What To Think About Before Planning Kitchen Renovations

Traffic flows constantly through your kitchen. This room represents the hub of your home, and kitchen renovations can transform that hub from an cramped, impractical space to a room that flows beautifully. Taking certain elements of the project and room into consideration before you begin ensures that the end product is well suited to your home and lifestyle. Thorough planning is vital when renovating a kitchen.

Identify the Vision

The vision of your new kitchen surfaces during the design phase. Narrow down the essential features and atmosphere that you want or envision. And you need to be sure that this vision is concrete, or at least very well defined, in order to move forward decisively.

Using hand drawn sketches or a computer program, come up with a design that best captures what you have in mind for the space. Note the colors you imagine, and attach swatches where possible. Consider the details of the cabinetry, preferred textures on the walls and flooring and major design features like cabinet doors and countertops.

Make a list of the things that must be in the new kitchen, including trendy and traditional elements like a kitchen island, built-in range or garbage disposal. If you have a long wish list, put the items in priority or price order. Think about whether these features fit into the atmosphere you've envisioned, and make adjustments as necessary. The on-paper planning should be carefully detailed and taken through to completion. Don't rush it - or you may miss out on kitchen elements that will create your ideal space.

Arrange for a Thorough Inspection of the Area

Have your contractor inspect the existing kitchen keeping a close eye out for water damage, outdated electrical, plumbing or mechanical services and inefficient appliances. These problems should be addressed in the renovation and appropriate upgrades put into place.

Even if you're thinking about a DIY kitchen remodelling, it's worthwhile to hire a professional home inspector or contractor to perform this task. Unless you have extensive experience in the construction industry, the lack of inside knowledge and overall understanding can hide certain problems from even the most watchful homeowner's eye. Also, professionals have the equipment needed to check for mold and mildew and assess the electrical and mechanical services in your kitchen.

Borrowing or Adding Space

If the existing kitchen feels cramped or is not large enough to accommodate your vision consider the expansion options. You could bump out one of the kitchen walls, creating more space in the room and providing the opportunity to upgrade windows, patio doors and venting. Even moving a wall out two or three feet adds tremendous space to a small kitchen.

Look around at the floor plan of your home as well, and consider altering the layout to borrow floor space for the kitchen. Is your formal dining room being used? Can you shift the mud room or utility area to another location and use that space for a larger kitchen? Take a closer look at each of the rooms nearby, or consider moving the entire kitchen to another corner of your home. Find the space necessary to build your ideal kitchen, using additions and interior renovations wherever necessary.

Possible Structural Changes

Kitchen remodeling involves a fair amount of removal. You'll need to take out the existing flooring, cabinetry and countertops in many cases, and may need to move plumbing and electrical around to accommodate for a new layout. Why not make any structural changes necessary at the same time?

It's best to consider the Whole Home Unit or building envelope. Maybe now is the time to improve insulation or fix serious problems with the roof. Upgrade inefficient windows (these should have been pointed out during the inspection stage), change the roofing layout to improve drainage, install sliding patio doors or a set of beautiful French doors. Structural changes add to the overall project price, but it is less expensive to tackle these important projects during a kitchen renovation. Aim to be efficient in terms of renovation scheduling and budgeting, and tackle any structural changes within the kitchen.

Make sure that the existing structural components can handle the new load. This is especially true if your kitchen renovation transformed closed in rooms to an open concept floor plan, or if older cabinetry was replaced by heavier wood cabinets.

Take the Time For Prep

Make sure your contractor understands the importance of prep work. Your budget should include a subfloor install beneath tiling, extra supports for heavy stone countertops and high quality primer on the walls and ceiling. You may not see the immediate benefits of these materials, but paying for a fully prepared kitchen will ensure your renovations are durable and valuable.

Prep work can be difficult to fully assess up front. Your contractor may need to evaluate the situation once the existing elements have been removed. At that point the condition of the subfloor, plumbing, supports and walls will be easier to assess. Be prepared to pay for additional time and materials, with the understanding that your new kitchen will be stronger and more comfortable with this prep work taken care of.

Planning for kitchen renovations takes time, but the effort is well worth it in the end. Your new space will be well designed and well built when you take the time to identify the vision and perform a thorough inspection. Consider adding space and changing structural elements and always take care of the necessary prep work. The success of your kitchen remodeling depends on the materials and installation, but it also requires serious planning to fully transform this important area of your home.

Posted by: diana
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