Renovate Your Kitchen with these 10 Tips
10 Tips to Help You Renovate Your Kitchen
Tackling a kitchen remodel is quite an undertaking. However, it’s also one of the best ways to increase the value of your home and make it much more inviting and functional. Outdated kitchens are an eyesore, no doubt, but before tackling a kitchen renovation head-on, it’s important to get all your ducks in a row. We’ve compiled a list of 10 essential kitchen remodeling tips straight from the experts in the industry. Hopefully you’ll find at least one of these to be useful when planning your next kitchen makeover.
If you’re planning on doing the renovation yourself, don’t forget to get the proper permits (i.e. electrical, building and plumbing) before starting your remodel. Permits typically are required for renovations that include, demolishing a load-bearing wall, moving the sink, creating a new door/window, electrical work, or placing a roll-off dumpster on a public street. Just to be safe, jot down your plans for the kitchen, being as detailed as possible, and give your local permit office a call.
Find a Contractor
Hiring a general contractor to oversee the remodel is a good idea in most cases, especially if you can afford it. Contractors may charge a 15 to 25 percent fee for their services. This money is well-spent if you choose a good contractor. The best way to choose a contractor for a kitchen remodel is to consult friends, family, or trusted online home improvement communities/forums. Be sure to ask about the contractor’s work habits (i.e, shows up on time, works efficiently, seems engaged, etc.), and whether he/she was good at sticking to the budget and deadline.
You’ll undoubtedly encounter some form of demolition during the project. If you plan to do a complete kitchen renovation, you’ll definitely need to rent a dumpster. A 10 to 20 yard roll-off dumpster is ideal for most kitchens. A 20-yard dumpster has the capacity to hold kitchen cabinets, counter top, drywall, flooring and appliances. Make sure to call the dumpster rental company at least a week in advance to make sure they have a dumpster available in the size you need. If your kitchen is large, or you don’t want to handle the demo yourself, hire a demolition company to make sure the work is done right (and safely, of course).
Although you have the freedom to design your new kitchen pretty much however you’d like, TLC Home suggests sticking to a few basic guidelines when doing so. The distance between the cooking top, sink, and fridge should fall between 12 and 22 feet. Also, allow for ample space next to the range and sink area.
Paint Instead of Stain
Stain is traditionally the choice when refinishing kitchen cabinets. However, a coat of paint offers its advantages. Stained finishes are tough to alter in the future, but painted cupboards can easily be painted over whenever you feel like freshening up the kitchen. A current trend is to paint the kitchen cabinetry white with chrome or satin nickel hardware. It really brightens up the kitchen.
Don’t ignore the areas of the kitchen you don’t see, such as under the flooring, inside cabinets, hardware, and counter top base. It’s critical that the flooring and counter tops are level, and that the hardware for cabinets is replaced when necessary. What good is a brand new kitchen floor when the underneath is damaged? You’ll be replacing the flooring before you know it due to cracked tiles, dips, squeaks, and other damage.
Tile, vinyl, and laminate wood flooring are popular choices for the kitchen. All three choices are tolerant to moisture, resist scratching, and clean easily. Avoid using hardwood flooring—it’s not nearly as resistant to water as laminate wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is a hardwood alternative that is a bit more water resistant. It’s a good idea to continue the kitchen flooring into adjacent rooms, such as the dining room, for a more spacious feel and improved flow between rooms.
When choosing new counter tops – whether it be granite, tile, Formica, or other – it’s important to make sure the color blends in well with the rest of the kitchen. Have a carpenter or sub-contractor take all the measurements and do the cutting of the counter top. If you do plan to do it yourself, have a specialized shop do the cutting for you. Wallender recommends avoiding tiled counter top if possible. While it looks nice, is relatively inexpensive, and durable, most people prefer a flat counter top surface instead of the indentations of the grout. So, it’s best to avoid tile if you plan to sell your house before the next kitchen renovation.
Re-purpose / Reuse
This one is common sense really. Reuse cabinetry whenever possible—it can save you hundreds of dollars. Sanding old cabinets and applying stain or paint can make them new again. If your kitchen flooring is hardwood, consider sanding and refinishing it instead of completely replacing it. The same is true of hardware—clean it to remove tarnish, dirt, and grease. The more you reuse, the more money you’ll save.
You don’t always have to purchase kitchen materials new. You can save a few bucks by buying used or “unused” building materials at places like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores. There are 825 ReStores located across North America. You can pick up things like kitchen sinks, counter tops, flooring, doors, and appliances at a fraction of the cost you’d spend at a home improvement store. Most of the items are new items that were never used by Habitat or that were donated by local builders.
“Time to Renovate the Kitchen: 10 Tips.” Hometown Dumpster Rental. N.p., 2016. Web. Sept. 2016.