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Improving the Home Improvement Experience



Charles and Jeannie F. Riverside, CA

by Charles and Jeannie F. Riverside, CA

Sep. 18, 2016


About eight years ago, my husband and I decided to remodel our 70’s style kitchen. We didn’t really know how to go about it or where to start. We ended up visiting Home Depot and Lowe’s. We spoke with people in their kitchen and bathroom departments and eventually had a design drawn up that captured the basic elements of the kitchen we wanted. For a variety of reasons, we decided not to purchase our cabinets from either of the box stores. So with a basic plan in hand we began looking for a remodeling contractor who could carry out our vision. Thus began an interesting, somewhat frustrating and eye-opening adventure.

The first thing we discovered was that kitchen remodels are handled in a variety of ways. The big box stores help with the design, sell you the cabinets, countertops, fixtures and other items you need and then provide the installation through a network of subcontractors. Other remodeling contractors require the homeowner to obtain a design, purchase the primary materials and then they will do all the installation work. Still other contractors will provide the materials and labor but not the design work. And then there are finally those companies that provide design build services. This means they do the design work, they procure the materials and they provide all the labor necessary to complete the project.

Each of these various means of handling a kitchen remodel project has its pros and cons. In the end we decided to go with a design build firm that could handle the project from beginning to end. They improved our original design, ordered and had delivered all the materials. The labor they provided was either their own or that of a network of subcontractors they used regularly. All the workmen were so polite and did a great job. We could not have been happier with the result.

We have heard numerous horror stories regarding kitchen and/or other remodeling projects. What we learned from our own experience is that nothing is more important than carefully screening the person or company you decide to make responsible for your project’s success.

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