time for a kitchen renovation. Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular types of home improvements. A kitchen renovation is YOUR chance to finally have the kitchen of your dreams. The experience of remodeling your kitchen should be a fun and amazing experience. You are in the captain’s chair and can finally make the space everything YOU want it to be. Riverhead Building Supply recommends choosing a kitchen designer as the first step of a kitchen remodel.

How to Find the Right Kitchen Designer

The kitchen designer will set the stage for your kitchen renovation process, so it is important you work with someone who is the right fit and with whom you feel comfortable and confident. A kitchen designer can help you put all the elements of your kitchen together, which include everything from cabinet and countertop materials to hardware, flooring, lighting, plumbing, appliances and more.
RBS Kitchen Designer Barry Gano suggests that you interview different kitchen designers and look for someone who will “listen to your wants, needs and budget.” Ask for referrals and view photos of each designer’s past work. Find someone you connect with and who has experience with your type of project.

What to Expect When Working with a Kitchen Designer

Once you select your kitchen designer, you can expect a series of meetings. Here’s a breakdown of the typical process:

  1. Your First Meeting

JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) said that during a first meeting with a client, “I will ask you good questions that make you think about your family needs, your lifestyle, your storage needs, cooking style, and your pets. All of these elements are intertwined in designing YOUR kitchen, which is the most important space in your home.”

Nelson Schneider, kitchen designer, said the first meeting with a client lasts about 60-90 minutes, “as this is a comfortable length of time for them so they don’t feel overwhelmed with the design process.”
“I take notes as we speak, writing down their wants and needs,” he added. “When I am doing their design I make a conscious effort to incorporate these desires into the design using my knowledge and creative ideas.”
“I am a good listener, so when meeting with my customer I pay attention to what they are saying. I ask a lot of questions to discover their lifestyle and family life. I explore the reasons why they want a new kitchen and what they are expecting from their new kitchen.”

“Think about what doesn’t feel right in your kitchen. If you have measurements, bring those and a list of appliances you are hoping to incorporate…”

What Should You Bring

Having a clear understanding of what is important to you will help your first meeting with a kitchen designer be productive. Here are some thought starters:

      • What is your lifestyle? Do you have children? Love to entertain? Are you a baker?
      • How many cooks do you typically have in your kitchen?
      • What are your frustrations with your current kitchen?
      • Is there any wasted space?
      • Is lack of storage a concern?
      • Do you experience workflow congestion when preparing meals?
      • How often do you prepare big meals? Daily, weekends only, holidays, etc.?
      • Think of your needs now, as well as what you may require in the future.

Share Your Vision

Lyles suggests bringing aspirational Houzz or Pinterest photos as well as any magazine clippings to the first meeting. In addition, she said, “Think about what doesn’t feel right in your kitchen. If you have measurements, bring those and a list of appliances you are hoping to incorporate… All of these things are very helpful to get started on a great design that works well for you.”

Barry Gano also recommends starting a Houzz or Pinterest board with your favorite pictures. Make a note of what you like about each kitchen design element such as the look, lighting, colors, etc. Share these with your designer.
Schneider had similar advice. “I ask clients to bring any materials they have collected in their search for a new kitchen or project.”

The Walk-Through with Your Designer

Your designer may want you to meet first at their office, or the designer might come to your home. The first time your designer visits your home is when they will be introduced to your kitchen. This is the opportunity to share your likes and dislikes. Your designer will take all of the pertinent measurements they will need to build your design. Have fun brainstorming ideas together!

  1. The Big Reveal – unveiling your dream kitchen design

You’ll have several meetings with your kitchen designer. Each one progressing closer to your dream kitchen. Once the designer presents your new kitchen design, you’ll have an opportunity to review your layout, floor plan and design elements and make final changes.

  1. The Final Meeting – reviewing your order

Once all the changes are made, you’ll get a final review of all the layout and design features you discussed during the planning phases. Your designer will draft the order and agreement and present you with a contract for you to sign. This will also be the time where you will place the deposit for your order, walk through the delivery timeline and finalize scheduling with your contractor.

Renovating your kitchen is an exciting endeavor. Be sure to read our upcoming blogs in the series which will detail the kitchen remodeling timeline and give you tips on planning your budget, choosing your kitchen style, and more.


Why Remodel Your Kitchen

Homeowner reasons for initiating a kitchen remodel

“In 2008, my husband and I purchased our current home from my grandmother, promising her that we would take good care of it. Her late husband had built the house with his own two hands after returning from WWII with a Purple Heart. For the most part, we have lived up to our word, having done some renovations to the outside and structure of the house. We have not kept our word with the kitchen. Most of the kitchen is original straight from the 50’s with a few updates in the 70’s and it is literally falling apart. Our dream is to expand the kitchen into the main living are so that we, along with our two sons can enjoy a bright, cheery open space that we can cook in, eat in and make memories for years to come.”

This family had wanted to update the kitchen for years. Some of the frustrations with the original layout were:

    • It’s not a comfortable place for 2 people to work in at the same time.
    • There is limited prep space.
    • There is no countertop next to the stove.
    • There is a dead corner next to the stove/oven – very hard to use the cabinet or countertop there efficiently.

With those challenges in mind, here are some of the changes they wanted to include in a redesigned space:

    • Add an island
    • Add a pot filler over the stove
    • Get the microwave off the countertop
    • Make more room for the family to sit together, or to entertain and seat guests
    • More storage/better storage – some of their cabinets are not fully utilized because it is too difficult to see or reach all the way to the back
    • Gas stove instead of electric (They expect to replace the stove/oven and the microwave, but will keep their dishwasher and fridge.)
    • Enlarge the opening to the next room to be able to see what is going on there
    • Room to include their 2 children in kitchen tasks – the current space does not allow everyone to move freely

“My kitchen is the original Yellow kitchen from 1974. Although this particular shade of yellow has grown on me over the last 3 years, it is cracking and chipped in places…oh and I almost forgot about those wonderful smells I can’t get rid of, so we put an air freshener in the lower cabinets…hoping to transform this space.” For this New York homeowner, a kitchen remodel represents an opportunity to do more with the space than they had originally planned. When they bought the house, they knew they would tackle a kitchen remodel, but put it off in favor of making other repairs and renovations in the home.

Some of the challenges in the current space:

    • The design (not just the color!) is dated – it is the original kitchen, installed in 1974
    • The corners are deep, and it is difficult to see or reach into the back of corner cabinets, making it wasted space
    • The pantry area is awkward

Some of the items on their wish list:

    • Dedicated space for garbage and recycling bins to keep them out of sight
    • Pull out spice racks near the cooking area to keep them close at hand, but out of sight when not in use
    • A larger sink, possible a farmhouse style.
    • Natural wood tones, natural elements like stone, and adding metal such as copper
    • Better use of the pantry space
    • Adding more natural light

What are the challenges with your kitchen and living space? What changes are on your wish list? Visit a showroom or get inspired here to start the process with Riverhead Building Supply’s team of Kitchen Designers.


Residential Construction – Business Outlook for 2021

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