Home improvement is easy if you don’t have DIY skills, right? You hire a good contractor, you open your favorite frosty beverage and kick back. Job done. Or is it? Believe it or not, this is how most home remodeling nightmare stories start. There’s a little-known secret in our industry and I’m going to share it with you right now, are you ready?

Most people think kitchen and bath upgrades are about building something but that’s not the core of the project – there’s so much more than the construction.

In reality, you’re starting a small business, and like it or not, you are the CEO. Yes, I’m serious. And with that in mind, we are engaging in a business partnership with the goal of increasing the value of your property. In order for our partnership and project to be successful, you need to be hands-on in that process. This is the reason we encourage you to research before you call us.

So, before you open up your small business, AKA, remodel your kitchen or bath, here are five things you should decide before you even start calling contractors, even us.

First, research and determine your budget

Here at Explore Granite, we work hard to give you the best value within your budget. That’s why it’s important for you to take the time to realistically calculate what you can afford to spend. We’ll ask. I know, this might seem like a ruse to hustle you for every penny we can, but the truth is, it allows us to provide you with the best value.

When you decide on your budget beforehand, you allow your contractor to suggest products and designs that can give you what you want, without breaking your bank. In fact, once they’ve shared their budget, a huge number of our clients are pleasantly surprised at the options they can afford.

  • Secure financing or have funds available before engaging a contractor. It allows us to lock in the best deals, as prices and supply can change overnight.
  • Be sure you are comfortable with your proposed budget. Put aside some of the funds for change orders and add-ons that you decide on in the process.
  • Get up-front pricing on as many items as possible to get a clear picture of the total cost of your bath or kitchen upgrade.

Second, you’ll want to establish a schedule

We’ve all seen the movie where the contractor takes forever to finish a simple remodel. Most contractors have been there at least once, but it might surprise you to know, it’s rarely the contractor stalling the process. Before you engage a crew of highly paid home improvement experts to rebuild your home, make sure it fits your schedule.

Construction timelines can be tricky, and our goal is to finish each client’s renovation in a timely manner. Delays and changes to the schedule can be costly and while we see your project as a priority, you won’t be the only client on our calendar. Laborers need to work, and any day they are unable to get into your kitchen or bath, is a day they might not get paid.

  • Consider your family calendar. Do you have a birthday, anniversary or other family celebrations that you need your newly remodeled kitchen ready for?
  • Are you expecting guests that need that spare bath we’re remodeling? That’s important to know.
  • How soon will you be starting your project? We need lead time to order material and products. Please don’t come to us a week before you want to start.

Third, explore your existing space

Take the time to look over your existing kitchen and bath before making any major decisions about what you want to change. You may actually find there is a lot to love in your existing spaces. You should understand this; you are the CEO of this business, you decide what goes and what stays. You shouldn’t make changes just because your contractor suggests it.

  • Keep things that work for you. If they need updating or design upgrades, your contractor may be able to suggest a replacement that gives you the same feeling.
  • Insist on changing things you can’t stand. You have to live with the result and you are likely not going to want to go through this process again. Remember, it’s unusual for a change you identify to be something that cannot be done, it’s usually only a matter of money and time.
  • Take some clear smartphone pictures to show your contractor. This is invaluable when it comes time to plan the job.

Taking the time to think about your space and what you want before thinking about colors, styles and materials can help put you on the right path for your kitchen or bathroom upgrade. The goal of any good contractor will be to create a win-win outcome; one where you are satisfied and they make a fair profit from the job.

Fourth, explore the ways you use your kitchen or bath

Not everyone is a gourmet chef. Seriously, if you don’t need a massive granite island countertop to bake for an army, we don’t want to sell it to you. On the other hand, you want to include as many of the features you’ll use as possible. We want you to be deliriously happy with the kitchen or bath we install for you.

Need a large double vanity in your bathroom? Great! We’ve got options. But deciding this halfway through the process will cost you time and money.

  • Start with the workspace; how much and what kind do you need?
  • If it’s a bath remodel, go over your daily routine. Are there definite changes you want to make or features you want to upgrade? Let us know.
  • Consider tool and linen storage, appliance layout and traffic patterns. Does your family eat in the kitchen? Do you need extra seating?

You don’t have to design all of the solutions before you contact us but knowing what your challenges and requirements are will make it easier for us to meet your needs. This is a partnership after all. You provide us with your requirements and we’ll help you find the right pieces to build your dream kitchen or bath.

Lastly, explore the materials you want

We have eight amazing wholesale partners at Explore Granite & Quartz and we welcome you to view our product lines. We’ve set up our site specifically to help you envision your ideal kitchen or bath. You’ll want to think from the ground up; start with tile, then cabinets, countertops, sinks, and backsplash.

  • Choose a place to start working on your design palette. Don’t forget to prioritize your spending to include the most critical items first.
  • Providing your contractor with options, instead of one specific demand in each category, will give you the best chance at a good result.
  • Be sure you incorporate the rest of your existing decor in your design decisions, especially areas that can be seen from your kitchen or bath.

Select a color palette and some images of designs you can draw inspiration from. The more you bring us to work with, the easier our partnership will be.

Explore First.