The “B” Word & Fact Finding Missions
The purpose of this next step is to set your “B” – budget. Let’s face it, for the most part you already have an idea of what you want to spend but does this realistically work with your wants and desires? Is the budget negotiable or do you need to adjust finishes and styles to work within your budgetary perameters? Or is the sky the limit?
To get to the bottom of these questions, you’ll need to peruse through kitchen showrooms to figure out where your wants and desires fall in relation to your budget. It’s time to go on a fact finding mission.
When you are forming your list of showrooms to visit be sure to include kitchen and bath showrooms as well as appliance showrooms (just a word to the wise – typically appliance showrooms are packed on Saturdays… if at all possible go during the week).
When visiting an appliance showroom you want to narrow down your final choices. It’s important that your kitchen designer has a clear understanding of what your final appliance choice is in order to give you an accurate design and price. The appliance salespeople are able to walk you through their product offering and explain in detail the features, etc. for the appliances as well as answer all of your questions. They are also generally able to give you pricing right away.
In terms of the kitchen and bath showrooms, basic factors in cabinet prices are door style and finish. For style, more ornate styles with raised center panels are usually more expensive than basic flat paneled doors. In terms of finishes painted, glazed painted and blackened stains are more expensive than stain alone.
Here’s a list of potential questions to ask the Sales Person/Designer:
1. Find out what price level the styles/finishes that you are interested fall into. The Designer can give you a general idea to get you pointed in the right direction. Most showrooms do not have a price per linear foot costing as this depends on what components make up the overall design ie. more drawers or more decorative elements in a space will increase the price per linear foot. This method of pricing is almost exclusively reserved for the big box stores (ie. The Home Depot).
2. What is the construction of the cabinets? For instance are the boxes of the cabinets particle board with dowel construction? – important for keeping the boxes “square” and aligned. Are there upgrades for the box material – ie. plywood or upgraded particle board? Are the hinges clip on and adjustable? – important for door alignment. What is the interior of the cabinets – white melamine? Are there upgrade options such as wood grain melamine? What is the standard drawer type? What are the upgrade options available? Are the upgrade drawers full extension? Are dovetail drawers an option?
3. Ask for a referral or two. If you are happy with some of the kitchen showrooms on your visit and they fit well into your criteria, ask for a referral or two. It’s a great opportunity to speak to some previous clientele and for you to feel comfortable with the company and designer that you will potentially be working with.
4. What is included in their services and price? Is installation included? Is the removal of the existing cabinets included? What about plumbing and electrical? Typically if you are dealing with a cabinet manufacturer’s showroom, delivery and installation of the cabinets is included, along with the counter top installation. Any contracting work such as removal of the existing cabinets, plumbing, electrical, tile work, flooring, backsplash, painting, etc. are not included. You would be responsible for hiring your own contractor – however the Designer would work closely with your contactor to insure accuracy and time efficiency in completing the overall project. Usually the Designer will have some contractor referrals (however keep in mind that the contractor is a completely separate contract and is in no way affiliated with the cabinet manufacturer). The other option is to go to a cabinet dealer showroom whereby the showroom purchases cabinets from a manufacturer. Some cabinet dealer showrooms will quote on the entire project including the contracting aspect of the job but you will need to confirm this with them.
5. Ask what the terms and lead times are. Typically lead times start at the 6 – 8 week mark but it can vary from company to company. Terms of the contract are standard throughout the industry at 50% upon ordering and the balance due on delivery, prior to the truck being off loaded.
At this point you have a general idea of what the cabinets, counter top and appliances will cost – you will need to talk to a contractor to get a budget for the balance of the work as well as look at prices for the balance of materials. Other materials to keep in mind that need to be factored into the cost are plumbing fixtures, flooring, backsplash, paint, window treatments, baseboards and cornice moulding, windows, doors, furnishings such as bar stools, light fixtures, overall lighting and miscellaneous costs.
Now that you are becoming a kitchen reno expert, it’s time to start designing and firming up the costs!
Stay Tuned for Step 3 next week.