Definitive guide to starting a Kitchen Renovation
Are you really ready to tackle this beast of a task? Someone once said, “If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it”. I have lived by that rule for most of my life. I was also unmarried for most of my life, thereafter my priorities began to change, I am not sure why.
Before you make the first phone call there are a few things you should do.
1. Make a realistic assessment of how much you will be able to outlay. Discount the total slightly to compensate any ‘little overruns’ in actual expenditure.
2. Sketch out your existing kitchen on paper, then create an overlay on a translucent film to sketch in the intended changes for your new galley. It is highly likely that this will change after you have spoken to an expert, but it provides you with a starting point for the project. Ensure that you include every user of the kitchen in the planning.
3. You now have a better idea of the level of expertise that you will have to consult with to create tackle the job.
4. If you have created a ‘do-it-yourself project’ then go ahead, watch some of the many DIY videos that are available and use the Internet to research your ideas. You can get lots of ideas from you local hardware store as well.
5. Anything bigger than a DIY will definitely benefit from a ‘remodeler’ or renovators advice. Call around, ask questions, you may pick up some free advice and get to know the individuals in the process. You may meet someone, the pro, who you will need to rely on in your next step.
6. Get a working plan and an estimate from your pro, do not be rushed or make uncertain decisions, you are going to have to live with your mistakes. The pro will tell you about things you didn’t even know were in existence, legal requirements and restrictions, recommended contractors and ways to save money without sacrificing function or quality. That’s why you involved them.
7. Have a family meeting before step #1 and after #6 (remember the dogs and cats) to ensure all ideas are considered before the first hammer hits the wall.
The very first and most important criterion is that you have a kitchen and for some reason, known best only to yourself, you have some level of dissatisfaction with this kitchen. Obviously, it is not your idea of an ideal design and you have the required funds to expend in order to create what you want.
The first steps are right here:
a. Identifying the existing problems.
b. Make a plan of how to get from what you don’t want (where you are now) to arriving at that place where you want to be.
c. Ensure that the problems in step (a) have been solved by (b) and try to avoid the creation of new problems along the way.
You are now ready to start hiring the people that you have identified to do the job. Make sure they fit in your budget and your overall plan on paper.
There are numerous people in this field, with varying levels of skills and affordability. A highly paid remodeler or renovation-advisor will cost you a few dollars; or a percentage of the many dollars that you are about to throw into this project. As well there are recent graduates of architecture and other design function institutions who are seeking to build a reputation and may charge you a little less.
If you combine the physical limitations of your kitchen (a relatively fixed space) with just how much you intend to modify this space, then you may need someone who can design exactly what you will want to build. The remodeler will advise you on the level of expertise required here, remember they are your ‘travel guide to happiness’.
Even if you can’t afford it all now, you can make a development plan that will allocate space, plumbing and electrical provisions, so that you can complete you dream later. You will be provided with a road map to your perfect kitchen.
One point worth getting comfortable with right now, no matter what you do today, if you were to sell it tomorrow the prospective buyer may rip it all out and put in what they find appealing. Kitchens are very personal spaces.
It is may better to discount the value of a property that you intend to sell, to compensate for a lousy kitchen, rather than ripping it out and renovating prior to the sale in anticipation of an improving the re-sale value.
A good renovator will first examine what you have and point out any complications worthy of caution. They will listen very carefully to what you want, making very sure that what you want is what you have said, then they will try to combine what you physically have, with a team of people to produce your kitchen. You will then be given a price-tag for the job. It is entirely up to you to decide if you can afford it or not.
Remember, there are specific issues, eg. Legal requirements separating you from your dream, zoning laws, regulations on the use of gas lines, power lines and power ratings and city ordinances will sometimes prevent or restrict certain activities. Don’t rush in and then have a government inspector come along and put a stop-order on your dreams. That is why you are paying you remodeler.
Whether you intend to replace an old kitchen sink with a newer one, or you may want a completely new design or function and features, do not spend any money until you understand what is available out there. Go to the ‘Home Improvement’ shows and there are numerous sources of information available on the Internet. You can ‘virtually’ design and build your dream kitchen on your laptop from the comfort of your home. Design is the easy part, knowing the if’s, the how’s and how much is the job of the remodeler.
During 2012 and for the four years preceding it, the average expenditure on kitchen-remodeling was:
· In excess of $140K on the more hi-end renovations.
· Mid price renovations were about $55K.
· In the middle-income bracket, people spent $25K.
· The ‘low-budget’ kitchen make-over’s cost about $8K on average.
The extent of you remodeling is largely decided by how much you are willing to spend. Choose a remodeler, designer, contractor, renovator or all four if you can afford it. Set a budget to guide you through this project and cement that budget in place. Temptation, to over indulge, begins at this moment and follows you throughout the project. The professionals will guide you through the legal pitfalls that you may encounter; they know how to schedule meetings and inspections to keep the project on stream.
Thereafter, relax and enjoy you kitchen, you will spend a considerable amount of your waking time in there.
We have many articles on our site, about kitchen renovation, design, and projects you may be interested in. If you have done a great reno, and you want to let us know, just contact us, we would love to hear about it!