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April 2014 Issue

Kitchen Remodeling - Survive, Thrive, and Revive

By Joel S Nelson

Kitchen remodeling is a fun and effective way to update your home for your enjoyment and for better future resale value. If you're considering a kitchen remodeling project you probably have lots of questions, and are wondering how to get a great finished product AND best survive the project.

In one way or another I've been asked hundreds of times: "what's the most important thing I can do to make my kitchen remodeling project successful?" Trouble is, I don't think any one thing is important enough to make your kitchen remodeling project successful all by itself.

However, don't despair!

Following are the top 7 tips for a massively successful kitchen remodeling project. Follow these, and not only will you survive, but you'll thrive while the kitchen is revived.

Tip #1: Start with a professional design

You can't underestimate the importance of a quality design. A good design that effectively captures your vision is a vital communication tool between you and the guys doing the work. Never start a kitchen remodeling project until your vision is properly expressed on paper.

Tip #2: Select durable finishes

How long ago was your kitchen first built, or last remodeled? 20, 30, even 40 years ago? Chances are it won't be remodeled again for another 20, 30 or 40 years. You absolutely must pick durable finishes that can hold up to your family's use and abuse.

Tip #3: Select enduring finishes

Again, because your kitchen won't be remodeled again for decades, it's best to pick finishes that can stand the test of time. Are you sure that pastel-colored cabinets and boldly-colored appliances aren't a fad? Is your love-affair with multi-color green onyx enduring enough that you'll be happy with your green countertops 10 years from now? Picking finishes that will appeal to you now, AND 10 years from now may be the wiser choice.

Tip #4: Personalize with details

Once your design and layout is determined, what small details can you add to personalize your kitchen remodeling project? Cabinet accessories, trim details, and deco tiles in your backsplash are all small details that can add a lot of POP to your project without necessarily adding much cost.

Tip #5: Hire the right contractor

If your kitchen renovation project takes 6 months to complete, costs more than it should, and ends up looking like a handyman special, you will not be a happy camper. Make sure you hire a kitchen remodeling contractor who sticks to a realistic, efficient schedule and can guarantee finish dates, pricing, and a comprehensive warranty in writing.

Tip #6: Set aside a contingency budget

Be prepared for some surprises (e.g. finding out that none of your exterior kitchen walls have insulation!). Also be prepared for some changes (e.g. you decide you don't care about the cost, you simply must have that glass tile backsplash after all!). Either situation is going add to the project cost. Be prepared with a contingency budget.

Tip #7: Get out of the way and enjoy the process

Be content to check on progress once (or at most twice) a day. You will significantly decrease your stress level if you stay on the sidelines and let your kitchen remodeling professional do what he does best.

With help from these Top 7 kitchen remodeling tips, not only will you survive your upcoming project, but you'll thrive during it. Plus the tips that you'll learn here will give your project a fantastic finish; one that will provide you with massive enjoyment for years to come.

Building more...

Joel Nelson is a remodeling expert serving the local market of Parker, CO, and specializing in basement finishing and kitchen remodeling. While building is his first passion, the increasing demand for educational resources in construction has led him (back) into a familiar passion: that of coaching and teaching. For more information, to view recent projects, and to read more insightful Parker Kitchen Remodeling tips, visit

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