Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, you’ve saved your pennies and you’re finally ready to renovate your kitchen. But before you dive in and make the same mistakes I have seen over and over again, here is a step-by step guide that I’ve prepared to make the entire process run smoothly from start to finish.
STEP ONE: Determine a Budget:
This is by far the most crucial. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford and try to stick with that budget. I have seen far too often jobs going over budget by thousands of dollars simply because the “want list” trumps the “budget”. Keep in mind that the average cost of a kitchen renovation will run you on average between ($20,000.00- $40,000.00) so be prepared to spend at least that. Here is a list of what you will need to budget for.
1) Renovation/ Material Costs: This would include flooring, back splash, new sink, new taps, new moulding and trim for baseboard/ windows, moving electrical or plumbing, removal of existing cabinets, removing walls, bulkheads, gas lines etc. And the list goes on.
2) Cost of new appliances: New appliances can sometimes cost more than the actual cabinets, so by determining what you can afford to spend will keep your mind focused when it comes time to buying.
3) Determine a cabinet cost: Always make sure to get delivery and installation included in the quote.
4) Counter tops: Most solid surface counters are sold by groups and each group has a specific price per square foot. Letting your granite supplier know what your budget is, will help them guide you to choose the group within your budget.
STEP TWO: Access the Problem:
One of the first things I ask my clients to do is identify what works and what doesn’t. Determine how you will use the space and what type of features you want and must have. Do you need a kitchen table? Do you prefer an island? Do you need a second sink? Having a vision for the final product will help when it comes time to actually designing the space. This takes me to my next point….
STEP THREE: HIRE A DESIGNER!!
I can write an entire blog post on what to look for when hiring a designer, but to keep it simple you need to hire someone that you feel comfortable with and who knows their stuff, end of story! We (Designers) are trained and have full knowledge of the building code and know how to properly design a kitchen. I know that designing a kitchen is not rocket science. But I also know that if attention isn’t given to the smallest of details, it can potentially end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Designers think beautifully but design practically. You want a space that reflects you your tastes and style but it also need it to function. So don’t be surprised if that 10’ island you so badly wanted isn’t going to fit into your 8’ kitchen. This is the stuff you need to hear, trust me. Just have faith that your designer will come up with a solution that better suits the space and your needs. One of the best things about hiring a designer is they generally have a group of trade’s people that they trust and feel comfortable working with and can put you in contact with the best of the best. Contractors, cabinet manufactures, etc, etc, etc. You will have peace of mind knowing that you are working with skilled and reliable professionals who are going to get the job done right and on time. That my friend is invaluable!
STEP FOUR: Determine Appliances Before Quoting the Kitchen:
Why you ask? Because the size of your appliances will affect the design and price of your kitchen. For example, if you are purchasing a built in oven and a cook top, most companies will charge more to customize cabinets to accommodate these units. One size fits all doesn’t always apply when it comes to appliances. Fridges, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves and built in ovens will all vary in size depending on the manufacturer and model number. It is crucial that the cabinet manufacturer receives a full package outlining all the required cut outs and openings. Most appliance dealers are very helpful in preparing this information, so be sure to ask for it. On another note; the look of your appliances could also determine the style of cabinet you end up choosing. Companies such as Mielé generally have a clean streamline European feel and look amazing with sleek slab modern doors. On the other hand, manufactures such as Wolf or Viking will give you a much more industrial look. So really determine what type style you are trying to achieve.
STEP FIVE: Shop| Compare | Get Educated:
It doesn’t hurt to shop around when it comes time to quoting your appliances. You need to know what you are paying for and what features are offered for the price you’ve been given. Is the company quoting custom cabinets, or are they quoting pre-fabricated cabinets? This is very important to know as there is a huge difference between the two. For example, custom cabinets give you the option to build any shape to any size. It generally also comes at a higher price point. On the contrary, prefab cabinets are typically sold in increments of three inches without the ability to modify the width, height or depth and use fillers to close in any gaps. Equally as important is the thickness of material the manufacturer is using. The last thing you want is ¼” shelves bowing and giving in with the weight of your dinner plates. I always recommend ¾” construction for the doors, shelves side panels etc. This will assure a sturdy construction that will last a lifetime. So be sure to ask what thickness has been included in your quote. Lastly, the cost will also be determined by the type of door and material you use. Let the manufacturer know the look you want to achieve and they will be able to price accordingly.
Following these guidelines will definitely help to ensure a smooth renovation from start to finish. So now that you know what questions to ask and what to look for, I assure you that you will enjoy the process and be thrilled with the final outcome!
Thanks for stopping by!