Considering remodeling your kitchen? You’re not alone. Four out of five home remodeling projects involve renovating a kitchen. Whether you want a complete overhaul, a simple update or somewhere in between, understanding the steps to remodel a kitchen can help you keep renovation stress to a minimum.
Determine the Scope of Your Remodel
So, how extensive will your remodel be? Are you planning on changing or expanding the floor plan, for example? Or are you planning a less complicated project that will still change the look and functionality of your kitchen? The first step in any remodel is determining its scope, which is often dictated by what you can afford to spend. For example, the average cost of a major kitchen remodel is about $60,000 while a minor one averages about a third of that.
If you’re happy with the layout of your kitchen and your cabinets are in good shape, you may opt for a kitchen facelift. Rather than ripping out and replacing cabinetry, you might just replace your countertops, refinish your existing cabinets and swap out old lighting for new. Painting your kitchen cabinets is an easy, effective way to update a kitchen — one of the latest trends is to paint stained or clear-finished oak or maple in shades of white, off-white or gray.
Choose Your Contractor or Vendor
After you’ve determined what you want to change, you’ll want to hire a contractor and/or vendor to do the work. When choosing a vendor or contractor, ask for recommendations but remember that cost is only one factor to consider. You’re usually better off choosing a contractor who comes highly recommended (and may be more expensive) than looking for the
cheapest person you can find.
In a word, quality counts. In addition to recommendations, ask to see examples of finished work. Confirm that the vendor can provide what you want within your budget and ask the person you hire how to prepare for a kitchen remodel.
Understand the Process
The scope and extent of your remodel will determine the order in which work is performed. For example, moving or adding plumbing or reconfiguring the floorplan should happen first. The next step is swapping out cabinets, if necessary, adding or moving lighting, updating the backsplash and then replacing and installing new countertops. Next, the walls, ceiling and trim can be painted along with the cabinets, if desired. Finally, sinks, faucets and appliances can be installed.
One tip — it’s smart to save painting until the end. If you paint earlier in the process, there’s a good chance the fresh paint will be damaged or dinged during the reno. That can require a fair amount of touch-up and repair or even repainting.
How long will the process take? It depends. If you’re changing the footprint of your kitchen, the work will take longer than less-extensive projects. An experienced general contractor who knows exactly when to bring in each particular trade — electricians, plumbers, drywall finishers, painters — is more likely to bring a project in on time.
Most kitchen renovations can be completed within four to six weeks while a facelift involving minor electrical work, a countertop upgrade and repainting or refinishing kitchen cabinets can typically be done within a three-week period. Of course, if you make significant changes to the plans, or there is back and forth in the planning process, the renovation is likely to take longer.
Get the Most From Your Money
When considering how to prepare for a kitchen renovation, being clear on you want to achieve and choosing the right contractor(s) are paramount. Look for a contractor who not only can help with the finish work but also can tie the finishes and colors together for the best results. For example, choosing a painting company that offers professional color consulting can help you choose the right finishes and colors for each area of your kitchen.
Refinishing and repainting kitchen cabinets is less expensive than a complete remodel but it’s still an investment. If you’re going to spend $5,000 to $8,000 refinishing your kitchen cabinets, you want to be confident that you’ve chosen the right colors. Selecting your color and finish choices with the help of a professional can ensure that your renovation results in the kitchen of your dreams.