7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling
By: John Riha
Published: March 25, 2011
Kitchen remodeling can turn a ho-hum room into your home’s pride and joy. Here are strategies to help your project run smoothly.
A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. Kitchen remodels in the $50,000 to $60,000 range recoup about 69% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to recent data from Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report.
To make sure you maximize your return, follow these seven smart kitchen remodeling strategies.
1. Establish priorities
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending at least six months planning your kitchen remodeling project. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction and inflate construction costs. Here are planning points to cover:
Cooking traffic patterns: A walkway through the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Work aisles should be a minimum of 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches wide for households with multiple cooks.
Child safety: Avoid sharp, square corners on countertops, and make sure microwave ovens are installed at the proper height—3 inches below the shoulder of the primary user but not more than 54 inches from the floor.
A professional designer can simplify your kitchen remodel. Pros help make style decisions, foresee potential problems, and schedule contractors. Expect fees around $50 to $150 per hour, or 5% to 15% of the total cost of the project.
2. Keep the same footprint
No matter the size and scope of your kitchen remodel, you can protect your budget by maintaining the same footprint: Keep the walls, locate new plumbing fixtures near existing plumbing pipes, and forget bump-outs.
Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.
3. Get real about appliances
It’s easy to get carried away during your kitchen remodeling project. A six-burner commercial-grade range and luxury-brand refrigerator may make eye-catching centerpieces, but they may not fit your cooking needs or lifestyle.
High-priced appliances are worth the investment if you’re an exceptional cook. Otherwise, save thousands with trusted brands that receive high marks at consumer review websites, like www.ePinions.com and www.amazon.com, and resources such as Consumer Reports.