Planning out a kitchen remodel can be a daunting process. There are several steps you can take to make the process far easier, however. Here are five questions you should ask yourself in the planning stages of your project.
1. What is Your Remodeling Budget?
Obviously, your remodeling budget is the most important element in any kitchen remodels. If you have a very limited budget, it’s important to identify only your most important needs. A great kitchen designer will be able to work within even the most seemingly minuscule budgets and help you to make some significant changes without breaking the bank. A truly exceptional designer may even show you how to reuse existing elements of your existing kitchen in a considerable redesign. Depending on your situation, budgets can be stretched a lot further than some people think. So choosing an exceptional designer is the best way to maximize your existing budget.
2. Are Your Cabinets Still Good?
It’s important to understand the difference between minor and major kitchen remodels. Essentially, the difference between the two is whether or not you replace your entire cabinets. Many homeowners elect to simply keep existing cabinet boxes, replacing the doors, and repainting them. If your current kitchen layout is decent and your cabinets are functional, you can save a lot by simply re-facing and repainting your cabinets. This will likely leave you plenty of budget room left to replace everything else. Gutting your entire kitchen and starting from complete scratch can cost three times or more than a minor remodel.
You will want to ask your designer if your cabinets are still worth keeping. Some are, and some aren’t, depending on their construction and materials. Obviously, the more you can reuse the better, as some kitchen cabinets can be shuffled around if there are some layout changes. Cabinetry, and the resulting labor associated with their installation (and/or removal of old cabinets), is one of the most expensive elements of any kitchen remodel. So it’s important to know what you can and can’t work within a kitchen makeover.
3. Do You Have Laminate or Dirty Countertops?
Besides the costs of updating or replacing cabinetry and labor costs, the other important component to any kitchen remodel, minor and major alike, is the countertops. Granite has become very trendy again for countertops recently, although they do tend to require considerable maintenance. However, engineered stone products and quartz countertops have also become quite popular due to their price point. In most kitchen remodels, it is laminate countertops being replaced for other materials. If you already have nice granite or other countertops that are perfectly fine, but the cabinets are an issue, you can find ways to recycle the countertops and save a ton of money.
If the countertops are not high-quality, they should go. But if they’re old and stained laminates, refinishing them is a possibility, too, especially if they may be nice enough to keep if they look like new. While this is not typically seen as an option, it can be a way to save tons of money in a kitchen remodeling budget if you had nicer laminates to begin with. Ask your designer what the best choices for your situation may be. Laminates do not tend to be anywhere as durable as granite or engineered stone options, but if you’re on a tight shoestring budget, there are ways to save what others may think should simply go. Your designer should do everything to save whatever he or she can.
4. Is Your Kitchen’s Worst Deficiency Design, Functionality, or Both?
While cabinets and countertops are the key parts that make up a kitchen, the most important components to any kitchen are its design and functionality. The design is more about emotional and aesthetic value, but the kitchen needs to be a homey and comfortable place. It is so often the center of activity in many homes and so you want it to be one of the most attractive rooms in the house. Who wants to have an ugly kitchen? But design oftentimes is far less expensive to change when the parts of the kitchen are functional.
The major question you must ask yourself is if your current kitchen functions as well as you’d like. Is it too cramped? Are things not set up optimally? Some of the things a good kitchen designer will ask you are your work habits, how much company you tend to have in your home, and the level of traffic in the kitchen. Some people don’t cook very often and the kitchen tends to be more of a hang-out area than a chef’s haven. But many chefs find themselves with kitchens that are not well-optimized for cooking activities. In any case, you should have a kitchen that fulfills as many potential roles as it can. Even if you don’t cook a lot, you may have a time where a talented cook comes into your home, and why not make him or her feel welcome?
This is where the idea of universal design comes in. While it’s not always possible with a minor kitchen design, if you’re starting from scratch, it’s good to redesign the kitchen in a way that not only is suited to your needs for now, but those that you or future homeowners may have decades from now.
5. Who Do I Choose As A Designer?
After asking these first four questions to yourself, you should be in a much better position to know where your current kitchen stands and what it is you need to have improved upon in it. Be sure that when you speak to a designer that they are design-first and not product-first. No matter what your budget, you want to have someone that will make the most of every penny.
Also, it is best to find a remodeling firm with a design-build project structure. This means that the remodeler is responsible for the labor costs, as well. We at Scott Hall Remodeling are one such company. Because design and building are under one roof, we can help you understand the true cost of your kitchen remodel beyond the products. Some firms can be highly product-focused, due to quotas that they must reach to maintain sweet deals with certain manufacturers.
Scott Hall Remodeling is purely focused on design and customer satisfaction. We give you a wide array of product selections so that you can be fully in charge of the choices that are made. That’s what you want in a kitchen remodeling project: complete control over what goes into your home. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that those that helped you with the design process are of the same company that will end up building it for you.
Whatever your decision, we hope that we have informed you greatly in your decision making process about your next kitchen remodel. If you have any questions about kitchen remodeling, always feel free to contact us!