Local Voices: Expert offers advice on kitchen remodeling projects

Jack Firneno, the Wire

Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom is a large project. With so many options to choose from and so much work to do, it could easily go over budget or become overwhelming if not approached properly.

That’s why, along with offering a wide range of top-quality products and services, Bucks County Wholesale Kitchens Baths and Flooring specializes in guiding clients through the remodeling process to ensure they’re getting what they want and feel comfortable with it

“If you know what you want and where to find it, you can get just about anything you want from a style or function perspective,” said Buddy Ralston, general manager for Bucks County Wholesale.

Ralston spoke with the Wire about some ways you can ensure you’re getting the remodeling job you want for the price you’re comfortable with.

Explore Your Options

When Ralston starts working with a client, the budget is actually the last thing he wants to see. “I’m more interested in what room they want to be sitting in for the next 20 years,” he explained. “I know what we offer, and I’m looking for a strong foundation of what they’re looking for,”

Instead, he wants to know the colors and styles someone has in mind, and then provide options from there. Price, he said, can come into the equation after they’ve determined what they’re looking for.

“If someone wants a white shaker cabinet, I have seven differently-priced ones,” he offered. “Not everyone has the same functions, but the essence of it is there.”

There’s also the question of why a client wants a certain item — and if they can get the same effect for less. For instance, said Ralston, someone may want a quartz countertop for its color, but that would be out of their budget. In that case, he’d offer an aesthetically similar granite piece.

“The quartz is maintenance-free, but granite will save you money,” noted Ralston.

Prioritize

Similarly, it’s important to know what facets of your renovation mean the most to you. Perhaps there’s a very specific backsplash for a sink that you want, or a distinct light fixture you’ve pictured ever since you started thinking about your new kitchen.

If that’s the case, Ralston suggests putting more money toward those items, while considering lower-priced options for other pieces in your project.

That means, for instance, spending more than you planned on ornate tile work to make that back splash the centerpiece of your new kitchen can work if you go with cabinets that have fewer features than you originally considered.

“You may not end up using the same name-brand products you originally considered for everything” said Ralston. “But if you direct your focus toward what matters most to you, you can achieve your goals within virtually every budget.”

Ask questions

Education is key to feeling comfortable and confident with a major home project.

“Questions will arise throughout the process,” said Ralston, “And as the person making the investment, it’s important to maintain your sense of security.”

Bucks County Wholesale, for instance, assigns a construction coordinator for every job. That person goes over the entire process with the client before the renovations begin, meets with them every morning during the job and follows up a few weeks after the project is completed to check in.

Even if your project doesn’t come with that much built-in communication, Ralston strongly suggests staying abreast of the progress and making sure you understand what’s happening and why. “It’s important to ask questions, especially if things need to be changed,” he said.

For more information, call 267.358.5247 or visit www.buckscountywholesale.com.