Plan a winning kitchen for comfort and convenience
Because it is the heart of most homes, kitchen remodeling is exciting, fun, and demanding. Kitchens serve not only as the center for food preparation and storage, but also as dining areas, study and craft zones, home offices, and entertainment areas. Careful planning is the key to a successful kitchen remodeling project.
The following sources are valuable in collecting information about fixtures, appliances, and finishes.
A fresh kitchen improves function
and home value.
- Internet. Bookmark pages that have kitchen remodel ideas you like. Print them for a notebook or scrapbook of ideas.
- Books and magazines. There are dozens of shelter and remodeling magazines with beautifully designed finished rooms. Clip and note features that appeal to you; organize clippings in a notebook.
- Manufacturerīs brochures. Collect brochures for products that you would like in your kitchen.
- Professional trade associations. They may have pamphlets on useful "how to" information as well as a listing of local dealers or professionals.
- Showrooms and home shows. Often, vendors set up whole rooms with the appliances and products so you can see what they look like and how they work. Itīs a good opportunity to pick up business cards and product brochures.
- Home tours. Most larger cities have a number of neighborhood associations that raise money by sponsoring home tours. Your local newspaper usually publishes these listings in the calendar or home section.
- Friendsī kitchens. Donīt be shy about asking what they love and hate about their kitchens. Itīs a rich vein of useful information that you can mine freely.
Word to the Wise
During the planning stages, consider the following:
- Local building codes
- Structural changes
When you work with a contractor, they will take care of the permits and working to local codes, but itīs a good idea for you as the homeowner to know what those codes are, especially when putting together your ideas.
Structural changes may also impose certain constraints on your design plans. Consider the building, its character and idiosyncrasies, as you plan your new kitchen. Your general contractor or architect can help you work around structural requirements so you can achieve your design goals.
Finally, establish a working budget. Consider your resources and financing options. Once you have a budget figure that is realistic, add a reserve of between 10 and 20% to cover unforeseen cost overruns.