10 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Remodel
June 18, 2021
Planning is Essential!
A remodel is an exciting opportunity to reimagine your home’s living spaces, allowing you to re-create your home to meet your family’s needs for years to come. If you love your neighborhood but have outgrown the functionality and style of your kitchen design, bathroom design, or other key rooms in your home, then a remodel could be the answer.
Embarking on a kitchen or bathroom remodel can be a daunting process, so you may wonder where to start. Like any large endeavor, planning is key to success! Start by thinking about why you want to remodel, what spaces you plan to update and who uses them, what your goals are for your remodel, and how much you can spend on this project. Our guide to the 10 things you must consider before starting a kitchen or bathroom remodel will help guide you through this planning process.
Why Do You Want to Remodel?
What is your main purpose in a kitchen remodel or new bathroom design? Do you desperately need to update your home’s style or are you clamoring for extra storage space in your kitchen design? Has your growing family outpaced your kitchen’s layout or are you empty-nesters looking to create a stylish, yet practical master bathroom design created for aging in place? Maybe you are simply updating your key rooms to bring your home in line with others in your area in preparation for selling it. Or you may be remodeling out of necessity because your home has storm damage or flooding. Your purpose will drive many of the decisions you make around style and functionality, how much you spend, and how the changes you make influence your lifestyle.
Who Uses Your Space?
Who are the main users of your home living spaces? Your kitchen design or bathroom remodel must be created to fit your home life, so design it to fit the people who will be using the space. Are you a young, growing family, looking to expand your storage space and create an open plan kitchen design ideal for cooking while watching the kids? What about your furry family members? It’s never fun tripping over food and water bowls, struggling for storage space for pet supplies, or wondering where to put the cat’s litter box so build these requirements into your home design and everyone will be happy.
For a bath remodel, does your family need a space that will take you from toddler bath time to teenagers applying makeup? Or is this an adult-only space complete with a large vanity, separate makeup vanity, and luxurious steam shower?
How Do You Use It?
Your home living spaces are essential to the efficient functioning of your family and impact the enjoyment you get from your home life. Design them to fit your needs and busy mornings will run more smoothly, holiday gatherings will be more fun, and weekend mornings will be more relaxing. Think of your home’s key rooms as the spaces where memories are made and create an environment to foster joy.
If this is a busy master bathroom remodel used regularly by two or more people, your design features including storage will differ greatly from an infrequently used guest bath design. For a kitchen design, how often do you cook and how many people tend to cook at one time? Do you love to create large meals for family and friends, or do you just do quick dinners during the week and rely on take-out at the weekend? How often do you entertain, and do you frequently host holiday gatherings with family staying over? Design your spaces to suit your needs and you will get years of joy from your new living spaces.
What is the Scope of Your Kitchen or Bath Remodel?
Determining the scope of your remodel is an important first step in planning your new space. This will impact everything from what type of experts you need to involve to the budget, the scale of impact on your home, plus other factors like required permits and inspections. Here are a few factors to consider when figuring out the scope of your kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation.
Is this a full remodel where you plan to rip everything out and start from scratch or is it a partial remodel where you will only replace or update certain items? In general, it is more worthwhile to do a complete update of your room unless your space only needs one or two things updated.
For a bathroom remodel, what type of bathroom is this? A master bath, hall bath, kids’ bath, or powder room?
Are you remodeling to stay in your home or updating spaces with a view to sell and move soon? If you plan to move, make sure you look at the hot items in other homes for sale in your area and focus on updating these items to positively impact your resale value. If you plan to stay, then you should remodel to suit your lifestyle for approximately 15 years.
Do you love your room’s layout but desperately need to update the cabinet and fixture style and enhance your storage options? Or do your kitchen and bath design plans require you to change your layout, move plumbing, or perhaps even knock down a wall?
Are you planning to remodel a single room, or is now the time to overhaul multiple spaces?
These questions and others will help you frame the scope of your remodel and determine how big your project will be. You must consider these questions early in the planning stage to figure out if your remodel is giving you what you need.
What Are Your Functional Goals?
