Remodeling the heart of your home requires thorough planning

Written by Shawn Vacek, Published in the Houston Chronicle on December 17, 2017


As a homeowner, I can say my family spends a considerable amount of time in the kitchen, both as a family and a gathering place when friends come over.


As a contractor, I spend a considerable amount of time helping our clients make their kitchen comfy, inviting and functional. With proper design, planning and interaction with a qualified remodeler, the process can be smooth and rewarding.


The kitchen, probably one of the busiest rooms in the house, requires careful thought when planning a remodel. Will new space be added? Are we working within an existing footprint? Are we completely changing locations of all amenities and functions? Will there be structural changes or requirements? These are essential elements to discuss with a contractor, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. The sooner the concerns and details are on the table, the faster the process of creating solutions will go. Here are some of the details.


Probably one of the single biggest factors to consider when you are looking to remodel your kitchen is the all-in cost. While everyone would like a kitchen that rivals a photo in a magazine or on a cooking show, the “package” price is definitely worth considering. Kitchens contain two of the single largest items in any remodel or build – appliances and cabinet package. The cabinet layout and appliance package also go hand in hand, meaning you cannot plan one without the other.


Careful and thoughtful planning when choosing an appliance package is where most kitchen remodels need to start – deciding on refrigerator size, single or double oven, range or cooktop, wine cooler or icemaker. These elements will not only affect the overall cost of the appliance package, but also the cabinet layout, and electrical and plumbing requirements.


Having an idea about an appliance package from the onset will ensure that all cabinet, plumbing and electrical requirements are incorporated into the design element. All unknowns for a kitchen regarding appliances will put a strain on the flow of the project.


Without those details, cabinets, plumbing, electric cannot be finalized, so do the legwork up front to eliminate voids and to promote a smooth project flow.


Kitchens also can be one of the most personal elements of a home. This is something to consider if resale is a concern. That bright red oven may be your favorite aspect that you built around, but a potential buyer may not be so fond of it. Don’t be afraid to give your kitchen some element of personal identity, as this is what gives most clients the ultimate satisfaction when taking on a kitchen remodel. Colors, textures and flow are all key factors when planning a kitchen remodel.


Countertops and backsplash, flooring and cabinet color, and traditional or contemporary-style are just a few key finishes that will be going into the pot.


Selections of product-related items can help tie everything together. Don’t neglect the little things such as cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures, right down to the color of the walls and your new dish towels.


A practical approach, careful planning and working with a professional can help your kitchen remodel get you into the kitchen of your dreams.


These simple points can help get your creative juices flowing. Bon appetit.