The kitchen is one of the most popular places to remodel. Not only will a renovation give you an opportunity to create a beautiful and function kitchen. It will also raise your property value, if done right. As you’re planning out your kitchen renovation, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind to refrain from going over your budget. The more careful you plan, the less likely there will be unwarranted surprises.
It’s time to get prepared for your kitchen remodel. What style are you going for? Who are you going to hire to perform the labor? You’ll need to determine your budget and the scope of the work beforehand. This information will help you to choose the most suitable kitchen remodeling contractor for the job.
The scope of work for your kitchen renovation will be determined by a number of factors. Are you planning to redo an existing kitchen space or build on an addition? Is it required to install new plumbing, electrical and flooring? Make a wish list of all the things you want for your kitchen and then decide how much work will be involved.
If you are having problems with determining the scope of the project, you can work in tandem with a professional designer, contractor or architect. He or she can develop the scope of work and create a realistic budget. There’s no one right answer to this process. You can shop around for various opinions before making a final decision.
Things to Consider Before You Begin
Will your remodel be within the existing footprint of your kitchen? This will have a great impact on how much your renovation will turn out to be. Obviously, if you’re making your kitchen larger, then you’re going to have to put up more money for the project.
Are you planning to relocate water fixtures and ovens? If so, this will require the plumbing and gas lines to be relocated to the new locations. You should have a good reason for moving fixtures and appliances like these. It will cost you extra money, so make it worthwhile.
Do you want your kitchen to open up into your living room, dining room or den? If you have a load-bearing wall in the way, structural work will be required. Make sure to find out as much as you can about the wall you want to remove beforehand. If it turns out that it is load-bearing, then you won’t be surprised by unforeseen costs. Get an estimate from the contractor for completing this task.
The estimates you receive for a kitchen remodel won’t be simple. In new constructions, you are charged by the sq ft. However, with existing kitchens, there are other factors that go into the pricing of your renovation. This includes the age of your home, layout and construction type (i.e. frame vs. masonry). If you have an older model home or a layout that is complex, expect your quote to be higher.
Either way, make sure that you get an upfront estimate from the kitchen remodeling contractor you plan to hire. Let them know about your budget, so that everything is agreed upon before the remodeling begins.
Deciding Your Budget
As you’re coming up with a budget for your kitchen remodel, here are the things to keep in mind:
- Determine how much you want to spend. A rough budget idea is alright for now. Think of what you want to spend on the entire project. Figure in other parts of the home that will be worked on as well, such as the windows or painting the walls of the entire house. It’s a good idea to make a list of all the remodeling you plan to do and then set a budget for each. Then add it all up in the end.
- Create a thorough wish list. This should include all of the new appliances, floors, lights, tile, cabinets and counter tops you want installed. Be as detailed as possible, so that you don’t leave anything out. When you speak with a remodeling contractor, go over your wish list, so that you can get a more accurate quote. Know where your priorities lie. If needed, you will have to downgrade or eliminate certain features to stay within your planned budget. Let the contractor know your rough budget and he or she can tell you whether what you’re asking for can be done within that range.
- Create an idea book for inspiration and vision. Sometimes, it’s difficult to explain a design using words. Look through magazines and websites to find the items and look you want to implement into your kitchen. Try to find things that are difficult to explain, such as finishes. Showcase your idea book at the time you receive an estimate to ensure the contractor can provide what you’re looking for.
- Obtain references from contractors, designers and architects. You want to ensure that you will get the best possible outcome for your kitchen remodel. The best way to know before you hire someone is to check their references. Find out what they liked and disliked about the contractor and their workmanship.
- Get referrals from sources you trust. If someone you know recently renovated their kitchen or home, ask them which professionals they used. You can also use the Internet to find reviews on contractors, designers and architects in your area. Contact the professionals you’re interested in and schedule an interview. Go over their portfolio and ask for references.
- Before you hire any of the professionals you’ve spoken to and checked out, bring them to your home. Show them around and allow them to get a better feel of the job at hand. Some contractors will do this; others will prefer you meet with them at their office. Find out if you need to have full drawings done first before they will bid on the job. Others will meet with you at your home and provide you with rough estimates.
Once you have found an experienced contractor within your budget, you’re one remodel away from a beautiful new kitchen!