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Getting Started with your Kitchen Remodel


1. Planning your Kitchen Remodel

First things first, if you’re investing in your kitchen, it should be a reflection of you and your lifestyle. Begin by thinking about how you use your kitchen, and what you’ll need and want from it on a daily basis.

Set Goals:

Before you dive into meeting with a contractor, you need to take a evaluate how you currently use your kitchen, and what you’d like to get out of it. It’s easy to leave things out, so we’ve created an easy worksheet guide to help you think about the current activities that go on in your kitchen, and how it currently stacks up to your needs.

After completing the daily activities questionnaire, you’ll move on to think about what you want and need from your future kitchen. Click here to get your kitchen remodel worksheet- based on how you answer these questions, we can help you create a road-map to your dream kitchen. Last but not least, don’t forget about your budget! We’ve created a kitchen remodel calculator to help you figure out where to allocate your budget.


2. Budgeting for a Kitchen Remodel

Setting a budget for you kitchen remodel involves more than just throwing out a random number, it requires research. You may have an idea of how much you’d like to spend, but sometimes it’s just not a viable number. Do your due diligence by finding out what’s available to you by visiting showrooms, checking out trade shows, and reading magazines. Once you’ve curated your wish list, revise it into a reality list with the price tags. We help you do this by pairing you with a designer that will help you add or delete items to meet your budget. However, keep in mind that it’s important to keep a little flexibility in your budget for unforeseen costs such as dry rot, or non compliant plumbing and electrical.

Kitchen Remodeling Costs:

One of the biggest fears while embarking on a kitchen remodel is blowing through your budget. This is why we emphasize careful planning. To help you develop a clear plan to your kitchen remodel cost and budget, we’ve created a worksheet to guide you through planning, goals, and a kitchen calculator to help you determine where your money is going to be allocated in the budget based on your needs. When you have a solid understanding, you’ll be able to provide the contractor exactly what you’re looking, and therefore they’ll be able to provide you with a project scope.


3. Designing your Layout

Bring beauty and functionality to your kitchen with inspiration from popular layouts, kitchen design ideas, and fixture trends. There are different styles for different needs; the gourmet cook needs appliances and counter space to work, the entertainer need warming drawers and a wine cooler, the large and busy family needs plenty of storage, etc…


Kitchen Spaces:

Today’s kitchens are designed around work zones and activities instead of around the appliances. This is because we want more from our kitchens, we want them to work for us while also being an appealing space for gatherings. Everyone wants a family room, a breakfast room, and a kitchen all in one space.

The kitchen should include work zones for the following:

Foods- Storage for groceries, including non-perishable items, refrigerated and frozen foods

Dishes, Etc- Space for dishes, glasses, cutlery and odds-and-ends, such as scissors or desk items

Cleaning- An area for recycling/waste management with recycling bins and trash cans, and space for household cleaning items

Food Preparation- The main work area with easy access to utensils, knives, small appliances, cutting boards, mixing bowls, etc.

Cooking- Where you’ll find pots, pans, bakeware, cooling racks, etc.

The kitchen might also include space for these activities:

Entertaining- An island, peninsula or other bar area that can accommodate stools a serve as a stand-or-sit space for cocktails or dinner. Additionally, it could be an entertainment configuration to include a conversation zone with lounge chairs and a low table or versatile ottoman.

Dining- A place where family can eat breakfast together, or where a household can host holiday dinner (depending on goals for the space).

Working (Office)- A dedicated workstation, or hidden features like a drop-down touch-screen computer.


4. Choosing Materials for your Kitchen Remodel

Choose materials and products that fit the goals of your kitchen remodel to get a realistic idea of the costs.

