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The purpose of this blog is to provide valuable information for anyone considering a home remodeling project. Our intent is to offer friendly, informative remodeling suggestions including design ideas, cost saving tips and much more. With this information perhaps you can turn your home into the castle of your dreams.
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10 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid #2

Tip #2 Don’t waste storage space.

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Tip #2 Don’t waste storage space.

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but kitchen items are often oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

Almost every kitchen design has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought. If the kitchen is small, consider installing extra-long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up. Also remember to always install cabinets over the refrigerator. Not to fully utilize the space above the refrigerator is a waste of potential storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items. Install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet, which can preserve about 4 square feet potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.

10 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid (intro and tip #1)

In this next blog series we will share an excellent article I uncovered with very valuable information regarding kitchen design mistakes to avoid. We will post one design tip at a time so stay tuned for all 10 in this series. First I must give credit to the original author: Andreea of Freshome Design & Architecture.

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A lot happens in the kitchen both — cooking and socializing — whether we’re cooking, preparing a quick snack, eating breakfast or serving a three-course dinner to family and friends. The kitchen is one place that needs to be both beautiful and functional. This raises a double challenge of do’s and don’ts in kitchen design. Specialist warn us about 10 mistakes we should avoid in order to achieve both practical and elegant kitchen design.

Tip #1 Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen work triangle.

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Tip #1 Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen work triangle.

Experts refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen work triangle, the area of greatest activity, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your counter top workstations.

Sinks need to be installed in close proximity to the plumbing, but often kitchens are designed with the sinks installed right above the plumbing or in a poor location. Instead of making this kitchen design mistake, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the drains and the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

Regardless of kitchen size or layout (L-shaped kitchen, galley, U-shaped or island style), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet nor greater than 25 feet. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Costs?

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Cost?

Bathrooms are easily the most expensive room per SF to remodel. They average bathroom easily contains as many as 30 to 40 different products all with both material and installation costs. Pricing easily varies around the country but in our area the South West, San Diego to be exact. The Cost versus Value report published each fall in the remodeling magazine shares that for a small average bath in our area costs about $19K. This means some are less and some are even more. I tell clients that 12K to 18K is typical and that $20 to $25K is very possible.

What is the Lowest Possible Price for a Small Bathroom?

About four years ago I did a work up for the lowest possible bathroom cost for a simple 8′ by 5′ bathroom and still have it professional installed it was about 8K then probable would cost about 9K now. Obviously we looked at using very economical priced materials that included: a stamped steel tub, plain white tile tub walls a rod and curtain (no shower door enclosure), low cost chrome plumbing fixtures, a simple 24″ or 30″ oak vanity cabinet, the medicine cabinet was the mirror, vinyl flooring and the $89 box store lowest price toilet special. If it was a flip and sell dwelling then maybe but in someone’s own home by the time they add the things they really want and expect in today’s remodeling world the starting price realistically is $12 to $15K.

If it is a shower stall add at least an additional $1K and a shower door adds even more. Many people want the brushed nickel finishes this add at least $500 to even a $1000 to the price tag. Then maybe you want ceramic tile flooring, cherry cabinets or a medicine cabinet and a mirror and a better quality toilet. Well each of these also adds to the price even further.

Can We Do the Bathroom One Area at a Time?

You can break down the bathroom into three major areas and do them individually if needed. The tub shower area is easily the most expensive portion at about 40 to 50% or $6 to $9K+ of the budget or cost. The vanity alcove or corner including: a cabinet, top, bowl, lavatory faucet, mirror, medicine cabinet and light fixture is about 30 to 40% or $4 to $6K+. The rest of the bathroom: the flooring, toilet, accessories and maybe a vent fan is the about 15 to 20% or about $2 to $3K. This break down yields a $12 to $18K total approximate project cost.

Remember this was a simple small bathroom with a single lavatory bowl and a small 30″ or less vanity. If it has a double lavatory bowl add another $2K to $3K+ for additional cabinets, counter top, lavatory bowl and faucet plus more mirror and a bigger or second light fixture or medicine cabinet.

