Where to start? You have a home with good bones, but it needs work. You can picture it being the home of your dreams but there’s so much you would like to do. Which remodeling project should come first?
I get that question a lot. My usual answer is this: What’s your goal? Are you renovating a room because you hope to add lasting value to the home, or do want to live better now? For most people, it is a combination of both, but the biggest motivator is that they want a room that works better for them today, not for the real estate market of tomorrow.
When that is the case, almost always I recommend starting with the kitchen. That is where a family spends a lot of time together and does the most entertaining. Think about how holiday dinners and family get-togethers usually center around the kitchen. That’s where people gravitate.
A kitchen renovation might include taking down a wall to open space. That open space can create an open layout on your ground floor which feels like a complete transformation of your home. That’s a lot of bang for your remodeling buck.
Bathroom upgrades are second. They are not as often visited by guests as the kitchen, but they add a lot of value to the home. And they add comfort. That’s priceless.
Those are the top two I always start with. They might require the most work (plumbing, electrical) and the most mess. It’s best to get them out of the way first, especially if it includes extensive demolition, such as removing a wall or other structural elements.
This is the order in which I would remodel a home:
- Living spaces
- Outdoor spaces like decks and patios
- Exterior such as siding, painting, and landscaping
It’s best to work from the inside out. Not only from the inside of the house to the exterior but from the wall spaces to the outer rooms. Your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC run through the walls. And a good deal of those run through your kitchen and bathroom spaces. It’s good to start there and have any rerouting of lines completed before undertaking other spaces.
Kitchen and bathroom renovations are also the most disruptive. A typical kitchen renovation can take 6-8 weeks. A bathroom, a little less. But during that time, you won’t have full access to your stove or shower. It’s life-altering.
Other rooms seem like a breeze in comparison. There is often far less demolition and disruption in a dining room, for example. Even when it gets a bit messy you can always retreat to your new kitchen to be comfortable.
Andy Tanges is owner of Strategic Remodel, Wichita’s premier residential remodeling contractor, since 2009. He’s been making homeowners happy since he was a kid working in the family business. He’s learned a thing or two over the years. Have a question for Andy or a vision for a remodel? Contact him here.