Home Improvement

Is a Home Kitchen Remodel in Your Future?

Here's Why You Should Think About Acting as Your Own General Contractor

Story Highlights

  • You'll Retain Complete Control
  • You'll Save Money
  • You'll Have the Kitchen You Want

Whether you’re doing it for your own convenience and pleasure or getting your home ready to put on the market, remodeling a kitchen is an excellent investment.

Studies show that the kitchen has the biggest impact on whether prospective home buyers move forward after viewing a home, and you’ll create a better quality of life for yourself and your family by renovating an out-of-date kitchen. However, the kitchen is also the most complicated room in the average home and comes with substantial remodeling challenges.

An increasing number of modern homeowners have been jumping on the do-it-yourself (DIY) bandwagon in recent years, but this trend has shown mixed results.

Somehow, things often don’t seem to work out as well in real life as they do on the cable programs dedicated to DIY home improvement projects.

A comprehensive kitchen remodel takes anywhere from several weeks to more than a year from start to finish, and one that goes sideways costs time and money and creates significant aggravation for homeowners and household residents.

On the other hand, a large segment of today’s homeowners prefer to be at least somewhat engaged in the process of remodeling kitchens and other rooms of the home, but they’re nonetheless aware that they lack the time and skills to do the job justice if they decide to fly solo.

If you’re one of them, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a middle-ground solution that provides homeowners with the best of both worlds.

It’s called Do It With Me Remodel(DIWM), and here’s how it works:

You’ll Retain Complete Control

Those who decide on the DIWM approach will be running the entire show. For instance, you’ll be creating the construction schedule that best serves your household’s individual needs and preferences, as well as purchasing materials and hiring subcontractors.

Most homeowners who opt for this strategy also perform a significant portion of the labor.

You’ll Save Money

Acting as your own general contractor can save you up to 30% on a typical kitchen remodeling projectThe majority of the savings come from the percentage that general contractors add on to material and labor costs.

You can maximize savings by contributing as much personal labor as possible and recruiting friends and family to help.

You’ll Have the Kitchen You Want

Because you’ll either design the kitchen on your own or partner with an experienced renovation designer, you’ll have the kitchen of your dreams when the project is finished.

Here’s what you’ll need to bring to the table:

1 – A Specific Vision for the End Result

You’ll need to have a precise picture in your head of how you want the end product to look and function.

A skilled kitchen designer can help you draw up the blueprints if this isn’t part of your skill set.

2 – Basic Knowledge of Construction

Those who decide to go this route should add at least a basic knowledge of construction to the overall picture.

3 – Time, Patience, and Flexibility

Acting as your own contractor will take up a substantial amount of your time, so be sure that your work and family obligations provide ample extra time for an involved remodeling project.

You’ll also need a great deal of patience because these projects generally take months to complete, and flexibility comes in handy when inevitable hiccups arise. For instance, you may find yourself redoing your entire short-term schedule in the event that a subcontractor becomes ill, injured, or otherwise experiences an obstacle to sticking to the plan.

You’ll also have to account for the loss of time and convenience caused by not having full use of your kitchen while it’s in transition. Setting up an alternative food preparation space is preferable to trying to piece things together with meals out and sandwiches over a long period of time.

4 – Organizational Skills

A well-organized plan provides a workable foundation for any renovation project.

Be sure to provide a bit of wiggle room for any inevitable twists and turns along the way.

5 – Communication Skills

You’ll need to communicate with subcontractors, vendors, and other household members prior to and for the duration of your kitchen remodeling project.

Lacking these skills drastically increases the chances of the project going sideways. Organization also helps keep projects within budget.

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