This final chapter is all about the details. It concerns finalizing the “blueprint” for your kitchen remodeling project. Its focus is on pulling all the ends together. In a sense, it is a review or a summary of all we have written about in the previous chapters. To pull it all together, you will rely on everything you have learned and prepared from the preceding chapters. If you have decided to choose a Kitchen Designer, you may be able to avoid much of what this chapter contains. All others, however, should pay heed.
You can now start to prepare your final design. This is the blueprint you will present to your Contractors or subcontractors. This is the basis from which you will create your perfect kitchen. It needs to be comprehensive and complete.
By now, you will know your old kitchen like the back of your hand. You will also have a complete picture of what you want and how it will fit into the overall scheme. You need, now, to mesh the 2 into a complete, visual and feasible plan. It must be one you and your employees can read and understand.
One of the easiest ways to do so is to use one of the latest design kits. It can help you draw up and combine all kitchen elements. You can also work with your kitchen designer, contractor and/or subcontractors to create it. There are still those who prefer to draw it painstakingly by hand. Choose whatever method is best and works for you.
This final design will require exactitude. Be sure you have measured every window and door. Take a tape measure and check out the size of each appliance as it now is. Fill in the exact size of the new appliances. The same applies to all changes. You need to be sure of the height, width, and depth of cabinets and other forms of storage space. You cannot and must not guesstimate. Whoever is doing the job needs exact measurements.
On this final product, you must indicate such things as new switch placements, and other aspects of the altered or retained electrical system. The same applies to plumb, heating and cooling systems. Indicate clearly what you want. Place the new appliances in their changed or remaining locations on the diagram. Indicate all exist, entrances, windows and other pertinent elements on the design. Note all pertinent data such as countertop placement, size, and height. Do not forget ANY detail. If you do, the result could create problems. It may result in delays and increased expenses.
In creating this design or plan, make sure you use recognizable symbols. Make sure your design is comprehensible to all working on the remodeling job. If you are in doubt, consult them. Ask if this is the right type of design model?
For your own sake, you might also want to supply a mock-up of your finished kitchen. You can have more fun with this version. Draw to scale your kitchen. Draw on your computer a plan. Overlay it with all the necessary schematics if you want. You can also simply cut and paste the various elements you want to see. These can include the exact appliances, windows and doors, and even kitchen gadgetry and storage units. Either utilize your computer or cut them out from advertisements, promotional material or magazines. You can then paste them in the appropriate spots. It will provide you with comparison as you watch the work progress.
Finalize the schedule. Make sure everything is in place. Place the schedule in your paper file, a datebook or in a virtual file. Make sure it is easily accessible. Print out multiple copies. Send them to all the involved parties. Be sure everyone knows this is the finalized version. If there are any sudden changes, take care of them now before work actually gets underway.
There are other aspects of remodeling you need to finalize. You need to prepare a progress report. It is the timeline of your job. You need to also have a calendar upon which to mark both the scheduling of tasks and the timeline in which it is occurring. Make sure these are easily accessed.
In addition to this, prepare or finalize your shopping list. This will include all the materials you will require to see the job. It will have specific model names and numbers. It will list prices and contact numbers. It will note delivery systems and dates.
If you have a contractor, still keep a list relating to materials. It will provide something to compare the work-in-progress model with what you have previously agreed upon. If you are working with subcontractors, retain it for the same reason. In some contracts, you will be obligated to provide specific items or materials. This list will ensure you get the right material and do so on time. If you are doing all the work, this list will guide you to making the right choices and, hopefully, keep you on track and on budget.
Be sure you have updated your budget. Keep this vital collection of facts and figures on hand. You may have to revise it during the remodeling. Whether the figures will go up or down will depend upon the individual kitchen remodeling job, the people involved, and the many external factors that you only think you have control over.
This design is the product of everything you have done since the project started. It is the culmination of all your hard work. Make sure it is as accurate as possible. Go over the directions, the design, the materials, indeed all data and pertinent information with a fine-toothed comb. Only then, should you issue it to the pertinent parties? After perhaps a change or 2, and there usually is 1 or 2 alterations at the request of one or other of the involved parties, you are ready to begin the actual kitchen remodeling.
Remodeling your kitchen is one of the hardest tasks you may ever undertake in renovating your house. The kitchen presents a variety of challenges. Its integrated heat, light, water and air systems provide a complexity not reached in any other room in your home. However, you can master the monster of all remodeling jobs if you approach it correctly.
To exit triumphantly you need a comprehensive and accurate design plan. You need to approach the tasks at hand logically and in an organized fashion. You need first to establish your goals. Next, you need to know what exists. You can overlay this with what you want and what you really need.
You cannot proceed further without understanding the limitations placed on the job. These include existing conditions, time and, above all your budget. Never forget money in the equation. You may want a kitchen with all the bells and whistles, but can you really afford it? Always be realistic about the role money will play in remodeling.
There are other aspects you need to focus on as well. Your skill level will influence what trades you need to hire. Always be honest about what you can, want and feel comfortable doing. This will prevent costly and even dangerous mistakes.
If you take care to organize all aspects of the remodeling job, you may not be able to relax completely. You can, however, feel you are more than a little prepared to survive this kitchen remodeling job.