In General

photo-1414956182841-f9f6c6f0d7c0The first room renters want to see is the kitchen. This space is the hub of family life, the one room that is used most often throughout the day. Spending money on remodeling the kitchen can make your unit easier to rent and command a higher monthly fee.

But how do you choose the right features to include in your remodeling plans? Who should do the work? What permits are needed? Here are five tips to help you navigate your unit’s kitchen remodeling.

#1. What do your tenants need and want?

You won’t know the exact lifestyle and family needs for your prospective tenants. But you can develop a basic concept of who your ideal tenant is and what they look for in a kitchen.

Consider things like the number of people in the family, and if they have children. Is the current space big enough for your ideal tenant? Will they be on a small budget, or are they making a larger income? Their financial situation will have a big impact on their expectations.

Look at magazines and online websites devoted to kitchen layouts, appliances, and features to get ideas. Tour units at the same price level, owned by other landlords.

#2. Research and make a plan.

Start coming up with a budget. Draw a preliminary plan with the size and layout included. This is subject to revision, but gives you a starting point. Figure out how much money you want to spend.

Align your budget with the scope of the work you are envisioning. Remodeling a kitchen can get expensive. It usually requires help from an electrician and a plumber. The labor of both is expensive. Be realistic in what you can afford.

#3. Talk to professionals.

Check with your network for referrals. Architects and contractors vary widely in experience and costs. Get at least three estimates. Are you going to act as your own general contractor? Start talking to electricians, plumbers, and carpenters.

Do you need cabinets, counters, and appliances? Seek out stores with good prices and selection. Check online for deals.

Work closely with the professionals you choose. They can help with contracts and permits. With their experience, they are an excellent source of guidance when choosing fixtures, finishes, and finding reasonably priced products. Asking them questions and listening to their advice can save you time and money on your unit’s kitchen remodel.

#4. Get it on paper.

After you have a good idea of what you want, the professionals you hired can develop sketches, floor plans, and schematics. This allows each building trade to do a precise job so the entire project goes to plan.

With this type of design work in place, you will know exactly how many square feet you are dealing with in each section of the kitchen. You need this for space planning, which includes counters, appliances, fixtures, cabinets, and flooring.

#5. Get real about appliances, fixtures, and finishes.

At this point, you can work on the look of your finished kitchen. This is an important part of the remodeling process, because it affects the appearance and feel of the kitchen, which is how your tenants will judge it.

Will it be classic, modern, rustic, or traditional? Do you want neutral colors, or a look that pops out? These design decisions affect the style of doors, cabinets, hardware, and  counters you choose. It lets you select appliances, sinks and faucets, flooring and light fixtures that enhance the overall look.

#6. Get estimates and firm up contractors.

This is the step where you transition from initiator to bystander, to an extent. The contractor takes over, using all the preliminary work you have provided to guide them. He will handle the mechanical and electrical drawings, lighting plans, and final floor plans.

The contractor will get the final permit set or construction drawings. Your finishes and the fixtures should already be chosen. Be sure you have contractor estimates in written form.

At this point, your kitchen remodel is in good hands. Follow the work as it is done to be sure that what you expected is what you actually see.

Thinking of remodeling or renovating your kitchen? Talk to the experts at G&C Construction and Electrical to find out where to begin!

photo-1445510861639-5651173bc5d5Artisan putting linoleum on the floor