Remodeling a kitchen in Royal Oak can be an exciting adventure. It starts with finding a trusted and reputable business partner to work with. For smart homeowners, this means asking friends and family for referrals. In many neighborhoods, a shared Facebook page is a great way to poll neighbors for recommendations. Because their homes may be similar in size, style, and age, they may be needing a refresh or remodel around the same time. In fact, posting before and after photographs is a favorite way to show the dramatic improvements that can be made to an older home.
It doesn’t mean everyone is trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Remodeling a home, especially a kitchen or bathroom, is an investment that will pay dividends not only in daily life, but also when it comes time to sell. Realtors share that most homebuyers are looking for houses where the work has already been done and they are “move-in ready.”
Questions to Ask a Remodeling Company
Couples looking for referrals need to be aware that sometimes their next door neighbor’s cousin may be skilled and offer competitive pricing, but he may not have the insurance certifications required for their peace of mind. And sometimes a quality job for one homeowner may end up being a nightmare for the next one — if that cousin decides to buy a boat and sail around the world in the middle of their kitchen remodeling project.
- Talk to Their References and Other Trade Professionals. By asking to see the company’s recent work in your price range, homeowners will get a chance to “read between the lines” and get a gut feel about how the company is to work with. For example, one couple who recently had their kitchen and bathroom remodeled remarked that the workers were well mannered and exceptionally polite to their entire family, even their pets. It’s good to inquire if the job was completed on time and in budget. One homeowner shared a rule of thumb that she follows to this day: Never do business with a company that solicits door to door, or throws a plastic bag weighted down with a rock and their business card in your driveway. Exceptional remodeling companies have more than enough work from their reputations and positive word of mouth without needing to solicit. That’s not to say that those who do advertise are necessarily shady, but it’s another factor to take into account.
- Ask What Safety Precautions Are Taken to Keep the Family Safe. Top-rated contractors and remodelers are concerned not only with their own safety, but also the family’s safety at all times. Before the project even begins, they will caution the homeowners to shield the construction area from children, pets, and interested neighbors and friends. They will do their best to keep the area clean and tidy at the end of each workday; however, it’s best to remove any risk of accidents by keeping the area off limits.
Avoiding the Horror Stories
The old adage “Buy the best and only cry once” was never truer than during a remodeling project. Cut-rate materials and cheap labor are guaranteed to provide a disappointing result. It’s good to compare pricing estimates, but be aware that dependable, reputable companies will not provide a low-ball estimate, only to raise it later in the project. Some couples have even been victims of bait and switch scams where the cabinetry and appliances they ordered are not what was delivered and installed. Beware those companies that advertise one price for a complete kitchen without specifying exactly what is included. Their “one price” can sometimes be thousands higher to get the end result the homeowner envisioned.
What’s Most Important for a Successful Remodel?
The most important element of a successful remodel is when the end result aligns with the original plan. One homeowner, after spending months researching new cabinetry styles and colors, decided to cut her kitchen remodeling budget and to make a minor upgrade by just getting new countertops installed. She still laments her decision because the countertops she selected to go with her existing stained oak cabinetry wouldn’t coordinate with her white modern dream cabinets if she chose to remodel in the future. The new countertops, while increasing the functionality of her kitchen, didn’t have the design impact she was hoping for.
How Critical is a Kitchen Design Consultant?
While some homeowners may be able to envision what styles, colors, and layout will work best for their kitchens, the vast majority will want to take advantage of a kitchen design consultant. With years of experience, they’re able to quickly and efficiently guide the client’s choices to products and colors that work best together. Design consultants stay up to date on current and upcoming trends that will ensure the remodel stays fresh for years to come.
Keep Calm and Remodel the Kitchen
According to Dave Ramsey, personal finance guru, remodeling, in general, is a smart investment in most people’s largest asset. It’s important to do regular remodeling and redecorating to maintain the value of the home. Each area to be remodeled has a different return on investment, and it’s good to understand the statistics. Ramsey says the average kitchen remodel has a return of over eighty percent! If homeowners are planning to put their house up for sale within the next five years, they will be smart to remodel now so they can enjoy it before they move. It’s pretty common knowledge that kitchens sell houses, especially those with new appliances, cabinets and countertops. A beautiful dazzling glass tiled backsplash can actually tip the scales for a buyer comparing several houses. As the old adage goes, keep calm and remodel the kitchen.