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Moments in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of every home within which the aromas of good food mingle with the laughter of family and friends. From preparing family meals to entertaining, the functionality and design of your kitchen is one of your home’s most important features. Moments in the kitchen crystallize into cherished memories. Moments worth savoring. With a Buckingham Group kitchen such moments can become everyday events.

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eight steps to your new kitchen
What do you want to do?
Have you thought about…?
What ’s your look?
setting your budget range
Finalizing your choices
How will it come together?

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4. Finalize room layout and design

The questions and format within have been adapted from the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s brochure on kitchen remodeling.

Eight steps to your new kitchen

While decorating shows on TV are fun and inspirational, the real life process of creating a new kitchen takes longer and involves many more “behind the scenes” steps than first meets the eye. Here, the NKBA spells out the eight steps to achieving your dream.

1. Assess your needs

What are your main objectives? Your priorities will drive all further decisions on budget, style, products and more. So give this step some time and talk it through with your family

2. Establish a budget range

Mr. Kaplan may have several ideas on how you can best use your space, each with different budget implications. Make notes on how you use your space, where the current roadblocks are, and what you wish worked better.

3. Contact The Buckingham Group

Determine how much you can realistically invest in your new kitchen and how you plan to pay for it. Shop around to get an idea of product prices and remember that installation can be about 17% of the budget.

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So how long will all this take?

Your NKBA professional may have several ideas on how you can best use your space, each with different budget implications. Make notes on how you use your space, where the current roadblocks are, and what you wish worked better.

5. Decide on a look

Define your style by collecting pictures, visiting showrooms and home shows, and making notes of individual elements you like.

6. Choose products

You’ll have a seemingly endless list of product decisions to make. Your experienced Buckingham Group professional can help you sort out what’s truly the best for your needs.

7. Plan for the installation

Then there are some things that just have to wait their turn. Stone countertops, for example, may not be fabricated until the cabinets are installed, to ensure the best fit.

8. Kick back and enjoy, for years to come!

Consider who will be responsible for finding and supervising the electricians, plumbers, tile contractors, carpenters, cabinet installers and all the other trades involved with a new kitchen. Plan for a substitute kitchen while yours is under construction.

Longer than a TV episode, for sure!
The size and scope of your project will determine the time frame, which could be anywhere from four to six weeks for simple improvements or changes, to six or eight months or more for a full-scale remodeling.

Be aware of delivery times
Timing also depends on product choices. Custom cabinets may take 8 to 16 weeks. Special plumbing fixtures can also require weeks for delivery.

Sometimes, things happen
Unexpected delays can occur if structural deficiencies are found when walls or floors are opened up. It’s best to tell your Buckingham Group kitchen professional if you have a deadline for your new kitchen. They can give you a realistic time estimate based on the parameters of your specific project.

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What do you want to do?

Here’s a questionnaire to get you started.

Determining your priorities for a new kitchen, and sticking to them, will help you and your Buckingham Group professional make the best decisions about budget, design, layout and products.

About Your Project

About your family

Number and age of household members:



Number and age of cooks:



Do you anticipate:

New children arriving?__ yes __ no

Children leaving home?__ yes __ no

Adult children returning home?__ yes __ no

Parent(s) coming to live with you?__ yes __ no

Does anyone in your family have physical issues that should be considered (difficulty standing, walking, bending, poor eyesight, arthritis)?




How often do you entertain? ____ times a month

Do you entertain large crowds or small groups?


Are you remodeling?__ yes __ no

Building a new home?__ yes __ no

How old is your home? _____________

How long are you planning to stay there? ______

Approximately how big is your kitchen now?
__________ ft. x _________ ft.

Thinking of expanding your kitchen?__ yes __ no

Adding on?__ yes __ no

Relocating the kitchen?__ yes __ no

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Your Goals

Would you like to have

Eating area__ yes __ no

Island__ yes __ no

Pantry__ yes __ no

Home office area__ yes __ no

Laundry area__ yes __ no

Recycling center__ yes __ no

Wine storage__ yes __ no

Three things you want most in your new kitchen:




Three things you dislike most about your kitchen now:




Update the look of the room__ yes __ no

Update kitchen for resale of our home__ yes __ no

Open up the kitchen to another room__ yes __ no
(dining room, family room, etc.)

Update with latest & greatest appliances__ yes __ no





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Have you thought about…?

