Collinsville Kitchen Remodeling: Do's & Don'ts

A completed kitchen remodel with a new black and white mosaic backsplash, white cabinets and new wood flooring.

Kitchen remodeling in Collinsville, IL, can give you the kitchen of your dreams. Or, it can be a stressful, nightmarish endeavor that seems to never end—blowing your budget out of the water and creating a space that’s not at all what you wanted.

However, designing a kitchen that's a joy to be in is easier with a clear plan, a supportive contractor, and a realistic budget. With help from the right team in Collinsville, you'll create a space where cooking is an absolute pleasure. And when you entertain, your friends will be thoroughly impressed.

There is a range of considerations to think about when starting a Collinsville kitchen remodeling project. Through reading this guide—presented by our professional Collinsville handyman experts—you’ll be familiar with the do's and don'ts of kitchen remodeling in Collinsville, IL. And, you might just learn that you can skip searching for a "kitchen remodel near me," because our team of experts at Mr. Handyman of Metro East is the best choice for completing large and small renovations in Collinsville, IL.

Don't Remodel Your Collinsville Kitchen Alone

Do you enjoy DIY projects? Even so, we advise knowing what steps of the remodel you could tackle yourself and when you need professional help. For example, if you’re handy you might enjoy painting your dark walls a glowing yellow or installing a new light fixture above your kitchen table. Small projects and finishing touches, like hanging artwork or picking out the perfect hand towels, are certainly enjoyable and will help you feel like you’ve integrated your personal style into the space.

However, professional designers and contractors are key in executing your Collinsville kitchen remodel plans. Here’s why:

Even if you don’t employ a kitchen designer throughout the whole project, it’s worthwhile to book a consultation. A designer will help you accomplish your unique vision by providing valuable advice and access to resources you may not have considered previously—such as where to source distinct glass tiles for your backsplash, and whether or not you should add a breakfast nook. Also, a professional has an eye for design and could brainstorm ideas you hadn’t thought of—but love!

As for contractors, embarking on a kitchen remodel in Collinsville, IL, is not a wise idea without the help of a handyman professional. Many tasks, such as knocking down walls and refitting drywall, cabinet installation, and building bespoke tables, are a challenge for even the most adept DIYer.

Collinsville kitchen remodeling is going to be a big investment, both financially and emotionally. After putting so much into your home, you don't want to risk being disappointed with the final product. A good contractor will stick to your renovation schedule as much as possible and be transparent with you about developments.

At Mr. Handyman of Metro East, each of our service professionals has many years of experience in the trades. And, many of our technicians specialize in certain trades, such as carpentry, drywall installation, and flooring installation. Whether you need help with a minor remodel or need more specialized renovation services, choosing our professional home improvement services for your renovation project saves you the hassle of searching for "kitchen remodeling near me," online. Instead, you can have faith that your Collinsville kitchen remodel is in the best hands.

Do Gather Inspiration

Having clear kitchen design ideas is integral to a successful remodel. It's common for small details to change along the way—maybe you envisioned white subway tile for your backsplash but end up going with a more traditional style—ideally, you’ll come back to the same aesthetic time and time again.

It’s not only important to know what you want from your Collinsville kitchen remodel so you're happy with the final result, but it’s also important to communicate clearly with your designer and/or contractor. If you don't know what you want, how can you share your vision with others?

Flip through a wide variety of design magazines, scroll through Pinterest, and collect a folder of images that speak to your vision. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it will be much easier to decide on the kind and color of countertop installation you want, whether you’ll paint or stain your kitchen cabinets, and if the stainless steel is really the right option for your appliances.

You can use your kitchen mood board as a communicative tool for both your contractor and designer—who’ll be able to share insights about how to achieve the look you desire with the function you need.

Don't Prioritize Form Over Function

Naturally, you'll want a kitchen that completely embraces your own unique style. However, you also need the layout of your kitchen to be functional. Before you start renovating the space, ask yourself: What do you like as it is, and what needs to change?

When you and your family use your kitchen, what is its primary function? Naturally, kitchens are where most people prepare food, but that means different things to different people. Do you love to cook and consider yourself a home chef? You might need extra counter space and storage for food preparation.

On the other hand, if your oven exists to store take-out menus, then having state-of-the-art appliances and counter space for days might be less of a priority. Instead, maybe you want space for a homework nook for your children, or an island counter bar geared toward entertaining rather than a big dining room table.

Do Stick to Your Budget

One of the biggest aspects of a Collinsville kitchen remodel, and one of the most important is the budget. Renovating is a big decision, so it's important to carefully consider how much you should realistically spend. Likely, you have already looked at your finances and have an idea of how much you can reasonably afford for your kitchen remodel. But it's important you break that down further and have a sense of where your hard-earned money will be spent.

First, it’s important to always leave a little wiggle room for unexpected costs, like your dream oven, or for when things go wrong and require additional work. For instance, say your contractor knocks down a wall and discovers a bit of rot that needs to be replaced. Although planning is key to staying on track and ensuring you don’t go too far over budget, it’s reasonable to assume you may have a few surprise costs. So, you should put 20% of your total budget away as a “just in case” fund before breaking down your budget.

