Renovating one’s kitchen, or building one from scratch, gives homeowners the opportunity to create a space that accommodates their particular needs. As you begin to plan your project, there are important questions to consider before remodeling your kitchen.
Making design decisions without contemplating some important aspects may lead to costly mistakes and frustration. Most importantly, not answering some of these questions will keep you from having the kitchen that you really want and need.
Y9 Construction, your local and friendly general contractor and cabinet shop, has put together a list of important questions to consider before remodeling your kitchen that helped our customers in the past. Also, you can find a free downloadable questionnaire at the bottom of this page to help you keep organized as you think about putting together your kitchen remodeling project.
Why do I want to renovate the kitchen?
Truth is, homeowners make the decision to renovate their kitchen due to a plethora of reasons. Some will undergo renovation because their forever home is long overdue for a kitchen upgrade. Others are looking for ways to increase their property value to sell the house.
Homeowners will also decide to renovate because they’ve outgrown the original design as their families increased in numbers. Likewise, some “Master Chef” aficionados don’t count with enough space in their original kitchens to comfortably create lavish meals. Similarly, some kitchens aren’t able to accommodate entertaining as much as the residents would like; hence a bigger kitchen is required.
Whatever your reason is, it serves you well to know it as you make decisions of what and what not to have in your brand new kitchen. Knowing what your long term needs are will help you navigate through the ocean of options that add up to a completely satisfactory kitchen renovation project.
Who will use the kitchen?
This might sound like a tricky question and that’s because it truly is. While your instinct might throw us off on a tangent thinking only about who will cook in the kitchen, you should also consider who will likely use it for other purposes.
Maybe some enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and read the news or a nightcap over the kitchen counter. The smaller residents might enjoy using the kitchen counter space for school and other leisurely projects. In many cases, the kitchen ends up being the center of reunion for many impromptu gatherings, hence it being nicknamed the heart of your home.
A person with disabilities or an elderly person might also be part of the equation. As a result, they might need additional space to move around and have things reachable to them.
If you are the big entertainer, it also helps to think about how that translates into holiday activity. Is aunt Susie going to be baking her world famous holiday cookies, while you create your signature main course? Will the occasionally hired catering service have enough room to safely maneuver around the kitchen?
Think about every scenario that your kitchen hosts on the daily and throughout the year to get a true image of what the demands are and what the renovation needs to achieve.
What MUST I have in my kitchen? What can I get rid of?
Once you understand what the demands are, it will be easier for you to decide what is a definite must-have and what are nice-to-have options. This is particularly true when you are working with a limited budget or limited space. As an example, it is possible that due to physical limitations all drawers must have a pull-out mechanism and corner cabinets require a lazy susan in your kitchen, but it might not be as crucial to have a wine refrigerator. Sure, it would be nice, but not a deal breaker on your list to create a kitchen to suit your needs.
Choosing between other features might not be as easy. An aspect that often poses a more challenging conundrum has to do with durability versus aesthetics. While it’s mostly true that one doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the other, sometimes the trendier looking cabinet might not be the most durable due to material and looks. Trends have a tendency to fade and, if you aren’t looking to remodel your kitchen at the turn of each trend, you can possibly get stuck with an outdated looking kitchen for quite some time.
Before starting the project, It is highly recommended to dispose of everything that won’t stay in the kitchen upon completion. This is the perfect opportunity to create more storage space for kitchen tools and appliances that will be put into use when your new kitchen is ready.
Will I have enough space?
So, you got rid of everything that you no longer have use for in your kitchen and are looking into acquiring brand new tools and a brand new dining set to match your shiny new kitchen. Do you have plenty of space for everything you envision? This is the part of the project where you need to work closely with your project manager to ensure you have plenty of storage and space for everything you desire in your kitchen.
Is your heart set on a particular fridge and range size? Sometimes, homeowners are very particular in the specific models they would like their kitchens to feature. In this case, a little bit of flexibility may be beneficial as cabinet design comes into play.
When looking at this specific issue, a completely custom kitchen may not pose much difficulty. In this scenario, everything will be tailored to specific needs. On the other hand, prefabricated cabinets are likely to present more limitations to consider when purchasing appliances. In some cases, a semi custom kitchen will be the amicable middle ground to help homeowners to stay within budget and be able to fit that range they always wanted.
How long will renovation take?
A projected timeline is essential to help you prepare for when renovation is taking place. Most homes only count with one kitchen to prepare meals. Therefore, remodeling this space means that residents won’t have access to a proper kitchen for a period of time. Since dining out every day can be very expensive, a temporary meal prep space at home might be an ideal solution for some families.
Working from home presents another challenge that is often overlooked when planning for home construction. Remodeling can be a noisy process, capable of interrupting the most disciplined of home-based workers. In some cases, professionals use their home office for meetings and appointments with clients. If this is the case, where will you work while construction takes place?
Parents with babies will likely need to make special arrangements to secure uninterrupted naps. Similarly, parents with young children will need to take proper steps to ensure that their curious little ones don’t break into working areas where equipment may pose some danger. Your project manager will be able to guide you through possible solutions for your particular situation.
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