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Question DetailsAsked on 6/20/2011

Kitchen & bath remodel in 100 year old home

I am in the preliminary stages of planning a Kitchen and bath remodel. I've had all sorts of advice, get an architect (I want to cut a doorway from the kitchen to the back porch), get a designer to design the kitchen/bath, or hire a contractor to do whatever I think I want to do with the space. The guy from Lowes looked panicked and couldn't get out of the house fast enough. I've got a fairly good idea of what I'd like to do, any recommendations on how to approach this remodel?

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4 Answers


angies list has tons of great reviews on remodelers in your area and many specialize in older homes. are you an angies list member?

Answered 9 years ago by glenn


Hire a qualified home builder/remodeler that has experience in renovating old homes.

Answered 9 years ago by BuildingConcepts LLC


Hello. Undertaking this type of project can seem overwhelming, but with the proper steps, it can be a wonderful experience. First, hire PROFESSIONALS! Lowes, Home Depot are great stores, "for their proper use" but should NOT be relied upon for this type of project. The mistakes alone could cost more than your project is worth.

Bring in the interior or kitchen designer (check credentials)! Usually an initial consultation is at no charge, but if the company you choose is like ours, they could spend upwards of two hours with you gathering information about your wants, needs and desires. They can also look at your space with the eyes of a spatial planner and note issues that may arise due to the remodel. As with all remodels, especially in older homes, issues invariably arise, and most are unknown until walls are opened.

The designer will create a remodeled plan for you and your plan should include all your desires. We usually design for the "ultimate" and then scale down if costs are prohibitive. The designer may request an expert visit for changes such as opening up doorways, anything affecting the structure of the space and can be an architect, a structural engineer or a reputable builder. Their advice will assist the designer and you regarding your desires, if they are possible and probable costs.

Once you approve the plan, you can then either purchase cabinetry, counters, appliances, plumbing from the designer, if they provide product procurement as we do or you can take your plan to suppliers of those products and do this yourself. I advise against this only in that unless you have a lot of time to manage the project yourself, you are better off allowing the designer to handle the project management - again - if the company you choose offers this as we do.

We usually provide a lighting and electrical plan and then hire these experts to handle this portion of the project. Timing is crucial and the work needs to occur in stages so each expert can come in and do their part of the work as required without being underfoot of another expert.

Products should also be timed to arrive when needed and if before, have a place to put them in the meantime.

You must also understand you will need to set up a temporary kitchen while the reno is underway. The more information you can give your designer, the better they are able to address all your issues and meet your needs. We have almost 20 years' experience and have been fortunate to work in many types of remodeling projects. There is a method to the madness. Finding the correct professionals you need is the first crucial step.

Best of luck to you!

Maria Palance Perron, ASID, NKBA, NCIDQ #022820, NAHB
Lakes Region,NH

Answered 9 years ago by Maria


How exciting!

I lead a team of designers for a leading online interior design firm that has worked on several historic remodels and in fact we are just finishing up a gorgeous master suite renovation of an historic 1855 Victorian in Boston MA.

And Of course I'm going to recommend consulting an interior designer with experience in historic renovations - at least for basic consultation prior to hiring a contractor. You will benefit from being able to make decisions in the context of his/her knowledge around the original historic features and finishes of the home.

Here's an example, instead of using a big box cabinet, we found an antique dresser and used it as the vanity for this 150 year old home just outside of Boston. The mirror, marble countertop and pulls are all original and add so much history and interest to the space.

Including shipping this piece was under $500 and placement here (adjacent to existing plumbing) vs. the owners original idea across the room saved thousands of dollars in plumbing and construction cost.

An experienced designer can recommend contractors based upon personal experience and/or assist with recomendations such as requiring multiple bids with line item pricing that separates labor and materials costs.

You do not want to rely upon your contractor alone to make finish and fixture decisions or expect them to provide all of the products and pricing for flooring, tile, fixtures, etc. You'll get a wider selection and better pricing by sourcing these items independently.

Homemade Design has some great pricing available to Angie's List members including a package to design any room plus a $100 shopping credit for just $125 dollars. Here's what's included in online interior design services.

Good Luck to you, I hope you enjoy every moment with your amazing piece of history!

Amanda Zettel, CID
Principal Designer, Homemade Design


Answered 8 years ago by HMDhome

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