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The Ultimate Kitchen Remodel Guide

Everything you need to know about transforming your kitchen
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    As world-renowned kitchen designer Mick DeGuilio once said, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” Even since the days that it was nothing more than a campfire in a cave, a kitchen has always been a place of gathering. As a result, the heart of your home should reflect the needs, lifestyle, and personality of you, the homeowner.

    A kitchen remodel is arguably one of the most complicated types of home renovations. It’s also one of the most rewarding, both functionally and financially. Home and homeowner interact more in the kitchen than anywhere else. That’s why a kitchen designed specifically for you can have a tremendous impact on the quality of your life. 

    At Lamont Bros., we specialize in custom-designed home remodels. Every client we work with has different expectations of what a successful remodel means, and it’s our job to bring those expectations out into the design. We’ve worked with dozens of families across the Portland Metro Area to transform their kitchens. If you want to learn everything there is to know about kitchen remodeling, you’ve come to the right place.

    On this page, you can become an expert on all things “kitchen remodel.” We’ll discuss everything you need to know, including costs, design, cabinetry, construction, and process. You can also access several other kitchen remodeling resources on our website through this page. By the time you’ve read all the information listed here, you should have a strong understanding of what you can expect from a kitchen remodel and how you can help make yours a success.

    Why Remodel Your Kitchen?

    There are several reasons why somebody might choose to remodel their kitchen. While the ultimate goal is to improve your home, different people have different definitions of “improvement.” Some are more concerned with form and functionality, while others care more about getting a good return on investment. 

    Improve design functionality

    One of the top reasons for remodeling a kitchen is to improve how the space functions. This often comes as a result of several flaws in the original design which make the cooking process less efficient.

    In a kitchen, every design element interacts with every other one. For example, the placement of appliances affects the storage needs of adjacent cabinetry. In turn, cabinet doors affect the walkways and traffic flow between different workspaces. Then, the traffic flow between workspaces influences where the appliances can go, and the cycle begins again.

    For somebody without any experience in kitchen design, this can often feel like an endless game of whack-a-mole. You solve one issue just in time for another to pop up somewhere else. Many homeowners choose to work with a professional kitchen designer for this exact reason. 

    The benefits of working with an experienced designer are many.  They should be able to help you to identify and solve design issues that negatively impact the way you interact with your kitchen. But beyond that, they can also incorporate design features that actively benefit your kitchen’s functionality. 

    It’s not just about eliminating the things that aren’t working. It’s also about identifying and implementing what will work well in place of those things. 

    Meet your personal needs

    So, what design features should your kitchen have to fit your needs? The answer depends on several factors related to your lifestyle. A kitchen designed specifically for you should take into account what makes you different from other homeowners, and how those differences affect the way you use your kitchen.

    Consider the needs of a kitchen used by a young couple with no children who frequently eat out. It will likely look much different than that of a large family who cooks and eats at home together every night. The young couple may need basic appliances, minimal countertop space, and limited cabinet storage for the occasions when they do cook. On the other hand, a large family would need more of everything. Larger prep space, more stove burners, and an extra-large refrigerator would all provide enormous benefits to the homeowner in this case. 

    Personalizing the design of a kitchen is another area where professional designers excel.  When you work with a designer, you’re no longer responsible for finding design solutions that will benefit your lifestyle. Instead, you simply tell your designer about yourself - how you live, how you cook, what you want to be able to do in your kitchen, etc. - and they will recommend design elements that help achieve your goals. 

    If you love to bake, maybe you need a few more ovens than the standard kitchen. If you like to host guests, a workstation sink can make entertaining a breeze. Or maybe you care most about a consistent, uniform visual design. In that case, integrated, cabinet-faced appliances might be great for you. 

    The important part is that in the end, you get a kitchen that resembles a well-tailored suit —   custom-fit specifically to you. 

    Increase home value

    Remodeling your kitchen is a difficult decision to make. A lot of homeowners get hung up on the price. If you’re going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a kitchen remodel, it had better pay off, right?

    While a custom kitchen remodel certainly adds to the quality of your home life, it can also add value to your home. The key to a financially profitable remodel is patience. The simple truth is that a remodel is a long-term investment. If you plan to sell your home in the next couple of years, you might want to think twice about an expensive remodel. However, the longer you hold your home after remodeling, the more value it adds to your home. 

    Here’s how it works: A kitchen remodel can add anywhere from 50%-80% of its contract price back into the value of your home. So, if you sell your home immediately upon completing your remodel, you would only recoup 80% of the remodel cost at most. However, if you keep your house, its market value will continue to increase year by year. After 3-5 years at an average rate of growth, the remodel would make you money. 

    This is because of the principle of compounding interest. Consider a home worth 400,000. If you remodel the kitchen for $100,000, you immediately recoup 65%, or $65,000. If the house grows in value by 10% per year, it would have been worth $787,000 without a remodel, for a total cash gain of $387,000. 

    But, since you remodeled the kitchen, that extra $65,000 has also been compounding in value. Now, the home is worth $915,000, increasing in value by $515,000. Subtract the remodel cost, and you end up with a cash gain of $415,000. In 10 years, the kitchen remodel turns a profit of $28,000 more than not remodeling. 

    At Lamont Bros, we use a proprietary remodel investment calculator tool to estimate how long it takes for a remodel to become financially profitable. You can use this tool to compare side by side how much your home will be worth after a certain amount of time. 

    Portland Sample Home Graph: Value of a Remodel

    This graph shows how a remodel changed the value of a <a href="//lamontbros.com/case-study-how-is-a-remodel-an-investment/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Portland home</a>
    This graph shows how a remodel changed the value of a Portland home

    Update style & aesthetic

    Sometimes, the way your kitchen looks can be a compelling enough reason for a remodel. Maybe it’s a little too 1990s. Or maybe it just doesn’t match your style, whatever that may be. In any case, it’s completely reasonable for you to want to like the way your kitchen looks. After all, it is your kitchen.

    There’s no use beating around the bush - some kitchens are just ugly. It’s okay to admit it. We’ve remodeled a lot of kitchens built in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s that were probably considered stylish in their day. Now a few decades down the road, styles have changed. That, coupled with the fact that most of these kitchens have seen better days, often warrants a remodel.

    Sometimes, it’s not so much that the kitchen looks “bad” per se. Instead, the homeowner simply wants the kitchen’s aesthetic to fit their specific tastes better. For example, maybe your cabinets are stained oak and you prefer a solid white, or you don’t especially like the backsplash. Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to make its style match your own. 

    Current interior design trends tend to fall under transitional style, a combination of both traditional and contemporary influences. It’s a modern twist on a classic design. As a result, there’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to designing a kitchen that fits your taste while also remaining universally stylish. You can draw from a multitude of both classic and current inspirations. 

