I'm buying a house and I'm looking to have the kitchen remodeled. I'm looking for recommendations for a contractor. I'm also curious about the average price of a kitchen remodel. Its a small kitchen (two sided, no space for a island, should be pretty easy) and I've got a guy coming out tomorrow (my husband likes him, but he already missed our first appointment which raised a red flag for me), but it seems when I ask others about their remodel, I get anywhere from $10k-$40k for similar sized projects. Any info would be appreciated!
Kitchen Remodel and Price(25 posts)
I have used Aardwolf Landscape Deck and Fence Co 425-372-2369* 2212 North 36th Street, Seattle, WA 98103.
He is great and the work he did for me was perfect and he does remodeling, down side he is Swedish.
I'm in the midst of a kitchen remodel. We originally scoped it out at $15k; it's now looking like $25-$30k, and includes an upstairs bathroom addition. Due to the phrase "Well, as long as we've got the walls open you might as well..." these things have a habit of growing in scope. :)
The wide $10k-$40k (or more) range is due to the number of components that can fall under "kitchen remodel." Such as: flooring, cabinets, countertop, backsplash, appliances, electrical, plumbing, gas, ceiling, insulation, walls, windows.
So, first thing to do is decide which components you'll be changing. Are you keeping the floor? That's a big expense. Are you keeping the existing plumbing and electrical? Then you might not need to open up your walls and ceiling. Are you simply tearing out and replacing the old cabinets and countertop? With Ikea, you can get away with a sub-$10k kitchen remodel.
It's a huge undertaking and the more you pre-plan and understand about the process, the better off you'll be (and the less you'll pay).
First step is to get *precise* measurements of your existing space, including exact dimensions for openings (doors and windows) and location of plumbing, power, and vents.
Then go to Ikea's online kitchen planning tool. It's free to use and has a simple interface. You'll be able to quickly experiment with different layouts, and be able to visualize them in 3D. Even if you don't plan on buying Ikea cabinets (we did) their tool is a terrific aid to planning: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/homeshopping/kitchen
Don't bother contacting a contractor or remodeler until *after* you've played around with the layout yourself, and settled on at least a basic design. Why? Because you'll save time and money. High end remodelers charge a design fee, and low end remodelers don't appreciate getting jerked around by indecisive homeowners--they're there to build, not agonize over corner cabinet styles. :)
I paid about $35,000 for my kitchen remodel in 2008. Small house, smallish kitchen. It was gutted to the studs, so a complete re-do. A lot depends on the materials (countertops, flooring, etc.), fixtures and appliances you choose. Also if you are moving the sink and d/w to a different area in the room, the plumbing can get expensive. If you are buying an older house be prepared for surprises. I ended up having to re-wire pretty much the entire house (not included in the $35,000) because the old knob-and-tube had burned through some insulation.
Kat, i don't presume to know anything about your contractor or why he missed your first appointment, it could have been a very legit reason.
but i done a few remodels in my day and i regret to no end the first guy i hired, who missed our very first appointment, and also raised a big red flag up for me. he was all in all terrible.
again, i know nothing of your guy... but trust your instincts, there are a lot of yahoo's out there in the business. you should vet this guy out more if you are going to take him. it is a lot of money to put in the hand of someone you aren't sure of.
finally, angieslist.com was my friend for our last remodel... everyone that had great reviews on that site that i used was great.
In agreement with Gooner. Missing an appointment is a huge red flag, given the lack of work in the remodel market right now. If the Contractor is serious, he will show up for the appointment. And if he doesn't, he'll let you know beforehand with a valid reason.
If he doesn't show up for the initial meeting, it's highly unlikely that he's the type of Contractor that will show up on time every day, or order materials on time etc. Which will only end up costing you more - not him.
Edited to once again agree with another of Gooner's points - it could have been a legit reason :-)
As a plumbing contractor myself, I can tell you right now that the guy is bad news. It is one thing if he has to reschedule because something unexpected came up. In that situation, a phone call before the scheduled time is sufficient. But to just not show up and not call...??? Um, no. That's totally unacceptable and is a MAJOR indicator that this guy is going to disappoint you over and over again.
There are also some basic things you want to check for...
1) Is the contractor licensed, bonded and insured? If he has a valid contractor's registration number, then he's got these covered.
2) Plumbing and electrical work must be performed by special state-licensed workers (i.e. plumbers and electricians). A lot of unscrupulous remodeling contractors will use their "jack-of-all-trades" guys to do the plumbing and electrical work just to save a few dollars. Make sure your contract states the plumbing and electrical work will be performed by properly licensed professionals. I can't tell you how many times I've had to redo the work of a "jack-of-all-trades". Not to mention that their work often fails to meet code and sometimes causes substantial property damage due to failure.
