10 Ways to Purchase the Wrong Kitchen
couple of years ago we remodeled our kitchen. I'd like to see
you just as happy with your kitchen as we are with ours. So
here are ten tips on what to look out for, so you don't make
any mistakes when you're looking for kitchen
1. First, know your budget. You can't do
further research until you know how much money you want to
spend. Cabinets take up 40% to 50% of your total kitchen costs,
and you should budget for them accordingly.
2. Measure your space. It is impossible to
get a realistic estimate without having some idea of you needs.
Make the measurements as accurate as you can but don't worry
too much; these measurements are for research purposes
3. There are three types of cabinets on the
market: Stock, Semi-Custom and Custom. When you buy stock
cabinets, you are buying something "off the shelf", as they are
pre-assembled in the factory. They are the cheapest cabinets
available. Unfortunately, stock cabinets come in a limited
range of sizes and styles and have few options on finishes and
accessories. Semi-custom is the next step up. They are still
factory-made but you have many more choices in terms of
storage, design, and style. Custom cabinetry is built either in
a workshop or on-site and the sky's the limit both in options
and in price. Don't be intimidated by this, however.
Surprisingly the price difference between semi-custom and
custom is often minimal and, particularly in hard-to-plan
kitchens, may be worth the money.
4. Whatever kind of cabinet you choose check
out the reputation of the manufacturer. Find out if they have a
good track record. Look into their warranties. How much
coverage do they offer and for how long a
For example, KraftMaid offers a limited
lifetime warranty to the original purchaser which guarantees
that under normal residential usage their cabinets will remain
free of defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of
the product. Unfinished cabinetry is not covered under their
In contrast, Yorktowne offers a lifetime
limited warranty on only some of their cabinet collections and
a five year limited warranty on others.
Among other things, these warranties do not
Correction of improper installation or repair
of damage caused by improper installation.
Replacement or repair of parts when cabinetry
is used in other than a residential home.
Improper storage situations where loading or
use exceeds the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association
Damages from fire, flood, or acts of
5. Create a written description of your ideal
kitchen. This will help you to make a budget and pick a
manufacturer. If you're unsure of what is available look around
for ideas. An afternoon at the library browsing back copies of
Woman's Day can be surprisingly helpful. Many popular magazines
publish yearly specialty issues. In addition, there are several
publications dedicated exclusively to kitchen and bath
Online you will find inspiring designs
and www.Kitchens.com. For a
free step by step design guide take a look
. For a quick overview of the various
standalone cabinets and organizers see
6. It is a good idea to take an afternoon off
to wander through showrooms. Most showrooms have fully set up
kitchens so you can get a feel for their
7. Don't worry if, after all the magazines
and showrooms, you're still not sure what you want. Take a day
or two to let your research sink in. Your kitchen will begin to
emerge in your mind's eye.
You can also call friends and family and ask
if they recently put in a kitchen. Ask them to tell you all
about it. If you come up with anything I didn't tell you, let
me know and I'll put it in another column.
8. Your next step is to find an interior
designer. While you can design your own kitchen, unless you're
a professional, it's not a good idea. A lot goes into a kitchen
design; any mistakes you make will stay with you for a long
time. Why not get help from someone who has made it their job
to design the best kitchen for you? You can find certified
designers in your area via the National Kitchen and Bath
Association. Certification means the designer has completed
design courses including certified training programs in room
layout, storage planning, cabinet installation, plumbing, and
lighting. When you hire a designer, you can expect to pay a
retainer (from $300). A typical hourly fee is $50 to $75. Up to
ten hours would be enough time for a designer to spend doing
research and working on drawings for your approval. In picking
an interior designer, you want to find someone with whom you're
comfortable. In addition ask yourself: Does he or she seem
knowledgeable? Are they genuinely interested and enthusiastic
about your kitchen?
Tell your designer about your lifestyle and
your needs. Among the things he or she will want to know are
your family's life style and habits. Do you entertain and how
often? Do you want to eat in the kitchen? It even makes a
difference if you are right- or left-handed.
Find someone with the imagination and the
ability to stay in budget. You don't need someone making you
feel as if you ought to spend more. Your designer should visit
your home in order to assess your needs.
9. Although you will have an interior
designer to help you, it is important to know your materials.
Cupboards can be natural woods in a variety of paints or
stains. For durability, you can't beat laminate or baked-on
varnish. Know that in homes with children, polyester and
stainless steel finishes may not work well as they scratch
easily and tend to show fingerprints.
10. There is a large variety of hardware to
choose from too. There are Lazy Susans, racks, hinges, pulls
and handles. There are different types of drawers and trolleys
designed for ease of access that you might want to consider.
Your designer should have plenty of space saving and storage
ideas which will make your kitchen much more efficient. Just
remember, each gadget adds to your total cost so watch that
These are the basics of kitchen cabinetry.
Now that I'm done writing this I'll go into my kitchen and get
myself a cup of coffee and I'll be happy knowing that your
kitchen, when it's built, will be just as good as
provides timely advice
to common home improvement problems faced
by everyone. These practical tips will
give you the knowledge you need to save
time and money on all of your home