7 questions you should ask yourself before a kitchen remodel
A kitchen remodel isn’t just one of the most exciting home improvement projects you can do – it can also be the most overwhelming. With all the decisions you have to make, it’s easy to get lost and end up getting a kitchen that’s far from what you wanted or needed. That’s why is key to take some time to think, plan and design before even calling the kitchen contractor.
We know that doing that can be daunting. That’s why we prepared this brief questionnaire you should ask yourself when thinking about your new kitchen. Put some thought when answering all of the questions, since the answers will be the guide you’ll need to finally get the kitchen you want – one that’s a perfect mix of beauty and functionality.
What is your fantasy kitchen?
Many experts and contractors will try to convince you to keep it real from the get-go. We urge you to try something different – imagine what your dream kitchen would look like in your home. Picture the cabinets, countertops, the layout, the colors... and write it all down. It doesn’t matter if you’re dreaming big. This first stage is about learning what you truly like to see in your kitchen. Make a first draft. You’ll surely streamline it as you answer the next questions.
How much time do you spend in the kitchen?
Now it’s the time to start refining that dream to make it practical and functional to your daily life. That’s why you need this question– to start measuring your needs honestly. Now, without lying to yourself, how much time do you spend in your kitchen? Are you in there all day, trying new recipes? You and your family actually use it to hang out during the day? Or is it just a place where you go a couple of times a day to cook whatever you feel like eating? Your new kitchen’s size, layout and extras will start emerging from your answer.
Which things you consider essential in a kitchen?
Take a look at your fantasy draft. Of all the things you’ve written down, how many of them do you use on a regular basis? Have you listed appliances just because it’d be cool to own them? Do you really need that much counter space? What about that island? Is it out of functionality or just because you think it would look nice? It doesn’t have to be a grand kitchen to be comfortable, you know. The perfect kitchen for you is the one that has everything you need, no more, no less. List your essentials and go back to the drawing board for a new draft.
What is your budget?
Lots of people start their new kitchen design based on how much money they can spend. “Why daydream with something I can’t afford?” they wonder. And though that might sound like a reasonable thing to do, let us explain why we don’t think is a good idea. If you put your budget first, you’ll always make your decisions with money in your mind. You’ll settle for less space than you need, with cheaper materials/appliances and even with a cheaper contractor. Budget certainly is an important factor in your kitchen remodel but it shouldn’t get in the way of all your decisions.
So, the advice is obvious: keep your budget in mind to get rid of the things you don’t need or won’t use and forget about it when it comes to the important stuff (materials, appliances, plumbing). You’ll may end up paying a little more but, in the long run, you’ll be glad that you did. If your budget isn’t enough to cover your needs with a nice remodel, then perhaps it’s not the time to do it.
Will you remodel the kitchen again in the future?
While you should pay a little more to build a kitchen to last, you should also pay attention to other things that can make you say “what was I thinking?” in the future. You don’t need the cheapest plumbing, sure, but you also don’t need the trendiest colors and materials. Don’t think your kitchen according to the newest trends if you’re looking for kitchen for a lifetime. The colors will go out of style and so will the materials and either you’ll have to remodel again or be stuck with an outdated kitchen. What’s even worse – you might end up in that scenario while trying to sell the house! If you know for a fact that you’ll remodel your kitchen in a few years, then don’t worry. But if you don’t, try to go traditional with almost everything.
Do you have the time for a remodel?
A kitchen remodel takes time – sometimes an awful lot. Depending on how big your remodeling is, you could be months away from your new kitchen. Take that into account when planning it because you’ll might get anxious down the road (and it’s best to be warned beforehand). Some people get nervous when they see weeks are passing by and the contractor is still working on the remodel – some might even try to rush things to get it done pronto. You can imagine where it all goes from there: a poor finish and little big troubles in the near future. So, if you really want your kitchen to be perfect, you’ll have to schedule your remodel when you and your family have enough time and enough patience to run its natural course.
Have you researched your contractor?
Last but not least, an amazingly important thing some people actually forget – research your contractor. And when we say this, we don’t mean read a few good reviews and listen to a good reference. What we mean is an actual research, weighing the pros and cons of each available prospect. Read as many reviews as you can, especially the bad ones, since they can be useful to identify certain nasty work patterns. Ask for quotes, talk to other experts. There isn’t such thing as overinvestigating. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of money on your remodel – you’d better give it to the best candidate.
The result of this questionnaire should leave you with a more realistic draft than the one you started with. You’ll have a deeper knowledge of what you really need and how can you manage it all. Anyway, take time to discuss all your plans with the contractor you picked (after investigating him!) and be open to his ideas. Good luck with your remodel!