A Simple Guide To Planning And Designing a Kitchen Remodel

by - 5/08/2018 09:22:00 PM

House, Interior, Design, Kitchen, Dining, Area, Table

Remodeling a kitchen requires careful attention to a number of different elements, leaving some homeowners wondering where to start.

It may be that you’re simply replacing cabinet fronts and countertops or aiming for an ambitious new design to bring your kitchen into the 21st Century with all modern conveniences. Either way, there are some simple steps you can follow to stop your kitchen dreams becoming a nightmare.

A sound design, budget, and understanding of which aspects you can do yourself before calling an expert will help keep you on track and on a budget.

Decide What You Want

As with most things, a clear plan of action will make the kitchen remodeling process a whole lot easier. Before you reach for a hammer or oscillating power tool, make a list of all the things you like and dislike about your current kitchen. This should help guide you to the right kitchen for you and your home.

Most homeowners choose to remodel their kitchens because they don’t have space, eating areas, appliances, or look that works for their lifestyle or space. Some of these issues can be relatively easy to solve. For example, kitchens can easily be given a fresh new feel by resurfacing cabinets with minimal hassle. Other problems such as a lack of space, counters to eat at, or insufficient ventilation may take major building modifications work to address.

Kitchen Floor Plans

Once you’ve laid out your preferences, browsed the latest kitchen designs, and decided how far you’d like to go with the remodel, it’s time to consider your floor plan.

Changing this can mean large-scale work like knocking down walls, re-plumbing, and adding new electrical circuits. You’ll have to consider your budget and whether or not you can do some of the work yourself if you do choose this path.

The kitchen floor plan you eventually choose should take into account the way you use this space, household traffic, and the distance between essential work areas (sinks, oven, dishwasher, and the like). If you are remodeling in order to sell your house, be wary of going too far. Each buyer will have different expectations for kitchen spaces and major kitchen remodels rarely earn their value back in home sales.

Refresh or Refit?

If you’re already happy with the current layout of your kitchen and it’s structurally sound, you can get the look you want and save both time and money by refreshing cabinets and countertops by resurfacing or refinishing them. This is an easy and economical way to improve the value of your home, too.

The old cabinet’s structure will remain while all drawer and door fronts, hinges, handles, and pulls are replaced with brand new items. There are endless styles, finishes, and colors to choose from that will almost instantly transform your kitchen without any major work required.

Refinishing is similar to resurfacing. The only major difference is that the actual drawer and door fronts remain, and are just given a new finish. You can then put them back with the same hinges, handles, and pulls, or choose updated ones to compliment the new finish you have chosen.

Keeping To Your Budget

The multitude of options for renewing your kitchen can make it easy to run up the costs. To keep within your budget, it is wise to break your plans down into smaller jobs and price them.

If smart appliances or better lighting options are on your list of must-haves in order to build home value, get prices for the model numbers you have in mind and include taxes and delivery charges. Do the same for all other appliances that will be included in the kitchen revamp.

For actual work that is needed, get contractors to give a written quote on these jobs. Be sure to have them specify if materials are included in the estimate. If you don’t intend to project manage the work yourself, a general contractor (GC) may be what you need. You can still obtain quotes from them for the whole job and even better, they will coordinate (and pay) the individual tradespeople on your behalf.

Add up all of your quotes and then add a further 15 to 20% on top for cost overruns. This extra amount should keep you covered for any hidden costs. This includes things like unexpected structural damage you discover when the old kitchen is dismantled or changes to the original plan after work has begun. If the total amount seems too daunting, now is the time to scale back on your design and consider which are priorities.

Investing Sweat Equity

While it is unlikely you have the necessary skills to do a complete kitchen remodel single-handedly, you may be able to save some dollars by getting involved. Demolishing cabinets, removing old appliances, drywall or plaster from walls and ceilings, taking off countertops, and disconnecting the sink are all relatively straightforward. Taking care of tasks like these can decrease the amount you’ll need to pay others.

When working on the deconstruction process, make sure you don’t damage any wiring, pipes, or structural framing. Otherwise, the money you saved will be instantly lost again on repairs.

Be sure to follow the simple steps of creating your dream kitchen plan, budgeting well, remaining patient, and investing your own energy if you can. This will ensure your dream kitchen doesn’t become a renovation nightmare.

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