Congrats! You’ve decided to finally take the leap and redo your kitchen! Whether you’ve been weighing the pros and cons for months or just bought a new house and are raring to go, the idea of creating your dream kitchen is incredibly exciting. But once that honeymoon-like elation subsides, you are left with one looming question….
Where do I start?
When faced with a very large task and don’t know how to approach it, it’s not unlike standing at the bottom of a mountain and wondering how you’re ever going to get to the top. Well, never fear – we have just what you need to help you take those first steps toward your goal of a new kitchen – and after that, you’ll be on your way.
1. Establish your budget
Your first step is to determine the level of investment you are comfortable making in your remodel. According to the NKBA, you should expect to spend between 15–20% of the value of your home on a kitchen remodel. Where you fall within that range will depend on how much you can afford, how long you will be staying in your home, and your neighborhood.
If you are planning to stay in your home more than five years, you are less concerned about recouping your investment and more concerned about creating a beautiful space that meets the needs of you and your family. If you are planning to stay in your home less than five years, think of your remodel as an improvement in your real estate investment.
Your neighborhood is also going to have a major influence on how much you should spend on your remodel. Pay attention to the value of nearby homes and budget your remodel accordingly.
That’s the “macro” part of budgeting. The “micro” part, on the other hand, involves determining the elements of your space that you wish to change and then estimating how much each component could potentially cost. This is where we can help! We have an entire blog on how-to budget for your kitchen remodel that is based on NKBA guidelines for each component of a kitchen remodel.
One last thing to note about budgeting is that while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the magic of HGTV, many remodeling shows tend to leave out added costs in their projects, so it’s best not to use them as a reference when determining your own budget.
2. Timing your remodel
Timing a kitchen remodel can be challenging for busy families. Many people plan their remodel around an event for which they want their remodel completed. In this case, we suggest allowing at least six months from start of design to completion. While this is certainly longer than most remodels take, we occasionally find surprises behind the walls – and we do not want to be in the middle of construction when you have guests coming to town for your daughter’s wedding. Give yourself a couple of months’ leeway to avoid unnecessary stress.
Another timing consideration involves holidays or events that may occur during the remodel. For example, do you care if your kitchen is out of commission on Thanksgiving if you want it done for Christmas?
Lastly, you will have to set up a temporary space for cooking and other tasks. Timing your remodel for the warmer summer months allows you to easily use your outdoor grill while your indoor space is under construction.
We suggest that you get your calendar out and plot a six-month window that will work for you, recognizing potential challenges ahead of time, and knowing that there’s likely never going to be a perfect time.
3. Gather design inspiration
This is the fun part of the preparation process!
Whether you already have design ideas or are starting from square one, it’s beneficial for you to browse online to find examples of kitchens that appeal to you. It’s also helpful to find photos of specific elements that you like so that your designer can include them in your custom plan. We suggest checking out Studio M’s project gallery for additional inspiration!
Another resource available to you is Studio M’s destination showroom. Our beautiful kitchen displays allow you to see a variety of cabinetry styles and finishes, along with countertops, tile, appliances, and more to inspire you and help you define your own unique look.
We’re the first to admit that all of these design ideas can get overwhelming! Our Kitchen and Bath designers know how to help you identify and prioritize your thoughts and desires.
4. Work with your design partner
Your design partner is with you every step of the way to bring your concept to completion! When you work with a Studio M Kitchen & Bath designer, your new kitchen will reflect your design style and your functional goals, as well as your budget and timeline.
You can read in-depth about our design process and what it’s like to work together here.
In addition to assisting you with the design of your space and selection of materials, your designer will order your cabinetry and work closely with your contractor to ensure that cabinetry installation and related work stays on schedule.
5. Get your house ready!
It’s best to recognize up front that it’s going to be messy for a little while. Start by cleaning and decluttering your space. Since you must take everything out of your cabinets anyway, your remodel is the perfect time to sort through your belongings and donate unused or unwanted items. Consider involving your kids in this part of the process! This teaches them healthy habits of minimalism, which we’ve found encourages them to do the same in their own spaces.
Check out our blog for tips on how to declutter and organize your kitchen here.
Set up a temporary kitchen. Stay tuned for the last blog post in this series coming soon about this topic!
Before construction begins, consider donating your old cabinetry. We encourage this sustainable way of benefiting families in need. Read all about that here.
It’s also a good idea let your neighbors know about your upcoming construction project before it starts. There will be more traffic and probably some unfamiliar vehicles parked nearby. Be aware of local noise ordinances and instruct contractors to adhere to them.
Lastly, take a breath and allow yourself to get excited! It’s going to be worth it. Soon you’ll be standing in a beautiful new kitchen that you’ll enjoy for years to come – while the memory of the messy part simply fades away into oblivion.
Whether you have a remodel about to begin or are considering a future remodel, we hope we have given you some useful tips. If you would like to discuss your ideas for a possible kitchen remodel, contact us!