Remodeling Your Kitchen?

These are questions to consider, along with some advice:

–  How long will you live in your home?  Are you remodeling for your own use and enjoyment or for resale?  Plan accordingly.

–  What is your budget?  Plan on spending 10-15% more (for upgrades and unforeseen “fixes”) than the cost you agree to pay.

–  When planning, don’t just think about what you need to change, consider what you’d want or love to change….. think of EVERYthing – walls, floors, even ceiling texture.  Now is the time to consider moving walls, changing paint color, ceiling texture, lighting, adding a skylight or skytube.

–  Make a “must have” list and a “wish list”, then check cost to see what you can afford.  Consider price, durability and maintenance.

–  Layout – Ensure you have a workable triangle with sink, stove and refrigerator.  Imagine yourself going from one to the other (distance and convenience)  What do you want to look at when at the sink?

–  Appliances – stainless, white, tan or black?  (consider maintenance – white shows food, black shows dust, stainless not easy to wipe clean)  Gas or electric stove or both options?  If electric, glasstop or traditional burners?  Note that “slide-in” ovens are usually smaller.  Do you have room for a large commercial stove/oven?  Do you want stove/oven combo or double oven and separate cooktop (more expensive)?  Can refrigerator be recessed if you want it to be?  Do you want a cabinet overlay on the refrigerator ?  If you love one of your appliances but are changing color, consider painting it to match or find out if you can buy a new “face” for it.   Keep a list and receipts and stickers to claim tax deductions on energy efficient models.

–  Plumbing – Make sure dishwasher is hooked up to hot water.  Ensure proper plumbing for water dispenser in fridge.  Will contractor use existing garbage disposal or install new? (consider age, energy efficiency).  Might you have room for a small work/prep sink?

–  Countertops – laminate, granite, corian, concrete, etc.? – check shapes, colors and prices before deciding

–  Sink – color and material?  Mounted or undermount?

–  Electrical – outlets on outsides of end cabinets, on islands and at desks (phone and/or cable outlet for internet?).  Grommets in countertop/desk area?  Surge protectors have thick cords – make sure cords will fit.

–  Lighting – make sure you have enough.  Ceiling fan, fixture, canned lights (directional?).  Where will switches be? – put them in multiple places if possible and separate if desired.  Dimmers?…why not?

–  Cabinets – material, color and style of fronts.  Do you want space between cabinets and ceiling?  Some kitchens’ walls are moved out to meet cabinets in that space, sometimes there are air ducts there, some people like to display things on top of cabinets (baskets or collections), some people like the extra storage of cabinets that go to the ceiling, some like the cabinets staggered (some to ceiling and some not).

–  Storage – think of everything you presently have in your kitchen and make sure it all has a new home (including ample gadget space and all linens).  Where will you keep small appliances?

–  Drawers – Explore options of width, depth and how far out they pull.

–  Hardware – color, style, size (3” or 4”)?

–  Backsplash – Choose something easy to clean.  Choose something that won’t date your kitchen or limit you in a future change.  We chose a neutral color tile, but contractor suggested diagonal placement and its attractive.  Area above stove – special tiles or design?

–  Do you want a theme?  If so, ensure it can be changed without major future work as you may tire of it over time.

–  Bring samples home to see how they “play” with your lighting and rest of your house.

–  I looked at  pictures/options of remodels online and saved many in a file of ideas that I could reference later. is a good site to check out.  Check closeouts at the store (ask where they are displayed).

–  Ask anyone and everyone for advice.  When contractor asks what or how you want something, don’t neglect asking what he/she would suggest.

–  Make lists to reference.

What did I forget?  Please comment and add your thoughts or advice.


About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 60's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way.
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