Kitchen Remodeling From the Customer’s Perspective
Just like our clients, every project we take on is unique. Special consideration must be paid to the dimensions and the room’s intended use, and no project would be considered a success unless the owner’s personal style is fully represented in the finished room. That’s why Dale’s Remodeling has come up with a collaborative remodeling process called “Dale’s Seven Steps” that is specifically designed to combine the talents of Dale’s team with the vision of our clients.
We recently applied this process to a kitchen remodel for homeowners Todd and Nicole Miller in nearby Aumsville, Oregon. We’ve asked them to share their thoughts on how “Dale’s Seven Steps” led them and the Dale’s team to create the kitchen of their dreams.
- Meet and Greet
Our remodeling process begins by getting to know each other. An on-site visit at the client’s home provides us a chance to share ideas, discuss the budget and assess barriers to help us understand needs and goals.
Nicole Miller: My husband and I called Dale’s Remodeling to tell them we were interested in talking about a few remodeling projects, including our kitchen, master bath and a covered outdoor patio. We filled out a client profile sheet and then a Dale’s remodeling specialist made an appointment to come visit us at our home.
At this on-site meet and greet, we talked about their company’s process. Dale’s also got to know us, understand our preferences and get a sense of our remodeling budget. The discussion started as a high-level overview, where we looked at everything we would ever want to remodel in the house, and narrowed it down to our top priorities from there. Through that conversation and with their expert advice, we decided the kitchen was first on the list.
Preliminary sketches, drawn up by CAD drafter/designer, Paul Willetts helped the Millers envision the final project and adjust the plan where needed prior to the start of the project. They had already collected ideas from magazines and online sources, which greatly aided our team in understanding their design preferences.
Miller: Our remodeling specialist asked us to share our ideas we’d saved on Houzz and Pinterest boards. My husband and I had saved photos of kitchens we liked and were then able to share these with Dale’s as we dove deeper into the discussion about what products and layouts would work in our kitchen.
Then, Dale’s designer/drafter came to our house to review the project; he took measurements and pictures. This was a helpful step in that he encouraged us to envision which of our ideas were feasible within the boundaries of the room’s walls.
- Scope and Agreement
Finalizing the scope and cost of the project prior to its starting date defined the expectations of the work, it’s budget and a proposed schedule to get the work done. It’s an important part of Dale’s commitment to “deliver on time and on budget, while providing a great experience.”
Miller: Our remodeling specialist called another meeting with us at our home to review his proposed project budget. He had broken it down into allowances for each smaller project within the larger remodel. We considered this one of the most important meetings we held, as we could now confirm whether we could afford what we wanted, how we could pay for it and when the project could start.
Working in cooperation with Dale’s designer Becky Olsen, our clients can choose from hundreds of products to create their perfect room. We often meet at our vendors’ businesses or in our own showroom to give our clients a backend look at the products and educate them on the application process and maintenance requirements needed to keep their new room looking great long after installation is completed. Once the details are in place, a “Finish Schedule” is finalized.
Miller: Meeting with Dale’s interior designer Becky Olsen was so much fun—and so incredibly helpful! The thought of wading through selections ranging from granite, to paint color, to hardware was daunting, but Becky made it easy with her guidance and expertise.
Becky recommended we start by selecting one main element of the kitchen that we would base our design and color selections around. We met at The Marble Center to select a slab of granite for our countertop and she helped us narrow down which grade to buy and educated us on where the rock comes from and its durability.
We met with Becky many times, at many different locations to select each product that would go into our new room. Her involvement was key to creating a kitchen with the look and functionality we had envisioned.
- Beginning Walk-Through
Once all the details and selection are finalized, an on-site walk-through provides homeowners with a chance to meet their lead carpenter. Together, we review the project goals and specs to assure everything is clarified and in order upon starting the project.
Miller: Our lead carpenter was a terrific communicator. He had reviewed our file and knew the project well before his on-site visit and asked good, detailed questions that had us considering ideas he’d gathered from his experience that would add great new elements to the design, while staying within our budget. Our lead was in constant communication with all the sub-contractors, vendors and Dale’s team members, including the interior designer.
I appreciated how he would text pictures of progress regularly when we weren’t at home, and he always kept me updated on schedule changes as they happened. I’m a planner, so his attention to detail and communication regarding the timeline was much appreciated.
During construction Dale’s Remodeling manages and coordinates the schedules of multiple trade contractors, suppliers and independent craftsmen, as well as obtaining the proper permits for the work.
Miller: I saw our lead carpenter nearly every day during the construction process. He was on-site to manage and oversee the job and, during the few days he wasn’t there, he had capable and competent subs with whom he’d already talked, so they knew what to do.
Throughout the remodeling process we had a couple official weekly meetings. These were helpful in ensuring clear communication, establishing timeline expectations and getting the answers to any questions that came up as the work progressed. And—yes—changes were made as a result of these meetings.
- Final Walk-Through
Once the work is completed and our last clean-up has the room(s) looking perfect, a final walk-through will ensure that your vision is now a reality and Dale’s commitment to deliver our very best has been fulfilled.
Miller: The final project was beyond our expectations. Every detail we had once questioned had turned out to be an important piece that brought the whole project together.
For example, ceiling beams were suggested and I didn’t see why we needed them, but after the beams were finished, they were one of our favorite aspects of the job. The beams brought our kitchen and family rooms together to make the space appear larger and they added dimension and updated the look of our entire home! They also served to cover up the spot where a drop ceiling had formerly existed.
While I hemmed and hawed over whether to go with Becky’s suggestion of painting the island a different color (my husband was totally for it from the get-go), the blue island turned out to be among the most complimented features of our kitchen remodel. We all have fallen in love with it!
I’ve decided I can’t choose a favorite feature because there are at least a dozen “favorites.” From the salvaged island countertop, to the tile backsplash, new paint colors, and refinished hardwood floors, our kitchen looks and feels brand-new and designed to our hearts’ desires.
The “Dale’s Seven Step Process” invites homeowners, like the Millers, into the process from start to finish, resulting in a room that is tailor-made to fit their needs and personal style. Contact Dale’s Remodeling to discuss how this collaborative approach can create the room of your dreams!