Kitchen Remodeling NJ: 5 Things To Consider Before You Start

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kitchen remodel contractor

Save time by planning your kitchen remodeling project

Don’t be tempted to rush through the most important part of a kitchen remodeling project. NJ homeowners are very busy with their own lives and have little time to waste, the allure of jumping right into the kitchen remodeling project seems like a good idea at first since it get things moving ASAP, the trouble comes later on when decisions need to made and everything starts to pile up.

 

Planning your kitchen remodeling project takes time, but it also saves time, much more than the time spent planning. How is this possible you might ask?

 

Proper planning increases efficiency during the kitchen remodeling construction phases. Having everything ready to go will allow everyone involved to do their part without waiting for selections/direction.

 

Create a kitchen remodeling checklist by writing out a detailed list of what the kitchen remodeling project will include. Then start looking for kitchen remodeling contractors, plumbers, electricians, tile installers, countertop fabricators, etc for each of the items you have listed. 

 

Kitchen remodeling budgeting tips

Another benefit to planning your kitchen remodeling project, as discussed above, is it helps you to stay on budget because you have a better understanding of the entire scope of work.

 

Plumbing changes that involve moving the kitchen sink are going to add some big bucks to the kitchen remodeling budget so if you can avoid the move that money can be put to good use in areas that are more appreciated.

 

A creative kitchen designer can transform your current space into your dream kitchen with just the right products and services that only “look” like you’ve spent $100,000.

 

Do as much research as possible on every item you will need. Doing this will allow you to understand how these items look, feel and function. Making these decisions at your leisure provides the opportunity to digest all the information.

 

Once the kitchen remodeling work begins you will feel pressured and rushed to make decisions and may potentially regret a few.

 

What to look for in a kitchen remodeling contractor

First you’ll want to check if the contractor is licensed in NJ. Kitchen remodeling contractors are required to do so and must also carry insurance in accordance with the NJ home improvement contractor act.

 

Then take a look at their online presence outside of their own website. Their social media presence is a very important indicator of how happy their clients are. The more positive online reviews the better, never take their word for it.

 

Look for a kitchen remodeling contractor that will take you shopping and help select the materials for the project so you are sure everything is going to work well together, don’t get fooled into doing all the work yourself.

 

The kitchen remodeling contractor should also be neat, prompt and responsive right from the start. If they can’t even show up for the first appointment on time or get back to you in a reasonable time with the estimate, how do you think the rest of your kitchen remodeling job will go?

 

Need help with your Kitchen Remodeling Project? Find out more here.

 

How to prepare before your kitchen remodeling project starts

Make plenty of meals that can be easily reheated during the kitchen renovation. Not having a kitchen for a few weeks can be very difficult. Setting up a temporary kitchen using your old kitchen cabinets and countertops will make it somewhat tolerable.

 

Start cleaning out the adjacent room to make way for all the work that is about to happen. It’s not 100% necessary but it makes the whole kitchen remodeling project run a lot smoother having the additional space to store items like cabinets and plumbing parts in addition to cutting of materials.

 

Setting up temporary alarm codes and garage codes for the kitchen remodeling contractors to use for the duration of their work will provide access and keep things secure. Get a copy of your home keys made to put in a lock box.

 

Write out a complete list of contact information in case of an emergency during the kitchen remodeling project.

 

Notify your homeowners insurance about your kitchen remodeling plans to make sure that your insurance covers the contents that are being stored at your home, namely contractors tools, appliances and cabinets that are yet to be installed against theft and to what value, an increase in this coverage may be necessary.

 

Kitchen remodeling can be fun and enjoyable

Believe it or not, kitchen remodeling can be fun and enjoyable if proper planning has taken place. Sure there will be some hiccups along the way but being prepared for them means it will not create an obstacle that will slow you down because you will be ready for it.

 

Partnering with a kitchen remodeling contractor that you get along with goes a long way when you are working together for weeks on end, nothing’s worse than having a personality conflict with a contractor. If you don’t care for them in the beginning, chances are you’re not going to feel any different in the end.

 

Still Have Questions? No worries, Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100.

Kitchen Design NJ: Cost, Style & Planning

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Kitchen Design Space Planning Tips

Before we can begin our kitchen design plans, we need to assess the current kitchen and it’s deficiencies to get a good sense of what we need out of the new kitchen design. Planning your kitchen’s space and layout relative to the needs is a great place to start. Here’s a quick list of questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I need more countertop space?
  • Do I need more kitchen cabinets?
  • Are my kitchen appliances sufficient to serve my needs?

 

Your answers to the above questions are an outline of what you need out of the space, the next step is to prioritize those items with the most important on top. Depending on your requirements and the actual space, you may not be able to simply achieve a better kitchen design without having to sacrifice moving a window, extending a wall or even removing an entire wall. It also may not be so obvious to you as to where these opportunities can be found within your existing space, starting with a blank room and paper is the best way to get around the visual obstacles that you see looking at the existing kitchen.

