What you need to know (and plan for) before you set out on your kitchen renovation

We’ve all heard the horror stories. We’ve watched the reality TV shows. We’ve read all the articles. Kitchen renovations are hard. However, they don’t have to be all drama. In fact, kitchen renovations can be really fun! You just need to equip yourself with the right knowledge, partner yourself with the right people, and plan ahead.

  1. Know what you want in advance. Differing opinions and changes of heart make for good TV ratings, but not for a good renovation experience. Not being crystal clear about your wants and needs before a kitchen renovation can make for wasted time and money. However, don’t take the whole thing too seriously. Planning is the fun part.
  1. Get free advice. Go online to get inspired and gain valuable knowledge before you take the plunge. There is a wealth of websites, blogs and pin boards dedicated to kitchen renovation to review when you don’t know what your next (or first) move should be. Plus, you can find infinite design and décor inspiration, as well as interesting storage ideas and materials tips. Start your search with these Design Ideas.
  1. Create a workable budget…and stick to it. In the middle of a renovation it’s tempting to be swept up in the fun and swayed into spending more than you planned. However, it’s critical to stick to your budget in the case costly setbacks crop up. So, spend the big bucks on high-quality appliances, durable worktops and fixtures. Save on cabinetry hardware and accessories. Rule of thumb: have an extra 10% or 20% available for emergencies.
  1. Choose a trusted expert to work with. Even if you plan on doing your renovation yourself, it’s worth at least one consultation with a kitchen expert, like an interior designer, architect, or contractor, before you begin work. They’ll see potential problems and provide innovative solutions you may never have thought of. Find the right one by doing your research. Go online, ask friends and get references.
  1. Consider your workflow. Are you a regular dinner party host? Do you love baking? Have a house full of teenagers? Lifestyle factors like your family and social style will most certainly affect the floor plan you choose. L-shaped kitchens work best for families. U-shaped kitchens are great for social events. Also, keep the plumbing where it is. Shifting things around takes a lot of time and money.

Feeling inspired? Check out some more unique kitchen Design Ideas.