Step 1- Know why you’re renovating your kitchen
There can be many reasons why you want to change your current kitchen, but if you can
identify the number one reason, it will help you better plan and budget for your renovation.
Is it to improve the ergonomics of the space, bring it up to date, create more dining space, add
or remove a kitchen island, or is it an upgrade to assist in selling your home? This will help you
to establish your needs and your budget. The clearer you can state your goals, the more
successful you will be.
Step 2 – Assess Your Wants and Needs
Now that you know why you’re renovating you can begin to sharpen your focus on what you
want and need in your new kitchen. This will vary based on your personal circumstances.
What type of cooking happens most often in your kitchen? (baking, microwave, gourmet)?
What kitchen equipment and appliances do you use most often?
What other activities take place in the kitchen (computer work, paperwork, entertainment)?
Do you need more counter space; and if so, where?
Do you need more storage?
How easy is it to access the trash? Do you store recyclables in the kitchen?
What do you want to keep from your current kitchen and what would you change?
What ideas do you have that you would like to incorporate into your kitchen?
Do you have any preferences for style or colour to include in your kitchen?
It pays to be thorough. The more clearly you can state your wants and needs, the easier it will
be for your kitchen designer and contractor to follow your specific vision.
Step 3 – Set a Reasonable Timeline
Setting a reasonable timeline can be difficult because everything will depend on the size and
scope of your project and the availability of products and tradespeople. Since most people
don’t have much experience with what’s involved in doing renovations you will need to rely on
the advice of designers or contractors. However, if you’re just starting the process, a good
benchmark to set for yourself is about nine months. Allow about five months to plan your
project (searching, shopping, designing, preparing and ordering of products) and four months
to build it out. If you are working with a designer or contractor, they can better advise you
based on the size of your project and their schedule. Many homeowners can complete their
projects much faster depending on how well prepared they are and how they use their time.
But don’t take time for granted; shopping and research can take longer than anticipated. If you
are looking to have your kitchen renovated in time for the holidays or a special occasion, be
sure to give yourself enough time and start planning early.
Step 4 – Research & Shopping
A remodelling or renovation of your kitchen is considered to be one of the top five purchases
you will make for your home, so be sure you allow yourself enough time to get it right. If you
are working with a contractor or interior designer, they can assist you by narrowing your
choices to products they know will meet your expectations and will work in your home. If
you’ve decided to do your own research and shopping, here’s a short list of key products you
will want to consider and spend some time looking at: cabinets, countertops, backsplash, sinks
and faucets, lighting, flooring and appliances. Within each of these product categories there is
much to learn about the different brands, materials, installation methods, costs, warranties,
maintenance, care requirements and more. Try to keep track of your options in a detailed list or
a spreadsheet. As you do your research, you will come to a better understanding of just how
much certain items, features, and upgrades cost, and how much you personally value them.
Eliminate the products that don’t work and try to trim your options to one or two items.
Step 5 – Determine Your Budget
“What is your budget?” is one of the first questions a renovation professional will ask you.
Setting a budget will depend on what you have, what you’re willing to spend, as well as your
personal financial situation. But you may want to wait until you’ve had a chance to shop and
compare different product options before you set a budget. To help you get started,
HomeAdvisor suggests the gold standard in helping homeowners estimate and budget the
correct amount for remodels is 5 to 15 percent of the current value of the home or
approximately $150 per square foot of your kitchen’s floor plan. Generally, cabinets are about
25-30 percent of the remodeling budget.
Step 6 – Bring in the Pros
An experienced and reputable kitchen designer will listen to your needs and wants and help
translate your thoughts and ideas into a functional, actionable plan that is possible within your
budget. A contractor will work with the designer’s plan and coordinate the build-out and
installation. The contractor will organize and schedule work for the trade professionals typically
involved in kitchen renovations such as electricians, plumbers, tile setters, and carpenters.
Start early and be proactive with bringing in professionals. Their expertise will help you make
better remodelling decisions, and making early appointments will ensure that you have a spot
on their calendars. The most well-regarded pros have very busy schedules, and it’s common for
a contractor to be booked months in advance.
Between you, your designer and your contractor, you should be able to make sure that your
kitchen is designed, built and decorated to your liking. Of course, at Van Dolder’s Kitchen and
Bath, we can help you with design, product selection, installation and the organizing of all other
trade professionals so you just have one point of contact. When you’re ready to begin your
kitchen renovation, just remember, you can find everything you’ll need renovation at Van
Dolder’s Kitchen and Bath.