How To Create A Kitchen Design Floor Plan

A kitchen design floor plan shows the wall layout from an overhead view with the outline of the components that will fill the space such as: base cabinets, upper cabinets, kitchen pantry and appliances.

Measuring your space is a critical step to creating a kitchen design floor plan. Here are a few items you will need before you begin:

  • 25’ measuring tape
  • Grid style sketch pad
  • Pen or pencil, whichever you prefer

 

Start by drawing an outline of the rooms shape, then note door and window openings and any other obstacles. Bergen County NJ Kitchen Designs have no shortages of openings or obstacles! Then note the given measurements starting in the lower left-hand corner of the room working clockwise around the room until you are complete. When measuring the door trim you want to measure to the edge of the trim to the corner of the wall noting the available wall space. Take note of the existing centerline and locations for the plumbing and appliances, this is very helpful when it comes to deciding what to move.

Next you can take these rough sketches and convert them into a cleaner kitchen design floor plan to use for your kitchen design layouts. It’s a good idea to make photocopies of the blank plan so you can create several renditions of your kitchen design. Start by laying out the sink, range and fridge followed by the must-have items in their preferred locations in the kitchen, then fill in the remaining areas with other cabinet configurations of your preference.

Need help with your Kitchen Design?
Arrange for a FREE Kitchen Design consult today!

Appliances That Work In Any Kitchen Design

Counter depth refrigerator – this term refers to a refrigerator that has been specially made where the box portion measures the same depth as a kitchen base cabinet, 24” deep. This comes in very handy when you do not have extra space to give up for a standard depth refrigerator in your kitchen design.

Slide-in range – this term refers to a range/stove that does not have a back on it like a traditional range/stove has. This creates versatility and the option to place the appliance in an Island, as a corner range/stove or simply against the wall without compromising your backsplash design.

Shelf depth microwave – this term refers to a microwave that has a depth of 12” meaning it can fit in an upper cabinet almost anywhere within your kitchen design. Depending on your actual layout you may find that the hardest appliance to place is the microwave, this is a great option to resolve that issue.

Cost Effective Kitchen Design NJ Homeowners!

Whether you’re doing a small kitchen design or a large kitchen design, there is always somewhere you could be cost-effective. Relocating a sink or stove completely across the room could be more costly and just simply moving them if you feel you can either direction. Getting the look of a custom cabinet out of a semi custom cabinet used to its fullest potential. Omitting some upper cabinets to allow for an open shelf concept. Looking for remnant pieces of either granite or quartz for the countertop. These are all great ways to create a cost-effective kitchen design plan without sacrificing the functionality, integrity or overall design aesthetic.

What To Look For In Kitchen Design Plans

When reviewing your plans you want to look for a few things to ensure proper function of your layout. Looking at all the major pieces of your plan including the refrigerator, the sink and the range, do they all create a sense of balance and are they their own focal point? Do the cabinets in the plan all make the best available use of the space? Can smaller cabinets be combined with slightly larger cabinets to provide better functionality? You’ll also want to take into consideration whether or not the space does or could support a multi user environment, this is also known as Workstations. Using a cautious Eye you will want to look for potential hazards such as double oven too close to an entrance way where limited warning could cause a child or unsuspecting adult to walk into a hot oven door. And finally you’ll want to check the clearance and tolerance for all of the appliances and make sure that they operate correctly and do not hinder any walkways.

Have a Kitchen Design question?
Give us a call at 973-636-0100

New Jersey Kitchen Designers: Local Resource Guide

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As NJ Kitchen Designers, we have often found that the best places to source products and services for your kitchen design are closer than you think, usually they are right in your own backyard and North New Jersey is no exception!  

Kitchen Design Hawthorne, NJ

Selecting materials for your kitchen remodeling project can be an overwhelming and time consuming process. Working with a kitchen designer that will guide you through the process and assist in making the selections will certainly lighten the burden. Another key factor to making the most of your time is to use local resources that are close together, Hawthorne, NJ, nestled between Ridgewood, Glen Rock and Wyckoff, is a prime example, it truly is a kitchen designers paradise. I like to think of Hawthorne, NJ as the center of the hub, with offerings that range from kitchen countertops, tile, plumbing to electrical stores. Many other resources such as appliance showrooms are just one town over with an added benefit of lower NJ Sales tax, 3.3125% to be exact.

When we design a kitchen we start with a well thought out concept, from there we continue to shape and refine the design. The kitchen cabinetry can be designed and planned using standard sizes of appliances at this stage but we will have to defer to the appliance manufacturers specifications before we order the cabinets. Once we have a good solid kitchen design in place it’s time to incorporate the appliances into the mix. So let’s go shopping! 

