Keeping Kitchen Budgets In Check
One of the first things people do when they are thinking about a kitchen remodel is to look for ideas online. It’s hard not to fall in love with all those picture-perfect kitchens on Pinterest and Houzz. If you are just starting the kitchen renovation process, you may be wondering if you will be able to afford your own dream kitchen.
The cost of a kitchen remodel can vary dramatically depending on what types of materials and appliances you choose, the construction, electrical and plumbing work involved, and the size of the space.
Here are a few of the elements of a kitchen remodel and the factors that can influence cost.
Cabinet materials, construction and finishes
Certain cabinet materials are more expensive than others. Stainless steel and solid, rare hardwood cabinets will cost more, while melamine or wood veneer cabinets will cost less. Painted, glazed or custom distressed cabinets are more labor-intensive to create so these will increase your cost. Glass inlays, unique features, and entirely custom designs will also add to the price.
Kitchen layout, utilities and windows
Your kitchen remodeling costs will be affected by the room’s layout, cabinet configuration, the number of cabinets and panels that need to be installed, as well as any mouldings.
Removing walls and moving windows and utilities also need to be considered. Knocking down walls, rewiring the electrical, moving a gas stove, or relocating your sink can be expensive and may also require permits.
Changing the location of your windows and appliances, especially the sink or plumbing, can increase costs. JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer at Riverhead Building Supply said that, “If your workflow traffic patterns work and are comfortable, keeping appliance and sink locations in nearly the same locations can help with your installation budget.”
Countertops are available in a variety of materials from affordable laminate and tile to higher-end butcher block, granite, engineered stone, marble, concrete, stainless steel and quartz countertops. Don’t base your material decision on just aesthetics or price. Each material has its pros and cons so it is important to do your research to ensure that you understand the maintenance involved and how the materials hold up to scratches, stains and heat.
There are many flooring options at various price points. At the lower end of the price range are linoleum and laminate floors. Porcelain, hardwood and cork flooring are considered mid-range flooring choices. Natural stone tile flooring is among the most expensive type of kitchen flooring material. Similar to countertops, it is essential to compare the materials and understand how they will fit into your lifestyle. Consider the maintenance required and how the material will hold up to foot traffic, spills, pets, and even sunlight (which can discolor certain materials).
To keep your kitchen renovation budget in check, establish what is most important to you. If you love to entertain, buying professional-grade appliances may be essential. Do you want more light? Moving your windows or installing larger ones may take priority. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and go from there.
Creating your dream kitchen while staying within your budget can seem overwhelming. Your kitchen designer and your contractor can be great resources to help you sort it all out. JoAnn Lyles, CKD said that contractors “are very helpful in guiding you with construction decisions that may affect your overall budget. Your thoughts of moving a wall or changing a window location may stretch your budget and the amount of money you thought you would have for cabinetry, appliances and countertops.” That is why, she added, it is important to talk to them “very early in the process, before you start the designing of your new kitchen.”
Barry Gano, a Riverhead Building Supply Kitchen Designer, suggests that you develop a budget for your entire kitchen project. Your designer can then break down the numbers into different areas such as construction, appliances, flooring, and lighting. Those amounts subtracted from your overall budget is roughly what you will be able to spend on your cabinets which experts say can eat up between 40-60% of your kitchen renovation budget.
It is always best to be in constant communication with both your contractor and kitchen designer to ensure everyone is on the same page as you.
This article will help answer one of the most common questions our kitchen designers are asked: “How do I determine my kitchen style?”
Deciding what style you want your new kitchen to be is something that should be done prior to your first meeting with the kitchen designer. Understanding what type of kitchen style you desire will help your designer make the most suitable recommendations for many components of your kitchen including:
- Countertop material
- Cabinet material and style
- Wood type and finishes
- Sink style
Popular Kitchen Styles
When comparing kitchen styles, think about your family’s needs and lifestyle as well as the overall design of your home. Do you want to reflect the rest of your home’s style or do you want something completely different? Take your time and explore all your options, because as JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer at Riverhead Building Supply says, the “kitchen is the most important space in your home.”
Here are some popular kitchen styles you may want to consider:
The modern kitchen is sleek and elegant. The cabinets have a minimalist look and simple hardware. Modern kitchens typically possess a monochromatic neutral hue but may have stainless steel lighting and appliances, wood accents or an accessory in a bold pop of color.
The rustic kitchen evokes the feeling of being in a mountain lodge. Reclaimed wood, wrought iron, and antiques are often found in this type of kitchen. Wood cabinets, hardwood floors, and ceiling beams create a space that has a weathered, lived-in look that is warm and welcoming.
Traditional kitchens incorporate designs that are characteristic of American or European homes from the 18th through early 20th centuries. Curved lines, decorative moldings, wainscoting, and raised panel cabinets are some of the distinctive features of this classic and sophisticated kitchen style.
Homey and comfortable farmhouse kitchens often feature knotty wood floors or slate floors, hardwood cabinets in white or warm tones, open shelving, and an apron front sink. Large areas for food preparation and eating are characteristic of the farmhouse kitchen and make the space ideal for entertaining.
