Some people use “just” more than they should. We’re “just” going to the lake cottage instead of taking a European tour. We’re “just” having lunch in a restaurant after the wedding instead of renting a fancy club we don’t belong to.  We’re “just” remodeling our kitchen space instead of building a whole new kitchen. Taking a vacation, celebrating a marriage and renovating the kitchen sound like great things to be doing! Why the apology?

It may be a matter of family style, and often it’s a case of family budget, but it’s very important to remember what the lake cottage, the lunch and the kitchen all have in common. Being on a budget has made you focus on the most important—and most enjoyable—goals of the project. In each situation, you’re making selective high-impact changes as part of a long-term plan. You’re putting your time, money and emotional energy where it matters most.

What benefits do you gain when you choose to do an existing-space kitchen or bath renovation?

1.       You can choose high-quality materials and workmanship on a limited budget. Especially if your family is young and growing, you can keep debt under control. When you see as many articles about the cost of kitchen renovation in home-finance columns as in home-improvement blogs, you know you’re on the way to a long, expensive project that’s easily sabotaged by the unexpected needs of a growing family.

2.       You can have what you need when you need it. The time to renovate your kitchen is when it’s at the peak of use—entertaining, family and community gatherings, celebrations of milestones. It may stay this way for quite a while, but your kitchen needs to look welcoming while they’re all coming to your house.

3.       An existing-space renovation plays to your strengths. You know what works—the magic path from sink-to-fridge-to-range is great—and what doesn’t—you’re not a glass-front cabinet family for a whole big, tippy stack of reasons! You can make basic decisions quickly because they are based on experience.

4.       You’re done and done! Innovations in existing-space remodeling mean that your decisions get carried out on a reasonable schedule, and you can get on with the rest of your hectic life. Rebuilding and fully remodeling a kitchen or a bath can be so disruptive to family life that you can spend months camping out in your home or even moving out temporarily. An existing-space remodel respects your schedule and your needs.  

5.       You’re working with experts, and everyone is a team player. Being your own contractor sounds like a great learning experience till it turns out that the ultimate responsibility for permits, references, planning, scheduling, inspections and all decision-making is yours. An existing-space remodel is far different. Everyone on your job knows how the whole project needs to work, and everyone is responsible. You get all the technical advice you need, along with recourse for solving any problems.

For a beautiful kitchen or bathroom on your schedule, your budget and your terms, an existing-space remodeling lets you make good decisions that fit into your life.