Many say that your kitchen is the heart of your home. If you think about it, your kitchen is probably the most used room in the house. Not only is it where you make your meals, it is also where you entertain, where your kids do their homework, where you have your family meetings, and where you pay your bills. Reviving your kitchen is where you will get one of the largest returns on your investment and the room, once remodeled, will give you the greatest area of satisfaction. As you plan for your next kitchen remodel, consider the following kitchen remodeling advice:
This is the best time of the year to remodel your kitchen. Unlike bathrooms, there typically is only one kitchen in every home. If you are to be without a kitchen, it’s nice to have the option to grill outside when the weather is nice. It will help reduce the overall cost of your remodel if you did not have to eat at a restaurant or fast food everyday while the remodel is going on. Kitchen remodels can take as little as two days if all you are replacing are countertops, flooring, and/or a tile backsplash. It may take 2 months or more if you are planning on changing the entire footprint, moving plumbing and electrical, removing walls, etc. The average midrange kitchen remodel typically takes two weeks. Set proper expectations for a timeline. The larger the scope of work, the more flexible you should be to the timeline. Also set proper budget expectations. According to the Remodling Magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value Report:
-- The average “upscale kitchen” remodel cost $128,117 and had a payback of 60.2%.
-- The average midrange “major kitchen” remodel cost $64,514 and had a payback of 63.9%.
-- The average “minor kitchen” remodel cost $22,180 and had a payback of 85.9%, while not including any cabinetry.
Kitchens are a great investment. Very few rooms will give you as much enjoyment but give you as good of a return.
“Don’t think in terms of appreciating the value of your home,” cautions Bob Markovich, the Home Editor at Consumer Reports magazine. “You really should be doing a kitchen remodel for you.” Make a list of all of the things you dislike about your kitchen. Do you need more storage? Do you hate the 1980’s countertops, cabinets, and vinyl floor? Visit a kitchen design center and see what the options are. Many places charge a design fee but there are some that offer a free measurement, design consultation, and estimate. At large box stores, they typically ask that you bring your own measurements in and it’s hard to get any help or customer service. You can easily make kitchens appear larger without knocking down walls by de-cluttering a kitchen. Spend a little extra for convenience and storage solutions such as a lazy Susan, built-in trash cans, pull-out drawers, and roll-out trays. Try to keep the straight line between the sink, fridge, and cooktop between 12’ and 23’. Also position the sink between the other two appliances; it’s used most often. If possible, allow for 36” of counter space to the left of the range and sink but a minimum of 24”-18”. Although tempting, don’t place the refrigerator and built-in oven next to each other. Each appliance needs its own landing space for safety and convenience. Finally, try to include a minimum of 10 linear feet of both base cabinets and upper cabinets. Keep in mind that a functional kitchen should provide enough space for two people to function independently.
Make a list of the finishes you want. It can be a bit overwhelming when picking out your cabinets, countertops, flooring, back splash tile, sink(s), faucets, lighting, paint color, etc. To make the job a little easier, try going to a showroom that displays a good selection of all of the above. There are multiple cabinet options, including the choice of wood stains and paint colors, glazing, character finishes, dove-tailed drawers, full-extension soft-close drawers, and standard overlay and full overlay cabinets. With countertops, laminate is the least expensive option. There are multiple options if you decide to upgrade. You can choose between a solid surface like Corian, a natural stone like granite or marble, engineered stones like quartz or recycled glass. Each countertop has its own benefits. Quartz countertops, for example, offer the ease and convenience of never having to worry about sealing. Some even offer anti-microbial protection. There is nothing that beats the natural beauty of granite. Most often, granite offers the best value for your money. It is typically less expensive than Corian and depending on how large your kitchen is, you can take advantage of granite remnants. There are also multiple flooring options. When picking a floor, consider the long term durability and function as well as beauty. Hardwood floors, for example, look great in kitchens but may take a little more care than a porcelain floor. There are also many luxury vinyl tiles such as Dura-Ceramic and Alterna that give you the tile look with a third of the labor cost. Cork floors are also a great alternative for kitchens. It’s a great “green” alternative while offering resilience against normal wear and tear and water.
Designing your kitchen can be a rewarding process and picking a great designer that listens to your needs can make the process even more rewarding.
Picking the right contractor is the final and most important step. It can get overwhelming when you do all of your scheduling and planning. Do your research. Ask for references and ask for pictures of projects that they have done in the past. Going to a contractor with a “brick and mortar” location makes it easier to contact the contractor. Also, a contractor that has their own installers in multiple trades can help lessen the pain of being without a kitchen for longer than needed. Most often, the least expensive labor quote is not the best. Make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. When the project begins, communicate your expectations to your contractor. Also be available for them when they have questions. You don’t necessarily need to be home, but being accessible is important. Once the project is nearing its end, communicate a “punch list” if any. Finally, be flexible. Depending on the scope of the project, it may take longer to achieve your dream kitchen. However, the Right contractor will handle any unforeseen obstacles to get you back on track and complete your remodel.
If you live in Southern Maryland and liked this article or would like professional advice on your kitchen or any other remodeling project, please contact Southern Maryland Kitchen, Bath, Floors and Design at 301-866-0337. You can also schedule a FREE consultation, measurement, and estimate with one of our experienced design consultants online at www.SoMDKitchenBathFloors.com. Feel free to visit our showroom in the Wildewood Shopping Center in California at any time, and see what we can do for YOU! We have experienced designers that will listen and experienced installers on staff to handle every step of the process.
If you're curious about remodeling your bathroom, be sure to check out our previous blog post, It's Bath Time! 🛀Things you should know about bathroom renovations...