It is both awkward and impractical to compromise with the kitchen that bears so much importance in our house. Even though the kitchen remodeling process is understandably long and time-consuming, it is worth it.
After all, a properly remodeled kitchen improves the aesthetics of your house and its resale value as well. It also serves as an excellent place for family and social gatherings in your home.
Therefore, it is no surprise that many people are interested in learning about kitchen remodeling. We have compiled this ultimate kitchen remodeling process guide to help you navigate through the process with ease.
Compare Your Wants and Needs
When you start with the kitchen remodeling, you first need to assess your wants and needs. Ask yourself what the single most bothersome thing about your kitchen is for you.
After deciding that, you need to think about the resale value of your home after a remodeled kitchen as well. Decide whether you find the investment worthwhile or not and how much you are willing to invest.
For example, hiring a professional for expanding the entire layout can prove very expensive. On the other hand, doing it all by yourself can take several months. Plus, it is unlikely to have a professional finish to it.
Consider all these factors and then decide your budget. Do not forget to give it a fair degree of flexibility for potential eleventh-hour expenses. Home improvement industry experts advise investing as much for your kitchen remodel as you aim to earn back when you sell your house.
Keep Kitchen Remodeling Costs in Mind
The cost of remodeling your kitchen depends on several factors. For example, kitchen remodels in the North and West cost much more than in the South. The difference in kitchen remodeling costs can go up as high as $20,000.
A recent Cost vs. Value report in the Remodeling Magazine estimates the national average for a major upscale kitchen remodel at $131,510 and a significant midrange kitchen remodel at $66,196. Similarly, HomeAdvisor claims that the average kitchen remodel price is around $12,567 to $34,392.
Carefully Plan Your Kitchen Remodeling Process
There are classic kitchen layout plans recommended by experts during the kitchen remodeling process:
- Corridor Design
- Open Concept Design
- Double L Design
- L-Shaped Design
- One Wall Design
- U-Shaped Design
- Galley Kitchen Design
After selecting one of these, you should proceed to create a proper plan drawing and blueprints. You can enlist kitchen designers, general contractors, kitchen design packages, and design software for this purpose.
Contractor or DIY?
After deciding the layout and preparing the blueprint for the kitchen remodeling, you must consider who will execute this plan. In this regard, you have three options to choose from. You can hire a general contractor – an experienced construction firm that usually works on commission between 15-25%.
Alternatively, you can also don the role of a contractor yourself and supervise subcontractors, such as plumbers and electricians. If you are confident enough, you can opt for a DIY approach as well. That option, incidentally, will help you save a lot of money. However, if you aren’t experienced enough, DIY kitchen mistakes can cost you as well.
Plan How To Save Money
In the same vein, you should plan on how to save money while remodeling your kitchen. After all, the process is an expensive one, and your budget is limited. Unnecessary ornamentations like pilasters and crown moldings will consume your budget rapidly.
On the other hand, clean but straightforward woodwork will serve you for a long time and fit comfortably into your budget as well. You should also try to put aside around 20% of your kitchen remodeling budget for any unexpected expenses that crop up during the process. These include nasty discoveries during demolition, such as water damage and faulty wiring.
Do not forget to stick to your planned budget as the remodeling proceeds. Adding extras can have a damaging effect in the long term.
Think of Temporary Arrangements
When you begin the kitchen remodeling, you will have to demolish your old kitchen first. As a result, you will have to manage without a kitchen for a few months. Thus, you need to adjust your kitchen appliances in your house and set up a makeshift kitchen.
Demolishing Your Old Kitchen
Once you have selected your contractor and made all necessary arrangements, you can proceed with the demolition. For a complete kitchen remodel, you could have to pull down load-bearing walls as well. You will have to handle this tiring and intense step of the kitchen remodeling process with patience and expertise.
Proceed with the Structural Build Out
In this step, your carpenters will have to perform tasks with the doors and windows, do framing work, install a kitchen island, and so on. These tasks depend much on your kitchen’s configuration and your tastes. If you are experienced enough, you can go for a quick DIY approach with the framing work.
Plumbing, Wiring, and HVAC
Once you’ve wrapped up the framework, you must proceed with the mechanical rough-in. Simply speaking, you will have to install new or rerouted pipes, HVAC ductwork, and wires. Generally, this step is handled by professionals like plumbers and electricians. That is because of the hazards involved and the inherent complications of the process.
Work on the Ceiling and Walls
At this point in the kitchen remodeling process, your kitchen will start looking whole again. You can now proceed with installing drywall, painting, priming, insulating your walls and ceilings. This step is pretty fast and relatively cheap.
Install the Flooring
Flooring is among the final steps of the kitchen remodeling process for minimizing wear and tear. Depending on the kind of flooring you select, the time and costs will vary.
Moreover, you can go for various materials for this purpose, such as engineered wood, laminate flooring, solid hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, and sheet vinyl.
Install Kitchen Countertops and Cabinets
Carpenters usually install kitchen countertops and cabinets near the end of the kitchen remodeling process. Compared to the installation of cabinets, installing countertops is much more challenging. That is because these surfaces demand fabrication and technical knowledge.
We recommend hiring authorized fabricators for this process. It is also important to mention that this process can take up to 25% of your budget by itself. Thus, make sure you plan for it prudently.
Install the Kitchen Appliances
Once all the construction work has been completed, you can add the lighting fixtures, plumbing, and kitchen appliances. Ask the plumber to install the faucets, sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Instruct the electrician to connect switches and outlets, cover the ductwork, and install the light fixtures.
Experts agree that appliance costs take a heavy toll on your wallet, along with cabinet and labor costs. They can take up as much as 20% of your budget. You can save a lot of money on your kitchen remodel by not going for status-oriented appliances but mid-range ones.
Inspect Your Remodeled Kitchen
With the kitchen remodeling completed, you can give the finishing touches to your kitchen. Keep in mind that this is a crucial step in itself. It will help you avoid the errors that people generally commit during remodeling projects.
If you had hired a general contractor, make sure to go through the kitchen and inform them about anything you are dissatisfied with. Following this, several official inspectors will visit and review your kitchen. They will then stamp your kitchen permit application as finished or complete.