Kitchen Renovation Guide
Kitchen remodeling will definitely require you to determine the exact style you want, set up a budget range and plan a kitchen layout in line with your cooking preferences. This job is huge and time-consuming, but fun and exciting at the same time. So, before you start, kindly remember these important suggestions, reminders and design ideas to make your kitchen remodeling experience something good to look back.
Designing your dream kitchen
Efficient kitchen layout, good-quality materials and trustworthy sources of workmanship are the key factors of a successful kitchen renovation project. Here's how you can design your dream kitchen without ruining the original theme of your home:
1. Conduct prior research
Researching shouldn't consume too much of your time since you only need to figure out what you can afford for the project. You may check out some online stores or visit any kitchen showroom to have a basic idea of the potential cost. Keep your cost estimates as realistic as possible to avoid overspending and material wastage.
2. Consider all potential expenses during pre-planning
When expenses are somehow anticipated, your disappointments may likely become reduced by the time your kitchen remodel has been completed. On top of creating an initial budget, consider adding 25 to 30 percent more for other potential expenses like delivery cost, additional labor cost, taxes, and unplanned purchases. These are hidden expenses that often come up unnoticed during the construction.
3. Select your desired kitchen layout
Having a new kitchen layout may bring the exciting cooking experience for you, but also expect some inevitable expenses that may incur along the way. Retaining your old kitchen layout can bring you more savings, particularly if you're short on budget and available space. Now if you decide to bring in a new kitchen atmosphere, consider a kitchen layout that is functional, efficient and practical.
4. Utilize the concept of the work triangle
Make use of the work triangle concept by arranging the cooking zone, refrigerator and sink in a triangular pattern. Kitchen builders consider this as the most efficient design since you are able to reduce unnecessary movements while allowing better access to different working zones. If two or more people work in your kitchen, you may incorporate an additional work station in a form of an island kitchen, a peninsula or a utility cart.
Incorporating proper kitchen spacing is also important when designing an efficient kitchen. Professional kitchen remodelers may seem helpful in designing your entire kitchen with strategic work stations, excellent lighting and convenient spacing of appliances. To give you a basic idea, here's what you can do to enhance the work efficiency of your kitchen:
- Allocate at least 36 inches of clear counter space for meal prepping, 24 to 30 inches of additional space besides the primary sink and 18 inches clear beside a secondary sink (if there's any).
- Maintain a clear distance of at least 72 inches from the floor line up to the underside of the wall cabinets to avoid head bumps.
- Maintain a clear distance of 48 inches between an island kitchen and wall counters.
Walkways and appliances
- In front of any appliance, leave enough space or at least 30 inches clear, so you can easily open the range oven or fridge doors without blocking your way.
- Leave at least 48 inches clear between counters or maintain 48 inches to 72 inches spacing between your appliances so that people can move smoothly from one station to another.
- Leave a clear spacing of 36 inches between two breakfast tables or counters that lead to your dining space.
Huge mistakes you should avoid in kitchen renovation
Every mistake you make will incur additional expenses, so remember these gentle reminders if you wish your kitchen remodel to go flawlessly.
1. Give importance to traffic workflow
Designing your kitchen with an efficient workflow will allow you to get the most out of your remodeling efforts. An effective kitchen workflow will determine how easy it is to move within the designated working zones without bumping at the doors and cabinets. Kitchen remodelers often employ the principles of the work triangle in any kitchen renovation. In this design, your cooking stove, washing area, and refrigerator are strategically positioned, forming a triangular shape that represents traffic flow.
Even if you have enough DIY experience, seeking professional advice might still become useful. Professional designers are equipped with the right expertise to fine tune your renovation plans while helping you avoid impulsive decisions. Also, utilize the free design services that are offered from home improvement stores for more ideas. If you do the renovation yourself, you are likely to encounter design problems, unforeseen expenses and most of all, waste of materials during installation.
