So, you have saved and dreamed for years and the time has finally come to make your dreams come true, and you are ready to take the plunge and start your kitchen or bathroom remodel.  Or, maybe you just purchased a home and got a great deal on it because it needed some love.  Either way the process is the same.  We all know the gist of how a remodel goes, but when the time actually comes to do it, the outlook and process might just be a bit overwhelming.  If you find yourself on the edge of the great unknown, I am here to give you the road map to help navigate the fun and exciting world of remodeling.

Set your goals

Get comfy and take your time planning your kitchen or bath remodel.

In today’s world, it is a lot easier to shop around and find the best deal.  Just like when you bought your home it will serve you well to make a list of wishes and must haves.  This will keep you focused on the task at hand and help you stay on track.  While your wishes are important it is also important to make sure you know what elements are must have items, and what elements you would love but could give up and still be happy.

Include tangible items such as the hardware finish and colors, but, also keep in mind some of the functionality pieces as well.  Is it important that your new cabinets have full extension drawers?  How about the ease of cleaning the surfaces?  Do you mind having a solid surface top that needs frequent maintenance or would you prefer to avoid that like the plague?

This all might sound daunting.  Maybe you have a vision in your mind but you don’t necessarily know how to articulate it.  Fear not!  Take some time out on Houzz to create an idea book.  Houzz is a website or app that is a lot like Pinterest but is focused on home design.  What is even greater here is that these idea boards can be shared with a designer so that they can get a better idea of what you are looking for and what gets you excited.

Know your Budget

No one wants to think about dollars and cents but it is essential for a successful remodel

It is so common to want to keep this little piece of information quiet when you are meeting with designers.  You know that they are trying to make a sale and you don’t want to be backed into a corner.  While that does tend to make good sense, this is not the time to be shy about your budget.  Many designers have products and services available to meet a large range of budgets it is hard for them to help you make choices and design suggestions that meet your must have items and your wish list without having an accurate budget.

When a designer knows exactly what you would love to see in your new space as well as what they must include to make the sale they are better able to meet those needs in a realistic way when they know what you need the bottom line to be.  If you don’t feel comfortable giving the exact number share a realistic range.

Your budget is not just the nuts and bolts of the project it is the main must have on most people’s lists.  A good designer should want to meet you where you are and still strive to create the space of your dreams.

Meet designers

Creating a mood board will help keep your design focused.

Now that you have a clear idea of your end game it is time to find a partner who can help you accomplish your goals.  There is certainly no shortage of options out there.  So how do you navigate the sea of kitchen and bathroom firms?  This is a big investment, and you are trusting someone with your dream.  Ask around and get referrals from folks who have already been on this adventure.  Houzz is also another great place to learn about the professionals in your area.

Once you narrow down the field a bit call and schedule a time to come to the show room and meet the designers.  It is helpful to meet for the first time in the show room so you can get hands on experience with the products available.  This will allow you to get to know the designer, firm and choose the materials you would like in your new space.  Make sure that you bring in a rough lay out of your space and measurements.  After this meeting your designer will be able to give you an initial estimate.

Bring in color samples or photo inspiration (or share your idea board on Houzz).  This will help you and the designer choose the materials that will bring your vision to life and help you.  The designer will be able to narrow down the seemingly endless options to a more manageable selection, and make suggestions that maintain the integrity of your idea.

Pick your partner

Your designer should feel like your partner. This is after all your remodel and you have to live with the outcome.

Some things to consider aside from cost when making the final decision on who you want to design and implement your project include the value of what they are quoting, quality of the product, how well it matches that list you made in the beginning.

One way that a firm might be able to come in with a lower estimate is by contracting out the installation.  Sometimes they provide the contractors and sometimes they will leave finding an installer to you. This is very important to consider.  If you do have to hire an outside contractor that will also cost you money, so that firm might not actually be the cheapest.

Internal process of the firm is also important.  Continuity for communication sake is often a huge selling point but this might add a little more to the bottom line.  Is the seamless communication worth a little more money? You better believe it.  Any renovation or remodel project has several moving parts and each part will dictate how other parts move.  Having to keep track of all the different contacts and information can be a full-time job all on its own.  If you have one person who makes sure all the parts are working well together you can spend your focus and energy on other more exciting aspects of your project.

You Have Successfully Started this adventure!

Pat yourself on the back.  This is a huge part or the process and sets the tone for the rest of your remodel.  Relax before the real fun starts.

Join the conversation of Facebook and ask us your questions about the kitchen and bath remodel process.