    Visual aesthetics is yet another element of kitchen remodeling that greatly benefits from a designer’s expertise. When working within the constraints of transitional style, there’s a lot of room for interpretation. Since transitional style combines the old and the new, the challenge is often doing so in a way that feel right. A skilled designer can help you sift through different design elements that speak to you, and then incorporate them into your kitchen remodel design. That way, you end up with a design that is cohesive, tasteful, and follows the principles of transitional style. 

    Types of Kitchen Remodels

    Since there are so many different motivations to do a kitchen remodel in the first place, it makes sense that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, most kitchen remodels fit into one of four categories, each of which accomplishes different goals.

    Cosmetic Refresh 

    The least invasive and lowest cost option for a kitchen remodel is a cosmetic refresh. The primary focus of this type of remodel is to update the visual appearance of the kitchen. Some cosmetic updates can also improve the functionality of your kitchen, such as upgrading from laminate to quartz countertops, which are more durable and easier to clean. 

    The defining characteristic of a cosmetic refresh kitchen remodel is that it involves only finish material changes. In other words, the remodel is entirely surface-level. There are no major changes to the structure, utilities, or placement of appliances or cabinetry. 

    A few common features you might see in a cosmetic refresh include:

    • Re-painted or re-stained cabinetry
    • Updated countertops
    • New flooring
    • Backsplash
    • Plumbing fixtures
    • Cabinet handles

    Pull-and-Replace

    When your kitchen needs more than just a light touch-up but more than a full overhaul, a pull-and-replace kitchen remodel is the way to go. In a pull-and-replace, everything in the kitchen is removed and a new replacement is installed in its place. 

    As with a cosmetic refresh, there are no major structural or utility changes to the kitchen in a pull-and-replace remodel.  However, unlike a cosmetic refresh, the entire previous kitchen gets removed in a pull-and-replace. From flooring to cabinets and kitchen faucets to refrigerators, you get an entirely new kitchen.

    One of the main benefits of a pull-and-replace kitchen remodel is that it spares the homeowner the expensive process of moving plumbing or electrical hookups. As long as every new item goes back where its outdated counterpart was, there’s no need to extensively re-pipe or re-wire anything. With the cost of trades continuing to increase, this helps keep a kitchen remodel affordable. 

    In a pull-and-replace remodel, you can expect to see:

    • New cabinetry & hardware
    • Updated appliances & fixtures
    • New flooring
    • Updated backsplash
    • Lighting fixtures

    Full Custom

    When a kitchen has serious design flaws or doesn’t meet the lifestyle needs of the homeowner, a full custom kitchen remodel is often the best solution. Full custom kitchens free you from having to work within the constraints of your old kitchen’s layout. Whether you need more cooking space or want to rearrange the floor plan, a custom kitchen remodel offers the most amount of design freedom. 

    A full custom remodel is often the best way to design a kitchen that serves your needs. The tradeoff is that the design is often limited by the homeowner’s budget. Moving appliances, cabinetry, plumbing, or electrical costs a lot of money because it requires specialized skills. If you want to remove a wall to expand your kitchen or create an open floor plan, that involves structural changes to your home, which costs even more. 

    As a general rule of thumb, the more you change the original design of your kitchen, the more your remodel will cost. A custom kitchen remodel may include:

    • Full re-design of kitchen layout
    • Major structural changes
    • Custom cabinetry
    • New appliances
    • New flooring
    • Updated backsplash
    • New lighting fixtures

    Kitchen Addition

    Sometimes, the available space in your home doesn’t quite accommodate the size you want your kitchen to be. The solution to this problem is sometimes to add more space. Although it might technically fall under the “full-custom” definition, kitchen additions often deserve to be put in their own category. 

    In a kitchen addition, you’re not only re-designing your entire kitchen but also adding square footage to your home. It’s essentially like having two remodels happening in the same place at the same time.  The process of incorporating an addition into a kitchen remodel’s design presents several challenges. Such a major change to the home’s structure requires extensive design work and permitting. This in turn requires more professional skills and more labor during construction.

    Kitchen additions are a great option for families who love their current home but have outgrown it in some ways. When you need more space to cook for the whole family, but don’t want to cannibalize a living room to achieve that goal, it may be best to do a kitchen addition. 

    Keep in mind that a kitchen addition is more expensive than a typical kitchen remodel. However, also adds square footage to your home, which is a surefire way to increase its value.  

    Cost of a Kitchen Remodel

    Determining the cost of a kitchen remodel is notoriously difficult because, as you know, “kitchen remodel” can mean several different things. At Lamont Bros., the average cost of a Portland kitchen remodel in 2021 was $96,580. However, this isn’t an especially helpful number because of the wide range of kitchen remodel costs. Yours could cost significantly less or more than the average.

    The more helpful approach is to consider a price range for the different types of remodels:

    Cosmetic refresh:   $50,000 - $70,000

    Pull-and-replace:   $70,000 - $120,000

    Full custom:   $120,000 - $250,000+

    Kitchen addition:   $200,000+

    When planning for a kitchen remodel, it’s important to carefully examine and manage your project budget. Below is a cost breakdown of what goes into a kitchen remodel, as well as a few factors that may raise or lower your total cost.

    Budget breakdown

    The total cost of a kitchen remodel pays for the entire process of designing and building your new kitchen. The breakdown below factors the cost of labor and materials into each category.

    KitchenCostChart

    Cabinets - Since they take up the most space in a kitchen, it makes sense that cabinets take up the most space on the budget. They also require several hours of skilled labor to install.

    Electrical & Plumbing - Changes to these systems in a remodel require the skills of specialized subcontractors. Skilled tradesmen charge by the hour, and they aren’t cheap.

    Finish Work - The closer attention to detail a job requires, the more it takes. Finish work includes all of the fine carpentry required to bring your remodel to a white-glove, polished finish.

    General & Administrative - Every company has a set amount of overhead expense. These costs ensure that the company can run smoothly and provide you with a high-quality remodel.

    Appliances - Most kitchen remodels include a new refrigerator, oven, cooktop range, dishwasher, sink, garbage disposal, and microwave. 

    Countertops - The cost of a countertop depends largely on the material, size, and complexity of its dimensions. Granite or quartz costs more, while synthetic and laminate materials are less. 

    Tile/Flooring - The cost of flooring is usually a trade-off between skill and labor. Hardwood is a more expensive material but easy to install. Tile costs less but requires more skill and time to install. 

    Demolition - To remodel your kitchen, we have to demolish your old kitchen. A lot of time and planning goes into making sure this gets done safely and efficiently.

    Design - A great remodel begins with a great design that meets your needs. It’s best to hire an experienced designer to bridge the gap between your dreams and your remodel plan.

    Cleanup - After completing a remodel, an experienced remodeler will hire a professional cleaning team to deep clean the finished kitchen so you can start fresh.

