How to Have a Stress-Free Kitchen Remodel

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    Remodeling your kitchen is a big decision. It changes the aesthetics of the area, aligning better with your taste or becoming more current in style. Kitchen renovations can also improve the functionality of your space, not just appealing to the eye but also to your sense of ease when preparing meals. Here are tips on how to prep your budget as you prepare for your kitchen remodel, how to effectively create your vision, and how to choose a contractor so you can have as stress-free a kitchen remodel as possible.

    Assessing budget

    Step 1: Look at your recent bank statements. Get an idea of what you spend and bring in on a monthly basis by looking at the debits and credits on your bank statement. Also, check your balance in your savings account.
    Step 2: Calculate what you can safely spend. To determine a high-end number, or cap, to your kitchen remodel spending, add your balances from your checking and savings.
    Multiply the average amount you spend in a month by three. Subtract that number from your checking and savings total. That is the amount left over after taking into account your current month’s bills and leaving enough cushion to pay bills for two additional months. This is also the most you can safely spend on a kitchen remodel. Another option for financing a kitchen remodel is with a home renovation loan.

    Developing vision

    Step 1: Look at pictures of kitchens. Thumb through home magazines and browse kitchen images online to get an idea of what features and styles you like.
    Step 2: Take note of what you want in your kitchen. As you explore style and functionality options for kitchens, write down your must-haves. That way, you don’t forget great ideas you have seen and loved.
    Step 3: Solidify your vision. Narrow down exactly what you want done in a kitchen remodel, thinking about paint, appliances, cabinets, flooring, lighting, and more. Describe your vision to another person and ask them to repeat it back to you to make sure you can express what you want well.

    Choosing a contractor

    Step 1: Get recommendations. Ask friends and family about contractors they have been pleased with on their remodels. Or, browse contractor reviews online to compile a shortlist of potential contractors with which to work.
    Step 2: Interview potential contractors. Ask all contractors if they are licensed, bonded, and insured for your protection, and take those who are not off of your list of potentials. Request references and check them. Finally, ask for an estimate of the cost for the remodel along with projected start and finish dates.
    Step 3: Weigh your options and commit. Using what you learned about several contractors in interviews, weigh your options. Take into consideration the estimates, past performances, and even your gut feelings before making a decision.
    Working through these three parts - budget, vision, and labor - helps ensure your kitchen remodel is stress-free. In this manner, you already know what you can spend without putting you in a bind, what you want, and who can best deliver the remodel you desire.

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