There are few things that can transform a home as dramatically as a kitchen renovation. Sleek modern cabinets, gleaming new appliances and countertops—they’re a quantum leap from the old kitchen that once was. It sounds like a dream come true, but then you hear the stories of homeowners who failed to plan ahead to make their kitchen remodel a smooth process and the result was a bumpy ride.
Fine-Tune Your Vision for Kitchen Remodeling
Do you want to replace existing fixtures with minimal fuss, or move the stove to a new location? Are the current dimensions fine, or are you expanding the space? It’s best to consider the scope of your project before construction begins. If you suddenly need to move a gas line or tear out a wall, it’ll be a costly change. If you live in a historic home, or local building codes apply to your renovation, you may have to wait for permits before you can upgrade your kitchen. Make sure you research your area’s building codes before you begin.
Helpful Tips to Plan Your New Kitchen Project:
Jot down the elements of the kitchen of your dreams: the stainless steel refrigerator, the white opaque cabinets, the granite countertops. Then, rank them in order from “must-have” to “maybe.” This gets your priorities straight from the start. You can always eliminate items from the bottom of the list if you need to. Talk over your plans, including layout and design, with your contractors. They may know innovative ways to trim costs and even help you afford some “extras”. They’re also experts on which changes add value to your home and which might be costly mistakes. Regular communication with your contractors will help you avoid pitfalls along the way. Create an idea book with swatches of materials, favorite finishes, and snapshots of your overall style. This helps you create a harmonious look. It also gives your contractors a visual reference for your project as it progresses. And, it’s a fun and exciting project to put together.
Do Your Research before Picking Appliances, Countertops, and Cabinets
You may love that double-wide refrigerator or bulky convection oven, but those specialty appliances have to fit the dimensions of your cabinets and countertops. These details can get lost if you’re caught up in the excitement of a longed-for appliance. A great tip is to sketch out all of the design elements—countertops, appliances, and cabinets—to make sure the measurements fit. The carpenter’s motto “measure twice, cut once” is definitely true of countertops and cupboards. In addition to proper measurements, it is equally important to give your kitchen a cohesive look. Modern stone countertops like granite, marble, and quartz have intricate veins of minerals running through the slab. This forms a unique pattern or design. Many people like to keep their cabinets neutral as a counterpoint. Floors and cabinets often have similar tones for a unified feel. For pops of color and contrast, use accessories like stainless steel, copper and bright enamel cookware.
Practical and Energy-Saving Appliances
One huge benefit of kitchen remodeling is the updated appliances. Look for these types of bonus features that save energy and streamline your life. New appliances are very efficient. Some modern stovetop burners can take food from a low simmer to a fast boil in a flash, according to the experts at This Old House. A standard burner has a low of 2,000 BTU and a high of 12,000 BTU. New models can simmer sauces as low as 400 BTU and then quickly ramp up to boiling pasta at 15,000 BTU. Energy efficiency helps you save money and the planet’s resources. Be on the lookout for appliances with Energy Star ratings. Efficient ratings mean that if your appliance lasts for 10-20 years, you’ll use between 10 to 50 percent less energy annually. Practical features built into your appliances can make life much easier. Dishwashers with a higher loading capacity save you countless wash cycles. Smart refrigerators are programmed to sense when your milk is going sour when your lunchmeat expires, and whether you’re out of mayo. Sound trivial? The average American throws away 103 pounds of spoiled food each year at an average cost of $2,798, so keeping tabs on what’s in the fridge spares you a lot of waste.
Bumps in the Renovation Process & Coping with Delays
Living without a kitchen can find you impatiently counting down the days until its completion. Delays do happen, though, and they’re not always the contractor’s fault:
Contractors might find unpleasant surprises like unexpected mold or shoddy woodwork that needs repair. Once your kitchen renovation is underway, appliances may be out of commission for a while. The kitchen is the focal point of the home, and when it’s down for the count—even temporarily—it can create disruption. Plan a mini-vacation at a local hotel when you need a break from the construction zone. If you want to check on progress, it’s easy to do. Many homeowners decide that the perfect time to go on vacation is during a kitchen renovation. Others feel too out-of-touch with the process if they’re not nearby.
If you do decide to stay home – here are some ways to limit the endless takeout-and-paper-plates scenario:
- Use convenient options like toaster ovens, microwaves, and outdoor grills to cook your meals.
- Create an “alternate kitchen” in a pantry or small room.
- Set up an area to stash dishes, utensils, and your pantry basics.
- A small dorm refrigerator is helpful if you can’t use your kitchen for an extended time.
You might Change Your Mind on Certain Non-essential Improvements
You might change your mind about improvements mid-renovation – and that’s fine, as long as you work it out with your contractor (as it can affect your contractor’s schedule in big ways). Out-of-stock items can also delay your project. Even one appliance or small part on back-order can hold things up for weeks. It’s wise to build some wiggle-room into the renovation schedule. Even better, order fixtures well in advance, before construction begins. Avoid heartache and frustration by knowing what you want and what will work for your budget as well as your timeframe.
A kitchen remodel can be a very exciting time in your life as a homeowner. It can also be incredibly frustrating if you don’t take the time to prepare for the unexpected. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to kitchen renovations. Planning ahead will help to preserve your sanity and keep your peace of mind.
By keeping your expectations reasonable and timeframe flexible – you’ll be enjoying the kitchen of your dreams before you know it!
Contact Take2 to Get Started on Your Next Project!