Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Want to minimize problems when remodeling your kitchen? Here are some handy tips:

Start With a Plan

Make a list of the most important features you do want. Make a list of what you can live without. Think about what you presently own that will be stored in the kitchen and what your future needs might be, both in the short term and the long term.

Create a Budget

Take your list of things you will be acquiring and do some preliminary pricing. Research the prices for appliances, lighting, countertops, cabinets, flooring and paint or wallcoverings. If you exceed your budget on some things, you'll need to make tradeoffs. Break down your list now into the "must have" category and the "nice to have" category. When it comes to setting priorities, you'll be spending your dollars on the "must have" category first.

Color Scheme

It's important to choose colors for your color palette that blend and feel good together. Make these selections in advance for everything. Don't pick and choose as you go. If you need help, most home improvement stores have experienced people who can give good advice.

Oversee the Work Yourself

Some aspects of the remodel you can probably do yourself and serve as your own general contractor. Check with your local government office so you know what aspects require permits and what do not. For aspects you cannot do yourself, hire a contractor. Pay as little in advance as possible and get an anticipated completion date on your written contract. Here in California we are allowed to initiate a contract for 10% of the total cost or $1,000, whichever is less. Check with your state for your regulations. Withhold at least 25-33% of the total cost until all work is completed. That gives you leverage if there are problems or work lags.

Hiring a Contractor

Make sure the contractor provides you with a signed Labor and Material Release form before you pay the balance. This protects you against contractors who get paid by you but who don't pay their suppliers. If you have a Labor and Material Release, those suppliers can't make a claim against you. You can get these forms yourself at a stationery story or online. Read the contract you are about to sign carefully. Set a schedule for work completion. A penalty clause for anything that is not completed on time is a good idea.

Hiring a Contractor

Take photos of your kitchen before you start and after it is all done. Keep in your decorating organizer (we have them available here). Keep a sense of humor to sustain you when things go wrong (they always do).

Decorating Organizer

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