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Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling: The Importance of Planning

Updating your kitchen or bathroom not only improves the comfort and appearance of your home, they are also the top two spaces for return on investment when remodeling. Careful planning and finding a reasonable budget is essential to getting the most value out of your investment.

When preparing for a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, it is important to understand all of the expected (and unexpected) costs associated. Expenses include cabinets, countertops, appliances and fixtures, and flooring, in addition to design, construction, and permitting. Kitchen and bathroom improvements typically involve gas, electrical, and plumbing expertise, and as such, they are often the most complex and expensive types of home improvement projects.

The best way to keep your remodeling project on budget is to find a qualified kitchen and bathroom planning professional. Even for projects that are small in scope, professional designers can be a very cost-effective option by offering design alternatives, helping with efficient space planning, and limiting costly errors due to inexperience or misinformation.

Planning Process: The First Step

In the planning process, whether working with a design professional or directly with a contractor, it is important to be honest about your budget and priorities. This will help all parties involved work to create a final product that meets your needs and expectations. A good first step in the planning process is creating a list of the features in your current space and deciding whether they are sufficient, or need updating or elimination. In addition, create a wishlist of items that you would like to include in order of priority – begin with your basic needs and then include extras that can be added as your taste and budget allows. This will assist in creating a budget for your project and will guide the design of your kitchen or bathroom.

Budgeting: Step Two

Once you have determined your needs, it is time to plan a budget. After considering the base costs of materials and labor, always factor in a line for surprise costs. Even when working with design professionals, unexpected changes are sometimes necessary. For example, older homes may require additional structural, electrical, or plumbing work in order to support the project or bring your home up to code.

After your budget is set, be an informed consumer. The more you know about your needs and expectations, the easier it will be for you to effectively navigate the process. Allow yourself sufficient time to make selections and decisions. Early preparation will help your preferences and budget direct the project, rather than time constraints determining your priorities once the project has started. During the remodeling process, it is important that you remain consistent by sticking to your plan and make yourself available during the project. Open communication with your contractor and design professional will help work to stay on schedule and on budget.

Enjoyment of your new space is key and can be accomplished by getting the best value out of your time and money through planning and accurate budgeting.