Kitchen is not just a place in which we prepare and very often eat our food, it is the place of pride for every homeowner. For most homeowners kitchen is a reflection of their lifestyle, but very few homeowners can say that they are completely satisfied with their kitchen. Everybody have at least one little thing that they want to change and homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. Kitchen remodeling doesn’t have to be expensive and you can do wonders with a small budget and a bucket of paint. This kitchen remodeling tips will try to guide you through the steps of kitchen remodeling and explain you what you should and shouldn’t do when you decide to remodel your kitchen.
Budget and planning
Every kitchen remodeling project is inevitably limited by your budget. Setting a budget for your remodeling project is much more than just crunching numbers. Before you begin with calculating, do your research. Find out what’s available in the market today by visiting showrooms, reading magazines, checking out trade shows and searching online resources. We recommend that you stick to the planing at least for a few months and do a thorough research on the materials and prices. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction and create change orders, which will inflate construction costs and hurt your return on investment.
First study and measure your existing kitchen. For example, common mistake that many homeowners make is buying an extra-large fridge only to find that it can’t get through the doorway. To avoid mistakes like this, create a drawing of your kitchen with measurements for doorways, walkways, counters, etc. If you want to have true 3D view of your remodelled kitchen check out our article about Best free software for home design.
Always keep in mind that expanding the kitchen and finding a new spot for all your appliances is a costly thing. When you decided to tear down walls and move pipes, the DIY kitchen remodeling project is out of the question. If you are not trained professional don’t try to make new walls or install plumbing and gas pipes. Nothing will drive up the cost of a remodel faster than changing the location of plumbing pipes and electrical outlets, and knocking down walls. This is usually where unforeseen problems occur. If you can, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates, and most importantly you can do the entire remodeling yourself without hiring professionals.
When we talk about kitchen remodeling always have some room in your budget for unexpected things. Even if you’ve planned everything down to the number of nails you’ll need in your remodel, expect the unexpected. Also, try to be realistic when you set your deadlines. Don’t set your deadlines too short, because proper remodelling takes time and if you want quality don’t rush things.
Shape of your remodelled kitchen
If you decided to completely change the look of your kitchen by rearranging all the elements than we advise you to keep it within some basic standards when it comes to kitchen shapes. There are three basic shapes that kitchen can have: U-shape, L-shape and G-shape. Those shapes are planned so that you have a fully functional kitchen and if you follow those rules every part of your kitchen will be in the perfect place and fully functional.
The U-Shape puts the stove, fridge and sink each on a different wall and offers a very compact triangle that lets you prepare a meal while walking the shortest distance. The U-shape works best with the sink in the center of the “U” and the fridge at one end of a run of counters to avoid breaking up a work surface. This shape works well in a kitchen that’s nearly square or in a kitchen where you want to tightly define one end of a larger space as the basic work area, with an island set in the open end of the “U,” perhaps fronting onto the family room or breakfast room.
The L-shape uses two walls of the kitchen for the three points of the work triangle. The most common setups is that the fridge is at one end of the long leg of the “L,” the sink is toward the center of the same wall, and the stove is perpendicular, on the short leg of the “L.” In comparison to the U-shape kitchen, the “L” has a long, rather than a short, wall facing into the rest of the room. Room traffic does not cross into the triangle, and, since this design uses only two walls, the triangle is long and relatively narrow and that is allowing more open layout. This setup is best for a large room where the kitchen shares space with a family room.
The G-Shape features one appliance on each of two walls and the third appliance on a peninsula that separates the work area from an adjoining breakfast area or family room. If housing the cooktop in the accessible peninsula worries you, you can always put the sink there instead and locate the cooktop on a full wall within the kitchen itself.
Whatever shape you choose, the sink should take central position as it’s used more often than either the refrigerator or the stove. If the sink is located on the same wall as the stove, with the main work area in the middle, you won’t drip water on the floor when you go from the sink to the cooktop. When placing the refrigerator, make sure the single-door model, when open, faces into the work triangle and not out of it. Always plan ample counterspace right next to any appliance. This is because you’ll want to set down heavy grocery bags near the fridge and slippery wet crystal next to the sink. Enough space is an absolute priority. The absolute minimum is width of 18 inches, and preferably 24 to 36 inches, right next to the cooktop, range, and oven, and on at least the opening side of the microwave and fridge. If you’re using laminate countertops always use heat-resistant material such as ceramic tile, to create “landing space” near cooking appliances.
Appliances don’t make a kitchen, but they just might be the most important aspect of your space. After all, the kitchen’s primary function is for preparing and cooking meals. With many mid-range and high-end (but within reach) appliances on the market today, you can get the looks and quality performance without shelling out for the high-high end models. Be sure to limit how much of your budget you want to spend on appliances and don’t cross that limit. It’s easy to get carried away when planning your new kitchen.
