Selecting Lighting For Your New Home or Renovation
Selecting lighting for your upcoming project is easier than you think. Many architects include electrical plans in your drawings. They generally identify the types and quantities of fixtures that you will need for your project. If you have an electrical plan, we can do a plan “take off” for you and provide you with a clear quote for everything that you need.
If you need to select fixtures, it is still straightforward. Most room lighting is now done using recessed lights augmented in certain spots by chandeliers, close to the ceiling and other fixtures. Accent lighting, like pendants or sconces are then employed for both lighting and decorative purposes to finish out your plan. We can review your plan with you and help you to determine the appropriate quantities and types of fixtures for your home.
Kichler makes choosing a style easy for you as well. Their style families feature different types of fixtures in coordinated styles, to help create a cohesive appearance throughout your home. Global Sales and Kichler make it easy for you to install stylish, functional lighting throughout your home.
Global Sales has supplied cabinetry to customers in Bermuda and the Caribbean for over forty years, and during that time we have amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge about the best practices for that process. While it isn’t possible to share all of our experiences in a single blog post, here are the top three cabinet design considerations for our customers in Bermuda and the Caribbean.
It is critical to utilize cabinetry that is likely to hold up in the Bermudian/Caribbean climates. While these climates are some of the most desirable in the world, they are not always ideal for cabinetry. Additionally, the air conditioning used is frequently split system as opposed to central air, and many of our customers enjoy the fresh air and often leave windows and doors open to enjoy the gentle breezes that are prevalent in Bermuda and the Caribbean. That’s why all solid plywood cabinet boxes and predominantly solid wood face frames, doors, and drawer fronts are important in cabinet construction. If a particular type of door requires an alternative material, we use MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) as that has proven to be another highly durable option. We refrain from using any other materials unless they are specifically requested by our customers.
Door and Drawer Styles
Certain door and drawer styles hold up better in hot and humid environments. Specifically, we have found that mortise and tenon straight corner joints hold up far better than mitered corner stile and rail doors. The longer mitered joints can tend to separate at the corners over time causing the doors to fail. When the center panels expand or contract as wood tends to do in certain environments, the problem is exacerbated. As the vast majority of styles can be built in either construction method, we do not design or supply mitered corner doors or drawer fronts. Instead, we offer comparable styles in the more stable mortise and tenon construction method.
Cabinetry Overlay and Face Frame Style
In our experience full overlay, partial overlay, or frameless construction can all work well in island climates. We recommend against the use of inset cabinetry construction in Bermuda and the Caribbean. When the doors and/or face frames swell, inset doors and drawers can bind making them difficult to open and damaging the cabinet finish. As an additional consideration, we limit the sizes of doors and drawer fronts that we use to 18″ wide or at the very most 21″ on occasion to reduce the likelihood that the doors/drawers will twist or warp. Larger doors/drawers present a greater risk for this type of issue.
At Global Sales, we always discuss these three cabinet considerations as part of our complimentary design process. There are a couple of additional considerations that we also keep in mind as part of the kitchen cabinetry design process that is included in our Kitchen Design Guide specifically for our customers in Bermuda and the Caribbean. We would be happy to put our many years of expertise to work for you on your next cabinetry project.
Here are a couple of recent Global Sales Kitchen Design Projects
Royal Gazette Article Highlights Global Sales
Global Sales was included in a recent article of Bermuda’s Daily Newspaper, The Royal Gazette. The article highlights Frias Carpentry, who is one of our contractors working directly with Bermudians to measure and install their new kitchens. Paul Frias works closely with Global Sales on kitchen design, ordering, and shipping logistics. You can read the article below or visit the Royal Gazette website.
Pandemic Silver Lining for Frias Carpentry (Article by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
The isolation of the pandemic has caused many people to focus more on their own homes. As a result, business has been booming for Frias Carpentry, a local company that installs readymade kitchens for other businesses such as Sticks and Stones, Atlas Home Improvements, and Bermuda Kitchen and Bath.
“People have not been traveling as much since the pandemic began,” said owner Paul Frias. “So they are using their travel money on home improvements.”
