Kitchen remodels are big jobs, but there is a wide range of ways they can be done. The simplest approach may be just replacing countertops, painting, and updating the lighting. At the other extreme, you can knock down walls, replumb, and rewire so you can move the sink and rearrange the appliances. To help you decide what kind of remodeling is appropriate for you and your home, here are five questions that need to be answered before you commit to anything.
1. What is your long-range plan?
You don’t have to know what you will be doing for the rest of your life to answer this question, but think about the next five years. Will you be selling the house, or is the kitchen remodel just for your own use and enjoyment? If you are staying in the house, will there be any changes in the household, such as having children, or an elderly parent coming to live with you?
At TWD, we specialize in universal design, which addresses the needs of all potential household members and guests. If you will be selling your home, it is especially valuable to incorporate universal design principles, because here in the Phoenix area so many homebuyers are retirees who are looking for a house that will support aging in place, meaning they will stay at home rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility. Universal design accommodates people of all abilities, so even those in wheelchairs are able to reach surfaces and get objects out of storage spaces.
2. How long can you (and your household) stand to be without kitchen access?
For an extensive kitchen remodel, some remodeling contractors will ask the family to stay elsewhere during the major part of the work. Tearing things out and installing new ones is dirty and noisy, so is very disruptive to anyone in the house. If you stay in the house during remodeling, you will have minimal, if any, access to your kitchen. Eating out becomes the norm, so think about how long you will be comfortable with that.
If the cost of staying somewhere else is a concern, you should consider that it can actually save you money. Limiting the hours the remodeling crew is allowed to work can extend the overall length of the job. Another thing to consider is that when you are in the house, the remodeling contractor will have to clean up after each shift. If you house can be vacated for the time of the job, those daily cleaning hours can be applied to getting the job done instead.
3. What is your budget for the kitchen remodel?
This is a big question, and there are several factors to consider, ranging from what you are able to pay to how much your home is worth overall, and how the kitchen remodel will affect its potential sale price. If you have a high-end home it makes sense to invest in a more expensive kitchen, whereas in a modest home, an extravagant kitchen would be out of place, and the money could be better-spent by upgrading additional areas of the home.
How much does a Phoenix kitchen remodel cost? Studies have found that on average, people spend about $17,000-20,000 on kitchen remodels, but the total cost can be much higher or lower, depending on what the homeowner chooses to do. Knowing how much is reasonable to invest in your particular kitchen in addition to how much you can afford, will guide your decisions and help to keep the project on track, since you won’t be as tempted to make snap decisions without seeing how they fit into the budget.
4. What will you actually do in the remodeled kitchen?
Do you cook dinner at home every night, or eat out a lot? Do you spend time in the kitchen visiting when family and friends come over, or do you keep people out while you work? How many people will be cooking at a time? Will children be in the kitchen? This is a good opportunity to think about the things you wish you could do in your kitchen now, which will help guide you in making the new kitchen a room you really appreciate. If you do a lot of cooking from scratch, the additional counter space of an island would be very useful, whereas, if you mainly cook frozen dinners, but sit in the kitchen to work, you might be happier with a large table instead of an island.
5. What appeals to me most about my kitchen now? Other kitchens I’ve seen?
Note the things that you like about your kitchen so you can be sure to keep them. You may find that you can get an even better version of whatever it is when you remodel. For example, if you love having storage, you will be very impressed with the sliding racks and drawers that can be put in cabinets to make corners and deep spaces fully accessible.
Magazines and Pinterest are great sources for finding what you like, but we have a showroom where you can see and touch all the latest trends in kitchen remodeling, so we encourage you to come in and see what you find most appealing.
If you would like to visit the TWD design showroom, you are welcome to come in or give us a call at 623-544-1211 to set up an appointment. Our certified universal design professionals would love to discuss your kitchen remodeling plans and answer any questions you may have.