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FAQ About Remodeling Your Kitchen or Bathroom

We have researched and pulled together some great information that you may find helpful as you embark on your remodelling project. Simply click on the link that interests you most or scroll down and read the entire page. This information will help make your remodelling project a success!

How much can I expect to spend?+

You can use our budget calculator to get a rough estimate. The bottom line is what are you willing to invest? Remember that we aren’t expensive, kitchens and baths are expensive. Click here to use our investment calculator.

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) Guidelines - Kitchen complete remodel = 11 – 22% of home value

  • Value - $350,000
  • 11% = $38,500
  • 20% = $ 77,000
  • Category Breakdown:
  • Cabinets = 35%
  • Countertops = 15%
  • Appliances = 20%
  • Flooring = 10%
  • Lighting = 5%
  • Labor/Installation = 15%

2013 Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value Report

  • Kitchens
  • + Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel = $ 53,148
  • + Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel = $ 18,195
  • + Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel = $ 106,309

Above figures are for a 200 sq ft kitchen

  • Bathrooms
  • + Midrange Minor Bathroom Remodel = $ 15,468
  • + Midrange Major Bathroom Remodel = $ 36,831
  • + Upscale Minor Bathroom Remodel = $ 49,468
  • + Upscale Major Bathroom Remodel = $ 69,909

Above figures are for a 35 sq ft bathroom

How long will it take?+

Depending on the complexity and scope of your project, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. Installation itself takes as little as 2 days to as much as 4 weeks. The biggest impact on timing, of any project, is driven by you: your schedule and your timely response.

Should I get several firms to bid on the same project?+

It’s important to visit several companies to get an idea of who they are, what they offer and how they operate. You want to determine their ability to satisfy your needs.

One of the most important services you should expect from a professional firm is a detailed and well-articulated Needs Analysis. This involves finding out as much as possible about what you want, why you want it, and your priorities.

How can I tell which company’s proposal represents the best value?+

  • There are 4 factors which influence every remodeling project:
  •  1. The scope or size of the project
  •  2. The quality of the products specified
  •  3. The nature of the design
  •  4. The number and quality of services performed

Use a kitchen remodel as an example. Assuming you have asked the 2 or 3 potential firms to bid on the same parameters (budget, scope and priorities), you will need to analyze how well the design of each satisfies your needs and how thorough their services are relative to the total price. From this, you will be able to determine which offers you the best value.

If the plans are comparable, won’t the lowest priced proposal represent the best value?+

Not necessarily. The lowest bidder could be the worst value. Kitchens, bathrooms and other remodeling projects are largely intangible (until they are delivered). As such, unlike a car, you can’t take it on a test drive before buying it.

For this reason, if you could potentially recognize substantial savings from a low bid, it is a lot of risk to take—one that may stick with you for years to come.

With intangible products (such as legal advice), there are more important things to consider. A good price just isn’t enough.

What other “values” should I be considering?+

A designer who exhibits the skills and experience suited to your project is paramount. Do they express creative concepts and ideas that make sense to you? Do they understand your priorities, limitations and vision? These traits don't show up in a price - but are critical to the overall success and satisfaction of your project.

A good design includes creativity, long-term functionality, aesthetics, attention to details, plus a willingness and ability to listen to your input and provide problem-solving solutions. Ultimately a good design value can only be determined by you.

Other values come into play in the delivery phase. These include, on-time delivery, minimizing delays, safety precautions, courtesy and professionalism of tradesmen, quality and timely communication, willingness to make things right, trouble shooting skills, quality of supervision, attention to detail, and on-site clean up and follow through.

Veterans of remodeling consider these values highly important, as well as a provider’s integrity, honesty, ability to give objective advice, flexibility, courteous service, and willingness and ability to back up their work years later.

How can I be sure that showrooms furnish these values?+

  • Your instincts will tell you a lot about how open and thorough a supplier’s approach is, including:
  •  + How well they’ve listened to your concerns (if they even asked you) and objectives
  •  + How interested they are in having you understand everything about a remodeling project
  •  + How straight forward their discussions are on the cost of products and services

You should feel comfortable with the objectivity and accuracy of the information given to you by a supplier so you can make a sound decision.

The quality, nature and quantity of services they provide will be much more tangible indications of a supplier’s values. Their effort, how it is organized and how it is performed give you the assurance of receiving certain values.

A positive affirmation that a firm possesses important values is when they are willing to provide evidence of value-driven services, the quality of their staff and subcontractors, as well as the systems they use to control the numerous details involved in your project.

Can I save money by purchasing the materials myself?+

Usually not. Buying the design, cabinets, countertops and installation from four different sources ultimately is about the same or even higher than if they are all purchased from the same source.

More importantly, all of the complexity of the details and services required to communicate, coordinate, control and manage a remodel falls into your hands.