As you plan your new kitchen, you may have some special personal priorities. They could be environmental concerns, health and safety issues, longer-term family needs. Many health, safety and usability factors are addressed by the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines with Access Standards. But no matter what your concerns, your Buckingham Group professional will be able to offer solutions.

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User friendly...

All kitchens should function beautifully for their users, but it’s worthwhile to think about any longterm changes anticipated in your family.
Will the kitchen be used by someone who might prefer to work while seated?
Will it be used by anyone relying on a wheelchair, walker, cane or other device? If so, is aisle space adequate?
Is there enough lighting on countertops, and even inside cabinets, for someone with diminished eyesight?
Can the dishwasher be raised to a more back friendly height?
Can rollouts and pullouts make cookware and dishes more accessible?
Will the right flooring make standing more comfortable?Are faucet handles easy to operate?

NKBA members can help you select environmentally friendly, sustainable and attractive products for your new kitchen, and can also manage your project in an environmentally responsible manner. Here are some things to consider:

Can some products be recycled? Or reused in a basement or garage?

Will new appliances be Energy Star rated?

How much water will a new dishwasher save? A new faucet?

Will the wood in your new cabinets, countertops or floors come from a sustainably managed forest? Sustainable wood products — products made from forests that grow quickly and are easily replenished — have become more popular. Examples of fast-growing species are bamboo, Lyptus, cane, and some maple.

Can you use recycled countertop materials?

Health friendly...

Can you use recycled flooring?

How energy-efficient will your new lighting be?

Do you want a recycling center?

A composting area?

Is this a good time to change to new, more efficient windows?

If any walls are going to be opened, can you add more insulation?

Will new finishes and materials be low-VOC?

A thoughtfully designed kitchen can contribute to your family’s health, safety and well-being. For example:

Excellent ventilation is essential to remove cooking odors and grease that can affect air quality. Proper ventilation also removes humidity that can contribute to mold.

Water quality issues can be addressed with a variety of filter types.
Sharp knives and cleaning products can be stored safely out of the reach of children.
If anyone in your home is highly sensitive and/or allergic, special cabinet finishes and materials can be specified to minimize problems.
Non-slip flooring can help prevent falls Proper use of GFCI s (ground-fault circuit interrupters) can prevent shocks.

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What’s your look?

It all works today. We’ve assembled these Buckingham Group kitchen remodels to help you pinpoint your favorites. Do the same with your clippings file. Note: what you love about the room: the color, the materials, a special detail or just the overall tone. The more specific you are, the more the Buckingham Group can work with you to define your style.


What do you like about this kitchen?




What don’t you like about this kitchen?





What do you like about this kitchen?




What don’t you like about this kitchen?




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What do you like about this kitchen?




What don’t you like about this kitchen?





What do you like about this kitchen?




What don’t you like about this kitchen?





What do you like about this kitchen?




What don’t you like about this kitchen?





What do you like about this kitchen?




What don’t you like about this kitchen?




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Setting your budget range


Keep your priorities front and center. A $500 range or a $10,000 one? A $100 sink or one that’s $3,500? A $4 polished brass knob or a $98 crystal model? What’s important to you?

Cabinetry and hardware generally run about 29% of your investment, appliances and ventilation can be 14% and countertops typically account for around 10% of the total project cost.

Remember that installation can be about 17% of the budget.

What does a kitchen cost? You ultimately decide by the scope of your project, the products you select and the services you’d like. (Of course, labor rates in your area have some bearing on it too.)

With a wide variety of quality products available, there’s a kitchen for almost any budget, ranging from the lovely to the super deluxe.

To share a few examples: a large show-stopper of a kitchen with luxurious materials in a major metro area could start at more than a hundred thousand dollars and go well beyond that. However a lovely modest makeover in a smaller town might be achieved for around $20,000 to $25,000.

The NKBA’s handy chart on the following page explains how that breaks down by products and services.

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Set priorities so you know where to allocate your dollars.

Don’t move plumbing, mechanical systems or walls unless it will greatly improve the space.

Avoid changing your mind once products are ordered and installation begins.

Have a clear set of specifications before comparison shopping.

Be sure to compare exactly the same products, not just similar ones. The price for the same model of faucet, for example, will vary by finish. Granite prices vary by grade.

Everyone shops online, but it’s important to visit showrooms and be sure what you see online is what you think it is.


