Kitchen Remodeling
 

Kitchens You Can Cook In Or Not
By: Amy Ballinger

 

Whether you use your countertops for your culinary masterpieces or a place to pack your kid?s lunch, kitchens are one of the busiest places in any home. Because of this it is important for your kitchen to reflect your style, provide an atmosphere in which you are comfortable and most importantly be laid out in an efficient and organized manner.

Some things to consider when planning a kitchen remodel:

·  Sufficient Storage Space  

·  Pantry?how often do you go grocery shopping and how much storage space do you require for food  

·  Cabinets?for everyday dishes, serving dishes, cookware and special occasion pieces such as china. Your everyday and china cupboards should be separate places in your kitchen so you do not accidentally chip, break or otherwise ruin those special pieces  

·  Draws?for everyday utensils, serving utensils, cooking utensils and silver (Most people have at least 1 junk-draw in which random things that don?t otherwise have a place go)  

·  Shelving can be used for exposed storage or can be fitted inside doors and cabinets to help utilize space  

·  Hanging pot racks and rails can also help you utilize space and keep your pots and kitchen tools at your finger tips 

·  Easy to Clean Countertops (If you just want to rejuvenate your kitchen, look into putting new laminate or tile right over your old countertops)  

·  Marble and granite are great if you like to make pastries, but can be very expensive, consider doing an island or one countertop if baking is a priority  

·  Corian is a resin-based product that is molded to fit your cabinets. Corian is more affordable than marble and granite and looks very clean due to its? seamless design  

·  Stock laminate is the most affordable countertop and is durable and fairly easy to clean, except for the seams that can catch dirt  

·  Ceramic tile?if you really like ceramic tile, consider adding it on the walls between your cabinets and countertops. This is a more practical place for ceramic tile in a kitchen, it won?t get as dirty and you don?t have to worry about staining the grout and constantly scrubbing 

·  Adequate Lighting  

·  Adjustable lighting is a good addition to any kitchen, allowing you to set the mood and accomplish anything from helping the kids with homework to having a cozy dinner with friends  

·  Task lighting is key in a kitchen. Place separate lighting over the stove, sink, island and other work surfaces. 

·  Updating Your Appliances  

·  Remodeling your kitchen is a great opportunity to evaluate your old appliances?new energy efficient ones will not only look better but they can save you money 

·  Adequate Electrical Outlets  

·  Add a few extra outlets even if you don?t think you need them  

·  Adding an electrical outlet to an island is a great idea! 

·  Practical Flooring  

·  Ceramic tile is both durable and attractive, but make sure the grout is sealed well so spills and traffic don?t ruin the clean look  

·  Hardwood can really express your style. Remember to take into account the occasional maintenance required with hardwoods.  

·  Laminate wood flooring is a less expensive option than hardwood flooring that can achieve the look you want and give you the durability you need  

·  Vinyl is the most inexpensive choice, is easily maintained and is available in a multitude of patterns and colors 

So, how do we take all these options and create an easy-to-use, organized kitchen?

Choosing a layout to fit your needs is the first step.

Once you have a basic idea of what you need and want, it is best to make a Planning List to help get you there. This planning checklist should include the Estimated Costs, Contractors Needed and any Comments that will help you explain your project later to contractors bidding on your job.

Final tips to remember when planning a kitchen remodeling project:

Use professional contractors?your kitchen won?t be available for use during your project, so getting professional help to expedite the project is a must

Explore your options extensively?take into account durability, cost and maintenance

Keep your end goal in mind?from function to style

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