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10 Ways to Improve Your Kitchen Remodeling Experience

January 12th, 2024 | 6 min read

By Isabelle Braeutigam

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Are you thinking about improving your kitchen to match your lifestyle but don't know where to begin? Since your kitchen is the heart of your home, it must align with your family's needs and your aesthetic preferences. When it doesn't meet your needs or dreams, it can be a point of daily frustration.

Without a good plan and the right information, your dream kitchen could stay a distant goal, leaving you stuck with an old and inefficient space.

With over 15 years of experience, we understand the difficulties of remodeling kitchens. We know how important your kitchen is — it's where families come together, where you cook, and where daily routines happen. 

In this guide, you'll learn more about how to improve your kitchen remodeling experience:

  1. Early Planning and Preparation
  2. Setting Realistic Budgeting and Timelines
  3. Researching and Selecting the Right Remodeling Team
  4. Balancing Aesthetics with Practicality
  5. Material Selection and Sustainability
  6. Exploring Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Options
  7. Effective Communication Strategies
  8. Coping with Disruptions
  9. Legal and Regulatory Considerations
  10. Leveraging Technology for Visualization

1. Planning and Preparation: Set Clear Goals and Priorities

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Before tearing things down or building, set clear goals and priorities for your kitchen remodel. If there are a few decision-makers involved, having a vision planning session where ideas and dreams are put forth is a great way to hone your preliminary design.

Consider how you want to use the space for family time, hosting events, simplifying daily routines, or a mix. Collaborating to clarify your vision before meeting with a contractor will ensure they know your true vision from the start.

2. Realistic Budgeting and Timelines: Choose Your Contractor Wisely

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Choosing the right contractor is pivotal to the success of your kitchen remodel. Contractors vary in schedules and costs, so it's crucial to align your project goals with your chosen approach. 

To find the right contractor, first decide on your project approach: doing it yourself, self-managing your project, or using a design-build firm. For accurate pricing, only talk to contractors who align with your remodeling approach.

Collecting quotes from individual contractors is a great way to gain a realistic picture of what your project will cost. This early groundwork is crucial for avoiding frustrations and cost overruns later.

Pro Tip: If you're in the early planning phase and gathering ballpark estimates for budgeting purposes, communicate this to the contractor you're speaking with. Often, they can provide a broader cost range over the phone, which can be valuable for budget planning while minimizing both your time and theirs.

3. Researching and Selecting the Right Remodeling Team: Design and Layout Considerations

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The key to a successful remodel lies in assembling the right team. Take into account the design and layout elements that align with your goals. If you're contemplating a more extensive remodel or one that significantly impacts a key selling point of your home, investing in a designer with expert knowledge to assist you with selections and layout will be a worthwhile expenditure.

For a holistic project approach, consider a design-build firm with strong design capabilities. In these teams, the production manager and design team collaborate and make fast adjustments when needed.

4. Balancing Aesthetics with Practicality: Maximizing Space Usage

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A good balance between looks and practicality is vital for a successful kitchen remodel. Maximize space usage to enhance workflow and efficiency. Work with your designer to explore innovative design elements that align with your needs and wants.

A designer's skill in choosing good, better, and best options makes sure your choices not only look good but also work well. The work triangle, a design principle created to maximize flow in your kitchen, is helpful for any kitchen remodeling project.

Your design-build team can make your planning experience easier by offering a new viewpoint and ensuring designs are stunning and capable of being built.

5. Material Selection and Sustainability: Choosing Durable and High-Quality Materials

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Your material choices can have a substantial impact on the durability, longevity, and value of your kitchen remodel. It's essential to conduct comprehensive research on various brands and finishing materials. If you find research enjoyable, this process can be satisfying; however, if not, hiring a designer is a prudent choice.

Designers bring a wealth of experience, having worked with various products and clients over the years. If you are a hands-on learner, visiting local showrooms or checking online resources like Ferguson or to see different products up close is a great option. When selecting products, balancing costs with long-term value is essential, cutting corners may lead to decreased product quality. 

Consider the duration you plan to stay in your home—investing in high-quality materials often makes sense if this is your forever home and contributes to a lasting legacy.

