Expert Q&A:

Tackling a kitchen renovation? Here are a few pointers on how to get the most out of your remodel, plus a few tips on how to keep it safe!

LIP: Before I start a remodel, is there anything I can do as a DIY to save money?
MG: You can remove the existing cabinets yourself and reuse them to organize a garage, laundry room or home shop. Depending on how far you want to go you can also remove the wall, ceiling and floor coverings. This part of the project isn’t the expensive phase but it would save you a little money. One important thing is to leave all framing and let the contractor determine if certain walls are bearing or not.

LIP: How can I tell if my renovation is realistic and within my budget?
MG: Working with a design build firm like ours can help you stay on budget. Our first step is to gather our client’s wants and needs. Then, we design their space based on their wish list and prepare a budget as best as we can that is comparable to the client’s. After a brief discussion, we then point out changes that can be made in design or product selections to adjust the budget as needed.

LIP: Should I hire a contractor/designer who has been recommended by a friend?
MG: Recommendation is our lifeline, 87 percent of our work is from a recommendation or repeat clients, so if your friend has had a positive experience you should definitely interview the contractor or designer they recommended. Just remember that everyone has different tastes and opinions and you need to feel comfortable with the professionals you choose to work with. It is a team effort and you will be making the final decisions based on their advice.

LIP: What choices can I make to ensure the layout of my kitchen is a safe one?
MG: One of the important aspects of design is to always take safety and health into consideration. Having specific work areas dedicated to certain tasks, making sure traffic will flow without obstructions all come into making for a safe and healthy kitchen.

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.