|Kitchen Design Plan|
Here are my recommendations for how to survive the work phase of your project. These recommendations are the result of my own experience with my recent kitchen renovation. I hope my experience helps you to weather the upheaval a kitchen renovation brings with a minimum of stress.
Five Tips to Survive a Kitchen Renovation#1. Hire the Right Professionals
Ask for Recommendations:
Talk to family, friends and neighbors to get recommendations for kitchen designers, plumbers, electricians, painters, and carpenters. It is best when you can actually see the work that has been completed. If your project is complex, this is the point to decide if you will hire a contractor to manage it. My project was of medium complexity and I chose to manage the timeline and coordinate the tradespeople myself.
Meet with Each Professional
You should interview two or three tradespeople from each category. You will want to compare bids from each. My experience has taught me that bids may vary greatly. Your meeting will allow you to talk to each of your potential hires about expectations you may have like cleaning up on a daily basis, daily work schedule, and willingness to coordinate with the other tradespeople. You'll get a sense of their professionalism during these in-person meetings.
|Add a Contingency Pool to Your Budget|
#2. Finalize Your Budget
You must get your bids in writing. This is where your preparation work will serve you very well. Careful preparation means you can be very specific when you speak with the tradespeople about the requirements of the job and the materials you want to be used. The more details you have decided by this point the more complete the bids will be. That means you will have common points from which you can compare bids and fewer surprises once the work starts.
You'll also want to understand the payment schedule for each of your tradespeople. Just as you expect them to show up and complete the project on time, you must commit to payment on a timely schedule. Once the bids start coming in be ready to be astonished. My bids varied by as much as 100%. I was shocked at the amount of variation. Read the bids carefully to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. You may need to have follow-up calls with the tradespeople to clarify elements of the bids.
#3. Confirm Availability and Commitment to Schedule
Once you decide which tradespeople you want to work on your renovation be sure to confirm their availability by phone and in writing. Renovation work follows a step by step process where any one of your tradespeople can create a problem for your timeline. In my case the tile layer came down with a horrendous case of bronchitis, requiring hospitalization, the first day of tile laying. Luckily, the other, members of his team were able to keep the job relatively on track and my carpenter was able to work around the small delays.
#4. Stay Out of the Way While the Work Progresses
This may be the hardest part of the process. You are excited. You want to see how your new kitchen is progressing. Now is the time to let the professionals do their work. Now is not the time for you to get new ideas and ask for changes. If you do, expect to pay handsomely.
|Build Wiggle Room into Your Timeline|
In spite of your careful research and planning, there will be surprises. These surprises will either impact your budget or your timeline. For this reason, you should build a cushion into both areas. You'll need a contingency budget of approximately 10% and some wiggle room on your completion date. You'll also need to know how tight the timing is for each of your tradespeople and take that into consideration before hiring them. If a tradesperson's window of availability is too tight you may want to choose someone else.
This post brings this kitchen renovation series to an end. Please refer to the prior posts for more detail on the start to finish steps in the renovation process. I wish you good luck with your renovation. My kitchen renovation experience was excellent. I attribute that to good planning.
|My Renovated Kitchen|
Previous posts in this series:
#1 Time for a Kitchen Renovation
#2 Five Questions to Answer When Planning a Kitchen Renovation
#3 Kitchen Renovation-The Plan
#4 Kitchen Renovation-Getting Inspiration
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