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Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Remodeling

Congratulations! You’re going to remodel your kitchen. This can be quite a huge undertaking but the results of a well thought out kitchen remodel are worth it. If you have never taken on this type of project before, it always helps to get guidance on how to best approach it.

Write it Down

Before you do anything, make a plan for your remodel. Be specific within reason. Write it down. This will help give you clarity and direction. Knowing what you want and the direction you’re going in is important for any project. Some of the things to write down are below.

Reasons for your remodel

Know exactly why you are remodeling. Are things falling apart? Is the kitchen dated? Does the kitchen no longer meet your needs? Do you need more space? Are you looking to increase your homes value for selling? Do you want to make your kitchen more functional or increase it’s beauty? Knowing your reasons for remodeling your kitchen will guide you in other areas such as your budget and your priorities.

Prioritizing needs over wants

Know the difference between your needs and your wants. Needs are non-negotiables. If an area in your kitchen is in disrepair, it would be more of a need than a want. If your budget doesn’t allow for everything you have on your list, you can subtract things according to your priorities.

Budget

Knowing how much you can afford and how you plan to pay for it are two big concerns when it comes to remodeling. This will influence the scope of your remodel, your materials, and the labor to help you with your remodel. Paying for quality is always recommended when considering budget. Saving money on materials or shoddy labor today and having to replace and redo something tomorrow is never a pleasant experience. It generally ends up being more expensive in the long run as well.

Permits and Code

It is very important to obtain any required permits before starting any work. Permits are used to verify code compliance. Codes are established for the homeowners safety. Not obtaining permits and not following code can result in fines. When in doubt, it’s always best to contact the city or county to verify if a permit is needed. They are there to help.

Expert Help

Most homeowners don’t have the expertise or time to complete an extensive kitchen remodeling job themselves. Calling in expert help for design and construction can go a long way. The experience they bring can provide you ideas and help you avoid pitfalls that may come with a kitchen remodel. Perform your due diligence before you decide on a company. Look at the quality of their previous work and check if you like the look of their previous designs. It is best practice to hire a contractor that carries the proper license, is bonded and insured. Check their reviews. I always recommend looking at reviews comprehensively. Judging their work and service based one or two overly positive or negative reviews gives a biased look at the company. If you are interested in a company, schedule a consultation to get to know them yourself.

Remodeling Schedule and Alternate Arrangements 

Depending on the scope of your remodel, you will likely be unable to use most or all of your kitchen during the remodeling process. Make alternative arrangements for meals and any other activities you normally do in your kitchen. If you know you have an important event coming up that requires your kitchen, schedule your remodeling project around these events. Make sure your supplies are ordered and ready in addition to having your cabinets ready for installation. This will save you frustration from the delay of waiting for something to be ready to install. Schedule in extra time to account for the unexpected.
pendant

Style

There are many types of kitchen design styles or themes to choose from for your kitchen. Some of the more popular ones including modern, contemporary, traditional, classic, mediterranean and country. When it comes to style there are several things to consider.

Are you planning on going with a trendy style? If it’s a trending style, consider how likely the trend will hold out. If the trend falls out of favor, you could be stuck with a kitchen that is out of fashion. If you are happy with the style regardless of whether it goes out of fashion with the rest of the world, that is fine. If you plan to sell the house, this could be a bigger sticking point. Future buyers may not want the out of date kitchen which could reduce the price a buyer is willing to pay for your home. If you plan to sell in the near future, it is best to go with a style that is more likely to stand the test of time.

Does the planned style match with the rest of the house? If the style doesn’t match with the rest of the house, your kitchen may stick out like a sore thumb. This isn’t a concern if you are planning to remodel other areas of the house to match the kitchen at a later date.

Layout

If the scope of your remodel includes changing the layout of your kitchen, the amount of space you have to work with will determine what types of layouts will be best for your kitchen. For smaller kitchens the galley and single wall design work well. Other popular kitchen designs include L shaped, U shaped and open kitchen with island.

Storage Space

Cabinets, drawers and other storage space will help organize your new kitchen. You need to make space for food, spices, pots, pans, dishes, utensils, refuse containers and anything else that will live in the kitchen. Be certain not to skimp on planning for storage space. It will make your kitchen much more pleasant to use. When space is limited, creative storage solutions such as lazy susan cabinets can go a long way.

Materials

You will need to make material selections for your cabinets, floor tile, backsplash tile, countertops, appliances, and more. Durable, high quality materials are an investment. Think long term investment rather than short term savings. If you end up having to replace or repair damage to low quality materials, it will likely end up costing you more due to the labor and time required for repair and replacement. As far as style is concerned, choose materials that fit within your chosen theme. Make sure the materials complement each other in color as well as texture.
Chandelier

Lighting

Lighting is chosen for function and beauty. When it comes to function, having proper ambient lighting is a feature of a safe kitchen. This can be supplemented with task lighting for important areas where you are doing a lot of work. Under cabinet lighting is popular for task lighting as well as accent lighting.

Accent lighting enhances certain areas of your kitchen and is mostly used for aesthetics more than function. Dimmable lighting is great for aesthetics as the light level can adjust the ambiance of the kitchen.

Types of lighting that can be used to accomplish your lighting goals include recessed, pendant, chandelier, strip lighting, flush mount and more.

LED lighting is a great way to save money and energy. They use less electricity and have a longer bulb life compared to traditional incandescent lighting. Some LED lighting gives you the ability to change color temperature as well to emulate traditional filament lighting or create effects as well.

Appliances

Measure properly to be certain that your appliances will fit in your design plan. Be certain that the appliances you choose meet your required functionality. Check online for brands and models that other homeowners have been pleased with. Reliability is of prime importance. Choose a style and color that fits in with your overall theme.

Many newer appliances come with energy saving features which help you save money and the environment. Energy Star is a label you will see on many appliances designed to save you energy. Energy Star is a program run by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star appliances have helped consumers save hundreds of millions since its inception in 1992.

Summary

Planning for everything your project requires will make for a smoother project and better end results. This guide should help you check off the most important aspects of your kitchen remodel. As with anything, you can go more in depth into any particular aspects of this guide. If you have any questions concerning your remodeling project, feel free to reach out to us on our contact page. Happy remodeling!
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