Kitchen Remodeling Do's and Don'ts | Murray Lampert
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Kitchen Remodeling Do’s and Don’ts

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home. A good kitchen can sell a home, which is why so many homeowners look to the kitchen to raise property value. There’s a lot of information about kitchen remodels floating around in the ether, but here are some do’s and don’ts to help get you started.

1. Do make plans.

When it comes to a kitchen remodel, there’s no such thing as too much planning. Research all your options, from floors to counters to ceiling. Measure all your counters, cabinets, appliances, and other features three times. For larger remodels, you’ll want to draw up a schedule of when each project will start and end. You’ll want to install the new cabinets before you install the counters, but you’ll also need to figure out how large the sink is before you can cut the counters to proper length.

Rushing your plans only increases your chances of messing something up along the way. Take as much time as you need to lay out all the details, big and small.

2. Do set a budget.

With all that planning, you probably have an idea of how much work you’ll be accomplishing as well as the materials and manpower you’ll need. Set a strict budget that includes even the smallest items. Get estimates for all your hired work. Most importantly, add a 10 percent contingency amount to your final budget. Emergencies happen, and you need to be prepared for them.

3. Do design and remodel the kitchen for your own needs.

The kitchen is built for comfort, whether you’re enjoying a warm, home-cooked meal or doing your homework at the counter, but it’s easy to forget that when you only have property value in mind. Create a design that takes into account your own needs and tastes. You’ll have to live with that kitchen for at least a few years, so make it a space that you’ll feel comfortable in. If you don’t like the end-product, chances are that potential buyers won’t like it either.

4. Don’t forget the resale.

Of course, don’t go too far into your personal tastes and needs if they are very specific. Your kitchen can certainly become a personal expression of your style, but if resale is your ultimate goal, avoid anything that is too drastic or extreme. Focusing too much on a trendy or cutting-edge remodel will only lead to radical changes that not everyone will approve of.

The kitchen should fit the style of the rest of the home. Don’t create an ultra-modern kitchen space if you live in a country cottage. Stick with classic features and neutral colors. If you really have to add that extra dash of bright pink, incorporate it into removable objects (curtains, towels, pot holders) instead of more permanent elements.

5. Don’t expect to do it all yourself.

Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to save some money, learn some new skills, and add that extra personal touch to your project. However, more inexperienced individuals should call the professionals, especially for bigger projects that involve plumbing and wiring. You may injure yourself or cause expensive damage to your property otherwise.

If you feel that you are more than capable of accomplishing a kitchen remodel on your own, at least seek a consultation. A professional can help you work out your plans and make sure you adhere to building codes.

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About

Gregg Cantor, a third generation contractor and owner of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel has successfully remodeled thousands of homes in San Diego County. Gregg's is experienced in all phases of construction and home remodeling including design development, project management, best building practices, code requirements, and contract law. He also writes articles for examiner.com and is co-host of The Home Pro Show Saturday's at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on A.M.600 KOGO San Diego. Follow Gregg's posts.


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