Myth vs. Reality
In my 31 years as a kitchen design professional, I have learned that educating my clients on a variety of aspects of their renovation is invaluable. Preparing my clients to make good decisions through education and planning ultimately contributes to the success of the project on all levels. As in every aspect of life, the design industry is constantly in flux. In my opinion, knowledge is the best tool to have in your arsenal, and ultimately it’s the one that benefits both the homeowner and the design professionals with whom they work.
I am sure every industry has their myths and mine is no exception. With so many resources for information, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Here are two of the biggest myths I battle with and I’d like to debunk them for Urban Home readers.
Myth #1: “A kitchen renovation is just too expensive.”
Reality: Guess what? You control your budget, so be upfront with your kitchen design specialist from the beginning. There are many costs associated with a renovation and you should be aware of the bottom line as soon as possible; communication with your specialist will expedite this. From the first meeting, you and your design professional should be aware of (and on the same page about) your comfort level with the overall expense of the project. As in the automotive industry, in the cabinet industry there are many companies that have a wide range of prices from high to low.
Here are just a few guidelines on pricing:
- A simple door style with a basic stained finish will be less expensive than a heavily carved door style with a painted, distressed and glazed finish.
- If your appliances and sink have several years of wear left, then re-using them in the new design/renovation can be cost-effective.
- Countertop selections can also be “value-engineered” by using simple edge treatments and colors that are stocked in a standard thickness.
If you’re in need of a small piece for an island, you can always inquire about a remnant from your fabricator. Remnants are usually a good deal as compared to purchasing an entire slab of material.
Like assembling a great outfit, you can select your “prize pieces” and then re-purpose other materials to be budget conscious while still looking your best!
Myth #2: “If I hire professionals, I won’t have to be ‘hands on’ during my renovation.”
Reality: Unfortunately, the homeowner’s involvement is necessary throughout the project. The professionals are there to coordinate, advise and execute your plan, but a renovation is a complexity of ideas, coordination of materials, labor and design. Everyone has high expectations and is working towards your dream kitchen. There will be instances where changes will be needed because of unforeseen situations.
The homeowner’s approval is always needed on any changes and should be submitted and approved each and every time in order to keep track of any expenses over budget. Sometimes appliances that were selected when the design process began are no longer available at the time of order and an alternate needs to be approved by the homeowner. There are times when what looked good on paper needs to be modified on the job-site to achieve a better aesthetic – another homeowner approval situation. The reality is that you are ultimately in charge of everything that happens on your job because it’s your home and you must approve.
Catherine Whitney is the showroom manager and designer at South End Kitchens. She has 30 years experience in the kitchen and bath industry and works diligently with clients every step of the way. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 704-379-1770 or email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org. The design studio is located in the historic Meeting Hall building at 1500 South Blvd, Suite 101-A. You can also visit South End Kitchens at www.southendkitchens.com.