4 Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen

Remodeling a room is a big undertaking that requires care and attention to detail. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s vital to make sure everything is just right—especially if you’ve decided to opt for the DIY route to remodeling.

Here are four items you should keep in mind for your kitchen remodel.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan!

With a big project like this one, the most crucial stage of the process is planning. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a six-month planning period before getting started. This extensive planning stage offers several benefits. For one, you’re more likely to stay on budget. You’ll also be less likely to need costly changes during the process.

For the guys out there who are serious about DIY, the planning stage also may be an opportunity to boost your skillset—and your resume. You can look into getting a contractor’s license if you want to know how to remodel your kitchen with your own bare hands. In the construction industry, obtaining a contractor’s license requires passing an exam. Various study centers and institutions can help you with this process.

This stage is also a prime time to hire a professional designer. Expect to pay between 5% and 15% of the total cost of the project. Though it can be a little costly, a designer can help you avoid even more expensive problems as you move through the process of remodeling.

It’s a good idea to set your overall budget at 10% to 15% of your home’s total value. The wiggle room will ensure that any changes to the project still keeps it in line with your budget.

2. Storage Space

Storage space in a kitchen is crucial. From pots, pans, and utensils to nonperishable food items, there is a need for a lot of extra storage. If you’re taking out and moving around cabinets, you will want to make sure you at least maintain, if not expand, the amount of storage space you have available.

There are several options besides cabinets and drawers for storage in a kitchen. For a modern look, try open shelving. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also install or build a pantry. If you have space, a rolling countertop or kitchen trolley provides extra storage as well as an additional workspace.

Under-the-cabinet storage is a convenient way to store knives and other kitchen-must haves to keep the countertops clear of clutter. Also, consider shelves that slide right up against the underside of the cabinet when not in use.

3. Think Twice About the Island

A kitchen island is a beautiful way to expand counter space and embrace a more modern look. However, it can also limit functionality by taking up a lot of space and limiting how many people can work in the kitchen.

To determine if an island is a suitable fit for your kitchen, try installing a scale model made out of whatever you have around, like cardboard or plywood. Live with your brand-new “island” for a few days and see how it works. Make sure all cabinet doors have enough space to open and that things don’t get too cramped.

If you love the new setup, then go forward with your new island!

4. Great Lighting

Good lighting is a must-have for working in the kitchen. For overall lighting, recessed ceiling lights are a popular choice. Under the cabinet lighting also makes workspaces more visible and easy to use. Frosted glass lighting can offset any glare from the counter.

Each light source should have its own light switch, generally located near the entrance to the room. Dimmers are also an excellent choice to make sure you can get the lighting perfect no matter the time of day.

The Bottom Line

These tips may be common sense, but for the DIY renovator, it’s essential to gather all the knowledge you can going into a big project like kitchen remodeling. With these suggestions, a solid plan beforehand, and some hard work, you can have the kitchen of your dreams!

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