Many times when we think about rebuilding our kitchen, the focus tends to be on the final details of finished cabinets or the patterns of the floor tiles. Instead, time should be devoted to making the space functional for all the people who are going to use it.
Here’s how to gather your thoughts, wishes, and priorities to build a specification folder that you can give to your contractors. This way, the contractors will be able to quickly understand your needs and propose adapted solutions and quotes.
To start planning, I recommend setting up a project folder that will contain your thoughts, ideas and information about space, how you currently use it and how it can be aesthetically and functionally improved. Share the binder in the sections below. Each separate tab should have a blank sheet of paper and you must answer the questions in each subject. Also keep detailed notes.
1. Kitchen Remodel Project Info:
- The reasons for the project.
- What do you think and feel about the current space?
- How long do you plan to stay in the house when the project is completed? Designing a kitchen in a house with a possible resale in five years may be different than if you don’t plan to move until the next generation.
- A request for a special design (i.e. green / sustainable design / products)
2. Kitchen Function:
- Is the kitchen purely functionnal? Example: You’ll be there only for preparing meals.
- Or will it have more of a social function? The kitchen will be the dining room or the place where everybody gathers in the morning or for evening meals. Does the kitchen need to share space with the living room? Does it need to be open?
- For foodies and gourmets: How many hours do you think you’ll spend in it every day?
- Make a list of tasks and activities that occur on a regular basis. Include the tasks that happen rarely. How often do you cook? Do you entertain with friends? How often?
- Are there appliances you use regularly? How much space do you need on your countertops?
4. Kitchen Inspiration & Wishlist:
Search on the Internet for ideas:
- Kitchen photos and architectural firm portfolios.
- Home & Garden Television is another source on the net that really focuses on mid-range projects.
You can create various mood-boards by scrapping magazines and printing photos gathered from the Internet. Try to associate words with pictures to verbalize your wishes. Examples: “Clean”, “safe”, “warm”, “romantic”, “sophisticated.”
5. Kitchen Remodel Budget:
Depending on the type, size, style, and product, a complete kitchen remodel ranges approximately from 25,000$ – 30,000$ and can run into six figures.
I recommend taking at least three to four weeks to compile a full project binder. By now you should be able to communicate your needs to all professionals in the industry. The more information you provide, the better chance they have to understand your needs and design the kitchen of your dreams. Moreover, you’ll be able to compare quotes based on what you really need!