Top 10 Tips for Remodeling a Kitchen in a New Home.

At the bottom of the page is our list of the top ten tips for remodeling a kitchen in a new home.

Congratulations! You just bought a new home, and you are considering remodeling the out-of-date kitchen. Now please stop and do your family a favor and carefully consider these tips BEFORE you embark on your renovation.

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Due to the euphoria of buying a new home people can rush into renovations that are poorly planned wasting tens of thousands of dollars and sometimes decreasing, instead of increasing, the value of their new home. Mistakes arise when new home buyers attempt to finish their construction before they move into the home. They mistakenly believe that by rushing they are saving themselves mortgage or rental payments, that will save them money on the overall cost of their renovation. In fact, spending extra time planning and getting multiple bids from contractors on the detailed plans you have finalized BEFORE starting the renovation saves money and has other benefits as well.

New Kitchen Renovation

Among the benefits of a well-planned renovation is that even though the job might begin weeks or months later, because the project is better planned, it is almost always completed before a hastily planned project. The design itself and the kitchen layout is what adds the most value to your home and so working with a talented kitchen design professional is essential. Meeting and modifying designs and making changes after discussing the benefits of different possibilities improves your design with each appointment. Were you to design your kitchen yourself or let a contractor or architect plan the design without the help of an experienced kitchen designer, then the most important aspect of the renovation would lack an expert.

Paul and Doug

The most misguided decision new homeowners make is to begin ripping out walls and doing demolition with no final plan in mind. Without direction, unguided demolition will always create added work for electricians, plumbers, framers, and drywallers later. Since the demolition of even the complete interior of a home should never take more than a couple of days, starting demolition simply to appease a novice renovators need to feel that things are progressing is foolish.

Kitchen Renovation

Below is our list of the top ten tips for remodeling a kitchen in a new home:

  1. Never begin demolition until a final plan for all the proposed renovations is complete and a general contractor has been selected.
  2. Never begin the planning of a kitchen renovation without first selecting the kitchen design professional you will ultimately be buying cabinets from.
  3. Even if you think you know the contractor you want to do your renovation. Still get at least three estimates. Estimates give you free advice and pricing from knowledgeable professionals.
  4. Allways hire the general contractor with the total cost of the renovation having been bid in advance. Starting work without a total price is how project costs spiral out of control.
  5. Never pay contractors by the day or by the hour. It gives them no incentive to work efficiently and usually costs you more in the end. Plus, it makes budgeting your project impossible.
  6. Keep in mind that construction changes like removing a wall, moving doorways, plumbing or electric, is what creates the best kitchen design. This is what affects the resale value of your home, and construction changes have less impact on the total cost of the project than the cabinetry, countertops, appliances and other materials that you choose to splurge on. Yes, a Subzero refrigerator is great but the additional cost of $5000 for the refrigerator would have payed for renovations that completely changed the flow and look of your new home.
  7. Never bring more than one professional remodeler to look at your home at the same time. You may have limited access to the property before you close, but shuffling contractors in and out past each other is disrespectful and you will pay for it in the bids you get. Some contractors won’t even bother bidding on a project when they get a feeling that they aren’t being respected while others will simply increase their bid by 20% or more to cover the possibility of working with a problem homeowner.
  8. Never emphasize that you are getting other bids. Contractors know this and assume it. Throwing it in their face will make them not trust you which will make their bids higher. Promising future work after the project they are bidding on also sets off alarms for construction professionals.
  9. Good kitchen designers will always insist on measuring your home first. Any designer willing to accept someone else’s measurements is at best irresponsible and at worst incompetent. Designers need to measure themselves and see your home BEFORE they begin working on designs. Never work with a kitchen designer that doesn’t insist on this.
  10. Do not insist on your timeline for work and materials. The length of time a project takes shouldn’t vary that much from one competent contractor or cabinet dealer to another. The homeowner has little control over timelines and being insistent that things are completed when you want them could translate into your selecting people to work with that are simply telling you what you want to hear. Honesty is what you should be looking for. The people giving you realistic competition dates usually meet them, while people that tell you what you want to hear will never give you honest answers.

Remember that the thing that people refuse to spend to get a great kitchen is not money. It is the time required to plan well.

Paul, Julie, Ed, John, Lauren, Tom, and Stacia

Main Line Kitchen Design

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