When renovating your kitchen, what is the first step?

Hello everyone!  Its been a little while.....babies tend to get in the way:)  Anyway, I am back and excited to share with you how to start your kitchen projects since these are always the hardest and the most expensive projects to take on!  Many people ask me, whats first?  Well, here is my input on what I think you should do and the way you should do them!

1) Think about what you want in your dream kitchen!  Lets be honest, everyone has their dream kitchen in the back of their heads, and at the same time, most think they can't afford it, well, I am here to tell you that you are WRONG!  You can afford it!  maybe you can't afford ALL of the bells and whistles, but I can assure you that you can afford it (if you have a realistic budget in mind).  Keep that in mind for step 2.  Make your list of must haves and your list of can live without.  Because believe me, if your must haves is a Sub Zero fridge that is paneled, then your step 2 will make more sense.  If you just want a fridge that looks nice and keeps your food cold, then you're in luck!  Because then you can splurge on another must have on your list.  

2) So now that you have your list's done, budget is the next BIG thing.  If I have ever had a million dollar question, its just that.  What do kitchens cost?  Well, they can cost anywhere from $15,000-$300,000, it just depends on what you want to spend and how you want to spend it.  The big ticket items in your new kitchen will consist of the following, Cabinets (Most important), Appliances, (hello its time to get rid of that gross 30" fridge thats white), Countertops, Plumbing, backsplash, hardware, lighting, and renovations!  Now, if you need new floors, then you better count that in as well, but that may come into the renovations category as most contractors do them for you.  So, now that you have your budget in hand along with your list, you're moving onto step 3!


3) Hire a Kitchen & Bath designer.  I am telling you from experience, you want and need a designer that is specialized in Kitchen's and Baths!  They know what size things are, they know how to work your layout, they know how to bring it all together and most importantly give you functioning kitchen when you are all done.  Let's be honest, you can hire just about anyone, but once the project is done you don't want to think about, where is this pasta pot going to live, or darn it, I forgot about where I was going to store my cookie sheets.  You NEED to spend the extra money and hire a kitchen and bath designer, you will thank me in the long run!  Don't have or know one?  Well, of course you do!  Call or email me and I can help you design the kitchen of your dreams!

4) The next step is to take your drawings that your amazing kitchen and bathroom designer gave you and shop around for everything.  That list in number two I gave you, yea go shop for that!  Cabinetry and Appliances first, then the rest, that way you can set the plan for everything you need.  These two things will help you get an idea of your budget (Step 2).  If your cabinetry pricing comes back too high, you just may need to think of getting some additional quotes.  It's always important to know what is included in your cost of cabinetry as well.  Some include trim, accessories, others don't, so weigh out your options.  If you appliances come back higher than you thought, maybe its time to look into less expensive brands that do the same thing!  After your done with step 4, you should have a realistic number as far as cost is concerned for materials.  And I am going to be completely honest so that you don't get sticker shock once you're done with your kitchen design, always add 10% to your total cost, then that should be your final highest number.  Let's be honest, something always comes up when you deal with renovations.


5) Now that you have that all down, its time to call some contractors to bid your job.  Hiring the right contractor thats right for your size project is key.  You don't want to hire a Joe Shmo that does handy work if you're gutting your kitchen down.  You want a licensed, experienced contractor to do the work.  You want to put the final details into your contractors hands and rest assured that everything will be up to code and done correctly.  Remember, the cheapest number isn't always the best number!!  So be weary of a quote that comes in a lot less then the others.  My rule of thumb is to always get 3 quotes so that you can see what they are including and what they are not.  If you aren't sure about this, make sure you ask them!   You are spending a lot of your hard earned money, and the last thing you want to do is go in blind.  

6) Deposits......this is where things get stressful and fun.  Stressful because you're going to start spending the hard earned money and fun because now your dreams are going to become a reality.  Deposits are what start to get the process rolling.  It's what gets you into schedules and allows you to start seeing what is going to be soon a reality!  Most places require about 10% deposit to get the project started, into their system, and working with you.  (PS, this is something you should ask all of your trades before they start.  What do they require for payments and when do they require them).

7) After you have everything rolling into the start, the rest should be fairly easy.  If you have hired a Kitchen & Bath designer, they may be helping guide you through the entire process and then you are in GREAT hands.  If you decided to do this on your own after you have received the drawings, your stress level may be tested until your project is done, so good luck to you and our hats are off to you!!  The rest of the process should come naturally from your contractor.  Ie picking out finishes, etc.


Now remember if all of this information is blowing your mind, then sit down and grab a drink because kitchen renovations aren't easy to do or live through.  We always recommend setting up a temporary kitchen space somewhere in your house so that you can keep some sanity while you are living through the chaos.

If you ever have any questions or want some help, please email us and we would be happy to help you get your project started!!  We can't wait to hear from you!