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How to start a kitchen or bath redesign

Doing a redesign on your home can seem daunting. How do you plan it? How to do you hire a reputable contractor? What design would work best for your home?

Eric Goranson, a certified kitchen designer (CKD) with Lake Oswego Cabinetry, talks to Pete about how painless the process can be, and what you should look for in a kitchen designer.

If you’ve already decided this is a process you want to undertake, Eric suggests first “coming up with a plan of attack. Are you going to shred the whole house? Or are you just looking for a kitchen or a bath?”

Then he recommends finding what you like on Pinterest. You can pin your specific tastes to a board and share it with a kitchen designer to show them what you’re looking for in your kitchen or bath.

Then, he says, you should think about the form, fit and function. For example, if you live in a Victorian home, you probably don’t want to install a “Jetsons” kitchen – it just won’t fit with the existing aesthetics of your home. Then, are you an entertainer? Are you looking to resell your home in a few years? “And,” Eric adds, “are we talking a $5,000 appliance budget, or a $35,000 appliance budget? Those things really help almost design the space.”

So how do you budget for a kitchen redesign?

Eric says “forget everything you’ve ever seen on Home and Garden or DIY network.” Your kitchen design price really depends on the home’s value. “It comes into the scale; 12% to 15% of the house price is the price of a big kitchen remodel for that house.”

If you’re trying to prioritize in terms of cost, “cabinetry is going to be a big-ticket item,” Eric says. “The appliances, counter tops and labor.” Typically, labor is 40% of the cost, and materials are 60%, he adds.

When budgeting, Pete says it’s also very important to remember that you get what you pay for. “Low-ball contractors are going to low-ball you,” in change-orders, he says. When unexpected occurrences like dry rot, or animal infestations set back the schedule, chances are that the lowest-bidding contractor is going to cost you more money.

If you’re looking at a remodel, here are some trends you’ll want to keep in mind for 2014:

Under-cabinet lighting “There’s a new system out there that’s actually a track system that mounts, that has LED lighting, a docking station, a plug mold, and a USB port.” You can plug in your iPod or device and play music through the snap-in speakers.

Zephyr Range hoods “Every hood has its own remote,” Eric says, which means you can remotely turn on the fan from across the room. The hoods also have quieter motors and fans, so you don’t have to shout over the noise.

Quiet dishwashers Thanks to the “dishwasher wars,” companies are battling to come out with the quietest dishwashers. Old dishwashers, Eric says, used to run around 90 decibels. New ones have reduced the noise to be 40 decibels.

Stand-alone refrigerators and freezers Thanks to redesigns by Subzero, your fridge and freezer no longer have to be attached. You can now relocate your freezer to a less-used area of the kitchen, near the pantry, for example, and have more prep area in your kitchen.

Listen to the whole show.

Home Matters with Pete and Rob can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. or anytime at Like Home Matters on Facebook.

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