A kitchen renovation can transform a home, but poor planning can quickly turn a fun project into a recipe for disaster. Answering these 5 key kitchen remodeling questions can help you avoid common pitfalls and create a space you’ll love!
1. What does success look like?
One of the most important kitchen remodeling questions to ask yourself is: what does success mean to you? In other words, what are your end goals? Do you want to open up the space for better flow? Add an island to make cooking and prep easier? Add a lot more storage?
Identifying your goals at the outset will help you prioritize the most important aspects of your project, and maybe what features you can do without. That will help you better maximize your budget and schedule so you end up with the elements that you really want — and a project that doesn’t drag on.
2. How will you use your kitchen?
Next, think about how you and your family will use your new space. Are you planning on entertaining a lot? Do you want to do a lot more cooking? Does it need to be designed with small children in mind? Maybe you have special accessibility or lighting concerns that need to be taken into account.
Taking some time to consider these sorts of issues can really help save you time and make your project successful. If you’re working with a designer or design/build firm, your answers can help guide them so they can develop a space that truly meets your needs.
3. Where are you willing to compromise?
Most remodels have some constraints around budget and timeline. So, it’s important to ask yourself what components are truly must-haves and which ones may be optional. Four main areas where you may need to compromise are:
Budget: Do you have enough finances to cover everything you want to do or do you? If not, you’ll either need to omit something on your wish list or adjust your budget accordingly.
Timeline: Is there a must-have product that you absolutely want to include in your kitchen but it’s on backorder? Then you may need to compromise on your schedule and extend it until that item becomes available.
Features: Maybe timeline is more important to you and that must-have feature isn’t so critical anymore. In this case, you may need to forgo some items in order to keep your project on time or under budget.
Quality: By this one we don’t mean you should be satisfied with low-quality components or craftsmanship — all of it should reach an acceptable quality standard. Rather, take some time to consider if you want everything to be “top shelf” or if you’re ok with some components that are “off-the-shelf.” At Lamont Bros. we use a good-better-best range with clients. The good category includes items we’d be happy to have in our own homes, but may not be as customizable or feature-rich as some others. Better category products typically last longer and offer more customization it terms of colors, sizes, finishes, etc. Best is the top line, where you can get almost any sort of customization you want and the product is made with the highest quality components.
4. How long will you be in your home?
Another way to ask this is: who are you designing your kitchen for? If you plan to sell your home within a year after your kitchen is done, then you’re really designing it for someone else. So, you want to choose a design direction and features with broad appeal. Stay away from costly customizations that may not provide return on your investment and stick with components that will make your home attractive to buyers.
If you plan to stay in your home for several years, then feel free to tailor it to your needs and wants. If you enjoy cooking, you may want special storage features for your cooking implements or an island sink to help with prep and clean up.
If you entertain a lot, an open floor plan with adequate seating and maybe access to an outdoor space may be important. Essentially, this is your opportunity to choose the design and products that you’ll love now and in to the future, and that will add to your home’s value over time.
5. Who will do the work?
The last of our kitchen remodeling questions has to do with who will accomplish the actual renovation? There are different ways to redo a kitchen. For example, you may want to do the majority of the project on your own, with some help from specialists like electricians and plumbers when needed. If you’re adept at remodeling work, this may make sense for you.
Another option is working with a separate designer and contractor. This can offer flexibility in terms of design concepts and free you up from having to project manage everything. But it can also lead to possible budgeting surprises after construction starts, as the contractor may not have had input to the designer’s work at the outset, resulting in a misalignment between concepts and construction.
Working with a design/build firm like Lamont Bros. is a third option. We have teams of designers and builders in-house so the budget you start with at the concepting phase will be the one that you end up with when construction is done. This model also helps streamline the schedule as we don’t need to track down and bring in teams of subcontractors.
Now that you know 5 key kitchen remodeling questions to ask yourself, chances are you have other questions if you decide to work with a remodeling partner. One of the biggest we get is, “How much is my kitchen remodel going to cost?” We have several case studies on our kitchen costs page to help guide you, so please check them out!
Are you thinking about a kitchen remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’d love to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!
For more ideas on how to help plan and budget for your next remodeling project, check out: