Kitchen Remodeling, What to Expect

The kitchen is the heart of any home and deciding to remodel a kitchen is a big decision.  If you are new to remodeling your home then knowing what to expect before and during the project is helpful.  A kitchen remodel has many layers, from planning the space to choosing cabinets and your contractor.  The scope of your kitchen remodel will determine the amount of time you will be with out plumbing and appliances.  A kitchen remodel can vary from just updating surfaces, such as new countertops, appliances, and flooring, to cabinet refinishing or refacing, to a full remodel with removing cabinets, floors, and even walls.  Whatever your scope is, here are a few guidelines on what to expect during the process and what to plan for:

1.  Begin working with an interior designer or certified kitchen designer to assist you with the planning.   They can provide insight into what should be changed, what are cost effective upgrades, and who is best to work with for the execution of the plan.

2.  Once the planning and purchasing of items is complete for your project, you will need to remove everything from cabinets and countertops for the updates. 

3.  If you are receiving new flooring, you will want to be clear on who is removing the existing flooring, when you have to move out your existing furniture, and if any new trim will be needed at the floor.

4.  Plan on dust walls and tarps being in your home for a couple of days up to a couple of weeks.  This is the awkward part of the kitchen remodel but they help with dust controll.

5.  Plan to be without plumbing for at least a few days or a couple of weeks.  Depending on the scope of your project will determine how long you will be with out plumbing.  Measuring for new tops has improved in the last couple of years where being with out water is only a day or two, compared to two weeks or more.  Plan ahead on how you will live in your home without this.

6.  Be flexible, schedules will change during the process.  Your kitchen remodeler will have a schedule for you before the job starts.  if they do not provide you with this, then make sure you ask for a copy of the schedule so you know when people will be coming and going in your home.  Also know, that when remodeling, things do not always go according to plan so the subcontractors schedules will adjust.  When this happens ask for an updated schedule so you can keep everyone accountable.

7.  Set the times for work to begin in your home before the project starts.  Contractors like to start by 7:00 or 7:30 and want to be in your home at that time.  If you like to sleep in, you will have to discuss start times.

8.  When the job is finished, you will still have a layer of dust on everything in your home.  If you want a clean cloth clean in your home, you will need to ask for this and have it included in your contract.  Most kitchen remodelers and contractors provide only a swept and vacuumed jobsite.  This gets rid of the big depris but the fine dust still is on everything. 

9.  Coordinate your new appliance delivery with the kitchen remodeler.  Ask them when these should be on site and have them professional installed by the company you purchase them from.  Most appliance suppliers will have trained professionals for hooking up dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators with a warranty to cover your product an installation.  yes this costs a bit more, but then you have the warranty to cover the product.


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Jodie Amerell is an award winning interior design professional with more than seventeen years experience working in the field of design and construction. Graduating in interior design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has traveled nationally to design and manage cosmetic accounts such as Clinique, Prescriptives, and Elizabeth Arden.

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