6. Exploring Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Options

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As sustainability gains popularity, exploring eco-friendly options for your kitchen remodel becomes essential. If being eco-friendly is one of your top priorities, engaging with an excellent designer to navigate the myriad choices available is a smart move.

Sustainability is now more accessible than ever. Many new brands and products have been created for environmentally conscious homeowners. A skilled designer is well-versed in beautiful, durable, and quality products.

Sustainable choices extend beyond materials to include water and energy-efficient fixtures. You can find many options in the market, like:

7. Effective Communication Strategies: Open and Clear Communication with the Remodeling Team

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Communication is the cornerstone of a successful kitchen remodel. Knowing your communication preferences and sharing them with your contractor upfront is crucial. 

Some prefer less communication to decrease disruptions while others prefer consistent and regular updates. Communicating how frequently you expect updates with your remodeling team is helpful to ensure there are no missed expectations.

If you relate to wanting very frequent updates, you might take on self-managing your project. General contractors and design-build remodeling firms oversee both the management and construction of the project, typically having a well-established internal communication structure to ensure the project progresses smoothly.

This reduces the need for extensive external communication and aims to provide clients with a seamless experience and minimal disruptions. They effectively act as a liaison between the client and the project.

If you prefer being aware of all the issues and disruptions that may arise during your project, you could be well-suited to the role of a hands-on project manager!

8. Coping with Disruptions: Strategies for Minimizing Inconvenience

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Disruptions are inevitable during a kitchen remodel, and planning for them is essential. Consider setting aside vacation time or visiting family and friends during critical phases of the project. This helps the contractor work without interruptions and will save you from the stress of seeing your home in chaos.

If you plan on staying in your home during construction, it’s crucial to create a temporary kitchen set up in another area of your home. Move appliances to your garage and use a microwave, toaster oven, or air fryer. This will turn this disruption into a chance to explore new cooking ideas.

Plan for dining out, explore local restaurants, and prepare simpler meals during this period. Having realistic expectations and a positive mindset will help you handle the disruption period more effectively.

9. Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Necessary Permits and Regulations

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Knowing the local rules and getting the necessary permits is crucial for any remodeling project. The permitting process can be complex and varies between townships. If you are planning on doing the project yourself or self-managing, building good relationships with local building department representatives is a valuable asset.

Bring them coffee and donuts, ask for guidance, and build a rapport. Additionally, interacting with people online who have recently remodeled their homes in your area can give you insights into local rules and regulations.

10. Leveraging Technology for Visualization: Utilizing Virtual Design Tools

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Technology offers powerful tools for visualizing your kitchen space before construction begins. Take advantage of virtual design tools, which are available online. Additionally, all design-build firms offer 3D renderings of your remodel with their services.

These tools allow you to focus on elements in your remodel, creating a visual representation of your preferences. Additionally, design-build firms often offer online management tools, including schedules and project updates. Looking into tools and watching videos from online contractors can help you picture the result better.

Next Steps to Remodeling Your Kitchen

If you're sorting through kitchen remodeling options to find a balance between usefulness and looks, you're not alone. It's a journey many embark on, often seeking solutions to the challenges posed by outdated spaces and evolving needs.

Equipped with insights from our exploration, you've learned the keys to a successful kitchen remodel. Set goals, welcome new designs, choose materials wisely, and create a kitchen that fits your lifestyle.

With 15+ years of improving homes, we understand the challenges of picking the right approach for your kitchen renovation.

Ready to turn your kitchen dreams into reality? Contact our team of design-build professionals for a consultation tailored to your needs.

Take the next step towards a kitchen that meets and exceeds your expectations. Visit our website for inspiration, and contact us today to bring your dream kitchen to life.

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Now that you know how to improve your kitchen remodeling experience, let’s explore how Custom Built will approach your project and how much your cabinets and luxury culinary oasis will cost:

Isabelle Braeutigam

Isabelle has worked at Custom Built for over 7 years, learning the systems from all sides. She has become an industry advisor in the customer relations software HubSpot, has a keen talent for elements of design, and currently leads the marketing team under the innovative TAYA system.