We are primarily a residential kitchen and bath design/remodel firm. Our two greatest strengths (our clients tell us) are our design skills and our ability to take the design from its intangible conceptual stage into the tangible finished project. And though we work primarily in kitchen and bath remodeling, our skill set allows us to work confidently and competitively in other remodel projects. Sometimes a kitchen remodel will extend into remodeling the entire first floor, a bath remodel will extend into a master suite renovation. We've been very successful at full basement remodeling, home offices, laundry rooms and essentially, as our tag line suggests, 'Shaping Your Living Spaces' in whatever area of the home it may be. We have recently completed a greenhouse addition, and an outdoor kitchen and patio makeover.
Creating the design is a unique skill. It requires us to be good listeners so we fully understand what you as a client are hoping to accomplish. We also need to have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of the construction and mechanical elements of a home so we know the extent of what is both practical and possible. Spacial planning involves the consideration of how traffic will flow through and around the area, how the various functions will be integrated along with the overall visual presentation. This all needs to be considered, captured and communicated so we can successfully move to our next step. The design, in our world, is much more than floor plans and perspective drawings. It includes making those drawings come alive by introducing them to real products that you can touch and feel. As designers, we need to have an awareness of what is available and appropriate and we do reach out to our trusted vendors for their added guidance and support. We also do our best to stay current with styles and products through research, regular publications and webinars and interaction with others in the trades.
Project management is the art of taking the concepts and selections and applying them in the real world setting. It is an art in that it requires a level of creativity to properly prepare and cater to the needs of the client and manage the multiple trades working on the project. There are timelines, inspections, questions and sometimes surprises all needing attention which is all part of successful management. Our goal is to have regular communication through various medium to minimize misunderstandings and avert major complications. We find that the trusting relationships established early on with our client in the design process serves us well when we get into the remodeling phase.
There are styles and colors that are faddish and follow current trends and they are fine to use if you don't mind having that decor when it becomes outdated. We suggest using those elements as accessory pieces or paint colors that are more easily changed out as the times change. Another approach is to use what is often called 'timeless design'. This style is sometimes called classic and is neither overly fussy or bland and boring. It is a design that is highly functional and can be both simple and sophisticated. It creates a canvas that can be complimented with your own personal style accessories. Neutral colors, beiges, grays and off whites lend themselves well to this traditional style. Perhaps an antique piece of furniture is juxtaposed with a modern piece of art. In reality, we do not know where the trends will take us in the coming years but we can be confident that the more boisterous the trend the shorter its life span.
This is one of the most common questions we get asked and the short answer is no. Remodel projects are unpredictable. Even though we do our best to plan and prepare there will be unforeseen things that come up. To us a design extends beyond the drawings. It may start with drawings, but it is always evolving throughout the project. It's difficult for us to come up with a design, hand it over to you and guarantee that those plans will remain the same. It is our responsibility to follow through with our designs and adapt them as things come up. By working this way we are able to always keep your vision and ideas at the forefront while adapting to our environment.
This question is asking what the ratio is of money spent versus money gained on a specific upgrade to a home when the house is sold. Kitchens and baths capture some of the highest returns of any remodeling done to a home. Though I think it is nearly impossible to know how many dollars you can attribute to a specific project or upgrade, most experts put the number at between 65 and 85 percent. There are simply too many variables influencing real estate prices to approach a project with the primary objective to capture the highest resale return. Most of our clientele comes to us because they want to stay in their homes for at least the next 5 years and they have issues with the existing layout. They are more concerned with having their home be suited for their family and lifestyle. Having said that, there are still considerations to what may have the broadest appeal in style, layout and colors for a future owner.
On average, a full bath remodel will be under construction from 3 - 6 weeks. A kitchen could be 4 - 12 weeks. I know these are broad ranges but the bottom line is that it really depends on the extent of work we are doing, the accessibility to the space and the products we are using. For example, the same square footage a vinyl floor install may take 1-2 days compared to 5-7 for a tile floor. Removing walls and changing a lot of mechanical work can add days or weeks to a project but this is typical for us.