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10 Things Every Homeowner Should Know Before a Kitchen Remodel, According to a Contractor

A kitchen remodel is a thrilling, daunting, sometimes horrifying, and ultimately rewarding undertaking. If you know what to expect, you can minimize the hard parts and maximize the good parts.

Use these 10 tips from a contractor to set realistic expectations about how your kitchen remodel will go.

1. Don’t Expect Things to Go Like on TV

Home improvement shows hide a lot. For every person you see on camera, there are several producers you don’t see whose job is to make a weeks- or months-long renovation fit into one episode. Take demolition. However messy you think it will be, it’ll be at least twice that messy — and take at least twice as long to clean up. 

2. Buffer Your Budget

You’ll be tempted to spend every penny while planning your dream kitchen. Don’t. Take your maximum budget, and knock off 20 percent. This buffer will relieve a lot of headaches later. 

3. Treat Deadlines as Suggestions

Remodels rarely if ever happen as one continuous project, especially in the kitchen where all of your home’s energy systems meet. Plumbing, HVAC, electrical, carpentry, flooring, painting — any of these can be delayed by things beyond our and your control, like special order tiles not arriving on time. Be flexible and keep open lines of communication.

4. Expect Mistakes to Happen

Mistakes will happen on the contractor’s end, and they’ll happen on your end. What matters is how you handle them together. Maybe you’ll forget about an appointment. Maybe the carpenter will leave a gap in the molding. Know mistakes like these and much worse can be overcome.

5. Know the Details That Derail a Remodel

Do you know what CFM is? If you learn mid renovation, it’s probably too late. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It measures how much air your range hood can move. If your hood vents too much air too quickly, you’ll need to reconfigure your ductwork, which might tack on a few thousand dollars. Learn as many details like this as you can. It’ll save you time, money, and stress. 

6. Schedule Regular Project Reports

Not all contractors are great communicators. You’ve probably heard a friend or relative complain about not hearing from their contractor regularly. At Central Construction Group (CCG), we make regular updates part of our process, so homeowners know what’s happening and when.

7. Ask Your Contractor How Long They’ve Known Their Subs

Ideally, your general contractor has a trusted network of subcontractors they’ve worked with for a long time. They should be able to recall jobs where their HVAC guy did this, their plumber did that. You don’t want your kitchen renovation to be the project where a contractor tests someone new.

8. Know When to Swap a Cabinet for Drawers

Cabinets are great for eye level and up. Below that, ask yourself if you really want a cabinet, or if a drawer base might be better. Based drawers offer better organization and accessibility than base cabinets, saving you a lot of strain. Not to mention, drawers can turn awkward spaces into something awe-inspiring. A narrow gap next to the fridge could be perfect for a pullout pantry.

9. Keep Copies of All Paperwork on Hand

Permits, plans, contracts — always have copies of everything, and always keep them nearby. Neither you nor your contractor can carry every detail in your heads. Keeping paperwork handy literally keeps everyone on the same page. 

10. Speak When Something Bugs You

Anything. Something in the contract you don’t understand, a spot on the wall where the paint looks splotchy, a piece of tile that looks cut unevenly — whatever it is, bring it up. You’ll thank yourself later.

Trust CCG With Your Kitchen Remodel

If you’re ready to make your dream kitchen a reality, CCG can guide you through the entire process, starting with a free no-obligation consultation. Call CCG at (317) 213-6246, and see examples of our kitchen renovations on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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