This is an exciting time of the year, with the winter behind us and the April showers getting us in the mood for the upcoming beautiful Iowa spring and summer weather. It’s also the time when many homeowners start planning their home remodeling projects. If you’re interested in a kitchen remodel this year,

Step 1: Think.

What do you want to change about your kitchen? What do you want your new kitchen to achieve? Do research by looking online, at books, magazines, other houses, or any other resources you can find. Do you want your kitchen to look modern and contemporary? Classic and traditional? Transitional? Versatile? Think about who and how many people will be cooking in and walking through the kitchen regularly. Collect ideas to show your contractor to give him a good idea of what you want.

Step 2: Come Up with a General Plan.

Having a good idea of what you want from the start will help the planning process with your remodeler and the actual remodeling process go more smoothly and help you keep to your budget. Don’t rush the planning stage. It will probably take several months to get a solid plan into place with the help of your remodeling contractor. There’s a lot to think about and decide upon, and the longer you think about your plan, the less likely you’ll be to change your mind later on down the road.

Map out the layout of your current kitchen. Include all doors, windows, appliances, cabinetry, and plumbing, heating, electrical systems. Take note that if you want to relocate your stove or sink, you’ll have to compensate for the extra work it will take to move gas lines and plumbing. Try your best to figure out a rough budget and then decide loosely on what you want to change, move around, revamp, etc. This may include cabinetry, flooring, appliances, lighting, countertops, etc. The more detailed you are and the more you have to show to your remodeling contractor, the better they will understand your taste and style.

Step 3: Find an Experienced and Reputable Remodeling Contractor.

When you begin your search for a qualified contractor to carry out your remodeling project, it’s smart to look around a bit. Narrow down your search to your top three candidates for the job and then dig deeper. Get estimates from your top prospects and ask for recent references. Find out through references and referrals about the contractor’s work habits, commitment, customer service skills, integrity, how long the project takes to complete, and, of course, the quality of their work. Make sure they show you their license and insurance so you know they are legitimate. Also, make sure your contractor guarantees the work up front and knows local building codes.

A good thing to keep in mind…

If a contractor is busy, this is a good sign. A kitchen remodel is a large investment and can make a huge impact on the value of your home. Because of this, don’t settle for a mediocre remodeling contractor who can fit you into their schedule quickly. Instead, shoot for the best contractor you can find that suits your needs and your budget, and they’ll be well worth the wait. “The best contractors tend to be the busiest ones. Build your schedule around the GC of your dreams, not vice versa.” (This Old House)

Once you have chosen your contractor, ask to meet with them. Many contractors will come out to your property to talk with you and give you a rough, ballpark estimate of how much they anticipate the job will cost. This will, of course, change after all the details are nailed down and you have all your materials picked out.

Getting into the Specifics

Once your job has gotten approved and you have the permits required to go through with it, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. This is where you’ll figure out the floor plan: how much square footage you need and the placement of everything. Next comes the fun part: choosing the materials. Choose the type of cabinetry you want, your countertop material, flooring, lighting fixtures, sink, stove, other appliances, etc. Once everything is drawn out and all the details are decided on, your contractor can write up the contract with the final price of the job, and once you sign, it’s time to begin remodeling your new kitchen!

If you are interested in a kitchen remodel or remodeling any area of your home, contact Cyclone Contracting, your Ames remodeling contractor of choice!