Last month in this space, I reviewed a series of market projections for 2014 from Harvard University as well as the industry’s leading associations.
Everything costs more in California, so doing a gut kitchen remodel for less than $50,000 is more of a challenge than you might think. Kent Eberle, CR, CKBR, owner of Eberle Remodeling, had a few advantages when he designed this kitchen. First, the homeowners wanted to keep the recently installed laminate flooring.
Everything costs more in California, so doing a gut kitchen remodel for less than $50,000 is more of a challenge than you might think. Kent Eberle, CR, CKBR, owner of Eberle Remodeling, had a few advantages when he designed this kitchen.
First, the homeowners wanted to keep the recently installed laminate flooring. They also wanted to stick to the existing footprint.
|An arch ceiling-mounted range hood and cobalt pendant lighting provide architectural detail and visual pop over the peninsula, where cabinets once hung. After photography by Izzy Schwartz Photography|
"They were fairly savvy; they had pictures and good ideas," says Eberle. The all-white kitchen had never been remodeled. Updating the look (and tying it into the floor and the maple hutch and dining set) was their primary goal. They also wanted to make it feel more spacious.
Eberle accomplished the latter objective through demolition, getting rid of the dropped ceiling, removing the hanging cabinets separating the kitchen and nook, and taking out part of a wall.
A fresh appearance called for new materials and more color: stainless-steel appliances with black trim, black granite tile counters and a full slate backsplash with a patterned gray, white and black border fit the bill.
Using granite tiles for the counter instead of granite slab is just one of the ways Eberle managed project costs.
"We try to accommodate our clients' needs," he explains. "Usually I tell people not to scrimp on the cabinets, but countertops and floors can be more easily changed at a later date. We can still achieve the look and color they want."
He applied the same philosophy to creating a connection between the kitchen and family room. Making a pass-through did the job and only entailed adding a 4 × 12 header. Removing the whole wall would have required time and expense.
Eberle doesn't let clients buy their own products to keep costs down, except for appliances and plumbing fixtures. More often, though, his company purchases the appliances and fixtures, then adds 10 percent to the cost for installation. It's hard to apply a big markup to products that consumers can easily buy for less, but they understand the idea of having a professional integrate their installation with the rest of the remodel.
"We don't want to find out they have different installation requirements or pieces are missing," Eberle explains. "If we can't install it and have to pay the plumber to come back, then he's going to charge us for the service call. Most people seem to agree with that."