So, you’ve decided to renovate your kitchen. Where to even begin? For the most part, homeowners do at least one of these three things: collect inspiring kitchen photos, start looking for contractor, or decide to indulge in their own DIY project. While these steps are essential in the kitchen renovation process, the problem lies in the application. Applying these steps in the wrong phase of the kitchen renovation process could be costly. The average kitchen renovation sets back homeowners anywhere between $25,000-$45,000, if not more. Also keep in mind that contractors don’t always find and fix any hidden issues from the previous build, so you may have to dish out even more money to ensure your kitchen is up to code! Here at the Lifestyle Loft, we are always looking to deliver quality while executing budget-friendly projects. If you’re looking to save time and money when bringing to reality the kitchen you have been dreaming about, keep on reading. This article will provide tips and tricks to consider while planning your kitchen renovation!
It all begins and ends with the budget. Before creating a budget it is very important to establish what your end goal is. If this your forever home? Are you looking to sell in a couple of years ? Are you looking to have a positive return on your investment? A kitchen renovation will add instant value to your home. While this is a great incentive, its also great to determine what your income and current savings plan is for the kitchen renovation. Are you looking for cosmetic changes, changing paint colour, refacing kitchen cabinets, replacing your appliances? Or are you looking to engage in a full blown remodel? Knowing your end goal will help you set a budget to stick to.
IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS AND WANTS
Once your budget is set, the next step would be to determine the current function of your kitchen and why it doesn’t work for you. This will help determine the needs of your kitchen space, layout, and functionality. Is storage important? Are you looking to entertain, and if so, do you need space for people to move around? Do you cook a lot and need lots of counter space? Would you need a new addition? These are some of the questions you will be asking yourself and evaluating when thinking of the needs and wants for your kitchen. What is important to you?
Let the fun begin! At this stage, you have an idea of how much you want to spend, have established your list of needs and wants, and you are able to identify where your budget will be spent. You are now ready to put together ideas of how you want your space to look and feel. There are lots of resources and guides that will be great to draw inspiration from. Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram, Architectural Digest, and visit showrooms are some of the places we find inspiration from. Create an inspiration board or journal so that you can make notes on what you like, what you don’t like, and keep lots of pictures for reference.
RESEARCH AND PLAN
You have your inspiration board/journal and are almost ready to dive into the reno. At this point, you are ready to build your scope of work. I like to encourage homeowners to shop around tohave a feel for what the market has to offer based on budget and needs. It’s great to visit big box stores and get price listings for kitchen cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets, lighting, hardware, etc. This will require time and patience, but it will payoff in the end. You are arming yourself with knowledge and setting your expectations. You are also going to discover what pricing will work with your budget.
PICK YOUR TEAM
You are now armed with working knowledge and are ready to find the professionals you will need. You will need a contractor, designer, painter, electrician, and plumber. There are some contractors who already have working relationships with other professionals, so they can simplify the processes by refer you to them or they may be involved in the project from the get go. Picking your team is just as crucial as researching and planning. The right team that is committed to the project will save you time and money. They will ensure that the renovation will be completed to your satisfaction. If you decide to go with your contractors recommendation or team, take time interviewing them to ensure that they are the right fit for your project. If you decide to seek out your own team, you may begin by acquiring referrals from family and friends, as well as looking in different publications. A great resource to find licensed professionals in your area is the Houzz App. Here you will be able to access portfolios and reviews of their work. It is always great to have professionals involved as they assist in getting permits for any additions, taking down any walls, help choose finishes, help keep within the budget, and manage the project in its entirety. If you decide to take the DIY route, it is still important to work with a professional since they come with experience and can assist you with executing the project correctly. Yes, this may cost you, and yes, it may seem counterproductive because the whole point of doing the renovation yourself is to save money, but if you do it yourself and it is not done well, you will have to spend more money to correct your mistakes.
ESTIMATES AND TEAM MEETINGS
Next step is to get estimates from your licensed professionals. Spend time consulting and engaging in preparatory walkthroughs. Shopping around also arms you with bargaining power when you decide to pick your team. Once you pick your team, have all the professionals come together and set deadlines and expectations for the project. This eliminates any assumptions between the professionals and the homeowners.
FINAL COSTS AND CONTRACTS
The team is up-to-date and on the same page, deadlines and timelines are set, and you have your final costs in. Be prepared to sign contracts with your team and make sure you are fully aware of the terms of your contract. It won’t hurt to hire a lawyer, if there is budget to look over the contract so that both parties have a fair and reasonable expectations of the working relationship and scope of the job.
IT’S TIME FOR DEMO!!!
You’re finally ready! The scope of the project is now finalized, so it’s time to get started. The process before demo takes the longest but once it begins, for most licensed professionals, the execution of the project goes by quickly. Don’t forget to have fun and be in constant communication with your contractor. Make multiple visits to the site to keep tabs of the project and be part of the renovation process.
We hope these tips and tricks will make your kitchen renovation process fun and less overwhelming. Now get out there and enjoy your kitchen renovation!