Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling FAQs

by Matt Solis


Do you have questions about an upcoming remodeling project or kitchen and bathroom remodeling in general? Below, we answer several commonly asked questions about kitchen and bathroom remodeling, as well as hiring and working with a contractor.

Q: Can I remodel my kitchen and/or bathroom myself?
A: Depending on your ability and contracting knowledge, you may be able to take on some of the work yourself. However, like with most major home improvement and construction projects, kitchen and bathroom remodeling is usually best left to the professionals. If you’re looking to cut costs, there may be some aspects of the job you can do, such as tearing out old cabinets and flooring. Your contractor may also allow you to handle trash removal, preparation work, or painting or wallpapering. Talk to your contractor about how you can help with the process without getting in the way or causing more damage.

Q: What determines the cost of my new kitchen and/or bathroom?
A: The size of your kitchen, the materials you choose and the complexity of the job will greatly influence the cost. Cabinets often account for up to half of the total cost of a new kitchen and bathroom, and they’re usually the largest single expense in a remodel or upgrade. Cabinets come in a range of prices that reflect their quality, craftsmanship and material. Keep in mind, if you try to save money by buying cheaper materials, you may end up having to replace surfaces years sooner than if you had purchased custom, high-quality products.

Labor and design costs are also costly parts of any kitchen and/or bathroom remodeling project. But skilled and experienced tradespeople can often offer you a better value than cheaper contractors. When you’re considering a contractor to hire for your project, make sure you’re getting the most for your money in terms of labor and products.

Q: My kitchen and bathroom really need to be updated, but I don’t have a large budget. What should I do?
A: As with any major purchase, only spend what you can afford. You’ll want to draw up a budget before making any commitments with local contractors to see what you can realistically expect. It may be best to wait for your remodel until you can pay for it upfront. Some contractors will work out payment plans with you, and you may look into taking out a home equity loan or hiring a contractor that offers financing and loan options. You may also be able to hire a contractor that can complete the work in phases, so you can break the job into smaller, more affordable jobs.

Q: How do I choose my cabinets, countertops and appliances?
A: Some kitchen and bathroom contractors have designers on-staff, and most contractors will help you select products that best fit your home. The contractor you hire may also have relationships with local showrooms or designers. While your budget will dictate the quality and materials that you ultimately choose, it’s important to consider the ways you’ll use your space to ensure you’re getting appliances, cabinets, and countertops that look great and function properly.

Q: How long will my bathroom and/or kitchen remodel take to complete?
A: Projects may last a few days to several months. The size of your space and the complexity of the remodel will dictate how long the work takes. Your selection of products and materials may also impact the length of time. For example, custom cabinets take longer to build and install than prefabricated cabinets. Your contractor should be able to give you an estimated start and end date, and provide you with the estimated completion time for major milestones along the way.

Q: What can I expect during the kitchen and bathroom remodeling process?
A: Every contractor works differently, but the process for most bathroom and kitchen renovations is similar. First, the contractor will tear out any non-necessary cabinets, flooring, surfaces and walls. New electrical and plumbing work is installed, and then walls are repaired or built. Contractors will usually install the cabinets next, before adding countertops and plumbing fixtures. Flooring, appliances and finish work are usually the last items in a renovation. Ask your contractor for a specific timeline of the process and talk to them about other items you’ll need to know while the work is in progress. For instance, if you’ll be living at home during the remodel, discuss options for installing a temporary kitchen and the dust control measures you can expect.

Q: Will I have to move out of my home during the construction?
A: It depends on the size and scope of your project, your comfort, and your contractor’s preferences. If you require a major bathroom and kitchen remodel, it may be easiest for you and your family to relocate during some or all of the construction. This is especially true if you only have one bathroom or if the water needs to be turned off for long periods of time. Some contractors can set up a temporary kitchen area or will guarantee they can provide you with running water at the end of each day. Talk to your contractor about your specific needs and their recommendations.

Q: Will a kitchen remodel increase my home’s value?
A: Yes. The national average return on a remodeled kitchen is between 80 and 135 percent. That means most homeowners who install a new kitchen increase the value of their home and get back most (if not all) of the money they put into the project.

Q: Will a bathroom renovation increase my home’s value?
A: Yes. Just like with kitchen renovations, bathroom remodeling projects can see a 90 to 130 percent return. These increases in home value may depend on the location of your home, so talk to your contractor and a real estate expert for specific return on investment information regarding your home.

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified kitchen and bathroom contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a kitchen and bathroom remodeling company with confidence by offering a list of local, top rated companies that have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only kitchen and bath room remodeling contractors rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified company.

Use Diamond Certified Resource to find top rated companies.

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