10 Great Proven Tips To Know About Kitchen Remodels
The time has come to finally start on that kitchen remodel. Deep down, you probably already know that it is going to be an extensive, and probably exhausting, experience. You don’t have to go into it with a mix of dread and excitement, however. There are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to go into a kitchen remodel confident and ready to handle anything that is thrown your way. In fact, here are ten of the best tips we can offer:
Make the most of your space.
No matter how big or small your space is, you can make it work. Some people go into a remodel with grandiose ideas of expansion, totally gutting the area and redoing it from scratch and the like – which will be discussed later – but if you’re looking to stick to a budget and keep things time-sensitive, then you may very well want to make the space you have work. Doing some research on what you need to bring the area to life, what you can do yourself and how best to optimize the available space are good places to start when constructing a budget and plan.
Minimize your work load
Most people are used to running around their kitchens like the proverbial headless chicken. Your current arrangement might not have the best set up of cabinets, storage or appliances to make getting around and working within it easy. A remodel is an excellent time to go in and take a hard look at how you can make your space work for you instead of you having to work for it. Will setting up the cabinets directly to the left of the refrigerator save you time? Will using a rollout drawer for your cutting knives be more efficient? It all comes down to your individual space. The point remains, however, that you can absolutely lighten your load with this remodel.
Output your outlets
Ever have that moment where you’re scrambling around, trying to plug in that new handy mixer you got on sale and just can’t find an outlet in your kitchen? One of my clients favorite changes in the kitchen, is that we install “plug strips” at the top of the backsplashes. These don’t show, but provided outlet every six or 7 inches. Now you have 25 outlets in your kitchen anywhere you might need one! This is not an expensive idea, either A remodel is a good time to rethink how many outlets you have available as well as their locations throughout your kitchen. The wiring work involved will no doubt already come into play when you are selecting, or upgrading, new appliances like your dishwasher and refrigerator, so make the most of it by building a home for all your little electronic friends.
Feng Shui your storage space
All of those fancy knives, spoons, plates and appliances are going to have to go somewhere, right? You certainly don’t want them cluttering up your brand new countertops or making the renovated space look unsightly. If you are going with new cabinets, new drawers or just new storage space in general, then keep in mind how you can arrange your space to better improve your work flow and provide more comfort and convenience for anyone using the kitchen. Think about some clever cabinets that make the most of their space or some pull-out drawers that will let you grab what you need in a hurry.
Have a plan
Never EVER go into a remodel without having a plan. Sure, things won’t always go according to plan – they rarely do, especially if you have to deal with the setbacks that come with working with contractors and remodeling jobs in general. However, that doesn’t mean you should go in armed with nothing but your dreams and wiles. Get an idea of what you want to get out of this remodel before even taking the first step, whether it is new appliances, updated colors, a better looking or more functional space, etc. The last thing you need to do is start off uncertain and then have to deal with regretting your choices later on. Always plan for the setbacks, as well. A tight deadline is a good thing but can also give you some gray hairs if you aren’t careful. Give yourself extra space, time and money to work with and go in armed with a solid plan.
Decide on a color scheme
You may have been watching TV, reading through a magazine or sifting through an online article about kitchen remodels and spotted some things you loved. One of the biggest design factors that tends to immediately draw the eye is the color scheme of the remodel. This is a big part of why it pays to have a plan going in and that includes picking out your color scheme early. You don’t want to accidentally get cabinets or appliances that make your carefully chosen palette look dreadful. Expert designers recommend going with a backsplash of color and light cabinetry in many cases, but you will ultimately decide what look is the one that works best for you and your kitchen.
Don’t DIY too far
Maybe you know a thing or two about woodwork, wiring or construction in general. Great! You’ve no doubt saved yourself a lot of time, money and hassle by handling some of the work yourself! However, being “sort of good” with tools does not make a certified contractor. A lot of people who are concerned about budget, or simply don’t trust outside work to get the job done, attempt to go about the majority of the work on their own. It should stand on its own that this is typically a terrible idea. Any kind of renovation without professional know-how or extreme skill can set you back, runs the risk of damage, possible injury, loss of time and headaches beyond what a couple of aspirin can solve. So, yes, go the DIY route where you are certain and comfortable it can be handled, but definitely leave anything beyond your comfort zone to the pros if you aren’t willing to take the risk.
Do your homework
This all goes back to having a plan. Once you have in mind what steps you want to take, what color scheme you have in mind and other such factors it will then fall on you to determine how to make this happen. This is where you’ll no doubt enter the “researcher” phase. Researching properly can involve hours of finding the best appliances, the prices of various kinds of paint and comparing contractors. It is recommended that you put together a list of at least three or four choices in each department where you have to narrow down a decision and then carefully research each one. If you are not confident about picking out all the choices, work with an interior designer. We have one that works with our clients knows all about the remodeling process and she really helps them out a lot. Here is a link to a contractor test that is on my website.It has 11 excellent questions to ask a contractor before he even comes out to your home to see if he is a pro, at a good fit for you.If you have that handy plan from step one, which should include an idea of budget and a vision of what you hope to accomplish, then that will make this phase all the easier to conduct. Another important place to do your homework is to properly vet contractors before you hire someone. Look for contractors that are licensed if your state has licensing, and particularly ask about contractors who have national certifications and remodeling and construction, such as Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, or Certified Green Builder. Google these. certifications to learn more about them. Do your homework, narrow down your choices and then you’ll be able to proceed with confidence.
Don’t expand beyond your means
Some people go in with big ideas that will equal a bigger space for their kitchen. However, an expansion on the space is going to be pretty costly and will probably add all sorts of things to tick off of your list. This can include redoing wiring, knocking down walls, getting permits and so on. In most cases you can make do with the space you already have and still get a great result. If you want to expand then of course it is up to you – this remodel is all about making your idea come to life in the form of a beautiful new kitchen, after all. Just consider what you can do with the space you have already before deciding if you need more.
Plan for the unexpected
Have a plan? Check. Did your homework? Check. All has proceeded has planned. Until the contractor flakes, or they find water damage behind the refrigerator, or you accidentally hit a load-bearing beam, or… Case and point, expect the unexpected. Remodels are a lot like weddings: they almost never go exactly according to plan, they almost never run on time and can equal out to a lot of screaming and tears. This is why it is good to plan for extra costs and extra time when it comes to your remodel. If you give yourself some leeway then you won’t have to stress as hard about any unexpected shenanigans taking place.
A successful remodel will all come down to how well you planned for it and how well your final vision comes to life. These tips should help guide you towards the glowing, modern kitchen of your dreams with better ease. Just remember to have a plan going in and be prepared for the inevitable hiccups that will come your way.
Get some more concrete tips on budgeting, picking out appliances and fixtures and scheduling payments. Happy remodeling!
Legal Eagle Contractors is an award-winning remodeling company in the Houston area and has been remodeling kitchens since 1978.