Distinctive Kitchens and Baths

Kitchen and Bath Remodeling - Frequently Asked QuestionsMaking the decision to remodel your kitchen or bathroom raises a lot of questions, from cost to personal inconvenience.  The following are some of the frequently asked questions that we encounter, and that should be considered prior to finalizing your decision on how you want to proceed.
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  • What will it cost?

    Many factors help to determine the overall cost of your kitchen remodel: the size of the kitchen, the style of cabinets chosen, the type of countertops you pick, the type of appliances (if any) you buy, does this installation require moving walls, windows, plumbing, electrical, etc. So it’s difficult to put out a number that means much of anything. That being said, here are some figures you might find useful as guidelines.

    The cabinet costs typically run from 33% to 50% of the overall cost of the job. Cabinets are usually the most expensive part of the remodel because they comprise the majority of the materials used. Changing cabinet woods, door styles, and finishes can have an impact on the overall cost of the job.

    The next most expensive piece in a remodel is the countertops. Countertops usually run from the low $20/ft2 for laminate, into the $60/ft2 range for granite or solid surface, to $75/ft2 for quartz or other stone styles. It is very impractical to remodel your kitchen and re-use the existing countertops.

    The NKBA states that kitchen remodels can run from $5000 to $6000 for small jobs with laminate tops to $35,000 and beyond. The typical complete kitchen remodel cost for 2010 (according to the NKBA) was $26,000.

    In most cases, kitchen dealers can give you some fairly accurate ballpark figures for your job after just a minimal amount of discussion.

  • What are our upfront costs on a kitchen remodel?

    Most kitchen dealers will ask for a deposit before ordering cabinets and countertops. Typically this upfront deposit is 25% to 50% of the overall job cost.
  • What can we do to save a little money on our job?

    This kind of depends on how handy you are. In many cases, the homeowner can remove their old kitchen and generally prep the area for the remodel. This will save some money. Unless you are experienced at carpentry (and have the right tools), we think installing the new kitchen is best left to the professionals. Another way to save some money is to do any painting or general home maintenance items yourself.
  • What should we have done before we go see someone about a new kitchen?

    I would suggest two important decisions be made before going to see a dealer.

    1. You should establish a budget. This should be one of the first questions asked by the designer. If you plan to pay for the job in cash, let the dealer know what you are thinking of spending (easier said than done!). If you are going to get a home equity loan or roll the kitchen cost into a home mortgage, you need to have some idea on payments to determine how much you can afford to spend. Some dealers have access to financing institutions also.
    2. You should take time and look through magazines or trade publications and search the internet to find some kitchen layouts, styles, colors and door styles that you find appealing. Start a scrapbook with these ideas. These pictures can be shown to your designer to help them get some understanding of your tastes and desires.
  • How do we choose the other kitchen elements, like paint colors, countertops, and appliances?

    Most all kitchen designers help you choose the countertops, flooring, and room colors for your job because these pieces are very dependant on the design and installation. Some will help with decorations and appliances, but these pieces are usually sold by someone other than a kitchen dealer. They can give you great directions and even names to help you choose most anything associated with the kitchen.
  • How long does a typical job take from start to completion?

    There is no such thing as a typical job, just like it’s hard to say what a typical kitchen costs. From our end, kitchen cabinets are made and ready to deliver in slightly less than three weeks. Add a couple weeks on the front end for design and ordering, a week on the back end for installations, and possibly another week or so for countertop measuring and installation, and you could feel pretty confident in the entire process taking from six to nine weeks.
  • Which leads us to…. how long will we be without a kitchen?

    Depending on the complexity of the installations (i.e., construction work, plumbing, electrical, and overall size) and the type of countertops chosen, it is very possible that you will be eating out for two to three weeks.
  • With housing values in such a flux, is remodeling our kitchen a good way to spend home improvement money?

    According to the NKBA, remodeling the kitchen and bath ranks right behind new windows and siding as the second best money spent on home improvement. Typically, you will recoup around 87% of your new kitchen investment if you sell your house in two to four years.
  • If we were to spend a little extra on our kitchen project, where would that money be best spent?

    In our opinion, the best “extras” found in kitchen cabinets would be:

    • Soft-close, full-extension drawer guides – drawers are the most used pieces in the kitchen
    • Ergonomic help features for storage (pieces like easy access sliding shelves, wastebasket cabinets, and pullout pantries)
    • Soft-close doors features (I don’t like slamming doors)
    • Dove tail joints or construction on the drawer boxes
  • Particleboard or plywood cabinet construction?

    The general perception is that plywood is better than particleboard, because most people think of particleboard as cheap. Particleboard does cost about 2/3 of what plywood costs, but particleboard is a very fine product for cabinet case construction. Remember–the front frame, doors and drawer fronts are made of real wood. The plywood versus particleboard debate is for the case (sides, top, bottom) of the cabinet only. That being said, about 25% of the cabinets we sell are sold with our plywood, or “all-wood”, construction.
  • Why should we buy kitchens from specialty kitchen dealers and not big box stores?

    Big box stores do a wonderful job of selling many small home improvement pieces because they are open wonderful hours, have a huge supply of products on hand, and generally meet the needs of most homeowners for home improvement projects. However, they are not well-equipped to do large special order projects, like kitchens. Their designers receive minimal training (and a good design is invaluable for your kitchen) and they are typically understaffed in specialty areas (“Someone from kitchen and bath please pickup line three!”).

    The most common complaint in dealing with big box stores on projects is that you are kind of left feeling like you are on your own. That’s OK if you need a gallon of paint or a new fan, but not when you are trying to decide on a painted or a cherry stained kitchen, a granite or soapstone countertop, and would like to find a good looking stainless steel undermount sink to tie it all together.

    We are kitchen and bath professionals. You will usually be talking to the same person from start to finish on your project. You will get to know them and they will get to know you.

    Another plus in using specialty kitchen dealers, it’s usually cheaper than the big box stores. Big public companies can offer good discounts on some things, but this is usually not the case for kitchens.


  • What Areas in Southern Maryland Do You Serve?

    Providing top quality kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling services all over Southern Maryland:

    • Calvert County
    • Charles County
    • St. Mary’s County
    • Prince Georges County
    • Anne Arundel County
    • Annapolis
    • Edgewater
    • Galesville
    • Deale
    • Prince Frederick
    • St. Leonard
    • Port Republic
    • Lusby
    • Owings
    • Dunkirk
    • North Beach
    • Chesapeake Beach