Remodeling your kitchen will make your home more livable, and it will increase the equity value of your real estate like few other remodeling projects can do. A fully remodeled kitchen is most certainly a project worth the time, money, and effort, and you can avoid being overwhelmed if you fully understand the steps that go into the process before you begin.
Step 1: Assessing Needs, Wishes and Resources
Start by asking yourself what persistent problems you experience with your current kitchen. Is it a matter of too little space to cook effectively? Too little space to store food and dishware? Do you lack dining areas? Are the appliances ineffective or too old?
Establish a prioritized list of things you would like in your new kitchen, ranked according to their importance. It’s helpful to distinguish between those elements you absolutely need and those you simply want.
Consider the financial payback on a new kitchen. If you are planning to remain in your house for many years, a dream kitchen might be worth the $85,000 it will cost, since it will serve as a functional and attractive family space for decades. But if you are an empty nester who plans to downsize to a smaller home in the next five years, perhaps a surface-level kitchen renovation is really the more practical option. Kitchen remodels return a good portion of their cost in improved home equity—but not all of it. A $100,000 kitchen may improve your home value by $50,000 to $75,000.
Step 2: Designing and Planning
While we are living in a world that design is everywhere, you don’t want to invent the wheel.Search for kitchen designs online, ask for pictures from the previous work of the contractor while you are getting quotes.Try to picture your kitchen before you start the work so you won’t get disappointed.
Step 3: Hiring Contractors
Hire a GC (general contractor). These are generally builder/construction firms who specialize in managing major projects from start to finish. If there is something you want to avoid is the headache of managing that kind of a project yourself. It could cost you much more time and money if you have never done such a thing before, if you have the experience and you run some big projects like kitchen remodeling before you might be able to handle it, otherwise hire a company who is licensed, insured and bonded to do the job for you.
Step 4: Getting Permits
At the point where you’re ready to start the project, it’s time to apply for permits.. Your city or county may administer the electrical, plumbing, and building permits. A good general contractor that is handling the renovation will obtain all the necessary permits for you.
Step 5: Demolition
With all the preparation out of the way, the first real step is the messy one, and one that can be fun, as well. Removing the old appliances and tearing out the old materials is the first step on the road to the new kitchen. This part can take a few days depending on how big is the kitchen and how many items are being removed. A professional Contractor supposed to finish it in a day or two.
Step 6: Structural Build-Out
With demolition complete, a typical kitchen remodel begins with the contractor’s carpentry crew performing whatever framing work is necessary for the project. Depending on your new kitchen’s configuration, this may involve some very major construction tasks. Are you adding or replacing windows? Or removing windows to increase cabinet space? Taking down walls to open up the kitchen to the rest of the house? Even minor kitchen remodeling projects may need joists strengthened to support heavier appliances or built-ins such as a kitchen island.
Step 7: Plumbing and Wiring
After the framing work, the next step is for new or rerouted plumbing pipes and wiring. This process is known as the mechanical rough-in phase, and it is normally done by licensed plumbers and electricians either hired by the general contractor or part of his crew who is licensed to do the work. Kitchens usually require a lot of new plumbing and wiring. The current code wiring requirements for kitchens may mean that several entirely new circuits need to be installed.
Unless the kitchen project involves merely replacing a sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator in the same locations, normally there will be some rerouting of water supply and drain lines to new locations. Even if the fixtures are remaining in the same place, this is a good time to update any old plumbing pipes—galvanized steel pipes can be replaced with Copper pipes. When the rough plumbing is completed, it will receive the first of two inspections mandated by permit requirements. The inspector will review the installation while the wall surfaces are still removed to make sure it has been done according to code.
As complex as the plumbing may be, the electrical service upgrades for a large kitchen remodel may be even more sweeping. Modern kitchens have very heavy electrical loads and the code may require a lot. To effectively power a large modern kitchen, your home should have at least 200-amp service. This means that many kitchen remodeling projects require that an electrician update the entire electrical service to the house. As the electrician runs the new circuits to the kitchen, he will likely abandon any existing circuit wiring in the kitchen in favor of running new wiring for all the kitchen circuits. Here, too, the rough wiring installation will need to be reviewed and passed by the inspector before the project can move to the next phase.
Step 8: Finishing Walls and Ceilings
With the next step, the kitchen will begin the transition into something that looks like a kitchen. Once the plumbing, wiring, and HVAC rough-ins have been completed and passed by the inspector, the walls and ceilings can be closed up. Exterior walls will be insulated with fiberglass batt to provide a buffer between the kitchen and inclement weather. With the wall cavities accessible, this is a good time to install high-quality insulation. Next, drywall is hung and the seams are taped and finished. Walls and ceilings are now primed and painted. If ceilings are being textured, the texture is now applied.
Step 9: Laying Flooring
Flooring installation is one of the last stages before cabinets, appliances, and fixtures are installed. It is normally saved until the end to prevent wear-and-tear on the new flooring.
The time required (as well as the expense) will depend on the type of flooring you’ve chosen.
- Sheet vinyl is the least expensive flooring choice and can usually be laid in one day.
- Ceramic tile requires a base of cement backer board, to which tile is adhered with thin-set mortar. The tile is then grouted. Even with inexpensive tile, professional installation can be costly because of the extensive labor involved.
- Engineered wood feels like solid hardwood (its surface finish is real wood), but it is much less expensive.
- Laminate flooring is a highly popular choice for kitchens because of the low price and ease of installation.
- Solid hardwood is less popular because water can warp it if not quickly mopped up. However, with proper care, it is a viable choice for the kitchen. Installers can lay wood in an average-sized kitchen floor in three days.
Step 10: Installing Cabinets and Counter-tops
As the kitchen remodeling nears the end,the general contractor will install the cabinets and counter-tops.Granite, marble, and synthetic quartz counter-tops are the best option for kitchen counter-tops. Because counter-tops must be installed perfectly level and flat, good installation depends on base cabinets that are perfectly level and solidly anchored.
Step 11: Installing Appliances, Plumbing, and Wiring Fixtures
You’re on the second-to-last lap—installation of appliances and the final connections of plumbing and lighting fixtures. Appliances are delivered and put into position, and the plumber returns to hook up the dishwasher and refrigerator water supply and to install and connect the sink and faucets. The electrician also returns to install light fixtures and connect switches and outlets.
Step 12: Inspections and Last Touches
With all the remodeling tasks complete, it’s now time for the final touches:
Do with your general contractor a walk-through and create a list of whatever details don’t meet your complete satisfaction. Discussing this punch-list with your GC is a normal part of any remodeling project. Now is the time to make sure you are satisfied with all the work that has been done. At the end of the project, your permits will need to be “finaled”—that is, the various inspectors will need to visit your kitchen, review the work, and stamp your permit application “final”.
A good contractor will make sure your house is clean and ready for use.