Kitchen Remodeling

By Todd Fratzel on Kitchens

Remodeling Tips For Kitchens

Kitchen Remodeling Project

It seems that every winter I get tons of emails about kitchen remodeling projects. Maybe it’s being trapped inside with nothing to do but watch DIY projects and dream of new kitchens. At any rate I thought I’d pass on some advice about kitchen remodeling. I’ve personally remodeled one kitchen and built one kitchen from scratch in our new home. I’ve also overseen the remodeling and construction of countless kitchens over the years.

The following kitchen remodeling tips are a good starting point if you’re planning on tackling this huge project:

Set A Budget

If you’re serious about a kitchen remodeling project that you need to establish a budget. Kitchen remodeling projects can range in cost from as little as $5,000 and be as expensive as $100,000. The average kitchen remodeling project cost is over $50,000! So before you go dreaming up that amazing Beverly Hills kitchen sit down and come up with a realistic budget. Once you set that budget take 10% off the top and that will be your reserve as a contingency for cost overruns.

Make A Wish List

kitchen remodeling projectOk now’s the fun part. Go window shopping and create a kitchen remodeling wish list. Spend some time looking at kitchen appliances, kitchen cabinetry, flooring, counter tops and lighting fixtures. As your window shopping be sure to collect as many specification sheets for the appliances and fixtures that you might want to incorporate in the kitchen remodeling project. Having detailed dimensions and mechanical requirements will be crucial to a successful project. You also need to collect pricing information so you can keep the project ON BUDGET!

Kitchen Layout Design

Probably the most important part of any kitchen remodeling is having a good, functional kitchen layout. If you’ve never designed a kitchen before I recommend you do a couple things. First of all buy yourself a good kitchen design book.

Once you’ve done that make a few sketches of possible layouts and then go visit a cabinet design person. The nice part is you can have a kitchen designed for you FREE of charge at most kitchen cabinet places. Now, they will be hoping that you’re going to buy the cabinets, but most of them do not require a contract to lay it out and design it. I recommend you get the layout designed and then take time to think about it. I also recommend you visit at least two design centers and see if someone else has a better idea!

Temporary Kitchen

If you can figure out a way to create a temporary kitchen of some sorts your life will be SO much easier during the kitchen remodeling. You don’t need anything crazy. If you can set up a table for a microwave, some sort of hot plate and somewhat near a sink you’ll be ahead of the game. Most kitchen remodeling projects take 6 weeks or so from start to finish unless you’re a complete DIY Allstar!

Don’t Tackle Too Much

Remodeling a kitchen can be a complete DIY project or partially DIY and partially professionally done. The key here is to make sure you don’t try to tackle things that you’re not experienced enough to do. For instance, if the plumbing needs to be relocated are you really able to do that or should you hire a plumber. In fact, many locations will REQUIRE that you use a plumber and electrician. This is especially true if gas lines are involved.

Final Remodeling Thoughts

Obviously these kitchen remodeling tips are just the begining. Remodeling your kitchen can involve demolition, electrical, plumbing, kitchen appliances, heating and ventilation, cabinet installation, painting, drywall, and even flooring. However, if you’re an experienced DIY’er you can save thousands of dollars tackling some of the tasks. Good luck!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Deborah says:

    We have the cook stove and microwave set up already to start our kitchen project. Looking at cabinets at the moment.

    • Todd says:

      @ Deborah – I can’t wait to follow the kitchen remodel…I assume you’ll be blogging about it? Have you guys ever done a kitchen before?

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. I think you hit my three biggest pet peaves concerning kitchen remodels. 1. People never set a budget or stick to it. 2. They are always shocked by the fact that they have no place to prepare meals. So important to plan out an alternative kitchen. 3. Don’t tackle too much. This one is the hardest to watch because it generally ends up costing more money than planned and keeps people out of the kitchen longer than expected. I always ask people how much having their kitchen is worth, and consider that in the budget… Maybe its easier to have someone else do a project in a week, instead of DYI for a month. Great post!

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