Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October's National Kitchen & Bath Month - Time To Get Started!

In October, what are you planning?

Outside the fact that the kids are back to school, October marks the season for Halloween, scheduling time for those breathtaking Fall views, and of course - wait for it - three months of retail advertising (i.e., magazines, internet, and television spots) aimed to ready us for the holiday season.

Like any memorable and celebrated event, planning takes time and effort, sound budgeting, and great execution. Kitchen and Bathroom design and renovation projects are no different. Maybe that is why homeowners may find it strange to hear that October, known as National Kitchen and Bath Month (according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association), is the perfect time to start planning a kitchen or bath project.

Now, it might cross your mind that you will not disrupt the busiest areas in your home in November through January. Given that it takes 3 to 6 months to complete a kitchen or bath renovation, a critical opportunity to start one of these projects would surely be a missed opportunity in terms of planning, material savings, and the timing of installation/repair services readily available.
 

Planning

 
The design development stages of a complete renovation often take 6-8 weeks - sometimes longer depending on architectural and functional movement. Design development includes 1) the functional and aesthetic space planning/styling required for the project, 2) the material selection and specification review time-line, and 3) the overall pricing and budgeting requirements needed to complete these areas of the design.

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Depending on the size of your project, the type of structural or plumbing changes required in your spatial design, and how quickly decisions are made, the planning stages of a kitchen or bath may be in your best interest during this time-frame. Moreover, upgrades in these spaces involving a simple facelift are greatly reduced.  Kitchen and bathroom facelifts (e.g. Painting, new tile or countertops, and resurfacing of cabinets) are quick fixes for the holidays and ideal for putting your home on the market.

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Material Ordering

 
Like many other retail stores, the kitchen and bath industry needs to create room in their current inventory and free-up room for purchasing new products based on KBIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) new trends. An update to a new countertop, the replacement of a backsplash, or the refinishing/purchase of new floors can be achieved before the holidays making October and November an excellent month to find a great deal on materials, for gathering service estimates, and for scheduling professionals for home improvements.

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If you are opting for a full renovation, material orders can take up to 6-8 weeks to receive and longer for custom pieces - 8 to 12 weeks.  That time-line for receipt and delivery to your home or local warehouse could arrive as soon as December or ideally in January. That's perfect timing for contractors looking to line-up their clients for year-end work or for starting your kitchen or bath project in the new year.  And, who knows, there could be a service price savings during the slowdown of construction during this time-frame.

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Installation or Repairs

 
All of time required for planning does pay off for the installation and/or repair of your kitchen and/or bathroom project.   Referrals are the best source for trades people.  If you have a neighbor or know someone who completed a renovation or home repair, then ask them for a referral.  Even if they may not do the work that you need, they will know the right people to recommend.  Certainly, architects, interior designers, and/or kitchen and bath professionals have lists of professionals. If you are simply purchasing tiles, countertops, or flooring for your home improvement project or face-lift, a showroom will often provide a list of tradespeople to refer as well.

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The importance of hiring the right tradespeople for your project and arranging a face-to-face meeting is sound advice on connecting their skill-set with your style. Moreover, the meeting provides an opportunity to interact and connect personalities, gather and talk to their references, provide time to submit permits for the project, and get a written commitment for an after-the-holiday start date. Although scheduling a facelift may be easier, do allow 1-2 weeks of buffer time (prior to your holiday activities) as wiggle room for pesky, unforeseen events.  The best case scenario is that you will finish ahead of schedule and the worst case is that you will finish on time. 

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Time To Get Started

 
Adding a kitchen or bath project to your seasonal to-do list in October is smart.  It's a nice buffer from the holiday to-do lists - and, who knows, you may find a great bargain plus build a strong rapport with professionals for future projects.  By starting the planning portion of your dream kitchen or bathroom in October, doing a bit of window shopping for materials and service providers, a beautiful new space(s) will only add value to your home whether it is at year-end or in the upcoming new year.

Enjoy The Fall Planning Season!


As an experienced kitchen and bath designer/interior designer, costly mistakes are made due to lack of planning a project or rushing through its completion.  The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) offers a Consumer Checklist and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) offers a free Kitchen and Bath Planner to get you started on the right foot.  And, if you are in the Westchester County, NY area, give True Identity Concepts a call and we will get your project underway. 

Are you looking for a bit more information for your next kitchen and bathroom projects? Here are a few articles worth reading: