The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the most popular spaces in the home when it comes to remodeling projects. So how do you get it right?
Families spend a lot of their time in the kitchen, especially in modern homes, but it’s also a functional space, and it can add a lot of resale value if done right.
If you’ve never done a kitchen project, however, it’s not something you should underestimate. It’s a significant undertaking, costs can spiral out of control in a real hurry, and it requires meticulous planning to avoid problems in the long run.
But we’re not here to scaremonger you out of a kitchen renewal! If you put in the right amount of time and effort into your planning, stick to your budget, and manage expectations, it can improve your family’s quality of life (and add a fair amount to the value of your home!).
Quality Beats Style
One of the biggest problems people encounter when undertaking a home renovation project is that they focus on the aesthetic aspects. A kitchen that looks good is pointless if it isn’t actually up to scratch; in other words, quality beats style in every scenario. It not only ensures your kitchen is safe and usable for a number of years following your remodeling, but it means you’ll avoid expensive issues going forward.
For example, opt for a quality brass gate valve instead of a cheap version. The difference is just a few dollars and the item is tiny, but when it translates to avoiding a leakage, it makes all the difference. Trust us, when it comes to kitchen remodeling, you don’t want to opt for the George Costanza from Seinfeld route!
This is just an example, but it applies to everything in your kitchen. Of course, you can shave a couple of bucks off the total investment by making smart choices, but don’t go for cheap when it either affects the functioning of your kitchen or if the materials are so low-quality that they’ll have to be replaced in the short-term.
Don’t Ignore Your Budget
Do not ballpark your costs, do not ‘roughly’ do a budget. No, this is the part where you need to stick to the details. Kitchens are expensive projects, and if you make mistakes at the initial stages, you may end up spending thousands of dollars you just can’t afford.
First, consider how much money you can spend on your kitchen. Deduct 10-20% from this amount, the difference acting as a buffer for extra costs. Kitchen remodeling projects are notorious for running over budget, and you should be ready to spend more than your initial calculations. Realtor Magazine estimates that we’re usually off by almost $10k! It doesn’t matter how good you are at running the numbers.
Next, consider how important it is to add value to your home. Are you doing this just to improve your quality of life, or is this an integral step in the resale process? If it’s the latter, talk to a realtor to make sure it’s worth doing. Not all home renovation projects add value to a home. In fact, some can lower it.
Don’t Follow Trends
We get it, you dream of your kitchen featuring in one of those trendy home magazines. But let’s set a challenge for you: pick up a copy from ten years ago and ask yourself whether that’s a kitchen you would be happy with.
Approach your kitchen as you would a timeless wardrobe. There are things that never run out of style. White t-shirts and aviator sunglasses will continue no matter what while baggy jeans and bell-bottoms are left in the annals of history.
Instead of going for kitchen fittings that are trendy today, think about opting for stylish pieces that will always work. And don’t go for anything that’s too ‘out there’, especially if you want to put your home on the market in the next few years. Something quirky may be nice for you, but a potential buyer may be put off.
The planning stages can be exciting, but they can also get kind of boring in a real hurry. Grand designs are nice to think about, but annoying little details can often be left by the wayside.
Don’t make this mistake. Plan everything to the absolute detail, even if you end up diverging from your plan slightly. You’ll end up coming across issues you didn’t even think about, and it may drive you to rework your initial ideas.
Get ideas from showrooms, websites, YouTube videos, realtors, interior designers, or friends who have gone through the process. Try and implement what you see within a realistic plan for your own space, instead of going beyond what’s possible.
Finally, and perhaps a little against the grain of this guide so far, remember to enjoy the process! As long as you follow the tips given above, you should have a relatively smooth ride. Don’t worry if things go a little wrong (they always do!), and revel in the good stuff. Once the kitchen is done, you’ll love it!
Have you had experience remodeling your kitchen? What were your top tips? Share them in the comments!