What is it about your current space you want to change? Is it ‘dated’, does it not function well, is there insufficient work space, too little counter space, poor lighting and the like. Make a list of what you want to change. The next thing you’ll want to do is determine your budget and develop your project’s ‘wish list’. Start gathering information by looking though magazines and visiting showrooms to determine the look and finishes you like—and appliances if applicable. In other words, start putting together your Idea Book. Fill the book with magazine clippings and photos of designs, colors, materials and finishes that you like. We also suggest you make a list of things that you don’t like, so that when you meet with your designer she or he will have a good understanding of your taste and style.
As you assemble your Idea Book, keep in mind your budget for the project. Visit area stores to take a look at appliances, fixtures, flooring and counter surfaces to determine what best suits your needs. Note the costs. This information will be useful to your designer in helping you allocate expenses.
Some industry experts say anywhere from 15%- 25% of the home’s value. It really depends on what you need to do, what you want to do and your potential return on investment. How long you plan to stay in your home and does the new kitchen or bathroom space blend with the value of the home.
Your next step would be to meet with a designer. This will allow the designer to gather additional information from you concerning the scope of your project. You should be honest about what you have in mind to spend. Remember also that labor costs will consume a large portion of your budget—often labor costs will run twice what you spend on materials. Your budget will enable your designer to guide you through the many decisions required of any home improvement project. Designers use their knowledge and expertise to give you alternatives, where necessary, to help your project remain on target. They can also provide advice on areas where it may be wise to increase your budget to fit your wish list.
Once you’ve selected your designer, she or he will visit your home to take detailed measurements of your space in order to develop a comprehensive design. At this point in the process, you’ll probably have some idea of the type of cabinetry you want. Your designer will take these measurements along with the physical aspects of the space (doorways, windows, walls, ceiling height and the like) and develop working drawings for your review. After your approval, cabinetry will be ordered and demolition in the existing space would begin. Depending on the scope of your project, you will want to insure that additional materials are delivered in advance of the work commencing on that particular part of the project, e.g., flooring, so as to minimize delays in work done by your contractor or subcontractor.