How Much Will My Project Cost?

What will my project cost me?One of the most common questions we are asked when prospective clients come into our showroom is “How much will it cost to remodel my bathroom or kitchen?”  Another question that often follows is “Will I get much of a return on my investment?”

These can be somewhat tricky questions to answer accurately because of the many variables with any given project.  Fortunately for both homeowners and contractors we can utilize some helpful data from Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value annual report that is specific to the different regions in our country.  In our Pacific region, for example, a midrange major kitchen remodel averages $65,688 with an immediate return on investment of 77%.  A minor kitchen remodel will cost about $23,603 and net a return of 84%.  Both of these projects feature mid-grade finishes such as laminate countertops and appliances that are new but not the top of the line models.

The midrange bath remodel will cost around $19,490, keeping the finish and fixture selection in the middle of the price range.  Your return on this investment is 79.6%

Of course these are averages and your specific project may run a little more or can be less depending on exactly what items you choose to put into the project.  This is simply a good place to start your research when deciding whether going forward with a project like this is “worth it” and how much you should plan on spending.


Case Study # 2 – A Vintage Bath Remodel

Vickie & John needed a new bath in their 1940’s built bungalow. Typical of that era, the bath was quite small, only 5′ x 7′.  This was to be Vickie’s bath and she loves the Victorian look, prefers bathing. and wanted it to be really nice. Vickie has a great eye and a great sense of style, so she already knew most of the features she wanted.

We helped her find the right products and put all of the pieces and colors together. Often I find that while my clients have excellent tastes, they simply lack the confidence that comes from doing multiple projects and seeing the small samples turn into the reality and they also may be short on the technical knowledge of how the parts & pieces integrate. In cases like this, rather than leading, I am following her vision, finding the right products, covering the technical side, and assuring her that her vision and tastes really are excellent.

Features? We got plenty!

Heated tile floor of Emperador dark marble.

Hand made, wire cut, hand glazed, subway-style 3 x 6 tile, capped with an elaborate chair-rail-style capitello and accented with a glass & marble (emperador dark) mosaic blend.

The pedestal lavatory & toilet are from Barclay’s “Vicki” series, (quite a coincidence) and the plumbing fittings are Elizabethan Classics.

Sunrise Specialties made the 54″ cast iron, roll top, pedestal tub.

Vickie found the light fixtures & mirrors she liked in the Elegante Collection from Maxim Lighting.

The faux painted walls and moldings were done masterfully by Carey Byrd’s crew at Creative Walls in Kennewick.

The stained glass and the mini-chandelier were pieces Vicky had acquired previously and they integrated beautifully.

Baths like this are so much fun to create! My only regret is not getting to try out the tub. The glass of wine, the good book, the hot, deep, water, Ahhhhh!

How much can you do with a really small bath?


Case Study #1 – A Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

The Client: The moment I walked in her door, I knew it was going to be a fun project. My client, Lisa, has a well-developed sense of style, a keen eye for contemporary design, and is fearless in her use of color.

Her existing kitchen was early 80’s vintage and totally dysfunctional, by her definition. 

The Requirements: Glass, curves, warm & bold colors, cutting edge design, open space and plenty of WOW factor. Being a baker, she wanted easy, accessible storage for her baking tools.  She wanted not to feel isolated in the kitchen while working.  Laundry functions needed to remain central and she did not want to encroach on her dining or family room spaces.  An informal eating space with a view of the TV was a priority for her husband Greg, the primary cook. 

The Concept: Since the dining & family rooms were off-limits, the pantry and refrigerator area, and the walls themselves were our only options for more space.   Removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room would provide the visual space we were after, but it was a load-bearing wall. Removing the wall required replacing two shorter beams with one larger, longer beam

Design Solutions:  Starting at 30″ deep and 9′ high with the refrigerator area, we stepped back and down with the upper cabinets to accentuate the ceiling line, maximize storage, and add visual interest. 

The 30″ deep countertop allowed us to mask the size of the refrigerator and to add the appliance garages and the microwave without encroaching on the front 18″ of workspace. 

The appliance garages accomodate her baking tools, including the jumbo-sized Kitchenaid mixer prized by many serious bakers. 

Glass doors help with interest and visual weight.The strong horizontal lines on the sink wall provide contrast with the many vertical lines of the refrigerator wall.  A radiused light bridge over the sink combines functional lighting, accent lighting, and color enhancement.  

New Floor Plan

Placing the slide-in range on the island with a pop-up down draft unit allowed us to maintain adequate separation of the major work centers in this small space. 

 The soft curves of the two-level island help to soften the feel of the space, while the “Naranja Cool” Silestone countertop and the gleam of metal in the custom-made island wallpaper added the WOW factor she was looking for. 

Frosted, frameless glass doors keep the look of the laundry closet doors light & airy.The mahogany wood floor, extended throughout, erases the lines between rooms and visually expands the entire space.

Original Fireplace

While we were focused on the kitchen, the old fireplace in the living room went unnoticed.

When we directed our attention to the surrounding areas to complete the picture, we realized that the fireplace also had to go. It had become the dinosaur in the corner.

The fireplace’s original positioning, square in a corner, and shoved to one side had rendered it “strange” and irrelevant in the space.

New Fireplace

The angled, cloud-shaped island inspired the angled, undulating wall of the new fireplace.  With WOW being her stock-in-trade, Lisa found a great contemporary fireplace and we accented it with glass-coin tiles.