He runs Frias Carpentry with his wife, Jennifer. “He handles the labor and I handle the administration,” Mrs. Frias said. “But I have a full-time job, so I do it in the evenings.” In 2019 Mr. Frias would often have a gap of several days between kitchen installations. Now he is already booked for next month. “Right now we are installing a kitchen every week,” he said. “And it is one after the other.”
During the pandemic, Global Sales, a Florida-based kitchen company, reached out to them. “A lot of people in Bermuda were contacting them, and they needed someone in Bermuda to install their cabinets,” Mrs. Frias said. “We can take over the process of ordering from Global Sales. We will double check their measurements, place their orders and get everything shipped. We take care of everything.”
Mrs. Frias had just spoken to a potential customer who was bringing in two kitchens from Global Sales. “If you want us to do your installation you have to get onto the calendar,” she said. And Frias Carpentry has also just started doing closet organizer and bathroom vanity installs for Hamma Galleries.
The couple have been married 27 years and started the business about 20 years ago. “He had a workshop and used to build cabinets,” Mrs. Frias said. “But as the years went on people started to do less of that and wanted to have stuff already made.” Mr. Frias was only too happy to make the switch to pre-made cabinets. Making custom-designed cabinetry was a lot of work for one person, and it was hard to compete, price wise, with other local companies who were offering readymade kitchens.
Mr. Frias said that since the pandemic began he has not seen kitchen styles change too much. “The Shaker-style white cabinets are still popular,” he said. “Dark blue and grey cabinets are also creeping in.”
Being a one-man operation can be a little tiring for Mr. Frias. He has to load the truck, manage the tools and carry the cabinets he is installing by himself. “That is a bit tough,” he said. “But you learn techniques for dealing with that.” “On the other hand, he is by himself and does not have to worry about dealing with employees,” Mrs. Frias said.
Mr. Frias initially wanted to be a cycle mechanic when he left school, but after graduating high school he worked in construction for a few months. “Then I came across someone who offered me a job doing carpentry,” he said. He did not know anything about carpentry at that time but accepted an internship with carpenter Carlos Garcia.
“Today’s young people are not particularly interested in hands-on work like carpentry,” Mr. Frias said. “They would rather be behind a computer — not all of them, but a lot of them.”
And the Frias family are rolling with the times. Mrs. Frias started a Facebook page a few months ago. “I was looking at different ways to build a business and let people know what we do,” she said. “I did not want to rely on others to recommend us.”
Now every time Mr. Frias does an installation they post pictures of it on Facebook. The approach is working. “We have had lots of people contact us through Facebook,” Mrs. Frias said.
What to Consider When Selecting a Kitchen or Bathroom Countertop
Your countertops anchor your cabinets and provide much-needed workspace throughout the kitchen. Counters are also popular as a freestanding island, breakfast bar, in-kitchen desk area or to create a stunning tabletop. And countertops are an important component of any bathroom remodel. No matter where you add countertops, they become an attractive focal point that adds your personal design stamp to any kitchen or bathroom.
At Global Sales, our Kitchen Design Experts love pairing cabinets and countertops to create each customer’s dream kitchen. We offer several countertop options for our customers in Bermuda and the Caribbean, but our two most popular brands are Corian® Solid Surface and Cambria Quartz. This always leads to the one of our most asked questions in the kitchen design process: “What’s the difference between Quartz and Corian countertops?”
What’s the Difference Between Cambria Quartz and Corian® Solid Surface Countertops?
Basically, Corian® Solid Surface is a very durable surface that looks great and is reasonably priced. Cambria Quartz countertops are extremely durable and have the look and feel of natural stone and are slightly more expensive than Corian®. While those are the main differences, that’s not enough information to decide which countertop is right for your new kitchen. So, let’s take a closer look at each of these options.
What Is The Countertop Surface Made Of?
Corian® Solid Surface is a nonporous material composed of 1/3 acrylic resin and 2/3 natural minerals derived from an aluminum ore extract.
Cambria Quartz is 90% or higher of natural quartz crystals mixed with pigments and binders.
Are These Countertops Mined or Manufactured?
Corian® Solid Surface is an industry-leading manufacturing process created by DuPont in 1967. It uses an acrylic polymer mix that’s heated and poured into a mold that creates a solid sheet once it cools.
The Cambria processing facility converts natural mined quartz into powder and combines the pure quartz with a small amount of pigment and binders through a manufacturing process.
