A kitchen remodel is an expensive and stressful process. That might not be something that you would expect a contracting company to tell you, but let’s just be honest: unless you have an unlimited amount of funds available to hire a giant crew of interior designers and renovators that know your tastes perfectly and have a supernatural talent for predicting style trends, you’re going to have to put a lot of thought into your remodel and make every dollar count. A great contractor can make things a lot easier for you and give you sound advice during the planning stages of your remodel, but there are still plenty of things you need to think about going into the remodel. It is for this reason that we have started a guide on things to consider when planning your kitchen remodel. Hopefully, this will assist you in your planning so that when your remodel is finished you will have a kitchen that you love and no regrets about how it turned out.
Your kitchen’s new style is something that you need to think about in-depth before you begin spending money. You want your kitchen to reflect your tastes without being too loud or trendy. The reason you don’t want your remodel to be too trendy is because you don’t want your kitchen to date itself just a few years down the road. Certain colors that are loud and in style now, may seem tacky or distasteful in the future. It is one thing to paint your kitchen these crazy colors, but installing countertops and backsplashes that cannot be easily replaced would be foolish. Go for more traditional and subtler colors for these things as they will be the most difficult to replace if their look becomes outdated.
Another thing you should keep in mind when remodeling your kitchen is that stainless steel does not have a very “warm” look to it. While stainless steel does look appealing, saturating your new kitchen with it can give it a cold and almost surgical look. Limit stainless steel to your appliances and sinks, but don’t use it for countertops or anywhere else.
The most important thing you can do for your kitchen’s style is to ensure that it is not boring. While I warned against using loud colors before, that doesn’t mean paint everything white. You can still have a colorful kitchen, just be sure you don’t overdo it. Work with an interior designer or contractor to find out what your color options are for countertops and get their input on what they think looks good. Also, there are a limitless amount of interior design and kitchen remodeling websites you can visit, such as Houzz that provide a limitless amount of images that are categorized by style. Some of the photos you come across will even provide the names of the manufacturers of cabinets, countertops, and hardware featured within them. This will allow you or your contractor to track down the exact components you want for your kitchen.
There are a few things to remember when laying out your kitchen, otherwise you might find it inefficient and difficult to cook in or clean. First off, don’t ever place an oven by itself. As a matter of fact, it’s often good to keep things you use frequently close together. One of the main rules I’ve seen different contractors abide by is that you want to keep the stove, sink, and refrigerator close together. This will make cleaning and cooking a much smoother process. Obviously, you want the dishwasher within arm’s reach of the sink. While it is healthy to exercise, you don’t want to jog a half mile after washing off a dish just to put it in the dishwasher.
One mistake people often make with the layout of their kitchen remodel is under planning countertop space. Make sure you give yourself plenty of counter space, as you will not only use it to prepare food, but also to place various kitchen appliances. Juicers, blenders, toasters, mixers, and various other gadgets that you use frequently should have their own spot on the counter, as it is a hassle to store each of these things in a cabinet and then retrieve them back out to use them again a few hours later.
A few other things you want to consider when laying out your new kitchen are the lighting and ventilation systems. It is dangerous to cut food when you can’t see it, so make sure you install sufficient lighting in every nook and cranny of your kitchen. Once again, it is possible to have a well-lit kitchen without overdoing it and having it be too bright. As far as ventilation goes, make sure you have a good vent hood over your cooking area and a ceiling fan at the very least. Even the Gordon Ramses of the world burn things from time to time and you don’t want that smoke billowing up with nowhere to go.
The last thing pertaining to layout that I could recommend is that you place an island carefully. If your kitchen is big enough to have an island without looking cluttered, go for it. Just make sure you leave about 42” around it so your kitchen doesn’t feel too claustrophobic and present too much of an obstacle.
Cabinetry is something that you do not want to go cheap on. Cheap cabinetry is easy to sniff out amongst even the most inexperienced home buyer. The cheap premade cabinets they sell at Lowes and Home Depot are basically garbage and should never be used for your kitchen remodel. They will break and are not resistant to water damage in the least. Make sure your contractor can install high quality cabinets that have a solid warranty.
The placement of your cabinets is also important. I recommend running them up to the ceiling so you don’t lose out on any storage space. Open walls are not something that you usually want in a kitchen, with the exception of where the backsplash is or in the area behind the counter. Inadequate storage is something that ranks high up there in the kitchen remodel regrets category, so don’t waste any space.
There are just a few other things I can tell you when it comes to planning your kitchen remodel. Make sure that you utilize your space efficiently. While you want plenty of storage, make sure your kitchen doesn’t feel crammed. Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to watch your budget closely during the remodeling process. Unless you are positive that you don’t want to ever move and will only settle for the absolute best materials and designs, spending more than 20% of your home’s value on a remodel is almost a waste of money. Lastly, try to stick to your plan. Don’t let your contractor sway you away from your dream kitchen for the sake of taking a shortcut or making you spend more money. Good luck!
Posted on March 10, 2015.