KITCHEN REMODELING INFO
Kitchen remodeling & renovations is one of the biggest home improvement projects that you can take on. It's also one of the most rewarding. Imagine yourself in your newly redesigned kitchen, with new cabinets, countertops, and work areas.
How can you take your kitchen remodeling ideas and turn them into reality, on time, and on budget? Professional Services will work with you every step of the way, from planning your renovations to the day you cook your first meal in your beautiful new kitchen.
For many years, Professional Services has worked on kitchen projects as simple as installing new cabinets and as challenging as combining several rooms to turn a small kitchen into a chef's paradise. Our experience in designing and remodeling kitchens can help you as you begin the process of taking your ideas and creating your new room.
We start by finding out what you want in your new kitchen. Is it more storage space? Bigger countertops? An island work area? Or, a place where you can visit with your family and friends as you prepare a meal?
Our experienced kitchen remodeling experts will help by showing you samples of some of the work we've done and by introducing you to some of the newest design trends from our high-quality suppliers. We'll also ask about your budget, and take that into consideration as we plan the renovation. A typical completed kitchen remodeling project will range in costs from $30,000.00 - $90,000.00, with larger and very high end kitchens exceeding these costs. There are many factors involved in determining the bottom line cost of your kitchen renovation.
Plan the Smartest Layout
An experienced contractor or designer can save you time and money by heading off potential problems at the pass. Professional Services Contracting knows all the tricks when it comes to all types of kitchen installations. How to maximize storage, smart substitutions for high-end materials, even the best places to purchase the materials for your job. But first, they need a few things from you.
1. An architectural rendering or to-scale drawing of your existing kitchen, showing the location of windows, doors, heating, plumbing lines, and electrical outlets. If you're not working with an architect, your designer, or contractor (if he is a real professional) can do this for you.
2. A detailed kitchen wish list indicating your goals for the remodeling or renovation project. Do you want more space? More storage? More style? A built-in dog bed? Organize it by priority, from the "must-haves" to the "in our dreams."
3. A kitchen idea folder. Pictures of adjoining rooms, products, materials, and architectural details that appeal to you. Notes on what you like about friend's kitchen, (and hate about your own) and general concepts translated from other areas of your life. Are you a neat freak? Glass-front cabinets are sleek in the kitchen, but you may be happier with full faced doors that conceal clutter.
Five Questions to Ask Yourself: A Kitchen Personality Quiz
1. How many chefs usually work in the kitchen?
a. Two, maybe more (including guests and kids).
b. Only one person cooks at a time.
2. What's your cooking style?
a. Serious: Cooking and entertaining at home is how we unwind.
b. Laid-back: Dinner most nights is a casual affair; holidays are when we cook for a crowd.
3. Who else hangs out in the kitchen, and what do they do there?
a. On weekends the place is party central.
b. The whole family seems to do everything but sleep and play soccer there. It's a game room, TV room, office, and kitchen all rolled into one.
c. If it weren't for the beer and microwave dinners, the kitchen would get no use at all.
4. How important is easy cleanup?
a. Not as important as the high-Btu burst I get from unsealed stove burners.
b. The room sees too much activity for surfaces to need coddling. It has to clean up fast.
c. What I really need is a recycling system for paper, plastic, and glass.
5. If you could splurge on one luxury, what would it be?
a. A six-burner Viking range with electric ovens.
b. A built-in computer desk where the kids can go on-line and I can pay bills.
c. Ever hear of a self-cleaning microwave?
3 or more A's: Think like a pro. If it's in the budget, spend the money on a six- to eight-burner professional- style range, dedicated spice storage, and a fridge spacious enough to accommodate platters. You may also want to consider glass-front cabinets or open shelves to display dishes and glassware. Make sure you have good task lighting and stick to a flooring material like wood or old-fashioned linoleum, which are easy on the feet and easy to clean.
