When was the last time you walked into your kitchen and felt pleased? Unless you’ve recently remodelled, chances are it’s a depressing mess of colours and cabinets that just don’t match. The stove might be a little finicky, the exhaust fan has seen better days, and your cabinets have loads of loose bits of food hiding in the back.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially during festive seasons like Christmas, but we’re usually concerned that things work and not how they look. But the kitchen is a social area, a place to connect and talk about food and work together on creating delicious meals. It’s a place for your kids to roam and grab a few cookies that you’ve made, or for you and your partner to design a decadent birthday cake together. Don’t underestimate how central a kitchen is to the home.
Right, so let’s get started. Where do we begin? Remodelling a kitchen is a long task, but it’s made easier if you split it up into smaller tasks. In this guide, we’ll break it down into easily digestible pieces that you can manage even with a busy lifestyle.
Phase 1: Gather Inspiration
This phase is the most fun. Make sure you gather plenty of inspiration. Get a cheap folder or scrapbook and take pictures of anything and everything that you think looks nice and fits into a kitchen. Browse sites such as Pinterest and take a look at some of the amazing ideas that people around the world have thought up. There’s so much variety in colour combinations, appliances, and lighting that you’ll be surprised.
Take time with this step, and print off all your ideas to collect into your scrapbook. Consult your bible of kitchen ideas any time you have a spare moment and imagine how your kitchen would look. This is important because you want to have a clear vision of what you want your new kitchen to look like. It’s the dreaming phase, so be creative and imaginative. If you’re experiencing a creativity block, kitchen remodeling services can help to give you some inspiration and practical advice.
Phase 2: Planning
Once your ideas are gathered and you’ve got a look in mind, it’s time to start planning. Online software can help you visualise everything that your kitchen will have. It might take some work getting all the dimensions correct (tape measure helps!) but it’s worth it in the long run. Pick from a variety of appliances and furniture to place in your kitchen, scale them and move them around, and create your perfect dream kitchen in a 3D space.
But not everyone has the patience to hand-craft their own kitchen with the help of software. In times like this, traditional sketching and floor plans can replace CAD software and you’ll be able to work out most of your ideas with simple pencil and paper. Again, make sure dimensions for all the furniture are correct, and keep in mind to sketch out your floor plan accurately so that you don’t get nasty surprises when buying items. Make sure to carry out the relevant safety checks as well, especially if you’re using gas appliances.
Phase 3: Budgeting
Decide beforehand how much you want to spend on your kitchen. It’s an investment that will pay off in the years to come, but that doesn’t mean you’re expected to spend an infinite amount of money. Pick out appliances that you want to buy as replacements if needed, and look out for furniture stores that specialise in kitchens. Pick out your counters, cabinets, tables, stools, the kitchen sink—everything.
You don’t need to calculate everything to the last penny. A rough estimate is good enough. Round numbers up and down and add around 10% to cover delivery costs and variation in models and makes. After all, this is a long-term goal and prices may change or models may go out of date.
Phase 4: DIY or Hire a Service?
Getting your hands dirty and sorting out your own kitchen is a lot of work, and it’s made easier if you have an extra pairs of hands. Keep in mind that if you’re not quick in remodelling, then you’re going to be living off microwave food and take-outs for the duration of the remodel.
Hiring a contractor to carry out your work is ideal because of their experience and expertise. Doing the work yourself is a great accomplishment, but not practical even if you have some DIY experience. Instead of relying on your own wits, hire a contractor and discuss with them your plans and budget. It costs a little extra, but it’s worth the expert advice that you’ll be getting.
Your contractor can discuss the different issues that may pop up during the remodelling, and they might even have advice to offer you about colour coordination and appliance choices. Just make sure they’re from a reputable company, and don’t hire someone off craigslist to do your work. Remember to discuss any hidden fees or possible price changes with your contractor so you aren’t surprised when the bill totals higher than you anticipated.
Phase 5: Coping with DIY Work
Whether you decide to hire a contractor or carry out the work yourself, you and your family need to cope with the dust and noise and the lack of a working kitchen. Stocking up on ready meals or going out to eat are good options, but it’s best not to sustain that for too long.
One of the best options is to simply move out for a few days to a friend or family member’s home. This is great especially if you have children because the kitchen becomes a hazard that you don’t want kids roaming around in. The dust build up and loud noises might also scare children, so you want to keep them away for as long as possible.
If you’re hiring a contractor, it might be an option to let them have full control over your home for the entire build period. Sometimes it’s not just the kitchen they need to use, but rerouting pipes or wires to cover for various appliances is critical and may involve cutting into a wall or floor.
Phase 6: Enjoy!
Now that all the work is done, you’re allowed to relax in your brand spanking new kitchen. Keep in mind to check for any post-remodelling issues such as cracks or chips in furniture due to mishandling, and get in touch with your contractor if there’s anything you need changing or if problems arise. It might take some time to get accustomed to your new kitchen, but it’s a worthwhile investment!