A kitchen remodel requires more planning than any other single room in your house. The design possibilities are endless. Here in the Metrowest Boston area – Newton, Needham and Wellesley – there are so many options for cabinets, counter tops, appliances, tile, flooring, lighting and more.
Job number one is to find the right contractor.
It is essential to have a professional with years of experience to show you the ins and outs of your own kitchen remodel. This is a complex undertaking and you need be able to put your faith in someone who can guide you through this project – a partner you can trust. Use your best interviewing skills to find someone who:
- Has at least 10 years of experience in kitchen remodeling and home additions.
- Proves his experience with references and answers your questions with solid responses.
- You like and feel comfortable with immediately.
- Listens deeply and ask questions to draw out your needs.
- Uses quality materials and construction methods.
- Has design ideas that enhance your vision.
Once you’ve settled on a contractor, allow them to help you with your plan.
Working with a contractor from the beginning allows you to consciously plan your project within the budget you’ve set. This way, you will stay advised of how each piece of the project – each decision you make – affects the final cost of your new kitchen.
Design with costs in mind.
Your kitchen remodeling contractor should be able to provide you with solid design help that will guide you to make the right design choices for you and that also won’t break the bank. Some areas you should cover:
- Do you need pre-kitchen design help?
- What are your primary goals – what are the “must have” elements?
- Is the kitchen remodel being done in conjunction with an addition, whole house or first floor renovation?
- Does it make sense financially to reroute electrical and plumbing to relocate major appliances?
- Will you need appliances to be vented outside?
- Do you need guidance with resources for appliances, cabinets, flooring, lighting, etc?
- Is green building important to you?
Cabinets are your next big decision.
Cabinets range widely in price from very expensive custom cabinets to relatively cheap mass production. What is best for you? A good contractor will help you weigh what matters and what doesn’t as far as function, and what the best fit is for your style, desires and budget. The biggest factors are style and quality:
- Style – Certain styles cost more than others – a recessed door and draw or a modern European style are going to cost more than a frameless or framed box style. Color will come into play with your selection of wood or alternative materials.
- Quality – Do you want a true custom cabinet, semi-custom, or box store? Do you want quality construction as far as how well the cabinets are made or is middle of the road fine? Your choice of materials will also make a difference as you weigh wood against veneers and laminates.
Setting a timeline for decisions.
At this point your contractor should have reviewed with you a timeline for your project and a completion date. Within this discussion, he should lay out when your decisions will have to be made in order to stay on schedule. Kitchen renovations always work out best when the customer knows early on what they will need to do and when. Some of the decisions that should be on that schedule are:
- All appliances (and how much electricity is required)
- Where you will want outlets located
- Types of lighting
- Cabinets & countertops (and what height they will be)
- Backsplash design
- Sinks & faucets
- Molding and trims
- Integrated seating (will there be an island or breakfast nook)
- Will you want special heating
- Will you want new windows
A good contractor will keep you on course and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
As I said, the first decision you will need to make, and the most important, is your choice of contractor! Don’t settle until you find someone you click with, who respects your needs and your home, communicates well and most importantly, has the experience to do the job well!