Nothing can help freshen up an older home, or help in the sale of a property or inspire your kitchen workspace like a new or remodeled kitchen. Kitchen design is becoming increasingly more important as space is rapidly growing smaller. Designing or remodeling your kitchen can be an incredibly exciting adventure but with it can come a lot of stress, and complication! Although there will always be some element of stress felt through a kitchen renovation it is possible to eliminate much of it with a solid plan. If a kitchen make-over is in your near future you should consider the following and make the best of this otherwise stressful period.
Build a Foundation
During the design process the most important question you can ask yourself is “Why do I want a new kitchen?” Is it because you are looking for more storage space? Is your space not being maximized? Does your cabinetry need to be replaced? Are your appliances in need of change as well? Is your kitchen too dark? Is your space too small or too big? Too Boring? Or simply, too much??!
By asking yourself these important questions you will have a much better idea of what you need to get out of your kitchen space. This information will become the foundation for your kitchen design plan.
Make a wish list
Once you have your “foundation” in place it is important to ask yourself a few more questions. Now that I know what I need, what is it I want? What you would like to have in your kitchen? Give this a lot of thought because design today can incorporate special storage and space savers into the cabinetry design today! Write a list of everything you could not live without. This list will also become a very important guideline for you, your contractor, or designer to follow. Here are a few questions to paint an example for you:
Do you want stainless steel appliances? Granite counter tops? Tiled flooring? Is it heated? Gas or electric? What will your color palette be? What kind of cabinetry will you use? What can I not live without?
How much can you afford to spend on your kitchen space? This is a big question that can affect the entire project. Kitchen design projects are rarely inexpensive so you must get out and do some pricing on items that are necessary for you to fulfill your foundation and wish list. Beware that if you plan on replacing your cabinetry it will account for more than half of your budget!! When building your kitchen design budget you also want to include the cost of all labor (electricians, carpenters, gas technicians, plumbers, contractors etc.) and then consider the possibility of hiring a designer.
You must stay within your budget when planning a new kitchen. Account for as much as possible and add on another 20% or more just incase. Unexpected costs arise all the time in kitchen renovations and the best way to overcome it is to create a great budget. Dreaming big is one thing, but placing importance on price and affordability will ensure that you get what you are expecting and save some money for unexpected emergencies.
It is also very important to know when your project needs to be completed. Kitchen projects are notorious for being drawn out. Set realistic goals. The remodeling and new construction industry is booming and this can have a direct affect on your project. Many crew are working on several projects at a time so be sure to communicate your completion date with your contractor and demand a realistic response. Labor is not cheap so the shorter the time frame the higher the cost. It is also helpful to plan for you and your family to prepare meals at an alternate location or account for dining out into your budget. Remember that being inconvenienced at home can also cost you more money at the end of the day.
Hiring a designer can really help you get onto the right path sooner. These professional consultants can take care of every aspect of the design process like choosing the appropriate layout for you and your home. Coordinating color & lighting that is appropriate. Making sure all your trades and contractors are working in unison and of course ensuring that your dream kitchen becomes a reality. Designers will sit with you and go through a detailed interview process to get the best idea of what you are looking for. Their objective is to design a plan and develop a kitchen that works best for you. Your designer will combine your foundation and wish lists and weigh the pros and cons to balance them against your needs, space limitations and budget. Your designer will put together all the planning, logistical needs and contractors for your project. They can be expensive but many kitchen and bath showrooms will have in house designers working for them. You can set up an appointment or walk in and speak with someone almost immediately. This service helps the supplier get your business and they will do everything for you, from measuring your space to arranging packages for you that suit any budget.
Designers are usually well worth it, but do your research and find a design consultant with a portfolio that really connects with your own personal style.
You can also use your contractor to help you in planning out your workspace or even use a kitchen design software to personally plan out your kitchen space if you think you have what it takes!
If you plan to do the design work yourself, make sure you use a professional contractor. There are lots of contractors out there who will undercut prices and offer you promises that are not realistic. Ask to see some portfolio work or for references. Make sure that your contractor is using accredited plumbers and electricians. Be wary of anyone willing to start immediately or who asks for cash upfront? Do not proceed with any payments unless you have an agreement with your contractor and make sure they detail all work on labor and materials. You do not want a poorly installed kitchen and any subsequent repairs will far outweigh the cost of using a professional.
A kitchen renovation can be a very stressful time, but it does not have to be. Stress is no good for anyone, besides getting a new kitchen should be an exciting journey not a nightmare! Enjoy your new kitchen and let the cooking begin!!
Michael Kyle has been an event coordinator and hospitality expert for 18 years.