Planing a kitchen remodel? From new countertops to appliances, there are a lot of things to think about and you may find obstacles popping up every step of the way. Don’t get started until you read these important tips first!
When we moved to Florida and bought a fixer upper, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing! In fact, when we first walked through it, I never even thought we’d end up buying it. However, aside from being extremely outdated, it had everything we wanted…the open floor plan, a pool and the perfect number of bedrooms/bathrooms. Plus, the price was right so we took take the plunge.
Since this was an older house, it needed a complete overhaul, starting with the kitchen! There is a big learning curve with a kitchen remodel because like they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. We learned valuable lessons along the way and now if we ever take on something like this again, we’ll know what we’re doing!
If you’re tackling a project like this for the first time, here’s what you need to know.Remodeling your kitchen? Read these important tips first! Click To Tweet
Plan to go over budget
If you manage to stay within your original budget, that’s awesome! However, our renovation cost WAY more than we had originally anticipated and based on what others tell me, this is very common. Even if you start off within your budget, there are often unforeseen problems that need to be fixed or you may decide to add “just one more thing” and then another and another. We discovered just how quickly it all adds up. Ultimately, we love the end result and felt our money was well spent but it’s definitely something you should prepare for.
While it would be nice if we all had Oprah money and could get top-of-the-line everything, most of us have to pick and choose what we spend our money on. For me, the counters and backsplash were most important. For my husband, it was the fancy Samsung appliances. In order to get exactly what we wanted, we spent a little less on other things like the cabinets, sink, and hardware.
Plan your space wisely
This house has less cabinet space than our last one so we had to plan accordingly. While I originally wanted a trash can under the sink, I realized that we needed that extra space. We also had skinny cabinets on either side of the stove and while I knew one side was perfect for my cookie sheets, I didn’t have any idea what to do with the other one. After a little time on Pinterest, I decided to turn it into a pull out spice rack. It’s the perfect size, so convenient and I absolutely love it! We also had the new cabinets built taller to utilize wasted space at the top. If you’re using a contractor, you may also want to ask them for suggestions.
Measure (and re-measure) everything
Here’s where you can learn from our mistakes! Our first mistake was that we bought the biggest washer/dryer set in the store because I wanted to be able to wash comforters and other big items! However, the laundry space was too small by just one inch and we had to send them back.
Another issue was that we bought a dishwasher with a handle. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but it definitely was for us. You couldn’t get into the corner drawer without opening the dishwasher first because the handle got in the way. We would have had to open the dishwasher first anytime we wanted something from that drawer. I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with that so the dishwasher had to be replaced too!
Get everything in writing
Our contractor was awesome and we were very happy with all the work he did. However, we also learned how important it is to get everything in writing. We didn’t end up with undermount lighting because we had told one person we wanted it and the word never got passed along. By the time we realized it wasn’t being installed, it was too late. I was bummed but ultimately it was our fault because we should have noticed that it wasn’t in the contract. Make a list of everything you’ve asked for and check that paperwork.
Don’t second guess yourself
Once you pick something out, stick with it. Sure there are exceptions and we even changed our minds about the countertops soon after we had already chosen our”favorite”. However, you can’t spend too much time second guessing and wondering if the other color/size/style would be better. Not only does it get expensive to keep changing things already in progress, you’ll drive yourself crazy!
Want to see what our kitchen looked like when we started? Pretty ugly, huh?!!!
I’m still not sure what was worse, the counters, cabinets or the old appliances. We had everything torn out so that we could start from scratch (thank goodness we weren’t living there yet)!
Want to see how it turned out? These were taken just after everything was finished (but before the second dishwasher arrived).
We may have spent more than expected but we love our new kitchen! The counters and backsplash couldn’t have turned out better and my hubby and I are very happy our stainless steel Samsung appliances!
While it was a fun experience, we’ve definitely learned how we could do it better next time (and one day I’ll get those undermount lights).
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