Building Your Dream Kitchen with Metropolitan Contractors
Your home is not just the place where you sleep, eat and shower. A home is a place of respite, an oasis of calm in a bustling world. We want our homes to not only shelter, but inspire, and it’s natural to want to consistently improve one’s habitation. Thus, it is perhaps unsurprising that Americans spend around 400 billion dollars each year on home remodeling projects. Remodeling is alluring, exciting and fun; it’s a chance to spruce up your home’s aesthetic appeal and to upgrade functionality in the space where you spend the most time.
Few rooms in a house are as central to everyday living as the kitchen. Not only is it where we prepare and eat our food, it is also the place where we forge memories, make connections, and share tastes and experiences with friends and family. Anyone who’s been to a house party knows that guests always find a way to mysteriously congregate in the kitchen, and not just because the booze is all there. There is something particularly foundational and resonant about the kitchen. Modern humans may not spend as much time as our ancestors did around a fire, but we do unconsciously gravitate to the stove.
Perhaps then, you are among the tens of thousands of Americans this year who intend to remodel your kitchen. You are ready to embark on a fabulous journey, the end result which will be the kitchen of your dreams. However, remodels are complicated and full of potential pitfalls. Who is going to help you make your dream a reality? Look no further than Metropolitan Contractors of Northern Virginia.
We at Metropolitan Contractors have the know-how, the experience and the equipment to facilitate even the most ambitious kitchen remodeling projects. Metropolitan Contractors has designed and built thousands of kitchens in Northern Virginia over the past 32+ years. Here at Metropolitan Contractors, we know that every kitchen matters, as kitchens are the home’s gathering place and one of the most trafficked rooms. We design and build each kitchen in Northern Virginia according to the homeowner’s vision, and we tailor each design to satisfy both the family’s aesthetic preference and desired functionality. We have also cleaned up jobs many times where the contractor hired did not have the necessary tips and tricks to benefit the homeowner or simply were not able to finish the build. The process of a kitchen remodel can vary, but we have found that an initial estimate works nicely to discern the homeowner’s vision and to create a blueprint for your new dream kitchen.
We begin by mapping out the kitchen, ensuring that it fits your scheme, meets your family’s functional needs, and that the project is a worthwhile investment into your home. Finally, we execute the build. Rest assured, your dream kitchen is in the best of hands when you trust the project to Metropolitan Contractors.
Why Are You Remodeling Your Kitchen?
Before you begin planning your remodel, it is wise to have a clear idea of what you’re hoping to accomplish. Are you concerned purely with functionality– you want a more streamlined kitchen with higher end appliances and new wiring? Or are you more interested in crafting the perfect vessel for entertainment– elegant cabinetry, sleek lines and abundant shelf and counter space?
If your end goal is to increase the value of your home, a full kitchen remodel can go a long way towards luring potential buyers. The reasons for your kitchen remodel could combine elements of several different overarching goals. Let’s review the three most common motives for a cookroom remodel.
● Revamping the Floor Plan. An outdated floor plan can degrade the flow of your kitchen and make the space a drag to inhabit. If you desire a better feng shui and overall feel for your new dream kitchen, you may want to consider layout changes. Common kitchen layouts include:
- The Galley, named after the galley of a ship and best suited for tight spaces. Typically, galleys are thin corridor kitchens enclosed by two parallel walls. In homes with limited usable square footage, a galley kitchen may be the best design option, as galley layouts make for the most efficient use of your space. What’s more, you’ll never have to worry about having too many cooks in the kitchen again.
- Single Wall Kitchens, also called a straight kitchen layout, is the complete opposite of a galley kitchen. Instead of two walls that enclose a narrow space, everything that makes the kitchen – appliances and all – is housed along one long wall. Similar to galley kitchens, single wall kitchens are also suitable for homes with limited space, like apartments and condos.
- L-Shaped Layouts make the most of a kitchen’s corner space, utilizing two perpendicular walls that form a shape like the letter L. Homeowners appreciate this design because of the ideal distance it creates between the refrigerator and stove, which are commonly placed at extreme ends of the “L,” with the sink near the angle formed at its center. This layout makes a perfect “work triangle,” which, according to Architectural Digest, is still the best way to design a kitchen.
