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Kitchen Remodels

Make the Kitchen Your Favorite Room

A kitchen renovation is one of the most exciting projects a homeowner can embark on. After all, today’s modern kitchen has evolved from a utilitarian cooking zone into an entertaining and living space that is the most popular room in the home. There's a wide range of unexpected benefits to a remodel.

From expert tips to hundreds of pictures and ideas to our state-of-the-art showroom, our passion and attention to detail will help you create the kitchen renovation of your dreams. 

Have no idea where to start? That's okay. We understand a full kitchen remodel can seem daunting. That's why we've prepared a step-by-step guide to help demystify everything. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so that you ultimately end up with the kitchen of your dreams.

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Download & Save for Later

We've assembled this entire Kitchen Remodeling guide as a handy eBook that you can download and read on your own time. You may even want to print out a copy to keep with you as you go through the remodeling process.

Just fill out this form to download this guide as a PDF.

 
Illustration of multiple planning tools coming out of a pocket knife
 

1. Initial Planning

It’s time to set your expectations. A full kitchen remodel is no small project. There are lots of moving parts and things to consider before you begin. Depending on your overall plan, it could also take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

And if it’s for a home you currently live in, it will also mean having limited access to that space while it’s being remodeled. There are common remodeling mistakes you can avoid if you plan properly.

Illustration of target drawn in persons mind to illustrate knowing your goalsGoals

If you want the overall project to be successful, you don't want to rush into it unprepared. To start off on the right foot, you need to do your research and determine what you want out of your kitchen remodel. Knowing the answers to the following questions will ensure you’re prepared when you first go to speak with a project manager.

If you want to make a kitchen larger but can't change the overall layout, there are still some ways to make a small kitchen feel larger.

Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Why do I want a remodel?
  • What do you want to gain? What is your main goal for your kitchen remodel design?
  • What do you like about the kitchen you have now?
  • What do you dislike about the kitchen you have now?
  • What are the current major pain points in how this room functions?
  • Are there ways other than a remodel to solve the problems I currently have?
  • Is there not enough storage space in your current kitchen?
  • Do you need more countertop space than you currently have?
  • Do you want open sight-line to the living or family room or something else that might involve removing a wall?
  • How long are you planning on living in this home?
  • Does my current kitchen feel too small? Too Large?

Keeping these goals front and center throughout the kitchen remodel design process will help you make the right decisions moving forward.

Illustration of piggy bank for setting a budgetBudget

After you've figured out your main goals, you'll need to determine your budget. The research phase is critical for starting to understand what a project of the magnitude you want to undertake might cost. The key thing you need can be summed up in two words: realistic expectations.

We’ve found the overall cost for a full remodel is the biggest misconception individuals have. This is due primarily to remodeling shows—they dramatically under-represent the effort that’s involved and gloss over the many expenses that accrue during the process. Many people see something on TV and believe a full kitchen remodel only takes 2-3 weeks at $5K; unfortunately these expectations don’t match reality.

In our experience, people’s initial budgets are usually either 15-30% off of the true cost, or absurdly way off. Having a realistic understanding about the costs will help you prioritize the options you want if you have to cut some features. It will also ensure you’re not caught off guard down the road if additional expenses pop up.

Questions to Ask Yourself
  • What are must-haves and what are the nice-to-haves? (Make a list for each category that you can reference throughout the project.)
  • What is the maximum amount I can afford spending?
  • What is my ideal price range?
  • Do you have the cash on-hand?
  • Do you need to investigate financing options?
  • Can you afford to do the entire project now? Should you consider breaking up your remodeling project into smaller projects?

Illustration of calendar for setting a timeframeTimeframe

The final preliminary thing you need to consider is the timeline. In our experience, this isn’t usually something at the top of people’s minds. Again, TV shows often portray unrealistic timelines, using ready-made cabinets picked up at their nearest hardware store. We, however, don’t stock ready-made cabinets; we order and make everything custom to your space.