    What can reduce the cost of a kitchen remodel?

    While your kitchen remodel is most likely to fall somewhere in the price range assigned to its specific type, there are steps you can take to keep your price closer to the low end of that range.

    customer engagement (1)

    Only change what you need

    During the design phase, there are three different tiers of changes you can make. The base, most important tier are considered “necessities.” These are the changes that you have to make for your kitchen to function as it should. The next tier up is your “wants,” the things that aren’t necessary but would greatly improve the use of your kitchen over time. The final tier is made up of “luxuries.” These are the features that cost a lot and add very little value to your kitchen. 

    When trying to keep your kitchen remodel costs low, it goes without saying that you should start with the necessities. Once they have been factored into the budget, then you can start to add the wants and the luxuries if you have money left over. The important thing is that you prioritize the changes that will have the most benefit to your lifestyle.

    Choose entry-level cabinetry

    Cabinetry takes up the most space in the kitchen and the budget. You’ll save yourself anywhere from 30%-60% on cabinets by going with “good” level instead of “better” or “best” (more on that later). 

    Recognize that, depending on what you need, entry-level cabinetry isn’t always an option. Sometimes, your kitchen requires more customizability than the limited selections available in this category. However, when possible, using cabinets at this level still provides a high-quality product at a lower cost. They simply lack certain customizability factors that higher-tier cabinets offer. 

    Work with a professional designer

    One of the greatest benefits of working with a remodel designer is their ability to value engineer a remodel. As a trained professional who is familiar with the remodeling process, a skilled designer can help you make the most of your budget. 

    As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”  When you work with a designer, you don’t have to be a remodeling expert.  A designer uses their expertise to help you find practical, cost-effective solutions to the issues you want to solve. Through their training and experience, you can avoid costly mistakes that might hurt your bottom line. 

    A professional designer can ease the process of designing a kitchen remodel.
    A professional designer can ease the process of designing a kitchen remodel.

    What can increase the cost of a kitchen remodel?

    On the other hand, there are a few design decisions you should avoid if you’re trying to keep your costs low. The following features often add dramatically to the total remodel bill. 

    Moving appliances

    When you change the arrangement of appliance locations in your kitchen, that doesn’t just mean moving the appliances. It also means you’ll have to route new plumbing and electrical hookups. 

    Most remodeling companies don’t employ the specialized tradesmen needed for these jobs. As a result, your builder will likely need to subcontract out any plumbing or electrical labor. Due to dwindling labor forces in both of these trades over the last few years, hourly rates have skyrocketed. 

    In addition to plumbing and electrical, there are also natural gas and HVAC systems to consider. Many ranges run on natural gas, and range hoods often need to be vented to the outside. It’s also possible that you’ll need to make other changes to these systems, too.

    The more you move things around in your kitchen, the more it’s going to require skilled labor. The more skilled labor you use, the higher the cost of your kitchen remodel. 

    Structural changes

    Another major cost factor for extensive kitchen remodels is structural changes. This may involve removing walls, adding or repositioning windows, or even adding floor space to the kitchen.

    Any time you change, move, or demolish a wall, expect to pay a higher price. These types of changes often require extensive planning that involves structural engineers and building inspectors. 

    This may sound like a lot, but changes to the structure of your home can pose a serious safety risk if not done correctly. For example, if you remove a load-bearing wall without re-distributing the weight it holds, the worst-case scenario would be your house collapsing. That’s why it’s very important to go through all the necessary channels when dealing with structural changes.

    structural

    Kitchen Remodel Contractors

    Since there are so many different motivations to do a kitchen remodel in the first place, it makes sense that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, most kitchen remodels fit into one of four categories, each of which accomplishes different goals.

    Handyman

    A handyman is a professional who provides small-scale repair, maintenance, and construction services. Because there is very little oversight in this field, a given handyman may or may not have any formal training. They are often independent contractors who work out of their truck and make an honest living by performing various odd jobs around the house.

    For small-scope projects that require very little skilled labor, a handyman is a great fit. Their prices are usually reasonable, too. In terms of kitchen remodels, handymen are better suited for repair and maintenance rather than remodeling. However, a skilled handyman could very well perform a light cosmetic refresh.

    General contractor

    As a construction professional who has many connections in the business, a general contractor can be a great option for a kitchen remodel. Their primary job is to coordinate construction projects among subcontractors to get a project done. Though they may do some of the work themselves, the value most general contractors bring to a project is their relationship with other trained professionals in the industry. 

    In a kitchen remodel, the general contractor will find and hire independent flooring installers, drywallers, electricians, plumbers, cabinet makers, and finish carpenters to complete the project. General contractors are great options for projects that don’t require much design work. Otherwise, you’ll likely have to hire an independent designer to work on the project, as well. 

    Most general contractors can easily complete a cosmetic refresh but may run into trouble with a pull-and-replace depending on its complexity. For more complicated projects like custom remodels, general contractors will almost always require the client to hire a designer to draw up the project plans instead of trying to work through the process themselves. 

    A general contractor oversees and organizes specialized construction subcontractors.
    A general contractor oversees and organizes specialized construction subcontractors.

    Design-Build

    With a design-build firm, you work with one entity from start to finish. This includes both the design and construction phases, which are handled by an in-house team of designers and construction professionals. The designers work with the homeowner to create a design for the remodel. Those designs are then given to a project manager that works under the same company. 

    With a design-build firm, a project begins with a clearly defined scope and plan with construction drawings.
    With a design-build firm, a project begins with a clearly defined scope and plan with construction drawings.

    Design-build firms excel in the full-process remodel experience, and they perform best in remodel projects that require extensive design work. Since the designer and build crew are part of the same team, everybody involved in your remodel is working towards a common goal. 

    Nearly every kitchen remodel involves some form of design work. Cosmetic refresh remodels don’t require much, but can still benefit from the design-build process. The primary advantage in this case is that it provides a single set of drawings that fully communicate the scope of work, including cabinets. A design-build firm will also purchasing the materials and develop a project schedule. 

    Pull-and-replace kitchen remodels almost always require designer because of the complexity of designing cabinetry. Once you get into custom remodels and kitchen additions, a design-build firm is arguably the best way to go because a good design is so important to these types of projects.

    Top 1%

    When you’ve got nothing but time and money to burn, you might consider working with the professionals who cater to the ultra-wealthy. This “Top 1%” includes nationally renowned designers, luxury builders, and top-level construction artisans.

    Mick DeGuilio, a professional designer based out of Illinois, is largely considered the master of designing kitchens. His work has been featured in numerous international publications, and he’s quite literally written the book on kitchen design principles. The services of a celebrity-level designer can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars just for the design. 

    In the construction phase for these types of projects, it’s common for a homeowner to put a dedicated project manager on staff to oversee the remodel. The project manager’s job is to find the best-specialized craftsmen and construction artisans. As masters of their crafts, these workers don’t usually come cheap, either. 

