<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=3789014914652380&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search our site ...
  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Shhh! Top Secrets about Remodeling Your Kitchen that Only Contractors Know

Shhh! Top Secrets about Remodeling Your Kitchen that Only Contractors Know

At Patrick A. Finn, we believe the best kitchen remodels are achieved when both contractor and client are on the same page. Unfortunately, there are many important remodeling tidbits that, while common knowledge among contractors, are not widely understood by homeowners.

So today, we’re sharing some kitchen remodeling “secrets” that more people need to know. This information will help ensure you choose the best person for the job, avoid wasting money, and end up with the kitchen of your dreams.

1. The Highest Bid Isn’t Always the Best (but neither is the lowest!)

While it is common for homeowners to receive 2 to 3 bids on their projects, it's recommended to focus on quality rather than quantity. Multiple generic quotes won't help unless you have a defined project scope, detailed drawings, and specific material specs. It's like comparing apples and oranges – a basic box store cabinet install is completely different from custom cabinetry in terms of cost, labor, and value.

While project cost remains a relevant factor, discerning homeowners recognize that contractor value extends beyond mere monetary figures. Evaluating factors such as design compatibility, trustworthiness, and proven ability to deliver exceptional results are equally, if not more, crucial for selecting the ideal partner for your home renovation project.

A comprehensive and thorough initial estimate serves as a crucial roadmap for your home renovation project. Minimizing the potential for unforeseen cost variances can help avoid disruptive and undesirable change orders down the line.

Discover how 'free' home renovation estimates can end up costing you more in this article

Edited Photo 16

2. Some Contractors View Your Budget as a Moving Target

As a kitchen remodel project progresses, the quoted price you start out with may change here and there based on the specific materials you choose. This is common knowledge among contractors, but not all companies explain this to their clients, which can lead to frustration down the line.

A trustworthy contracting company will explain all this to you upfront. The contractor likely has what’s called a “change rate”, which is the average percentage their price quotes increase over the course of a project. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask that these costs be calculated into your proposal and contract.

You can also alleviate this issue altogether by working with a design-build contractor who, once the design is outlined and finalized, offers a fixed-price proposal for the work specified. This is an essential requirement for every project proposal we produce here at Patrick A. Finn! In fact, all project costs, including plans, labor, and all materials necessary to complete the project, are included and fixed in your proposal. 

3. A Large Deposit Isn’t Necessary & Payments Should be Based on Project Benchmarks

A small deposit is a reasonable request for a kitchen remodeler to make when kicking off a project. However, this should never be a large percentage of the total project cost.

Additionally, there should be a well-defined payment schedule built into your proposal. This payment plan should be based on a defined amount of work being completed. This is a benefit to you because if the work isn’t progressing according to schedule, the payments will be delayed until the benchmarks are met.

White transitional kitchen remodel with slab backsplash behind cooktop

4. Keeping Major Kitchen Appliances in the Same Location Can Cut Time and Money

If you’re looking for a way to limit the total cost of your kitchen remodel, avoid big layout changes that involve moving major kitchen appliances. Contractors know that completely changing the layout of your kitchen and moving these big appliances add extra time and costs to your project.

For example, moving a stove range requires altering gas and/or electric lines. This can add extra time for electrical and plumbing labor. The same can be said of moving a sink.

Of course, for major renovations, sometimes these costs cannot be avoided. If this is the case, consider moving only your refrigerator, as this process is typically the least involved.


5. High-End Materials and Luxury Brands Aren’t Always the Best Option

Pro-style, designer materials and appliances aren’t always the best option for your kitchen remodel. Additionally, they won’t necessarily boost the resale value of your home beyond the increase you’d get from having any new appliance or material installed.

You can save money on your remodel by looking for materials and appliances at big-box hardware stores. Additionally, many of these items can be purchased as a package deal, giving you a discount.

For example, unless you love the specific look of high-end marble or soapstone countertops, granite and quartz options can be just as beautiful and even more effective at resisting staining and standing up to abrasion and heat.

View of kitchen remodel with walnut cabinetry and large windows

6. Skimping on Cabinetry Can Lower the Value of Your Kitchen Remodel

Cabinets are one of the major expenses when remodeling your kitchen (often accounting for 40% of your budget). However, unlike other elements of your remodel (like countertops and appliances), they provide a lot of value — particularly if and when you ever decide to sell your house.

Some contractors may bring down the cost of your remodel by recommending a budget cabinet option. Others understand the value of high-quality cabinetry and will encourage premium models that offer the most style, storage, and durability.

On your part, it’s important to know that your cabinets set the tone for the style of your kitchen. They can completely change the look and feel of your remodel. Plus, they receive a lot of daily use. You need to choose cabinets that fit your family and your lifestyle and are durable enough to withstand constant opening, shutting, and hands-on use.

A trustworthy kitchen remodeler will understand the importance of this element in your kitchen and be able to suggest some mid-level and premium cabinet options. They have first-hand knowledge of how well these different models stand up to time, so take their opinion into consideration!


Have questions? We have honest answers.

Remodeling your kitchen is a big decision. But when done correctly, your new kitchen can be the highlight of your year! After all, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a kitchen custom-designed and built to your family’s exact needs and preferences.

Start your home renovation journey off on the right foot by downloading the eBook "The Ultimate Step-by-Step Home Renovation Transformation Guide."