There are several reasons why people decide to remodel their kitchen. Some homeowners want to expand the overall size for a growing family while others simply want an updated, stylish look. Whatever your reason, one thing is for sure. Remodeling your kitchen is a big commitment that can also cost quite a lot too. This is why it’s important to make sure that you get the project completed right and to your satisfaction. Listed below is a useful kitchen remodeling checklist to help you through this process.
Figure out your budget
Before you do anything, you’ll want to establish your budget. It’s great to have ideas, but you need to figure out what you can spend and what you can’t. By neglecting to do this, you’ll more than like spend a lot more money that you wanted to, and worse case scenario, if you run out of money, you may not be able to finish your kitchen remodeling project. This is an extremely important step in the process. Here is a few tips when it comes to your kitchen remodeling budget.
First, decide what you can spend, and then make sure you stick to it. For instance, if you are on a really small budget, choosing natural stone for your flooring or fully custom wood cabinets is expensive and probably not the best choice. Making little upgrades here and there will also add up to a large amount when totaled up. Stay within your means, and don’t make any impulsive decisions.
Second, factor in your labor. According to HGTV, labor accounts for about 20 to 35 percent of the total cost of your kitchen remodeling project. So, if you have a $20,000 budget, your labor costs will be anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000. This is something you definitely need to factor in.
Third, set a little money away for unexpected problems. As an example, let’s say you tear up your old flooring and realize that the subflooring is rotten and will need to be replaced. What if you remove a wall and find out all of the wiring is a hazard and will need to be repaired? Always expect the unexpected.
Lastly, use a spreadsheet using either Excel or a hardcopy to keep track of all your expenses. This spreadsheet will also help prevent you from going over your budget. Spreadsheets are fairly easy to use and work really well for sticking with a budget.
Choose your kitchen design
Now that you know what kind of budget you have to work with, it’s time to choose the overall design of your kitchen. If you’re planning on keeping your kitchen’s original design, but you’re interested in updating the flooring, the counters, and the cabinetry, you can skip over this step. For those wanting a new design, you’ll be happy to know that there’s several different kinds of software on the market that can help you choose the right layout for your household’s needs. Although each program differs a little, most of them all come with project management tools, built-in calendars, budget calculators, and other useful features. This software can be purchased online and for a very reasonable price.
If software isn’t your thing, then you can also do your own research online and find the perfect design for your household. Some of the most popular designs these days include the modern look, the contemporary look, and the Mediterranean look. These are just three out of the many, many designs you can choose from. By doing your own research instead of hiring a contractor do it for you, you can also save yourself a lot of money.
It’s important to note that if your new kitchen design requires tearing down walls, building new walls, expanding the overall square footage, or any other construction, your kitchen will typically be out of commission. As a result, you’ll more than likely have to eat out for a few days or until the project is complete. Going out to eat regularly can also affect your overall budget too. This is just something to consider.
Choose your materials
After you have established your budget and chosen a specific layout for your kitchen remodeling project, you can then start choosing the kind of materials you want to incorporate. When choosing, make sure you stay conscious of your budget and the kind of design you decided to go with.
There are many choices when it comes to flooring. It really depends on what your budget is, the kind of life your household lives, and the look you’re interested in. For example, vinyl is much less expensive than natural stone or hardwood, it’s harder to scratch, and is much more resistant to spills and stains making it perfect large families on a budget. On the other end of the spectrum, vinyl doesn’t have the appeal that natural stone and hardwood has to offer. Both natural stone and hardwood have that timeless, elegant look that everyone loves.
When choosing the right kind of flooring for your kitchen remodeling project, you’ll also want to consider the kind of countertops and cabinets you want, so they all match and look great together. This shouldn’t be a problem since there’s so many options available to you. Some of the most popular choices sold today include:
Just as with flooring, countertops come in a wide array of materials as well. Hardwood, quartz, marble, and granite are all more expensive materials, but they have a look that can really transform your kitchen. They’re absolutely beautiful. Laminate and vinyl on the other hand are less expensive, durable, and don’t need to be sealed like natural stone slabs. Again, when choosing the right countertop for your project, consider your budget, your household, and the appearance you’re interested in.
You basically have three choices when it comes to cabinets. You have stock, semi-custom, and fully-custom. Stock cabinets are produced on a mass scale, are usually made of a compressed sawdust wood, and are far less expensive than custom cabinets. Semi-custom cabinets allow the buyer to choose a few of the design specifications while still paying a much lower price than what fully-custom cabinets would cost. Finally, fully-custom cabinets give the buyer the ability to choose every single specification. Custom cabinets usually cost mush more than stock or semi-custom cabinets, but they’re definitely worth the money.
From the stove to the refrigerator to the dishwasher and more, choosing your appliances is an important part of the process. When choosing your appliances, make sure you consider the kinds of meals your family enjoys, the convenience you’re wanting, and how you plan on using your kitchen. For example, if you throw a big Thanksgiving dinner every year, you’ll probably want a large stove with a big oven. Maybe you enjoy having guests over for drinks on a regular basis. In this case, a mini bar would definitely go over well.
Acquire all the necessary permits
If your project doesn’t consist of any construction that will effect the exterior portion of your home, you probably don’t need a permit. However, if you’re planning on expanding the size of your kitchen, and your home’s exterior will be changed, you’ll probably need a permit. Sometimes if you hire a contractor, they can obtain these permits themselves, but it’s really best if you contact your local building inspector and handle the matter yourself. Neglecting to do this could result in expensive fines.
Hire the right contractor
This is an important step in this kitchen remodeling checklist. In order to hire the right contractor, you’ll want to find a few good choices all with positive references and an impressive portfolio. It’s also essential to choose a contractor with a wide selection of skills and proven work experience. Generally, most contractors will give you three references if you ask for them. These references are usually past customers.
After you have a few contractors picked out, contact each one and get a bid for your project. Most contractors offer free consultations and will even come to your home to look things over. During this consultation, make sure you ask them about their warranties and guarantees. In most cases, reputable companies will always back up their work for an extended period of time. In fact, many contractors even offer lifetime warranties.
After you find the right contractor, set up the date and time for them to get started. Try and plan your project when your family doesn’t have much going on. Like mentioned earlier, if there’s construction involved, you kitchen will likely be out of commission.
Invest in insurance if need be
Smaller projects really don’t need to be insured, but if your project is going to cost quite a bit, it’s definitely a good idea to invest in “builder’s risk” insurance. This insurance will protect you from any sort of loss that could occur during the project and usually lasts anywhere from six months to a year after the project has been completed. “Builder’s risk” insurance is really a good idea.
Kitchen remodeling checklist review
- Establish your budget: Stick to your budget, factor in labor, and set money aside for unexpected problems.
- Choose your design: Use either software or do your own research to find the right design for your kitchen remodeling project.
- Choose your materials: Choose the right flooring, countertops, cabinetry, and appliances for your new kitchen. Keep your budget and your family’s lifestyle habits in mind when deciding.
- Acquire all the necessary permits: Don’t get yourself in trouble. Make sure you contact your city’s building inspector to see if permits are necessary.
- Hire the right contractor: Search for a few good contractors with positive references, inspect their portfolios, get their bids for your project, and ask them about their warranties in addition to any other questions you have.
- Invest in “builder’s risk” insurance: Protect your project with quality insurance, so you don’t have to suffer a financial loss when something accidentally goes wrong with your kitchen remodeling project.
- Lastly, give your contractor a positive reference or review: If your kitchen remodeling project was completed to your liking, offer to provide your contractor with a positive reference. This will not only help your contractor acquire more work, other customers will also benefit from it as well.