The Heart of the Home

What room from your childhood home do you remember the most? More than likely, it’s the kitchen. The kitchen is where you helped mom make chocolate chip cookies, where you sat around the table with your family for dinner, where you smelled those wonderful smells of pumpkin pie and fresh baked bread on Thanksgiving. The kitchen is often described as the “heart” of the home. It’s the one room in the house that everyone spends time in together.

The look and feel of your kitchen is important for setting the mood of your home. So when it starts looking run-down, out-of-date, hum-drum, it’s time to take action. It’s time to remodel your kitchen. Wow. That sounds scary! Kitchen remodels are complex, expensive and extremely inconvenient for the whole family. So where do you start?

The Man vs Woman Approach

For guys, the starting point is almost always the appliances. It’s not uncommon for a man to see a matching refrigerator, range and dishwasher set at Home Depot and boom, the plan is half drawn already! For ladies, it’s probably looking at Better Homes and Gardens or other image-rich resources for ideas and inspiration. But ladies make sure you don’t forget you need things like a kitchen exhaust fan along with your bold new color scheme and granite counter top!

Whichever route you take to draw up your plan, at some point, you have to have a plan. Your plan, or blue print, is your guide for everything you need to do to complete your remodel. There are many websites and software programs with tools to help you create a blue print for your kitchen. All you have to do is enter your measurements and the tool creates your blue print.

The Shopping List

Once you have your blue print, you’re going to need a shopping list. The basics, refrigerator, range, dishwasher and cabinets are going to be at the top of your list. This is where research and careful consideration to cost and efficiency will come into play for a successful remodel. Don’t buy the first cabinets you see that you like! Shop and compare! Then compile all your prices and estimates and make sure you’ve budgeted sufficient funds for your remodel. You may have to make a few changes to your plan, but the time to do that is before the contractor has already pulled out the kitchen sink. And don’t forget that kitchen exhaust fan!

Call A Professional

If you’re a real handyman, that’s great, but kitchens require plumbing and electrical expertise, and unless you’re a trained and credentialed plumber or electrician, you are going to be combing the yellow pages for a contractor sooner or later. Put the word out to your friends and family that you are looking for someone who has a good reputation for doing quality work, and who is trustworthy. Craig’s List and niche sites are abundant, but don’t sign a contract until you’ve gotten references and a written estimate.