Kitchen Remodel

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Everything You Need to Know Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Unlike a roof replacement, you may consider a kitchen remodel at any point in your home’s life. Typically, homeowners start considering a kitchen remodel when they see wear on their cabinets and countertops, have recently purchased a home with an outdated kitchen, or are just unhappy with the flow and utilization of space.

Regardless of your reason for considering a renovation, you have to be ready to make some key decisions. The steps for tackling this type of renovation are planning, designing, and finding the right kitchen remodeler for the job. Learn more about what to consider up front and how to plan and create a remodeled kitchen that you will love.

Steps to Planning Your Kitchen Remodel

1. Inspiration

Inspiration – whether it be from reality TV shows about flipping homes or a carefully curated social media feed – is often the starting point for homeowners considering a kitchen remodel. But, how do you turn these design ideas into a reality? The challenge of recreating an inspiring design within the confines of the homeowner’s space is often a stumbling block. Consider the scope and materials that will fit within your budget and space when searching for inspiration.

2. Budgeting

Your kitchen remodel budget will depend on your unique scope and materials selections. With so many possibilities, there is no real “average cost” of a kitchen remodel. Rather, you can manage your costs by understanding the percent of your budget that should go into each element and how your unique home, the amount of labor needed, and the grade of materials you choose will impact the final number. However, even the most well-planned remodels can run into unexpected costs, so it’s important to set aside some of your budget for unforeseen issues or changes you want to make during the process.

3. Choosing a Remodeler

With the number of contractors out there, it can be daunting to narrow down the list to trusted professionals. Just because someone offered an attractive quote doesn’t mean you’ll get the kitchen remodel you’ve been promised. We recommend that you make sure the contractor is licensed, check with the Better Business Bureau website to see their status, and read previous customer reviews.

4. Design

Homeowners often begin a kitchen remodel with great inspiration about what they want in their space, but working with a professional designer is what turns these ideas into a reality. At Brothers, we have expert in-house designers that help homeowners choose the best materials and finishes to suit both their design ideas and budget.

5. Construction

Timing can be estimated based on your contractor’s schedule. Most contractors need 8 weeks to finish a kitchen remodel, splitting their time between your project and others. Brothers typically completes a kitchen remodel in 4 weeks by using a team dedicated solely to your home.

 

Most Common Design Challenges During Kitchen Remodels

Once you have considered price and timeline, you can tackle common design challenges that often become obstacles when turning inspiration into reality.

Too Little Storage

That inspirational design may look beautiful on paper, but make sure you consider how you will store your kitchen appliances, tableware, and food. If you don’t plan for storage space, you could end up with clutter all over your beautiful new countertops. Even small kitchens can have ample storage when designed correctly.

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Uncomfortable Layout

The layout of your kitchen is just as important as how it looks. Consider how you will be using the space, for cooking large meals, entertainment, or family dinners? Understanding work zones in the kitchen will lead to a flow that allows you to get the most out of your space.

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Inefficient Counterspace

A top complaint from homeowners is a lack of space to use their kitchen for its main purpose, cooking! Moving the placement of your appliances, adding an island, or widening a peninsula can drastically increase prep workspace, but these major layout changes must be planned well in advance.

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Poor Lighting

A poorly-designed kitchen remodel project will result in dimly lit areas, leaving you to prep and cook in the shadows. Consider the general lighting, accent lights, and task lights that can brighten up your space. With many options to choose from, well-designed lighting adds both the illumination you need and a cohesive design.

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These aren’t the only potential problems with a kitchen design. However, they show that early-stage planning is the important first step to a successful kitchen remodel. Having expectations for the process and knowing the potential challenges, you are now ready to consider the materials for your new kitchen.

Choosing Materials for Your Kitchen Remodel

When choosing materials for your kitchen remodel, consider the design as a whole, not as individual elements. Each decision impacts every other part of the project as the components come together to create a functional, beautiful kitchen design. Material decisions can be grouped into 5 main categories—flooring, cabinets, counters, fixtures and finishes.

1. Pick the Right Flooring for Your Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is often the central hub of a home. So much foot traffic passes through the room every day as you cook meals, eat dinner, feed pets and more. Every home needs kitchen flooring that is both beautiful and built to take a continuous beating. Like any other part of a kitchen remodel, you have to weigh your options and choose the material that best-fits your budget and needs:

tile

A popular option due to its durability at affordability, homeowners can’t go wrong with ceramic or porcelain tile for their kitchen floors. Tile is available in near-limitless style options and provides great resilience against normal wear and tear. At $3 to $8 per square foot, this is an affordable material when installed properly, avoiding cracks and the need to reapply grout.

slate

Materials like limestone, slate, and granite are far less common for kitchen flooring, but they provide an elegant and upscale look. While different types of stone have their advantages and disadvantages, these floors generally have high durability. However, at $10 to $20 per square foot, stone can be an expensive item to keep on budget.

hardwood

Hardwood flooring is a timeless and versatile option that works well aesthetically in most kitchens. However, hardwood can be susceptible to dents from dropped dishes and scratches from pet nails. Since it can be sanded and refinished, hardwood remains cost-effective at $4 to $12 per square foot.

vinyl

Luxury Vinyl Tile is nothing like the ugly outdated sheet vinyl you remember. LVT is a multi-layer hard flooring that mimics the aesthetic of hardwood or natural stone while requiring less maintenance, providing more durability, and being softer and warmer underfoot. At $5 to $8 per square foot, LVT can keep you in budget and fit your design and lifestyle needs.