2. Don’t settle for cheap and fragile materials
Each material you see in hardware stores is designed unique and attractive, but not all material characteristics are made the same. Material quality can be determined according to grade level, origin, pattern, and manufacturing process, so opting for cheaper material doesn't mean you can get more savings. Be sure to purchase good-quality materials for a kitchen renovation. Marble and limestone may look elegant, but they are vulnerable to staining and water seepage.
Recycled glass is perfect for a modern-accented countertop, but they can crack easily as compared with ceramic tiles. If you really want the impressive look, consider installing engineered quartz or granite stone since these options possess better resistance properties against wear-and-tear.
3. Opt for quality kitchen appliances
Whether you're planning for a DIY renovation or professional renovation, never think about buying cheap or low-standard appliances. Settle for much-used appliances that are equipped with energy-efficient features though their upfront cost may seem relatively high. Energy-saving appliances will absolutely provide long-term benefits, which will reflect on your monthly electrical bills.
Always consider your choice of kitchen appliances during the initial stage of your renovation, especially if you plan to replace the old ones. Select your major appliances first and have them delivered to you within two to four weeks to avoid messing up your work area. Once you determine the required sizes for your appliances, you can now create the plan around those given dimensions. Also consider the available spaces which you may use for open shelves, ceiling racks, and ready-to-assemble cabinets.
Other common mistakes that you should avoid in kitchen renovation include:
- Failing to designate a temporary kitchen before you start the renovation
- Ignoring the existing color palettes and design themes of other living space
- Failing to secure the rest of your house from dust and debris
- Neglecting the allocated budget for a certain scope of work
- Failing to review the plan to check if there's anything you can cut off to save
Learning the basic kitchen layouts and designs
A kitchen isn't just about a place for cooking meals or storing food, but also an important space where family members can have a great time. You can start off the renovation process by planning the aesthetic features ahead including color palettes, number of cabinets, kitchen style, and appliance design. But don't forget to select a kitchen plan that will fit your cooking lifestyle the best. Here are some popular kitchen layouts that you may consider according to your specific needs and available space:
1. L-shaped kitchen
The L-shaped kitchen is suitable for small spaces, which allow users to see the surroundings in full view while cooking. The dead-end spaces are best utilized as designated spaces for the refrigerator or dishwashers. Consider adding an island kitchen or a peninsula kitchen to create a U-shaped configuration, which can also be used as a breakfast bar.
2. U-shaped kitchen
The U-shaped kitchen clearly displays the concept of the kitchen work triangle where the working stations create a triangular pattern within an enclosed space. This kitchen layout offers three sides of working counters where each counter can locate your sink, cooking range and refrigerator. You may position an island kitchen in the middle if you have a massive space, which can be used either as a preparation table or a breakfast bar.
3. Galley kitchen
The galley kitchen features two parallel lines of kitchen counters with a clear walkway in between. It offers ample storage and flexible working zones but doesn't suit an open-plan living.
4. Island kitchen
An island kitchen provides the needed boost for both L-shaped and U-shaped kitchen plans in terms of additional working space. In larger kitchens, the island kitchen may serve as the main focal point aside from providing additional dining options for the occupants. However, this may not be a valuable option if you opt for an open plan layout with limited space.
Selecting your desired kitchen style will definitely complete your kitchen makeover. But first, you need to know the basic features of every kitchen style being adapted in many renovation projects today.
1. Contemporary style
Contemporary style features bold geometrical shapes and curve lines which are often seen on the details of cabinetries, cornice, ceiling, and material patterns. This maximizes the presence of natural lighting through the use of tall windows, sun roofing and open planning concepts.
2. Traditional style
The traditional style features several distinctive design elements that best represent the ornamental decors during the 17th and 18th-century homes. These design features may include painted natural scenes, portraits and ornamental frames with floral patterns and decorative boxes.
