You’re ready for a brand-new kitchen with excellent style and great function, but where do you start? We’ve collected the most important questions to ask yourself and your Chicago kitchen remodeling contractor before you begin your kitchen remodeling process.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Chicago Area Kitchen Remodel
1. What is my budget?
First and foremost, determine your ideal budget for your kitchen remodel. This includes considering both big-ticket items, like your kitchen countertop and cabinets, and smaller details, like hardware. Your budget is the main driver of your scope of work, or the complexity of your design. Work with your designer to keep your budget balanced by prioritizing what you need and want and knowing where in your design you can choose midrange options and simplified designs to still reach your goals.
2. What is my end goal?
Are you envisioning a chef-worthy kitchen design, a large kitchen island for seating and meal prep, a light-filled space with a ton of storage, or all of the above? Your ultimate goal will drive the design and remodeling process, so be clear on what you want. This is called backwards planning: when you begin with the end goal and break it into the proper steps to achieve your design goals.
3. How do I use my kitchen?
Understanding how you use your kitchen is crucial. Do you entertain a lot or hope to after your remodel? Do you enjoy baking or gourmet cooking? Are there accessibility concerns? The layout and functionality of your Chicago kitchen should reflect these needs. The design ideas you begin to collect are great starting points, but kitchens on online idea boards might look fantastic but not fit into how you and your family will actually use the space.
4. What colors and materials do I prefer?
This is where all of those magazine clippings of the latest trends, internet images of timeless designs, and pictures of friends’ and family members’ kitchens really come into play. Take note of what you love in each of those images, even if they don’t seem to ‘go together’ in the beginning, it’s a great idea to begin a master list and narrow it down later with your designer. Wood-toned kitchen cabinets, marble countertop materials, trendy navy blue kitchen cabinets, wood-look ceramic flooring, matte black or brushed gold hardware, custom storage–take note of it all.
5. How much storage do I need?
It's important to evaluate your storage needs before diving into a kitchen remodel. Consider how much space you currently use and whether it's enough. Think about whether you need more room for pantry items, pots and pans, or small appliances. Maybe you dream of a kitchen with dedicated spaces, like a coffee station, a built-in bar right off of the kitchen, or a baking station for every ingredient and tool. Figuring out your storage needs upfront will help you and your designer plan cabinetry, shelving, and other custom storage solutions that make your kitchen not just beautiful, but also incredibly functional.
5 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Your Chicago Area Kitchen Remodel
1. What is your experience with kitchen remodels in the Chicago suburbs?
This question helps you gauge your contractor's local expertise. The more familiar they are with kitchen remodeling in your specific area, whether it's kitchen remodeling in Naperville or Aurora, the better. Ask to see testimonials from previous clients, look for reviews online, or read their testimonials on their website.
2. Can I see examples of your past work?
A reputable kitchen remodeling contractor in Chicago should be able to provide a portfolio of their work. Often, you can find plenty of their past projects online, but not every example of their work will be posted. This can give you a sense of their style, attention to detail, and ability to deliver a quality project.
3. What will the timeline look like?
Every kitchen remodeling contractor should follow a similar process, but may vary in how long a kitchen remodel could take. Some might take longer to complete a project, but their attention to detail is impeccable. Others might have a swift turnaround but with less customization. Keep in mind that a faster remodel isn’t necessarily better and your preferred remodeler may have a longer lead time than others in the Chicago area. It will be worth the wait, in the end, to get the perfect remodel for your family home.
4. How do you handle cleanup and waste disposal during the project?
Remodeling can be a messy process, and it's crucial to understand how a potential contractor plans to manage this aspect. A kitchen remodeling contractor in Chicago, or anywhere else, should have a clear strategy for keeping your home as clean and livable as possible during the remodel. This includes daily cleanup, disposal of waste materials, and construction site preparation to protect the other parts of your home. Not only does this show respect for your home, but it also keeps the site safe and helps the project progress smoothly.
5. What is your process for handling changes or unexpected issues?
A good Chicago kitchen remodeling contractor will have a plan in place for any unexpected issues during the remodel. It's always better to discuss these scenarios upfront to avoid misunderstandings later. Ask your contractor about their communication strategy. Do they offer access to construction management software for job progress and communication? Do they prefer to use email and texting? How often will they be in touch to give you updates? Make sure they prioritize clear, consistent, and transparent communication. This will relieve frustration and ensure you’re involved every step of the way.
Take the Next Step With a Consultation
Choosing the right kitchen remodeler in Naperville or other areas around Chicago is as important as the design decisions you'll make along the way. Start your kitchen remodeling journey with these questions in mind. You'll feel more confident about the process and more likely to enjoy the result—a beautiful, functional kitchen that meets your needs.
Smardbuild is a design-build remodeler that serves areas all around Chicagoland. With extensive experience in both interior and exterior home remodeling, Smardbuild can bring your project from conceptual design through construction seamlessly. Contact Smardbuild to find out everything you want to know about the process and design experience. Schedule a consultation today!