A successful kitchen remodel can be so rewarding – as a matter of fact, it’s one of the most frequently requested jobs. Avoid problems during your renovation with this kitchen remodeling checklist.
With a room that is the center of the home, one realizes immediate impact when it’s improved. This is why so many homeowners focus on kitchen remodeling.
However, your kitchen’s high-traffic status also makes it critical that you do your homework when planning for your renovation project.
Why You Need a Kitchen Remodeling Checklist
Breaking the decision-making process down into pieces will help you stay focused and feel prepared throughout your remodel.
But, where do you start?
To create a successful remodeling project, follow this step-by-step kitchen remodeling checklist:
1. Set Goals
The daily frustrations of trying to find an open counter spot, or weaving around the other person in the kitchen have already led to you considering your project. But, don’t just stop there. Think about other issues that you would like to resolve.
Some of the common items that homeowners want to address are more storage, color updates, and counters. Over the course of a couple of weeks, try to jot down anything that you would love to change in your kitchen.
Even better – leave the list up on the refrigerator door, and let everyone contribute.
2. Create a Budget
Once you’ve come up with your wish list, you can now determine what your budget will be for your project.
Resale value for your kitchen remodeling job remains strong. For maximum return on the investment, a budget that is between 6 – 10% of your home’s value is recommended for a full kitchen remodel.
You may not be ready to commit to this sort of project, and will be doing a smaller-scale renovation and update. Either way, determine your budget, and then add on an additional 10-20% for any surprise expenses.
This way, you’ll be prepared for any unplanned expenditures, and if it’s not spent at the end of your project, you can use it to celebrate with friends in your new space.
3. Prepare an Idea Board
The next step in your kitchen remodeling checklist is to prepare an idea board, or an inspiration board.
This doesn’t have to be a literal corkboard – it could be as simple as a folder of clippings, a board on Pinterest, or a notebook of magazine ads and printouts. Whatever it is, keep those ideas together and refer to them when you’re planning your project.
When working with a contractor, it’s sometimes hard to describe the concept of what you want. Having an illustration of the concept right there in front of you can save a lot of time.
In addition to helping your communication, it will also help you remember about all those ideas you’ve wanted to implement into your kitchen design.
4. Consider Bigger Versus Better
Adding space to your kitchen can be much more expensive than repurposing what is already there.
Kitchen design has changed somewhat over the years. One key concept to know is how to identify the work triangle. This will require evaluating the current and potential placement of your sink, cooktop, and refrigerator.
With the addition of a well-placed kitchen island, for example, there may not be a need to bump out any walls in your kitchen remodel.
You’ll need to consider if this is possible with the current plumbing locations of your kitchen, but be prepared to think a little bit outside – or is it inside? – the box while looking at potential layouts.
5. Determine Your Priorities
Now that you have assembled your wish list and your budget, you’ll have to start making some decisions. Up to 50% of your budget can go towards just cabinet replacement and labor.
This is where some of the real work can take place in your planning process.
Is it absolutely time to replace your appliances? They’ll need to go to the top of the list. Will having a pantry installed change your life for the better? Make sure that this is prioritized.
Figuring out your must-haves, wanna-haves, and would-be-nice items will take a little time, but it will prevent disappointment and delays down the road.
If you can go into your remodeling project with a prioritized “Must” list, you’ll remove a lot of stress from the whole process.
6. Find the Right Contractor
Although you may want to trim some costs by doing some work on your own – seeking out the best appliance deals, for example – you will want to hire the best contractor available.
Kitchen remodels are difficult, complicated, and expensive – and you’ll want an experienced, honest company doing the work.
This step of your kitchen remodeling checklist may take some time; but ask around, do some research, and make sure to meet them in person.
As the saying goes – a contractor is as good as their last job. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and photos of their recent work.
Make sure that they are properly licensed and have the correct insurance. It’s also essential that you feel comfortable with the people you’ll be dealing with.
Choose a contractor who explains things clearly, and offers realistic suggestions.
7. Plan Ahead On Your Calendars
Your kitchen remodel will be done in phases, and it will take time. You’ll also lose the use of parts of your kitchen for days at a time.
This means that you’ll be dining out more, setting up a temporary kitchen, or relying on a microwave for a lot of meals. You’ll also need to relocate things that are stored in cabinets, if they are being replaced.
Your contractor should be able to keep you up-to-date on when you’ll be experiencing kitchen downtime. Be sure to allow time for packing up, eating out, purchasing easy-to-prepare food items, and avoiding contractor noise.
This will not be the best time to plan for house guests. Disruptions are inevitable, and a good company will help you plan for them.
Kitchen remodeling is both extremely rewarding and incredibly disruptive for your home life. Before you make the commitment to proceeding with this popular renovation project, be sure to plan ahead and do your homework.
You’ll want to be sure of your budget before you ever start asking for contractor recommendations from your friends. Once you’ve determined it, you can begin to start the enjoyable process of choosing the various pieces of your dream kitchen.
Don’t be afraid to save all your inspiration and notes so that you can review them for ideas and share them with your contractor. Be realistic about your priorities along the way, and remember that good things take a little time.
Planning your own schedule will be just as important as planning your budget. No matter what the size of your remodeling project is, you’ll have a more enjoyable experience after you’ve created a kitchen remodeling checklist and planned ahead.