You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Now what? Not knowing where to start, many homeowners start by looking at appliances. Others start by collecting inspiring kitchen photos. Some decide they need more room. Others simply want to upgrade their current kitchen. Homeowners may find themselves in this exploration stage for a year or longer before they start interviewing kitchen designers or general contractors.

Once you’ve pondered long enough and you’re ready to green-light a kitchen remodeling project, then what? We’ll start with the first 9 steps.

traditional-kitchen

Step 1: Think about what you need

This step is all about how you use your kitchen, and finding the layout and features that fit your household’s lifestyle. Get ideas from every resource possible. Think about your priorities: how many people will be cooking and gathering here, and how they’ll need to move around in it. Do you need an addition? Or can you work with your existing kitchen footprint?

If you haven’t already, start saving photos of kitchens with features that suit your style.

traditional-kitchen1

Step 2: Research and plan

Ready to green-light that project and take the plunge? The best place to start is by formulating what’s commonly referred to as a scope of work and figuring out your preliminary budget.

Both of these may be subject to change, so don’t feel like you have only once chance at this. Budget and scope are intertwined and often change many times during the design process as you become more educated and able to reconcile what you want and what you can afford. As a homeowner, you’re not expected to walk into this knowing what everything should cost. Remember, this is an educational process.

Step 3: Find the professionals you will need

Even if you’re going the DIY route, unless you’re building your own kitchen cabinets and doing your own electrical and plumbing, you’re going to have to work with a professional at some point.

Some people start by visiting big-box stores or cabinet showrooms where they can see everything. Many homeowners get referrals from friends or colleagues and start by hiring an architect or designer. Still others might work on their own with a builder or contractor. Pros are available to help you with everything from contracts and permits to space planning, budgets, choosing finishes and fixtures, shopping, ordering products, helping you set up a temporary kitchen, and managing your project from start to finish.

modern-kitchen

Step 4: Schematic design

This phase includes sketches, space planning, preliminary floor plans and elevations showing the layout and cabinet sizes. Try to focus on layout and space planning, even though you’ll want to talk about what the kitchen will look like.

Begin the contractor interview process early and give them a preliminary drawing packet and scope of work to get some ballpark construction numbers.

Step 5: Fixture and finish specification

Throughout this process, and probably long before, you have been saving photos of kitchens you love. You’ve found your style, whether it’s modern, classic, traditional, cottage or a personal style in between. You probably know if you want a white kitchen, a natural wood kitchen, or some color.

Now you need to make your final selection of finishes and fixtures. This usually includes cabinetry, countertop material, kitchen appliances, kitchen sink, light fixtures, flooring, backsplash and hardware.

farmhouse-kitchen

Step 6: Work on design development and construction documents

This is the stage when you finalize the design and prepare final floor plans, elevations, details and, if applicable, mechanical and electrical drawings, lighting switch plans, and exterior elevations.

This is where your final permit set or Construction Drawings (CDs) come into play. It’s important to have finishes and fixtures selected at this time, since this is what will be considered in the final pricing from the contractor.

You’ll submit drawings for permits. These have a lead time, so check the timing with your local village. You’ll need an architect, designer or licensed contractor signed up to finalize the paperwork and pick up your permits, so get ready to hire someone in the next step.

Step 7: Get contractor estimates

If you don’t already have a licensed contractor on your project, your next step is to find one to carry the project through. Try to get at least 3 different contractor estimates. Do preliminary walk-throughs with the contractors once the schematic designs are done to get some ballpark estimates and find out if you’re on the right track or need to pull back some to fit the budget.

mediterranean-kitchen

Step 8: Get ready for demo

The big day is upon us, most likely something like 4-8 weeks from when you submitted for permits. Time to get that schedule firmed up and plan on cleaning out the cabinets, putting what you don’t need in storage and — if you’re living in the house during construction — setting up a temporary kitchen so you don’t lose your mind!

You may be moving out of your house temporarily, but most homeowners white-knuckle it and try to live in the house through construction. Preparation and organization can save your sanity.

Discuss the logistics ahead of time with your contractor. Will you meet once a week for updates? Will you have to be out of the house for certain tasks like demo or flooring? What about debris removal and dust? Are there any family allergy issues? What is a typical work day for the crew? Getting all this on the table beforehand can set expectations and make for a smoother ride.

Step 9: Surviving the dreaded punch list

Once construction is over, well … almost over … there’s always this annoying little list of items that are missing, wrong, or simply forgotten about. A missing light switch plate, a caulk line that shrank and pulled away from the wall, paint touch ups — small things like this, and sometimes bigger things like the hood doesn’t work, or there’s a big scratch in the newly refinished floor.

It’s inevitable that the contractor may have to make multiple visits back to the house to finish these items; prepare yourself for more than one visit and you’ll be fine. The best way to approach this is with a Zen attitude. Things happen, little things get missed. It’s sort of like making a list for the grocery store and still forgetting some key ingredient. We all do it.

Article Posted On: http://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2014/10/10/how-to-remodel-your-kitchen/

 

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