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A Guide to Renovating Your Kitchen

So you’re finally sure you want to remodel your kitchen. Like many other homeowners out there, you may not know exactly where to start. Some check out appliances. Others collect photos of beautiful kitchens. Some decide more space is necessary. Others simply want an upgrade in their current kitchen’s look.

In any case, consider the following before you proceed:

Your Needs
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Hunt for ideas all around you – home design magazines, kitchen showrooms, the Internet, etc. How many people are going to use this room? Look for pictures of kitchens you like and cut them out or save them.

Planning a Preliminary Budget
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Once you have a clear picture of what you want in mind, you can start planning your budget based on the scope of work. Budget and scope go hand in hand and generally change as you learn more about the process and begin to understand the limits of your resources.

Finding the Right Pros

Even if you intend to pull a DIY on this project, you’re going to have to hire a professional at some point. Visit big box stores and showrooms and ask the clerk for recommendations. Also ask your relatives, friends and coworkers. Otherwise, check out consumer websites and read reviews online.

Schematic Design

This part includes making sketches, preliminary floor plans, space planning, and elevations that show the layout and sizes of cabinets. You also have to decide on materials to be used, the amount of such materials necessary, and their costs. You can also get estimates on finishes and fixtures by sending out drawings.

Design Development and Construction Documents

This phase is for the finalization of your design and preparation of the final details. This is also the time for your final permit set or Construction Drawings (CDs).

Getting Contractor Estimates

If you still don’t have a licensed contractor working on your project, you obviously need to find one to carry the project through. At least 3 different contractor estimates will be great for comparison.

Setting Schedules

Fix your schedule, plan for cleaning out cabinets and putting things in storage; and if you plan to live in the house during the construction, set up a temporary kitchen that you can use. Logistics must be discussed ahead of time with your contractor. When all of these are laid out on the table before the work starts, you can set fair expectations and make the whole project run smoothly.

The Punch List

At the end … or near end… of construction, there’s always that little list of things that must be done. A shrinking caulk line, a light switch plate that is nowhere to be found, etc.

Sometimes, your contractor will keep coming back to your home to fix these things once and for all. It’s just part of the equation.