Your kitchen is the grand central station of your home. It carries the most foot traffic and more responsibility than any other space. 

A kitchen impacts more than just your meals. It carries a family through the years, entertains generations, and holds memories that last a lifetime. In fact, when adults think about their childhood home, it is the kitchen that comes to mind first. 

This is why kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular home renovations today. Not only does it completely transform the central unit of your home, it helps the entire home to function better. 

When Is It Time to Remodel Your Kitchen?

Kitchen remodeling can be overwhelming but when you’re ready to take the plunge, the results are well worth the effort. How do you know when it’s time to upgrade your home and how can you be sure it pays off in the long run? There are some signs that it is time to remodel your kitchen into something you can be proud of.

  • When the Kitchen Has Poor Lighting – Is your kitchen dark and depressing? Do you have difficulty reading a recipe or preparing dinner? New lighting can bring a whole new life into your kitchen. If you’re looking to add natural light or additional electrical lights, it’s time to introduce a kitchen remodel. 
  • You Have Outdated Appliances – When your current appliances stop working, you may find that newer models don’t fit in your current space. Refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers change a lot over 10-15 years. When it’s time to upgrade appliances, it may be the perfect time for a kitchen remodel.
  • Your Cabinets are Damaged – If the cupboard is being held together with a bungee cord and that one only stays closed with a spoon jammed into the hinge, it’s time to consider new cabinetry and a kitchen remodel. Damaged cupboards are not just a hassle, but can pose a considerable safety risk as well. 

  • Your Kitchen is Running Out of Storage – Is your pantry painfully small (or non-existent) and even though you’ve decluttered, the cupboard is still overflowing? You need more kitchen storage. A kitchen remodel can give that to you. Our kitchen design experts can take the space you have and give you the storage you want.
  • Visible Leaks and Mold – Structural deterioration like mold, rot, or cracks should be addressed right away. Even a small leak can lead to deterioration and damage to your kitchen. If you have any type of structural issue, kitchen remodeling is the perfect time to fix it all. 
  • Your Kitchen Floor is Damaged – A damaged kitchen floor is a major warning sign. Chips or cracks in the flooring will only grow worse over time, allowing moisture to penetrate the floor boards below. Don’t ignore floor damage as it can lead to serious structural issues. When you notice that your existing flooring is worn and outdated, it’s a good time to invest in a kitchen remodel.  

  • Your Kitchen Doesn’t Suit Your Lifestyle – If you can’t open the dishwasher and the silverware drawer at the same time, or you bump into the fridge every time you open a cabinet door, you have a kitchen that no longer suits your lifestyle. The floor space between your stove, sink and refrigerator is fundamental to how well your kitchen works. Maybe you need a larger island or more prep space. Maybe you’ve outgrown your tiny table and need more room for large groups. Or maybe you need your kitchen to be more accessible to your elderly parents. If your current layout isn’t working for you, kitchen remodeling creates a functional layout.  
  • It’s Difficult to Host Guests – Holidays, dinner parties, birthdays and even Sunday dinner can be stressful when you don’t have a functional kitchen. Kitchen remodeling can open up your space, allowing you to make room for the guests, the kids, the food and everything in between. 
  • Your Countertops Are Falling Apart – One of the biggest kitchen complaints is not enough counter space or you have counters that aren’t functioning well. If you’re constantly having to shuffle things around the counters, kitchen remodeling can be exactly what you need. A bigger counter that is reliable and beautiful can change the functionality of your entire kitchen. 

The Benefits of Remodeling Your Kitchen

Of course, a Food Network-worthy kitchen is beautiful, but the benefits of a kitchen remodel extend far beyond aesthetics. 

  • Save Money in the Long Term – Your outdated kitchen is costing you money every day. Chances are you are overpaying in both your water and power bill by using outdated appliances. There’s an abundance of money-saving kitchen upgrades available such as water-efficient kitchen fixtures, energy saving appliances, and LED lighting that can cut your utility bills dramatically.
  • Increase the Value of Your Home – Kitchen remodels have a track record of high return on investment for homeowners. Many kitchen renovations pay for themselves, or come close to it, when it comes time to sell your home.
  • Save Time and Increase Your Efficiency When Preparing Meals – It is amazing how much time you waste on outdated technology. A kitchen update will automatically decrease the time it takes you to put a meal together, allowing you more time to spend with your family actually enjoying the meals together.
  • Get the Kitchen Style You Want – Remodeling gives you the opportunity to create exactly the look, style and atmosphere you want for your kitchen. Maybe you want to go for farmhouse chic or modern and sleek. Whatever you’ve been eyeing on HGTV or Pinterest, you can make it your reality. 

