Remodeling a kitchen is arguably the most significant project you can take on in your home. Even without major layout changes, you’re dealing with cabinetry, countertops, flooring, tile, electrical work, plumbing, paint, and appliances. This involves coordination with a designer, project manager, general contractor, and subcontractors, not to mention your own schedule.
Phew. It’s tempting to throw in the towel before you’ve even begun.
Coordinating all those moving parts and pieces can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here. Our entire job is to help streamline the process and make it manageable for everyone involved. Interested in getting started? Here are 7 things to know before tackling a kitchen remodel.
Few people have the time and skill sets necessary to take on an entire kitchen themselves. Most people will hire out some, if not all, of the work. What makes sense for you? Some people are comfortable with and have the time to manage the project independently, hiring contractors and coordinating schedules. Many people want the expertise of a kitchen designer to help bring their project to life. And most people need help streamlining the process. Kitchen remodels are not everyday events in most people’s lives!
But they are in ours. Here at Bella Domicile, you’ll work with one of our designers who not only creates the kitchen of your dreams, but also helps coordinate contractors, material delivery and installation, and scheduling. Our clients are kept in the loop without the stress of managing the entire project on their own.
Your budget, more than anything else, will determine the scope of your project. A general rule of thumb is to invest 10% of your home’s value in a kitchen remodel, though of course, every project varies. Plan for some wiggle room for unexpected issues that come up during the remodeling process (It happens!) and extras you may not have planned for initially. Your budget is one of the best tools your designers and contractors have to help you efficiently plan a remodel, so they can work with you to find the best and most efficient use of those dollars.
Making a priority list is one of the best ways to focus your budget. Cabinetry is usually a top priority for our clients because it’s a significant part of the cost and not easy to change. Appliances on the other hand, are relatively easy to replace and can be carried over from an existing kitchen to a new project. Other people want new appliances immediately and save money on tile or flooring. What’s important to you?
Putting together a Pinterest board or Houzz ideabook is a great way to figure out your design preferences. In addition to aesthetics, it’s important to research the type of materials and appliances you’re putting in your home. Getting into the nitty-gritty of cabinet construction, countertop types,appliances, and flooring can feel like learning a half-dozen new languages all at once! Trade professionals and a design consultant can help with this process.
Another thing to research? Yourself! How do you store your plates, pots, spices, utensils, and other items now? How would you like to store them? Observe yourself as you move about your existing kitchen for a week and take notes on how you use the space. Chances are there are changes that could be made in your remodel to make your life easier.
Unfortunately, real-life remodels are not a 30-minute HGTV spot. The average kitchen remodel—from your very first planning meeting to project completion—takes 3-6 months. Your kitchen could be torn up for anywhere from 4 weeks (for less involved projects) to 4 months or more (for major remodels).
How long this takes partially depends on clients: how long does it take to make decisions? Is there a specific target date for completion? Other things, such as cabinetry lead times, are only in the hands of the manufacturers. Inflexible dates, such as hosting a graduation party or holiday, can be your worst enemy if not given enough time.
That 4 weeks to 4 months time frame above? You’ll largely be without a kitchen. Some people set up appliances like a refrigerator and microwave somewhere temporary, such as a mudroom or garage. Some commit to washing dishes in the bathtub or using disposable dinnerware for the duration. There’s just no way around it: living without a functioning kitchen is a major inconvenience. It’s an important thing to consider when figuring out your timeline. And maybe throw some extra money in the budget for takeout.
This is your home. Not that influencers on Instagram. Not Joanna Gaines’. Not the fancy one you saw in Architectural Digest. Design trends and inspiration only go so far. You may want that white, neutral kitchen you’ve been seeing splashed all over social media. Then again, maybe you have a house full of small children, meaning anything white is not your best friend right now.
The most important thing of all is that your home should reflect you. A family who cooks at home only a few nights a week probably doesn’t need the highest-end range. Most people can do without a formal dining room. We spend a good portion of our lives cooking and gathering in the kitchen: it’s important that it feels like home.