The decision to remodel your kitchen (or ANY room) is an exciting one, but it is usually made with at least a little hesitancy. There are many unknowns when first beginning your project – you have to determine an appropriate budget, find the right contractor, plan for the disruptions, and more. Many homeowners feel justifiably overwhelmed by the prospects of a remodeling project and aren't sure where to turn to get answers to their questions. To help you with this process, we have complied a series of blog posts, this one is titled Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 2.

Establish Priorities – Needs, Wants, Desires

Closeup of smiling African American woman writing on notepad at home

To help you plan your budget, you need to develop a list of "Needs", "Wants", and "Desires". This helps you prioritize the styles and functional elements you want to see in your new kitchen and ultimately stay within your budget. To create this list, we recommend the following steps:

  • Make a list of everything you don't like about your current kitchen. Once you think you have a pretty good list of "dislikes" – you can always add more later – take a few minutes to number this list with one being the most important change you need to make.
  • Go through all of the design ideas you have gathered and make a second, separate list of every design and functional element you want to see in your new kitchen. Be sure to leave room for new ideas that come up as you're shopping. Draw three columns to the right of your list labeled "Need", "Want" and "Desire"
  • With your list of dislikes close by, begin going through your list of new features. For each one, if it clearly addresses one of the things you dislike about your current kitchen, put a check in the "Need" column If it does not, put a check in the "Want" column for something that adds value, or a check in the "Desire" column if it is simply an "oh wow" item, like docorative molding or chocolate glaze. This is one of the most important steps, and the challenge here is to remain honest with yourself.
  • Prioritize all of the items in each of "Needs", "Wants", and "Desires" columns, beginning with number one as the most important. Compare the item to what it "fixes" from your first list to help determine how important it might be. You might need to repeat this step a couple of times to make sure you are happy with the order.
  • Rewrite the entire list, in the order you have just selected. This last step may seem trivial, but it gives you a final opportunity to make changes and adds a little peace of mind that you were thorough.