After saving 20% of your budget for emergencies, the remainder of your Collinsville kitchen remodeling budget is usually split between labor costs and material costs. Obtain a quote from your contractor to know how much you'll likely spend on labor, and spend some time researching what materials, fixtures, and appliances you'd like to invest in. This will give you a clearer idea of how much the Collinsville remodel will cost.

Don't Choose Your Appliances Last

Waiting until midway through the construction process—or even near the end—to select your appliances is a big mistake. The size and shape of your appliances will impact everything else in your kitchen, from your countertop length to how much space you have for cabinets. If you don't have your appliances installed from the beginning, your contractor might have to redo work that’s already been completed.

For example, if your countertop has been installed but your dishwasher is too high and won’t fit its allocated space, the counter and adjacent cabinets will all need to be raised. It’s a lot easier to choose cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes that fit your appliances rather than the other way around.

Do Consider Storage

Storage is an essential part of any Collinsville kitchen renovation, albeit less glamorous than picking tile or paint swatches. How much storage you need depends on a few factors. If you love to cook or have a big family, you’ll need room for a large fridge, freezer, and expansive pantry. The more ingredients you cook with—or the more mouths you have to feed—the more space you need.

A big storage consideration is where you’re going to put all your pots, pans, rice cookers, deep fryers, cutlery, Grandma’s china—the list goes on and on. Take a look at how many appliances, cooking tools, and crockery you use right now. Do they all fit in your present cupboards and drawers? Do you like having appliances on the counter, or would you prefer enough storage to have everything tucked away? If you don’t have enough space, consider adding shelves, cupboards, or drawers accordingly.

Planning for how you’ll lay out your storage is also an opportunity to get creative with your design elements. For instance, if you love the look of a rustic kitchen, you might not mind if mixers, cookbooks, and spice jars on the counter add to the aesthetic of your space. But if you prefer a tidy, minimalist look, check that all your appliances and crockery can fit in your cupboards.

Don't Neglect Your Backsplash and Ventilation

Your stove and oven are two of the most used appliances in your kitchen, and as such, they accumulate the most grime. Is pasta sauce splattering your backsplash in big red stains? Is rice boiling over and steaming up the place? Is your failed experiment making caramel from scratch leaving a sticky residue along the burners? When it’s time to remodel your kitchen make sure you put careful consideration into your backsplash and ventilation, so those situations don’t result in even bigger messes.

Backsplashes are aptly named, given that they catch splashing sauces, oil, and wayward ingredients spilling out of their various pots and pans. That’s why it’s key to pick a backsplash material, color, and grout (if applicable) that is easy to clean and hides a multitude of stains.

If you don’t want your fire alarm going off every time you cook, you’ll need a good hood fan. Even if your meal is cooking happily and not burning, the smoke and steam that’s a byproduct of your culinary endeavors can set off the alarm. Not to mention, all that grease and smoke will accumulate on your ceiling and walls if you don’t have enough ventilation.

Do Have Sufficient Lighting and Electrical Outlets

Your lighting does play a big role in both the usability and ambiance of the space. While you'll likely consider having one main light fixture—we wouldn't expect you to cook in the dark—there is much more to consider. For instance, what type of lighting will you choose? Fluorescent lighting might be common in a hospital or school, but it hardly evokes coziness in your kitchen.

To make sure you have accessible lighting to cook safely and create an inviting space, a good rule of thumb is to layer three sources of light:

  • General overhead lighting, which illuminates the space as a whole
  • Task lighting that is more focused, such as a light in your hood fan to brighten up where you're cooking
  • Accent lighting, such as wall sconces, rounds out the overhead lights and creates an ambiance

Don't Cut Corners on the Small Stuff

As you near the end of your renovation and your budget has seriously started to dwindle, it can be easy to cut corners on the little things like cabinet knobs and fixtures. While installing a lazy Susan or adding pantry pull-outs might not make or break the overall function and design of your kitchen, these little touches can elevate a good space to a great one. If you’re investing a significant amount of time and savings into your Collinsville kitchen remodel, you might as well ensure it’s exactly what you want—down to the last little detail.

Do Remember the Bigger Picture

When remodeling your entire kitchen in Collinsville, IL, it's very easy to get tunnel vision and become so focused on the task at hand, that you neglect to consider the bigger picture. It's important to make sure the space suits the rest of your home—especially if you have an open floor plan. While ultimately design decisions are up to you, if your living room is modern and your kitchen is like a French country house, these two different styles may clash and make your home look unattractive.

An easy way to integrate one room with another is through color. Pay attention to the colors and materials you’re using in your kitchen. Whether they match or contrast the rest of your home, it’s important they work together to create a cohesive aesthetic. Small details like your cabinet hardware, backsplash, and light fixtures can be a great way to tie in other design elements around your home.

Bonus Tip: Do Hire Mr. Handyman of Metro East!

When it comes to finding a reliable, trustworthy, professional contractor, you can’t do better than the team at Mr. Handyman of Metro East. Stop wasting time searching for a "kitchen remodeler near me," and trust our pro team. Not only are we dedicated to consistent, quality workmanship, but we also always put our customers first. We will take time to answer all your questions, listen to what you need, and treat your home with the utmost respect.

If you’re planning a Collinsville kitchen remodeling project for your home, or need services for a similar home improvement project like bathroom remodeling, we invite you to give our courteous staff a call today. We look forward to helping create your dream kitchen!