Welcome to the K B Design and Remodeling Blog
Answers to your Design and Remodeling Questions

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.

Kitchen Space Alterations

The highest level of a kitchen remodel requires space alterations. This type of remodel includes many of the components of the “New Kitchen Layout” remodel as well as a physical expansion of the kitchen itself. Most clients seeking this type of remodel will want new flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances and a complete makeover of aesthetic design.  As you can imagine, a project of this breadth will require additional work effort, time and expense.

Most clients who choose a kitchen expansion remodel do so because they really enjoy using their kitchen and have a long-term mindset when it comes to investing in their home. They recognize that a kitchen expansion will not only enrich their lifestyle and the pleasure they get from their home, but that the money they put into the kitchen remodel is likely to come back to them when it comes time to sell the house.

K B Design and Remodeling recently finished such a project. The client loved to entertain, and he wanted more storage and countertop prep area, but with  only 29LF of kitchen space, his kitchen was very disfuntional and did not come close to meeting his needs or lifestyle.  We rearranged walls, relocated the sink and refrigerator, removed a window, and altered the patio door. The resulting 51LF kitchen provided our happy client with a dramatic improvement in the size, shape, functionality  and look of his kitchen. Tour this project.

Pricing for a kitchen expansion varies too much to provide even an approximate price range. Sometimes you can add as little as $5K to $20K to the cost of an average kitchen remodel for your home.   Often this extra cost can pay sincere dividends in the improved lifestyle and enhanced overall  value of the home.  If you are truly interested in learning how much a kitchen expansion will cost for your home, give us a call. We provide a free initial consultation, where we can discuss your vision and give you an idea of how long it will take and how much it will cost. 

New Kitchen Layout Within Existing Space

When investing big bucks into a kitchen remodel, most clients want the freedom to rearrange the major components of the kitchen to improve traffic flow, storage space and the aesthetic look of the kitchen itself. In this case, the “Pull and Put” may not offer enough flexibility. Instead, the client should opt for a new kitchen layout within the existing space. This means that anything and everything can be shifted within the existing confines of the kitchen.

A new kitchen layout includes many of the “Pull and Put” components such as new cabinets, floors, and countertops. In addition, the design of the kitchen is reworked for maximum space efficiency and workflow. Usually, the resulting kitchen looks more modern and roomy.

Other changes that clients sometimes opt for are additional cabinets and convenience accessories such as rollout trays and pullout trashcans. If major appliances are moved, plumbing, gas and electrical utilities may need to be reworked.

This level of design service allows the contractor and client to customize the kitchen to meet the client’s individual lifestyle needs. For example, a family with four children will need a very different kitchen than an empty nest couple.

As usual, the cost can vary greatly on this type of project depending on the components of the remodel and the size of the kitchen. However, I think it would be safe to say that anyone in the San Diego area could expect an approximate cost of $40,000 – $60,000. Just remember that a kitchen remodel is an investment in your house. A substantial portion of the money you put into a kitchen remodel will be earned back in the increased resale value of the home.

What to Expect During an Initial Contractor Consultation

Requesting an initial consultation with a contractor is a big step toward starting your remodeling project. The consultation is a chance for you to clarify your vision of the project, get answers to your questions, and receive initial feedback on the viability of your ideas. Depending on how far along you are in the planning process, the contractor may also be able to provide you with an approximate forecast or price range  for your project and a possible timeline for what you want done.

Many people, especially those who are considering their first remodel, don’t know what to expect from the initial consultation. Below, I walk you through the process and provide tips on how to get the most out of your consultation. Please be aware that this information is based on how we at K B Design and Remodeling perform our consultations. Other firms may operate in a different manner, though most of the fundamentals should be the same.

Firstly, the initial consultation should take place at your home so that the contractor can have direct access to the potential remodel area.

Secondly, the first part of the consultation should include a lot of listening on the part of the contractor. This is your project, and the contractor needs to know your story and your ideas before offering any suggestions.

Once you have described your vision, the contractor will use their experience and expertise to provide potential remodeling solutions, which may include design suggestions, cost saving tips, and remodeling strategies.  Ask lots of questions, especially if you don’t understand something the contractor is saying.

A contractor will also tell you about their company and past projects. They may share a portfolio of pictures of other projects that were similar to yours. They should also provide an explanation of how their team works on a project and what you, the client, can expect during the actual remodel.

Always ask lots of questions during the initial consultation! Many folks are just curious with what is possible and what certain ideas would cost. In some cases, the contractor can forecast a potential cost range for your project for preliminary planning purposes. Just be aware that until the exact specifications are confirmed, no contractor can accurately provide a final project cost sufficient for honest evaluation for comparison bidding purposes.

Cost estimates may vary widely between contractors and may not be the best way to choose a contractor. That’s why another important function of the initial consultation is for the client and contractor to get to know each other. Determine if the contractor was knowledgeable, if you connected with one another, if the contractor seemed to understand your vision and if you liked their suggestions. Remember, you will be spending a lot of time with your contractor throughout the remodel process, so it really helps to go with someone you respect.

