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Top 9 Things to Know Before Remodeling a Kitchen

September 6, 2020

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Remodeling a kitchen is typically a large-scale undertaking and expensive investment for many families, but one that means a more functional and welcoming space for the family and guests. An updated kitchen can, in some cases, even add value to your home!

Before remodeling a kitchen:

  1. It’s vital you decide on a set budget for renovation plans.
  2. Between 5% and 10% of that budget should be set aside for needed repairs.
  3. Your home might need added bracing to subfloors and other prep work before a renovation.
  4. Many kitchen renovation plans need permits and inspections along the way.
  5. Cheaper materials might cost less to install but need replacing more often.
  6. Refinishing cabinets is an excellent way to save on your kitchen remodeling costs.
  7. Your kitchen’s appearance affects your home’s salability, more than any other room.
  8. High-end materials don’t always add value to your property!
  9. Consider your long-term plans when choosing a new kitchen design.

Before you go forward with remodeling a kitchen, it’s vital you consider these nine reminders as well as a few other important yet basic tips, to ensure you end up with a kitchen space you’ll love for years to come! A kitchen renovation is often more complicated than homeowners realize, but can also be more affordable than expected while adding the function and style needed for a workable kitchen in their home.

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9 Things to Know Before Remodeling a Kitchen

Before you move forward with your kitchen renovation plans, consider 9 vital reminders and tips you’ll want to discuss with your remodeling contractor.

  • Always set a budget for your renovation plans, and be determined to not go over that budget. This is a vital concern, as there is no limit to how much money you can spend on kitchen cabinetry, new appliances, and other fixtures and features!
  • Knowing your budget beforehand can also help you determine the right choices for materials and other details, as you’ll need to balance all those features while working into your overall budget.
  • When contractors pull up flooring or remove appliances and other kitchen features, it’s not unusual for them to find rotted subflooring, damaged drywall, old wiring, and other fixtures needing repairs.
  • Along with repairs, your home’s subflooring might require added bracing to support heavier countertops and other materials, the wiring might need upgrading to power new appliances, and other upgrades are also often needed. A homeowner would do well to set aside 5% to 10% of their budget for needed repairs and materials replacements. .
  • It’s also vital that homeowners set aside time and money for needed permits and inspections. When you’ll need these permits and inspections will vary according to your area, so ensure you check with your local licensing agency before beginning any DIY project.
  • Many homeowners make the mistake of choosing the cheapest materials and features available, which lowers installation costs but also means having to replace those materials more often over time. Cheaper materials also typically means more nicks, scratches, and other such damage showing before you replace those items.
  • Homeowners often overlook the fact that they can refinish their kitchen cabinets rather than replacing them, saving them potentially thousands of dollars. If your home’s cabinets are in good condition but simply look a bit rundown and dingy, consider re-facing the doors and cabinet fronts.
  • Bathroom and kitchen remodeling plans often affect a home’s value and salability more so than any other room. If you might put your home on the real estate market sometime in the future, ensure you choose neutral colors and other details that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.
  • Homeowners often mistakenly assume that high-end materials, such as marble floors and oversized appliances, are the best choice for adding value to a property. However, potential homebuyers aren’t always willing to pay top dollar for certain materials. Mid-grade yet durable materials are typically the best choice for enhancing property values.
  • When planning a new kitchen design, don’t overlook your long-term plans! If you’re thinking of starting a family, ensure you choose durable materials and include room for an eat-in space. If you’re approaching retirement age, you’ll want safe, easily accessible surfaces and storage areas.

Added Reminders When Planning a Kitchen Renovation

Knowing these important tips for a successful kitchen renovation is the first step to ensuring you’re happy with your new space for years to come. However, you might note some added tips and suggestions for a successful kitchen remodel, and discuss all this information with your kitchen renovation contractor as needed.

cost to remodel a kitchen

One important tip is to separate your kitchen design “needs” from your “wants.” For instance, you might truly need new appliances in the kitchen, but might only want an oversized, chef-inspired stovetop or refrigerator. Scaling down your appliance purchase decisions to your needs can ensure you stick to your budget.