Cottage kitchens unite white or bright colors with vintage-style details and decorative touches to create an inviting and cheerful space for food preparation and serving. This charming style may also feature open shelving, wood countertops and flooring, and hand-painted accents.
How to find inspiration
Home design magazines, Pinterest, YouTube, our website and the Houzz app, are excellent resources for researching kitchen styles. Or you can simply do a quick Google search for “kitchen designs” and you’ll immediately be presented with photo-rich websites that describe and detail virtually every type of kitchen style. There are also fun online quizzes you can take that can help you choose the style that best fits your preferences and lifestyle.
Riverhead Building Supply’s Kitchen Designers all recommend bringing any magazine clippings and links to photos you like to your first meeting with the designer. Many of our Designers suggest that while looking through the photos, be sure “to note what you like about each kitchen.” Be specific. Is it the colors? The lighting? The cabinets? The overall look? The more information you share with the designer, the easier it will be for them to understand your likes and dislikes and create a kitchen design targeted to your taste and aspirations.
Questions to ask yourself
If you still aren’t sure which kitchen style is right for you or are a bit overwhelmed by all your options, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of countertop material do you like? Granite, wood, quartz, marble, etc.
- Do you prefer furniture with straight lines or more curves and embellishments?
- What kind of vibe do you want your kitchen to have? Laid-back, formal, fun, cool, etc.
- Do you like colors and patterns or a monochromatic look?
- What type of light fixtures do you like? Crystal chandelier, steel pendant lights, recessed, Tiffany-style, etc.
- Do you like open shelving or cabinets?
- Do you want your kitchen to reflect the architectural style of your home?
Answering these questions can guide you toward the dream kitchen design that you will be happy with for years to come.
A kitchen renovation may seem daunting – but don’t be overwhelmed. Riverhead Building Supply is here to offer you the best advice in the industry when it comes to planning and navigating through the design process. And who better to ask than the experts? We have asked each of our Riverhead Building Supply Kitchen Designers to share their experience and the best practices for each stage in the planning process. At Riverhead Building Supply, we pride ourselves on not only providing the finest products but on making sure you have the best kitchen remodeling experience possible.
Enjoy The Ride – What a kitchen renovation should be!
The kitchen is the hub of the house. Does your kitchen work for your current lifestyle needs? If not, it might be time for a kitchen renovation. Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular types of home improvements. A kitchen renovation is YOUR chance to finally have the kitchen of your dreams. The experience of remodeling your kitchen should be a fun and amazing experience. You are in the captain’s chair and can finally make the space everything YOU want it to be. Riverhead Building Supply recommends choosing a kitchen designer as the first step of a kitchen remodel.
How to Find the Right Kitchen Designer
The kitchen designer will set the stage for your kitchen renovation process, so it is important you work with someone who is the right fit and with whom you feel comfortable and confident. A kitchen designer can help you put all the elements of your kitchen together, which include everything from cabinet and countertop materials to hardware, flooring, lighting, plumbing, appliances and more.
RBS Kitchen Designer Barry Gano suggests that you interview different kitchen designers and look for someone who will “listen to your wants, needs and budget.” Ask for referrals and view photos of each designer’s past work. Find someone you connect with and who has experience with your type of project.
What to Expect When Working with a Kitchen Designer
Once you select your kitchen designer, you can expect a series of meetings. Here’s a breakdown of the typical process:
Your First Meeting
JoAnn Lyles, Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) said that during a first meeting with a client, “I will ask you good questions that make you think about your family needs, your lifestyle, your storage needs, cooking style, and your pets. All of these elements are intertwined in designing YOUR kitchen, which is the most important space in your home.”
Nelson Schneider, kitchen designer, said the first meeting with a client lasts about 60-90 minutes, “as this is a comfortable length of time for them so they don’t feel overwhelmed with the design process.”
“I take notes as we speak, writing down their wants and needs,” he added. “When I am doing their design I make a conscious effort to incorporate these desires into the design using my knowledge and creative ideas.”
“I am a good listener, so when meeting with my customer I pay attention to what they are saying. I ask a lot of questions to discover their lifestyle and family life. I explore the reasons why they want a new kitchen and what they are expecting from their new kitchen.”
“Think about what doesn’t feel right in your kitchen. If you have measurements, bring those and a list of appliances you are hoping to incorporate…”
What Should You Bring
Having a clear understanding of what is important to you will help your first meeting with a kitchen designer be productive. Here are some thought starters:
- What is your lifestyle? Do you have children? Love to entertain? Are you a baker?
- How many cooks do you typically have in your kitchen?
- What are your frustrations with your current kitchen?
- Is there any wasted space?
- Is lack of storage a concern?
- Do you experience workflow congestion when preparing meals?
- How often do you prepare big meals? Daily, weekends only, holidays, etc.?
- Think of your needs now, as well as what you may require in the future.
