Many homeowners determine whether they should remodel their kitchens based on whether their cabinets are worn, their appliances are dated or their countertops are crackled. But there are many other reasons, more important than cosmetic, why a kitchen needs to be remodeled.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) suggests the following considerations to help homeowners evaluate the condition of their kitchens and decide if the time is right for a remodel.
- Adequate space: Are you satisfied with the amount of counter space, cabinet space and floor space in your kitchen? The position of your refrigerator or the shape of your counter may be taking away useful work space. When replacing a countertop or changing the shape of your kitchen, keep in mind that a total of 158 inches of countertop frontage, 24 inches deep with at least 15 inches of clearance above, is needed to accommodate all uses, including landing area, preparation and work area and storage.
- Traffic flow: If there's more than one cook in your household, consider making more room around the main work space. If you enjoy entertaining, you may want an open plan kitchen that allows for more social interaction between the kitchen and other rooms. The width of a walkway should be at least 3 feet, and the width of a work aisle should be at least 42 inches for one cook and at least 4 feet for multiple cooks.
- Children: Depending on whether you have children and what their ages are, your kitchen may need to be remodeled. Dated appliances and the design of your kitchen can be hazardous for young children. If you’re in the process of extending your family, consider making more room for cooking larger meals and lowering cabinets for easier access to children's food. And keep in mind that microwave ovens should be installed 3 inches below the principal user's shoulder but no more than 54 inches above the floor to avoid accidents. And countertops with sharp corners if kids are around.
- Efficiency: If your appliances are dated, they may be costing you more money than you realize. Technological advances in dishwashers, disposals and refrigerators could save you a considerable amount of money and may be well worth the investment. For example, buying a dishwasher with low energy consumption, delay timer and economy cycle or half-load button will save both water and money.
- Universal design: Is your kitchen accessible to people with disabilities? Will you be able to use your kitchen safely as you get older? Considering these issues is vital in a kitchen remodel. Employing universal-design techniques in the remodel will help assure that the space is as accessible to or usable by all people, regardless of age, size or physical ability, without the need for adaptation or specialized design later.
- Location: Thinking about adding a deck to the side or back of your house? Incorporating a door into the layout of your kitchen would be a great convenience for outdoor entertaining. You also may want to rearrange the position of windows to allow more or less sunlight or to allow you to watch your children play in the yard. When rearranging the layout of your kitchen, be aware that the clear opening of a doorway should be at least 32 inches wide, which would require a door that’s at least 34 inches wide. And keep in mind that a cooking surface should never be located under an operable window.
Before you remodel your kitchen, make a checklist of major and minor problems and keep notes of the features you dislike and like the most. When it comes time to sit down with a designer, he'll know exactly how to suit your needs, taste and style.
For many households the kitchen is the center of the home and the hub of activity. Remodeling the kitchen can be a major undertaking. It is not just the expense, but also the inconvenience to the household that gives many homeowners pause when considering such an undertaking. In spite of this, homeowners continue to find good reasons to proceed with a kitchen remodel. Reasons for remodeling vary, and your neighbor may not share your top reason for the project.
The kitchen might simply be falling apart. Cracked tiles, peeling countertops, broken or missing cabinet doors and outdated appliances don’t inspire gourmet cooking or family gatherings. The deteriorated kitchen has simply outlived its usefulness and needs a remodel.
Homeowners often remodel their kitchens to increase the value or marketability of a property. A remodeled and attractive kitchen will appeal to prospective home buyers more than a boring and outdated one. The homeowner may or may not recoup the investment of the remodel; this will depend on a variety of factors, such as the degree of the remodel and current market prices.
Energy savings might be the prime motivation for a kitchen remodel. Adding skylights brings in more sunshine, reducing the need for artificial light. Energy-efficient appliances and solar water heaters cut the utility bill and place less stress on the environment.
The kitchen can be pristine yet outdated. If the kitchen says 1950s, but you want to live in the here and now, it is time to transform your retro kitchen environment into a room for the 21st century.
The kitchen layout may have worked great for the previous homeowner, but not for you. Perhaps it lacks a breakfast bar, and your family wants to gather informally in the kitchen to enjoy coffee or grab a quick meal without going to the dining room table. Whatever the reason, one motivation for a kitchen remodel is to arrange the room to best suit the family’s needs.
It is sometimes necessary to remodel the kitchen to better accommodate the needs of disabled family members. For example, if one of the family is in a wheelchair or no longer able to reach high cupboards, a remodel can make the room more usable.
The prime motivation behind a remodel might simply be financial incentives, such as energy-saving rebates offered by government entities or vendors. Financial incentives include sales at home improvement centers, cash rebates for trading in outdated appliances, remodeling grants and low- or no-interest loans.
Some homeowners simply want change. The current kitchen might be functional, updated and attractive, yet no longer appeal to the homeowner.
Home Improvement TV
Watching home improvement shows on cable television inspires many homeowners to remodel their kitchens. They may never have considered such a project until a home improvement program showed them the possibilities for their kitchen.
For a homeowner who enjoys preparing fancy meals and considers himself a gourmet cook, the prime reason for a remodel is the desire to create a dream kitchen. A gourmet kitchen with fancier amenities than most accommodates the cook’s needs.
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