There are many things that influence how long it can take, but talking to a project manager will help you get a better idea for scope. What you should know beforehand is that things have to happen in a particular order. For example, if you’re going to paint your walls during the remodel, we don’t want to install cabinetry beforehand.

If everything runs smoothly, on the low end a large-scale project could take 6-8 weeks from the moment a person first walks into a showroom. If you have highly customized options (say, with TRU or KraftMaid cabinetry), or if unforeseen situations delay the project, it could take 9-12 weeks.

A rough timeline might look something like this:

Graph of typical kitchen remodel timeframes

  1. Preliminary Meetings and Contract Signing. You will typically sign a contract (or first draft) within the first 2 weeks from the time you first meet with the project manager. In this period of time there will also be an in-home consultation and time to look over materials.
  2. Finalizing Options. There is usually an additional week to focus on confirming options. Keep in mind, the time you take to make decisions in this phase will delay your overall completion date. While some homeowners come in one time and make every selection, others might take months going back and forth, making design changes, and checking costs.
  3. Manufacturing and Installation (short). This is where it all starts coming together: countertops, cabinetry, flooring, etc. The time will largely be contingent on the cabinetry line you choose; standard cabinetry lines will take an additional 3-4 weeks.
  4. Manufacturing and Installation (long). If you have highly customized cabinetry, the time will usually take between 5-9 weeks. There could also be unforeseen issues that arise causing the project to get pushed back.
Helpful Tips

It’s worth reiterating that cabinetry will influence timelines more than any other feature.

It’s important to factor in time for unforeseen circumstances. If something were to ever come in damaged, we would need to order a warranty. Or say, as we’re doing the installation we find mold on a wall or in the flooring; we then have to halt the project, and bring in the proper people to remedy the situation (which would be an additional cost). Ultimately we have to make sure everything is safe.

Timelines can also be influenced by seasons. If it’s getting into spring/spring-break time, and you need a rental home remodeled between renters, we have to know about that in order to have things ready on stand-by.

Illustration of condosCondos

Remodeling a condominium generally requires more time due to logistics, size constraints, timeframe constraints, noise constraints, and COA/HOA restrictions. There’s often also less flexibility with what can be changed. Learn more about what to consider before remodeling a condo.

Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Do I have a specific time frame I need to fit this remodel in?
  • Am I going to want to do the painting?
 
Two people talking illustrating speaking with a project manager
 

2. Speaking with a Project Manager

After your initial work, it’s time to speak with a professional who can guide you the rest of the way and help you plan for this undertaking. During your initial visit, you’ll discuss the goals, initial budget, and available timeframe you determined.

The Project Managers at Kitchen & Bath Center are uniquely trained and experienced to guide you through every step of your home remodeling project. They are there to assist you and be your single point of contact from the moment you walk in the door to the moment your remodel is complete—helping you design a layout and choose the perfect finishes, to hiring and scheduling your plumbers, electricians, contractors and more.

Kitchen & Bath Center offers what no one else in the area can: a team that can organize every step of your kitchen and bath remodeling project. We work with numerous contractors and installers throughout the area, as well as leading manufacturers for countertops, cabinetry, flooring, and hardware—with one call to your Project Manager you can do it all.

Reach Out to Us

Helpful Tips

Yes, you hired a contractor because they can perform a skill that you cannot, but that doesn’t mean you aren't allowed to question them. Communication is a two-way street; you can't solely rely on your project manager or contractors to predict what you'll have questions about.

As you’re moving forward with your project, if something doesn’t look or seem quite right, say something. If you are concerned about how progress is moving along, say something. Your contractor will provide you with a thorough answer as to why project looks the way it does, or it will turn out that there was just a mistake in communication somewhere down the line and they didn’t fully understand what you wanted.

 
Illustration of a home with sun in the background
 

3. The In-Home Consultation

As you’re meeting with your project manager, you’ll schedule a day and time for them to come perform an in-home consultation. We at Kitchen & Bath Center do this for free and will use this time to help you figure out the best layout and design based on your goals.

