Remodeling a kitchen is a complex project. There are many choices to make and a few problems to experience. The main problem is being without your kitchen during the process. Restaurant and microwave food can get old (and expensive!) fast. After washing your dishes in the bathtub for a week or two you will know what I mean.
When remodeling your kitchen the first thing to consider is the new design and budget. We recommend not moving the utilities unless the new design won’t work without changing them. Moving the sink to the other side of the room can add a lot of expense. After the budget and design is worked out on paper you can move forward.
The infrastructure must also be considered. Some people will reuse their appliances and some will buy new. The appliances’ additional electrical or gas needs must be considered. In most older homes additional electrical must be brought over to the kitchen because dishwashers, microwaves, and refrigerators require their own circuits. Sometimes your main electrical panel won’t have this capability and must be upgraded. Modern refrigerators require a 1/4″ copper water line for the icemaker and water. Make sure you provide a filter for this line as well.
Kitchen lighting is critical. City code requires you have fluorescent lighting as a primary source. That is usually a ceiling mount or recessed unit. Can lights can be used for tasks such as over an island or sink. Under-cabinet lighting is a nice touch. All lighting choices need to be defined long before anything is built.
We recommend custom made cabinets instead of the mass produced cabinets sold at the large home improvement stores because you get more for your money with custom. Consider your lifestyle when designing the layout of the new cabinets. Do you cook a lot or entertain frequently or both? Do you need more storage or countertops? There are also convenient features you can add, such as lazy susans, pull out shelves, pan racks, pot drawers and more. You’ll also choose wood species and color of wood for the cabinets.
Very often the floor will be replaced upon remodeling the kitchen, but if you choose to keep your floor, consider how it will look with the new cabinets. Will the footprint of the new cabinets match the floor? Drywall and paint must be done during the remodel. The paint color must coordinate with your new cabinet finish. Most kitchens are painted with semi gloss paint for easy cleaning.
Countertops are another choice to make. In order of expense your choices are: plastic laminate, ceramic tile, Corian, Silestone or granite. Silestone is a new product made mostly of quartz and simulates natural stones. All have their pros and cons and associated costs. Consider full height splashes if you like that.
There are unlimited choice of styles and finishes for sinks and faucets. Sinks are undermount, or drop-in. Under-mount is considered more elegant and drop-in is easier to replace later. Today faucets come with filters built in and many different pull out choices.
Whether you are buying appliances, plumbing fittings, countertops, or cabinetry, we recommend using quality name brands items in your kitchen. Any money you save buying cheaper off-brand items can disappear if your item breaks prematurely.
This is just a brief overview of the process. Getting professional advice is crucial to experiencing a cost effective, minimally disruptive kitchen remodel. Most qualified contractors can take you through the process smoothly.