Remodeling your kitchen is an effective and straight-forward way for you to update your decor and add value to your home. The two rooms that most affect your property value when remodeled are your kitchen and bathroom, so any work done in these areas should be well-planned and professionally undertaken to ensure quality results. There is a process to remodeling a kitchen that homeowners should follow that will make sure that the entire project goes smoothly and meets your expectations.
Planning a Kitchen Remodeling Project
One of the things you must remember, especially if you have an older home, is that you are probably not the first person to remodel the kitchen. The demolition portion of the project may appear straightforward, but there could be layers of material you have to get through before you actually access the wall frames. In addition, it is vital not to damage any electrical wiring or plumbing as you strip down your kitchen for a renovation project.
Always take the time to write out your ideas so that you can anticipate conflicts between your different needs and get a good grasp of what the room will look like when complete. The ideal format is to use graph paper and make a drawing to scale that will allow you to realize the accurate proportions of the finished project. This will help you to plan on what new fixtures to install and determine what features to build into your kitchen.
Taking the Right Steps
The first and most important step in a kitchen remodeling project is to create an itemized plan of the project, exactly what changes will be made, with what materials and with what priority. Once you have it all mapped out, then you can create a budget and see how much the project is going to cost. It is advisable to salvage or retain as much as you can from your existing kitchen to be part of the finished product, as it will save you time and money.
Do the demolition first and remove everything that needs to go. If you are putting in a new floor, then you might consider cleaning the old floor completely off and building a new sub-floor to make the new floor level and sturdy.
Once everything has been stripped away and any new walls or structures constructed you can begin putting in the new fixtures. It is usually easier, and safer, to work from the top down. In other words, have your walls painted before putting in your new floor to make sure that you don't damage the floor while painting. Do all of your finishing work last to get the best quality results. If you are unsure of what exactly needs to be done or the best way to take advantage of the space you have available, consider hiring a kitchen designer who can help you change the structure of your kitchen from the floor up, down to selecting taps and doorknobs. You can search for quotes from a kitchen designer that serves your area online.
Tips for Remodeling a Kitchen
Try to open up your kitchen to as much natural light as possible. This has the benefit of reducing your energy bills, making it easier to work in the kitchen and creating an open and inviting look. If your kitchen does not have exterior walls, then consider putting in a skylight.
Never do the electrical or plumbing work on your own. Always have a certified and experienced contractor undertake these tasks. This is not only because of safety issues, but because there are many tiny details you could miss that could create a fire hazard or a problem with leaking water. It could also affect your insurance if an accident happens in the home due to work carried out by a non-professional. Do not take any chances with your kitchen remodeling project; always hire an expert.
Choose a theme or color scheme for your kitchen and then base your decor and design around it. If you like the idea of a rustic kitchen, then use simpler colors and design elements that remind you of a rustic setting such as distressed paintwork or unpainted wood. Developing a theme always makes planning your new kitchen project much easier.
Choosing the Right Contractor
When it comes to choosing a contractor for your kitchen remodeling project, you should expect to spend some time and effort on the process. One of the best sources for referrals are friends and people you trust, leading on to interviews with each contractor. Always aim to get a minimum of at least three price quotes to compare, but remember that as well as price, you should rate each contractor on skill, experience and their ability to understand and realize your desires.
When a contractor comes to discuss your project, be sure to ask about the contractor's insurance and licensing. A reliable contractor will always supply their insurance coverage and their contractors' license. Be suspicious with contractors that tell you such coverage or licenses are not required for your project.
Before contacting any kitchen contractors however, you should establish a complete scope of work with all tasks and materials required and ask that each contractor to give a detailed quote based on that. If you do not keep the quotes consistent, it becomes difficult to compare between them, and if you are ambiguous with your needs up front then the quotes provided will not be accurate, leading to unexpected costs down the road.
Always ask a contractor to guarantee their work in writing. If a contractor will not give you a written guarantee on the quality of their work, then find another contractor to work with. If you choose on hiring individual contractors for each portion of the project, try to ensure they can communicate to avoid interferences or incompatible work. Alternatively, hire a specialist firm in kitchen renovation that can handle all the tasks internally. You can find such companies that service your location at websites such as ESFS.
Remodeling your kitchen is exciting, but also time consuming. Depending on the size of your project, you can expect the full remodeling process to take a number of days or even weeks. But the wait will be worth it when you have a brand new kitchen designed just for you as the centerpiece of your entire home.