Indoor Oasis
A renovated kitchen or bathroom acts as a refuge for all seasons while increasing a home’s overall value
by Jennifer Updike

With summer winding to a close and the crispness of fall just around the corner, homeowners are readying to head back inside and sate their innate urge to nest and get comfortable. For many, this will include investments to transform essential rooms in the home they have been meaning to enhance—the kitchen and master bathroom, primarily—into indoor oases. Luckily, there is no shortage of skilled contractors and specialists to help renovate these spaces and create the home of their dreams.

With advancements in design and fabrication, as well as an influx of exotic stone slabs (marble, granite, etc.) and tile work, it’s easier than ever to not only maximize one’s enjoyment of the two rooms most homeowners spend most of their waking hours but also improve the aesthetics and overall value of one’s home in the event that one decides to sell and move someplace else. After all, beautifully designed, well-maintained kitchens and master bathrooms are two of the most important features that prospective home buyers seek out when considering making a purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences.

Teaming with a qualified professional is the most important consideration prior to embracing a renovation project. Industry professionals suggest homeowners begin the process by researching local companies and further investigating the ones whose work they admire and are staffed by people they feel they can trust and enjoy working relationship with; this includes not only the primary point person but also the crew that will be working inside one’s home. After all, these are people who will be working side by side with homeowners—and spending a significant amount of time in their homes—for weeks or even months, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Thinking Ahead
Nearly every aspect of home improvement requires an investment of time, space and money, so homeowners should choose wisely when it comes time to seeking guidance. Before investing even one dollar in a bathroom or kitchen renovation, professionals suggest spending time with a competent designer/contractor to flesh out as many details as possible—everything from cabinetry to flooring to paint colors to trim work.

Regardless of one’s style—contemporary vs. traditional, for example—or how the space will be used, it is wise to educate oneself about current trends and styles, as well as their associated costs. Establishing a budget, understanding one’s preferences for color and design—too often, contractors suggest, husbands and wives are not on the same page when it comes time to make decisions, which can delay the process—and agreeing on timelines for completion with a contractor (or contractors) are all essential.

“Even before you’re scheduled for installation and have a timeline for delivery, there should never be a question about what you’re getting,” says Mike Reisbord, principal with Diamond Kitchen & Bath, a home renovation contractor with a full-service design center and showroom in Huntingdon Valley. “Everything should be in black and white. For my money, I think it’s important to work with someone who it set up where all the work being done in someone’s home is managed by a single project manager who controls the project. This way there’s one point person who makes sure everything is going according to plan.”

During the initial consultation, a contractor or designer should ask specific questions about the homeowner’s needs and tastes—essentially, how the space will be used and what the renovated space should look like—and finalize the budget. Many contractors have sophisticated software that enable the homeowner to view what a transformed space would look like, while others have gorgeous design centers that enable homeowners to see specific details such as showers and tubs, stone slabs and complementary touches such as tiles and trim.

Nailing down as many behind-the-scenes details up front is critical to determining the success or failure of a home renovation. Having introspective conversations with someone to steer the conversation will ensure that the homeowner and contractor are a good fit, as well as set realistic expectations.  Regardless of how a homeowner chooses to invest in a kitchen or bathroom, having a trusted, experienced and skilled partner to safeguard one’s investment is priceless. There’s no better way, after all, to ensure one’s enjoyment for years to come—and, when it comes time to sell, ensure that prospective home buyers like what they see.
Inside Job
When looking to enhance the inside of your home with a renovated kitchen or bathroom, turn to the Philadelphia suburbs’ leading contractors, designers, service providers and retailers. Following are some of the best.

Barb-Lin Carpet
640 N. Main Street, Doylestown
215-348-8116 |

Closet City Ltd.
619 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville
800-342-0070 |

Closet Factory

7 Willow Street, Fleetwood
800-838-7995 |

Closets for Less
120 Independence Drive, Southampton
215-504-5898 |

Colonial Marble & Granite
201 W. Church Road, King of Prussia
610-994-2222 |

Custom Pull Out Shelves LLC
P.O. Box 34, Chester Heights
610-999-8101 |

Design Home Interiors

668 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville
215-361-9100 |

Diamond Kitchen & Bath
1442 County Line Road, Huntingdon Valley
215-752-4400 |

Global Home Improvement
1680 Loretta Ave., Feasterville
877-711-9850 |

Giuseppe Kitchen & Bath
129 E. Gay Street, West Chester
610-436-8161 |

Home Trimwork
1957 Pioneer Road, Huntingdon Valley
800-888-4467 | 610-287-1100 |

Let’s Get Stone’d
414 Easton Road, Warrington
215-491-7814 |

PDN Home Improvements
2792 York Road, Jamison

Stenella Antiques

104 S. 2nd Street, Perkasie
215-453-8490 |

Sweetbriar Cabinetry
8330 Easton Road, Ottsville
610-847-5851 |

Total Custom Contractors
1150 First Ave., Suite 501, King of Prussia
610-994-9900 |