This is an important meeting for several key reasons:

  • Our project managers are meeting with you in a space that you’ll understand and know how you use. They’ll need your real-world insight into how to make your life easier.
  • The project managers will measure everything out for backsplashes, countertops, cabinetry, flooring, etc.
  • They can look at features, islands, cabinets. Based on those factors, the project manager will know what cabinet line to start with. When you have none, that doesn’t mean you need to start at the fully custom; that might not be your needs and budget. This meeting will be a good opportunity to determine that.
  • While there they also try to scope out what contractors will be needed for all the various changes—say, if you want to remove a wall that isn’t load-bearing. A lot of figuring out timelines and contractors come together after the first meeting. If you want to have an island, you’ll likely need additional plumbing, they figure out who all will be involved and what the initial cost will be.
Helpful Tips

Start big and work the way down. It’s easier to take something out than it is to fit it in after the fact.

We’ll let you have as much or as little input as you want. Our project managers have specific trusted contractors with whom we’ve worked for many years and built strong relationships. We require all the contractors that we work to be up to date on their paperwork and insurance coverage; we need to make sure everyone is protected once they walk onto a job. If you want to be involved with picking contractors, that’s also great. We can bid for contractors.

Our team does not pick out appliances; we advise that you meet with those people that specialize in it.

Illustration of paperwork and permitsPermits

A common question that homeowners do not think to ask is related to permits. Many people may assume their contractor knows what permits are required and will obtain the right ones.

Do not assume this! Always ask about permits!

We are there to help guide you, but as the homeowner, you are responsible for ensuring all remodeling is completed lawfully. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on construction only to find out when you go to sell your home that the proper permits weren’t obtained, and your buyer’s lender won’t finance the purchase.

Permits can be aggravating, and they are specific to each area. For example, virtually all remodel work in the city of Destin, FL requires a permit. Even if you want to get new fixtures, that could potentially require a permit. You need to understand what the local laws are in that regard and how much these permits will cost.

 
Illustration of different options for tile and material choices
 

4. Choosing Materials

After figuring out initial budget, plan, and pricing, you’ll then come back to our showroom to begin looking over materials. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process; as you start building on it visually, and everything suddenly becomes a bit more real.

When you come in to explore the options, the project manager will automatically pull some collections based on what they’ve learned thus far. They will not only give you a visual of the material, but also which lines, which features.

Keep in mind as you’re looking at materials, our goal is not to sell you anything. We are here to find what’s right for you. You don't want you to empty your bank account, but you also don't want to end up with inferior products. Our goal is to find a realistic comfort zone that brings you the best value.

Helpful Tips

If a project manager is not here or busy when you come to view materials, Kitchen & Bath Center has multiple designers working on the showroom who can help make selections. However, we recommend working with your project manager as much as possible. Working with someone over and over again eliminates the possibility for a breakdown in communication. Make appointments, to come in and meet directly.

Depending what the situation, the Project Manager may be able to immediately price you on materials, whereas the goal otherwise is to not price anything upfront.

People tend to have the biggest misconceptions on cabinetry price.

Picking Your Focus

Decide what you want your impact item to be, then base everything off that main attraction. This will typically be cabinetry or countertops as they are the most bang for the buck. Once those are determined, you’ll look over flooring and backsplash options if that’s a part of your project.

We also have a separate room to go over hardware, which is usually the last thing to go over.

Kitchen & Bath Center's Manufacturers

Countertops
Granite
Quartz
Cultured Marble
We manufacture, fabricate and install all of our own cultured marble.
Laminate
Cabinetry
KMV_DesignStudio_Type_PurpleRGB_Horz

We can’t tell you how many homeowners have told us: “I’ll know it when I see it.” And that’s exactly how it works when we collaborate on your new kitchen or bath in the KraftMaid Vantage® Design Studio. It’s right here in our showroom. You’ll meet with a top designer to mix and match from the latest KraftMaid® cabinetry lines. Start with colors, then proceed to styles, materials, finishes and accessories. You’ll see, touch, feel and compare products – and select with confidence. Step by step by step, your dream kitchen or bath comes to life.

