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  • Writer's pictureBetsey Dempsey

What do I select first when doing a kitchen or bath renovation?

Renovations can vary from just changing a countertop and adding a fresh coat of paint on the walls, to gutting the entire room and moving plumbing and electrical. With any renovation, I first suggest thinking about what is not working for you. Make a list of wants and needs. Then you need to consider the following:

1. Are you moving cabinetry, plumbing, or electricity?

Yes. Get a contractor right away and talk to them about your plans. They will guide you on what can be done within your budget. For example, they may tell you moving the plumbing would be enormously expensive, depending on the situation. On the other hand, it may be an easy task. Next, you may need to talk to a kitchen/bath designer to come up with the preliminary layout. Once you are satisfied, present it to your contractor.

No. You will still need a contractor for most changes, unless you’re capable of doing the work yourself.

2. Are you replacing appliances or your sink?

Yes. These need to be picked out to make sure they fit in your plans. If you are using a designer, they will need the dimensions.

No. A designer will still need your dimensions.

3. Replacing your countertops and cabinets?

Yes. A kitchen/bath store will have options for both.

No. If you are just replacing tile, flooring, or paint, see if you can bring a sample of your countertop and a drawer or door with you when visit a store. You will want to make sure it all works together.

4. Adding or changing any tile or flooring?

Yes. Again, bring samples of your countertop and/or cabinets with you when picking tile for a backsplash, floors, or bathroom walls. Same goes for picking wood for the floor.

No. Easy! Skip this step.

5. Changing the paint color? This comes last.

Yes. Everything comes into play when picking the paint colors. Work off all of your samples of to make sure it all works together.

It's great to have inspiration from a photo to start with but be flexible. What looks good in another house may not work in yours. If you need help making sure everything goes together, a color consultant is a great resource. Doing the steps above early in the process will end up saving you money. When decisions are rushed, you often end up spending more. By giving yourself and your contractor plenty of time, you will see the difference in the results.

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