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Demolition Is the First Step in a Kitchen Remodeling Project

When a kitchen remodel starts, it is often noisy and messy. Demolition is usually the first step, whether it involves removing cabinets and countertops or tearing down drywall to expose the structural framing.

kitchen remodeling

Many mid-size and major kitchen remodels require permits, which add time to the project. Adding an open floor plan may involve opening up walls that are not load bearing and could require moving gas or water lines and re-routing HVAC ductwork.

The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms to remodel in new and old homes alike. It’s also one of the most expensive, depending on how big a change is being made. A comprehensive budget is essential for keeping a project within its limits and not running over.

A common recommendation is to spend between 5 and 15 percent of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel. This is a good amount to aim for, but you’ll want to consider other factors, such as whether or not staying in the home will be an option, how much your home is worth, and the scope of the work being done. Spending less may make the space feel outdated or decrease the resale value, while spending more could push you over your maximum return on investment.

To help you figure out the right amount to spend, start by creating a list of all the things you want to do in the kitchen. Include all of the must-haves and nice-to-haves, as well as any estimates you’ve made on what the items will cost. This will give you an overall number, which you should subtract 20% from to leave room for unforeseen expenses.

Labor and materials will be the biggest costs for any kitchen remodel. Cabinets, countertops, and flooring all add up, with the National Kitchen and Bath Association stating they usually consume around half of the total cost of the project. Choosing less expensive materials can keep costs down, and many modern alternatives to high-end options are now available.

It’s also a good idea to factor in the expense of eating out or cooking at home while your kitchen is being remodeled. Keeping this in mind will help you decide whether or not to set up a temporary kitchen in another area of the house. You may also need to rent a dumpster, which will add to the overall cost of the project.

If you’re working with a general contractor, be sure to ask them what their hourly rate is, as this will add up quickly. Also consider whether you’ll be hiring any subcontractors and how much they’ll charge for their services. It’s also a good idea to create spreadsheets and update them regularly to track your spending.

Design

When planning a kitchen remodel, it’s important to consider not just the style and materials you want but also how you plan on using the space. The most effective kitchens are designed in a way that supports the family’s lifestyle and reflects their personal tastes. The layout should also be carefully considered, especially if the existing floor plan needs to be adjusted. For example, if adding a new window would require tearing down walls or moving utilities, this should be factored into the overall design and budget.

If the kitchen remodel is a complete overhaul, it’s a good idea to start with a professional designer who can provide recommendations and assist with the design process. A design-build team can even provide estimates at key stages throughout the process to help keep project costs under control. It’s also a good idea to get the opinions of others, as they may be able to point out flaws or potential problems in your plans that you might have overlooked.

One of the most important factors in a successful kitchen remodel is proper lighting. Installing recessed cans, under-cabinet lighting and a mix of natural and artificial light sources will create a well-lit space that’s both functional and beautiful. If you’re going to be installing glass-front cabinets, consider installing dimmer switches so that you can change the mood of your space as needed.

Another key element is storage. If your kitchen doesn’t have enough storage space, there are many affordable options to choose from, including custom drawer organizers and under-counter island cabinets. Open shelves can be a great option as well, especially if they’re painted to coordinate with the wallpaper or paint colors. They can also be a nice display area for your favorite dishes, pottery or teacups.

It’s a good idea to install other safety features during the kitchen remodel as well, such as slip-resistant flooring and an easily accessible place to store a fire extinguisher. Additionally, it’s important to talk to your builder about their dust control methods. While the inconvenience of construction dust is unavoidable, a reputable contractor should take measures to reduce it as much as possible. This could include daily sweeping, plastic barriers and HEPA filtration systems.

Materials

When it comes to a kitchen remodeling project, the materials used make up a good portion of your overall cost. Be sure to research options in terms of beauty, practicality and durability before making final decisions. Thanks to recent innovations, there are a wide range of excellent choices available at every price point.

Cabinets are one of the most expensive components of a kitchen, so it’s important to choose the right materials for the job. For example, if you want a high-end look that adds resale value to your home, consider using solid hardwood in doors and drawer fronts. This can be combined with medium-density fiberboard or wood veneer to lighten the cost. Some manufacturers offer stainless steel cabinets that wipe clean and resist dents and scratches.

Flooring is another material that needs to be carefully chosen. It’s best to stick with options that won’t absorb spilled food and water, so steer clear of carpet and cork, and consider ceramic and stone tile or vinyl. Hardwood is also a popular choice, but be aware that changes in humidity can cause it to warp over time.

You’ll also need to think about appliances and fixtures. The most popular appliance choice is a gas or electric stove with a built-in oven, but you can also get a dishwasher, refrigerator and microwave. You’ll need to choose a style that fits your home’s architecture and complements the other fixtures.

If you’re planning on selling your home within a few years, be sure to factor in the resale value of your new kitchen when determining which features to include. Luxury finishes and features can be great for resale, but they may not appeal to everyone, especially younger buyers.

It’s important to prepare for your remodel by packing up all of your belongings and establishing a temporary kitchen in the garage or another part of the house. This will save you money on dining out and help keep your kitchen clean and organized during the renovation process. You should also prepare by preparing a storage space for the many products that will be delivered to your home, like flooring and countertops.

Installation

Once the demolition phase is complete, the carpentry crew begins construction, following the building plans that were developed during planning. This phase usually involves major structural changes, like removing or adding windows, taking down walls, and possibly strengthening joists to support heavier appliances and built-ins such as a kitchen island. It also may involve utility work, such as rerouting electrical wiring and modifying the heating and cooling ductwork to accommodate new kitchen circuits.

If the remodel is a complete gut renovation, it will require tearing down walls, re-routing plumbing lines and sometimes stripping down to the studs in order to make substantial change to the kitchen’s footprint. It may also require dropping a floor, borrowing space from neighboring rooms or adding an addition to the house. This kind of large-scale project requires the services of licensed designers, architects and general contractors who specialize in design/build services.

Cabinets and countertop are often installed at this stage, followed by flooring and appliances. Before installation of any product, it is a good idea to establish a temporary kitchen in the garage or other dry area to store food and cookware that will be removed from the kitchen for the duration of the remodel. This temporary kitchen can also help keep family members and friends from eating out too frequently during the remodeling process.

While a kitchen is being remodeled, it’s a good time to upgrade the house’s plumbing pipes. Unless the sink, dishwasher and refrigerator are staying in the same place, it’s common to change out old galvanized steel plumbing lines for more durable, long-lasting PEX or CPVC pipes. It is also a good time to switch out existing kitchen fixtures for energy-efficient models, such as low-flow faucets and a tankless water heater that provides hot water on demand.

It is important to follow all construction and safety instructions that came with your new products. If you have questions, ask the sales or customer service representatives for clarification. Depending on the size and scope of your kitchen, it may be necessary to schedule inspections by a local building inspector or public health department.