How To Remodel Your Kitchen
Here are 10 steps to a kitchen remodel, from gathering design ideas through construction and final review. When you are done, call BLC Homes and get started on your kitchen remodel.
You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Now what? Not knowing where to start, many homeowners fall into two camps. Some start by looking at appliances. Others start by collecting inspiration photos. Both are steps any homeowner can take without the commitment of hiring a professional, and sometimes a homeowner will find themselves in this stage for a year or longer.
Once you’ve researched phase and you’re ready to green-light a kitchen remodeling project, then what? Here we’ll start with the first 10 steps and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details under specific steps as we move through the workbook in the coming weeks.
Step 1: Gather inspiration
It can be organized and beautiful like a scrapbook or it can be a hard copy or computer file folder stuffed with random, unorganized images.
Step 2: Explore your style
Most homeowners get overwhelmed when thinking about all these decisions at once — so don’t. Who says you have to? Just add those kitchen inspiration images to your folders without thinking about why you like it, and worry over the details later. It’s so much easier and more fun this way.
This is also a great time to start shopping for a designer or architect as well if that’s in the cards for your type of project. Some homeowners hire a professional right away to help them through the inspiration-gathering process.
How to Find Your Kitchen Style
Step 3: Research and plan
Both of these may be subject to change, so don’t feel like you have only once chance at this. Budget and scope are intertwined and often change many times during the design process as you become more educated and able to reconcile what you want and what you can afford. As a homeowner, you’re not expected to walk into this knowing what everything should cost. Remember, this is an educational process.
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Step 4: Hire a professional
Some people start by visiting big-box stores or cabinet showrooms where they can see everything. Many homeowners get referrals from friends or colleagues and start by hiring an architect or designer. Still others might work on their own with a builder or contractor. This step includes so many levels that it warrants its own in-depth story to cover everything from contracts and permits, to space planning, budgets, product ordering and project management.
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Step 5: Schematic design
At this point you may be narrowing selections down to your top three. I try to keep my clients focused more on layout and space planning, even though the temptation is to talk about what the kitchen will look like, ie. fixtures and finishes. But I find that getting caught up in the look too early can distract from the space planning phase.
Plus, you need a plan in order to figure out what materials will go where, and how many square feet you will need, and ultimately how much this will cost. Preliminary budget work can also be done at the end of this phase. I like to begin the contractor interview process early and give them a preliminary drawing packet and scope of work so we can get some ballpark construction numbers. At the same time you can be sending out drawings for estimates on finishes and fixtures.
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Step 6: Fixture and finish specification
Final selection of finishes and fixtures is made. This usually includes:
- cabinetry construction type, doorstyle, finish and color
- countertop material
- refrigerators and other appliances
- sink and faucet
- light fixtures
- decorative hardware
- paint colors
Step 7: Work on design development and construction documents
This is where your final permit set or Construction Drawings (CDs) come into play. It’s important to have finishes and fixtures selected at this time, since this is what will be considered in the final pricing from the contractor.
You’ll submit drawings for permits. These have a lead time, so check the timing with your local village. You’ll need a contractor signed up to finalize the paperwork and pick up your permits, so get ready to hire someone in the next step. I often find that we’re submitting for permits around the same time or a little bit after we’ve placed the cabinet order, due to similar lead times.
Step 8: Get contractor estimates
Step 9: Get ready for demo
You may be moving out of your house temporarily, but most homeowners white-knuckle it and try to live in the house through construction. Preparation and organization can save your sanity.
Discuss the logistics ahead of time with your contractor. Will you meet once a week for updates? Will you have to be out of the house for certain tasks like demo or flooring? What about debris removal and dust? Are there any family allergy issues? What is a typical work day for the crew? Getting all this on the table beforehand can set expectations and make for a smoother ride.
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Step 10: Surviving the dreaded punch list
It’s inevitable that the contractor may have to make multiple visits back to the house to finish these items; prepare yourself for more than one visit and you’ll be fine. The best way to approach this is with a Zen attitude. Things happen, little things get missed. It’s sort of like making a list for the grocery store and still forgetting some key ingredient. We all do it.
BLC Homes is a licensed building contractor and has many years of experience in remodeling kitchens in the Fresno Clovis area. Give them a call when you start your next project.