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Everything You Need to Know About Remodeling Your Kitchen: An Interview with Jeff Munoz of Moontower Design Build

By Jeff Munoz

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Moontower Design Build is a design and construction team founded by Frank Farkash, Greg Esparza and Jeff Munoz. Moontower was founded on, among other things, a passion for creating dwellings and outdoor living spaces for the inspired residential or entrepreneurial consumer. Moontower works to design and build spaces tailored to a Central Texan style of living. We like to listen to folks and always look to see where the sun is setting- these habits give our projects unique character resonating with our clients while responding to location: neighborhood, rural, urban, you name it- what we do, when done well is a blend of Art, Science and getting along with people. This is OUR craft and building pieces of our community with integrity, owner collaboration, long term life-cycle awareness, and a bent towards outdoor living and deference to a pedestrian environment as a necessity is our trademark.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Our design smarts and construction background paired with our neighborly collaborative spirit give us depth and holistic vision to solve problems directly without making new ones for our team or others. We are committed to our built community and fully intend to be a part of its future, one project at a time. That commitment requires stewardship, leaving places better than when we arrived. Being conscientious with resources informs our design, estimating, and job site management, but also prepares us for generations of growth in one of the most compelling and comfortable cities in the world. We started with unique outdoor spaces designed and built to bring people together, to celebrate ? work hard and play hard. We intend to keep on building at a variety of scales true to our roots in spirit but growing in complexity and urban impact. Our services range from indoor to outdoor, new construction to remodels and additions, handling all aspects of design and build in between.

What are the pros and cons of the different floor materials?

When choosing a floor material for a kitchen renovation it's important to consider how this decision will work with the rest of the kitchen finish selections and other flooring throughout the house. Several of our clients have been happily surprised after demoing their current floor to find beautiful old hardwoods underneath. When this happens in their kitchen, often our clients decide to refinish and stain the wood to match the rest of the house, rather than changing to new flooring for the area. However, we often like tile in the kitchen because it stands up well to water and provides a good way to give the area a bigger "wow" factor.

What are the advantages of working with a professional when remodeling your kitchen?

Kitchen's are a many layered wonder and putting them together from top to bottom can be a bit of a challenge. A professional can help you negotiate what order to accomplish each phase of work and help weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks to certain material selections. A good layout, with the right mix of color and attractive appliances, whether on a big budget or a modest one, leads to kitchen spaces that are inviting to spend time in and give our clients a sense of pride when entertaining friends and family.

In your opinion, what are some kitchen elements that are worth the splurge? What elements are not worth the splurge?

Splurge on appliances, counters, cabinets, and tile backsplash, maybe even in that order. It may be difficult to touch on all of these with extra money, but that is the order where money is best spent. Every budget is different, but when you can hit all of these areas, it's pretty amazing what the final results can be.

What are some ways I can save money on cabinets?

Generally speaking, drawers cost more than doors, so when you are on a tight budget, keep this in mind. Open shelves instead of upper cabinets save money. IKEA actually has some pretty affordable lines of cabinets that work fantastic. They have perfected the craft of making a few very well built lines of cabinets. Custom cabinets are on the more expensive side of the spectrum, but there are custom cabinet makers that specialize in only one or two lines and just do that really well. If money is a concern, I would seek out building a relationship with one of these types of cabinet makers.

What are some ideas to increate the amount of storage in my kitchen?

To increase storage, full height cabinets go a long way. Besides adding upper cabinets, which aren't always an option depending on layout, we often rearrange layouts around the kitchen to buy space from other rooms (or closets!) to make a pantry. A Lazy Susan in a dead space where cabinets meet in a corner is a great way to grab more storage, but quality of hardware for this type of cabinet pullout varies widely. Make sure you are getting something from a quality vendor. Pull out pantries, drawers, and trays in standard door front cabinets are also great for maximizing a cabinet's volume while still allowing access to the goods.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a gas stove versus an electric stove?

Moontower likes gas since it saves energy, but as electricity moves more towards green sourcing (solar panels and renewable energy on the grid) and appliances become more efficient, the market share of electric stoves will probably increase. That being said, Moontower loves to grill and there is something about saying "Now we are cooking with gas!" that "Now we are cooking with electric!" just doesn't measure up to. Gas gives more control to the chef in what he/she can do with a dish. From an aesthetic standpoint, electric stoves run flush with your countertops, are easy to clean, and have a very minimal appearance. For a more industrial, old school look, gas stoves can work great.

What is the best way for people to reach you and your company?

Stop by, visit our website, call or email, whatever works best. We are a very approachable group.

Moontower Design Build
1406 Smith Rd. Ste. E
Austin, Texas 78721

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About The Author

Jeff, a Houston native, came to Moontower looking for a new career in Austin. He and...

Phone: 512-524-7253

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