It is these details and services that minimize or eliminate extra costs associated with delays, omissions, errors, corrections, after-thoughts and future repairs. Bundling all of this into one source is like purchasing an insurance policy that pays off in the short run and long term as well.

What kinds of services do I need to receive a quality job?+

  • From our experience, these are the most important:
  •  + Discovery – done thoroughly by trained experts, usually in your home.
  •  + Creative Design – based on training, experience and to a certain degree, natural ability. This includes space planning plus the ability to create a look that incorporates your input.
  •  + Objective Consulting (“we’re in your corner”) – providing advice and direction in all aspects of the project, not just what’s in the project agreement.
  •  + Budget Options – giving you choices and alternatives so you can choose what’s best for you.
  •  + Collaborative Design - a designer who realizes they are designing for you - not themselves.
  •  + Documentation – specific drawings, perspectives, specifications, approvals, agreements and warranties.
  •  + Technical Review – ordering review procedures that ensure all of the details have been properly addressed before ordering products.
  •  + Procurement System – includes duplicate drawings and verification procedures.
  •  + Project Management – scheduling and supervision that ensures a smoothand timely installation.
  •  + Delivery (Installation) – performed by qualified, reliable craftsmen.
  •  + Job Completion – written procedures to finish off the “punch list” and prompt follow up.

The more services you pay for up front, the more successful your project will be. This will also reduce the anxiety and stress involved. The fewer services you pay for, the greater the risk of having surprises and/or problems with the installation and the finished project.

Should I be concerned if a company offers to reduce the price 15% to get my business?+

Yes. Either past clients paid too much, or the company may have a dishonest streak and you may pay too much for job changes, should they arise. It’s one way to make up for a lower contract price.

If you’re like most people, cutting prices could leave you with the impression that a company’s products and services may not be as good as other firms.

In fact, there is a higher likelihood of delays, poor follow-up and shoddy workmanship as lower-priced firms try to cut corners to make up for lower contract prices.

How can I check out the credentials and financial stability of companies?+

  •  + Speak with past clients.
  •  + Make sure the firm provides written warranties.
  •  + Ensure they are a licensed business in the area.
  •  + Do they have proper Liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance?
  •  + Check with their bank, accountants and attorneys.
  •  + Check for complaints with trade associations such as NKBA, NARI the BBB or state consumer protection agencies.

If a company is hesitant in producing references, they are probably not worth your consideration.

Is it reasonable to expect an established company to match another firm’s price?+

No, for all of the reasons stated above. The firm may be willing to discuss cost-saving options, which should be detailed for you. A successful firm will survive and prosper only if it has consistently delivered a level of product and service that is equal to the price paid. If not, it will fail to survive, and if it charges too much, word will spread and sales will drop.

Why use a designer for my kitchen or bathroom remodeling project?+

A designer can help you communicate your vision effectively to others. Shopping for the materials and products that you want in order to fulfill your vision is a time consuming process. Sometimes it’s difficult to describe exactly what you want, and then each person you talk to will interpret what you are saying differently.

This means the tile, cabinets, countertops, wall treatments, and so forth may each fit your description, or they may not work together due to various interpretations, etc

A designer knows the market, what is available (both good and bad) and will work with you to define exactly what you envision. They will then be able to pull together a manageable number of options for you to consider.
+ A designer can help with unusual areas, and work around obstacles.

Does a specific room have too many windows or doorways? Unusual angles? Too small? Not enough storage space? Kitchen & bath designers are experts at space planning and through their years of experience know how to get the most from any type of space. They may use lighting to change the effect of a room or they may use the latest options in cabinet designs and storage to maximize space efficiency.

Designers can help sort through the clutter to bring the possibilities and combinations into focus for your tastes and situation.

Many people throw in the towel or just take the easiest route—even if it doesn’t fulfill their vision completely. Instead of doing nothing or settling for something less than what you want, a designer can bring it all together and, in many cases, give you a greater bang for your investment dollars.
+ Temptation is tugging at your purse strings.

Emotions can sometimes get the better of you and all of a sudden, you are over budget—by a lot. A designer will work to your stated budget and help you avoid exceeding it. In fact, the smaller the budget, the more helpful a designer can be. They know how to achieve the greatest impact and improvement within any budget.
+ You need personalized advice.

Asking the right questions and objectively determining your priorities is the most important job of an experienced designer. They consider lifestyle, use and application of the room, physical attributes of the space and the people using the rooms, as well as other factors. Each area of discovery begins to narrow down the best options and choices so they can design a room that will work for you and stay within your budget.
+ You’re having trouble blending styles or developing a theme.

Spouses often have differing tastes. Designers know how to blend different preferences into something that makes both spouses happy. This can be done through careful selection of the style of products, texture, colors and even lighting.
+ You’re concerned about overlooking important details.

Overlooking details can cause unexpected surprises during installation and/or costly overruns. Having a designer identify just one of these issues can save you time, money, and a lot of heartache.