It is time to create the kitchen of your dreams. You’ve torn pictures out of magazines, talked to friends and set aside money to do your kitchen remodeling job. But there is more to turning your dream into a reality. Creating an updated, functional kitchen “can be a very expensive remodel. Do your homework!” advises Jim Larsen of Larsen Construction.
Create a Design
Start by getting a proper design created by an experienced kitchen planner. You may know what you want, but a qualified designer knows how to avoid problems while saving you time and money. A designer also will know how to make the most of your space so that you end up with a kitchen that looks good, functions well and fits your lifestyle.
Hire a Contractor
While it might be tempting to act as general contractor, doing so is a risk for most homeowners. A licensed contractor will know how to time the work, find the right trades people for each step of construction and deal with unforeseen problems. Be sure to get references, a cost estimate and read the contract before you sign, said Larsen. Make sure that everything is itemized, so that you and the contractor understand exactly what is involved in the project.
Once you have a plan, complete with proper measurements, it is time to shop for a sink and appliances. Get a firm price quote and make adjustments to fit your budget. Be practical! If you aren’t a gourmet cook, you probably don’t need a stove with all the bells and whistles. If you have small children, you may not want to deal with stainless steel appliances that show fingerprints.
Select cabinets and flooring
Work with your contractor to adjust plans as necessary to accommodate the appliances. The contractor orders all the materials based on this final plan, so make sure it is correct, Larsen cautioned. Be sure the contractor knows about any materials you already have selected or purchased.
Clear the garage to make room for all of the appliances and materials. “We always make sure everything is on the job site before we start your project,” Larsen said. “Once all the pieces are in place, we start the job with a tear out.”
“We tape up and isolate the area to keep all the dust out of the rest of the house,” he said.
Work on your dream kitchen is done in a particular order, orchestrated by the contractor. The typical kitchen renovation takes about a month to complete:
• After demolition, plumbing and electrical is updated as needed.
• Next sheetrock is taped, textured and painted.
• Flooring is installed.
• Cabinets and appliances are installed. Once this is done, a final measurement is taken for the countertops.
• Countertop installers use the final measurements to manufacture and install the countertops.
• Tile backsplash is installed.
• The kitchen is detailed with handles, faucets, and electrical outlet covers.
• Finally, the contractor cleans up and does a final walk-through with the homeowner.
At various points in the process, city or county building inspectors will come through and make sure the work is up to code. The timing and variety of inspections vary by location. Hire a professional who is familiar with your local regulations and can help you through the permit and inspection process.
Jim Larsen, owner of Larsen Construction, has 25 years of experience making homes beautiful in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. His efficient team of factory-trained installers is knowledgeable about the products and the process.
*Image features Milgard Windows