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Design Process

First Meeting – Showroom Project Overview

The first step in our design & remodeling process is a meeting at our showroom between you and one of our accomplished project designers. We gather together at the showroom for at least an hour to discuss your project aspirations and what you might want from your new kitchen, addition, bathroom, or whole house remodel.

We’ll ask you a number of questions, if you were considering a new kitchen we might ask:

  • Do you enjoy cooking?
  • Do your children cook or want to learn?
  • What family activities do you envision taking place in the kitchen?
  • Do you like to entertain? If so, in what way?
  • Are you passionate about wine or baking or something else?
  • Is the kitchen design part of a larger remodel?

We ask that you bring to this meeting: pictures of your existing space, rough measurements of its current layout, and any pictures of baths or kitchens that you find attractive. Invite us to your www.houzz.com idea book. We really want to understand your taste in style, color, texture, etc.

Viewing Examples of Design Elements:
In our design showroom we have numerous examples of design, thats possible for your bath or kitchen. To help you make informed choices, we’ll walk you through various types of cabinetry, counter tops, flooring, lighting etc. For instance, your designer will show you the differences between framed and frame-less cabinetry, and between semi-custom, custom, and furniture-grade cabinets.

We’ll also show you over 100 different slabs of granite and quartz products (as well as wood, glass and exotic materials that can be used for counter tops). Our design showroom even features multiple types of flooring. We’ll explain the merits of hardwood, cork, Amtico, tile, marmoleum, even leather, floors.

Keeping the Budget in mind
The showroom meeting is conducted within the context of your expressed budget. Whether you express a budget range in the $40,000’s or $80,000’s, we will spend time discussing project & product possibilities available in your range. Everything at this initial meeting is painted in broad brushstrokes. We don’t expect you to decided on particular materials or even exactly how much you want to invest in the space. We do want you to select materials that “don’t count” because we want to understand you taste.

Second Meeting – Site Survey

Our next meeting takes place at your house. Your Designer needs to understand your home, bathroom or kitchen as it is now.

One or more designers will measure your space based upon established NKBA standards, which are different from the standards a carpenter or handyman might use. From these measurements we will create a duplicate plan of your existing space in Chief Architect, our design software.

Your designer will assess the capacities and limitations of your bathroom, kitchen and home. We will:

  • Determine how ingress, egress and through-ways could be improved.
  • See how the space to be remodeled fits in with the layout of the rest of the home and even property lot.
  • Assess duct work or radiators for any possible issues.
  • Review the panel box for electric capacity.
  • Look at where the gas and water enters the house.

While on site our showroom discussions continue. What do you love and hate about the space? How do you envision the space changed.What are your aspirations? Communication and understanding is something we all know can be difficult. The more time put into it the better the outcome.

This is also the point at which we take the before picture for the dramatic before and after images on our project pages!

Third Meeting: Concept, Color Pallet, & Budget

Concept Drawings

After the second meeting, your designer will put together several concepts of your new kitchen, addition, bathroom or other space. These concepts can be rendered to an almost photographic quality.

Your Material Palette or Color Board

Coupled with the concepts will be several material pallets laid out on the large kitchen islands throughout the showroom. A material pallet for a kitchen would probably contain the following:

  • Cabinet door style, species, and finish
  • Floor material, finish, and layout
  • Back splash material, finish, and pattern.
  • Fixture finish and selection.
  • Under-cabinet, task, and ambient lighting.

Everybody Gets Creative 
This meeting is always fun and productive. Our initial design is always met with an emotional and excited response. Even if it’s not exactly what you want, it’s very exciting to see just how much is possible for your new bath or kitchen. The initial design becomes a launching pad from which numerous creative concepts are developed. This meeting usually establishes a conceptual direction and strong opinions, though not necessarily final decisions, regarding the cabinet style, species of wood, finishes, decorative plumbing, floor & wall materials, counter tops and lighting elements. The budget is discussed throughout this process and affects the materials introduced and selected. This meeting almost always concludes with a tighter budgetary range.

Subsequent & Final Meetings

All subsequent meetings are a refinement of this concept, color pallet and budget process. Each getting closer to the final meeting when you are satisfied that together with your designer you have the perfect design with all the right materials and colors at a price that you are willing to invest. The entire process may take only a few weeks or it might take a month or more. The speed is largely dependent upon your schedule & project size.

Remodeling Agreement

Our remodeling agreement contains every product we are going to install in your home and a list of every necessary task. The agreement is very detailed and comprehensive, you can use it to follow the progress of your remodel from start to finish. The scope of work in your contract becomes the body of the site project binder that is referenced daily by your lead carpenter & the project coordinator.


Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths does not compromise on quality. We provide a two-year warranty on all workmanship and pass all manufacturer warranties directly to you. We are certain that your newly designed space will provide you with a lifetime of satisfaction.

Design Retainer

Good design requires an investment of time; both your time and your designer’s time. In order for your designer to invest that time, especially the conceptual drawing time, a retainer agreement is entered into at the end of the first or second design meeting.

Design Retainer Fees are based upon project size and complexity. Typical Design Retainers based upon project size are:

$900.00         Projects less than $25,000.00, such as hall bathrooms, closets, and design & materials only.

$1,900.00      Projects between $25,000 and $65,000, such as master bathrooms and many kitchens.

$2,900.00      Projects between $65,000 and $100,000, such as large kitchens, and multiple rooms.

$3,900.00      Projects above $100,000 to $150,000, such as very large kitchens, additions & whole house.

All design retainer fees are credited to a minimum contract equal to ten times the retainer. For example you want to design and remodel your hall bathroom. After your initial meeting at the showroom your designer provides you with a two page design retainer agreement with a fee of $900.00. Stated in that agreement the $900.00 shall be credited to a minimum project price or materials only price of $9,000.00.

An Architect typically charges 5% to 7% of the anticipated project costs for permit drawings and 7% to 10% of anticipated project costs for working drawings. An architects drawings are his work product. An Architects fees are spent in exchange for the drawings and are not credited to the project in any way.

Signature’s design retainer fees are considerably lower than Architect’s fees because our product is the remodel or materials only sale. Our fees are meant to give you and your designer the investment of time necessary to achieve good design.

Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths does not release concept drawings or allow removal of color pallets from the showroom. Nor do we allow pictures or copies to be made of our work. Retainer fees are not refundable.

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Our exceptional project designers, our employed craftsman along with our project coordinators & procedures make your intangible project seem easy!

There is No Obligation to come in, sit down, & talk to a designer!