What room would you say is the heart of your home? If you’re like most West Michigan families, you immediately think of the kitchen.
The kitchen is the site of morning coffee brews and late-night conversations. It’s where the kids tell you about their day or where you made your spouse that special anniversary meal they raved about. It’s where you prepare Thanksgiving dinner or bake Christmas cookies together. It’s the room where so many memories are made.
It can be so frustrating when your kitchen just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe the cupboard space can’t keep up with your kids’ growing appetites, or the layout is so cramped there’s never room for more than one cook. Maybe your countertops look like they’re stuck in the 90s or your backsplash lost its color three summers ago and it’s just not working for you anymore.
If you’re frustrated with your kitchen, it’s time for a refresh. Remodeling may seem intimidating, but with the right knowledge, tools, and support, your project will be done right. In this article, we’ll explain how to remodel a kitchen so you can get back to all your culinary adventures, dinner parties, and day-to-day snacking.
When you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, one of the first things you have to consider is the timeline. How long is this going to take? That’s an important question, and one your contractor can help you answer.
How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?
At VADA Contracting, we typically tell our clients that a kitchen remodel usually takes at least three months to complete; however, the timeline could be longer or shorter depending on the scope of the project. For example, if you’re simply resurfacing your kitchen, it won’t take as long. If you’re completely gutting the space and reworking the footprint of your kitchen, it will take longer. Remember to keep the details of your project in mind when you talk to your contractor about the timeline.
Factors to Consider
You should consider a few factors when talking to your contractor about the timeline:
- Scope of work: How much of your kitchen is getting remodeled.
- Supply chain: Shipping delays can sometimes interrupt the flow of a project.
- Human factor: The availability of subcontractors, workers, and inspectors will vary, and is hard to plan ahead for. This can affect your project timeline.
- Weather: Severe weather like tornadoes, snowstorms, or extreme temperatures can affect the timeline of your remodel.
- Age of home: The older the home, the more likely you’ll find surprises in the walls and existing structure that is not to code, which can cost time and money to repair.
Why You Shouldn’t “Do it Yourself”
Considering DIY? You might wonder if it would be faster and more affordable to remodel your own kitchen, but most contractors would recommend not doing this! A licensed, skilled contractor will get the job done right the first time, whereas you might find your DIY project will need a little help when it’s done. Let a professional take care of all the work for you so you can enjoy your beautiful new kitchen without the stress.
Before your contractor gets to work, you want to ensure your home is ready for renovation. We have a few tips to help you make the kitchen remodeling process as seamless as possible for you and your family.
Don’t feel the need to clean your kitchen before it gets remodeled. Renovations tend to create a lot of dust! Before beginning work, your contractor will ensure the area is well-ventilated to prevent too much dust or debris in your home. At VADA, we work carefully to manage our dust so the air in your home stays as clean as possible. Typically, your contractor will also test for lead or asbestos in your paint or walls, and take control measures before going to work.
If you want to completely remodel your kitchen, check with your city or township if you need a building permit. Just about every type of project that opens a wall or deals with a potential health hazard or code compliance will require a permit. You should always expect your contractor to pull all of the applicable permits.
Preparing Your Home
You have a plan, you’ve hired a contractor, and you’re ready to go, but wait—what do you do with all the leftovers in your fridge, the plates in the cupboard, or even the microwave on the counter? Make sure your home is ready for a kitchen remodel by following a few simple steps.
Getting Your Kitchen Ready
Before your contractor comes in for demolition, make sure all of your personal items are out of the kitchen and stored somewhere else. This includes things like:
- Cutlery (knives, forks, cooking utensils)
- Towels, washcloths, and cleaning supplies
- Plates, bowls, cups, and serving dishes
- Any decor (rugs, decorative signs, clocks, plants)
- Small appliances (stand mixers, microwaves, convection ovens)
- Large appliances (refrigerators, ovens, or dishwashers that will not be reused.)
You don’t want any personal items to be damaged during demolition! Some people opt to store their belongings elsewhere in their house or rent a pod or storage unit to temporarily keep them safe.
Should I Move Out?
It’s up to you and your family to decide if you’d like to move out of your home for the duration of the remodel. Remember, remodels can be noisy and messy. It’s not always easy to live in a house when it’s being remodeled, especially if you work from home or have young children who don’t go to school every day. However, it’s also challenging to move somewhere else temporarily. At VADA Contracting, we often build temporary kitchens to cover all your basic kitchen needs like the sink, fridge, and stove. Be sure to share your specific needs with your contractor!
The budget for your kitchen remodel will depend mainly on the scale of your project. Here is a rough breakdown of a typical budget::
- Cabinetry and counters: 40% of your budget
- Installation: 30% of your budget
- Appliances: 30% of your budget
Be wary of websites that offer project estimates as they are often inaccurate. Do a lot of research and try to find out where any market data came from. Knowing the national average cost of a kitchen remodel is not always useful data for your specific project. Your contractor will walk through additional details with you, including pricing.
Things to Consider
Consider the following when you work on your budget with your contractor:
- Custom materials: Custom cabinets or hardware will cost more than standard models.
- Extra services: Extra services like crown molding or appliance installation will add to the cost of your remodel.
- Scope of work: If you add or change things during the renovation, your cost will increase.
At VADA, we recommend having at least 10-15% beyond your budget saved and set aside to account for contingency costs.
It’s also important to remember that a kitchen remodel is an investment, and it’s one that will pay off by adding value to your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions we get at VADA Contracting when it comes to kitchen remodels.
- Can you do epoxy or tile countertops?
- While some contractors will do epoxy or tile countertops, we do not do this kind of work at VADA. We want to ensure that you have the material you want, and a countertop that will last you a long time and is worth your investment. Epoxy is not a durable or high-quality option for countertops.
- Can you create custom cabinetry?
- Yes, we can! We are able to provide custom or even handmade cabinets with intricate lighting and high-end features.
- Can you install store-bought cabinetry?
- We can install almost any kind of cabinetry, whether you want custom cabinets or have had your eye on some at the home improvement store. However, some store-bought cabinetry, like those found at IKEA or department stores, have repeat quality issues. We do our best to avoid low-quality products.
- Can my countertops be made out of concrete?
- Yes, we can install concrete countertops! While it is more expensive, concrete is highly versatile as a countertop option, and several different finishes, colors, and textures can be applied.
- Who will design my kitchen remodel?
- Your contractor can help with your design or refer you to a trusted designer. They might even offer simple design solutions to a problem area in your kitchen, like a bulkhead or awkward entryway. They’ll share ideas that will help transform your kitchen.
Step Into Your Dream Kitchen
By keeping these factors in mind, you’re ready to create the kitchen of your dreams, and when you hire the right contractor, you can turn that dream into a reality.
When you’re ready to start, book a consultation with VADA Contracting for an exceptional remodeling experience from start to finish. We will help you love your kitchen—and your home—again, and enjoy your space for years to come.