Kitchen Remodeling Strategies to Consider

We love spending time in our kitchen with family and friends, and we are fairly sure that you do the same thing when you are home. However, you may also be thinking about how you could make your space even better, which is why you are probably thinking about remodeling your kitchen. We think that a remodel is a great idea if you go about it the right way.

Here are 6 kitchen remodeling strategies to consider:

Create a Plan

You can never plan too much for a kitchen remodel, which is why we always say that you should start this process way in advance. As you are in this planning stage, you will want to look at your current kitchen and make decisions that will benefit you in the future.

Examine the Layout of Your Kitchen

We understand that moving certain things in your kitchen can be expensive and break your budget. However, doing something like that may be necessary in order to make your kitchen more functional and visually appealing.

Consider Storage

You may think that you only need a certain amount of storage, but we recommend incorporating more than you think that you need. The reason for this is that everyone’s needs change over the years and people never think that they have as much stuff as they do. Trust us when we say that you will never be disappointed if you have too much storage space.

Consider Quality Lighting

Please do not install one light in the middle of your new kitchen ceiling and call it a day. You do too much in this space and you will not be able to see in every corner of this room with only one light. We recommend pendant lights over an island, task lighting for meal prep, and ambiance lighting for those times that you are out of the kitchen.

Consider Your Materials

You are going to be really tempted to purchase some low-quality materials, especially once you notice how quickly your budget gets used up. We caution against this, because those low-quality items are going to need to be replaced sooner than later and will end up costing you more in the long term.

Communicate Often

You should communicate with your contractor as often as you can, without being a hindrance to them, because that is the only way that the two of you will be on the same page. Stalled communication can cause the project to come to a stop, as everyone tries to figure out what should be done next.

If you take these six things into consideration as you are planning your kitchen remodel, you will find yourself with a brand-new kitchen in a short amount of time. Yes, you may still have a few issues, but nothing compared to what would happen if you didn’t think about everything above.

Factors to Consider when Preparing to Remodel Your Kitchen

How many hours do you spend in your kitchen every single day? If you are like most people, you are in there for quite some time in the morning and then for hours at the end of the day. Of course, you may feel like you live in your kitchen for the rest of the time as well, especially if this is where you and your family gather to talk and hang out. You will want to keep all this in mind as you plan your kitchen remodel.

Here are 3 factors to consider when preparing to remodel your kitchen:

  1. Consider Your Current Space

As you are planning to remodel your kitchen, we recommend taking a look around your current one. As you are doing that, you will want to ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I love in this space?
  • What do I hate about this space?
  • What could I alter for my new kitchen to make it work best for me?
  • How do I use this space when cooking?
  • Do I have enough storage?
  • Is there enough room for entertaining?
  1. Consider Your Lifestyle

As mentioned above, you need to consider your lifestyle and how you use your kitchen. You may think that you want to use this space differently in the future, once it is remodeled, but we urge you to really think if that could possibly happen. For example, if you currently have everyone gathered in this space doing homework as you are preparing dinner, do you see that changing any time soon? Do you really think that your entire family is going to stay out of there when you are in there? We both know that that will never happen, which is why we suggest that you simply plan a space for them to do their work, while you are doing yours in your designated space.

  1. Consider Your Style

You may love so many of the kitchens that you have seen on the internet and in magazines, but when you start your remodel, you will need to know what your specific style is. You can’t really go for a country themed kitchen if you want marble and granite throughout the space and you can’t do high-end if you plan on placing vintage items everywhere. We urge you to talk to your contractor or designer and have them help you create the kitchen style of your dreams with the items that you love the most. Remodeling a kitchen isn’t always easy, but when you keep these three things in mind before you start, it will be much easier.

Change Management During Your Remodel

Continued from our October Newsletter Article.

Post-contract changes need not be a problem, but they absolutely need a well thought-through process

Remodelers who do fantastic work for satisfied customers share some important traits. Two of these are an obsession with details and with clearly communicating those details to the homeowners. Great remodelers are great communicators, and part of being a great communicator is documenting every part of the job.

It takes a lot of work to craft detailed construction documents, but that work pays off by showing the homeowners exactly what they’re getting and by helping the remodeler understand exactly what the homeowners want. They keep everyone working from the same set of expectations and ensure a smoother, more enjoyable project.

Critical documents include the contract, the plans and the specs. They also include change orders.

The usual definition of a change order is anything that alters the scope, schedule, or cost of the work after the homeowner has signed the final contract. Professional remodelers strive to minimize these by supporting clients to make product selections before work starts, and by writing detailed specs (product descriptions) for the homeowners to review and approve.

But while this effort can minimize changes, it can’t eliminate all of them. The building inspector may, after work has already begun on a new kitchen, decide that all the home’s smoke detectors need be brought up to code; the remodeler may find a rotted beam during demolition that needs replacing; the homeowners may decide that they really want an additional window.

Such changes need to be carefully managed. That’s where good change order documents earns their keep.

Know What You’re Getting

It’s hard to overstate the importance of detail here. Vague change orders are notorious for generating bad feelings; lots of homeowners have complained about contractors who present them with a bill for extra work they either didn’t know about or didn’t think was going to raise costs.

To be fair, most of these contractors don’t intentionally mislead homeowners; they simply lack the needed management and communication skills. Take the example of homeowners who want a different master bathroom tile than the one originally specified. If the contractor orders the tile but doesn’t tally the cost until after installation, if it adds an extra $500 the homeowners may feel like they’ve been gouged, even if that wasn’t the intent.

