There’s no question about it. The kitchen is the heart of the home. Even if we never cook, the kitchen is the place we keep our snacks, share delivery pizza, make coffee, pack lunches, feed the dog, mix drinks, and entertain our guests. After spending all that time in this space, it’s no wonder that so many people are dissatisfied with their current kitchen. In fact, in a recent Houzz survey, over 90% of people reported that they want to change their kitchen

Step one: People Want Their Dream Kitchens!

There are many reasons to consider a kitchen remodel. You may find that your kitchen is simply out-of-date. Something that looked great in the ‘90’s can look dated today. You might have purchased a home with a kitchen that doesn’t fit your tastes. People who love modern design dislike country kitchens and traditionalists hate expanses of black granite.

Some homeowners find that their lives have changed, and they want to use their kitchens in new ways. If you’ve become an enthusiastic cook, you may long for an industrial Wolf range and an oversized Sub-Zero refrigerator. Maybe you didn’t mind your kitchen when it was full of your children, but now that you’re an empty nester you find you want to create a sleeker kitchen with a top-of-the-line espresso machine.

Still others consider a kitchen remodel because their kitchen is “broken.” Cabinets are sticking. Appliances are old, faucets leak, the lighting is dated, and the floor is worn and discoloured. No matter what the reason, if you’re ready for a new kitchen and you want to get started.

Once you get serious about a kitchen remodel, it’s wise to do a little planning. Think about why you are remodelling. Do you use your kitchen differently now? Is your kitchen out-of-date? Are parts of your kitchen broken or not functioning? Your motivations for remodelling will drive decisions in every part of the remodel, so it’s good to think about what’s important to you now and prioritise your needs before you hire a designer or begin a remodel.

Some people remodel their kitchens when preparing to sell to increase the home’s appeal and value. According to a Remodelling magazine study, if you’re remodelling your kitchen before selling your home, you can expect to recoup about 50-80% of your kitchen renovation costs in the average home sale. But if you’re replacing a dated or worn kitchen, those numbers can be even higher.

Once you know why you want to remodel, think about what kind of kitchen you want to create. Are you looking for a gourmet kitchen? Is your kitchen going to serve as an entertaining space? Do you want a family-centred kitchen where kids can work on projects or friends can drop in for dinner?

And finally, think about how your kitchen will interact with your dining areas. If you already have an eat-in kitchen, in a remodel you can replace a table with a bar or an island. If you have a formal dining room, you may want to join the spaces for a more open environment. Some homeowners even want to connect their kitchen with their outdoor spaces. Perhaps you want to take advantage of Florida’s gorgeous weather by installing double doors or even a sliding wall.

Step Two of a Kitchen Remodel: Set Your budget

Let’s get one thing straight. No matter who you are, no matter how much you make, and no matter how much you have set aside, you will never feel like you have enough time and money to complete every aspect of your dream kitchen. It’s just part of human nature. We always want a little more than we can have, so don’t get discouraged if you find you can’t fit absolutely everything you ever wanted into your kitchen remodel.

Remember why you decided to remodel in the first place and focus on the parts of the kitchen remodel that are most important to you. If you’re getting frustrated with your budget, divide your project into segments:

  • Must do now
  • Can do later
  • Can do anytime

In the “Must Do Now” column, you’ll want to include the big items that require a designer and contractor. If you want an open kitchen, then you may need to remove walls now. If you need to upgrade your cabinets, that’s something that gets done upfront. Changes in electrical, plumbing, and floor plans are all the building blocks of your major kitchen remodelling plan.

In the “Can do later” column, think about ways to postpone appliance upgrades (as long as they’ll fit into the new cabinetry,) or you may want to wait to do the finishing touches like installing statement lighting in the dining room.

In the “Can do anytime” column, you can list things like new dinnerware, designer toaster, copper pots, or window treatments. Each of these smaller, quick fixes may seem like they won’t affect the budget, but small purchases like these can add up quickly. If you’re trying to trim the budget, purchase these kinds of items after the remodel when you and your budget are ready. Once you know what’s most important to you, you can make compromises in one area in order to get the best quality in another

Step Three: Get Inspiration for Your Remodel

You may have already started gathering ideas. But once you’ve thought hard about why you’re remodelling your kitchen, and what your budget will be, it’s time to revisit those inspiration resources.

Look at your ideas with a fresh set of eyes, and think about how you’ll use your kitchen, what’s most important to you, and where you want to spend your money. You may be surprised at how your dream kitchen changes.

Yep, this is the fun part. Now that you have set your remodelling parameters, it’s time to start getting excited about all the things you can do within those guidelines. At this stage in the game, you’re ready to explore specific looks and features. Want a vintage look to match your vintage house? Maybe you’re opting for a minor update to modernise your kitchen. Or you might be lucky enough to be ready for a complete gut job that will open up your kitchen and create a great entertaining space.

In addition to dozens of great magazines and websites, check out Pinterest for millions of kitchen ideas for every taste and budget. And of course, check out our own inspiration gallery to get you started on your re-modelling project.

Step Four: Set up an Appointment

Now that you’ve thought about what you need, how much you want to spend, and have some inspiration in hand, it’s time to contact your designer and contractor. Your designer will help you create space plans, sneak in more storage options, work around difficult configurations, choose the best materials for your kitchen remodel, and think about smart, stylish ways to make the most of your re-modelling budget.

Step Five: Get Ready to Live Through the Re-modelling Process

Any type of home remodelling project will take some adjustments in your lifestyle, but you need to make special arrangements during a kitchen remodel. Think through the remodelling time frame and try to schedule the work during a less stressful time in your life. If you’re expecting a baby soon, a kitchen remodel might be a lot to handle, but if you’re headed to the Miami offices for the next month, this might be the perfect time to redo your kitchen.

Of course, timelines are rarely so cut and dried, so you may have to decide how to live with a remodel project, regardless of other life events. Will you live in the house while the project is going on, or should you stay with family? Some people choose to rent a home for a few weeks, while others decide to stay in their own home and work around the remodelling.

One popular option for Florida homeowners is to set up an alternate kitchen in the garage or in the backyard. If you plan to stay in your home during the remodel, it’s smart to pack up infrequently-used kitchen items and rely on a few basics. Talk to your contract and see if they can move a few salvaged cabinets from your kitchen demolition into your temporary kitchen space. If there’s no counter, use a piece of plywood.

It’s also important to have contingency plans if you have children or pets in the home. The noise and disruption of a remodel can be taxing. Some pets will find the noise problematic or may get in the way of contractors. Make sure you have a quiet place to take kids and pets during the remodel.

Step Six: Enjoy Your Dream Kitchen!

A kitchen remodel can be quite a project, but as any homeowner can tell you, the life-changing results are worth it. Once the remodelling work is done, and the crew has left for the last time, you’ll walk into a kitchen you love, and that you’ll continue to enjoy for years to come.