Practical Tips for Planning and Remodeling Your Kitchen

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Tips for planning a kitchen remodelThe kitchen is the heart of the home. This sentiment rings as true today as it did so many years ago. Kitchens are a home base for cooking, eating, socializing, and daily family rituals. They are also one of the most desirable rooms to remodel — both for homeowners looking to improve the usability of their current space as well as those considering listing in the near future.

SEE ALSO: 5 Features That Make Your Home More Attractive to Young Homebuyers

Should you remodel your kitchen?

Should I remodel my kitchen?

Before entering into any home improvement project, document your goals with the potential project. Does the room meet your current needs? How does your family typically use the kitchen? Is it solely dedicated to food preparation? Or does it also serve as a space for crafting, homework, or other pursuits?

Consider all the different ways you will be using the room and try to anticipate your various needs for each. For instance, if you typically have little helpers when working, consider adding an overhang to your kitchen island or breakfast bar with a spot for barstools. If you like to bake, ensure you have a large enough area of counter space for cutting out cookies or kneading bread dough.

Take the time to think through your needs for storage, garbage and recycling receptacles, everyday essentials, and small appliances. Careful forethought and planning can save time and money in the long run.

Does your current kitchen meet your personal style? Although many people consider the utilitarian nature of kitchens, style is an important consideration as well. Remodeling a kitchen to meet your personal style is an undertaking best left to homeowners who plan to enjoy the remodel for years to come. If your intent with remodeling is to ready a house for selling, try to choose neutral finishes and focus on the condition of materials and appliances and avoid choices that could be considered too “trendy.”

How much will a kitchen remodel cost?

How to budget for a kitchen remodel

Planning a budget for your kitchen remodel will largely depend on the extent of your project. Are you preparing for a complete “gut job” or are you looking to make small improvements to the style or function? Will you be adding or replacing windows and doors? Will you change the layout of the kitchen, necessitating movements in plumbing?

To determine a budget, start by considering each of the following and whether they will be a part of your remodel.

  • Cabinets
  • Counters
  • Flooring
  • Appliances
  • Plumbing and fixtures
  • Kitchen Windows
  • Lighting
  • Backsplash

A good target budget for remodeling a kitchen is 15% of your home’s value.1 To stick with your budget, you may have to make some hard choices about where to save and where to splurge. Think about how long you plan to stay in your home and prioritize the important items for today and long term. According to HGTV, here’s how a typical kitchen renovation budget breaks down:

Kitchen Remodel Budget Breakdown

  • 35 percent: cabinets
  • 20 percent: labor
  • 20 percent: appliances
  • 10 percent windows
  • 5 percent: fixtures
  • 3 percent: fittings
  • 7 percent: other

Kitchen renovation tips

Where to start/what will I include in the remodel

Beyond the cabinets, countertops, and flooring, there are other decisions to be made when planning a kitchen remodel. You should also consider the flow of the kitchen including the work triangle, flow of traffic, and also traffic patterns when connecting to other rooms and carrying food into a dining room or outdoor eating area. Here’s a list of considerations to get you started:

  • Make a full list of your priorities, including what you consider “must have” and what you can live without.
  • Think about current kitchen trends and whether they appeal to you.
  • Consider how long your renovation will take and whether the room will be usable during that time.
  • Take the time to plan out your budget and make sure to account for the unexpected.
  • Don’t forget to think through storage needs, traffic flow, and lighting.

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