Remodeling the kitchen in your Wallingford or Meriden home can be one of the most fun, exciting and rewarding home projects you’ll ever undertake. If you’re not prepared, however, it can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do.
You’ve probably heard the horror stories of homeowners who have “survived” a kitchen renovation. But why merely survive when there are things you can do to make the experience more fun and fulfilling? Let’s look at a few tips.
Establish expectations. A huge amount of remodeling stress comes from expectations that aren’t communicated. Before you ever get started with tearing out walls or picking new cabinets, make sure that you and your builder are on the same page. Take time up front to discuss your expectations and make sure you have things written down so that you don’t get into a “he said/she said” situation later. One of the great things about using a seasoned contractor is that your expectations are established from the beginning, and the same company that did the design is executing that design.
Organize ongoing communication. It’s a good idea to have regularly scheduled meetings with your builder to review progress. This also means you need to pay attention to what’s going on so that if you see something that concerns you, you can bring it up to your builder right away. The earlier you catch a potential problem; the easier (and cheaper) it is to correct it.
Tell your builder what you want—not how to do it. This is your home and you have every right to express your wishes about what you want the finished product to look like. But it’s important to recognize that your builder is a professional. Tell him what you want and then let him figure out the best way to get it done. He’s probably done more remodeling than you have and he just may have a good solution.
Clarify responsibilities. There are some things for which you, as the homeowner, will have responsibility. Make sure you clarify with your contractor what you’re supposed to be doing. You don’t want a builder sitting around waiting for you to do what you were supposed to do. For instance, if it’s your responsibility to order cabinets or hardware or some other component, make sure you know when those things need to be delivered. And then make sure they are delivered on time. Your contractor has to schedule work around the availability of materials. If you drop the ball, that can delay the whole process.
Don’t go behind your builder’s back. If your builder uses sub-contractors for parts of the job, let him manage those people. If you get in the middle, it can create stress for the workers and for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t raise concerns. Just make sure you deal with the right person—and that’s your contractor.
Don’t keep changing your mind. Once you decide on a plan and on materials, let your builder work. Constantly changing your mind about how things should look will drive you crazy (and it will take your builder with you!). Take your time up front to make sure you have what you want and then let your builder work his magic. Can you still make small changes? Sure, but don’t reinvent the wheel every few days. It will blow your schedule—and your budget—right out of the water.
Throughout the process, remember that you and your builder are a team. You have certain responsibilities and so does he. Work together to accomplish something great. If you do the things outlined here, not only will you survive the kitchen remodeling process, but you’ll also enjoy it and end up with so much more.