What to Expect During an Open Floor Plan Kitchen Remodel
There’s no denying the results of a solid open floor plan kitchen remodel – maximized space, better functionality and design, and modernized aesthetic.
But what all goes into the process? If you’re moving forward with a remodel, what do you need to know? Here’s what to expect during an open floor plan kitchen remodel.
What to Expect During the Planning Process
Planning is a pivotal phase of going through an open floor plan kitchen remodel. During the planning phase is when you seek out design inspiration, decide what you like and don’t like, and take a serious look at your space to determine exactly what could work for you. Here are key considerations and steps to take during the planning process.
Envision Your Dream Kitchen
The great thing about planning a kitchen remodel in today’s day and age is that there are seemingly limitless design and aesthetic options for you to choose from. Especially with inspiration easily found through platforms like Pinterest and even our own gallery, there’s no shortage of sources to look up that will help you envision your dream kitchen.
So, during the planning process, take the time to use these resources and reflect on any and everything you could want for your dream open kitchen remodel. Save pictures in an “idea” folder or Pinterest board, where you store pictures and architectural details that appeal to you.
In addition, start by creating a detailed wishlist that takes into account your goals for remodeling. Do you want more space? More storage? A distinct style? A fluid, functional design? Organize your wish list by priority, to help make sure you focus on the elements that are truly important to you (this will especially help in the budget planning phase!)
For open concept kitchen design inspiration, see our blog post, Open Concept Kitchen Design Ideas.
Now that you’ve saved pictures that appeal to you and thought about your dream wishlist, it’s time to get real and personal. As important as visual inspiration is, it’s crucial to ground your remodel in functionality. Take some time to think about the usability of your kitchen. For example: how many chefs usually work in your kitchen? More than one? What’s your cooking style – more formal or laid back? Is your kitchen mostly for “work,” or does it take on a more social quality? How much do you enjoy (or not enjoy) cleaning?
Go Big (or Go Home)
Going through the process of a kitchen remodel is the ideal time to expand. Luckily, there are several ways to do it!
A great way to enlarge your open concept kitchen even more is by “stealing space” from other rooms during the remodel. “By repurposing square footage from an adjacent hallway or a no-longer-needed chimney, closet, or porch, you can expand your kitchen at perhaps half the per-square-foot costs of an addition”.
If you want to go the extra mile in your remodel, you can also consider adding a bump out and actually building your house to make your open concept space even bigger. If you were ever considering an addition, now is the time to do it!
Another key aspect of the planning phase is setting a budget. Doing this very early in the process will help prevent stress and frustration later on.
Take a realistic look at your available budget. A great rule of thumb is to “cap your kitchen renovation budget at 15% of your home’s value. For budgeting purposes, figure about 30% on cabinets; 14% on appliances; 10% on countertops; 5% on lighting; 4% on plumbing fixtures; 2% to 3% on paint; 1% to 2% on tiles, and 35% on construction costs, such as windows, flooring, and labor”.
One of the surest ways to shave costs and work cost-effectively in your remodel is to do more with what you’ve got. Envision your ideal layout for storage and appliances – how much of that is a departure from your current structure, and what is the same?
Working with a Professional
Despite the added cost, working with a professional can save a lot of time and headache during the process of an open concept kitchen remodel. Here’s what to expect if you are debating working with a professional designer.
Working With Designers in Your Remodel
Since your project will only be as good as its design, we recommend choosing to partner with a designer to create the open concept kitchen of your dreams. Expect to pay 3 to 10 % of your project budget on for design.
Another consideration for working with a designer: if you are considering re-selling your home at any time in the future. The design and structure of your kitchen remodel will significantly impact the resale value of your home, should that be your end goal, working with a professional will ensure you get maximum value.
To sum up, we highly recommend working with a professional designer for your kitchen remodel – and almost every other person in this industry will recommend the same!
What to Expect During the Remodel
An open concept floor plan, specifically an open concept kitchen remodel, is an investment in both money and time. Here’s what you can expect during the actual remodeling process.
