Remodeling Your Kitchen
By Mark J. Donovan
Remodeling a kitchen is one of the best investments a
homeowner can make. For most homeowners it is the most important room in the
house. It is used for cooking, eating, and gathering, and is typically a
focal point in the home. Consequently, though a great investment, a
kitchen-remodeling project can be very disruptive to the family. And the
length of the disruption can take as long as two or three weeks.
The Planning Stage
Planning is absolutely essential in remodeling a kitchen. The
homeowner should first identify the main objectives of their future kitchen.
They should next research the latest products on the market including: cabinets,
countertops, appliances, and flooring. If the kitchen is more than 5 years old,
there are a lot of new products to choose from. For example, Silestone is
quickly surpassing Granite and Corian, as the premier countertop surface as it
is extremely hard, elegant in appearance, and comes in many colors. For
cabinets, the trend appears to be towards lighter colors as they help the
appearance of lightening and enlarging a room. In regards to appliances, the
Stainless Steel look appears to be in. And for flooring, vinyl or wood is the
trend. Tile looks nice, however, it can be unforgiving in a room where things
tend to get dropped. In addition, if there is no radiant heating planned for the
floor, tile has the tendency to feel cold on the feet.
Sketch out some plans
After the main objectives of the future kitchen have been
identified and the homeowner has an idea on the products for it, they should
next sketch some plans. I would suggest developing two or three sketches,
keeping in mind three important points. First, professional kitchen designers
like to think of a triangle when starting a new design. The three points of the
triangle include the Sink, Refrigerator, and Stove. Make sure your sketches
consider this as it will ensure a good functional kitchen. Second, consider
adequate walking areas and space for an eating area, such as a table or center
island, with applicable space included for chairs. I would suggest that the
walking areas be wide enough for two people to walk through at the same time.
The sketches should also include dimensions, as these will be needed when
meeting with the Kitchen Designer. Finally, consider where the existing outlets
and power for the stove are, and assess if additional outlets will be needed or
old outlets relocated.
Visiting the Kitchen Design Center
Once sketches have been created, bring them to a Kitchen Design
Center or Home Improvement store. A certified Kitchen Designer will then take
the sketches and goals and incorporate them into a formal set of plans. Once the
Kitchen Designer has formally generated the plans, typically someone from the
Kitchen center will visit your home and take very precise measurements so that
the plans can be finalized. In fact, make sure that they do visit your home;
otherwise unexpected costs and delays could occur when the wrong size cabinets
arrive on your doorstep.
When the cabinets do arrive at your doorstep, ensure that they
match the list of materials generated by the Kitchen Designer. Again, this will
help ensure that no delays or unexpected costs arise during the actual
Cabinets: Out with the Old and In with the New
Once the cabinets arrive, the cabinet installers will remove the
existing cabinets and countertops, unless the homeowners decide to do this
themselves, and install the new cabinets. If new flooring is planned, I would
suggest installing the flooring between removing the old cabinets and installing
the new ones, as this will save time and money. In addition, particularly with
Linoleum, you will get a better end product, as the Linoleum will be unable to
lift-up over time, if the material goes under the cabinets. If new flooring does
get installed prior to the cabinet and countertop installation, additional care
will be needed to ensure the floors are not damage during this process.
Installing the Countertops
After the new cabinets have been installed, measuring and
templating for the new countertops will be required if Silestone, Granite or
Corian are to be used. This task should be planned in advance so that it can be
performed the same day the cabinets are installed. This will help to reduce the
disruption time. Once the templating has been completed, expect several days to
a week for the countertops to actually be cut and installed. During this
interval the Kitchen Design Center should install a temporary countertop and
faucet so that your kitchen remains operational.
Though remodeling a kitchen can be a huge disruption to the
homeowner, the finished product will quickly erase the brief inconvenience.
Between its new and contemporary look and features, and the knowledge of making
a sound investment, the homeowner will swiftly forget about the disruption as
they fully enjoy their new kitchen.
Over the past 20+ years Mr.
Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His
projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages
on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. Mr. Donovan's formal
education and profession have been as an Electrical Engineer and Marketing
Manager. Email Mr. Donovan at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit either his website
or blog site