Kitchen Remodeling Guide

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Frequently asked questions

I’ve heard horror stories about kitchen remodeling projects…are they true?
Unfortunately, some of them are, but in our experience, most of them are the result of a few avoidable situations. 1) A failure to communicate; A number of people are involved in the project so excellent communication is a must. 2) Inexperienced or incompetent designer or remodeling contractor. 3) Unanticipated problem with the structure. This is often the case with older homes but unanticipated problems can come up with some newer homes as well.

To avoid the horror stories, make sure you are doing business with a reputable company and take the time to check references. Make sure all details are clearly spelled out in writing. Be aware that if you have an older home, some hidden issues may arise when the old kitchen is torn out.

How much does a kitchen remodel cost?
With every kitchen remodel project being unique, that is a tough question to answer. So our best answer is “that depends” or to be more precise; somewhere between $5,000 and $100,000. There are many variables that come into play. The scope of the project, material costs, size and number of cabinets in the kitchen, etc.

How long does it take?
That will depend on the scope of the project. If it’s a small kitchen and it is a simple remove and replace cabinets and install new laminate countertops, it might take two to three days once all the products are delivered. But if it’s an extensive remodel with structural changes that need to be made to the home (i.e. new wiring, bulkhead work, windows, etc.) it will be longer. Solid surface, quartz and marble countertops need to have templates made before fabrication and installation and they can’t be templated until the base cabinets are installed. Most cabinets today are special order so you need to take that into consideration too.

Can I do it myself?
It could be done, but unless you have previous experience as a finish carpenter, or you can work side by side with one, we would not recommend a kitchen remodel as a do-it-yourself project. With the cost and complexity of the product and the visibility of the finished project, we feel it’s best to put your project in the hands of a qualified licensed remodeling contractor.

Is it worth it?
According to Remodel Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” comparison, remodeling your kitchen ranks toward the top of the list when it comes to the percentage of cost recovered when the home is sold. You also need to consider the increased enjoyment and convenience you will get from your new kitchen as opposed to the one you slave in now. And an up-to-date beautiful kitchen will help sell the house when the time comes.

What is the difference between “stock”, “semi-custom”, and “custom” cabinets?
Stock cabinets are the basic cabinets the manufacturer builds. They typically come in standard sizes and have fewer options available than the custom and semi-custom lines.

Semi-Custom cabinets offer a broader range of colors, wood species, and door styles. Also, many Semi-custom lines offer the option of extended widths or reduced depths and additional options.

Full Custom Cabinets. Here you will see even more options, accessories, door styles, and finishes to choose from. You can have specialty cabinets made to your specifications and you can match finishes to existing furniture and create the exact look you are after.

Building your team:
It takes a great team to successfully complete a kitchen-remodeling project. You need to involve a skilled professional remodeling contractor, a designer who is skilled in kitchen design and has your best interests in mind, and you need a supplier who can provide the products that go into the project on time, complete, and without defects.

The Professional Remodeling Contractor:
The remodeling contractor is the “conductor” of the project. This is the person who is going to transform the dream kitchen from drawings on paper to the real thing. Here are a few things to look for when choosing your remodeling contractor.:

  • Licensed, the remodeling contractor must hold a current valid builder’s license in the State he/she is doing business.
  • Insured, it is real important that the remodeling contractor that you contract with has adequate liability insurance.
  • Experienced, it is best to work with someone who has remodeled kitchens before. Just because someone has a builder’s license doesn’t mean they are qualified to remodel your kitchen.
  • Professional, you want to deal with someone who runs their business professionally; someone who uses contracts and presents themselves in a professional manner.
  • Personable, you are going to be working with this person throughout the project so it’s important that he/she is someone you can get along with, who is friendly and who can communicate well.
  • Organized, with all of the little details that go into a kitchen remodeling project it is really important to get someone who is organized and can keep all of those little details in order. If not, there is a good chance the kitchen you end up with won’t quite be the one you wanted.
  • References, most remodeling contractors will have references from projects they have done. Take the time to check the references out.

The Designer:
The designer is the person who actually designs the layout for your kitchen. This is the person who ultimately determines if you end up with a great kitchen, a mediocre one, or even a bad one. Make sure you are comfortable with your kitchen designer… is he/she experienced? Have your best interests in mind? Friendly. Does he/she listen to what you say?

Standard Kitchens hires quality designers and trains them in proper kitchen design with an emphasis on being able to design a kitchen that fits the life style of the client rather than simply designing a kitchen to fit the space available.

The Supplier:
The supplier supplies the products for the project. You’ll want to consider the combination of quality, selection, service, and price and choose the supplier that combines them to give you the most value.

You are a big part of this team. It is your responsibility to become an astute shopper for this important purchase. The total kitchen remodeling experience will be enhanced if you invest a little time in educating yourself and planning your project. Standard Kitchens can assist you with this. Through our interviewing process when you first visit one of our showrooms, the designer will be able to incorporate your wants and needs into your kitchen design..

So, don’t be a passive consumer, take the time to do some thinking about what you want your kitchen to look like and how you are going to use your kitchen. The more we know about your wants and needs, the better we can tailor the design for you.

Budgeting for your new kitchen
It’s a good idea to get a handle on your budget for the project prior to getting too far into the process. Your designer can do a much better job of tailoring the kitchen design to your wants and needs with an idea of how much money has been budgeted for the project.

Determining what you want
Standard Kitchens designers are trained “lifestyle design”; designing the kitchen to fit with your life stage and lifestyle. Our designers will ask you questions about how you will be using your kitchen…do you like to bake, gourmet cook, have a group of people over and hang out in the kitchen? Do you often have two or more people cooking in the kitchen at the same time? Etc.

One thing that would really be helpful is to develop a list of the things that ‘bug’ you about your current kitchen and things that your current kitchen has that you don’t want to give up. Have a writing pad (or your phone) handy and jot down those little irritants and ‘must haves’ as they come up.