Congratulations on diving into your remodel! Whether you’re toying with the idea, or you’ve made it a must-do for this year, we’re here to help. Remodeling a kitchen is the best way to refresh a house. Kitchens are where most homeowners and their friends or family spend most of their time. A great kitchen is a gathering centerpiece of a house that draws people together as they eat, cook, and converse. Well thought out kitchens make people want to spend even more time there. People with beautiful kitchens tend to eat in more and cook fresh, which is great for the budget and the waistline. Renovating a kitchen is also one of the top ways to boost home value. Kitchens store a great deal of a home’s equity. Remember when you were house searching. A good kitchen was on the top of your wish list. The same stands true today. Shoppers want to buy a house with a beautiful kitchen then can imagine hosting dinner parties and having holiday dinners in.

Taking on a kitchen remodel is no small task. It can cost thousands of dollars and take weeks or months. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to layout, materials, lighting, colors and other options. Kitchen finishes are an entire industry in and of themselves. The decisions required can easily make people feel overwhelmed. Here are seven things to keep in mind to keep your kitchen remodel on track.

  1. DIY or Call in the Pros

One of the biggest mistake homeowners make is thinking they can do everything themselves. That’s ok if you are a contractor or have flipped several houses in your time. However, if you think you’re going to remodel your kitchen after you come home from work or on the weekends, think again. Pretty soon there’s going to be sawdust and drywall all over your kitchen. You’ll be telling houseguests to head to the bathroom for a glass of water because your sink’s out. Work can drag on for months and frustration levels will build. Couples have gotten divorced over kitchen remodels, so be careful.

If you’re a handyman that can take on projects, great! Just make sure you don’t put your kitchen out of commission too long. Call in the professionals by finding a reliable contractor to take care of the headache projects. See if you can work some smaller components of the remodel to scratch your DIY itch.

  1. Make a Budget

Costs in a kitchen remodel can quickly spiral out of control. The most successful remodels set a projected budget and then hold everyone accountable to it. It will help you hold contractors’ feet to the flames, and help make sure you don’t end up with high-end finishes at the start and bargain finishes at the end. Budgeting keeps your entire project on schedule and on plan because money walks.

You also need to understand cost within costs. You can’t just set a budget for countertops and then look away. For example, marble countertop costs can vary by thousands of dollars depending on where they’re sourced from, like Marble for example, what color they are and how rare of a find they are. Be as specific as you can be as you go from item to item in your kitchen remodel.

  1. Be Realistic About Use

Don’t install two ovens if you never cook, and you can probably give that huge double-door fridge a pass if you live alone. It’s easy to fall in love with the most expensive, flashy appliances and finishes. However, you need to be realistic about how much use your kitchen is going to get. It’s all about value in a remodel. Be honest about what you want to do in your kitchen, and then select high-quality items to make it a reality. Stretching too far on your dream kitchen can mean other adjoining rooms get sacrificed, which you may end up regretting later on.

  1. The Vendor/Contractor World

A bit of researching online about contractor experiences can leave anyone shaken. There are endless tales of contractors who simply walked off a job because someone else was paying a bit more. The stories are out there because unfortunately many of them are true. There are always two sides to a story, but a good economy and in-demand skills make contractors able to write their own tickets in many cases. What you can do to avoid this is make your contractor put some skin in the game. Ask friends for recommendations for a local contractor who wants to keep a good reputation in the area. Another thing you can do is schedule a portion of the project and see how it goes before moving to the next. Staging can save you heartache.

  1. Be Flexible

We’ve touched on this a bit, but no kitchen remodel goes as smoothly as planned. There will be hiccups, product outages, weather delays, billing issues, and quality control issues. There will be times you feel like pulling all your hair out. Be flexible and make plans so you won’t be up a creek if something goes slightly awry.

  1. Don’t Take Huge Risks

It’s ok to remodel your kitchen into the kitchen of your dreams but try to stay somewhat mainstream to help your home’s market appeal if and when the time comes to sell. You probably wouldn’t want to buy someone’s kitchen if there was a hot tub in the middle of it, and it will be hard to find a buyer if you too something during your remodel that’s too far outside of mainstream. Sticking with the classics with a few small twists sprinkled in is the way to go.

  1. Have Fun!

Whether it’s marble or granite, yellow tile or blue, kitchen remodels don’t need to be a stressful experience. Remind yourself along the way that your kitchen is going to look great and remodeling is a way you get to leave a mark on your home. It’s an expression of all the hard work you do and you deserve your beautiful kitchen.