The kitchen is the second most popular room to renovate (bathrooms being the first), and this year, millions of Americans will transform the appearance of this interior space. Whether you want to increase the value of your home, need more space or just desire a brand new look, a kitchen remodel will provide you with a great return on your investment — but only if you choose the right contractor.
You’ve heard the horror stories: contractors who botch everything up, leaving rooms in a worse state than they were before. That’s why it’s important you choose a professional with a good reputation and the right amount of experience. Want to know how to plan a kitchen remodel? Read on for a kitchen renovation planning checklist and information on how to find a contractor for your kitchen remodel.
When Is the Best Time to Remodel a Kitchen?
You can remodel your kitchen at any time of the year. However, the winter months are popular with homeowners who want to undertake a big kitchen renovation project. “Frozen ground and dry air are better for digging foundations and pouring concrete footers than muddy ground and humidity,” according to Angie’s List.
It also might be easier to find a contractor in the winter: “The winter months tend to be less busy for builders because everyone is waiting for spring and tax refunds to start their home projects.”
How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?
It can take eight to 12 weeks to complete a kitchen remodel project. During this time, a contractor might replace or install new cabinets and countertops, change the flooring, replace electrical appliances and incorporate new fixtures and fittings.
This kitchen remodel timeline might sound lengthy, but you will still have access to amenities like a sink: “To ease the disruption, your contractor can easily set up a construction sink somewhere by running a couple of hoses from existing kitchen plumbing through the dust wall to a makeshift kitchen in an adjacent room,” says House Logic.
How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel
You might have a general idea of how to renovate your kitchen, but it’s best left to the professionals. Dealing with plumbing and electrical systems is a lot harder than you think, and your remodel could result in a DIY disaster.
There are a number of steps you can take before you enlist the services of a contractor. You could create a design plan that outlines all the kitchen remodeling components you want to incorporate into your home. For example, you can choose which materials you want to use, or pick the colors that would work best in your interior space. You can give your kitchen plans for remodeling to a contractor so he or she knows what features you want.
You could also order materials and appliances for your kitchen remodel. “If you’re remodeling in stages, you can order them any time after the plans are complete and store them in a garage, away from moisture, or in a spare room until you’re ready to pull the trigger on the installation,” says House Logic.
How to Find a Contractor for Kitchen Remodeling Projects
Not all kitchen design contractors are the same. That’s why it’s important for you to do your research and find the right professional for the project. The Federal Trade Commission recommends you check with friends, neighbors or co-workers who have used a contractor in the past. “If you can, take a look at the work done and ask about their experience.”
You can also head over to review websites like HomeAdvisor and Yelp. The Better Business Bureau is another great resource you can use in your search. These sites provide you with all the information you need when searching for contractors in your area, such as qualifications, experience, and reputation.
You might also want to check with your local consumer protection agency or building department and ask them about licensing requirements. “Licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process. If your state or locality has licensing laws, make sure the contractor’s license is current,” says the Federal Trade Commission.
Steps to Remodeling a Kitchen
Here’s a brief kitchen remodel checklist:
- Create a budget and stick to it. According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners spend, on average, $21,751 on kitchen remodels. A good contractor, however, can help you save money on your project.
- If you are planning a big kitchen renovation project, think about other costs such as alternative accommodation.
- Consider the size of your kitchen and manage your expectations. You might not be able to incorporate all the features you want into your new kitchen if you lack space.
- Ask your contractor about the payment. Will you need to pay for your new kitchen upfront or can you make payments in installments?
Follow the tips on this list to avoid a DIY disaster. Enlisting the services of a good contractor will help you execute the ultimate kitchen renovation.