4 ways planning can make or break your kitchen remodelPlanning your kitchen remodel is essential for getting a functional, relaxing and aesthetically pleasing kitchen. Without proper planning, you could end up with an expensive remodel that still doesn’t meet your needs.

Determine Your Objectives

Before you hire a contractor or an architect, determine your kitchen remodel objectives. If you’ve lived and cooked in your kitchen for a while, you know where the problem areas are located and how you use your kitchen. When you think about your remodel, determine how you want to remedy the problems and increase the functionality of all the areas of your kitchen. Common kitchen remodel goals include creating an eat-in kitchen and adding more counter and cabinet space.

If you have not lived in your home very long or haven’t cooked much in your kitchen, spend time cooking and learning the room to figure out exactly how you use your kitchen. You can also ask yourself several questions. Do I spend time with my family in the kitchen while I cook? Do I often cook with other family members? Do the kids do their homework at the kitchen table?  The answers to these questions will help you determine the layout of your kitchen and what amenities you need to make your life easier.

Think About the Triangle

If you’re having difficulty determining the layout of your kitchen, consider the triangle. In most kitchens, the stove, refrigerator and sink are the points of the triangle. This is so that you can move from the each area quickly.

Once you’ve determined where you’re putting your sink, refrigerator and stove, you can determine the locations of other appliances. For example, your dishwasher should be located near your sink. Your microwave should be located near your stove. Many families opt to install under-cabinet microwaves above their stoves for maximum ease of use and to minimize the counter space used for small appliances.

Budget Appropriately

Determine the overall amount you want to spend on your remodel then appropriate funds for appliances, counters, floors and other details. When it comes to appliances, you should purchase what you need rather than trying to outdo your family, friends and neighbors. The money you save on buying mid-grade appliances could help fund a better floor or solid wood cabinets.

When it comes to your cabinets and kitchen counters, it may be prudent to buy high-quality. Low grade cabinets can make a well-planned and laid out kitchen look cheap, and they won’t last. Cheap cabinets are made with particle board and laminate, which deteriorates quickly when exposed to water. Laminate counter tops can chip, scratch and become separated from the wood beneath.

The kitchen floor should be water-tight, durable and timeless. All of those qualities can be achieve by using natural flooring materials like stone or tile. Cheaper flooring materials like vinyl and laminate can fade with time and become outdated, requiring you to upgrade the floor again in the future.

If you’re having problems determining a budget or thinking about where to allocate your money, it may be prudent to hire an architect. An architect can help you by designing several different kitchen ideas that incorporate different budget amounts.

Don’t Forget the Lights

A bright, well-lit kitchen is inviting, and it makes food preparation easier. Instead of choosing large square fluorescent lights or cheap light fixtures from the discount shelves of your local home improvement store, choose a main light fixture that matches the décor of your new kitchen while providing ample illumination. Then, think about the dark areas of the kitchen where the main light may not reach. To illuminate these areas, consider recessed lights or under-cabinet lights.


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