General Woodcraft Blog

Kitchen Design is in the Details

Posted by Amy Cornell on Tue, Apr 07, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

General Woodcraft Kitchen Design Budget Ideas

Like the little black dress, white kitchen cabinetry is a beautiful choice that will never go out of style. But, how do you stand out among other white kitchens? Accessories, of course. One of the reasons homeowners gravitate toward white cabinetry is because it provides a crisp and neutral backdrop which can be customized to reflect one's style (and budget). Add some unique hardware, artful glass, furniture-style legs and feet (photo), custom molding and panels, whatever suits your taste. The only rule is this: make it your own. Because nobody likes to hide behind the punch bowl because they're wearing the same dress as their neighbor.

General Woodcraft kitchen designers work with quality cabinet manufacturers whose incredible accessory choices will help to create your dream kitchen. If we can't find the "bling" you're dreaming of, chances are good we can build it. Our onsite woodworking shop has professional craftsmen ready to help bring your kitchen project to life.


We love what we do ... and you will too.


Tags: custom woodwork, planning your kitchen, cabinetry, custom kitchen cabinets

How to Plan a Kitchen Design Budget in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by Jennifer Wilson on Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

Don’t roll your eyes just yet. Just because your last remodel budget didn’t quite match up to the charges on your credit card doesn’t mean your next project will turn out that way. Believe it or not, you actually can have a kitchen design budget that fits your finances and still gives you the kitchen of your dreams. Let’s find out how…

STEP 1.      PLAN! It’s a nasty four letter word, but having a plan is the key to successful kitchen design budgeting. The average mid-scale remodel costs homeowners about $50,000. In general, kitchen design budgets can range from $5,000 to $105,000. Unless you have an unlimited supply of funds, you probably don’t want to risk falling willy-nilly in between those numbers. A good rule of thumb is to spend anywhere from 5% to 15% of the value of your home on your kitchen remodel.

Check out the average home price in your neighborhood and then determine where your home falls on that spectrum. You don’t want to under-spend, but you don’t want to make your house the "Taj Mahal of Trailer Park Terrace" either. Keep your design reasonable enough to match comparable real estate values in your area and realistic enough to meet your kitchen design needs. Also, think about how long you plan on staying in your home. This will help you determine if your remodel will be more of a financial investment or an emotional one.

modern kitchen with striated slab style cabinetry
STEP 2.      Plan for the Expected Every item you put into your kitchen will come at a cost. You will even have to spend money to have items removed from your kitchen. Knowing what you will have to pay for, and what you want to pay for, will help you get your numbers in order. Start by setting a priority list of must-haves. You must have a designer, you must have a contractor, you must have good insurance if you plan on doing the renovation yourself.

Once you have your list of necessary items for the remodel, assign a dollar amount to each one. Industry studies and reports show the average breakdown for a professional kitchen remodel is as follows:

·        Flooring – 5%
·        Walls/Trim - 3%
·        Counter tops – 18%
·        Appliances – 15%
·        Cabinetry – 48%
·        Fixtures – 6%
·        Electrical and lighting – 5%

These figures are for mid-range kitchen remodels. Higher end remodels will usually allocate more money for appliances and fixtures. These target percentages include labor. If you plan on remodeling yourself, you can probably tweak these to reflect lower labor costs. If you are having trouble with this initial phase of the budget, contact one of our kitchen design specialists for a FREE Kitchen Design Consultation.


STEP 3.      Plan for the Unexpected Rarely does a remodel go perfectly. No one ever knows what lurks behind wallboard, under flooring and in pipes. If the kitchen design needs to change, so does the budget. Always allow an additional 10% for contingencies. Many homeowners forget the inconvenience of a kitchen remodel. Unless your kitchen is being made over between lunch and dinner, chances are you will have to allow for outside meals. If the remodel is extensive and you can’t even think about rooming with your parents or in-laws, hotel costs might have to be included in your budget as well.

traditional white wood cabinets and black granite counter tops
STEP 4      Plan for Paying it Back Unless your in-laws want to fund your dream kitchen, you will probably have to finance the j
ob or pay for it out of your savings. Home equity loans, personal loans and even credit cards are all viable options for funding your kitchen remodel. However, they all have fees associated with them. Be sure to account for these fees in your budget in order to get a realistic idea of what your new kitchen will ultimately cost.

STEP 5      Plan to Stay on TrackPreparing your budget is just the beginning. Once the project gets underway, you must track every penny you spend. Well, maybe not every penny, but at least every $100 or so. Homeowners often get so wrapped up in seeing their kitchen dream come to fruition that they forget to look at how quickly their money is disappearing. Before they know it, they are over-budget. Stay on track with your kitchen design budget. Set a schedule to review your expenses every few days or once a week. Get receipts for everything and keep a file dedicated solely to your dream kitchen. It’s a lot easier to stop a slow leak than to have to repair a burst pipe.

As the saying goes, "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance". Get the dirty work of budgeting done before you get down and dirty with your kitchen remodel. It may take a little time, but budgeting properly will prevent your kitchen project from becoming a nightmare of a money pit and keep your dream kitchen on financial track to a rewarding reality.


Tags: planning your kitchen, kitchen planning tips, kitchen design, kitchen design budget

Kitchen Design: Why Use a Kitchen Designer?

