Kitchen Remodeling 101

Modern kitchens are no longer shut away in the back part of the house where nobody can find them. Nowadays they’re often the heart of the house, making it easier to work in your kitchen and still be involved in the life of the family going on around you. So it’s important that your kitchen looks beautiful and is welcoming, otherwise your whole house will become less appealing.

If your kitchen is looking a little dated or worse for wear, it may be time to remodel it. Remodeling your kitchen can be a very simple project to cheer it up a bit, or it can be a major project involving the total removal and replacement of all the kitchen elements. Your budget and your handyman skills will be the major factors that determine just how extensive your remodeling project is going to be.

It’s worth spending some time studying your existing kitchen, to determine whether the problem is simply that it needs a new coat of paint and maybe some other minor changes, or whether the kitchen itself has major design flaws. Kitchens should be designed so that all the major work areas are close together. These include the sink, stove and preparation areas. Is your food storage cupboard close to the preparation bench? How about the fridge? If your whole kitchen is badly designed and a nuisance to cook in, then you may be better off starting again from scratch.

But if you’re going to remodel the whole kitchen, you need to be very careful with your budget. It’s also worth looking to see if you can recycle some of the existing elements. Maybe the stove is in good condition; it just needs to be moved. Cupboards can be reused, perhaps with new doors, but rearranged to be more convenient. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of having a completely new kitchen, unless you’re prepared substantial amounts of money.

Consider, too, whether there are cheap and simple solutions to any kitchen flaws you discover. Perhaps you don’t have enough bench space for food preparation. Rather than replacing the whole kitchen, how about installing an island bench, even a movable one that you can wheel in and out when it’s needed? If the cupboards look dated, it’s amazing how much difference a new set of handles can make. Perhaps add a coat of paint, or even go as far as replacing the cupboard doors, and your kitchen can look completely different.

Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to add value to your home, because many homebuyers will choose their new home based on whether or not they like the kitchen. Having said that, though, it’s important not to spend too much. Try to limit your remodeling budget to around 15% of the home’s value; otherwise you’re spending more than you probably should.

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