Frequently asked questions
Is Vima Design the right kitchen design and renovation company for your project?
Yes, if you need guidance from experienced (+15 years) custom kitchen designers specialized in designing the right kitchen for your home and budget.
Yes, if you expect industry leading quality in the design, renovation, manufacturing and workmanship.
Yes, if you prefer supporting a West Island company with Quebec manufacturing and Quebec suppliers.
Yes, if you require that the schedule and timelines be followed as promised.
Yes, if you want your money’s worth.
No, if you don’t care about quality and great service.
No, if you only want the lowest price in town.
What should I expect and how long should a kitchen renovation project take?
Clients should start by visiting our web site and/or come to our showroom (no appointment required). On that first visit to Vima Design, either the owners or one of the Vima designers take the time to educate the customers as to what to expect during a kitchen renovation and what to look for in top quality kitchen cabinets and design. Once the customer is comfortable and interested with the Vima Design quality and process, we schedule a visit by one of Vimas designers to the customer’s home (for potential customers this service is free). At the customer’s home, the Vima designer takes measurements, brainstorms with the customer, discusses the wish list and, most importantly, the budget. Once the budget is approved, the design work begins. Usually five to seven days later the designer presents the customer with the design and the costs analysis, one part for the renovation work and the other part for the kitchen cabinets including countertops. By having the cost of the kitchen separate from the renovation, customers can choose to have Vima Design coordinate the complete job or choose to have Vima do everything except the renovation work. Once the customer has fallen in love with the design and the budget is respected, the kitchen is ordered. Six to eight weeks after ordering (or when site ready), the kitchen is delivered at the customer site.
Phase 1 : Kitchen renovation & preparation
5 to 15 business days depending on size of renovation project.
Phase 2 : Kitchen delivery & installation
2-5 days depending on the size of the kitchen.
Phase 3 : Kitchen completion
1-5 days depending on the work remaining.
What’s the difference between granite and quartz?
Granite comes from all corners of the world (India, USSR, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Canada and the USA). Usually the farther away the granite comes from and the rarer it is the more it will cost.
Granite is a beautiful natural material. It is a coarse or fine grained crystalline igneous rock composed primarily of quartz, feldspar and mica with unique pattern and color. It is extremely resistant to scratching, scuffing, breaking and quite difficult to stain. Granites have different levels of porosity (pores, small holes). Make sure that the granite supplier provides only first quality slabs that have undergone a resin sealing treatment. This process reduces pores and pits by 75% and gives an aesthetic surface. Even though all granite surfaces also get sealed at the plant before they are delivered and installed, they still require some maintenance. The more porous a granite surface is the more it will require regular (every 2-3 years) re-sealing.
Quartz crystal countertops are more and more popular. Quartz surfaces are a man made product. Quartz crystal is one of the hardest materials. The manufacturers use 93% quartz crystal and 7% resin binders and pigments to keep the material homogenous. The key word is homogenous; this means no pores which mean no sealing, no maintenance. Quartz crystal counter tops are also very resistant to scratching, scuffing, breakage, cracking. In general, quartz is usually a little more expensive than the average priced granite surface. If you prefer more uniform and consistent colors with little nuances, no streaking, no veins, and a more pure and contemporary look you will love quartz crystal counter tops.
The use of a cutting board for both Granite and Quartz is highly recommended to prevent damage.
What factors should I consider when choosing granite and quartz?
Make sure you are quoted on the correct thickness and quality. Vima quotes 3cm rough thickness and delivers select premium quality.
Also make sure you have a limited number of seams. Some suppliers try to pass off commercial grade material and add too many seams.
Make sure you get the granite supplier’s technician to take the exact measurements on site (called a template) as soon as the kitchen cabinets are installed. The template should be taken with the highest quality digital equipment to make sure the delivered counter top fits and follows all the nooks and crannies of crooked walls. Templates taken the old way (cardboard cut outs) often result in poor installation and leave damaged walls following installation. Vima Design’s granite supplier uses digital technology for all its templates which ensures a most perfect fit at all times.
Make sure the countertop supplier reinforces the weaker areas (front and back of sink cut outs) with double epoxy rectangular steel or fiberglass rod inserts underneath the front rim and a single rod in the back. This will maximize the strength in weak areas. Most suppliers provide no rods at all or else, round steel ones which are not as strong as the rectangular ones. Vima’s supplier always uses rectangular rods to reinforce weaker areas.
Make sure the granite supplier uses premium quality slabs that have been pre-treated with an epoxy resin sealant. As all granite surfaces have pores or small imperfections, it is essential that a sealant be applied to fill these fine holes for an overall smoother surface and to fully waterproof and stain proof the stone. After the countertops are fabricated they are polished and receive a second coat of sealant directly in the factory to protect against stains. Make sure you get a maintenance kit with cleaner and additional sealant for future protection. Vima always has its surfaces double sealed in plant and provides a free maintenance kit with each installation.
The size of granite blocks being quarried ranges between 9 to 10 feet long. Therefore, the manufacturer may have to include seams in countertops whose length exceeds these measurements. A conscientious manufacturer makes sure you have the fewest number of seams and that these seams be located in areas that are less likely to interfere with daily use and that are least noticeable.
Make sure you get the granite/quartz counter top delivered and installed within 10-12 business days after the digital numeric template has been taken. Vima has counter tops delivered within a 10-12 day period.
Make sure the countertops have a soft polish finish underneath the length of the rim of the finished counter tops and under the nook area where thighs are going to rub against directly. This will prevent runs or tears in clothes. Vima’s supplier always polishes down key areas.
Make sure when the countertops have been delivered and installed by the granite supplier technicians that they have been well secured to the cabinets and that the undermount sink(s) is (are) firmly in place.
