After making the decision to remodel your kitchen, you may find yourself at a loss on how to begin. The planning phase is perhaps the most important part of any kitchen remodel. Nobody wants to knock down a wall to discover it is load bearing. This can add thousands of dollars to your budget. Similarly, you do not want to experience the letdown of ordering an extra-large 36-inch oven only to discover it will not fit. Proper planning will save you a lot of hassle and potentially a lot of money if done properly.
Research the Professionals
Just because somebody says they are an experienced contractor doesn’t make it true. Be sure to research any designer, plumber, or construction company before you hire them. A great place to start is by asking neighbors and friends who’ve recently remodeled their kitchens. They can give you advice on who to avoid or ask for help.
Even with a recommendation from someone you know, still ask your contractors for references. Contractors change up laborers frequently, so you may be in for a nasty surprise if quality dipped since your fiend’s remodel.
During your research, inquire about the contractor’s work habits. Did they show up on time? Did they make any changes without consulting the client? Did they make any errors and how were they resolved? Also, be sure to inquire about the budget. It’s is well known that many homeowners go over their initial remodel budget, but a couple hundred dollars over is drastically different than a couple of thousand.
Planning Your Kitchen Remodel
You will want to bring in an architect or designer who can draw your kitchen to scale including all relevant items such as windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, etc. This way, your designer will be able to show you the best way to enhance the space you have while avoiding any disasters (such as the over not fitting as described above).
Let your designer know your must-haves so they can create a design pleasing to you. Provide pictures of what you like and what you don’t like. Also, be sure to let your designer know how you want the kitchen to function. If you are very into cooking, you will want maximum counter space for food prep—perhaps even an island. If you are a stickler about organization, you will want maximum storage to hide away your pots and pans. Open shelving may be stylish, but it can also make you crazy if you have to have everything neat and tidy.
Sticking to Your Budget
You may want all stainless steel appliances and granite countertops along with custom made cabinetry—but can you afford it?
If stainless steel is a must, consider revamping your existing appliances. You can often simply replace your refrigerator and washing machine door panels with stainless steel options for significantly less than buying entirely new appliances.
Another way to stay on budget is to only put in granite countertops on your kitchen island while putting in a durable laminate elsewhere. If you really want all granite countertops, check with your local suppliers. They often have leftover granite from previous jobs at a significantly reduced price.
If custom cabinets aren’t in your budget, you can put your personal touch on them by putting glass panels in two of them to highlight your favorite dishware. You can also make prefabricated cabinets your own with pulls and knobs that suit your style.
Lastly, do not pay your contractors in full before they begin the job. You will need to give them a down payment for certain, but paying someone in full for a job they have not completed is asking for trouble. Discuss a payment plan with your contractor based on completed stages of your project.
Proper research, planning, and budgeting are key when it comes to a kitchen remodel. By doing your due diligence, you can achieve the kitchen remodel of your dreams with minimal mishaps.