Your kitchen countertops are chipped and stained, the appliances are older than the kids and the flooring is worn right out. You need to remodel your kitchen, and the sooner the better.
When it’s time to transform your old kitchen into a place of beauty, you’ll need more than some extra money in the budget. You’ll need a solid plan, an honest look at how you use the space and a contractor you trust (or some experienced DIYers). To make sure things run smoothly and get a nice return on your investment, check out these tips:
First, decide if what you want is worth it
Even if you have no plans on selling your home, you should still consider whether the specific project you want to do is a financially sound investment. Fortunately, kitchen projects tend to yield a higher return than many other household remodels. For a detailed look at specific types of projects in your region of the country, check out Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value report.
Next, determine how you use your kitchen
Before you spring for new everything, ask yourself how the space is typically used. How often do you use your kitchen to prepare meals? How many people are usually cooking at one time? Does the kitchen serve double-duty as a homework and bill-paying center for you and the kids, and do you host family and holiday gatherings often? Determining how you actually use your kitchen will help you and your contractor come up with the best new space for your needs.
Third, create your budget
You may want the nicest new backsplash on your walls, imported tile on the floor and all stainless steel appliances, but your budget may have other ideas. To determine how much you can spend on your new kitchen, check out the four-step plan on Realtor.com. You might consider calling your bank to see about a home equity loan, which will usually have a better interest rate than most credit cards. Make sure to get quotes from multiple contractors, and once you have the figures in front of you, trim back your wants and needs so the numbers match.
Fourth, plan on taking more time than you think
One reason home remodeling projects tend to be major stressors is that homeowners think they’ll be completed in a relatively short amount of time. To keep your sanity as much as possible, ask your contractor for a timeline and then mentally add a few weeks to it. Plan ahead for glitches and extra days of chaos, and the process will go much more smoothly.
Finally, protect your new investments
After spending your hard-earned money on a beautiful new kitchen, consider protecting any new appliances and other systems you’ve installed with a comprehensive home warranty. TotalProtect.com lists the typical costs of repairing and replacing these items. While manufacturers warranties tend to expire quickly, a home warranty will continue to protect your new stove, refrigerator or water softening system from damage and breakdowns, and it will help set your mind at ease so you can truly enjoy your newly renovated space.