Kitchen Redesign: Avoid a Nightmare
November 14, 2012
A kitchen redesign can be a wonderful thing. It can completely change the look and feel of the kitchen as well as – depending on the design of the home – the house overall. Kitchen redesigns also greatly add to the value of a home, so if you are looking to sell your home, it’s a good idea to update the kitchen.
On the other hand, if you don’t go in prepared, a kitchen redesign can also be a total nightmare. From hiring the wrong contractor to purchasing the wrong items to budgeting yourself out of the realm of success possibility, there is a lot that homeowners can do wrong when planning a kitchen redesign. Therefore, it’s important to go in with facts, figures, and plans. To do so, we suggest following these tips.
1) Know Who You’re Hiring
A general contractor is a person who is going to be invited into your home regularly and for a long time. He or she is also going to dramatically alter your home, which is no small thing. When you are preparing to hire a general contractor, it is absolutely imperative that you do your homework. You should absolutely check references, ask for recommendations, and view the contractor’s previous work. When possible, it’s a good idea to even visit a job that the contractor has in progress. The goal with a visit is not only to see the type of work that the contractor is doing, but also get a sense of the relationship that he ors he has established with the homeowners. A kitchen redesign is a major undertaking and you need to be able to establish a working relationship with your contractor that will ultimately lead to you feeling good about the work that is completed.
2) Do Your Part Toward the Contractor / Client Relationship
You want to hire someone who will treat you with professional respect, but you also need to be willing to give that same professionalism and respect back to your contractor. Realize that your contractor is a professional and treat him or her that way.
3) Understand the Plans
Before you meet with contractors, you will want to have an idea of what it is that you want to accomplish with your kitchen redesign. You will also want to deeply understand the plans that your contractor is working off of. If you have questions, ask them. Understand the dimensions, floor plans, and installation plans before they occur. Once a wall is put up, it’s costly and difficult to move – it’s better to go in knowing more.
4) Be Realistic
Often homeowners fall in love with the particular look of something without realizing how much it costs and how that cost stacks up to the total budget of a project. Be aware of the designs that you have in mind – from cabinets and counters to appliances – and understand how much they will cost. You may need to prioritize what elements within the redesign are most important to you and build the rest of the design around the budgeting of those elements.
Most importantly, make sure that you are working with someone that you trust, that you understand what is going into the kitchen, and that you are being realistic about your needs and financial capabilities.