Tuesday, June 24

Three Kitchen Remodel Regrets to Know & Avoid

Most people are completely happy with their kitchen remodel, however sometimes they do have a few regrets.  What are those regrets? It comes down to the basics: Budget, Finishes, and the Pro's.

1: I didn't spend enough money.  
Wait what? You would probably expect this to be the other way around. The truth is, 36% of re-modelers wish they had spent a little more on those things they cut due to budget.  This may frighten you, considering in 2012 the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) reported the average kitchen remodel is about $47,000, or 10% the value of the home.

So what would they spend more on? Interior accessories and finishes is a big one. Things like Roll Out Trays and added organization features. Upgraded appliances is also a big one, and professionals to get the job done. Many people are overly confident in their abilities and admit they should have hired contractors to do the work for them. 

Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who regretted spending too much. So what would they cut second time around? One common answer is unnecessary appliances like beverage coolers, trash contractors, and warming drawers. Most of the people who regret spending extra on these items state they would have loved the extra storage space instead of an appliance they rarely use or really need. Many people are regretting the use of a trash compactor versus a waste and recycling cabinet that takes the same amount of space.

2: The Finishes
There are a lot of options when it comes to finishes in the kitchen.  some budget changing options can include going with a semi custom cabinet line versus custom, especially with the wide variety of options and modifications now available.  Many of my clients who have opted for this money saving option have managed to get some of their upgrades for free, like extra roll out trays, all plywood construction, and upgraded finishes like paint.

Other finishes include glazes on cabinets. A trend I personally see on its way out, many clients complain they make the cabinets look dirty. Consider a highlight if you must have the look. A glaze is applied to the whole door then wiped off, leaving residue and some color on the whole door. A highlight is the same glaze, only applied to the detail of the door for a much cleaner look. 

Other finishes include flooring, countertops, lighting, faucets, and hardware. When shopping for these finishes, price shop, compare, and shop around. Cabinet pulls often can cost you $10+ at specialty shops. Often online you can find the exact same knobs and pulls for less than $5. Companies like Liberty sell their knobs and pulls for cabinet manufactures who then sell to cabinet shops with double or triple markup. If you go to Home Depot you can buy the exact knob without the markup from the cabinet manufacturer, saving you a few bucks.

When it comes to the other finishes, still shop around. This is your kitchen, and its a one time thing. Get the best quality for the price, and have a few backups! Look at big box retailers, mom and pop shops, and everything in between. Trust me, you wont hurt anyone's feelings if you do, in fact, they already expect you are shopping around.

3: The Pro's
Hiring a pro is like hiring an employee. In fact, they are your employee. Remember, they work for you, and you are a team. Have interviews with multiple pros. If you are working on a full kitchen remodel, you need to consult a real Kitchen and Bath designer.  Not an Interior Decorator, not an Architect, but a Kitchen Designer. We all know my feelings on certification. There are thousands of amazing designers out there that aren't certified.  (Its an expensive test that takes away time from work and families to study and prep for. So don't discredit a  designer for not having fancy letters!) Interview them, get to know them, because they will make your life easier over the next few months. Think you cant afford one? Most big box stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menards offer the service free. Granted sometimes the designers aren't the best trained, so look for experience,  longevity, and professional training like college. Shy away from a designer that has only been the department for a few months.

Another pro is a Contractor. Many home owners think they can do it all themselves, when in reality it isn't as easy as replacing a faucet. Again, get bids and interview contractors. It might be less expensive than you think, and one of those extra expenses many people regretted not investing in.

There is a great commercial out today? With a Doctor mowing a lawn, and a landscaper performing surgery. Professionals do this type of work daily and will make your life easier and more enjoyable.  Sometimes the extra investment is worth it's weight in reduced stress and a more enjoyable experience.