Share Your Vision
Lyles suggests bringing aspirational Houzz or Pinterest photos as well as any magazine clippings to the first meeting. In addition, she said, “Think about what doesn’t feel right in your kitchen. If you have measurements, bring those and a list of appliances you are hoping to incorporate… All of these things are very helpful to get started on a great design that works well for you.”
Barry Gano also recommends starting a Houzz or Pinterest board with your favorite pictures. Make a note of what you like about each kitchen design element such as the look, lighting, colors, etc. Share these with your designer.
Schneider had similar advice. “I ask clients to bring any materials they have collected in their search for a new kitchen or project.”
The Walk-Through with Your Designer
Your designer may want you to meet first at their office, or the designer might come to your home. The first time your designer visits your home is when they will be introduced to your kitchen. This is the opportunity to share your likes and dislikes. Your designer will take all of the pertinent measurements they will need to build your design. Have fun brainstorming ideas together!
The Big Reveal – unveiling your dream kitchen design
You’ll have several meetings with your kitchen designer. Each one progressing closer to your dream kitchen. Once the designer presents your new kitchen design, you’ll have an opportunity to review your layout, floor plan and design elements and make final changes.
The Final Meeting – reviewing your order
Once all the changes are made, you’ll get a final review of all the layout and design features you discussed during the planning phases. Your designer will draft the order and agreement and present you with a contract for you to sign. This will also be the time where you will place the deposit for your order, walk through the delivery timeline and finalize scheduling with your contractor.
Renovating your kitchen is an exciting endeavor. Be sure to read our upcoming blogs in the series which will detail the kitchen remodeling timeline and give you tips on planning your budget, choosing your kitchen style, and more.
A kitchen remodel is a big job, one that will temporarily disrupt your household’s routine. So it is understandable that most homeowners are anxious to get the project done quickly. What kind of timeline can you expect for your kitchen renovation? The amount of electrical and plumbing work will factor in heavily into how long it will take to complete your remodel, as will the type of cabinetry you choose.
Your cabinetry and contractor will often control the timeline
The kitchen remodel timeline generally works around your contractor’s schedule, but your kitchen designer will be able to tell you the estimated lead time based on your cabinet manufacturer.
Riverhead Building Supply’s JoAnn Lyles, CKD said that “Depending on the brand of cabinetry, your new custom kitchen could take up to 12 weeks from order date to completion. The actual construction phase may be just two or three weeks.” She said she usually recommends scheduling “the appliance delivery to coincide a day or two after the cabinetry delivery.”
Barry Gano, a Riverhead Building Supply kitchen designer, agreed. He said while “stock cabinets could take 2-3 weeks; custom cabinets can take from 8-12 weeks.” Countertops may be installed 2-3 weeks after cabinet delivery.
Plan on delays
Gano added that the most important thing a customer should understand when planning their kitchen remodel is that “there will be delays.”
As with any type of construction project, there may be some unforeseen obstacles that may disrupt the completion schedule. Some of the things that may impact your renovation timeline include:
- Weather conditions
- Items arrive damaged and need to be returned and exchanged
- Changes to original plans
- Products being out of stock and on back order
- Special order items
- Delays getting necessary permits
- Specialists such as plumbers or electricians being unavailable for a certain amount of time
Nelson Schneider, also a kitchen designer, said that “When a customer asks about the length of time for their project, I advise them that there are a lot of variables that go into that answer,” including “what is being replaced, what is being reused, etc.”
Some factors that can help your kitchen renovation go more quickly include:
- Proper planning with a kitchen designer
- Using stock cabinets
- Getting all the necessary permits as soon as possible
- Adhering to the original plans – avoid making changes during the construction phase
The kitchen renovation process can seem overwhelming but it is important that every element is completed correctly to exact specifications, even if that means stretching out the timeline a bit. In the long run, the inconvenience and disruption will be worth it. JoAnn Lyles, CKD said, “Your kitchen is an investment in your home and quality of life. Plan to set up a temporary kitchen if you have to be there during the renovation. A microwave, paper plates, and grilled dinners will get you through.”
When it comes to residential construction, what better partnership for a building materials supplier than to join forces with Habitat for Humanity? The Riverhead Building Supply affiliation with Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk started in the late ‘80s, with chapter director Roger Metcalf first meeting with Edgar Goodale to share Habitat for Humanity’s goal of helping deserving families to realize their dream of home ownership. Riverhead Building Supply was part of that first Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk build, and is currently helping to complete a project in East Quogue.
Over the years, Riverhead Building Supply has contributed to Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk in a variety of forms, from donating materials and providing labor to offering special prices for Habitat for Humanity home builds. Riverhead Building Supply estimates that it has provided Habitat for Humanity with enough 2 x 4s to easily stretch the 90 miles from Montauk to the Suffolk County border, if placed end to end. In addition to helping build homes in Suffolk County, Riverhead Building Supply has also donated materials to Re-Store, Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk’s retail store.
Habitat for Humanity home dedication ceremonies are a particularly heartwarming and emotional event, and seeing families receive the keys to their new homes has been a gratifying experience for Riverhead Building Supply and its employees.
Below are some images from the most recent home building site, in East Quogue, NY.