3) Get multiple bids and call references. This is called due diligence. If a contractor can provide a list of previous customers that had similar work performed and they all say the experience was good... chances are you'll be satisfied with their work too. Also, for a kitchen remodel you should get at least three bids from three different contractors. It takes time but you'd be surprised at how different some prices can be (and in the construction world, paying more doesn't always mean better quality).
Most nightmares that you hear about with remodeling contractors happen because the homeowner didn't follow one of the pieces of advice I gave above. Hope this helps :)
From Joe's Plumbing Co.
I don't know if you're looking for an arcetect arketect archetic - God where is spell check when you need it - to design it. She just finished a kitchen and the woman is thrilled that hired her. Great use of space.
We had our kitchen done a year or so ago and just love it. We had a kitchen designer at a reasonable price who helped select everything, including cabinets with no toxic crap. The in-state cabinet company loaned me a fresh piece of the wood to take home for a few days to make sure my allergies/chemical sensitivities were ok. They were a big ticket item but something to think about if anyone has allergies or is at all sensitive (especially young kids). I really did as much as possible to stay green, with marmoleum flooring, Silestone countertops and the all-wood cabinets. Our remodel was quite a bit more expensive than those listed here but we went down to the studs. Walls, ceiling and floors removed and rebuilt as well as all new plumbing and electrical. We went with higher end appliances, with the fridge being counter depth (gives more space in the room) and got period-appropriate lighting at Rejuvenation.
Our contractor was: http://kirkredo.com/
Hey, LifeIs, thank you so much for the shout-out! Kat, you have a lot of great advice here, particularly about the contractor missing the appointment. Kitchen remodels can vary hugely in cost, because a lot depends on the materials you choose and unforeseen conditions. If you're willing to do some parts of the work yourself, that can help save $. And this may sound counterintuitive, but a good architect or kitchen designer can help you save money too, by narrowing choices and working with suppliers/contractors to get costs down. Most design folks are willing to meet with you on an initial consultation for free (myself included.)
Thanks for all your feedback!
As far as our contractor, my husband had worked with him in the past (husband was a sub) and always really liked his work. He ran late at his appointment and forgot his phone, but still tried to get to us, but took an hour and said he was lost. I don't believe him (it doesn't take an hour to get anywhere in Seattle), but we'll see how this goes.
I don't need to pull out the walls or redo any plumbing (except add hoses for a dishwasher), I really think its just counters, counter tops, floor and appliances.
ENTP: How do you like your Ikea cabinets? I tried to use there little tool, but found I had gaps on either side of the walls and wonder if that's just how it is or if they have a solution to that?
I am truly a doofus these last couple of days. Not enough sleep? Did I really say "I know someone" Ballardo, did I actually forget for a moment that I met you on this site??
Uh... let me rewrite, Hey Kat, did you know that Ballardo is an architect and does kitchens? Jeez
and Ballardo, that's a good question, do you do remodles that don't include changing walls etc because in my virtual kitchen - when my business takes off - Beforeandafterpersonalorganizing.com (shamless plug) and I have money- I want to do some counter changes but not big stuff.
No worries, LIA! You do know me. As for remodeling, no job is too small. I have gathered quite a bit of information over the years about materials, pros and cons, and would be happy to spout off about it. I'm also happy to spout off about your website so hopefully here is a clickable link: http://beforeandafterorganizing.com/ (no ulterior motives there, no sirree...)
In my prior home when I did a down to the studs remodel I used IKEA cabinets - I was surprised at what good quality they were. They do have kitchen designers to help figure out the cabinet layout - I found the one I worked with to be quite helpful.
From my experience remodeling I recommend having an extra 25% over the estimate available to you for possible cost overruns - particularly if it is an old house. Unexpected things just seem to pop up.
Cate--I wonder how that kitchen would look if you walked into it today.
although Ikea cabinets look great off the shelf, I've seen older ones that clearly hadn't aged well. I don't believe they use solid wood for the drawers, etc.
I've also heard they used odd sizing which made it difficult to install non-Ikea appliances (yes they sell those, too!), but this is all secondhand.
Thoughts on Ikea cabinets: We've installed a few kitchen's worth of them and surprisingly find them to be quite good for the cost. You must remember that because they are about a third or quarter the price of custom cabinets, you are somewhat limited on what you can do with them. Unless your contractor is comfortable customizing them (has decent woodworking experience), you are pretty much stuck with the exact sizes that they carry. That being said, the lower cost doesn't necessarily mean poor quality. The doors and drawer fronts are all solid wood. The cabinet boxes are particleboard, although they do meet fairly strict standards for indoor air quality. http://bit.ly/iiotg2
The drawers are definitely not wood, but are metal and quite strong. All their hinges and drawer slides are decent quality, "soft-closing", similar to what many custom cabinet shops use.
