Home & Garden Kitchen remodel. Totally overwhelmed. Helphelphelp

schadenfreude

really
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Nov 13, 2007
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So, my house is amazing, except for the kitchen. The layout is okay, appliances are fine, but the cabinets and countertops are IKEA and look like crap. I have a few ideas of what I want to do, some of which are as minimal as swapping out countertops and cabinet fronts and calling it a day. Then I start thinking, what if I tear out some of those cabinets, move the fridge over there, and make that space into a pantry? Then I just go down the rabbit hole and I get overwhelmed and shelve the whole thing.

So my first question is, I assume it is a designer I would consult with on the front end? They would know the technical details about where I could move appliances without having to rebuild plumbing and electrical, and that sort of thing?

Then, once we decide what is going to happen, does the designer then serve as a project manager of sorts, or does he hand that off to someone else, or does that position even exist? I don't have time to track down all the contractors and meet them for estimates and figure out what needs to happen first and yadda yadda.

Any advice or insight? Any ideas of where to start?
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
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Jan 12, 2006
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A designer can be the designer and foreman for you hiring the subcontractors.
I/we like handling more of that ourselves, we don't like paying "middle men" if we can prevent it.

If you don't already have a pretty firm idea of your direction it would be a good idea to have a couple of consults.
 

Jesssh

Member
Jan 20, 2012
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There are lots of companies that would like to take over your project: kitchen and bath studios, interior designers, Home Depot, general contractors, even the local granite shop will do a whole kitchen. Shop around and find someone you trust.

I personally would manage it myself, but you don't want to. At least start by getting a free or low cost layout design. A cabinet place or Home Depot or Cabinets to Go or maybe a kitchen studio will do those for you.

Then take your time to figure out what you really want.
 

clu13

Shoe and Bag Addict
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Oct 12, 2008
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I feel your pain. I did this last year. We ended up gutting the entire kitchen and changing the layout. We hired an architect who drew up plans and and worked with the general contractor/cabinet maker as the cabinets had to be very customized due to the bizarre angles. My GC dealt with the electrician and plumber. However I was very involved and I negotiated all of the prices. My GC understood what I needed from him and that I would be very involved - this helped him as he had another big project. It also saved cost of course.

I tried a designer at first - she was not my speed. I tried out 3 architects. I knew the look I wanted - it was more of the change in layout for me that was important so the architect was so important.

My advice is to definitely go with your heart when it comes to your professionals. You probably have an idea of what you want. You will click with someone eventually. Also, I suggest independently hiring designers and contractors versus going with their suggestions for professionals.
 

SummerMango

Member
Jul 15, 2014
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Wow I went through that a few years back. Good luck to you. I went to Home Depot and had their designers come and draw up a plan but even though they weren't using real wood, they were super expensive. So we went to a kitchen design company. Spend countless hours, many weekends working with the company provided designer, who designed my dream kitchen for me using all "real wood" cabinets and granite counter tips. The entire thing took over 5 months but now I look at my kitchen, it is absolutely worth it
 

schadenfreude

really
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Nov 13, 2007
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Thanks everyone... I'm super duper overwhelmed! :cray: I wish I had the time to micromanage the project myself, I'd feel better about it and save some cash too apparently. Maybe it's a sign I should just wait until work lightens up a little bit....
 

clu13

Shoe and Bag Addict
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Oct 12, 2008
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Charlotte, NC
Wow I went through that a few years back. Good luck to you. I went to Home Depot and had their designers come and draw up a plan but even though they weren't using real wood, they were super expensive. So we went to a kitchen design company. Spend countless hours, many weekends working with the company provided designer, who designed my dream kitchen for me using all "real wood" cabinets and granite counter tips. The entire thing took over 5 months but now I look at my kitchen, it is absolutely worth it

This is a great option! I went this route when we did our laundry room. We used the granite/kitchen design company that did our kitchen countertops and backsplash. They were wonderful. I saw the design at lowes and got their price first - blown away by the cost for the non-wood cabinets and they wanted to charge a fortune for countertops since there was so little.
 

clu13

Shoe and Bag Addict
O.G.
Oct 12, 2008
11,790
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Charlotte, NC
Thanks everyone... I'm super duper overwhelmed! :cray: I wish I had the time to micromanage the project myself, I'd feel better about it and save some cash too apparently. Maybe it's a sign I should just wait until work lightens up a little bit....

Go with your heart! You don't want regrets. Also, take this time to really research things. That's the fun part because the remodel is horrid! I enjoyed looking at appliances and spent a lot of time at it. I managed to score a great package when I found a floor same range. And that dictated the layout too - range versus cooktop/wall ovens.
 

SummerMango

Member
Jul 15, 2014
1,394
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This is a great option! I went this route when we did our laundry room. We used the granite/kitchen design company that did our kitchen countertops and backsplash. They were wonderful. I saw the design at lowes and got their price first - blown away by the cost for the non-wood cabinets and they wanted to charge a fortune for countertops since there was so little.

Hehe yes! Even before we went that route, someone from Home Depot came to our house to give us an estimate on refinishing the old closets and can you believe it, they were way more expensive then getting the actual cabinets haha🙈🙈
 

LeeMiller

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Jun 29, 2007
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If you're still doing this try the kitchen forums on the gardenweb site for ideas. If you happen the be in the DC area I have a fantastic (but probably higher end) kitchen designer that I'm working with. Eta my new kitchen is January!!!
 

schadenfreude

really
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Nov 13, 2007
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If you're still doing this try the kitchen forums on the gardenweb site for ideas. If you happen the be in the DC area I have a fantastic (but probably higher end) kitchen designer that I'm working with. Eta my new kitchen is January!!!
Ha! I haven't even started yet. The whole project has overwhelmed me into immobility. But thanks!
 

Cosmopolitan

former tPF mod
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May 23, 2006
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Ha! I haven't even started yet. The whole project has overwhelmed me into immobility. But thanks!

I'm starting a kitchen remodel too and I agree that the number of decisions involved can be totally overwhelming. What's helped me a lot is surfing houzz.com the past few weeks. They have thousands of pictures of kitchens that you can view and sort and you can save what you like to an "ideabook." Doing this really helped me understand what kinds of options are available for kitchen styles, colors, materials--and which I personally like the most and want to spend money on. Plus it's kinda fun and gets you pumped to do your kitchen! 😃 Of course I'll still be looking at the cabinets, countertops, backsplash, etc IRL before making the final decisions. But the pictures on houzz are a good way to get you thinking about what you really want.
 

dooneybaby

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Dec 12, 2008
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Outside Washington, D.C.
I don't know if these companies still do this, but years ago, when I inquired about kitchen remodeling with Home Depot and Lowes, they both told me that they only take care of installing the kitchen appliances if you purchase them from their stores.
When I purchased my home eight years ago, I remodeled the entire house, so I only had enough money left over for a temporary kitchen. I'll probably do an entire kitchen remodel in a few years, but I already have purchased the wood flooring, that's from the same batch as the wood in the rest of the house. I don't want to be limited on the appliances and cabinetry I'll use, and I'm also going to be on a budget, so I'll probably hire a designer. I'm very creative and a very visual person, but a designer may provide me with some layout options that I never considered.
I also don't want the hassle of having to coordinate the tear out with the floor installation, cabinet installation, appliance installation and counter top measuring and installation. I've coordinated contractor schedules in the past, and I never want to do it again. I rather have someone else worry about that.