Part of what a great design team can do is help you start with your most important question: why. Why do you want to undergo the remodel in the first place? What’s at stake, what’s the real value gained? A few more questions:

– What’s the remodel worth to us? (You don’t need an exact figure, but think about it general terms.

– Why now? Where are we in our family’s journey that makes this kitchen remodel make sense now?

– What will make us feel like ‘mission accomplished’? Imagine the remodel is complete. How do you feel. Use your imagination — what are you doing in your new kitchen? Get specific. What are you wearing, what kind of music are you playing, what time of day are you cooking?

However you decide to use this time before beginning the kitchen remodel, remember to keep visualizing. The more ideas you bring to the first meeting with your design team, the better you’ll be able to collaborate. But if you’re having trouble getting started, don’t worry. This is exactly what a good kitchen & bath design firm will help you do. And if you need some more reasons to start working on your dream, here are just a few.

1) Financial Incentives. As most of you know, there are huge gains to be made by remodeling your kitchen or bath. But it’s not just the resale value, which is what most people think about right away. Kitchen and bath remodels also present great opportunities to cash in on low-or-no interest loans and cash grants. There tons of incentives out there for folks looking to improve the value of their homes — you just have to look for them.

2) Quality of Life. Yes, this is a huge one. Have you ever hosted a party, neatly decorating each room and adjusting the light just-so, only to have the entire party setup camp in the kitchen for the duration of the evening? Yes? Well, you’re not alone. People love to congregate in kitchens, it’s human nature, and it’s not just your guests — it’s your family, too. These are places where bonds are formed and the comforts of home materialize as security.

3) Energy Savings. Water and electric are two resources that will give you enormous savings over time if you choose the right appliances. A savvy kitchen remodeler will help you pick beautiful but also efficient sinks, lights, dishwashers, and refrigerators. And don’t forget — you need a strategy for how it all fits together. Just buying the appliances, without a plan, doesn’t guarantee success.

4) Upkeep and sustainability. What some people don’t realize, is that a choice to stick to the norm is still a strong choice. Every kitchen needs upkeep or it will deteriorate over time. If you don’t go with a full kitchen remodel, be sure to keep an eye on aging walls, countertops, and appliances.

5) Change of Pace. It may sound silly, but this is one of the biggest reasons people decide to remodel their kitchen or bathroom. And if this sounds like you, then just know that you’re not alone. A kitchen or bath remodel can be the perfect place to start thinking about your home differently. Especially for those homeowners who have lived in one place for a long time, a new kitchen or bath can be a way to experiment in order to shed new light on the whole home.

Keep your eye on all of the above — if you find yourself drawing closer to a decision, there are wonderful adventures ahead!