Kitchens are the most popular room in the house when it comes to remodeling. Remodeling a kitchen is a very big job, as it is a lot of work and typically on the high end when it comes to cost. Before you hire a contractor and start tearing things apart, there are some important things you can do. We have some helpful tips you can check out if you are wanting to remodel your kitchen.

1. Set A Budget

Be realistic about the cost as you go about planning your kitchen remodel. There are a few ways you can set a good budget. First, do some research. Take some time to visit home stores or kitchen show rooms to check out the cost of different items. This will help you decide what you need, as well as what you can afford. During this process always aim for quality, buy the best you can afford so that you have high quality and functional items. Second, consider the “hidden” costs. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of labor, materials, taxes, and any shipping or delivery costs, all these things can add up quickly. If you consider them when setting a budget you won’t get thrown off when those extra costs pop up. Lastly, think about wants vs. needs. It’s fine to want a few extras here and there, but be practical, don’t buy unnecessary items. It’s tempting to want all these fancy things, but they probably aren’t something you actually need. Buying these unnecessary items will add up, taking away from the budget for things you actually need. After you set your budget always add an extra 10 percent for any of the unplanned costs.

2. Consider the Layout

The kitchen is a very important room in the house, it should be practical and functional. Think about how you will be wanting to use your kitchen, and try to plan a layout that will best satisfy your needs. This is a big beginning step before construction, so give the layout a lot of thought to make sure it’s what will work best for your household. The most convenient setup is typically “The Work Triangle.” This concept involves having the three most used features, the stove, the sink, and the refrigerator, set up to where imaginary lines between them form a triangle. The idea is that when these three elements are in close proximity to one other, the kitchen will be easy and efficient to use, cutting down on wasted steps. When considering the layout, think about how many people will usually be working in the kitchen at the same time. Typically, just one person at a time will work in the kitchen, but if there will usually be more than one maybe consider a second workstation. An easy way to add more work space is adding an island, if space permits this. Islands can be built in or you can purchase a wheeled cart to use as an island, and then it can be stored away when not in use. Make sure you spend a considerable amount of time really looking at your options before you decide on your layout, and whatever you decide make sure it will be efficient and functional for your household.

3.Plan for Space

A good contractor will make sure things are laid out to ensure proper safety, but it’s up to you to plan for convenience. Some things to think about when considering the space you have are; counters, appliances, and walkways. A good rule to keep in mind for counter space is at least 36” of space for food preparation. Typically, this is done with 24” on one side on the sink, and 18” on the other. Of course, if you have room for more, do so. Don’t forget to leave enough space allowing for appliance doors to be open with enough space for you to walk in front of them. Typically, 30” – 48” is good. We mentioned the option of having an island in your kitchen, if you decide to put one in make sure you leave enough space for people to easily walk through. A good rule for this is about 42” between the counters and the island. Make sure to discuss these things with your contractor to make sure the space will be safe, and is planned to ensure the most convenience for your household.

Once you’ve spent time considering all these steps, and you know what you want and are able to afford, it’s time to hire a contractor to get started. Through this process remember to stick with your plan and budget. It’s easy to get caught up and tempted during all the excitement of getting a “new” kitchen, but stick to what you planned and everything will turn out just how you imaged it.