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Published June 03, 2024

How a Kitchen Remodel Contractor Can Transform Your Home's Value

Home Remodeling by Dana Laksman


There comes a time in every homeowner's life when you take a long look at the value of your home and imagine how much higher it could be with a few upgrades and a kitchen remodel contractor may just be exactly what you need to make it happen. The best and most efficient way to add value to your home is with kitchen remodels and you can find the right contractor to make it happen much easier than you think. Simply updating your existing cabinets, adding new plumbing fixtures, and getting new appliances will drastically increase the resale value of your home without much of a headache.

The first thing to understand about the process is that kitchen remodeling contractors will work with multiple contractors throughout the project so you don't have to do all the work yourself. While new cabinets might be installed by a general contractor, other parts of your kitchen renovation will be handled by specialized contractors, such as plumbers and electricians. With everyone working together, you'll soon have your old kitchen replaced with your kitchen, completed to your specifications, and installed!

How to Find the Best Kitchen Remodel Contractor for Your Dream Kitchen

The remodeling industry is filled with professionals who work on the kitchen remodel contractor side and the best one for you will be the person who can help you save money while still giving you the kitchen you want. A national association vets these contractors and they're also answerable to the Better Business Bureau, so you never have to worry about local codes or structural changes to your home. General contractors and subcontractors handle all that and are subject to much oversight.

It's easy to search online to find potential contractors or use Angie's list to find project professionals in your area who can get the job done for you. Whether you want to install a new backsplash or completely renovate your kitchen flooring, it always makes sense to go with a professional rather than try to DIY the construction. They have much more experience with the work and state and national kitchen remodel guidelines that they must follow for the entire project.

Planning Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Once you're ready to increase the value of your home, planning will make all the difference and ensure a stress-free project and a completed job that matches your vision for what the space could be. It's important to understand that a kitchen remodeling project is a completely different job than remodeling a family room or other space. The cost will be higher and you'll need a larger budget to cover more materials than a simple coat of paint.

Even a small kitchen remodeling project can impact your neighbors, so double-check with your contractor and find out if you have to get their approval for the work you want done. It may also be a good idea to consider spending time with friends, family, or anyone else in your area while the work is actively being carried out. Renovation is a full-time job and you'll have to deal with lots of noise, dust, and workers going through your house the entire time they're renovating your space.

Defining Your Budget and Needs for a Successful Kitchen Remodel

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you're renovating your kitchen to increase the value of your home and that means you have to start thinking about cost and money as early as possible. Things like new countertops and tile may mean paying more out of pocket, but the value you're adding to the house makes it worthwhile. Conversely, installing a new sink could only add a negligible amount of value to your kitchen remodel and could be left out of the budget.

All projects will be different and the contractor you hire may have some insight on home values in your area that will help you decide what you want to add and what you don't need. It will also be a great idea to get some advice from your insurance agent since a kitchen remodel may increase your premium. The more research you put into home values in your location, the better equipped you'll be to make decisions on services, like new cabinetry and other non-essentials.

Understanding the Kitchen Remodeling Process

After you've decided on a budget and started looking for a contractor, it's time to take the next step and understand what the remodeling process is going to be like and what you can expect to do on your own. Measure out the room and figure out what you have to work with before you do anything else. Measure the full size of the room, as well as the space between walls, fixtures, and existing cabinetry to get an idea of what you can do to make the most efficient use of your kitchen, no matter what its size happens to be.

This is also the point in time when you want to talk to a kitchen designer and see what they have to say about your remodel and how much of your vision can be turned into an actual cooking and living space. You can also order samples of materials like cabinets, countertops, and flooring and see what each design will look like in your actual room. This will also help you to put materials together and see what goes together and what clashes, making it much easier to come to a decision, rather than simply envisioning it.

Kitchen Remodeling Contractor Vetting

New Kitchen Backsplash

Keep in mind that you can talk to as many contractors as you want before you decide on who you want to carry out the work of remodeling your kitchen for you. You should find a kitchen remodeling contractor who can give you more than one example of their work to show you what they're capable of doing. It's also important to look at reviews from their previous clients to make sure the people they've worked for in the past got what they wanted and had a good experience with them.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association offers certifications to contractors to help them maintain quality control of their work and have an active community of contractors and clients sharing information and work. They also hold classes around the country to train contractors on standards and services. They have lots of information that you can use to get an understanding of what a good contractor will be like to work with and they should be a constant companion throughout your remodel.

Understanding the Contract and Scope of Work for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Money isn't the only thing to keep in mind while you're looking for a contractor, but paying for all the work should factor into who you decide to go with when you're ready to start construction. A good contractor will have financing options available to you that you can use to fund the entire project and seeing if you're eligible shouldn't have any effect on your credit score. The companies they work with should accept any type of credit rating you have, from poor to excellent, as well as offer loans without taking equity from your home.

Right along with the budget is the timeline that you and the contractor will agree to before they start the work and it's something that should be followed as closely as possible. Keep in mind that any timeline you get is going to be an estimate of when certain milestones should be reached and things will change as the work carries on. Material could be delayed, personnel could be stuck at other locations, and weather will play a factor, but no delay should put the finish date off by a substantial amount of time.

Rough Construction

When your kitchen remodel begins, it will start with the rough construction phase and that's likely to take anywhere from one to six weeks and be the loudest and messiest part of the entire project. This is the time when workers will demolish your old kitchen and carry out any structural changes that you want to happen to your home. This will be followed by the electrical and plumbing work getting roughed in, along with the removal of any wall and your appliances.

Following that will be when your contractor puts it all back together with drywall and paint, which should take another one to two weeks to complete. The flooring comes next and this is when you'll have your room put back together, minus appliances, cabinetry, and anything else that goes into the room but isn't a part of its construction. This period will be dusty and noisy but will be the foundation of your entire kitchen and not a step that you can simply skip, no matter how badly you want to get back to your normal life.

Finish Construction

Then you finally get to the finish construction phase of the job and this is when you get to see it all come together and your kitchen will start to appear right before your eyes while new subcontractors come in to complete the job. The first step of this phase will be to cut and install any new countertops and cabinetry and it's typically the most exciting time for any homeowner because they get to see all of their previous choices come together to make the kitchen. This part can typically take between one and four weeks, so this is when patience is key for the homeowner.

Once those materials have been installed, your new appliances will come in next, followed by finish hardware, such as faucets and handles for your cabinets, as well as any final touches that need to be added, like molding and paint touchups. Then all that's left is the installation of your new backsplash and cleaning the entire kitchen of any remaining dust, paint drops, footprints, and anything else that shouldn't be there. Simply give this step two to three weeks and your entire kitchen remodel with be completed and you get to unwrap everything and finally enjoy it!

Value of Kitchen Remodel

New Kitchen Backsplash

It's impossible to come up with a fixed number you can rely on for the amount of value a kitchen remodel will add to your home but there are some standards you can use to estimate it and decide if the project is a good decision for you to make. A good range to keep in is 30% to 85% and the amount of value that you add to your home will be somewhere in between those two numbers. That's a very big range, but that's because many other factors will affect your home's value, including the amount of remodeling you're doing in the kitchen.

It should be noted that a good rule of thumb is to find out what the value of your home happens to be and then spend 10% of that number on your kitchen remodel to get the best return on investment. For example, if your home is currently valued at $500,000, your kitchen remodel should have a budget of about $50,000 and you get a lot of work and materials out of that amount of money. Once you sell your home, you'll get all that money back, plus the value you added by simply being the owner to go through the process of the remodel so the new owners don't have to!

Written by Dana Laksman

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