Are These Countertops Seamless?
Most Corian® Solid Surface products use a color-matching epoxy for a smooth and inconspicuous joint that appears seamless. Styles with irregular patterns or colors that feature random veining require special considerations regarding seams.
Cambria Quartz requires seams for any countertop application longer than 121″ or wider than 54.5″. These seams are generally visible, but often less noticeable than a typical granite seam.
Does Cambria or Corian® withstand heat? Can you put a hot pan or pot directly on it?
All surfaces, including natural stones can be damaged by sudden temperature changes, especially near the edges. Both Cambria and Corian® may not withstand the direct transfer of heat from pots and pans and other cooking units such as electric frying pans and griddles, slow cookers or roaster ovens. Corian® is more heat-resistant and durable than Cambria. Plus, minor damage can be sanded out and repolished with Corian®. But overall, a hot pad or trivet is always recommended to prevent heat damage to your countertops.
Is there a difference with the maintenance needed for Cambria and Corian®? What about cleaning?
Both Cambria and Corian® are nonporous and hygienic. This means that the smooth surfaces do not allow liquids or germs to penetrate, making both easy to keep clean. These countertops are created to be maintenance-free with no sealing or polishing needed. Plus, both Cambria and Corian® resist harmful bacteria, viruses and mold.
Are there a variety of styles and design to choose from?
Cambria is available in more than 200 designs. These distinct designs boast the natural elegance and variation of quarry cut stone. Corian® Solid Surface is available in about 125 designs ranging from bold colors to translucent or traditional looks.
How Does Corian® and Cambria compare to Granite and Marble?
Basically, Cambria and Corian® are man-made while Granite is nature-made. This manufactured style of Cambria and Corian® means standard and predictable countertops. Granite and marble are limited to what is currently found in nature’s quarry so your sample will not always match your countertops. Decades of manufacturing experience means a more consistent design look across Corian® and Cambria. With granite and marble, each part of the slab can have variations and veining, making it one-of-a-kind unique.
Additionally, some granite and marble feature veining and imperfections that make them more susceptible to damage in shipping, installation and during the time it’s installed as a countertop.
What about other Quartz brands like Silestone, Ceasarstone, or Corian Quartz?
While many companies have similar manufacturing processes, we recommend Cambria because of the quartz quality, lower resin mix and consistency across manufacturing.
At Global Sales, we have a wide variety of kitchen countertop materials available for every style and budget. We tend to recommend Cambria Quartz and Corian® Solid Surface countertops because of our experience with the product quality and the durability of long-distance shipping.
Talk to our Kitchen and Bathroom design experts. They can help you find the perfect fit for your dream kitchen or bathroom in Bermuda or the Caribbean. Contact us today to learn more or to receive a no-obligation quote.
6 Home Improvement Ideas That Do Not Require a Contractor
While many of us have a wish list of home projects, a major renovation requires money, time, patience and usually a contractor and permits. But home improvements do not have to cost a fortune. There are several ways to refresh your home that you can do by yourself without the need for a contractor. Here are six do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas to update your home.
1. Buy New Furniture
One of the easiest ways to completely change the look of a living room, bedroom or dining room is to replace the furniture. Heavily used pieces like your couch and mattress can wear out quickly and may need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. In addition to updating your furniture, new accent items like chairs, rugs and pillows will further compliment not only the design but help change the mood and personality of any room.
2. Refresh with a Coat of Paint
A fresh coat of paint is a quick and inexpensive way to change your walls, moldings and ceilings. Pick a color that creates a dramatic backdrop to completely change the style of your room. The paint possibilities are endless. Use paint on your cabinets, front door, bathroom or anywhere to add pops of color and compliment your style transformation throughout the house.
3. Replace Hardware
Taking a closer look at your hardware is a natural next step after painting. Fresh walls need brand new (or repainted) light switches and outlet covers. Spice up your kitchen cabinets by replacing the handles and pulls. Simple metal hardware usually works best. Carry the hardware upgrades throughout the house with new door handles, faucets, etc. Also, take a closer look at things like air conditioning grilles. Focus on one room at a time for an easy way to refresh the entire house.
