Archive for January, 2013


Friday, January 4th, 2013

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right!   Yes, it’s that time of year – time to make those pesky resolutions;  time to reflect on your goals attained and those that got away in the last year;  and it’s time to remodel your kitchen!

When it comes right down to it, your kitchen is the most popular room in your home.  Your kitchen has served you well over the years, but the time has finally come to transform it from an old functional kitchen to a new dream kitchen.   And once the decision has been made to remodel, the real work begins and there a number of factors you should address very early on.



There are numerous decisions to be made when remodeling your kitchen.  These decisions will not only determine the cost of the project, but will have a direct impact on the success of the final product.  It is crucial that you spend sufficient time addressing these issues prior to commencing the work.  As with any home renovation, the key is in the planning.

As anyone with a new kitchen can tell you, the school of hard knocks hands out advanced degrees for kitchen renovation.  It’s the most complicated renovation in a house, and knowing what to do and when to do it doesn’t come naturally.   It is true that few home upgrades make as much of an impression on owners, guests and potential buyers as a remodeled kitchen.  It is also true that kitchen remodeling is often extraordinarily expensive and time consuming.   But, do not let this deter you as you make plans for your home.  It is entirely possible to give your kitchen a makeover without ‘breaking the bank.’


First things first:   SET A BUDGET!   Setting a budget has nothing to do with the kitchen of your dreams.  It has everything to do with what you can afford.   Know in advance what you realistically spend and don’t spend more.  Remember, for best resale value, set the budget at somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of your home’s market value.  A less expensive kitchen may hurt resale, while anything over 20 percent may be hard to recoup.  Even if you are doing some of the work yourself, calculate the cost based on what it would cost to hire someone else to do the work.   And if your plans include financing, line it up now.




Read kitchen, cooking and remodeling magazines.   Tear out pages of kitchens or features that appeal to you and save them in a notebook or folder.  Put a check next to items on this list that you would like to see in your kitchen.

Talk to your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members about your kitchen.   People just love to give their opinions on other people’s issues.   Just remember though, just like bellybuttons, everyone has an opinion.   It doesn’t mean you have to use their ideas, but do listen carefully as they may just have the magic solution to a nagging problem.  The most important determining factor in the layout of your kitchen is what works best for you and your family!

Draw a floor plan.   You can draw a floor plan on graph paper, but it may be easier to use free or low-cost online tools that let you drag and drop standard cabinet sizes in place.  Many give you a 3D rendering once you’ve laid things out.  Lay out the sink, stove and refrigerator first and then fill in the remaining areas with cabinets.

Drawing a floor plan is a valuable step, even if you are working with a designer.  While the designer may suggest something that works better or costs less, both you and the designer will begin with a ‘picture’ of your goals.  By designing first and picking cabinets later, you choose function over form, and a kitchen has to be functional.  It you have to cut costs somewhere down the line, you will know in advance what is functional and what is merely window dressing.

In the coming months we will talk about cabinets, countertops, lighting, appliances, flooring, etc. in the designing of your new kitchen.   Please stay tuned!