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A
"We had decided to put in laminate flooring a few months back. We got quotes from the Big Box stores and a couple flooring shops locally. Prices ranged from dirt" cheap to through the roof. I found and Cambrian floors after doing a little local research and found his quote reasonable. The job included removal of existing hardwood/carpet and installation of 1500 Sq ft of Pergo. and his guys were very professional and diligent workers. They showed up early and worked all day completing the job in the time they estimated even though they had to level out a concrete floor that wasn't in the original plan. All in all, we have beautiful new floors and the attention to detail and craftmanship is second to none. I am sure that if I had gone with the dirt cheap folks I would not be as happy and they would not have spent the time to ensure the job was done right to a high standard.

-Chris I.

B
"For the most part it went great, and like all remodels there were a few bumps along the way. We met with the owner who who gave us the" vision to shift the kitchen around and gave us a number of upgrades at a nice discount. He saved us about 15k. They upgraded the sink at no cost to Stainless steel, dual bowl, they gave us additional lighting and then we paid for "Spot" lights on wall art, then the upgraded the plumbing. We were able to mix and match cabinet doors from cherry to glass. We did end up with a few Addendum's we were not happy about such wanting to charge us for fixing the gas line, which should have been covered by the contract to bring all plumbing up to code, in the end they removed that item, as well as charging us to install the hood, again that was in fact in the contract, so it was removed, and finally the under cab lights, we split on this, we bought the lights we wanted and they installed them. We wanted and they were going to install florescence. The workmen really busted their butt to make it look awesome, the crown molding, is just beautiful, and they cleaned up after themselves. They guys on the job site really listened and were in communication with about the progress. The other nice and not so nice was to visit their showroom which is not open to the public were we picked out our granite, to match the Cherry Cabinets, plus the back splash. We chose not to have them get the appliances because of all the sales for Veterans Day so we were able to save a load of money there. The not so nice part is we had to drive to where they are located, but that is very minor thing. The one negative, the Project Manager was slow returning calls, email was better. They took our kitchen down to the studs in just 3 weeks, the day before Thanksgiving, we had our kitchen.

-Dennis C.

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Angie's Answers

?

THE Cost of the recessed light is largly determinate on Where ,You purchase the product and the number you buy .Big Box dicount stores have products made oversea's that are less expensive than those found at Custom Bath & Kitchen Stores , but the products are often riddled with problems , missing parts , defects etc,

 

A typical light will run $ 35.00 to $ 85.00

 

However , the true cost of recessed lighting is involved in getting circuits or circuity to the switch and lighting system .In NEW construction , this matter is easily dealt with by installing circuits and   hardware during framing . Whereas , with remodeling , installing new lighting into existing spaces , requires wall & ceiling opening ,closure , repair , repainting & finishing

 

I have been involved in projects where the lighting cost but $500.00 ,,

while the installation & finishing costs exceeded $ 2500.00

?

Here is about the same question (for 1 fan) a while back, with answer:

http://answers.angieslist.com/how-cost-install-ceiling-fan-ceiling-light-exists-q46721.aspx

Your total cost could be from 1.5-3 times that shown in the answer, depending on how much of the wiring for the three fans he can combine - i.e. can he easily run one power circuit for all 3 fans, then just tap off that for switches and runs to the fans, are they fans only or with lights (double the wiring and switches), etc. Note the costs do NOT include drywall/panelling repair or painting to match. Also, you are going to be near the top end of the estimates, because in all probability your access is poor, and 3 fans are almost certain to require a totally new run from the breaker box.

Unless you have an open exposed-joist attic above where the fans are to go AND the top of the walls the switches will go in, you can expect substantial holes in walls and ceiling to pull the wires and fasten them - by code, you cannot just pull wires between joist and let them lie on the top of the ceiling drywall - you have to staple them to joists every few feet, so you end up with several 1-2 foot holes typically near top of the wall (to drill through top plate), near side of ceiling to grab and bend wire coming up wall, and maybe one mid-ceiling to reach in and fasten wire, then of course the two openings that are ultimately fully concealed by the switch plate and the fan mounting plate or dome.

