With fall just around the corner, many homeowners turn to inside projects to prepare for the holiday season. By far, the most popular room in the house to update is the kitchen. Not only is it the area where families spend the most time, but it is the very best return on investment that you can achieve remodeling your home. We thought it would be appropriate to share some expert tips on how to go about planning and executing a project of this size to help you have a fun and successful remodel! Here are some great strategies we share with our clients:
- Think about how you use your kitchen now. What things do you like about it? What would you like to add/change? What things can you simply not live without? All of these questions will help you achieve a more useful and appealing kitchen.
- Use a design professional to help you make the most of your space. Expert kitchen designers have likely seen space very similar to yours and have designed various layouts to accommodate prior customers’ needs. They can point out things that might not be readily apparent and talk to you about the functionality and usefulness of certain key elements in your kitchen. They also have a wealth of knowledge about what options are available in different cabinet lines as well as the ability to fully explain the differences between an entry level, mid grade and upper end cabinet.
- Have a budget in mind and discuss it early on with your designer and contractor. Don’t wait until you have your design completed and your contractor estimating the work before you set your spending amount. You will likely have exceeded your budget and have to go back to square one to rethink the whole process. Having a budget out in the open is a tremendous help to both designers and contractors to better advise you of what you can and cannot do to attain your desired result. In our experience, clients have been far more satisfied with projects we have built by working up to a budget number rather than cutting parts of the project out to get down to a spending limit.
- Avoid trendy designs and stick with classic appeal. That ultra modern design looks incredible in the showroom, right? But ask yourself this…will you still feel that way 5 years from now when design trends have shifted to a new look? Investing in a new kitchen is a significant expense and you should plan to get at least 10-15 years of performance and usefulness out of it before considering updating again. Using quality, timeless materials and a good functional design will give you much more satisfaction then the latest “in” color or tech gadget.
- Choose a quality contractor that has the experience to deal with the unknowns. Houses can be like a box of Cracker Jack’s – there is a surprise inside every time! Whether your home is newer or has seen many years of renovations, there can be unknowns that show up when you start getting into a project. Choosing the right contractor who has the skills and knowledge to properly handle surprises is paramount in achieving a beautiful finished kitchen. Your contractor should also be very familiar with local building codes and have the ability to diagnose, at the very least, an obvious structural problem or code violation when he sees one. Be sure to ask any contractor you are considering about permit requirements, insurances and references. After all, this person will likely be in your home for at least 2-3 weeks for a typical renovation and you need to know that you can trust them to handle problems as they arise.
If you follow the steps above, you will be well on your way to completing a successful project. Updating your kitchen can and should be a great experience. Happy remodeling!