So you’ve made the decision that it is time to remodel the kitchen. It is old, dingy, outdated, possibly even falling apart! But, where do you start? It can be a very overwhelming task to undertake such a big remodel. After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home. The mere thought of tearing it apart can be dreadful. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you encounter your kitchen project that will allow you to get through the process with confidence and ease.
1. First and foremost you need to find someone that will do the work for you. There are many types of contractors out there. Are you limited with time and need a turn key operation to take care of everything from start to finish? Or, are you more creative and like the hands on approach to choosing and ordering your own material? A smaller reputable contractor could be ideal for you in this case. Regardless of the type of contractor services that will best suite your needs, make sure to check out who you are looking to hire. Some great sources to find out what people are saying are Houzz, Angie’s List, and GuildQuality. Another good idea is to ask for references and check them! Any reputable contractor will have a good online reputation and a high referral rate.
2. Set your budget. Depending on what services you need to complete your kitchen, the cost can vary widely. You will need to sit down and figure out how much you are realistically looking to spend on your kitchen, taking the return you can expect to receive into consideration. The Cost vs. Value report estimates that kitchens are currently showing an ROI of 69-80%! This report also shows how much you can expect to spend in your region on just about any type of remodel. You can find this report by clicking here. Basically, you are not overspending if you plan about 25% of your home’s value as your kitchen budget. Establishing your budget early will help you in making a decision on which contractor is right for you and also help the contractors you are receiving bids from to show you what scope of work will be included with your budget. Make sure as you compare bids to always compare apples to apples and that you have a clear understanding between each estimate, what is and isn’t included.
3. Make sure to plan out your design and materials before construction begins. This is really important because you will want to know exactly what you are paying for before you hand over thousands of dollars. It is also a very proactive approach to the project. Why not have all materials ready and waiting for the project to begin instead of waiting until the last minute? Sometimes materials take longer to order and sometimes a backorder of products can occur unexpectedly. If your products are waiting for the start date, you will avoid unnecessary time line delays.
4. Don’t underestimate the value of a designer’s help. Some full service contractors offer this help as a part of their contract. If your contractor does not, they more than likely work closely with Interior Designers that would be happy to assist you. This type of project is probably not something you do everyday. If you are having trouble fitting all of the pieces together, a designer will help you see your vision come to life almost effortlessly. This includes not only material selections, but also layout options. Make sure you speak with a contractor or designer that knows kitchen design. He or she will be able to envision the best of possibilities as far as functional layouts are concerned.
So you now know how to find your next contractor, have tools to help you budget, and a plan before you start. But, you may be asking what about the kitchen itself?
5. Cabinetry is where you will be spending the most money, generally speaking, in your kitchen remodel. You want to make sure the layout is perfect for how you use your kitchen. First take an inventory of what you have in your cabinets right now. Then, subtract about 20% of it. If you’ve been in your home for several years, you will probably find things you forgot you had. A lot of items will either be thrown away or donated. The remainder of the items need a place to go and if you know exactly what you have to store, you will have a better idea of the type of storage you need in your new kitchen. If you are looking to rearrange your existing work spaces, you want to make sure that each work zone is separate from the other. The NKBA has many useful tips on this and other rules to help you plan.
There you have it, 5 tips to help you get off to a great start with your next kitchen remodel! These tips are imperative to keeping your sanity when doing any remodel project. For any questions or to get started with the process call us at 630.293.8070.