4. Add an Outdoor Room
If you know your way around a shovel and can move flagstone or cement pavers, consider creating a new patio area. Make your patio into an outdoor oasis with a bistro set, relaxed outdoor seating, bar furniture, umbrellas and even a fire pit. Enhance your landscaping with new plants and add potted palms to complete your backyard escape.
5. Install Laminate Flooring
With the right tools and a little planning, installing new laminate flooring can take your home refresh to the next level. Laminate, composite, floating and vinyl tile flooring products have come a long way in recent years, making it a lot easier to install. Check out the many YouTube experts online to help you prepare and plan. Or look for retailers that cater to the “do-it-yourselfer” like Floor & Décor, which offers in-store installation classes to learn helpful insights and tips before you get started.
6. Change Lighting
If you ready to take your DIY skills to the next level and know the basic principles of electricity, consider changing lighting fixtures. Be sure to learn how to properly connect the wires and always turn off the power at the breaker box before getting started. With a little research and a safety-first approach, you can update light fixtures, ceiling fans, chandeliers and even add dimmer switches. When choosing new lighting options, it’s important to consider functionality, existing light sources and room ambiance along with the lighting design elements.
Love Your Home Without the Major Renovation Headaches
Our lives and the time we spend at home have changed significantly. This shift has many of us thinking more about our home’s functional needs as well as a renewed appreciation for our individual sense of style. If the timing and budget is not right for that big renovation you don’t have to wait. Consider the many options available to update your home without a contractor.
The Global Sales experts are also here to help our island customers with product recommendations specifically for tropical climates. Global Sales will source items from the top manufacturers and coordinate shipping and export paperwork to Bermuda and the Caribbean. We make it easy to order new furniture, pick the right paint, coordinate matching hardware, update your lighting or even install new flooring. Plus, we make sure it all ships together with all the supplies you need to successfully complete your next DIY project.
When you are looking for replacement windows for your home, you will notice that manufacturers mention window ratings in their product descriptions. Often, there is no explanation of what those ratings mean. As a homeowner in Bermuda or the Caribbean, it is important to know more about these ratings since the likelihood of tropical weather and high temperatures play a role in new window performance and price.
If you want to save money on your air conditioning bills, you should look for energy-efficient window ratings. There are two types that you will see most often:
ENERGY STAR® is a label given to windows, appliances, and other products that are rated energy efficient to the standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. For windows, an ENERGY STAR rating means they perform well in two areas:
- Measures the rate of heat transfer and flow not directly from sunlight.
- This rating shows how well the window insulates and ranges from 0.25 to 1.25.
- The lower the U-Factor number, the better the window insulates against heat.
SOLAR HEAT GAIN COEFFICIENT (SHGC)
- Measures the amount of heat transmitted from the sun into a home.
- This rating shows how well the window blocks heat from sunlight and ranges from 0.25 to 0.80.
- The lower the SHGC number, the less solar heat is transferred through the window.
National Fenestration Rating Council
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), is a third-party non-profit organization that independently tests, rates and certifies windows, doors, and skylights. The NFRC tests for U-factor and SHGC like Energy Star but also goes a step further to test the entire window for air leakage and visible transmittance. NFRC also rates condensation resistance, which is an optional rating that measures how well a window resists water build-up.
AIR LEAKAGE (AL)
- Measures the rate that air passes through the window and is also known as air infiltration.
- This rating ranges from 0.1 to 0.3.
- The lower the AL value, the less air leakage.
- The rating is determined before windows are installed. Air leakage may increase if the windows are installed incorrectly and have drafts.
VISIBLE TRANSMITTANCE (VT)
- Measures the amount of daylight the window lets into your home.
- This rating ranges from 0.2 to 0.8.
- The higher the VT number, the more natural light coming through the window
The NFRC window rating label is often seen together with ENERGY STAR-rated windows. If your windows do not have a sticker similar to the one shown below, they have not received an energy rating.
Manufacturers of impact windows and hurricane windows will often mention “Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance” or “Florida Building Code (FBC).” In short, this means their windows are designed to better handle storms.
