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How To Approach a Kitchen Renovation

May 19, 2021

There are a few reasons why you might want to renovate your kitchen. It could be that the layout is inefficient. Maybe your fixtures are outdated. Perhaps you’re hoping it will lead to a healthier lifestyle or more family time. 

Unsurprisingly, resale value seems to provide the least motivation for a remodel. (1)

Most people just want to love their home and enjoy spending time in it. Chances are, if your kitchen isn’t up to par, you spend more time at restaurants or ordering takeout than you do cooking. Considering how large of a role the kitchen plays in daily life, it makes perfect sense that homeowners will put a kitchen remodel high on their priority list. 

In fact, the kitchen only follows the bathroom as the most common remodeling project. (2)

Deciding to move forward with a remodel is the easy part. Prioritizing projects, deciding on a budget, and choosing a contractor can prove a bit more challenging.

Should I Try to Remodel My Kitchen Myself?

DIY is all the rage right now, but you don’t want to play “Nail It or Fail It” with a room that is known for being the heart of the home—and worth 15% of your home value, to boot. (3) There is no replacement for an experienced contractor and/or kitchen designer.

You can expect a small-scale kitchen remodel to take at least six weeks. (4) A full custom kitchen renovation will take at least 10 weeks. (5) That timeline doesn’t even include the planning and design phase. This is what to expect from professionals, who do this type of work all day, every day. If this is your first time tackling a home renovation, you can expect to double that time frame (at least) as there are likely to be stumbling blocks along the way.

One of the reasons why kitchens take an especially long time to renovate is because it is the hub of the home. When dealing with this space, you are dealing with the normal parts of any renovation—like choosing new paint and flooring—but you’re also dealing with plumbing, electric, appliances, etc.

A 2018 study of 2,000 homeowners showed that 55% of those surveyed preferred to try DIY before calling in the professionals. However, only 31% reported that their DIY projects were successful. (6)

The kitchen is such an important and pricey room; it makes sense to call in the experts. Vet candidates, find the right contractor, and you’ll have your kitchen done right in the shortest time possible. You might even save money by having it done right the first time!

What Questions Should I Ask a Contractor Before Hiring for a Kitchen Remodel?

So how do you vet a contractor? 

The first step is to meet with them. Take notes. Do they show up on time? Do they answer your questions? Do they send you a quote within a reasonable amount of time? Are they pleasant?

If they give you an estimate too quickly, without taking the time to check the cost of materials, it may be a bad sign. If they promise a quote within a week and you have to call to get them to deliver, it could foreshadow what it might be like to work with them. 

The first meeting is the first impression. Your candidate should know this and be trying to impress.

Once you have a feel for which contractors you like, move on to more specific questions, like the following:

  1. Are you licensed and insured?
  2. Do you know the building codes in my area? (Without the correct permits, you may be required to spend more money resolving resulting issues.)
  3. What is the project timeline? (Will they have someone working in your home each day to keep the project on schedule? Will you have any use of the space during construction?)
  4. How do you choose subcontractors? (Do the people they work with have a good reputation? Will the contractor be on hand to supervise?)
  5. Do you offer any type of warranty?
  6. What is your daily schedule? (Will it interfere with your schedule?)
  7. What is your payment schedule and contract type? (Is it fixed price or cost plus?)

Normally, asking for references might be included in this list, and you can certainly do that. However, with the power of the internet it’s pretty easy to go on a business’s social media, Google Reviews, or HomeStars and find honest opinions.

How Much Will a Kitchen Remodel Cost? 

The cost of your kitchen renovation will depend heavily on your goals, and a contractor will be able to give you a more detailed estimate. However, we have gathered some rough numbers.

If you want to tear everything out and start from scratch, possibly change the layout, you’ll be in the higher range of $40,000+. (7) If you’re just looking to update the space and upgrade appliances, you’ll be closer to the $15,000 range.

Of course, it’s always recommended you set aside 15%-20% of your budget in case of emergency. 

Cabinets are often the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel. In fact, homeowners should expect to spend about 25% of their budget on cabinets alone. (8) Labor is a close second as far as cost, and appliances come in third place. 

This probably has you wondering: How can I save money without sacrificing too much? 

We have some ideas for you:

  1. While tackling an entire kitchen remodel yourself is not recommended, you can still get your hands dirty and save money on labor. Some demolition, such as tearing out cabinets or old flooring, is relatively easy to do. 
  2. Choose mid-range (or even used) appliances to give yourself an upgrade without breaking the bank. (9)
  3. As we mentioned before, cabinets tend to be the number one expense during kitchen remodels. Rather than choosing custom cabinets, you could reface or repaint your existing cabinets. (10) You could also choose stock cabinets and focus on hardware to give them a unique look. 

Choose a contractor with experience, a solid reputation, and excellent communication skills for your kitchen renovation or kitchen remodeling project. Reborn Renovations has worked hard to keep customers happy and build a loyal following, and kitchen remodeling just happens to be our specialty.

View some of our amazing kitchen transformations to get your inspiration flowing, and then get in touch to discuss your project today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/kitchens/21015837/read-this-before-hiring-a-kitchen-designer
  2. http://myconsumersvoice.com/kitchen-remodel/statistics-kitchen-remodeling/
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/preparing-for-a-home-improvement-project-heres-how-to-pay-for-it/2019/05/08/22e0cf80-6b83-11e9-8f44-e8d8bb1df986_story.html
  4. https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/kitchen-remodel/how-long-does-it-typically-take-remodel-kitchen
  5. https://www.gilday.com/design-build-dc-blog/how-long-should-a-kitchen-remodel-take
  6. https://nypost.com/2018/06/12/youre-not-the-only-one-putting-off-your-diy-projects/
  7. https://homestars.com/cost-guides/kitchen-cost/
  8. https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/kitchen-remodel/what-is-average-cost-remodel-kitchen
  9. https://www.remodelista.com/posts/remodeling-101-8-sources-for-used-high-end-appliances/
  10. https://kitchencabinetscalgary.ca/
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