Renovating your kitchen can be an exciting time. You’re eager to get the cabinets of your dreams, more space to cook and a completely new look to your kitchen.
However, all of this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to plan, coordinate contractors and turn your current kitchen into a dream come true.
Don’t let the process deter you from remodeling your kitchen. However, before you get started, take a quick look at the process itself so you know what to expect.
The first step is probably the most important – the planning phase. Take as long as you need to figure out exactly what you want. Visit home improvement stores, watch kitchen and home remodeling shows, get lost on Pinterest and think about what’s most important to you.
Also, think about how big of a kitchen renovation you want to tackle. Do you just want new cabinets? What about a completely new layout? Do you need new plumbing or electrical outlets? The bigger the renovation, the more planning involved.
It doesn’t hurt to talk to friends or family who’ve renovated in recent years to get an idea of how they planned and what the finished product actually looked like.
During this phase, try to balance what you want with what’s realistic. No matter how hard you try, you only have a set amount of space, so you have to plan based on what you can realistically do.
Now that you have an idea of what you want, it’s time for the compromising portion. Go ahead and get estimates for what you’re looking to do to see if it fits your budget.
If it doesn’t, it’s time to decide where you can make some changes. For instance, choosing a different type of wood for your cabinets or opting for a different type of kitchen flooring can drastically change your costs. Leave some wiggle room in your budget for unexpected costs, such as discovering a weak spot after your kitchen flooring is removed.
The next step is probably the hardest. You have to decide who will renovate your kitchen. It’s vital to be careful as choosing the wrong contractor not only makes renovating your kitchen a nightmare, but destroys your budget quickly. Carefully review your options and don’t just go with the cheapest or fastest available. Sometimes it pays to spend a little more for higher quality work, even if you have to wait a little longer to get your dream kitchen.
Make sure you choose contractors that are able to work together. For instance, you don’t want to have your cabinets being installed before your floors or walls or finished. You need to coordinate a team to handle everything. Ideally, you want to renovate your kitchen starting with the plumbing and electricity. Then you’ll renovate the walls and floor. The final step is appliances and cabinets.
Choose Your Layout
Before your contractors get started, you have to determine the final layout. Your contractors can help with this. For instance, if you’re wanting a wall removed or added, they can tell you what is and isn’t possible. They can also show you examples of other kitchens they’ve done to give you an idea of what yours might look like when completed.
Now that you’ve gotten the layout out of the way, it’s time to start designing your cabinets. Your contractors for everything else, need to know the specifications of your cabinets. After all, the placement and sizes of your cabinets determine where your major appliances will go and how electrical and plumbing needs to be done.
For instance, if you’re wanting an island as part of your kitchen renovation, your electrician will need to rewire your kitchen to add power to the oven in your island.
This part will be tricky, so be prepared. It’s hard for contractors to give you an exact date sometimes. After all, they are all working together. Rushing them won’t work and will just result in poor quality. However, it’s reasonable to set realistic deadlines. You don’t want your remodel to take years.
Instead, insist on regular communication with everyone to ensure the project is staying on schedule and no one is slacking off.
There will be obstacles, so be prepared. Even with the best contractors, you might run into issues such as the wrong parts coming in or not being able to get an inspector to come in when necessary. Don’t let this get you down. Just be ready to roll with the punches.
Enjoying The Finished Product
Now for the part you’ve been waiting for – sitting back and enjoying the finished product. Renovating your kitchen might be stressful at times, but it’s all worth it when you walk in and see a completely new room.
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Image: Carl Gartman