The kitchen is in many cases the heart of a home, and this is not because this is where all the food gets prepared, where snacks and delicious midnight sandwiches can be found… The kitchen is a place where families bond and gather during important celebrations and holidays. It’s for long-time friends who can catch up while having a glass of wine.
The kitchen is so important that homebuyers have named it the most essential room when looking for a new home, together with the bathroom. So, if your kitchen is outdated, you should consider remodeling it. But, before you get your hands on the sledgehammer, we have prepared this list of do’s and don’ts, so that your kitchen remodeling efforts leave your beloved home with the look it deserves.
Do hire one – It is time to put down that sledgehammer and start calling some numbers. Kitchen remodeling is not for amateurs or hobbyists, because it is one of the most complex, expensive, and time consuming project someone can undertake. Hiring the right contraction is extremely crucial, and some states require this by law.
Do be thorough – Since there will be a large emotional and financial investment placed in the hands of the contractor, it is extremely important to know the whole picture in terms of the contractor’s work history. You need to ask them to provide references.
Find out answers to some revealing questions. For instance, what are their work related habits? Did they do everything on time? Did they stick to their original plans? Did they finish the project within the budget? Were there any problems and how did they resolve them?
Don’t play a cent more than 30 percent upfront – Since kitchen remodeling requires a huge sum, paying most of it upfront brings you closer to great risks. Even though this is extremely rare, there are stories of hired contractors ditching their clients after they have paid a significant amount of money upfront. A payment of 30 percent should be enough for the contractor to acquire the basic supplies needed for the project.
Don’t forget about the details – You need to get everything in writing. Do not make the final payment until the remodeling process is absolutely complete. It is also important to inspect if everything was done the right way. You can become your own inspector by using software for home inspectors, to check if all projects have actually been done. Make sure to be in contact with the contractor and always provide some refreshments and snacks for the workers as a display of your gratitude.
Do budget for unexpected expenses – No matter how much you are trying to stick to your original budget plan, there will always be some unexpected expenses, especially during projects like kitchen remodeling. For instance, if that wall you have planned to tear down is as a matter of fact a load-bearing wall, coming up with an alternate solution will cost you time, and time is money. Many contractors suggest that you have at least $10.000 in your contingency fund.
Do always keep the value of your home in mind – If you are planning to sell your home, a luxurious kitchen remodel will make it a little harder to sell it. There is a possibility that remodeling your kitchen will increase the value of your home so much that buyers will not be willing to pay such a high amount of money to live in your neighborhood. So, before you go all out, learn the property values in your area, and on average, you can expect to recoup something between 87 to 125 percent of your initial investment.
Don’t get distracted – once you start your remodeling, your imagination may run wild and you can start imagining some “what if” scenarios. Be aware that last minute changes can boost the cost and extend the timeline. Have you ever gone to the store to buy milk and almost got out with a new lawn mower? When it comes to kitchen remodeling, you need to forget about these kinds of temptations.
Do experiment with some nontraditional designs – The standard kitchen, “triangle”, where the refrigerator and stove are across one another and the sink is between them on the counter, was developed in the 50’s, so that more cabinet space could be sold. But, this type of kitchen has been on the decline recently.
If you are a fan of this design, you can place a center island and add your own spin to the triangle design. Some of the current design trends in kitchens focus on having designated stations like cooking, storage, cleanup, and preparation.
Do have your own wish list – If you do not have one, you can browse around Houzz and Pinterest to get some inspiration about what elements you want to have in your new remodeled kitchen. Make sure to categorize them according to priority.
Do take your cooking habits into consideration – Are you a skilled cook? A novice? Or do you just want to have a modern and pleasing space where you will keep all of your leftovers? Do you plan to host parties for your family and friends? By providing answers to these questions, you will receive a good idea of what are the things that need to be included in your new kitchen.
Do have enough patience – We know that you are anxious to start on your new kitchen. You have all of these ideas to create a modern, sparkling kitchen that you have always dreamed of. So, before you sit down with the contractor or a bank representative to acquire your loan, take a couple of days to collect your thoughts.
Think about what you really need and want from your new kitchen. Consider some alternative styles and ask people close to you for advice. After you have done all of this, you can relax because you will know that you are one step closer to living in the home of your dreams.
Don’t design just for one person – Even if only one person in your home does all the cooking, the kitchen is a natural social spot. You can have all the space you want in the kitchen of your dreams, but if your significant other cannot walk through the kitchen without bumping their head into pots and pans, then your kitchen will be lacking that welcoming warmth that really is crucial.
These were some of the most important do’s and don’ts when it comes to kitchen remodeling. This will not be an easy or cheap project for you to take on, but remodeling your kitchen can have some really important benefits. So, after you have read this article, sit down, create a wish list, look for some inspiration online and start looking for the best contractors you can find in your area. This is an extensive and serious project, so make sure to devote both your time and money into it, and create a beautiful centerpiece your family and friends will enjoy.