Before you start planning your kitchen or bathroom remodel, it helps to first consider what works and what doesn’t in your existing space. Go old school and get out a pen and paper to make a list of what you like and don’t like or keep a note on an app on your phone. Add to this list as you use the space and invite family members to do the same. Prioritize your list to figure out which items you can’t wait to fix in your new kitchen design or bathroom renovation, like the position of your sink, storage or lack of, or the island that is too small for your expanding family.
Storage is essential to every home living space, so really consider what you need to store in these rooms and what could be stored somewhere else, like a basement or linen closet. Once you know exactly what you need to store, think about whether it should be in a closed cabinet or directly to hand in open storage like a shower niche. You now have a clear set of storage requirements to discuss with your kitchen and bath design expert, which will define the type and quantity of storage to incorporate into your design.
What Are Your Style Goals?
Are you ready to update the style of your home with a fresh color scheme, new materials, and stunning metallic accents? Think about your personal style and how you want to let your personality shine through in your home living spaces. Do you plan to completely update your style, for example taking it from a more traditional style to a contemporary or industrial feel? If you are happy with your room’s vibe, you can still give it an updated feel with the latest colors and finishes.
Start by browsing your favorite social media sites, like Pinterest or Instagram. Follow designers or influencers who spark your interest and check out hashtags that will direct you to styles you love. Search for local designers or ask family or neighbors for recommendations and check out the designers’ websites to get inspired. Pull together idea books with photos, colors, and materials that create the style you want. Visit design showrooms in person so you can see firsthand and touch the materials and products.
How Much Can You Spend?
Most of us don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on a remodel, so it is important to clearly understand your available budget and what you will get for it. Examine what you need vs. what you want vs. what you can afford. List out your priorities and make sure you leave room in your budget for those functional items that are essential to your design or those style items that will have the greatest impact on your space.
It pays to get the best quality you can afford and to revamp your space as much as you can practically manage within your budget. You truly get what you pay for so spending now will give you greater value over the years and will last you longer. If you have additional spaces that need to be remodeled see if you have room in your budget to update multiple spaces at one time. You are already opening up your home to a remodeling team, so why not remodel that outdated laundry room at the same time as your new kitchen design is taking shape? Or get the walk-in closet with customized storage you always wanted while you are ripping out and replacing your master bathroom design.
With a limited budget, take care of your essential items first and then look at where you can cut costs without impacting quality too much. Your kitchen and bath design experts can put their design and product knowledge to good use to help you find suitable alternatives, for example, a countertop material that is durable and gives the look of your preferred material for a more reasonable price tag.
Have You Figured Out Financing?
Partnering with an experienced design and remodeling firm helps you to understand the costs upfront without any unexpected expenses popping up later. Your designer should provide you transparent pricing that includes design, materials, labor, taxes, contingency, and more. This is essential if you are seeking out financing as it gives you a clear set of costs to discuss with your lender.
Which Professionals Should You Work with?
Once you know that your project exceeds your own DIY capabilities, then it is time to call in the experts. How do you know which professionals you need for your project and how to find the right one? Since you’ve already figured out the scope of your project, you should now be able to decide if you need a designer, a general contractor, or a full design/build firm. Unless this is your area of expertise, it pays to bring in the experts to make sure you get the best value out of your remodeling dollars.
Start by looking for local businesses in your area and check out their websites and social media pages to get a feel for your work. Ask family, friends, and neighbors for local recommendations, and even better take a look at their completed work in your neighbors’ homes to see the quality of their work first-hand. Set up an appointment and meet your preferred designer to discuss your requirements. Make sure they are a good fit for your style and needs.
Have You Established Clear Expectations for Everyone?
Any size remodeling project is disruptive to your home life, but a large-scale remodel is even more so. Make sure you understand well before your project starts exactly what will happen when, how much noise you can expect, what areas of your home will be off-limits, and for how long. Think carefully about how this will impact all family members including those working from home or studying for exams as well as young children who need to nap or pets who may be sensitive to the noise and activity. Depending on the scope of your remodel and on your family, you may find it is easier to stay somewhere else for part of the project.
When it comes to a successful kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation, the key is to plan carefully, budget wisely and set clear expectations for everyone affected by the project. Get your ideas and requirements together and then bring in the experts to help you create and implement a design that will re-imagine your home living spaces to enhance your family’s lifestyle for years to come. Get inspired in our remodeling gallery and then contact us to start planning!