For some, the words DIY sound more like D-I-E.
You may have the knack for craft and home improvement, or you may be far on the other side of the scale. Some may never even consider tackling a kitchen renovation on their own, but for others, the idea isn’t too scary, and may actually be exciting! Whether you are new to DIY renovations or experienced, there are a set of things that you must always consider and aim to get right when doing a DIY kitchen remodel. Let’s cover them below!
Have you ever heard the expression “measure twice, cut once”? That’s because sometimes, you only get one shot to get it right. When you’re talking about ordering roughly $10,000 worth of kitchen cabinets, you want to make sure your measurements are correct. If not, your whole layout could be compromised. Even worse, it won’t work at all. Then, you’ve paid for a product you can’t use. Custom or semi-custom cabinets can’t be returned because they were made especially for you. In stock, cabinets MAY be able to be returned, but they will need to be in perfect condition, meaning you can’t have already tried installing them. Because countertop templating can’t be done until your cabinets are fully installed, this can push back you getting your countertops several weeks, especially if they are special order cabinets. Anyone who has gone through a kitchen remodel knows that being without countertops is one of the hardest things to deal with. Make things easier. Measure MULTIPLE times, and do it the right way.
Plan for the Unexpected in a Kitchen Remodel
Most of us know that when doing a remodel, there will be something unexpected to deal with. This happens when professional contractors are doing the job, so don’t think that you as a DIYer will have a different experience. If anything, you might deal with a bit more because you’re not as experienced in foreseeing potential problems before starting the job. Set aside 20% of your budget for these issues. If you happen to be the 1% that doesn’t have any unexpected issues, you’ve just found some extra money! But on the other hand, if you don’t set this money aside, and not IF but WHEN something comes up, your remodel has just become a lot more stressful.
While there isn’t exactly such a thing as a REAL delicate demolition, you do need to decide what you’ll be keeping before you start demo in your kitchen remodel. If you’re not keeping anything, it makes it a bit easier, but if you’re saving some cabinets, or the backsplash, or flooring, you are going to have to plan to work around that without damaging it. Many a good material has been lost in the demo because this hasn’t been properly thought through. Realize that drywall could be damaged in this process if you’re not extremely careful. If it is visible drywall, you are going to have to pay for those materials and either do that work on top of the remodel or pay someone to finish it for you.
Electric & Plumbing
Odds are, you’re not an electrician or a plumber. These are VERY important to take into account when doing a kitchen remodel. Someone will need to hook up your new sink (or your old sink into your new cabinets), your dishwasher and possibly your refrigerator. If you’re changing your layout, you may need to move outlets. Even if you’re not changing the layout, the best time to move inconvenient electrical sockets is after the demo is already done and the walls are open, so take advantage of this fact and get an electrician in there to do the work you’ll wish you had done later! Budget for these professionals to the job, because shoddy plumbing and electric work can mess up a lot of things in your home and potentially cause major problems like fires. Additionally, you could find bad wiring or pipes once the demo has been done, so this goes back to planning for the unexpected on top of budgeting for plumbing and electrical trades.
If you are moving your appliances, you need to be prepared to spend more on electric or plumbing. You might also want to consult with those trades before deciding on a layout because your home might actually not support the layout you’re hoping for. If you’re going to be building in your microwave, you need additional filler. You will need refrigerator end panels if you’re building in your fridge. If you plan on getting new appliances, make sure you know the exact models you’re getting before confirming your layout and order products. Not all appliances are the same size.
See your materials together
If you’re not working with a designer on your kitchen remodel (which, if you’re not, you could be, free of charge!) or a contractor, you may have an idea of the way that something will look together, but if you’ve never actually seen it, you could end up hating it when you have all the final products together. That is a huge hassle that no one wants. Sometimes it’s the piece they base their entire design around that they decide doesn’t look right. We suggest you get samples of all the pieces you plan on buying and putting them next to each other to see to the best of your knowledge how they will look in your space. We do, however, always suggest working with a designer to utilize their years of expertise on these issues.
DIYers often forget the finishing materials in a kitchen remodel, such as bullnose tile to end the backsplash, toe kick for under the cabinets, scribe for the sides of cabinets, crown moulding or fillers. These play an important part in the overall design, so make sure you take these into account.
Get a comprehensive plan together
After you’ve gotten all of these issues worked out, get a c
comprehensive plan together for your kitchen remodel. Get graph paper and map out each cabinet, where it will go, the measurements, etc. What products will go where, how much you will need (plus extra!) and when each product will be installed, and by who. Make sure you know which trades will need to work when and schedule them in advance.We hope these tips have been helpful! If you have any other questions about achieving a DIY kitchen remodel, feel free to email us or comment below! Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Kitchen Remodeling, Kitchen Cabinets, Countertops and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!Written By: Allie Bloyd
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