The kitchen. The room in your home where you enjoy meals, conversations, and spend time with family and friends. All the memorable moments’ life brings you and your loved ones in the kitchen, starting a kitchen remodel can be overwhelming. Do you ever wonder, “where do I begin?” When meeting with a kitchen designer for the first time. “What information should I have ready for our first meeting?” Leaving those questions unanswered can leave you prolonging your project yet again.
You’ve probably been imagining your dream kitchen for quite a while, gathering ideas of inspiration on color palettes, materials you’d like to use, functionality to fit the lifestyle of your family, etc. But, before considering any home project, with the kitchen, there are three aspects to consider before meeting with a kitchen designer: The scope of your project, your budget, and how the project will be implemented.
1. The scope of your project: what would you like to have done?
To make it easy, we’ll categorize kitchen makeovers into three categories. These three categories are very generalized – every kitchen makeover is as unique as the client. The categories are an explanation to give you insight into the depth of your project, so you don’t run out of time, budget, or patience!
Updating your kitchen may include some and/or all the following elements: swapping out old, inefficient appliances, lighting fixtures; replacing cabinet pulls, countertops, and a fresh coat of paint.
Typically, a kitchen update is the least costly since cabinets aren’t being replaced, or the footprint of your current kitchen is not changing. Cabinets, plumbing, and electrical work can be the largest expense during a full remodel. The “update” is a budget-friendly way to accomplish beauty and style less the cost and night after night of McDonald’s Big Macs.’
When it comes to defining “replacing” kitchen makeovers vs. “updating” is the cabinets. Typically, with kitchen replacements, all the materials and fixtures are new and fresh. Hello new house smell!
There are, however, varying degrees of “replacement” kitchen makeovers. For instance, small changes to the current footprint and minor electrical updates are common, especially with aging homes. Another common occurrence when “replacing” is (possibly) not updating your appliances and lighting fixtures. When considering this type of makeover, primarily, the workflow/footprint will remain as is.
Ah now, this is where things get interesting. The full remodel. As you may have already guessed with a full kitchen remodel, all materials will be replaced and your budget will allow for (possibly) a completely new floorplan, i.e., location of appliances, fixtures; adding a kitchen island or even a wine refrigerator!
In short, during a full kitchen remodel, every element in your current space will be replaced or drastically modified to reflect your lifestyle need(s), whether functionality or having a grand high-end countertop is your top priority, you’ll accomplish it in a full kitchen remodel.
2. The Budget: realistically, how much are you willing to spend?
Within each of the above categories, there are drastically varying degrees of costs. Below are a few examples of the wide range of costs you can expect to see.
Updating costs, you’re selecting specific areas you want to spend vs. save. The primary goal when “updating” is to keep costs as low as possible. You control the ultimate cost by selecting where you want your high-end material(s) to be located. For example, countertops, there are low and high-end granite countertops. You may decide to select two different price points, for instance, putting high-end granite on your kitchen island & a lower priced material on your other worksurfaces.
Now when you’re thinking of replacing your cabinetry, you’re entering the latter two categories discussed above. Since new cabinetry will be installed, or other labor-intensive work is being done, your budget will be greatly affected. Quality is not created equal when selecting cabinets – the finish, durability, and custom vs. stock all affect the bottom-line pricing for cabinetry.
Just remember, when asking for a kitchen designer to tear down walls, move plumbing and electrical be ready for an unexpected expense when opening walls up. Choose a low and max budget, however; don’t make a final decision on your max until you consult with a professional. After you consult with a professional, you'll know where you can save vs. splurge on materials.
3. Project Implementation
When enlisting a kitchen designer for your project, having the information above when you begin your first consultation, will save time and frustration for all involved! A design professional will develop a plan and drawings to communicate the details of the project. At this stage, your kitchen designer will be able to give you a price for labor, materials, and everything else to complete your beautiful kitchen!
Remember to hire a kitchen designer that is communicative and goes over the details with you, not one who asks you to sign a contract based on a rough estimate and budget.
Now that you have a step-by-step guide to visualize the design process, go ahead take a deep breath and start the project you’ve been putting on the back burner! You deserve to sit back and enjoy a beautiful kitchen, regardless of how much construction dust your patience allows!
Whichever route you decide is the perfect fit for your budget and lifestyle, we hope you have found this step-by-step guide helpful.