You’ve heard the saying, ‘home is where the heart is’ and those are certainly words to live by for new home buyers. While that ‘dream’ house is often hard to come by as-is, regardless of budget, it can still become a reality with renovations to make the home you choose your own. Kitchen renovations are one of the most common home improvement projects, and these tips can guide you.
1. Start by Taking Stock
Renovating the kitchen isn’t just about making it look better, it’s about function too. The kitchen truly is the heart of the home so consider both your needs and lifestyle to get the most out of your space by answering questions that include:
- How much will we be cooking?
- How much storage do we need?
- What else will we be using the space for such as entertaining, homework, etc.?
Then, with those answers in mind take a look at the current kitchen and by determining what is/is not working you’ll be able to answer the ultimate question: is this kitchen renovation an update or a total gut job?
2. Build Your Renovation Budget
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to budget for it. According to Home Advisor, kitchen renovations cost $22,129 on average. But of course, every renovation is different so it’s important to ask yourself some questions here too:
- How much can you realistically afford to spend?
- What is the quality of other kitchens in your neighborhood?
- How long are you planning to be in the house?
However, a rule of thumb is to spend approximately 10 percent of your home’s value on the kitchen renovation.
3. Find Inspiration
You’ve probably spent some time looking at the myriad of options for your new kitchen. From flooring to cabinets, to countertops to appliances and more, you can quickly become overwhelmed. It’s often easier to visit showrooms, go online visit neighbors/friends, or browse real estate listings to find inspiration from finished kitchens. Then work your way into the specific options from there. But even at that, a home improvement project this big (and this important) could benefit from the expertise of a kitchen designer. Have at least one consult with an expert while you’re planning as they may have ideas to improve the layout, maximize the workflow, identify underutilized space, and make the new kitchen design stand out.
4. Plan on Using Professionals
Along the same lines as hiring an expert designer, a kitchen renovation may be a bigger home improvement project than even the handiest of homeowners should take on. Not to mention the extra time it would take if you’re also managing a job and family while doing so. At a minimum, we’d recommend hiring a contractor to oversee the project. Ideally, you’d find one through recommendations from family, friends, and/or coworkers who’ve used them personally. Aside from that, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and your real estate agent are good resources as well.
Some questions to ask when vetting a contractor include:
- Are you licensed?
- Are you and your subcontractors insured?
- Will you obtain permits?
- What are the steps in the renovation process?
- How long will it take?
- What are your payment options?
- How will we communicate throughout the project?
5. Making Life Easier During the Kitchen Renovation
It’s hard to be without a functioning kitchen for a few days, much less the months it may take if you’re doing a complete renovation. That’s why it’s essential that you don’t go into this without a plan in place for how you’ll adjust. Don’t just assume you’ll enjoy more takeout and leave it at that. There’s coffee in the morning, snacks for the kids, refrigerating those leftovers, storing dishes, utensils, and more. It may be easier to wait to move into the home until the kitchen is closer to completion if that’s an option, or perhaps to move out for a bit whether it be a hotel, an apartment, short term rental, or staying with family and friends.
For more information on Adirondack real estate and Lake Placid vacation rentals, contact our expert team at Merrill L. Thomas, Inc today!