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Weston Kitchens 

By Evan Pomeranz 20 Feb, 2017

Consider these tips while planning your new kitchen:

Design Help

You must have a detailed plan. This would consist of detailed drawings and a list of all materials and how they are being used. If you are planning an addition or a complete rethink of your home beyond the walls of the existing kitchen you may first need to hire an  ARCHITECT to start to explore structural, zoning and general utilization questions.

For detailed planning of the kitchen space per se your best option is to find a  KITCHEN DESIGNER with many years experience at a studio whose portfolio demonstrates a style, quality and level of detail you find appealing. In most instances you can have several meetings to interview and qualify any of these people for compatibility, creativity, and skill without incurring any costs. You should always get at least a ballpark estimate for your specific choices before making any financial commitment. You should not need to pay an additional fee for detailed drawings and general design consultations if you are purchasing their cabinets. Never hire a firm that insists all aspects of the work must be done through them. You will simply spend more without any benefit.

It is rare in this area that a  GENERAL CONTRACTOR is not hired to coordinate the many tradespersons you will need. A good, seasoned  GENERAL CONTRACTOR should have a network of skilled, reliable and reasonably priced subcontractors who come when needed and correct mistakes without drama. If the contractor insists on applying markups to all parts of the project including those that you alone are selecting and purchasing (appliances, decorative, materials, cabinets and counters for some examples), you should look further as this is not the standard or ethical practice.

A skilled  INTERIOR DECORATOR is sometimes employed as a sounding board for general concepts or to provide detailed specific recommendations for every surface in the kitchen. Chemistry, compatibility, their skill and your budget all come in to consideration here.

Avoid Expansion if Possible

The construction of an addition, of any size, will be costly and complicated. An addition can easily double or more your entire cost. Explore whether you can keep within your existing room to achieve your goals. Better design combined with superior new storage options are usually all that is needed for a marvelous update. If that approach doesn’t work look for additional space in an adjacent closet, hallway, dining room, enclosed porch, etc.

The 20 Year Plan

If you think your new kitchen is turning out to be expensive – imagine the cost if you need to redo it in 10 years, or simply the cost of replacing, repairing and refinishing some of the elements on an ongoing basis that won’t stand up to heavy use. If you make good choices and have a tiny bit of luck you can have a virtually care free and cost free kitchen for at least the next 20 years.

Porcelain, stone or tile flooring if properly installed should be maintenance free .

Wood floors are very popular and beautiful but will almost certainly need to be sanded and refinished 2 or more times.

Granite counters will stand the test of time. Except for the lightest colors, or honed finishes they should look like new indefinitely even with heavy use. If you choose lighter colors of granite, DuPont offers a sealer for a small price that will give you a 15 year warranty against staining, which rarely occurs.

Appliance reliability does not correlate much with price. The service department at your appliance dealer may be able to offer some insight as to brands and models. Get the strongest disposer you can find. A mid range disposer will be the first to go and replacing an average unit will be a predictable occurrence, always inconvenient and, with the plumber’s labor, expensive.

Well made cabinets should last as long as you want them. Imagine replacing the cabinets every 10 years! Inferior cabinets fall apart, the finishes, hinges and drawer systems fail and you are without recourse except for a huge replacement cost or the frustration of living with decrepit storage.

Do the Whole Job Now

Re-wire, re-plumb, level the floor if needed, look for potential problems, etc. now. Structural issues, electrical inadequacies, etc. will detract from the utility or appearance of the project. Be sure to address all potential future building and service issues while things are open.

Compare Prices and Check Recent Installations

If you have detailed plans you can get “apples to apples” comparisons for general construction. You may want some help analyzing bids even with detailed specifications to make sure there are no gaps. On remodeling bids we have found up to a 300% variance from the low to high bidder. Get at least three bids unless the work is very minor. Price on construction bids does not correlate with quality of workmanship or efficiency of the project. Once you have selected specific appliance models getting competitive pricing is simple

Pay Attention to Lighting

Recessed, accent and task lighting can greatly increase the appearance and utility of your kitchen. Great changes have occurred in the last10 years. On average, an older kitchen was designed with less than half the wattage currently specified!

Remember, it all starts with a thorough, well researched and well documented design.

