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Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen Remodeling

Published: 12/15/2009

» Remodeling

-- Why Remodel Your Kitchen -- If you are considering a remodeling project ask yourself what you want. Is it more light, room, openness, upgraded appliances? What is your cost limit? Will you get a return on your investment if you sell the house, or are you overpricing yourself? What look and feel or style are you trying to achieve? -- Redesign Process -- Before you start construction, plan and research. Read through magazines and image galleries. Get multiple bids from builders, as well as references -- and go see their work. Make sure the builder will stay within your cost, does quality work and is timely; don't ignore your "gut feel" in choosing a builder. Once the builder is chosen, select your materials, finalize the budget (and plan for contingencies) and decide what work, if any, you will do yourself (painting, trim, stain, etc.). During construction, communicate with your spouse, your builder and your suppliers. Be ready to make quick decisions. Accept change and be flexible. Be ready to live with temporary inconveniences and hold yourself and your contractor(s) to budget and timeline. -- How to Hire a Kitchen Designer -- Unless you're a designer yourself, you'll need to hire one. Kitchens are far and away the most complicated room in any house; a good guide is worth more than money. * Take some time to educate yourself and refine your tastes. * Learn what goes into a kitchen. Research magazines, books, television shows and Web sites. * Learn as much as you can first. The more you know, the easier the process will be. * Let us send you qualified and experienced kitchen designers designers. * Look for designers among the following groups (listed in no special order): kitchen cabinet showrooms, architects, interior designers, kitchen design companies, design/build general contractors and local cabinetmakers. * Ask for qualifications - how much experience they have and what references they can provide. * Ask to see photographs. You can gather a lot of information just by looking. * Hire someone you feel comfortable with. You'll be spending time together for the next several months (at least), and not all of it will be fun. Like any relationship, it requires mutual respect. * Be prepared to pay well for a design, from several hundred dollars (for minimal plans and no follow-through) to several thousand dollars, depending on the scope of the project. As with anything else, you often get what you pay for. * Pay separately for the design. Many designers work in showrooms; if you want to commit to buying the cabinets from them, fine, but if you have a separate contract for design, you can go somewhere else later if you want to. -- Educate Yourself -- Many local schools offer classes on kitchen building and remodeling. These can be a great introduction to the process. When interviewing designers, ask the following: What are the payment arrangements? How many drafts of a plan will they provide? Do they require you to use their own contractors? Do they require you to buy cabinets from them? Will they help pick out appliances, floors, countertops, plumbing fixtures, wallpaper? Will they supply electrical, plumbing and lighting plans? -- Resources -- The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) http://www.contractors.com/h/info/tips_articles.html