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How to Prepare for Your Kitchen Remodel

By Dave Hatfield

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

After remodeling our first house from top to bottom, that my wife and I bought in 1975, I realized how much I loved working with my hands. I had been working in an office and I wasn't really happy. The realtor who sold us the home, saw it 3 years later when we were going to move again, and he told me that I was good and should consider going into that business. He started giving me some work, then others whom I worked with, then their family and friends. It got to the point where I didn't have enough time for my regular job. So I incorporated in 1981 with a friend, and at first we did everything from decks, to railings and windows, some drywall, woodwork, etc., then kitchens and bathrooms which we loved doing the most. And it evolved into just remodeling kitchens and bathrooms with an occasional rec room remodel. In 2000, my son Greg came to work with us and after my partner retired in 2008, it's been just Greg and I. And we love what we do. It's a great feeling to demolish an old, tired kitchen and replace it with a beautiful new kitchen and make the homeowners happy.

What's one of the biggest mistakes you've seen people make during the kitchen design and remodel process?

I try very hard to guide any future customers as they plan their kitchen remodeling so that there aren't any mistakes, but one thing that could cause delays would be getting the cabinetry from just any supplier. or not having everything chosen and ordered before the work begins.

What do you do to help homeowners avoid this mistake?

I always recommend to my customers that they visit and talk to my trusted suppliers. I have had several suppliers over the last 35 years, but I'm very happy with the ones I have used for the last 10 - 25 years. They are reliable, sell good quality cabinetry and materials and are design professionals who can help you to choose a final layout and cabinetry. They are wonderful with my customers and they make sure that everything is there when I need it. If you go to a big home store, there's a very good chance that there will be delays, and I've even run into problems with other kitchen and bath places before. All of my suppliers are the best I've worked with and things go smoothly when the materials come from them.

What are the basic steps of a kitchen remodel? Which one is the most involved and why?

I would suggest that the first thing to do when considering remodeling their kitchen would be to look at some kitchens on a website like HGTV or Houzz to see what styles are appealing to you. Then choose a contractor whom you can trust and who has good references. I always recommend people get 3 estimates so they can compare. Then, together with your contractor, you layout your kitchen with ideas from him, as well as your own preferences and ideas. After you decide on a layout, the next step is choosing your cabinetry, countertop material, flooring, tile for the backsplash, lighting materials and appliances. Then the only thing that's left is to empty out your existing cabinets and clear off the counters before the demolition.

What are the most helpful things that people can do at the beginning of a kitchen remodel?

The most helpful things that people can do at the beginning of a kitchen remodel is to have all of their materials selected and the contractor has ordered them, and to completely empty the kitchen by the night before demolition and construction begin. Make sure to ask any questions you have as soon as you have them so there is no miscommunication between you and the contractor. I want my customers to have the kitchen of their dreams and be happy with our work so they will feel comfortable recommending us to others, and communication is very important.

What advice would you give a homeowner who wants to make the most of their budget for their kitchen remodel?

For people wanting to make the most of their budget for their kitchen remodel, it's important to choose a reasonably priced, but good quality cabinet. You want to be happy with what you chose for a long time and you want it to look good for years to come. There are many choices and price points for the other materials and it's possible to get beautiful materials such as tile and flooring and countertops without spending a fortune.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way for people to contact me is to call and leave a message on our voicemail at 215-637-7885, email me at, or fill out a form on our website. I usually make my appointments with customers on weekday evenings or sometimes on a weekend if that's the only time they're available. And I give free estimates that are usually given to the customer within 3 days, along with computer-drawn pictures, and a list of past customers to call for references.

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About The Author

My name is Dave Hatfield and I have been in the construction business since 1981,...

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