3 Tips for a Stress Free Kitchen Remodeling Project

A kitchen remodel can go horribly awry, leaving you stuck with mounting bills and no place to cook. Check out these three tips for making that remodel go smoothly.

Our kitchens have evolved over the years in size and usage. The kitchen has gone from being a room that was used simply for cooking to being the center of activity in your home. Families gather in the kitchen to start their day; children head straight for the kitchen after school; and the family members discuss their day while preparing, eating, and cleaning up after supper.

It’s no surprise that kitchen remodeling rates highly in an article in Realtor Magazine, which discusses what remodeling projects bring the highest rate of return on investment when selling your home. The article shows that you may get up to 76 percent of your kitchen remodeling dollars back when you sell your home. The modern buyer looks for a nice kitchen when perusing the market. What should you look for when thinking about a kitchen remodeling project?

1. Be Honest with Yourself
Arrive at a budget figure you are comfortable spending on your kitchen remodeling project. You should figure that unknowns or extras added may cause your costs to be 10 to 15 percent higher than originally expected. Don’t stretch yourself too thin or your remodeling project can become very stressful.

Figure out what is important to your family in the kitchen. Will the kitchen be mainly a gathering area for family? If so, room for a table or breakfast bar is important. Are you and your spouse aspiring chefs? Countertop space and state-of-the-art appliances should be high on your list of priorities if you are.

2. Use Your Available Resources
You may think you know exactly what you want, and perhaps you do, but it never hurts to get some additional input prior to taking the plunge. Some resources you may want to check out:

  • Look through building and remodeling magazines
  • Browse online kitchen remodeling sites
  • Walk home builders’ model homes
  • Visit a kitchen design center
  • Talk to a kitchen remodeling contractor

Kitchen design centers usually have displays of cabinet styles, countertop varieties and colors, backsplash materials, and many other available options. One of the biggest benefits to visiting a design center is they usually have the software to take the dimensions of your kitchen and arrive at several layouts for you to consider.

Once you arrive at a kitchen design you like, consider drawing a life-size footprint to ensure it works for you. Go to a large empty parking lot with a measuring tape, a straight edge, your design with measurements, and some washable chalk and draw your kitchen on the pavement. Sometimes it is easier to determine how much room you have to maneuver between cabinets and appliances using this method rather than looking at a piece of paper.

3. Hire a Good Contractor
You may think this goes without saying, but it still needs to be said. Your kitchen is an important room and you want someone who is highly qualified working on it. Your kitchen remodeling contractor is going to be working with plumbers, electricians, trim carpenters, flooring installation crews, and perhaps ceramic tile installers. You want to make sure your contractor is capable of inspecting their work and making sure it is correct and complete. This isn’t just a matter of having the room repainted if you don’t like how it was done.

  • Get references and if possible look at some completed projects
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured
  • Get a written estimate
  • Discuss time frame for completion and lead times for materials
  • Always have a written and signed contract and Scope of Work before starting

Follow these three tips prior to starting your kitchen remodeling project and you should be off to a good start for a stress free new kitchen.