Renovating a kitchen can be a dusty, messy experience that also robs you of a functional and favourite room of the house until the reno is complete.
Being prepared can make it a little easier. In a previous blog post we looked at the preplanning and planning stages of a kitchen renovation. Today we consider the actual renovation schedule and what to expect (and be prepared for) during the renovation.
Demolition and Disposal
- Rent a dumpster and salvage reuseable materials: If your kitchen cabinets, appliances, sinks, and faucets, doors, trim and moulding are in good shape but can’t be reused for your renovation, donate or sell them to a local salvage store, give them away on freecycle.org, or put them up for sale on craigslist. Your old building materials will avoid landfill and save you dumpster fees.
Construction: early phase:
- Rough Framing: The outline of your new kitchen takes place during this phase. With the 2×4’s going up, you may have difficulty knowing where the doors and walls are placed. Ask your contractor to give you a tour.
- Insulation: if you’ve stripped back to the studs, now is the perfect time to upgrade the insulation; it will help lower your heating bills, and possibly get you some grant money during your second eco-energy retrofit audit.
Electrical and technological wiring: As new wiring is being installed behind the walls, make sure you’ve thought about your computer, stereo, TV and security needs as well. While the walls are open, install as many systems as you can afford, even if you don’t think you’ll use a computer or stereo in the future, it’s always good to have the wiring there. Check with the electrical plan and confirm with the electrician that there is plenty of task light, overhead light and under-cabinet lighting planned.
- Plumbing and gaslines: Renovating is the perfect time to adjust any water pressure issues you might have. Use the opportunity to increase water pressure if you live in an old house with poor pressure. If you’ve always wanted a gas stove, now is your opportunity to install one. Get a quote before you make the decision though, extending a gas line can be expensive.
- Heating, Air Conditioning and over the stove vents: Make sure the appropriate number of vents, radiant heating coils, or rads are placed in the new space. If you are increasing the size of your home, make sure your old furnace can heat the additional space.
V. Construction: middle phase:
- Drywall: If you live in a town-home or condo with neighbours above and below, now is a good time to improve your soundproofing. You can use a soundproofing drywall (such as Quietrock), insulation. or using two layers of drywall with a sound dispersal agent such as Green Glue.
- Valances and Moulding: Moulding can make a newer home look like it’s been around for years. It increases the charm of a kitchen if you’re after a country or traditional look. If your kitchen is more of a modern or contemporary theme, moulding will be simple if there is any at all. Under-cabinet valances hide lighting components.
- Baseboards and Trim: Keep baseboards and trim consistent with the rest of the house. Make sure it is easily sourced before starting the project. If not, keep old baseboard and trim and reuse in the new space.
VI. Construction: late phase:
Installation of kitchen cabinets: There are three types of kitchen cabinets: stock, semi-custom and custom. Stock come in predetermined sizes so your space must be adaptable to the cabinets. Custom cabinets give you the ultimate in flexibility, but are the most expensive. Depending on your needs, and the kitchen company you choose, will determine your timeline. Some kitchen cabinets can take up to three months from the time of order to delivery. Others are available the day you order them (stock).
- Installation of countertops: Like the cabinets, depending on the countertop you choose, it can take a few days to a few weeks to order. Functionality is key to the choice of a longlasting countertop. Depending on the activity levels in your kitchen, durability might be your top priority. Stone is soft and can chip easily. It also needs to be sealed on a regular basis. Alternatives are stone composite counter tops, made from stone chips, but mixed with an epoxy; it’s less expensive and more durable than solid stone. Another budget-conscious choice is Arborite.
- Backsplash and tiles: A backsplash is installed after the countertop, and can extend across the entire contertop or just behind the stove, depending on your budget. Another opportunity is to spend a little more on the area behind the stove to make it a focal point with a design, and to use plain, less expensive tiles on either side of the stove.
- Sinks and Faucets: Sinks and faucets range from budget conscious to top of the line expensive. For faucets in particular getting a quality faucet will save you time and money in the long run. Higher quality internal parts means the faucets will last longer, not leak, and provide many more years of service than cheaper faucets. Sinks also provide an opportunity to spend a fortune. A simple basic stainless double sink is a good option, high on durability, low on cost.
- Appliances: Appliances can consume up to half your kitchen renovation budget if you let them. Think about what you really need, do extensive online research, read reviews on epinions, and consumer reports about the appliances you’re interested in purchasing. Then, go to the stores and speak directly with sales people. Some stores are more willing to bargain than others, and you’ll have more bargaining power if you’re buying a set.
- Painting and wallpapering and window coverings: the final phase in your kitchen renovation. If you’re not using an interior designer or decorator to help you choose the wall colour or paper, use the expertise at a paint store. Take in samples of your tile or countertop, maybe a photo of the space, describe the amount of light the area receives, and a good pain salesperson will be able to give you some suggestions to take home. Try a few testers before making a decision, and leave on the walls to see the colour change with the changes in light.
Flooring: choosing a floor can be another overwhelming task. There are so many options and price points it makes it difficult to make a decision. Consider your lifestyle and budget when choosing a floor. Tile is durable but hard on the back and on little children. Linoleum and hardwood are easy on the back if you’re in the kitchen for long periods of time, but hardwood in particular can scratch easily.
As with any job around your home, let HomeStars take the stress off of finding that trusted contractor off your back. Use our handy Get A Quote tool to send your job out to contractors in your area for a quote. And make sure you ask around and check out reviews to ensure you’re hiring the best contractor for your job before you sign the contract.
Don’t forget to take photos along the way. Good luck with your project and please do leave a review of your renovation, it helps the whole community!