Monday, May 6, 2013

6 Glaring Signs Your Kitchen Needs a Remodel

by Stephanie Gibson
 
 
 
Kitchen fatigue is a common affliction, but it usually can be cured temporarily with a fresh coat of paint or the addition of a new espresso maker on the countertop. Sometimes, however, a complete overhaul of the kitchen is actually necessary. So how do you know if your kitchen needs a remodel or if you just want one? We've identified six signs—beyond dated appliances and boring laminate—that will tell you whether it's really time to make over the busiest room in your house.

1. You have an awkward layout

The most efficient kitchens put the space's three major components—sink, cooktop and fridge—within a few feet of each other. Since the 1940s, that's typically meant having a work triangle, which keeps these three work zones in a tight geometric pattern. And while this theory has served kitchens well for many years, with more families living and working in their cooking spaces, the hard-and-fast triangle rule isn't always applicable. If you find yourself running to dump an overflowing pot of pasta, juggling a tower of eggs, butter, cheese and milk on your long walk from fridge to stove, or tripping over kids as you maneuver during dinnertime, a revamp is in order. Sit down with a certified kitchen designer to help identify obstacles that are preventing your kitchen from functioning at maximum efficiency, and then work with him or her to create a space that encourages smart traffic flow and easy movement.
2. Your home is for sale
Most realtors advise sprucing up key areas of your house in order to boost resale, and kitchens top the list. You can typically expect about a 70-percent return on your remodel investment here, but there's no need to go overboard. Incorporating new countertops (we like granite or quartz for their classic appearance and heat- and stain-resistance), sleek stainless appliances and tons of savvy storage space will likely help your home stand out from the others. Potential homebuyers want a kitchen that's universally appealing and move-in ready, which means no wacky-colored tile, old-school laminate, or 1970s floral wallpaper—instead, choose timeless, long-lasting materials and neutral paint. Make sure you factor in enough time (and budget!) to get the work done before you're ready to list the house—and maybe give yourself a few months to enjoy the new space, too.
 
3. The appliances are older than you
 
Mismatched but working appliances don't necessitate a kitchen remodel, but nothing lasts forever. When your refrigerator, oven and microwave are running at subpar levels, it's time for an update. In addition to heating and cooling food better, newer appliances can offer energy efficiency that saves your time and utility costs. The National Association of Home Builders gives a life expectancy guideline for major appliances as follows: dishwasher and microwave, 9 years; garbage disposal, 12 years; refrigerator, 13 years; range, 13-15 years. Cabinets can last up to 50 years, so if you're replacing several appliances and incorporating new surface materials and flooring, leave those alone and update the look with a fresh paint or colored stain instead.
 
4. You're anticipating lifestyle changes
Whether your home is expanding with the addition of children or an aging parent, or you're blending two large families, needs will change. To ensure the kitchen is safe and big enough for everyone, consider renovating to add an island with space for prep work and homework, a refrigerator that will hold plenty of groceries and storage space for stowing bulk items. Multiple cooks and activities can fill this hub, so increase the width of work aisles—especially around islands and major appliances—from the standard 42 inches to 48 for easier flow. The National Kitchen & Bath Association offers safety guidelines, too: Microwaves should be installed 3 inches below the average user's shoulders but a maximum of 54 inches above the floor, and countertops should include bullnose or eased edges to avoid injuries on sharp corners.
 
5. You have mold or other major damage
This may sound like a big "duh," but untreated water damage and mold isn't always immediately visible in older houses. Do-it-yourself home tests aren't necessarily reliable, and this isn't the time to take a chance. Spend the time and money to have a professional assess the state of your space. If there's mold growing on any surfaces, or damage that will be costly to repair, it's probably best to gut the space and start fresh. This will also give you the chance to bring all plumbing and electrical work up to code at once.
 
6. Your kitchen is cramping your entertaining style

Dinner parties and gourmet cooking are your thing, but is your kitchen more conducive to Chinese takeout on TV trays? If you want a space that will provide plenty of room for guests to mingle and dine, consider a remodel to open up your kitchen to other living spaces, or even a patio or deck. This will likely include adding openings to an outside space (doors must be a minimum of 32 inches wide) or relocating plumbing and electrical outlets (cooktops shouldn't be installed beneath windows), as well as commercial-grade appliances or space for specialty cooking (a built-in deep fryer or marble slab for baking prep). It's smart to plan this kind of in-depth project around the busiest times in your schedule, including holidays and vacations.

Come sit down with one of our certified kitchen designers at Cabinet-S-Top to help you identify the obstacles that are preventing your kitchen from functioning at maximum efficiency.  We are located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256.  330-239-3630   www.cabinet-s-top.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

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