How should we maintain and care for our granite or quartz countertops?
Vima Design’s counters are carefully crafted by some of the most esteemed Quebec manufacturers. Top quality manufacturing and high quality materials are always used. The manufacturers and Vima Design recommend the following instructions for care and cleaning:
- The granite surface has been sealed at the plant, but can require regular resealing every couple of years for added protection
- Wipe all spills immediately. Do not allow them to sit or dry out.
- Clean when necessary with mild soap and water, rinse and towel dry.
- Do not allow a buildup of grease and dirt to occur.
- Do not use abrasive type cleaners or pads and avoid hard rubbing and scrubbing.
- The use of a cutting board is highly recommended
- Avoid rapid extreme temperature changes
How should we clean and take care of our kitchen?
Vima Design’s cabinets are carefully crafted by some of the most esteemed Quebec kitchen manufacturers. Top quality manufacturing and high quality materials are always used. The manufacturers and Vima Design recommend the following instructions for care and cleaning:
Care of the interiors
- Wipe all spills immediately. Do not allow them to sit or dry out.
- Wipe the interiors when necessary with mild soap and water, rinse and towel dry.
- Do not allow a buildup of grease and dirt to occur.
- Do not use abrasive type cleaners or pads.
Care of the exteriors
- Clean your cabinets with soft damp cloth and mild soap.
- Treat your Vima Design cabinets like fine furniture.
- Do not use abrasive type cleaners or pads and avoid hard rubbing and scrubbing. Excessive rubbing will cause additional sheen.
- Your cabinetry should not be exposed to strong sun light or extreme/sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Wood is a product which is in a continual state of expansion and contraction, causing hairline seams at the joints of the cabinets’ faceframe, doors and drawers. These hairline and/or shrinkage lines will not weaken the finish or the construction and are considered a natural part of the beauty of wood cabinets.
- Humidity levels are too often overlooked in the home. Improper levels damage cabinets and building components. Maintain relative humidity levels between 45-55%.
Should I get my old kitchen cabinets refinished or should I just change the doors and keep the old casings?
A. Just changing the doors is a difficult and expensive proposition, remember the casings (melamine boxes with the shelves you want to re-use) is not the most expensive part of the kitchen, actually it’s only worth about 15% of the total amount of a new kitchen, therefore if you keep the old casings in place, you end up only saving 15% and you’re stuck keeping the same design with the same problems. Even though the casings are not expensive, the quality of the materials used to assemble the casings is important. Obviously if you change just the doors and install them on poor quality casings, it will be very difficult to do a good job.
Are all the casings installed level and correctly? Will new screws with new hinges be installable? If new doors are installed with the new hinges, what are the chances that the density of melamine will hold the screws? And what are the chances that the old holes will make it possible to install new hinges correctly? Will the melamine surface last many more years? You can’t just replace the doors without changing all the mouldings, casings edges and finished sides of casings.
This type of job is not done by Vima Design because it’s virtually impossible to do an acceptable job and Vima Design only does jobs that they can be proud of. Cost wise, it can cost you quite a bit of money for not so great results.
B. If your kitchen cabinets are less than 10 years old, in great shape and you love the existing design and layout, but you just can’t stand the finish or color. Then you could consider just getting them refinished. The problem is that very few companies actually do this well. The job is not that simple to accomplish correctly, and rarely gives good results unless you chose the right company. Vima Design offers the refinishing of existing cabinets only if the original cabinets and doors are in great shape and Vima can expect good results. Vima Design must first go see the kitchen to determine if the results can be good, then we send our refinishing specialist for an inspection and quote.
Should I just change to a granite or quartz counter top to spruce up my kitchen?
If your kitchen is less than 10 years old and you still love your kitchen cabinets, the color and the finish, you could consider upgrading to a granite or quartz counter top. These surfaces are fantastic, luxurious and low maintenance. They give a beautiful and rich look to an already very nice existing kitchen. Don’t expect a poorly designed, poor quality, poorly finished kitchen to all of a sudden be transformed with a new expensive counter top. This will not fool anyone, especially if you are trying to sell. If you don’t really like the design, some appliances need to be changed and the cabinets are old and poorly finished, you should consider doing a complete kitchen renovation when you have the budget. Don’t waste a lot of money putting a spectacular granite or quartz counter top on a shabby kitchen, it’s not worth it.
Is Vima Design more expensive?
Vima Design is highly recommended kitchen design and turnkey renovation company since 2002. You will get your money’s worth at Vima Design.
Should caulking be applied between the kitchen crown moulding and the ceiling?
It is almost inevitable to see a space appear between the mouldings and the ceiling (like the space between the wood floor planks) after the natural and normal movement of the house with the changes of seasons. Therefore, it is not recommended to apply a caulking.
We would like to do our own kitchen renovations or use our own renovation contractor. Can we still work with Vima Design?
Yes you can, Vima Design will work with you and your renovation contractor.
Can we use Vima Design to help us with a design work only?
Yes with a very experienced designer and the entire Vima Design team. We charge $100/hour.
Do we absolutely need to visit the Vima Design showroom before having a designer come to our house?
Yes, this way we can present you our team, explain our process, demonstrate our products, the finishes and door styles. We make sure you like what we propose and you understand how we work. After, we introduce you to your Vima Design designer that goes to your house to look at your project.
Does Vima Design only do kitchen projects or can we have you do other work as well?
Predominately we do kitchen projects, we also do beautiful bathroom projects and custom cabinets for all rooms in your house. Our renovation contractors can at the same time as the kitchen do all other renovation work.
Will the Vima Design designer will help us with counter tops, ceramic, appliances, lighting and plumbing choices?