Beginner's Guide: So You Want To Remodel Your Kitchen
Copyright (c) 2008 Aaron J. Munk
Renovating your kitchen can seem daunting, but if you break this
big project down into smaller steps, you can ensure that the
vision you have for your new space will be achieved.
1. Find your style. Stimulate your creativity by checking out how
the professionals do it. Look through magazines and keep photos
of style elements that you like in a binder. With the many
do-it-yourself websites, the Internet is always a good source for
While you are browsing, think about how you want to use your new
space. How many people plan to use the kitchen? Do you entertain?
Do you need room for children to do homework at a computer? Do
you prefer a formal space or do you have a more casual style? Is
your kitchen just for cooking or is it the gathering place for
your family and friends?
Also think about the style of the rest of your home and how the
new kitchen will fit in. All of these style elements you collect
will be helpful to show your vision to the contractor and keep
you both on track.
2. Set a budget. We all wish we could have everything we want.
However, for most of us, we need to choose where to spend our
money to get the most value. Granite counter tops might be a “must
have” for some, while someone else might want to put their money
into specialized appliances.
You may need to think about how long you’ll be living in this
home. If you’re going to be there five years or less, the remodel
could be viewed as improvements on your investment.
Whatever your budget, make sure you include labor costs and a 10%
contingency for those unexpected expenses. And, have a plan to
keep track of all the costs - maybe a spreadsheet - so you can
compare your actual costs to your budgeted amounts.
3. Find and hire a Contractor. The best way to find a qualified
professional is through referrals from family and friends. You
can get first hand information on how the contractor worked and
if there were any problems.
There are two types of contractors you can hire - General
contractors and Subcontractors. General contractors will oversee
every aspect of your remodeling project and he or she will
usually hire the subcontractors. Subcontractors for a kitchen
remodel can include Tile Contractors, Plumbers, Electricians,
Painters, Cabinet installers, to name a few.
If your budget is tight, you may have to oversee all the
subcontractors yourself. Always compare quotes from at least
three different prospects and always work with licensed
professionals who have insurance.
Interview all candidates, check their references and ask to see
some completed projects. It’s important that you are comfortable
with the person and you are both able to communicate with each
After you’ve narrowed it down, take a look at their documents.
Everything should be in writing and look professional - including
a bid price and a payment schedule, the scope of work and a site
plan. Decide in advance how you will handle disputes and get that
in writing as well. Along the way, there may be design changes
initiated by you or the contractor. Make sure these are in
writing as well and understood by both parties.
4. Obtain your Kitchen Design Plans. There are different ways to
do this important step. If your renovation is complex, you may
need to hire an architect. If not, most home stores have computer
aided design programs, which allow you to see how the store’s
kitchens would look in your home. Or, you could buy one of the
many home design programs and see your remodel on your own
Some of the free online programs can even give you a list of your
choices and vendors in your area who sell the products you want.
This could save many trips to the store and countless headaches.
Knowing your cooking style and the appliances you want is
something to consider. Also, selecting the flooring, counter tops,
sinks, and faucets that fit your lifestyle and budget. Last, but
certainly not least, select the lighting for your kitchen,
keeping in mind that no single light source can light the entire
There are many decisions to be made and having your favorite
style elements handy in your binder will keep you on track and
make some of the decisions easier.
5. Be proactive. Inspect what’s going on regularly. During the
work, make sure that both you and the contractor follow the
written plans. Be clear and honest with any issues you have and
try to meet once a day to discuss progress and budget and
schedule concerns. Having this meeting might save work stoppages
and panic phone calls along the way.
Your partnership with your contractor will be the key to the
success or failure of your project, so maintain a productive work
environment by keeping the lines of communication open.
These steps can help make your renovations a little easier, but
realize that unexpected things happen. Relax, take a deep breath,
be flexible and soon you’ll be enjoying your beautiful new
Aaron J. Munk is the founder of SeeItYourWay, a home-design
technology company at the crossroads of technology and design.
SeeItYourWay is a premier kitchen design website, providing
users with thttp://firstname.lastname@example.org ability to view multiple home décor selections
in a photo-realistic setting, bringing out the unique designer
in each and every one of us. To learn more, visit
http://www.seeityourway.com or call 800-733-0155.
Have a great day. How did this work for you? Let us know, we would like to here from you.
copyright 2008 Dan & Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled