Q and A

To help you get started here are some questions and answers to consider:

Q. How much will it cost to remodel my kitchen?
  The price for a new kitchen or bathroom will be affected by (1) where you buy it (2) what features it includes and (3) the brands/models you select.For kitchens, pricing can range from $5,000 or so (if you do some work yourself) to as much as $150,000 and higher. On average, a kitchen will cost from $15,000 – $26,000, including design, products and installation.

Q. What makes a kitchen more or less expensive?
  Cabinets account for about half the total cost of the project and will have the greatest impact on your budget. They range in price considerably based on quality, the type of material they are made of, and whether they are stock (ready made in specific sizes) or custom (produced specifically for your kitchen in whatever sizes are needed).The material you choose for surfaces including counters, backsplashes and floors can also account for variations in price.Other key elements that factor in to the equation are talent and workmanship. In the remodeling business, you tend to get what you pay for. An accomplished designer, skilled sub-tradesmen and expert installation crew may cost more. But you’ll appreciate their ability every time you use your kitchen.

Q: How can I pay for a new kitchen?
A:  As for payment, there are a number of options. Some homeowners tap into personal savings to get the kitchen of their dreams. Others take out home equity loans. And many times, professional kitchen/bath firms will work with lending institutions to offer financing. If you’re buying a house and know you’ll need to remodel the kitchen, you may be able to incorporate the costs in your mortgage.

Q: Who’s the best person for the job?
There are a lot of professionals out there – interior designers, architects, remodeling contractors, but your best bet is to pick a company that specializes in the kitchen area. There are thousands of companies that offer kitchen/bath design and installation services – and like Kitchen Design Gallery belong to the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Q: How does it work to get started?
You’ll probably meet first at the office or showroom to share your ideas and basic needs. Then a representative will come to your home to take careful measurements of the space, make note of plumbing and structural elements, and get a feel for your home’s style. They will also ask a lot of questions about your kitchen or bathroom, lifestyle and family. The representative will be listening carefully so that the finished room you work to create reflects your personal taste and how you use the space. You’ll choose products, colors and materials together, working within your budget.

Q: What can I do myself to help cut costs?
A:  How much you can or should attempt to do depends on your ability and knowledge of remodeling. You’ll definitely be able to tear out old cabinets (be careful not to damage walls and beams), take up old vinyl flooring and handle trash removal. You may also want to paint or wallpaper on your own. You’re better off letting the pros handle plumbing and appliance hook-ups — if you try it on your own, you may violate building codes or invalidate manufacturer warranties. And let a professional installer put your new cabinets in so that they look their best.

Q: What about contracts and orders?
Before any work begins on your kitchen or bathroom, get detailed, written estimates, project specifications and signed contracts from the professionals you hire. Make sure they’re bonded and insured. (If you work with an NKBA member, he/she will likely coordinate all of your sub-contractors for you.) Check references carefully. Your designer should prepare project drawings including floor plans and renderings that clearly represent your project. If anything changes mid-project, you should be asked to sign a change order.

Q: What about payment?
Most firms will require a percentage (typically 50 percent) when you sign the contract, additional payment (typically 40 percent) when cabinets are delivered or installation begins, and the balance (10 percent or so) when the job is complete. You may also be required to pay a design retainer at the start of the job.