Reno’s Appliance – Paterson, NJ

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Reno’s Appliance designer showroom in Paterson, NJ offers the largest selection of different brands and styles of appliances with over 12,000 square feet of displays including a large area dedicated to outdoor cooking and barbecue. Located in an Urban Enterprise Zone, Reno’s Appliance in Paterson collects only half the current New Jersey sales tax rate to customers taking delivery within the state of NJ. You can expect an excellent customer service experience, fresh coffee, snacks and more while you’re selecting your kitchen appliances.

 

Yudin’s Appliance – Wyckoff, NJ

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Yudin’s Discount Appliances is a family-owned discount appliance store with locations in Wyckoff and Passaic, New Jersey. Since 1972. Yudin’s Discount Appliances is an authorized dealer of such brands as Bosch, Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Kitchen Aid, and more. We can help you select your new major kitchen appliances at any budget. Sometimes you already have a great place you know and trust, businesses that service local neighborhoods offer so much more than the big box store alternatives.

 

The next step is to start looking at countertops, floor tile and backsplash tile. It is always recommend to take along your cabinet samples when selecting the countertops and tile. Look for a contrast of sheen between the materials and pay attention to the temperature of the colors, they should all be in the same range, nothing too high or too low. As you walk around hold up your kitchen cabinet samples, when you find the right one the colors will snap into place and you won’t have to think whether it’s right or not.

 

 

Artistic Marble & Granite – Hawthorne, NJ

artistic-logo

Artistic Marble & Granite of Hawthorne, NJ offers a wide variety of unique granite, marble, quartzite and soapstone countertops that are sourced from all over the world. All of the slabs of material are kept in an indoor climate controlled facility making the viewing and selection process very enjoyable. Once you have made your selection they transform the raw slab into your finished kitchen countertops using state of the art Equipment that is located right on the premises, you can take a peek back there to see the work in progress, truly fascinating.

 

Ohm International – Lyndhurst, NJ

ohm-logo

Established in 1987, OHM International Inc. is an importer and wholesaler of high quality natural stone products. They have the largest indoor selection of quartz material in the area which makes it an excellent place to view full slabs of quartz countertops at their Lyndhurst, NJ facility. Many fabricators do not stock the material so if you can’t make a decision off a small sample, this place is a must. Appointments are recommended if you plan on going on a Saturday.

 

True Form Concrete – Wharton, NJ

trueform-logo

Trueform Concrete is based out of Wharton New Jersey, they bring a unique perspective to the functional and practical use of concrete. Trueform Concrete fabricates decorative precast concrete products for both residential and commercial applications, specializing in concrete countertops, concrete bathroom sinks, concrete tables, fireplace surrounds, and many other quality custom concrete products. If you’re in the market for something different, concrete countertops maybe right for your project. Many options exist to put your personal touches into the design from inlays of steel to sea shells from a family vacation, the possibilities are endless. Other great features like tweaking the color or making an oversized island without seams can help resolve difficult applications where other materials fall short.

 

Wayne Tile – Ramsey, NJ

wayne tile - logo

Wayne Tile, Founded in 1955 by Bob Westra, with brothers Harry and Don joining the business a few years later.  Wayne Tile continues to be a family owned and operated business. From its humble beginnings in a small garage with three different tile colors to choose from, the company has grown in the past 60 years to be a leading distributor of tile. Today with five showrooms and design centers, and 110,000 square feet of warehouse space, Wayne Tile carries over 100 lines of tile from around the world. Our favorite showroom is located at 50 Spring St Ramsey, NJ, everytime we’re there we discover something new and exciting. There is so much to look at it is mind numbing, here are a few tips to keep you focused. Just walk the store and take it all in, then look closer at the sizes and shapes of the tiles, then look at the colors and textures. As you notice these items you should see pattern in what you like and dislike, try to convey this information to the sales/design staff and they can point you in the right direction.

 

Additional Resources in and around New Jersey

Kitchen Floor & Backsplash Tile

  1. Artistic Tile has locations in Secaucus and Paramus, NJ,  they are one of the largest wholesale distributors of luxury stone and tile in the United States.
  2. Porcelanosa – Paramus, NJ

 

Kitchen Plumbing Fixtures & Decorative Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

  1. GPS – Hawthorne, NJ & Paramus, NJ
  2. Wallington Plumbing Supply – Saddle Brook, NJ
  3. AF Supply – Fairfield, NJ
  4. Top Knobs – Branchburg, NJ
  5. Hardware Designs – Fairfield, NJ

Need help planning your kitchen remodel?

Give us a call, 973-636-0100.

Blueprint for a Successful Kitchen Remodel

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Would you like to have an enjoyable kitchen remodel experience? Successful kitchen remodeling projects do not happen by chance, they are carefully planned and orchestrated by experienced kitchen remodel contractors.

 

Kitchen Floor Plan

When is a good time to remodel your kitchen?

