For the best results with the least surprises, it is important to start your project with a good plan. Know beforehand what changes you want to see in your kitchen. If you are unsure, collect photos of kitchens that you like and consult an expert. It may help to work around a theme, as it will keep the style consistent throughout the kitchen. Many websites offer image galleries and there are a number of books dedicated to remodeling. Once you have a look in mind and a detailed plan, you are ready to get started.
The following is a list of things you will need to consider before tackling your kitchen remodel:
- Space management – Know the size as well as the shape of your kitchen. Keep in mind the classic "kitchen triangle" to make sure your layout is optimal in both design and function. The three points of the triangle are the refrigerator, sink and the stove/oven. You should be able to maneuver between the three without any hassle.
- Countertops and Cabinets – Choose the material and design that you feel comfortable with. There are plenty of cabinet and countertop options in a wide price range. Researching the benefits of each material you are considering will help to narrow down your selections. Of course this choice may depend on the theme you have chosen.
- Faucets and Sink – Many people now prefer designer sinks for their kitchen. You may visit showrooms to see the latest available. Make sure you choose a sink you can easily use by being mindful of the size and depth of the sink and the features, height clearance and maneuverability of the faucet.
- Kitchen Appliances – They should be accessible for easy use and most new appliances have energy efficient features. When choosing appliances, their size and color should compliment each other and also be consistent with the theme chosen.
- Kitchen Walls and Floor – The material, pattern if any, and color of the walls and floor should remain true to the overall theme of the kitchen. The best materials for kitchen flooring are non-porous and durable, as they will hold up better with daily use and food spills.
- Lighting – As with any workspace, there should be generous lighting in the kitchen. Having lights over each work zone – particularly the stove and sink – will make a big difference when you are using the space.
- Financing – When tackling any remodeling project, the budget may have the biggest say as to how much can be done. This should be considered during the planning stage. It is best to consult a contractor if you are planning a kitchen remodel. Many offer a free estimate and can give you an idea of how much each part of the project will cost and what can honestly be accomplished based on your budget. The worst thing you can do is begin a project you can't afford to finish, so make realistic plans based on your financing and stick to them!
A kitchen remodel may take several weeks and as such, you must be prepared to have a makeshift kitchen to use for the duration of the remodel. It is also important that house rules are made clear before the remodel, for both the workers and your family. The workers should be informed of areas that are off-limits to them and your family, especially children, should know to stay out of work areas. The workers should be respectful of your home and always clean up after themselves at the end of each workday.
You should be involved in the project as much as possible and never hesitate to ask any questions you have for the contractors. If you start with a good plan, stick to your budget, and communicate with the contractor, your kitchen remodel will be a great success.