Kitchen Remodel 101: All the Basics You Need to Know

Whether you’re just starting to think about remodeling your kitchen or you’ve already got a few ideas in mind, it can be helpful to have an overview of the basics. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know before beginning a kitchen remodel – from budgeting and planning to choosing materials and getting permits. By the end of it, you should feel confident enough to take on your project with ease!

Why Is Kitchen Remodeling Such A Popular Home Improvement Project?

Kitchen remodeling is extremely popular because kitchen remodels offer homeowners an array of benefits they cannot get elsewhere in the home. With kitchen remodeling, homeowners can:

  • Add value to their home by having a kitchen that is more up-to-date or simply more functional for everyday living
  • Increase their level of comfort in the kitchen by adding features that are highly useful but are often overlooked after time, such as new lighting fixtures, flooring options, ventilation systems, etc.  Some kitchen features are utilitarian with no aesthetic benefit but greatly impact your day-to-day kitchen experience in positive ways (i.e kitchen ventilation).
  • Improve the kitchen’s overall design aesthetic through kitchen remodeling projects that align with current kitchen design trends (i.e kitchen color schemes)

The kitchen is one of the most highly used rooms in a home. Even if you aren’t a gourmet chef or don’t have a family that loves to cook, chances are you do some sort of kitchen activity at least 3-to 4 times per day.

And when kitchen appliances start to show their age and kitchen cabinets fall apart, homeowners will often turn to kitchen remodeling as a way to add value and comfort to their homes. In fact, kitchen remodels account for between 20-25% of all home improvement projects undertaken in the United States each year according to HGTV.

Kitchen appliances can be viewed as the “jewelry” in your kitchen remodel. Stainless steel kitchen appliances are both luxurious and practical.

Is There A Difference Between Kitchen Remodeling and Kitchen Additions?

Not really. But there are some differences between kitchen remodeling and kitchen additions which homeowners should be aware of before beginning their kitchen renovation project.  Many times, the difference between a kitchen addition and kitchen remodeling is simply contingent on whether or not an adjacent room must or can be modified to accommodate the new or increased square footage of the kitchen area/addition.  

For example, if your home does not have an adjacent dining room but you want to create one because you think it would add value to the kitchen area, then this is considered a kitchen addition.  If your kitchen shares a wall with an adjacent dining room but you are mainly interested in renovating the kitchen itself for example new cabinets, kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, etc., then this is considered kitchen remodeling.

Why Do Kitchen Remodels Cost So Much?

The main reason kitchen remodels cost so much is because of labor and material costs which can vary widely depending on:

  • The size of the kitchen and overall scope of the project
  • The location of your home and/or ease or difficulty in permitting and sourcing materials for projects within that locale
  • Materials to be used

When budgeting for your kitchen remodel consider factoring in unforeseen expenses such as permits, kitchen appliances, cabinet hardware or pulls, kitchen countertops backsplash, kitchen sink and faucet, and kitchen lighting fixtures.

Is There Any Kitchen Financing Help I Can Utilize For My Kitchen Remodeling?

Kitchen remodeling is one of the areas where you can get various types of kitchen financing help. The factors to be considered are your credit history, monthly income, the value of the home, etc. However, if you do not have an excellent score in any of these factors it does not mean that you cannot avail of kitchen financing or kitchen renovation financing at all. You can still get good terms on kitchen improvement loans within certain limits by choosing the right lender and loan type.

Are There Special Permits That I Need To Secure Before A Kitchen Remodel?

You need to make sure you get the kitchen remodeling permit before you even start working. This is especially true if your kitchen renovation entails any structural changes to your kitchen, which will be hard to undo at a later time.

The kitchen remodeling permit ensures that all building inspections are completed within the scope of the kitchen remodel project. It also establishes accountability for code compliance throughout the kitchen renovation process.

Why Is It Better To Hire A Professional To Do My Kitchen Remodeling?

Do you have the time to do everything right? If not, this is a good reason to hire kitchen remodeling professionals. For example, if kitchen cabinets are being installed, it is important that they go in exactly where you want them. When kitchen professionals are hired to do your kitchen remodel, their job is also to ensure that you will be happy with the results. They will take into account every detail possible during kitchen remodeling.

