Planning Your Remodel

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Where Do You Get Started?

The kitchen is one of the most complicated remodeling projects because of all the decisions you will make throughout the process. We’ll walk you through this with our planning and buying guides, covering everything from foundation appliances, cabinetry, surfaces and finishes to sustainable products and extras like wine coolers and microwave drawers.

According to Remodeling magazine, a major kitchen renovation can result in a return on investment of between 61 and 70 percent of the cost.

1. Create a Stylebook.

If you’re even thinking about a kitchen remodel, odds are you have been leafing through design magazines. Both are great ways to jumpstart the process, but to get the most out of this step, you’ll need to do more than turn pages and program your TiVo.

While looking through magazines, tear out photos of kitchens that appeal to you and write what you like about the room in the margin. Then slip the page into a clear sheet protector and insert that into a three-ring binder to create a stylebook.

The Internet is another source for kitchen inspiration. If you see a kitchen that interests you on, often photos of the room will be available on our sister company Medina Exteriors (    (Start by looking at some of our “Before and After” Pictures). Simply print the photos and add them to your stylebook. As your stylebook grows, a clear picture of your desired style of kitchen will begin to emerge. That’s helpful for you, but it’s also helpful for the us at Simply Distinct Kitchens and Baths

2. Define Your Goal.

There’s obviously a reason you want to remodel your kitchen. What is it? Perhaps you want a kitchen that will help with resale in a few years. Maybe you desire a kitchen built for entertaining or one that allows several people to cook at once. This is the time to assess your needs and wants. Make notes about how you plan to use the remodeled space, then try to distill all that information into a one- or two-sentence goal such as, “My casual and open kitchen will be a place for family and friends to relax and enjoy healthy meals.”

3. Create a Budget.

To get a general idea of how much you have to spend on a kitchen remodel, you will need to crunch some numbers.  Our Designers offers a worksheet that makes the math easy. Are granite countertops a must-have? How about stainless steel appliances? Do a little research into the costs of your wish list items and compare them with your preliminary budget. Are you on target?

4. Set a Time Budget.

When most people hear the word budget, they automatically think of money. However, when remodeling, it’s also important to budget time. Is there an event on the calendar that would be affected if your kitchen was under construction? Discuss your time budget when interviewing potential remodelers.

5. Have Realistic Expectations.

Above all else make sure you have reasonable expectations when it comes to your kitchen remodel. Talk to people who have been through the process before.

“Sit down with your family and talk about what you’re about to embark on,” says Suzie Williford, National Kitchen & Bath Association treasurer and vice president of sales for Westheimer Plumbing & Hardware in Houston. “It’s going to take a certain amount of time. It’s going to have a certain amount of mess. It’s going to be a financial stress, and if you don’t know all this ahead of time and you go in with rose colored glasses, then that takes all the fun out of it. And, you know, it should be fun.”

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 Want To Learn More?

Don’t start a kitchen renovation without a plan or a clear idea of what to expect. Before you proceed with a kitchen remodel, you should complete these steps:


  • Find a professional. You’re going to meet our professional design team to help you through this process, especially if there are electrical or plumbing changes involved.

  • Set some money aside for any surprises. You never know when a pipe could break, or you could discover mold or other problems could arise. Set aside a good chunk of money to cover any of those unexpected expenses. About 10-20 percent of your estimated project cost is a good amount to save for surprise turns of events

  • Discuss the floor plan and timeline. Before our team gets started, you will need to know the schedule and exactly what the finished product will look like. Our team will bring in one of our top designers or draw up a floor plan of the remodel, which you will need to approve.

  • Sign a contract. This step is imperative. If you don’t sign a contract with your contractor, he or she might not be held liable for any mistakes or misunderstandings. You do not want to be saddled with additional repairs after the fact, so make sure you get in writing the scope of the project and his or her responsibilities. In addition to a full project description, the contract should also include the cost estimate and timeline.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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