Deciding to remodel your kitchen can be both exciting and daunting. Just perusing the selections of appliances, cabinet designs, and countertop choices can leave your head spinning. Not only that, but you want to be prepared for all the little details that come up, too.


If you’ve ever wondered how much a kitchen remodel might cost, here’s a percentage breakdown from John Bredemeyer, president of Realcorp, a national appraisal firm based in Omaha, Nebraska:


  • cabinets = 30%
  • appliances = 14%
  • countertops = 10%
  • lighting = 5%
  • plumbing fixtures = 4%
  • paint = 2% - 3%
  • tile = 1% - 2%
  • 35% on windows, flooring, labor, and other construction fees

He says a kitchen remodeling project should not surpass 15% of the home’s value. For example, if your home is worth $200,000, you’ll want to cap your project at $30,000. So to make sure you don’t miss anything, we’ve compiled a list of 10 musts for any kitchen remodeling project to ensure nothing gets left out.  


Look at the big picture

When redesigning your kitchen, it’s easy to start by coordinating cabinets and countertops with appliances, but remember to look at the big picture. Make sure to put the wall color, flooring, window treatments, and hardware into the design. Some of these pieces won’t be installed until the project’s end, but don’t wait until the end of the project to decide. That can cause you to have doubts and even reconsider parts of the project, which can delay its completion and cost you money.  


Consider size

If the size of your kitchen can’t accommodate an island, it’s best to go with something else, like a small peninsula. There are so many options and layouts to choose from; you don’t want to compromise workflow space. The same is true for light fixtures that appear too big for the island they illuminate and chairs that are too large to fit comfortably around the island. Including items that are too big for the space will only crowd your kitchen and make it appear messy. This can be avoided by taking careful measurements of furniture and your selections before purchasing.


Choose appliances first

Because appliances are large and consume a considerable portion of the remodeling cost, it is recommended that you purchase them first. Knowing how the appliances fit into the design helps determine how everything else will fit. Also, depending on what you choose, you may need to rework the electrical or plumbing to accommodate the appliance. Once you’ve chosen the appliances, it’s easier to choose a cabinet style that coordinates with them. Then you can determine how many cabinets will fit and the options that are available for your space.    


Love it from the start

When choosing what to include in your remodel, you’ll want to make sure you love the kitchen you decide on. Because changing things in the middle of the project can cause delays and bring costs up, make sure you consider your options so you can include those maple cabinets, that stone flooring, or a granite countertop. Working with a designer will help you not only with layout and cost but also with making sure you’re happy with the project.

Create an efficient workflow

The stove, sink, and refrigerator compose a kitchen’s workspace. Often referred to as a work triangle, this pathway is the workflow area and needs to be clear of appliances, trash cans, or other obstacles. Not only should there be a clear path between these workstations but they also should be no more than about nine feet from one another to facilitate workflow. Too much room between work areas creates wasted space. You want to make sure the kitchen you work in works for you.


Be aware of placement

New appliances, cabinet doors, and drawers are anticipated additions to any kitchen remodeling project, but make sure to think about clearance. If the refrigerator is open, will the cabinet drawer next to it be able to open all the way? If the cabinet door is open, can the dishwasher door be opened? Likewise, is there enough room to stand in front of or walk past appliances or cabinets when they’re open? These are all things to consider when designing your kitchen, and again, be sure to take careful measurements of the space you have before making purchases. 


Don’t forget to coordinate the backsplash

With all the different ideas available, the backsplash seems like just another costly, decorative item. But the backsplash is a necessity. It shields your walls from grease and food splashes. And while there are many types of backsplashes to choose from, not all will cost a fortune. There are reasonable options that are not only functional, as they should be, but can add to or enhance your kitchen’s overall design. Be inspired by playing around with shades, patterns, and designs until you find a backsplash that makes your kitchen beautifully unique. 


Make sure there’s ample storage

Whether your kitchen is large or small, you’ll want to plan on having enough storage. And while space is more difficult to come by in a smaller kitchen, there are plenty of easy, cost-friendly additions any sized kitchen can benefit from. Besides pantry pullouts and Lazy Susans, free-standing shelves, hanging baskets, wire shelves, and hooks can hold anything from dishes to towels to measuring cups to car keys. Hang a wire rack on the backside of cabinet doors. And don’t forget to utilize the inside as well for sponges, hand towels, and cleaning supplies. 


Include appropriate lighting

Lighting is sometimes the last thing people think of when remodeling the kitchen. But appropriate lighting is just as important as an efficient workflow and ample storage. And by appropriate, we mean size, style, and brightness. Make sure the fixtures are appropriately sized for the area. You don’t want something overwhelming the visual proportion of the space, but you also don’t want something too small. As for style, light fixtures are another opportunity to make a statement. An overhanging light above the island can make the area a gathering point of interest. Last but not least, make sure your fixtures provide enough light. Recessed lighting or track lighting works well for spreading light throughout the kitchen and can also be installed with a dimmer switch.         


Allow for enough electrical outlets

Most of us probably never think of electrical outlets until we don’t have one at our disposal, and not having enough in the kitchen can be downright irritating. So, you’ll want to determine how many kitchen appliances you currently use that require an outlet. Then make sure to allow for more, especially near work areas that may require the use of mixers, food processors, coffee grinders, etc. If you’re planning a full kitchen remodel, make sure you plan accordingly for not only the placement of outlets but also an adequate amount. 


Final Thoughts

Remodeling a kitchen can be overwhelming. There are a lot of things to consider and a lot of choices to make. But the professionals at Kitchen & Bath Ideas are ready to help you. If you’re in the market for a kitchen remodel, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a designer before beginning any major renovation, and the designers at Kitchen & Bath Ideas have a combined 100+ years experience. Contact us for a free consultation today.

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