After the initial consultation, take some time to digest the information you learned. If you are serious about your project, it is probably in your best interest to bring in several contractors to bid on the project (learn about our contractor proposal review guarantee).

It is also a good idea to bring back your top contracting choices for a second meeting, especially if some time has lapsed since the initial consultation. The second meeting is usually more thorough, and provides you and the contractor an opportunity to fine-tune your vision. On the second meeting, K B Design and Remodeling will often use a category cost worksheet to develop a more accurate forecast of a project’s realistic price range.

That basically summarizes the purpose of an initial consultation. Read the tips below to get the most out of your meeting.

Maximize Your Initial Consultation:

  • Free up at least two hours of time for the meeting and try to limit any possible distractions.
  • Make sure all the major decision makers are present at the meeting.
  • Provide the contractor with as much detail as possible for what you envision for the project. You don’t need to have every last faucet figured out. The contractor can help you fill in the blanks
  • Come to the meeting with an open mind. The contractor may offer advice or alternative solutions based on their extensive experience in the remodeling industry.
  • Come to the meeting with a general budget in mind. This will help the contractor suggest solutions within your price range.
  • Ask lots of questions. This is your house and your money on the line. Make sure you are completely comfortable with the entire process before moving forward.
  • Assess the contractor. The initial consultation isn’t just about getting details and suggestions for your project. It’s also an opportunity to test out the personality and working style of the contractor. Make sure to look carefully at their portfolio to determine if their style and results are what you want for your home.
  • Make certain that you contact two or three of the references that a contractor offers you. This will often give you more confidence in your choice.

If you think that you are ready for an initial design consultation for your remodeling project, we would be happy to listen to your goals and provide you with our knowledge and recommendations. Call (619) 448-2927 or E-mail us at Frank@KBDR.net

The Pull and Put

The Economical Kitchen Remodel

The “Pull and Put” is an industry term for taking out a kitchen and putting a remodeled kitchen into the existing space. The new kitchen is similar to the original but includes minor alterations.  The remodeling portion of the “Pull and Put” typically includes replacing existing cabinets, floors and countertops. Storage space and appliance upgrades can also be addressed with this type of remodel.

The “Pull and Put” is a very popular option for rental or flip properties where owners are seeking a time-efficient and price-efficient kitchen upgrade. This can also be a good option for a homeowner who is satisfied with a current kitchen’s size and footprint, but wants to improve the quality and look of the room’s finishes (aka the room’s surfaces).

The pricing of the “Pull and Put” depends on the specific components of the job as well as the size of the kitchen. The pricing range below is very general. A “Pull and Put” for a smaller kitchen (24LF and under) can reasonably be done for $15,000 – $30,000. For average size kitchens, (24LF – 32LF), a “Pull and Put” remodel will probably cost in the range of $25,000 – $50,000. This pricing is still substantially lower than the average cost for a complete kitchen remodel in our San Diego area, which, according to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost versus Value” Report, usually starts at approximately $65,000.

The Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Three Different Ways to Update Your Cabinets

What if your kitchen needs more than a few touch ups? Specifically, what if your cabinets are looking a little dull, or they haven’t fully emerged from the 80s? In this case, I suggest you take a step up the kitchen remodel ladder and invest in what I like to call the “Kitchen Cabinet Makeover”.

The kitchen cabinet makeover comes in three flavors: refinishing existing cabinets, refacing existing cabinets, or replacing the cabinets altogether.

Refinishing existing cabinets is the least work intensive (i.e. least expensive) option of the three and entails sanding or stripping the old finish from the cabinet doors and then either painting or staining them.  Most clients also opt for new handles or pulls to complete the cabinet transformation. The total cost of refinishing will typically run $3,000 – $6,000 depending on how many cabinets the kitchen has, what kind of new finish is selected ,what type of new handles are chosen and if the project includes any additional small adjustments.

Refacing is more involved and, of course, more expensive. This process involves replacing the existing cabinet door and drawer fronts (the most expensive part of the cabinet), and refacing or veneering new material to the fronts and sides of the cabinets that are exposed.   If the client chooses a real wood replacement product, then it will need to be finished to match the color scheme of the new kitchen. Almost all clients who choose the refacing option also plunk down the extra bucks for new handles and pulls.  The refacing option typically starts at $8,000 and only goes up from there depending on the size and shape of the kitchen and the type of replacement door the client selects. It is not uncommon to see a final bill between $10,000 and $15,000.

Many people don’t realize that the costs of new cabinets without tear out and installation is often about the same price as refacing the old cabinets.  Consider also the return on investment. Refacing may yield a 10 to 15 year ROI, whereas new cabinets have a life cycle of 25 to 30 years. Also, if more than a few simple cabinet alterations are required along with refacing, the cost benefits of refacing quickly diminish.  Often, refacing is not the best value for your remodeling dollars, although for some, it is still a great solution, especially if resale or a short term investment is being considered.