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You have decided to remodel your kitchen - Now what?

You have decided to remodel your kitchen – but where do you start?
Here are some basic steps to help make the process easier -- 
       1.     Gather InformationandExplore your Style This step is where you begin to find the style and color scheme that you want for your new kitchen.  Look through design books and magazines, check out on-line sites such as Houzz.com.  Print pictures and tear pages out of magazines – start a file just for your ideas so you can refer to it later.  
        Do you like modern. classic, traditional, cottage or somewhere in between?  What color cabinets grab you?  Do you like granite counter tops? Or tile? Do you want an island?  What purpose and function should it have?  What about flooring? Do you want to expand your existing space by moving a wall?  Add new windows in the room? 
        Don’t let this process overwhelm you – have fun with all the possibilities!   
          2.     Scope of Work and Budget and DesignThis is the point where you should meet with a professional contractor who can help with the “scope of work” and begin to figure out your preliminary budget.  Budget and scope of work often change many times during the design process.  It helps to make a list of “must have” items.  Once these items are figured into the design and budget, you can start adding other items that you would like to include, but are not deal breakers.   
        This phase includes sketches, space planning, preliminary floor plans and elevations showing the new kitchen layout.  This is where your “idea file” will come in handy.  You will begin to narrow down your favorites based on the budget and scope of work discussed with the contractor. 
          3.     Fixture and Finish specificationsThe final step in the design/planning process is ordering the materials you have chosen.  This includes cabinetry door style, finish and color, countertop and backsplash materials, appliances, sink and faucets, light fixtures, decorative hardware and paint colors. 

       4.    Get ready for Demo.  Time to get everything out of the cabinets.  Setting up a temporary kitchen in a family room helps to maintain some order in your home and eases the disruption during construction.  Discuss the logistics ahead of time with your contractor.  Will you have to be out of the house for certain tasks like demo or flooring?  What about the debris removal and dust?  What is a typical work day for the construction crew like, i.e. what time do they arrive in the morning? Communication is vital in helping the remodel run smoothly.  Don’t be timid about asking questions or voicing your concerns.   
          5.    Enjoy the finished product!  You made it! Youhave weathered the challenges of a kitchen remodel, making all the design decisions, using a temporary kitchen for a few weeks, overlooking the inevitable dust that remodeling brings – It’s time to reward yourself for all the hard work that went into planning your beautiful new kitchen.  So, fill up the new frig and invite family and friends over to Oohh and ahhhh!  

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