How to Map Out Your Kitchen Renovation’s Scope of Work
Help prevent budget overruns by determining the extent of your project, and find pros to help you get the job done
Scope of work is the term used to describe the basic parameters of a project. You decide the scope of work based on your budget and wish list, among other things.
A designer, architect or contractor you like and trust can help you develop your scope of work and be realistic about what you can achieve within your budget. Keep in mind that, usually, there isn’t just one right answer, so getting a few opinions is a good idea.
Ready to revamp your home? Find a local kitchen designer on Houzz.
- Are you revamping your kitchen within the existing footprint, adding square footage to it or moving it entirely?
- Do you want to relocate the sink or cooker, which would mean moving the plumbing or, potentially, gas lines?
- Are you planning on opening up the kitchen to another room? If this affects a load-bearing wall, it might require structural work and additional costs.
- With new construction, you might have heard prices referred to as the cost per square foot, but this formula rarely works with renovating. Every home has unique conditions due to age, construction type and layout.
- Getting detailed pricing information upfront will help you meet your budget.
1. Set a rough budget for the project Consider if the work will involve related projects, such as new windows or painting the whole house.
2. Write a wish list of everything you want Include new appliances, cabinets, worktops, tiles, flooring, lighting and so on. The more detailed you are, the better off you’ll be when talking to professionals. Do you want professional-grade appliances, for instance, or is the next level down OK?
3. Create Ideabooks showing your vision This can help a professional get an idea of the level of expectation and finish detail required in your project. It’s challenging to communicate needs clearly, especially about visual things such as finishes. Showing professionals photos of kitchen designs can help them to see what you like and prompt them to ask the right questions.
You might also be interested in How to Houzz: Creating and Sharing Ideabooks.
1. Research designers, architects and contractors Look at Houzz profiles of the types of professionals you want for your job. You may need an architect, a kitchen designer, a design & build firm, or an interior designer.
See how they describe their work and look at their portfolios to see if their aesthetic matches your own. Read the reviews on their profiles to see what past clients say about their work. Then contact pros you like and set up phone interviews and see if they’ll meet in person. Ask if you can visit job sites or other projects; this will help you see the quality of their work.
2. Check references and ask about fees Some homeowners start by hiring a contractor, and others start with a designer or architect and use contractors referred by him or her. Others hire design & build firms that do it all. You aren’t comparing like for like here, so it will take some time to figure out who is the right fit.
Pros who offer video consultations through Houzz may list this service on their Houzz profile, and you can schedule a meeting with them directly from their Houzz profile or directory listing.
Many contractors want a full drawing set before they’ll bid on a job. Others will be willing to do a walk-through and give you some rough numbers, nothing line-itemed or detailed. I recommend doing this with an experienced contractor; a novice may underestimate or overshoot the budget by a wide range. Ideally, having some basic space, electrical, mechanical and lighting plans will help a contractor get you a more accurate estimate.
This is only the first phase of pricing. You’ll want to re-estimate based on detailed, finished plans before signing a contract. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to get change orders down the road, which can be pricey.
Are you about to start a kitchen renovation? Share your thoughts in the Comments.