Choosing Kitchen Flooring:

Moisture Resistance

  • A key factor when choosing a tile is how easily it absorbs water. Tiles that are fired at high temperatures for a longer period of time are denser; making them both watertight and resistant to stains.
  • Most watertight tiles are usually made from glass and porcelain. They are called impervious”, meaning they absorb less than 0.5% of moisture.
  • Tiles classified as “vitreous” are second to the least moisture, absorbing 0.5 to 3% semi vitreous” tiles absorb 3 to 7%.
  • Soft bodied “non vitreous” tiles, such as glazed wall tiles, art tiles, and terra-cotta, absorb 7% or more. Only when treated with a sealer do they become water resistant, but even then it is only partial. Most people choose soft bodied tiles because of style despite moisture absorption.


  • The simplest scale divides floor tiles into four ratings: light duty, medium duty, heavy duty, and commercial.
  • Medium and light duty materials can be used for a bathroom floor.
  • Heavy duty tiles are usually used for kitchens and family rooms.
  • Tiles are also rated for glaze hardness, in other words, their resistance to scuffing and abrasion.
  • Common tests include the abrasive wear index and the Mohs hardness test. You don’t need a high rating for wall tiles, but you definitely will for entry floors or kitchen counters.

Slip Resistance

Tiles dedicated for interior floors, stair threads, showers, and patios must provide adequate traction for safe walking, whether it is wet or dry. Generally, unglazed, textured tiles offer better traction than glazed ones. Although some glazed floor tiles include enough texture or abrasive additives for safe footing. Unglazed mosaics also work well because of their grout lines. It helps break up the surfaces. 

Stain Resistance

Kitchen counter-tops, kitchen and bathroom floors, tub surrounds, fire place faces, and patios are areas with high potential staining. Dense and sturdy glazed tiles are your best pick to easily remove stains.  Keep in mind that sealers help protect porous tiles, but may be unsafe to use where you prepare or eat food.

Freeze-Thaw Stability

Tiles used for the outdoors in cold climates must be able to withstand water absorption and seasonal temperature fluctuations without warping or breaking the tile. In these areas, “impervious” or “vitreous” tiles are usually the safest for fluctuating weather. This is less of an issue in mild climates where softer more absorbent tiles like terra-cotta can be used.

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets:

Cabinets are the backbone of the kitchen. Your contractor and designer should help you develop a cabinet layout to make the most use of your kitchen’s size and floor plan.

Style- Cherry wood is big for cabinets with rich, dark finishes. For a more modern look, go for alternative woods such as mahogany, bamboo, sapele and anaglade. These can be stained or even lacquered to provide a sleek finish.

Hardware- Don’t forget about hardware. It’s the jewelry of your kitchen.

Request fully adjustable door hardware that allows the installer to adjust doors so the gap between them is uniform. Also ask for recessed bottoms or a valence to hide under-cabinet light fixtures.

What are you going to do with that dead space in the far back corner of your cabinets? You might not even know this space exists—sometimes the blind corner is closed off completely. A pie-corner base cabinet pulls out and utilizes the space; and an old-fashioned Lazy Susan spins and brings stored items within reach.

Choosing Kitchen Counter-tops:

Just like cabinets are the backbone of the kitchen, counter-tops set the tone. Choose material, and a look that not only reflect your style, but also are in line with how you’ll use your kitchen.

Granite- Riding a wave of popularity for the last several years as the surface for counter-tops, granite is available in several grades, generally 1 through 5 (ratings depend on where you buy it), patterns, colors and thicknesses.

Engineered stone- These are your quartz surfaces composed of 93 percent quartz particles and available in a larger range of colors than granite. Prices are comparable, sometimes more. The nonporous surface resists scratches and stains, and manufacturers generally offer a warranty.

Laminates- The surface, frequently referred to by the brand-name Formica, is plastic-coated and available in a range of colors—including surfaces that resemble granite. If your budget is tight and you’re doing a quick-and-dirty kitchen overhaul, this is a solution within reach.

Ceramic tile- You can lay it on the floor, wall and, yes, counter-tops. You can recover an existing surface, but remember, tiles do crack. And perhaps the biggest downside: tiles require grouting.

Concrete- Cast concrete counters can be poured to suit counter-tops of all shapes. They can be cast in the kitchen, or produced off-site and installed after the fact. The great thing about concrete is its durability. This style suits a modern kitchen—concrete can be dyed a range of colors.

Stainless steel- This industrial-strength surface provides a sleek finish in modern kitchens. It’s easy to clean with soap and water, and it takes hot pans, no problem. But stainless steel can scratch and dent, so you can’t cut on stainless. Plus, it’s a costly surface. You might decide to use stainless in a certain area of your kitchen, such as a dining area or by the range.

Choosing Kitchen Appliances:

Appliances, alone, do not make a kitchen. But, they just might be the most important aspect of your space. After all, the kitchen's primary function is for preparing and cooking meals.

Ovens- A high-performing convection oven, which circulates heat with a fan to cook food faster and more evenly, will help you get dinner on the table faster than a traditional oven. Bakers, on the other hand, will want the traditional bake/roast/broil. In a perfect kitchen world, you can have both with a stacked or side-by-side oven station.

Range hoods- A serious cook-top demands a ventilation system that will usher exhaust out of the kitchen. If you hear the sound of suction (and not the motor running), this is a good thing. If noise bothers you completely, consider units that can be installed with exterior motors. Choose a hood with adequate cfms for your cook-top. As a general rule, a four-burner electric cooking surface should have ventilation that performs at 400 cfms.

Refrigerators/Freezers- Freestanding models slide into a space and generally stick out 6 or 7 inches beyond counter depth. But you can purchase counter-depth refrigerator/freezers that will look like built-in units. When evaluating refrigerator performance, quality comes down to the compressor. Single-compressor units that power a refrigerator-freezer work double-time to keep a moist fridge and a dry, cold freezer. A dual-compressor unit costs more but will allow you to keep fresh food longer. This might be worth it if you pay a lot for groceries.

Microwaves- Microwaves can consume a lot of space no matter where you put them: on the counter, built in to cabinets or above a cook-top. So if you want your microwave to work twice as hard for you, consider a convection microwave that also works as a fast-speed oven, eliminating the need to purchase a double oven. Also available are microwave drawers, which are handy and nestle among base cabinets.

Dishwashers- Traditional dishwashers with doors that pull from the top down are the most popular style, and they can be paneled to blend with the cabinetry for a seamless look. Stainless steel still reigns in popularity. Depending on your kitchen layout, you might want to add an economy-sized dishwasher by a wet bar to manage glassware.

Sinks- The sink is an afterthought in some kitchens, but it's a good idea to choose one at the same time you choose cabinetry for underneath the sink area for a seamless look. If you opt for an under-mount style, the sink is generally installed before the counter-tops, so plan for that. Don’t skimp on the sink if you splurged on a gorgeous counter-top. If the sink has to be replaced prematurely, a contractor might have to lift up the entire counter-top of an under-mount sink—a costly and messy job.

Consider how you use the sink before you make this purchase. Do you like to prep and clean dishes in the same space? (If not, perhaps you need a separate prep sink.) How deep do you want the bowl? How tall are you, and what sort of reach-ability is necessary?

Warming Drawers- These are especially convenient for the entertainer, but every household can benefit from a warming drawer that is properly utilized. Warming drawers allow you to prepare food in advance and serve it all at the same time. They allow food to maintain moisture while staying warm, which is a preferable alternative to reheating lukewarm side dishes in a microwave, which will break down the molecular structure of the food. 

Finishes- Now that you’ve considered your appliances, think about finish. Stainless steel is standard and rated by gauge. Appliances range from 8- to 30-gauge steel. The higher the gauge, the more slick and sleek and shiny the surface. This means it’s better quality, easier to clean, more durable and will last longer.

