Being realistic with your budget is the first rule of renovation. It will hopefully keep you from having expectations that aren’t in your budget. Remember, as the homeowner you set the budget, not the contractor.
Do research before setting a budget so you will have an idea what contractors, appliances and materials you will need for your kitchen renovation. Once you have all your information for every aspect of the design, then you will be able to work out a workable budget. If this is your first time doing a remodel it might be in your best interest to find a design-build contractor. Design-build is a method of project delivery in which one entity – the design-build team – works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion. There are many benefits to hiring a company that offers a design-build concept.
It is wise too to have a little bit of a cushion for the unexpected. Even the best-planned budgets can get thrown off track if something unexpected pops in during the installation or final renovation stages of your kitchen. Make sure your contractor adds a contingency to your scope of work. A construction contingency is an amount of money set aside to cover any unexpected costs that can arise throughout a construction project. This money is on reserve and is not allocated to any specific area of work. Essentially, the contingency acts as insurance against other, unforeseen costs.
You will hear that It is always good to source at least three quotes from contractors to make sure you’re not paying too much. However, you don’t want a contractor that does competitive bidding and here’s why:
“Competitive bids are just that! If I shave the labor or materials to get your job, is that the house you really want? There are hundreds of ways to lower the price of a building which often lowers the quality and workmanship also. The best drawings and specifications don’t protect you from poor trade practices.” (The Well Built House, Pg. 23)
This quote from The Well Built House sums up my feelings as well. There are plenty of ways to cut corners to create a lower price. Competitive bidding rewards the lowest price and offers absolutely no advantage to good workmanship.
Select Your Contractor Based on Reputation…Not Price!
When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there are several things you need to think about even before acquiring the services of a professional contractor or making appliance selections. More than any other room of the house, the kitchen is the most versatile. It is used to prepare meals, feed the family, store foods, and clean and store service ware and other household items. In reference to your appliances for your kitchen, it’s best to shop around and not buy the first thing you see. Price ranges vary from store to store so take your time. It may be worth the time to wait on a sale.
The kitchen is also the family gathering place. Everyone undoubtedly migrates to the kitchen because it is the main focus of the home. Therefore, it is important that every kitchen remodeling idea be taken into consideration. Search through home decorating magazines, Pinterest, Houzz and catch some great ideas on TV. Whether you decide to design the kitchen yourself, work with a kitchen remodeling contractor or home center, formulating a plan will be the first step. In other words, write the vision and make it clear.
The first kitchen remodeling tip is to consider the three basic kitchen functions: storage, food preparation, and clean-up. A well thought out kitchen design will accommodate each of these three functions. The layout of the kitchen design should be defined with convenient layout and ease of movement. According to an article written by Terri Williams on MyMove.com, The kitchen triangle layout has lost popularity over recent years because it doesn’t always work with every kitchen,” says Eric Gustafson, president of Pure Modern. “Many times, there isn’t enough space to set up a triangle kitchen – especially in a galley style kitchen.” Gustafson says the triangle isn’t necessary in an open concept because kitchen zones are a better solution. “Although the kitchen triangle can still be relevant in some cases, many kitchen designs are moving away from that layout,” he says.” Ultimately, the kitchen triangle should be used as a guideline. That’s according to Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer at Susan Serra Associates.
“Many designers now feel that the most important criteria for the kitchen design is the client’s lifestyle,” she explains. “The best scenario is when the designer points out both pros and cons of appliance locations, regardless of rules to meet the specific aesthetic and functional needs of the client.”