Thinking of a Kitchen Remodel? Start Here!

May 31, 2022
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Remodeling a kitchen can be the most complicated undertaking in home improvement.  You can make it less daunting if you plan.  Here’s where to start. 

Image by Zac Gudakov

Define your budget

You can spend anywhere from $5,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars on a kitchen remodel.  With so many price options available, the sooner you pin down the budget, the easier it will be for you to focus on the right things.

 

Establish your priorities

Your lifestyle should have a big influence on what you prioritize for your new kitchen. If you cook a lot, you may want more prep space or specialized appliances.  If you entertain a lot, you may want to integrate seating for guests who inevitably wind up in or around the kitchen during your dinner parties.  Or you may want to open your kitchen to your living area.  Most homes don’t have unlimited space, and so you need to define your must haves vs. your nice to haves, and work down your list as the kitchen is designed.

 

Define your appliance preferences first

There is a wide array of appliance brands, types and of course prices.  Selecting your appliances (which can be a significant percentage of your total kitchen renovation budget) is important to do before you choose cabinets. Why? Because though there are standards, they include differences in sizes. Knowing what type of appliances you want before you go into cabinet design makes the cabinet design process much more efficient.

 

Cabinetry: it’s all about details, details, details

There are lots of “off the shelf” options for cabinets which can be less expensive. But they can also limit your choices. Either way, there are still lots of decisions to be made.

 

Even if you are removing and replacing cabinetry without a major layout change, chances are there are still opportunities to rearrange things to make your storage space more efficient. If you go the custom cabinet route, not only will you have more options to explore, you will have more opportunities to maximize every inch of your space.

 

Are you looking for modern, flat front panels, or do you prefer more traditional / farmhouse style, shaker panels? Do you want glass, or would you like to incorporate some open shelving?  If you have high ceilings, do you want your cabinets to go all the way up (and have you thought about how you will access your stuff up there)?

 

You want to avoid wasted corner space as much as possible possible by integrating accessories like lazy susans or lemans.  Pull out shelves are great to easily access the stuff that otherwise gets forgotten in the back of the cabinet. You will also need to choose between handles and pulls, drawers, flip up and standard doors, hinge and drawer glider systems, and more.  

 

Lastly, you will choose your color and finish.  Light or dark, matte or gloss, wood or MDF, color, tuxedo (different color uppers and lowers) - the options are endless.  My suggestion: select a palette, and review options only within that palette.  If not, the sheer volume of choices will overwhelm you.   

 

Countertops and Backsplashes

Options include marble, quartz, butcher block, stainless steel and even large format porcelain, which opens a world of possibilities of colors and patterns. 

 

If you want a backsplash that is different from your countertop (which can also be more cost efficient), you can go with tile, mosaic, glass tile, or micro cementing, for a more industrial look. 

 

Lighting

Layering lighting always yields the best results and can adapt to the time of day and the activity in the kitchen area.  Your overhead lighting is ambient, under-cabinet lighting is task lighting (for prepping and cooking) while pendants, depending on placement, can be either.  Consider the color of light you want – and be consistent throughout the space (and your entire home, for that matter!).

 

Down Time

People are surprised to learn that building out a totally new kitchen can take months.  Permitting and millwork lead times are just the beginning.   Demolishing a kitchen will mean re-building your walls, and can also mean some major electrical, plumbing and ducting work if you are significantly modifying the layout of your kitchen.  You will be without a kitchen for at least 3 weeks, so it’s always best to have a plan. 

If you are having a hard time making decisions, or are just plain overwhelmed, Honeyman can help.  We’ve got loads of experience to help you make your plan and bring it to life with less headaches and hassle. 

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