Remodeling a kitchen is an exciting project. Unlike replacing a roof or that worn out air handler, a new kitchen looks great and instantly makes your home feel upgraded. Depending upon the extent of the remodel, this can turn into a big job and it can also get expensive. But it's a good idea to put soem careful thought on the front end before investing all those hard-earned dollars. What creates a functional kitchen? Aesthetics, functionality, and capacity are some serious considerations, as well as the size and layout. Here are 10 questions that you should ask about a kitchen remodel
1. Why are you remodeling your kitchen?The reason for the remodel is very important. This sets the tone for the nature of the project. Do you need a more functional layout? Is it mostly the aesthetics of your old kitchen that bothers you? Does your kitchen look outdated as compared to your neighbors and you want your kitchen to look just as nice or nicer? The answers to these will affect the approach and often the bottom line.
2. How much space do you have to work with?The next question to ask yourself is how much space you have to work within your kitchen. Take the measurements so you know the square footage. This is especially important if you’re planning to make changes to the floorplan or to add new cabinets and drawer systems. It's best to work with a seasoned design professional to help you get the best bang for your buck.
3. Are you planning to stay in the home?If you’re planning to live in the home for a few years and then sell or rent it, you may want to consider a remodel that will update the home without costing you a fortune. Putting too much of your personality into a home you’re going to sell may not make it attractive to prospective buyers and the kitchen can be a great selling point. If you’re not planning to sell the home soon, let your creative juices flow and make it your own space.
4. Do your remodel plans respect the architectural integrity of the home?What is the current architecture of the home and what style was it designed with? What elements of the architecture need to be retained in order to maintain the integrity of the design? This is a very important question to ask when it comes to the final outcome. While some styles can be combined, others simply don’t work well together. It’s important to make sure that all of the planned design elements fit in with those that you will retain. This is one reason why shaker cabinet doors are so ubiquitous. They work in pretty much any home.
5. How much cabinet and storage space do you need?Another important question to investigate is how much cabinet space you need to have in your kitchen. Some cheap cabinets may be aesthetically pleasing, especially if you’re going for a minimalist look, but in the end, you still need to have enough storage in the kitchen or you’ll face frustration and the kitchen will not be as functional or efficient as it could be. Whether you’re planning to remodel a rental or your residence, make sure that you go with cabinets that will give you the length and depth required to store everything that you’re going to need and use.
6. What is your budget?Work with a remodeler who will take the time to carefully put together the numbers so that you know what you will pay and not have the pricing change on you over the course of the project. Ther are ususally only two reasons the final cost should change from the original quote. One reason is when you, the homeowner, ask for a change during the project. The other is the rare situation when rot, faulty plumbing or faulty electrical is discovered that couldn't be detected before the start of the project. You should plan an extra 15% as a buffer so that you can cover the unforeseen.
7. How often do you cook and entertain?The type of appliances that you will need really depends on the amount of cooking and entertaining that you do. If you’re a weekend chef and don’t use the kitchen much then you won’t need to buy top of the line appliances, but if you’re a chef or you do a lot of meal preparation or entertain guests frequently, your remodel should include a functional layout that gives you easy access to the items you use the most and your appliances should probably be top of the line professional grade. This is particularly important if you wash a lot of dishes. Your dishwasher should be built to accommodate large loads if you have a lot of dirty dishes. This is just being practical and planning ahead.
8. What are your must-haves?This is another important question that you should ask yourself. In any kitchen remodel you must consider the basics, or elements that you cannot do without. For some, it is an island in the center of a larger kitchen to provide extra workspace for larger cooking projects, and for adding more storage for pots, pans, dishwasher or other items. For others, it is a wall oven, built-in kitchen appliances, a convection oven, built-in microwave, stacked ovens, and so forth. Consider the things you must have for functionality and that fit in with your current lifestyle.
9. What are your lighting needs?This is a big one because every person has their own individual needs and preferences when it comes to kitchen lighting. If you do a lot of intricate design work in your meal preparation or baking, then you will need an area with excellent lighting. While it’s not a big deal for some people, others need to have adjustable lighting installed in the kitchen. You might also address any poorly lit or darker areas in your kitchen that you’d like to improve and include this in the remodeling plans.
10. How can you maximize storage space?This question is different than how many cabinets do you need, but it fits into the same overall thinking process. If you need a lot more space there are ways that you can maximize the available space that you have in your kitchen by adding shelves and smaller cabinets towards the upper part of the walls. Some homeowners have even gone so far as to move a wall back a few feet to obtain a little more storage space for an extra-long cabinet or even a pantry addition. Most kitchens have underutilized space areas and it doesn’t take much to maximize every inch of open space. Again, this is where having a remodeler who works with a professional designer helps.