  • Improved Comfort & Safety – Not only will a remodeled kitchen look beautiful, but it can make you safer as well. Making sure GFCI devices are installed correctly and your electrical wiring is up to code provides safety and peace of mind. Additional safety upgrades may include a slip-resistant floor or perhaps countertops that withstand heat and sharp knives. 
  • Save on Energy Bills – Energy-Star rated appliances were first released in the early 1990s. These appliances were designed to use less water and energy. Appliances before this time use significantly more resources and are more expensive to run.  

Most Common Kitchen Remodel Mistakes Made by Homeowner

In a world of HGTV reruns and endless YouTube tutorials, home improvements look easy. As if, in the span of a commercial break, you can re-tile the floor and install new cabinets. The truth is much more complicated and if you don’t have any experience with home improvements, a kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking. 

  • Trying to Remodel the Kitchen by Yourself – Even a professional contractor won’t complete an entire kitchen by himself. There are simply too many components to be an expert on everything. 
  • Hiring the Wrong Kitchen Remodeling Company – Many homeowners who hire a contractor choose the cheapest company they can find and often regret their decision. It is better to find a better qualified contractor for your kitchen remodel.

  • Putting the Job Out For Bid Without Clear Enough Specs – When you’re choosing a contractor, you should have every detail of the project clearly stated up front including the type of flooring, countertop material, lighting, even hardware. If you don’t, you could end up way outside your budget without realizing it. 
  • Paying the Contractor in Advance – Never pay more than 30 percent of the total job cost up front (typically to cover startup materials). Then, work out a schedule of progress payments based on the completion of the work. 
  • Getting Distracted From Your Ultimate Goal – You started out wanting a new fridge and then all of the sudden you’re shopping for subway tiles and a pebble ice maker. Stick to your vision, remember what the goal is and don’t get sidetracked by new and shiny things. 
  • Settling for a Cookie-Cutter Kitchen – If you’re going to do a kitchen remodel, think outside the box. Build a kitchen that works for you and your budget. Be careful not to over-customize and build a kitchen for your kids who will soon be too tall for that built-in seating. 
  • Ignoring What You Can’t See – Don’t go cheap on things like the back of your cabinets,  hinges, countertop base, or floor joists. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It’s what’s behind the beautiful finishes that really counts in the long run.
  • Changing Your Mind Often – Indecisive homeowners are their own worst enemy because they delay projects and increase costs. Every time you change a work order, you change everything else lined up behind it. Don’t start the work until you have everything planned out on paper and you’re confident in your decisions. 

Some Classic Kitchen Design Ideas

Sometimes remodeling a kitchen is mostly cosmetic upgrades, while other times you may need to rethink the entire floor plan of the kitchen. A major kitchen remodel often involves changing the kitchen design. There are five basic tried-and-true kitchen design layouts.

1. The One-Wall Kitchen Layout – A one-wall kitchen is when all of the appliances, cabinets, and countertops are positioned along one wall.  It works equally well in both very small kitchens and for big spaces because it has unimpeded traffic flow and maximum open space. It is an easy design to plan and execute because all the mechanical services are on one wall. The main downside is lack of counter space and tends to be less efficient because it doesn’t utilize the classic kitchen triangle.

2. Corridor (Galley-Style) Kitchen Layout – In small spaces, a galley-style kitchen is used to maximize space. In this style, two walls face each other and have all of the kitchen services in one “hallway.” Because there’s counters on both sides, this layout is highly functional and gives more space for counters and cabinets. However, crowding between the two sides is a common problem, and foot traffic quickly leads to overcrowding.

3. L-Shaped Kitchen Layout – This is the most popular layout featuring two adjoining walls that hold all the countertops, cabinets, and kitchen services, with the other two adjoining walls open. This design makes the best possible use of space, and allows you to add a kitchen island, table, or seating area within the kitchen.

4. Double-L Design Kitchen Layout – If you have the space, this design is an innovative option that allows for two workstations. In this design, an L-shaped or a one-wall kitchen is combined with a full-featured large kitchen island that includes at least a cooktop, sink, or both. This takes up a lot of floor space, but easily accommodates two cooks at once as well as additional appliances like a second dishwasher or wine cooler.

