Kitchen Renovation, a Driving Factor!

It’s often said that your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make. For most of us this is true. The kitchen is the very centerpiece and hub of activity. Remodeling your kitchen can be a significant undertaking. Not only in cost, but also with inconvenience. Despite this, homeowners continue to find valid reasons to renovate the kitchen. Reasons for remodeling vary, and your neighbor may not share your top reason for the project. Probably the top causes for renovating a kitchen are to increase the value or sale-ability. A remodeled and attractive kitchen appeals to home buyers more than an outdated one. Other causes for updating a kitchen include, energy savings. Just adding skylights brings in more sun light, which reduces the need for artificial light. Energy-efficient appliances and solar water heaters cut utility costs. It is sometimes necessary to remodel in order to accommodate disabled family members.
Many times the need for more space or a more efficient layout is a cause for renovating the kitchen. The kitchen layout may have worked fine while the kids were younger. Perhaps it lacks a breakfast bar, and your family wants to gather informally in the kitchen for 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. Of course, some people simply want to make change. The current kitchen might be functional, updated and attractive, yet no longer holds visual appeal. This is likely driven by the popularity of home improvement shows on cable television that inspires many to remodel their kitchens. They may never have considered such a project until a home improvement program showed them the possibilities for their kitchen. Whatever the cause, if you are thinking about a kitchen renovation, consider talking with M.L.Murdy Company, specialists in kitchen projects.

When updating or remodeling your kitchen, here are a few factors to keep in mind.

Over many years of developing kitchen renovation projects here in Connecticut, we’ve created a basic but helpful list of factors to keep in mind when you decide to renovate your kitchen.

  1. Generally speaking, most kitchens come in several pre-determined layouts: one-wall kitchen layout, corridor or galley, L-shape, U-shape and so on. Consider what your current footprint is, and how you want to change it. Think carefully about the arrangement of getting around in your kitchen, and match those needs to the design you choose. Weigh the time and the cost of making a radical change in layout before you get too far ahead of yourself.
  2. Maximize. If you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum productivity, you may not need to remove walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing space–hogging shelves with cabinet–height pullout drawers 8 inches wide, containing racks for canned goods and other items. “You’re getting three or more horizontal planes where you might otherwise get only one,” says Louis Smith Jr., an architect with Meier Group.
  3. Stay put. If possible, it might also help to keep your appliances where they are located now. Moving appliances will typically involve plumbing, gas, or electrical which will increase budgets and stretch out your time line. There are exceptions however. A dishwasher can usually be moved to the other side of a sink, because the washer’s hook-ups actually come from that central point under the sink. But even if you keep your current kitchen layout or footprint you still may end up moving appliances.
  4. Flooring needs careful consideration. Just like bathrooms, a kitchen requires flooring that can hold up well. Hardwoods, for instance, can soak up spills, last a lifetime and goes with most kitchen styles, along with being durable. These floors can be installed as strips, planks or parquet squares with many options of colors and grain Laminate flooring can often be installed over existing flooring and would not necessarily need to be water proof. So think this through.
  5. Cabinetry. Unless you are budgeted for custom work, you should know that stock kitchen cabinets have improved dramatically. You’ll likely find a look that suits your style and also serve your kitchen prep needs.
  6. Power issues. A complete kitchen rewiring project can take up 25% or more of your budget. Assuming your existing system is safe and can carry the current load, consider whether you really need power-draining appliances like double-ovens, super-sized electric ranges, and ancillary appliances like trash compactors.
  7. Your old kitchen may help someone else. Before you begin remodeling, check with your the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for later resale. “About 85 percent of a house is reusable,” says B.J. Perkins, Habitat’s ReUse program manager. “We can do a total takedown, or do a cherry-pick job and take the cabinets, the sink, and so on.” You’ll save space in your landfill, collect a charitable tax credit for the donation, and help a good cause.
  8. Counter Tops: Some Pros and Cons. There are many options for counter tops in a kitchen, which include natural materials and plastic laminates. The following are the pros and cons for each option:
  • Granite – is a natural material that is beautiful, hard, and durable. It withstands heat, along with being stain and scratch resistant. The only con is the need to routinely apply a stone sealant to seal the pores in the granite.
  • Marble – is another natural material that has a glossy, elegant finish. However, the cons are that marble is easily scratched or broken. It also requires routine application of a sealant. Another important con is that marble is easily stained by acids from coffee, citrus juices, and wine.
  • Tile – is another natural material made from limestone, marble, quartz, and porcelain providing a durable and heat resistant surface. The cons are that it is easily scratched and grout lines often develop hairline cracks that allow water to seep through to the backing and wood support. Tile requires a lot grout maintenance and sealant to control scratches.
  • Laminate – this plastic material is easier to apply than natural materials. Laminate is more resistant to scratches and stains, along with requiring little maintenance. The con is that edges tend to chip or break off with heavy use and the substrate is susceptible to water damage.
  • Slate – is made from non-porous rock material and does not stain. There are many colors with the most popular being black, gray, rust, greens and maroons. Slate is also slip resistant and durable.
  • Vinyl – is quite common and relatively easy to install, along with being durable and easy to maintain.

All of us at the M.L. Murdy Company here in Connecticut hope you find this of value.

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