Things to consider when planning a kitchen remodel

Things to consider when planning a kitchen remodel

Things to consider when planning a kitchen remodel

Things to consider when planning a kitchen remodel

I am planning on monthly blogs but while we are still finalizing my website I may get a bit behind such as this one which should have been for January. Here are some things to consider when planning a kitchen remodel. It is a big subject so I will cover more at another time. Remodeling a kitchen is still a good home improvement investment and according to a Windermere study an average of 64.6 to 75.9% return for a major remodel and 69.8 to 91.5% for a minor one in our Pacific area.

Where do you start: the first thing to do is get an idea of what you like, some people buy magazines or buy books and have them tabbed with the style they like, you can look online at blogs and even cabinet websites. It is helpful for those of us who work with you as we can see what you like and don’t’ like.

There is a difference between doing a kitchen as a replacement job or a full remodel job. For a replacement you are basically leaving the footprint or plan of the kitchen as is, or with only minor changes. A full remodel can involve moving walls, rearranging plumbing or electrical, adding cabinets and more. Obviously the cost of labor for this work is higher.

The difference in cost can be sizeable. A minor kitchen replacement can start at $20,000 to a major remodel 3 times more and upward to $125,000 depending upon selections. Here are some suggestions to think about and some cost saving tips:

  • Do not relocate walls, plumbing, electrical, if the current floor is in good shape keep it
  • Consider the materials, such as laminate countertops over granite, they come in wonderful colors and textures now, select a 4-6” backsplash rather than a full height backsplash
  • The question of whether to replace cabinets or not is always ask. If your cabinet is functional and in good shape and it is just not in the budget you can have them cleaned or painted. There are companies like Shelf Genie that can add roll out shelves for improved function. I usually suggest replacing the cabinets as new cabinets offer so much more function than the 30 year old ones. There is a face frame and a framed cabinet box to choose from, I use Bellmont and Kraftmaid. I like full overlay doors, so the face frame does not show; unless you want an old traditional style then an inset door is used. Do some research on the quality of the cabinets. The cost will change depending upon the wood choice and stain treatment, ie: maple versus cherry, the door style, ie: shaker versus a detailed door, drawer tracks such as full extension, whether the box is all plywood versus pressboard, how the box is made, and additional add-ons.
  • Repurpose & Reuse. You can sell your old appliances, cabinets or fixtures or you can donate to charities like Habitat for Humanity. You can give them to someone you know who needs them. You can put the old cabinets in the garage and make a work area like I did. One of my clients put an ad on craigslist and was immediately contacted, someone came and picked up every bit of her old kitchen, the people receiving this gift were thrilled.
  • Labor, if you are skilled you can negotiate some of the work, such as painting, trim, and other tasks, just make sure the end result will be a good job. Even if you don’t have craftsmanship skills, doing the demo and removal can save some costs.
  • Appliances. The cost of the overall job is related to what you choose for appliances, from budget friendly to luxury. Ask yourself “what is most important” then perhaps choose an expensive range and a basic refrigerator, that is what I did for my own kitchen.
  • Function. I believe that you must replace everything, the sink, the faucet, the dishwasher, the garbage disposal, knobs, anything that is old or will break down. The exception is if your floor, ie: hardwood is in good shape. Or if you have recently purchased appliances.
  • Work Triangle and traffic flow. Everyone wants an island but the work isle should be 42” for a one cook kitchen and 48” for a two cook. The walkway behind an island should be 36.” Don’t try to put an island where it won’t fit, go for a peninsula or anther solution. There are small cute furniture pieces that may work for you here.

Who can help: You can work with an interior designer, a kitchen designer or a contractor. Do some research in your area and interview 2 or 3 to see who best fits your needs.  If you plan on helping a a DIY’er then make that known. Good communication is key. As an example when I help clients I help with the layout, cabinet selections, granite or material choices, look at plumbing, etc. You need some to help with all the decisions. Plan on the length of time it will take and set up a staged area for cooking while under construction. Consider an extra 10-15% in your budget for unexpected costs. Take before and after photos, they will cheer you up at the end and amaze you, showing you where you started and where you finished!