So I have managed to visit a couple of kitchen renovation places in the Lower Mainland. They are two very, very different kinds of services.
The first place was a cabinetry installation company called Vancouver Cabinets. My aunt recommended this place because they were incredibly affordable. The catch is that you have to take the cabinets in the sizes that they are manufactured in. In other words, no custom building cabinets to fit your kitchen size. They will measure out your kitchen and then install the cabinets in a presentable manner in your kitchen space.
I visited their showroom in Richmond.
Keep in mind that this was the first kitchen renovation company that I had visited so I went in completely clueless about the process of building a new kitchen. My conversation with the salesman went something like this:
Salesman: Can I help you?
Somi: Yes. My family just bought a house and we need to remake the kitchen downstairs. It will be my kitchen.
Salesman: Anything you are interested in?
Somi: Well I looked at some kitchen magazines and I kind of like the light counters with the darker wood cabinets underneath.
Salesman: How big is the space?
Somi: I don't know. I forgot to bring the plans with me. But it's not a really big space.
Salesman: So how much work have you done so far.
Somi: I haven't even moved into the house yet. We take possession next week.
By this point, I think the saleman could tell, I was a total newb at kitchen renovations. He sat down with me and took me through the big picture process.
Hire a contractor to rip down the one wall we don't want, lay the tiles, paint the walls, and change any plumbing, electrical wiring or gas lines to the places where the applicances will go.
Buy the appliances and have them delivered to the house.
Have Vancouver Cabinets come do an inhouse consultation of the space and determine an estimate price of the cabinets. Choose the cabinetry you like and establish the budget for just the cabinets.
He even did some basic typical kitchen plan for the space that we have, considering where the patio door is, the window, and where the wall will be knocked down adn replaced with a sit down counter.
He said to take care of Steps One and Two first, then measure out the particular spaces where you want the cabinets and counter to go. After that's done, that's when they come into the picture at Step Three.
I left there with a new feeling of "I think I finally know what I'm doing now!!" I am not sure that I am going to hire them for the cabinetry yet... we'll see. But at least they gave me an outline to work with. I just have to fill in the blanks!