Before you get into this project I would check with the condo management if you are allowed to do this - there are limits to how much you can modify your condo and how much you can modify or add in the way of electric circuits.

?
?
?

Ahhhh - the light bulb comes on - but I didn't see the rabbit - it must have made it down the hole. Was I right about you upgrading the bulbs from a lower wattage, and that is when they started going out ?

 

I seriously doubt it is the track, from what you say and especially since the one head works fine at various places along the track. My guess - because these are apparently 110V track but 12V transformer INSIDE the head that mounts to the track, I would say it is the transformer overheating - a VERY common thing with modern electronics and cheap transformers from China. Commonly they have a thermal protector that cuts out when overheated, but overheating 2 or 3 times is normally fatal for them. I bet the transformers have fried, and that even the ones still working are smoked and probably have deformed plastic around them.

 

The unit is rated to 75W max, and the bulbs you have are 75W and of a design that provides little airflow around them (zero if you are using the glass cover plates for the heads) and has a lot of heat in the upper portion of it - in my opinion just another dumb design. I will give 10:1 odds there are not air holes in the top of the heads either - UL should ban that practice. 

 

Personally, if it were all new I would return it all for my money back right off. Since the track and some heads are old and you are invested in them already, I would gather up receipts and eMail the manufacturer about the issue, and the number of heads that have gone out (old and new combined) and see what they say. I would suspect they will offer to at least send replacements if you send the receipts and bad heads. I would then return any unused bulbs for credit to wherever you got them, and get different bulbs. You will have to ask the manufacturer if the transformer circuitry can handle MR16 GU5.3 base LED bulbs - Amazon has them, if your heads can take them - will run a LOT cooler. Otherwise, 50 Watt Halogen bulbs should fit and might run cool enough to not overheat ?

 

With transformers in the heads, I would use LED bulbs if compatible with transformer and circuitry.

 

BTW - you did not say if you tried the "dead" bulbs in the "good" heads - my guess (do just a short test) is they will work, and the bulbs are not the problem at all - it is the transformers.

 

Your other option. and what I would do unless you are attached to this style fixture or it is mounted to ceiling permanently and you do not know how to change it (or don't want to), so would cost about $125 for an electrician to come out: is to get what you can in refund from the manufacturer (or distributor, if they have good defect return policy), scrap the whole system, and save a LOT of money in the long run on energy costs by going to a 120V CFL or LED bulb system. Use LED if this is a short-term use system, or CFL only if one that will be on for many hours at a time - they burn out quick in frequent short use applications, but go seems like forever in long term use. I have one 60W (equivalent) GE CFL that I use as a nightlight but stays on 24/365 and has been on continuously for over 4 years without burning out. A number of identical ones we tried in applications where they were only on for a few minutes at a time went back under warranty after in a few months. If you are looking for a true "spot" light, then I recommend LED anyway, unless you don't like their "artificial" light.

 

Here is the info sheet on your unit, with company contact info at bottom:

http://www.noralighting.com/uploads/specs/NTL-202_2202.pdf

?

Depends a tremendous amount on access - if accessible from exposed-joist in attic above, then you might get this for about $300-500 or so for the wiring and installation, plus $200-400 for the materials and dimmer switches, plus the cost of the light fixtures themselves. Probably about $100-150 to repair ceiling if single hole for one fixture, to $200-300 if existing trough-type flourescent fixtures. Painting the repair could be $100 - 250 depending on whether he can match the patch, or has to repaint the entire ceiling to get a uniform effect - which is more common in kitchens, which usually have untextured ceilings and gloss paint. Another alternative it is have the hole patched and prime and plain paint it yourself, then cover the area with a decorative emblem or crest to avoid having to repaint the whole ceiling. Personally I would just put a compatible style fixture in its place, which you might or might not choose to use, so you avoid the cost of repairing the hole and painting entirely, as that is "lost" $.