Embarking on a large home remodeling project like a kitchen remodel requires detailed planning not only for the remodeled space but how the family will function during the renovation. As such, many families choose to renovate during the warmer months so they can prepare meals outdoors for their family. That places a higher demand on the spring and summer months leaving the fall and winter a little sparse for home remodeling contractors, which is why most kitchen remodeling companies offer reduced prices during those months. Kitchen remodeling contractors often set up temporary kitchens in an adjacent room using your existing appliances and cabinetry. This allows you to take full advantage of of the off season pricing while still being able to take care of your family.

Who will help with the selections?

At first glance it seems that there are not too many selections in a kitchen remodel, but the truth is, there are dozens of selections that need to be made. Everything from cabinets to countertops, tile, plumbing, electrical, etc. working with a home remodeling contractor that will guide you through these selections will not only move the project along more swiftly, it will give you peace of mind knowing what you are selecting is correct for your projects requirements and aesthetic. It’s an added bonus to have an objective opinion to help you navigate the myriad of choices out there. Some Design Build firms even accompany you the the various vendors at no additional cost!

What to look for when choosing kitchen cabinets

Just about all kitchen and bath cabinetry looks the same, that is until you look at the details. Builder grade cabinets will have doors and drawers that are not as wide as the face frame of the cabinet, this is known as a semi overlay cabinet and will be the least expensive option. Semi custom cabinetry will have doors and drawers that are just as wide as the face frame of the cabinet and come in a wide variety of styles, finishes and options. Semi custom cabinetry will be in the mid range for costs. Custom cabinetry can be overly doors and drawers or inset doors and drawers and come in the widest variety of options, styles and colors. Custom cabinetry will be the most expensive and also have the longest lead times.

 

Look for cabinetry that is made with American plywood, solid wood face frames, solid wood doors and a lifetime manufacturer guarantee.

  1. Pay close attention to how the components and parts of the cabinetry are joined together, do they look like they were put together with care?
  2. How does the finish feel, is it smooth or rough?
  3. Do the doors and drawers line up nicely?
  4. Is the finish consistently applied?
  5. Look for a lifetime manufacturer warranty on the cabinetry as well as the cabinet hardware.

 

Stay on budget and reduce the risk of overages

Taking the time on the front end to plan out the project may seem like a waste of time, but I can tell you that is not the case. Skillfully drafted plans and a proposal with detailed line item descriptions and costs for your kitchen remodel create a very transparent process that is easy to understand. Changes in plans are unavoidable for many reasons, the most common we see are customer driven (might as well while you’re here requests) and concealed damage/unexpected conditions. The cost can go up or down depending on the situation, having a line by line quote allows you to see exactly what was figured for so you don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of. See example proposal/estimate below.

Kitchen Remodel Estimate Proposal

Project management, permits and kitchen design plans

A kitchen remodeling project cannot be successful without project management and it cannot be overstated as to how important it is not only to drive the process but to produce a high quality end product that you will enjoy for many years to come.

 

Building permits can certainly be a hassle if you are not familiar with the process. Many kitchen remodeling companies handle the initial application for permits but all to often, that’s where it ends as well. Be sure to ask if the contractor includes sitting for all the required building inspections up to and including final inspections. New Jersey State Law, N.J.A.C. 13 :45A -16.2, requires that final inspections be made before final payment is made to the contractor. Without final inspections you will not receive the necessary Certificate of Occupancy/Approval. This information is also contained on the back of the yellow permit card that goes in your front window when you start your kitchen remodeling project.

 

Kitchen design plans are more than just a cabinet layout – a detailed set of drawings spell out the nuances including; tile plans, electrical plans, plumbing and appliance layouts and much more. Another way to think about it is to compare it to preparing a thanksgiving day meal, someone has to be in charge of what’s on the menu, when to put the turkey in the oven and when to serve dessert. If no one is in charge of those items you can rest assured that the meal will turn out poorly and the same can be said for your kitchen remodel.

 

Preparing your home for a kitchen remodel

There is no nice way to put it, what’s about to happen in your home is going to be loud, intrusive, messy and as you’ve probably heard, dusty! As part of a high quality job, one would expect that the kitchen remodeling contractor would prepare the space to be remodeled by applying paper to hardwood floors and adding a layer of Masonite for floor protection, self adhesive carpet plastic as runners thru carpeted areas, plastic walls with zippered access to control dust and to provide some privacy, exhaust fans for negative air pressure which also helps to lower the amount of dust. Access into your home should be controlled by keeping key in a lock box or by providing a temp code to a garage door.

Would you like help planning your kitchen remodeling project? Call us at 973-636-0100.

Corner Stove Kitchen: How to plan the layout

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Create a beautiful corner stove kitchen design layout for your next kitchen remodeling project! Find out the math behind it and which appliances work best for your corner stove kitchen project.

Is a corner stove right for your kitchen cabinet layout?

