Knowledge Base

7 Strategies for Easier Kitchen Remodels

When it comes to home remodeling, there is no project more expensive or more time consuming than a kitchen remodel. It makes sense: the kitchen is the center and the lifeblood of a home. Because a family spends so much time there, they want it to be beautiful and functional.

Because home values always rise after a kitchen remodel, you can almost always recoup the costs of the remodel. When a homeowner spends around $19,000 on his remodel, he'll usually make back about 80% of that investment. If you want to get the most out of your kitchen remodel and improve the value of your home as much as possible, here are seven simply tips to keep your remodel progressing and on budget:

1.Don't neglect to plan.

Spend time in careful contemplation of your kitchen and what you want to achieve with this remodel. Never jump right in to your kitchen remodel without have a clear plan for what you want to buy, where you want it to go, and why. Changing your mind or trying to make decisions while the remodel is already in progress eats away at your schedule, making the costs of construction shoot upwards and protracting the entire process. You should spend at least six months planning your remodel before you actually take the plunge and start the work. How can you be sure that you are planning properly? Here are some tips:

  1. Think about what you hate about your kitchen. What issues do you commonly run into with your kitchen?
  2. Think about how your kitchen is used. Do you often have more than one person in the kitchen? Do kids sit and do their homework while a parent cooks? Do guests gather there? You want to make sure that the form of your kitchen ultimately reflects its function.
  3. Give yourself extra time. If you want your new kitchen to be fully finished before Christmas, make your schedule so that it is done before Thanksgiving. This extra time will allow for any mishaps or protractions that occur during your remodel that would otherwise set you back.
  4. Choose all of your materials before starting. This means fixtures, countertops, cabinets, flooring, and literally anything else. You don't want your remodel to be delayed because you are still trying to choose which sink you want.
  5. Ask for professional help. There's nothing wrong with consulting a designer or a remodeling expert. They may not be able to tell you which colors and styles to buy, but they can direct you to the right materials for your budget and desired look.
Strategies for remodeling kitchen

2.Stick to the same general configuration.

Unless you really want to protract your remodel and are willing to spend a little bit more money, you should probably stick to the same general layout your current kitchen has. Why? Because trying to adjust the electricity and plumbing to meet the needs of a reconfigured kitchen is going to be expensive. This is also usually where a construction crew will run into issues that lengthen to overall time of the remodel. If at all possible, keep your sinks, stove, fridge, and any other appliances in their original positions.

3.Be realistic with your appliance choices.

It can be tempting to buy the biggest and best stove and refrigerator on the market—but it is also expensive and often unnecessary. Think critically about whether or not you really do need those luxury appliances or if a standard appliance will serve you just as well. Even those that fancy themselves as good cooks usually do fine with a more standard appliance, especially when trying to remodel on a budget. Don't pay thousands of dollars extra just to get something that looks fancy, but ultimately functions just as well as any other stove or fridge.

4.Make sure everything is well lit.

Lighting is powerful and few kitchens have enough of it. You should strive to have task lighting that sheds light on work happening on top of your countertops and ambient lighting that creates enough light to make the kitchen feel fun and airy. You can never underestimate the draw of a properly lit kitchen. It makes the kitchen easier to use, on the one hand. On the other hand, it just makes your kitchen look better. There is nothing less inviting than a dark and drab kitchen, but nothing more welcoming than a well-lit space.

5.Think about quality.

Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you should sacrifice quality where it really counts. This is, for example, when it comes to cabinets and countertops. While it is possible to get very inexpensive countertops and cabinets, they are also not going to last you as long as higher-quality items. You want products that are maintenance free and that have substantial warranties (especially if you are planning on selling your home in the near future).

6.Make the most of your space.

Never make your kitchen smaller. A big kitchen is always better than a small kitchen. If you need to improve your storage space, however, there are a few ways that you can do it without sacrificing your space. The first is to install taller cabinets. Most cabinets stop at least a foot below the ceiling. If you can install cabinets that reach the ceiling, you can often double your storage space. Use this space to store items that you need less frequently and you can also eliminate the need to dust the tops of those cabinets.

7.Keep in constant communication with your construction crew.

It's important, early on in the project, to get to know the people who are actually working on your remodel. Why bother? Because this will, first of all, help you stay on budget. If a homeowner is not present during a remodel, the manager may make costly decisions that you would have not made, had you been present. In addition to stopping by the site, make sure that the manager has your contact information so if he needs to ask you a question, you are always available. Additionally, don't be afraid to set rules about where the workers should park, where they can smoke, and how loudly they can play their music. A great tip: offer your workers drinks and snacks—this makes them likely you and more likely to do a great job.