The hub of your home is the kitchen. You start your day there with coffee and end your evening there with dinner or a snack. You help with homework, sort mail, prepare meals, and entertain in the kitchen. You want your home’s center to show who you really are and you want to feel great about it.

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and make your kitchen dream a reality. But it’s a little, okay, maybe a lot, overwhelming and you’re not even sure where to start or even what to expect in costs. The LWi Custom Cabinets website breaks down the process for you and even shows you a cost breakdown analysis with a budget calculator. It helps in understanding what to expect cost wise for cabinets, flooring, lighting, new appliances and counter tops.

Here is an example: Let’s say the value of your home is $315,000 and you want to allocate 5% to the kitchen remodel ($15,750).

Then, 35% of that budget should be for cabinets (about $5,500), 12% for countertops (about $1,890), 10% for flooring (about $1,575), 10% for appliances (about $1,575, 4% for electrical and lighting (about $630), 3% for new wall coverings ($472), 25% for labor (about $3,937) and the last percent for miscellaneous (about $157). Of course, if you are not planning on some of these features, more can be allocated to other areas. And keep in mind, this labor number is spread out over all aspects of your new kitchen.

Ok, so now you have decided on your budget. First start with appliances. Go shopping and choose what works for you and where they will be located. This is an important first step because new cabinets will be built around them, so to speak.

Next it’s time to have some fun and get cabinets started. Seems odd to start cabinets next, but remember after you’ve signed off on your new cabinet plans it takes 4-6 weeks to have them built. In that time you’ll be selecting countertops, flooring and lighting. Plus you’ll have a cabinet color sample to take with you when you shop. You’ve probably read that first sentence again and thought “fun?” Yes, planning your cabinets should be fun. Because you’re creating your new kitchen now. The cabinets are the number one feature both for functionality and beauty. You may already know what your dream kitchen looks like – fantastic – you’re over a huge hurdle. If not, time to go through magazines, lots of them. Visit Houzz.com and Pintrest too for ideas.

Don’t look for an entire kitchen you like. But instead focus on pieces of the kitchen. One photo may be the perfect color, another best style; another has legs you love on the island, or a pantry pullout system that would make your life so much easier. Gather it all up and take it to the cabinet designer at LWi Custom Cabinets. You’ll work with Joshua. That’s his job, to look at your space and make it all work for you.

Once it’s all designed, you’re on your way. Now is the time to take care of electrical and plumbing you may need done, choose new flooring, countertops, new paint, and lighting. Most of all, always keep in mind that final look of your new kitchen and how you’ll feel once you are enjoying it while you have your morning coffee.