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Kitchen Remodeling Costs Can Be High

March 23, 1997

As a certified kitchen designer and the author of the book "The Complete Guide to Kitchen Design With Cooking in Mind," I would like to comment on the March 2 article headlined "Remodeling? Make It Pay."

This article, among others, neglects to discuss replacement as opposed to remodeling.

Replacement is when you gut the kitchen and reassemble it with all new materials and appliances. No structural changes will take place, but the kitchen will be new and updated.

In remodeling, you will move walls and plumbing and create an entirely different environment, which will inevitably cost a whole lot more money than replacement alone.

Another very important fact, when talking about remodeling or replacing a kitchen, is the cost of appliances. When one walks into an appliance store, the salespeople will most likely compare high-end and low-end appliances (there is no middle ground).

There are two kind of appliances: those that work and those that don't. Whether they work or not should be seen in direct relationship to the volume of food that has to be served. Good quality appliances--refrigerator, cooktop, oven(s), dishwasher, sinks and faucets--for an average kitchen can cost between $10,000 and $15,000. So even if we are only talking about replacement, we are looking at a substantial amount of money.

When people read articles like the one you featured, they get unrealistic expectations, like being able to do a major kitchen remodel for $30,000. Then they get very upset and disappointed when they find out that what they wish to do cannot be done for the amount they had budgeted.

DONALD SILVERS

Los Angeles

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