Best Ways to Approach the Kitchen Remodel
The kitchen is one of the most oft-used rooms in the house, and needs regular maintenance, remodeling and upgrading. But before jumping in headfirst, read on to find out what you should be thinking about, and what to avoid.

Be Prepared and Do Your Research

A lot of mistakes in kitchen remodeling occur before the project’s even started. Why? Homeowners don’t take the time to plot out the line between their current kitchen and their dream kitchen. If you have a small L-shaped kitchen, putting an island in there probably isn’t going to work. But if you start looking at what’s possible right off the bat, you’ll be that much further ahead of the ball game.

Factor in Possible Mistakes

As much reading, research and planning as you can do beforehand, things will go wrong somewhere down the road. Maybe the countertop is stuck in a warehouse, or maybe it arrive chipped and has to be sent back. But along with planning what you do want to see happen, also try to imagine what your backup plans will be when something strays from the list—because it will. All you can do is try and minimize the effects.

Know the Difference between Inexpensive and Cheap

You don’t have to spend $10,000 on Italian marble countertops, but you should invest in something that will support the weight on top of it. Make two budgets before you start: the first is what you’d like to spend, and the second is what you’re willing to spend. Also highlight items whose prices are non-negotiable (e.g. no more than $700 for a fridge), and which items you’ll go a bit over on to get a good deal. The idea is to get solid pieces you can afford, but not at the expense of workmanship.

Shop Around, but Be Firm

Even if you get that magic feeling from the first contractor you meet, take the time to a few more estimates—you never know if another one will be even more magical than the first. Once you settle on a contractor, read the small print carefully to make sure there’s no open-ended price, nor a free schedule for payments but rather a payment installment schedule.

Go Stylish but Not Trendy

If you remodel your kitchen with all the trends from 2014, it’s only going to look more and more dated with every year that goes by until it’s time for another remodel. Instead, put the focus on quality and timelessness so that you always have a kitchen that’s both functional and fashionable.

Create Storage, Not Space

Because the kitchen is the most frequently used room in the house, concentrate on making it flexible in terms of what it can hold and do. You don’t necessarily have to knock down a wall to accommodate everything you want in a kitchen, especially if you approach remodeling smartly. For example, use a lazy Susan instead of a rack, and employ pull-out cabinets instead of just stacking items.

With just a few different ways to approach remodeling your kitchen, you can have both the room that works for you as well as a much easier project to take on.
Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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