Surviving A Remodel: A Client’s Perspective
We asked a few of our clients to share with us what their remodeling experience was like, and any tips they have for homeowners considering a renovation.
Below are the answers we received from a homeowner in Springfield who recently remodeled their kitchen with Sun Design.
Q: What was the main reason you wanted to remodel?
Our house is almost 50 years old and had not been renovated since it was built. The house had a really horrible floor plan with a small galley kitchen; think of a box divided into two L-shaped sections. The kitchen itself was unworkable and lacked both cabinet and counter space; we routinely had to use our cooktop as the prep space for meals.
We knew we wanted to take down walls and make an open concept plan, for which we’d need a build design firm. The renovation brought a lot of light into the space. We went with a contemporary design, with sleek flat-panel cabinets, quartz countertops, and a statement light fixture piece over the island. By removing walls and reconfiguring the layout, we’ve more than tripled our cabinet and counter space.
We chose Sun Design because we felt comfortable with the company and their work. We had been coming to open houses for about 2-3 years and had talked to other homeowners about how they had worked with Sun Design on their projects. When it came time to remodel we really didn’t look at anybody else. We went straight to Sun Design.
Q: What was the design process like?
We set up regular sessions over a month or so to meet with the designers and discuss floor plans as well as pick out products like tile and flooring. As we were designing the kitchen, we had a list of everything we needed to fit (plates, utensils, appliances) and we used that to apportion space in the floorplan.
My husband appreciated the process by which we planned out the cabinet and drawer. We knew what types of cabinets were going in and determined what we were going to store in every cabinet to ensure that it matched the work flow in the kitchen and made the most effective use of the space.
Q: What was it like having us in your home during this process?
It wasn’t as bad as we had expected. We stayed in the house throughout the renovation process. Sun Design protected the bedrooms and basement to keep the dust out of those spaces. We set up a mini breakfast area in an extra bedroom and moved the fridge into a corner of the living room.
Mike Linder was amazing and the subcontractors were wonderful. I was impressed with their skill and knowledge.
The hardest part of the renovation was the waiting; especially towards the end when everything started to arrive for installation. It was like Christmas, only spread out over a week or two. It was exciting to see everything come together and I was anxious to get into the space and use my new kitchen.
Q: Were there any specific struggles for you during this process? Things that didn’t go as anticipated?
Thankfully we didn’t find any major problems; you never know what you’ll discover in a house when you start opening up walls. The worst problem we had was when the siding was pulled off and we discovered a large hole that had us puzzled. Mike Linder solved the puzzle: when the house was built, to save time, they cut a hole in the frame for the ductwork but never closed it up. Mike took care of the hole.
Q: If there was something you could share with others getting ready to remodel, what would you share with them?
I would say that planning is important – have a good design and plan. Really take some time to think things out and move spaces around, giving thought to how everything is going to work. We had a general idea of what we wanted, but they [Sun Design] came up with some good ideas about how we could make it more usable, to get a better work flow and a better space.
Also, find a company that you can trust. We had heard horror stories from others and we wanted to ensure we had a solid, reputable company.
Q: Anything else you want to share?
We knew we needed a larger, more functional kitchen, but I wanted a gorgeous kitchen as well. It’s a pleasure to be in the space and I no longer feel cut off from the rest of the family. It’s been a little over a year since our project was finished and I still just love looking at the kitchen. We got more than we hoped for with this project.
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Build vs Design Approach Why approach the design with purpose? Often a remodel starts when something breaks, doesn’t work quite right, or you want to improve something (whether it’s a specific function or cosmetics). If you were looking to remodel a kitchen, for instance, from what I refer to as a “build” approach it may…
”I feel that Sun Design listens to what we have to say and that everyone there is a consummate professional. We feel so secure concerning every regard of our house because they built it and did a phenomenal job.”Claude and Mary