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So, before beginning this tough-but-rewarding project, ask yourself what your desired needs are. Is your kitchen a disaster zone where you can’t even manage to boil an egg or do you just want to freshen the place up with new appliances, countertops, floors, and cabinets?
A need might be you need cabinets because your current ones are falling apart. A desire might be you desire a new dishwasher because your current one is ugly and noisy, though it works perfectly well.
Determine if the work, time, and money are worth it to you. You will have work crews in your house for extended periods, spend a lot of money, and put yourself through serious stress.
Think about your budget before you get too involved in the project. From doing it yourself to limiting your need for contractors, there are tons of ways to save money.
When you design your kitchen, you get to exercise your creative muscle while your house is still clean and in one piece. For ease of movement, plan your workflow around the classic kitchen triangle.
While you have an almost infinite range of possibilities, you may want to utilize one of the five basic design plans. These include the one-wall, corridor, L-shape, double L-shape, and the U-shape designs.
Inexpensive computer design software helps you with the difficult task of space-planning. Available at bookstores, these kits have cardboard punch-outs representing cabinets and appliances.
Placing punch-outs on a kitchen grid helps you realistically view your available space. Designers at home improvement companies or at kitchen design stores typically design your space free of charge.
Independent designers will have the most freedom and may give you the best product because they have less restrictions. However, they will charge you either by the hour or on a percentage basis.
Find a licensed contractor who deals extensively with residential remodeling. If you renovate the space by yourself, you spend no money on labor charges but you may slow down your project as you learn skills necessary to remodeling.
Another option is to hire carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other sub-contractors yourself and save the contractor’s high commission. Permits must be obtained from different agencies before work starts.
Your city or county may administer the electrical, plumbing, and building permits. Your water company may also need to permit any work relating to water supply and drainage.
If a contractor is handling the renovation, he will obtain your permits. If you are doing it yourself, start by calling your local city or county permitting agency.
Kitchen materials may contain hazardous materials such as lead-based paint and asbestos, both of which require special handling. After removing them, you need to haul away the waste material and dispose of it.
Waste stations may not accept hazardous materials, so you should first check up with them about acceptable waste. Depending on your new room’s configuration, you may be taking on major construction tasks.
Even minor kitchen remodeling may need joists strengthened to support heavier appliances or built-ins such as an island. If you’re doing the work yourself and learning as you go, this will be slow-going.
Your new kitchen may have an island with a sink or a refrigerator with an automatic ice-maker. Or you may decide to move the main sink to a different spot.
In any event, it is almost certain that you will have increased plumbing needs. At this “rough-in” stage, new supply and drainage pipes are added for sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators.
You should have at least a 200 ampere service panel to power a modern kitchen. If you have less than this, you will need to heavy-up, or increase, your service capacity.
Electricians most likely will abandon your old wires in favor of running new wires through the walls to power lighting and appliance circuits. If you are doing the work yourself, you may also find it easier to run new circuits than to deal with a spaghetti mess of old wires.