One of the biggest complaints when it comes to the functionality of a home centers on the layout and design of the kitchen, and it’s no wonder considering how much time most families spend in this space and how important utility and atmosphere are. If corner space is wasted because the original builders cut corners with the cabinetry (pun intended), or the fridge, stove, and sink are not in the classic triangle configuration for ease of use during food prep and cooking, you’re going to grumble about the difficulties inherent in using your kitchen. And if the room is dark, or worse, lit by a single, fluorescent fixture that gives all your food a green hue, and it is populated by artifacts of a bygone era (linoleum that was last popular when ‘The Brady Bunch’ was on the air), your family isn’t going to want to spend much time there. However, before you can get the modern kitchen you spied in the latest issue of ‘Architectural Digest’, you’re going to have to undertake some planning to prepare for the renovation process. Here are just a few tips to help you get ready.
The first thing you’ll need to do is some homework. You’ve no doubt got a plethora of half-formed ideas about what you want in your new kitchen, but you shouldn’t approach a contractor until you’ve got a solid plan in place. You can start by making a list of the goals you hope to accomplish with your kitchen remodel. You may want the kitchen to feel more spacious (or actually take up more space). Perhaps you need more surface area for food prep or more storage options. Or maybe you’re interested in an open concept that will allow you to interact with the family while you cook instead of being cut off by a wall. There are all kinds of goals you may have for your kitchen where functionality is concerned, and writing them down will help you to figure out the practical aspect of your upgrades. Cosmetics are secondary.
Next you should pore over magazines, websites, and mobile apps to find samples of kitchen components that speak to you. Start a file folder (or several) for your ideas and you’ll probably start to see a pattern that speaks to your overall sense of style. Eventually you’re going to have to narrow it down to specific materials, finishes, and colors you prefer, but there’s no better way to describe an idea than by handing your contractor a picture of exactly what you’re looking for. As a bonus, this process of discovery can also help you to determine which features you don’t necessarily want or need in your newly remodeled kitchen.
Now it’s time to find a contractor, and this can be a difficult proposition. The best way to go about finding the right person for the job is to get several bids. This will not only help you to determine a price range for your project (since you might not have the first clue about what kind of budget your intended renovations will entail), but also to get a feeling for the person you’ll be working closely with over the next several weeks or months. It’s important to choose someone that you feel is trustworthy, honest, competent, and fair. Of course, you should always get a contract, just in case. And make sure to find out if your pro is licensed and bonded (in keeping with state laws) to avoid legal issues and liability down the road. Whether you’re looking to create a custom space or you want to copy elements of designer David Hecht kitchens you’ve seen online, exercising due diligence by preparing for the process can ensure that your remodel goes off without a hitch.