You should always choose your kitchen layout first and then choose appliances that fit. Appliances are essentially tools used to cook and store food and your kitchen remodel shouldn’t be about the tools, but the design and functionality of the entire kitchen. Be sure to concentrate your money on long-term features that add value, such as cabinets and flooring and then choose appliances made by trusted brands.
The cabinets must be your first priority in kitchen remodeling project. There are three ways to go depending of the scale of the project, your budget and your wishes. If you just want to refresh your kitchen and keep the existing cabinets, you can paint them in another color yourself. If you want to learn more about it check our article about Furniture restoration or the Furniture bible. For real DIY-ers out there, there is an option of building your own kitchen cabinets. It is not that hard and everybody with basic woodworking knowledge can make kitchen cabinets as explained in our article Building kitchen cabinets. If building or painting your existing cabinets isn’t an option then you have three choices: single ready cabinets, complete kitchen layouts and custom made cabinets. Single cabinets are stand alone items and you can buy them at any kitchen or furniture store. You buy single kitchen cabinets and arrange them yourself in your kitchen according to your wishes. Complete kitchen layouts are basically complete kitchens with or without appliances (depending of the offer). Those layouts are great because you can see the functionality and look when you are browsing the stores. The downside is that you have to find the kitchen which suits the size of your room, but if your kitchen is in the range of standard kitchen dimension that is the best choice. Custom made kitchen is the most expensive solution but you can demand whatever you want and all your wishes will be fulfilled.
Always look for solid wood cabinet faces and full plywood box construction. Also, look for drawers that have dovetail joinery and bulky mechanical slides because otherwise you will have broken drawers in few months time. People always first look at base cabinets and they get the most attention, whereas hanging wall cabinets are sacrificed for esthetic features such as windows, dramatic backsplashes etc. With that being said, base cabinets are moving away from doors and toward drawers. Ergonomically, it brings contents to you rather than you having to bend over and dig through layers to get what you need. Today, wall cabinets extend to the ceiling, making use of high-up space for storing infrequently used specialty serving-ware and cookware. Another trend is that blowing the wall cabinets to full-length proportions, stretching from floor to ceiling to create an accent wall that can house everything from cookbooks to appliances.
Flooring, countertops and accessories
Picking out a kitchen counter is not an easy task and this surface area ends up influencing many kitchen palettes! It’s very important to choose something that looks good to you and will hold up under the kitchen activity of your household and, most importantly, has a price tag that suits your budget. Today most kitchens include a stone countertop surface but most current trends are solid wood and composite materials. Generally, granite is the best choice in terms of durability, price, and upkeep time and marble and soap stone require constant maintenance and can chip very easily. Solid wood and composite materials are best in terms of durability and style but their price is considerably higher than granite. If you can’t afford new countertops there are number of cheat’s tricks to achieve the look at a fraction of the cost. You may want to consider re-lining your existing benchtop with timber laminate, and applying matching edging to give the appearance of solid timber. If you want an industrial look, clad it in stainless steel or a brightly colored laminate. Or to achieve the look of stone countertop, overlay your countertop with a stone vynil.
Kitchen floor needs to stand up to a lot of foot traffic and potential spills, so consider durability and easy maintenance when choosing materials for your floor. Also floors play a key part in tying the look of the room together. We recommend porcelain tiles because of theirs’ durability, versatility, availability in a range of colors, textures and designs, and affordability compared to natural stones. These tiles are fired at about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’re tough as nails and aren’t likely to chip, crack or discolor. Other natural surfaces lend character to a space, but they do tend to scratch easier than porcelain tile, and they are more absorbent so they are more likely to stain.
When we talk about kitchen lightning, you can spend as much or as little as you like on bulbs and fixtures, but a successful lighting scheme relies on good planning. You must keep your work areas well-lit and avoid shadows. You can install strip lights beneath wall cabinets, or hanging pendant lights above an island unit, plus good task lighting above the dishwasher or sink.
Splashbacks are positioned behind the stovetop and they protect your walls from grease and grime. They are also a great spot to add a hit of colour. You have choose materials that needs to be non-flammable, non-porous and easy to wipe down. Stainless-steel splashbacks have a modern, professional feel, while heat-resistant, specially-toughened glass can be back-painted in a huge array of colours or lined with wallpaper for a bolder look.
Tapware is not a minor detail and the sink is one of the first places to which the eye is drawn when entering a kitchen. Consider replacing dated or dented tapware with a new design. Always choose practicality as well as looks – extendable taps with pull-out nozzles are chic and make rinsing large platters a breeze. In terms of style, there’s something out there to suit every taste and budget.
We hope that this article provided you with enough information and enough inspiration to start with your kitchen remodeling project!