Cabinets account for about 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 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 into 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.
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. Let a professional installer put your new cabinets in so they look their best.
How can I help my designer
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 are 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.
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.
Why buy a kitchen at The Kitchen Place
The Kitchen Place has over 34 years of experience in the kitchen industry. Our modern showroom, attention to design and detail, our in-depth presentation of your new kitchen to avoid surprises, quality products and professional installation make The Kitchen Place your best choice for your new kitchen.