Kitchen remodels are popular, but many people have no idea what it really entails. It is demanding work, it is expensive, and surviving one can feel like a major event. There’s no real way to avoid a lot of the difficulties that come with a kitchen remodel, it is the nature of the beast. But I can give you some tips so that maybe you can get through it without wanting to kill someone.
Get this through your brain first: it is expensive. Quality cabinets cost money, and countertops can be pricey too. Even crappy kitchen appliances can be pricey. You also have to factor in the flooring, backsplashes, plumbing, and electrical work that might need to be done. Be realistic about what you can afford. Many people figure they’ll make the money they sink into their kitchen remodel when they sell their house, but that is not always the case – if you go too trendy or dated, you might be eating that renovation bill down the line.
I recommend going through all of your existing cabinets and evaluating what you have before you start on a remodel. Do you need two junk drawers? Can you do without all those mismatched storage containers? Toss duplicate items and things that you don’t use. Once you’ve cleared away some of the clutter, you will have a better idea of how much storage you are going to need. That will help you in the next step.
Next, and this is especially true if you’re planning to relocate things or add something that wasn’t there before like an island or a double wide fridge: visit a designer. Talk to them about what you want to do in the space and have them show you some designs. Maybe you want to be able to eat in the kitchen, or maybe you want lots of counter space for all your kitchen gadgets. Maybe you want to include a wine fridge or a desk so your kids can do homework while you cook dinner. Having a professional show you different configurations can help you out even if you decide to do the remodel yourself – maybe you’ll see that you don’t actually need that island or that you can leave the sink where it is. You may end up saving yourself some money this way.
If you’re doing this on your own, the next step is measure everything. More than once. Check to make sure you can open the fridge door all the way without banging into a cabinet or an existing doorway. Be sure there is enough room not just for the oven door to be open but for somebody to be standing there, too. Measure the cabinets you’ve chosen to be sure that they all fit in the space and that the drawers and doors will open properly. You really don’t want to find out that the fridge won’t go in to the space you’ve set aside for it because you forgot to include the width of the countertop. The goal here is to prevent any surprises.
Lastly, have patience. Kitchen remodels take time to ensure they are done properly. Yes it is inconvenient to live without a stove or a working sink. I know how annoying it is to have to barbeque for days, eating off disposable plates and using plastic silverware, and scrubbing pots and pans in your bathroom sink or shower is pretty awful. But once the remodel is complete, you’ll have a new kitchen that is hopefully more functional and beautiful than the one you had before, and it will all be worth it.