3. Transitional style
Transitional style displays a seamless balance between contemporary and modern styles through the use of clean lines, warm colors, geometric shapes, and classic artworks.
4. Modern style
Modern style displays the balanced application of linear elements, regular geometric shapes and exposed structural elements like columns and beams. This also features combinations of neutral colors close to black-and-gray, stainless steel and basic shapes in a minimalist approach.
How to make most of a small kitchen
Having a small kitchen shouldn't be a hindrance to making your kitchen life organized and efficient. Proper planning of spaces, well-designated storage and a good choice of hardware accessories can help you maximize a defined kitchen space. Let these simple design solutions help you get the most out of your limited kitchen space:
- Utilized all unused spaces by installing open shelves, magnetic strips, and wall racks.
- Install some kitchen hooks at the back and side areas of the cabinet doors.
- Consider putting overhead cabinets and shelves running up to the ceiling. Try not to leave the top side open since this area will only accommodate dust.
- Consider using wooden racks, wall-mounted hooks, storage pullouts, cup hooks, and other useful hardware solutions.
- Consider putting some decorative elements to reflect your own style. These may include cornices, architraves, spot lighting, wall or floor borders, recessed ceiling, and moldings.
- Even if the kitchen is small, maintain proper spacing between the cabinets at least 24 inches to avoid making your kitchen look too enclosed.
- Install some backsplashes at the back of your kitchen sink, counters and cooking stove to protect the walls from water and chemical spills.
- Use only one or two color palettes to make your kitchen look larger.
- Install your lighting fixtures only at designated working areas including base cabinets.
- Avoid purchasing new appliances if you don't have to. Before buying a new one, be sure to get the exact measurement where the appliance will be located.
- Add more shelves inside the cabinets whether at the base or overhead cabinets.
- Limit the use of multiple types of materials to cut the cost down. For example, you can use granite for countertops, floors and some areas of the wall.
Things to ask yourself before doing a kitchen renovation
Planning a kitchen renovation may seem difficult to handle if you don't know exactly why you want to do it. Ask yourself first whether you need to remodel your current kitchen just because you want to or if you have future plans to sell your property. Consider answering these key questions before you decide to break down the walls and replace your old appliances:
1. Are you planning to put your property on a home listing?
Having a kitchen renovation allows you to increase the retail value of your property, particularly if you're planning to sell it in the next 24 to 36 months. But remember that a newly-renovated kitchen doesn't guarantee a sure deal as home buyers would prefer to have increased square footage of different living spaces rather than a kitchen remodel alone.
2. Are you cutting down cost on cabinetries?
Real estate experts believe that cabinetries should be one of the major concerns when planning a kitchen remodel. Installing cheap cabinets should not be part of your options if you're planning to enlist your property in the future.
3. Do you need professional help?
It's advisable to research before hiring the services of a contractor. Do-it-yourself projects undeniably cut down the labor cost, but be sure to have enough technical skills to handle the electrical and plumbing installations.
4. Do you need to purchase high-grade commercial appliances?
Instead of looking for the best cosmetic design, consider the practical features when selecting your kitchen appliances. You can put in all your hard-earned money on high-end appliances if you think you're a serious chef though investing in quality appliances is still recommended.
5. Is your current kitchen efficient?
Kitchen remodelers suggest creating an inventory of your kitchen stuff and seeing how you can keep them in an organized way. Think about the space you will need to keep the pots, pans, cutting utensils, plates and small appliances when considering a new kitchen layout.
6. Are you afraid of bad impressions?
Experiment new colors, styles and patterns to incorporate your own personality. Lightings, faucets, and hardware do not necessarily need to be in similar finishes. Combining colors and textures should be fun while creating the character you desire for your kitchen.
Any serious kitchen makeover is expected to utilize time, energy and even creativity. Have all your requirements thoroughly discussed with your contractor to ensure proper utilization of space and better movement within the allocated space.
- Dale Basilla