If you can afford custom cabinets, by all means, you should get them. Spend locally with local craftsmen. But, if you need to save some money, this is definitely a good way to go.
As an architect, I've spent my fair share of time designing kitchens with custom cabinetry. Ikea cabinets are by no means on par with custom ones from a reputable shop, but I definately feel Ikea's quality is quite excellent for most applications. I remodeled my own kitchen about 6 years ago and decided to go with Ikea. Overall, I've been pretty happy with them. I've had a little trouble with wood veneers starting to flake off along the edges of certain panels, but I've been able to touch them up with some matching stain to hide the problem. It takes a very handy person to assemble and adjust Ikea cabinets properly, so keep that in mind as well.
Also, I'd recommend picking up Dwell's "100 Kitchens We Love" on newstands now. It's loaded with lots of great ideas...as well as floorplans.
Kat, you can go in with what you've got and the Ikea store staff can help you figure out the fiddly remainder issues. It's the "big stuff", like blocking out appliances and choosing upper and lower cabinetry, that's most useful.
To actually answer your question: they have little spacers to even out any few spare inches. Also, side panels (the veneer sheets that are only needed on end cabinets, to cover the bare particle board) take up a wee bit of space. Between the spacers and the panels you'll be able to fill straight to the wall.
Speaking of Ikea: go to open houses in the area. Many of them have updated kitchens. And of those with updated kitchens, many of those will be Ikea. There are two houses for sale on my block that had them (well, one now--the other just sold). You can identify Ikea by the in-drawer hardware. The grey plastic components will be labeled "Ikea."
I've found the quality to be very good. Soft-close, smart use of space, sturdy.
Being an interior designer who used to specialize in Kitchen and Bath design full time, I would agree with what some of the others have said, materials are a HUGE factor, as are unexpected costs in an old house. Dry rot, shoddy electrical that you find out nearly burned your house down at one point, non-existent framing or insulation... These are all things that you might actually be faced with once you open Pandora's box of house remodeling. My advice would be to work with an experienced kitchen designer or builder who does design as well. They do this EVERYDAY, so they know the tricks to save money, and where not to be a cheapo. For instance, I know for a fact that Pacific Crest Industries, a local cabinet company, makes a line of cabinets that are priced comparable to IKEA. But the difference is that they are not as likely to completely fall apart, do have backs, are square, are built in a certified green facility, and do not have to travel millions of miles to get to your home. The secret is, they DO NOT advertise this cabinet line, they instead focus on their higher priced lines. But now that you know... Just go to a local retailer that sells their stuff. Even these cabinets are made to order for you. But seriously, they are priced nearly the same as IKEA stuff.
As for where to splurge, hire professionals. People who are experienced, and licensed and bonded. Ask for references, and actually call those people. A good builder can make even cheap cabinets look fabulous. And can save your hide when unexpected things come up. I wouldn't go cheap on counters, they take a lot of abuse, so get what you want. The price differences between laminate, and quartz counters is really not that huge. But the materials are. On appliances, splurge on the range or cooktop/oven combo. You WILL notice a difference every single day when you cook up dinner. All refers keep food cold. So that doesn't matter as much...
Most people I worked with were in the mid to high end price range at 65-80k. But I definitely worked with some people who were maxed at 30k. That's for a complete gut, wall removal, nice stainless appliances, and quartz counters.
You will probably find that once you start looking at things, you wont want the super cheap stuff. So just double your budget now, because you probably will in the end anyway.
And have fun!
+1+ 20feet for adding inestimable value to neighborhood knowhow.
Not a$$kissing, just appreciative.
Hi folks: If you're in Ballard and looking for a good contractor, I would recommend Dan Nelson of Mercury Construction: http://go-mercury.com/ . Excellent work, exceedingly honest guy. He's done work for us and several friends. He did our basement but specializes in kitchens (see the site for good examples of his work). He has an office/workspace in Shilshole and is super easy to work with.
The design of your kitchen can say a lot about you.Me and my wife also looking forward to remodeling home kitchen cabinet.
This information will be helpful for me.Thanks everyone...Posted 12 months ago #
For architecture & home remodel design, I like Barry Senter. He's local (www.barrysenterdesign.com) and is really easy to work with. For the work itself, Joe Cruickshank or Cruikshank Homes is conscientious and has a great reputation, from what I hear.Posted 11 months ago #
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