Certain things in life are rights of passage: stepping on a lego with your bare feet, burning your mouth when competing with a friend over who can eat the hottest chicken wing, and having to remodel a kitchen. Appliance and cabinet repairs are not a rare thing. It does not matter if you buy a fixer-upper or if you live in a sprawling estate, either way, chances are that you have had to fork over some cash to update your kitchen. While draining your bank account is rarely fun, truth be told if you put in the proper amount of time and effort into the remodel, then you will reap the rewards for years to come. We took it upon ourselves to create a quick little cheat sheet in terms of what to consider when altering your kitchen.
The first question that you must ask yourself is, what do I think of the current kitchen layout? Do I want an island in the middle? Am I getting the natural light that I need? Do I like the size of the kitchen? If you cannot answer these questions, then you probably are not ready to renovate the kitchen. Renovations are not a cheap thing, and it is not wise to invest money towards a project and hire a contractor unless you are genuinely ready to begin to make hard decisions. When altering a kitchen, you can go one of two directions; keep the current square footage and simply reorient the layout, or to do a complete overhaul and decrease or increase the size of the space. Before you make a rash decision, make sure to think through how you use the kitchen. Some people want it to be as minimal as possible while others prefer for it to be a place to socialize and for their children to do homework. There is no right or wrong answer, it just comes down to preference.
One of the most talked about, and rightfully so, aspects of a kitchen is its appliances. I mean, could we cook a meal without them? Think about just how often that you turn on the oven to prepare and bake your lasagna, whip up some mac n cheese in the microwave, or even use the stove top to make a quick cup of tea. Thus, it can not be empathized enough the sheer value and importance that appliances play in the kitchen. The first thing to consider is whether or not you will be keeping the original appliances or switching to new and improved options. If looking to upgrade your devices, you should check out Lowes and Energy Star, both of which are known for their product quality and discounted prices. Consider, “do I need a two, four or six burner cooktop? How much volume do I need for refrigerator items and do I want to have a side or bottom freezer?” Think about the type of cooking that you do in the oven and whether it is important to have convection or conduction heating options. Once you have selected the appliance for the project, your next step is to figure out the best locations to implement them. This is a thing that I wish I did with my first kitchen remodeling, as I forgot just how much space an oven door takes up when opened. As a result, when the oven door is open, it blocks the flow of the kitchen and leaves the room congested. Learn from my mistakes and ensure that you double check the measurements of a closed and an open appliance when setting up the spacing in the room.
It is crucial that you put the sink in the correct spot with respect to the dishwasher and the trash and perhaps a window. I spend many hours cleaning things in the sink while I look out the window. While your appliances do all of the heavy lifting in terms of cooking the food, sinks are just as important since they are the way to steaming, boiling, and processing germs. Similar to the relationship between peanut butter and jelly, you cannot thoroughly have a clean kitchen if you don’t have both the sink and dishwasher. It should be obvious, but I’ll write it here anyway, that the sink and dishwasher should be next to each other. Both of these devices work together to keep everything in order. Ideally, you would want a trash bin on the other side of the sink so that within just a couple of feet, you can have access to the trash, sink, and washer. One of the primary considerations in regards to sinks is its depth. Shorter sinks are convenient to reach into but have a hard time fitting lots of items. Meanwhile, deeper sinks hold more but make it a little more challenging to reach in and grab a plate. Another essential purpose for the area near the sink it to do all of the food prep. It is recommended that you make sure to have plenty of counter space to be able to safely chop and cut your meats and vegetables.
If you ask pretty much any homeowner, they will tell you that the most critical area of the kitchen is the working triangle. For any new homeowner reading this, that is the proximity of the stove, sink, and refrigerator. It got this nickname because these three items are probably the three most used items in the entire room and they should be placed in a triangle shape that does not impede the flow of traffic. Ideally, you would want to craft your kitchen in such a way that even with people cooking on the stove top it does not hinder the walkway of the room. Figuring out the spacing and walking lanes of the kitchen is paramount because if not done correctly, it will lead to congestion. I don’t know about you, but I only want to redo my kitchen once, and as a result place a considerable amount of time laying out where all of the appliance and main items that I use are located. This way, I ensure that my kitchen is spaced correctly and ready to go the first time.
One of the last things to think about when building a kitchen is the cabinets. This is not to say that they are not necessary, but at the end of the day, they are simply storage which comes secondary to commonly used kitchen items. Cabinets are responsible for containing all of the silverware, glasses, plates, and bowls that you need. I mean without a bowl, how are you supposed to eat your cereal? Pantry and bread drawers for the purpose of the article are considered to be in the cabinet and storage family. When deciding where to install cabinets, it is important to answer two key questions, where in the room does it make sense to put it? And how much stuff do I want to put in them? For example, it would be silly to put the bread in an oversized drawer and on the opposite side of the room to where the toaster is located. After you determine the size and location of the cabinets, there is the opportunity to decide upon material and color of the storage boxes. Cabinet fronts make a big visual impact and should be researched on pinterest to find your desired look.
Ultimately at the end of the day, every homeowner wants a slightly different feel to their kitchen. Some prefer for everything to be buttoned down and in a precise spot, while others would much rather have island seating and casual kitchen arrangements. There is no right or wrong way to refurbish your kitchen. At the end of the day, it comes down to space and resource consideration that aligns with the preferred design style. In all cases, there is a need to process the old material as you consider what can be reused and what should go into a household dumpster. To get rid of the construction debris created during your kitchen remodel, you can easily rent a dumpster online at dumpstermarket.com. Remember to always “measure twice and cut once” in whatever kitchen plan that works for you.