5 Questions to Ask When Planning a Kitchen Remodel

Planning out a kitchen remodel can be a daunting process. There are several steps you can take to make the process far easier, however. Here are five questions you should ask yourself in the planning stages of your project.

1. What is Your Remodeling Budget?

Obviously, your remodeling budget is the most important element in any kitchen remodels. If you have a very limited budget, it’s important to identify only your most important needs. A great kitchen designer will be able to work within even the most seemingly minuscule budgets and help you to make some significant changes without breaking the bank. A truly exceptional designer may even show you how to reuse existing elements of your existing kitchen in a considerable redesign. Depending on your situation, budgets can be stretched a lot further than some people think. So choosing an exceptional designer is the best way to maximize your existing budget.

2. Are Your Cabinets Still Good?

It’s important to understand the difference between minor and major kitchen remodels. Essentially, the difference between the two is whether or not you replace your entire cabinets. Many homeowners elect to simply keep existing cabinet boxes, replacing the doors, and repainting them. If your current kitchen layout is decent and your cabinets are functional, you can save a lot by simply re-facing and repainting your cabinets. This will likely leave you plenty of budget room left to replace everything else. Gutting your entire kitchen and starting from complete scratch can cost three times or more than a minor remodel.

You will want to ask your designer if your cabinets are still worth keeping. Some are, and some aren’t, depending on their construction and materials. Obviously, the more you can reuse the better, as some kitchen cabinets can be shuffled around if there are some layout changes. Cabinetry, and the resulting labor associated with their installation (and/or removal of old cabinets), is one of the most expensive elements of any kitchen remodel. So it’s important to know what you can and can’t work within a kitchen makeover.

3. Do You Have Laminate or Dirty Countertops?

Besides the costs of updating or replacing cabinetry and labor costs, the other important component to any kitchen remodel, minor and major alike, is the countertops. Granite has become very trendy again for countertops recently, although they do tend to require considerable maintenance. However, engineered stone products and quartz countertops have also become quite popular due to their price point. In most kitchen remodels, it is laminate countertops being replaced for other materials. If you already have nice granite or other countertops that are perfectly fine, but the cabinets are an issue, you can find ways to recycle the countertops and save a ton of money.

If the countertops are not high-quality, they should go. But if they’re old and stained laminates, refinishing them is a possibility, too, especially if they may be nice enough to keep if they look like new. While this is not typically seen as an option, it can be a way to save tons of money in a kitchen remodeling budget if you had nicer laminates to begin with. Ask your designer what the best choices for your situation may be. Laminates do not tend to be anywhere as durable as granite or engineered stone options, but if you’re on a tight shoestring budget, there are ways to save what others may think should simply go. Your designer should do everything to save whatever he or she can.

4. Is Your Kitchen’s Worst Deficiency Design, Functionality, or Both?

While cabinets and countertops are the key parts that make up a kitchen, the most important components to any kitchen are its design and functionality. The design is more about emotional and aesthetic value, but the kitchen needs to be a homey and comfortable place. It is so often the center of activity in many homes and so you want it to be one of the most attractive rooms in the house. Who wants to have an ugly kitchen? But design oftentimes is far less expensive to change when the parts of the kitchen are functional.

The major question you must ask yourself is if your current kitchen functions as well as you’d like. Is it too cramped? Are things not set up optimally? Some of the things a good kitchen designer will ask you are your work habits, how much company you tend to have in your home, and the level of traffic in the kitchen. Some people don’t cook very often and the kitchen tends to be more of a hang-out area than a chef’s haven. But many chefs find themselves with kitchens that are not well-optimized for cooking activities. In any case, you should have a kitchen that fulfills as many potential roles as it can. Even if you don’t cook a lot, you may have a time where a talented cook comes into your home, and why not make him or her feel welcome?
This is where the idea of universal design comes in. While it’s not always possible with a minor kitchen design, if you’re starting from scratch, it’s good to redesign the kitchen in a way that not only is suited to your needs for now, but those that you or future homeowners may have decades from now.

