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Shopping for a kitchen remodeler

So you’ve cooked through another holiday dinner, or hosted another birthday bash. You’ve channeled Julia Child yet again, only to come to the realization that your kitchen just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Are your cabinets overflowing? Are cookie trays stacked in the linen closet on top of the bath towels?

Is your kitchen table the “go to” space for chopping vegetables, kneading dough, and preparing lunches while the kids do their homework?

Is your countertop scorched and melted from years of use and abuse?

The solution can be as close as a Google search away. The right kitchen design professional will end up doing plenty. They’ll:

  • Take the time to listen to your needs.
  • Hear your design likes and dislikes.
  • Visit your home to get a feel for your lifestyle.
  • Walk you through the remodeling process – from the beginning interview to the christening of your newly renovated kitchen.

You should feel confident that the space often referred to as the heart of the home can once again start beating with rejuvenated life.

Organize your thoughts and ideas. Gather pictures of design references to explain what you want. Sites like and both offer easy-to-navigate systems to guide your creativity.

Consider the cost. You have your budget, but remember that financing options can make just about anything possible.

Consider time frame. Be aware that major remodeling projects can take several weeks to months from design concept to remodel completion.

To recap, here is a list of Dos and Don’ts to keep on file in your head when contemplating a remodeling project.

If you pay close attention to the list of Dos, then that the list of Don’ts is considerably shorter.

The Dos

  • Do ask about the design and remodeling process.
  • Do ask for credentials.
  • Do ask for references of completed jobs.
  • Do give your realistic budget to the remodeling professional.
  • Do have a wish list of ideas to be incorporated into the design or as added options.
  • Do tell your design professional your time line for completion.
  • Do use a true “apples to apples” method when comparing job quotes.
  • Do sign a contract based on the agreed upon scope of work.
  • Do ask for proof of insurance.
  • Do get the contact information for the production manager and office personnel.
  • Do discuss your house rules.
  • Do a “pre-start” job walkthrough with the production crew.
  • Do a completed job walkthrough with the production crew.
  • Do fill out job surveys. (Trust us: They’ll read them. They’re always a great learning tool for the design/remodeling professional.)

The Don’ts

  • Don’t assume work is going to be done that is not spelled out in writing in the scope of work.
  • Don’t be a self-proclaimed general contractor.
  • Don’t pay for incomplete work.

The above suggested advice can and should pertain to just about any remodeling project.