- U-Shaped Kitchens. Consider a U-shaped layout for your kitchen remodel if you have three available walls that you can dedicate to your new space. One of the most spacious layout options, the U-shaped kitchen supports all appliances, countertops, cabinets, and storage spaces along three walls. An island is often placed in the room’s center for additional surface area and seating.
- Island Kitchens are highly functional, classic designs for an open-concept kitchen layout. Additionally, peninsulas, or islands that are connected to wall-based cabinets, can be a great way to achieve the island feel while also sectioning off a portion of your kitchen space.
There are, of course, motivations for a kitchen remodel beyond just the floorplan. Alternative motivators include:
● Return on Investment (ROI). Kitchens sell houses, so they say. And if you’re trying to sell your home, a kitchen remodel might be just the thing you need to get the best return on your investment. According to Trulia, kitchens and master baths are the two most important rooms to dial in before listing your house on the market.
How much you can typically recoup on a renovation has a lot to do with how much you spend and what kind of renovations you choose. For example, the national average ROI for a major upscale kitchen remodel is almost 54%. That means, for example, that you would recoup about $68,000 after spending around $126,000.
One way to maximize the Return on Investment for your kitchen remodel is to create a huge impact while avoiding a huge price tag. Below are a few ways for you to save money during your remodel:
- Paint or Refinish Your Cabinets. Instead of getting rid of your current cabinets, consider painting or refinishing them. Are the cabinet faces too outdated? Consider re-facing your cabinetry.
- Don’t Underestimate the Backsplash. A new tile backsplash can bring a kitchen color palette together, and it usually only costs a few hundred dollars in materials. Metropolitan Contractors can then install your bright new backsplash.
- Paint Your Appliances. If your appliances are still in good shape but the colors look faded and dated, you can get them painted at a local body shop. Using your existing appliances instead of buying brand new ones is a great way to save money.
- Consider All of Your Flooring Options. Vinyl flooring has come a long way and is cheaper than installing real hardwood or slate floors. You can find styles that mimic high-end finishes for a sleek, modern, sophisticated look, at a fraction of the price. .
And sometimes, all a kitchen needs is a system update. Another motivation for a remodel could thus be simply to modernize and upgrade fixtures. Metropolitan Contractors can help you to achieve this end as well.
● Updating Fixtures and Surfaces. Many homeowners think that a complete renovation is necessary to spruce up their outmoded kitchens. However, if you aren’t bothered by the layout of your kitchen, then consider simply upgrading its fixtures and surfaces. Adding some modern touches to your existing kitchen might be all you need to feel better about the space. Below are a couple popular design trends to consider for kitchen fixtures and surfaces.
- Copper Finishes. Fixtures, such as faucets and sinks, when rendered in copper add a sleek, modern touch to your older kitchen.
- Tile Countertops are Making a Comeback. Whether it’s retro hexagonal or large-format tiles, redoing surfaces can make a huge difference in refreshing your kitchen space. And tile is making a comeback.
Make Your Budget Work For You
Generally speaking, if you are hoping to recoup some cost in eventually selling your home, a kitchen remodel should cost no less than 5 percent and no more than 15 percent of the value of your home. It is well worth the cost, as 20 percent of realtors surveyed by the National Association of Realtors(©) say a completed kitchen remodel helped to close a sale on a home.
Even if you plan on staying in your home forever, knowing what and how to budget in order to build the kitchen of your dreams is essential to the remodel planning process.
Follow your budget closely, and be sure to incorporate contingency funds. All remodels, especially those on older homes, will contain hidden surprises and unforeseen costs. A useful budgeting tool is the One-Third Rule. This helps to guide your remodel by splitting up expenditures into thirds:
- One Third goes to new or refinishing existing cabinets.
- One Third dedicated to finishes – sink, fixtures, appliances, countertops, flooring (all the aesthetic, fun and functional stuff).
- One Third gets earmarked for installation and labor.
What Improvements Should I Focus On For My Kitchen Remodel?
Now that you have a clear idea of why, how, and with what budget you want to remodel your kitchen, you may be wondering about the specifics of the project, priorities to consider, and items that will need to be addressed. A kitchen remodel amidst the disparate four-season climate of Northern Virginia is no small task, with hot humid summers and cold snowy winters each taking a toll on kitchen and building infrastructure in their own way.
