By Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R.
Think fast! You’ve only got 20 minutes left to decide if you should remodel your dilapidated kitchen or bathroom before the devastation begins. But wait! It’s too late for that. You should have done it years ago so that you actually had time to enjoy the renovation before the sirens went off. Now aren’t you sorry you waited? Consider the error in Hawaii a wake-up call.
My advice is to get a jump on things before it’s too late. Stop living in squalor and live it up! Today you have more choices in colors and designs and materials, at a wider price range, than ever before. And since the government is presently shut down there’s less to do anyway. Why not stroll over to your local kitchen and bath dealer to see what you can do, before someone does something to you?
This month, the annual Remodeling Cost vs Value report has been published showing which home improvements have gone up or down in respect to the return on your investment. Just Google: “Cost vs Value” or take a look at http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2017/middle-atlantic/ for our area. The standouts this year are increases in return on mid-range Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels.
More choices, better values, higher returns! What are you waiting for? Find yourself a licensed home improvement contractor with a stellar reputation (by looking at his stars on the internet) and you’re well on your way. Don’t worry about getting lost in the dreaded Kitchen Triangle, your professional will guide you through the pitfalls of poor design and point you to a creative solution to even the most perplexing floor plan conundrums. Streamlining the interior of the cabinetry to suit your every need, the trained mind of an experienced designer, using intelligent design, can increase your storage capacity without changing the size of your room!
Take out your pencil and paper. Make a list of everything that you must have in your new kitchen or bathroom. Then make a second list or “wish list” of additional things that would be great if your budget is amenable. Come up with a budget that you would be comfortable with for the project and discuss all of this with your designer or contractor. If you’re not sure what your budget should be, the experts say for a completely new kitchen it’s roughly 5% to 15% of the value of your home. This breaks down to about 5% for design costs; 40% for cabinets; 15% countertops; 15% for appliances; 5% flooring; 3% fixtures and 17% labor. This, of course, is only an estimate and will be affected by your choice of materials, the age of your home, and if you are making any structural changes to the area.
To paraphrase myself (and who better to do so) now that the sirens have gone off it brings to mind the 50’s, when we were taught in elementary school, in case of a nuclear attack, to duck under our desks and cover our heads. This we were assured, by Bert the turtle, would certainly protect us from Armageddon and in case of a nuclear blast we would live to tell about it. Just Google: “Duck and Cover” or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqXu-5jw60 to watch the riveting 1951 production of Duck and Cover.
Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R., is president of DreamWork Kitchens, Inc. located in Mamaroneck, New York. A Master of Design (Pratt Institute), and E.P.A. Certified Remodeler, he serves on the Advisory Panel of Remodeling Magazine. A member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc., he is also a contributor to eZine and Do It Yourself magazine. He can be reached for questions at 914-777-0437 or www.dreamworkkitchens.com.