Kitchen remodeling is considered a luxury because it is usually the most expensive room in the house to remodel — and it is also the room that takes the most time to complete. If you are still game, let's pursue this remodel idea.
Hopefully, your outdoor grill is in good condition, because you might be using it a lot for a few months while the kitchen is out of commission. Of course, there is the dining-out option, too. Then there are all those men in your house every day making a mess. Just know that there will be inconveniences for a long time while the work is being done, but if you are still willing to do this, the result is definitely worth the trouble.
First, know what you want to accomplish in the new kitchen. How do you want it to look? What type of countertops interest you? Good places to get ideas are in home magazines. If there is one or if there are several pictured kitchens that appeal to you, cut the images out and keep them with you.
The Internet is another great source. Look up kitchens on a Web search engine and print the images of ones that most fit your style. Start a file for these pictures. (Or use sites like Pinterest to keep an online collection.) At least get a simple plan in your head before you venture out to get an estimate from a kitchen-remodeling firm. If you don't have any ideas, the remodeling firm and you will spend unnecessary time just guessing what will be the ideal kitchen for you. When you have a good idea of what you want, then get estimates. Be ready for a big-dollar amount. Kitchens are expensive.
Next, you should start looking for pricing on the appliances you want to purchase. You don't want to cut corners on appliances because they are the workforce of the kitchen. Compare prices; look for sales, as there are always sales someplace. Save yourself time by looking at comparisons and prices online before you go out to the stores. The more knowledgeable you are on what you want, the more likely it is you will get the right things and the best prices.
As you wander through stores, if you find a sink that is appealing to you, take a picture of it. Same goes for appliances and cabinets. Always be ready to add to your file of ideas.
If you do it right, remodeling the kitchen could increase the value of your home. So think, plan and brace yourself for lots of costs and inconveniences, but finally a great new kitchen.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of "Mystery of Color."