Remodeling your kitchen is a big commitment of time and budget. A kitchen remodeling project can be full of stress and anxiety, and without a plan, many things can go wrong. Preventing a kitchen remodeling disaster and having a smooth project that results in your dream kitchen is the goal. Set yourself up for kitchen success with a plan. This step-by-step guide can help you achieve a remodeled kitchen with new kitchen cabinets.
Any certified kitchen designer or kitchen contractor will tell you that you need to start with the layout to get the perfect kitchen. For many, this takes the fun out of remodeling because they want to start with the cabinet style they like with colors to match the home’s decor. This is understandable but not step one.
Step One—The kitchen’s layout
By understanding the layout of your kitchen, you can choose the right cabinets for the right spaces. For example, you don’t want doors that will overlap or interfere with each other when they are open or get in the way of a large appliance. You want every door to swing unimpeded. You also save money by working within your kitchen’s footprint. The kitchen layout is the key to having a great remodel or knowing if you’re in for higher costs and possibly, more headaches.
Kitchen layouts have one of five designs: the L-shape, the U-shape, the G-shape, Galley, or One wall kitchens. Each kitchen has advantages and can be updated and upgraded with added storage and organization options to give you the most bang for your buck when renovating. Once you understand the layout of your kitchen, you can measure and order cabinets.
This is the key to a well-designed kitchen. Taking good measurements for your kitchen designer will allow them to give you the best possible placement for your appliances and upper and base cabinets. If you are not comfortable measuring accurately, get some help from a friend or the kitchen contractor doing your install. Measuring is essential to the process. With measurements of your cabinets’ length, the width and depth of your appliances, where your windows and doors are in the room along with electrical and plumbing, your designer can create just the right look and function of your dream kitchen. You can get a measuring guide here.
Step Three—Kitchen concept and function
You may overlook this small yet important detail for a high functioning kitchen, which is the work triangle. This is not a term that most people use in their everyday conversations, but designers and kitchen contractors know how important the work triangle is to the kitchen’s flow. This triangle is the area between your sink, refrigerator, and stove. It should be laid out so that you will only need to take one or two steps between each appliance when prepping or cooking a meal. This helps the cook not get interrupted by people walking through the work area when they are holding sharp objects or hot pots and pans.
During your design, functionality is very crucial. With your work triangle established, you can now pick out the best food prep area, cooking, serving, dining, and entertaining. Depending on the function, each space has different requirements, like easy access to the spices or the trash. Hot pads and trivets that are easily accessible or dishware can be set without being in the way of the cook.
Step Four—Choose your cabinets
Most kitchen dreams begin with a style or look that caught your eye. Choosing your cabinets is an important step as you want them to coordinate with the rest of the house in style and color. Framed cabinets work well if you have a traditional, transitional, farmhouse, or contemporary style. Frameless cabinets work well if you are looking for a transitional, contemporary or modern look. They both come in many colors, and the framed cabinets can range from straight lines on the cabinet doors and drawers to many layers of adornment. Choose cabinets that will satisfy your style for now and years to come.
Step Five— Choosing Pre-assembled or RTA cabinets
Because you’ve worked with a certified cabinet designer through this process, they can help you understand which type of cabinet construction will work best with your space and budget. Pre-assembled cabinets will cost a little more because they come fully assembled and ready for install. RTA cabinets are less expensive and ship faster than pre-assembled cabinets. The quality of materials used is the same with each cabinet type. The only differences are in the price and time frame. You will need to install both kinds, either by yourself or by hiring a contractor. You can pick the best cabinets to meet your budget.
Step Six— Installation
Your kitchen contractor should be a professional who has had many successful projects under their tool-belt. See our article about choosing the right contractor. By doing your due diligence, you will have the peace of mind that you’ve hired a good contractor, your project will be done by a professional and on a timeframe instead of a creeping calendar. There is a tendency to get a few things done here and there during a DIY install, causing your project to take longer than expected. No, so when you hire a professional. They want to finish the project and will stay on task as much as possible.
Step Seven— Countertops
Your kitchen countertop material can be selected before your cabinet installation is complete, but it will need to be cut based on the cabinets’ final measurements. Your countertop installer can come in and measure as soon as the base cabinets have been set. It then takes anywhere from a week to 10 days to cut and install your countertops.
Step Eight— Flooring
During the design process, you should have decided what to do with the flooring. There are many options on the market to meet any budget. One option that is both cost-effective and looks beautiful is a resilient vinyl flooring. It is made to look like tile and is a groutable product. This flooring gives you the ease of cleaning, water, and smash-resistance you’d expect along with a beautiful look of wood or tile flooring.
Step Nine — Enjoying your new kitchen
Your contractors will do their best to clean up for you. But you will probably want to go through and give all of your appliances, cabinets, countertops, and flooring a good once over for maximum shine. You can now start cooking, entertaining, and dining in your new space.
Many people are overwhelmed, just thinking about remodeling their kitchen. Yet, in nine short steps, you can go from having a frustrating kitchen to one that will bring a smile to your face each time you walk into the room. To start your project today, contact our certified kitchen designers.