Your kitchen is the most popular room in the house. Because everyone gravitates towards food, this is the place that gets the most use and ages most quickly. I took an objective look at mine a few weeks ago and realized that it seemed to have gotten old overnight. Frankly, it got me down and I started thinking it’s time to upgrade and how I would do that. And, I was thinking, that you might be having the same experience too.
Here’s my kitchen remodeling upgrade checklist that I’m using to make sure I get the most for the least.
1. It’s a Big Job: I’m sure you already know this but I want to put you on high alert that it is a bigger job than you might think. Consider spending a few days at the local hotel while the work is being done. This will make things a lot easier on you and on the folks working.
2. Don’t Wing It: A lot of people shop for cabinets here, floors there, appliances in a different location and so on. And then, when it’s all done, they have a hodge-podge kitchen. Find someone who will coordinate it all for you. Even though it may be pricey, a good decorator will save you money and aggravation in the long run. Make sure you have a good plan.
3. Know Your Budget: Decide what you want to spend and stick to it. Just because the new GE has the six cycle wash system and tall tub capacity with nylon racks doesn’t mean you actually need it, right? There is always something better to buy and more money to spend. Remember, what you get within your budget will be substantially better than what you have now and will do the job just fine.
4. Yes, You Will Spend More Than Your Budget: A rule of thumb is to add 20% to your budget for unexpected costs. You never know what kind of hack job the guy before you did and what’s lurking behind the walls and floors. For example, a friend of mind found that when they ripped out his walls, the electrical wiring was out of date. Have extra so you’re prepared for when things go bad.
5. Okay, You’re a ‘Do it Yourselfer’: I know you have confidence in yourself and you’re good at fixing things. Just make sure you’re up to the task. Most people don’t realize how big of a job it is. Consider easier tasks such as spackling, sanding, taping and painting, and leave the rest to the pros.
6. Research: You shop around for everything else so don’t hold back shopping around for your kitchen. There are deals all over the place – Home Depot, Sears and your local hardware and cabinet stores. Your bottom line remodeling price is a negotiated price always. Make sure you negotiate well.
7. Hire Right: Here we are talking about the General Contractor. If you feel uneasy and uncomfortable, don’t hire him! I’ve heard nightmares about households hiring the wrong person and in turn their kitchen turned into a nightmare. Get references from friends, family and neighbors.
Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen, adding an addition to your house or installing a new tub in your bathroom, it’s going to take time and work. Planning is the best method you have. You might be able to overthink but you can never over-plan for a project such as this. Like I said, you’re bound to hit some speed bumps along the way but if you plan and prepare it can save you a whole lot of money in the long run.