After the bedroom, our kitchens are typically the rooms we spend the most time in. They’re certainly the center of many family homes and where we often host our guests as well. This is why we remodel our kitchens so often. Here’s a step by step guide to kitchen remodeling if you want it to be as smooth a process as possible.
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Have a Plan
Before you grab a sledgehammer and start knocking down walls, come up with a detailed plan. Where is everything located now? You may need to hire a designer to draw the current layout to scale, including the location of electrical and plumbing connections.
Consider your overall objective. Do you want to turn the kitchen into a multi-functional space, equal parts family room, and dining room? Do you want to make it easier to make full-course meals? Does the room feel dated? Outline your complaints so that you can come up with a list of possible solutions.
Finalize Your Plan
Once you’ve come up with your list of solutions to your problems, complete the plan of what the kitchen would look like after the remodel. From this, you can develop a list of materials to be purchased, estimate the scope of work for contractors, and you’ll know the expertise you need. Call on a variety of skilled professionals to get their cost estimates for the task you’d assign to them.
Total up the material costs and estimated labor costs. If you can’t afford the total bill, either give up a few of the nice-to-have items on your wish list, shrink the scope of work, or look for more affordable solutions. You don’t want to finish installing your counters and appliances but have a torn up floor. You don’t want beautiful tile work on the walls but no sink and stove. When you have your full to-do list and to-buy list, you can start calling the pros.
Work with Professional Contractors
You could replace plumbing fixtures like faucets yourself. The average DIY enthusiast can replace cabinet hardware. You’d have to have rather advanced skills to install wood or tile floors yourself, and relatively few have both the skills and time to redo cabinets themselves. For everything else, you must work with contractors. Once you know the scope of work, you’ll know whether you need to bring in plumbers, electricians, painters, flooring installers, HVAC contractors and drywall installers.
Only work with licensed, bonded, insured contractors with good recommendations. You can’t afford to pay someone else to clean up their mess or correct their mistakes. A side benefit of working with qualified contractors is that they’ll know the local building codes and could go through the process of securing any required building permits.
The professionals will be able to give you a timeline for their work, and you can plan the rest of your life around this.
Plan As to Minimize the Inconvenience
A little planning up front can minimize the inconvenience of the kitchen remodeling. For example, you could hire a junk hauling service to haul off the debris and construction waste. That could speed up the work by the contractors since they don’t have to take time to get rid of the trash. You might be able to get rid of a few pieces of junk that have been sitting around the house, too. It’s worth sorting this out in advance, so you don’t have to look at a mountain of old cabinets for long.
Plan how you’re going to feed your family while the kitchen is unavailable. Moving the fridge to the living room could allow your kids to access healthy snacks or meals you can cook in the microwave or on a hotplate. You could also talk to the contractors about making essentials like the stove available during most of the renovation project, so you’re not eating out every night. If you’re going to be putting a lot of labor into the project, stocking up on instant meals you don’t have to cook will make the end of the day much less stressful.
Get to Work
This is the phase where they actually do the work, ripping out large parts of the kitchen and installing the materials and appliances you’ve requested. If you’ve followed our advice, this process will be as fast, cheap, and painless as possible.
Whether you hired a junk removal service to haul off the junk or threw stuff out yourself, there is always going to be clean up involved. You will need to sterilize the counters that were installed, sweep the floors, and vacuum the carpets across the house. Ideally, the contractors have taken out the plastic sheets they hung and removed all their construction debris.
Kitchen remodels are alternately shown as fun and fast weekend projects and the essence of a horror story that seems to stretch out forever. If you understand the process you should follow for a home remodeling project, you’ll be able to avoid the worst-case scenarios.