3 or more B's: Keep it functional, not fussy. Design in features that will simplify your daily routine—a self-cleaning oven, a microwave where the kids can reach it, lots of counter and storage space. Since you rarely cook labor-intensive meals, spend your appliance dollars on an energy-efficient side-by-side refrigerator, an easy-to-clean cooktop, and sturdy cabinetry with ample space for household staples. Think in advance about ways to control the inevitable clutter from all that family activity, such as an adjustable shelving system or cubbies fitted with bins.
3 or more C's: Remember resale. Spend your makeover dollars on practical, clean-lined cabinets; good-quality basic appliances; and conveniences like a built-in recycling center. Be careful not to spend too little on the kitchen: Quality counts with homebuyers, and a shoddy new kitchen is no better than a dingy old one. It will be money well spent. In the current real estate market, you should be able to recoup between 87 and 125 percent of your investment.
Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes
In a perfect world, demolition starts on time, deliveries arrive on schedule, installation takes place without a hitch, and cleanup is quick and easy. If you have hired a good contractor this is quite possible. If your contractor is not so good then the chances of all that happening are slim; don't shrink the odds by falling prey to these common pitfalls.
1. Trying to be your own GC. Trust us: This is one job you don't want to undertake. A kitchen renovation or remodeling project is one of the most costly, complicated, and time-consuming projects imaginable. The input of truly qualified professionals is not only valuable, in most parts of the country it's mandated by law.
2. Hiring the wrong GC. Never hire a contractor who makes you uncomfortable, no matter how highly recommended or how low the estimate. If you feel like the contractor is someone you can't trust, keep looking. Please visit our Pricing & Costs page on this site for additional information.
3. Putting the job out for bid without clear enough specs. Unless you account for every detail of the project up front, you won't be comparing apples to apples when you solicit bids. That means specifying the type of flooring, countertop material, lighting, even cabinet hardware. If you don't, one contractor might assume higher-end choices while the other assumes items on the lower end which will leave yo with a very large range in pricing.
4. Paying in advance. It's shocking how often normally intelligent people turn over a sledgehammer and their life savings to someone they just met. Never pay more than 40 percent of the total job cost up front (typically to cover startup materials). Then the contractor should work out a schedule of progress payments in your contract based on the completion of predetermined phases of the job.
5. Getting distracted from your ultimate goal. Have you ever made a run to Lowe's to pick up a plunger and some window screening and come back with $200 worth of tools and gadgets you didn't really need? The same goes for kitchen remodels. "There are so many toys out there. "That's why it's essential to make a wish list—and to stick to it."
6. Trying to keep up with the Joneses. If frozen pizza is all you ever pop in the oven, a conventional stove will serve you just as well as that newfangled induction range — and save you thousands of dollars besides. You can always upgrade appliances later.
7. Settling for a cookie-cutter kitchen. Let's face it: The next owners of your house will start dreaming of ripping out your fantasy kitchen as soon as they move in. Unless you're planning to move within the next couple of years, go ahead and build the kitchen that works for you and your budget. But be careful not to over customize. What's perfect for you today (built-in seating for the kids—who will soon be too tall to use it) may prove limiting tomorrow.
8. Ignoring what you can't see. Everyone worries about the cabinet faces, but if the sides and hardware aren't made of sturdy enough stuff, the doors will be crooked in no time. And those gorgeous concrete or tile countertops are sure to crack if they're not installed on a strong, level base. Don't be seduced by surfaces: It's what's behind the walls and under the floors that really counts.
9. Changing your mind—again. Time is money. That's what Benjamin Franklin advised tradesmen way back in 1748, and indecisive homeowners would do well to heed his warning. Regretting, reordering, reconfiguring—it all leads to delays, changed work orders, and tapped-out budgets. It also tests the patience of your contractor, who's got another job lined up after this one.
10. Living with a dysfunctional space because remodeling is a hassle. Life's about thriving, not just surviving. Just think, with a little time and effort, you could have the kitchen you've always wanted. Not to mention a few (happy) remodeling stories of your own.