Kitchen renovations can be daunting, expensive, and time-consuming. You might have heard other people’s stories about things going wrong, which can leave you nervous to begin your own remodel. But there is a silver lining!
Hearing other people’s experiences is the best way to course-correct and plan your own renovations. Learn about the things both amateurs and professional designers wish they knew before beginning a kitchen remodel. Whether you’re looking at custom kitchen cabinets, fresh kitchen tiles, or a full renovation, we have the top three things people wish they knew before beginning.
First, Ask Yourself “Why?”
Before you begin a kitchen remodel, ask yourself why you want to renovate, your goals for the project, and how it will make your home better. It might seem simple, but breaking down the “why” will help you unpack more than you think. It will force you to begin thinking about both practical fixes and what is purely aesthetic. Both, of course, have their importance. But if you really question why you want certain things in your kitchen, you can begin to prioritize what you truly need and what will enhance your quality of life versus what will simply make your home beautiful.
Making lists, talking it out with either your partner, a friend, or a professional designer will help you narrow down the “needs” versus the “wants.” Are you looking to resell in a few years? Or are you hoping to own the home for a long period of time? Do you host a lot of dinners? Or are you feeding small children? Answers to all of these questions will help you decide a path forward and keep you from jumping the gun on decision making.
For example: while a small sink might be a space saver for your countertops and add to your minimalist aesthetic, is it practical? Do you have space for a dishwasher? If not, then compromising sink size for countertop space is not going to be worth it! This is especially the case if you cook a lot, host dinner parties, or have young children.
You Need to Budget
We won’t sugar coat it, kitchen renovations can be expensive. If you try to cut corners and do things cheaply, you might eventually find yourself in trouble. Not only could the craftsmanship be shoddy, the materials might not be high quality and long lasting. If you try to do things yourself, you might cost yourself more in the long run, or even worse, accidentally hurt yourself or others in the process.
Unless you’re a professional, it’s best to not attempt a home renovation, or parts of a home renovation, on your own. Hiring professionals and investing in quality materials will save you time, energy, and in the long run, money. It can be tempting to circumvent this step, but if you think about it as an investment, it’s a lot easier to accept. A home, at the end of the day, is one of the best investments you can make as long as you take care of it and properly attend to its upkeep. A poorly done renovation will show, and if you intend to sell your home in the future, you’ll run into trouble.
This doesn’t mean that home renovations have to cost you an arm and a leg. Back to the previous point, separate the “wants” from the “needs.” If you know that you want to invest in custom kitchen cabinets that will enhance the value of your home, you can then budget for both quality materials and labor. There are also certain areas that you can cut spending, and still enhance the value of your home. Tile flooring, for example, is typically less expensive than hardwood and is still high quality. Asking neighbors or friends who have experience with electrical work can save you money as well and build community.
You Might Not Need a Full Renovation
A new coat of paint. A simple backsplash. Modern, high-quality lighting. Small changes have the ability to transform a kitchen and elevate it to a point where it looks like a completely new space. So much so that you might not even need a full renovation.
If you’ve asked yourself why you want to renovate and you’ve crunched the numbers, maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that you either don’t need an entirely new kitchen or maybe you don’t even want one. In that case, maybe you really just need to upgrade your kitchen cabinets, or change the countertops, or upgrade the workspace around the kitchen sink. These small changes can dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen, while also enhancing your day to day life. In this case conduct an audit of your kitchen. Make a list of what really needs to change and what could possibly stay the same. Can your floors stay the same? Do you desperately need new appliances? Figure out what should stay and what should change—the list might be smaller than you think!
There are homeowners and designers alike who wished they’d realized this sooner. If they had adjusted a few key elements to upgrade their space, it still would have looked brand new. This has the potential to save you time and money as well!
Be Strategic, but Also Creative!
If you’re planning a kitchen renovation, ask yourself why you want to renovate, consider your wants versus your needs, and absolutely make a budget. With these tips, you might find that you can scale down your planning, invest more money in quality products, and even reduce the renovation timeline.
So what’s next? After you’ve done some preliminary planning and you’ve come to a few conclusions, it’s time to start reaching out to professional designers, contractors, and suppliers. Call professional designers to receive quotes, ask around for recommendations, and begin planning a rough timeline. If you’re ready to begin making calls about custom kitchen cabinets, reach out to local professionals today.