The kitchen is the one part of the house where you can display your aesthetic side, as well as your homey and carefree side. When you have guests over, you can be there in your Sunday best, or you can simply throw on an apron and get to work cooking delicious meals for your friends and family.
A Guide To The Best Kitchen Remodel
Most home improvement experts say that your kitchen decor speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. This is why you should put your heart and soul into a remodel project and fill it with your creativity and ideas, which you can share with the contractors.
Lucky for you, we have come up with a comprehensive guide that will allow you to plan and carry out the remodeling plan effectively. Have a look at our suggestions that can help you transform your kitchen into something beautiful. Let’s dive in!
Prepare A Remodel Budget
The first step to a successful kitchen remodel plan is proper planning, and it involves knowing how much you can, and want to, spend on the project. You can go all out on your remodeling project, but that won’t be realistic. You can’t also keep putting in money as new ideas pop up in your mind.
Large kitchen renovation projects can spill over your timeline or price, so it’s wise to prepare a realistic and moderate budget for the project. However, make sure to keep a certain pool for unplanned expenses so that you can tap into it if required. A good idea is to have around 10% to 20% of your budget on the side as a cushion to fall back on.
If you want the project to be completed according to your requirements, make sure that you can see it through by having the financial requirements in place. It would be quite a bummer to halt the project mid-way due to no money, and it would be burdensome if you are forced to apply for a loan during the project.
Before you get into the other steps of the planning process, make sure you have set a budget in place. It will determine how much you can spend, as well as which decor options fall within your price range. You wouldn’t want to miss out on those beautiful tiles just because they don’t match your budget.
Do Your Research About Kitchen Remodels
Once you have zeroed in on a budget for your kitchen remodel project, the next step requires you to start off on your research process. This process can be started by visiting decor showrooms and home stores. Since you already know how much you can spend on everything, make sure to narrow down the options that match your price range.
You can also check out the internet and social media for the latest and greatest kitchen designs and ideas. This will help you develop a clear vision of how you want your kitchen to look like. There are various decor websites and online stores that let you explore all of their products and also provide valuable suggestions on what would look best in your kitchen.
The research process should take as long as you want, so there is no need to rush it. You can transform your kitchen in a million different ways, and there is no harm in exploring all your options. There are many small components that constitute a remodel, from lighting to flooring, kitchen appliances to countertops, door handles to glasswork, and so much more.
Another wonderful way to get inspired is to visit homes in your neighborhood and have a look at how they have designed their kitchens. Examining a real home kitchen is much more effective than visiting home stores because you see all the components installed and functioning.
During your research, make sure to gather notes, photos, and all other important information that can help you build a better vision of how your kitchen should look after the remodel is finished.
Factor In Additional Remodel Costs
While planning your budget and doing your research, you can get a better idea of how much you will have to spend on the products and materials that you need to buy. However, a major portion of the remodel costs will go into paying for labor and materials, along with any additional taxes or service charges.
During the planning and renovation phases, you have to keep your notepad and calculator in your hands at all times. You will be doing a lot of calculations and noting down costs. If you are not careful with this, the costs can start racking up quickly, and the hundreds can mount up to thousands in a matter of days.
Naturally, you won’t be able to figure out the additional costs and service charges just by research or planning. Therefore, a wise way to do this is to get in touch with people who have recently gotten their kitchens remodeled. They will be able to guide you with updated information on how much contractors are charging nowadays, as well as the best people to get in touch with.
By asking around in your closest circle, you will gain access to first-hand information and reviews regarding the best vendors and contractors. Make sure to gather a few names before you start contacting them so that you have multiple options to approach. It will also help you get different estimates for the project, and you can shortlist the ones that match your budget.
Keep Quality In Mind During The Remodel
No matter how small or large your remodel budget may be, you should always keep quality in mind during the planning phase. This involves choosing and buying the best quality materials that not only look good but are durable and well-functioning. Go for elegant and refined cabinets, sleek countertops, ambient lights, and kitchen appliances that have a long performance life.
Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to go for high-quality items because they are out of your price range, you can consider exploring used furnishings and fittings that are of premium quality but will cost much lower and also fit within your budget. This may also include repurposing your old cabinets and fittings, or you can get in touch with vendors who sell reused building materials.
Don’t worry about having to use used and repurposed materials in your kitchen renovation, as they won’t give anything away once you are done with the kitchen remodel project. Another way you can search for high-quality used fixtures and appliances with individual sellers on listing websites.
Using high-quality materials and appliances for your home kitchen also brings greater benefits than simply attractive design and perfect functionality. Once you are done with the remodel, it will also increase the value of your home, should you decide to sell it down the line. Your redesigned kitchen will help you get a great ROI.
Evaluate Your Wants
Certainly, you have a couple of ideas in your mind about how you want your kitchen to look, and you can use this to evaluate all the things you require in your ideal kitchen. Jot down everything you want to install in your kitchen, no matter how amusing or outrageous it may sound. Noting these details will also help you develop more clarity regarding the project, and it will help fine-tune your vision too.
When it comes to remodeling, the sky’s the limit. So, no idea is too unbelievable or undoable. Since we are not focusing on the practical aspects of the project in this step, you can go all out and write down everything you think your kitchen should possess. It can be anything from a stereo system to ridiculous kitchen gadgets that you can’t like without.
Once you are through with this step, you will have emptied your heart out on paper. The next step will help you run your ideas through a filter of practicality and to find and highlight those that are really needed.