    Financing A Kitchen Remodel

    Due to their complexity and scale, kitchen remodels can become very costly very quickly. Ranging in cost from 50,000 on the low end to over $300,000 on the high, remodeling your kitchen is a sizable investment. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay the full amount upfront if you can’t or don’t want to. There are several financing options available for remodel construction. You can read about the most common types below. 

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    Home equity loan or line of credit

    The difference between what your home is worth and what you owe on it is called equity. If you own a house worth $800,000 and currently owe $500,000, then your equity is $300,000. You can use a majority of that $300,000 as leverage to secure financing for a kitchen remodel. 

    In a home equity loan, you cash out a lump sum and pay a monthly mortgage fee on the amount. It essentially functions as a second home mortgage. Most equity loans have a repayment period with a fixed interest rate that lasts between 5 and 30 years. Because interest rates are low for home equity loans, they often make a lot of sense for renovation projects.

    A slightly different approach is a home equity line of credit. Instead of a lump sum, the line of credit offers a more flexible approach to spending. In this case, you only take out what you need. A home equity line of credit functions much like a credit card. You first go through a “draw period” in which you use your line of credit to pay for what you need. During this time, which typically lasts about 10 years,  you make small payments on the interest of the loan. After the draw period, you enter the “repayment period.” During this time, you may no longer spend money on the credit line and instead must begin making larger payments until it is paid off.

    Cash-out refinance

    A cash-out refinance is similar to a home equity loan, except that you don’t make two separate mortgage payments. If you have equity built up in your home, you can opt to refinance your current mortgage for a cash payout of up to 90% of your home’s value. With this type of refinancing, you only make one mortgage payment. Using the above example, if your home is worth $800,000 and you owe $500,000, you could do a cash-out refinance for a total mortgage amount of up to $720,000.

    Home renovation loan

    Loans designed specifically for home renovation and construction are incredibly versatile. They can also be a bit confusing, and their terms follow strict guidelines. 

    Federally backed Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation Loans offer up to 80% of a home’s post-remodel value. For homeowners who qualify for their credit requirements, a Fannie Mae loan provides funding for construction projects but comes with several strings attached. The program requires homeowners to work with a contractor to draft design plans and submit them to the lender. The lender must then approve the plans for funding to go through. Once the project is underway, the lender may then send out inspectors during the build to ensure the plans are followed. The program also requires a final approval inspection once the build is done. 

    For homeowners who plan to purchase and renovate an entire home, a 203(k) Renovation Loan is another option. This type of loan rolls a mortgage and a renovation loan into one, and they’re backed by the FHA. This way, you make a single monthly mortgage payment and have funding to both purchase and renovate the home. These loans require that the homeowner hire a consultant for any major home renovations. 203(k) consultants are usually contractors or architects who oversee the renovations through completion. 203(k) loans don’t always work well for everybody. The requirements come with enough strings attached that it often turns out to be more work than it is worth.

    The final type of home renovation loan is a Private Bank Loan. At Lamont Bros., we’ve found great success with clients who work through Umpqua Bank. These private loans are not federally backed like the previous two. However, private banks have fewer regulations and requirements for the renovation process. You’ll still have to submit plans for approval to the lender, but a local bank is likely to approve the loan and send inspectors to the site more quickly. A private bank loan can fund the renovation of a primary residence, seasonal or vacation home, and even accessory dwelling units.

    Kitchen Design Layouts

    The process of designing a kitchen begins with the layout. You’ll want to consider how different arrangements will affect the flow and efficiency of work in the kitchen. Although there is no set formula, there are a few effective approaches that you might want to consider as a baseline for your kitchen. 

    Work triangle

    KitchenTriangle

    One of the most prolific kitchen design philosophies of the modern kitchen, the work triangle has influenced the construction of kitchens all over the world. This method stipulates that the sink, cooktop range, and refrigerator – the three most important components of a kitchen – should be arranged as three points of a triangle. This triangle should provide ease of motion from one point to the next and the paths between each one should be clear of obstruction. 

    Today, the validity of the work triangle is a hotly debated topic among interior designers. While some find it to be a useful tool, others believe that it is too simple of a principle to effectively serve the diverse needs of different homeowners.

    Kitchen Zones

    A contending approach to kitchen layouts is the kitchen zones method. Under this philosophy, a kitchen is arranged into five distinct zones. Each zone represents a different step in the process of preparing a meal. 

    1. Consumables

    This zone represents any area where you might store food. The pantry and refrigerator go here.

    2. Non-consumables

    Another storage zone, this is where you store plates and utensils for serving and eating food.

    3. Preparation

    In this zone, you’ll do any non-cooking food preparation, including cutting and mixing. Countertop space is important in this area, as well as storage for any prep-related kitchenware, but a workstation sink could go here as well. 

    4. Cooking

    This zone is reserved for cooking with heat. Your stovetop and oven, as well as any cooking utensils, dishes, pots, and pans should go here.

    5. Cleaning

    The sink typically goes in this zone, as well as the dishwasher and drying rack. Since you’ll likely need to wash both food and dishes, it’s best to place this zone near the non-consumables and the preparation zone. 

    In each project the zones might be broken up a little differently than outlined above. If you have a large kitchen and do a lot of baking, you might have a specific baking area. This area might feature some prep, consumables, and ovens. Another area might focus on stovetop cooking and prep.

    Focal Point

    While a functional layout is certainly important, some designers use a focal point design approach, which incorporates visual aesthetics into the layout. 

    The focal point approach to kitchen design involves building the kitchen to center on the most important area. The goal is to attract the viewers' attention to the focal point right off the bat. For different kitchens, this focal point may be different from others. Many kitchens center on the cooktop and range, with a feature wall behind it to add visual flair. Other kitchens may focus on the sink, in which case a window above the sink helps to draw the eyes.

    In any case, the focal point approach uses design features to intentionally direct your attention to a specific area. The functional elements of the kitchen are usually also designed around this point, as well.

    Selecting the Right Cabinets

    A well-designed cabinet system is arguably the most important part of a good kitchen remodel. Cabinets make up the visual bulk of your kitchen, and you’re going to use them a lot. So, it’s important that you get your cabinetry design right. While most people have a good idea of what they want their cabinets to look like, there are a few things you should know before settling on a given cabinet line. 

    cabinetwall

    Good, Better, Best Classification

    To help our clients understand the different quality tiers of cabinets and the available features each one offers, we present the different cabinet options to our clients in terms of “good,” “better,” and “best” cabinetry. This is a great way to begin planning for how your cabinets might affect your overall budget, depending on which line you go with. 

