How to plan your kitchen remodeling to get your dream kitchen
Kitchen remodeling is a big job. A kitchen takes significant time and money to renovate. Maximize return on investment with this basic kitchen remodeling guide.
Have a realistic budget and include an emergency fund. Research recent renovation costs and home values in the neighborhood. Do not over-improve a home and install a luxury kitchen in a starter house. Prioritize what you need in the kitchen, and focus your budget on those items.
Think about function and practicality. Draw a to-scale rendering of the kitchen including all measurements. Group related functions and appliances. Include an island if space allows. Remember to measure the doorways from the kitchen to the exterior of the house, so your new appliance purchases will fit through the doors.
Consider the traffic patterns in your kitchen. Experts advise leaving 42-inch walkways for work areas, or 48 inches for multiple cook households. Avoid changing the electrical, gas and plumbing lines or knocking down walls. These designs could add thousands of dollars to your budget.
Use professional plumbers, electricians and countertop installers even on DIY projects. Moving electrical, gas or water lines is beyond the scope of most homeowners. Moreover, countertops are heavy and break easily during installation. If you are unsure of your skills with part of the project, invest in professionals for that phase.
General contractors can help keep your project on time and on budget. Get at least three estimates before choosing a contractor. As part of their duties, contractors gather bids and manage subcontractors. They oversee work done in the home and make sure it is completed correctly.
Choose the highest quality materials that are practical and functional for the space. The durability of materials is the highest priority. Choose appliances that fit your lifestyle.
Add storage wherever possible in the new kitchen design. Ceiling-height cabinets add valuable space for rarely used items. Install shelving on walls, inside cabinet doors and in the pantry.
Install great lighting as part of the kitchen design. Ambient lighting can include track lights, ceiling fixtures or wall sconces on dimmers. Hard-wire undercabinet lights and install task lights over each work area.
Plan how you will live during the remodeling project since the kitchen will be off-limits. If you plan to live in the house during the remodel, figure out where you will set up a temporary kitchen.
Apply for building permits, or have the contractor begin this process. When they arrive, finalize the project schedule with the contractor.
During the project
Maintain a good rapport with project managers and your construction team by establishing routine communication with the project manager. Set rules about smoking, music, bathrooms to use and parking for workers. Contain pets away from the construction, so they do not interfere with workers or escape during the process.