Even if you’re an owner of a stylish and luxurious kitchen, after a couple of years without any changes I’m sure you wouldn’t mind remodeling your kitchen.
However, while remodelling your kitchen can be an exciting adventure, it can very well end up a complete tragedy if you approach the subject unprepared. In this article, I’ll try to help you perform a complete kitchen remodel by giving you all the knowledge that you need to pull it off as painlessly as possible, avoiding all the typical mistakes. If you think that’s something that you need, stay with me.
How to start?
While, as I’ve already said before, the kitchen remodel is usually a very exciting experience, there are certain things you have to keep in mind right at the start of the road, so the final effect will reflect all that you hoped for when you decided to go through with the remodelling. Let’s cover the whole procedure, step by step, all the way from the planning stage to the actual remodel.
First things first
Before you even start thinking about ordering all the fancy appliances or cabinetry, you have to define your needs. It’s crucial that you’re honest about all of this, or else, in the long run, ordering too spacious furniture or appliances might hurt the overall ergonomy of your kitchen. Let’s list the things that have to be specified.
Your lifestyle and needs
First, it’s important to estimate your actual needs. Whether you have a big family, in which case you regularly cook large amounts of food, or live alone and barely even use your stove, is what determines what you need in your kitchen. Of course, in the case of larger families, all the appliances, cabinetry, and furniture will have to be bigger than standard. But when we’re talking about a happy couple, there is no need for a grand, rectangular kitchen table, right?
However, it’s not only the size of your family that you have to account for. Perhaps even more important is your actual lifestyle – how often do you cook at home, how much food do you normally store around your kitchen and whether you like to eat all together, on the kitchen table, or maybe everyone just grabs his food and takes it to their respective rooms?
How about parties by the way? Before you start the kitchen remodel, you should also specify how often do you throw parties at your place, and whether or not do they involve cooking and eating.
To make the long story short, you need to precisely pinpoint your needs, which come from the lifestyle, preferences, and habits. Only then will you be able to design a kitchen that meets all of your needs.
Now that you have the answer to these questions, you can pinpoint what needs replacing, and what can stay the way it was before. Keep in mind, however, that if you expect your situation to change in the more or less distant future, for example if you’re planning a baby, then it’s best if you prepare for that right now – after all, you probably wouldn’t want to perform yet another remodel shortly after you’re done with this one.
Set up a budget
Perhaps one of the most important aspects, when entering the planning stage of a kitchen remodel, is specifying your budget. Don’t approach the subject light-headed – the budget has to be strictly determined and then respected.
This actually requires quite a bit of self-discipline. Once you specify the budget, you should by all means abide by it. Otherwise, one thing leads to another, and we not only end up broke but also with an unfinished remodel, just because you really had to buy this gorgeous fridge.
Of course, we have to remember that there might be changes to the plan, made along the way – and for that reason, you should specify the core budget, and then leave a bit of a leeway, like around 15%, for any extra expenses in case something catches your eye.
That way, not only you’re sure you have the required amount of money to pull off the remodel but are also able to buy something extra. Further down the road, you will be giving this budget estimate to your constructors or interior designer. It’s best you don’t tell him, however, that you have the extra 15% readily available to be put into remodelling your kitchen. Professional interior designers have a tendency of buying the most expensive of stuff so that their portfolio can be as awesome as possible – but your wallet doesn’t like that very much. Just leave the extra money as your extra weapon, in case something happens and calls for extra measures.
Interior designer or interior decorator?
Now is the time to get some professional help – unless you are certain that your skills are up to par to pull it off all on your own, that is. Who should you get, though?
There are two kinds of professionals who can help you with the remodel of your kitchen, and people often don’t know what exactly is the difference. Allow me to explain then.
- Interior decorator – only deals with the decorations, and usually isn’t involved with the remodel all the way from the start. You only call for him at the end or midway through, to add the final touch regarding the decorations. As such, he doesn’t really need to be certified, and anyone really can call himself an interior decorator. Be it as it may, a competent decorator can still be an invaluable help – he will take all your tastes, lifestyle, and habits into consideration, to make the interior as pretty as it can be.
- Interior designer – one needs a special certificate, to be able to call himself an interior designer. Because of all the studies which a person has to undergo to get the certificate, he has a very fundamental knowledge about the materials, building codes, and anything really that’s connected to a remodel, or design, of interiors. Keep in mind, that an interior designer can at the same time be an interior decorator. Most often, an interior designer is involved with the project all the way from the very beginning, as he helps you to plan, design and choose the correct materials. While hiring one costs more than in the case of a decorator, the help is usually worth it – especially in the kitchen, which needs to be made from healthy materials, and vented properly.