    Good

    Many people hear “good, better, best” and automatically think that “good” must mean the lowest quality. This simply isn’t the case - even cabinets we classify in the good category are still very well constructed, durable cabinets. The main difference between the different tiers isn’t so much in quality as it is in customizability. Here are a few things you should know about good-level cabinets:

    Least expensive: A good-level cabinet system for the average small kitchen costs anywhere from $15,000 - $20,000.

    Limited size options: In this category, cabinet sizes are sometimes customizable by depth. You’ll have to choose from standard-sized cabinets by width and height. So, if your kitchen requires some custom-built cabinets, you may need to step it up to the “better” tier. 

    Less attention to “fit and finish”: While the overall quality of construction is excellent in good-level cabinets, they may have some minor variations in finish quality. Face frame joints may show hairline cracks where the seams meet, there might be some slight paint imperfections or a door might be slightly bowed.

    Fewer styles and finishes: Most good-level cabinets offer varying door styles and finish colors, but the selections are few. Usually, there are 5-7 door styles, the most common of which are shaker and colonial. There are also about 12 finish options including paints and stains. 

    Cabinets by <a href="//www.fabuwood.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Fabuwood</a>
    Cabinets by Fabuwood

    Better

    When you choose to go with “better” cabinetry, you end up with a stronger balance between cost and customization. You’ll end up paying 20-30% more than the good level, but you’ll also have the opportunity to make your cabinets more your own. A few important qualities of better-level cabinetry include:

    Cabinets by <a href="https://www.durasupreme.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">DuraSupreme</a>
    Cabinets by DuraSupreme

    Mid-range cost: Though more expensive than good-level, better cabinetry is still more affordable than the best tier. At $20,000 - $30,000 for a full kitchen cabinet system, you’ll want to make sure it fits in your budget. 

    More size options: With better cabinets, you can also alter the width and the depth. This makes the better-level an ideal option for kitchens that simply need custom-sized cabinets due to their dimensions.

    Custom insert options: You’ll also have access to more customization inside your cabinets with better-level options. There are utensil organizing trays, pull-out shelves, and specialized storage options to choose from. 

    Better fit and finish detail: For all intents and purposes, better-level cabinets should be free of any noticeable flaws. They still won’t be perfect, but manufacturers do pay more attention when it comes to these more expensive cabinet lines. The boxes should be essentially square and the face frames should have no surface flaws.

    Wider range of styles and finishes: Better-level cabinets feature up to 30 door styles and over 100 different paint and stain options. 

    Best

    If you’re after top-tier kitchen cabinetry, the “best” category is where you’ll find it. With unparalleled customizability and near-perfect factory finish, these are for people who want a kitchen designed just for them. Once you get into this category, there isn’t much of an upper limit on what your cabinets could cost. Here’s what you need to know about best-level cabinets: 

    Highest price range: Most cabinets in this category cost between $35,000 and $50,000. That’s 2-3 times the cost of the “good” level. We’ve even seen homeowners spend upwards of $60,000 on cabinets alone. 

    Total size customizability: One of the greatest advantages of best-level cabinets is that the cabinet maker will make the boxes to any dimension you request. You can ask for any height, width, or depth changes, as well angled cabinets and even radius or cabinetry with curved doors.

    Even more, custom inserts: Best-level cabinets offer an even wider array of customizable storage solutions to go into the cabinets. A skilled kitchen designer can help you decide which inserts will best benefit your kitchen experience.

    White glove fit and finish: At the price you pay for this level of cabinetry, you can bet the manufacturer is going to give you the full treatment. Best-level cabinets are immaculate in finish quality and detail. If best-level cabinets arrive from the manufacturer less than perfect, you should have no issue getting them replaced.

    Extensive style and finish options: Many best-level cabinetmakers offer custom milling for their cabinet doors, so the style options are essentially unlimited. The same goes for paint and stain finishes, which come in an endless variety for best-level cabinets. 

    Cabinets by <a href="https://crystalcabinets.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Crystal Keyline</a>
    Cabinets by Crystal Keyline

    Painted vs. Stained

    When selecting your cabinets, you’ll also need to decide whether you want them to be painted or stained. There’s no right or wrong answer here; it’s all about deciding which will work best with your home’s style. While each option has its own set of benefits and challenges, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for you.

    Cosmetics

    Visually, stained cabinets have a wood-grained texture due to the transparency of the stain. Painted cabinets are a solid color with no visual pattern or texture. One thing to consider is the color palette of your kitchen. Earth tones work very well with stained cabinets because of the natural aesthetic. On the other hand, painted cabinets tend to work well in grays and whites, but can also look great with more adventurous accent colors.

    Cost

    The price of the cabinet finish itself doesn’t differ much between paint and stain. However, stained cabinets may cost more depending on the species of wood you choose to use. Different wood species offer different wood grain patterns and characteristics. These don’t show when you paint a cabinet, so it only matters when you go with stained cabinets. Birch, maple, and oak tend to be lower in cost, while sapele and cherry woods are more expensive.

    Durability

    In terms of durability, the difference between painted or stained cabinets is somewhat counterintuitive. With painted cabinets, the paint offers a thicker layer of protection than stain, so it’s more resistant to dents and scratches. On the other hand, stained cabinets have more visual variation in their surface due to the woodgrain. This variation hides surface damage and dirt better than the solid paint color. So painted cabinets resist damage, but any damage they do sustain will show through more. 

    Neither paint or stain are the most durable cabinets that you could consider. If you are especially concerned about durability, consider Supermatte Foils or laminates that have a higher degree of durability. Watch this video to discover what happens when we soak all these types of cabinet doors in water overnight: 

    MDF vs. Plywood

    The other major decision you’ll have to make regarding your cabinets is whether the boxes will be made of plywood or MDF. Plywood cabinets are made of many thin sheets of wood pressed together. MDF is also a wood-based material, but it is made of wood fiber and held together by resins. 

    Plywood cabinets

    Known for their durability and strength, plywood cabinets are great all-around material for cabinet box construction. They are substantially more water-resistant than standard MDF, an important quality due to the amount of water in kitchens. Plywood is also a stronger material, so it takes less plywood than MDF to make a cabinet of equal strength. As a result, plywood boxes are lighter and therefore easier to install. The interior of the cabinet also tends to perform better at withstanding the residual moisture that might be in a dish coming from a dishwasher. 

    MDF cabinets

    Although some people hear “MDF cabinets” and think low quality, there are plenty of high-end cabinet lines made with MDF (especially moisture resistant MDF). This is because MDF does offer some excellent qualities not found in plywood. One of the best things about MDF is that it has a much flatter, uniform surface than plywood. Since woodgrain has variety in texture and density, it can be difficult to achieve as smooth as a surface with plywood. This makes the MDF much easier to paint. Standard MDF also costs 10-15% less than plywood, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, this might be for you.