5. Who Do I Choose As A Designer?

After asking these first four questions to yourself, you should be in a much better position to know where your current kitchen stands and what it is you need to have improved upon in it. Be sure that when you speak to a designer that they are design-first and not product-first. No matter what your budget, you want to have someone that will make the most of every penny.
Also, it is best to find a remodeling firm with a design-build project structure. This means that the remodeler is responsible for the labor costs, as well. We at Scott Hall Remodeling are one such company. Because design and building are under one roof, we can help you understand the true cost of your kitchen remodel beyond the products. Some firms can be highly product-focused, due to quotas that they must reach to maintain sweet deals with certain manufacturers.

Scott Hall Remodeling is purely focused on design and customer satisfaction. We give you a wide array of product selections so that you can be fully in charge of the choices that are made. That’s what you want in a kitchen remodeling project: complete control over what goes into your home. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that those that helped you with the design process are of the same company that will end up building it for you.

Whatever your decision, we hope that we have informed you greatly in your decision making process about your next kitchen remodel. If you have any questions about kitchen remodeling, always feel free to contact us!

Home Kitchen Remodeling Trends That Are Here to Stay

When it comes to kitchen design the buzz is always around the current trends whether it is colors, textures or new products. But however much you want your kitchen to be trendy you probably won’t follow every fun trend. It is not only expensive but time and energy consuming. With this in mind, if you are renovating your kitchen it would be wise to find new fresh kitchen designs that will be around for several years.

Below are some trends that are here to stay.

1. High Contrast

Contrast is not a new concept when it comes to kitchen design. As a matter of fact, contrasting the countertops, the cabinets and hardware have been a staple in design for years. However, the newest trend is where the cabinets themselves have different finished side by side. One way of doing so is using contrasting color block. You can opt to have both base and wall cabinets with a distinct and contrasting color to the kitchen’s main design. Make use of a darker color below so as to define the space and a lighter color on top to brighten and add depth.

2. Wood Cabinets

Cabinets are not just for storage but they are also an essential element of the kitchen’s style. The return of wood cabinets into the kitchen has been almost inevitable. But instead of the heavy doors from about 2 decades ago, wooden cabinets have taken new modern styles of classic country styles. Today, there is a rising movement towards a streamlined look whose focus is on minimalism and simplicity. Wooden cabinets whether they are uniquely customized styles or simple clean cabinets is a trend that is here to stay.

3. LED Lighting

The kitchen is the hub of the home this means it has to be functional and comfortable which is tied together by proper lighting. LED lighting is the newest craze. It is totally understandable given the benefits. LED tape lighting can be installed almost anywhere in the kitchen whether it is lighting the kitchen cabinet interiors or just lining the island. The LED lights come in different shades. You can get them wired up to a controller so you can mix any color you choose. They can also be linked to dimmers and controllers to give you total control.

There is no denying that the kitchen is the heart of any home. It should be more than functional. It should stand out. Choosing one kitchen trend can help you achieve just that.

Why Every Kitchen Remodel Should Have a Focus

When you’re remodeling your home, you have specific reasons for doing so. In the kitchen, there are both aesthetic and functional reasons to remodel. But so that you don’t become overwhelmed during the design process, it’s important to choose a focus for your remodel.


In other words, you need to create a list of priorities for your new kitchen. This way, you can decide what is truly most important. By making sure that your must-haves are included, not only does this focus the design process, but you’ll end up with a much more complete space in the end.


What should my kitchen design focus be?


One common issue with kitchens is not having enough space. Another common issue is  functionality or poor use of space. The last common issue is outdated style. While a kitchen remodel can certainly address all of these three things at once, you still need to focus on which issue is the most important one for you to have solved.


It’s very easy to say just knock down a wall and add an island. While this is potentially a solution for one or more existing problems, it’s not the only potential solution. Sometimes, the existing kitchen actually is large enough already, functions fairly well, but has a very outdated look. Cosmetic improvements may be all you need rather than tearing it out and starting all over.