We are proud to have the only official KraftMaid Vantage® Design Studio on the Gulf Coast. Feel free to stop by our Mary Esther location to experience it for yourself!

Learn More About the Design Studio

Flooring
Tile
LVP
Stone
Wood
Hardware
Backsplashes
 
Illustration of arm holding a contract out with a pen
 

5. Signing a Contract

Depending on what all you’ve discussed thus far, your project manager may have a rough proposal available when you come in to make material selections. From there we can reprice and do a contract signing, or if we need to make additional changes, we can come back with an updated draft.

Once you sign a contract, we will order all of your materials.

Helpful Tips

Make sure to read your contract. Our project managers detail out everything as much as possible, but you’ll want to read through what is and isn’t included. For example, plumbing might not be included.

We understand not every homeowner is going to follow each step off the bat, but we will do our best to explain every part of the project. As a rule of thumb, keep asking questions and never make assumptions! Remember, our job is to assist you in making informed decisions.

 
Illustration of saw and ax to represent demolition
 

6. Demo Day

The first step of installation is to remove the items that are currently in your kitchen. This is when our team comes in for demo day.

There’s one important thing to understand beforehand: there will be dust. While our team will hang drapes and sheets to help reduce it, you’ll still need to be mindful of what’s happening in your home. We will do everything we can to keep from being messy, but it’s essentially a construction site at this point.

 
Illustration of light bulb and electrical work
 

7. Plumbing & Electrical

After all the old materials have been removed, it will be time for the contractors to come in and inspect everything. Our project managers will arrange everything so that you don’t worry about coordinating schedules for all the contractors yourself.

Plumbing

A remodel is the perfect time to inspect your plumbing—all of the covering materials are open and unobstructed, and it could save you from having to remove materials if repairs are necessary down the road. Whether or not any plumbing needs to be replaced will depend on multiple factors such as the age and health of the current water pipes, code enforcements, and potential layout changes. Gas lines should also be inspected if you have them.

Wiring and Install Kitchen Lighting

Many kitchen remodels involve recessed ceiling lighting or under-cabinet lighting. No matter how many electrical changes you decide to make, all the wiring will need to be inspected as well. There may also be electrical changes made to accommodate new appliances and receptacles.

Consider how many outlets you’ll want. If you’ve found yourself unplugging some appliances to use others, it may be a good idea to have the electrician install additional outlets.

 
Illustration of a paint roller with paint dripping
 

8. Drywall & Painting

If you are planning on removing any walls or changing the layout, it will require new drywall to be hung, which our team can take care of for you. If you’re particularly concerned about dust, it’s good to talk to your project manager beforehand about the best ways to help limit it.

If you’re planning on having the kitchen repainted, we can also paint and scrape ceilings. You are welcome to paint if you’d like.

Helpful Tips

We want you to contribute any way that you’d like, but if you decide to paint the kitchen yourself, it’s crucial that you stick to the predetermined window of time within the schedule you have with your project manager. Otherwise this could push back the overall project completion.

This is because if we’re installing cabinetry, we can't paint afterward. We also can’t refund cabinet costs if you get paint on them after we’ve installed them.

 
Illustration of hammer and pliers to represent product installation
 

9. The Installation

After the initial setup, it’s finally time for our team to come in and begin the official installation of all the materials you picked out.

Depending on the scale of your remodel, the installation itself could take several days or a couple of weeks. Our team will walk through everything with you afterwards to ensure you are completely satisfied with your new kitchen.

 
Illustration of a refrigerator to represent appliance installation
 

10. Installing Appliances

While our team does not install any appliances, it’s still important near the beginning of the project to mention any new appliances to your project manager to ensure it doesn’t affect any measurements. For installation, we recommend that you work closely with the professionals you purchased the appliances from.

 
Illustration of a home with a heart icon
 

11. Recap

Our goal is to keep our customers informed and to make sure they are completely satisfied with their new kitchen. If you have any questions for us, or if you’re interested in moving forward with your own remodel, reach out to one of our project managers to see your dreams become reality.

Reach Out to Us

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