What to Consider Before Renovating Your Kitchen

Planning a kitchen renovation

A beautiful kitchen is one the most important details in selling your house, and also one of the biggest ways to transform your current residence in a renovation.
Here are some tips and advice to consider when you’re transforming a kitchen space.

1. Pick quality appliances, but the most expensive does not necessarily mean the best bang for your buck.

You don’t have to get the top-of-the-line everything to have an exquisite and well functioning kitchen. Some of the most expensive products don’t necessarily work any better than the mid-price products.
Check the Consumer Reports before making your final decision. Find ratings for various types of appliances, such as the refrigerator ratings here. Also, check online reviews for other unbiased recommendations. Know what details are important to you, and also know which are flexible. For example, you may require a filtered water system (for your family’s health), but the in-door ice maker might be somewhere you’re willing to wiggle.

Related: Home Improvements with the Lowest Return

2. Shop around, use coupons and use cash back to save big money.

When you start shopping around, you will be surprised by the variation in prices from store to store on the same products. This can add up, especially for big-ticket items, like appliances. Also shop coupon websites, like ShopAtHome.com. For example, if you buy your appliances through Sears.com, you can get 8 percent Cash Back, plus $35 off when you spend $350 or more. On a $1,000 purchase, that’s $115 in savings.

3. DIY when possible, but don’t try to do everything yourself.

Sometimes, DIY can save you money. Other times, it can cost you money — in lost time and also if you have to pay a pro to fix what you messed up. Sure, tear out that old linoleum floor yourself. Swap out the light fixtures. Hang new curtains. But the average homeowner might not have the skills to custom-make or install cabinets, rewire electrical wires, make plumbing overhauls and install hardwood flooring. Just set a budget, shop around for the best prices by quality contractors and help — when it’s smart to help.

4. Know how to treat your countertops.

It might sound lovely to have fancy countertops, like soapstone and marble. But they also require some special care. Even granite may occasionally need resealed and will need to be cleaned with a special stone degreaser that can deep clean without damaging the counters. Grout between tiles can get stained and very dingy looking with one spill of the coffee cup. Formica is easy to maintain, although it might not be your first choice in a renovation. Consider your family’s lifestyle and needs before settling on your counter type. Be realistic, and don’t just pick something because it looks nice. Because if you don’t know how to care for it, it won’t look nice for long, and you will have wasted all that money.

5. Strategically play the layout of the kitchen for ease.

Think about the flow of your activities in the kitchen and how your redesign can simplify and streamline them. Pots and pans should live near the oven. Glasses near the sink. The spice rack and lazy Susan next to the range, for easy access while cooking. Designate the pot holder’s home near the range. The dishwasher soap near the dishwasher. This will make your life so much easier, and make it easier for guests to find what they’re looking for, too.

Related: 10 Home Improvements that Will Save You Money

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