Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Remodeling My Kitchen
Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Remodeling My Kitchen
Tackling a kitchen remodel is likely one of the biggest projects a DIY’er can undertake. At least that was the case for me.This was my first ever kitchen remodel, and I would guess for many fellow DIY’ers, tackling a kitchen remodel will be a first for them, too. The good news is while a kitchen remodel is an involved project, any DIY’er can make it happen! Just having finished my remodel, there are some things I wish I knew before I got started. I’m going to share with you the top five things I wish I knew before remodeling my kitchen and the solutions at The Home Depot that can help make your kitchen remodel a success.
Design From the Top Down
The natural thing to do when designing your kitchen is to start with the big stuff and that’s exactly what I did. I planned out my cabinets, my appliances, a coffee bar and what tile I wanted. By the time it came to picking out the lighting, it almost felt like an afterthought. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve started the design with the lighting and designed from the top down. The transformative properties of good lighting and eye-catching fixtures shouldn’t be an afterthought. Now I know that lighting design can be the catalyst for the remainder of the kitchen to come together. If I had it to do over again, I would first plan out my ambient lighting and color temps. Next, I would plan out my fixtures such as pendant lights and chandeliers. Once this is established, it provides a great canvas to design the remainder of your kitchen. The Home Depot has a great selection of lighting and fixtures online and in store.
Budget 25% Extra for Hidden Costs
Take it from me; no matter how much you plan and try to anticipate hidden costs beforehand, there’s likely something you can’t predict that adds to your budget. Such is the nature of renovation and tearing into a kitchen that you didn’t build yourself. In my kitchen, there was an 8-foot section of upper cabinets we planned on refacing. Once I removed the face frames I realized what I was dealing with. These cabinets were built in place and were not even what I would consider a true cabinet. It was Maple PureBond Plywood attached to sheetrock with a face frame and refacing these was not an option. This left me with building an entirely new set of cabinets in this location as well as others in the kitchen when I thought I would just be purchasing and building new face frames. Budgeting extra funds to handle these kinds of discoveries can alleviate the stress of remodeling your kitchen.
Seal Off the Space
During the painting and prep phase of my kitchen remodel, much of the drywall joint compound needed to be sanded. I made the mistake of relying on a dust collector hooked up to my sanderfor this task and I did not seal off the entrances to my kitchen. Unbeknownst to me, while sanding the dust hose became disconnected and drywall dust got into my AC returns and filled my entire house with a fine layer of white dust. Not only was this a health hazard, but it was a nightmare to clean. Looking back, I should’ve sealed off the space from the very beginning to prevent harmful dust and debris from spreading to other areas of the house. The Home Depot has a great product called Zip Wall that allows you to seal off the space with plastic sheeting, but still have easy access in and out through a zippered opening. Don’t be like me and seal off your space from the start!
Ensure the Appliances & Products You Want Are Readily in Stock
There is a phrase I’ve used more in the last several years which I’ve probably never uttered in my life before: supply chain. While things seem to be improving, this is still a fact of life. In the planning stages of your kitchen, it's more important than ever to allow for extra time for large appliances to be delivered as well as ensure the items you want are readily in stock. When I designed my kitchen I envisioned a set of appliances all from the same brand with matching styling. This ended up not being possible and while I think my appliances fit together very nicely, they are all different brands. If you want to avoid this, I recommend adding in extra time before you begin your remodel to allow for delivery. I started my remodel and demolition before my appliances arrived and had to wait for the appliances to be delivered. If I had it to do over again, I would wait until all of my products arrived before starting. The Home Depot has a wide selection of products and appliances online and in store as well as accurate estimates of delivery times.
Plan On Taking Longer Than Anticipated
Of all these tips, none is more important than planning on taking longer than you expected. I’ve never heard anyone say their kitchen remodel went faster than anticipated. Here are some quick tips to help navigate your time without a functional kitchen:
- Make a temporary kitchen elsewhere in your home. We set up a makeshift kitchen in our bar area. We had a microwave, a pressure pot and a lot of quick and easy meal ideas. Not everyone has the luxury of having a wet bar, so other options are using a laundry room, the garage, the dining room, etc.
- Stock up on easy to cook meal items such as microwave rice and frozen foods. Consider getting a hot plate, a pressure pot and other gadgets that don’t require a kitchen.
- Use paper plates and other utensils that don’t require doing lots of dishes. With a little planning you can make you and your family’s life more manageable during your time without a functional kitchen.
I wish I would’ve known all this before I got started and I hope this helps you with planning your kitchen remodel. I believe any DIY’er can tackle a kitchen remodel with the right planning and approach.
The Home Depot has everything you need to build your dream kitchen, as well as helpful folks to guide you along the way. Happy building!