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How to Do a Kitchen Redo

(ARA) — So, you’ve decided it’s time to redo the kitchen. You’re not alone. Kitchen remodeling jobs have grown by 50 percent over the last five years, according to ‘Kitchen & Bath Business.’ And ‘Kitchen and Bath Design News’ anticipated an estimated 5.7 million kitchen remodeling jobs in 2005 with spending around $68.3 billion.

But, how do you do a kitchen redo?

First, decide on your budget and style. For the budget, you’ll have to consult your checkbook or your partner. Defining your style starts by looking through magazines and tearing out what appeals to you. You should also visit idea houses and kitchen showrooms.

When you’ve collected pictures that reflect your style, it’s time to set an appointment with a certified kitchen designer (CKD). Besides laying out your new kitchen, a CKD should be able to specify plumbing, electrical and mechanical alterations. This sounds intimidating and expensive, but in the long run, the CKD will help you get what you want and stay within your budget. They will also oversee the project to make sure no detail is overlooked.

When you’ve found a designer you click with, talk to them like they’re your best friend. Tell them all your wants and needs for the kitchen so they can help you make the best choices without wasting time and money. Generally, a CKD will charge a retainer to get the work started and then an hourly fee when you proceed with the project. Some designers will apply this to the total cost of your job. Some showrooms and dealers, like Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry, offer free initial consultations.

Cabinetry will be one of the most important – and biggest – choices you’ll have to make. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, 48 percent of the average kitchen remodeling budget is spent on cabinetry, making it all the more important to understand the types of cabinetry available.

‘Cabinetry is the biggest part of your kitchen design. Since cabinets are most likely the most used pieces in your home, shop for the highest quality your budget will allow. This isn’t the piece to skimp on,’ says Vince Achey, vice president of sales and marketing for Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry. ‘Also, the cabinetry sets the tone and makes your style statement. It is a reflection of your personality.’

There are three types of cabinetry: stock, semi-custom and custom. Stock cabinetry is ‘off the rack’ mass produced and pre-assembled in limited sizes, materials, designs and colors. If they don’t fit your space exactly, filler pieces, which create wasted space, are used to close gaps. Semi-custom cabinetry is similar to stock, except that you will have a bigger choice of options and the materials may be of a higher grade. Custom cabinetry is designed, outfitted and made using your choices, only for you when you place your order.

‘While all of the types of cabinetry have a place, custom cabinetry provides the greatest flexibility, options and quality,’ continues Achey. ‘If you can imagine it and your designer can draw it, a custom cabinetry shop can usually build it.’

What should you expect when you begin your kitchen remodel?

After your consultation with the designer, they will come back to you with a suggested layout or two. Many designers can produce computer perspectives with realistic color and cabinetry styles. If this is available from your designer, it will help you more easily visualize the room. Now is the time to speak up and make revisions if necessary. Talk openly with your designer, don’t be afraid to express your likes and dislikes.

When you’ve settled on a final plan, it’s time to look at the color samples all together. Gather the cabinetry, flooring, countertop, backsplash and wall covering samples in the actual room. If possible, keep them overnight so you can see how they will look at different times of the day.

The logistics of the redo now need to be considered. Your kitchen designer will help you determine who will tear out the old and install the new. This may include carpenters, contractors, electricians and plumbers. They will also help coordinate timing for the specific task.

The final plan and contract, including color and material approvals and all costs, will be presented for your signature and a deposit or prepayment. When you’re ready to proceed, your order is placed.

Before the cabinets are delivered, all plumbing and electrical should be roughed-in and the appliances should be available on site for fitting. On the first day of installation, plumbers and electricians should be available for any disconnects and should return near the end of the week to make reconnections.

Generally, a kitchen is installed within a week to 10 days; though some details may prolong the installation. Consult with your designer about a realistic installation expectation.

Remember, you’ll hear wonderful stories as well as horror stories about kitchen redos. Realistically, there will be frustrations along the way, but the best way to avoid them is to know what to expect before you begin. So, do your homework, ask the experts and take your friend’s redo stories with a grain of salt.

Find the nearest Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry dealer by visiting or call (800) 447-9006.Courtesy of ARA Content

Courtesy of ARA Content