Okay, now that you know the difference between the two, I’m sure you can decide who do you really need. Again, once you’ve hired your professional, you will have to tell him your budget for the project, and make sure he strictly abides by it – and don’t tell him you’ve got some error margin or else I’m sure he’ll treat is as your core budget.
Design the space
Now is the time to plan how will your kitchen look like, after the dust settles. If you’ve gotten yourself an interior designer to help you, he will probably be able to do most of this stuff for you – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the rest of this article, to be able to keep an eye on the whole procedure. After all, it has to meet your needs, and not those of the designer.
Be it as it may, additional knowledge never hurts. Remember to avoid thinking only about the visual aspect of your kitchen – especially in the kitchen, the ergonomy, and practical side are crucial. Remember that the way you design your space now, will affect your entire kitchen workflow in the future, so better think about how you will be using the kitchen.
It’s time to plan how many square feets will you dedicate for your clearance zone, and for the free space on which you will be walking. Remember to design the layout of your kitchen in a way that reflects the way you work – whether you like to cook alone, or invite someone from you family to help you with that, will have an impact on the shape which your kitchen should have after you’re done with the remodel.
The bottom line is – it’s time to sketch your future kitchen so that your interior designer can figure out how to make it all work, and choose the best materials for such a kitchen.
Choose the perfect appliances and furniture
Now that you have a pretty solid idea of where should the elements inside of your kitchen be installed, it’s time to actually pick and order them. It’s best if you make a list of all the kinds of the finishes and fixtures that should be ordered, and to this list, you’ll be able to attach the photos of ones you’ve decided on. What should you place on such a list?
- Cabinets and doors hardware
- Sink and faucet
- Light fixtures
Write down what would you like for it to actually be, next to these categories, and hand it to your interior designer – or to the producer if you haven’t decided for a professional help.
This is the best moment to submit your sketches and drawings to the village office, to get a permission for all the construction work. It’ll take a while before you actually get the permit, so it’s best to do it now before your orders arrive from the shops and producers. Remember to submit all the drawings of electrical and mechanical changes, lighting switch plans, etc.
It’s especially at this stage where the help of a professional interior designer is invaluable – I’m quite sure he has the needed practice in this field of work, and will be able to help you with all the paperwork, which could otherwise prove to be a pretty painful experience.
If you’ve hired the interior designer to carry your kitchen remodel, it’s quite possible that he already has a well proven and trusted team of contractors, already knowing their prices and terms. In this case, this step is pretty meaningless to you – the designer will do everything for you.
However, if it’s the other way around and you haven’t decided for a professional help, it’s time to select a team of contractors who will make all your ideas come true. In other words, they are the ones who will actually build your new kitchen.
If that’s the case, then you have to show them all the sketches, and then specify all your ideas and needs – and get an estimated price for making it happen.
It’s best if you ask a few crews for the price, and then choose the one that meets your budget. However, don’t try to save too much. An incompetent crew is way worse than the additional expense, trust me. That’s why I told you to leave some extra budget, by the way – so you wouldn’t have to try to cut your expenses any chance you get.
Once you’ve hired the crew, they should prepare a demo for you, so you can see for yourself how will the remodelling of your kitchen be actually done. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and openly specify your needs – if you plan on living in your house throughout the remodel, you also have to let them know that, so they can prepare special zip walls which will not only save the rest of your house from the dust but also make the noise a bit more bearable.
Once the dust settles
Okay, let’s fast forward a few weeks – now the whole kitchen remodel should already be over. This is the time, however, when you will, more likely than not, start noticing some small details or errors which the construction crew made.
Don’t blame them, it doesn’t have to be their fault – such things happen amidst the chaos of a kitchen remodel, there is no need to get nervous about it. However, that doesn’t change the fact that either them or your interior designers have to come back to your house and fix all that was done wrong.
Because of that, you have to be prepared for at least a few such visits – their amount depending on your amount of luck and the skill level of your construction crew. I’m talking about it so you’re prepared for it, not to be overly nervous later when it happens. It happens, and there is nothing you can do about it.
The bottom line is – don’t by shy to call you construction crew, once you’ve noticed an error anywhere in your kitchen, and make them come and fix it. As many times as it takes.
This sums up the procedure of remodelling your kitchen – now you know all there is to know before you start a kitchen remodel. Now you’re also able to approach the subject prepared, so good luck and stay positive about it, I’m sure it will be worth it in the end.