The Kitchen is often the central hub of activity in most homes today. Whether you’re a family on the go or one that frequently entertains, it’s often the most used room of the house. Preparing meals for friends and family, playing host at social gatherings, or simply a space to reconnect with loved ones at the end of the day, the kitchen is often where we come together and spend the most time.
It’s also one of the first places homeowners look to make improvements. If you’ve decided your kitchen needs an update and you’re ready for a remodel, there are a few key factors to consider before choosing a design team. Identifying and understanding your needs will help to make a decision that you will be happy with for years to come. Here is what to consider before choosing a design team for your Kitchen Remodel.
1. Match the Design
Chose a design concept for your kitchen that matches the design and flow of the rest of your home. If changes to the layout or placement need to be made, consider those factors as well. Even if a remodel consists mostly of replacing old appliances or upgrading kitchen cabinets, the type of design should still match the aesthetic and flow of the rest of the house.
Since the design should always be what you and your family need and not just what looks good, it’s important that you and your kitchen contractor be on the same page about your design and build. Pick a designer or design team who will match your design concepts.
2. Consider Function
Since kitchens are often the center of a home, function is vital. It’s important to make note of all the areas where function is a concern and address them with your design team prior to installation. Understanding the type of design and quality needed and answering key questions about function and flow will help to insure your overall satisfaction when the remodel is complete.
Decide what isn’t working in your kitchen and needs to be changed. Identify what features would make your life easier. Do you need more useful and functional storage, for example? Or a different placement for major appliances, more space between your cabinetry and countertop, or a different layout that includes an eating area?
Keep what works:
Make a list of what you like or love as well. These features should stay! Be sure to let builders know what to change and what elements should remain. It will save time and costly mistakes down the road and give you the ease and comfort you need without sacrificing function and flow aspects you like and want to keep.
Examples of questions to ask & answer:
- How much space is needed for a chef’s grade kitchen stove or similar model? Will it fit the area that holds my current stove?
- How much room do I need for a double-door stainless steel refrigerator with a bottom freezer?
- In which direction will the refrigerator need to doors open to access food items from the fridge?
- How much surrounding area can I sacrifice for new items that will still leave enough space to move around the kitchen freely?
- Is there enough counter space or storage to prepare and store food items easily?
- Is there enough space between the cabinets and countertops for additional appliances?
- Is there existing space for an eating area? If so, will it accommodate family seating or provide extra room for entertaining at holidays and special events?
- How should the space be configured to maximize use and still easily integrate into the rest of the kitchen design?
3. Construction & Installation
There are a lot of moving parts in a kitchen and all building materials and appliances are not created equal. Using high quality materials and hiring professional installers are key. Consider hiring a team with construction skills rather than just installers who may not know how to move a wall or reconfigure the plumbing.
Hire a team of experts:
Be sure your design team has experience in all the areas of construction and installation that you need, and includes experts in specific areas. For example, chose a team with professional carpentry skills or cabinetry professional concrete countertop installers, and tile experts who can design and install backsplash and install professional flooring.
Chose a custom design team:
Custom designs allow the freedom to choose the materials and quality for your kitchen design to match your needs, rather than locking you into a particular design build you might not be happy with. Make sure you chose a custom-design team that allows the freedom to pick and choose the building materials and design elements you want.
4. Set your budget
There are always surprises and unexpected costs that can arise during a remodel, so it’s important to have a realistic view of the overall budget. You don’t want to get halfway through a build only to learn there’s not enough left to cover the cost of design elements you need to finish the project.
Crunch the numbers:
Decide what your low and high end numbers are and if you will be happy with the end result. Are lower cost options for materials or builds available that you will be happy with? Is there enough room at the top of your budget to cover unexpected costs, should they arise? Have you allowed yourself any wiggle-room for any unexpected changes?
Include the added value in your budget costs:
A kitchen upgrade will always add value to your home, so include the cost investment in the budget as well. Consider increasing the budget if you’ll recoup the cost in value for your home. Whether you plan on selling or just want to increase the value of your property, kitchens are an important area to invest in.
5. Do the research
It’s important to research design ideas you like and want to include, and gather information about the type of services you will need from your design team.
Do you like the way your friend’s kitchen or bath turned out? Ask them who did it!
Look for reviews:
Look into sites like Houzz for customer reviews.
Verify the work:
Check out your contractor’s previous work – if they don’t have photos of their own work, that’s probably a warning sign!
Find design companies with in-house contractors, ample pictures and reviews, offer custom designs and set pricing. It will save time and money and leave you with the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.