Warren Smith, CMKBD, CAPS  has been designing & building custom kitchens and baths since 1981 in Kennewick, Washington

Conclusion: This project is a great example of the concept of functional art.  Not only did we solve the dysfunctional kitchen and living space problems, but we did it in a way that contributed to the artistic flair of the owners and enlarged their “canvas”.

Lisa & Greg’s house was already fabulous in it’s furnishings, but the old room configurations were clearly holding her back.  Designing and building the project that opened it all up and further unleashed Lisa’s own interior design prowess was a very satisfying experience.  I also learned a thing or two about boldness in design and color along the way.  Thanks, Lisa & Greg

Warren Smith, CMKBD, CAPS



I Think I Want To Remodel My Kitchen or Bathroom… But I really don’t know where to start!

Richland, WA Kitchen Remodel

By: Darryl Vaughn, Kitchen & Bath ReStylers, Kennewick, WA

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects are very rewarding when you’re all finished and enjoying the beautiful, functional new space you have created. However, the process of designing, planning and executing the project can be very intimidating for people in the very beginning stages. The average kitchen project statistically takes about six months of planning and decision- making before any contracts are signed and products are ordered. Bathrooms take slightly less time, depending on the type of renovation. The cost of doing these improvements can be quite high, and this alone causes anxiety for many folks. The myriad of choices available to pick from seems so vast that clients are often overwhelmed and don’t know how to weed through everything and make the RIGHT choices for their particular remodeling needs and desires.

The very first step in this daunting process is to do some research. Look at magazines and information on websites that are geared toward remodeling. Figure out how much money you can commit to the project and determine if that sum is a realistic amount to achieve the result you were hoping for. Find photos of kitchens or baths that you like, including details, and particular products. Compile this information into a folder to refer back to when making decisions. Go to the local “Parade of Homes” or visit friends who have had kitchens or baths remodeled and see what appeals to you. Showrooms are also a place check out products and see examples of how things might look together.

Richland, WA Master Bathroom Remodel

After you have done this preliminary research, determined what you like, approximately how much you will spend, and when you would like to start, you can begin looking for a designer and contractor; preferably all under one roof. That is what we do at Kitchen & Bath ReStylers, in Kennewick WA. We are a remodeling company that includes both a design team and our own installers. We specialize in kitchens and baths with a showroom that showcases the products we supply and install into our clients homes. We can help you weed through the choices to find the right products that will meet your needs, fulfill your wishes while keeping control of the budget.

Look For: “How much will my project cost?” in another post

For more ideas and project photos, check out our website:

Granite or Quartz countertops?

Granite countertops have been around for milennia, but they only got flat & shiny in the last few centuries.  Quartz is new.  Both have quartz particles as a primary ingredient.

So which is better, granite or quartz countertops?  The answer is, of course, both!

If you just want the bottom line, scroll to the bottom & skip the hashing.

Hardness:  Both are hard enough to eliminate most scratching. 8 out of 10 on the hardness scale.

Stainability: Granite needs to be sealed, but the sealers have gotten very good and they only need to be re-sealed once every decade for most types.  To make countertops, quartz is mixed with resin, poured, and baked like a sheetcake.  The resin acts as a sealer and makes Quartz countertops mostly non-stainable. (most warranties exclude staining).  What about all of the talk I hear about granite staining?  Since quartz is man-made, it has a marketing budget.  What better way to market quartz than to insinuate that granite will stain?  “Smear the opponent” is a time-honored marketing technique.  Here is the official straight scoop on granite staining.

Appearance:  Granite has the advantage of natural beauty, and one-of-a-kind pattern potential, whereas quartz mostly looks man-made.  Quartz offers some interesting & different looks, including some colors that don’t appear in nature.  We regularly use both products and even mix them in the same room.

Granite & Quartz combined in the same kitchen

Heat Resistance: Both granite & quartz can be damaged by hot pots and the official recommendation is don’t. (most warranties exclude heat damage).  I regularly do put moderately hot pots on my granite without consequence, as do many people.  What is the critical temperature?  Depends on the individual stone, use common sense.

Bacterial Resistance:  Granite & Quartz are superior in bacterial resistance to most other surfaces, including stainless steel.

Price: Quartz is similar in price to mid-grade granite, which is where most of the sales volume is.  Granite can go much higher if you fall in love with an exotic. In most cases the price difference is not enough to influence your selection.

The Marble Institute of America has a great consumer guide for all aspects of stone countertops.  You can find it here.

The bottom line:  Both are incredibly tough, and mostly similar in price and performance.  Ignore the marketing hype and let your eyes and instincts make the call.  If you prefer consistencly of pattern, you will have lots of choices in both materials, if you prefer the beauty of a natural, varied, one-of-a-kind pattern, you will be limited to granite.  If you are after a more contemporary look, there are some stunning solid colors in quartz that are not found in nature. Good hunting!

Hello world!

Welcome to my new, as yet un-named blog.  My purpose here is to discuss all things kitchen & bath related.  Design, cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances, accessories will all be fair game.  I hope to educate & entertain simultaneously.  Given the format of blogs, I am sure you will let me know how I’m doing.  I am a rookie at the blog thing, but an old pro at kitchen & bath remodeling.  Thanks for dropping in!