A homeowner might also consider a full tear-out if the kitchen’s footprint doesn’t work for any reason. For instance, an overly large kitchen might put the appliances too far from each other, causing you to walk between them during cooking and food prep. An oversized kitchen can also mean wasted space you never seem to use!

A full tear-out allows a kitchen renovation contractor to start from scratch, reworking the footprint and even relocating appliances as needed. This ensures a new kitchen space that is functional as well as beautiful and that works for your needs in particular. While a tear-out can be more expensive than simply replacing certain fixtures and features, it can also be the best choice for many homeowners.

Remember, too, that a kitchen needs to be safe as well as functional and attractive. Reconsider “bumpy” countertop tiles that might allow a cutting board to slip while you’re using sharp knives and other utensils. Invest in adequate lighting for every space, and especially where you’ll be cooking and using those sharp items!

A homeowner would also do well to consult with a structural engineer before removing or even cutting out any walls, and especially if you aren’t sure which walls in the home are load-bearing. Weakening those walls can result in the home shifting and settling, leading to cracks in walls, ceilings, and floors. Those cracks increase the risk of water damage and resultant mold growth in the home and, in rare cases, parts of the home outright collapsing!

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Remodeling a Kitchen

Knowing a few common mistakes made by homeowners planning a kitchen renovation means that you can avoid those same “slip-ups” yourself! One common mistake is to choose cabinetry, flooring, wall colors, and the kitchen’s backsplash separately rather than shopping for them together. When you choose items separately, you might wind up with too many dark colors and a cave-like appearance, or an overly bright, sterile kitchen.

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Homeowners might also forget to create storage where it’s needed. Adding a walk-in pantry, for example, is an excellent means of providing needed storage for the kitchen; however, if it’s in the hallway or across from where you cook, this can mean lots of walking every day! Consider oversized cupboards around the refrigerator, deep drawers to replace lower cabinetry, and other adequate yet accessible storage.

Another common mistake is adding expensive or cumbersome features that you won’t necessarily use that often and especially over time. For instance, a dedicated coffee bar might seem like a great way to enjoy your favorite brew or to use while hosting friends, but consider if its novelty might wear off before too long. That space can then become somewhat wasted and underutilized! The same might be true of a separate beverage refrigerator, double wall ovens, a six-burner stove, and other such features.

It’s also not unusual for homeowners to spend the majority of their budget on “enjoyable” features such as new cabinets and chef-inspired appliances, while leaving only a small amount of money for lighting, flooring, and other such details. Remember, however, that cheaper materials tend to wear out sooner rather than later, as said, and unattractive surfaces and details, no matter how small, can detract from your entire kitchen renovation!

Related Questions

Can you DIY a kitchen renovation?

A homeowner can certainly legally manage a DIY kitchen renovation. However, there are many reasons to invest in the cost of a kitchen renovation contractor! For one thing, a professional is more likely to ensure your remodeling project passes any and all needed inspections, stays under budget, and creates a space you’re sure to love for years to come.

How can you save money on a kitchen remodel?

A homeowner might reface cabinets rather than replace them and place new flooring over existing tiles, to save the cost of a tear-out. You might also shop for new but discontinued or otherwise discounted appliances, lighting fixtures, and other features online so you don’t need to sacrifice quality and style while still cutting costs.

What’s the best way to ensure an eco-friendly kitchen renovation plan?

For an eco-friendly kitchen renovation, avoid tearing out materials as much as possible so they don’t wind up in landfills. If you must remove materials, check with your city or county about recycling facilities or if there are companies that accept used building supplies for resale. Choose energy-efficient appliances and water-saving plumbing features, to cut your energy and fresh water usage after you’re done remodeling a kitchen!

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