Higher grades of stainless steel look smooth and less “brushed.” Lower grades are more gray in color and have a grainier texture vs. the silver shiny surface of a higher-grade steel. That’s because the higher grade has a greater ration of nickel to chromium, which retains luster for longer and is more durable.


5. Optimizing Kitchen Storage

During this phase of your kitchen remodel, it’s important that you don’t forget you and your family’s needs. Don’t just choose new cabinets, with drawers, and pantry organizer, choose the right ones.

How Much Kitchen Storage?

Want to know how much storage space you really need to hold kitchen necessities, from dishes to groceries? Ideally, you would empty out your cabinets and drawers, arrange items according to “zones” (consumables, non-consumables, cooking, etc, and figure out what items you use all the time that requires accessible storage. Then, you’ll get a true idea of how much cabinet space you need to store your stuff.

First, decide on the kitchen zones that suit your lifestyle. For example, cleaning, preparation, cooking, consumables and non-consumables. Think about who will use the kitchen and consider body heights, right- and left-handed cooks and the size of your household. What are your shopping habits? Do you tend to stock up on dry goods, shop at farmers’ markets?

You may find it helpful to compile a list of the items, or categories of items, that you currently store in your kitchen. As you review your list, think about how you're currently storing each, and write down how you want to be able to store them in your new kitchen.

Planning your Kitchen Remodel:

First things first, figure out how you use your kitchen and what you will need and want from it.

Budgeting for your new Kitchen:

The biggest fear of a kitchen remodel is blowing through your budget so it is important that you allocate most of your budget to the     things that mare most important to you.    

Design you Kitchen:

Think of the spaces, work zones, storage, and style.

Choosing Materials for your Kitchen Remodel :

Flooring, Cabinets, Counter-tops and Appliances.


Construction Survival Tips


You’ve made all of the big decisions and settled on a budget. Now, it’s demolition time and you’ve got to function in a home under construction. You’ll realize the kitchen truly is the epicenter of the home when you have to live without this space, or at least work around the mess. But living in dust for a while is worth the reward of a new kitchen.

You’ll be relying more heavily on take-out food and restaurant fare during your home renovation, but if you set up a makeshift kitchen, you can make basic meals for your family and save on eating out.

  • Designate a dust-free space as the temporary kitchen. Equip it with a microwave, coffeemaker, conventional toaster oven and refrigerator (mini or full-size.)
  • You’ll need a little bit of counter space to work—this could mean a table.
  • Use paper plates and cups so you won't have to wash dishes.
  • Ask the contractor about setting up temporary plumbing and a utility sink on legs.
  • Cook meals on a grill outdoors if weather allows.

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The Basic Kitchen Remodel

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

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The Basic Kitchen Remodel:
Basic does not always have to be boring. You can spice up your kitchen remodel by paying attention to the details that go into it such as paint colors and back splash.

A basic kitchen remodel runs about $25,000 to $45,000 when done by a professional. 

  • Keeping the same structure of your kitchen- By leaving the appliances and fixtures in the same location and keeping the shape of your kitchen intact, there will be little to redo in the plumbing and electrical department.
  • Lighting- We all love recessed lighting, but the bulbs in that alone can be costly. Instead, select fixtures that will illuminate the space efficiently and within your budget. 
  • Basic appliances- This means the oven and fridge. In this price range, there are no “add-ons”. Such as built-in appliances, warming drawers, wine coolers, microwave drawers, etc...
  • Backsplash and flooring- This is where a decent portion of your money will go. Some contractors recommend generic tile and vinyl flooring. We on the other hand, would much prefer that you have something nice. We will help you pick out the best quality and within your price range. We understand that these are two very important factors which can make or break your happiness with your finished kitchen.
  • Refinished cabinetry- You can keep your costs down by reusing your existing cabinets. Examine your cabinets to determine their current condition. This will help you decipher if they’re even worth refinishing. With refinished cabinets, you will be able to change the look of them to look different and brand new. Be sure to ask your contractor about options.
    • Stylish details- You can incorporate glass on your cabinet doors to give your kitchen a modern feel at minimal costs.
  • Countertops- Laminates have changed a lot in appearance over the years with several nice options. While laminate is not our favorite material, if your concern is to keep the price down, then this is probably your best option. Another low cost option is ceramic tile. However, the issue with ceramic tile is that during cleaning it is hard to clean in between the grout. Now a day, it’s a lot easier to find affordable granite. So if you can afford it, granite is by far the best choice as far as looks and maintenance.

