Surviving A Remodel: A Client’s Perspective

by | Oct 21, 2016 | Trust

We asked a few of our clients to share with us what their remodeling experience was like, and any tips they have for homeowners considering a renovation.

Below are the answers we received from a homeowner in Springfield who recently remodeled their kitchen with Sun Design.

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

Our house is almost 50 years old and had not been renovated since it was built.  The house had a really horrible floor plan with a small galley kitchen; think of a box divided into two L-shaped sections.  The kitchen itself was unworkable and lacked both cabinet and counter space; we routinely had to use our cooktop as the prep space for meals.

We knew we wanted to take down walls and make an open concept plan, for which we’d need a design-build firm.  The renovation brought a lot of light into the space.  We went with a contemporary design, with sleek flat-panel cabinets, quartz countertops, and a statement light fixture piece over the island.  By removing walls and reconfiguring the layout, we’ve more than tripled our cabinet and counter space.

Q: What was the design process like?

We set up regular sessions over a month or so to meet with the designers and discuss floor plans as well as pick out products like tile and flooring. As we were designing the kitchen, we had a list of everything we needed to fit (plates, utensils, appliances) and we used that to apportion space in the floorplan.

My husband appreciated the process by which we planned out the cabinet and drawer. We knew what types of cabinets were going in and determined what we were going to store in every cabinet to ensure that it matched the work flow in the kitchen and made the most effective use of the space.

Q: What was it like having us in your home during this process?

It wasn’t as bad as we had expected.  We stayed in the house throughout the renovation process.  Sun Design protected the bedrooms and basement to keep the dust out of those spaces. We set up a mini breakfast area in an extra bedroom and moved the fridge into a corner of the living room.

Mike Linder was amazing and the subcontractors were wonderful. I was impressed with their skill and knowledge.

The hardest part of the renovation was the waiting; especially towards the end when everything started to arrive for installation.  It was like Christmas, only spread out over a week or two. It was exciting to see everything come together and I was anxious to get into the space and use my new kitchen.

Q: Were there any specific struggles for you during this process?  Things that didn’t go as anticipated?   

Thankfully we didn’t find any major problems; you never know what you’ll discover in a house when you start opening up walls. The worst problem we had was when the siding was pulled off and we discovered a large hole that had us puzzled.  Mike Linder solved the puzzle: when the house was built, to save time, they cut a hole in the frame for the ductwork but never closed it up. Mike took care of the hole.

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

I would say that planning is important – have a good design and plan. Really take some time to think things out and move spaces around, giving thought to how everything is going to work. We had a general idea of what we wanted, but they [Sun Design] came up with some good ideas about how we could make it more usable, to get a better work flow and a better space.

Find a company that you can trust. We had heard horror stories from others and we wanted to ensure we had a solid, reputable company. We chose Sun Design because we felt comfortable with the company’s process and enjoyed being able to see their work firsthand. We had been coming to open houses for about 2-3 years and had talked to other homeowners about how they had worked with Sun Design on their projects. When it came time to remodel we really didn’t look at anybody else.  We went straight to Sun Design.

Q: Anything else you want to share?

We knew we needed a larger, more functional kitchen, but I wanted a gorgeous kitchen as well. It’s a pleasure to be in the space and I no longer feel cut off from the rest of the family.  It’s been a little over a year since our project was finished and I still just love looking at the kitchen.  We got more than we hoped for with this project.

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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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