Anyone who has undertaken a kitchen renovation could tell you that the process can be equal parts exciting and stressful. That being said, there are a number of strategies that can help shift that balance. It just so happens that the most simple of these methods is also the most effective. Taking the time to create a detailed plan will ensure your project goes as smoothly as possible. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help – here’s exactly how you should go about planning your kitchen renovation.
Research, Research, Research
First and foremost, you’ll need to decide on a style for your new kitchen. An interior designer will refine your vision based on your ideas. With a kitchen project, a great way to start the planning process is to decide on style and layout. The style of your kitchen will likely fall into one of these three categories: contemporary, traditional, or transitional. Consider whether you’re looking for a modern minimalist design or something more classic. You can also choose to use elements of both. Find images online of kitchens you like. Pinterest is great, but you can also browse galleries of designers in your area on HomeStars, which will also help you select a pro for the project.
Deciding your preferred layout is another an important choice. Linear, L-shaped, and U-shaped kitchens are all popular options. These designs all revolve around the kitchen work triangle, which experts say establishes an efficient work-flow in the space. With your decisions about style and layout made, you’re one step closer to creating the kitchen of your dreams.
Set a (Realistic) Budget
Next, you’ll need to set a budget for your project. Instead of simply coming up with a number based on your current financial situation, we suggest breaking down your project and budgeting based on individual expenses. Precise bottom-up budgeting will help you more accurately gauge your total project cost and also improve your chances of staying on budget throughout the decision-making process.
As you move through your list of kitchen appliances and fixtures, come up with a couple of high and low price point options for each. Prioritize which aspects matter most to your new space and create your budget based on a mix of high-end and low-end features. Based on these priorities, your general contractor and interior designer will be able to source materials that meet your budget.
Find the Perfect Pro
This next step is incredibly important – the right pro can make or break your project. Your general contractor will not only be managing your project, but will also be hiring tradespeople, so the organization and quality of workmanship are dependent on his level of experience. Don’t rush this process – browse HomeStars for reviews and photos. We also recommend contacting references and visiting showrooms to ensure you find the right pro for the job.
Set and Manage Expectations
Two issues often catch homeowners off-guard during any home improvement project: getting behind schedule and going over budget. Kitchens are a vital space within the home, so the former scenario is particularly vexing. For this reason, it’s important to go in expecting – and prepared for – delays. Take the time to set up a room with a microwave and hotplate to ensure your home is still livable despite construction. Two weeks of takeout sounds okay, but after a month you’ll start to crave a homecooked meal. With a temporary kitchen, any project delays will be a lot less inconvenient.
Similarly, it’s best practice to allocate five to six thousand dollars in your budget for unexpected expenses. This practice is win-win – best case scenario, nothing goes wrong and the money goes back into savings. Worst case, you’ll have the financial flexibility to cover any snags in the project.
The last task to check off as a part of your planning process is to find and schedule a reputable cleaning company. Once your project is complete, you’ll want to have a team of specialists in who will have your home back to a livable state as soon as possible. This is another cost that should be accounted for in your budget, and we recommend scheduling well in advance. There’s nothing worse than having a beautiful new kitchen covered in dirt and grime for weeks after completion.
Following this planning process will give you a clear idea of what to expect during your renovation as well as all the tools you need to cope with any unexpected disruptions. While we can’t guarantee your project will go off without a hitch, being well prepared will prevent small hiccups from spiralling into reno disasters. This part of the process can and should be extensive, so head to HomeStars to get your project underway!
Cover image courtesy of Cloud Front.