If you were to ask members of a typical family which room of the house was their favourite, the odds are pretty good that their answer would be the kitchen. After all, the kitchen is usually the source of food, which, when shared with the other members of the household, results in happy memories and opportunities for bonding. It’s the place people go for a bit of comfort when they’re feeling down or overwhelmed, where they celebrate, and where they feel most full and satisfied. Clearly, there are many positive associations to be made with the kitchen.
It’s no wonder, then, that many homeowners seek to renovate this part of their home before any other. This actually makes perfect sense: aside from all the positive associations people tend to have with the kitchen, it’s also a common area, which means all members of the household benefit equally when it’s refurbished, as compared to bedrooms, studies, work areas, or en-suite bathrooms.
Whether you’re looking to simply upgrade to a new kitchen hood Singapore homes typically have installed, or are redoing your kitchen’s entire look, here’s what you need to know.
Set Your Budget
As with most big-ticket purchases, remodelling your kitchen will require you to set a budget. Before you begin choosing backsplashes or installing that shiny new range, you need to know how much you can comfortably afford, without severely compromising other aspects of your family’s lives. There are no hard and fast rules for preparing a budget for this, but some experts recommend trying to limit spending on remodelling to less than 15% of the total value of your home per room. Therefore, if your home is valued at SGD500,000, your remodelling budget for each room should not exceed SGD75,000.
Another aspect of budgeting that is often overlooked is the time required to complete the project. If you’re having your kitchen remodelled, you might have to deal with unfamiliar people coming into your house on a regular basis, for at least a few days. Weigh the comfort and convenience of your family versus the value of your remodelling project, before embarking on it.
And speaking of weighing one thing against the other…
Weigh Needs and Wants
Are there parts or features of your kitchen that absolutely need to be reworked or replaced? Meanwhile, are other parts of your kitchen still serviceable, and maybe in need of some repair or cleaning? If you can differentiate between the two, then congratulations, you have successfully distinguished between needs and wants.
If your hob has undergone multiple rounds of repairs and still can’t successfully heat up your dinner, then it’s probably time to get it replaced. This is something that needs to happen, in order for your kitchen to be functional again. On the other hand, your backsplash may be slightly soot-stained or pocked with old grease, but cleaning it up will have it looking, if not as good as new, at least presentable. You won’t have to replace or reinstall it just yet. Prioritizing your needs over your wants will go a long way towards keeping your project within budget.
Get Ready to Compromise (and to Let Go!)
Sure, everyone would love to have walnut baseboards, a marble countertop, and a smart fridge that knows when you’re out of milk and orders it for you. However, not all of us can afford to pay the costs you’re likely to incur from buying or installing these luxury items.
Inevitably, in the course of your remodelling, you’ll have to make compromises. Some items might be more expensive than you initially expected, causing your budget to spike even before you’ve gotten to the good stuff. Some items might simply be unavailable where you are, meaning that you’ll have to settle for alternatives that aren’t quite what you had in mind. In either case, you’ll definitely have to pivot to new options and let go of some of your initial ideas in order to complete your project without going overboard. Just try to go with the flow and find alternatives that give you nearly as much satisfaction or appear as similar as your original concept.
Decide Whether to Outsource or DIY
If you happen to be the handy type and are skilled with a saw and plane, then this tip doesn’t apply to you. Just do your own remodelling and you’ll probably save around 40% on your budget. However, if you’re unfamiliar with woodworking or electrical installation, this tip will definitely help. Naturally, having an expert will make your project run like clockwork, but it will also quickly eat into your budget. On the other hand, attempting to do it yourself could be a fun project and will probably save you a few bucks, but the results may not be what you expect. Again, there are no predetermined rules for this, other than if your budget is limited, try to do it yourself, but if you really want a good job done, then simply leave it to the pros.
Take these tips into consideration when planning your kitchen remodelling project so that the next meal you serve your family will come from a kitchen that’s magazine-worthy!