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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a kitchen more or less expensive?

Cabinets account for about one-third to one-half the total cost of the project and will have the greatest impact on your budget. They range in price considerably based on quality, the type of material they are made of, and whether they are stock (ready made in specific sizes) or custom (produced specifically for your kitchen in whatever sizes and finishes are needed).

The material you choose for surfaces including counters, backsplashes and floors can also account for variations in price. Other key elements that factor in to the equation are talent and workmanship. In the remodeling business, you tend to get what you pay for. An accomplished designer, skilled sub-tradesmen and expert installation crew may cost more. But you’ll appreciate their ability every time you use your kitchen.  Click here to learn more about Kitchen Remodeling.

What makes a bathroom remodeling more or less expensive?

No single element of a bathroom remodel comprises a significantly larger portion of the costs than other elements.  The type and quality of cabinets you select will affect your total costs.

Not surprisingly, fixtures and fittings account for a high cost percentage in the bathroom.  Expense for fixtures and fittings will vary depending on the brand, type of materials, and array of products you select.

In bathrooms, installation typically accounts for a quarter or more of the total cost.  This is because the installation work in a bathroom tends to be intricate (for example, tile setting).  If you’re looking to cut corners, this is probably not the place to do it.

Can I save money by cutting a few corners?

Yes, but chances are you’ll be disappointed when it’s done.  Postponing some things is a better way to save than cutting quality.  Put your money into the best quality products your budget can afford, even if you have to limit the number of products that you buy.

Should I select my appliances first and then call in a kitchen planner?

This is not recommended.  A kitchen design is much like a jigsaw puzzle, where each piece must fit into the whole design.  By all means, research your appliance choices and formulate your “wish list,” but it is usually better not to purchase your appliances until the design has been finalized.

Can I get other bids on the final design?

Our policy is to not release the plans, which are protected by copyright, until a purchase agreement has been made.  In any event, it is extremely difficult to comparison shop for a kitchen, because different firms feature different products.  Most of the time you will end up comparing “apples and oranges.”

If a company has been in business for some time, it’s usually a sign that their prices are competitive or they wouldn’t have stayed in business.  Also, it’s more important to work with someone you feel comfortable with and trust than to try to save money with someone who implies they can save you “X amount of dollars.”

What can I do myself to help cut costs?

How much you can or should attempt to do depends on your ability and knowledge of remodeling.  You’ll definitely be able to tear out old cabinets (be careful not to damage walls and beams), take up old vinyl flooring and handle trash removal. You may also want to paint or wallpaper on your own.  You’re better off letting the pros handle plumbing and appliance hook-ups – if you try it on your own, you may violate building codes or invalidate manufacturer warranties.  And let a professional installer put your new cabinets in so that they look their best.

How long should it take from showroom visit to finished kitchen?

It can take several months, even after the design is finalized.  Custom cabinets usually take around eight to ten weeks for delivery.  The extent of the job, the contractor’s workload and the availability of materials also have an effect.  Once the materials have been delivered, installation can often be completed in as little as two to three weeks.

Who's the best person for the job?

There are a lot of professionals out there – interior designers, architects, remodeling contractors – but your best bet is to pick a designer or firm that specializes in the kitchen and bath area.  There are thousands of companies that offer kitchen/bath design and installation services – many of them belong to the National Kitchen & Bath Association.  There are also a select number of individuals certified by NKBA as Certified Kitchen Designers (CKD) and/or Certified Bathroom Designers (CBD).


A Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) is a professional, qualified by education and experience to research, design, plan and supervise the installation of residential kitchens.  Only after a rigid examination conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, has he or she been awarded the CKD title.  Use of this professional certification mark and seal is protected by law.


The CKD title identifies the exceptional qualifications of the competent Kitchen Specialist.  It is public proof of responsible performance and professional skill.

What is the process for getting a project done?

The first step would be to schedule a meeting with one of our designers. They’ll come to your home to take careful measurements of the space, make note of plumbing and structural elements, and get a feel for your home’s style. They’ll also ask as many questions as possible about your project, lifestyle and family. They’ll be listening carefully so that the finished room you work to create reflects your personal taste and how you use the space.


The designer will then create an estimate and a 3D rendering. It is fair to expect that, depending on the size of the project at hand, the estimate might take 3 to 5 business days to complete before the designer can email it to you.


Upon receiving the estimate, another meeting can be scheduled with our designer to discuss the estimate and make any adjustments to reflect your budget and your envisioned upgrade to your home. You’ll choose products, colors/finishes and materials that fall within your budget. The contract will also be ready for you to sign at this meeting.


What about contracts and orders?

Before any work begins on your kitchen or bathroom, get detailed, written estimates, project specifications and signed contracts from the professionals you hire.  Make sure they’re bonded and insured. (If you work with an NKBA member, he/she will likely coordinate all of your sub-contractors for you.) Check references carefully.  Your designer should prepare project drawings including floor plans and renderings that clearly represent your project.  If anything changes mid-project, you should be asked to sign a change order.

What about payment?

Most firms will require a percentage (usually 50 percent or so) when you sign the contract, additional payment (usually 40 percent or so) when cabinets are delivered or installation begins, and the balance (10 percent or so) when the job is complete.  You may also be required to pay a design retainer at the start of the job.

What is the kitchen ``work triangle`` and why is it important?

The “work triangle” is the kitchen area from the refrigerator to the main cooking area to the main sink.  Connect the three and it should form a triangle (unless you have a ‘one-wall’ kitchen).  It’s important because at or immediately adjacent to the triangle’s points, all the key kitchen activities – food preparation, cooking and clean up – take place.  The work triangle helps to ensure that your kitchen will be functional.  It keeps cooking activities centered in one area, with all the necessities close at hand.

Where's the best place to put a microwave?

Like most things about your new kitchen, it will depend on how you and your family use the appliance.  From a safety and accessibility standpoint, the microwave should be positioned so that the bottom of the appliance is 24″ to 48″ above the floor.  Consult with your designer for the best place to locate it.