Rest assured, Metropolitan Contractors will guide you through every step, and our experts will ensure that everything gets installed correctly, the first time. Below is a list of specific items that will typically be addressed in a comprehensive kitchen remodel.
● Shopping for New Appliances. Appliances are a major component to the remodel, eating up a good chunk of the budget and floor space alike. An overlooked appliance issue can throw a wrench into your entire remodel project. As well, upgrading appliances ensures energy efficiency, saving money in the long run. Look for the Energy Star symbol or similar notations of efficiency for potential tax credits, energy savings, and to learn if you need to have an electrician upgrade your circuit to accommodate any new appliances.
● Flooring. Whether you go with hardwood, tile or laminate, make sure your kitchen flooring is durable, waterproof and aesthetically appealing. After all, the kitchen is one of the home’s most heavily trafficked rooms.
● Cabinets. Cabinet upgrades are an absolute must for any self-respecting kitchen remodel. Even with trends for open shelving prompting more people to forego upper cabinets altogether, there’s still no better way to hold up your countertops or add storage below than the fabulous cabinet. If you’re looking to save some money, you can paint or refinish existing cabinets, but keep in mind that this process is labor-intensive, so what you save in materials may end up getting paid for in labor. Another option is to reface your existing cabinets.
● Fresh Paint. Installing new cabinetry often requires new painting. Cabinet removal can damage the drywall and expose unpainted areas. A fresh coat of paint can lighten, brighten, and give your space a completely new feel.
● New Countertops. Countertops are another cherry on top of the sundae of your remodel. Natural stone products like granite or quartzite are timeless, high-quality options (often with a price tag to match). Solid surface products or laminates are less expensive but often not as durable, and often have specific restrictions (beware of too much water or hot pans, for example). Ceramic tile and even concrete are lower-cost options, but make sure they work with your design first, and understand they may limit your resale options.
● Electrical Updates: New Fixtures, Added Outlets & Hidden Wiring. When making your remodeling plans, don’t forget to upgrade your electrical wiring. In today’s homes, kitchens use more electricity than any other room. You may want to consider, among other voltaic improvements, adding more outlets and enhancing the quality of the room’s illumination.
● Backsplashes. Until the 1950s, kitchen backsplashes were just a few inches tall and meant only to protect walls from cooking and cleaning splashes. Since then, however, backsplashes have really come into their own, becoming a major component of kitchen design. The backsplash is often one of the last elements to be finished, but no kitchen remodel is complete without it.
● French Doors. Perhaps it’s time to say good-bye to the traditional opaque door and introduce some more light into your kitchen life. Consider French doors. These combination windows and doors create a sense of space as they flood rooms with sunlight. What’s more, new glass technologies mean that the security and insulation concerns of the past are increasingly outdated.
This is a short list of kitchen remodel upgrades that many clients choose to include in the remodeling process, but it is certainly not exhaustive. Be creative and maintain an open mind. The options for upgrading and refreshing your kitchen are limitless. Have fun with the process!
Why Choose Metropolitan Contractors for Your Remodel?
Beginning in 1991 as a Class A Licensed and Insured General Contractor in Northern Virginia, we had initially focused primarily on custom home renovations (interior and exterior), room additions, and common areas. We have the necessary certifications and real-world experience to successfully estimate, design and build beautiful and functional dream kitchens.
We’ve taken our 32+ years of custom kitchen remodeling expertise to homeowners with the most complete home restoration experience Northern Virginia has to offer. Taking our years of experience and processes as a custom remodeler/builder, and applying these same standards to repairing homes damaged by Fire, Water or Storms, we have been able to offer that same “custom touch” approach and excellence standards to repairing or rebuilding homes covered by an insurance policy. There are clear differences between the two remodeling modalities, but understanding the reality of the process, and utilizing insights we have gleaned over the years, can provide unique opportunities to clients that might otherwise have been overlooked.
Serving Northern Virginia since 1991
Metropolitan Contractors is located at 3909 Railroad Avenue, Fairfax, Virginia. For over 32 years, our company has grown and expanded our services to serve Northern Virginia’s homeowner needs in an ever-changing and ever-expanding market.