Main-Level Remodel: A Client’s Perspective

by | Nov 4, 2016 | Trust

In a previous blog on Surviving a Remodel we interviewed a family in Springfield who recently had their kitchen completed.

This Fairfax Station household transformed the main-level of their home, opening up choke-points throughout.

Their kitchen was expanded for entertaining greater functionality was created throughout the kitchen, mudroom, pantry closet, powder room and dining areas.

In similar Q & A style they share their remodeling experience:

Q: What was the main reason you wanted to remodel?

We needed a bigger kitchen: It was outdated. We wanted to fix up the choke points in the house, giving us better flow.

Q: Why did you choose Sun Design for your remodel?

When we were shopping around for a Design/Build company we would ask if there were any of their actual finished projects we could go see – but some companies only gave us a list of references for us to call and set up our own visits which we weren’t really comfortable with.  With Sun Design, we were invited to Open Houses to actually see and speak with the project teams and the owners (if they were present). We also appreciated the way Sun Design presented their Seminars – they weren’t just about Sun Design. We didn’t want to just update the kitchen; we wanted something special and unique, and Sun Design was the company we believed could work with us to incorporate all our wants and needs into the perfect design.

Q: Were there any specific struggles for you during your remodeling process?

One of the big things that we had a major struggle with were our cabinets.  The order was delayed for various reasons.  It was heartbreaking because the project was progressing nicely. It turned out that the cabinet maker was closed for a few weeks in December so nothing got done until mid January and it was another 8 weeks before we got the cabinets in.  However; Sun Design was very empathetic – no one said “too bad, this is what you ordered,” instead they asked “how can we fix this?” and “please don’t worry, we’ll make this right.”  And they did.

Q: If there was something you could share with others getting ready to remodel, what would you share with them?

  • Go through each and every cabinet and make sure it’s understood among all parties what you want.
  • When selecting tile, ask for full tiles not the small sample pieces, especially if there is a color or pattern difference…always get several tiles and bring them into the space you are remodeling.
  • Make sure your walkways are wide enough; having enough space to have two people be able to walk by each other makes a huge difference.
  • Expect that there will be additional costs due to modifications (you missed something, you need to make a modification to the design, you decide that you want something else added to the design or the granite you fall in love with, and have to have, which costs more than you anticipated spending).
  • Also when trying to estimate the length of the project, keep an open mind. If you’re told that the project is going to take 8 weeks’ figure 10-12 weeks – anything can happen. That way if it’s done in 8 weeks, it’s a BONUS!
  • Don’t overlook the small details, as those small details can elevate a space. It is worth a little bit more to have those touches you want otherwise you’ll always be regretting not spending that little extra: Do you want to “just really like” the new space or “LOVE” your new space?

Q: Anything else you want to share?

We LOVE our kitchen along with the new spaces and flow of our house! Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into it.  Don’t wait to do your project until you are ready to sell…spend the money and enjoy the space, otherwise other people will be enjoying all your hard work.  Finally, we really like the people – everyone we’ve met we consider a friend. There is a camaraderie among the staff at Sun Design.   The quality of work was where we wanted it – well above your typical standard kitchen remodel. We did have our rough patches but when it was all said and done Sun Design delivered exactly what we wanted and WE LOVE IT!

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We were thrilled with the work performed by Sun Design. We had used a different contractor to build a porch and it was an awful experience with long delays, so we were cautious. The Sun Design team listened to all our needs, presented multiple options to meet those needs at different price points, and delivered on time and on budget for our first floor renovation. They are exceptional at communicating with their clients on what to expect during each stage of the journey and carry our strongest recommendation.

Brendan Mahon



10/10 would highly recommend Sun Design. We found our kitchen layout was too small and wasn't working for us. We told Sun Design what our issues were and what was important to us, and their amazing design team created the kitchen of our dreams. It turned into a whole first floor transformation, moving kitchen, dining room, and living room around to a configuration that worked best for us.

Ashley Norman



I am a HUGE fan of Sun Design! The first time that we worked with them was over 15 years ago. We were ready to have a deck built, but not just any deck, and of course, Jeremy was the designer at that time and I remember how he went about designing it so that it looked like "part of the house" - It is beautiful. We recently refurbished it, and it looks absolutely beautiful!

Josie Zamolyi Caldwell



Sun Design transformed our "cookie cutter" house into a spectacular, unique home. Working with Ericka was a delight - her confidence and fun personality made the process enjoyable. Ours was a complete remodel - kitchen, family room, powder room, upstairs bathrooms, and some primary bedroom work. We loved working with Sun Design so much that we will be working with them again in the future when we are ready for an addition that will add a garage and in-law suite. Highly recommend!

Patti Ahlstrom



SunDesign came up with a creative design for our screened-in porch that beautifully fits into our existing landscape. Project was executed on budget and their craftsmanship is superb. Their responsiveness to a warranty issue we had with the door was immediately addressed. We highly recommend SunDesign — their teams are awesome to work with.

Gisela Ulmschneider



We had a fairly big project to build out part of our house. Sun Design has done a phenomenal job so far. We are getting close to complete. The design process was very collaborative and the execution of the build has gone well so far. Every part of the experience has been top quality and the team we are working with is amazing. The team is expensive but they are able to walk you through where every cent goes and why and they will look at different options to try to help reduce cost. They are well worth every penny. I would want to use Sun Design for any future projects and I highly recommend them.

Jen Navarro



Maryam and Jeff from Sun Design home care department are great to work with. Maryam is very responsive and attentive to all my inquiries. Jeff is my to go guy whenever I need work or maintenance in my property, very professional and thorough with his work. I have been a satisfied customer for 2 years now.

Brigitte Siegall



Sun Design handled the renovation of our large basement several years ago. We finished our laundry room and added two walls of built in cabinets, reconfigured a storage room and run-down kitchen into a guest room and sitting area, and finished a large rec room. Everything was redone - the floors, walls, ceilings, electrical work, etc. Sun Design did a terrific job - the rooms look wonderful. Our house was built in 1962 and we had a number of glitches along the way. But Sun Design made sure that, at the end, everything looked and worked properly. I highly recommend them.

Susan Louis



I have been working with Sun Design for over 15 years. They are a great company to work with, very friendly and professional staff. They are very clean, responsive, respectful of your property and I have nothing but the great things to say about Sun Design.

Goran Zukic



This review is to introduce you to Sun Design services and to recommend them for your next project. We used Sun Design for a deck – sunroom redesign, and the end result exceeded our expectations. Sun Design is easy to work with, thinks creatively, and effectively communicates ideas to enhance projects, and thus Sun Design has my highest endorsement. The staff is knowledgeable, courteous, and friendly. They truly care about every aspect of the projects they do. They arrive on time and leave the place spotless when the work has been completed.

H. Milton Richardson

Our experience with Sun Design has been nothing short of wonderful. From our initial meeting with Craig to working closely with Morgan & Emily, every stage of the design process has been refreshingly easy despite the fact that our kitchen restructure was complex. With thoughtful consideration to our 124-year-old home, Sun Design presented plans that maintained the character of our farmhouse & resolved issues with functionality & form— all while respecting our desired budget & overall objective.

Sarah & Erkan Orman

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