The Florida Building Code requires windows “to be impact-resistant or protected if located within one mile of the coast if the wind speed is 110 mph or greater.” These impact tests must take place in FBC-approved labs and must be approved by certain entities, including Miami-Dade County (which has the United States’ strictest requirements). Due to the frequency and intensity of storms in Bermuda and the Caribbean, it is always a good idea to look for these window ratings on your home’s replacement windows.
Global Sales has a wide selection of windows available for Bermuda and Caribbean homeowners. Our window experts can explain the different window ratings and more importantly how ratings effect window prices. Contact us to learn more.
New construction and home renovation projects in Bermuda and the Caribbean require high-quality building supplies that are designed to perform in coastal conditions. When sourcing materials for a construction project in the islands, choose a reputable vendor like Global Sales for your project. We are a building material supplier with over 38 years of experience, so we know how to make exporting easy for homeowners, professional builders, and wholesalers. Regardless of who you source your building supplies from, here is a checklist for Caribbean homeowners and builders:
1. Find a true one-stop shop for building supplies for your entire project
Look for a company that can save you time by reviewing your engineering plans, architectural renderings, and room dimensions and has the knowledge to create a complete materials list. This expertise means they can source all the materials you need for the entire construction project. And, you will save the time and energy needed to work with multiple suppliers to ensure everything arrives together and shipping is made as seamless as possible.
Make sure your supplier offers island-specific products including:
- Lumber and steel
- Doors and windows
- Paint and primer
- Tools and equipment
- Flooring, plumbing and lighting
- Drywall, molding and trim
- Gabion baskets
- Hardscapes and pavers
- Cabinets and countertops
- Furniture, Appliances and more
2. Work with suppliers that have local knowledge of construction methods and codes
Where you live makes a difference when it comes to choosing the right home improvement products. Construction methods and the products required can vary significantly for projects in Bermuda versus the Caribbean. Ordering windows is just one example.. On many homes in Bermuda, window installers utilize a unique construction method with windows set in subframes, which are installed directly into the masonry. This construction method is tied to the iconic Bermuda shutters that are attached directly to the subframe. Galvanized rebar is also required for all window installation projects in Bermuda. However, in many parts of the Caribbean, a flange window or an equal leg/box frame window is used.
That’s why it’s important to look for suppliers with an understanding of construction requirements for the islands. Global Sales has almost four decade of expertise and knows the correct products to order. This type of knowledge makes a difference in providing you with the right windows or any other building materials, the first time around.
3. Find a supplier who has long-term relationships with industry-leading manufacturers
Look for a building supply exporter who partners with numerous manufacturers to offer only high-quality building supplies that are crafted for the tropical climate. This high volume of business often means that the supplier can get better pricing for you, which can go a long way to keep costs down for your home improvement project budget.
4. Partner with an experienced exporter of home improvement products
Getting building products and home improvement products shipped outside of the U.S. to the Caribbean is challenging, so consider a company with many years of expertise. For example, to streamline the exporting process and ensure your entire order arrives at the same time, Global Sales coordinates shipments from top manufacturers and packs shipping containers at our own 100,000-square-foot warehouse facility. We also know what paperwork to submit to customs, so you will not have to worry about transit delays.
5. Look for exceptional customer service
Finding positive testimonials from customers and researching if the company prioritizes customer service will help ensure that you don’t experience any unnecessary stress. Consider how long the supplier has been in business. When you exceed customer expectations, you get referred over and over and the business grows for decades. You can rely on our exporting experts to focus both on the big picture and the smaller aspects of your construction project to help keep it on schedule and budget.
Get Your No-Obligation Quote Today
Contact Global Sales today for more information about why we are the building material supplier of choice for construction projects in Bermuda and the Caribbean. We know many customers like to shop around and look at all the options. That’s why we always offer no-obligation quotes. You can reach us by phone or email, Zoom or Skype, or in person at our warehouse in Florida.
Whether you are building or remodeling a home in Bermuda or the Caribbean, you want attractive doors that are crafted for the tropical climate. Otherwise, high humidity and intense storms can make quick work of your investment. At Global Sales, we can help you make the best selections for your dream home renovation. We partner with industry-leading manufacturers to make sourcing doors with the features that are made for the tropical climate easy for homeowners, professional builders, and wholesalers.
