Avoid Surprises:

Starting any renovation project can be a scary thing – after all once you’ve started there’s no turning back.

Plan your kitchen renovations to avoid problemsUnexpected problems can lead to rising costs and unforeseen delays – that’s why it’s so important to take the time to plan out your project as thoroughly as you can.

Following is a list of problems to watch out for and consider before starting your project…

Watch out for structural problems:

  • Will the renovations you’re planning on doing affect any existing structural walls or doors?
  • Will the installation of new windows or doors require structural changes?
  • Are the walls, ceiling, floor, or basement areas directly below your kitchen well-insulated and air-sealed to provide a comfortable energy-efficient kitchen?

Structural deficiencies can lead to cracked finishes, floor vibration, bowing or cracking of walls, floors or roof.

Do you have moisture problems:

  • Are there any signs of moisture problems in your present kitchen – things like peeled or blistered paint, caulking or grout cracked or missing, condensation on windows, wall or ceilings?

Unsolved water damage problems will continue and lead to further deterioration of your home and your newly renovated kitchen.

What about the plumbing and electrical:

  • Is the electrical service adequate for the number of outlets and circuits required for your kitchen expansion?
  • Does the existing plumbing work well?
  • Do the drains flow quickly?
  • Are there any leaks or evidence of water damage?
  • If your home is pre-1950’s do you have lead or galvanized steel water pipes?

An undersized electrical service can lead to circuit overload and constant trips to the fuse panel to reset the fuse.

Even minor leaks around plumbing joints, gaskets, and sinks will damage your “new” kitchen materials. Lead piping and corroded metals will contaminate your water.

Repairing structural problems, fixing leaks and making sure that the electrical and plumbing services are up-to-date and sufficient for your “new” kitchen are important considerations. And don’t forget – a well thought out and executed plan will increase the value of your home.

What about the kitchen layout:

  • Have you thought about how much workspace you’re going to need?
  • Is there enough space in the kitchen to accommodate your kitchen wishes?
  • What about traffic flow patterns – will your proposed cabinets interfere?
  • Is there enough storage space?

A poor layout can seriously limit your enjoyment of your new kitchen, and possibly dampened your return on your investment should you decide to sell… Take the time now to lay out your kitchen to maximize your space, enjoyment of that space, and the return value of your renovation.

Check your fixtures and appliances:

  • How much life is left in your fixtures and appliances?
  • Are they so outdated that they’ll harm the value of your home?
  • Are they energy efficient?
  • Do you have sufficient general and specific lighting?

Even if you’re not planning on replacing your appliances at this point in your renovation project it’s still a good idea to make sure you leave openings large enough to accommodate the appliances you hope to acquire at a later date.

What about your cabinets and counter tops:

  • How good are your existing cabinets and counter tops? Do they need to be updated or completely replaced?
  • Do your cabinets and counter tops supply you with sufficient storage and work space?

Damaged or outdated counter tops and cabinets could seriously affect the resale value of your home – now might be a good time to consider at least updating your cabinet doors and replacing old, cracked, chipped and bacteria-ridden counter tops.

What are your finishes like:

  • Do any mouldings, doors, windows, window treatments, walls, and wall finishes need replacing because of wear or outdated style?
  • What is the state of your flooring – does it need to be replaced?

Be sure to choose replacement products that are designed for your specific use:

  • Water resistant
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

By carefully planning each step of your renovation you will save yourself a lot of headaches further down the road – not to mention that a well thought out, and expertly executed plan will definitely increase the value of your home.