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Guide to Remodeling a Kitchen
A kitchen remodel can be an exciting and creative activity for a homeowner; as with every remodel it is advisable to start with a budget in mind and work according to a plan. There is a lot you can do with a kitchen remodel; kitchen cabinets, sinks, exhaust fans, sinks, kitchen islands, curtains, lighting, countertops, backsplash, faucets, furniture, tiles, etc can be replaced or repaired to give a whole new look to your kitchen. You should get an idea of the costs involved in a remodel and then plan the remodel to fit your budget.
Before starting a remodeling project, it is important to obtain a building permit well in advance because municipalities may take time to process the permit application.
Kitchen roofs can be kept a little higher so as to give the kitchen a different feel from the rest of the house and the kitchen can be moved adjacent to the dining area so that service from the kitchen is made easy.
In kitchens, where space is a constraint a remodel offers the opportunity to remove items and accessories that are rarely used and create some space. The kitchen space can be made more appealing visually by varying the height of the countertops and using cabinets of different sizes with different styles of doors. Contrasts can be achieved by using light wood stains for the islands and darker ones for the cabinets. A remodel is also the time to hide unsightly appliances by installing panels that can cover or disguise ovens or refrigerators. Another way to make appliances blend with the surroundings is to install stainless steel appliances; this is because stainless steel reflects the colors of its surroundings and is therefore not very noticeable.
The space to be allocated for counters can be a tricky decision; ideally you should allocate sufficient space for the counters and the counters should have enough width and depth to provide working space as well as space for appliances. The cabinets should be so placed that the contents of the cabinets are accessible from the place in the kitchen where they are likely to be used most often.
Traditional kitchen cabinets come with raised panels and in a range of finishes and wood choices. Contemporary kitchen cabinets offer an uncluttered look with well-defined lines; the building materials include wood, glass, plastic, and other materials. Kitchen sinks are mostly made of stainless steel which is a resilient and inexpensive alternative. Enamel covered cast iron sinks provide a traditional look. Quartz composite and granite-based sinks offer a high shine and are durable.
Kitchen islands can be added to spacious as well as not-so-spacious kitchens; with smaller kitchens, an island provides added countertop space for placing cooking pots and cutlery. Kitchen islands also offer space for a small family to gather, a kitchen island on wheels enables one to move the island around and alter the space settings. While remodeling, one can try to alter the lighting if required so that it illuminates the stove, countertops, cabinets, sink and other work areas.
Homeowners planning a kitchen remodel can apprise themselves of some of the latest remodeling trends that include built-in coffee centers that are sleek and take little space; stove hoods in various sculptural shapes made from materials such as steel and glass; the trend in cabinetry is toward minimalism with floating units, cabinet fronts with touch-latches that reduce hardware requirements; and surfaces made from materials such as bamboo, glass, and aluminum; cooking ranges that are dual-fuel and use both electricity and gas; Italian cooking gadgets such as gelato makers, stainless steel truffle shavers, and a panini grill for making sandwiches are popular items to add to a kitchen when remodeling; homeowners are also increasingly opting for smart appliances such as refrigerators with Internet capabilities; concealed dishwashers that can wash and store the dishes; countertops are being customized to suit the homeowner's tastes — wood is being used for low-use areas, concrete with embedded glass is being used, marble pastry slab inserts, etc are some examples of the variety of materials being used for counters.
You should ensure that the flooring is in place before moving on to the cabinets and countertops, tile and slate are preferred flooring options for homeowners as these prevent mold and moisture from accumulating. Cork is also being used as a flooring material for kitchens; it is soft and reduces noise. Other design alternatives for homeowners include openings and pass-throughs in the kitchen that facilitate movement and give a feeling of space, adding aged beams to the ceiling to get a rustic look, and using glass for kitchen doors.
Several activities of a kitchen remodel can be done as a DIY project, these include the preliminary cleaning up and removing of appliances and gadgetry to be discarded or replaced. You can rip up the flooring too, if relaying the flooring is on the remodeling agenda. Getting involved in the cleaning activities that open up the kitchen space allows homeowners to develop ideas about how to use the freed up space in a new way. Activities such as putting up the drywall, relaying the floor, painting the walls, etc can be carried out as DIY activities. If you wants to add the fixtures too then it should be done in consultation with an electrician and plumber. You can save money by installing appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves. Getting insight online into the various aspects of a kitchen remodel is a good way to begin what can be the most satisfying of all your remodeling experiences.
Copyright 2008 by ABCD Publishing
About the Author
Dan Fritschen, Publisher at ABCD Publishing, is a consultant to both individuals and businesses who are trying to decide whether to remodel or move. ABCD publishing currently owns two helpful websites, www.remodelormove.com and www.remodelestimates.com.
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