Ways You Can Determine the Right Kitchen Remodel for Your Project
You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Now what? Not knowing where to start, many homeowners start by looking at kitchen appliances. Others collect inspiring kitchen photos. Some homeowners decide they need more room. Others simply want to upgrade their current kitchen. Homeowners may find themselves in this exploration stage for a year or longer before they start interviewing kitchen designers or general contractors.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to remodel your kitchen.
Think About What You Need in Your Kitchen Remodel
This step is all about figuring out how you use your kitchen, and finding the layout and features that fit your household’s lifestyle.
Think about your priorities and ask yourself some questions. How many people will be cooking and gathering here? How will they need to move around? Do you need an addition, or can you work with your existing kitchen footprint?
If you haven’t done so already, start saving photos of kitchens with features that suit your style. Your collection can be organized and beautiful like a scrapbook might be, or it can be filled with unorganized images. I like to randomly stuff images into my folders and ideabooks and go back to them later for edits.
Planning a Kitchen Layout
More than any room in the house, the kitchen needs to be practical and functional. Think about how you use your current kitchen to identify your priorities for the remodeled space. What works and what doesn’t? Give considerable thought to the layout of the room and assess what will work best for your household.
Whenever possible, make use of the classic work triangle. Arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove (the three features used the most) in a triangular pattern. This is generally considered to be the most convenient setup because it saves unnecessary steps.
Also, think about how many people usually work in the kitchen at the same time. If it’s more than one, you might want to incorporate more than one workstation. Or, if there’s enough space, consider adding an island or purchase a wheeled cart that can be moved around the room and put away when not in use.
Finishing the Walls
Once a renovation project passes inspection, it is time to finish the walls. Hang, tape, and finish drywall according to your project plan. This includes any drywall necessary for a countertop bar or other section of the kitchen. If you aren’t skilled in this area, consider hiring a contractor to finish up the process.
This is also an optimum step to add a coat of primer to the drywall, even though you won’t add paint for quite some time. Why? The primer seals the facing paper and protects it against scuffs and scrapes when installing other items in the room. Accidents easily happen when you’re moving bulky cabinetry and appliances into the space, and this keeps it in great shape until you’re ready to add a splash of your favorite color later on in the renovation process.
Install Doors and Windows
After drywall, it is time to install any doors or windows. If you’re sticking with the same structure as your old kitchen, you might not have to do anything for this step. Simply take the time to wipe down your old ones with a good cleaner and seal any existing cracks around the windows with caulking to help insulate more effectively.
If you’re adding new doors or windows to the space, make sure to insulate them properly. A vast majority of a home’s energy cost each year comes from lost hot and cold air. Unsealed kitchen windows not only make your space less comfortable, but they could also cost you hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling bills.
Even if you’re handling the renovation yourself, consider hiring a professional to install cabinets for you. The last thing you want is to get your cabinets up and start refilling them only to have them fall down or to realize you didn’t level them properly. A professional will make sure the cabinets are installed properly.
Floating and open shelving is trending in homes across America. This design concept is loved by many designers as well, because it allows you to use your well-designed kitchenware as décor.
Bring in the Pros
There are two main players when it comes to professional kitchen remodeling help:
- A kitchen designer
- A general contractor
A kitchen designer ensures that your kitchen space is functional, efficient and the best value for your budget. They take the time to learn your needs and wants. Then they translate those into a functional, beautiful, and actionable plan.
A general contractor (GC) coordinates the build-out and installation of the kitchen designer’s plans. The GC is in charge of organizing products, materials and people. They schedule work for the trade professionals typically involved in kitchen renovations such as electricians, plumbers, tile professionals, fabricators, and finish carpenters.
Start early and be proactive with bringing in professionals. Their expertise will help you make better remodeling decisions, and making early appointments will ensure that you have a spot on their calendars. The most well-regarded pros have very busy schedules, and it’s common for a contractor to be booked months in advance.
What about interior design or architectural services? If you’re remodeling your entire house, or making major structural changes, you may have an interior designer or architect helping to coordinate the project. But if you’re only remodeling a kitchen, their services are not critical, even though they can add significant costs to the project.
Between you, your kitchen designer and your general contractor, you should able to make sure that your kitchen is decorated, designed and built to your liking.