Get a written proposal with detailed specifications of all products and services.

Be sure that you understand the payment schedule. Is there a design fee? A retainer? What payments are due, and when?

Never pay 100% up front.
Be sure at the end of the job there are no contractor liens.

Set aside some money for contingencies, perhaps 10% to 20% of your project.

Kitchen Remodeling Costs

Design fees:4%
Appliances & Ventilation:14%
Cabinetry & Hardware:29%
Doors & Windows:4%
Walls & Ceilings::5%
Faucets & Plumbing:4%

When it comes to resale, check with real estate professionals to find out specifically for your neighborhood what the return would be for a new kitchen. National statistics can give you a general idea, but what matters most is your neighborhood.

Find out how much faster your home would sell with a new kitchen.

Discuss your budget with an your Buckingham Group pro. They work a variety of price ranges, and can tell you up front whether they’re the right fit for your project.

The Buckingham Group professional can also help you get the most value for your investment.

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Finalizing your choices

Here’s a handy checklist of everything you may want to consider for your new kitchen. Don’t worry, your Buckingham Group professional will help weigh the pros and cons of each to fit your lifestyle.


Separate cooktop and oven(s) or all one unit

Range top: gas, electric, halogen, induction


Oven: convection, gas, electric, single, double, under counter, wall

Specialty: high BTU burner, simmer burner, wok, griddle, grill, steam, deep fryer, French plaque, coffee maker/espresso machine, warming drawer,
microwave: combination

Convection, combination vent, built-in or drawer model

Ventilation: downdraft or hood

Built-in, free standing, drawers

Side-by-side, French door, top freezer, bottom freezer, under counter

Through the door ice and water, separate ice maker

Wine refrigeration, tall or under counter



Door material (wood, metal, laminate, etc.)



Interior storage aids (pull outs, roll outs, lazy Susans, spice racks, trash cans, drawer dividers, etc.)

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Granite, marble,
other stone soap stone, etc)


Quartz and solid surface

Ceramic tile




Edge treatment

Backsplash material

One or two dishwashers

Full size, oversize
or compact

Trash compactor

Laundry: washer,
dryer, stacked

Front or top loading

One or two sinks

Single, double or triple bowl
Undermount integral, self

Enamel/cast iron, solid surface, stainless, quartz
Baskets, cutting boards, drainer racks

Soap and lotion dispensers, side spray

Strainer basket

Bar or vegetable

Faucets: single or
double-handle, pull-out, pot-filler


Water purification









Under cabinet



incandescent, LED, xenon, halogen

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How will it all come together?

While it may not be fun having your kitchen torn out and your household disrupted, proper planning can alleviate some of the stress. Get a jump start with our checklists here.

3. Keep on schedule by

2. remember to...

• Ask for a written schedule

• State your preferences about music, smoking and   eating on the premises.

• Prepare an alternate kitchen, such as by placing a   microwave and small fridge near a bathroom sink.

• Close off the rest of the house as much as        possible.

• Remove artwork on walls adjoining the kitchen,     since hammering can jar them.

• Communicate in advance with neighbors so they      know what to expect.

• Be accessible- Let the crew or general contractor   know how to reach you.

• Where will products go before installation?
  In the garage? On a porch? Living room or dining       room?

• How will they be delivered? A back door into the       kitchen? Or through the rest of the house?

• How will your old kitchen be removed?

• Where will you put a dumpster if needed?

• What hours will the crew be in your home?

• Who do you talk to if you believe there’s a                   problem? The crew or someone else?

• What happens if I want to make a change after the   project starts? Whom do you contact?

Yes , No or Maybe?

The success of your kitchen depends on the quality of the installation. In inexperienced hands, cabinet doors and drawers may not align properly, countertop and wall edges may not come together precisely, and the overall look can be a disappointment.

If you’re thinking of doing it yourself, realistically consider your skills and time available. Are you generally handy? Do you have the right tools? Have you tackled a project like this before? Do you have any help? Do you like doing projects like this? Would you be better off handling some tasks like painting, wallpapering or installing a sink or floor, versus doing the whole job?

1. Think about

• Have products you supply on hand before work   begins (remember there can be long lead times).

• Don’t substitute a product without telling your   designer (even small changes can have a big   impact).

• Keep any changes to a minimum after   construction starts.

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