10 DECISIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE A KITCHEN REMODEL
Choices, choices. For some people, it’s a fun opportunity; for others, a stressful chore. Given the cost of remodeling, whatever you choose — whether it’s appliances, cabinet color, floor style or countertop — you’ll have to live with it for a long time.So it’s best to have a pretty good idea of what you want (or at least, think you want) before you begin. Here are 10 core decisions you should think through in advance when planning to remodel your kitchen:
- Footprint: Will you work within your kitchen’s current dimensions, or do you want the room to be bigger? In which direction would you expand, and what are the ramifications for the rest of the house?
- Cabinets (looks): Custom or prefab? Wood species, stain and glaze color, door style — all these decisions and more will need to be made.
- Cabinets (configuration): For lower cabinets, you could do doors and shelves (pullout or stationary) or you could go with deep drawers. You probably want some of each, but how many and where? Will you have any pantries? How many and what size? Any pullout cutting boards? And how do you want to handle those pesky corners?
- Countertops: Granite, quartz, laminate, concrete, wood or a combination? They all have their pros and cons. If going with granite, you’ll need to pick a pattern, then your specific slab(s), as well as weigh in as to how the slab will be cut for the various portions of countertop in the room. All of this takes time. Take as much as you need.
- Floor: Hardwood is still popular, but durable luxury vinyl tile, ceramic tile and bamboo are other choices to consider.
- Appliances (if buying new): Will you replace all of them, or only one or two? Will you match the color of existing appliances or go with what you eventually want them all to be? Do you want one oven or two? There are too many choices to list here, but keep in mind some of the newer options like a small beverage fridge and a microwave-convection oven combination.
- Placement of appliances: It can be hard to picture yourself in a whole new space cooking dinner, but it’s worth making the effort. Moving the stove or fridge over a few inches could make all the difference.
- Lighting: Pay close attention to where the can lights are placed in the ceiling. We ended up adding one directly above the sink that wasn’t in the original plan and are so glad we did. Also think through where you want light switches (every doorway is a good start). Do you want dimmers? What kind of under-cabinet lighting?
- Colors: The good news is, wall colors can easily be swapped out. Not so with tile backsplashes, lighting fixtures or other colorful features you choose.
- Miscellaneous: How hard could it be to pick out cabinet hardware? They’re just knobs and handles, after all. Answer: harder than you think.
Other decisions you’ll need to be ready to make include the type of sink (material, one basin or two, built-in soap dispenser or not, etc.), type of faucet and color of outlets and switchplates.