Springtime is fast approaching, and many homeowners are thinking of ways to modernize and freshen up the old homestead, including remodeling their kitchens.
And since many people are expecting a substantial income tax refund, this is a perfect time to convert that home-improvement wish list into a real project.
But where do you start?
It can seem overwhelming to plan, design and contract for such a big job. The good news is, it’s a straightforward process and you won’t be doing it alone. Experienced kitchen designers, like those at Markraft Cabinets in Wilmington, will help you through it.
Start with why you want to redo your kitchen. Maybe you’re tired of the old look, or the layout just isn’t functional. Perhaps you’ve seen kitchens in friends’ homes, on TV, in magazines or online that appeal to you. All are excellent reasons for remodeling.
Don’t forget the financial benefits. Updating your kitchen is a great way to increase property value. In fact, a well-designed kitchen remodeling will return more dollars - in a higher resale price - than what the work cost.
Whether you intend to stay in your home forever or anticipate reselling in a year or two, you have plenty of reasons to tackle this project.
So, it’s time to begin gathering ideas. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. You might start with writing down what you don’t like about your kitchen, and what you’d like to have. A simple wish list can help focus your thinking, or raise specific questions to explore as you start your research.
That brings us to the brainstorming process. Design and lifestyle magazines are a great source. Clip articles, photos and advertisements of products or design ideas you like. Likewise, home-improvement TV shows can give you additional inspiration. Most of those magazines and networks have websites packed with good information, as well.
Next, organize your favorite ideas – or those you are unsure of – into a scrapbook or folder. Keep your master wish list and any other notes in one place, along with magazine clippings and online printouts.
Take that file - and maybe a mobile device with bookmarked web pages - when you begin looking at an actual kitchen design showroom and talking with Markraft’s designers.
When you visit the Markraft Design Center, those professionals will point you toward specific products and offer suggestions about layouts, colors and other design touches you might not have considered. You can also expect them to listen and understand your essential project goals. After all, this will be your kitchen - in your home – so it should be what works for you. Markraft’s designers appreciate that and respect their clients’ wishes.
A visit to Markraft’s showroom should give you a better idea of the product lines that fit your budget. This may add some new possibilities to your wish list. No doubt, your ideas folder will be a bit thicker once you have added brochures, color swatches and preliminary sketches to it.
At this stage, you will likely have crossed some things off your list, added a few new items, and prioritized and ranked features. Now that you have a general budget estimate, it’s time for a serious sit-down with your designer.
Next month, we’ll take a closer look at how a Markraft kitchen designer can custom-fit cabinets, appliances and countertops into your space and what to expect when lining up contractors, ordering products and scheduling work.
Get an up-close look at new products and new ideas in kitchen cabinetry and countertops in Markraft’s Design Center at 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road. Markraft’s professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment, but drop-in visitors are always welcome to browse the showroom. The Design Center is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.