General Article

Kitchen Remodeling Planning


Kitchen remodeling is generally one of the largest expenditures in any home remodeling project. As such, there is a significant amount of planning involved, whether you decide to do it on your own or seek the services of a professional. In this guide, we will detail out the process in three steps: 1) determine the scope of kitchen remodeling project, 2) seek out remodeling contractor bids and financing options, and 3) getting your kitchen ready for the remodeling. 

The first step of determining the scope of the project will assist you in figuring out an estimated budget, as well as a time frame. You will need to decide whether you will be expanding the kitchen, changing the floor plan, what appliances you want, flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc. If you are expanding the kitchen and adding custom cabinets, expect your costs and timeline to both increase significantly. Custom cabinets generally have turnaround times greater than 6 weeks. What kind of countertops (granite, marble, tile, etc.) do you want? Do you want to add some new hardwood, engineered, bamboo, or laminate flooring? Do you want your dream kitchen to have an island, a backsplash, stainless steel sinks, larger exhaust fans, new doors? The best way to get a better feel for what options are available is to go into home improvement stores and do some online research. If you are willing to spend a little bit more you can hire the services of a professional kitchen designer. Figuring out exactly all the specifications you want for your kitchen remodeling project is essential and needs to be written down. Where will you be sourcing all these kitchen components? You can buy from retail locations or shop online. More often than not, online retailer prices are lower than their brick and mortar counterparts, even with cost of shipping factored in.

With a detailed project scope you are now ready to being requesting remodeling quotes. If you are planning to do the kitchen renovation yourself, you should make sure that you know all the laws and regulations that must be adhered to. We recommend that for larger projects that you either consult with a professional contractor or just hire one outright. Requesting remodeling quotes can be done through references, the yellow pages, or online. There are several online home improvement companies that have large pre-screened databases of professional remodeling contractors. To request a kitchen remodeling quote, you simply fill out a request form that essentially asks for the scope of your project. The company will review your kitchen remodeling project and send out this information to the appropriate contractors within your area. These contractors will then call you and set up a time to bid on your project. When you meet these kitchen contractors, make sure that you ask them for references, experience, insurance, and estimated timeline.

While you are searching for a kitchen remodeling contractor, you should simultaneously be exploring various financing options. What type of financing you use really depends on how costly your kitchen project is going to be. For example, if your project is estimated to be less than $5,000, you might want to consider just charging it on a credit card with a low APR. For kitchen remodeling projects over $5,000, you should consider either a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. Which of these options you go with really depends on your financial situation. You should talk to your mortgage lender and other lenders to see what rates qualify for.

Lastly, you need to clear up some space in your kitchen in preparation of the remodeling project. A cleaner more open kitchen will facilitate a smoother running project. Try to remove dishes, cups, chairs, and other unnecessary clutter from the kitchen area. You will also want to put protective covering on the floor and furniture of the areas surrounding the kitchen. When working with kitchen contractors, make sure that you set a few ground rules, such as work hours, which bathroom to use, language, smoking, cleanliness, etc. Having everything set before work begins will ensure that both sides clearly understand and respect each other’s preferences.