The investment required to remodel any living space in your home varies based on a couple of major factors: the size of the room; the type, finish and hardware components of the cabinetry you select; and whether or not your project will include flooring, countertops, lighting, plumbing, appliances and installation services. The five-step design process followed by our professional design team will walk you through each of these decisions and allow you to narrow in on an expected investment.
There are three types of cabinets available from our exclusively-selected manufacturers: stock, semi-custom and custom. Identifying your personal style is an important first-step in determining which type of cabinet, wood species and finish appeals to you. Determining the functionality you need is the next step. Here are some basics about the types of cabinetry available to you:
- Stock Cabinets
The name stock comes from a time when cabinets where made in large quantities and stocked in a warehouse. Back then, there were a limited number of colors and door styles to select from. Today, that is no longer the case. Merillat’s stock cabinet line now offers 19 door styles, five wood species and 29 finishes with optional plywood sides and dove tailed drawers. In addition, they can be delivered in as little as eight days. Stock isn’t what it used to be.
Still, the extra options and features offered by stock cabinets are relatively limited compared to other cabinet types. The quality of stock cabinets is good. They include solid construction and reliable hardware. Overall, stock cabinets are a good value, making them the right choice for people looking for quality while remodeling on a budget.
- Semi-Custom Cabinets
Semi-custom cabinets are the most popular type of cabinet today. The biggest difference between semi-custom and stock cabinets is that semi-custom cabinets offer minor modifications (i.e., adjustable depth, installation of glass, etc.). They also offer more door styles, options, types and finishes than stock. The semi-custom cabinet line at KSI, Merillat Masterpiece, offers 42 door styles, nine wood species and 102 finishes.
Semi-custom cabinets are high quality from top to bottom with a moderate price range. This is an affordable type cabinet and a great value.
- Custom Cabinets
Custom cabinets can be made to meet any need or desire you have, but, the cost can be significant. Most custom cabinet companies offer a large variety of standard sizes, configurations and designs; yet they can modify or construct a cabinet to almost any size you require.
Still, custom cabinets usually don’t come with custom door styles, although some companies will modify the edge detail and size of their door offerings. The Dura Supreme Crestwood and Designer Series lines at KSI offer 77 door styles, eight wood species and almost unlimited finishes (they will custom match a stain for you).
The benefits of custom cabinets include high quality and endless options so you can create a one-of-a-kind kitchen showcasing a variety of features.
There are many types of countertops to choose from: quartz, solid surface, soap stone, granite and laminate. What surface material you choose should depend on factors such as how you plan to use your countertop, your expectations for the surface and your budget. Use this countertop guide to help you narrow your selection:
- Why choose Quartz?
Quartz is a blend of quartz and resins that form a hard, durable surface. It has a very similar feel to granite. The colors and patterns that are created typically have little variation and provide a consistent appearance. In addition to its durability, quartz tops handle heat well and require little maintenance. Like granite, quartz may show visible seams. Quartz countertops begin at about $75 per square foot, measured and installed.
- Why choose Solid Surface?
Solid surface countertops (i.e., Corian) are typically acrylic products that are durable and very adaptable. There are hundreds of colors and a large variety of edge profiles to choose from. Solid surface countertops have moderate heat resistance and hard-to-find seams. And, while solid surface tops can scratch, they can also be repaired easily. The average starting price of solid surface countertops is $49 per square foot, measured and installed.
- Why choose Soap Stone?
Quarried like Granite and Marble, soap stone is soft to the touch yet far from absorbent. If it picks up a stain or discoloration, it is quite literally “just on the surface”and can be scrubbed or sanded off. Slates, marbles, most granites, limestones and travertines are absorbent. Soapstone is not. Even after 100 years of hard use, soapstone can be re-finished to a new state as though it was just installed. Soapstone is perfect for achieving a warm, old-fashioned, rustic, or Early-American look. It's also versatile enough so that it can be used with modern designs. Upon installation of soapstone countertops, we recommend that the stone is sealed with mineral oil or stone sealer. The mineral oil and some light penetrating sealers will bring out a dark richness to the stone’s natural color and also work as a protective sealing layer. Mineral oil may be re-applied to the stone periodically.
- Why choose Granite?
Granite is a natural stone, and, the look and feel of real stone is hard to match. It is very durable, it handles heat well, and, it offers almost 200 variations from which to choose. The cost of granite has decreased significantly over the last few years. The average starting price is about $50 per square foot, installed. It requires periodic sealing, depending on the granite selected, and may show visible seams.
- Why choose Laminate?
Laminate is the most popular material used for a countertop. It offers thousands of colors and a number of textured finishes. It wears fairly well and doesn’t require any sealing. The seams are visible and it offers almost no ability to be repaired. Laminate tops with a square edge start at about $20 per square foot, installed.
The floor you choose for your space affects every element of your design. Today, the variety of materials, colors and textures available make your choices endless. It is important to consider your investment amount for the space. Flooring varies like many other home products, so knowing how much you can afford to spend will narrow your options. Also ,consider how you use the space as well as how traffic will flow through it. This will help you and your designer determine the degree of durability and color options since light colored floors show less wear than darker ones.
