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Myra has sixteen years of experience in the Cabinetry Sales and Design industry, and currently manages four builder accounts for Deslaurier. She boasts several GOHBA Design Awards for production kitchen and bathrooms, as well as two SAMMY Awards for 'Best Industry Partner Representative' in both 2009 and 2012.
Upgrading Your 'Builder' Kitchen
Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now it’s time to get to work. Over the next few weeks/months, you will be making a number of important decisions that will affect the overall outcome of your new home. Some of the most important decisions you make are going to be about your kitchen cabinets.
Over the years, Deslaurier has built relationships with many premier Ottawa builders, providing cabinetry, counter tops and design services for new homeowners. If you are building with one of our builders, you will likely have the opportunity to work with an experienced kitchen designer to customize the space and tailor it to your needs and budget. Builders pre-determine the specifications and layout of the cabinetry that are included in every home and it is up to homeowners to make adjustments and changes to suit their lifestyle. Cabinetry design takes place early on in the process as it affects many other systems in the home that are roughed in at the earliest stages of construction. Designers are usually working on a tightly fixed schedule to meet the construction timelines of your home, so it’s best to come to your first meeting having done some preparation in advance.
- Have an idea of what you want your cabinetry to look like, model homes, showrooms and websites can be a great inspiration.
- If there are any specific details that you want included, ensure you communicate that information to your designer early on so that they can keep them in mind while going through the designs with you.
- Appliances – although it seems very early to be purchasing them, designers need to know what they are working with.There are so many considerations, gas versus electric, standalone versus built-in, clearances, budget, etc… If you haven’t started to look, you will not have a realistic idea of how these selections could potentially affect the overall design.Making changes to these items after the design has been approved and sent to your builder can sometimes result in redesigns or worse, rebuilds at your own expense.
- The Kitchen Planning Guide on our website is a great tool to use to get started.
After determining your needs and budget during your initial consultation, your kitchen designer will prepare drawings and a quote for you to review before or during a final meeting. Depending on the season and scope of work, this could take up to two/three weeks, giving the opportunity to prioritize the items you have requested and make further decisions. The highest priority should be given to those items that create the “bones” of the kitchen. The layout and function (doors versus drawers, cabinet heights, counter/storage space and appliance requirements) should be your primary focus. Solid surface counter tops and upgraded door styles/finishes should also be considered at this stage as these items can be very expensive and difficult to change at a later date. It can also be much easier to amortize these items over a number of years in a lower interest mortgage than financing them later on.
Once those items have been considered you can start to look at all the “extras” that you may want to consider. Decorative moldings, cabinet inserts, recycling/waste systems, wine rack, corner solutions, glass doors, open shelving, and other decorative details can all be added to the project as well.
Although it can be overwhelming and difficult to schedule those consultations into your busy life, the kitchen is the heart of your new home. Visually, it will have the greatest impact of any item in your home when you move in. More importantly, it will affect your lifestyle from day to day, every day that you live in that home. It’s important to take the time and do it right.
Enjoy your new home!