How would you react if your contractor presented neither 3D imaging nor materials lists nor a project timeline, but assured you that he “had it all in his head”? At best, you’d be highly skeptical, but more likely, you’d fire him on the spot. Creating a checklist for any project, big or small, is a time-honored tradition for a good reason, and it’s just as important for homeowners to have one as it is for contractors.
Not only do checklists help you organize ideas and reduce anxiety, but they also help you establish and communicate your goals, particularly if your project is a collaborative one. Here are our recommendations for creating a checklist for your kitchen remodel in Atlanta, GA.
Remember writing thesis statements for college English class? The point was not only to communicate your paper’s main purpose but also to help you as the author remember that every subsequent paragraph should connect back to that main idea. The same principle holds true for your kitchen plan: the best way not to get sidetracked or lose perspective on your priorities is to jot down your primary objectives for the renovation.
Do you need more counter space? What about storage space? Are you tired of the outdated fixtures? Is the funky layout inhibiting your cooking flow? Does your kitchen need a facelift before you put your house on the market for resale? Each of these remodeling objectives determines distinct priorities that can help set the course for each subsequent section of your kitchen remodeling checklist. If you have multiple goals for your remodel, rank them in order of priority, separating “must-haves” from wishlist items.
For most, the idea of setting a budget for a remodeling project they’ve never before undertaken can feel daunting. Where do you begin? We recommend starting with area-specific research. Take a look at Cost vs. Value’s 2018 estimates for kitchen remodeling in Atlanta, GA. Once you have a realistic idea of what your budget can buy, set some limits, not forgetting to include a financial buffer for unexpected setbacks. Communicate your budget to your contractor early so that he can you maximize your dollars. You may also find it helpful to refer to HGTV’s starter kitchen remodel budget worksheet.
One of the most fundamental (and therefore one of the first) decisions you’ll need to make for your upcoming kitchen remodel in Atlanta relates to layout. Start by asking yourself what works and what doesn’t in your kitchen. Remember--you’re not in a committed relationship with your current layout, and renovation is a beautiful opportunity to reimagine what could be.
Start by reminding yourself of your primary objectives and lifestyle preferences--how many chefs regularly utilize your kitchen? Do you dine in the kitchen as well as cook in it? Will you need to add square footage to achieve your goals? If so, where does it make sense to do so and how will this affect layout options? Will you want to add or remove walls to provide more space for cabinetry or to create an open floor plan? How does this affect appliance placement? A great way to start ideating is to research popular layouts for kitchens of similar sizes to your own.
Next, start thinking about your selection preferences for countertops, cabinets, appliances, flooring, lighting, etc. It’s difficult to conceptualize how your selections will work together if you research them separately, so start by creating an Ideabook on Houzz where you can save pictures of kitchens you like. Observe which particular elements capture your attention: Is it the overall color scheme? Certain cabinet styles? The flow? Take detailed notes on each element you like and how these work together harmoniously.
Who doesn’t want a new kitchen before the holidays or by next summer? Whatever your ideal timeline, we recommend remaining a little flexible. Remember--your finished kitchen is only as good as your contractor, and good contractors are often booked in advance, but these are the contractors who are worth the wait. Be sure to thoroughly vet your contractor, reviewing their previous projects and checking reviews. Our last checklist item is also the most important: don’t hire a contractor just to check the project off your list before you check to ensure you’ve chosen the contractor your kitchen deserves.