It’s not every day that we undertake a major renovation of our home.  So it’s natural that when we do need to replace a kitchen or bathroom, we have lots of questions about how to go about all the decisions that will ensure the success of the project.

Everyone says “get three estimates.”  Good advice.  But how do we know what to look for in those estimates and how do we differentiate one from another?

Over the next few weeks, we will focus on project proposals – what to look for, what to expect and what to avoid.

#1 – Estimates are based on a design, the materials used in the renovation, and labor.

Let’s talk about design first.

While many areas of your home cannot be modified when it comes to moving walls (internal and external), what you do within those walls can vary greatly.  In a kitchen, for example, the location of your sink, refrigerator and stove/oven should be located in a proximity to one another that is convenient and doesn’t require too many extra steps to move from one to another.  The location of the plumbing may determine the location of a sink and dishwasher but even that can be changed to achieve a better flow.

Kitchen cabinets come in all sizes.  Some have drawers, some only cabinets.  And some are a combination of both.  There are also special configurations that will maximize use of space in a corner, fill in a narrow area and take advantage of space over a refrigerator.

Cooking takes makes forms so your kitchen may require a single stove/oven appliance or it may accommodate a double oven and a separate cooktop.  And of course, there’s always the microwave.

And the area for cleaning – sink and dishwasher – provides another area for lots of decisions – single or double sink?  50/50 or 70/30 configuration?

When looking at your estimate, what is the design of your new kitchen?  How many alternatives and options is your remodeler giving you?  And how do these options affect the cost of your new kitchen?

Lastly, how is your remodeler demonstrating the design?

Next article:  “Walking” you through your new space.