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Kitchen Remodel Takes Flight at Dulles Home
To say that Dulles is a part of many things would be saying it in a literal sense, geographically. An unincorporated community in Loudoun County, it is part of Sterling, which is also an unincorporated area. A part of Washington Dulles International Airport, named after John Foster Dulles who was a former US Secretary of State, is in Dulles, which is why the community is called that. However, that only began in the 1980s, and it was because Pam Treadwell of the Loudoun County economic development lobbied for it to the US Postal Service. If you send a package to a 20166 zip code through the USPS, you can legally use either "Dulles" or "Sterling" as the city name.
Dulles is the location of some high-tech companies because of its proximity to the airport. These include Orbital ATK, ODIN Technologies, GeoEye, Harris IT Services, and at some point, AOL and MCI Inc. The National Weather Service also has its Baltimore/Washington forecast office and Sterling Field Support Center in Dulles, the latter which could as well say Dulles Field Support.
The Dulles community has a total population as of 2014 of 109,725, a significant percentage of which have a bachelors or graduate degree (38%). The average household income is $145,740, and the median home value is $396,373, both significantly higher than the state median.
Things to do in Dulles
Unless you have business to do in Dulles itself, it is unlikely it is your final destination. However, if you find yourself with time on your hands, find something to eat along the many restaurants in the airport corridor, all within a two-mile radius. You will find everything from sushi to steak, so you will not go hungry.
If you are staying more than a few hours, you could make the drive to Reston or Dulles Town Center shopping malls, about 6 or 7 miles from Dulles Airport. Dulles Town Center is quite large, over 1.4 million square feet of retailers, restaurants, and other mall entertainments. You might even manage a trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and/or the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Dulles is more than an unplanned layover, however. You can play a decent round of golf at the Dulles Golf Center and Sports Park or learn a thing or two about rural life at the Frying Pan Park/Farm. Take a wagon ride and hobnob with a few farm animals while you're at it, why don't you?
Getting creative with kitchen countertops
The clients is a young couple with a child that have lived in Dulles for a few years. They have a lovely rancher style 3-bed, 2-bath home within walking distance from the shopping mall. Their kitchen/dining area had an open floor layout, with a nice view of the woods at the back. However, the clients wanted to kitchen design with stone countertops and called us in for a consultation.
We came over for an ocular to better discuss the options for materials and modifications of the kitchen to achieve the clients' vision. We walked them though the different materials we could use for the countertops, talking about the advantages and disadvantages of marble, granite, and quartz. The clients listened closely and asked a few pertinent questions. They finally decided that granite was their best option for their lifestyle and design preferences.
We walked through the kitchen and suggested adding a sink to the existing island and extending it so they could use part of it as a breakfast area which could also be used as a wet bar for entertaining. We pointed out that extending the island would give them considerably more space with which to work. They thought this was an excellent idea, especially after we sketched it out for them. We took out measurements and gave them a rough estimate of the costs, depending on the granite slabs they chose. They would need two full slabs for the kitchen, and we invited them to visit the showroom to pick out their favorite. We advised them to bring along photos of the kitchen, especially the cabinets, which they were not replacing. This would help them make a good decision on the stone.
Picking out the granite
We have a huge inventory of granite slabs, and the clients felt slightly overwhelmed by the choices. We sent an experienced staffer to assist them as they browsed. They were there for a couple of hours, and with the help of the staffer, they were able to narrow their choices to three slabs, which they asked to put on hold for a few days while they debated on which one would look perfect in the kitchen. They left after giving an initial deposit, armed with photos of the slabs they had chosen.
The clients called back a couple of days after saying they had decided on the Rain Forest Green. We scheduled our fabricator to visit the home the next day to take the final measurements and make the templates. Granite slabs can have a great degree of variation in design, so we invited them to come in to indicate what parts of the slab they wanted for each part of the kitchen. We pulled out the slabs for their inspection in time for their second visit, and discussed with the fabricator how to position the templates to make the best use of the unique features of each slab. They also took the opportunity to pick out an edge profile and backsplash that would go with the style and look of the new granite counters. They left an hour later, much excited to get started on the project.
We sent in the work crew with a small dumpster to remove the existing counters and put in the additional plumbing necessary for the bar sink. They set up a work station in the backyard. They made the support structures for the granite slabs, including the proposed extension, which would also include additional open shelving for the glasses and bottles of the wet bar. These were stained to simulate the finish of the original island, so it blended in seamlessly. The work crew removed all the debris from the kitchen, and cleaned up.
With the prep work done, the installer was able to bring the stone slaps and bar sink and install them. It took about four hours for the installer and work crew to carefully position each piece, glue them on the wooden support after getting approval from the clients, drill in the holes for the faucets, polish out minor scratches, and seal them. We advised the clients to leave the seal to "cure" for a few hours. The tiling crew came over the next day to install the backsplash. It was pretty messy, but the crew was careful to put down work cloths on the counters to protect it from dust and damage. They finished in 12 hours, and did the final clean up. We then presented them with a set of six granite coasters for their wet bar from the remnants of their granite. They were very grateful for the unexpected present.
The clients were extremely happy with the counters and extended island. They said it was exactly what they wanted, and was very profuse in their praise over the professionalism of the different workers that came to their house. The project took a week to complete, but the trouble was worth it for the clients for achieving their dream kitchen.
If you want your dream kitchen and bathroom remodel in Dulles to come true, contact Fairfax Kitchen & Bath. Nobody does it better.
I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.