Kitchen makeovers remain popular as homeowners strive to make their house a home that reflects their lifestyle. Updating things like your kitchen can actually be a smart investment. This investment to improve aesthetics and organization of the heart of the home still holds reasonable resale value.
The best way to make sure your kitchen remodel goes smoothly is to make a clear plan. Plan ahead and lay out your budget. Have ideas ahead of time and then communicate with your contractor regularly from the estimate through the entire project.
Check out some FAQ for homeowners who are considering a kitchen remodeling project.
HOW DO I DETERMINE THE COST OF THE KITCHEN REMODEL AND HOW DO I ESTABLISH A BUDGET?
The estimate we offer is derived from the design established and the selections chosen. Many times selections are chosen in advance for much of the project and we offer the ability for “allowances” on items still to be selected, such as tile or fixtures. These allowances are decided by budget and average cost for the products. A budget is usually decided upfront prior to the design. Your budget would be configured based on your need and the market value of the home and neighborhood. The kitchen designer will provide a drawing based on the present footprint of the kitchen and any changes that might be desired regarding movement of walls or plumbing and the needs you share. Once a design is agreed upon by you, selections are made in regard to cabinetry, tops, flooring, lighting, appliances etc. These decisions upfront help the remodeling consultant promulgate a more accurate estimate. Changes are almost always made during construction by the homeowner, whether due to a hidden issue or change of heart. These can be accounted for through Change Orders that the contractor discusses with the homeowner prior to any work commencing.
HOW MANY ESTIMATES SHOULD I OBTAIN BEFORE MAKING A DECISION ON A CONTRACTOR FOR MY KITCHEN REMODEL?
This is a relative decision. If you are choosing a Design/Build firm the contractor who will build the kitchen would also be the one designing it. In most cases a Design Agreement would be signed by you with the firm and design work would begin. The purpose of a Design/Build firm is two-fold. First, it is cost effective. The contractor establishes a budget prior to design and since they are the ones actually building, they can more accurately decipher the cost. Second, the ease and collaboration of having your design professional one and the same as your contractor keeps any possible misunderstanding at bay and provides a smoother running project.
If you choose to hire a design professional and then look for a contractor after the design has been established, obtaining 2 or 3 estimates is usually sufficient.
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE WORK FOR YOU AND WHO WILL BE IN MY HOME?
Owings Brothers has been building Maryland for over 33 years. The process in which we hire our employees begins with a background check and drug test. The employees that are a part of the Owings team have established their ability to offer our customers the service and craftsmanship that we promise. Many of our employees have been with us over 5 years and some over 20.
DOES MY KITCHEN REMODEL REQUIRE A PERMIT? IF SO, WHO ACQUIRES THE PERMIT?
Each state and each county in each state have their own set of codes. This code book is about 3 inches thick and chock full of the do’s and don’ts for each specific jurisdiction. Our best advice to you is to select a reputable contractor who will guide your remodeling process with the utmost integrity. The contractor’s experience in your area should allow for them to qualify your remodel as to whether a permit is needed. Most general contractors will take care of the permitting process for you.
WHAT ARE THE PHASES OF A KITCHEN REMODEL?
- Decide what your family needs or desires in your new kitchen and your budget.
- Choose a contractor with design services & meet to discuss your project.
- Kitchen designer and client collaborate to create kitchen drawings which you review and approve.
- Receive an estimate and execute the contract which includes details and a payment draw schedule.
- Client signs up on our 24/7 communication platform to stay updated throughout their project.
- Finalize selection process with your design professional.
- Schedule start date for commencement of the project.
- Contractor places protection and begins demo work
- Contractor sets up a temporary kitchen.
- When products are received contractor begins installation.
- Project completed and final walk through.
DO YOU HAVE DESIGN SERVICES AVAILABLE?
We are a Design/Build contractor. Our office offers clients a “one stop shop” providing a Design Studio and in-house designers to help with selections for anything from cabinets to paint colors. These services will also allow our clients to see what their kitchen will look like through our 3D CAD software. Nothing is left to chance, everything is decided upfront. Of course, the ability to change your mind and make a different selection is available for most everything if the items have not been ordered.
HOW AND WHEN DO I MAKE FINAL SELECTIONS FOR THE COMPONENTS AND FINISHES WHICH BECOME PART OF OUR KITCHEN?
The perfect scenario is before construction begins. Often, some selections are made during the construction process, but we work to have most items ordered or on the job site prior to start of your kitchen remodel. This will allow for a smoother running project and a closer to promised completion time and allows the budget to be more refined.
CAN I PURCHASE MATERIALS FROM OWINGS BROTHERS?
Owings Brothers has a Design Studio showcasing several cabinet lines and we have relationships with vendors for everything from flooring to lighting and can offer everything you need for your kitchen remodel under one roof. With our 33 years of experience in the building industry we have garnered long term relationships with many trade contractors and vendors and can offer excellent price points on these services and products. This also creates “one point” accountability.
DO YOU OFFER ASSISTANCE IN THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF APPLIANCES?
We do have great relationships with our appliance vendors and we can offer a discount in pricing. The appliances are shipped directly to your home and our skilled workmen can install them for you as part of our full remodeling service.
HOW WILL I COPE WITH NOT HAVING A KITCHEN DURING THE RENOVATION?
Our goal is to make your remodeling experience the best possible. We realize that it is very inconvenient for a family to live without a kitchen. Our practice is to set up a temporary kitchen in the best possible location. We move the refrigerator to another room, perhaps the dining room and a counter top and cabinet. The homeowner will use a bathroom or laundry room sink or sometimes there is the ability to provide a kitchen in the basement. The truth is that we cannot completely remove all inconvenience, but do our best to give the family the ability to function. In most cases, you’re dining out a little more and barbecuing a little more, but the wait is most certainly worth it when you look at your new Owings kitchen!
WHERE DO ALL OF THE EXISTING ITEMS IN MY KITCHEN GO DURING THE KITCHEN REMODEL?
This is relative to the particular home. Sometimes there is a garage that can store tables, chairs, pots and pans. Other times we can store them in the basement or shed. Worst case scenario items can be stored in a rental pod.
WHAT PROTECTION DO I HAVE FROM COST OVER-RUNS?
If the homeowner stays within the allowance amounts scheduled in the proposal and keeps within the scope of work stated, over-runs should be minimal. Sometimes, there are things that could not be established upfront with a remodeling project, things that are hidden. This is when a good relationship with your contractor is needed. When you choose your contractor there should be a trust factor established. Know that your contractor has your best interest at heart and work together to solve the hidden surprises that infrequently surface in remodeling. The suggestion is to have 10% in case of hidden damage or selection additions.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TIMELINE FOR A KITCHEN RENOVATION?
Depending on the work to be completed a kitchen remodel can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks to 7-8 weeks. If you are pulling and redoing without reconfiguration the longest timeline is the ordering of the cabinets. So we endeavor to have you select that portion of the remodel first, so they can be ordered and work can begin allowing them to arrive in time for installation.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO MAKE CHANGES DURING THE COURSE OF THE KITCHEN REMODEL?
Invariably customers change their mind on design or selections. The course of action taken will determine what that change entails and when it is made. Change Orders are then presented to the homeowner for review and signature, outlining the changes requested and cost to be incurred.
DO YOU OFFER ANY GUARANTEES ON YOUR WORK?
Our written warranty is for two years, but Owings stands behind their work and we desire to make raving fans. Our referrals are our greatest asset and a happy customer will refer friends and family. We endeavor to work through any issue and are available for all our customers to aid them in any home improvement need.