What to Expect: Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel in Sonoma County, Napa, and Marin

One of the most popular services Revelry Interior Design provides is kitchen and bathroom remodel help.

As our featured Houzz article shows, homeowners are currently opting to stay put and renovate rather than purchase new homes. So I thought I’d put together a little “insider’s guide” to prepare you, if you’re thinking of starting the daunting process of a kitchen and bathroom remodel in Sonoma County, Napa, or Marin. 

(Did you know that Revelry Interior Design can handle all of the logistics of a kitchen and bathroom remodel for you? We are experienced in renovation project management, speaking with contractors and subcontractors, specifying finishes, plumbing, appliances, and designing layouts for kitchens and bathrooms. Reach out to us here to get started or simply to learn more.)

What to Expect During a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel:
Price per Square Foot

Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Marin interior designer designs a family friendly and functional kitchen and describes what to expect during a kitchen and bathroom remodel

According to Chris Rhodes Construction, a contractor based in Santa Rosa, CA, you can expect to pay $300-$400 per square foot installed for a kitchen and bathroom remodel in Sonoma County. I would expect it to be on the higher end for Napa and Marin. What does that mean? It means that you can calculate your all-in cost – demo, labor, materials, appliances, cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, installation, permitting – by figuring out the total square footage of your space and multiplying it by the cost per square foot. So, if your kitchen is 300 square feet, you should expect to pay $90,000-$120,000. If your bathroom is 100 square feet, that’s $30,000-$40,000.

Certainly, you may get your costs down to $250/sq.ft. by carefully and thoughtfully selecting your materials and appliances, shopping sales, or even checking out the ReStore in Santa Rosa (if you’re a super bargain hunter). However, expect to spend more time on research and procurement. If you value your time and this seems like a headache, it’s worth it to hire an interior designer to do the legwork for you. Tap into an interior designer’s resources, experience, and knowledge, and you will end up saving time, money, and hassle in the long run.

Ultimately, your renovation investment depends on the scope of your project. As the guys over at Modern Living Sonoma point out, “estimating a remodel by the $ per square foot is almost meaningless because it depends so much on what you include/exclude from that calculation.” They give a nice breakdown of fees, so check it out (although this was from 2019, and prices have gone up since the pandemic began in 2020)

What to Expect During a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel:
Intrusion, Noise, Dust

Napa and Sonoma Interior Design kitchen remodel and home renovation on a budget

The biggest and most obvious thing to expect during a kitchen and bathroom remodel is the major intrusion into your personal living space, and the mess that comes from the demolition phase. Accordingly, you will be temporarily displaced and forced to eat pizza out of a cardboard box for a while (which isn’t that bad, in my opinion. Call up CIBO Rustico, open a Super Tuscan and enjoy the chaos!). When done professionally and properly, the demo team will protect your home by blocking off rooms with plastic sheets, protect floors with Ram Board, and may even use a HEPA filter for the dust. 

Workers will be in and out of your house all day long – and they usually like to start early and end by 3pm.  Expect the constant sounds of drilling, hammering, debris vacuuming, and occasional smashing. The tile saw is especially harsh on the ears. Pets need to be safely locked away, as front doors will be used frequently to bring supplies in and out.

What to Expect During a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel:
A Toilet in Your Shower, and other odd daily scenes

Napa and Sonoma Interior Design bathroom remodel

Don’t be surprised to see things out of place, temporarily rearranged and in general disarray. Indeed, your contractors know what they are doing. The shower is the best place to store the toilet while the floor is getting retiled. There are boxes upon boxes of hardwood flooring in your hallway because they need to acclimate to the interior temperature before being installed. Overall, your contractors aren’t being careless. Ideally, they will communicate their plan to you before taking over your space.

What to Expect During a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel:
Stretches of Nothing

Napa and Sonoma Interior Design kitchen remodel

After the initial flurry of demolition, you may find that some days are quiet, with only one worker present for an hour or two. You will probably think, where IS everyone? Why aren’t they sticking to the schedule?

Rest assured that they are on schedule and aren’t slacking off. A huge part of the job (just ask any Project Manager), scheduling takes a great deal of coordination among multiple tradespeople. Were your walls just primed? Great! Now they need to dry before painting can proceed. Was your kitchen floor tile just installed? Super! No one can walk on it for 24-48 hours, so for that time period, the painters will be painting your cabinet doors offsite. In fact, activity is often happening offsite (the tile installer is picking up the tiles and grout, the painter is at the paint store mixing more cans, someone is making a trip to the dump with all of the demo’ed debris).

So, while it may seem like no one is working, trust me – they are, and things are likely on track and on schedule.

What to Expect During a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel:

Napa and Sonoma Interior Design kitchen remodel

As you witness your home being smashed, you may feel a tinge of sadness and regret. This often comes as a surprise to many homeowners. My baby took her first bath in that sink! This kitchen is where we shared so many happy memories! Know that this is all normal, expected, and totally valid. As an experienced interior designer and your “Home Design Therapist,” my best advice is to keep your perspective, remember that change is inevitable and not synonymous with bad, and that you will create new memories in your new space.

What to Expect During a Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel:
Moments of “Oh, sh*t!” followed by Beautiful Relief

What to expect during a kitchen and bathroom remodel in sonoma county

When you see bits and pieces of the work in progress before the final result, you may experience regret. Thoughts like, “Oh no, that’s not what I was expecting, what have I done?” may creep into your head. You may email your designer in a panic – this doesn’t look right!

This is because you are seeing pieces of the puzzle, rather than the whole picture. Initially, it can look disjointed and confusing. Would you tell a painter, while standing over her shoulder, watching her make the first few brush strokes of a painting, that her painting isn’t what you were expecting? No, you wouldn’t – you would wait until the final result. Ultimately, this is when you need to trust your contractor and/or interior designer. The work will get completed, and things will come together for a beautiful, amazing result.

A kitchen and bathroom remodel is a huge undertaking for sure. Through dust, displacement, delegation, and maybe a few nostalgic tears, your home will eventually return to you, and in much better shape than you left it!

What did you learn during your kitchen or bathroom remodel? Reach out to me, Dana, at dana@revelryinteriordesign.com and let me know! 

Looking for help with your kitchen and bathroom remodel in Sonoma County, Napa, or Marin? Schedule your complimentary Discovery Call with me and learn how I can help. 



P.S. Have you read my latest blog posts yet? If not, don’t miss out (and follow me on Instagram!):

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