How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel
Posted in Kitchen Remodel on July 7, 2018
Considering breaking ground on your fantasy kitchen? We can’t blame you – visions of cooking with family, entertaining friends, and dazzling loved ones with a brand new, state-of-the-art kitchen are hard to resist. You aren’t alone. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the kitchen remains the most popular room to remodel. For good reason, too. Kitchens are considered the heart of the home, often used more regularly than any other shared space and while a costly renovation, can often bring in 60-70% ROI. Before you order that professional range or swear off your existing cabinetry, let’s break down the key steps to planning a kitchen renovation to ensure that you and your family have the kitchen – and remodel – of your dreams.
Step One: Budget & Scope of Work
You’ve decided on a kitchen remodel, you’ve gotten your family on board, you’ve set your budget, and you’re already anxious to wander the stainless steel appliance aisle. Wait just a second. Setting a budget and scope of work for any remodel is a crucial first step, ensuring that you’re able to provide your professional team with a clear vision.
Keep in mind that the average cost of an upscale kitchen remodel can run homeowners upwards of $80,000 but that there are three factors to help you determine just how much you should spend.
- Take a look at your finances. How much can you afford to spend?
- How long are you planning to stay in the house? If you’re looking to sell in the next five years, consider this remodel an improvement and only spend what you think you will get back when you sell
- If you plan on staying in your home long term, you should focus on a remodel that will give you and your family the most enjoyment out of the space
Step Two: Identify What You Love (and Hate) about Your Kitchen
Now that you’ve got an idea of how much you can spend on your kitchen remodel, you can begin to explore what options you have. Your kitchen should reflect lifestyle that best suits you and your family. If you aren’t sure what your ideal kitchen looks like, begin first by asking yourself questions that can best shed light on your kitchen’s ‘must-haves’. Begin to notice what you love about your current kitchen, and what absolutely drives you crazy. Those are key qualities to consider when planning your kitchen remodel. Take a look at our questions below to begin shaping your ideal kitchen remodel:
- How many people live in your home?
- Who cooks?
- What type of cooking happens in your kitchen? Gourmet, baking, entertaining, microwave or easy weeknight dinners?
- Do you store the majority of your groceries in a fridge or pantry?
- How do you entertain? How often do you entertain?
- What appliances do you use daily?
- What do you rarely use?
- What do you love about your current kitchen?
- What do you hate about your current kitchen?
Step Three: Identify What Style Kitchen Best Suits Your Lifestyle
It’s crucial to consider that the real value of a kitchen remodel comes from the improvement of how the kitchen functions for you, your family, and your lifestyle. Maybe you’d love to use the space to entertain friends and loved ones with elaborate dinner parties? Maybe you’d get the most enjoyment from family time spent in the kitchen, pets and all? Maybe you’d like the space to practice your culinary prowess. Below, we’ve broken down three popular styles of kitchens.
Family Friendly Kitchen
Family-focused kitchens can provide you and yours endless enjoyment. While both gourmet and entertaining kitchens can be customized with family-friendly features, you may have identified that your dream kitchen functions best for your entire family. Whether it’s accommodating children, providing ample space for a parent to organize meals and activities, or even make room for family pets to eat in the kitchen. When selecting a family-friendly kitchen style, it’s important to note that a remodel should last at least 10 years, so you will want the layout, functionality and appliances you select to best suit that span, as well. Many family-friendly kitchens include these popular features:
- Accessible pantry – pantry cabinets with fully extending drawers make it that much easier for all members of the family, including children, to reach the contents
- Easy-to-clean surfaces – consider quartz surfaces (as opposed to the incredibly porous natural stone selections) for easy clean up. If you’re concerned about wear and tear, quartz cushions impact better than granite, and glass tile is not shock absorbent.
- Island – this multi-use space can serve as a snack bar, dining area, or even a place for children to do homework while you are cooking family meals
If you’ve set your sets on a gourmet kitchen, let’s talk details! Most gourmet style kitchens are equipped with professional appliances, ample storage for specialty items and designed with the cook in mind! While gourmet kitchens can be made to fit the needs of any homeowner, consider these popular features:
- Professional-grade range – many gourmet cooks prefer gas ranges and most often can be found in standard size of 30 inches wide – something to consider
- Double oven – hey, two is better than one, right? Especially for the gourmet cook or entertainer
- Double dishwasher – a wonderful addition to any kitchen, specifically those who often cook intricate meals or entertain heavily
- Warming drawer – designed to protect the moisture and temperature of food so that you can keep it at temperature until serving, avoiding the need to reheat it
You’re hosting the party! Specifically, in your kitchen. How many dinner parties have you hosted, or attended, where it felt like the entire guest list ended up in the kitchen? A crowd seems to always congregate to the heart of the home: the kitchen. The goal with any kitchen remodel to design a space that functions and meets the needs of you and your family. Entertaining style kitchens can be customized to fit any homeowner’s specifics, but consider these popular features:
- Double dishwashers – a secondary dishwasher, whether a drawer configuration, half size, or full size can make clean up a breeze
- Warming drawers – a must for serious entertainers, designed to keep food warm and at a servable temperature
- Raised countertops – consider an island or peninsula with raised countertops to hide dishes, serve as a cooking station, and provide a surface for guests to gather
- Point-of-service refrigeration – consider refrigerator drawers and units like wine coolers that will give you and your guests easier access to beverages and food
Step Four: Find Your Pros
While kitchen remodels are high on many homeowner’s wish list, most everyone has heard a handful of ‘horror stories’ that are enough to give anyone pause. Blown budgets, crushed timelines, the works. Selecting the right professional contractor and team for your kitchen remodel isn’t just crucial for your kitchen’s sake, but yours – and your budgets – as well. Choosing the right contractor sounds daunting, but when it comes to assessing and comparing different San Diegan remodeling contractors, be sure you look at each company’s ratings on sites like: Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. Don’t be shy – request to speak with any previous customers or referrals, ensuring that you get an idea of how reliable, communicative, detail-oriented, and ‘on-time’ the team was.
Consider bringing in an experienced designer who can help you save time, money, and heartache. Their job is to walk you through all the questions that may be keeping you up at night like: How do I maximize storage in the kitchen? Is there a smarter substitution for that ridiculously priced wolf range? Remember that the pro’s are here to help you: they don’t just manage your project from start to finish, they can walk you through space planning, permits, budgets, selecting fixtures and finishes, ordering products, helping you set up a temporary kitchen should you need one, and beyond.
Step Five: Get Started!
You’ve got your vision, you’ve got your budget, you’ve got your ‘must-haves’ and focus of functionality, you’ve got your pro’s – you’re on your way. When it comes to planning out your San Diego home’s kitchen remodel, remember that elevating the space for maximum enjoyment and functionality for you and your family is key. Breaking ground on a kitchen remodel is no small undertaking, but with proper planning and qualified professionals, you’ll be making memories in your new kitchen for years to come.