Remodeling your kitchen is an intrusive renovation that generally requires hiring a contractor but the promise of a dream kitchen can inspire any homeowner to take the plunge. The end result is hopefully a beautifully functional kitchen with better design, more space and some bells and whistles. Homeowners continue to remodel their kitchens year after year because it is one of the biggest returns they can get in homes. If it isn't the right time to sell your home, renovating can be the next best thing.
Developing a budget should be priority number one before jumping on the renovation bandwagon. Although certainly not the most glamorous part of remodeling your kitchen, budgeting is essential to fostering both success and sanity. The modern kitchen remodel starts in the $5,000 range but can exceed $115,000 for a large, top of the line dream kitchen. While flexibility is key, setting parameters and staying on budget can keep homeowners from going in a sling. Decide what kind of remodel this will be. A facelift? A complete gut? A makeover? Allot certain amounts of money for each spending category. Hiring a contractor will be a necessity for homeowners who aren't contractors themselves. Owners of older homes needing electrical upgrades, plumbing updates or wall reconfigurations will need to bump up their budgets. Another cost to factor in is the price of eating out while that dream kitchen is being built. Residents can probably access the refrigerator and microwave in another room but that's about it for food preparation. A $30,000 kitchen renovation budget for a house less than 30 years old may look like this:
- $8500 for cabinetry
- $6000 for appliances
- $4000 for countertops
- $3000 for flooring
- $2250 for kitchen designer fees
- $2000 for fixtures and plumbing fees
- $1000 for backsplash
- $1500 for lighting and electrical fees
- $1250 for miscellaneous labor/expenses
- $500 drywall repairs/painting
The next part of remodeling your kitchen involves planning. If hiring a contractor seems foreign and you have never done a major renovation before, an experienced designer can help. There are two main types of kitchen designers. One works at a local showroom and can design your kitchen but his main agenda is to sell that store's products. No money is paid for this designer's services as clients pay through their purchases. The other tends to work for himself and have many contacts with innovative vendors and efficient contractors. This designer may be hired as an hourly consultant or kept on retainer but rates can be reduced if clients order from favored suppliers. A kitchen designer shows all kinds of possibilities homeowners may not envision on their own. These professionals create solutions and make the most of every inch of space with modern software and personal talents. They show sample materials and combinations based on your personal style. They assist with hiring a contractor and coordinate with subcontractors to ensure everything is done according to plan. Basically, the designer's job is to make the homeowner's life easier during the renovation process. Traditionally, a dollar will stretch further when spent on a professional designer who can save time and money than on costlier materials.
Before remodeling your kitchen, look through design books, renovation Web sites and kitchen makeover magazines. Go through model homes and see which kitchens have the most desirable features. Take photos. Gather pictures of the sink you like, the perfect cabinets or better yet, if you find your dream kitchen, save a copy. Once you have all the resources, sit down and see how they could apply to your own space. Be sure to include your designer in this process. Study the work triangle (the walking distance between the refrigerator, oven and the sink). Does your current kitchen have one or will things need to be shifted to maximize efficiency?
Remodeling your kitchen should reflect personal tastes. The shape of a kitchen does not denote the style it must be. Most kitchens are in the shape of a U, G or L while others can mimic a galley. If the kitchen is small, choosing lighter cabinetry, backsplash tiles and wall colors will open it up and widen the space. Comparatively, larger kitchens in lighter colors can seem endless. Homeowners having trouble picking a starting point can find one material they love and build the rest of the kitchen around it. For example, someone may love plain, white 42-inch, custom cabinets with long stainless pulls. The rest of this dream kitchen can now be designed with a contemporary flair to make the cabinetry the main attraction.
You don't have to grin and bear the thought of hiring a contractor when remodeling your kitchen. Get recommendations from SimonHouses.com and check out sites like AngiesList.com to find some of the best remodelers in Hampton Roads. Before hiring a contractor, make sure you go with the best person for the job, who may or may not be the most reasonably priced. Having an experienced, dependable contractor ensures you can have a dream kitchen, not a nightmare kitchen.
When you have reputable contractors and or designers remodeling your kitchen, they will usually be on top of ordering materials and overseeing deliveries. Hiring a contractor and designer is not where a homeowner's job ends. It is ultimately the homeowner's responsibility to ensure a logical order is followed in this renovation. The customary order for a dream kitchen renovation is as follows:
Special order custom items, unique countertops, cabinetry and anything that may take several weeks to arrive.
- Obtain permits.
- Complete any necessary demo work.
- Complete vent ductwork if range hood is to be installed for first time.
- Begin rough-in gas lines and new plumbing work.
- Begin rough-in electrical work.
- Get approval from inspector for completed work.
- Install new flooring.
- Add baseboards, shoe molding and thresholds.
- Install new cabinetry.
- Install appliances.
- Complete electrical work.
- Install countertops.
- Install plumbing fixtures and sink. Undermount sink(s) will require a countertop installer's assistance.
- Put up tile backsplash.
- Get final approval from inspector.
- Paint walls and baseboards.
When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, know your efforts will be rewarded. Take this renovation seriously and treat it as an investment that can keep giving back to your family for years to come. Hiring a contractor and designer are the first steps to turning a simple cooking area into a dream kitchen. Use your creativity and organizational skills to turn this renovation into a fond experience.
- Kitchen Remodeling & Design
- Cabinets & Countertops
- Painting & Staining
- Walls & Ceilings
- Windows & Doors