Kitchen Wants vs Needs
Now that you have a list of “wants,” it is time to evaluate each and every item on the list to see if it is really needed or not. You have to be absolutely practical in this step and self-criticize every single one of your ideas. You will be able to cross out more than half of the list instantly, and then you will be left with the more critical aspects of kitchen remodeling.
Once you have a shorter list to deal with, you can weed out the things that your kitchen already has, and you can simply hold on to. This is better rather than spending money on replacing it with something new or better. For instance, if your microwave oven is only a few years old and works perfectly, why not retain it?
This method will help you find that roughly 10% to 20% of those things can be simply repurposed or reused in your newly renovated kitchen. Also, keep in mind that the more new kitchen appliances you add, the more you will have to add to your existing energy bills. Therefore, be more realistic and practical.
Ideally, when you finish this step, you should find no more than a dozen ideas listed down, and they should be focused on your “needs” rather than your “wants.”
Planning The Kitchen Layout
Everybody likes a kitchen that is not only well-designed but is also practical and functional. Using the layout of your current kitchen, you can identify any problems that you experience. Use this information to note down your requirements for the new layout. You can learn what would be better for you and what won’t work in your remodeled kitchen.
You can explore various kitchen layouts on the web to get an idea of how you can restructure your kitchen to ensure convenience and utility. One of the most popular design ideas is the kitchen work triangle, which requires arranging the sink, stove, and refrigerator in a triangular formation, regardless of their order.
The sink, stove, and refrigerator are the most frequently used components of your kitchen, and you often cycle between the three while cooking, subconsciously. This is why renovation experts and design enthusiasts stand behind the classic work triangle concept, as it helps utilize space and allows you to get more work done quickly.
You can place all of the non-essential kitchen appliances in a corner where they can be accessed only when required, and they don’t come in your way. Also, you need to redesign your kitchen in a way that you get sufficient storage space in terms of cabinets, drawers, and much more.
Another thing that you can factor in is the number of people that are present and working in your kitchen at a time. If you have more than one person doing the cooking or baking, you can have a bigger stove or workstation. If you have the space and budget, you can also go for a kitchen island, which is a highly popular kitchen design trend nowadays.
Planning For Kitchen Space in Your House
The next step is to determine how much space you should determine for each counter, countertops, appliances, and other functional components in your kitchen. You need to plan out for kitchen space with functionality and safety in mind while also leaving room for convenience.
You can take care of the following considerations while planning out your kitchen space:
- Counter space: You should have a counter space of 36 to 42 inches, which allows you sufficient room for food preparation. You should keep at least 24 inches of space on one side of the sink and 18 inches on the other. This will provide you with enough room for placing your washed or dirty dishes.
- Kitchen appliances: When you choose a location for installing your kitchen appliances, make sure that you have enough clearance space to stand in front of them and open the doors without hitting anything. This should be anywhere between 32 to 48 inches. Since most appliances contain swinging doors, be mindful of the direction they swing in, especially the refrigerator door. If you place it next to a wall, make sure the door doesn’t hit the wall when you open it or that it opens in the other direction.
- Walking space: There should be sufficient room for people to pass through and walk by, even when you are cooking or using the sink. For this purpose, make sure to have at least 42 to 48 inches of clearance space.
Once you have completed all the measurements and dimensions, match them against the space in your current kitchen. It may be that you have more space to use, and you can increase the counter or clearance space accordingly. On the other hand, if the space is lower than the requirements, you can opt for appliances that are smaller in size, or you can reduce the counter size.
Get a Contractor if Required
If you think you won’t be able to carry out all of the planning and execution on your own, or you don’t get enough time after work to complete the necessary steps, you can skip out on many of the important processes by hiring a contractor, or a remodel expert who can undertake the entire project for you.
Remodeling contractors are highly skilled at kitchen modeling projects, and you can certainly benefit from their expertise. All you need to do is reach out to several contractors and share your vision with them. Then, listen to how they perceive your ideas and give their design inputs and suggestions.
After you have gotten estimates from the contractors, you can choose the one who suits your budget. Other than this, there are certain factors that you can consider to find the right person for the job, such as:
- Relevant experience
- Testimonials and reviews
- Photos of past projects
- Licensing and insurance information
After you have narrowed down on a contractor, you can leave the planning and other steps to them. You can keep checking in with the contractor from time to time so that you have complete clarity regarding the project.
Finishing Up The Planning
Once you are certain that your planning is on point, you can finalize the planning phase and get on with starting the execution process. This involves sitting with the contractor and finalizing the terms, which is followed by a contract. The two parties can also decide on a start date, and you can begin to clear out your kitchen for the renovation process.
This involves moving out all the dishware and utensils and getting your kitchen appliances removed if you plan to replace them. Once the contractors get to work, your kitchen will be totally inaccessible for some time, which means that you will have to look for alternate arrangements for food, such as using a portable stove, asking your neighbor to let you cook at their home, eating out or ordering in.
If you are looking to find an efficient and experienced contractor to see through the process of the kitchen remodel, get in touch with Renovate Residential today. With more than 25 years of experience in renovating kitchens, we have provided unmatched services to hundreds of clients all over Boston, Massachusetts.
You can choose us and stay free from the worries of doing everything yourself. We take your vision and transform it into reality!
So, get in touch with an expert RenovateResidential contractor right away, and we will help you build the kitchen of your dreams!