The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kitchen Remodel in Your Thoughts?

The new year brings with it a new to-do list for your home. Is a kitchen remodel on it for 2013? If so, then ask yourself the following questions when putting together your plan.

#1.    What is my goal?
Do you want to completely replace the cabinets, countertops and flooring, or do you simply want to give it a surface makeover? The difference between these two goals will be thousands of dollars.

If you plan to completely remodel the kitchen, make a list of everything you want to do. Do you plan to replace cabinets and countertops? Is a new floor in the plan? Will new appliances go where the older ones sit now or elsewhere in the room? Do you want to add windows or doors, install new lighting, knock-down walls?

If you simply desire a surface makeover, then refinishing cabinets instead of replacing them, and updating hardware, will get the job done in that area. A new countertop and sink can be added to the refinished cabinets.  New appliances can still be on the want list, but you will need to keep them where the current connections exist. The cost of moving water and gas lines can add thousands to the cost of the project.

#2    What is my budget?
There are two ways of putting together a budget for a kitchen remodel. You can either take your list of wants and go window/internet-shopping for ideas, then add up the costs, only making compromises once you see the expense of your desires.

Or you can set a fixed dollar amount and shop only within your means. Frankly, this option proves the best way to not overspend on a kitchen remodel, as you won’t even see the super-expensive appliances, granite or custom cabinets, and be tempted to go above and beyond what you can realistically afford.

With either approach, you should always keep resale value in mind. In the right market location, you can recoup up to 90 percent of the cost of a kitchen remodel during resale. You also should consider resale when making your design choices. If you plan to move in the next five years or so, you might want to stick with finishes and floors that suit a wider homebuyer base, as opposed to creating a quirky kitchen only your family will love. Potential homebuyers will factor in their own kitchen remodeling costs when making an offer on a house that does not meet their own tastes.

Consider all of these factors before speaking with a contractor or professional handyman about the project.  They will need to know your projected budget and desires before they can give you an idea of the costs.  Remember, now is the time to get exactly what you want in your kitchen so stretching your budget now will pay in your overall satisfaction through the years.
Most people focus strictly on their tastes and wants when thinking of changes to the kitchen.  Putting a dollar figure as a budget will help shape the overall method to acheiving that goal without breaking the bank.
Mr. Handyman does more than small jobs around your home.  Each year we complete many bathroom and kitchen remodels for our satisfied customers.  Please consider Mr. Handyman for your larger projects too.  Mr. Handyman can be reached at 402-502-5212.