    Choosing Appliances

    If new appliances are in the plan for your remodel, you’ve got a lot of options to sift through.  There’s a big difference between standard and luxury-level appliances in terms of cost and quality. There are also several lifestyle factors you’ll need to consider before settling on an appliance package. 

    Refrigerator

    Finding the best refrigerator for your home is more than just getting a box that keeps your food cold. Your refrigerator should have enough space and the right features to serve your needs.

    The first thing you need to decide is how big your refrigerator needs to be? This can be affected by the size of your family and the amount of food you cook in your home. The more food your family uses, the bigger your fridge should be. A single person living alone might use 6-8 cubic feet of fridge space, while a couple might need closer to 10-12. 

    Luxury refrigetator from <a href="https://www.subzero-wolf.com/sub-zero”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Sub-Zero</a>
    Luxury refrigetator from Sub-Zero

    You will also want to consider what features you want your refrigerator to have. Do you want a water filter and ice maker? Movable shelving? Smartphone controlled inventory management system? How about individual temperature-controlled compartments? There are plenty of neat things a fridge can do, but that doesn’t mean you’ll use every cool feature there is. Decide on which ones matter most for you.

    In terms of brand, there are standard, entry-level refrigerators manufactured by appliance companies like Samsung, General Electric, Whirlpool, and LG. These refrigerators come with all the usual bells and whistles and by almost any standard will serve you well. However, if you’re looking for more high-end appliances, Sub Zero offers some of the best-in-class refrigerators known for their design and engineering. These luxury appliances have top-of-the-line thermal seals and air filters, keeping food fresher. They also can be fully integrated into your kitchen to blend in with your cabinetry, as well. 

    Oven range

    The oven range is another area where details matter. You’re going to do almost all of your cooking here, so it’s important to get it right. 

    Will your new range be electric or gas? It doesn’t have to be the same as your previous – in most places, it’s completely possible to convert from electric to gas or vice versa. It all depends on what you want. Electric ranges tend to offer better control at low temperatures, are easier to clean, and are less expensive to install if you don’t already have a gas line. Gas ranges, on the other hand, offer higher heat, a more versatile cooking experience, and are less expensive to maintain.

    Another thing to consider is whether you want an oven range combo, or separate oven and cooktop units. While the combo is easier to install and costs less money, having these two units separated offers more flexibility when designing your kitchen. Plus, somebody can cook while another bakes and neither gets in the other’s way. 

    If you’re looking for specific brands, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and KitchenAid are all trusted appliance brands that make good oven ranges. However, if you do a significant amount of cooking, the high-end Wolf brand, Bluestar, or Dacor ranges are among the best. These ovens and ranges offer unparalleled design and reliability. They are even renowned by professional chefs as some of the best cooking appliances available.

    Luxury oven range from <a href="https://www.subzero-wolf.com/wolf/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Wolf Appliances</a>
    Luxury oven range from Wolf Appliances

    Sink

    Choosing the right sink for your kitchen is more complex than you might think. The main factors to consider are the number of sinks you need, the size of each sink, and the number of basins per sink. 

    While most standard kitchens have one large sink, adding a second can often be advantageous. Auxiliary sinks (also called bar or prep sinks) offer great utility and provide additional workspace to the kitchen. The standard approach is to install an auxiliary sink for food preparation and reserve the main sink for cleaning and organizing dishes.

    A more recent trend involves switching the two. One of the best ways to maximize the usability of your sink area is to install a workstation sink. More than just a washbasin for your dishes, a workstation sink is designed to function as a hub for food cleaning, preparation, and serving. They have many practical features, such as removable cutting boards, strainers, serving dishes, and drying racks. The Galley is one of the leading manufacturers of workstation sinks and offers products in several sizes ranging from 24 inches up to 7 feet. 

    You’ll want to make sure your sink is wide enough to clean and rinse all the dishes your family uses after a meal. Having multiple basins makes it easier to separate the dirty dishes from the ones being cleaned. A family of 6 can comfortably function with a 27-inch, 2-basin sink. Can you go larger? Absolutely. However, standard sink base cabinets are 30 inches wide, so anything larger than a 27-inch sink will require a larger sink base cabinet.

    Workstation sink by <a href="https://www.thegalley.com”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">The Galley</a>
    Workstation sink by The Galley

    Microwave

    Believe it or not, your microwave is the appliance that will likely get used the most. Though often overlooked, the microwave plays an important role in your kitchen, and you must choose the right type of microwave that meets your needs. There are 3 common types of microwaves. 

    The first is a countertop microwave. You can usually find these at any big box store for a low price. These microwaves sit on top of your counter and can be moved around if necessary. 

    Then, there’s a microwave hood (or microhood), which combines the function of a microwave and a range hood. This is a great way to save space and money, as it combines the responsibility and price tag of a microwave and the range vent into one. However, most designers consider this approach to be less aesthetically desirable.

    Lastly, there is the built-in microwave. This type of microwave is built into the cabinets of your kitchen and is typically considered the most stylish option of them all. The downside is that you lose out on some cabinet storage space, and you still have to buy a range hood. They’re also the most expensive option. 

    Changing Utility Connections

    One of the most expensive factors in a kitchen remodel is the changes to utility connections. As previously mentioned, moving or rearranging your utility lines will add significantly to your total bill. But what exactly does that mean? The main utilities you’ll need to consider are your plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and gas, which you can read more about below. 

    Plumbing

    Running water is one of the things we tend to take for granted most of the time. That is, of course, until we have to hire a plumber. There are two main types of plumbing lines in a kitchen: water supply lines and drain lines. The supply lines carry clean water to a faucet or appliance, while the drainage lines carry used or dirty water away.

    The two highest consumers of water in your kitchen are your sink and your dishwasher. Chances are, they’re located next to each other in your kitchen. Why? Because it makes sense to do it that way. From a user perspective, you can easily put your rinsed dishes directly from the sink into the dishwasher. From a construction perspective, your supply and drainage lines can tie into one another if they both go to the same general area.

    With a shortage of supply piping and plumbers, plumbing work isn’t cheap. Maybe you decide to move your sink or dishwasher. Or, perhaps you want to add a second sink to make your kitchen layout more efficient. Sometimes, even your refrigerator needs to be hooked up to a supply line to dispense water. All of these will require plumbing work, which in turn will raise the total cost of your remodel. 

    Electrical

    Electrical work is an entirely different beast on its own. A kitchen remodel is especially tricky, because so many different appliances need to be on their own circuits. Each circuit wires back to the electrical panel in the home, so depending on how far that is from the kitchen, your electrician might be very busy. And the busier he is, the more he’s going to charge you. 

    Your oven, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher all need to be on separate circuits. Then, all the outlets in your kitchen also have to be on a separate circuit with a ground fault circuit interrupter switch (GFCI). Then, there’s the challenge of lighting. While your lighting may all be on the same circuit, your kitchen will likely have several independent switches controlling overhead, zone, and task lighting.

