If you’re remodeling a kitchen for the first time, it can be daunting to jump in head-first. From setting a timeline to pulling building permits, a remodeling project requires you to do certain things that you might not even know about! Luckily, this kitchen remodel checklist will help provide a basic road map to help you think ahead toward your upcoming project.
#1: Determine a Budget
To create a well thought-out plan, you’ll need to have a budget. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend from the outset will give you realistic expectations about what you’re able to accomplish and start your project on a solid foundation. Even if you don’t know from the outset how much you are willing to spend, having an initial idea of your budget will help you focus on planning realistic goals. With an unlimited budget would come unlimited choices, and it’d be hard to make any choices at all!
#2: Choose Your Remodeling Season
The time of year affects your plans. If you and your family love entertaining during holidays, a kitchen remodel during this time is a bad idea. Instead, consider starting the project after the holidays. On a similar note, if you have any special occasion planned, like a graduation party or a wedding, it is wise to plan the project for completion at least two months prior to the event. Many homeowners choose the spring and summer seasons to remodel. The warm seasons allow you to have picnics and grill outdoors while your kitchen is under construction.
#3: Plan Around Your Family Schedule
Having a kitchen torn apart can be stressful for all family members. Make sure to consider family activities and school schedules when planning your kitchen remodel. It is best to plan a remodel to take place when your family has the least number of commitments and their schedules are flexible. Remember your pets, too (keep them out of the work areas for their own safety)!
#4: Take Stock of Your Physical Space
The better you know your own space, the easier it will be to determine your needs and wants, and the easier it will be to work with a contractor. Are your electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC in good shape? Do you know which walls are load-bearing before you plan on knocking them down? Consider hiring a building inspector if you want to change the structural systems of your home.
#5: Look Up Building Codes and Pull Permits if Required
Every municipality has its own codes and permit processes. A permit may be required for alterations including structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical changes to your house. If you are hiring a contractor, ask them whether they will take care take care of permitting for you. Check with your local building department and their websites to determine requirements and necessary paperwork. It could take up to 2 weeks for your application to be reviewed.
#6: Create a Temporary Kitchen
In anticipation of your kitchen tear-out, set up a temporary kitchen with a microwave, refrigerator and access to water for washing dishes. Move your refrigerator, and brainstorm meals that you are able to make without a cooktop. Paper plates, bowls, cups and plastic utensils will make your life easier, since you won’t have access to the dishwasher or kitchen sink. Remodeling during good weather is advantageous here – an outdoor grill can provide an alternate method of cooking and a large variety of meal options.
#7: Before Ordering, Prepare
Appliances, flooring countertops, and cabinets aren’t your every-day kind of orders. Two things you want to consider when ordering: time and space. Order products and materials well in advance, then wait for all of your products to arrive before starting the project. Special order materials can take weeks to arrive, and problems with the manufacturer or delivery company could cause unexpected delays. When products are delivered, inventory and inspect them carefully.
Where will you store everything? Before your products arrive, prepare a large, safe storage area like a garage, porch, dining room or local storage facility. Note that cabinets and flooring will need to be stored in a climate controlled area. Excessive cold, heat, humidity, moisture, and dryness will cause damage, especially to wood products, and can void the warranty.