Will I get a good return on my cabinet investment?
The answer to this question will also be dependent on several outside factors, such as the value of the home, how it compares to other homes in the neighborhood and the neighborhood itself. But typically interior upgrades such as new kitchen cabinets that offer a buyer modern convenience, ample storage, functional design, style, safety and low maintenance are likely to increase the value of your home and give you more return on your investment (it is estimated in most cases to be, on average, about 81 percent of the initial cost).
There are so many things to know about this whole process. How do we go about getting started?
Remodeling projects take time, money, patience and forethought. By following these general guidelines, you can make the process more manageable and stress-free.
Prepare yourself. Remodeling is not an easy process. There will be personal intrusions, noise, distractions and inconveniences, but they can be avoided if you plan in advance.
Determine your needs. Sit down with pen and paper and try to define what it is you really want. Start an ideas folder, making lists of what you like and don’t like in your current room and look for possible ways to improve on them, using websites, product brochures, wood samples and ideas you have seen in magazines. Determine how the room is to be used and tie that into features you’d like to add.
Know your limits. Have a solid budget in mind before getting started. This will help keep you on track as you begin visiting our showroom, exploring options and talking with contractors. You don’t want any surprises.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you completely understand what you’re getting before you buy anything or begin work. Keep the lines of communication open and let us know when you have any hesitations or misgivings. Once a contract has been signed, it’s much more difficult to slam on the brakes.
Be open to new ideas. Your contractor and/or designer are the experts and may have solutions and options that you have never even thought of.
Plan to visit the showroom more than once. There will be several major decisions involved in the execution of your project. To make the most of everyone’s time, consider bringing a blueprint or drawing of the room to help us grasp your particular situation and offer you the most viable options. Make use of our convenient planning guides so that you can have this information in hand.
Do I have to spend an arm and a leg today to get beautiful, quality cabinetry I will love for years to come?
No! Buyers today have more options than ever and can choose from basically two major types of cabinetry.
Stock & semi custom cabinets are factory-made and come in a wide variety of sizes; they are generally the best choice for value-conscious cabinet shoppers. More choices than ever are available in styles, finishes, accessories and upgrades, so you can create a custom look, feel and function.
Custom cabinets give buyers the chance to choose from almost any wood species, style, accessory and finish. They are often built on-site to the homebuilder’s exact specifications.
What are some telltale signs of high-quality construction I can look for as I shop?
To ensure you are getting a durable, long-lasting product, look for the following before making a purchase:
- Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) seal of approval. The KCMA certification program measures cabinets for structural, construction and finish requirements that simulate years of household use. Cabinets that pass (such as ours) are awarded a KCMA seal on the inside of the doors.
- Face frames are constructed of solid kiln-dried hardwoods.
- High-quality construction details like dovetailed drawers, adjustable hinges or easy-glide drawers.
- Sealer and topcoat to provide a durable finish, resistant to water and household chemicals.
- Manufacturer’s warranty. Any reputable manufacturer will offer one.
Determining Kitchen Layout
If you are building new or remodeling your kitchen (as opposed to a refresh or “facelift”), your first step will be to determine the layout. [To minimize expense, keep in mind that it’s best to plan around existing structural considerations (load-bearing walls, air ducts, etc.) and plumbing obstacles (location of sink, pipes).]
You will need a sheet of grid paper, a pencil and the measurements of your current kitchen for this step.
Ideally, kitchens are designed around what is called the Work Triangle. This Work Triangle cuts down on excess movement by centering the workspace. Moving from the food storage center (i.e., refrigerator/freezer, pantry) to the food preparation center (range, oven, cooktop and work surface) to the cleanup area (sink, dishwasher) should be effortless. You will also need to take into account traffic flows and direct them away from the Work Triangle.
A good rule of thumb in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of your Work Triangle is this: the perimeter of your triangle should measure no more than 26 feet and no less than 12 feet with no one side of the triangle being more than nine feet or less than four feet.
After you have identified your Work Triangle, it’s time to pinpoint the shape of your kitchen. Kitchens typically fall into one of four primary shape categories: Single Wall, Corridor or Galley, U-Shaped or L-Shaped. Determine which shape works best with the square footage you’ve got and which best accommodates your Work Triangle.
Selecting The Right Wood
For a look of elegance and luxury, cherry is unmatched. This solid hardwood possesses rich hues that vary from light red to deep reddish brown. Known for its fine, light grain patterns, cherry will take the stain exceptionally well and naturally darkens over time with exposure to light.
An open-grained wood, hickory offers a wide range of color possibilities. Grain patterns and color differences can be bold and irregular, giving hickory a unique character.
The clean simplicity of maple is ideal for contemporary homes. An exceptionally strong and heavy wood, maple is characterized by its white or creamy color and even, close grain. Maple cabinets provide a smooth, radiant look when finished with a light stain.
Rustic Maple is characterized by knots of varying size and color throughout the wood. It will also have mineral streaks, bare pockets, worm holes, heartwood, sugar tracks as well as clear, unmarked wood that provides a distinctive look to every door.
When it comes to today’s more modern looks, laminate cabinetry is a popular choice. Its sleek, clean lines and smooth finish will give your kitchen a virtually timeless look. Easy to clean and able to resist stains and spills, laminate is the perfect product for a home that is meant to be lived in.
Red Oak & White Oak
An ever-popular choice, oak is extremely strong and always reliable. Wood patterns will vary, as will the colors, ranging from warm, soft browns to near white.
Birch hardwood has a range of colors, the sapwood color is white to creamy yellow, and the heartwood varies from medium brown to a reddish brown color. Birch is a strong durable wood and is more open grained to better absorb stain materials during finishing. With the good finishing ability the birch grain pattern is emphasized showing the beauty of wood.
How To Budget
A kitchen remodel is attainable with just about any budget. But before you actually start crunching numbers and coming up with figures, do your homework so you can be realistic about what you can and can’t afford. Visit our showroom first to find out what’s available and get an idea of prices. Also talk with a professional contractor early on to get a clear sense of the full scope of the work that may be involved. That puts you in a good position to make informed decisions and choices.
The cost of the renovation work will depend on the condition of the existing structure, the extent of the work to be done and local labor and material prices, such as your cabinetry. The products and materials you choose will have the greatest impact on your new kitchen’s price tag. Typically, cabinets account for the largest portion of the total cost. Installation and labor costs represent the next biggest chunk, followed by the costs of other major design elements (countertops, flooring, appliances, sinks and faucets).
A good budget checklist will help you to develop a realistic cost for the project before you start. You will want to factor in a contingency amount that’s roughly 10-20 percent of your ideal budget. Later, if there’s a feature you forgot or a luxury you’d like to indulge, you won’t feel so bad for going over.
In addition to the hard and soft costs associated with your cabinetry, some other potential expenses that factor into the overall scope of the project are:
- Design changes
- Structural considerations
- Fixtures and appliances
- Floor and wall finishes
- Plumbing and electrical problems
- Permit and inspection costs
- Waste disposal
- Meal costs incurred while kitchen is under construction
It may be possible to reduce the cost of renovation by considering the following:
- Avoiding structural changes
- Removing/installing cabinetry yourself
- Postponing some improvements to a later time
- Doing your own flooring, painting and/or wallpapering
- Reusing existing appliances