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California Outdoor Kitchens

The Template
The Template

It is our standard operating procedure to set template appointments between 9:00 -11:00 or between 1:00 - 3:00. The office will send a reminder text to the contact number provided a day or two before the appointment. The template maker will text with a more precise arrival time on the day of the appointment.

The template is perhaps the most crucial step in the process. It is important that someone with intimate knowledge of the project be present for the template. The countertop area must be free of debris, tools, food, appliances, etcetera.

A “detail sheet” is created during the template process. The information noted on the “detail sheet” at the template appointment along with the physical template is what we use to guide the fabrication. The responsible onsite person is asked to initial and sign the “detail sheet” at the template appointment. The onsite person is left with a yellow carbon copy of the detail sheet which includes the install date.  

During the quoting process, there may be many quote revisions with different materials, different edges, etcetera. There may be emails or text messages months earlier about some aspect of the job. There may also be design questions or options to determine during the template appointment. All that information must be discussed with the template maker and transferred to the “detail sheet” during the template appointment. That is why it is so important that a knowledgable and responsible person is present at the time of template to insure that all  pertinent information is included and correct.

If it is not on the detail sheet, it is not going to happen.
It is not acceptable procedure to omit a pertinent detail from the detail sheet at the template appointment and then after the install refer back to a previous text or email or phone call regarding that detail and say "what happened". We do our best to track and incorporate requests made during the quote process, however, the onsite person must be responsible for insuring that every detail is included on the detail sheet. 

This bid is based on measurements and drawings provided and the interpretation of DCD staff. Actual square footage and scope of work will be verified after template. Any significant discrepancy between the bid estimates and the actual template will be brought to the attention of the showroom / contractor. Any changes that affect billing will generate a change order which must be approved before the job can proceed. 

A standard size kitchen will typically take 2 hours to template. The template maker will take photos to memorialize the condition of he site at the time of template as well as the completed template. We do this to protect all involved from erroneous claims of damage or claims that a countertop was not fabricated according to the template.

Ready for Template
Ready for Template

 Ready for template means that the cabinets are installed level, plumb, and straight.

The plywood sub top (if applicable) has been installed. 5/8” or 3/4” plywood should be flush with the cabinet face.

The under mount sink is dropped into the plywood hanging from the sink lip. The hole should be about 1/2” bigger than the sink so that there is plenty of wiggle room.

Sink in the Plywood
Sink in the Plywood

Why do we ask that an under mount sink be dropped into the plywood before template?

It insures that the sink is not damaged, that the sink fits in the sink cabinet, that there is enough room for the faucet and splash, that there are no obstructions like plumbing or hinges.

If we wait to discover these types of issues at the time of template, it will cause delays and could result in additional charges. If the sink is dropped into the plywood prior to the template, any such issues can be addressed before the template appointment saving time and money.

Standard Under Mount Sink Cutout
Standard Under Mount Sink Cutout

 FYI - With a standard under mount sink cutout, the stone overhangs the lip of the sink approximately 1/4”.

The “setback” is measured from the finished countertop edge to the front of the sink cutout. The standard setback is 3”-4”.

The Physical Template
The Physical Template

A physical template will be made which represents the finished countertop edges. The wooden template is essential for our fabrication process but also a great visual aid for the on site person. It offers an opportunity to see where and how the countertop will be installed.

The wooden template notates the finished edges, the edge style, the sink center, the probable seam locations (actual seam locations are determined at the discretion of DCD), the job name, the material name and other information. The responsible onsite person has an opportunity to review the wooden template, ask questions and make design decisions.

When making the template we follow the plywood.

We measure the countertop overhang from the cabinet face not the drawer face.

FYI - a standard overhang using a mitered edge is 1-1/4”. A standard overhang using laminated edges like Bullnose is 1-1/2”

Sink Cutout Options
Sink Cutout Options

 There are thee sink cutout options.
A reveal also called a positive reveal. Typically reveals about 1/4" of the sink lip. 
An overhang also called a negative reveal. Typically the stone overhangs the edge of the sink 1/4". This is currently the most commonly used. 
A flush also called a zero reveal. The cutout follows the edge of the sink hole so there is not reveal or overhang. This is an upgraded cutout that does come with an extra charge. 


If the job includes full  splashes, the upper cabinets  and hood must also be installed and in place for the template. The template maker will either take measurements or create a template for the full splashes.

If the splash will be installed behind the hood, the hood cannot be installed until after the splash is installed.

Full splashes like the one in the photo must be seamed in the corners to prevent cracking.

Even straight-line splashes may be seamed depending on material availability.

Completed Detail Sheet
Completed Detail Sheet

Because we make a physical template of the job, we do not create “shop drawings” of what is to be fabricated. We do create a “Detail Sheet” which is our in-house form that follows the job through the entire fabrication and installation process. All the information obtained at the template appointment including special requests and instructions to the shop and or installers are represented in the Detail Sheet. If it’s not on the detail sheet, it’s not going to happen.

The onsite person is asked to confirm each aspect of the job and review the physical template. Once the Detail Sheet and template are approved, the fabrication process begins. No changes can be made after the template appointment.

Do not make even minor changes after the template process is complete.

Farm or Cast Iron Sinks
Farm or Cast Iron Sinks

 A Farm or cast iron sink requires a support system so these types of sinks must be in their permanent location for template. The top of the sink must be flush with the top of the sub top.

Why do we ask that the farm sink be installed for template?

Because we must template exactly where the stone and sink cut out will fall on the sink.

NO CHANGES after the template
NO CHANGES after the template

Even minor changes made after the template appointment can make a major impact at install.

At the template this cabinet above was tight against the wall.

At install our crew found that the cabinet had been moved 1/2” off the wall. Even a minor change after the template can make a major impact on the appearance of the finished product.