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Last week we talked about beginning the process of a kitchen and bath remodel. Since kitchens and bathrooms add the most value to a home, it’s a good place to begin when upgrading your home. We talked about taking time in planning your design, pulling the proper building permits and being efficient in your space planning.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a complete rebuild of an average size kitchen (approximately 175 square feet) will take 9 months to plan and 3 months to build. A 120 square foot bathroom on average takes 4 months to plan and 2 months to build out. Some projects are finished faster. Some take longer. Proper planning makes all the difference.

If that sounds like a long time, it could be because we’re used to watching reality TV shows that show complete home remodels in 60 minutes (including commercials!). These shows are great fun to watch but are highly edited. You don’t see the mistakes. The cost over runs. You don’t see the truck delivering the wrong materials. When you think of it, it’s kind of a joke to call it “reality television” when it’s actually anything but.

Proper planning goes a long way in keeping the job on track. One way to approach it is to break the project down into individual components. For example, what plumbing will be required in your kitchen? Make a list of appliances that require waters lines. Dishwasher, sinks, and refrigerator/freezer if it has an automatic ice maker and water dispenser. Look at the present layout of your kitchen. Will lines need to be run to new locations? Will you be installing new appliances that will require adjustments in the lines and fittings? What about fixtures?

A new remodel usually gets us thinking about new faucets. Yet if you’re going to the effort and expense of a remodel, you’re wise to install new plumbing under the sink, too. If you have old copper pipes, replacing them with PVC or Pex piping will be a significant upgrade. Your pipes will be less prone to scale build up and they will be much quieter.

Another aspect of planning is lining out the work in an orderly fashion. For example, you don’t want the cabinet installer to finish their work only to have the plumber need to cut holes. Or you wouldn’t install sinks before your counter tops are in place. Remodels truly are a “measure twice, cut once” process. Lining out your work in sequence is critical to keeping both costs and frustration down.

Yet another aspect of planning is having the necessary materials on site when they are needed. When the time comes to lay the flooring, if the materials aren’t there you’re either paying a crew to stand around and wait for them to be delivered or you’re paying them to make a run to pick up the materials. Either way, you’re adding to the cost of your project.

Speaking of materials, take great care to inspect everything from the initial order to the delivery. If you’re ordering materials at the store, take time to double check your order item by item before finalizing. Don’t assume that just because the employee is wearing an orange apron that they are in sync with you. Check the size, dimensions and style of every item before finalizing the order. It’s frustrating to have a hole in the side of your house when you discover they sent the wrong size window. Attention to detail at every stage of the process will keep your costs down and your momentum forward.

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