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12 Steps to Success: How to Remodel a Kitchen

How to remodel a kitchen
So you have decided to remodel your kitchen. How to remodel a kitchen is one of the questions we are going to answer for you. The average remodel for a kitchen can range between $18,500 to $54,000 dollars. Such an expensive task isn’t something to do without a plan. Remodeling your kitchen is a massive and expensive undertaking. To help you get through this complicated process we have broken your kitchen remodel down into 10 steps. Just follow the step by step guide and your kitchen remodel will go smoothly. If you do your kitchen remodel well you may recoup up to 67% of the remodel cost on the resale of your home.

Step 1- Examine your current kitchen

Before doing anything else take a look at your current kitchen. The benefit to doing this when you remodel your kitchen is that you can decide what parts you like, and what parts do you not like. This examination of what you have in place will help you to determine what you should change when going into your kitchen remodel. When looking at your current kitchen you can also determine which appliances you can keep, and which you need to replace.

Step 2- Make a plan for your remodel

Before any work is started plans need to be made. This begins with you sketching out a rough plan for your kitchen remodel. This sketch should be as detailed as you can make and include all your decisions on the various options for a kitchen remodel. Include information about any walls that you are considering moving, appliance locations, and placements of cabinets and sinks. Make notes about what sort of things you want to put into your kitchen. The appliances you select can have a large impact on the final design of your kitchen. Different flooring options create different requirements for contractors as well. Be as clear as possible when creating this initial plan.

Step 3- Locate contractors

Once you know and have an initial plan you can begin finding contractors to complete your remodel. Your first decision is to choose between hiring a general contractor and doing the job of a general contractor yourself. If you are going to use a general contractor, then you are basically done at this point. The reason to hire a general contractor is that they will hire and arrange the schedules of all the other contractors that will be necessary. The advantages to this is that a general contractor already has subcontractors that they work with and know will do a good job.

If you decide not to hire a general contractor, then you need to look for the subcontractors yourself. This means that you need to carefully compare contractors based on price and reviews. Selecting the right contractors is one of the biggest decisions you will make. The wrong contractor can add thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to your cost. Carefully consider the reviews of any contractors that you select. Cheaper is not better in most cases.

Step 4- Finalize designs

Once you have your plans, and the contractors to take them from paper to reality, it’s time to finalize your designs. Discuss the plans with your potential contractor(s) and make any changes necessary to stay within budget. The advantage to your home remodel is that often your ideas may seem perfect on paper, but a contractor will point out hidden costs that you didn’t consider when it was just an idea on paper.

Step 5- Select fixtures and style

Once the plan is basically complete you can hit the details. This is often more stressful than coming up with a plan for your remodel. The fixtures and styles portion of your decision making will be what creates the look of your kitchen. It is in this area that the budget comes into major consideration.

  • Cabinetry ($4000)– Normally available in either custom built, or premade options. The benefit of custom made cabinets is that they will be exactly how you want them. The benefit of premade cabinetry is that they are
  • Countertops ($3000)– The decision on your countertop needs to take into consideration not only look but upkeep. If you are not interested in maintenance and refinishing, or you have small children that will spill stain causing liquids then you need to keep this in mind.
  • Sinks ($2000)– When considering sinks your decisions are the material the sink is made of, whether it is a single basin or a divided basin, and depth. These considerations can be combined in a seemingly endless variety. Ensure that your sinks, cabinets and countertops all work together.
  • Lights ($400/light)– Properly lighting your kitchen includes thinking about the overall lighting, over the sink lighting, and under counter lighting. Also keep in mind the impact of natural lighting, and how this can be maximized.
  • Flooring ($2300)– The kitchen flooring you choose needs to be something that works in your kitchen. This means avoiding carpet and other materials that stain easily. Some great choices are vinyl, linoleum, and tile. Hardwoods are another acceptable choice, however make sure they are completely sealed to ensure they can withstand the inevitable spills.
  • Backsplash ($20/sq ft)– Your blacksplash can often be an expensive option in your kitchen. This can be done as tile, or as a single material, depending on your design choices.
  • Hardware ($5-$10/handle)– The hardware in your kitchen compliments the overall style and design that you are going for in your remodel. Often these little touches can make a big difference.

Step 6- create detailed plans and drawings

Once you have selected the materials and drawn the sketches a detailed plan must be made. A qualified architect will take your sketch and turn it into actual plans. This will take into account the actual structural design changes that are necessary to complete your remodel. These finalized plans are the ones that are submitted to your local building or permitting authority. File for and obtain all the necessary permits before beginning any work on your remodel.

This permitting step is of great importance. If you plunge forward on your remodel before obtaining permits you can be midway through a remodel and have to stop. This can incur costs for contractors waiting to work, some work may even have to be redone to comply with a change to get a permit approved.

Step 7- Hire your contractor(s)

Once all details are completed it is time to hire the contractors that you have contacted. Ensure that you arrange good contracts that clearly specify the work to be done. Time frames should be settled before work begins to ensure the contractors can complete work in a time frame that works for your family. The workday schedule should also be determined so that everyone knows how the work will be completed each day.

Step 8- Preparation

Before the actual work begins there is preparation that must be completed. What will your family do for a kitchen while this work is being completed? Arrangements for storage of all of the things in your kitchen must be made. Good preparation will help your remodel go smoothly
Also consider that workers will need to get to and from the kitchen. Protection of your floor and property must be done before work commences. Also, depending on your floorplan, you may need to block off areas of the house completely.

Step 9- Work Begins

Ensure that as your kitchen remodel begins you make sure that everything is fitting into your overall plan. While it is never good to “bug” your contractor over every small detail you have every right to make sure that things are being done to your satisfaction. Remember that at this stage your kitchen will seem to be in chaos and you may not be able to “see” the final in your head. But if you requested a wall to be moved and nothing looks like it is happening you should speak up.

Step 10- Work In Progress

While the work is being completed don’t forget to occasionally check on the progress of the work. Should anything appear to not be as you set out to the contractor the time to bring it up is when you notice it. Waiting for the entire project to be completed to point out an apparent mistake can be costly. Also if the timeline that was agreed upon isn’t being met, this is another discussion that you should have with any contractors doing work. If you are using a general contractor these points should be raised with them.

Step 11- Work Ends

Finally! The actual work is completed. You should have a finished kitchen at this point in the process. As the work ends don’t forget that the final cleanup should be done as well. Any trash and debris the contractor is responsible for needs to be addressed as part of the completion of your remodel.

Remove any protective papers or plastic you have put down and have the contractor give your kitchen a thorough cleaning before you do any sort of final review of the work. Often small mistakes, scratches, or other problems may be more visible when the kitchen has been thoroughly cleaned.

Step 12- Review and details

Once a project has been completed it is time for a close look at the finished work. This should be developed into a list to be passed from home owner to contractor. This list will specify what items the home owner wants addressed to consider the job complete. Final payment shouldn’t be made until this list has been addressed.