5 Things to Consider Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Whether you’re looking to boost the value of your home or you want to improve its comfort and functionality, remodeling your kitchen is never a bad move. But it isn’t something to rush into.

As you’ll quickly see, remodeling a kitchen properly is about much more than making it look pretty. Done correctly, a kitchen remodel can deliver an incredible return on your investment. According to HGTV, you can earn back up to 80 percent of your remodeling costs with a minor kitchen remodel and up to 65 percent of your money spent with a major overhaul.

Here are five things to mull over before remodeling your kitchen.

1. What Is My Budget?

Remodeling a kitchen isn’t cheap. The average cost of a major kitchen remodel is upwards of $80,000, HGTV reports, so it’s important to set a realistic budget before breaking out your toolkit. In addition to setting a budget limit, you’ll want to consider how much of your budget needs to be dedicated to different aspects of the remodel. Here’s a handy breakdown:

  • 35 percent – Cabinets
  • 20 percent – Appliances
  • 20 percent – Labor
  • 10 percent – Windows
  • 5 percent – Fixtures
  • 3 percent – Fittings
  • 7 percent – Miscellaneous

As a general rule, it’s also smart to leave about 20 percent of your budget open just in case. This gives you some wiggle room for handling the inevitable surprises along the way, like realizing you have to upgrade your plumbing system.

2. How Much Space Does My Kitchen Have?

You can’t map out a new kitchen without knowing exactly what you’re working with, so you need to take precise measurements of your current space. Using a tape measure, a straight edge, and some graph paper, measure each of the walls. Note the measurements on an outline drawn on graph paper, making sure to mark off windows and other features, as well as where appliances are located. Take down dimensions of everything to be safe.

Do you have enough space to achieve your remodeling goals? If not, you might need to knock down a wall or two to make room. If there is enough space, will everything fit in approximately the same way, or is there enough room to switch things up a little? Your measurements will help you make these decisions.

3. Are My Design Choices Too Expensive?

Expect surprises during your remodel – and expect to be taken aback by how expensive it can be to tackle the smallest changes. Most remodels end up over budget, so if you’re struggling to come up with a budget-friendly plan, ask yourself if your design choices are too expensive. It makes sense to splurge in some areas, but you’ll want to make sure you save in others.

Cabinets account for nearly one-third of any kitchen remodeling budget, and you don’t want to skimp in that department. However, certain upgrades bring questionable value to the table; think of them as “nice-to-haves” as opposed to must-haves. These include things like custom cabinets, high-end appliances, and stone counters.

Certain bells and whistles offer terrific bang for the buck, especially when you’ll legitimately benefit from them. If something like under-counter lighting or a faster, more efficient cooktop will make a huge difference for you, include them if you can.

4. Is My Planned Design Functional?

All too often, homeowners get so caught up in the aesthetics of remodeling their kitchens that they completely overlook functionality. Before settling on a layout for your kitchen, consider how functional it is. How many people can work in there at one time? Will it strictly be used for preparing food, or will it serve as a gathering place too?

Perform an inventory of everything in your kitchen before finalizing its layout. Decide where everything will go to ensure enough space. Consider workflow and counter space to arrive at a practical and effective design that’s also attractive.

5. Is My Home’s Existing Infrastructure in Good Shape?

Nothing can sidetrack a kitchen remodel project like a major infrastructural issue. Faulty electrical wiring, damaged plumbing, deteriorating flooring, and slanted or crooked walls can make even a well-planned project grind to a halt. Early on, inspect these elements to ensure they can accommodate your plans.

If you discover issues with your home’s infrastructure, they’ll need to be addressed before the project can proceed. However, it’s better to find this out early on than while your kitchen is torn apart.

Hire a Contractor to Help

Since kitchen remodels are notoriously expensive, people often try to cut costs by doing the work themselves. However, so many variables come into play that you’re better off getting help. With assistance from a professional contractor, you’re far more likely to end up with a design that’s functional, beautiful, and valuable for years to come.

So many factors must be taken into consideration before remodeling a kitchen. Hiring a professional contractor for a fair, reasonable, and budget-friendly price is a wise investment. Contractors have the experience needed to ensure your kitchen remodel unfolds smoothly, on time, and within budget. If you’d like to alleviate headaches before they begin and keep the cost of your remodel as low as possible, you need a contractor’s help.

Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.

Featured Tip

A messy, unmade bed can actually make your home healthier: research by Kingston University found unmade beds to have cleaner mattresses.