Renovating your kitchen will add enjoyment and comfort to your life and value to your home.

The Kitchen Master | August 6, 2014

Here are the first 5 of the 10 most important things to consider when you’re updating your kitchen.

  1. Use quality materials.
    Don’t penny-pinch on the quality of the most important elements of your kitchen. The cabinets should be made to last with sturdy construction, good finish inside and out and have well-built drawers and quality hardware. The counters should be durable and easy to maintain. The appliances need to fit your cooking needs, give you good service and have the features you want. You can find ways to save money on the less important items in the room.
  2. Find the best contractor for the work.
    If you are not going to do the work yourself, you will need to find a reliable company that has a good reputation in kitchen renovation. The firm also has to be financially stable and have extensive experience in kitchen design and remodeling. The guy down the block working out of his garage might be inexpensive, but will he have the skills and will he stay on the job and not take months to complete the kitchen? Home centers offer installation through sub-contractors and may also appear cheap at least at first, but will you know who will show up the first day, if the actual installer is insured and who will be in charge of the job? A professional kitchen and bath remodeling firm that specializes in just these rooms may cost more but the company will know how to design and build a quality room, stand by its work and be around to service anything in the future. You should look for a company that has at least 10 years of experience, has its own installers and supervisors, provides a multi-year warranty and has great client and consumer reviews.
  3. Do your homework.
    Write down what you must have in your new kitchen, what you don’t like about your present kitchen, what you have seen in friends’ or relatives’ kitchens that will be useful in your new kitchen. Do some research both online and at the bookstore or the library. Save photos of kitchens and features you like. Make a wish list of everything that appeals to you and then number the items from most important to the one that would be just nice to have. Check out contractors by talking to everyone you can, check them out at the BBB and other review organizations, and interview them thoroughly until you find someone you trust and can communicate with easily.
  4. Determine your budget limits and how you will pay for the project. Kitchen remodeling can cost five to fifteen thousand dollars if you do everything yourself and shop wisely. The cost of having the kitchen designed and built for you can cost anywhere from $25,000.00 to over $100,000.00. This large cost range is affected by the size of the room, how much structural change is necessary, and the quality and price of the main materials like the cabinets, appliances and counters and the time required to complete the room.
    You will need to sit down and determine how much you can and how much you should invest in the remodeling. To be prudent so you get most of your money back when you sell your home, the cost of the project should be less than 20% of the current value of your home. This percentage can be higher if the homes in your area are starting to appreciate in value at a more rapid pace. But resale shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision of how much to spend. Also consider how long you will be in your home and how much value you place in the benefits and comfort of the new kitchen.
    You may have the funds available to pay for the entire job, if not you will need to find the best way to finance all or part of the job. You can go to your own bank for a home equity loan or you can refinance your home. Other local banks may specialize in home improvement loans or the contractor may offer financing.
  5. Select the look and style you want.
    As early as possible to eliminate confusion as you begin the selection process, decide on a general idea of the look and style of your new dream kitchen. What style appeals to you as soon as you see it in a photo? Is it ultra-modern, soft contemporary, transitional or traditional? Or is it more unique like a

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