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The Ins and Outs of Your Kitchen Remodel: An Interview with Jesse R. Lindland, Owner of Outside In Construction, INC located in Alton, N.H.

By Jesse Lindland

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are a family run and owned company ? Having been in business for over 17 years now, we offer a highly reliable source of knowledge, quality and affordable services to all of our clients. My father started the company in 1995 providing handyman services, within 3-4 years he had grown the company and started undertaking larger projects ? I joined in 2001 and started taking over many of the company's operations, adding full service design and build services. As we have grown over the years, my father and I have assured that our company and its employees take the same approach with providing our clients stellar service and open communication, keeping with our motto of "We Do What We Say, When We Say It!". We now have 18 people working for us, are partnered with several local suppliers and are continuing to provide all of our clientele with the service that they have come to expect from Outside In Construction, INC.

When people want to remodel their kitchen, where should they start?

As a builder, having worked with many clients over the years in different stages of the kitchen design and remodel process, I suggest that people first find a local reputable builder and/or remodeler to work with. The key points to look for, with any project, is a company that has a long standing reputation of providing clientele with quality work, honestly and most of all follow through. Some of the best ways to do this are to goto a local kitchen designer and cabinet provider, they will typically have a list of local builders that have proven themselves over the years. Other services include online directories such as Angie's List, Home Advisor, Etc. Once one has found a remodeler/building to work with, the process starts with an initial meeting, where discussions of what changes and revisions they would like made to the space take place ? From this point an initial proposal with pricing can be put together, or the design process can start and exact cabinets and counter top selection made; This would be a discussion that would take place at the meeting and determined at that point. From there final selections can be made, the design finalized and the final project proposal put together and the remodel can begin!

What are some of the most important decisions homeowners will need to make during the kitchen design process?

Most of the major points in a kitchen, although most would think pertain to the cabinet style/color and counter tops, actually come down to the cabinet layout and location. This also depends on the revisions that will be made, whether the new kitchen will be similar to the existing layout, or a complete rework. One of the golden rules in any kitchen space is the "triangle", this connects the three main points; The sink/dishwasher, fridge and range ? Since these are the main three locations for any functionality in a kitchen, this is something any designer and homeowner should always keep in mind. Other items to take under consideration are the various accessories in the cabinets including pot and pan drawers, lazy Susan's, accessory shelves, and more. The last item that anyone remodeling their kitchen should consider is lighting, the location and type can make or break the kitchen space; Many of the remodels that we perform include a rework of the lighting in our clients kitchens including added recessed cans, pendants over the sink and island/peninsula and dimmable under cabinet LED lighting ? All of these lighting options can make for a well-lit and ideal working space.

How is the budget typically set? What are some ways to help stay within budget?

A kitchen remodel budget can be one of the most difficult elements to determine out of the gate, as it varies drastically depending on the level of layout revisions, cabinet and countertop styles/quality and other elements that are being remodeled in the space. Most people have a basic idea of what they can or are willing to spend on their remodel, so that is always a good start! For a more basic kitchen remodel of a standard 2-3x bedroom sized home, these can run in the $12-18K range depending on the exact styles and finishes, a larger kitchen in a 3-4x bedroom home that may have some layout changes is usually in the $17-25K range and for a complete rework of a kitchen space with a higher end cabinet and stone tops, tile backsplash and lighting revisions can be in the $35K + costing ? Many of the elements above will affect the budget on a kitchen space, as noted, the best way is to start with a preliminary number, find a good builder and remodeler to work with and come up with a preliminary cost based off what one would like done.

Is there anything that a homeowner should know about working with a contractor during the remodel that they might not know?

Aside from finding a good local reputable contractor, as outline above, there are a few other good tidbits that can help along the process. The first is to determine exactly which elements the homeowner and builder will be providing for the project? This varies from different builders and remodelers, as some are open to this process and others require at the contractors supplies everything. Determining the policy and how this will be worked out is best to do before the process starts, as this can eliminate a lot of confusion and frustration that can be caused later. The second element is choices on the various elements of the project prior to work starting, this includes the cabinets, counter tops, floor/backsplash tile, plumbing/lighting fixtures, etc. and making sure that they are ordered in time for the items to arrive, be inspected and are onsite for the kitchen remodel to being ? This can all be done long before the project starts, or a timeline worked up during the contract signing, which can help the client know the timeline that they have to work with so the process can move along smoothly. Lastly, a basic element in any building and remodeling project, it pertains to changes as the project proceeds ? We have a process that we go through with all of our clients if things change as the project progresses, they are referred to as change orders. The change orders assure that any revisions to the scope of the project are in writing, with an estimated/exact cost and are signed and agreed upon by both parties ? This alone can make or break a good working relationship between a builder and remodeler and client for any project and is something that should be outlined from the start in the project contract.

What is one of the most challenging parts of the remodel for a homeowner and do you have any tips for that?

One of the most challenging elements of any building and remodeling process is making sense of the entire process ? A good contractor will provide a detailed proposal, a timeline for the project and contract with a pay schedule that defines when payments are released as the project progresses. Something that can make things easier for the client, is to make a brief synopsis for what they would like done as part of the remodel, this can be used for the initial meeting with one or more contractors, it will also assure that all parties are "on the same page" and that the basic points are outlined from the start.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

There are many ways that people can get in touch with us, the best way is to visit our website at www.oiconstruction.com ? Here they can read more about us, see images of the various remodels that we have done over out many years in business, read testimonials from our clients and find contact information for us so we can get the process started!

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