Remodeling has its challenges, even for veteran builders. And if you are remodeling a kitchen, you are walking through a minefield of “oh no” moments. Fortunately, you can avoid common kitchen remodeling blunders and get your new kitchen sooner with some planning and forethought. 

It is strongly advised that you get professional help from a general contractor in Wake County, NC, before embarking on a kitchen makeover project. Glasgow Design Build works with you every step of the way, providing direction and guidance to help you get the best possible kitchen. 

Before you begin designing your new kitchen, consider the following factors:

Budget 

It is important to set a budget for your kitchen remodel. When determining the cost of your remodel, keep in mind that the bulk of your money will be spent on elements (cabinetry, appliances, countertops, plumbing, lighting, and so on) and labor fees. You must also consider the size of your kitchen as well as the scope of your remodeling project. A good rule of thumb is to invest between 10% and 15% of the total value of your home. So, if your home is worth $500,000, you can reasonably spend $50,000 to $75,000 on your kitchen remodel. 

Lifestyle

What do you want your dream kitchen to look like? You should have some idea of what you want your dream kitchen to look like — that is where websites like Pinterest and Houzz come in handy. Do you wish to host guests in your kitchen? Do you prefer natural or artificial lighting? Is there enough space in the kitchen for an island? What works for you right now? These are some additional questions you should know the answers to before starting your kitchen remodel. 

A good general contractor can help you plan your new kitchen layout and determine where everything will go, right down to the electrical outlets. They explore the various ways in which the design and layout of a kitchen can be tweaked to match your needs and wants. They will also help you choose everything — from materials to fixtures — and manage the project to ensure that everything is well-executed. 

Timeframe

Be realistic about the time it will take to remodel your kitchen. Speak with your contractor and find out how long it might take. A kitchen remodel can take months. So, plan how you will work around the short-term interruption of not having a fully functional kitchen before you begin.

Appliances

Buy the best kitchen appliances that you can afford. If you want built-in appliances, they must be planned pretty much from the start. Built-in steam and convection ovens, coffee makers and espresso machines, and wine coolers are making their way into the general market, and if your kitchen is also your entertainment zone, you should think about including them in your design.

Island

Some kitchens are not big enough to accommodate an island. Install one only if you have at least 36 inches of clearance all around — though clearance of 42-48 inches is ideal. If you do decide to install a kitchen island, be mindful of what goes into it. Remember that an island must have electrical outlets (ideally one on each side) to be code compliant.

Layout

Don’t just knock down any wall you want if you wish to open up the kitchen to other rooms in your Raleigh home. Some walls are load-bearing, while others are not. Before you pull out the hammer, be sure you know which is which. You also don’t want to assume that you cannot knock a wall down because it is structurally necessary. Many homeowners also believe that plumbing and venting must remain where it is — and that is a mistake. Yes, moving plumbing and venting can jack up your remodeling costs, but it is sometimes the best option.

Ventilation

Don’t move the cooktop without considering ventilation. Although most building codes don’t need a ducted range hood, most experts recommend one. Duct runs should be as short and straight as possible for optimal functionality. Remember to consider where the vent will exit the house on the outside as well.

Related Blog: Best Practices for Installing a Range Hood: Building Codes Dos and Don’ts 

Cabinets

Before ordering cabinets — and certainly before installing them — evaluate the current state of the room. Are the floors sloping? Are the walls leaning? Are the corners squared? If you answered yes to any of these questions, make sure you have enough shims on hand and plan out where you will start installing the cabinets. Countertops must always be level.

Flooring

If you are installing new flooring, avoid creating a tripping hazard. When transitioning from vinyl to tile, you may encounter elevation challenges at doorways into adjoining rooms. Tile typically requires either another layer of plywood or an isolation membrane to prevent cracks. If you are not replacing the existing floor but want to change the kitchen’s layout, make sure the flooring runs under cabinets and appliances, or you will have a difficult hole to patch. Whatever you do, don’t install new flooring in front of the dishwasher.

Lighting

It is not fun to cook in a dark kitchen. Ambient lighting for general illumination and task lighting so you can see what you are mincing or chopping are ideal. Recessed lights are a popular choice for both, but install them incorrectly, and you will be working in your own shadow. One good idea is to arrange a line of lights just above the countertop nosing.

Conclusion

A newly renovated kitchen can increase the value and functionality of your home, but the remodeling process can be overwhelming. Taking these factors into account early on can help ensure a more successful and timely kitchen makeover.

Your Dream Kitchen is Just a Phone Call Away!

Glasgow Design Build is a licensed general contracting firm based in Raleigh, NC. From building a fabulous kitchen to building a porch or deck, we are the ones you need to handle all your home renovations in Raleigh, NC. We would be happy to visit your home, discuss your kitchen remodel, and provide you with an estimated cost. Feel free to call (919) 228-9107 or fill out an online form to schedule an appointment.