The kitchen is the heart of the home. This sentiment rings as true today as it did so many years ago. Kitchens are a home base for cooking, eating, socializing, and daily family rituals. They are also one of the most desirable rooms to remodel — both for homeowners looking to improve the usability of their current space as well as those with selling in mind.
SEE ALSO: 4 Tips to Sell Your House Fast
Planning Your Kitchen Remodel is Key
Before you can determine which tips will best suit your particular project, first you have to envision what you’re trying to accomplish. Putting pen to paper with the goals you hope to accomplish by remodeling is a great place to start. Consider whether the current space meets your family’s needs, how the kitchen is used in a typical day and week, what kinds of familial activities happen in and around your kitchen space. For example, do your children tend to do their homework at an island counter? Does all the mail pile up in a corner? Think through the good, the bad, and the ugly of how the space is currently used as well as how you would like to use it in the future and determine your remodel goals from there.
For instance, if you typically have little helpers when cooking, consider adding an overhang to your kitchen island or breakfast bar with a spot for barstools. If you like to bake, ensure you have a large enough area of counter space for cutting out cookies or kneading bread dough.
Once you have utility figured out, it’s safe to bring style into the equation. Remodeling for personal use and remodeling to sell require two entirely different stylistic viewpoints, but here’s what we would recommend considering whichever way you want to go.
Remodeling the Kitchen for Personal Use
If you’re remodeling with the intention of staying in your home and enjoying all that hard work for the years to come, this is the fun part. Break out the Pinterest boards and get your sticky notes ready -- it’s time to daydream! Figure out what your style as homeowners lends to the kitchen and what you’d potentially like to introduce that may impact style choices for the rest of your home. Look into current trends, past trends, what’s forecasted for the future of kitchen design, and take note of what you like, dislike, and don’t really care about. The best part of undertaking a kitchen remodel for your own enjoyment is that you get to do whatever you want. Want to knock that wall down and add a breakfast nook complete with the bay window you’ve been dreaming of? Have at it! Your only limiting factors are your imagination and your budget.
Remodeling the Kitchen to Sell
When you’re remodeling a kitchen in anticipation of listing your home, your considerations should be a little different. Many homebuyers are looking for a relatively blank canvas for them to paint with their own personal style. For this reason, neutral finishes, updated appliances and hardware and ensuring everything is in good condition should be your main priorities. Choose a timeless kitchen design and let your prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.
The Nitty Gritty: Kitchen Renovation Tips for Your Dream Remodel
If you’ve made it this far, the planning process is behind you. Well, sort of. When you get down to the nitty gritty of your kitchen remodel, it’s time to put the vision boards and color palettes to work in creating the reality of your dream remodel. Here are our best tips for getting the most out of your remodel without blowing your budget:
Armed with your list of goals, sketch some traffic flow ideas. Traffic within the kitchen and through the kitchen to other rooms should be considered when finalizing the floor plan and immovable design elements.
- Budget everything. Seriously, all of it. Even things you don’t think you should budget for, pop a line item in the list. To get an idea of all the things you will need to account for, take a current inventory of your kitchen. How many cabinets, drawers, drawer and cabinet handles, lights, backsplash, outlets, appliances and hookups necessary for them, windows, doors, etc. Literally everything should be accounted for as you outline your remodel budget.
- Prioritize. If price is not an issue, we encourage you to dream as big as you can and invest in every corner of your dream kitchen. For most homeowners, however, there is a ceiling on cost. In that case, it’s best to know what’s most important to you and your family as it pertains to remodeling your kitchen. Have your list broken into three categories: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and can-live-withouts. This will make paring down as the costs pile up much easier and less emotionally charged.
- Understand the timeline. Work with your contractors to understand how long the renovation will take and what portion, if any, of the kitchen will be accessible and usable during this time.
- Dig deep in your patience well. Major remodels of central home hubs can be frazzling on the nerves. You may not realize how much time you truly spend in your kitchen until you no longer have access to it for a period of time. If the nitty gritty of the renovation process is getting under your skin, have a list of ways to relax and de-stress at the ready. Use this time as an opportunity to eat out at your favorite restaurants or explore new dining options near your home. Or, heck, take a long weekend or vacation to a new locale while the construction work is going down. As long as you’re around for the necessary decisions, there’s nothing wrong with taking a step away to breathe a little easier during this major project.
How Much Will a Kitchen Remodel Cost?
Planning a budget for your kitchen remodel will largely depend on the extent of your project. Are you preparing for a complete “gut job” or are you looking to make small improvements to the style or function? Will you be adding or replacing windows and doors? Will you change the layout of the kitchen, necessitating movements in plumbing?
To determine a budget, start by considering each of the following and whether they will be a part of your remodel.
- Plumbing and fixtures
- Kitchen Windows
A good target budget for fully remodeling a kitchen is 15% of your home’s value.
To stick with your budget, you may have to make some hard choices about where to save and where to splurge. Think about how long you plan to stay in your home and prioritize the important items for today and long term. According to HGTV, here’s how a typical kitchen renovation budget breaks down:
Kitchen Remodel Budget Breakdown
- 35 percent: cabinets
- 20 percent: labor
- 20 percent: appliances
- 10 percent windows
- 5 percent: fixtures
- 3 percent: fittings
- 7 percent: other
While this will likely vary a little from where your percentages land, knowing these benchmarks can help you keep an eye on spending per category and determine whether you’re over or under-spending or hitting the financial sweet spot to make the rest of your remodel work within your budget.
- Regardless of how intensive your kitchen remodel project may be, these tips will help you plan appropriately, dream big, and have a surer footing as you start making moves. When you’re ready to put those renovation plans into action, schedule a Pella at-home visit to set the mood right with the windows and doors you need.