Many people would love to remodel their kitchen. Some of the very fortunate people can afford to just pay for major renovations out right. Others choose to get a loan and pay it off over time. And then there are people who want that perfect kitchen, but don’t want to deal with getting a loan. There are a number of reasons people might not feel comfortable adding to their debt, but if you can afford the kitchen you want over time and if you are patient, then there is no reason you can’t remodel. You just need to work out a step by step plan for your kitchen remodel. Remodeling your kitchen in gradual steps will let you spread out the payments over a longer period of time just like a loan.
Plan, Plan, and more Planning
The first thing that you have to get used to is planning. This cannot be stressed enough. One of the best advantages to doing a step by step remodel over a longer period of time is that if you change your mind about some important or vital part of your plan, there is a good chance that you can change or abandon the element of your remodel that you have a problem with. Often times if you are remodeling the entire kitchen at once a serious change can be more costly. Another way of thinking about this is that you are trading the relatively quick gratification of remodeling your kitchen all at once for some flexibility that could prove extremely useful.
Part of planning will be to restrain yourself and manage your enthusiasm. New houses, new kitchens, and big projects are exciting. You need to be sure that you do not make rash decisions that will lead to wasted money. There may be a certain part of your kitchen that drives you crazy, but don’t rush into fixing it too soon. For example: If you hated the old damaged linoleum flooring in your kitchen, then as your first step you might be tempted to spend your money to replace the flooring with some nice new tiles. But then, a few steps down the line, you realize that your kitchen will be so much better with a different layout. You want to remove the island, knock down a wall and open up your kitchen in a big way. Now you will have to RE-DO the flooring all over again. Complete waste of money. As a rule-of-thumb, don’t jump into anything like new lighting fixtures, new countertops, or new major appliances right off the bat.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but you have to plan it out first. Know what flooring you want, what kind of cabinets you will get and what color options will match with your appliances, counters, backsplashes, etc. Patience is very important.
Getting Professional Help
Decide and realize just how complicated or in-depth your project will be. If you have carefully visualized your remodeled kitchen and planned it out for a few simple steps then you might be able to do all the project managing on your own. Most people who are doing any kind of sizeable kitchen remodel will want to seek help from a professional. As with most things in life, it will cost you to hire a professional as opposed to doing it yourself. But there are inherent benefits to hiring an architect. Most architects will be experienced in dealing with and finding builders that can do your remodel. They will also be familiar with issues that could pop up when dealing with permits and red tape.
One of the biggest hurdles that you will face with a step by step remodel project is finding a good experienced contractor to do the job. Most contractors will prefer to do a major kitchen remodel all at once. This is completely understandable when you look at the situation from the contractor’s perspective. There are obvious risks with a long, drawn out, step by step remodel. You may have your reasons but if you suddenly run out of money or abandon the project halfway through the remodel it is certainly not good for the contractor’s business. Finding a qualified and dependable contractor is another good benefit you may get from hiring a professional architect.
Budget the Project
Running out of money and abandoning the project will not only be difficult for your contractor. This can be a serious problem for you. In order to budget the project correctly you will need accurate estimates from all the companies that you are dealing with to provide you with appliances, countertops, cabinets, labor, etc. These companies that are trying to earn your business will only be able to give you accurate estimates if you can give them accurate selections on what you want. If you give them general ideas of what you are looking for then those companies will be forced to do a lot of guess work with your estimate. These are the kinds of things that will result in you going way over your budget. This is even more important for a step by step remodel than it would be if you were doing the whole remodel all at once.
Now that you have done some serious planning and you know what you want, there is still more planning. You know what your kitchen will look like and you have the detailed layout. You know the color, texture, and material options of the counters, floor, cabinets, backsplash, appliances, fixtures and more. You even know how it will all work together to complement each other in your new kitchen. Now you need to strategize just how this project will come together. This is one more place where a professional can be very helpful.
There are companies that can perform a variety of jobs for you, but it is not uncommon to hire the counter guys, the cabinet people, the tile guys, the electrical guys, the plumber, etc. This can be a lot of scheduling. Obviously, you can’t install a sink or dishwasher until you have your cabinets. You can’t finish installing cabinets if you are still waiting for the drywall to go up on your new pony wall that frames one of the runs of cabinets in your new kitchen.
If you have to do this stage of planning all on your own don’t get discouraged. Open an Excel sheet and think about what order the different steps of your remodel need to take. Think about the time between the steps. Think about how long you can go without having a fully functional kitchen. Finally, see how your plan works into the availability of the various contractors and professionals.
It may seem daunting but with a lot of planning and a little patience, you can arrange to fully remodel your current kitchen into your dream kitchen one step at a time.