A kitchen or bathroom renovation is one of the most exciting projects you can do as a homeowner. Like any journey, it’s easier to arrive at a successful kitchen or bathroom renovation when you have a road map. Clean Earth Restorations is here to help you plan and build your new room. Here is a general overview of the renovation process.
The major steps to renovating your kitchen or bath are:
- defining what you want and need
- estimating costs / calculating a budget
- designing the new room
Define what you want and need
Form follows function — or, your remodel should be dictated by how you use the space — is what you should keep in mind when you define what you want and need in your new kitchen or bath. You will want to paint yourself a mental picture of how you use your kitchen/bath now and what new possibilities you’d like to add to your life in those rooms in the future.
Start making a list of elements you’d like and prioritize it into “can’t live without” and “in our dreams”. The list should become as exhaustive and detailed as possible so that at the end of the design phase all can be planned for and budgeted before construction begins. (Changes in the renovation process translate into extra cost and delays.)
Ask yourself lots of questions about how you will use the room. Questions like:
- How many people usually work in the kitchen at once?
- What else goes on in the kitchen (studying, eating, TV-watching)?
- Which room does your dining table belong in?
- For bathrooms – how many appliances do you need to plug in at once?
- Do you need a little or a lot of storage space?
- What colors do you want to see in that room?
Take a mental walk through your day — weekdays and weekends — and note how the room you are renovating gets used, from morning until night. As you describe how you use your kitchen/bath, keep defining your list.
Keep an idea folder. Whenever a renovation idea crosses your mind, jot yourself a note and throw it in the folder. Keep magazine clippings of rooms, products, materials and decorating ideas that catch your eye. There are also several great online solutions for exploring and grouping your renovation ideas into one place, like Houzz and Pinterest. See Dreaming and Scheming for more information on brainstorming design ideas and keeping them organized.
Make an accurate plan of the space you are going to renovate. It can be measurements and a drawing on paper or you can use on online tool such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Virtual Planning Tool.
Having a kitchen designer is also an excellent idea. At first glance it may seem like an unnecessary expense but an experienced designer can actually save you time and money. They are experts in the details and specifics of the many elements that come into play in a kitchen – floor plans, storage, appliances, plumbing, special electrical needs, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, hardware, counter tops, materials, lighting, sinks and faucets, and many other things. They will help you get the most efficiency (and bang) out of your buck. If you haven’t re-designed a kitchen recently, you might be surprised to discover all the great options there are to consider. It would be unfortunate to find out about them after your renovation is already completed. A kitchen designer can help you flesh out what you want and then bring it all together in the best way possible for your taste, lifestyle, and budget. At Clean Earth Restorations we have years of experience in renovating kitchens (and bathrooms) and are proud to provide kitchen designing services as well.
Estimating costs / calculating a budget
Once you have defined what your new kitchen or bathroom needs, you can estimate how much it will cost to remodel. At Clean Earth Restorations we have in-house estimators who are specialized in calculating costs.
Compare the estimated cost with the funds you have available for the renovation. The available funds can be your currently available funds or a financing option such as a home equity loan. How much you decide to allocate to the renovation might depend on how long you plan on staying in the house. If you plan on selling in the next few years you will want to make sure your investment is balanced compared to the projected value of the house. If you plan on staying a long time in the house, it makes more sense to invest in a space remodel that is going to bring you the maximum of pleasure for your time there.
If there are discrepancies between your cost and your funds, you can work with your designer to find ways to bring them in line. Substituting materials, using pre-made cabinets instead of custom for instance, or any number of other adjustments can be made to make your budget come together. Keep in mind that it is wise to add 10-15% to your projected costs to account for any surprises in the renovation process.
We can help you plan your kitchen or bathroom remodeling budget. Get our free Renovation Budget Checklist here: Your Renovation Budget Checklist
Designing the new room
This is the fun part. Designing a new space gives you an exciting opportunity to add style, functionality, and value to your home. You must consider your material wants and needs, the way you use the space, and your budget to come up with a design that includes:
- a layout
- your decorating style (including colors and materials)
- cabinet and fixture choices
- flooring/countertops/other elements such as windows and doors