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Kitchen Remodeling for Today's Families

by Jennifer Weldon

Many families found that they have outgrown their kitchen. If your home is older, it is possible that your kitchen does not meet the needs of your family. Gone are the days of the wife staying home and preparing all of the family’s meals. Today’s families feature everyone sharing in meal preparation. Kitchens are becoming the central spot of the home, featuring not only meal preparation, but eating space, computer area, and socializing hub. If your kitchen design and layout does not reflect how you and family use your kitchen, then it is time to remodel you kitchen. A remodeled kitchen will not only make it more enjoyable and efficient for your family, but it is a wise investment down the road when it is time to sell your home. Whether you are undertaking a top to bottom renovation, or simply updating a few key elements, there are some components to keep in mind.

1. Envision your new kitchen

Before any work can begin on your kitchen remodel, you must have some ideas in place of what you are hoping to achieve. Clip pictures from magazines, print out images from websites, tour model homes, and seek the advice of a professional kitchen contractor or designer. Think about how you and your family utilize or want to utilize your kitchen to determine what areas to focus on. Is everyone involved in meal preparation? Do you have special needs, such as cooking Kosher? Do you need extra space for recycling bins? Would you like an area for a computer to look at recipes or for the kids to complete homework? Do you need a desk area for household mail, bills, etc? How much seating do you need in your kitchen area? These are all questions to answer so you can be sure you are remodeling your kitchen to meet your specific needs.

Once your needs are met, you can focus on your wants and style. Sure, you will have to prioritize items due to budget and space constraints, but you may be pleased with all the extras you can squeeze into your new remodeled kitchen. A professional contractor can help you get the best prices and will have insight into all the latest products on the market.

2. Plan your new kitchen layout

Now that your ideas are in place, you will need to design the layout of your remodeled kitchen. If you aren’t replacing your cabinets, you may need to work with the general layout you currently have, but changes and additions can be implemented. A professional kitchen contractor will be invaluable in this design step.

A key kitchen design element is the work area between the sink, fridge, stove, cook top and microwave. You will want a smooth flow between each area to make meal preparation and cooking a breeze. Be sure that any bar seating area will not interfere in this traffic flow.

3. Add style and design

You will want your kitchen remodel style and design to reflect that of the rest of your home. Incorporate the same colors, lines, and décor throughout the kitchen so that is blends seamlessly with your entire house. Try to stay away from extreme colors or designs as they may make it harder to sell when the time comes. Your professional contractor or designer can help you wade through the different styles on the market.

4. Budgeting

The cost to remodel a kitchen can range anywhere for a few thousands dollars to upwards of $60,000 or more. It is best to decide upon a budget amount and work within that budget. Regardless of what your budget is, you will find that you can make changes both great and small. A professional contractor can help you with tips on where to save money and where to spend it so you get the most bang for your buck. They will also save you money on supplies and subcontractors.

5. Kitchen Size

Homes are featuring larger and larger kitchens in recent years. If your current kitchen is too small, you will need to determine if there are other usable areas nearby where you can move square footage into the kitchen. For instance, you may have a large hallway, pantry, or mud room area. Your contractor can look at these spaces and tell you where you can gain some extra kitchen square footage. One option is to utilize the space from a little used formal dining or living area. If it is nearby the kitchen, you can open the area to incorporate one large kitchen and eating area.

If your home is limited on these solutions, you may need to enlarge your home with an addition. Adding an addition will allow you to increase the size of your kitchen and possibly add another room, such as a sunroom or recreation area. Your kitchen contractor will be able to draw out a layout for you incorporating just such an addition.

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