Every year, Americans spend billions on home improvement. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeowners spent over $500 billion on home repairs and improvements from 2017 to 2019 alone.
These projects include everything from revamping outdoor spaces to adding a home office, but the most popular project of them all is the kitchen remodel. And when you consider how important your kitchen no doubt is to day-to-day life in your house, this is no surprise.
Along with being the most popular, however, remodeling a kitchen is one of the most expensive renovation projects. It can also quickly become an overwhelming experience, as you have to design with plumbing and electrical in mind, on top of aesthetics and functionality.
Because of this, it’s crucial to approach this undertaking with a plan. Read on to learn everything you need to consider before beginning your kitchen remodel.
Set Your Budget
As with any home remodel project, the place to start is with your budget. Every decision you make going forward will hinge on the overall number you’re willing to spend and how you allocate this amount.
Once you have the amount you’re willing and able to spend, keep it in mind throughout the entire remodel process. A budget means nothing if you don’t stick to it!
Remember to set aside 10-15% of your total budget for incidentals. Unforeseen repairs and alternations pop up all the time with every remodeling project.
Best case scenario, everything goes as planned and you can either put this money back into your bank account or use it for decor or kitchenware to match your new kitchen.
Prioritize Your Projects
Let’s talk about how to allocate your funds. Take a look at your kitchen – which projects are you planning to complete in the remodel?
First write down everything that you hope to do. Then, with your list in hand, order the items by importance. For example, if your ultimate dream for your kitchen is to have marble countertops, mark this item as number one.
The items at the very top of the list will get more funds if necessary, while the ones closer to the bottom might be crossed off or altered to suit your budget.
Unless you’re working with unlimited funds, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make sacrifices along the way. Having your priorities in order will help make these decisions easier if and when they arise.
To DIY or Not to DIY
For most homeowners, paying for a kitchen remodel is no easy task. From appliances to countertops to cabinets, the kitchen is filled with expensive items. To cut down on both cost and the number of sacrifices they’re forced to make, many homeowners DIY at least a portion of their remodeling projects.
There’s nothing wrong with DIY. In fact, it can increase your sense of satisfaction with the finished product and make you feel even more fond of your home. However, when you’re considering DIY, it’s essential to know your limits.
For example, repainting your walls? No problem. Painting is simple, and with a little bit of patience and attention to detail, anyone can produce a professional-looking product. Refinishing cabinets, on the other hand, should almost always be handled by a professional. It’s all too easy to produce shoddy results doing it yourself.
Go back to your list of projects and mark which ones you can comfortably DIY. Err on the side of the caution rather than expecting more from yourself than you might be capable of doing.
Don’t Overlook Lighting
While lighting certainly isn’t the most exciting part of a kitchen remodel, it’s one of the most important. Without proper lighting, even the most beautiful kitchen redesign will fall short in the end.
There are several different types of indoor lighting, but the two that need to be included in a kitchen design are task and ambient lighting.
Ambient lighting is used for general illumination and is typically your overhead lights. Task lighting comes in the form of fixtures like under-cabinet lights and pendant lighting over your island or bar. As the name suggests, this type of lighting helps to make common kitchen tasks easier to complete.
Be cautious with your lighting placement, as well. Placing your fixtures incorrectly will make working in the kitchen more difficult, as you’ll be fighting with your own shadow.
Choose Your Materials Carefully
Many different materials go into a kitchen design and each should be chosen with care, as a kitchen comes with certain demands that don’t need to be considered in other rooms.
Your flooring, for instance, should be both attractive and practical. Think about how often something is spilled during cooking – a kitchen floor that isn’t easy to clean makes for a constant headache.
Cabinet and countertop material should also be chosen carefully. For example, butcher block countertops are more warm and welcoming than stone alternatives but require a greater level of care. Cabinets can be made from everything from solid wood to laminate, the best material for you will come down to your preference and budget.
Get the Most Out of Your Kitchen Remodel With These Tips
When approaching your kitchen remodel, the most important thing to remember is that your kitchen should be designed with your tastes and needs in mind. Unless you’re remodeling specifically for selling, following trends is unnecessary.
And by following these tips, you can avoid some of the most common kitchen remodel mistakes and enjoy the final product even more.
Looking for more home remodeling advice and ideas? Be sure to check out our blog!