Tag Archives: Kitchen remodel

How to determine the scope of work for a kitchen remodel


“Scope of work” is the term used to describe the basic parameters of a project. You can start with your wish list and budget, then determine the scope of work. A designer, architect or contractor you like and trust can help develop your scope of work and help you to be realistic about what your budget can achieve.

Some of the issues that will affect your budget and scope of work:

  • If you can keep the existing footprint and keep appliances in current locations, this will save a great of your budget. Relocating the sink or range means moving the plumbing or gas lines, which can be expensive.
  • If you would like to open up the kitchen to another room, then you need to find out if that wall you want to remove is load-bearing. This might require structural work and unforeseen costs.
  • Research appliances, paints, materials and finishes for your project; this will help your contractor understand your expectations. It might help to gather some photos of what you want. Then ask friends and relatives for referrals for contractors and check their references. It will take some time to figure out who is the right fit for you.

With new construction, you probably have heard prices referred to as the cost per square foot, but this formula rarely works with remodeling. Every home has unique conditions due to age, construction type and layout. In addition, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced contractor in arriving at the scope of work and cost estimate; a novice may underestimate or overshoot the budget by a wide range. It’s a good idea also, to have your basic square footage, layout, electrical, mechanical and lighting goals ready to help a contractor give you a more accurate estimate.

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Things to consider in kitchen remodeling



Well, the worst of winter is over for our Pacific Northwest, and while the weather here is mild compared to the rest of the country, this winter we had a late snowstorm (6-8 inches), with serious wind. That means we are still cleaning up the smashed hedges and broken tree limbs.

So, a nice new kitchen would be a real pick-me-up right about now!

Be sure to consider the way your kitchen’s look will coordinate with the rest of your home. An ultra-modern kitchen in a 19th-century farmhouse will just look odd.

Be aware that selecting beautiful cabinets is only half the battle-and, in a lot of way. Make sure you have enough storage for all the plates and pots-and accessories like tray dividers and pull-out shelves that will make items easy to find.

It would be wise to select conservative colors for cabinets. For the fun touch, choose unusual pulls, colorful countertop appliances and unique accessories, but select a cabinet that you-and your family-can live with for the next 15 years. And if resale is in your future, be sure to favor the sound choice over the exciting one.

A kitchen remodel is a massive undertaking. Unless your daytime job is as a, say, general contractor, you may want to leave this one up to the pros. Assistance from kitchen designers, contractors and architects is invaluable, but be sure to partner with licensed and insured professionals you communicate well with.

You might want to consider incorporating design for limited accessibility, as you may have friends or relatives that might need these options, or even yourself, if you plan to stay in your home as long as possible.

Invest some time and money in a good lighting plan. It’ll keep your kitchen safe and allow you to set the appropriate mood.

Be aware that any changes you make after the bid is complete will increase costs!


Rose Construction Inc, kitchen remodel in Bellingham WA

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What is the cost per square foot for my remodel?

Uh, oh! This is a loaded question to a home remodeler. Cost per square foot is impossible to calculate before the layout of the room(s), quality of materials, fixtures and appliances are settled on. Just selecting a certain price range of kitchen appliances can change the project cost significantly.

It makes more sense to focus on the cost to construct in discussions. This can be revised based on the clients personal choices, complexity of the remodel, etc. Perhaps a more important number to use is the clients budget, minimum to maximum amounts. Then the remodeler can show the client what is available in materials to meet their budget constraints.

During the design phase, for instance, a more expensive granite countertop could be replace by a clients wish for a high quality gas stove. There are numerous trade-offs, and a good experienced contractor will know what less expensive material will look as good as the clients first choice product.

Kitchen remodel, after photo

Before remodel, this kitchen was chaotic and poorly laid out; not all cabinets had doors. After the remodel, it presents a pleasant, light, organized work space.


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Kitchen remodeling for efficiency and style

A majority of our kitchen remodels do not move walls or add-on to a home; the majority remodel within the existing space. This is far less expensive than adding on or moving walls. Some of our customers have had interior walls removed, to open up the kitchen, to include the living room or dining room within the visual space of the kitchen. This makes the kitchen seem larger and allows the cook to converse with family and guests.

A well designed custom cabinet layout can add incredible storage capacity and style to a box-store, inexpensive brand setup. Stainless steel sinks, matching refrigerator and stove, and new faucets along with a new countertop will make you think you’ve moved into a completely new home!


Stove is in the island; cabinets do not go all the way to the soffit; cabinets are of a uniform, monotonous quality.


Stove has been moved from the island; cabinets go all the way to the soffit, utilizing all available space.

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December 13, 2013 · 2:00 pm

What to install on your kitchen floor

Is your style traditional, classic or contemporary? You can create a floor to match your kitchen’s style, that’s also easy to clean and maintain, so it will look great for years to come. What is most important to you? Low maintenance? Easy to clean? Some materials are non porous and therefore stain resistant and easy to clean; others – not so much.

