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Kitchen Cost Planning

Reusing Appliances Or Other Materials In Your New Kitchen

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

I recently read an article that I thought did a pretty good job of hitting on some of the hard truths regarding your money as related to kitchen remodels.  The main topic addresses whether it’s a smart move to reuse parts & pieces of your, or someone else’s old kitchen in your new kitchen.  The good news is that it can be done – The bad news is that a few dollars saved on the front end can cost you hundreds or even thousands on the back end.  Here’s a link to the article: “How To Save Money On Your Remodel The Smart Way”

Not surprisingly, I have a few comments on this…

As a kitchen designer there are a few things I want you to achieve when we work together:  1. I want you to remodel your kitchen.  2. I want you to love it and tell your friends about it.  3. I want you to spend your money wisely.  It’s the last one that I think the article addressed well and the one I want to focus on here.

We KNOW that you want your kitchen renovated affordably and quickly.  You, me and everyone else.  Money and time are real things for us and our clients.  I can’t relate to people who have the “money is no object mentality” – I don’t know what to do with that.  So given that there are ways to save money intelligently, there are also ways to save money that are comparable to shooting yourself in the foot.

Reusing elements of your current kitchen can help with the budget but it can also become a real regret.  Some appliances can and should make the transition to your new space.  If they’re newer and are standard sizes there’s a good chance we can reuse them.  Older appliances or odd sizes (24″ wide oven, for example) should be left in the past.  If you are getting hand-me-down appliances from a family member or friend you should ensure that those units are in full working condition and have been removed correctly.  No one wants to be responsible for an oven where the main power line has been cut during removal, for example.

Sometimes appliances and plumbing fixtures just don’t like being moved from their current home.  It may have been working perfectly for years but can present an issue once removed and reinstalled.  Probably the most common with dishwashers.

I agree with the article regarding reuse of a tile back-splash – Don’t do it, it’s going to break, it’s not worth it, NO.  Next.

Reusing counter-tops.  Ugh.  Ya know, it can happen, it’s just not something we want you to get your hopes set on.  First of all, the kitchen layout must remain EXACTLY the same – If the tops require any alteration due to size differences or layout change it’s not worth it.  The removal is another critical aspect here – The tops will most likely break at the sink or cook-top cutout.  Not advisable.

We don’t want you to spend too much, we don’t want you to spend too little.  Stay conscious of your home value, your subdivision, etc., so you don’t over build or invest.  On the other hand, if a kitchen remodel is going to financially hurt you, DON’T DO IT – Wait until you’re ready to do it right and spend your money wisely.


What’s In A Number? The Power Of Clear Pricing

Saturday, September 19th, 2015


How do you want to see pricing?  Would you prefer to have pages and pages of detail with one number presented at the end or would you like to see that number explained and broken down?  No one wants to read through an epic novel of info or bring in their attorney to review what should be an easily understood page or two of pricing and description.  I am a true believer of breaking down pricing to make things clear and understood.  It eliminates confusion and the feeling that someone is misleading you (kind of like the Wonka contract).

There’s no doubt that in the home improvement industry there is more clarity and transparency in concise price breakdowns.  We know it’s easier to hide “fluff” in one number but it also allows the person providing the price to take the lazy way out – Perhaps they don’t understand the pricing themselves and couldn’t explain it if they had to.

Of course, with many products one total is justified and expected.  I don’t really want to know how much each component of my new computer costs – It’s simply too much info.  However, with a home renovation I want to know what is and isn’t included and what I’m paying for each category of work (cabinetry, counter-tops, flooring, etc.).

We see so much confusion out there when we meet with clients that have already been exploring their kitchen renovation.  They’re confused by the lack of detail as well as the lack of time that someone has spent with them.  We set ourselves apart because we take the time to categorize our pricing and explain all of it.  It’s clear and understandable.

Before you partner with a company to do any type of home renovation you should feel that you have been properly educated by the company’s representative.  If they are the true professionals and enjoy what they do you should feel that.  They should not be rushing you through things to “sign today and save” (that’s a ploy).  You should feel that they have spent time with you, answered all your questions and not pressured you into signing anything.

Linear Footage Pricing For Cabinets (How A Foot Can Lead To A FALLacy)

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

See what happened up there in the title? Get it?… Fall became fallacy… It’s a play on words because they share a few letters. Clever, huh? …OK, I’m done.

It’s kind of a ridiculous explanation for a ridiculous subject. I’ve been asked about my linear footage pricing for cabinets my entire career. I’ve always answered the same, “I don’t know. I don’t deal with linear footage pricing.” The reason is that linear footage pricing has little to nothing to do with the final price you’re going to pay for cabinets. This has always felt like something people thought they were supposed to ask but really had no idea what the correct dollar amount was supposed to be for them. You can find out different ranges on the internet but the opinions and advice on the internet isn’t based on you and your budget.

Start with a basic, generic cabinet. Then let’s upgrade to the style and color that you really want. Then let’s add the appropriate molding, accessories, hardware and installation that we all want. The linear footage pricing has already been invalidated. It could possibly work better for large builders who are building entry level homes but it simply doesn’t apply to the remodel world.

(Side note – The pricing you are given means nothing if it doesn’t include the installation.)

We learned a long time ago to price a project not where the homeowner’s eyes will light up with a low number but to price it where we know our clients want to be. With the accessories and features people expect and where you’re covered for more colors rather than less. Installation and hardware is included on every one of our quotes.

We don’t often deal with the rich and famous – We deal with people who are like minded and fit in to our business model. We want to remodel kitchens for the everyday people. Those similar to us who don’t want to skimp on quality but at the same time get the most for every dollar. Penny wise, not pound foolish.

So be careful of linear footage pricing and other tactics that may appeal to your thrifty side. We all know if it feels too good to be true, it is.