Flooring- Tile, wood, stone, synthetic, etc… You will want to check with the manufacturer as to warranty as some surfaces such as wood often does not warranty in kitchens and baths. Also, some surfaces are much easier to clean.
Cabinets- Their is a great variance in choices here from IKEA to custom built. This is an important choice as it is often the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel and the finish effects the choices of the rest of the items. It is best to take your kitchen measurements making a note of where you want your kitchen sink, refrigerator, and stove centered. Also take a couple of pictures of the space so your designer can visualize your space. Most cabinet makers/sellers provide a free design service. Take your ideas to them and get some design options and pricing.
Things to Consider when considering cabinet layout:
Where is the microwave going? Integrated into the cabinets, freestanding on countertop, above the range as a microwave/vent combo? This will need to be known during electrical ruff-in as the microwave is generally on its own circuit. The microwave/vent combos are great space savers, but do not vent as well as some of the traditonal hoods. Also, how high do you want it. If it is above the range can your children safely reach it etc…
Lighting- Under cabinet lighting? This should be mentioned to the provider of cabinets as it may effect design and also needs to be wired for during electrical ruff-in.
Refrigerator- Refrigerators come in numerous sizes so you need to choose one so the cabinets can fit around it. Do you want ice and/or water on the door. If yes, these will need to be accomodated during plumbing ruff-in.
Dishwasher- Although most dishwashers are a standard 24″ wide, you should choose your model first to make sure.
Sink- Sinks come in various sizes and shapes. Make sure you choose a sink first so cabinets accomodate it.
Traffic Pattern- How will the kitchen function? Does the refrigerator door open the right way?
Cabinet functions-Where do you want to put your silverware, pots and pans, Do I want a pantry. Today most cabinet manufacturers provide pull out shelves/pantries etc. Give it some thought, get a design, think about it some more. If you don’t think your cabinet designer is giving you good answers, your probably right, go somewhere else. (Your contractor can also assist you in possible designs, but you will still need to sit with a designer/cabinet maker to settle on a final design).
Pulls-What kind of handles or pulls are you going to have on your cabinet doors and drawers. These are usually sold seperately so price them when shopping for cabinets
Door stops and dampers- Do you want door stops/dampers to soften the closing of doors and drawers. If yes they need to be ordered from the manufacturer of the cabinets.
Kitchen entrances and arches- Many homes have small entrances to the kitchen from adjoining rooms and outdoors. Do you want to expand the archway, add french doors? It maybe more feasible then think. Explore all options as you can eliminate them before ending the design process if not appropriate or in the budget.
Counter tops- Stone, synthetic, wood, etc… If you choose a natural product such as wood or granite ask about sealing the product against stains and long term care. Some stone surfaces are stain resistant and very durable, while others stain easily and scratch and chip. Specialty products are generally cut and installed from place of purchase and cordinated throught your general contractor. Do this after you have a cabinet design so you can price the product accordinglly. Stone installers generally do a final measurement after cabinets are installed and then install the fabricated finished product 7 to 10 days later.
Lighting- Where do you want lights? Above the sink, under the cabinets, range vent already has one, dimable? Make sure kitchen is well lighted, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want 6 switches to flick when you walk into the kitchen and think about how the lighting works in your current kitchen.
Range- What do you want? Cooking is one of my favorite past times so I am willing to spend more to get a larger range that provides more cooking surface area. Do you want a traditional free standing oven/range combo, a drop in range with cabinet mounted oven(s), Remember to size your range and vent so they match in size. Also the various choices effect electrical ruff-in so need to be made early.
Windows- Natural lighting is wonderful in a kitchen so consider changing your window(s) to accomodate your layout. Maybe a skylight or solar tube can be added. Remember skylights and solar tubes affect lighting lay0uts so make each decision considering the other.
Dishwasher-Some models are very quite now. You need to choose it before the counter top is fabricated as most models require a vent to be drilled into the surface behind the sink to meet code.
Molding and trim- What do you plan to trim the room with and do you want crown molding on your cabinets. This is important so your contractor can ensure the framing can accomodate it. If you want crown molding your ceiling may need to be leveled first. Many homes have settled over the years and if you want perfect trim and molding, let your contractor know so he can make sure all surfaces are level and plumb. Also, what kind of finish do you want on your trim? Paint or stain?
Paint and finish surfaces- Do you want a tile, stone or painted backsplash. Do you want textured or smooth walls and ceilings? Choose your paint colors before cabinet istallation if possible so a base coat can be put down before installation.
General: We provide this list to get clients to thinking about what they want. You don’t need to have all the answers, but at least when you meet your contractor/ designer you will have some ideas and they can grasp your vision. This is an important part of choosing your contractor/designer. Ask all the questions you need to and if you don’t feel your getting the answers you want, maybe you need to interview another qualified contractor/designer. Remodeling your kitchen can be a wonderful experience as long as you choose the appropriate team. Does this check list help? Let us know so we can improve upon it.Share post