Before You Renovate Your Kitchen

August 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

The kitchen is the heart of the home. For many families, the kitchen is the most used room in the house. When the kitchen doesn’t meet the homeowners needs or doesn’t reflect their personality, it’s felt more prominently than in other rooms. Poor layout, inadequate lighting, cramped spaces, outdated fixtures and old cabinetry are frequent complaints of homeowners.

Kitchen renovations are high on the list of the most common home renovations. A renovation can be as major an undertaking as enlarging the space and replacing all cabinetry, countertops, fixtures and finishes. For smaller budgets, a kitchen renovation can mean replacing cabinet and drawer pulls and updating paint, flooring or lighting. Before you decide to go ahead with a kitchen renovation, it is important to clearly identify the features you need and want in your new kitchen. Ask yourself the following during the planning phase:

Size and design

  • Do you have adequate workspace?
  • Is an eating area in the kitchen important?
  • What are your traffic patterns?
  • Is there ample storage space?
  • Does the kitchen meet the current and future needs of everyone in the household including children or anyone with special needs?

Fixtures and appliances

  • What style and features do you want in your appliances?
  • Are your appliances Energy Star compliant?
  • What type/what finish do you want in your fixtures, cabinets and countertops?
  • What style of the cabinets and countertops fit your personality, use, and budget?
  • Is there enough storage and workspace? Structural problems
  • Are there any existing structural deficiencies in this area or nearby areas of the house? Are the walls, ceiling, floor or basement areas well-insulated and air-sealed to provide a comfortable and energy-efficient space?

Plumbing and electrical

  • Are there enough electrical outlets and circuits to carry the load for existing/new appliances?
  • Is there older plumbing and plumbing fixtures which may include lead or galvanized steel piping?

Heating, ventilation and moisture

  • Is the room comfortable and easy to heat?
  • Is there any moisture damage?
  • Is there visible mold growth on any surfaces?
  • Are there any water stains?
  • Is there blistered or peeled paint?
  • Is there an exhaust fan that is ducted to the outside?
  • Is the air fresh and clean?

Finishes (i.e. countertops, floor covering and wall finishes)

  • Do current finishes need to be replaced because of wear or styling?
  • What finishes will be durable enough for the intended use?
  • Are the intended finished designed to meet specific needs such as water resistance, durability or cleaning?
  • Are the intended finishes and adhesives low odor and low in chemical emissions such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) materials to minimize effects on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Proper planning is extremely important and will help you anticipate many problems before they arise so you can account for them—saving time and money. Once you start a renovation, you’re committed. Your routine is uprooted until it’s complete.

Visit the blog again on Thursday for tips on how to prepare for and live through a major renovation.

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