The prospect of a new and improved kitchen is an exciting one, but taking the plunge isn’t an easy decision. That’s why we created this overview of what a typical kitchen remodeling process looks like based on our experience as a full-service design-remodel firm.
Aside from the investment and inconvenience, two of the top fears around kitchen remodels are the fear of disappointment and the fear of being misled by a contractor. We believe these concerns should not hold you back from creating the kitchen of your dreams. Instead, we recommend doing your homework and learning as much as you can about the process. When you understand the workflow, you will be in a position to collaborate successfully with your contractor and understand what’s happening at every stage of your kitchen’s transformation.
A major kitchen remodel project by Bath Plus Kitchen.
Stage 1: Set goals for your remodel
What are you hoping to achieve through this kitchen remodeling project? Here are a few goals our clients often share with us:
- Creating a kitchen that suits their lifestyle
- Increasing resale value
- Incorporating smart appliances to create a more future-friendly kitchen
- Improving functionality, so home-cooked meals become an inviting option
- Updating the space’s look, especially for older kitchens
Defining a goal will help you share your vision more clearly with your kitchen remodeling contractor. It helps to write it out as a goal statement and share it with everyone involved. You can then revisit the document at every stage to ensure you’re on track and making choices in line with your vision. Very often, the remodel is planned with a big event on the horizon. For example, one of our clients in NW Washington, DC wanted theirs completed before their baby boy was born. We completed this project with them in 8 weeks, just a few weeks before they welcomed the newest member of their family home.
Stage 2: Evaluate your existing kitchenWith a clear goal in mind, you can approach a designer and contractor, or a remodeling company that will do both. If you’re not sure how to evaluate them, start with these questions. Many companies have their own selection process to determine if the project is right for them. Our selection process at Bath Plus Kitchen is a curated one that’s designed to ensure each project is a good match for both the homeowner and the company. If you explain your goals clearly, it will be easier for the contractor to tell you if they will be able to execute the project to your satisfaction.
Once you have identified your kitchen remodel team, you will need to work with them to assess your current kitchen. The aesthetics are the first thing to evaluate. Ask yourself what you love about it and what you want to change. In addition, consider these factors:
- Space – do you have enough counter, cabinet, and floor space?
- Flow – is it easy to navigate, cook with family members, and interact with guests?
- Appliances – should you upgrade to energy-saving, easier-to-use appliances?
- Accessibility – can family members of various ages and use it safely, including yourself as you get older? What about people with disabilities?
- Children and pets – do you need to make any special provisions for them?
Stage 3: Design your dream kitchen
With a clear vision of your future kitchen, you can proceed to the fun part – designing! Yes, you will need to be realistic, stick to your budget, and make adjustments for any limiting factors, but a good kitchen designer can help you find creative solutions to give you a kitchen you will fall in love with. It’s important to be flexible and open to new possibilities during the kitchen design process. However, you should also stand firm on what you really want. For example, what kind of layout works for you? If you’re not sure what your options are, explore the pros and cons of some tried-and-true kitchen design layouts.
We like to set up a meeting with prospective clients at the Bath Plus Kitchen showroom at this stage. Prior to the initial visit, we ask our clients to email us the following:
- Photos of the current kitchen.
- Inspirational photos and/or a summary of goals and design aesthetic.
- Rough measurements and/or a sketch of the existing kitchen.
During this initial appointment, clients will be able to:
- Meet and interview one of our designers to explain the project goals, learn how we work, and determine if we’re the best fit for the project.
- Touch, feel, see our displays and samples. We’ve built out two kitchens and remodeled a bathroom to showcase our level of design and craftsmanship.
- Settle on a rough budget for the project, depending on the size, scope, and level of materials required.
Once this is done, we go on to prepare plans for the job that include photo-realistic renderings for our clients. It’s a critical step because it will give you a clear picture of the kitchen you are planning.
