Archive for the ‘KBDR Tips’ Category

10 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid #2

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Tip #2 Don’t waste storage space.


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.

Choose The Right Remodeler For Your Project

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

You’ve got a mysterious pain in your foot. Who do you go to? A cardiologist? A dentist? No, you go to a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in feet.

Just like you would go to a foot doctor for a foot problem, a heart doctor for a heart problem and a dentist for a toothache, you need to make sure that you choose a remodeling contractor who specializes in the type of remodel you are planning for your house.

Experience and expertise count with your body and with your home.

There are many specialties within the remodeling industry. For instance, K B Design and Remodeling is a design and build firm that specializes in remodeling kitchen and baths. Other remodelers focus on landscaping, living rooms and whole house renovations. You’ll also find a lot of “generalists” on the market, but be careful. A generalist may not have the depth of experience to handle the complexities of your specific project, especially if an emergency arises.

When assessing contractors for a remodeling job, always ask to see an extensive portfolio of their work. Make sure anyone who bids on your project has done multiple projects similar to yours. If possible, I always recommend getting permission to call a contractor’s previous clients to learn exactly how the contractor works.

If a contractor you are considering has never done a project like yours before, be extremely cautious. You are putting your project at a much higher risk of errors, miscommunication, surprise price hikes, and unsatisfactory results.

An experienced contractor who specializes in your type of project will be able to communicate clearly with you, set your expectations appropriately, give you a solid time estimate, and price out the project correctly. Even if he or she costs a little more, a specialist could save you a lot of headaches during your remodel project.

Ten Question to Ask Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Finally, after much saving and planning and even more saving, you are ready to hire a remodeling contractor to get your dream remodeling project off the ground. Before you take off, however, make sure you are working with the right remodeling contractor. There are a lot of people who call themselves “contractors” out in the world, but their experience can vary drastically.

Choosing your contractor is, without a doubt, the most important decision you will make regarding your remodeling project. Selecting the correct contractor can easily be measured by the final results with how well the space meets your needs, how attractive and enjoyable the space is and whether you feel that you received the very best value for your remodeling investment dollars.

To help you find Mr. Right, below is a handy list of the top ten questions you should ask every contractor you are considering.  The contractor’s answers to these fundamental questions will help you determine if you’re dealing with a professional, if you’re both on the same page about the scope of the project, and if you like the guy (or gal).

1. What is the approximate cost of this project?

Follow up with: How sure are you about this number? What do you see as the maximum amount that could come out of my pocket? In the beginning this should be a cost range and is considered a budget not an estimate.

2. How long will this project take?

Be suspicious if your contractor cannot answer this basic question, or, conversely, if you get an exact date. Expect a scope of time.

3. How long have you been in business, and what are your credentials?

While years in business and/or certifications don’t guarantee quality, they do help weed out the pretenders from those who have the experience and expertise to do your project right. Bad contractors don’t stay in business long, and they usually don’t get certified.

4. Have you ever done a project like this before? Can I see before and after pictures?

5. Do you have references I can contact?

Not only should you ask for references, but you should actually call them. Make sure to ask the reference about how the project was conducted, how communicative the contractor was, if he/she answered questions and listened to concerns, if the project was completed in a timely manner, and if it came in around the original budget.

6. Do you foresee any issues, problems, or cost increases for this project?

Professional remodeling trade groups like NARI and NKBA usually recommend that consumers budget an additional 10% to 15% of the project cost as a contingency fund available for the extras that may come along.

7. Do you have any recommendations on how I can save money on this project?

This question could end up saving you a lot of green. Any experienced contractor should be able to provide you with several cost-saving options for your project.  Look for someone who you feel is sincere with helping you spend your money wisely.

8. What times will your crews be arriving and leaving each day?

A good contractor should be flexible to your schedule. Make sure to communicate any ground rules up front about arrivals and departures. Discuss what door and bathroom they will use, how to work with your pet or elderly parents, tool and material storage, and what manner of communication you prefer.

9. Will there be any safety issues during or throughout the project for me or my family?

Follow up with: what measures will your company take to ensure that me or my family won’t get hurt during the project?

10. What happens if I’m not happy with the outcome of the project?

Your contractor should be able to give you a clear and honest answer about how they deal with dissatisfied customers.

For more information on how to choose the best contractor possible, check out the resources available at the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website at or call (800) 321-CSLB (2752).

Tip 5 Reface Existing Cabinets or Replace

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

This question comes up a lot and especially with economy as it is, all of us are looking for less expensive alternatives with our remodeling choices.  The purpose of this article is simply to share some of  the factual pros and cons of refacing your existing cabinets versus replacing them with new ones.   Then you make your own personal choice which is best for you and perhaps provides the best overall value for your remodeling investment.  There are some reasons why refacing may be a good choice however there are many reasons why refacing in many cases simply does not offer as good of a return on your investment.