Frequently Asked Questions

Q: We’re planning on remodeling our kitchen and would like to know in what order are installations, materials, etc. put in and torn out.
A: After you’ve made all of your choices and have the installation specifications for the products and materials you will use, you will need to discuss the schedule with your designer and/or contractor. They will change the installation order based on the lead times and specifications on various materials.
A typical schedule would start with a complete tear-out, any structural modifications, installation of windows and doors, plumbing modifications, electrical modifications, drywall, tape and texture, painting, floor and underlayment (particle board), cabinet installation, countertops, plumbing and electrical top-out, floor covering installation and appliance installation, followed by a grand dinner party.
Q: Our kitchen will be getting a “face lift” in a few weeks. While I am happy with the layout and structure of our cabinets, I dislike the color of the wood. Do you have any quick-fix suggestions or methods that work best?
A: One way you could go is “glazing” your cabinets by painting them with a base color then applying a glaze (usually a darker color than the paint) which is wiped away and only left in the crevices. Once dry, a top coat can be applied for protection. Another finishing process that gives an aged effect is “antiquing” in which different colors are applied and the edges of the outer coats are sanded through to expose the colors beneath.
For best results, I’d recommend hiring a designer who’s experienced with re-facing cabinets, especially if your intention for doing this is to save money. These effects can be tricky so for your first time trying, you may not get the results you desire and that can end up costing more.
Q: I’ve heard of Universal Design but not sure what it is exactly. Now that we’re ready to remodel I’d like to learn more. Do you have some advice or an explanation?
A: Traditionally, the built environment has been designed for an idealized, able-bodied, non-elderly adult. Since that description fits less than 15 percent of our population, the result is environments, including kitchens and bathrooms, which create handicaps and barriers for the rest of us. Demographics, legislation, public awareness and personal experience are pressing us to examine the basic assumptions we have used in design, particularly in high function areas like the kitchen and bath.
The result is design that breaks the traditional molds and is more flexible and adaptable. It is accessible to or useable by all people, regardless of age, size or physical ability, as much as possible. This is Universal Design.
In terms of bath design, you will want to consider clear floor spaces sufficient for entering, closing the door and approaching each fixture. In addition, you’ll want support in the walls for grab bars to be placed as needed. The beautiful choices available today in fixtures make it easy to create this supportive environment attractively. For more extensive information, Universal Bathroom Planning is available from NKBA.
Q: How do I put a budget together to make sure I get the kitchen I really want?
A: Your kitchen and bath professional designer or CKD/CBD can help you with this process. Be honest with them about your budget expectations. Cabinets, appliances and floor coverings come in a variety of price ranges. A kitchen or bath design can be done in all price ranges. Some changes may be required, but the basic design can usually be achieved. 
You should also do your own research. Price appliances and flooring, ask friends who have remodeled about the costs and read shelter magazines to help you mentally prepare a budget that is realistic.

Courtesy of NKBA Content