Kitchen Remodel: The Heart of the Home - Make Ready Residential
kitchen remodel

Kitchen Remodel: The Heart of the Home

Posted on August 29, 2022 by Hunt Holdridge

When you walk into your kitchen, do the design, look, and functionality make you want to start cooking and preparing meals? Or do you get a sinking feeling that maybe the dull countertop, the old cabinet doors that don’t close properly, the missing or cracked tiles could use an upgrade? You’re ready for a kitchen remodel: the heart of the home. 

You might also be thinking that this is a good DIY project. You should reconsider—some things are best left to the professionals who do this for a living. 

Sometimes, it’s better to spend the money upfront to reap the immediate rewards of a using a freshly renovated kitchen, and the financial ones later.

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A kitchen renovation can take many forms—from simple, cosmetic changes, to a full, down-to-the-studs remodel involving knocking down walls and moving appliances to different places within the kitchen. The costs, naturally, escalate as the job becomes more elaborate. Depending on your location, a remodel will cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Setting a budget—and leaving room for additional, unexpected costs—is the first step.

So, ask yourself: what do you want to achieve? What is your goal for the project? What bothers you the most, and what works well? Those are just some of the questions a contractor will ask you. The answers will establish the scope of the work—and the cost. 

An interior designer can help guide you and can usually provide answers about what is and isn’t achievable depending on your budget. Do you want a Viking range and a Sub-Zero refrigerator? Be prepared to spend well over $10,000 just on those two items.

Be proactive: order your appliances

Once you have a plan, make sure you order your appliances ahead of time and ensure that they will arrive by the time your contractor needs them. One thing you don’t want to do is stop the work because one of the items is backordered. Make sure you give your contractor the exact model, so they know the specifications—especially the dimensions. Large appliances usually need specific clearance spaces to allow for air circulation. 

The same goes for the cabinets and countertops, and any other items, such as backsplash tile, hardware and lighting. 

If your vendor doesn’t have the items in stock but says they’ll be available and delivered by the required deadline, make sure you check on the appliances’ status often. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out that your new range will have to wait another couple of months or longer.

The cabinets

Cabinets make up the largest portion of a kitchen renovation budget. 

Modern cabinets with colors that shine, soft-close doors and drawers, pull out shelves and trays and other conveniences can help keep your kitchen items organized, use the space more efficiently and aid in accessing them more easily. No need to reach all the way back of a cabinet shelf to grab that cheese grater or mixing bowl!

If you want to save some money, you could consider pre-made cabinets made in a range of materials, from particle board to solid wood. Another option could be semi-custom cabinetry that requires some adjustments by your contractor—but the money you save by going this route could help making upgrades elsewhere in your kitchen. 

Choosing the right countertops

Your countertops will give your kitchen an identity, representing the style and type of kitchen you have. So, choosing the right type is important—for its looks, your wallet, and especially for their longevity.

There is a wide variety of countertop materials, each with its own pros and cons, and at different price points.

Marble, for example, looks stylish and comes in different colors. White marble is popular and will give your kitchen a bright and airy look. However, it is soft stone that will scratch more easily than other materials. It’s also fairly porous and if spills are not cleaned up quickly, that red ring from your wine glass can become a permanent stain.

Quartz countertops, which are actually engineered from stone and resins, are becoming more popular and also come in a wide array of colors. They are very hard and more durable than marble. They’re also non-porous, so they don’t stain.

Are you hoping to make your kitchen look like something out of the Food Network studios? Then, stainless steel could be the answer. The industrial-looking steel countertops are good for easy clean up, and they resist heat—no need for trivets! Fingerprints and other materials are more visible on this extremely durable material, and they can also scratch and dent.

Granite is another very durable material, and it has been a popular material because of its longevity. Granite comes in many colors and patterns, so they can fit almost any style you choose for your kitchen. It can be expensive, depending on what you’re looking for, and, like other materials, it needs regular maintenance. 

There are a few other options on the market ranging from the very expensive to more affordable ones. Whatever material you choose, a new and modern countertop will definitely give your kitchen a good facelift.

Your contractor and designer can help you decide on any of these options if you’re unsure what style you’re going for. 

Don’t forget about the lighting

Lighting in your kitchen can give you a lot of bang for your buck. A few strategically placed lighting fixtures can take your kitchen from looking good to looking larger, brighter, and airy.  

First, consider the fixtures on the ceiling. They should illuminate the room brightly. Recessed lighting can do a pretty good job at this.

To take your kitchen to the next level, add some accent lighting to highlight specific areas—maybe you have an area where you keep colorful vases, fine china or perhaps a wet bar. 

A full kitchen renovation can be inconvenient. It is noisy, and you’ll have people in your home every day, disrupting your daily routines, and you’ll lose some privacy. You may not have access to a stove, a kitchen sink, an oven, and more during the work. But when it’s finished, and you start prepping your food on that new countertop that is well lit, and you begin using your new range, you’ll be happy you made the decision. And if you put your home on the market, buyers will notice it—it’ll be one fewer item they’ll have to worry about redoing after they move in. 

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