I just walked around my kitchen counting the number of selections that have to be made in a kitchen remodel. After pointing at the microwave, backsplash, cabinet pulls, and making one circuit around the kitchen I counted 40 decisions someone needs to make in a kitchen remodel. Here are 6 shopping secrets from your favorite kitchen & bath designers on how to successfully shop for the finishes for your next remodeling project.
Consider crumb colored counter tops - I just wiped off my dark counter tops and they don't look clean. Granted, technique is a component of my illustration. I know my counters are clean, but they do not look clean. One reason New Venetian Gold granite is so popular is because it is crumb colored. There is a generational awareness for hard it is to keep dark granite counter tops spotless in my consciousness. (Why do I also drive a black car?)
Have you seen our gallery of ideas for you? Check this out (Shopping Secrets).
Dog colored floors - If you hate fur as much as I do, pick a pet colored floor and also one that has variation of color. Rustic and hand-scraped floors are trending now. The alternative, daily cleaning - something we all should do, but rarely is actually done. If you want to clean more often, buy better cleaning supplies/gear. Buy a Dyson vacuum and a micro fiber Bona wood floor cleaning kit.
You can find more ideas here too (Shopping Secrets)
Does quality count? - Yes - If you want your finishes to last more than 5 years then quality absolutely matters to your long-term satisfaction. No - If you'll make a change anyway or move in less than 5 years. Be a Deal Hound, find something cheap, enjoy the hunt, and don't let any of us Quality Snobs tell you any different. Is this a "Target" purchase or a "Talbots" purchase (How did you like that mixed metaphor?).
Everything up front - If you want to avoid delays, cost overruns, and Scope Creep (when a project grows into a never-ending monster) then make all of your selections before you begin the build phase of your project. Your patience will be rewarded in every way. I recently heard a story where it took someone 8 weeks to pick their carpet, the project started without all the selections made, they added 2 weeks of extra carpentry & painting midstream, and the project took twice as long as it could've if everything had been selected up front. It did not have to be that painful of a process.
Allowances are assumptions - Most builders enter a construction agreement with allowances as placeholders. Most builders don't do their homework and lead their clients through best practices. Early on in a professional relationship how would a designer, builder, or client know if they want a $175 faucet or $350 faucet? Both could be appropriate in the 2500 sf house they want to build in a nice neighborhood. Selections can be the difference between a $50,000 and $100,000 kitchen remodel. Multiply the variance of builder assumptions versus actual client selections by 40 decisions and there is room for big swings in a project budget. Allowances are the starting point for a client to get into a range they are comfortable with. Leading clients through a thorough selections/shopping process, before entering a construction agreement, is the best way to help clients get what they want.
Get a Guide - In my experience, clients get what they want, within their budget, and their projects are completed quickly, when they allow us to guide them through the complete shopping process.
There you go, 6 Secrets of how to shop well in your next remodeling project. Happy shopping!