    Plumber

    When you move the location of an appliance, your electrician must either extend the circuit or re-wire an entirely new one. The same goes for lighting, too. And that’s if your kitchen was wired correctly in the first place. In many older homes, the electrical system has to be entirely re-installed because of outdated, dangerous wiring methods.

    Natural Gas

    Natural gas comes often into play when adding or changing gas appliances. Ovens and cooktops are the most common. If the previous appliance was not gas, the new appliance will at minimum require a new gas line.  You may also need to upsize the gas meter from a 1 PSI to 2 PSI system. This in turn would then require every appliance to have its own pressure regulator. 

    Some remodel carpenters may be able to perform simple adjustments on the gas system in your home. However, the more complicated it becomes, the more likely it is to require a professional subcontractor’s attention.

    HVAC

    HVAC is a major factor in kitchens primarily due to the range hood. If the airflow in the hood is greater than 400 cubic feet per meter, it requires a system to regulate the air pressure in your home. This allows you to turn on your range hood without your ears popping, and is also required by code. Depending on the changes in cabinet and wall layout, you may also need to adjust the placement of vent registers and cold air returns. 

    Types of Countertops

    As one of the focal points of a kitchen, your countertops can either make or break your kitchen – and your budget. Fortunately, there are many different types of countertops you can choose from, and each one has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.

    Laminate

    Laminate countertops are the most cost-effective out of any of the countertop options. Made of vinyl-coated wood particleboard, they lack durability and tend to be visually unappealing. 

    High-pressure laminate by <a href="https://www.wilsonart.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Wilsonart</a>
    High-pressure laminate by Wilsonart

    Synthetic

    Generally made from acrylic, synthetic solid-surface countertops offer a strong balance between cost, strength, and aesthetics. Thinscape by Wilsonart is one of the leading synthetic countertop brands. 

    Thinscape synthetic countertops by <a href="https://www.wilsonart.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Wilsonart</a>
    Thinscape synthetic countertops by Wilsonart

    Quartz

    Quartz is a halfway point between synthetic and natural stone countertops - it’s made from a combination of both. With about 90% ground stone and 10% polymer resins, quartz offers a durable, visually consistent slab at a lower cost than stone.

    Quartz countertop by <a href="https://www.silestoneusa.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Silestone</a>
    Quartz countertop by Silestone

    Stone/Granite

    The best of the best, natural stone countertops are most popular in granite and marble. The costliest option, these types of counters are known for their natural appearance and resistance to heat and scratches. The major disadvantage of natural stone countertops is the rock is usually porous, which requires occasional sealing.

    Natural stone countertops by <a href="https://www.sensagranite.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Sensa</a>
    Natural stone countertops by Sensa

    Dekton

    Higher in cost than both quartz or granite, Dekton is a composite countertop manufactured using high heat and pressure. This process makes the material extremely hard and durable. Dekton is heat, scratch, and stain resistant, and is the only countertop material on which you can directly place a hot pan.

    Heat, scratch, and damage-resistant <a href="https://www.cosentino.com/usa/dekton/countertops/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Dekton</a>
    Heat, scratch, and damage-resistant Dekton

    Selecting a Floor

    The task of selecting flooring adds to the complexity of a kitchen remodel. You’ll want to take into account the level of foot traffic and water exposure your floor will be subjected to. It’s also good to consider how the color and style of flooring will complement the cabinets and countertops. Here are the four most popular types of flooring:

    Vinyl

    Sheet vinyl flooring is a low-cost, highly water-resistant option that comes in one single sheet of vinyl, cut to the dimensions of the room. Though inexpensive, it is often criticized for its poor visual appeal and short lifespan. Sheet vinyl typically costs between $1.00 - $2.50 per square foot for material only.

    Laminate/LVP

    Though there are some differences between the two, both laminate and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) come in click-together planks and are similar in terms of durability and water resistance. In most categories, laminate outperforms LVP. 

    Both come in water-resistant options, but laminate tends to be more prone to water damage in general. However, LVP costs more and is known to buckle with large temperature swings, making it difficult to work with in the Pacific Northwest. For material alone, laminate flooring costs between $2.50 - $4.00 per square foot, while LVP can cost up to $5.00.

    Luxury vinyl plank flooring by <a href="https://www.mohawkflooring.com/”" target="”_blank”" rel="noopener">Mohawk</a>
    Luxury vinyl plank flooring by Mohawk

    Hardwood

    Real wood has been the gold standard of flooring for centuries. Visually, it’s unparalleled. The number of wood species and stains available makes its customizability is nearly endless. Hardwood lasts a long time, too. 

    Though the finish may wear off after a few years, hardwood can be sanded down and re-finished to look brand new again. The downside is that it requires a lot of maintenance, is prone to water damage, and costs substantially more. The material alone can cost anywhere from $6.00-$21.00 per square foot, plus the cost of installation. 

    Tile

    Waterproof, timeless, and low-maintenance, tile is often one of the top choices for kitchen flooring. There are plenty of design options, with different tile colors, sizes, and laying patterns to choose from. Tile works especially well in a space with stained cabinets, as it offers some contrast to the woodgrain while complementing the brown wood tones.

    Although the material isn’t especially expensive at $2.00-12.00 per square foot, tile setting has higher labor costs than any other flooring type. A tile floor is a sizable investment, but one that pays off the longer you have it. A good tile floor will outlast any other flooring by several decades.

    Tile-setting requires many hours of skilled labor.
    Tile-setting requires many hours of skilled labor.

    Current Kitchen Design Trends

    Every good kitchen remodel should be unique in the way it meets the needs of the homeowner. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few common threads in most kitchen remodels. In the remodeling industry, there are several kitchen design trends that are becoming more and more popular. 

    Two-tone cabinets

    To help their cabinetry stand out while also adding visual variation to the kitchen, many homeowners are choosing a two-color cabinet design. In this approach, some cabinets are a neutral or base color, while others come in an accent color. Often, it’s the island cabinets that get the “pop,” while the wall cabinets remain more muted. Other times, this method is used to draw attention to the base cabinets. 

    Multiple cabinet tones adds dimension to the kitchen.
    Multiple cabinet tones adds dimension to the kitchen.

    Large Islands

    A kitchen island is a great option for homeowners who love to entertain guests. It’s a place where people can gather in the kitchen and converse while you prepare food, and doubles as a serving area when the food is ready to eat. A workstation or auxiliary sink at the island can increase the functionality and efficiency of the kitchen, too.

    A large island makes for versatile prep or conversation space.
    A large island makes for versatile prep or conversation space.

    A kitchen island is a great option for homeowners who love to entertain guests. It’s a place where people can gather in the kitchen and converse while you prepare food, and doubles as a serving area when the food is ready to eat. A workstation or auxiliary sink at the island can increase the functionality and efficiency of the kitchen, too.

