Are you planning a kitchen remodel anytime soon? You’ll want to check out these tips first.
When we moved to Florida, we looked at a lot of houses. One of the last things I ever thought we’d buy would be a fixer upper! The extend of my fixer upper abilities consist of changing a light bulb and maybe being able to hang a painting without it falling off the wall. My hubby is a little more handy but just works too much to be able to put in the time.
We did it anyway…we bought the fixer upper and got to work finding a good contractor who could help us (no way were we doing it ourselves). Since the most important room in any house is the kitchen, we knew that’s where we needed to focus first. This kitchen was old and outdated and there really wasn’t much discussion needed. We basically just looked at each other and agreed it all had to go. The plan was to have everything torn out and start from scratch. One look at these pictures and I’m sure you’ll understand why.
See what I mean? Anyway, we had our contractor rip it all out so we could start from scratch. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into!
The first thing we learned was that we had a lot to learn! These are a few of the things I wish I’d known ahead of time:Planning a kitchen remodel? Here's what you need to know Click To Tweet
Budget…then add some
Everyone starts with a budget and if you manage to stay within it, that’s great! However, our costs were WAY more than we had originally planned and based on what others have told me, this is all too common. Even when you start off within your budget, there are often unforeseen problems that need to be fixed or you decide to add “just one more thing” and then one more and one more. We found that the costs can up quickly. Ultimately, we love the end result and felt the money was well spent but we definitely weren’t expecting to go so far over budget.
While it would have been awesome if we’d won the lottery and could get top-of-the-line everything, like most people we had to pick and choose what to spend our money on. For me, it was the counters and back splash. For my husband, it was the fancy appliances. In order to get what we wanted, we spent a little less on other things such as cabinets, sink, hardware and floors. In fact, we had originally fallen in love with pricey flooring but found a much cheaper, almost identical version elsewhere.
Our new house has less cabinet space than the last one so we had to plan accordingly. Originally I wanted the slide-out trash can under the sink but then I realized that we’d really need that extra space. We also had some skinny cabinets on either side of the stove and while I knew one side was perfect for cookie sheets and cutting boards, I didn’t know what to do with the other one. After a little time on Pinterest, I decided to have them turn it into a pull out spice rack. It’s the perfect size, very convenient and I love it! We also ordered taller cabinets to utilize the wasted space at the top of the old ones. If you spend a little time thinking about it, you can come up with great ideas on how to use every bit of space…or you can just go on Pinterest like I did.
Measure everything…and then measure again
Here’s where you can really learn from our mistakes. Our first mistake was that we bought the biggest washer/dryer set in the store because I wanted to be able to wash comforters and other bulky items. However, we had miscalculated and when they came to install them, our laundry space was too small by one inch and we had to send them back.
Our second mistake was that we bought a dishwasher with a handle. You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, right? However, when you tried to open the corner drawer, it hit the handle and wouldn’t come out all the way. We had to say goodbye to the dishwasher too.
Get it all in writing
Overall, we felt like our contractor did an amazing job and loved the results. However, we learned how important it is to get everything in writing. We didn’t get our undermount lighting because although we had told one person we wanted it, the word never got passed along and it didn’t make it into the contract. By the time we noticed it wasn’t being installed, it was too late. This was just a simple miscommunication but that’s why it’s so important to have it all in writing. It could have been something much bigger.
Make a decision and stick with it
Don’t second guess yourself over every decision. While there will be exceptions, you can’t spend the whole time questioning your decisions and wondering if something else would be better. Not only does it get expensive to keep changing things already in progress, you’re going to drive yourself crazy!
Remodeling is a lot of work but the great part is that you can make your room look just how you want. It can be as stressful or as fun as you make it. For some reason, I got stuck on the cabinet pulls. I must have looked at hundreds of handles and pulls and drove myself a little nuts in the process. Other than that, we had a blast picking out all our new stuff. Try not to get too stressed about it…just imagine how fabulous your kitchen will look when you’re finished!
Here’s how our kitchen turned out:
We really love our new kitchen and aside from going over budget, it was a lot of fun! Do you plan to do any remodeling in the future? What are your must-have items for your remodel?