What should think about first?





    When you decide that its time to take out the old and bring in the new remember there are a few things you should thing about for you get started. Planning can me the difference in a successful smooth remodel or a big pain.


Do it yourself or Contractor?

    It is very true that doing the job your self can save you loads of cash, but if your not skilled with cabinets, flooring, building, you may want to leave it to the pro's and hire a contractor.  When looking for a contractor get your friends to give you recommendation or ask around. Check the contractor out on local sites such as yelp and the Better Business Bureau. Get references form the contractor and call those references.  Make sure the contractor as insurance in case something goes wrong.



    Don't forget the permits! Before you or your contract gets started check with your local city offices to make sure that you have all the proper permits. Permits insure that your contract is following code and keeps you and you're family safe from electrical fires, bad building practice, etc.  Oh and its the law so save your self the headache.



    Now you might be thinking what does my neighbors have to do with any of this? its my home I can do what I want. You would be correct, however taking in consideration for your neighbors is not a bad idea. When you start a big remodeling project its a good idea to talk to your neighbors and let them know what your doing, if for no other reason so they know stranger will be in and out of your home.  Nothing like the police being called on your contractor. Plus there will delivery trucks, noise, disposal services coming and going.  Make sure that you don't a lot of noise in either early morning or late evening, it may be a good idea to check with your city about times and noise ordinances. 



    Now before you go all Bruce lee on your old kitchen and walls with a sledge hammer you need to stop think for just a second. Hmmm... oh yah turn off the water, electric breakers, want save any of those old cabinets, are any of the walls load-bearing?  Before you go knocking down walls you may want to bring in an expert like a structural engineer to make sure it safe.  once that's all done now go Bruce Lee on that old kitchen. Don't forget where eye protection and mask!


What to do with the left-over's?

    Well now you have torn up everything you could just load it all up and take it off to the landfill or you can sell some if it, give it away. Take those old cabinets you saved and sell them on craigslist or just set them out by the street and give them away.  You could check with recycling centers a lot can be done with what you don't want. Also if you have an older home before 1975 you may want to contact local health department for regulations on asbestos and the proper handling.


The Look:

    The style of your home should play a big role in your kitchen remodel. Why? Well you want there to flow form one room to another so you should consider the rest of your home before going crazy with the remodel. Do you have a dining room? or does your kitchen need to allow for eating as well? Also think about the flow from refrigerator to the stove to the sink or what is called the kitchen work triangle. If your unsure about this talk to your cabinetry retailer. Otherwise, just do it up.


With cabinets you defiantly get what you pay for so take the time to choose them right and don't just rush in on a good deal.  Make sure you look at the cabinets are thy flimsy, stapled-together particleboard cabinets? If so you may want to skip them and look for solid wood or veneer cabinets that will stand the test of time. Check the drawer slides and hinges for sturdy construction.  Always consider the best possible way to get the maximum storage for the space and money you have to spend.



Should you put in an island? islands are great for extra counter space, seating, and to hide an appliance such as the dishwasher.  However, make sure that there is enough room to get around and other appliance doors won't bang into it.  


Take time in choosing your countertop! Make sure that it will go with your cabinets. Color is important with countertops, if you have dark cabinets you might want to go with a lighter countertop for contrast or flip it if you have lighter cabinets.  There are tons of style's of countertops form cement to laminate. check out for more countertop ideas.


You have to consider your taste when getting appliances! Choosing an energy efficient appliance is always good, but decide ahead of time gas or electric range/oven. What size refrigerator do you need for your family? Make sure you check with your dealers on there prices for warranties, return policy, and what they charge for delivery. Buy the brands that you know and trust don't let a salesman push into to something (they do have agenda's!).


As stated before think about contractor or not contractor. However, its always a good idea to put up a little extra that what you budges for the unexpected expense. Unexpected expense will come up its almost a sure thing in remodeling. A good way to have a little extra is to put up an extra 10% than your original budget. This will usually cover most extra's, unless you go wild, or at least soften the blow of a big hidden expense you just didn't account for.


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