10 Steps To Take When Remodeling a Kitchen
Unlike any other home remodeling project, kitchen renovation encompasses so many things–from the raw to the sublime, from the picayune to the important–that it can easily overwhelm even the most motivated home owner.
On the other hand, a great kitchen transform quickly increases the worth of your home, offers you with a additional prosperous cooking area, and generates you the envy of all of your friends. So, just before beginning this challenging but worthwhile project, ask yourself:
- What Are My Needs and Requires?: Is your kitchen a catastrophe zone where you can’t even manage to boil an egg? Or do you just require to freshen the place up with fresh appliances, countertops, floors, and cabinets? A need might be: I need kitchen cabinets because my existing ones are falling apart. A demand might be: I desire a new dishwasher because my current one is unattractive and noisy, though it works completely well.
- Is It Really worth Positioning Myself In the course of This?: Do you want work crews in your house for for a longer periods ? Do you want to invest money and put you through this turmoil? Although one of the more costly home renovation projects, kitchen remodels maintain their importance well should you decide to sell your property.
- Really-Deep-Down Renovation or Surface-Level?: Be honest. Is this a $85k complete kitchen remodel or a less ambitious surface level kitchen remodel? No shame in either choice.
- Bonus Question: Can I make the Cost of Transforming? Think about this at this time before you get too involved in the project. If you cannot authoritatively answer “Yes” or “I really don’t care how low my bank account gets,” then you have no business remodeling your kitchen. From DIY to limiting your need for contractors, there are plenty of ways to save dollars.
2 Start with a Solid Kitchen Design
This is the fun part. When you design your kitchen, you get to exercise your creative muscle while your house is still clean and in one piece.
For ease of movement, plan your kitchen workflow around the classic kitchen triangle.
While you have an almost infinite range of possibilities, you may want to utilize one of the five basic kitchen design plans, such as:
- The One-Wall Design
- The Corridor Design
- The L-Shape Design
- The Double-L Design
- The U-Shape Design
How to Design Your Kitchen
- Kitchen Design Software
Inexpensive computer design software helps you with the difficult task of space-planning.
- Book-Based Design Packages
Available at bookstores, these kits have cardboard punch-outs representing cabinets and appliances. Placing punch-outs on a kitchen grid helps you realistically view your available space.
- Kitchen Designers
Kitchen designers at home improvement companies or at kitchen design stores typically design your kitchen free of charge. However, they will steer you to their own vendors and to their own work crews. Independent designers will have the most freedom and may give you the best product because they have less restrictions. However, they will charge you either by the hour or on a percentage basis.
3 Hire a Contractor or Do It Yourself?
You’re got great ideas. But how to turn these ideas into reality?
- Hiring a Contractor.
Find a licensed contractor who deals extensively with residential kitchen remodeling. Commissions based on the price of the project range from 15%-25%.
- Doing It Yourself.
Renovating the kitchen by yourself, you spend no money on labor charges but you may slow down your project as you learn skills necessary to remodeling.
- Acting as Your Own Contractor.
A tempting option. You hire carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other sub-contractors yourself and save the contractor’s high commission. But this puts a lot of work on your shoulders.
You should apply for permits now. Permits must be obtained from different agencies. Your city or county may administer the electrical, plumbing, and building permits. Your water company may also need to permit any work relating to water supply and drainage. If a contractor is handling the renovation, he will obtain your permits. If you are doing it yourself, start by calling your local city or county permitting agency.
4 Demolish, Repair, and Build Structural Elements
Something has to go. Something as small as those nasty laminated counters or as major as that load-bearing wall blocking the view of the living room.
Kitchen materials may contain hazardous materials such as lead-based paint and asbestos, both of which require special handling.
After that, you need to haul away the waste material and dispose of it. Waste stations may not accept hazardous materials,
so you should first check up with them about acceptable waste.
Building and Repairing
Depending on your new kitchen’s configuration, you may be taking on major construction tasks. Are you adding or replacing windows? Or removing windows to increase cabinet space? How about taking down walls to open up the kitchen to the rest of the house?
Even minor kitchen remodeling may need joists strengthened to support heavier appliances or built-ins such as a kitchen island.