If the kitchen/dining room ceiling is not accessible from above, then the electrician will have to tear into wall and ceilings, so installation labor might go to $400-600, and drywall reapir and painting probably to about $400-600, depending on how many holes the elecrtrician has to put in and assuming entire surface painting to get a uniform paint look on each disturbed wall or ceiling.

One possibility for savings might be low voltage lighting for some of the kithcen fixtures, which might reduce your wiring cost and number of holes if you do not have attic access.

Be careful on the dimmable LED bulbs - be aware that dimmable bulbs generally cost a lot more, and many brands don't perform well in dimming mode because they are designed to run at a constant voltage, and a lot will not dim past about 40% power before they flick out or start flickering. Some will actually fry the electronics and burn up at lower voltage. Also, there are three different types of dimmers and different bulbs need a different type dimmer switch, so you will have to be careful to always buy the right type bulb, and use all the same type bulb in a given circuit. Here is an article on the types of problmes you can have with LED dimming, even with bulbs designed to be dimmed -

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Education-Training/Pages/LCE/DimmingCFLsandLEDs.aspx

Lighting Installation reviews in San Jose

A

Rating
Each person we dealt with ( , , ) were beyond professional. Friendly, attentive, helpful, willing to work around our schedule and needs. Everything was done on time and clearly well done. When I made a change, it was no problem to get it added in.
This is how a company should ...More be run. I do not know if they were the lowest price, and frankly, that became secondary given the level of service provided.
- Prabha W.
B

Rating
I got an estimate from in and decided to hire them, and requested they do the work in September, which they said was fine, but they didn't end up starting until October 20. The original scope of the project grew so not too surprisingly the cost and the time for the work to be finished doubled. They ...More found all kinds of things wrong with my kitchen that they insisted needed to be fixed, so I agreed to let them do the work. This included going under the floor to shore it up with more wood and concrete, leveling the cabinets (which I had resurfaced a few years before, so they weren't part of the project), installing more electrical outlets, changing the gas line for the , changing the water line behind the fridge, installing a new disposal, etc. I trusted that they were being honest with me and that these things were either unsafe or not up to code so these repairs got added in to the project. When I changed my mind about the paint color they repainted the wetbar without charge. The workers were very polite and cleaned up after themselves. Now that it is completed, it looks really great and I have to say they do excellent work. I think everyone on the team is a perfectionist, which is good for the client.
However, there is room for improvement. I would have liked more guidance and better communication before the project started and during it. I have never remodeled a kitchen before and didn't know what was expected of me. I had to buy some of the materials (granite slabs, floor tiles, backsplash tiles, etc) and didn't get any help from them with that. I had to take my own measurements for the granite and the backsplash. They measured the floor but I still ended up short on tile (even though I bought extra) and had to go find more tile in the middle of the project. Thank goodness I was able to get more. There were many workers involved and not all of them seemed to have the same information. For example, I was told they would supply the grout but was then asked if I had bought the grout. This meant that both I and some of the employees were making multiple trips to stores during the project for supplies and materials that we probably could have purchased at one time, had we all be communicating better and made a shopping list.
I've asked them several times about where my granite slabs were cut, if there was any left over (which I expected, since I bought 2 slabs) in case I wanted to use some for a bathroom, whether my granite had been sealed (I'm still not sure and am very nervous about that) and never got clear answers to those questions. The granite guy kept coming to the house on nights when I was out at meetings and thus I wasn't there when he made the templates. This meant that he didn't take measurements for the countertop out back, which was supposed to be replaced, so that didn't get done. If his "bosses" had been more clear about what he was supposed to measure, or if I had been told what day and time he was going to come over, I might have been able to discuss it with him. I understand that he was busy but still. When he came back to do the final cleanup of the counters, he once again came on the night I was out. He did do a great job...the counters look gorgeous, but I can't give them straight A's across the board because of some of these issues.
However, I like these guys, and they do good work, so I would hire them again. But next time I'll be sure to ask more questions and keep pressing for answers.
- Leslie T.
A

