Remodelling the kitchen

For many people,
remodelling their kitchens tops the list of home improvement projects – and for
several good reasons. Not only is the kitchen the heart of many homes – the
centre of family activity and home entertaining – but remodelling your kitchen
is typically one of the smartest investments, often generating a payback of 80
to 90 percent on the cost of remodel at the time of resale.

With thoughtful
planning, remodelling your kitchen is within the capability of many homeowners
who want to attempt a do-it-yourself project. But, because the kitchen is so
central to most homes, is interconnected with other spaces such as the family
and dining rooms, and because there is a fair amount of water (sink,
dishwasher, garbage disposal) involved, a kitchen remodel project has the
potential of going horribly wrong.

 

Consider how youreally use your space.

The first step in
planning your kitchen remodel is deciding what you want your kitchen to do for
you, and how it reflects the way you live. Do you want an intimate place for
drinking coffee and reading your daily newspaper, a large spacious kitchen
that’s perfect for entertaining, or a space that’s ideal for family projects
and homework?

 

Get ideas.

Start your planning
with a visit to a premium tile or cabinet store that offers displays that show
the latest in kitchen design, including the use of floor, wall and countertop
materials such as tiles, stone, and granite. Read home improvement magazines, ,
visit friends who have remodelled their kitchens recently and check out model
homes to see the latest in kitchen design from today’s homebuilders.

 

Make a plan.

Consolidate your
ideas and create a remodelling plan and a budget. If you’re going to remodel it
yourself, don’t be afraid to seek out information on the latest in remodelling
standards. One simple rule of thumb though, no matter how much you budget for,
add 20 percent to cover the unexpected costs that come up once you get into
your project.

 

Include popular
features.

Include popular
features in your kitchen remodelling project to help at resale time, and to
give your kitchen a more contemporary look and feel. Second sinks, custom
cabinetry, a second oven or microwave, an island, decorative glass and stone
tile, more storage space, better lighting and extra-wide wall tiles are among
the most popular features in today’s homes.

 

Respect the
“kitchen               work triangle”.

The No. 1 complaint
about most kitchens is that they’re difficult to work in. The kitchen work
triangle is that imaginary line between the centre of the refrigerator, the
centre of the cooktop and the centre of sink. For maximum efficiency, the total
distance of the lines that make up this triangle should be no more than 26
feet.

 

Keep it elegant.

Focus on using
materials and fixtures that exude quality, warmth, and timelessness. To create
an elegant, more spacious look, consider marble or granite countertops,
stainless steel appliances, adding more windows, mixing tile textures, sizes,
colours, types (natural stone, ceramic, porcelain, glass), and embracing
neutral colours and whites.

 

Reduce clutter.

Everyone likes a
spacious, clean kitchen. For many kitchens, the greatest challenge to achieving
more space is cutting the clutter and hiding items that you don’t want to see
such as stacks of mail, overflowing junk drawers and cabinets bulging with
unused pots and pans. To achieve a less cluttered look, keep the refrigerator
door clean, avoid placing appliances too close together and creating tight
spaces that are difficult to clean. Use large wall tiles to eliminate grout
lines. And add storage to free up valuable counter-top space.

 

Green is in and here
to stay.

When remodelling your
kitchen, consider using fixtures that save water, replace old windows with new
energy-efficient windows, and consider installing counter tops, wall tiles and
flooring made from recycled materials, such as recycled glass mosaic tile or
natural stone products.

 

The first step in
planning your kitchen remodel is deciding what you want your kitchen to do for
you, and how it reflects the way you live.