Things to Consider

The kitchen is usually the center hub with the most activity in a household. Remodeling a kitchen can be a big chore, but for many reasons, homeowners continue to find ways to proceed. Here is a list of some of the top things to consider before remodeling your kitchen.

Deterioration

The kitchen might simply be falling apart. Cracked tiles, peeling countertops, broken or missing cabinet doors and outdated appliances don’t inspire gourmet cooking or family gatherings. The deteriorated kitchen has simply outlived its usefulness and needs a remodel.

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Modern Value

Homeowners often remodel their kitchens to increase the value or marketability of a property. A remodeled and attractive kitchen will appeal to prospective home buyers more than a boring and outdated one.The homeowner may or may not recoup the investment of the remodel; this will depend on a variety of factors, such as the degree of the remodel and current market prices. If the kitchen says the 1950s and you want to live in the here and now, it is time to transform your retro kitchen environment into a room for the 21st century.

Special Needs

It is sometimes necessary to remodel the kitchen to better accommodate the needs of disabled family members. For example, if one of the family is in a wheelchair or no longer able to reach high cupboards, a remodel can make the room more usable.

Energy Savings

Energy savings might be the prime motivation for a kitchen remodel. Adding skylights brings in more sunshine, reducing the need for artificial light. Energy-efficient appliances and solar water heaters cut the utility bill and place less stress on the environment.

Gourmet Kitchen

For a homeowner who enjoys preparing fancy meals and considers himself a gourmet cook, the prime reason for a remodel is the desire to create a dream kitchen. A gourmet kitchen with fancier amenities than most accommodates the cook’s needs.

Lifestyle Change

The kitchen layout may have worked great for the previous homeowner, but not for you. Some homeowners simply want change. The current kitchen might be functional, updated and attractive, yet no longer has appeal. Perhaps it lacks an island, and your family wants to gather informally in the kitchen to enjoy coffee or grab a quick meal without going to the dining room table. Whatever the reason, one motivation for a kitchen remodel is to arrange the room to best suit the family’s needs.

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Things to consider when you are planning a kitchen island:

Shape: Determine the shape of your island. The shape should, to a large degree, be dictated by the contour of your kitchen, following the room’s basic outline. The more space you can allow for your island the more features you can pack into it.

Clearance: There should be enough room to freely move around all sides of the island. Count on needing between 3’4″ and 3 and 1/2 feet of free space.

Function: Decide what features that you’d like to include in your island. For many a seating area with bar stools is a top priority. This is great not only for entertaining but also for daily stuff like breakfast and for the kids to do their homework. The island becomes the hub for your home life. See the list of functions and features below. Use it to make your own checklist.

Range: You might also consider putting a range on your island. If you go this route you will need a range model with a down draft venting system. The other choice is an island range hood that vents through the ceiling. Do you want to make a dramatic design statement with hood, or do you want to keep the space open?

Sink: Kitchen islands function well with a sink. It can be your main sink or a secondary sink with a decorative twist. Combining a sink and dishwasher in your island is functional for easy cleanup and keeps your plumbing together. Wouldn’t you rather look out into the rest of your home than into a wall?

Multi-level counters: Having a raised level provides the perfect seating area and blocks kitchen messes from clear view. An ergonomic option is to have a lowered counter for chopping and food prep.

Power and Water: Make sure you’ve thought out your electrical and plumbing needs. Even if you don’t have major appliances in your island it is handy to have outlets to plug in blenders, toasters and the like. Dishwashers and sinks will need to have the plumbing planned out in advance, or retrofitted in the case of a remodel. Talk to a plumber and an electrician before you finalize your plans. A good kitchen designer will also know how to arrange all of these details.

Design possibilities: They abound for islands! You can build them in all different shapes and sizes. They come in many different styles and can be made with your choice of materials. One option is to make the cabinets or counter top out of a material that contrasts the rest of the kitchen.