March 20, 2013

Though different people go about a kitchen remodel in different ways, most everyone finds themselves in a few distinct phases at some point in the project:
• Envisioning
• Planning
• Breaking Ground

Envisioning is usually the first phase for most people. It begins with an idea – a little thought of “What if the kitchen were more like ___?” The inspiration might be sparked by a visit to a friend’s newly remodeled kitchen, or the precipitous might be a television program about remodeling. Whatever it is, for many people, once the idea arrives, it grows into a full on passion for a new kitchen.

At this point, many homeowners begin to collect inspiration for what the new kitchen will look and feel like. This involves gathering images and ideas from magazines or the Internet. In this stage, homeowners are working to identify what they want from the kitchen remodel both in functionality and in design. A remodel is an opportunity to fix the things about a space that aren’t working or have always been a source of frustration. It’s also an opportunity to infuse the room with your own personal style.

Once a firm vision for the kitchen has been arrived at, homeowners move onto the planning and researching phase. This involves understanding the types of appliances, countertop surfaces, and flooring types that might be available for the kitchen remodel. It also involves understanding the price points on each item that would ideally be included, and searching for more affordable solutions if the ideal items are too far beyond the homeowner’s budget.

Familiarizing oneself with what is available on the market is an integral part of the planning process. This can involve looking at catalogues and online stores as well as actually visiting stores in person and talking to consultants about the various features on appliances. A kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking, so it’s a good idea to set yourself up for long-term success with the remodel by really planning ahead and knowing exactly what you’re getting for your investment.

With the vision in place and the homework done, it’s time to get to work! Unless you are a contractor yourself, it’s a good idea to invest in hiring a professional. This means doing a little more homework. Check with friends, family, and neighbors to see if they have a local contractor they’ve worked with whom they can recommend. Or, turn to the Internet and research which contractors in your area are reliable. Always check references and always meet with a contractor to discuss your project before hiring him or her. You are going to have the contractor in your home readily, and you’re giving him or her the huge responsibility of transforming your home. You want to make sure that you are working with someone who is reputable, reliable, and with whom you have a strong report.

A kitchen remodeling project can add great value to the home. And, when planned properly, it can be a painless experience to boot!

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