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Kitchen Renovation Guide

Photo from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

The kitchen is one of the places in the home that practically begs to be renovated whenever it’s not functioning to its full potential. Unlike the bedroom, living room and dining room, the kitchen is one of the busiest places in the home. If something’s not right, the speed and efficiency of meal preparation is drastically affected. This is why a lot of people often want to improve their kitchens to not only to make it look better, but also to ensure that cooking is more convenient.

Of course, there are numerous restraints whenever you’re looking to improve your kitchen. You have to consider your budget, the items that you need to have in the kitchen, the actual size of your kitchen and many more. In this article, you’ll find out how you can renovate your kitchen while keeping in mind the above considerations.

Do You Really Need to Renovate Your Entire Kitchen?

Ask yourself this question before you start planning what you want your new kitchen to look like. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint, a few new benchtops and new appliances are all you really need. Kitchen renovation can be quite expensive and time consuming, so if you’re just looking for a few tweaks and some little changes, consider a revamp instead of a full-blown renovation. This way, you can save up your money for something that will prove to be more useful in the long run such as an energy saving fridge, better cookware, high quality flatware or more durable benchtops or tables.

Photo: CC-BY-2.0 2007 dvs

Hire a Professional You Can Trust

Unless you’re a huge fan of DIY and you can dedicate hours upon hours to renovating your entire kitchen, hire someone else to do the job. This won’t come cheap, but that doesn’t mean it won’t save you a lot of money in the long run. When you hire a general contractor to remodel your kitchen, you can tell them exactly what you want, and they can show you if it can be done the way you want. In addition, they can tell you potential drawbacks your initial ideas may have, such as insufficient lighting or an appliance that’s much too far from an outlet. To find the right contractor, ask friends and family for some references. Ask them if the contractor they hired did a good job and if the contractor was able to execute the plan they had in mind. If people you know can’t recommend anyone, look for general contractors online. The best ones are often the busiest ones, so you may want to wait for them to clear up their schedule.

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Plan your Layout Based on Your Needs and Wants

You may want a lot of things in your kitchen, but chances are you won’t be able to fit all of those little luxuries in there. Base your design on how you use your kitchen. For instance, if you’ve got a lot of specialty knives, pots and ingredients, storage would be an important aspect of your renovation. If you need to make a lot of meals for a big family, bench space may be a bigger priority. Focus on what you need first before you start imagining what you want from your kitchen. A good idea to go about this is to get pictures of different kitchen styles you like, and checking with your contractor if those styles would be recommended given your kitchen usage. Review and improve your plan as many times as you need so that you won’t suddenly change your mind once the contractor has started making some changes.

Keep the Future in Mind

When you’re still in the process of planning, it’s best to keep in mind that the things that may seem perfect now may no longer be as useful in the future. For instance, built-in appliances may not be as practical as putting appliances on your shelves. Some appliances may only last for about five to six years, so when it’s time to throw it out for a new one, you’d be hard pressed to find the exact kind of fridge or toaster or oven that would fit into its predecessor’s old home. In addition, kitchen accessories for the kids such as built-in kiddie seats may be rendered useless when they’re all grown up or too tall to use them. Also, you have to consider resale when it comes to renovating the kitchen. In some cases, those customized changes may seem perfect for your family, but its next owners may find it completely useless. Add in a few personal touches, but don’t get carried away!

Stick to Your Plan

Sometimes, your contractor would give you some suggestions for how you can set up your new kitchen. However, you don’t always have to take their suggestions. When you’ve made up your mind about exactly what kind of cabinets, benches or flooring you need, it’s best to stick to your original plan and your original budget. It’s easy to get swayed by cabinets that have built-in sockets or self-cleaning appliances, but you have to ask yourself if that’s really what you need.

Invest in High Quality Appliances

High quality doesn’t always have to mean high price. In fact, if your appliances are suitable for your needs, you can save a lot more than buying the cheapest or most basic model that might give up on you in less than a year. Lots of appliances have tons of cool features that add to the cost, but you have to stop and think if you really even need those features at all. Some of the things you may want to pay attention to are the appliance’s energy efficiency, how easy it is for you to use, the safety features and how easy they are to clean. If you find a cheap oven or fridge or stove that cover those aspects to your satisfaction, then you’ve just found a bargain! You can even ask for the floor models so you can save even more.

Photo CC-BY-SA 2005 jm3 on Flickr

Summary

Planning and being well-prepared will be the keys to the success of your kitchen. Remember to keep all of your needs in perspective and how they will fare in the future. And make sure that you can trust your contractor and your design to produce the kitchen that you need. The results will create a functional and visually appealing kitchen, where you can create your culinary masterpieces.