Monday, April 16, 2012

Five Tips for Choosing a Kitchen Remodeling Company

There are many considerations when considering a partial or full remodel of your kitchen.  In addition to cabinetry and appliances, it’s good to think about the space itself, and how it meets your needs for space, food storage and preparation, and energy efficiency.  If your kitchen is a primary gathering place in your home for entertaining your family and friends, an update should include a focus on making this room an inviting spot as well. 
  1. What are your remodeling needs?  Even if you’re trying to replace outdated appliances, keep in mind that a new refrigerator, stove, hood, sink and microwave oven may be somewhat larger than your current appliances.  You may have to reconfigure the space of your kitchen to accommodate some, or all of these.  Also, Energy Star Appliances will add value to your home, and lower your energy costs while giving your home an EPA Environmentally Friendly upgrade.  Be sure to determine what your most basic needs for a remodel are–the “must haves” before you continue to the smaller renovations.
  2.  Plan your budget to include low-end, middle, and high-end renovations.  This will give your kitchen contractor a basis from which to work, and will open your options a great deal.  While you may not be able to afford a premium remodel, there are many opportunities to move funds within your budget to allow for some high end renovations while saving money in other less-crucial areas.  Explore all your options and choose a contractor who will work within your budget without trying to “up-sell you” on costly, often unnecessary upgrades.
  3. Interview two to three different companies and consider only companies that:
  • Offer many choices, styles, and brands
  • Provide free estimates
  • Understand your budget and show you the math to prove they know how to stay within it
  • Are licensed, bonded and insured, and provide numerous references from satisfied customers
  • Have experience in a variety of remodeling styles and approaches, including energy saving green building practices
  • Guarantee their work to completion on the projected date, and guarantee your complete satisfaction
  • Have received awards for excellence in design, service and customer satisfaction
4.  Keep it simple.  In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed with all of the choices that exist, narrow your search to companies that are local, highly rated for satisfaction, affordable while promising quality work within your budget and time frame, and who listen and communicate with you throughout the process.  Choose the company that understands your style, and with whom you feel most comfortable.
5.  Be flexible with your design plans.  Many kitchens can be designed various ways to accommodate your evolving needs.  Be sure to find a kitchen design company that can offer you many different floor plans, cabinetry designs, kitchen counter options, and appliances while staying within your budget.  A creative designer will help you think outside the box, and offer you the latest in affordable design choices, hardware, tile, flooring and appliances.  Knowing your personal style, favorite colors and preferences for appliances ahead of time certainly helps your designer in the initial consultation, but avoid being rigid.  Having several preferences can open the door to options, and may just save you money.

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