“A kitchen remodel is one of the best ways to add value to your house…it can give you close to a 100 percent return on your investment” according to TLC’s Top 10 Ways to Add Value to Your Home. Updating or adding a bathroom is second on the list for adding value. Many experts will also tell you that can be a time consuming and occasionally stressful project. But like most things in life, careful planning will go a long way toward setting accurate expectations and minimizing the stress and complications. Below are some helpful hints, tips and questions to consider as you begin your remodel project.
Defining the Project Scope
Before embarking on a kitchen remodel project, every homeowner should spend some time determining the overall direction and goals of the project before contacting a professional. Some good questions to ask yourself are:
- What do I want to do? Will this be a major construction project that includes moving cabinets, walls, appliances, gas/water/electrical lines? Or is this more of a facelift project?
- What can I afford to do? What is my budget for this project?
- What rooms are affected? Will it be just the kitchen or will the project carry over into the dining room or other living spaces?
Identifying any Special Needs
One of the most beneficial features of a custom kitchen is that you can choose the functional options and accessories that perfectly fit your lifestyle while helping you work better and more efficiently. During the planning stage, it is essential to draft a must-have list of any special needs along with a wish list of functionality and details. Factors to consider include:
- Space and layout.
- Daily use, work flow and traffic patterns.
- Accessibility and safety for children, elderly or individuals with disabilities.
- Amount and type of storage.
- Environmental impact: Green materials and finishes, energy-efficient products, and sustainability.
Determining your Design Style
Do you come alive in the country? Feel energized by the pulse of the city? Wherever you’re most inspired, whatever world you feel more at home in–your new kitchen can be a beautifully supportive environment that reflects not only your personality but also your own unique vision of the good life.
In addition to the overall design aesthetic, you should also need to consider your work style, cooking style and lifestyle and how those will play into the kitchen layout and features. Ask yourself questions like:
- How many chefs usually work in the kitchen?
- Who else hangs out in the kitchen, and what do they do there?
- Will the kitchen be part of your entertaining space?
You may find it helpful to develop an idea book including pictures of other kitchens, color palettes, products, materials, etc. to begin identifying your personal style, vision and direction for the remodel.
Choosing the Right Time
A major part of a kitchen remodel project is the timing. If your dream kitchen needs to be completed before the holidays or in time for a big party or event, planning and open communication with your contractor need to be your top priorities.
The amount of time it takes to put in a new kitchen varies greatly based on the amount of work that needs to be done and the schedule of your specific cabinetmaker or contractor. Some cabinetmakers specialize in speedy refacing projects to update the look of your kitchen and can be completed within several weeks. Projects requiring more extensive updates can range from several weeks to several months for the different phases of planning and preparation, demolition and construction, and installation. For a major construction project, your cabinetmaker or contactor will be able to give you a more accurate timeline based on your specific project needs.