Bruce Roth is certainly not letting a down economy hurt his kitchen remodeling business. In fact, the Newtown resident and owner of Sycamore Kitchens & More is taking advantage of a trend that began to unfold shortly after the recession showed signs of deepening. That trend, fortunately enough for Roth and those in his line of work, is remodeling. “Despite the weak economy, if you have a dated, inefficient kitchen and you plan on staying in your home for at least a few more years, now is an excellent time to remodel—perhaps the best in decades,” says Bruce.
Bruce believes that there are also the day-to-day cost benefits of having an updated kitchen. Considering that Americans spend half of their food budgets eating out, an updated kitchen makes it much more efficient and enjoyable to prepare food at home. And when the time comes to sell their home, many homeowners express that improving their kitchen will help them gain a competitive edge over the other homes in the market. “Just about everyone feels a kitchen project is well worth it,” explains Bruce. “It adds so much to the quality of life and tends to return more of an investment than any other room remodel.”
But remodeling is not always just about maintaining your investment. “Often remodeling and renovating are emotionally motivated. The home is a very personal place and it reflects a homeowner’s personality, design, and way of living.” And Bruce isn’t the only one who sees kitchen makeovers as a trend that is bucking the economic downturn. A recent survey of homeowners across the nation shows the kitchen has changed from a room simply for food preparation, to a room where a variety of activities take place. Survey respondents specified using the kitchen for socializing with friends and family and creating a hub to manage the household, including paying bills and keeping the family organized. The survey showed most people who remodel do so because their kitchens are outdated— which they describe as dark, cluttered, boring, or confining.
Newtown’s Diane Katz is one of those people. “Our family needed a new kitchen, and we had been thinking about it for years,” says Katz. “It was old, outdated, and had poor storage. We also knew it would be a hindrance when it came time to sell.” So Diane Katz’s family decided to have the kitchen remodeled by Bruce Roth and his team. “After a few short weeks, the remodeling project was finished and considered a success. Now that it is completed, I feel the kitchen adds so much more value to the home than the actual cost and that to me is the sign of a great remodel.”
One of the main reasons, Bruce believes, that families like the Katzs remodel their kitchen is because their current one is outdated. “Homeowners
want kitchens that are functional, with the space and features for entertaining as well as meal preparation. Designing multi-functional kitchens for our local clients is a trend that is consistent with the rest of the country.”
Kristen Kleban, Senior Design Coordinator at Sycamore Kitchens & More, designed Katz’s new kitchen. She improved the function and flow and was able to create more usable storage in the process. Kristen accommodated many features that Katz really wanted in her new kitchen. This includes a built-in 42-inch refrigerator and a 36-inch professional range with a decorative mantle hood. “A number of companies looked at Katz’s kitchen and said there was no room to fit it everything she wanted into it,” adds Bruce. “However, Kristen was able to accommodate the request with some of the design techniques she learned through her 20-plus years of experience.”
Besides remodeling for aesthetics and functionality, consumers are realizing that the current economic conditions simply provide a good time to remodel. According to many national building publications, more materials are available at lower costs. Meanwhile, in past years, contractors have been so busy that it has been difficult to find any that could squeeze you into their schedules. A lot of contractors and subcontractors didn’t want to take on small remodeling jobs, instead holding out for work on more lucrative remodeling or new construction. All that has changed now. Contractors and other handy people now want your work. It’s the easiest time in many years to get quality work done by the contractor of your choice.
Competition among contractors for your remodeling job also means you may be able to pay less than you would have in previous years. Bruce, who has been in the building industry for most of his life, has always remained one step ahead of industry trends. Bruce sensed that home building was on the decline several years ago and decided it was time to venture out and pursue his passion. “I chose the remodeling business because I felt there was a need for a company in the area that could provide an outstanding finished project based on inspiring designs with attention to detail in an expedited manner.”
He realizes the industry has changed over the past few years with more of a focus on the kitchen. It has been his mission to keep current with building trends. “The whole industry has evolved over the past ten years. The kitchen has become the new family room. What once was just a small cramped kitchen with Spartan finishes has evolved into an open, functional cooking and gathering space enjoyed by the whole family and friends.”
Customers are invited to walk into the Sycamore Kitchens & More to learn more and to see the latest cabinetry options under one roof. In addition, homeowners thinking about a project can call to receive a complimentary design consultation. “My philosophy as a designer is to involve clients in the design process because the project will impact their lives for many years to come,” adds Kristen. “Our goal as a company is to guide our clients and provide functional solutions and products that will incorporate their wishes, dreams, desires, and needs. Life is often challenging, and when I am able to elevate a client’s mood every time they walk into their kitchen, I’ve done my job well.”
Sycamore Kitchens & More was founded on the principals of combining exceptional design, quality products, attention to detail, and unparalleled customer service. “We believe good communication and project management coupled with exceptional craftsmanship and quality products are keys to a successful remodel,” Roth comments. “The idea is to treat our clients like we would treat our own family.” Attitudes like this are why Sycamore was voted the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Neighbors Choice Award for Best in Bucks Kitchens.
Article by Leslie Feldman from Bucks Town and Country Magazine, Fall 2009