Kitchen Remodeling; The Probing Questions

The very last thing you want to do is finish your project and think to yourself, “I should have added that”, or “why didn’t the contractor think of that and suggest it to us”? In this article I will provide the necessary information to avoid such thoughts.

In my opinion the number one component in any remodeling project is hiring a competent, professional contractor. Someone who has been in business many years and has the experience needed for the type of project you are considering. Experience can come in several different ways, such as personal experience, an experienced staff, or both. It’s also crucial that your remodeler stay current on new products as they hit the market and current design trends.

The process to a successful kitchen remodel begins with the interview, which precedes the actual designing of your project. During the interview stage the contractor should ask all the probing questions that will expose and separate your needs, and wants. Since you probably won’t be able to afford everything, discussing and prioritizing them is a critical component of the process.

Typical interview questions for a would include;


  1. Is the current footprint of your kitchen sufficient?
  2. How large is your family?
    1. Is the kitchen a gathering place?
    2. Is a homework or bill paying area needed?
    3. Is a snack bar area needed?
    4. Do you have indoor pets?
    5. How many people cook in your kitchen at one time?
    6. Do you entertain?
      1. Are 2 ovens needed?
      2. Are 2 dishwashers needed?
      3. Are large or commercial appliances needed?
      4. Built-in coffee maker?
      5. Instant hot water?
      6. Walk-in pantry?
      7. Wine Storage?
      8. Small appliance storage?
      9. Special cookware storage?
      10. Granite Countertops?
      11. Laminate Countertops?
      12. Other Appliance needs, such as Trash Compacter?
      13. Recycling center?
      14. Type of Flooring?
      15. Designing for older adults?
      16. Designing for a special needs child?
      17. What is the traffic flow in/through the kitchen?
      18. Is the internet or a television needed in the kitchen?


Combining all the information gleaned from the proceeding questions, along with basic kitchen design principles such as the work triangle (see my earlier article on kitchen design) and you will have all the information needed for a personalized kitchen design.


Taking the process one step further would be to include energy saving “Green” materials and equipment. For instance, you could use Energy Star appliances. All the lighting, should at a minimum, use CFL bulbs, but I would prefer using LED bulbs.  A note on using LED lighting; LED type bulbs project a more directional light and will require well thought out placement to insure you have sufficient light where it is needed.

There are also flooring products that are considered “Green” such as products made from recycled materials. Bamboo is also considered a Green flooring product.

There are many components to planning any remodeling project, but few require as much planning as a kitchen remodel. Take your time; hire an experienced contractor and plan, plan, and plan, some more.



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