Let’s face it, kitchens are tough on floors. A variety of staining sauces, juices and condiments can spill onto the floor. Pots and knives can be dropped (these always fall point down, of course – watch your feet), causing punctures or cracks on the flooring material.

Here is a summary of the most popular flooring materials:

Vinyl is easy to clean and tough and it doesn’t easily rip, tear or scratch.

Natural stone materials are not all the same. Marble is very soft, easily scratched and can stain. Slate and granite are hard and nearly impervious to water, with proper sealing. They are resistant to scratches and divots, although chips and cracks can appear if a very heavy object is dropped. On the plus side, slate and granite are easily cleaned. They do need to be re-sealed periodically to keep them impervious to water and stains.

Linoleum is low maintenance and easy to care for. It is resistant to stains, and ripping or tearing.

You can get the look and feel of natural stone with a ceramic flooring, for initial less cost and less maintenance over time.

Here is a material you might not have considered; concrete. Concrete flooring is sanded, polished and sealed and makes a lasting, durable floor. The cost is low, and it can be stained to match your style and color scheme.

Wood flooring is popular in our area – the Pacific Northwest. There is some maintenance required, to keep it sealed, and it has a warm feel to it. It comes in many shades of brown-to-blond, so you have quite a choice.

huey, after, kitchen, floor

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Why Remodel Now?

You know what they say: “What is the bottom line?” Meaning money, of course. That’s why you should remodel now. A master bath remodel, kitchen remodel, or adding a well-designed powder room will add value to your home.

Of course, you will be able to enjoy updated fixtures, colors and furnishings for as long as you live in your home. Replacing worn-out and dated faucets, shower fixtures and sinks can immensely improve enjoyment of just being home.

So, speaking in specifics, what gives the biggest return on investment in the remodeling world?

  • Repair or replace siding
  • Add a deck or improve the existing deck, if it is fairly new
  • Make improvements in the kitchen
  • Repair or replace windows
  • Remake a bathroom
  • Add insulation, especially to the attic
  • Remodel the basement
  • Have an addition built on, or up
  • I know this is not home remodeling exactly, but have your yard landscaped

Built in bench with 2 level deck in landscaped yard.

Decks have a lifespan, and if they are at or near the end of theirs, replacing a traditional single-level deck with several levels and built-in benches are winners. If your previous deck required a great deal of maintenance, have the new one built with low-maintenance materials. There are some wonderful railing options, such as cable railing and glass that allow much more light onto the deck, and do not obstruct the view.

Kitchens and bathrooms are obvious places to do either a complete remodel, or update things as you can afford to. New sinks and fixtures, new countertops, new flooring and paint are all lower-cost remodel projects, that nevertheless, add a great deal to enjoyment and value of the home.


Complete kitchen remodel, including granite countertops, custom cabinetry, and large appliances and fixtures.

Replacing cabinetry and large appliances are bigger ticket items, but are well-worth doing when you are ready.

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Do you like low-flow shower heads?

Most people would probably say “Not really!” But it is nice to have lower water bills and if you could get a great shower out of a low-flow fixture, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

Well, manufacturer’s have been competing with each other to provide the best shower with the lowest gpm’s, so today we are going to look into the state of this technology. A fairly recent development is the air-induced shower head. It pulls air into the shower head, combines it with the water, and shoots it out with greater force, due to the increased volume the air makes possible. Reviews are excellent, and this type of shower technology is available at a great spread of prices, so do your research to be sure you are getting the quality you want.

Some of the manufacturers found with just a brief perusal of the web are:

  • Hansgrohe Raindance Downpour AIR showerhead (this one got rave reviews)
  • Oxygenics Evolution hand held showerhead
  • Kohler Rainhead Collection
  • Kallista Inigo by Michael S. Smith

As stated, prices vary greatly, from under $100 to over $1,000, so do your research to be sure you are getting the quality you expect.

Another showerhead option you might like is the showerhead with a variety of spray patterns. One for each mood you might be in! Shower systems can also come with a hand-held shower; these can be great for bathing children and pets, no comparison intended; and is helpful for scrubbing out the shower stall, kind of like a big giant hand sprayer at the kitchen sink! You know how handy that is.

In addition to the quality of the shower head and water conservation, consider the shower stall itself for creating a great showering experience. If there is room, a larger shower such as about 4 feet by 6 feet is a great investment. Many of our higher end shower remakes include 2 or 3 tiled walls, a tiled floor and frameless glass shower walls and door, for a spa-like shower!


Tiled shower with 2 frameless glass walls/ door.

Don’t forget to provide adequate ventilation and light. A good quality bath exhaust fan, perhaps humidity controlled, would help to reduce or eliminate mold and mildew. Light, either from windows, skylights, or fixtures is important. Wall sconces and other task lights can be selected and located just right to provide the right amount of light where it is needed.

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