Whether you have every detail planned on your Pinterest board, or just know you can’t look at those ugly old countertops any longer, you’ve decided to take on the daunting task of a kitchen remodel. But home renovations are known for becoming bigger and more stressful than expected. And kitchen remodels notoriously so. So before you bring out the sledgehammer, here are a few things to consider.
Think About the Cost
Like any remodeling project, costs for kitchen remodels can shoot up sharply if something unexpected is found behind a wall or under the floors. The best way to not be caught too off guard with the expense of a project is to have a clear budget in mind, with room built in for the unknown. Price out a variety of fixtures, flooring, appliances as well as the cost of contractors. Decide where you’re willing to splurge and where the basics will meet your needs just fine.
What to invest in?
Kitchens see a lot of wear and tear. They’re high traffic areas and tend to be a gathering point for most households. Because of this there are certain areas where you shouldn’t just budget in the cheapest option. When deciding on flooring, countertops and cabinets, it pays to invest in higher quality materials. There is nothing fun in having to replace low quality counters that start to look dingy a couple years after your costly kitchen remodel. And as modern materials and technology make options better and better, high quality doesn’t have to mean high cost either.
Where to save?
When doing a complete kitchen remodel, many people get enamored by the latest trends and the coolest appliances. But it’s important to remember the reality of your day to day life. Those beautiful open shelves and that stunning stainless steel 6 burner stove always look perfect in a magazine. But if in everyday life you only ever use 2 or 3 burners at a time and have trouble keeping clutter down, you will probably wind up wishing you had made different decisions. Take an honest look at your real needs, that way you can avoid spending unnecessarily.
Use the Existing Layout
With your trusty paper and pencil in hand, you’re ready to completely gut your kitchen and start over from scratch. But before you decide to move the sink to an island, or change the location of your stove, remember that moving plumbing and gas lines are a quick way to get the cost of a kitchen remodel to rocket up. You may find your current layout inconvenient - but perhaps keeping the major components in place and focusing on the style and layout of cabinets and counters might accomplish the efficiency you’re after without the hefty cost.
Addition or No Addition?
Sometimes kitchens are just too small. This can be especially true in older homes where kitchens simply weren’t designed with all the appliances we use daily in mind. If you find yourself constantly running into storage problems or lack of space, an addition might be on your mind. An addition is of course another large cost to add to any kitchen remodel. To determine whether you need more space or simply a more functional layout, it may help to bring in some professional help. A certified kitchen designer can offer a clearer view of what your costs will be, what the remodel will entail, and whether your needs might be better suited by another solution.
Think About Lighting
A lot of work gets done in a kitchen. Prepping foods, washing dishes, cooking meals big and small - almost all of these tasks are made easier by good lighting. Lighting can also make a small kitchen feel big and open. It can be used to add dimension and interest and create a warm, personalized space for gathering with friends or family. Sometimes the big features of a kitchen remodel, the appliances, the countertops, the cabinets, overshadow thoughts about lighting. But lighting can make or break a great kitchen remodel, so it’s better to include a lighting plan soon than later.
One common mistake in kitchen lighting is assuming that one ceiling mounted light is enough for the whole room. A ceiling light can brighten up a room and can even be a great opportunity for decorative fixtures, but when you’re cutting veggies on the counter, a ceiling light will create unhelpful shadows. This is where task lighting comes in. Under the cabinet lighting is a great example of task lighting. Think about areas where you will commonly work and how you can add lights that brighten them.
Accent lighting is another way to brighten a kitchen and add dimension to the room. Multiple layers of light, different types or levels of brightness, can add visual interest. You can also use accent lighting to draw eyes towards features you love. Lighting such as inside display cabinets or recessed in the ceiling above cabinets are simple ways to add accents. Accent lighting is also a great way of building ambient lighting in a room by filling in the shadows created by larger fixtures.
Like all large home renovation projects, there’s a lot to account for in a kitchen remodel. But if you take your time to consider all your needs, budget thoughtfully and rely on professionals when necessary, you’ll be sure to end up with a kitchen you’ll love!