ProSource | 10/2/2015 | Expert Advice
Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is a big job. Homeowners typically only take on a project like this once or twice in a lifetime.
But professional kitchen and bath designers have years of experience, and have seen the best and worst of projects. They have the unique combination of raw talent and many years of difficult remodels and well-earned successes. Best of all, they will prevent you from making the costly mistakes they know rookies can make.
Here, some of our ProSource kitchen and bath designers share their best tips for a successful remodeling project.
Thoroughly vet your contractors and designers. Ask to see their book of work and a list of past clients you can contact as references. Be sure you feel comfortable with whom you choose. -- Adam Runnels, Kitchen and Bath Designer, ProSource of Elk Grove Village
Before any plans are made or work begins, you’ve got to find the right trade professional to handle your project. But with all the options available, how do you know where to start, and which contractor is right for the job?
Be sure to get recommendations, such as from your local ProSource Showroom, and interview several professionals. You can also review profiles of trade pro members here.
During the meetings, don’t just ask questions. Explain your vision for the project and show your notes to potential designers. Be prepared for them to ask questions of you, too.
The best interior designers will try to find out what they can about you in order to take your family’s needs into consideration. They should listen to your ideas and make them work for you rather than try to talk you into adopting their tastes.
Follow the Rules
Know your local building codes, and what can and cannot be realistically done with regard to electrical, plumbing and appliances. -- Lori Dodaro, Kitchen and Bath Designer, ProSource of Orlando
Building codes exist to make sure work is completed to certain safety standards. If the work is done without proper permits, building officials may require that it’s improved or even dismantled and redone before it’s considered safe for occupancy standards.
Although small repairs often don’t require permits, major structural work usually does -- especially if the improvement involves plumbing, heating or electrical work.
A contractor or subcontractor usually handles the permit process through the local building department, but it’s important to be aware of the process and how it might limit your choices during the remodeling project. Allow the time, and possibly the budgeting, necessary to meet local building codes.
Put Yourself First
I think, sometimes, people get stuck thinking about the resale value of their project. Your kitchen is “your kitchen” and it is something you will have for years to come. Get what you like and not what you think others will like, and don’t make the mistake of regretting not getting what you want just to save a little. -- Bernard Luena, Kitchen and Bath Designer, ProSource of Oxnard
There is a lot of stock put in the resale value of remodeling projects. But unless you plan on moving within the year, it’s best to put your family’s needs and desires first when planning the design of your new kitchen or bathroom.
Every homeowner is unique and has different design preferences, wants and needs for their space. Focus on what suites your family best, and how you’ll use your room. After all, you’ll be using it day in and day out. If the space isn’t designed for your lifestyle, it won’t be worth the time and money you put into it.
Keep An Open Mind
Don’t be too set with an existing layout of a kitchen or bath. Often a designer can create a very different look without moving plumbing and electrical. Many things can shift just a few inches and make a real difference in the overall look and function of the space. -- Mike D. Fox, Kitchen and Bath Designer, ProSource of Charlotte
Home remodels are a team effort. After all of the dreaming and planning, it’s easy to get caught up with vision of how the project should go.
Designers have the ability to look at a space with fresh eyes and present ideas you may not yet be able to see. Remember that their job is to help make your dream a reality, and there may be more than one way to bring that reality to life. View your remodel as a vision that can evolve as necessary.
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