Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 by Natalee Ligmanowski
Renovating your kitchen can cost thousands of dollars. It's one of the most important spaces in your home, people naturally gravitate towards this area. So we've sat down with the owner of Norway Built and our on-site team to compile this list of 'Do and Do Not' so that you can learn from their experience in the industry!
DO come up with a budget and stick to it! This means you will want to also come up with a list of 'Needs' and 'Wants'. This will ensure that everything you need is covered within a budget, and any extra cash can be used to cross off some items on your want list. Do a little research on your own to figure out where you will be investing bigger chunks of change on which aspects. This pointer will help you put into perspective what is most important to get out of your end result.
DON'T pick a contractor by price only. Take it from the professionals, while this is our livelihood, there is a reason. This is one job you don't want to take on alone. Renovating a kitchen is one of the most costly, intricate, and time-consuming projects you can do. You won't realize you are in way over your head until the damage has been done! Again, 'Good work ain't cheap, and cheap work ain't good!' Visit a new job site, one in progress, one from 4 years ago and check references. Be sure to ask for a copy of the contractor's license and insurance information, any GC without insurance is something you should be wary of. Expect a wait time. The best of contractor's will be busy, it's a good sign! When you find someone you trust with your home, create your project's schedule around the contractor's availability. It's worth the wait! Don't get distracted by a pretty surface. No metaphor here - you can paint over mold, but the mold will still be underneath. It's the integrity that goes into the work that matters, some problems aren't visible to the untrained eye. Find a contractor you trust to do the job the right way, not temporarily cover up an issue.
DO pay attention to the bigger picture and invest time into planning. It's extremely important not to rush through the design and planning stage. Lay out is so important, placing cabinets and appliances where they make sense for efficiency and to the naked eye. Hire a contractor to handle the nitty gritty of piecing the puzzle together. Consider what the space is often used for. Do you host dinner parties? Do you do arts, crafts, and baking in the kitchen? Does your family eat dinner in the kitchen? All of these little details will have a huge impact on the design and layout of your kitchen. Customers who change their mind a lot during the process end up costing both, themselves and the contractor, lots of time and money.
DON'T under indulge in storage space. Kitchen plays home to a lot of 'stuff'. Cooking utensils, storage containers, food, drinks, water bottles, cups and mugs, plates, and everything in-between. If you like a clean counter space, think about a co-hesive storage plan. A surplus of storage is NEVER a bad thing!
DO natural lighting. You will save money on electric every month, and help reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, your body will thank you for the vitamin D.
DON'T skimp on materials. You may be saving money during the project installation but in the long run, cheaper materials simply just don't last. Sometimes it pays to splurge when it comes to quality. The famous saying 'Good work ain't cheap, and cheap work ain't good'. This also applies to materials! If you use your counters often, and there are people in and out, you will want a durable surface like granite. Avoid surfaces that will stain, scratch, and need maintenance. If you will have kids banging around cabinets, chances are the ones from box stores won't hold up.
DO design the kitchen for you and your family. Don't design your kitchen with someone else's life in mind. Don't remodel your kitchen for a prospective buyer, because you may not get back 100 percent of what you spend investing into it. The less than thrilling reality is, the next owners of your home might have other plans for that kitchen. Unless you're planning to move within the next couple of years, build the kitchen that works for you and your budget. But always, avoid over customizing.
DON'T wait. Once a project is completed, clients always say how they wish they had done it sooner. They wish they were enjoying the space for the past three years, instead of just right now. Sometimes the sticker shock can blur y our vision. People don't realize how big of a difference the project makes in your home after you get nervous about spending money. Truly, the end result is always worth it. Waking up the first morning after it's fully completed enjoying your tea or coffee, you'll experience 'the ah-ha moment' while admiring your beautiful kitchen. We've never heard of a client regret this investment.
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