Deciding whether or not to add a corner stove to a kitchen design depends on a variety of factors. In some cases it is done to add interest to a long straight run, in others its to save space and gain functionality to the over all design. It also could resolve the requirement for a larger stove that does to fit well on the adjacent walls of the kitchen. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you plan the design;

  1. Do we need a focal point in a given corner?
  2. Can we improve the layout overall by placing the stove on a corner?
  3. Does the ventilation preference allow for a corner stove?
  4. Do we need extra countertop space?

Selecting the right appliances

Wolf Corner StoveGenerally speaking almost any stove, cooktop or range top will work in the corner stove kitchen design with some exceptions. The tricky part comes in with the addition of the ventilation preferences, this is because the adjacent upper cabinetry sits on the 90 degree axis and the corner stove sits on a 45 degree axis (see sample plan below). This means we have to pay particular attention to the wall located behind the stove/ventilation unit and the depth of the appliances, these all need to be in sync for proper configuration. For this application it is best to use a stove without a back which is know as a slide in stove or model with an island trim which is a low profile back.

Doing the math for a corner stove kitchen

To figure out the placement of the adjacent cabinets you will need to know the width of the appliances and the depth of both the lower and upper cabinetry. We will also need to account for the desired counter top overhangs and fillers on the base cabinets.

  1. We will start with a desired 36” Stove width plus the total countertop overhangs (39″) and multiply it by 0.7071 which equals 27.5769, we can round that up to 27.6”.
  2. Next we need to add the depth of our base cabinet to that figure, 27.6” + 24” = 51.6”.
  3. Now we can plot that distance from the corner of the room to each of the adjacent base cabinets.
  4. The wall behind the corner stove can be placed after the upper cabinets have been figured out using the same method. Special considerations should be made when using a microwave as it will be a different depth than the upper cabinets in most cases.
  5. When setting that appliances you will notice that the stove will need to be set back from the face of the adjacent cabinets to allow for the doors/drawers to operate freely, we typically set the stove back approx. 4”-6” and leave about 2” behind the stove to the wall.

Adding a recessed niche to your corner stove kitchen

As an added bonus, the corner stove kitchen allows for a 6” – 8” deep recessed niche to be located just below the ventilation unit. This is possible because the wall behind the appliances is a false wall with a void behind it. This option is typically not possible when a stove is placed on wall in a standard configuration since it’s usually on an exterior wall.

Let’s review a sample plan

Corner Stove PlanHere’s our finished design with a 36″ stove. As you can see on the plans there is a void behind the stove wall which is a perfect place to run the duct work, electrical requirements and plumbing work. Note: If the walls are out of square and/or not plumb it will further complicate the calculations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need help with your kitchen design plans? Give us a call at 973-636-0100, we’re happy to assist!

Home remodel planning checklist

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When planning a home remodeling project, whether you are remodeling a kitchen, increasing the size of your home with an addition or replacing your kitchen cabinets, it is important to plan ahead. Knowing where to start, how to budget, and who to contract for the work can be overwhelming. This home remodel planning checklist below will help you in your project planning.

white kitchen cabinets Wyckoff NJ

Home Remodel Planning Checklist

  1. Create a scope of work "Wish List"
  2. Have a good idea of what you can invest in the project
  3. Obtain price quotes from qualified professionals
  4. Research and interview potential contractors
  5. Establish a project timeline and a production schedule
  6. Choose a home remodeling contractor to start your project!

Creating a scope of work for your home remodeling project

A scope of work is basically your home remodeling “wish list” with some additional defined criteria that will help you later on when its time to get bids for the work. The natural progression of a scope of work would begin with the demolition, followed by rough framing, rough mechanicals, insulation, sheetrock, Floor coverings, finish carpentry/cabinetry, countertops and end with painting.

How to budget for a home remodeling project

Armed with the scope of work you are now ready to get some pricing for your project. The bidding process will vary depending on what type of home remodeling project you’re looking to have done. Smaller projects like a countertop replacement can be can be quoted by going directly to the countertop supplier of your choosing and supply them with your requirements. Larger home remodeling projects like a Home addition or a kitchen remodel will require multiple sources (appliances, plumbing fixtures, tile, ect.) and you’ll need to hire a home remodeling contractor that is familiar with your type of project.

Finding the right home remodeling contractor

At this point you have a good understanding of what it is you want to remodel and how much you are willing to spend on the project, now it's time to choose a home remodeling contractor to work with on your project. Look for a good online presence, read their reviews of what others have said about them, review their portfolio to see their past work - make sure it meets your expectations and goals. Some places to check for this info are as follows; Google Business listings, Houzz and Yelp Business listings. Houzz is a great place to read reviews and view portfolios. Navigate to the "Find Professionals" at the top of the page, select the type of professional you are looking for, then set the parameters for the geographical search area. This is also a great way to qualify referrals you may have received from family and friends. After you have decided on a few home remodeling contractors to interview, don't forget to ask for some past clients contact info so you can speak to them directly.

Home Remodel project timeline and production scheduling

During your interview with the home remodeling contractor be sure to ask how long the proposed project will take based on similar past projects. There are many factors that contribute to how long a home remodeling project will take - town requirements, custom cabinets, back ordered items, ect. so each project will have its own timeline that will need to be calculated by the contractor before the work begins. Generally speaking a kitchen remodel would be considered very fast with a production schedule at 5 weeks and typically takes about 7 weeks to complete.

Trade Mark Design & Build offers free quotes and kitchen design plans with no obligation, contact us at 973-636-0100 to get started on your kitchen project and learn why we are known for making “Home Remodeling Simplified”!

How to choose a Kitchen Designer

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Knowing what you’re kitchen is going to look like and how much it’s going to cost to build before you make a commitment is the best way to choose a kitchen designer.  After you have completed your kitchen planning research and narrowed down the choices to two or three candidates you’re ready to start reaching out and setting up the initial kitchen design visits.

How to choose a Kitchen Designer

 

What takes place at the initial kitchen design visit?

During the initial visit in your home the kitchen designer will take field measurements,  observe traffic patterns, discuss needs and wants and review your vision for the space including what type of materials you may want to use.  A general concept  is discussed and agreed upon along with the potential budget required  to build the project.  The next step is for the kitchen designer to develop this information into a set of conceptual drawings that will be the basis for the next meeting.

What to ask at the kitchen design visit:

  1. Are you comfortable with the kitchen designer, will you enjoy working with him/her?
  2. Do you have to use the kitchen designers sources for the materials or can you select your own sources?
  3. What items are not included in the budget and who is responsible for them?
  4. Who will create the construction, electrical, and tile design plans?
  5. What’s an average build time for similar projects completed?
  6. How much of a variance do you typically see in your proposals?

Proposed kitchen design plans and budget review meeting

Here, the proposed kitchen design plans and budget are presented for review,  this will be your first opportunity to see your new kitchen in the form of a floor plan, elevations of the walls with cabinets and 3-D perspectives.  It’s very exciting see all of the ideas take shape, the kitchen designer will walk you through the layouts and how everything came to be.  A detailed line item proposal based on the conceptual drawings that were created will contain items such as; architects fees, specific building materials, cabinetry budget, countertop allowance, etc., will also be presented that’s based on the drawings that were created.  At the end of this meeting you will have a full understanding of what your kitchen will look like and how much it will cost to build.

What to ask at the kitchen design plan and budget review meeting:

  1. Does the kitchen layout fit your lifestyle?
  2. Is the overall concept pleasing and functional?
  3. Who handles all the logistics and scheduling?
  4. Who will handle the permit process?
  5. What type of care will be taken to prep the home prior to the start of construction?
  6. Does the kitchen designer pass on “trade discounts” to you?

What to ask yourself after the meeting

  1. Were you “wowed” by the design?
  2. Did the kitchen designer really “get you”?
  3. Can you see yourself working with him/her?
  4. How does this offer compare to others?
  5. How much time and thought was put into the initial proposal?

Trade Mark Design & Build offers free quotes and kitchen design plans with no obligation, contact us at 973-636-0100 to get started on your kitchen project and learn why we are known for making “Home Remodeling Simplified”!

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Typically Cost?

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Kitchen Design in Bergen County

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel In The Hawthorne, NJ Area Typically Cost?

In most households, the kitchen often acts as the heart of the home. It’s the central location for hospitality when you welcome guests into your home and where meals are prepared to be shared amongst friends and family. Because of the communal nature of the kitchen, it’s no surprise that the kitchen is among the most commonly remodeled rooms in the home, with the greatest increase in home value among all other rooms.

While the value of your property will increase with a state-of-the-art kitchen upgrade, this also typically comes at a fairly hefty cost. According to U.S. homeowners, the average cost of a kitchen remodel, regardless of size or scope, is just north of $20,000, with a wide spectrum on either end depending on how much or how little is being renovated. However, don’t be deterred by the cost, as those who are seeking to add a fresh, modern feel to their otherwise dated kitchen, will find it to be well worth the cost both while living there and when looking to sell.

The Broad Spectrum of Renovation 

The cost of any kitchen remodel depends entirely on the size of the kitchen, the scope of the project, and the desires of the homeowner. According to the Houzz and Home survey done by the interior design and decorating website Houzz, homeowners will spend on average $11,700 for a small-scale remodel to $29,400 for a full-scale remodel for a small kitchen (<201 sq. ft.). For a larger kitchen (>201 sq. ft.), the range increases from $17,800 for a minor remodel to $42,400 for a major remodel.

A small scale project could entail upgrades such as installing tile backsplashes for a colorful accent, upgrading the sink, painting walls, resurfacing cabinets, and other smaller scale features. On the other hand, you could be looking to do a complete overhaul of perhaps a particularly dated kitchen, which could include pricier upgrades such as custom cabinet installation, new hardwood floors, countertops, and higher-end appliances.

