1. FINDING A CONTRACTOR
Finding a qualified, reliable, and expert contractor is essential to update your kitchen to your satisfaction. Very often contractors are chosen based on their reputation. However, contractors switch subcontractors or laborers which can affect their finished product. Ask your three top candidates to supply references and try to visit a job in progress. You can learn a lot about a contractor when you see for yourself their job site and work in progress.
According to thisoldhouse.com, these are four essential questions to ask references about your contractor candidates:
- What were the contractor's work habits? Did he show up on time and prepared to supervise the subs?
- Did he stick to the scope of the work and cleanup plan as outlined in the contract? Were any unauthorized changes of materials or details made?
- Did your project stay on or close to budget? Did materials arrive on time? Did he keep you up to date on his progress or potential delays?
- Did anything go wrong? If so, how - and how quickly - was the crisis resolved?
2. PLAN THE LAYOUT
After choosing your contractor, the next step will be to plan your kitchen's layout. Before seeing a professional designer, have an architectural rendering or to-scale drawing of your current kitchen, indicating the location of windows, doors, heating, plumbing lines, and electrical outlets. (You can do this yourself with the National Kitchen and Bath Association's website, nkba.org). Also, include a detailed list of your "must-haves" and "would-like-to-haves." Another helpful tool to have is a folder with pictures of rooms, lists of products and materials and any architectural details that appeal to you.
An experienced designer will save you time, money and headaches by sitting down with you to help you plan the layout of your kitchen based on:
- The number of people usually working in the kitchen
- Your cooking style
- How the kitchen is used by the family
- Traffic patterns, etc.
Keep your design functional with features that will help to simplify your daily life. Most people rarely cook elaborate meals for everyday life so spend your money on appliances that are energy-efficient and, easy to clean. Look for ways to minimize the clutter from daily living that accumulates by using adjustable shelving or cubbies with bins. Choose quality materials which will last and add resale value to your home.
3. CABINETRY AND COUNTERTOPS
When choosing cabinets for your kitchen, think beauty, durability and function. Cabinets are not only the focal point but they are also one of the most used elements of your kitchen. Today's cabinets don't have to be made out of wood. From glass cabinets to open shelving, to ecofriendly, your choices in styles and colors are endless. There are even flip-up doors, pocket doors and corner drawers which can help make your cabinets more functional. Consider a countertop hutch to add style and storage to your kitchen with a perfect place to show off your pretty dishes. An island workstation can add more storage and workspace, especially if it includes a prepsink or cooktop. To add architectural interest, add decorative supports, aprons, corbels and toe kicks. Mix and matching two different cabinet styles
is a popular trend today which shows no signs of stopping.
Granite continues to be a favorite countertop choice Thickness can determine the cost. However engineered stone such as quartz surfaces are increasing in popularity. Other choices are ceramic tile, Corian, stainless steel, concrete, soapstone and laminates. Keep in mind that the higher-end materials will have a higher resale value for your home. A heavier countertop material demands cabinetry that will stand up to this weight over time. Countertop choice may dictate cabinet choice.
4. FLOORS, WALLS AND CEILINGS
Backsplash material choices are mind-boggling. From glass and ceramic tile to stainless steel, Copper or tin tile, chalkboard paint, stone, marble or limestone to wallpaper; the choices in color and texture are endless.
The choices for floor materials are almost as many. Coffered or shiplap ceilings add architectural impact, but remember that recessed lighting or hanging pendant lights will impact your ceiling update.
It is important that the elements in your kitchen feel cohesive. Coordinating doesn't mean matching but that everything feels part of a whole. Choose colors and materials that are classic such as white subway tile or neutral colored tile or stone. Pick a hue that will be your primary color and use different shades, tones, or tints of that color in your design.
We hope that this this information has been helpful and informative. Harper Construction has the expertise for all of your remodeling needs. Their reputation for fine craftsmanship and attention to detail is reflected in their 5-star Houzz rating. Check out their portfolio of work on chrisharperconstruction.com.