5 New Plumbing and Electrical Systems
If you’re doing the work yourself and learning as you go, this will be slow-going. Kitchen plumbing and electrical are not exactly trades you learn overnight. But if you’re using a contractor or hiring subcontractors, your head will spin at how fast experienced plumbers and electricians can do this.
Rough-In the Plumbing
Your new kitchen may have a kitchen island with a sink or a refrigerator with an automatic ice-maker. Or you may decide to move the main sink to a different spot. In any event, it is almost certain that you will have increased plumbing needs. At this “rough-in” stage , new supply and drainage pipes are added for sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators.
Add Electrical System
You should have at least a 200 ampere service panel to power a modern kitchen. If you have less than this, you will need to heavy-up, or increase, your service capacity. This is a job best done by an electrician. Electricians most likely will abandon your old wires in favor of running new wires through the walls to power lighting and appliance circuits. If you are doing the work yourself, you may also find it easier to run new circuits than to deal with a spaghetti mess of old wires.
6 Closing Up the Walls
Now the kitchen takes shape and begins to look like a kitchen.
Exterior walls will be insulated with fiberglass batt to provide a buffer between the kitchen and inclement weather. With the wall cavities accessible, now is your chance to install high-quality insulation rather than the less-effective blown-in insulation later.
Before the walls are closed up, the electrical system must be looked at and approved by an inspector from the local permitting agency. Drywall is hung and the seams between the drywall sheets are filled in with joint compound. After drying, the joint compound is sanded several times until it is smooth. Finally, the walls are primed and painted.
7 Lay Flooring That Works Best in Kitchens
Kitchen floor is laid after the heavy work of building, drywalling, and painting to save wear and tear.
Vinyl, Tile, Engineered Wood, and Laminate Flooring
- Vinyl is the least expensive flooring choice and can usually be laid in one day.
- Tile requires the application of cement backing board and must be adhered with mortar and then grouted. Each step requires drying time. Even with inexpensive tile, this flooring option can be costly because of the labor involved.
- Engineered wood feels like solid hardwood (its surface finish is real wood), but it is fairly moisture-tolerant.
- Laminate flooring is a highly popular choice for kitchens because of its tolerance to moisture. Unlike engineered wood, laminate is scratch and dent resistant.
- Solid Hardwood: Hardwood is less popular because water, if not quickly mopped up, can warp it. However, with proper care, it is a viable choice for the kitchen. Installers can lay wood in an average-sized kitchen floor in three days.
8 Hang Cabinets and Install Countertops
Cabinet-hanging requires patience. Your local cabinet supplier should have work crews who can hang your cabinets, usually over a period of a day or two. If you are sub-contracting the work, any competent carpenter can do this job. Or you can do it yourself as long as you have an extra set of hands.
Whether ceramic tile, granite, marble, you must keep in mind basic tile design principlesthat have been around for 2,000 years. Or, you may choose to use man-made materials such as Silestone, Formica, or Corian. If so, it’s best to have specialized shops fabricate your countertop. Installation looks easier than it is. All counters must be level enough that an egg can rest on them without rolling off. It is impossible to level the countertops if the base cabinets were not installed correctly.
9 Install Sinks, Fixtures, and Final Items
You’re on the last lap. Now for a few last items to install.
Sinks and Fixtures
To this point, the plumbing was roughed-in. Now it’s time to set the sinks into the countertops and make final connections. Sink faucets and handles–the fixtures–are put in place and dishwasher hooked up.
Just when you think you’ve got it all, you’ll always find more items that need to be installed. Remember that the recessed light covers were left off so that the ceiling paint could dry? And the cabinet knobs on back-order just now arrived. HVAC filters were left off so they wouldn’t get clogged with construction dust. And what about all those outlet covers?
10 “Finalling” the Permits and Last Touches
You thought you were done. As always, a few last things to do…
Final the Permits
Inspectors will visit your house one last time and “final” the permits. As a reward for your efforts, your permit application is stamped “Approved.”
Inevitably, there will be scars and dings on your walls. So accept the fact that there may be spackling and touch-up painting to do even though the walls have already been painted.
A good contractor employs a housecleaner who specializes in building-related cleaning. If you’re doing it yourself, give yourself a breather and hire a housecleaner to clean your kitchen.
Your kitchen is finished! Enjoy the new space and convenience, and feel good about having made one of the better home renovating choices!