What to Consider When Renovating 

There are several factors you should keep in mind when preparing to take on a kitchen remodel. Do you plan on doing it yourself or through the help of a contractor? Before beginning any project, you should determine how much you are willing and able to allocate towards the remodel, as your budget will restrict the scope of your project regardless of what you wish to upgrade. For example, if you have a budget of somewhere from $5,000-$10,000, but you wish to install new cabinets, countertops, and appliances, you may have to rethink the scope of the project or the amount of money you are willing to spend.

If you are looking to hire a contractor to do the labor for you, be prepared to budget a little more for the cost of the labor. While the price does slightly increase, most homeowners find it well worth it to get a professional to assess the remodel plan and carry out the construction, as they offer years of invaluable experience that will really make the project come together. A contractor will know all of the finer details on proper installation methods, common mistakes to avoid, and will be able to offer a professional opinion that truly takes the kitchen redesign to a whole new level.

Another factor to consider is how long you plan on living in the house after you remodel the kitchen. It is common to remodel a kitchen with the intent of raising the home’s resale value, but if that is the case, make sure not to break your budget. The optimal budget in this case should be no more than 5-15% of the home’s total value, as this is the approximate range homeowners can expect to recoup upon selling. Conversely, if you intend on living in the house for many years to come, it may make more sense to splurge on items like new countertops, cabinets, flooring, and appliances, as you are likely to find value in the use of modern kitchen space.

Pro Tip: At Trade Mark, we have found that our costs to completely remodel a kitchen are typically less than what a homeowner can do it for after factoring in a few considerations. This includes the additional time they spend managing the job and finding sub-contractors, errors they make in the process, and paying more than our trade prices that we are able to pass on to them. Plus, we are able to relieve the homeowner’s stress before, during, and after the project. We understand that the key to a successful project is proper planning and management.

Whether your kitchen or the scope of your project is small or large, a carefully planned remodel can give your home a fresh modern feel that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel and looking for the right contractor for the job, contact Trade Mark Design & Build today. You can also visit our showroom located in Hawthorne, NJ for some unique inspiration ideas.

Kitchen Countertops: What Material Works for Your Home and Budget?

10:00 am
Home Additions

Kitchen Countertops: What Material Works for Your Home and Budget

If you are looking to spruce up your kitchen, whether it be a complete remodel or not, your countertops are the perfect place to start. The right countertops will set the tone for the entire room, however choosing countertops is easier said than done. With all the material types out there, how do you know which one to choose? Follow this handy guide below and you will know which material is right for you in no time.

Quartz Countertops

If budget isn’t a concern, you can’t beat quartz countertops. These powerful countertops are heat, impact, scratch, acid, and stain resistant, making them basically maintenance free. The nonporous surface doesn’t have to be sealed and these countertops come in so many colors, you will have no issue matching your chosen color scheme.

Granite Countertops

Polished and honed granite countertops are both popular options. While granite isn’t as heat or scratch resistant as quartz, it is still highly resistant, so you don’t have to worry too much. It’s also elegant and can increase the value of your home.

You are likely familiar with polished granite countertops. Honed countertops are a little less common but equally as elegant. Instead of a polished finish, these countertops have a soft matte finish.

While it technically costs less to manufacturer honed granite countertops, they are typically more expensive than polished granite countertops due to availability. That is the key when picking granite. You can save a lot of money by choosing something that is readily available. If the store has to send out for it, the price will go up drastically.

Other Natural Stone Countertops

While not as popular as granite countertops, soapstone, and limestone are also regarded options. These countertops don’t come in many colors, though, and they aren’t as easy to clean and maintain as some of your other options. You must be delicate and use great care when handling these countertops. If you love the rustic look of natural stone, they are a great option, but if not, you might want to go with an option that is more affordable and easier to maintain.

Engineered Stone Countertops

If you love the idea of natural stone, but want something that is available in a variety of colors and is easy to maintain, go with engineered stone. You will really have to try and harm these countertops to ruin them. They are around the same price as granite, however, so if you are budget conscious, engineered stone may not be the countertop for you.

Concrete Countertops

Do you love the idea of having a modern kitchen? If so, concrete countertops are a great place to start. You can customize them to your liking, all the way down to the texture and color. These countertops also capture and release heat, making them energy efficient. You can get concrete countertops for less than granite, but if you want to truly customize these countertop, it is going to cost around the same as granite.

Wood Countertops

Wood countertops, including the popular butcher-block type, are a great way to create a warm look in your kitchen. These are a cinch to clean, and if you scratch them, you are usually able to sand it out. Water can hurt the countertops, so you need to oil them on a regular basis to help keep them sealed. As far as price, you can find some wood countertops on a budget, or you can find yourself paying top dollar. This makes them a great choice for just about anyone.

Laminate Countertops

If you are on a tight budget, consider laminate countertops. Laminate has changed a lot over the years and now you can get it in patterns that look like wood, quartz, and natural stone. You can even find them in bright colors. This is a great way to make your home look expensive and luxurious without spending a ton of money. You do have to be careful avoiding scratches and burning with these countertops, but if you take care of them, they can hold up for years and years.

