Archive for the ‘Remodeling Best Practices’ Category

10 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid #2

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

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.

Remodeler Best Practices: No Pressure Sales

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

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.

Contractor Best Practices: Free In-Home Consultation

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

An in-home consultation allows the contractor to discuss your vision with you in depth and to assess your remodeling project with you.

After all, how can a contractor provide you with a realistic price range for your kitchen or bath remodel if they don’t actually visit your home and review the room in question?

A free in-home consultation is a courtesy that any professional remodeling contractor should offer, especially before they provide a preliminary price range for your job. For instance, when assessing the room, a contractor may notice some issues or concerns that may affect the outcome you desire. They may also be able to make suggestions specific to the room that will save you money or give you an alternative design option.

For the first initial appointment as a client, you shouldn’t have to drive to a contractor’s office, wait until they’re ready to see you and then try to describe your remodel vision without being able to show them the room you want to remodel.

K B Design and Remodeling offers free in-home consultations, and I know that most of my peers do as well. If you come across a contractor who refuses to come to your home, you might want to think twice before requesting a price quote from his organization. If he won’t extend you this simple courtesy, where else will he cut corners in customer service?

Contractor Best Practices: Listening

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Wrong Scenario: You invite a contractor over for an initial consultation of a kitchen remodel. You can’t wait to tell the contractor your ideas and see how he can help you put it all together into a cohesive remodeling strategy…only you never get the chance. The remodeler takes a look at your kitchen and then starts explaining his ideas for the remodel. He brushes aside your concerns as he points out all the changes he would make to your kitchen. It all sounds good, except for one problem – it’s no longer your remodel!

Right Scenario: The contractor arrives at your home and immediately asks you all about your ideas. He listens carefully, speaking only to ask for clarification. He nods often and engages in good eye contact. After you finish describing your ideas, he asks considerate follow up questions that make you think in new directions. Only after you have fully described your vision does he review your kitchen. After a thorough look, you sit back down, and the contractor explains concerns, issues and ideas he has based on what you’ve told him. All of his suggestions are helpful and practical. You feel like he truly understands your vision and is dedicated to getting it right.

A good contractor can bring plenty of great remodeling ideas to the table, but first and foremost he must bring his ears and use them.

I consider listening to be the number one best practice for a contractor. Every client has a vision for their home, and it is the contractor’s duty to understand and share this vision. Of course, in most cases, the vision needs a little clarification and fine tuning, and that’s where the contractor can really shine.

Great outcomes start by listening to the client and delivering their vision.