Compared to other home-improvement projects, a kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make if you’re looking to increase the value of your home. However, the kitchen is the center of the home and any disruption to the family’s daily routine can cause stress. And the options! So. Many. Options. The key is careful planning. Here are a few tips to help you survive:
Enlist the help of a kitchen designer from the very beginning.
Most cabinetry dealers have skilled designers on staff, so take advantage of this service…they may have excellent recommendations for the layout that your architect or contractor had not considered. It’s best to make these changes before your contractor begins work. It will reduce the number of change orders and delays.
Cabinets also take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to receive once the order is placed. This time frame does not include planning. If a designer tells you they can design, price and order your kitchen in 24 hour period, run for your life! Good, error-free designs require careful attention to detail, which requires time. If you want the best kitchen for your budget, don’t rush the planning process.
Have a budget in mind and don’t be afraid to tell your designer what it is…again, from the beginning.
They need that information in order to properly guide you in making realistic decisions and cutting through all the options available in the cabinetry world. If you’re concerned that the designer will sell you a $5000 kitchen and charge you the $10,000 budget you given them, you shouldn’t be working with that designer…period. Work only with people you like and trust. Get referrals, check references. Being honest about your budget will also save you the disappointment of realizing your budget doesn’t fit the fancy pull-out pantry insert or custom door style you fell in love with.
Expect the unexpected, stay calm and give the professionals time to address any issues that come up.
Mistakes will happen, unexpected delays will arise. Generally, issues are small and easily resolved (a drawer front received some damage during shipping), but sometimes they’re big (your contractor discovers mold). When you’re looking for professionals to work with, what you want to look for is someone who has a reputation for seeing the job through to completion and who addresses issues promptly and professionally, and it helps to give them the chance to do this. In my experience, it’s worth noting that the clients who don’t get too worked up about unforeseen issues or delays seem to experience the least of them.
Consider staying elsewhere.
If you have the option to stay elsewhere while the work is being done, by all means, do this. There will be dust…lots of it! Be sure to protect belongings with sheets…even in areas you think will be unaffected. It will make clean up a lot easier.
Eating while Living through a Remodel
The expense of eating out for several weeks adds up, so be sure to take that into consideration when thinking about your budget, if that’s your plan. If you’re on a tight budget, however, you have the option of setting up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the home. You’ll need a microwave, a toaster (ideally a toaster oven,) a refrigerator and if possible, a sink. If you have a laundry sink, this is the ideal spot. Bathroom sinks, not so much. They’re small, it’s difficult to wash dishes and fill pots in. The environmentalist in me hates to recommend this, but if it will make your life easier, use disposable plates and utensils. Then go plant a tree after all is said and done.
Kitchen remodels are never stress-free. However, if you plan carefully and follow these tips, you’ll stress-less. As you’re enjoying a beautiful, functional kitchen for years to come, you’ll be glad you tackled the project!