Hiring kitchen contractors for kitchen remodeling can save time and money because they already know where all of the supplies are located and which ones work best together. Kitchen contractors have many years of experience so they know how much material you will need for kitchen cabinet installation or flooring. Professionals will save you time, money and ensure kitchen remodeling is done the right way.

Is It Better To Remodel My Kitchen Completely Or Just A Little Bit?

Many homeowners find that they only need to remodel the kitchen in bits and pieces rather than doing an entire kitchen remodel for their small kitchen or doing a complete overhaul of their large kitchen at one time.  

While it’s ideal to complete your kitchen remodeling project all in one go in order to make sure the design aesthetic flows throughout, this is not always possible due to budget issues or other unforeseen circumstances like income loss.  If you’re worried about your kitchen renovation budget but still want some changes, here are a few kitchen remodeling ideas to get you started.

Should I Upgrade Appliances When Remodeling Just A Few Areas Of My Kitchen?

Instead of completely redoing your kitchen or doing a kitchen renovation all at once, consider updating appliances and fixtures in a few key areas that will make a huge difference in the look and function of your kitchen.  Many homeowners find it makes more sense to update the kitchen by replacing the cabinets, countertops, sinks, backsplash tiles around the sink area, faucets, garbage disposal, stove-oven-cooktop these three together, and microwave when planning kitchen renovations. This way you can customize your kitchen designing project to fit just what you need when budgeting kitchen remodeling costs.

Even kitchen appliances such as the kitchen sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator can be replaced to give your kitchen a new look without investing in everything at once. Not only will this help reduce kitchen renovation costs, but it can save you time as well!  You may also want to consider updating lighting fixtures and repainting kitchen cabinets before installing new countertops or flooring.

Why Choose Replacement Kitchen Appliances Instead of Upgrades?

There are often other ways to customize your kitchen that should be considered before choosing replacement kitchen appliances, such as replacing cabinet hardware, adding decorative knobs to drawers, enlarging drawer space for pots and pans by removing shelves from pullout pantry organizers, painting walls, or adding molding to kitchen walls.

While kitchen appliance upgrades are simple for kitchen remodelers, replacing all kitchen appliances can be accompanied by more risk and expensive costs. Kitchen appliances are often the most expensive part of a kitchen remodeling project because they must be custom-built to fit different kitchen sizes. Replacing kitchen appliances with new ones is not only time-consuming but costly as well, especially if there are any complications during installation.

Replacing kitchen appliances may prove less risky in some situations, though, depending on your needs and existing kitchen design. For example, updating old or inefficient kitchen appliances with energy-efficient models may prove beneficial when you’re planning to sell an older home that has outdated kitchen appliances. Replacing broken or damaged kitchen appliances can also be a safer option.

Replacing kitchen appliances with new kitchen appliances is more commonly done for kitchen remodels and kitchen renovations and may not be necessary for some situations. Just make sure to keep your preferences, budget, kitchen size, kitchen design, renovation needs, modern kitchen trends, and other factors in mind when planning kitchen updates.

So, there you have it – the basics of kitchen remodeling. Of course, this is just a starting point and you should always consult with a professional before beginning any type of home improvement project. But if you’re thinking about giving your kitchen a facelift, be sure to keep these things in mind. And remember, if you need help along the way, our team is here to assist you. Give us a call today!


Are You Planning a New Kitchen Remodel?

New Key Construction, based in Walnut Creek California, specializes in spectacular kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, additions and whole-house remodels. Our passion is to be the home for talented craftsmen who deliver beautiful projects to clients throughout the SF East Bay Area! Choosing the right general contractor for your project can be difficult, but we make things easy by focusing on Your Experience, Client Communication, Cutting Edge Technology, and Pushing Our Design and Build Limits!  If we could have one goal, it would be that when someone you know is looking for a contractor you highly recommend our company because of the experience we deliver for you! Check out our website, our portfolio and our reviews to learn more – or give us a call today.