(Family Features) Remodeling your kitchen can seem like a daunting task at first glance. You want your new space to function well for your needs, accommodate your lifestyle, and reflect your personal design style. But how to get started? Sarah Reep, KraftMaid director of designer relations and education, recommends considering the following before you begin a kitchen remodel.
- Determine the remodel scope. Projects can range from replacing the kitchen countertops to completely reconfiguring the kitchen's floor plan.
- Identify ways your kitchen remodel can complement your lifestyle. Do you want an open floor plan with room for entertaining? Do you enjoy cooking? To make your kitchen functional, all of these elements should play a part in the layout of a room.
- Choose your involvement. Is this a do-it-yourself project or do you need to call in the pros? If you plan on doing it yourself, seek guidance from designers.
- Find the remodeler or design firm right for you. When looking for a remodeler, seek recommendations from your friends, neighbors and local home builders association. Ask your remodeler for references from previous customers and a copy of his or her license.
- Set your budget. When setting a budget, be flexible and don't forget to add a buffer for the unexpected. Tools like KraftMaid Cabinetry's Budget Calculator can help you estimate costs and stay on budget.
- Consider your timeline. A kitchen remodel isn't a weekend project. Don't forget to take into consideration any events that could interfere with your timeline, such as a family vacation.
- Consider your design style. Do you consider yourself a traditional person? Or do you prefer a sleek, modern look? Narrowing down a design style in the beginning will make the process of choosing colors, appliances and finishes easier. Design tools like KraftMaid's Inspiration Board can help you transfer your ideas to paper. The design tool allows you to create collages with images, colors and textures that can be shared with your designer. The KraftMyStyle app from KraftMaid allows iPhone, iPod and iPad users to create and share Inspiration Boards on the go.
- Browse showrooms, magazines and websites for ideas. When it comes to decorating and remodeling, the options are endless. Page through your favorite magazines and visit a local showroom to gather design ideas. KraftMaid offers a kitchen idea gallery to get the dreaming started.
- Choose your appliances. When choosing appliances, consider the size of your household and kitchen. Collect images of the appliances you like from magazines and brochures. Identify what you like about each appliance and consider how the appliance will contribute to the overall look and function of the kitchen.
- Create a kitchen contingency plan. During the remodeling process, there will be times you won't be able to use your kitchen. Ask your remodeler or designer to help you create a plan to allow you to use your kitchen at least partially during different points in the remodeling process.
Though remodeling can seem stressful at first, the right amount of planning and research will simplify the process and result in the kitchen of your dreams. For more design and remodeling tips from Sarah Reep, visit www.KraftMaid.com.