Remodeling a kitchen is a big investment—in time and in money! While it provides great returns on that investment in satisfaction, resale value, and can set the tone for your home’s overall aesthetic, the process can be taxing on a household while you wait for the transformation!
Here are 10 tips for a successful kitchen remodel, and keep your sanity in the process!
1) Plan ahead…way ahead…
Plan out your project at least 2-3 months in advance. Start purchasing your products and have them ready to install before the first swing of a hammer. Some items can take 6-8 week to deliver, and lack of planning can cause lags down the line and frustration for everyone involved.
2) Be flexible
As the old saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” Even with the best planning, you cannot predict the weather, hidden issues, or unforeseen delays. By keeping an open mind and being (reasonably) flexible with the timeline, stress levels will go down and productivity will go up.
3) Hire a qualified designer, contractor and/or sub-contractors
Even the best designs can be ruined by poor planning, craftsmanship and time management. Your designer/contractor will know pros & cons to certain materials, tricks for cost effectiveness, how to stay on budget, and keep things moving in a timely manner. Get referrals from friends. Check out their online portfolios and testimonials. Interview two or three designers/contractors to make sure you “click” with their personality, feel you can trust them, and communicate well together.
4) Use this opportunity to clean & de-clutter
It’s easy to see the forest for the trees. When clearing out every cupboard, drawer and cubby, see this as an opportunity to replenish your spices (because you know that Lemon Pepper Seasoning is over 3 years old!), clear out dishes or appliances you don’t use, and find the lids to all your Tupperware. A good rule: if you haven’t used it in five years, donate it or put it in a yard sale.
5) Make a temporary kitchen area
By far the hardest part of a kitchen remodel is losing the use of your kitchen for a month or two. Think of the things you make nearly every day—coffee, breakfast, lunches for school or work. Create a pseudo-kitchen in another room, the garage or basement with the basics: i.e. a microwave, a crockpot, and maybe an electric skillet. Relocate your refrigerator if possible, or find a small dorm-size if space is a problem. Consider using disposable (and biodegradable) plates, cups, and service utensils.
6) Keep mealtimes simple
It’s unlikely that you’ll be making a four-course meal during your remodel. Stick to basic meals that require limited ingredients (especially if you have to use a small refrigerator). Pinterest and Allrecipes are great resources for one-dish and crock pot meals, make-ahead freezer meals that can be thawed and warmed in the microwave, and diet-specific versions of all of the above.
7) Enjoy the hospitality of friends
A lengthy remodel can be frustrating if you like to entertain. Think about planning a dinner party at a friend’s house, or just plan a game night get-together with the families. Not only will you get out of the chaos that is your half-done kitchen, but you’ll also nurture relationships and build friendships. Don’t forget to pay-it-forward when they redo their kitchens!
8 ) Visit some new restaurants
Take this opportunity to try a few new restaurants or food trucks in town. Deal sites from Groupon, LivingSocial and even from local media are great ways to help keep the expense down for a family. Don’t forget the local mom & pop diners—they can provide that homemade comfort food that you’re missing from your own kitchen. And no clean up!
9) Be flexible (worth repeating)
No matter how resolved you are to being calm, cool and collected at the beginning of a remodel, this second reminder will come in handy about 1/2 way through. Breathe. Take time away. Remember your designer & contractors are people, too, and they really want your room to be spectacular. Being courteous, forgiving, and kind are keys to a happy remodel (and life!)
10) Keep looking forward to the end result
Remember the big picture—you’re getting a fantastic new kitchen that will last many, many years. This too will pass and you will have learned the art of simplicity in the meantime. You can do it!
Planning a kitchen remodel?
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and we’ll get you on your way to a beautiful new kitchen!