Oct 122011

The best tip I can give anyone who is contemplating a renovation, is before bringing in a contractor for a quote on the project and certainly before anyone begins any destruction or construction, try to have EVERYTHING designed and specified in writing. This is a concept that is difficult for a lot of people to understand, so I’ll explain why it’s vital.

If you know you want to renovate your kitchen, and you have a pretty good idea of the way you want it to be laid out and the materials you want to use but you don’t have drawings and specifications on each material and finish, if you bring in a contractor, he will not be able to give you a project quote, he’ll be giving you a rough estimate.  That estimate will be based on his experience of the average price of these types of projects.  Sounds ok so far?

Well, consider this:

Suppose you are going to work with a kitchen company who will supply the cabinets, so they’ll be working with you on the cabinet details and layout to give you a price for the cabinets and installation, but you expect your contractor to supply and install everything else.  You tell him you want granite counter tops, wood flooring, pot lights and a ceramic tile backsplash.  Sounds pretty straight forward, right?  Let’s just consider the flooring.

He’s going to need to know things like: What kind of wood flooring will you want? Oak, maple, bamboo, walnut or cherry to name a few? And do you want to have pre-finished flooring or have it stained on site?  There is a very big price spread between the species of wood and whether or not you want a pre-finished variety.  And if you do want a pre-finished variety, there are many different quality and price grades within that whole category as well.  So if you haven’t specified the manufacturer and species of wood you want to use, in his estimate, the contractor will give you an “allowance” for the flooring of a certain amount of money.  This is based on the manufacturer that he works with most often and the type of flooring that he usually installs.  If that isn’t what you end up going with and you pick something that ends up being more expensive than he assumed, you will have to pay the difference, which he will add to your job price.

This is just one example of how renovation budgets get blown out of the water and homeowners end up blaming their contractor and the contractor throws up his hands with exasperation.  This is a very common scenario and is a direct result of everything not being specified before the contractor is called in to work up a price.

This is why it is worthwhile to work with a designer who will steer you through this process before the construction begins.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…Robin Siegerman is a Registered Interior Designer, award-winning, Certified Kitchen Designer, speaker and author of Renovation Bootcamp™: Kitchen – Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet Your Mind or Your Spouse and she has been practicing design in Toronto for almost 20 years.  Her clients are mostly local, but she also has done work for clients in Palo Alto California, New York, Montreal, Victoria, and continues to work in the Caledon and Georgian Bay vacation areas north of Toronto.

Robin is a popular TV guest having made many repeat appearances on numerous shows which appear in Canada, both regionally and nationally.

She has appeared on: HGTV, Kitchens & Bathrooms, This Small Space, Kitchen Equipped, Real Renos, Slice Network, Three Takes, CBC TV, Living in Toronto, CNN, Squeeze Play, Rogers, House Calls, In Toronto, City TV, City Line, CTSTV, Real Life

She has also been interviewed on radio in the US and Canada, and is an often-quoted source in newspaper and magazine articles on design.  She is a popular speaker at home and trade shows combining a passion for laying out the cold, hard truth about the renovation process and a love of performing to inform and entertain.

Robin’s company and select projects are featured on 6 pages of the glossy coffee table book, Spectacular Homes of Toronto which was launched in Toronto in February 2009, published by Panache Publishing.

Her work has been profiled in many design magazines, both Canadian and American; has had work featured in 3 other coffee table books (The Kitchen Book published by Filipacchi, the Ultimate Kitchen by Mary Wynn Ryan and Contemporary Kitchens by Melissa Cardona) as well as a National Kitchen and Bath Association training manual; has written articles for and been featured in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Sun and Homefront Magazine; has written a monthly column called Robin’s Nest in the Toronto Star Online (www.YourHome.ca); and for 2 years had a regular column in the quarterly trade publication, Canadian Kitchen and Bath with rave reviews.

Robin has won more than a dozen design awards in Canada, the US and England in the kitchen and bathroom categories and has been a juror for design competitions and the National Council for Design Qualifications.

She is an active supporter of Habitat for Humanity in Toronto and recently served as Co-Chair of the design team for the Wellspring Cancer Support Centre refurbishment project.

Where you can find and follow Robin Siegerman: Author Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook Page | Facebook Profile | LinkedIn Profile



Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchen is the ultimate step-by-step, behind-the-scenes manual to remodel a kitchen.  This must-have manifesto is loaded with before & after photos, drawings, questionnaires, lists and “Tales from the Trenches”, anecdotes and lessons from the author’s own job-sites.  Packed with practical, no-nonsense advice, checklists and proven recommendations, the book will help the novice and seasoned renovator alike plot a logical course of action before jumping into the fray.

  • Published by: Yorkshire Publishing (June 15, 2011)
  • Age Recommendation: G-Rated – For mature consumers and design trades
  • Format: Trade Paperback & eBook
  • ISBN 13: 978-0881445022
  • Number of pages: 172
BUY THE BOOK… Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes & Noble


FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS…Thanks to Nurture Your Books and Robin, we’re giving away a copy of Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchen to ONE randomly selected commentor. This giveaway is open worldwide. If you’re located within the US or Canada you will receive a hard copy, if you live outside the US/Canada, you’ll receive an e-copy. 

All you have to do is leave a comment for the author below to enter.

Of course liking our The Book Faery Reviews Facebook Fan Page, subscribing to our enewsletter (see top right sidebar) or RSS Feed also gives you extra entries (leave a comment for each) but not a requirement. This giveaway runs now through the remainder of October.

Good Luck!


Renovation Bootcamp™: Kitchen — Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet, Your Mind or Your Spouse by Robin Siegerman – NURTURE Book Tour Schedule:

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  • Jaidis

    Great guest post :)

  • http://twitter.com/farrah1230/status/123993463892090880/ Farrah (@farrah1230) (@farrah1230) (@farrah1230) (@farrah1230) (@farrah1230) (@farrah1230)

    What is one interior designing tip that you like to apply to all renovation projects you are part of? {Guest #Au… http://t.co/DKrYWEAl

  • http://twitter.com/NurtureBookTour/status/124121908307435520/ Bobbie CrawfordMcCoy (@NurtureBookTour) (@NurtureBookTour)

    New guest post with Robin Siegerman as she tours her book Renovation Bootcamp:Kitchen #booktour #giveaway http://t.co/7B9gi7q9

  • Pingback: LIVE! BOOK TOUR – Renovation Bootcamp™: Kitchen by Robin Siegerman » NURTURE Virtual BOOK Tourz™ BLOG

  • Ellie

    This book would be a wonderful resource and so helpful. Many thanks.

  • Ellie

    I am an e-mail subscriber.

  • Anne

    I would use this book since it is a practical and great book to have. am contemplating work being done.

  • Anne

    I am a subscriber.

  • maureen

    It looks like some good information
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  • maureen

    e-mail subscriber
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  • maureen

    facebook fan
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com