Ready, Set Expectations: Why Setting Expectations Early in Your Renovation is the Key to Success


The first showroom experience can be exciting, filled with big ideas for your project and can also be overwhelming with so many decisions to be made. At the Cabinet Connection, we have a proven process to help guide you step by step all the while setting your expectations.

Right from your first meeting, your kitchen designer will ask you lots of questions to better get to know you, your specific goals and to see if what you want is possible. By personally getting to know you, your designer will be able to assess what is most important to you and set expectations so they are realistic and achievable.

Often clients’ expectations exceed what’s possible in terms of timeline, budget, product quality and communication. Setting these four key factors will influence your options, your choices and what you are willing to compromise on. The best way to manage or exceed expectations is to make sure they are grounded in reality.

Every project starts with a timeline. This is one of the first things that will be discussed, as your timeline needs to match with our timeline. Lead time for cabinetry will vary depending on the cabinet manufacturer. Your kitchen designer will guide your choices, to ensure your cabinetry will arrive and be installed on time.  Getting our timelines aligned starts us on the right track.

A kitchen renovation is typically a three-month process; it’s not a sprint, but rather a slow run with hills and valleys along the way.  To get ready for the race, your kitchen designer will outline her responsibilities as well as yours.

As a homeowner, you will be given clear deadlines on sign-offs and payments.  So be responsive and responsible as delays create delays in your project. Whether you are undecided on the door colour, the contractor you hired has unexpectedly walked off the job or you have a family emergency, things happen. Expect delays to change your timeline. If there are delays from the cabinet manufacturer, your designer will be responsible to communicate this and will communicate how this affects your project.

Every project has a budget. A typical kitchen renovation (including cabinets, appliances, countertops, flooring, lighting, plumbing and wall coverings) should cost no less than 5% and no more than 25% of the current market value of your home with approximately 50% of that cost going toward cabinetry alone.

Working with a kitchen designer will help you determine a realistic budget and will help you decide what are Must Haves and Nice to Haves.

Every project involves making choices in quality. From wood dovetail drawers or melamine drawers, wood species or Thermofoil doors, frameless or framed cabinets, you will be asked to make decisions on the construction details and design finishes.  Your designer will show you these products in the showroom, explain their features and discuss the right options for you based on your timeline and your budget.

Every project begins and ends with communication.  Good communication is essential to a successful project.  A kitchen renovation follows a detailed process and involves many moving parts and dates.  Having a communication plan with a clear timeline with the key players ensures you understand each step of the process. From getting your cabinetry order in on time, to who’s booking your install, to when you can expect to be invoiced and for how much, your designer will communicate this information.  Communication is a two-way street, so as an MVP player ensure you are also engaged and communicating right back.

By identifying expectations upfront, it ensures fewer misunderstandings, a happier you and more time to get to the fun stuff like designing and seeing your kitchen transform before your eyes!

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