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10 Things to Consider Before Starting a Complete Kitchen Remodel Project

backsplash-glass-tileOne of the most popular home remodeling projects is a complete kitchen remodel. A kitchen remodel can indeed bring new life and excitement to a home, but there are several factors to consider if the homeowner wants to avoid potential problems in the process.

Following is a list of 10 important issues to consider before undertaking a kitchen remodel project:

1. Look for bargains, but don’t settle for cheap materials. You want your newly renovated kitchen to last, so don’t settle for materials that will deteriorate, fade or go out of style within a few years or even months. Experts advise to postpone any home remodeling until you’re sure you can afford quality materials.

2. Consider the lighting in your kitchen. Lighting can greatly affect the appearance of colors and total ambience of the room. Because the kitchen is a center of activity, task lighting is especially important. The amount of general lighting and accent lighting is usually dependent on individual needs and preferences.

3. Following fads or trends might be popular, but many can be short-lived. Your kitchen should be able to stand the test of time even when equipped with the most modern conveniences. Also consider your lifestyle and needs. If you’re used to modest living, traditional appliances might be best for you. You can later upgrade to newfangled appliances in the future as your budget grows.

4. Accept the fact that for between three and six weeks you will not have full use of your kitchen. Plan ahead by placing a microwave oven, dinette set and essential utensils in another room. It’s a good idea to have a spare small refrigerator/freezer in another room as well. In addition, plan to depend on running water and a sink in another room such as the bathroom, as water in the kitchen will likely be turned off for at least one or two days.

5. Throughout the entire remodeling project, there will be lots of dust and debris. You will need to clean the entire house more frequently, so busy homeowners must set aside the additional time needed for that task. Also consider the effect the dust might have on family members who suffer from allergies.

6. If it’s a do-it-yourself project, consider your own safety. If you hire a contractor, consider their safety. Although reputable contractors carry insurance, make sure you have adequate homeowners’ liability insurance to avoid a lawsuit if an accident occurs.

7. Is your electrical system up-to-date? Have an electrician inspect the existing system to make sure it meets the required codes. Ask him questions such as, “Where can I install new outlets?” or “Can I put a three-pronged outlet here?”

8. Acquire the needed permits. Your homeowners’ insurance will not cover work done without the necessary permits. Failure to obtain permits required under municipal building codes could result in a delay in work on your project or even fines.

9. Remember strangers will be in your home throughout the complete kitchen remodel project. During hours when everyone is away at work or school, be sure to keep money and valuables safely locked up. You might even personally know the workers; but if something does turn up missing, an innocent party can potentially be held responsible. Also consider your pets if they’re left at home during the day when workers are in your house. Confine animals to safe rooms where a potentially frightened pet does not have access to an outside door and escape.

10. Allow for unplanned expenses, such as an accident or unexpected illness. Limit your home remodeling project within a realistic budget that will take into consideration any unplanned and unfortunate events. Also consider the possibility that the complete kitchen remodel project might cost more than originally expected if, for example, the initial demolition of a wall reveals issues you weren’t aware existed. Even in an ideal situation, the cost of a kitchen remodel project shouldn’t be over 20 percent of your home’s value.

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