Posted by Jennifer Wilson on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

So you’ve spent months, maybe even years, clipping and cutting out images of your dream kitchen. You’ve finally got everything together and you’re ready to embark on the adventure of a kitchen remodel. But wait… do you have a kitchen designer?

modern kitchen with neutral tones

What?” you ask. “Why do I need to use a professional kitchen designer?

I’m so glad you asked. Remodeling your kitchen, or building one from the studs in without the use of an experienced kitchen designer is like pulling out your own tooth. You might get rid of the toothache and you may even be able to chew again, but not without serious complications and a lot of pain. Think of kitchen designers as qualified dentists with laughing gas. They not only know exactly how to accomplish your goals, they make the whole process tolerable.

Kitchen designers take the busy work out of the whole design process so that you can enjoy it.

Traditional_New_england_kitchenYes, I said enjoy a remodel. There are so many things to consider when designing your kitchen. You have to choose the layout, appliances, cabinetry and countertops. You have to make decisions about numerous minute details, from the fixtures to the floors and everything in between. The kitchen design process can be quite overwhelming. But not for kitchen designers. Professional kitchen designers are passionate about what they do. kitchen designers excel at juggling all of those trivial, yet essential aspects of kitchen design and can free you up to focus only on those elements that really matter, like cost, color and completion date.

The first thing an experienced kitchen designer will do is determine what you want in your new kitchen. Functionality will be central to the kitchen design and will provide a fertile foundation from which all other design ideas will spring. Once a functional plan begins to blossom, then the fun begins. Designers have access to product lines, specialty items and software that will allow them to present you with unique kitchen creations custom designed for you. They will explain why one feature is beneficial and another not. They will work with you to ensure that your space meets all of your family’s requirements and stays within your budget. And best of all, kitchen designers can show you a virtual rendering of your dream kitchen so that you can try before you buy.

My sister is an experienced home designer and designed and renovated her own kitchen years warm traditional kitchen with simple white cabinetry and minimal accentsago. As talented as she is at designing her own spaces, she did this without the help of a professional kitchen designer. And although the final product was truly incredible, it put an equally incredible strain on her family. The walls were exposed for months, the electric and plumbing had to be completely re-configured, which added to the total cost, and her husband became less than enamored with the whole new kitchen idea the longer it took. In the end, even though the kitchen was absolutely beautiful, the dishwasher and dish cabinet could not be opened at the same time. The remodel process became the topic of many family jokes.

lighted glass display cabinet in traditional kitchenIf you plan on investing money in the most important room in your home, invest just a little bit more time to ensure that your new kitchen will turn out exactly how you want



Tags: planning your kitchen, kitchen planning tips, kitchen design, kitchen designer

Tips on Planning Your Dream Kitchen

Posted by Lisa Kobar on Wed, Sep 05, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

transitional white kitchen white slab quartz island

So you’re finally going to do it!  You really are… you’re going to re-do your kitchen… Yeah!  You’ve been gathering ideas for months (or if you’re like most people, probably years).  You keep the obligatory stack of magazines with sticky notes fluttering on page after page of gorgeous photos beside your bed (what better way to slip into kitchen dreamland).  You’re constantly flipping through pages saying to yourself… “I wish!” …. Well, the truth is, sometimes that’s all you have to do.  If you can “wish” it, you can most likely make it happen.  That’s not saying that you don’t have to be realistic, honest and open to ideas or suggestions.  Once you’ve embraced the idea that you can have your “wish” kitchen, the next step is find the right design professional to help you make it happen.

Custom painted kitchen cabinetry with stained island kitchen cabinets

“Oh no!” you think to yourself, “I can’t afford a kitchen professional”…. The truth is you really can’t afford to not work with a kitchen design professional.  You’ll find that most kitchen designers, kitchen design centers and custom kitchen companies offer their professional design services as part of the entire kitchen “package”.   That’s not to say that you won’t be “paying” for their efforts, these services are usually incorporated into the total cost of your project.  Most designers are banking on the hope that once they’ve wowed you with their ideas, you’ll sign on the dotted line to purchase cabinetry, maybe counter tops and other services from them.  On the flip side, if you don’t feel it’s a good fit and you choose not to hire that company to design your new kitchen, unless you’ve agreed to pay a design fee, non-refundable deposit, etc… you can usually walk away with nothing out of your pocket.  But, hopefully you’ll have ideas of what you do and don’t want in your new kitchen.  The key is for you to find that design professional that’s the right fit for you and your project.

custom wood vent hood with molding is an elegant feature

A good kitchen design professional will bring many things to your experience.  They are a wealth of design knowledge.  They’ve seen trends come and go.  They’re color analysts, babysitters (discussing framing beads while baby Emma sits on their lap), they’ll go to bat for their clients with bullish contractors, they find the perfect counter top to go with that dreamed-of baking area, they’re part time marriage counselor (often sitting between a husband and wife at the critical moments)…. But above all they will always be cognizant of how you live, how you envision using your new kitchen, and what your realistic budget is for the entire project.  A good kitchen designer will help steer you towards the products that fit within your budget, the finishes and styles that you’ve been envisioning in your new kitchen and the amenities that will create a highly functional space for the way you live.  Once you’ve found that professional, and you will….get ready for an exciting experience… one that will lead to many years of happy times and cherished memories in a beautiful new kitchen that you “wished” into reality…..


Tags: kitchen budget, cabinet design, kitchen cabinet design, planning your kitchen, kitchen planning tips