When thinking about a new kitchen, there is a lot to consider. The kitchen has become more than just the place where we prepare food, it’s the heart of our home. It’s a space where we come together to socialize, entertain, and share family time. Kitchen renovations can be one of the most extensive projects to undertake depending on the scope of work, however they are often the most worthwhile in terms of investment in your home. A major kitchen remodel can result in a return on investment of between 61 and 70 percent of the cost.
We have completed many kitchen projects over the years, big and small. The process can be stressful for some homeowners, but with the right planning and by working with the right professionals you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams and even survive the process of getting there. So whether you are looking to update or completely renovate your kitchen, there are a few steps to follow to get the most out of your project.
A lot of the time homeowners have an idea of what they want the finished product to look like, but don’t spend the time doing some detailed planning to get there. A good place to start is by creating a scrapbook of ideas, this will help you to communicate your vision to the professionals you will be working with. Look at magazines and websites for inspiration, as well as the portfolios of designers and contractors you might be interested in working with (you can see our Kitchen Renovation Portfolio here!) It’s very important with a space like the kitchen to think about functionality. What are your needs? How do you use the space on a day to day basis? How many people are usually cooking at a time? Do you do a lot of entertaining? How do people tend to gather in your kitchen and what space is required to accommodate this? Consider the layout and amount of functional space or features you require. Can you work with the existing square footage or do you need to expand? If expansion is necessary, opening up into another room may require major structural changes as will relocating any major mechanical, plumbing or electrical.
Once you’ve considered the layout and functional requirements, you’ll have a better idea of the scope of work required, which is crucial to helping you set your budget for the project. It’s important to be realistic when setting your budget, if you’ve prioritized your needs and had a good look at what is required to achieve them you should be able to research prices for items on your wish list such as appliances, cabinets, etc. When talking about budgets most people only consider money, but it’s also important to look at time. How much time will be needed for this project? Do you need your kitchen to be completed by a certain date or before an event/holiday etc? Think about the time commitment involved and plan accordingly.
In a previous article we discussed how to get ready for your contractor, and this information is pertinent here. Working with a designer in the planning stages of a renovation project is extremely useful. The designer can look at your idea book and work with you to put down detailed plans and material lists that many contractors require in order to give you an accurate quote for the job. Designers can also advise you on fixtures, materials, and options to achieve the look you want within your budget. Pros like designers and contractors are available to help you with everything from contracts and permits to space planning, budgets, choosing finishes and fixtures, shopping, ordering products, and managing your project from start to finish. We have worked with many amazing interior designers who are well versed in renovation project management – it really makes a difference to work with an experienced design professional.
Floor Plan & layout
Your designer or your contractor can help you with space planning. It’s very important to itemize the square footage, layout, and what materials will go where. Go back to functionality, how do you need your kitchen to work for you? A good contractor will make sure everything is laid out appropriately for safety but you also want to think about convenience, and that will largely depend on your habits and how you use your kitchen on a day to day basis. There are some general guidelines that you can consider when planning your layout. Consider your lifestyle and your needs, when you do a thorough job of kitchen space planning it is easier to get accurate estimates from your contractor and ultimately achieve the desired end results.
Fixture & finishing specifications
Once you’ve gone through the planning process, you can then decide what materials and finishings you will need. Again, your designer and contractor can help advice you on this. These items usually include:
- – Cabinetry construction type, doorstyle, finish and color
- – Countertop material Refrigerators and other appliances
- – Kitchen sink and faucet
- – Light fixtures
- – Flooring
- – Backsplash
- – Decorative hardware
Paperwork & permits
This is where the professionals make the difference. We are thoroughly experienced with filing the appropriate permits and paperwork required for a major renovation project. Approval and processing time contributes to the overall timeline of a project so consider this factor in your time budget. Being organized in this area can expedite the process and ensure you don’t hit any snags getting the proper permits to move forward.
Prepare for the process
A kitchen renovation is a big undertaking. You want to be as prepared as possible going forward in order to make the whole process a lot easier on yourself. Have everything packed up and organized in a way that minimizes the hassle of dealing with the construction process. If you are going to reside in your home during the renovation, you may want to set up a temporary kitchen for use during the project. Ask your contractor about the processes they will be using during construction and how that may impact you and your family. For example, we practice negative air confinement during our projects meaning the work area is sealed off and all air contaminants are exhausted to the exterior – this improves air quality during the project and allows our clients to live comfortably in their homes during the renovation.
Overall, if you follow this simple process you should have a good experience with your kitchen renovation. Remember, the professionals are here to help! Investing in this area of your home is sure to pay off in the long run, not just in the value of your house but in the enjoyment you experience in your home.