Best Exterior Doors Specifically for the Tropical Climate
While we all love the Caribbean sunshine, without the right kind of doors, the high heat can cause wood to split and the UV rays will cause the weather-sealing parts and metal finishes on your doors to deteriorate over time. Instead of traditional wood doors, consider Fiberglass doors which are ideal for coastal conditions. Wood doors absorb moisture which causes them to rot and split.
Fiberglass entry doors also feature strength that resists against dents and scratches. And, these doors offer improved energy-efficiency to keep the air inside a home cool and keeping energy costs low, even on the warmest days.
Here are the benefits of fiberglass exterior doors:
The Look of Wood but With Added Longevity & Strength of Fiberglass
A fine-crafted wood door does not stand up to wind, rain, salt air, heat, and the humidity of island life. Fiberglass doors are an ideal choice to avoid the warping, shrinking, or corroding that is typical with wood. Manufacturing advancements have allowed for the designing of new doors that offer the truly authentic wood-look of traditional wood doors, but with the durability of fiberglass.
Low-E Glass Panels for Energy Efficiency
The best doors on the market for island homes feature low-emissivity glass, which is formulated to reflect heat away from your house. This technology makes it easier for your HVAC unit to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. The glass can also be tinted for even better energy efficiency.
Strength Tested for Hurricane Strength Winds
There are many fiberglass and steel exterior door options available through Global Sales that are strong enough to compete in Wind-Borne Debris regions (WBD) or High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ). These doors are laboratory-tested to meet high performance standards under the stress of extreme wind and pressure. Get peace of mind during times of severe weather activity with doors proven to stand high winds and damage caused by windblown debris.
Tough Island Doors with Exquisite Design Style
No matter the style of your island home, our team can help you customize your new exterior door to be both beautiful and strong. We offer a large selection of decorative glass, grilles, transoms and coordinating sidelight designs to tie the whole look of your door together, with less risk in the event of a tropical storm or after years salty coastal air. We also have custom doors and features available to replicate authentic architectural styles, so you can have an entry door that looks like it was part of an original, historic home design, while offering the safety and security of a brand new, modern door.
Dedicated to Your Success
Global Sales makes it easy to find the right fiberglass and steel-edge doors entry doors that meet coastal building requirements without compromising beauty and design.
We are experts at exporting doors that are crafted for the tropical climate. Contact us today to learn more about selecting the best doors for your home in Bermuda or the Caribbean and to learn how we make supplying these high-quality products easy.
At Global Sales, we’re not just a building supplies company, and exceptional customer service isn’t an empty promise. Our many satisfied customers can attest to that. We are great at what we do, and we keep working to get better. That’s why we are honored to announce that Global Sales has been named to the 2017 Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies.
Global Sales’ recognition by Inc. magazine reflects the demand for high quality building supplies and materials in Bermuda and the Caribbean, and our long-standing dedication to providing island-specific materials, professional design services, efficient shipping and consolidation, and superior customer service.
While many businesses on the list are relatively new, we have been in business for 38 years, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to providing value and excellent service to our customers.
We don’t, however, rest on our laurels. At Global Sales, we continuously work hard to improve our services and offerings. We are currently working on upgrading both our virtual and physical showrooms in the coming year: a new website is now online, and a new office, warehouse and showroom building in Tampa is now in progress.
Even though the Inc. 5000 plaque has the name Global Sales on it, the real award goes to our customers. Our customers get the credit for our continued growth and success, and we won’t stop working hard to earn your business.
After supplying customers in Bermuda and the Caribbean with building supplies for 38 years, we make it easy for you to work with us. Jeff Collins, president of Global Sales, explains how we operate.
Why should you trust Global Sales?
Because we specialize in providing building supplies and materials to Bermuda and the Caribbean- for over thirty-five years. We are experts at making the process as seamless and affordable as possible for our customers. We have simplified the ordering process, and we know all the ins-and-outs of shipping, freight consolidation, and exporting.
- We listen.
- We anticipate your needs.
- We make sure that you understand our process.
- If there’s a way to do something, we will find it.
- When we’re wrong, we make it right.
The team at Global Sales can answer any questions you may have about your project, and we will work with you every step of the way. For more information, visit our website. Contact us via email, or call 813-236-9077 for information and assistance.
Note: the link for ‘Jeff Collins’ and for ’email’ is Jeff’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.