Before You Remodel: Give Your Kitchen a Once Over

From on April 08, 2008 in Kitchen Remodel

Recently, when tackling my own kitchen remodel, I learned a valuable lesson in the importance of spending a lot of time configuring the layout in advance. Given a fairly small space to work with, I did my best to plan the cabinet and appliance layout, working within the current structural restraints. Although I had a fairly good plan, my neighbor happened to stop by one day and offered some valuable ideas. She had a computer program that took the kitchen dimensions and configured a variety of options. Having a visual really helped us rearrange the kitchen until we found a design that worked the best. We ended up building an enclosed back porch so that we could move the utilities out of the kitchen, allowing us more room for cabinetry. My own experience is an example of how it pays to “think outside of the box” and be willing to drastically change your layout. When selecting your cabinet contractor, choose one that has the capability to work with you to formulate your design. Avoid my initial mistake of not considering expansion. Framing a few new walls is no problem for a contractor, and may not end up adding much to the overall cost of the project. In your once-over, give thought to window placement. Do you have adequate lighting? Now is the time to add a larger window or a skylight. Pay attention to electrical outlets as well. Update your overhead lighting and add task lighting at the same time. Under-cabinet lighting can be very helpful also, especially if you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Know what to expect beforehand as far as cost goes; and whatever you do, avoid cutting corners once you realize you are over-budget. There is no point in investing in expensive cabinets, then choosing a cheap countertop. Sometimes, it’s better to wait until you’re sure you have enough budgeted to do the job right before beginning. Sometimes, your own judgment can become clouded by your desire to have the project completed and your life back to normal. Put your project out to bid (just use any form throughout our site for this), and price your materials and appliances. You not only will be well prepared and organized, but you may be pleasantly surprised to find the project may cost less than you expected. A kitchen remodel is a big undertaking, and you want to be as prepared as possible.