For many, the kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you make and eat food, gather with friends and family, and spend lots of time. That’s why so many homeowners dream of remodeling to give their home the perfect kitchen. But how do you design the perfect kitchen remodel? Follow these tips for a smooth process!
Kitchen Remodeling Contractors
Kitchen remodeling is at the top of homeowners' wish lists. However, according to attorneys general across the country, it is also a leading source of consumer complaints. That’s why choosing your kitchen remodel contractor is of the utmost importance.
How to Choose a Contractor
Choosing your kitchen contractor may be the most important step of your entire project. That’s why you should go with a trusted professional. If you live in Georgia, this means trusting Dale!
Consumer Investigator Dale Cardwell used his experience to create a transparent seven-point investigative process to eliminate bad choices and confirm selected and vetted companies that are truly worthy of your consideration. TrustDALE then requires those companies to sign an agreement that places Dale in charge of making it right in the event you feel you didn’t receive what you were promised in writing.
How to Plan Your Kitchen Remodel
Kitchen Project Planning
To get ready for your project, you’ll need to consider certain details. One way to get started is to get an architectural rendering or to-scale drawing of your existing kitchen. This should show the location of windows, doors, heating, plumbing lines, and electrical outlets. If you're not working with an architect, you can do it yourself with 3-D kitchen design software.
You should also prepare a detailed wish list indicating your goals and priorities for remodeling. What’s most important to you? More space? More style? Organize your wish list by priority, from the "must-haves" to the "in your dreams."
Start pulling together an idea folder. This can be a physical or digital collection of pictures of rooms, products, materials, and architectural details that appeal to you. Make notes about what you like about friends' kitchens and general concepts translated from other areas of your life.
Best Layouts for Kitchens
The kitchen triangle is practically sacrosanct in kitchen design guides. That refers to the three-sided connection between the stove, sink, and refrigerator. However, in today's family kitchens, one triangle often isn't enough. Consider these layout ideas when planning your kitchen:
The island workstation
Depending on the shape of your kitchen, an island can make the work triangle more efficient — in a large space, it can tighten the legs of the triangle to the recommended distance of between 4 and 8 feet. In a two-cook kitchen, the island can be a pivot point in a series of triangles, especially if it includes a prep sink or a dedicated workstation, as for baking. In a compact kitchen, consider a rolling island that can be tucked against a wall when not in use.
The kitchen zone
Before you settle on a layout, map out the prevalent traffic patterns in the room: for instance, from fridge to sink to stove; toaster to coffeemaker to computer desk; homework station to fridge to back door. Then set up distinct areas, or "zones," for each set of activities. For convenience and safety, try to keep zones from overlapping — the refrigerator, for instance, should be at the outer corner of the cooking zone so that kids can access it without having to pass near the stove.
Design Tips for Kitchens
Magazines and design websites offer SO many tips. We’ve compiled some of our favorite, no-frills, design tips to help you streamline your perfect kitchen remodel.
Determine the island's function.
When it comes to kitchen islands, it’s all about function. Think about how you will use the island before you consider the design. For example, if you want to cook and eat on the kitchen island, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the dining area. The island can also house other elements such as a sink or dishwasher.
Plan landing spaces near appliances.
Landing space around appliances provides a spot to place items while cooking. When designing your kitchen, allow for at least 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave and other small appliances.
Consider electrical outlets.
Ensure your kitchen includes plenty of electrical outlets. Especially in areas where you plan to use a coffee pot, toaster oven, blender, or other countertop appliances. Install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you'll have access to electricity wherever you need it.
Break up blocks of cabinetry.
Kitchen walls completely covered in cabinetry can appear heavy and uninteresting. That’s a major design “DON’T”! Break up long blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. You can also add wine storage or windows between cabinet areas.
Use light colors in small spaces.
Dark color schemes can shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. If your kitchen is limited by space, use light colors to improve the design. For example, use soft shades on kitchen cabinets to visually expand a small room. Outfit large windows with simple window treatments to ensure the space receives plenty of natural light.
Find a focal point.
To avoid a busy kitchen design, choose one focal point within your design that draws the eye or makes a bold statement. Splashy backsplash tile, fancy flooring, a sizable range hood, bright kitchen cabinets, or patterned countertops can all serve as the attention-grabbing element. Once you select the focus, complement that area with a few simpler, but attractive, details.
Avoid These Kitchen Remodel Mistakes
Just as important as careful planning is avoiding common mistakes! You’d hate to see a great project foiled by something you could have easily avoided. Check out these common mistakes and be sure to steer clear.
Trying to be your own GC or Hiring the wrong GC.
A kitchen remodel is not a DIY job. It is one of the most costly, complicated, and time-consuming projects imaginable. That’s why the input of qualified professionals is not only valuable, in many parts of the country it's also mandated by law.
Additionally, you should never hire a contractor who makes you uncomfortable. That’s why we provide fully vetted and guaranteed contractors across Georgia!
Settling for a cookie-cutter kitchen.
Your kitchen remodel is for YOU to enjoy. Unless you're planning to move within the next couple of years, go ahead and build the kitchen that works best for you and your budget. While you don’t want to go with a cookie-cutter design that won’t serve you well, be careful not to over-customize. What's perfect for you today may prove limiting tomorrow.
Changing your mind frequently.
Time is money, and changing your mind can cost you both. Regretting, reordering, reconfiguring - anything you do over can set you back. It all leads to delays, changed work orders, and maxed-out budgets.
Now that you have tools and tips at the ready, it’s time to start reaching out to kitchen remodel companies. And when you use a TrustDALE certified professional, you're always protected by Dale's trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right Guarantee. So get started today to design the perfect kitchen remodel!