Kitchen Design: Four Brothers’ Standard Process
In the world of home remodeling, no two jobs are exactly alike. Even in projects such as kitchen renovations that seemingly involve all the same basic elements (cabinets, appliances, countertops and backsplash), subtle, and sometimes not so subtle differences present themselves and have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
That being said, we have worked to systemize every step of our design/build process. We strive to work efficiently for our clients which helps keep overhead and project costs down. Outlined below are the steps that are typically involved in a Four Brothers kitchen remodel. We like to think of these steps as a “road map” to be followed as closely as possible with the understanding that on any journey, detours may be required!
Initial In-home Consultation
- During this meeting our kitchen designer(s) will meet with the homeowner for a preliminary discussion regarding the layout of the new kitchen. She will take detailed measurements of the existing space, discus cabinetry and finish options, and then produce several sketches of potential configurations.
- Using the homeowner’s reaction to the rough sketches as a guide, our designer will develop detailed schematic drawings of one or more new kitchen floor plans in addition to three-dimensional perspectives. While the final cabinet style and appliance selections may not be defined at this point, the schematics will reflect the styles discussed during the in-home consultation.
- Once the schematic drawings are complete, we invite the homeowner into our design studio to present the drawings and then discuss the pros and cons of each option. Candid feedback from the homeowner will be requested. At this meeting our designers will also present material samples, cabinetry door styles and other finishes. Typically, homeowners are able to refine many of their material selections at this point. However, when additional options are desired, our kitchen designer schedules appointments to various area showrooms.
Revisions to Schematic Design
- Based on the feedback given during the schematic presentation, our designers will revise the kitchen layouts to reflect the requested changes. We will then email the homeowner the revisions and request approval.
- Once the homeowner has approved the schematic kitchen design, we schedule a walkthrough with our trusted trade partners: Electrician, Plumber, HVAC Technician etc. This gives them the opportunity to compare the existing kitchen with the proposed plans.
First Round of Precise Pricing and Materials Selection Report
- Following the trade walkthrough, our Team Leader will complete the first comprehensive round of final pricing. This is based on material quotes (cabinets, countertops, tile, lighting etc.), trade partner feedback, and estimated labor. He’ll revise the preliminary kitchen estimate into a Working Contract with base pricing along with any options. Lastly, he’ll put together a Material Selections Report (MSR) in which all required materials will be listed along with dollar allowances for everything that has not yet been defined.
Presentation of Working Contract
- Once the working contract is complete, we will invite the homeowner into our design studio once again. At this meeting, we will read through the working contract together, and discuss all work scopes in detail. Our kitchen designer will discuss the cost ramifications of various design details, along with alternative finish options if necessary. At the end of the meeting we will once again request candid feedback from the homeowner.
Final Contract Revision
- Based on the feedback of the homeowner, the Team Leader will revise the contract as necessary to reflect new work scopes and pricing. If final tweaks to the drawings are required, our kitchen designer will make these at this time.
Sign Contract and Finalize Job Start Date
- Once the contract is finalized, we will request a signature and deposit from the homeowner. This will allow us to order materials with long lead times such as cabinets. This is of particular importance if fully custom cabinetry is being used. We will also determine the exact date that construction will begin, and put a placeholder in our production calendar.
Final Selections and Ordering
- After the contract is signed, our design team will work with the homeowner to complete any outstanding material selections and place all orders. If a selection comes in below the dollar allowance in the MSR, the homeowner will be credited the balance. If a selection comes in above the allowance, a bill for the difference will be issued.
- Several weeks before the start of the kitchen renovation, the Team Leader will schedule a preconstruction meeting with the homeowner, Production Manager and Lead Carpenter who will be running the project. This takes place in the clients home, and gives everyone the opportunity to meet before construction begins. We cover our standard pre-construction checklist, and discuss logistical issues such as dumpster placement, alarm codes, lock up procedures, and anything else that might be important. At this point, the renovation project is ready to begin!