Here are some of the options for flooring:
Wood is a popular choice today. It creates a warm, classic appearance for many spaces in the home and works with almost any kind of decor. Prefinished wood floors withstand heavy traffic, stains, and remain durable if maintained properly. Most spills and debris -- if cleaned up quickly -- will not damage wood floors. Wood floors can last for decades with some maintenance, and, can be refinished to give them a whole new look.
Tile is a durable option for high-traffic areas like foyers, kitchens, and baths. From classic porcelain to travertine, there are plenty of options. Ceramic tile is durable and available in many colors, textures, and styles with the option of designing borders and inserting designs. Tile is easy to clean however debris may become trapped in the grout lines. A good steam cleaning refreshes grout and a sealer can help minimize this from happening. Tile flooring is one of the more stain-resistant options and can last for decades with some minimal maintenance.
- Vinyl and Linoleum
Affordable and easy to install, vinyl and linoleum are common selections for homeowners. Moisture-resistant and easy to maintain, these materials are durable and withstand frequent traffic. Vinyl and linoleum offer a bit of "give" which may help protect dropped dishes and other items from breaking. Both materials are relatively soft and feel good underfoot.
- Luxury Vinyl Tile
If you’re looking for an upscale look that offers both durability and performance, an emerging category in flooring options is luxury vinyl tile. These tiles are often offered in an array of colors and designs that are often absent when shopping ceramic tiles. They also feel warmer underfoot and provide a bit more give than traditional ceramic floor tiles. Ideal for high traffic areas, this comfortable surface is waterproof and easy to maintain or repair.
Typical stock cabinetry from Merillat will take about eight days from order to delivery. Semi-custom cabinets will take four to six weeks. Custom cabinetry will take between eight and 12 weeks to deliver. If KSI performs the installation, you should plan on an additional one to four weeks after delivery to complete the project. The type of countertop selected will also impact the project completion time. Laminate tops take about a week, and, granite tops can take up to four weeks from order to delivery.
Every remodel is different, but, the basic installation process includes these steps:
- Your existing materials will be removed and disposed of.
- New electrical, if required, will be installed.
- New plumbing, if required, will be installed.
- The walls will be repaired and prepped for paint.
- The cabinets will get installed.
- The countertop will be measured and a template will be made.
- The trim for the cabinets will get installed.
- The painting of your space can be completed.
- The custom countertop is installed.
- The final plumbing will be connected and your space will be functioning once again.
- If applicable, the tile backsplash will be installed.
- If applicable, the new floor will be installed (if not installed prior to step 5)
Expect your room to be out of commission for at least one to five weeks.
- If the remodel you have planned happens to be your kitchen, you may want to consider setting up a make-shift kitchen in another room with microwave, small sink, place settings, etc. You may arrange ahead of time with your contractor to have the refrigerator set up in an alternate location. It is a good idea to plan on eating out, grilling or microwaving your meals. If accessible, you may want to wash your dishes in the laundry or bathroom.
- If the remodel you have planned happens to be a bathroom -- especially if it is your only bathroom -- pre-arrange with your contractor to have the toilet reset at the end of each workday. Each morning, they'll disconnect the toilet and remove it to create additional workspace for tiling and flooring. A reset will make the toilet functional again each night.
No matter which room you remodel – expect dust and dirt in your home! Even if the contractor carefully hangs plastic or tarps around the area to be remodeled, a layer of dust will still settle throughout your home.
Expect the unexpected. Anytime additions or changes to the remodeling project occur, costs will fluctuate. Change orders may be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items. More often than not, change orders occur because you change your mind or add to the scope of the project.
A quick way to estimate installation cost is to take the product investment and cut that number in half. This estimation typically works well for stock and semi-custom cabinets. Custom cabinets don’t typically cost significantly more to install than other types, so, the half calculation will cause your number to be a bit high. It is always best to get an estimate for your installation based on the design and a site visit as there are a number of variables that may affect the final installation cost.
Tearing out and installing cabinets is a small part of the overall labor cost for a remodel. The overall price is affected most by the details (i.e., trim and electrical). After your space is completely designed, your KSI designer will give your project an actual installation figure.
This is an area most people would prefer to ignore, but, it is important to address. Various permits are often required for a full kitchen or bath renovation. Permits are intended to protect you from poor workmanship and potential damage. Only licensed trades can pull permits.
Here are some basic guidelines for knowing when to pull a permit:
- If a mechanical (electrical, heating or plumbing) is being moved then a permit may be required.
- If a wall is being moved then a permit may be required.
The permit cost for each of these areas varies by city and scope of work, but, a typical full remodel project will generally have permit costs between $300 and $1000.
As a result of permits being pulled, there may be additional time required by the installer for the project. It is a good idea to plan on an additional $500 to cover that. You can also assume your project will take an additional week to complete, allotting a couple of no-work days while waiting for inspectors.
Even if your project is on target with the planned budget, the amount of money you are investing in your home may cause some anxiety. If costs begin to increase along with the volume of change orders, it will likely further increase your anxiety level! A general rule of thumb is to plan on spending 10 percent above contract for unforeseen items that will unfold as your remodel takes place.
You may need to adjust your cabinet hinges and/or drawer glides if they are out of alignment or do not close properly. Cabinet doors may be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. Watch this KSI demonstration video to learn more.