Sometimes all the signs are there: the cracked tile on the countertop, a too-small refrigerator, not enough natural light. Or maybe your kitchen remodeling plans are inspired by home makeover shows on TV, kitchen design magazines, or your neighbor’s new kitchen. Often, thoughts of remodeling are sparked by a combination of need and want.
Even when the need to remodel your kitchen is clear, there’s a lot to consider. Are you sure the new kitchen will be completed in time for the holidays or a special occasion? Will you be able to recoup your investment in a kitchen remodel if you move to another home? Is remodeling your kitchen worth the inconvenience and expense?
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) advises that taking a close look at the condition of your current kitchen can help you decide if it’s time to remodel. You may be able replace an appliance or make cosmetic updates without undertaking a major project.
Here are some tips to help you make the decision about whether now is the right time for your kitchen remodel.
Key considerations for remodeling the kitchen
If the main goal is to update the appearance of your kitchen, consider that remodeling can also bring other benefits, like saving time and money in the long run. And creating a more efficient work area or an open and bright space doesn’t always mean making major structural changes to your home.
Saving energy is a popular reason to remodel. Dated appliances may be costing you more to use in the long run compared to new high-tech, energy-efficient models. Advanced dishwashers, refrigerators and disposals that consume less energy, offer economy cycles or delayed timers can lower utility costs enough to be worth the investment.
Highlighting information from recent industry surveys, The Washington Post writes that homeowners are already adopting these three high-tech kitchen appliances.
- Induction cooktops (rapid heating and cooling, energy-efficiency and safety features)
- Faucets (water conservation, touchless operation, temperature gauges)
- Steam and convection ovens (faster cooking, lower energy use, preserve nutrients and color)
Induction cooktops, advanced faucets and steam and convection are compatible with home assistants, too.
The fairly recent availability of sustainable kitchen building materials is another reason to remodel now. Eco-friendly countertop options from different manufacturers who create healthier-to-use, more durable surfaces that also reduce manufacturing and recycling waste not only protect the environment, they look beautiful.
Remodeling to get more out of the same space
Kitchens in North America typically include counter, floor and cabinet space. According to the NKBA, the placement of your refrigerator or the shapes of your counters can limit a kitchen’s preparation and work areas, and storage space.
There are standard measurements for the space in front of a countertop, its depth and the clearance above it. Remodeling can solve a not-enough-space problem by arranging the kitchen’s components to meet these standards, without expanding the overall room size.
NKBA also suggests observing how traffic moves through the kitchen. A walkway should be at least three feet wide. For one cook, the work aisle should be a minimum of 42 inches and at least four feet wide for more than one cook.
You can find standard kitchen measurements online or at a home improvement store. A few simple measurements can tell you (or a kitchen design consultant) whether remodeling can “create” more room in your current kitchen space, or if you need to consider enlarging the footprint.
Easy patio access and natural light
If you’re planning to spend more time cooking outdoors, or you’re building a new deck outside, it makes sense to add a door to your kitchen’s layout. You may also be able to rearrange or add kitchen windows so you can keep an eye on the barbeque or watch your children playing
Adding a skylight can fill a kitchen with sunshine and reduce the need for artificial light – another energy saver. By making a space brighter, natural light can also make it feel larger.
The way your family uses the kitchen may differ from the home’s previous owners. Or perhaps your needs have changed over the years.
A counter where the kids can do their homework while you cook, or an island with an extra sink might fit one family’s needs, while a kitchen that flows into other rooms may be ideal for the couple who likes to entertain. It may be time to remodel or modify the kitchen to accommodate elderly parents who will be staying with you, or to meet the special needs of a disabled family member.
Think about what works for you now and imagine how your needs will change in a few years when planning your kitchen remodel (and the right time to do it).
Is remodeling the kitchen a good investment?
Do you plan to relocate within the next few years? Are you putting your house on the market soon? Are you likely to see a return on your investment in a kitchen remodel when you sell?
The answer from realtors, contractors and architects to the last questions was yes, with a few caveats.
“If the roof is leaking, buyers won’t get beyond that,” says Ron Phipps with Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “I don’t care how awesome the kitchen is.”
According to a Remodeling Magazine (http://www.remodeling.hw.net/) study you are more likely to get back what you spend on basic home maintenance such as new siding, than you will on a major kitchen remodel. The only home improvement likely to return more at resale than necessary maintenance was a minor (approximately $15,000) kitchen remodel, which returned 92.9 percent. Replacing roofs and windows were also high on the list, returning 80 percent or more at resale.
The decision to remodel the kitchen starts with taking an objective look at your current kitchen’s pros and cons. Also, even if you plan to do the remodeling on your own, it’s a good idea to consult a kitchen design professional about your plans. Learn as much as you can before you take a sledgehammer to that countertop.
A new cooktop is one of the most important elements in a new kitchen. To learn more about the methods of different methods of cooking on a glass-ceramic stove, explore EuroKera and find a EuroKera cooktop.