Your kitchen is where your family cooks meals, and entertains visitors. Having an up to date kitchen is not only a great way to improve the quality of life for you and your family, but also a great way to increase the value of your home. When it comes to kitchen renovations, there are a ton of moving parts that require constant attention in order to make the process as smooth and hassle free as possible. This is one of the many reasons we recommend hiring a general contractor to manage the process for you.
How Much Does A Kitchen Renovation Cost?
According to research conducted by HGTV, the average kitchen renovation costs around $80,000 to complete. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and appliances. Don't let the cost of remodeling your kitchen scare you. If done correctly, much of the cost can be reimbursed when selling your home; the additional market value will help put money back into your pocket, and drive up demand for your home.
Real-Estate Investment vs. Lifestyle Enhancer
When setting the budget for your kitchen remodel, take into consideration the reasons behind the upgrade, and how long you intend to stay in the home. If you're looking at moving within the next five years, then we recommend setting a budget for your project that is lower than the value added to your home as a result of the project. If you have plans to stay in your home beyond five years, then the budget you set should be based primarily on your tastes.
Location, Location, Location
You should take into consideration your home's location when remodeling your kitchen. If you live in an upper-class neighborhood with homes that regularly sell for $1 million, then you'll be looking at a different style kitchen than an area where homes sell for $100,000. Over-improving your kitchen can come at a cost, so be aware of what you can expect to recoup when the time comes to sell your home.
Selecting the Cabinets for Your New Kitchen
According to the same HGTV survey, on average, 30 percent of the total cost for kitchen remodels in 2013 originated from the cabinets. There are multiple cabinet styles to choose from; selecting wood, laminate, or thermofoil will directly impact the end cost of your project.
Most traditional kitchens feature beautiful wood cabinets. With so many different types of wood and wood finishes available, you're sure to find a style that fits your needs. One important consideration for wood cabinetry is whether the wood is finished at the factory, or requires finishing at the installation site. Unfinished wood has a tendency to warp when exposed to moisture. In the kitchen, steam from a boiling pot of water on the stove can directly attack your cabinets. Over time, if you live in a humid area, the climate can impact wood cabinets as well. To protect your wood cabinets from warping, be sure to finish every exposed surface of your wood cabinets.
If you're looking to save money on your kitchen remodel, laminate cabinets are a great choice. Laminate cabinets are not wood, but instead consist of three layers, which are treated to have the appearance of wood cabinets. These three layers include a base layer of paper, a printed and colored layer (sometimes designed to look like wood), and a protective transparent layer. These three layers are bonded together to form the board for your cabinets. The strength of laminate cabinets originates from the material used for the base layer. Pay close attention to the types of material used when ordering your cabinets; the stronger the material, the longer your cabinets will last.
Thermofoil cabinets are similar to laminate cabinets in that heating and compressing layers of material together form them. Thermofoil cabinets are constructed from a vinyl film, which is then applied to a substrate. The vinyl film is colored and treated to resemble wood in a way that can be more convincing than laminate cabinets. In addition, thermofoil cabinets tend to last longer than laminate cabinets.
Hiring The Right Pros for the Job
Remodeling your home's kitchen is a team effort. You'll want to hire a general contractor to coordinate the entire project; managing sub-contractors and organizing the required material, as well as acquiring permits is a full-time job. The general contractor you hire will have a team of specialists that he or she has worked with in the past to make the process of remodeling your kitchen relatively quick and painless.
The electrician will make sure that your electrical wiring throughout your kitchen can support all of your appliances safely, and accommodate any new light fixtures that are installed during the kitchen remodel. Sometime while remodeling, once everything is removed, homeowners are greeted with unexpected issues that need to be fixed. This is especially true with electrical systems as wiring wears over time and may need to be upgraded. Having an electrician involved in the project from the beginning will make these unexpected surprises less of a hassle, and provide guidance on the best way to tackle them without derailing the remodel.
Most firms that complete kitchen remodels will have an installer that they work with in order to make sure your cabinets are installed quickly and correctly. The installer will generally have their own equipment, and the capability to finish your cabinets so that they're protected from moisture damage. Working with a cabinet installer that custom builds their own cabinets is one way to save time as they can complete the custom cutting and measuring at their shop, prior to arrival at your home. This is something that your general contractor can coordinate for you.
A plumber will assist in installing or modifying existing plumbing in your kitchen to support new sinks and other appliances. This is especially important if you're changing the location of your sink in your kitchen.
More than likely, this will be a service that is offered by your general contractor. It's important to make sure that you're happy with the design style of your kitchen professional. If you can't see eye to eye, during the planning phase of your kitchen remodel, it may be best to cut ties and go with a different firm.
Permits, Licensing and Insurance
In order to begin work on turning your kitchen remodel dreams into a reality, you'll most likely require a permit. Hiring a licensed contractor to develop plans for your kitchen is a sure way to expedite the permitting process. You'll want to make sure that your kitchen professional carries the proper insurance to carry out the job once it's approved. Kitchen remodels can be dangerous work, and without insurance, your contractor may be unable to complete work if things go wrong.
The permitting process will vary from state to state. In general, your municipality, state or federal government will require a permit in order to begin work on you kitchen. A permit helps ensure that work is completed within all local regulations and codes, and helps back up the work when it comes time to sell your home. Your general contractor should be able to handle the permitting process on your behalf.
In order to offer kitchen-remodeling services in your area, most professional contractors are required to carry a license from either your state or local government. This ensures that they have the necessary knowledge and experience to perform work in compliance with all codes and regulations. More importantly, it helps to separate the fly by night operations from the more established firms.
Prior to start of work, we recommend verifying that your contractor holds a valid insurance policy to cover on-site injuries and property damage. This helps to cover your home if things go wrong, as well as limits your liability for on the job injuries.
Time to Get Started!
So you've researched the various aspects of kitchen renovation, have a collection of pictures that serve as your design inspirations, and have figured out how you're going to finance your new kitchen. Congratulations, it's time to take the next step! Check out our listings of local, professional contractors in your area that can complete the work for you quickly without sacrificing quality. Our listings include reviews from past customers, as well as information about current licensing and certifications.
Now is the time to make a list of your favorite contractors from our listings. Give them a ring and schedule consultations so that you can get estimates and insight into areas of your project that you may have overlooked. Once you've selected your top choice, your dream kitchen is simply a phone call and a few signatures away!