Keystone Homes | Kitchen Remodelers
People talk a lot about kitchen remodels, but how much do you really know? How many questions do you have? Our hope is to provide answers to those questions and give you enough information to get started on your kitchen renovation project.
Maybe you're past the information-gathering stage and have committed to a redesign. Maybe you're asking "now what?" Well, the good news is it's not uncommon for homeowners to remain in this exploration stage for a year or longer before they start interviewing kitchen designers or general contractors. We hope to hear from you sooner rather than later so you can get started on the kitchen of your dreams. When you're ready to move forward, speak with Keystone Homes, the trusted kitchen remodeler in Bloomington and Champaign.
Kitchen Remodeling: What You Need To Know
Like any big project, you should take as much or more time planning than actually remodeling. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months. Allowing yourself this much time will help you avoid the temptation to change your mind during construction. Making changes once you've gotten started will inflate construction costs and hurt your return on investment.
Think logistically. Keep traffic patterns in mind. Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches wide for households with multiple cooks. Design with ergonomics in mind: Drawers or pull-out shelves in base cabinets; counter heights that can adjust up or down; a wall oven instead of a range.
Plan for the unplannable: You can have the project planned down to the exact number of nails, but even so there will almost inevitably be something that pops up and catches you off guard. Allow yourself a little leeway for completing the remodel. Want it done by Thanksgiving? Then plan to be done before Halloween.
Remember, as much as a kitchen remodel is an investment and an opportunity to add value to your home, above all the purpose is to improve the usefulness and functionality of your kitchen. Your kitchen remodel shouldn’t be about the tools, but the design and functionality of the entire kitchen.
Avoid what you don't need. Unless you’re an exceptional cook who cooks a lot, concentrate your dollars on long-term features that add value, such as cabinets and flooring. On the same token, steer clear of low-quality bargains and instead choose products that combine low maintenance with long warranty periods.
Don't fix what isn't broken. Unless there is some pressing reason to do move them, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.
Maximize lighting. Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and track lights create overall lighting in your kitchen. Include dimmer switches to control intensity and mood.
The Things You Might Not Know:
If it's your first time remodeling a kitchen, there will be some things you won't know and can't know until you get started. We've done enough kitchens to have learned our lessons the hard way, and we hope to share them here with hopes that together we'll avoid repeating them.
You have more storage area than you might think. If you've got tall ceilings, then you have storage space. Consider springing for upper kitchen cabinets that stretch to the ceiling. They may be a bit of reach, but they're ideal for storing less frequently used items such as holiday china. Plus, you could always do something out of the box like adding a rolling library ladder.
Older homes often have their quirks – short walls and bump-outs that may actually be hollow. Often times, those seemingly useless elements can be made into a handy utility. Perhaps that old air duct chase can be made into a clever kitchen cupboard. Don't stifle your creative imagination on this project. Nothing is off limits. It's your kitchen -- you make the rules.
Speaking of making the rules, while you're at it, you might consider commercial-style wheeled shelving. We've found that these are often useful and convenient for clients we've worked with as it puts storage right where you need it. Maybe you convert the old broom closet into a handy pantry -- add some pull-out shelves and bring everything into view.
Kitchen Remodeling: Questions To Ask
As you consider kitchen layout, take time to think about what you like about your current kitchen:
- How do you move in the space?
Does the workflow accommodate your cooking routine?
Can you easily move from the range to the sink?
How effective is your kitchen when more than one person is cooking?
How will you use the kitchen?
What type of cook are you?
How many guests do you hope to entertain?
What's your budget?