But if functionality is a problem, reworking the floor plan should be the focus. Sometimes, you can actually reuse existing cabinets and countertops in the new plan. By focusing on the functionality of the kitchen floor plan, you can decide what works, what doesn’t, and how things can be reshuffled to work better.


If space really is the issue, then yes, expanding the kitchen into an adjoining room, such as a formal dining room, is often a great solution. But bigger isn’t always better. You have to decide what works best for your home, and there isn’t always a wall to knock down.


Let the budget be a positive for creativity, not a negative.


Once you know what your kitchen design focus is, it’s important to know what your budget will realistically allow you to do. But rather than worry about having to cut corners to stay on budget, focus on priorities first. For example, labor, cabinets, and countertops are the most expensive parts of any kitchen remodeling budget. Once these considerations are covered, you can decide what other less important factors need to be accounted for. That’s when you can get creative.


While it’s good to stay under-budget, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use most of your remodeling budget. After all, while you’re in the process of a major remodel, you may as well put everything into it that you can, within reason. Oftentimes budgets hinder people’s creativity, but really, they should be a way to force you to be creative. These creative solutions may lead you in directions that you may not have considered before and the end product could be better for your discoveries. While it’s easy to obsess over little details during the design process, focusing on the big stuff early means that the little things are allowed to fall into place later.


Your Design Team Knows How to Focus


One of the great advantages of working with a design-build team on your kitchen remodel is that your focus is clear from the early stages of design until the finishing touches are being made on the finished kitchen. By having a focus throughout the process, your remodeling goals are clear. By knowing exactly what your new kitchen is meant to solve, you’ll end up with a better end result


5 Kitchen Design Trends for 2017 Worth Checking Out

Our team is always watching the latest kitchen and bath design trends. Today, we will look at a few interesting kitchen design trends on 2017 that may influence your future plans for a remodel. While some design trends come and go, these are ones that we think are worth considering. Read more

What Can I Do With That Open Wall in My Kitchen?

The dreaded open wall is the bane of every kitchen designer’s existence. Well, it may not be quite that bad, but it is something you don’t really want to have. Why is that? Good design means that no space is wasted and every square foot is given a purpose. Read more

A Breakfast Nook Isn’t Just for Breakfast

When remodeling your kitchen, you may find some space in your new space that doesn’t necessarily have a specific purpose. This can happen in older homes that may have a nook or cranny that may have once been part of a formal dining area. If you have a space like this, you may want to keep for purposes of maintaining your home’s character. To do this, you may want to convert that area into a breakfast nook in your design. The best thing about a breakfast nook is that it doesn’t always have to be about breakfast.


It is true that a proper breakfast is the best way to start the day. Like a breakfast bar, a breakfast nook facilitates a designated area to serve breakfast. Of course, like a corner booth or window seat at a diner, you need not only serve breakfast there. You can serve lunch or a light supper here as well.


Why not make the space feel like you’re dining out even though you’re actually dining in? Giving the nook a diner or restaurant feel can go a long way. Make sure that the overall style fits in with the rest of the kitchen. But you can make it stand out by using brighter colors and a special seating area.


This nook doesn’t only have to be a place for eating, either. Just as diners can be a great place for conversation, so can your breakfast nook. By having a coffee machine, a small fridge, and/or microwave nearby, you can easily have snacks and beverages nearby for convenience.


The more convenient you can make your nook, the better a space it is for entertaining a couple friends or family members. It’s also a great spot for doing work from home or running your own business. It can be a very comfy office space. If you like to invite clients, it can be a great spot for discussing business.


A breakfast nook is great for enhancing your kitchen’s style. But it also adds functional space to your kitchen that can be used any time of day. With comfortable seating and a good deal of natural light, you can make your nook into a perfect retreat that can be used in the morning, afternoon or evening.