Define your problem
The first question to ask yourself is: “why do I want to remodel my kitchen?” Grab a pen and notebook and write down everything you dislike about your current kitchen. Get other family members to contribute as well. As you move forward with planning, keep this list handy for reference.
Create your wish list
When you daydream about your perfect kitchen, what’s it like? List everything that makes up your dream kitchen. Don’t get caught up in limiting yourself by budget at this point. Just allow your mind to run free.
Consider your constraints
You know what you don’t like and what you’d love to have. Now it’s time to list your constraints and start bringing the vision into reality. The first things that may come to mind are budget and time, but let’s dig deeper. We’ll return to the budget later.
Floorplan & structure
Working within the current floor plan will greatly simplify your remodel. Removing walls or changing the layout can require more specialties such as plumbing, HVAC and electrical. If you want to remove a wall, check for air vents, electrical outlets and water lines. This will give you a sign of which contractors will need to be involved.
Are you prepared to go without a kitchen for an extended period? Depending on the scope of your remodel, you could be without a kitchen for several weeks. If you’re removing cabinets, sink, appliances, etc., you'll want to consider living elsewhere for the duration of the remodel.
If your project is multi-faceted, you may choose to hire a general contractor who will manage all the moving parts of the renovation. For smaller projects, you may be able to handle the coordination of subcontractors yourself.
How quickly do you want/need the work to get done? It takes quite a bit of time to plan for a remodel with your chosen contractor(s). Plus, you’ll need to allow time for materials to arrive. If there’s a family event upcoming or you have problems that needs to be addressed quickly, you may opt for a small-scale remodel. Or, if you want to do a larger remodel, consider if there’s a time of year that works best for your family.
Optimize your storage
Anyone can make a kitchen pretty, but is it functional? The number one goal of kitchen cabinetry is to store your items. Write down every kitchen item you use currently. Include categories for cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, knives, small appliances, silverware and dishes. Plus, include food and any rarely used items like party supplies. Apply your list to your layout. Do you have a cabinet, drawer or pantry space for every item?
Make room for everyone
As a multi-purpose space, it's important you define exactly how you plan to use your kitchen. Of course, there’s an obvious use for cooking. Beyond that though, you may use your kitchen for a makeshift home office, homework station, and/or breakfast bar. Ensure you have enough seating and allow room for foot traffic.
Sketch your layout
By now you probably have an idea of what you want your kitchen layout to look like. It’s time to put pen to paper. Even a rough sketch is helpful to share with contractors when you’re getting bids. Pro tips: 1) Measure the length and width of your floor space, 2) use grid paper to draw to scale, and 3) use a ruler to make straight lines.
Create a design board
You need to gather photo inspiration of what you want your kitchen to look like. Kitchen photos and design ideas will help your contractor define your budget. Check out some local interior designer projects to get started. You can also create boards on Houzz or Pinterest to save your favorites.
Define your budget range
You have your lists, your layout sketch and your inspirational photos, but can you bring it to life within your budget? It’s time to crunch the numbers. Learn more about what it costs to renovate your kitchen in the Charlotte area.
Create a list of must haves
Don’t let the reality check of budgeting ruin your momentum. In case you can’t afford the big dream, you can still get much of what you want in a kitchen. Look at everything you’ve planned so far and whittle down your wish list to the most important items. Pay close attention to the finishes such as cabinets, counters, and appliances. Those make up the bulk of your cost.
Get multiple bids
Your preparation will pay off when you meet with contractors. A clear picture of exactly what you want in a kitchen will ensure the estimates are accurate. We recommend getting multiple quotes so you can compare options and pricing. Check out our tips for evaluating contractors.
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