7 Questions to Ask Before a Kitchen Remodel
Embarking on a kitchen remodel can feel daunting. But whether you just want to replace those laminate countertops or you want your entire kitchen flipped, there are a few questions you need to ask before getting started to make sure your kitchen will turn out just as you planned.
1. What’s my budget? The amount of money you feel comfortable spending on a kitchen remodel will determine the scope of your renovation. Before you can begin to make decisions on what you want and what has to go, figure out what your bottom line looks like.
2. Why am I doing this remodel? Are you trying to sell your house? Want to make your kitchen more functional? Or just need to update old appliances? Whatever the reason behind your remodel, knowing the project goals will help you narrow down your project scope (see the question below!)
3. What should I include in my project scope? Make a list of your absolute “musts” for your kitchen, and then tack on a few “wants.” When making this list, think about who’s using the kitchen and what it’s being used for (i.e. entertaining or preparing family dinners). Using Emprove’s “Cost It!” tool, you can get instant and comprehensive project cost estimates that are uniquely tailored to your design preferences, budget and location. With this tool, you can identify how many of your “wants” you can afford, and can fine-tune each project element to make sure you’re making the most of your budget!
4. What’s my kitchen style aesthetic? Whether you’re eclectic or timeless, trendy or simple – identify the type of style you want your kitchen to embody and make sure the materials, hardware and appliances you’re picking fit that aesthetic. Emprove’s “Dream It!” tool makes this easy by guiding you to create and personalize a Styleboard, during which the platform learns your design sensibilities and objectives. All you have to do is click the images you like!
5. When should I schedule my remodel for? Kitchen remodels can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks, so if you were planning on hosting family for Thanksgiving or a birthday party in that timeframe, you might want to ask for backup. When possible, schedule your remodel during a time when you’ll be able to stay out of the kitchen – and make sure to check with your contractor to understand how long they expect the project to take.
6. What should I absolutely NOT compromise cost on? The answer is materials and hardware. The bottom line is that if you don’t have high-quality materials and hardware, nothing else matters. This includes but is not limited to cabinets, flooring, and drawers. There are other elements of a kitchen (the fridge and sink, for instance) where you may have more leeway to customize style to fit your budget.
7. How much of my contractor’s bid estimate should be allocated to materials?There’s no exact “right” number here – but when you’re comparing bids from different contractors, this is a critical question to ask to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. For instance, if you’re reviewing two bids that come out to the same cost estimate, ask what the material and labor break-down looks like – it’ll help you understand which proposal will get you higher quality materials.
Stress and confusion shouldn’t be a side effect of creating your dream kitchen! Asking these tough questions before you start the kitchen remodel process will save you time, money, and peace of mind – and will help build trust and confidence between you and your contractor.