Understanding the Kitchen Remodel Process, Part II
So, you have gone through the first stages of the kitchen remodeling process. It’s time to move on towards getting the final decisions and ordering going. Making sure that you decide on what is right for you is a very important step in the process. As I say in my book Dream First, the decisions that you make at this stage are so important to your happiness over the many years ahead living in your space. Too many people make bad decisions here because of costs so they end up going with less quality products and or options that they have always dreamed about having in their new kitchen. Lower cost happiness only lasts maybe months where quality of product and product ease lasts a lifetime. Dianne has a saying here at work; a good design never costs anymore than a bad design. That is a very true statement. My suggestion when costs have to be cut is to keep the things or quality that are most important to you and sacrifice on the things that are less important. For example, you could always do a laminated counter top in place of the granite top that you have always wanted which can always be replaced with granite 5-10 years down the road. You wouldn’t want to do that with cabinets though.
Once you have made your decisions and settled on the prices that work for you, it’s time to get the products ordered. Getting it right at this stage will also guarantee your happiness during the install process and for years to come. At this point in the game, you have spent numerous hours getting here so making sure what is ordered, matches your final decisions. Just think of all the colors and styles that you have gone through so now is the time to make sure everything was recorded right. We have a check off list that we go through to make sure we go over every detail of your order from cabinets style, color and counters. We don’t repeat names of products, we pull them out to show you so that there isn’t any confusion. There is nothing worse for the place of business and for you to be installing the job and something isn’t right. It’s too late at that point so your happiness is out the door. I’ve heard horror stories out there with product not matching what was perceived to be ordered. At that point, nobody wins.
Once your cabinets and counters have been ordered, you should get a rough date on delivery about a week after order. This is usually a pretty definite date barring weather or factory issues that could change that time. Once you have that date, it is important to start lining up the other subs on the job that need to get in there before delivery like plumbers, electricians and contractors. In my experience it is much better to hire a contractor that does all of that for you. Most people that try to save money by coordinating it all themselves usually regret that decision and prolong the completion by many weeks or months. I’m a firm believer in doing the things you are good at like your own profession and let the people that do this for a living take care of it.
OK, so you have everything prepared and ready now, it is time for the delivery and install of the kitchen cabinets and counters. Typically a lot of people go granite or quartz counter tops so cabinets need to be installed first so that the counter fabricator can make a template of your tops. Typically they come back for install of the counters in 2 weeks or less. After the cabinets and counters are installed, the plumber and electrician come back to finish their work as do the painters, floor people and finish guys right after that. If everything goes as planned, you are back in your kitchen entertaining and cooking. If there are some problems, they could hold the job up a few weeks to a couple of months. Never think or plan on everything going perfect. That way if somethings do go wrong, you are better prepared mentally to handle it. If you are dealing with good contractors and other businesses, they will get things done as quickly as possible. Their money and referrals come from a complete job and a happy client so they have a stake in the job as well.
When it comes to satisfaction, I like to wait a month or two for a client to get back to their routine of cooking and entertaining in their new remodeled kitchen. That’s when we come in with our Thank You Packet and take some pictures. At this point if my client sees something in that period that needs adjustment or needs attention, I am there to record it and get it done for them. I’m sure you all have heard the phrase, a happy wife is a happy life? The same rings true for us remodeling professionals, a happy wife brings happy referrals.
So you have a good summary of the whole process now. Is it easy? No but it is never a bad experience when you pair yourself with good, honest and creative professionals. Have you ever heard someone you know follow up the statement of; I saved a lot of money with I’m so happy with my results? I didn’t think so, I have never heard it either. Remember, Dream First and do it right the first time because nobody has the time or patience to do it over!
For a copy of my book Dream First, go to www.woodpalacekitchens.com and download a copy.
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