The professionally managed company doesn’t make such mistakes. It quantifies the cost of that tile, as well as its effect on the project timetable, presents the numbers to the homeowners on a standard change order form, and doesn’t order the tile until the homeowners have signed off on it.

Most professional remodelers also add an administrative fee to change orders. This covers the time required for staff to research products and prices, complete the paperwork, and call subcontractors to determine the effect on the schedule. If, for instance, that new tile will take an extra two weeks to get, the staff will have to work with the plumber on rescheduling the toilet installation. If the homeowner cancels the change after the contractor’s staff has done this work, in most cases they still have to pay the administrative fee.

By the way, misunderstandings about products and specs can arise on even the best-managed job with the most detailed documentation. Fortunately, these are usually minor. The homeowners may have expected three coats of exterior paint on that new siding when industry standards call for two, or perhaps they assumed a tile baseboard in the bath, even though it wasn’t in the specs. The sheer number of products and decisions that go into a major remodel make it impossible to foresee every detail.

These issues are easily resolved if there’s mutual trust between the homeowner and the remodeler, which is why it’s so important to and hire a trustworthy pro in the first place. And one trait of such a pro is great communication systems.

How to Plan the Kitchen You Want with the Functionality You Need

A kitchen remodel, how exciting! But, where do you start? Do you choose the color of the walls first? Or, the color of the countertops or the cabinets? Maybe you should choose your appliances first? Do you really need new appliances?

So much to think about and consider….

We want to help you out with all the questions above and get you on track, so that you can successfully finish your kitchen remodel and have a space that is as functional as it is beautiful.

Here are 5 steps that you will need to take to plan the kitchen you want with the functionality you need:

Create a List

Everything is about making lists, and kitchen remodels are no exception! We recommend making a list of how you want to use this space as well as everything that you want and need in it. Once your list is complete, you can prioritize your needs and then your wants, to see which ones you must fit into your budget.

Create Your Budget

A budget is as important as that notorious list above, and it is necessary to know this number before you go any further. Once you have your budget, subtract at least ten percent for all those unknown problems that always pop up during construction. That will leave you with ninety percent to use for the materials and labor of the space. Don’t be too shocked if your budget is much smaller than all your wants and needs. It happens to everyone!

Determine Your Style

Everyone has their own style when it comes to their homes, and it is important to know if you want your new kitchen modern, traditional, or transitional. A modern kitchen will have clean lines and minimal clutter, while traditional kitchens are cozier and filled with wood and memorabilia. A transitional kitchen has a little of both those options, which makes it popular among many homeowners.

Choose Your Cabinets

Once you know what type of style you want in your new kitchen, it will be time to choose your cabinets. Of course, if your current cabinets are in excellent condition, you may be able to save some money in your budget by simply refacing them with the color or finish of your choice.

Choose Your Countertops

The material that you choose for your countertop needs to be one that matches how you will use this space. Quartz and granite are both excellent choices as they are durable, while small sections of marble are a good option for bakers. Wood and concrete are other popular choices, but you will need to make sure that you have the time available to maintain the material that you choose. If you do not take the time to do some preventative maintenance, you may end up replacing them sooner than you should.

These are the first five steps that you will need to take with your kitchen remodel and once you have these completed, you can relax a little as you finalize the smaller details. Those little details are more fun, as they involve choosing paint colors, drapes, and hardware to make your kitchen look amazing as you use it to its fullest potential.

Discover Your Kitchen Style before the Planning Phase Begins

Are you ready to tackle that kitchen renovation that you have been dreaming of for the last few months or years? That’s great news, but are you ready??

How much planning have you put into this project so far? Have you collected hundreds of pictures of kitchens and narrowed it down at all?

What if we were to tell you that you need to know what style you want for your kitchen before you start choosing cabinets, countertops, flooring, and more?

That would probably put a damper on your major plans, especially if you have no idea what style you want!

To find your style, we recommend pulling out all those pictures that you have been collecting and look at them carefully. You will soon see a pattern between them all, although it will be subtle at first. Separate those pictures into piles, with modern kitchens going into one and traditional, and transitional going into others. Once you have completed those piles, you may realize that you prefer one style over another.

Now is the time to go back through the pictures once again, most likely starting with the pile of your favorite style and pull out the ones that have the features that you love the most. You may realize that you love dark wood floors or large islands or pendant lights. The options are endless, but only you will be able to tell what you love the most.

Plan on seeing unique features in multiple pictures and not loving any of the kitchens in your pictures as a whole. This is common and will allow you to know that you have done everything the way that you should have. After all, you don’t want the same exact kitchen as someone else!

At this point, you will want to use sticky notes or use a notebook to take notes of the features that you love from each photo. You may look at one picture with the small baking nook with marble counters and decide that you need that in your kitchen, while still falling in love with the color of the granite countertops in another photo.

You can even take notes on the items that you don’t love including how the crown molding transitions or how the glass on the cabinets are unfrosted. This is a great way to know what you do not like, which makes it easy to avoid those items when picking out materials and items for your kitchen.

At the end of this process, you will know your style and you will have a good idea of how you are designing your kitchen. Then it will be time to call a designer and a builder and get kitchen renovation moving forward.

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