Kitchen Remodeling Tips from Kitchen Design Expert

About Milano Dezign & Build

Our designers are trained in design, and they understand the products that we are selling and installing in your home. They have a very good way of putting all of these together to make a beautiful finished kitchen or bathroom. We plan the entire project, and whether you’re just having us do cabinets and countertops. 

How long does kitchen remodeling take?

Let’s start by touching on our process and how we work. We begin with an initial consultation and a conversation about your project. This can be done in minutes and in many ways. We can do it with Zoom, or it can be done with FaceTime. The meeting can be done over the phone, or it could be done six feet away with social distancing. At this point, we have several presentations on Zoom already and several client consultations. What we talk about during this initial consultation is pictures, pictures, and more pictures. We ask you to send us pictures of your existing space, and we also ask you to send us pictures of your dream space. While we are leading the process you might do your research and try to find what your style is and what is your dream kitchen style. You can do your research on Houzz, Pinterest, or you can go to our website. We have a gallery there where you can check our previous work. What you’re trying to do by searching photos is to create an idea book. You’ll start noticing, for example, you’re looking for a painted white kitchen with a great island, and maybe that’s your search criteria. You would go on to these platforms, and you would search for that. Then you’ll obviously see 2000 or some more pictures come up, then you can start refining your search a little bit. For example, you might say, with a white perimeter with a black island and black perimeter countertops. You can refine your search as you go to really target what you’re looking for. We love it if you give us an idea of why you like that picture. So you might say, I love this cabinet door style, or I love this countertop application. Or I love this layout. And what our design team does is, once you have cultivated that idea book, you can share that with our designers, and they can now look at that and make all of your pictures become the building blocks to your kitchen. It’s really a collaborative effort to be sure that we are integrating all of your thoughts, wishes, and your dreams, along with their ideas of how they think all might integrate.

After we talk about the pictures, we ask you how you want to change your existing space. There are two ways you can go;

  • you can either keep within the existing walls,
  • you can expand into other spaces by removing walls. 

Removing walls today is something that we do quite often. A common trend today is to remove the wall between the kitchen and the formal dining room. We see that all the time because people aren’t using the formal dining room as much and they want a bigger space. They’re having a casual table in the kitchen. So that’s a big trend for today. If you’re thinking about taking down a wall, we explore with you all the options to making sure that happens for you. We ask you about your style, whether you like a modern kitchen or a farmhouse style. Modern farmhouse is actually a style as well today because we have a farmhouse which can be vintage or we have a more modern farmhouse, traditional or craftsman. The most popular style today is being transitional. Transitional is a kind of a combination between some modern styles and also some traditional styles. That’s where that word came from. We are seeing more transitional kitchens today. But we’re also seeing more modern clean designs take off as well.

Milano Dezign & Build

How to remodel kitchen countertops?

There are different stone materials such as;

  • granite, 
  • quartz,
  • wood. 

These days, having a wood island is very trendy, and it probably will be forever. Wood is warm. It’s comfortable to sit at, and it’s beautiful. Also, just like the kitchen cabinet colors, you can match some materials. For instance, you can combine both quartz on the island and soapstone on the perimeter. It’s always great to combine different textures, colors, and surfaces in the same design. Also, we talked about appliances, and whether you want a built-in refrigerator or a freestanding refrigerator. Any under-counter refrigeration like wine coolers or refrigerator drawers are great because you can keep producing in them or beverages. You can get a freezer drawer and keep ice cream. We love that they’re hidden and hopefully eliminate that second refrigerator that’s either in the basement or in the garage. We talked about your cooking appliances and whether you want a wall oven, and that’s a great little coffeemaker. As another fact, steam ovens are very popular today. We mention many different items such as ranges and hoods, as well as ventilation and cooktops. It all depends on what you want and what you can fit in the space. Different processes are plumbing fixtures, and sinks are enormous today in terms of their selections and styles, and sizes. There are stainless steel under-mount sinks, and apron front sinks that are either fireclay material or stainless material. There are a ton of details, but we are here as a team to help you through these decisions. The customer that typically needs our help is the customer who might have a hard time refining their selections and they like a lot of things. We also help the customer who may not like many things and needs us to bring the ideas to them. After our first appointment and the second appointment, we really get to know you well. We get to know your likes and differences. We’ve typically been to your house by then, and we’re able to see your present style. Oftentimes, we really get to know you, and we get to know your likes and dislikes and your preferences. That allows our design team to do what they do best to start bringing you some samples, but not everything, so that you never feel overwhelmed. It’s very much a collaborative process.

