I Wish I Had Thought About That – Planning for Kitchen Remodeling

Are you thinking of remodeling your Kitchen?  You first need to determine an overall budget.  The amount depends on the size of your home and what you can afford.  Split up that budget as follows:

  • 80% equals your Base Budget.  Be willing to share that information with your Remodeler.  If you don’t, there’s no way to meet that budget.
  • 10% contingency should be set aside to cover unforeseen problems that always arise
  • The last 10% should be for things you want to add during the remodel.  No matter how much planning you do, you will always think of things along the way.  If you don’t have the money to add them, you may be disappointed with the final results.

Here are a few ideas to you get started. Empty all your kitchen cabinets.  Don’t forget the things you use regularly, but are stored in the basement or some closet. Separate everything into 2 piles:

  • Pile 1 is the items you need and actually use – evaluate ruthlessly
  • Pile 2 is the items you don’t.  You will find things you didn’t know you had or haven’t used in 10 years.  Get rid of them: Garage sale, donate, recycle, toss or whatever

Now put it all back.  Do you have enough room for everything?  If not, you know you need more Kitchen storage.

If you have an eat-in Kitchen and a separate Dining Room consider using your Dining Room on a daily basis and expand your remodel into your existing Kitchen eating area.  Dining Rooms are often under-utilized and finding new life for that space is much more cost effective than adding square footage to your home.  If you only have an eat-in Kitchen, consider built-in seating on two walls for your eating space.  Add the space you save to increase your Kitchen.

  • Make of list of the features you hate about your current Kitchen.  Make another list of the things you like.
  • Kitchen islands are popular, but do you have enough space?  Allow at least 3’-9” between base cabinets.  While 3’-0” is a minimum, you will not be happy with a working space that narrow.
  • Walk-in pantry?  Do you have the space?  While this is a valuable feature to incorporate, its perceived value is even higher.  Rely on the expertise of your remodeler or a cabinet designer for including this feature.
  • Electrical changes?  Most people who remodel their Kitchens find they want, or are required by code, to add additional electrical outlets.  This, plus the desire to add recessed lighting or under-cabinet task lighting may mean adding to your electrical service.
  • Appliances? Do you want to upgrade to professional appliances or will you be satisfied with consumer level?  If budget is a factor, perhaps a professional cooktop may be enough to satisfy your needs.
  • Countertops consume a large part of a Kitchen budget and the cost of materials varies substantially.  If you want granite, you must figure that in initially.
  • What kind of cabinetry do you want?  Look at as many styles, colors, woods and finishes as you can before making your final selection.  Beware of the current trend in finishes, whatever it may be.  You don’t want to end up with the cabinet equivalent of avocado appliances in 5 years.  Remember: buying quality never goes out of style.  Spend most of the cabinet budget on the basics.  Many cabinet extras can be added later as do-it-yourself projects.
  • The final topic to consider is flooring.  You may or may not have to replace yours depending on how extensive your project is and the condition of your original flooring.

In order to reduce the stress and anxiety that may be a common perception associated with remodeling, make sure you define your goals and hire a full service company that specializes in handling the entire kitchen remodel from the design phase through completed installation.

In the coming weeks we will look closer at the individual elements of a Kitchen Remodel.

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