Renovating your kitchen is one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can make. As the room where families spend the most time together, the kitchen has improvements that can be enjoyed by everyone on a daily basis, and much of the renovation cost can be recouped if you do decide to sell. Get the most out of your project by keeping the answers to these common kitchen remodeling questions in mind (and if you don’t see an answer to your question, contact us).
Q: Where’s the best place to begin a kitchen remodel?
A: Often the best way to determine what you want is to start with what you don’t want. People sometimes have an easier time identifying what it is they don’t like than knowing what they like. When we meet with clients to discuss their kitchen remodeling project, we start with what it is they don’t like about their current kitchen. Not enough counter or work space, inconvenient storage, and outdated looks top the list. Move on to your wish list, pantry storage, an island, more / better cabinet space. Taking this approach enables you to more easily prioritize the kitchen remodel.
Q: What is the kitchen “work triangle” and why is it important?
A: The work triangle in the kitchen is the area from the refrigerator to the cooking range to the sink. It’s important because all of the key kitchen activities—food preparation, cooking and clean-up—take place in adjacent locations. By creating this “triangle” you will improve the functionality of your new kitchen. Adequate space near the refrigerator and cooking surface will enable you to work more efficiently without feeling cramped.
Q: What is the most desired kitchen feature?
A: The kitchen island has become a must-have item in many kitchens. Since it’s centrally located, the island is easily accessed and ideal for various tasks. The island can double as an eating and entertaining area and offers a great space where two people can work together, creating a meal, sharing some wine, or even helping the kids with science projects. A kitchen island can be a smart, stylish, and functional addition to almost any space. Another area that can become a focal point is the range hood. Whether it is an elaborate wood style or a sleek stainless and glass hood, it can be a statement piece in the kitchen.
Q: What are the latest kitchen remodeling trends?
A: Opening up the space where possible is a popular kitchen remodeling trend. Cabinetry is more likely to have clean, simple styling with less ornate detail. Cherry and maple are the favorite wood species with finishes from dark stains to paints. Many people mix finishes with the perimeter in one and a contrasting finish on the island. Stainless steel appliances continue to be the most popular, and manufacturers are coming up with better finishes. As for the countertops, granite continues to be the most widely used, but quartz is gaining in popularity. It offers the benefits of granite without the maintenance. Quartz also doesn’t need to be sealed and is available in a wide range of styles that mimic real marble or granite.
Q: What makes a kitchen remodel more or less expensive?
A: Cabinets can be the single largest expense in a kitchen remodel. The plethora of styles, finishes, and construction options available can be overwhelming. Some of the specialty finishes can add as much as 30 percent to the cost of the cabinets. If you’re looking to cut back on expenses, try choosing a stock cabinet in a standard finish. Some stock lines offer upgrade options—for instance, solid wood, dovetailed drawer boxes, or the new and popular “soft close” feature.
Countertops are another area where you can splurge or save—it all depends on the materials you choose. Granite can vary in cost dramatically from one slab to another. A level one or two granite can be a fraction of the cost of the more exotic stones. Consider using an exotic stone for the island top and a less costly coordinating stone for the perimeter.
Q: How much will a kitchen remodel cost?
A: This is by far the most frequently asked kitchen remodeling question—and the most difficult to answer. A kitchen can be remodeled on just about any budget. The extent of the remodel and the materials selected will determine the actual cost. For example, new countertops, hardware, and a tile backsplash can give you a great new look for a fraction of the cost of a complete remodel. Again, the materials selected and the size of the countertops will impact the price. It can range from $4,000 to $15,000.