There is a trend that we need to touch upon. When people are choosing a stainless hood, there is also tile above that stainless hood. You need to bring the tile right to the ceiling, and it’s a great look.

How much does kitchen remodeling cost?

What is the drive that is driving your kitchen remodeling cost? Here’s a good car analogy, let’s say you have a 2020 Audi A five. This starts at $42,900 if you went in and bought one of these base models. Right next to it is a 2020 Audi RS five. Yet, it’s the same car. But it’s literally almost double in price. These are very similar to each other, but they offer completely distinct differences. Whether it’s the finishes and the fit the performance, there’s a ton that goes into it that justifies the price increase of $36,000 between those cars. So when it relates to your kitchen every house is different, and there are existing conditions that vary greatly from house to house. Product selections have a tremendous impact on cost. So we offer different brands of cabinetry and the reason why is because we are trying to offer cabinetry that is good quality and value cabinetry at all price points. Also, similar projects can vary dramatically in cost. You can look at two kitchens that look very similar, but they can literally be like this Audi example of double the price sometimes. In your entry-level line, you can go with a certain budget in your mind, and it is our job to try to get as much of your wish list achieved within your budget and within their price point, and sometimes people come in with no idea of price points. So in the first meeting to set your mind at ease, we look through your pictures and talk about your project. We see how long you’re going to be in the house, what your expectations are, and the ballpark pricing that you might consider. If we were to renovate your kitchen based on everything we just discussed and then secondly, you might say, for instance, you’re also purchasing a house in Florida, while you might want to spend 70,000 on this kitchen, you really want to spend more like $40,000 on the other kitchen. What we then do is make the best use of the budget, and we narrow our field of choices. We’re not showing you things that are going to run up the cost of the project. Hopefully, that helps.

Where to start kitchen remodeling?

So, what does that price include? Oftentimes, when we’re meeting in the showroom, we first talk about budgeting, and as the process progresses, we handle the demo and removal of your existing cabinets and countertops. We handle all the prep for the plumbing, the prep for the electrical, the installed plumbing, and install the electrical. We also handle the drywall and the flooring installation. Sometimes people choose to change out their kitchen window, we handle the framing of the new window and select the window with you. We then talk about painting wallpaper. This hand can grow depending upon the size of your project. When we add the two hands together, that is what we do all the time and what’s called the scope of work. So this right-hand construction side is the scope of work. Some customers try to handle their own scope of work on their own, and it’s something that many do succeed. So what’s left? What’s left is the demo, sometimes people do a demo on a weekend with a case of beer and a couple of pizzas. They end up handling this side on their own, again, probably 30% to 35% of the time, and then a majority of customers know I’m not a project manager. That’s where we handle both hands. But with our company, we offer you the choice you can handle. We can handle everything from soup to nuts, or we can just handle this.

After we talk about the budget, we move on to the fun part. This is after our initial consultation. About a week later, our designers spend the full week working on the project, and they are designing. After our initial consultation, the next meeting is a design presentation. This can happen in the showroom, or it can happen virtually on a Zoom meeting with you. It’s a great way to show what your kitchen will look like. We start with the storyboard. The storyboard is what the designer is putting together in specifying all of the products that go into your project. We have the cabinets, the door styles, the stains, the finishes, the countertops, the hardware, the sink, and everything that we spent a lot of time talking about. That’s when you get to see it all together. After that, we look at computer renderings. These are actual computer renderings of a product of a project that we just recently completed. You’re able to see exactly what the new space will look like with the exact products and include the faucet, the sink, the cabinetry, and door styles. After everything is ordered and completed, we start the demolition and installation part, which is the fun part. Our full kitchen or bathroom remodels typically take from four to eight weeks, which can all depend on the scope of work and the construction and how much is actually happening. We’re not in your house every single day for eight weeks. There are some times that we’re waiting for granite to be installed or there are some lag times where we’re waiting for drywall mud to dry or paint to dry. But while we’re doing this work, we’re constantly staying up to date with you. We’re setting up a temporary kitchen for your family to use in a separate room. That’s really important because obviously if you’re living in a house with a family for eight weeks, especially as we all know, today, it’s not easy to do. We want to make it as easy as possible for you. We always protect the home with zipped walls that seals off the work area to the living area and also your temporary kitchen. We use half of the filters we use for protection. And today, obviously we’re taking even more care, and making sure all the guys are properly dressed and equipped to go into a house and complete their work. After all these steps have been done, it’s your time to unpack and enjoy!