Remodeling your kitchen can be a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it. If you have an older kitchen, then the time, money, and effort you will save down the road with new appliances and fixtures will make up for the days or weeks of inconvenience while you have your kitchen redone. Add to that the satisfaction of a job well done and a new kitchen that reflects your individuality and you can see why so many home owners decide to take the plunge. Keep in mind, however, that even a partial remodel is not a project to be taken on lightly. Even small kitchens can cost tens of thousands of dollars to remodel, and there will probably be a period of time in which your kitchen is not functional and you cannot use it for cooking at all.
If you are planning a kitchen remodel in the near future, here are seven tips to help you make the process as quick and painless as possible.
Tip 1: Shop around
Even very handy homeowners rarely have all the do-it-yourself knowledge needed to completely remodel their kitchens. That’s why there are plenty of contractors out there who are ready and able to help. However, it would be a mistake to hire the first qualified contractor you speak with. Try interviewing several different builders and getting their opinions before you begin the project. Have the contractors come over and see your kitchen and share their ideas with you. Get a number of bids and see which ones work with your budget. Eventually, you will begin to get a feel for what is necessary and what you can do without.
Tip 2: Plan ahead
In order to minimize the time your kitchen is under construction, plan as much of the work ahead of time as possible. Look at photos for inspiration, head to the building supply store to look at paints and finishes, and draw up sketches that you think will be useful to your contractor. Taking the time to plan and get involved in the design of your new kitchen will make you more confident in the outcome.
Tip 3: Do at least some of the work yourself
You don’t have to completely rewire your kitchen, or build your cabinets by hand. However, you’ll be amazed by the amount of money you save if you just apply the final coat of paint or wood finish yourself. These simple tasks are easy to learn, and once you’ve done them you’ll be able to take pride in having contributed to the finished kitchen.
Tip 4: Get lost in the details
Little details are what make your kitchen distinctive and reflect your personality. These artistic touches don’t have to be expensive, but they ought to be things that you can look at and reflect on with pride. If you like flowers, then work in some flowered mosaic tile. If you want your kitchen to look more like a living space then a room just used for cooking, then add lots of shelves to display cookbooks and knick-knacks.
Tip 5: Do something unexpected
Everything in your new kitchen doesn’t have to match perfectly to look like a cohesive whole. For instance, you can use two different cabinet designs and unify them by putting the same type of hardware on both. Also, there’s nothing wrong with having some appliances in black and others in stainless steel. When done artfully, these mismatched pieces will look like they belong together.
Tip 6: Get creative
Suppose there is a part of your kitchen that absolutely has to go, but the cost of removing it puts your remodeling project way over budget. Try to think of a creative way to cover up the offending fixture without breaking the bank. For example, an ugly window can be shuttered or partially obscured by a cabinet. An awkward island may just need new life as a sink or other appliance.
Tip 7: When possible, work with what you have
This is especially important when laying out your new kitchen. If you keep all or most of your appliances in the same places, then it will keep you from having to reroute water or gas lines to accommodate the new ones. Additionally, look around your existing kitchen and see if there’s a piece already in it that you absolutely love. You can easily build your new kitchen around a beautiful bamboo cabinet or antique wood stove. Your favorite piece then becomes the focus of the new room and the thing that ties it all together.
Lauren Hill writes for Accent Building Products, a home improvement company offering a wide selection of cabinetry, skylights and exterior accents.