5 Tips for Preparing to Renovate Your Kitchen: A Williams Lumber expert sheds light on the remodeling process

  |  February 16, 2018
tips for preparing to renovate kitchen williams lumber

Whether you’ve just purchased a new house that is sorely in need of a kitchen upgrade, or you’ve been cooking in an ’80s nightmare for decades, renovating your kitchen is an major home improvement project and an opportunity to redefine your home.

The kitchen is a hub of daily activity and the backdrop for so many important occasions. From the flurry of Thanksgiving preparations to dinner parties, family members and guests always gravitate to the kitchen. With as much time as you spend there, your kitchen should be a room you like and are comfortable navigating.

A Trusted Resource in Kitchen Design

For over 70 years, Williams Lumber and Home Centers has been the go-to store for hardware, lumber, building materials, millwork, and kitchen and bath for Hudson Valley contractors and DIY homeowners. With eight locations in Ulster, Dutchess, Greene, and Columbia counties, they are never very far down the road. Their expansive kitchen and bath showrooms in Pleasant Valley and Rhinebeck are a helpful resource for seeing cabinet, countertop, and tile samples in person. Plus, they have professional experts on hand to support you in planning and designing your dream kitchen.

Just to sweeten the deal, from April 3 through June 3, earn a $1,000 Williams gift card when you purchase 12 or more cabinets by Omega or Schrock. Omega’s innovative Full Access Cabinetry yields significantly more storage capacity than standard cabinets. Without any significant renovation, this frameless cabinetry systems can yield up to 10 percent more interior space than your hefty old cabinets. Imagine all that storage potential…


Whether you are sitting on a sizable tax return or you just can’t stand your current cooking situation, if you’re feeling tempted to renovate the kitchen there are several things you should know going into the process.

Maria Szeglowski, Certified Kitchen Designer at Williams, offers some tips to help you prepare to remodel your kitchen.

1. Determine your budget and project scope.

Are you simply refacing old cabinets? Or are you ripping up the floors, replacing the cabinetry, and buying all new appliances? Scope of work and budget go hand-in-hand. Save yourself a headache—figure out what you can afford and what your priorities are before you start. “Kitchens are not inexpensive,” cautions Szeglowski. Certain purchases, like appliances, can be financed, while other goods and services you must pay for outright. And unless you are very handy, you’ll need to set aside money to pay a contractor for installation.

2. Get inspired.

This one’s easy. You’ve probably already been gathering inspiration photos on Pinterest and Houzz for months, cutting pages out of magazines, and building your idea board for the dream kitchen. Good job. This is important leg work for redesigning your kitchen.

“It’s helpful if customers can show us photos of things they like; that helps us figure out the design type,” says “There is always a commonality—color, design style, type of doors, openness. It’s our job to interpret that and create a design that works for them.”

3. Measure your space.

You’ll need to bring your rough dimensions to work with the kitchen experts at Williams, so before you head out the door take a moment to consider your current layout. Do you have enough storage space? What about counter space? Is the configuration correct and easeful? Depending on the level of kitchen renovation you are undertaking, these are all things to consider.

If you are sticking with the current layout be sure to measure the existing dimensions of your countertops, appliances, sinks, and the whole room. Even if you are not taking down walls and changing the layout you can still increase your storage. “On average, if you have old cabinets and you buy new, you’re going to get a little more storage in them,” Szeglowski says. “People are also getting rid of soffits and going all the way to ceiling with their cabinets, so they get that the extra shelf space.”

4. Identify special storage needs.

Renovating your kitchen is an opportunity to finally make space for all those “problem items” that you have had such a hard time finding a home for. “If you have certain things that you know you need space for, we want to know that. We can certainly help with that,” says Szeglowski. This could include a chunky mixer, an extensive cutting board collection, or an extraordinarily large stock pot that you inherited from Grandma.

You may also just want to add some built-in cabinet accessories because they are nifty and space-saving—more power to you. Pull-out waste/recycling cabinets are trending right now, along with cooking sheet/tray organizers, built-in silverware drawer dividers, and spice racks.

Do you want doors or drawers? Or a mix of both? “There is no right answer for pots and pans. Some people like all drawers on the bottom. Some people like a combo,” says Szeglowski. “Drawers offer good storage, but there is no adjustability in height. So a given size pot might not work. Alternatively, if you picked doors with roll outs, you could adjust height to accommodate your cookware.” Ultimately, it comes down to what you like.

5. Pick your palette.

This is of course something the kitchen experts at Williams can help you with, but you can also decide for yourself. The different elements you can play with include top and base cabinet color, wall color, backsplash, and flooring. Szeglowski adds, “Custom color appliances are a big thing right now.” Long gone are the days where beige reigned supreme—now you can get a stove or fridge in any color from teal to traffic cone orange. Manufactured quartz countertops, which are leading the market by leagues, also come in a wide variety of colors, which can tie into your color scheme or play an accent role.

With all the color possibilities out there white and grey are still the leading color choices for kitchen cabinets. “People have had dark cabinets over years, and now they want to lighten and brighten,” Szeglowski says. “The white Shaker style has been around forever. It’s a timeless classic. I always tell people who are afraid to commit to color, ‘Go ahead and do the white Shaker cabinets. Change the color on walls. Change the hardware.’”

6. Make a meal plan.

Whether you schedule to stay elsewhere, eat takeout exclusively, set up a makeshift kitchen in the living room, or dine at friends’ houses, some accommodation must be made for the remodeling process. “You have to be ready to not use your kitchen for a few weeks,” Szeglowski says. “By time you do the work, tear the existing kitchen out, and put in the new one, it can be two to three weeks—that’s a long time.” The duration of work of course depends on the size of the project, but whatever your scope, plan accordingly so it doesn’t sneak up on you. That way, when your brand new kitchen is finally ready, you can really enjoy it.

tips for preparing to renovate kitchen williams lumber

This content is made possible by our sponsor Williams Lumber and Home Centers. It does not necessarily reflect the ideas or attitude of the editors of Upstater.

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