When you hear the words ‘kitchen remodel,’ what comes to mind? Doing dishes in the bathtub for 2 months while the contractor fails to show up? Cabinets coming in that are the wrong size or color? Headaches beyond measure? Budgets running out of control?
It doesn’t have to be this way, you can get your kitchen remodeled with a little efficient planning ahead. Be prepared for the occasional surprise, or cost overrun, but don’t let them dominate the project – here’s how.
Start with a plan – starting with a solid plan will get your project off on the right foot. Get several contractor’s opinions and learn as much about the design process as you can, even if you are not doing the work yourself.
Get several bids – this will help with your budget, you’ll know pretty much what to expect before you start. It helps to budget an extra 5%-10% for the unexpected cost overruns. If you don’t have to use it, well, you’ll make your banker happy.
Plan for time without your kitchen – you won’t likely need to move out of the house for an extended period of time, but you’ll want to eat a few meals out – this can add up. Be sure to build it into your budget.
Order your cabinets and other materials so they will be in and delivered a short period of time before you need them, and allow time for back-orders and other things that might slow the project up.
Stick to your plan. Once you have your plan in place, try to resist the urge to make changes, this will significantly slow the project down. Time is money and changes generally cost both.
If you do these basic things, you’ll have a good shot at coming in both on time and on budget. One more note – be sure to get references for your contractor before hiring him.