Kitchen Renovation: How to Ensure a Successful Project
Kitchen design, whether for a new or existing home, may seem overwhelming. It does not have to be; it can be an enjoyable project with wonderful results. Following a few simple rules will ensure a satisfactory conclusion to such a project, once you decide to undertake it.
Work With a Professional from the Beginning
Besides your health, your home is your most valuable asset. Few people would allow an unqualified amateur to care for their health. Likewise, only a design professional should be entrusted with the care of your home. A kitchen/bath design and build professional can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the sticky problems that often crop up during a job.
Getting J.B. Kitchens Baths & Design, Inc. in on the project early will ensure a smooth course for the entire project. It is far more difficult and costly to correct mistakes than to prevent them.
The Difference Between Home Warehouses and Specialists
The home warehouses have done an excellent job of selling the consumer the false assumption that stock prefabricated cabinets, hours of wasted time and free computer plans by inexperienced, untrained employees, is the way to buy a kitchen. The truth is, kitchens are not commodities that come off of assembly lines like cars. They are the culmination of a complex process of design elements and construction craftsmanship that is assembled in the home (somewhat like major surgery)!
Professionals build beautiful, functional kitchens that “fit like a glove” and improve the standard of living. Amateurs and home centers churn out template plans and empty promises-promises that leave the consumer’s home open and exposed for unthinkable delays and cost overruns. The “smart” consumer recognizes that you cannot “test drive” a new kitchen-therefore trained, professional craftsman and dedicated customer service is of absolute importance.
A satisfying remodel experience is one where the work is done in an organized manner with progress being made each and every day until completion. A bad contractor will have a million reasons why you should buy quickly and another million why the job can’t start and finish on time. The best contractor is one eager for you to buy, but also eager to get in, do the job beautifully to your satisfaction, and get out with a minimal disruption to your lifestyle.
Establish a Budget for the Entire Project
Have a budget figure in mind. Try to make this budget a realistic one. Beginning with a budget that is too high for your needs can be as damaging as one that is too low, since one leads to overdoing the kitchen, while the other leads to doing less than a complete and satisfying job. Lastly, because of the almost unlimited accessory options available, it is imperative that you communicate this budget to your designer, so that he or she can be as helpful as possible by eliminating wasteful consideration of items that don’t fit that budget.
Make Basic Design Decisions First
When it comes to up-scale kitchen design, Cabinet Style and Appliance Type decisions always come first. The distinction between Appliance Type and Appliance Brand is an important one. Initially, the fact that your new down-draft cook-top is to be a THERMADOR or a GE MONOGRAM, is not nearly as crucial as your decision to go with a Cook Top as opposed to a Slide-In Range.
Here are a few appliance decisions to think about:
- Natural Gas Vs. Electric.
- Free Standing Range as opposed to Built-In.
- Cook Top Vs. Range.
- Single Vs. Double Oven.
- Down Draft Vs. Ventilator Hood.
- Conventional Microwave Vs. Convection Microwave.
- Inclusion of a Trash Compactor.
- 30″, 33″, 36″, 42″, 48″ Refrigerator.
Once these important general appliance decisions have been made, it is then time to pick a cabinet style.
Here are a few cabinet decisions to think about:
- Wood Species: Maple, Oak, Cherry, Pecan, Distressed Pine and Alder.
- Frameless Vs. Traditional construction.
- Door Styles.
- Pantry interiors.
- Pull-Out accessories.
- Wine Racks & Wet Bar areas.
- Finish colors.
- Desk/Office areas and Entertainment Centers.
Now it is time for your designer to go to the drafting board. A working floor plan rendering can be scaled and an estimate provided.
The Difference Between Local Custom Cabinets and Factory Milled Custom Cabinets
There are many benefits to specifying factory milled custom cabinets. Due to California EPA restrictions, a Catalyzed Conversion Varnish (the state of the art top coat so durable that it resists, scratches, burning, even acetone) is not allowed in this state. Catalyzed Conversion Varnish is the finest finish available today. WOOD-MODE, located in Pennsylvania (one of our premiere cabinet suppliers), is so confident of this finish that it recently changed it’s warranty from five years to a lifetime! But, not every factory milled cabinet features this finish! Ask your designer about the type of finish being specified.
Another advantage to factory milled custom cabinets is that the consumer receives custom doors and drawers. Local cabinetmakers simply build boxes and purchase all doors and drawers prefabricated from one or two local door manufacturers. In turn, the stain is sprayed on the face of these doors. A custom factory milled cabinet (including its component doors and drawers) is finished before assembly. Doors and drawer fronts are selected and manufactured from kiln-dried hardwood stock right along with the cabinet box. This results in greater uniformity in appearance and quality. It also eliminates visible lines of raw wood as the cabinets expand and contract with the weather.
Evaluate and Communicate Your Needs
Remember, the eventual success of a kitchen project depends on how well it suits your purposes. Consider all aspects of your family life in order to maximize the usefulness of your new room. Family size, number and age of children, number of cooks, amount of entertaining and type of foods you prepare are just some of the considerations you must account for. Your design professional will ask many questions regarding these areas and take this information into account when designing your kitchen. You, not your designer, should determine what your new kitchen should look and feel like. If you feel you have difficulty in describing what you want, collect clippings from magazines and turn them over to your designer at the proper time. Don’t be bashful, it’s your home…and your money!
Know Who You Are Working With
J.B. Kitchens Baths & Design, Inc. is a licensed, bonded and insured General Contractor specializing in the custom renovation of kitchens and baths. We offer complete remodeling services from design to precision installation with our own expert craftsman. We maintain a Just Beautiful showroom equipped with the latest samples for your one-stop convenience. References are available upon request. We guarantee our client’s satisfaction and back it up in writing. That is our promise! Don’t settle for less!