by Clay Cox
Owner/President • Kitchens by Clay

This Valentine’s Day let’s all make a promise to love our kitchens.

I can’t tell you how many times my clients and prospective clients settle on what they almost want instead of what they truly want and will most assuredly love. Most times it takes an enormous amount of time, even years for some, to decide to go ahead with a kitchen remodel. And, it never fails that once that decision is made it seems as if the worrying really starts.

How much should I spend? I must be careful about overbuilding my neighborhood. I would like top end appliances but will settle for less in order to save money. I really want a high gloss orange island in my new kitchen, but people will think I’m crazy. I want new floors, but these will do since they aren’t in too bad condition.

I can’t tell anyone what my budget is because the contractor will make sure I spend it all and possibly more. I get it, I really do. I understand the trepidation that comes with a large output of your hard-earned money. But, I don’t agree with the thought processes in the examples above.

My advice is as follows. Build for yourself not for your neighborhood. In 10 years when you sell your home the new owners will most likely re-do to their tastes anyway. And, besides who really knows what the value of your neighborhood will be 10 years from now.

Buy your favorite appliances. I can pretty much guarantee that they are top end for a reason and will serve you well.

Please, please do the high gloss orange island. It will make you and your kitchen designer smile, if nothing else. Get new floors. Why not? Putting a new kitchen on old floors that you don’t love is silly if you think about it.

To me it’s a lot like spending a ton of money to landscape your yard but leaving the dead grass in place.

About your “budget”. Yikes! Who knows how to set a budget? Remember this, ultimately it is your own decisions that drives the price of a remodel. Your personal choices will add or subtract from the bottom line accordingly.

My homework for you is to talk to a good contractor and gather information so you can make intelligent choices based on the facts you have unveiled. And when your remodel is done make yourself a heart shaped cake to remind you how much you love your new kitchen.

Enjoy your home!

Clay Cox

Please E-mail Clay with your questions or comments at

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