Stage 4: Apply for building permits
Once those plans are drawn up, you will need to apply for building permits. We work with clients from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, and know that requirements vary based on location. That’s why it’s always best to consult your local permitting office to ensure there are no oversights and potential code violations. Here are a few things homeowners should keep in mind regarding the legal aspects of remodeling.
Stage 5: Select your materials
Material selection is an integral part of the kitchen remodeling process. At this stage, you will need to select materials that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and that will suit your budget. Remember that this is an investment, and cutting corners here can make you unhappy with the final outcome. It’s essential to think long-term when it comes to choosing your flooring, appliances, cabinets, light fixtures, countertops, backsplash, and other kitchen elements.
That said, there are several incredible options to choose from that will suit your budget and needs. The Bath Plus Kitchen experts believe that kitchen cabinetry can make or break a kitchen design, which is why we offer fully-custom and semi-custom cabinets from top-rated cabinet manufacturers. For example, many of our clients love the versatility of the Bellmont cabinets that we help them customize.
Stage 6: Complete the demolition and re-evaluate
Here’s where the real work begins. Your team will start to remove your existing kitchen – floors, cabinets, appliances, and perhaps a few walls. A good team will minimize the mess and inconvenience, which will make a massive difference to you if you opt to live at home during this time. Once this is done, your team will inspect the kitchen to see if any adjustments need to be made due to unforeseen factors such as uneven floors and other construction flaws.
Stage 7: Start the plumbing and rewiring (rough-in work)
This covers the framing, plumbing, and electrical work. At this stage of the kitchen remodeling process, the focus is on the walls of the kitchens and what goes into them. Since adherence to codes is essential here, it’s important to let the professionals decide the best way forward. A professional inspection will happen at the end of this stage to ensure your remodel is up to code so the work can continue.
Stage 8: Finish the walls, doors, and windows
Once you pass the inspection, you can complete the walls. This will entail hanging, taping, finishing, and priming drywalls. Doing a thorough job here will make the next stages of the kitchen remodeling process smooth sailing. After this, you can move to the doors and windows; finishing these will ensure your measurements for the cabinetry are correct.
Stage 9: Complete the flooring
Contractors choose to do this at different points during the kitchen remodeling process. Some believe it works better if done after the cabinetry. We like to make a recommendation based on each project and its unique requirements. To decide on your flooring, look up a range of options for inspiration, from the classics to the trends.
Stage 10: Make design refinements
Before you proceed with the cabinetry, countertops, plumbing, and fixtures, take a step back to evaluate your plan in the context of your kitchen so far. Are there any adjustments to make or measurements to modify? Look for these and make any refinements necessary.
Stage 11: Install the cabinetry, countertops, and fixtures
This is where things start getting exciting, as you begin to see your kitchen come to life! Those materials and elements you so carefully selected will be installed. Your new kitchen cabinets, countertops, plumbing, and electrical fixtures will all fall into place, allowing you to finally see your new and improved kitchen.
Stage 12: Install your new appliances
Here’s where your new appliances will be installed. This includes items that will have a fixed place in your kitchen, such as your fridge, stove, and microwave.
Stage 13: Add the finishing touches
Once all the major tasks are completed, it’s a good idea to go back to your list and see what’s left. You can get these done and add the finishing touches. As mentioned earlier, the flooring may be put in last, so this last stage will look a little different for different projects. We recommend taking the time to check all the little details before your contractor calls it a wrap.
Stage 14: Say hello to your new kitchen
This is where you remember why you wanted a remodel in the first place! Step into your new kitchen and celebrate all the hard work and brilliant ideas that went into creating a space that you will love for many years to come.
A kitchen remodeling project is a major undertaking. However, when well-executed, it offers you and your family a beautiful setting in which to make wonderful, priceless memories. That’s something we’ve helped our clients experience through our many kitchen remodeling projects in VA, DC & MD. Get in touch with us here to find out how we can help you create the kitchen of your dreams.