Make these Decisions BEFORE You Talk With A Kitchen Contractor
For the best kitchen remodel experience, do extensive research before you begin to interview contractors and ask for bids. You will minimize misunderstandings and expensive change orders and be able to evaluate bids with identical specifications. Be well-informed on the following topics before talking to any kitchen contractors. Make final decisions before asking for bids.
Top priority: your budget. Decide how much you will spend on the project. Then develop a realistic budget and stick to it. Include lines in your budget for labor, materials, eating out and permits. Allow at least 10% of your budget for unexpected expenses. Really. Don’t cheat on the 10%. The pie chart below shows how costs for a typical kitchen remodel may break down.
The scope of your project. Are you are simply replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances? Moving a sink or range? Or moving walls? The more extensive your remodel the more important it is to develop a detailed plan and stick to it. Resist project creep—the “while we’re at it” syndrome.
Must-haves vs wants. List everything you hope for in a kitchen (specialty storage, traffic, glass door cabinets, type of appliances, etc.). Prioritize, classifying each item as: must have, can compromise, or can wait.
Samples of Fairmont inset style cabinets in Cherry Russet and the classic Carlton style in Painted Garnet.
Countertops, flooring and backsplash. The type of countertop and flooring you choose (quartz or laminate countertop, hardwood or tile flooring, etc.) will affect your contractor’s timeline and budget, so those decisions need to be made before you ask a contractor for a bid. Final color selections can wait, as long as the products are there when needed. Before purchasing, lay out samples of cabinetry, countertop, flooring and backsplash together in your space and light. If you fall in love with a special order product, check reviews for the company’s record for on-time delivery before putting money down. And consider stock or discount outlet alternatives—the cash you save may allow you to upgrade your choices of appliances or cabinetry. The backsplash can wait until phase two if necessary.
With this planning complete, you are ready to create a list of contractors and begin the interview process.
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