2. Choose the Right Kitchen Cabinets for Your Space

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of cabinet options – from styles, to hardware, woods, and colors – there’s a lot to think about. Before you start working with a designer, it’s important to understand the four basic cabinet categories used in most kitchens:

Kitchen cabinet baseUsually located under the countertop, these cabinets come in a range of widths and can also be placed under sinks.

Kitchen cabinet wallThese cabinets are usually above the countertop and can be purchased in a variety of heights and widths. They can even be located over appliances like the refrigerator.

Kitchen cabinet tallTall cabinets are located where there is no countertop and usually begin at the floor and extend to the top of the wall cabinets.

Kitchen cabinet cornerCorner cabinets sit between two rows of cabinets and usually form the 90-degree angle of a peninsula or connect the cabinets that run along one wall to those which are mounted to an adjacent wall. Corner cabinets come in a variety of styles and have special design considerations to avoid spaces deep in the cabinet which may be difficult to access.

Tricky spaces like stove hoods or a need for storage elements such as a lazy susan require specialty cabinets. These cabinets can fall under the categories above, but they usually require customization.

3. Deciding on Countertop Materials for Your Kitchen Remodel

Countertops are often the stylistic focal point of a kitchen. But they need to be more than just attractive, they also need to stand up to the everyday wear of cooking, appliances and your lifestyle. For most mid- and high-end kitchen remodels, the choice comes down to two countertop materials:

Granite
Quartz

Granite

Granite slabs for countertops come in a wide range of grades, patterns, and colors. And because the costs range between $25 to $100 per square foot, you have plenty of room to find something that fits your budget. 

Quartz

This engineered stone is gaining popularity because while it is marginally more expensive than granite, quartz is much more resistant to scratches and stains. It is also less porous than granite and requires less maintenance.

4. Choosing Fixtures and Finishes for Kitchen Remodels

There are many fixture decisions that you will need to make during a kitchen remodel project. Fixtures must strike the perfect balance between durability, functionality, and style based on your taste and lifestyle. Think about the style of your updated kitchen and how each fixture will work together. Regardless of the fixture you’re choosing, here are some factors that will impact decisions:

Selecting Kitchen Finishes

Matching fixture finishes to your aesthetic is important, however it’s not the only thing that matters. Keeping a uniform style can increase the return on investment for your remodel. Consider your finish options, but keep in mind that they should also fit with the design. Chrome is a neutral finish that works for just about every kitchen and comes at an affordable cost. However, many homeowners will upgrade to polished or brushed nickel for a more modern look. Brass is an option as well, though it is not as popular and is often more expensive.

Benefits of a Backsplash

A quality backsplash can add the perfect finishing touch to your kitchen, serving as a unique focal point in your home. There are many materials to choose from including limestone, granite, tile, steel, and brick. Additionally, you can choose the height, color, and pattern that fits best with your space. With so many options, a backsplash gives you plenty of flexibility to create the exact look you want.

Choosing the Right Sink

From the most common material, stainless steel, to others like cast iron and porcelain, it’s essential to consider the durability of your sink as well as its function. You’ll also need to consider your sink mounting options. Overmount sinks are the least expensive and can be used with most countertops, but there will be a lip over your countertop. Undermount sinks fit under a hole in your countertop and give you a sleeker appearance, but are tough to install correctly, so make sure you are working with an experienced contractor. Typically a more expensive option, apron front, or farmhouse, sinks have become popular in the last few years and make for a unique focal point.

Budgeting for Your Kitchen Remodel

The price of your kitchen remodel depends on the decisions you make in the design and planning phases. you evaluate pricing from kitchen remodeling contractors, consider these 3 key factors that dictate costs:

Materials

You can expect to spend 40 - 50% of a kitchen remodel budget on the materials outlined above. Planning your materials beforehand will help you stay on-budget. If you start to go over, consider more affordable cabinets, countertops, and flooring options. There’s nothing better than seeing materials before you start your kitchen remodel. Visiting the Brothers showrooms gives you the chance to touch, feel, and see materials as well as meet with experienced design experts who can guide you through your materials selections.

Design

From opening up walls for more space to moving fixtures for better flow, major design changes impact your kitchen remodel budget. If your goal is to save cost, consider minimizing large design changes in your space unless they would really improve how you would use the space. When you choose to work with Brothers, you gain access to professional in-house interior design experts who can analyze your space and create a unique tailored to your needs.

If you are moving walls or rearranging the footprint of your kitchen it is even more essential to work with an experienced contractor who can properly assess any structural needs to ensure your home remains safe during and after the remodel.

