A kitchen remodel can be a daunting task. Where do you start? What is there to do? Don’t fret — we’ve come up with this kitchen remodel checklist to help you tackle this massive project without losing your head.
Set your budget
The first thing you need to do before embarking on a kitchen remodel is set your budget. Prepare for the unexpected, and expect hidden costs like labor and shipping fees. Things can add up quickly, so plan to spend 10-20% more than your original budget. Think about your needs and wants and plan accordingly. Be practical, don’t buy unnecessary items, and invest in the important things — storage, a functional layout — before splurging on luxury items.
Designed by The Fox Group
Get some inspiration
A kitchen remodel means a world of possibilities. You need to have an idea of your future kitchen before you start a kitchen remodel. Visit kitchen showrooms and home stores, and look at kitchen remodel ideas online for inspiration. Make a wishlist of needs and wants that you can give to your contractor and designer so they have a clear understanding of what you want. For inspiration, check out our post on kitchen remodel ideas for 2019.
Designed by Geremia Design
Find a contractor
A contractor can make or break your kitchen remodel. You want a contractor that is experienced, trustworthy, reliable, and communicative. The most common way that people find contractors is through word of mouth. When deciding on a contractor, ask for at least five references and check out their most recent projects.
In addition to finding a good contractor, you’ll want to make sure you establish a great relationship with them in order to ensure a smooth remodel. If you establish a good rapport with your contractor, they’ll put in more effort to help you stay in budget and cut costs, make helpful recommendations based on their expertise, and utilize any contacts they have to help your renovation. Here are a few tips for establishing and maintaining a good relationship with your contractor:
Communicate effectively: Stay in constant communication with your contractor and set clear expectations. Do you want them to update you via text, email, or phone? When is the best time to reach you?
Set house rules: A sure way to create tension and friction is by failing to set boundaries for someone who will be entering your home. Communicate expectations for smoking, noise levels, and bathroom use.
Be available: Make time to stop by the project when the team is there to check on the progress as well as to show that you are available and invested in the project.
Be a good team player: A kitchen remodel is a group effort. You should be clear and assertive about what you want to avoid any miscommunications, but also receptive to your contractor’s suggestions and expertise. Think clearly about what you want, because changing your mind throughout the process will not only tick off your contractor, but may result in unforeseen costs or problems.
Be considerate: Lastly, it’s always great to be a good host. At a minimum, provide refreshments and always greet the workers. Keep children and pets out of the way, and don’t pester them when they’re trying to work.
Designed by New England Design Works
Plan the layout
Before you can start renovating, you’ll have to plan the layout of your kitchen. Think about how you use your current kitchen: What works? What doesn’t work? When planning the layout of your kitchen, perhaps the two most important considerations are storage and traffic flow. Plan your kitchen layout so that it maximizes storage and facilitates good traffic flow. Make sure that the walkways are about 42″ – 48″ wide. You’ll want to create “zones” that make it so that no one is clashing into each other. A common approach is the “work triangle”: arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove in a triangular pattern so that you are not walking from one end of the kitchen to the other every time you cook. Then, think about workstations. How many people use the kitchen? Do you need an island?
Should you redo your kitchen layout? On the one hand, redoing the layout of your kitchen can give you a fantastic result, and can improve your lifestyle as well as your home’s value in the future. On the other hand, keeping the same footprint is the best way to keep your budget low. Knocking down walls and changing plumbing is one of the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of a kitchen remodel, and can also lead to unforeseen headaches.
Designed by Geremia Design
Oftentimes, cabinetry is the first thing to go in a kitchen remodel. The look of your cabinetry sets the tone for your kitchen, and they often look dated or make little use of your kitchen’s storage potential. However, installing brand new custom cabinetry in your kitchen can be quite expensive. If your cabinetry is relatively new, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. You’ll also have to decide if you want open or closed shelving. Minimal, open shelving offers less storage, but makes your space appear larger and is more affordable than installing overhead cabinetry. Click here to learn how to style blue kitchen cabinets.
Designed by Regan Baker Design
When choosing a countertop, it’s best to invest in a material that will stand the test of time. Quartz is a fan favorite among interior designers because of its durability and affordability. Of course, there is nothing quite like the luxury of marble countertops. We recommend having at least 36″ of counter space for cooking and preparing food.
Designed by Bria Hammel Interiors
When doing a kitchen remodel, everyone wants the best and most technologically-savvy stainless steel appliances. However, these high-tech appliances come with a steep price tag, and unless you’re a hardcore chef, many of them come with cool, but ultimately unnecessary and superfluous features. Keep in mind that it is more important to invest in the design and functionality of the entire kitchen, rather than on one luxury appliance. Storage and quality cabinetry will add more value to your kitchen than a single appliance. When choosing a sink, consider the size, depth, and material. There is nothing more annoying than trying to wash a large pot in a shallow sink, and you’ll want to avoid materials that are prone to scratching, staining, and breakage.
Designed by Lucy and Company
Like cabinetry, flooring can set the tone of your entire kitchen. Do you want a dark or light wood? Tile or marble? A common rule is to go for light floors as they open up the space and provide a better foundation for other colors and patterns. Dark floors, on the other hand, tend to draw the eyes downward instead of up toward the rest of the space.
Designed by Nam Dang Mitchell
Lighting will make the biggest difference in your kitchen. If possible, incorporate as much natural lighting as possible by adding windows or knocking down walls. Then, be sure to incorporate both ambient, task, and accent/decorative lighting. Ambient lighting includes flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, light pendants, and wall sconces. Incorporate dimmers so that you can adjust the lighting according to your needs. Task lighting includes under cabinet lighting that helps light up dark work spaces. Lastly, incorporate accent and decorative lighting to finish off the aesthetic of your kitchen lighting.
Designed by Saltbox Collective
The right hardware can truly elevate your kitchen design. Matte black fixtures will make your home feel sleek, modern, and sophisticated, while brass fixtures will add a pop of warmth.
Designed by deVOL Kitchens
Finally, the fun part: adding decor! Add in some kitchen barstools that fit your aesthetic and personalize your kitchen with beautiful kitchenware and appliances.
Designed by deVOL Kitchens
What are your favorite kitchen remodel ideas for 2020? Use #roomhints on your Instagram posts to show us. Also check out our post on blue kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities.