Five things to consider for a successful kitchen renovation

28 November 2022

Whether you just bought a second-hand home or you’ve noticed that your formerly white melamine cupboards have yellowed over the years, you may want to consider a kitchen renovation. This is one of the most important rooms in your home, so a project like this will require thought, care and planning. A well-designed, functional and fashionable kitchen that can outlast passing fads will certainly have a WOW factor, whether you’re planning to enjoy it for years to come or to sell your property in the near future. Here are some thoughts on how to make this makeover a success (with no nasty headaches!).

Identify your needs for a successful kitchen renovation

A seemingly simple question, but the answer will vary greatly depending on your home’s features and your current and future living situation. Do you have young children, or are they now grown up and ready to leave the nest? Do you like to have people over and serve up fabulous gourmet meals? Have you always dreamed of having a wine cabinet? Or are you more the type who loves a lunch counter so you can grab a meal on the run?

In short, your renovated kitchen should accommodate both your lifestyle and your storage and space needs. They’ll be very different if you have a separate dining room, if you want to keep your current appliances, or if you have children. The changes you make should meet both your short- and medium-term needs. Once you’ve figured out what you want, think about how long the work should take and set a schedule for completing it. The better prepared you are, the easier the next steps will be.

Decide how much to invest

There’s no escaping the fact that renovations cost money. A brand new kitchen can run anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000, but the return on the investment will be worth it—75% to 100% of the cost can be recovered down the line when you sell your home. Be don’t go overboard, because there are other things to keep in mind. It’s pointless to put in a to-die-for kitchen if the average home in your neighbourhood is valued less than yours. Some financial institutions say it’s best to budget an amount equal to 10% of your home’s value. To summarize, consider your financial resources and borrowing capacity, then aim for a reasonable budget to make your kitchen both functional and visually appealing. Keep in mind that other rooms, like the bathroom, may need to be refreshed too in the coming years.

Make sure the new kitchen fits with the rest of the house

With any renovation, whether the style of your home is country cottage or contemporary, or it was built in the sixties or the eighties, you need to maintain a common look so that everything ties seamlessly together. Don’t make over a room in a style that’s out of sync with the rest of the house, unless your ultimate goal is to redo your entire home room by room. Find the right balance between current trends and existing features.

Choose the right materials and equipment

Fed up with the pale, diamond-patterned wood cupboards and the Formica counters that came with the house you bought in your dream neighbourhood to raise a family? If so, it’s time to make room for something new. The choices now are almost endless, but you still have to take into account how long things will last, what your budget is and what the upkeep will be. Renovating your kitchen isn’t just about decorating: consider your plumbing fixtures, ventilation and existing appliances, and perhaps even new flooring. It would be foolish to go for low-quality materials and then have to do everything all over again a few years down the road. Adding new items like a backsplash, cupboards, a lunch counter or light fixtures can be done at little cost in some cases while refreshing the room’s look.

Which professionals will you need?

Whether you like it or not, much of your kitchen renovation work will require the services of professional contractors who hold a licence from the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec. That means you’ll need to have a clear idea at the outset of where you’re going and what you want to accomplish. If you hire a general contractor or kitchen specialists, they’ll be the ones in charge. If you coordinate the work yourself, you’ll be the one who has to work out the schedule and plan for things like the plumber, the delivery dates of cabinets and countertops, and the installation of the new light fixtures.

One thing’s for sure: a well-designed and -planned kitchen that fits well with the rest of your home is an attractive investment that will be a source of satisfaction for years to come. For inspiration, you can start looking in specialty magazines or on social media like Pinterest.