The Ins and Outs of Kitchen Remodeling

Spring will very shortly be upon us and, with that, often comes the desire to begin to make changes around the house. Updating the kitchen is one of the most beneficial changes you can make to your home – but it doesn’t have to be the most costly. If your kitchen is outdated or not nearly as functional as it could be, help is available.

“Once someone decides they want to remodel their kitchen, I would recommend they make a list of priorities, and determine how much of an investment they are able to make on the project,” said Erika Eccleston, Interior Designer at Barnes Custom Builders. “Perhaps they cook a lot and really want to splurge on a high-end range. Maybe they want to get more organized and need lots of internal storage components in their cabinets. They have to decide what is missing from their current space that has triggered the desire to remodel. Simply updating what is there – if it isn’t working for them – does not solve a problem; it’s just a prettier problem.”

Barnes Custom Builders is the premiere design, build and renovation company on Cape Cod. They work with each client, from start to finish, throughout the kitchen renovation process, and will guide you with each step, while keeping your own vision and budget in mind. They will help you create a beautiful space that works for you and your family. Updated kitchens (and bathrooms) have always added the most value to a home – something to remember if and when you ever decide to sell.

“I would recommend that they make notes while working in their current kitchen,” Eccleston said. “What seems to be out of place? When do they find themselves getting frustrated while working in the kitchen? Do they often prep meals alone, or with another family member?” These are all questions a potential client should think about in advance.

“I think that everyone is different and, while I can provide what I think will work best, at the end of the day it needs to function for the family that lives there,” she said. By asking themselves some of these questions, Eccleston can provide a practical layout that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. “Sometimes it takes an outside eye to see a new option,” she said. “When you live with something every day, it’s hard to picture it differently. So a fresh point of view is always great.

“Once they come to us, we can do a site visit to take a look at the space and give them a loose ballpark figure of what we think it will take to complete the project,” Eccleston said. “If they are comfortable with the provided range, we then give them a design contract to start the design portion of their project.

Eccleston will take measurements of the existing space, talk about the clients’ needs and wants, and discuss what is not working in the current space. “I can then put these measurements into my computer to come up with some layout options to present to them,” she said.

“Once we have figured out the layout and any structural changes, we will visit the cabinet showroom. Here we can choose the door style and finish and get into the cabinet details,” she said. “Do they want roll-out trays, cutlery trays in the drawers, tray dividers? There are so many new storage options in cabinetry now, that there is truly a place for everything. We will repeat this process with all aspects of the remodel – choosing appliances, flooring, electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, from cabinet hardware right down to paint colors. If the remodel requires moving walls, or removing walls, we will need to have structural plans drawn. We would need these in order to get a permit from the town.”

It’s true, there’s a lot involved in kitchen renovation, so there’s a lot to consider. But it isn’t all stress, all the time. There is a “fun” aspect to it, as well.

“I would say that the fun part of remodeling a kitchen is hand-selecting everything that goes into it,” Eccleston said. “You get to pick the storage solutions that work for you and your family. Adding a charging station is very practical nowadays, and easy to do with outlets that have USB ports. It’s gratifying for the homeowner to be a hands-on part of any remodel.

“Working with a contractor like Barnes custom, we can help find extra space that the homeowner may not have thought about. We have built pantry cabinets into walls and under stairs, when floor space was not available – a service that a standard kitchen designer may not be able to offer,” said Eccleston.

Cabinet hardware is a great way to personalize the space, she added. While white shaker cabinets are a huge staple right now, finding unique hardware that speaks to you can make your kitchen stand out from the rest. Adding glass doors to a cabinet or to a few, depending how organized you are, is also a nice way to add some character to the kitchen, and seems to be more of a classic look than the popular open-shelf trend. Tile options are always endless and, again, this is another area that allows you to really personalize the space and add a pop of color or texture.

As far as cost is concerned, Eccleston said there are so many variables in kitchen products and styles that the “average” kitchen can vary extensively, depending on the client. One person’s “average” might be another’s “high-end” and even another’s “budget friendly.”

“We really try to look at each project individually, as no two projects will ever be the same,” she said. “We have never repeated the same project – it just doesn’t happen. Sometimes working in reverse is the easier route. If I am provided with a budget, I can change the scope of work to fit the budget.”

Kitchen remodeling can benefit a homeowner in so many ways, and it’s important to choose a builder who has the experience to do the job right. No matter what big changes you’d like to make to the most popular room in the house, Barnes Custom Builders will be there to guide you, every step of the way.

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.
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Hyannis, MA 02601
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