5. U-Shaped Kitchen Design Layout – The U-shape design is similar to the corridor, except that one wall has additional countertop or kitchen services and a remaining wall is left open for access to the kitchen. This shape has a good workflow and plenty of space, but it’s more difficult to fit in an island or a seating area.

Why the Island Matters: The kitchen triangle provides an efficient layout between workstations (oven, sink, fridge). A large island can make the work triangle more efficient and provide a pivot point especially if it includes a prep sink or a dedicated workstation.

Not Sure Where to Start? Try Zones:  If you can’t settle on a layout style, start by mapping out the common traffic patterns in your kitchen. Make a line from the fridge to the sink to the stove. From the coffeemaker to the toaster, from the computer desk to the fridge, to the back door. Consider the type of activities that go on in your kitchen like morning coffee, lunchtime, homework, dinner, baking, etc. Set up distinct zones for each set of activities. For convenience and safety, try to keep zones from overlapping. 

Contractor’s Way of Remodeling a Kitchen

When you hand over the responsibility of your kitchen remodel to professionals, being knowledgeable about the process can help you know what to expect. 

  1. Tear Out and Demolition – The first step of any kitchen remodel is to tear out the old and make room for the new. Some property owners enjoy handling this phase themselves, but it is usually best to hire a licensed contractor to avoid destroying important plumbing or electrical components. 
  2. Rough-In Work Including Framing and Plumbing – Next is the completion of rough-in work. This includes new walls, or anything that goes inside of the walls. This step can be very time-consuming, depending on the extent of your remodel. 
  3. Professional Inspection – After the rough-in, it is time for a professional inspection to ensure  you’ve followed all applicable building codes. Your contractor will handle both the inspection and the steps to fix any errors. Once you are approved, you can move forward to finishing. 
  4. Finishing the Walls – Now you are ready to finish the walls. This includes any drywall necessary for a countertop bar or other section of the kitchen. Drywall can be a messy and delicate process. Even the most dedicated DIY-ers will often hire a professional for drywall. 
  5. Install Doors and Windows – After drywall, it is time to install any doors or windows. If you’re not installing any new windows, this is a good time to clean the old ones and seal around your windows with caulk. 
  6. Time for Cabinets and Plumbing Fixtures – Next comes the installation of cabinets and plumbing fixtures. This is when things really start coming together. You finally get to see the farmhouse sink you’ve been dreaming about and those beautiful new countertops. This is also a time when some minor plumbing issues might reveal themselves as you install new fixtures.
  7. Bring in New Appliances – Now it’s time for new appliances and your new kitchen is really starting to take shape. Now is also a good time to make a checklist or timeline of any outstanding tasks or things to finish up before you’re done. 
  8. Install New Flooring – Some professionals prefer to handle the flooring before they install cabinets, others like to save it until the end. If you haven’t installed flooring yet, now is the optimum time. 
  9. Celebrate Your New Kitchen – The renovation is now complete and it’s time to enjoy your new kitchen. Pour yourself a glass of wine, cook up your favorite meal and invite over some friends and family to make some memories. 

What Should a Homeowner Do While Remodeling a Kitchen

A construction site in the middle of your home is a headache. However, a little planning ahead can make things go much smoother.

Step 1- Estimate Your Kitchen Remodel Cost 

The first step in the remodel process is to estimate your kitchen remodel cost. It’s important to look at local costs from actual supplies, contractors, and companies in your area. Don’t use random calculators online, friend’s estimates, or an HGTV marathon to decide how much your remodel will cost. Use local suppliers and realistic bids to get a rough budget estimate. 

Step 2 – Finance Your New Kitchen 

If you don’t have the cash for a remodel, financing your dream kitchen can come in many forms. First, you can use a home equity loan, line of credit or refinance to pull cash out of your home. This investment makes sense when you’re reinvesting in the value of your home. If you don’t have enough equity in your home, you can also apply for a construction loan, FHA203K or a Title 1 loan if you qualify. 

Step 3 – Hire a Remodeler

The next step is to hire your remodeler. A full kitchen remodel requires everything from demolition to drywall to electrical to plumbing to flooring, finishes, and cabinet installation. This is not a DIY project for weekend warriors. Permits and inspections are needed, the time commitment to coordinate and oversee all the trades contractors is a full time job. Thoroughly research the remodeling contractors in your area. Look for a company who offers design build services where both an architect and contractor will work together to bring your vision to life. 

