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Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Remodeling

1. How long does a kitchen remodeling project typically take from start to finish?

At the risk of sounding elusive, we really must say that “it depends.” The scope of the kitchen remodeling dictates how long the project will take. For example, if you are removing a wall or two to open up the kitchen, which is a very common trend now, the actual construction will obviously take a little bit longer. But, it is important to remember that removing or adding walls will generally require building department permits, which will also add to the project time.

Here’s a sample timeline, for illustration purposes only, of a kitchen remodeling project that does not include removing or adding walls:
a. Meet with a remodeling consultant for a Free Design Consultation and get proposal – 1 week.
b. Meet at our showroom, finalize the scope of the project and the terms of a Remodeling Agreement – 2 to 3 weeks.
c. Select all the materials for the project – 1 to 4 weeks.
d. Materials are ordered and delivered – 4 to 8 weeks.
e. Demolition and removal of old materials and appliances – 1 week.
f. Installation of new materials and appliances, flooring, plumbing and electrical work, painting – 3 to 4 weeks.
g. Finishing touches and clean up – 1 to 2 weeks.

2. What do I need to do to prepare for my kitchen renovation?

  You can start by getting a good idea for the type of look and style you want. If you don’t know yet, look at some magazines, websites, or watch some home remodeling shows to get some design ideas. Then, contact us for a Free Design Consultation with a Remodeling Consultant. You will be instructed by your Remodeling Consultant as to what exact steps you need to take. But, generally speaking, before construction begins, you’ll want to clear out the area being worked on of all your personal belongings that can be removed. Although, we cover the areas surrounding our work area, you’ll want to protect your furniture from dust with plastic and/or sheets.

3. What is the typical workflow for a kitchen renovation?

 
1. Create design 9. Electric 17. Sink and faucet installation
2. Select materials 10. Wall preparation 18. Appliance installation
3. Order materials 11. Priming and painting 19. Backsplash installation
4. Deliver materials 12. Cabinet installation 20. Light fixture installation
5. Demolition 13. Locating appliances 21. Accessories installation
6. Sub floor preparation 14. Countertop template 22. Door hardware installation
7. Flooring installation 15. Countertop fabrication 23. Final coat of paint
8. Plumbing 16. Countertop installation 24. Touch up items

4. Will a MyHome designer help me choose all of the materials?

  Since we have all the materials you need at our showroom, yes, a MyHome Remodeling consultant will help you choose everything you need.

5. Can I buy those products from MyHome?

  Yes. That is a major component of what makes us a full service firm. The fact that we are able to design everything for you, help you choose the materials, and sell them to you, makes it very convenient for clients. But, it is also important to note, that we don’t require you to purchase the materials from us. You may shop at other locations.

6. Do I need to have design ideas before I start the renovation process?

  Absolutely not; but it helps if you do. Your Free Design Consultation is meant to help generate ideas or work through the ones you already have.

7. What features should I plan to invest the most in for my new kitchen?

  From a functional standpoint, cabinetry is probably the most expensive item in the kitchen, mainly because of its sheer volume. However, you can also spend a lot of money on your countertops and flooring, depending on the style and materials you like.

8. What type of return on investment can I expect from remodeling my kitchen if I sell my home?

  Realtor® Magazine reported that for the year 2005, the national average return on investment for kitchen remodeling is between 84.8% and 98.5% depending upon whether it is a major or minor project and whether the budget is upscale or moderate. However, in large metropolitan areas like New York City, the return ranged from 119.5% to 135%. So, many people will actually make a substantial profit on the money they invest in their kitchen.

9. Is re-facing a good solution when your budget is tight?

  Of course, re-facing is less expensive than replacing cabinets - but it is usually not recommended. If you are planning to replace doors and drawer fronts you’ll also need to replace the front face of the cabinet frame to make sure the doors and visible parts of the cabinet match. Re-facing the frame is where problems usually occur. If the laminate shifts or peels away, an unattractive seam shows. This is most typical complaint among re-facing clients.

Another reason not to re-face is cost. The most expensive part - about 70% of a cabinet’s cost - is the door. Consider this, if you are already paying for most of the cabinet, why not add a little more and upgrade to completely new cabinets?

There are many options available in cabinets for every budget. If you are already committed to spending time, money and effort on remodeling, consider the value and enjoyment you’ll gain by opting for brand new cabinets. At MyHome, we provide re-facing service because - on occasion - re-facing can be a logical choice. Cabinet re-facing is extremely profitable since very little labor is involved. It’s good business for the re-facing company but not often the best solution for the homeowner.

10. What’s the better cabinet choice - particleboard or plywood?

  This is one of the most frequently asked questions when researching cabinets. There is a general perception that plywood is better than particleboard - maybe because plywood has the word “wood “in it. Most people figure plywood is real wood while particleboard is a cheap imitation. Surprisingly, in many cases particleboard is a much better option than plywood.

In order to make the best decision; let’s define these two materials. Plywood is composed of thin sheets of wood glued together. Particleboard is made of tiny wood particles held together with adhesive. Both are strong, durable and make a good cabinet. Also, there are different types and grades of plywood and particleboard. High-density particleboard is stronger and will last longer than plywood. All wood expands and contracts because of changes in humidity. Generally, particleboard is more resistant to expansion and contraction. So in areas with significant changes in humidity – like New York - particleboard is the better option.

11. Is it a good idea to purchase kitchen cabinets at Ikea?

  We love Ikea. The Scandinavian design is beautiful and the prices are too good to be true. It’s a great place to research European design ideas. Here’s how Ikea works: Ikea is a high volume retailer offering low priced European-style kitchens. All Ikea products are manufactured in Sweden and shipped to the U.S. To keep shipping costs low, all items are shipped and sold disassembled and the buyer must assemble the cabinets. This works well with tables or bookcases, but is very problematic with kitchens.

Imagine purchasing a kitchen consisting of 10 cabinets. If you receive 10 assembled cabinets, all you have to do is install them. However, Ikea kitchens come in hundreds – even thousands - of pieces and there is a chance at least one piece will be missing. In addition, the assembly process takes time – which will be more costly if you are paying for labor. Another issue is the strength of the cabinet. A cabinet assembled on the job site will never be as strong and precise as a cabinet manufactured in a factory. In addition, Ikea uses very low-density particleboard. If you need to re-drill or nail the cabinet in the future, there is a good chance the low- density material will crumble.

12. Is Home Depot a good source for purchasing kitchen cabinetry?

  Home depot is a great source. The huge stores are very convenient with everything found under one roof. Also, Home Depot’s prices are known to be the best in the market. This is not true, however, with kitchen cabinets. Actually, Home Depot’s kitchen cabinet prices are very similar to those of smaller kitchen cabinet dealers. Home Depot has shown tremendous success as a high volume, low priced retailer but if you are looking for personalized, high quality service, that’s not where Home Depot shines.

The most common complaint of Home Depot customers is that “you are on your own.” No one devotes time to your project - helping you understand, plan, design, price and make the best choices. To keep costs low and prices very competitive, Home Depot’s service must remain basic. Stores are generally understaffed and most employees are not trained designers or contractors.

13. Is it a good idea to install wood flooring in the kitchen?

  Wood flooring is not usually recommended for kitchens. That said, it’s still a very popular choice. If it works visually, go ahead and use it - especially if you are opening the kitchen into an adjacent space with wood flooring. Generally, designers choose other materials over wood because of both the “wear and tear factor” and possible exposure to water damage. Because the kitchen is a high traffic area, the finish will wear off a wood floor more quickly than in other low traffic parts of your home and will need to be refinished periodically. Also, because there is plumbing in a kitchen, wood floors are at risk for water damage. A tile floor is more resistant to leaks and humidity.

14. I have a “popcorn” ceiling. Is it possible to make it smooth? Is it a good idea?

  Popcorn ceilings are usually made of stucco or sand paint. This technique was used on construction during the ‘70’s and ’80’s for the purpose of hiding imperfections in concrete slab ceilings that were never 100% level. In some cases, chunks of these ceiling are beginning to crumble. When repairing a popcorn ceiling, it’s nearly impossible to make the repair invisible.

There are two ways to make these ceiling smooth. One is to scrape and skim coat. This requires more work but will not affect the ceiling height. The second way is to frame and Sheetrock the ceiling. This technique is faster, but will drop the ceiling height by at least a couple of inches. In some cases, it may be an advantage because new framing will allow you to run wiring for ceiling light fixtures or speakers. Wiring through concrete slab ceilings can be very challenging. In addition, some buildings do not permit running wiring in concrete slab ceilings. Changing a “popcorn” ceiling to a smooth surface ceiling is a popular trend. Not only does it allow for better wiring, it also makes the space look cleaner, larger and less dated.
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