7 Things to Do Before You Start Remodeling Your Kitchen

March 3, 2020

If you’ve never remodeled a kitchen before, tackling such a massive project might make your head spin. Remodeling means getting building permits, shopping, and answering questions that you’ve probably never even thought to ask yourself.

Proper planning can truly be the difference between utter chaos and a pleasant redesign experience. Here a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to remodel your kitchen.

1. Determine A Budget

Talking dollar signs may not be fun, but in order to create an effective, thorough plan, you have to know your budget. Knowing how much you have to spend from the start helps keep your expectations realistic and your project on track. You don’t have to determine an exact number — in fact, predicting an exact number can be next to impossible. However, having a price range in mind, accounting for potential emergency expenses, and choosing where you want to spend the bulk of your budget will help you plan realistically.

2.  Choose Your Remodeling Season

Oddly enough, the time of year that you decide to remodel will affect your plans. Wondering why? Imagine being mid-remodel during the holidays. If your family likes to host relatives or bake tons of holiday sweets, it’s safe to say that’s not the best choice for you. Similarly though, if you know summer means a big vacation, graduation, or weddings, it’s probably best to steer clear of remodeling during the summer. Many homeowners choose to remodel during spring or summer because the warm weather allows for outdoor cooking and dining while your kitchen space is under construction. Ultimately though, you need to look at your family’s lifestyle to figure out what’s going to work best for you.

3. Plan Around Your Family’s Schedule

On a similar note, be sure to consider even the smaller pieces of your family’s schedule. School schedules, extracurriculars, and pets’ needs can all affect your remodeling schedule more than you might realize. Avoid planning your remodel during a time when someone in  your house is likely to be planning for a recital, studying for an important exam, or working an unusual shift to keep things running smoothly, and be sure to plan out a safe area for pets and small children to stay during the renovation!

4. Evaluate Your Space

You use your cooktop every day, but what do you know about your HVAC? Are your electrical systems and plumbing in good shape? Will they need to be replaced or relocated to suit your remodeling plans? Do you know which walls are load-bearing? If this isn’t your area of expertise, consider hiring a building inspector to help you take stock of your home’s structural systems before you start tearing out old fixtures.

5. Educate Yourself on Building Codes and Permits

Every municipality has slightly different codes and permit processes. You might need a permit to make structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical changes. If you’re working with a contractor, be sure to ask whether they’ll be taking care of the permitting for you. If you have any questions, your local building department’s website will likely be able to answer them. Don’t forget to allow up to two weeks for any applications to be reviewed.

6. Give Yourself the Gift of a Temporary Kitchen

Remodels can take awhile, and your family will need a makeshift kitchen in the meantime. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Set up a space with a microwave, griddle, refrigerator, and water access. Brainstorm easy meals that don’t require a full kitchen set up, and consider taking advantage of good weather to enjoy grilling, picnics, and potlucks.

7. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Before you order anything, consider your time and space. Order your materials well in advance, then wait for your products to arrive before you actually start the project. Leave time to deal with potential mistakes or shipping delays. When your products finally arrive, be sure to inspect everything on delivery and store them safely in a large open space. Garages, covered porches, and dining rooms make great storage spaces, but you can always take advantage of a local storage facility if you don’t have extra room for your materials. Be sure that any storage space you use is climate controlled — extreme temperatures, humidity, and dryness can cause serious, irreversible damage that voids warranties.

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