When you've been living in the same house for awhile, things start to go wrong. Counter tops may be chipped or broken, cabinets are falling apart, it is easy to tell that it is time to remodel the kitchen. Beyond issues that are cosmetic, there may be larger issues at play that are far more important but will send the home remodeling costs soaring. However, you need to come up with the money because these fixes are critical to your home and your sanity. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if it's time to remodel your kitchen.
Traffic flow: If you want to have more than one person in the kitchen at a time you might want to put some more room in the kitchen around the main workspace. If you have a lot of parties or would like to you should consider an open floor plan that allows the cook to interact with guests. Measure your kitchen: the width of a walkway should be 36 inches, the width of a work area should be 42 inches and the work area should measure 48 inches if there is going to be more than one person working in there.
Enough space: Counter space and storage space can be increased a lot just by rearranging the layout of your kitchen. The location of your fridge or the shape of your counter may be robbing you of useful workspace. The accepted standards for a counter top, either when you are replacing it or are changing the shape is 158 inches of total counter top frontage, that is 24 inches deep and has 15 inches of clearance above it. This space should your comprise your landing area, prep / work area, storage, and any other uses.
Eco-Friendly and Efficiency: Green is the big buzzword, today everyone wants homes to be eco-friendly and have eco-friendly features to reduce their carbon footprint. Old appliances may be costing you more money than they are worth due to inefficient operation. These days, manufacturers are responding to the green demand by making technological improvements to dishwashers, disposals, and refrigerators to make them more efficient and save you a lot of money, making them worth the investment. For instance, you could purchase a dishwasher with rated for low energy consumption, a delay timer, and an economy cycle or half load button. This would save you water as well as money.
Accessibility: Is your kitchen usable by individuals with a disability? While you may not need for it to be now, if you plan on staying in the house for a long time or plan on selling it one day, you should keep this question in mind. Will you be able to use your kitchen safely when you get older? This element is often overlooked but it is definitely something to keep in mind when remodeling your kitchen.
Location: Providing access to an outside living area is a popular choice in new homes. By putting a door in your kitchen it creates a nice flow to a deck or patio outside. You may also want to move windows to allow more or less light in or so you can have a better view of your backyard to keep track of you children when they play outside. Keep in mind, however, that a cooking surface should never be located under a working 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. Since the home remodeling costs can be high and you may not be willing or able to take on additional debt this will help you classify need to have versus nice to have. Also, determine whether you are planning on working with a designer or taking on the task yourself.