Moderate Kitchen Remodel

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

Moderate kitchen remodel, new kitchen, kitchen renovation

 Moderate Kitchen Remodel:

Do you need to change the layout of your kitchen for more space or to add a kitchen island? This is will generally cost you between $35,000 to $90,000.

  • Reshape your space-Everything in your kitchen will be gutted to make way for your new spacious kitchen. This includes moving existing plumbing and electrical
  • Appliances-New and professional appliances. Anything from a 48-inch built-in stainless steel refrigerator to a 48-inch cooktop with a grille and griddle, as well as the 30-inch double convection ovens. These kitchen appliances are made from those who love to cook and spend time in their kitchen.
  • Custom island- I love kitchen islands! They can be used for so many different things. For help choosing a style, check out our blog on designing a kitchen island.
  • Custom cabinets-Inset doors of your color choice with a custom stain and glaze in nonstandard sizes with all of the accessories that make for a beautiful and functional kitchen.
  • Designer hardware-Find nice knobs and fixtures that will complement the style you have chosen for your kitchen.
  • Flooring-Wood, tile, or a stone floor will be a little more costly but it will bring your kitchen together.
  • Stone counters and tiled backsplash- A quartz, or natural stone material such as granite will be slightly more expensive. However, the counter tops, backsplash, and flooring are what make the kitchen. Try to save most of your budget for this part of the kitchen remodel. Stones last a long time, so while it may be pricey in the beginning, you may never have to replace it.
  • Custom storage- Storage! Storage! Storage! Storage is so important. With custom cabinets your storage possibilities are endless. If you want cabinets designed to handle small appliances (such as a coffee maker or a microwave) with drop-down doors that give extra counter space, custom is your best choice.

Luxury Kitchen Remodel

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

Luxury Kitchen Remodel

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  1. Luxury Kitchen Remodel:

This type of kitchen has everything cooks dream of. If you like a chief’s style kitchen, this is for you. While it will also cost you a pretty penny, it will be well worth it! This luxury kitchen remodel will cost you $115,00 +.

  • Reshape the space- Similar to a moderately priced kitchen, a luxury kitchen remodel entails being gutted to accommodate more space, as well as changing the existing layout of electrical and plumbing to accommodate for new appliances.
  • Architecture-The architectural details that will complete this kitchen. Such as tall ceilings, crown moldings, and glass windows.
  • Materials and accessories-The options are endless when it comes to the quality of the materials used on this kitchen. Only the best of the best! This includes flooring, stone counters, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinet knobs, and so on.
  • Custom cabinetry – Every piece of custom cabinetry is made specifically for your kitchen and its corners. There is well-crafted cabinetry of every kind for storage and convenience.
  • Chiefs stove-They can be quite expensive, but they are a cooks dream. They are known for style and excellent functionality.
  • Backsplash- This is not just a generic backsplash. This is beautiful mosaic piece that goes behind the cooking area and draws attention to your kitchen. However, be careful in the piece that you select; it can either make your kitchen look larger or smaller.
  • Appliances- In wall ovens and custom cabinetry to conceal the larger appliances like a microwave, coffee maker, etc.
  • The Details- The details are in the sink style, the stone edge style, the door knob style, and the faucet. While, these are the smallest things out of your entire kitchen remodel, they are also the finishing touches to your dream kitchen.