What's brewing in the kitchen may be more than coffee. It seems kitchen upgrades are cooking up business for a variety of companies these days. But be careful what you get into; once you start enhancing the kitchen you may find your eyes are bigger than your wallet, or at least bigger than what you planned on taking out of your wallet!

"It's like getting a new pair of shoes and then you have to buy the whole outfit. That's how it started for us," says homeowner Sermsee Kerner.

Kerner says she and her husband Andrew decided to remodel their Mira Mesa kitchen a few months ago. What started out as minor changes soon turned into a whole new look.

"New counter tops was all that it was going to be. But we ended up gutting the kitchen down to the walls and then ended up with everything brand new including paint and furniture," says Kerner.

The couple did much of their kitchen remodel themselves. Andrew is a Senior Project Manager with a construction company. Nevertheless, the project took nearly three months and wasn't without frustrations for the couple and their two boys, "We ended up eating out a lot. We got tired of eating just fast food. We're glad to have our kitchen back so that we can cook again," says Kerner.

But if you're not too handy around the house then you'll probably be looking for companies to help build your new kitchen.

Denise Visocky, an Allied Member of American Society of Interior Designers or ASID, says she finds the all-in-one approach is best, "We'll have our people come in tear it out, do the install. I've found that's probably the easiest way."

Visocky is a senior designer at One Fine Day Design in Del Mar. She's been with the company for nearly two years and before that she was working on the East Coast.

"It's like one-stop shopping, the most economical and probably the most non-threatening to the client because [there is] one person to deal with rather than the counter top people, the flooring people, the cabinet people, the tear-out people, the plumber, the electrician," says Visocky.

Kitchen remodels can vary greatly in price, depending on what you replace, such as the cabinets, handles, floor, and appliances. Also, the not-so-average requests for sub- zero's and other unique items can drive the price up significantly.

Owner of One Fine Day Design, Diana Robinson, says with hectic schedules more families are requesting a warming drawer.

"You know how so many people come home late for dinner and the husband's late and the wife has made dinner at 6 PM and he doesn't get home until 8 PM. They can actually put the food in the warming drawer and keep it warm for whoever is coming home late to eat," says Robinson.

Kitchen improvements can add value to your home, but the new design must be thoughtfully created keeping in mind the basics are still the most important to the masses, "The common request is more space and functionality so that [clients] aren't having to walk really far from the prep area to the sink or to the stove," says Robinson.

Be sure to check the calendar before you start your kitchen upgrade. Don't start a remodel just before the holidays if Thanksgiving Dinner is going to be at your house; it could be a disaster.

Also, whether you're doing most of the work or a company is, don't let them start to tear a part the kitchen until everything is ready to be installed.

"The cabinets are in, the sink is in, the appliances are lined up and then that's when you want to start moving forward to tear out. Because if you tear out expecting something to show up, nine out of 10 times it's not going to," says Visocky.

Taking the time to coordinate or hire a company to do it for you can save you lots of time, leaving the headaches out of the kitchen remodel and instead you lessen the burden and get the look that you intended, "The kitchen now has personality, a mood, a feeling, instead of just blah countertops," says Kerner.

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