Your home life probably revolves around your kitchen. It serves as the hub for most families – a place for breakfast together, weekend brunches, snacks after school and dinner every night. Everyday, you may wish your cabinets taller, the sink double, and the space more open. You’re ready for a renovation.
You may have clear ideas of what you want in your updated kitchen, but a remodeling expert can help guide you through the design process for a new kitchen renovation. Many building contractors have building designers on staff. You just need to know what to look for before signing a contract.
Find a kitchen remodeling contractor that includes a designer or design team. The designer should guide the process, but the design choices should reflect your personality, needs and tastes. They should begin with a home visit to experience the existing space, measure it and adjacent areas, and conduct the initial meeting with you about your remodeling desires.
This visit provides the key basis for space planning.
Discuss key considerations such as:
- Expanding the kitchen’s size
- Adding prep areas
- Adding storage space
- Opening the space to adjacent rooms
- Appliance placement
Each contractor you consider should provide a preliminary proposal based on the home visit. It should include a floor plan for your consideration and a project estimate. (Once you select a contractor, you’ll want to obtain exact pricing for the project. This isn’t possible until you make exact cabinet, fixture and lighting choices.)
Look at each contractor’s website to view its completed kitchen remodels. Ask if they completed any kitchens in model homes. Although these are original designs, it allows you to see and touch their quality of work.
What to Expect
The designers should meet with you one-on-one to choose specifics. Some contractors only work with certain vendors for cabinets and countertops. Before choosing your contractor, ask what vendor options you’ll have, especially if you already have your heart set on something you saw in a magazine.
The process includes the designer guiding you through selecting:
The contractor should provide a final plan for your approval before work begins. Better contractors include a 3D rendering of the kitchen remodel, so you can experience it in advance.
The contractors should communicate progress to you daily during construction. You should be able to view progress.The contractor should answer your questions at these mini meetings.
The Rest is Up to You
After you make the design decisions, it’s time to get ready for the work crew. While your contractor does the heavy lifting, you and your family will need to stay out of the kitchen for the duration of the remodel. This means you need to set up an alternative second kitchen.
You might move the microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker into the dining room. If you have a freezer in the garage or utility room or a mini-fridge, you’re in good shape. If not, now is a great time to pick up a mini-fridge to use while you lose access to the main one.
Move your dry goods into a dining room cabinet. Move your refrigerated items into their temporary new home the night before. Pick up disposable plates and cutlery. Cooking pre-packaged meals will be easiest since you won’t need to wash dishware.
Remodeling the kitchen ranks as one of the top ten renovations that add to a home’s resale value. In fact, renovating the kitchen provides a 92.9 percent return on investment at resale, according to HGTV. Remodeling your kitchen gives you a great new family space and a stellar ROI.