5 Questions to Ask Before All Kitchen Remodels
You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen and get to work. But before you start tearing down walls, you should recognize that kitchen remodels take strategy, commitment, patience—and of course—money. Whether you decided to do it yourself or hire a contracting professional, there are important questions all homeowners must answer. We narrowed it down to five essential questions you must ask yourself before any kitchen remodel.
1. What is in the kitchen remodeling budget?
Just like remodeling a bathroom or any room in your home, the first question you should ask yourself before remodeling your kitchen is about your budget. As we referenced recently in the Benefits of Kitchen Remodels, the average kitchen remodel in the U.S. costs right around $17,000. That is a lot of money to some. Therefore, it is imperative to plan wisely and come up with a budget for your remodeled kitchen.
A budget keeps contractors and homeowners on an even keel to ensure their heads or aspirations are not getting any larger than their pockets. Kitchen remodeling costs get extreme, but budgets ensure that homeowners stay within their means when it comes to remodeling one of the most popular rooms in the home. Before you pick up a tool, pick up a pencil and calculator first.
2. What do I like about other kitchens or my current kitchen?
Inspiration can come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s Pinterest, your neighbor’s pantry or your current kitchen setup, there are always tips and designs you can steal from elsewhere. Before starting the design of your remodeled kitchen, you should have a few concepts and ideas for your dream kitchen.
Many homeowners still love the concept of the work triangle, but the needs of Americans and beyond have changed. More people are cooking at home and need the extra counter space. Maybe you saw concrete counters that would be perfect for home chefs. In case you didn’t know, concrete counters are not as expensive as you think—our concrete calculator can help you estimate the expense. On the other hand, maybe you and your significant other don’t have time to sit down for a lengthy dinner every night. A couple of stools under the island would be perfect. Sticking with the food theme, you may love the walk-in pantry you saw at your aunt’s house, but if you are only feeding three mouths in the next five years, does it make sense to waste all that space? Gather design inspiration from anywhere you can and then ask yourself if that strategy is right or needed for your dream kitchen.
3. How will I use this remodeled kitchen?
People use their kitchens in different ways. Some families eat out a lot and have little use for kitchen space. Other families need open layouts and large islands to host dinner parties. If you have children and plan to cook a lot, the layout is an important factor. Open layouts are perfect because you can watch the kids as you prepare dinner. Additionally, large islands are ideal for families because it gives the children extra space to complete their homework.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, islands are also great for hosting because it encourages guests to stand or sit on one side, keeping them away from the cooking area. Those of you who don’t host many get-togethers and are cooking for two or less may enjoy some privacy in the kitchen. Therefore, you probably don’t need large entryways and can dedicate more space to counters and updated appliances. This would also give you more freedom in choosing the location of the stove or sink.
4. How long can the family function without a kitchen?
Depending on the size and/or expected work of your remodeled kitchen, many contractors will ask the family to move out of their current residence. Construction for any kitchen remodel can get loud and dirty, especially if you work from home. In turn, your life can become very uncomfortable and stressful.
We’ve heard of many families trying to weather the storm, eating out every meal, and staying away from the remodeling process. Later on, after the remodel is complete, many wished they had moved out. The good news is that most families could actually save money by leaving the home. You are giving the contractor more freedom and space to complete the project faster, and it eliminates a lot of cleaning they would have to do if you were occupying the home.
Once again, this answer depends on how you use the kitchen. If you love to cook and eat at home, this might be tough for you and require a shorter remodeling schedule. Those families or couples that eat out a lot may give the contractor more breathing room. Nonetheless, before jumping into a kitchen remodel, you must figure out how long your family can function without the space.
5. What is my five-year plan?
Without a crystal ball, it can be hard to look into the future, but you must keep your five-year plan in mind when planning for a kitchen remodel. First and foremost, you need to know if you plan on staying or selling in the near future. This can play a key factor because certain design aspects you love may not go over well with the popular opinion. Likewise, you may have moved into your first home with your significant other. If you plan on having kids in the next few years, you need to make sure you can make your kitchen kid-friendly. Nowadays, many homeowners are installing multi-level islands for children and adults. Just like everything else in life, emphasis must be paid to your future plans—and remodeling a kitchen is no different.