Working with Contractors
One of the biggest components of your remodel will be the contractors and team who actually work to complete it.
Doing serious research on your contractor ahead of time will help give you the confidence during the remodel process to let them fully dive into their work. A great way to ensure this confidence from the start is researching your desired contractor’s reputation, and maybe even visiting one of their current jobs in progress. And speaking of reputation, even though you may want to get your remodel done as soon as possible, remember that the best contractors are worth waiting for. Build your schedule around the general contractor of your dreams, not vice versa.
During the process of your model, let the professionals do their work – after all, this is what you hired them for. Do your best to stay out of the way, and provide refreshments when needed. Respect on both sides will keep the work environment as enjoyable as possible.
Perhaps one of the biggest expectations to set for yourself in the remodel process is that it will almost always take longer than you think. Even if the remodel goes almost exactly according to plan, setting an expectation up front that it will take longer than you expected will keep you from getting unnecessarily stressed.
Common Mistakes to Avoid<
In a perfect world, demolition starts on time, deliveries arrive on schedule, installation takes place without a hitch, and cleanup is quick and easy. Chances are, your remodel will have a hiccup or two, but you can ensure things go as smoothly as possible by avoiding these common mistakes.
Do NOT try to be your own contractor. A kitchen remodel is one of the most costly, complicated, and time-consuming projects imaginable, and the input of qualified professionals is not only valuable, in most parts of the country it’s mandated by law. Ideally, you did the heavy lifting during the research phase and can sit back and let the team do the job you hired them to do.
Do NOT pay in advance. The rule of thumb here is to never pay more than 30 percent of the total job cost up front (typically to cover startup materials). Then work out a schedule of progress payments based on the completion of predetermined phases of the job. You never know what may come up that will affect the original quote: the materials you originally chose may run out of stock so you have to choose something else. Or, you may end up not wanting to install the trim you originally picked out. The point is: the original quote may not end up being the final cost, so paying it 100% up front is almost always a mistake.
Do NOT get distracted by trends. It’s so important to stay true to your original wishlist and priorities. Don’t get distracted by the “latest and greatest” and risk spending money on something you’ll regret down the line. Reordering, reconfiguring, changing your mind over and over —it all leads to delay, tapped-out budgets, and exasperated contractor teams.
Do NOT ignore what you can’t see. Yes, it’s fun to focus on your new quartz countertops, distressed cabinet panels or marble floors, but don’t forget to pay attention to the elements you can’t see. If the sides and hardware aren’t assembled efficiently, the doors will be crooked in no time. Don’t be seduced by surfaces: It’s what’s behind the walls and under the floors that really counts.
What to Expect After the Remodel
Congratulations! You made it through your open concept kitchen remodel. Now that you’ve gone through the process, here are a few things you can expect.
After your remodel is complete, your new kitchen layout will be much more open and flows directly into your family room and/or dining room, making the space perfect for the way so many of us entertain today. You will experience a much more efficient and functional flow of traffic and activity in your home after opening up a kitchen to a dining room.
As a result, you can probably also expect more bodies in these open, easy to use rooms and passageways. Everyone is going to want to hang out in your open concept kitchen now that there is lots of new space to navigate.
Influx of Light
Another adjustment you can expect after your open concept kitchen remodel is an influx of natural light into your home, perhaps into spaces where you’re not used to having any natural light. Opening walls up in your new kitchen will brighten the entire space. There are also significant health benefits that come from exposure to natural light. Research has proven that “natural lighting helps people be more productive, happier, healthier and calmer. Natural light has also proven to regulate some disorders including Seasonal Affective Disorder”. So you may begin to experience those health benefits as well!
Another pro of an open floor plan? The influx of friends and family members who will want to come over and see your new space! Open concept kitchens are notoriously great for entertaining, and you can certainly expect to be the “host with the most” with your new kitchen.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what to expect during an open concept kitchen remodel: before, during, and after the process. As you can see, like any good thing, a proper remodel takes a lot of planning, time and energy, but the end result will be well worth the wait!