Rating
and his team were great. The job took multiple sessions and they accommodated me and finished on a Sunday. The team was very professional and polite. They were all a joy to work with and very knowledgable. They explained all the work and came up with optional lower cost solutions to some of the situations. They were terrific ...More to work with. I highly recommend their services.
- Bill S.
A

Rating
is on-time, extremely professional and has all the know-how. Open circuits can be tricky to find even with current tracers and he was able to track it down to a bad connection from the hallway lights in about 2 hours. He is very busy due to high-demand for his services, so be patient if he doesn't call you right back immediately. ...More Once he puts you on the schedule, rest assured he will be there and fix the problem. 100% satisfied, and very happy I called the right man for the job. Thanks Angie for your referrel.
- Carol C.
A

Rating
I want to say that I am disabled and I cannot do household repair, fixes or remodeling any more. Therefore, I require a contractor that can not only do the required task, but goes above and beyond when needed. (AKB) not only met and exceeded our expectations, they also helped with design and decor recommendations.
Our ...More house is 28 years old and we raised 3 sons here ((lots of wear and tear). We purchased the house new and we had done almost nothing to update the home. When we began the contractor selection process we requested a quote on the upstairs hallway bath only. I felt that we could evaluate this job at completion and proceed from there. Our first contact from AKB was and she came to the house to measure, etc., for the bid. She offered design suggestions and explained the process, as we were rookies at this. After the bid was submitted, we went to the AKB office/showroom and we were very impressed. showed us dozens of samples of plumbing fixtures, countertop materials, tile flooring, paint colors, toilet, sinks, etc. After this consult we chose AKB and we are extremely happy that we did. This bathroom was finished on time and on budget and it looks beautiful. We are so grateful that helped with design and color (I've determined that we are home decorator challenged) and we proceeded with the master bath, etc. The more work we had AKB do, the more comfortable and impressed we became with all facets of their workmanship. It Any remodeling is difficult for the homeowner, but the work crews from AKB were efficient, friendly, punctual and always cleaned up every night before they went home. It's also important to note that the paint, plumbing, tile and cabinet installation was completed by AKB employees. The only subcontractor I saw were electricions and AKB takes full responsibility. All of AKB's workmen made our experience very positive.
AKB just completed all the work we wanted at this time and we will no doubt have them complete the bedroom painting and interior doors after the first of the year.
Finally, it must be noted that has consistently helped us overcome many challenges and Johan (owner) was always available when we called. Johan also visited our home several times to check on the job progress, workmanship and cleanliness.
I would highly recommend AKB for any and all kitchen and bath remodeling. They treat you like family and consistently perform to the highest standards

- Walt W.
A

Rating
Called to get bid.Within afew days they came , gave bid,and time to be done. Showed up within a week to do .Did a very good job very happy with result
- Susan F.
A

Rating
We had a wall outlet that needed repair. It was repaired quickly and efficiently. We were chit-chatting with the repair man and he said we shouldn't use a particular space heater with our older house wiring. We appreciated his candidness. He also checked all lighting fixtures, inside and outside. Some he quickly repaired. However, we had one fixture ...More that was on the second floor above our garage, illuminating the driveway. It hadn't worked for years. It took the repair man some time to figure out what was going on but he kept at it. Turns out when we had some plumbing done in the garage the plumber had cut some electrical lines. We were most definitely impressed he tracked it down and figured it out. We will definitely hire again due to their professionalism, expertise, and reasonable cost.
- AnnMarie T.
A

Rating
His work is impeccable and he is immensely knowledgeable- giving us suggestions that we hadn't even thought of. We were so pleased with the job he did we decided to hire him for additional work - which we already scheduled- He suggested installing smaller 4" recessed lights in our very dark family room - We didn't think it was possible ...More to do recessed lighting in this room because of the structure of our home - showed us he could do it and suggested the size, type and placement. We highly recommend him, he was on time, courteous, and professional. We are so glad we hired him. We will definitely continue to use him for other electrical work needed in our home.
- doreen W.

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