A larger master bathroom retreat; falls into a completely different category and easily start at about $35K and can be $60K or more. Powder rooms or half bathrooms are not very common but do exist can still be remodeled for about $5 to $7K+.

These are typical numbers found in most US remodeling markets. It has been at least 20 or 25 years ago that we could tell a client that there bathroom would only cost $5 to $7K.

Call us if you have any questions we offer No Cost in home consultations where we can further answer any remodeling questions you may have and discuss a realistic price range for your project.

Remodeler Best Practices: No Pressure Sales

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, design and remodeling contractors are under a lot of pressure in this down economy to bring on new projects. This doesn’t mean, however, that we should transfer that pressure to you!

I’ve never been a big fan of the hard sell. I know what it’s like to walk onto a used car lot. It feels a lot like being a guppy dropped into a shark tank. I never want anyone to feel like that when they pick up the phone to ask me a question, and I’m sure most of my remodeling colleagues would agree.

I’ve come across many individuals and couples who feel nervous about requesting a free consultation for their remodeling project. The fact that something is free almost always means there’s some kind of catch. In this instance, homeowners fear the catch is a hard sell.

Not with K B Design and Remodeling. I view the initial consultation as an educational opportunity for the homeowner and myself. I want to hear about your vision for the remodel and answer any questions that you have. In fact, many homeowners I visit aren’t even sure if they want a remodel yet. That’s fine. It’s important to get information on what is possible, how much certain changes will cost, and how long a remodel will take. A design and remodeling contractor can also propose great ideas for the project if you’re unsure of what you want.

On these visits, my main goal is to inform, educate and to be a resource. If I feel like the homeowner is ready to move forward with the remodel, I usually offer to quote the job. I also like to give a follow up call to all homeowners who request an initial consultation to see where they are in the planning process and if they think they might like to go ahead with the remodel.

This is about as salesy as I get. If a homeowner is ready for a remodel, I want them to know that my company can provide them with a great result for a great price. I think most people would agree this is a fair approach, especially in exchange for a free initial consultation.

What is not fair is remodelers laying on the sales pitch thick as soon as they step in the door. This approach is more likely to scare the homeowner off than provide them with the knowledge they need to make the best decision for their home, their budget and their future.

If you have ever considered a home remodel and want your questions answered, please call K B Design and Remodeling for a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION, NO PRESSURE, NO HARD SELL consultation at your home.

Remodeler Best Practices: Meeting The Client’s Budget

Most clients approach the remodeling process with some sort of budget in mind or at least a maximum expenditure that they don’t want to go over.

During the design process, it is the responsibility of the design and remodeling contractor to develop a plan that meets the client’s design expectation and stays within a realistic budget. This is not always as easy as it seems. There are always surprises with any remodeling project such as the discovery of mold or faulty electrical wiring that needs to be redone. Additionally, a client’s vision of the project might not always fit within their budget. For instance, certain high-end finishes such as rare tiles or custom cabinets can raise the overall price of the project.

The design and remodeling consultant must be honest with the client. It is up to the remodeler to let clients know what is possible within their stated budget, or how much certain demands will add to the cost of the project.

In this economy, design and remodel firms are under a lot of pressure to tell clients exactly what they want to hear. Some companies lowball a client with an initial price quote for a job and then add incremental costs throughout the project.

As a client, be wary if you receive multiple project quotes and one seems too good to be true. While it may be tempting to pick the lowest offer, it might not actually turn out to be the best value in the long run. I highly recommend that you seek a remodeler who is honest and will be upfront about the cost of your project. This firm should speak with you extensively about the project before determining a quote and should be able to explain costs when asked.

Also, remember that cost is only one factor you should take into consideration when choosing a design and remodeling contractor. It’s also important that the contractor is a good fit for your project and your personality.

If you are confused about varied quotes for your remodeling project, we’d like to help. K B Design and Remodeling provides a free service where we evaluate different quotes and determine which is truly the best option for your project.

Give us a call at (619) 277-8916 to find out more.