What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
They need to think of their project in terms of components and start with the largest component first. Example; A kitchen renovation should start with the cabinets, then the appliances, countertop material, tile work, sink and faucet and so on. The cabinets are the most expensive component of the kitchen.
The homeowner should go through numerous kitchen and bathroom magazines to have an idea of what they are interested and not interested in. When the customer visits kitchen and bath showrooms they will have an idea of what they are looking for and they can convey that to the kitchen designer. Create a list of questions for the professionals to answer. Take notes. Contact a reputable kitchen and bath design company like MCKB. Visit their showroom more than once to see how things operate.
Schedule an appointment to obtain an estimate on your renovation project. Things to bring with you to the meeting: 1. floor plan. 2. Two or three tear sheets or magazine clippings on kitchens that they like or dislike 3. Any material samples such as textiles or stone tile work that they may need to match colors to. Ask for references.
The estimate is just that, an estimate. Price is not everything, it is more important to retain a reputable company that will see your job through from start to finish than underpay for poor workmanship.
Cabinetry is roughly estimated by the linear foot and typically our estimate is within 10 to 20% of the final price of the project.
Expect to pay a retainer fee before the kitchen and bath designer and project manager visit the residence. The retainer fee is standard. It is applied back to the cost of the kitchen cabinetry, so technically, there is no design fee. It is almost impossible for a busy design firm to go and measure every single job without some level of commitment from the client; this shows the clients good faith in moving forward.
Expect a separate estimate for the construction/installation of the cabinets. Usually installation is more involved than the homeowner realizes. Construction is more expensive in Manhattan, partly, because it is more difficult to get around in the city and there are more problems with access to buildings, as well as the age of some of the buildings. Your estimate should be for each component of the project and a separate estimate for installation. Be wary of the company that gives you one price for everything, chances are that in the end, there will be many adons that were unexpected, which will bump up your estimate beyond the 20%.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
There are numerous challenges in the renovation process, here are just a few.
Time is one of the biggest challenges in any renovation. There are numerous individuals working on a renovation at the same time and keeping track of everything can be challenging. At MCKB, we have project managers that stay on top of deliveries, installation and deadlines.
Staying on budget is always a concern. Keeping the completion deadlines for each phase of the project effects the budget as does coordinating delivery and pickup of all materials in the renovation process with all of the vendors involved. This is just another reason why we employ project managers to keep everything on track.
Co-op boards, building permits and all legal aspects of keeping the project covered by the correct codes and insurance. We handle all of the necessary paperwork to keep your project on track.
Dealing with waste and debris while clients are in the residence. At MCKB we own and operate our own construction company so we handle all aspects of the construction build from inception to completion including dealing with waste.