Is your kitchen looking tired or dated? New kitchen cabinets can bring new life to your home, but remodeling your kitchen can be a rather daunting task, especially if you've not done it before. This article maps out a step by step approach to creating your dream kitchen.
Here are some pointers to develop a specification covering the facilities you want, how they might fit in the floor space, your preferred style, and your installation options. That should provide a good basis for requesting complete quotations as you get down to the final selection stage.
What Facilities Do You Want?
List all the appliances and storage you require in your kitchen, based on what you expect to do there. Divide the list into "essentials" and "options".
For cooking and serving food, your "essentials" list might be:
- sink and drainer
- oven and cooker
- refrigerator and freezer
- table or countertops
- storage for cooking supplies, pots, pans, casseroles, kitchen cutlery, etc
- garbage bins
- microwave oven
- kettle, tea or coffee maker, drinks dispenser
If your family dines in the kitchen, you'll need a table and chairs, and cupboard space for crockery & cutlery
If laundry space is needed:
- washing machine
- tumble dryer
- ironing board
Where to Get Help With Space Planning
OK, you've got your list, but is there floor space for all of them, and how much freedom do you have in your layout?
The position of your sink will depend on where the plumbing is installed. Similarly for dishwasher and washing machine. For oven and cooker, the gas and electricity connections limit your choice of where to locate them.
Usually the major cost items in kitchen remodeling projects are kitchen cabinets and granite countertops. So unless you have experience in kitchen cabinet design, you'd be wise to choose a kitchen contractor locally, or at least visit an established kitchen showroom for ideas on floor plans, choice of materials and styles and overall kitchen design.
It's important for your peace of mind to chose styles, materials, and layout which together create a unified design, and complement the other aspects of your home decor? Do you prefer a contemporary feel - crisp, clear lines, light and airy? Or how about a natural wood grain? Perhaps an decorative French kitchen, or a more rustic country style kitchen?
Now is the time to consider how the materials, colors, texture and styles you choose will create that coherent look... Make a list of the items to consider, such as appliances, cabinets, countertops, floor covering, walls, lighting, ventilation, work flow, etc, and note your design and style preferences for each.
Making it Happen
Which existing elements can you re-use in the remodeled kitchen?
Are the cabinet frames still sound? Is the current floor layout ok for you? Then save money by simply refinishing the kitchen cabinets, floors, walls, replace out of date appliances, and fit contemporary kitchen lighting.
If cost is no object, you can hire a cabinet maker to custom-build your kitchen cabinets to your design and style preferences. You can have new integrated appliances across the board, attractive kitchen floor tiles, and picture kitchen backsplash for the walls, etc.
Most of us however, need to make trade-offs to get anywhere close to our dream kitchen, and still be able to keep within our budget.
If this is you, here are several lower cost approaches to cabinet installation:
- factory-built cabinets - can be installed by a kitchen fitter
- ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets - can be DIY installed, or installed by a kitchen fitter
- you could re face your existing cabinet doors and drawers - needs specialist help, but likely to cost less than building cabinets from "scratch".
Whichever you decide, remodeling your kitchen can bring a new sense of style and life to your home. Enjoy the results!
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