By Evan Pomeranz 20 Feb, 2017

Consider these tips while planning your new kitchen:

Design Help

You must have a detailed plan. This would consist of detailed drawings and a list of all materials and how they are being used. If you are planning an addition or a complete rethink of your home beyond the walls of the existing kitchen you may first need to hire an  ARCHITECT to start to explore structural, zoning and general utilization questions.

For detailed planning of the kitchen space per se your best option is to find a  KITCHEN DESIGNER with many years experience at a studio whose portfolio demonstrates a style, quality and level of detail you find appealing. In most instances you can have several meetings to interview and qualify any of these people for compatibility, creativity, and skill without incurring any costs. You should always get at least a ballpark estimate for your specific choices before making any financial commitment. You should not need to pay an additional fee for detailed drawings and general design consultations if you are purchasing their cabinets. Never hire a firm that insists all aspects of the work must be done through them. You will simply spend more without any benefit.

It is rare in this area that a  GENERAL CONTRACTOR is not hired to coordinate the many tradespersons you will need. A good, seasoned  GENERAL CONTRACTOR should have a network of skilled, reliable and reasonably priced subcontractors who come when needed and correct mistakes without drama. If the contractor insists on applying markups to all parts of the project including those that you alone are selecting and purchasing (appliances, decorative, materials, cabinets and counters for some examples), you should look further as this is not the standard or ethical practice.

A skilled  INTERIOR DECORATOR is sometimes employed as a sounding board for general concepts or to provide detailed specific recommendations for every surface in the kitchen. Chemistry, compatibility, their skill and your budget all come in to consideration here.

Avoid Expansion if Possible

The construction of an addition, of any size, will be costly and complicated. An addition can easily double or more your entire cost. Explore whether you can keep within your existing room to achieve your goals. Better design combined with superior new storage options are usually all that is needed for a marvelous update. If that approach doesn’t work look for additional space in an adjacent closet, hallway, dining room, enclosed porch, etc.

The 20 Year Plan

If you think your new kitchen is turning out to be expensive – imagine the cost if you need to redo it in 10 years, or simply the cost of replacing, repairing and refinishing some of the elements on an ongoing basis that won’t stand up to heavy use. If you make good choices and have a tiny bit of luck you can have a virtually care free and cost free kitchen for at least the next 20 years.

Porcelain, stone or tile flooring if properly installed should be maintenance free .

Wood floors are very popular and beautiful but will almost certainly need to be sanded and refinished 2 or more times.

Granite counters will stand the test of time. Except for the lightest colors, or honed finishes they should look like new indefinitely even with heavy use. If you choose lighter colors of granite, DuPont offers a sealer for a small price that will give you a 15 year warranty against staining, which rarely occurs.

Appliance reliability does not correlate much with price. The service department at your appliance dealer may be able to offer some insight as to brands and models. Get the strongest disposer you can find. A mid range disposer will be the first to go and replacing an average unit will be a predictable occurrence, always inconvenient and, with the plumber’s labor, expensive.

Well made cabinets should last as long as you want them. Imagine replacing the cabinets every 10 years! Inferior cabinets fall apart, the finishes, hinges and drawer systems fail and you are without recourse except for a huge replacement cost or the frustration of living with decrepit storage.

Do the Whole Job Now

Re-wire, re-plumb, level the floor if needed, look for potential problems, etc. now. Structural issues, electrical inadequacies, etc. will detract from the utility or appearance of the project. Be sure to address all potential future building and service issues while things are open.

Compare Prices and Check Recent Installations

If you have detailed plans you can get “apples to apples” comparisons for general construction. You may want some help analyzing bids even with detailed specifications to make sure there are no gaps. On remodeling bids we have found up to a 300% variance from the low to high bidder. Get at least three bids unless the work is very minor. Price on construction bids does not correlate with quality of workmanship or efficiency of the project. Once you have selected specific appliance models getting competitive pricing is simple

Pay Attention to Lighting

Recessed, accent and task lighting can greatly increase the appearance and utility of your kitchen. Great changes have occurred in the last10 years. On average, an older kitchen was designed with less than half the wattage currently specified!

Remember, it all starts with a thorough, well researched and well documented design.


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