Originally published in print by Falmouth Publishing.

Looking to start your next home improvement or DIY project but have questions or don’t know where to begin? You don’t have to tackle it alone. Ask the experts in building materials at Mid-Cape Home Centers, with over 125 years of experience that builds.


I want to remodel my kitchen and/or bathroom, but it’s so overwhelming. Where do I start, and what is the process like?

The first step would be to line up a contractor for the project to make sure someone is available during the time frame you would like the project completed. Next step would be to set up a time to meet with a designer at the house if you don’t have plans/dimensions so that they can see the space and take dimensions to start the design process. In the event that there are plans/dimensions, you can schedule an appointment to meet with someone to start the design process. Next steps would be to select styles and materials to be able to come up with a preliminary design and pricing.

-Becky Stoltz, Mid-Cape Kitchen & Bath Designer, Contractor Division

The completed kitchen remodel below was designed by Becky Stoltz and built by deMartin Dunham Builders.

before and after kitchen remodel


We have very serviceable kitchen cabinets with doors that are not solid wood but some kind of thick composite, and all surfaces (cabinet doors and boxes) are covered with a glued-on plastic surface patterned to look like pale wood. The problem is the plastic is coming off (old crumbly glue) but the composite surface under it can’t hold paint—I’ve tried! I DON’T want to junk the cabinets (so wasteful!), but there seems to be no way to refi nish these cabinets that look decent!    

— Patricia Leslie

before remodel

Thank you for writing to “Ask the Experts.” From your description, the kitchen layout functions well for you. The problem is the plastic (veneer) is coming off the cabinets. You said you’ve tried to paint them, and it doesn’t hold. Sometimes, you have to prime the surface prior to applying the paint. A paint dealer may have some suggestions or tips for you to try.Your cabinets are maybe at an age where the glue has dried up. Humidity can play a role as well as the salt air. These are all indicators that new cabinets could be your best bet. There are many cabinet choices available to fit all budgets.Shaker flat-panel white and gray are popular. Quarter sewn oak, maple and cherry, along with bamboo, are natural wood selections that can provide warm and charm to a Cape Cod kitchen. Quartz countertops are usually the preferred choice for their durability and ease of maintenance.The existing cabinets, which are still intact, could be moved to another area in your home like a basement or laundry. There are also companies, such as Habitat for Humanity, that accept used cabinets. You would be helping a great cause, and your existing cabinets would have a new home. This opens up your options to start planning your new dream kitchen.

-Maribeth Jemmott, Mid-Cape Kitchen & Bath Designer


What are the pros and cons of natural stone and quartz?

Pros of natural stone: it’s natural out of the ground, so nothing can compete with the beauty of it. Natural stones are less susceptible to heat. Cons: It does require sealing, typically once a year. However, there are some stones that can have a lifetime sealer applied by the fabricator. It is porous, so it can potentially stain, and some can scratch depending on the specific stone. Pros of man-made quartz: Stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant. Nonporous (bacteria can’t penetrate it), with more consistent patterns than natural stone and usually larger slab sizes. Cons: This material should not have hot items put directly on it, as it can affect the other items besides the quartz holding it together.

-Becky Stoltz, Mid-Cape Kitchen & Bath Designer, Contractor Division


Click here to learn more about Kitchen & Bath Design at Mid-Cape Home Centers and to schedule a design appointment.