Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to tackle that out of date kitchen. Now what?

Budget

The first thing you should consider is your kitchen remodel budget. It’s going to be a huge deciding factor for how you move forward with the project, whether you just do a minor facelift or you choose to tackle a complete overhaul.

This is also an important time to start creating a list of must haves, wants, and compromises to prioritize certain ideas if your budget should need that. Most of us want to know how to get the best bang for our buck when it comes to remodeling, and it’s of course because it’s not an entirely cheap industry. People have found plenty of creative ideas for flipping kitchens on a dime, from repainting their existing cabinets, building their own countertops, and penny backsplashes. While these are awesome and still turn out beautiful, for the sake of this blog, I am going to keep to the kitchen overhauls.

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Research

You need to take the time to consider your wants, and find out how to go about the work you need to do. Most of the times, this is when a contractor or a design service is sought out to be your guide through some of the project, but I highly recommend you continue to research on your own. You’ll want to know what kind of materials you are designing with so you know how to maintain them over the years, but you also want to make sure you are getting the right materials for your needs. Maybe it’s the difference between Quartz and Concrete countertops, or painted cabinets and stained cabinets, or vinyl wood flooring and tile; no matter the case, it’s a safety measure you’ll be glad you took. This is also when you will find out a few things about the process that a lot of people may not know.

Timeline

Depending upon your budget and your wants/ needs, now is when you need to consider the timeline of such a project. Since we have identified the types of materials to be used in the project, it’s time to get an idea of how we are going to acquire these materials and how custom fit they are to what you want. You’ll also want to try and identify what kind of appliances and plumbing fixtures you are looking to use as you want to make sure whatever cabinetry you end up going with will accommodate what you have chosen.

Cabinetry

Of course, there are options. Cabinets can come in ready-to-assemble standard boxes semi-custom, and completely custom. These preferences all have their pros and cons, so let’s tackle a few. Ready-to-assemble standard box cabinetry has a quick turn-around time as you are usually buying what’s in stock or maybe there is a slight wait time of 2 weeks to find all the boxes; basically, you’re getting cabinets at a much quicker pace, but the selection on these types of cabinets tend to be too limited for most consumers and the quality is just not similar to semi-custom and custom cabinetry for obvious reasons.

These types of cabinets are made to be sold and flipped quickly, often referred to as builder-grade cabinets. I can’t tell you how many times people have people come up to me to get a cabinet order turned around within a couple of weeks, and that is just simply not realistic when it comes to semi-custom cabinetry. Semi-custom cabinetry is really where most of the market goes as it provides a solid price point in comparison to most custom cabinetry makers, while also rending to be a better quality.

There is a wide array of price points based on exterior finishes, cabinet type, finished interiors, and so on. When we get into these types of cabinets, they can modify their dimensions and finishes so that you are able to create a more customized look (and) feel for you home and style. The quality is better than the readily available cabinet boxes like we discussed earlier, and that is in part because they are built to a specific order and can take on average 8 weeks to finish.

Custom cabinets tend to have a higher quality than the semi-custom lines because they are built by hand exactly as needed. You usually have the option to have whatever finish you like, but you will be paying a premium for the custom fabrication and the finishes; custom cabinets tend to take on average 8-12 weeks. Cabinets should be something you want to invest money into quality because these are going to be used every day and by so many different people, and as you can tell, they are also a timely ordering process. Therefore, it’s important to understand how your wants and needs play into your timeline and budgetary requirements.

Cabinets are one of the timelier processes in a kitchen remodel, but the next few things to consider are usually not so time consuming. If you are wanting to update the electrical/ lighting in the kitchen, you’ll want to know how you are going to layout your cabinets prior to construction starting so that while the drywall is down, proper wiring and switching can be run to their specific locations. This will also be important for gas line and water line placement to appliances. Once those things have been solved, the next thing to consider is going to be your flooring in the kitchen. Flooring tile doesn’t necessarily have a long lead time unless a tile is out of stock or custom-made, which usually is 2 weeks at the latest. Then you have the countertop; most people want to identify what this is going to be when they are picking their cabinet finish to make sure the two are coordinating for your style preference. However, when it comes to timeline on countertops, I find this to be a rather quick process. The fabricators will have to come and template the countertop once the cabinets have been installed, and then usually within a week or two, you’ll have your countertops installed.

Final Touches

At this point, you can start to add the jewelry of the space- the backsplash, any decorative light pendants, etc. These things can come after the finish work of the construction, flooring install, cabinet install, and the countertop install so its not as detrimental to know prior to finishing your kitchen remodel. Some people live without backsplash tile, and some have no pendants; most of these items will just simply depend on what’s in stock and standard shipping procedures per your location. They shouldn’t take more than a few weeks, but again, this is a part of the design that doesn’t require as much initial worry as the other parts of the Kitchen.

By: Jake Neidlinger

Image 1 - Kitchen by Jeremy Levinepermission via creative commons