March 27, 2012,
P.G. asks from Frisco, TX on March 26, 2012
K.F. answers from New York on March 26, 2012
I did two kitchen remodels. In each case I used a general contractor. The first kitchen I just replaced the bottom set of kitchen cabinets, sink, and faucet. The second kitchen I did more. New stove, cabinets (top and bottom), new counter top, backsplash, sink and faucet.
Knowing your budget is very important. Determining what materials you want to use and how you want them installed is also important. Finding good contractors to work with your vision for your property is also important.
I did reconfigure the layout of the sink and cabinetry in the second kitchen remodel and I had to get the backsplash done twice. I requested the 4 x 4 inch tiles be layed out on a diagonal rather than a square pattern. I was livid when I came in and discovered it wasn't installed the way I wanted it.
You probably want to use some one licensed to do the job and get the proper permits too. These things will increase your upfront costs but decrease possible headaches later.
Good luck on the remodeling.
P.W. answers from Dallas on March 26, 2012
I used Home Depot in Plano off the Tollway to redo my kitchen 8 years ago. Brad was great, but I was unhappy with their electrical contractor. Everything else was great.
I re-did my bathroom last year and found a contractor that I loved. Ed Brussels. ###-###-####
Now, I don't know if you are trying to stay in budget. We were.
Both these options were reasonable. Make a budget and stick to it. Sit down and think about what you want before you go and see anybody. When I did my kitchen they tried to talk me out of two ovens, but I stuck to my guns and am glad I did. He wanted to do the "normal" corner cabinets but I chose not to..... that sort of thing. You don't have to do what they want. Same thing happened with the bathroom. They tried to talk me out of a tub, but I kept a smaller one in. I only take baths 4-6 times per year. A man couldn't see the benefit to that, but I am so glad i kept it!
To keep from over spending in the kitchen we stuck with cabinets that were already made. You can buy beautifully without building from scratch. That saved money. In the bathroom I had them build cabinets I wanted because the area was smaller and I wanted to maximize space, but I did not move pipes. That saved tons.
Contractors will give you all these ideas on how you can move things around, but in most cases it is unnecessary. So my advice is not to get carried away. Put your money towards updating and the special things you want. Don't go crazy completely changing everything. Both my kitchen and bathroom was totally gutted and look fabulous. I will say that dark countertops that very dark must have a fair amount of movement or they are more likely to show dirt and water rings.
S.H. answers from St. Louis on March 26, 2012
we do 99% of all of our remodeling. I am very fortunate to have a DH very talented at many skills + sons who are capable of helping/learning, too. I also pitch in on the labor, & contribute 90% of the design element of the projects. My DH does the final drawings....simply because he's a journeyman machinist & doesn't trust anyone else. :)
Just did 1/2 of our kitchen remodel last year. (last 1/2 involves knocking down a wall, & my DH is balking on this part of the project.) What we've learned: to really think actual usage vs. magazine layouts. Anything can look good on paper.....you have to really live with it to know if it'll work.
For example: our island is tumbled stone with slate insets. The stone functions beautifully for the island which is used for food prep, serving, & has a breakfast bar. We also have the dishw & a bar sink in the island.
This same stone would not work as well on the cooking area of the kitchen. When that remodel starts, we know that we will go with a composite or laminate.
We reused existing cabinets, & my DH built the new ones to match the old. The old had been painted a wonderful earthy green, & we tried matching the new to the old. It just didn't fly....so we painted the new a much lighter, earthier tone - which was just 2 steps down from the original. If we had to do it all over again, I would have started with a completely "new" color....avoiding any matching issues. Live & learn!
Another thing we learned was that the city codes had changed/new codes put into effect, & our plumbing was not up to code. We re-plumbed the entire kitchen to bring it up to speed. This was an additional cost, but will save us $$ when we sell the home. One of the irksome details of living in an older home. :)
Ooops, thought of one more detail: make sure your lighting matches (or coordinates) adjoining areas in your home. In our case, we have a great room...with living/dining/kitchen/foyer all together. We made sure the new lighting for the island & in the kitchen matched the fan in the living room & the foyer light. When you're standing in one big space, the lights really need to work together!
Good luck & have fun! I LOVE changing up our home!
C.B. answers from San Francisco on March 26, 2012
Yes. I used Sears. Stay away from them. The price is high and the quality is low!
J.A. answers from Dallas on March 27, 2012
C.P. answers from Dallas on March 27, 2012
Check out Massey Construction. They remodeled our kitchen and did a a great job! Love these guys! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Massey-Construction/492355...