PRO TIP: An important thing to keep in mind when pricing your new countertops, is that although they may be priced per square foot as a guideline, many other factors can come into play. Common price influences include slab yield, grain direction, and waste factors. Then there are some cases where you are obligated to purchase the entire slab, regardless of your project size. At Trade Mark, we recommend receiving a quote that is specific to your project and material selection before purchasing. Give us a call at 973-636-0100 if you need assistance with pricing or any other project requirements!

As you can see, you have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting countertops. You can browse your options and learn more when you visit the Trade Mark Design & Build showroom in Hawthorne, NJ. Our skilled team is here to help you with your kitchen remodel, all while keeping your personal style and budget in mind. Let the design team be your partner as you give your kitchen the makeover it desperately needs.

Your Guide to Under Cabinet Lights and Pricing

1:55 pm
Wine Cellar Mahwah NJ

Your Guide to Under Cabinet Lights and Pricing

Whether you are remodeling your entire kitchen or just looking to enhance the look and feel, Trade Mark Design & Build would like to talk about the addition of under cabinet lighting to your home. Under cabinet lighting acts as a great complement to your main overhead lights with the ability to provide extra illumination on prep areas and task lighting. You can even add a dimmer setting to certain types of lighting to set the mood for get-togethers or date night.

Below we discuss a few different under cabinet lighting options to help you gage what works best for you taste and budget. A little bit of light can go a long way!

LED Lighting

As you may have guessed, LED lighting is the most popular type of under cabinet lighting. This is due to its long lasting capability, low heat output, and of course its high-energy savings. LED lights are 90% more efficient than the less superior incandescent bulbs, which produce a great deal of heat. Plus, although they are typically known to come in cool tones, they also offer warm tones for those who prefer it.

When looking to install under cabinet LED lighting, know there are direct wire self-contained units, tape, and individual or puck light units to choose from. Self-contained units contain multiple lights in a singular unit and offer a minimalist look. Tape style is the thinnest option and flexible when needed. Puck lighting allows you to focus each light in a specific area, but with that comes a bit of extra installation work. They can be mounted to the underside of the cabinet or recessed into it.

As far as pricing, LED lighting will cost you the most. This is not only due to the general novelty of LED lights in recent years, but the fact that they are the most complicated to install. They require elements such as transformers and switches, often times failing to meet building code standards. Their installation requires a decent amount of consideration as far and money and planning, and we typically recommend LED lighting to be installed in a new construction unit. This is especially true if you would like low voltage lighting, since it requires a transformer over the usual line voltage lighting. To help with high pricing, LED lights are dimmable, which can help you save energy daily. Also, remember that because LED lights are energy efficient, they will end up saving you money in the long run.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL)

Similar to LED lighting, the popular CFL’s are also highly energy efficient and produce little heat. This modernized version of the fluorescent bulb is no longer noisy or flickers on when you flip the switch.

When looking for an under cabinet style, CFL bulbs come in self-contained units or as individual lights as well. Self-contained units are perfect for keeping the actual lights out of sight while still producing sufficient illumination. Be aware that not all fluorescent lights are dimmable and that you will need to check the packaging or with the company installing them for you.

Pricing for CFL under cabinet lighting is going to cost you less than the LED lighting, but more than incandescent lights, which we will touch on next. Although they have many of the same appealing qualities of LED lighting, CFL’s are easier to install. This helps drop the cost. In the future you will see even more savings due to the long lifespan and energy efficiency.

Incandescent Lighting

A popular type of incandescent lighting for under your cabinets is known as xenon. It runs on the gas xenon that is encased in the bulb. Although they are better in the energy efficiency category and produce less heat than traditional incandescent lights, they do not compare to LED or CFL lighting. They are popular because of their ability to produce a warm, but vivid illumination. This allows for proper lighting when prepping for meals or parties.

They come in self-contained units, rope, or individual lights. You can have them hardwired into the cabinets or purchase a plug-in option. Plus, xenon lighting is dimmable for those who enjoy that feature.

Pricing for xenon lights are cheaper than LED or CFL’s due to their ease of install, but as those styles become more popular, the price gap may continue to close. Remember that the price will also be affected by the type of installation method you select (electrical outlet or hard wiring). Hiring a professional is usually necessary for certain methods, especially hard wiring.

PRO TIP: For those of you who already have CFL or xenon lighting installed under their cabinets, but are looking to upgrade to LED lighting, you are in luck. They now make LED retrofit bulbs which will fit existing features and are cheaper than installing a new LED unit. Contact Trade Mark Design & Build to learn more!

Here at Trade Mark Design & Build, we want to help make your kitchen dreams come true. If you need help deciding on a type of under cabinet lighting that suits your home, contact us today and let us do the work. You can also visit our showroom in Hawthorne, NJ for other inspirational ideas.