Step 4 – Design Your New Kitchen

Next comes the fun part. Here is where you can let your dreams take flight and create the kitchen you’ve always wanted. We encourage our clients to focus on clean lines and a minimalist design that will last for years. Add in the features that are most important to you and with professionals on your side, they can help you put each element into perfect place. 

Step 5 – Choose Kitchen Materials 

After you have your design, it’s time to select the materials. This includes the countertops, cabinet materials, colors, finishes, hardware, paint, etc. Sometimes, homeowners can exceed their budget quickly if they don’t pay attention to the cost of materials. Stay within your budget and only splurge on materials that are critically important to either the aesthetic or the functionality of your kitchen. 

Step 6 – Select Kitchen Appliance 

After you’ve selected your materials, it’s time to choose the appliances. The cost of appliances can vary greatly, so keep your budget in mind. Your contractor can help you select appliances that will fit within the scope of your kitchen design. Many times, the appliances should be ordered early to ensure they are delivered within the timeframe of your remodel. 

Step 7 – Stay Sane During Your Kitchen Remodel

Build a temporary kitchen in another area of the home so you can still prepare simple meals and access necessities without tripping over power tools and tracking dust throughout the home. Communicate regularly with your contractor so you know what is going on, and keep your change requests to a minimum. Working together is the best way to ensure you have a peaceful remodel and are satisfied with the final project. 

Must-Have Kitchen Accessories and Gadgets 

You don’t have to spend a million dollars to have the kitchen of your dreams. You simply have to know the little things that are important to you. Once you identify what matters most, you’ll have the kitchen you want without breaking the bank. Here are the most requested kitchen accessories on homeowners must-have list: 

  1. Island Cooktop – A kitchen cooktop built into a large island provides both a generous work surface and room for a warming drawer while eliminating the need for a view-blocking range hood above the island. 
  2. Glass Doors – Glass in your cabinet doors give the delicate look of a china cabinet, and the functionality of having everything you need nearby. 
  3. Built-In Refrigerator – Built-ins keep the look of your kitchen smooth and integrated. A built in refrigerator can maintain a stainless steel finish, or have the same front as your cabinets for a completely seamless look in the kitchen.
  4. Warming Drawer – A warming drawer is great for entertaining and busy households that have a lot going on at once. You can keep rolls or appetizers warm while you prepare the rest of the meal. It adds lots of functionality in very little space. 
  5. Double Ovens – Most homeowners crave the convenience of double ovens. The ability to cook two things at one time at different temperatures makes any dinner party, meal, or bake sale a cinch. 
  6. Dishwasher in a Drawer – A dishwasher drawer can be used in place of, or in addition to, a regular dishwasher. This handy little newcomer in the housing market allows you to clean just a few dishes at a time when the full dishwasher isn’t necessary. They are often used in basement kitchenettes, a butler’s pantry or as a secondary wash station.

Kitchen Remodel FAQs

This is impossible to answer without knowing the extent of your remodel. The cost of your remodel is 100% dependent on what materials you choose and how big the job is. According to Home Advisor, you should spend 5% to 15% of the home’s value on your kitchen remodel to get the best return on investment. For instance, if your home is worth $300,000, then a modest remodel budget is $15,000.

Usually, the cabinetry is the most expensive part. This can cost up to $15,000 on its own. The second most expensive part is appliances, and third place is countertops. Of course, all of this can vary based on the appliances, countertops, and cabinet style you choose. 

Absolutely! The best value for your home comes from kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchen remodeling is an investment that can increase the value of your home by up to 20%. Therefore, if you have a $700,000 home – you can expect kitchen remodeling to be worth about $70K, that doesn’t equate to final cost, but final VALUE. This is good to keep in mind that a small kitchen remodel project can be a great investment for your home.

So, is it time for a new kitchen?

Creating an environment for your lifestyle that you will enjoy for years starts with a good design and a great team.  We meet all of your kitchen remodeling project needs in one place from start to finish. Start today by analyzing what you like and don’t like about your present space. 

Make a dream wish list of everything you’d want in a perfect kitchen. Think about your appliances, storage space, and layout. Do you need more counter space?  Do you like the lighting? Do you want to keep the view? Gather inspiration of what style you love by browsing other kitchens online and then give us a call for a free consultation and seek the advice of our experts. We can’t wait to make your ideas a reality, give us a call today!