    Task lighting

    To make sure you have the right lighting for different kitchen tasks, layered lighting is a great feature. Under-cabinet lighting helps illuminate your countertops for prep and cleaning work. Storing and retrieving dishes is easier with inner-cabinet lighting. Task lighting can also be used to illuminate different kitchen zones, so you don’t have to light up your entire kitchen if you’re just using one area.

    Under-cabinet lighting helps improve the functionality of your counter space.
    Under-cabinet lighting helps improve the functionality of your counter space.

    Kitchen Remodel Process

    Homeowners headed into the kitchen remodel process usually have a lot of questions. The thought of tearing your kitchen apart can be nerve-wracking, even when you know you’re getting a brand new kitchen afterward. A kitchen remodel goes through several stages and can take many months from start to finish. During this time, you can expect a few changes and interruptions to your usual routine.

    Timeline & Phases

    From the moment you begin the process by contacting a designer, the typical kitchen remodel takes between 25-30 weeks to complete. When working with a design-build firm like Lamont Bros., the kitchen remodel process is broken into three separate stages: design, pre-construction, and construction. Who’d have guessed?  

    ProjectRoadmap

    Design Stage

    During the design stage, your design team will guide you through the process of designing your new kitchen. They’ll help you establish your budget as well as your expectations for how your kitchen will look and function. The design phase usually lasts about 10-19 weeks. There are two phases in the design process:

    Phase 1 - Design Concepts: The design concepts phase is the time for you to get all your ideas out on paper. Your design team will help you decide what design features, layouts, and aesthetics will work best for you and your kitchen. This typically takes about 2-5 weeks

    Phase 2 - Construction Drawings: During this phase, your design plan will take shape and solidify. By the end, you’ll know exactly how your kitchen remodel will look and what it will cost. Generally a 5-7 week phase, your design team will check and double-check every detail to make sure you get exactly what you want. You’ll get to see your complete architectural drawings and sign a construction contract before moving on to the next phase of the project. 3-7 weeks

    Pre-construction Stage

    You won’t have to do much during the 8-10 week pre-construction stage. During this time, your team will order all of the products for your remodel and pull the necessary permits. Before construction begins, you and your build team will hold a pre-construction meeting to discuss the details and timeline of your project’s build. 

    Build Stage

    The actual construction of a remodel begins sometime between week 27-29. At this point, your design team will hand the project off to a dedicated build team, who will see your project through to completion. The design team will remain involved with the project to make sure it is built correctly, but your main point of contact will shift from the design team to the on-site builders. In total, this stage lasts between 4-16 weeks

    Phase 4 - Site Protection: To make sure your home remains clean and undamaged during the remodel, your team will spend a few days implementing a site protection plan. This may involve putting up plastic barriers, floor coverings, and air filters. This will usually take 1-2 days to complete. 

    Phase 5 - Demolition: To make room for a new kitchen, the old one needs to go. The demolition process takes careful planning and attention to detail to get the space prepared for new material to go in. While some homeowners prefer to do this themselves, we recommend leaving it up to a professional. Demolition usually takes another 1-5 days

    Phase 6 - Rough-in work: During this phase, the new kitchen will begin to take form. Framing, plumbing and electrical utilities go in first, followed by drywall and paint. This phase takes about 2-4 weeks, during which it may feel like your kitchen is making fast progress.

    Phase 7 - Finish Carpentry and Close-Out: After the rapid progress of the rough-in, it may feel like productivity slows down during the finish carpentry phase. This is because finish carpentry requires extensive detail work, which takes skill and time.  After the painting is done, cabinetry, countertops, and flooring can all go in. Once the finish work is done, your build team will install any new appliances. Then, a professional cleaner will get the whole kitchen Martha Stewart-style ready for you to move in. These final details usually take 3-5 weeks to get the project over the finish line.

    What to expect

    A lot of homeowners ask whether they can live at home during their remodel. Absolutely, you can! However, be thee warned, life might look a little different during construction. It’s important that you know what to expect during a home remodel so that you can prepare. Here are a few pointers to help you get started:

    People-10

    Get to know the people & schedule

    It’s normal to feel a little nervous having strangers working in your home. In our experience, remodel carpenters tend to defy many of the stereotypes of construction workers. Most of them are friendly, outgoing, and polite people who genuinely enjoy their job and care about your  remodeling experience. If you take some time to get to know them, it might help ease your concerns about who is coming in and out of your home. 

    Most build teams prefer to start work early in the day - usually between 7:00-8:00 A.M. They’ll work a normal 8-hour day and be gone before 5:00 in most cases. Some may work weekends, but out of respect for our employees and their families, Lamont Bros. encourages our staff to only work during the weekdays. Other companies may do it differently .

    Plan for a temporary kitchen

    Your build team will partition off any of the construction zones in your home with plastic barriers. Although the staff will clean up at the end of each day, there are still some safety hazards in an unfinished construction site. Therefore, while your kitchen is under construction, you won’t be able to go in and use it. 

    We recommend setting up a temporary kitchen somewhere else in the house to get you by. This won’t be as functional or user-friendly as a real kitchen, but it will give you at least something to work with until your new kitchen is ready. A mini-fridge, instant pot, microwave, toaster oven, and hotplate are all useful to have on hand and should provide you with some semblance of a kitchen in the interim. 

    Expect a few interruptions to your usual schedule

    There are a few reasons why construction might interrupt your regular day. The first is noise. A remodel jobsite can get pretty loud at times. The closer you are to the work zone, the louder it will be. Power tools can easily drown out the sound of somebody’s voice, making it very difficult to converse, watch TV, or focus on work if you’re at home during construction. 

    There may also be days when your remodel requires special equipment, such as a dump truck, concrete mixers, or cranes. These will likely cause a lot of noise, and will also affect parking and traffic around your home.

    You should also expect to be present at a few meetings during the remodel. The rough-in meeting takes place before any plumbing or electrical work. It’s your opportunity to walk the subcontractors through the space and clarify any expectations with them. We’ll also do a punch-list walkthrough when the kitchen reaches around 90% completion. At this meeting, you’ll be asked to create and sign off on a punch list of detailed work that you want to be completed before closing out the project. 

    Ready to Start Designing?

    Now that you’re a full-fledged expert on kitchen remodeling, are you ready to take the next step? If so, keep up on your research! We have plenty of useful material on our blog to answer any questions you might have about remodeling your kitchen. There, you’ll find extensive information on everything from cabinetry selections to the kitchen remodeling process. 

    If you’re ready to make big decisions about how your kitchen can better fit your needs, we’d love to talk with you! Click the button below to schedule a free consultation with one of our kitchen design experts. We’ll guide you through the entire process of remodeling your kitchen and answer any questions you still have.