Labor

You may be tempted to cut costs by hiring a cheap kitchen remodeling contractor, but the truth is that experienced craftspeople are simply not cheap. They are actually in incredibly high demand and skilled lead carpenters, master electricians, etc. earn good livings by producing high-quality work.  Hiring a credible, trustworthy contractor with an experienced production team will help you avoid costly mistakes.

Once you know what it takes to execute a kitchen remodel and how to keep costs in check, you can start making your final decision—choosing a kitchen remodeling contractor to make your ideas come to life.

Finding the Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Identifying the right kitchen remodeler is all about building a trusted relationship. Just because someone offered an attractive quote doesn’t mean you’ll get the kitchen remodel you’ve been promised.

One common problem homeowners face when working with contractors is running into permit avoiders. Unprofessional contractors may try to get through the project without necessary permits just to fit the remodel into a shorter timeframe. At first glance, faster work seems attractive—until there’s a problem with the workmanship months or years later.

As a general rule, be sure to ask about the permit process before choosing a kitchen remodeling contractor. Assuming your final options are all reputable providers, choosing the right partner is all about the process. 

At Brothers Services, we follow a consistent, three-step process to build trust with clients and ensure they’re happy with the design and workmanship: 

  • Planning Phase: Our first step is to do an initial walkthrough and space interview with the client. Before we ever provide a proposal, we make sure we learn everything there is to know about you and how you want to use your kitchen space.
  • Design Phase: We create a preliminary design and our professional Design Consultants work directly with homeowners to select materials in one of our remodeling design showrooms.
  • Delivery Phase: Our final proposal includes a 3-D rendering that brings the homeowners selections to life. We feel this is the only way for homeowners to truly see the work they’re investing in.

Price is always important. However, if you work with the right kitchen remodeler, you’ll know the work is done with your best interests at heart. You’ll be able to trust that project is delivered within the expected budget, on time, and with great workmanship.

Our Brother Services experience has been exceptional, from the design team to the carpentry team. Always respectful of our home, clean, trustworthy and expert craftsman. Highly recommend Brother Services.
Petry Family, Reisterstown, MD
We love dealing with Brothers. They remodeled our kitchen in Parkton in 2005.  We were so pleased we had them remodel my in-laws kitchen in Ijamsville in 2016.  Communication was fabulous - communication is key!! We are both thrilled with our new kitchens!
Brothers remodeled our kitchen in June 2016. From start to finish, they were the greatest. The designers were knowledgeable and efficient. The crew was professional, reliable, skilled, thoughtful and careful to protect floors keep the area clean. They finished the job in fewer days. I would recommend them without reservation for any job. 20 years ago, they put a new roof our house and we had the same experience. They are the best to work with.
Rebecca S., Baltimore, MD

What’s Next for Your Kitchen Remodel?

A kitchen remodel doesn’t just add value to your property, it makes your home more comfortable, adding the features you want and need. It’s time to turn your ideas into reality.

When you start your research, you’ll find a wide range of potential contractors to work with. You may think that with so many options, you can’t possibly go wrong. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a kitchen remodeler too quickly. Evaluate your options, check licenses, read online reviews and check the Better Business Bureau®, and see who can do more than just complete a one-off renovation. Choose a partner that makes you want to be a Customer for Life, someone who is invested in finding the best possible solutions for your home.

Becoming your Contractor for Life has always been “The Brothers Way.” We’ve helped thousands of Maryland families with kitchen remodels and we’d love to help you, too. Schedule a Consultation today and let us know how we can help bring your dream kitchen to life.

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1. Flooring Materials

The kitchen often is the central hub within a home. So much foot traffic passes through the room as you cook meals, throw family parties, and more. Every home needs kitchen flooring that is both aesthetically pleasing and built to take a continuous beating. Like any other part of a kitchen remodel, you have to weigh your options and choose the material that best-fits your budget and needs:

Ceramic Tile

When in doubt, homeowners can’t go wrong with ceramic tile for their kitchen floors. It comes in near-limitless style options and provides great resilience against normal wear and tear. At $3 to $8 per square foot, this is an affordable option if you can accept the potential for cracks and the need to reapply grout occasionally. Learn More »

Stone

Materials like limestone, slate, and granite are far less common for kitchen flooring, but they provide an elegant and upscale look. While different types of stone have their advantages and disadvantages, these floors generally have high durability. However, at $15 to $30 per square foot, it’s an upscale option that you may want to avoid. Learn More »

Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is a timeless option that will work in every kitchen. Hardwood can be susceptible to spills, but can be sanded/refinished so they remain a cost-effective ($4 to $12 per square foot) and aesthetically pleasing option. Learn More »

Vinyl

Vinyl is no longer just a low-budget option for kitchen remodels. If you’ve been doing research into kitchen flooring, you may have noticed increased demand for luxury vinyl tile (LVT). This multi-layer hard flooring mimics the aesthetic of hardwood or natural stone while reducing the installation and maintenance costs you might expect with those luxury options. While hardwood may offer more perceived value to home buyers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the aesthetics of LVT and hardwood. Learn More »