Kitchen Renovations

Few rooms in the home see as much action as the kitchen. Usually the busiest room in the house, it is used to prepare meals and feed the family, store foods and other household items, and act as the family gathering place. The kitchen is often the centerpiece of the home. As such, it’s important that it is as functional and as up to date as possible, and many people achieve this through a kitchen renovation.

When it comes to kitchen renovations, there are several things that need to be considered. So before you start bashing down walls, do some research and make a plan.

Formulate a Plan for a Kitchen Renovation

The first step in any kitchen renovation is to make a plan. Think about how the kitchen is used and identify the features that you want in your new kitchen.

Ease of movement and a convenient layout are of the utmost importance in kitchen design. The classic work triangle should be the basis of the kitchen floor plan whenever possible. The kitchen sink, refrigerator, and stove, as the three kitchen features used the most, should be arranged in a triangular pattern. The work triangle concept saves unnecessary steps when preparing foods, and is generally agreed upon to be the most convenient kitchen design.

Another kitchen remodeling idea is to incorporate more than one workstation so that more than one person can work efficiently in the kitchen at the same time. If space allows, a self-standing chopping block, island, or other similar kitchen feature will add convenient work space.

When planning a kitchen renovation be realistic about the size constraints. If you have a galley kitchen, a huge center island and roaring stone fireplace will obviously be out of the question. So work with what you have and don’t try to turn the room into something it’s not.

Consult decorating books and magazines for inspiration, and look for kitchens that have similar styles and layouts, then experiment with online kitchen planners to see what works.

Come Up With a Kitchen Renovation Budget

Kitchen renovations are expensive, that’s just the way it is. When planning a kitchen renovation the most important thing to do is to assess what it will cost. Come up with a project budget and then add another 10 per cent for unplanned expenses. Visit kitchen showrooms and have a look at what your budget can afford. Don’t forget to work in the cost of labor and materials as they add up very quickly.

There will always be some areas where you can save money, and some where you can splurge, but remember to always use quality materials in any kitchen renovation. Don’t be tempted to save money by using inferior products. For example, quality drawer hinges and slides mean that cabinet doors will stay closed and drawers won’t stick. Stay away from drawers that are stapled or glued together or made of particleboard. When looking to save money, think about things like painting. Hundreds of dollars can be saved if you do the painting yourself, and with a little hard work and effort, no one will be able to tell that it wasn’t done by a professional.

Try to keep it simple. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of all the choices, but always keep the budget and functionality of space in mind. When it comes to appliances stick to the basics. Resist the urge to purchase lots of appliances and gadgets, and instead go with a few reliable basics. For example, a commercial-grade stainless-steel range makes a great focal point and takes up less space than separate wall ovens and a cook-top.

Hire a Reliable Kitchen Renovation Contractor

A qualified, licensed contractor is your best resource for expert advice on what type materials and appliances best suit your kitchen renovation budget and space requirements.

Get leads and advice from friends, relatives, and colleagues. Speak to a few different contractors and get more than one estimate. Also, check any contractor’s references. When doing so, don’t just ask about the work itself, but also the contractor’s reliability. Find out if he or she returned phone calls in a timely manner, stuck to the deadlines, was courteous, etc. A kitchen renovation is a huge undertaking and it’s important to work with someone you trust and have confidence in.

When you hire a contractor, make sure he or she is fully insured and bonded, get all agreements in writing, and clarify payment schedules. Make a list of any other concerns you may have and go over them with the contractor before the project gets under way.

The kitchen is probably the most used room in the house. Poor layout, outdated fixtures, inadequate lighting, cramped spaces, and old cabinetry are common complaints. For many homeowners a kitchen renovation is the answer. Just be sure to take your time and do a lot of research before taking on any type of kitchen renovation.