Kitchen Remodeling 101
If you’re like most of us, just the thought of remodeling your kitchen can be as overwhelming as the actual remodel. So many styles, designs, and decisions. Not sure where to begin? We suggest you get ideas from as many resources as possible, including websites like Houzz and Pinterest. Start collecting inspiring photos that reflect the kind of space, style, and function that you’re looking for. When you’re ready to take the plunge, these great tips will help you through the process.
#1 – Determine the needs for your kitchen remodel
This step is all about how you plan to use your kitchen and what kind of functionality will work best for your family’s lifestyle. Think about your priorities and ask yourself a couple of these important questions: how many will be cooking and gathering in our space, what kind of flow does it need to have, can we work with our existing footprint or does it need to be redesigned, is storage and functionality a priority, what kind of style do we prefer and does it fit with the rest of our home? Of course, there will be many more questions along the way, but these are key points that you’ll want to determine first and will make the design process much simpler.
#2 – Do your homework and develop a budget and plan
The kitchen has evolved over the years from a place where food was simply prepared and served to a multi-funcitonal space that serves as the heart of the home. With that said, it’s important to get as many ideas from as many resources as possible. Research the latest trends in color, design, functionality, and technology… these may play a role in your decision making process.
You’ll also want to begin formulating your preliminary budget and what we call a “scope of work”. A scope of work usually describes all of the work to be done on a project, who is responsible for completing the work and what materials will be used. At this stage, you just need to start getting the project down on paper and begin reaching out to professional contractors that could potentially be a good fit for your project.
# 3 – Find the professionals you need
Whenever you’re planning a kitchen remodel, we recommend you work with a licensed contractor who can coordinate all aspects of the project like contracts and space permits, budgets, demo and installation, and plumbing and electrical. If your budget allows, hiring a designer can be a great resource to help in choosing colors, finishes, fixtures, shopping, ordering products, and managing your project from start to finish. Both will work with you through every phase of the project and can help with important decisions that you may have not thought about. So how do you find the right professionals? Many homeowners get referrals from family and friends, but local organizations like the Huntsville Madison County Builders Association can be a great resource as well.
#4 – Design planning
If you’ve done your homework in step 1, 2, and 3, it will make the actual design planning an easier process. This phase of the project includes actual floor plans, cabinet layout designs, space planning, and sketches of the design.
Design planning is one of the most important steps of the process. You need a plan in order to figure out what materials to order, where they will go, and how many square feet of product you’ll need to complete your project. This is a key component in determining how much the project will cost and understanding the scope of work to be done.
#5 – Design selections
Throughout each phase of the project, and probably long before, you’ve been saving photos and ideas that reflect your kitchen style and functionality. By now, you’ve decided whether your style is modern, traditional or transitional, and what colors are most attractive to you – white, grey, natural wood or a pop of color. Deciding on the materials for your countertops play into the design as well and can be as important as the functionality of your kitchen. Different materials offer different benefits. For instance, quartz is a much less porous material and offers more antibacterial benefits. It’s important to discuss how you plan to use your surfaces and what’s most important to you and your lifestyle.
It’s now time to make final selections on finishes and fixtures. This should include:
- Cabinet door style, finish and color
- Decorative hardware
- Countertop material
- Refrigerators and other appliances
- Kitchen sink and faucet
#6 – Finalize the design and construction plans
Now that you’ve selected all your materials, it’s time to finalize the design. You’ll need to prepare final floor plans, elevations, details, and light switches or electrical. If you added or changed any outlets you’ll need mechanical and electrical drawings, which should be provided by your contractor. Once you’ve gotten all of these finalized, you can determine the final cost of the project – make sure to include all fees for the contractor and designer.
#7 – Ordering and checking product ETA’s
This is the one step that many people tend to miss and it’s probably the most crucial. It’s important to check and make sure ALL of your products have been ordered and are in the company’s warehouse prior to demo day. Because there is a process of what goes in first, it can be very frustrating if you’re still waiting on something that might hold your project up.
#8 – Getting ready for demo day
In preparing for demo day, you’ll need to confirm schedules and time-frames with your contractor, start cleaning out your cabinets, and store what you won’t need. If you’re planning to stay in the house during the construction process, set up a temporary kitchen so you don’t lose your mind!
You’ll also want to discuss logistics ahead of time with your contractor: How often will you meet for updates? Will you have to be out of the house for specific things like demo or flooring? What about about debris removal and dust? Any allergies? What does a typical day for the crew look like? Getting all this out on the table before hand will make for a much smoother project and you’ll know more of what to expect.
#9 – Surviving the remodel
Unfortunately, a kitchen remodel disrupts your whole household so make sure you’ve set up a temporary area to make coffee, quick meals, and school lunches if you still have children at home. Be patient and keep in mind that your BEAUTIFUL kitchen that you spent so much time dreaming up is about to become a reality.
#10 – Enjoy your new kitchen!
**If you’re interested in obtaining more information or have any questions about the content in this article, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at 256.536.8086 or come see us at Haley’s Flooring and Interiors.