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Remodeling Your Kitchen in Stages: Planning and Design

January 7, 2017

If you’ve got several cookie jars stuffed full of $100 bills, then executing a full-scale kitchen remodel all at once makes sense. But what about those homeowners whose cookie jars are filled with, well, mostly cookies? 

You can still get that beautiful kitchen of your dreams, you just need patience and a well-thought-out game plan that breaks up your remodel into several stages spread out over time. That way you can save up (fill that cookie jar!) and spend only what you can when you can. Maybe this month it’s painting the cabinets. Maybe later in the year you buy new appliances. 

There are plenty of benefits of a phased project, but there are also several pitfalls you want to avoid. This five-part series will help you navigate those stages to a successful remodeled kitchen.

 

Look Before You Leap

A phased remodel gives you the ability to spread out payments over time, which is good for people who can’t pay for a full remodel up front and aren’t comfortable taking out a large loan to cover it. Breaking up a project also allows you to change your plan between stages, something much more difficult when you’re in the middle of a full-scale remodel. If you decide to reverse course in some aspect of the plan, it will likely cost less than changing course would have been if the whole remodel were done at once.

But a phased project requires immense patience and strategy. Your first impulse may be to dive right in, but I’m here to tell you: don’t. When planning a kitchen remodel over stages, it is important to rein in those early rash decisions. Do not buy new appliances, fixtures or countertops. Do not paint, do not replace windows, do not knock down that wall and do not replace your cabinet hardware.

If you act on impulse and rip out that awful tile countertop and replace it with a gorgeous slab, you have seriously limited yourself going forward. What if you end up wanting to change out the undercounter sink or, worse, modify your entire kitchen layout? That stunning new countertop may have to go, and you will find you have wasted time and resources. 

Buy new appliances now and the finish and style might not work with the new cabinets you planned on adding next year. So just be patient and focus on developing a comprehensive plan.

Your project may be simple. You may want new appliances and fixtures, painted cabinets and new countertops. Or it could be more complex. Maybe you need to expand the kitchen, take down walls, build into your backyard and add living space. This is the time to visualize and study your expectations carefully.

 

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