Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it’s walled and roofed with them. “ – Aldous Huxley
Kitchen remodeling... some homeowners call it wonderful and some call it quits! So what makes each homeowner’s experience different? There are many important decisions to make between the moment you get the “itch” and the night you pop the champagne. Like many other glorious ideas we have, a good plan can make all the difference. That, a bit of compromise, and patience will bring your DIY kitchen dream to fruition. Let’s get started!
The most important aspect of any remodeling plan are the reasons for remodeling. This list will decide more or less every move you make from start to finish. Take your time, work though each area as a team, and come to an agreement on each of the reasons. After all, the point is to enjoy the new kitchen “together” right 🙂
- The kitchen might simply be falling apart. Cracked tiles, peeling countertops, broken or missing cabinet doors and outdated appliances don’t inspire gourmet cooking or family gatherings. The deteriorated kitchen has simply outlived its usefulness and needs a remodel.
- Homeowners often remodel their kitchens to increase the value or marketability of a property. A remodeled and attractive kitchen will appeal to prospective homebuyers more than a boring and outdated one. The homeowner may or may not recoup the investment of the remodel; this will depend on a variety of factors, such as the degree of the remodel and current market prices.
- Energy savings might be the prime motivation for a kitchen remodel. Adding skylights brings in more sunshine, reducing the need for artificial light. Energy-efficient appliances and solar water heaters cut the utility bill and place less stress on the environment.
- The kitchen can be pristine yet outdated. If the kitchen says 1950s, but you want to live in the here and now, it is time to transform your retro kitchen environment into a room for the 21st century.
- The kitchen layout may have worked great for the previous homeowner, but not for you. Perhaps it lacks a breakfast bar, and your family wants to gather informally in the kitchen to enjoy coffee or grab a quick meal without going to the dining room table. Whatever the reason, one motivation for a kitchen remodel is to arrange the room to best suit the family’s needs.
- It is sometimes necessary to remodel the kitchen to better accommodate the needs of disabled family members. For example, if one of the family is in a wheelchair or no longer able to reach high cupboards, a remodel can make the room more usable.
- The prime motivation behind a remodel might simply be financial incentives, such as energy-saving rebates offered by government entities or vendors. Financial incentives include sales at home improvement centers, cash rebates for trading in outdated appliances, remodeling grants and low- or no-interest loans.
- Some homeowners simply want change. The current kitchen might be functional, updated and attractive, yet no longer appeal to the homeowner.
- For a homeowner who enjoys preparing fancy meals and considers himself a gourmet cook, the prime reason for a remodel is the desire to create a dream kitchen. A gourmet kitchen with fancier amenities than most accommodates the cook’s needs.
Now that you’ve decided the WHY, it's time to get down to business. Finishing your plan with a smart list of To-Dos will provide a clear picture of what it's going to take and what it’s going to cost.
Find examples of great kitchens that you both like. There are plenty of resources like these!
- Try watching HGTV or similar shows. It's a fun, educational way to get savvy. Compare your reasons for remodeling with other homeowners and see what solutions they found.
- Talk to friends about their new kitchens. For sure someone you know has done a kitchen remodel in the past or is in the process. This is an excellent way to get first hand information that can save you money and headaches. Nothing beats seeing a new kitchen in person and also having the opportunity to ask questions about the process.
- Get a computer rendering of your new kitchen ideas. Kitchen design consultations are a great way to get ideas that make sense. Many home supply companies offer this service free and it can be a huge help when deciding “what goes where” in your new kitchen. You can plug in the new appliances, counters, and cabinets where you think they should be AND get helpful input from the store.
Discuss what can be DIY before you begin the demolition work.
- It's wise to decide what you are qualified to do yourself before beginning your tear out. Though you can save money by doing some of this work yourself, you may also create bigger issues resulting in high dollar repairs. Preparation is often 80% of a successful remodel.
Get the opinion of an experienced contractor friend.
- Most of us have a friend in the construction business and if not, a friend may have a friend in the biz. Ask for their help in exchange for a return favor or maybe a free lunch. This is a short visit from an experienced contractor to provide a overall assessment of your plan of attack, not an in depth quote. That may come later depending on what the “friend” has to say. You’ll be surprised at what you don’t know and how much time you can save with this one.
Be honest about when to bring in the PROS.
- It's a fact that we think we know more than we do. Yup, but we all do, so it's ok. It's also a fact that a few well spent dollars in the professional contractor area can save you lots more cash and years of regret in the future. Time may be on your side and that can make all the difference but expect some tasks to take three times as long as you expect them to. Get the names of a few well-known professionals and have them quote the parts of your remodel that you “honestly’ shouldn’t attempt to do yourself. Compare their prices, personalities, experience, and professional approach to your dream idea. Finally, get references from each of them before making your final decision. Remember price matters but it may be worth a little extra in the end to have peace of mind and a great finished product.
Set the budget and stick to it.
- There are too many wonderful ideas to have them all in your new kitchen. The best kitchen ideas work together, simply, and easily. Choose together and come to an agreement… this is it! Once you’ve made your final design choices and have a price breakdown you’ll need to get tough. Over spending can create dept regret and sometimes ruin the experience. Go back to your list of reasons for remodeling, prioritize each reno idea, and decide how you plan to pay for it. Now add 20% for the unexpected and you have your budget number. Don’t budge, just get creative when the going gets tight.
Set flexible deadlines.
- You’ll want to create a sensible timeline for your remodel. It’s best to call each of your contractors and get a realistic ETA. Also, find out how long it will take to get their job completed so that you can schedule the other professionals behind them. Give yourself a week or so in between their estimated dates (trust your gut). It usually takes longer and if one contractor happens to finish early, you’re probably going to need that buffer for the next contractor. It’s just the way remodels go. By allowing for general delays, you avoid stressing each other AND your contractors. You’re much more likely to enjoy the process and get the finished product you expect.
Ok! You’re at the start... Buckle up and Hang on tight! Contact TitleQuest
Johnson, Ann. "Top 10 Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen." Home Guides | SF Gate, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/top-10-reasons-remodel-kitchen-8616.html. Accessed 29 May 2018.