Tuesday, November 06, 2012

How To Do Your Remodeling Research

...and visit our website to find out about expert IKEA Kitchen Design Services

To remodel a kitchen, a bath, or any part of your house, you need a lot of data. You have questions, ideas, a budget. Perhaps you’ve already collected some of the facts you feel you need, but with the Internet, there’s so much data available so readily, it becomes impossible to know what is true, what is false, what is useful and what is just a “pitch.”

What is a “pitch?” It is data that seems to be helpful but is, in fact, slanted towards the prejudice or hidden intention to sell, of the source.

As with any other worthwhile project in life, sifting the facts from the pitches, the useful from the distractions, is vital. So while you research appliances and cabinets, and check out flooring and tile, you are not only creating your new kitchen, but you are building confidence in yourself to make the right choices. The more you know, the more informed the decisions, the better the result.

Your remodeling budget is obviously a fundamental issue. We have not yet, over hundreds of projects, found a homeowner with unlimited funds. Most worry about money, and to whatever degree they don’t feel certain about costs, the project hangs up or goes off the rails.

Some homeowners will set aside more than they are actually going to need, but then worry just as much if they lack data. Thus, big budget or small, knowledge is a better guarantee than money of a great result.

A contractor who gives you an estimate of $39,500 to remodel your kitchen leaves you with a dozen or more uncertainties, even if you have $50,000 to spend. In fact, even if you have a contract that lists each product or each service the contractor will provide, if you haven’t planned the project thoroughly, you may have overlooked costs that are not included.

How to do a remodel with confidence that you’ll stay within your budget and get a great result, no matter if you have $8,000 or $80,000 to spend?

First, seek the help of experts, but only those who have no pitch, who have no reason to steer you one way or the other. An appliances salesperson is probably not the best source of data on appliances, even though he/she may know a lot.

While doing Internet research, if a website makes money from advertising, be wary of the "tips" or "reviews" it offers. This is not to say that ads or websites that sell ad space are bad. Just be aware of the possibility of a hidden bias or pitch.

Likewise, a site or service that claims to qualify service people so that you don't have to is worthless at best because it gives a false idea that you are protected when you are not. These companies are charging service companies that can't get work any other way big bucks and then promoting them to you. The qualifications to be promoted by the web site are that the contractor can afford their ad rates. The service company then charges you more to make up for the fees they've paid. Here is an example: A lousy, irresponsible painter who pays $20,000 a year for ads on a website that posts reviews, is going to look good in the reviews.

Instead, use your own opinion, your own understanding of people and ethics and responsibility. Call contractors, write them, see how quickly and how well they communicate with you. Use and have confidence in your own judgment because that is the only guarantee there is.

If you want unbiased data on a contractor or service person, check with the BBB and the Contractor's State License Board in your state (in CA it's www.cslb.ca.gov).

Also ask your friends and family about products and people. Their opinions are much more valuable than an anonymous review online.

Unless you feel that newspapers and magazines tell the truth and paint an accurate picture of the world, be wary of print articles on remodeling as well. A magazine that gets big bucks from an advertiser is not going print an article in which that advertiser's products or services are rated "mediocre." Enjoy articles, learn from them, but don't base your remodel on them. Note that kitchen photos taken in a studio setting are not going to show you what a real kitchen is going to look like.

Keep asking questions, and then evaluate the answers as to whether they are useful to you or not. Toss the data that isn’t helpful. Better to start over than to be left with confusion or uncertainty.

Research, but don’t believe the data just because it’s there. Sift the true from the false, the fact from the pitch.

If you'd like to discuss your project with me, I can offer you a free, 30-minute phone consultation. Here's my calendar, just pick a time that works for you.


Our company, Modern Family Kitchens, offers an IKEA kitchen design service. We can provide this service locally, or remotely. We think you'll spend the least and get the best results when you invest in expert design. Call or write us to discuss your project. 877-550-1753. info@modernfamilykitchens.com