Kitchen & Home Remodeling Articles
- Written by Element Kitchen
In South Eastern Pennsylvania, kitchens are the prime area in your home to remodel. These days majority of people are staying in their homes and are improving their quality of life, because of the market value of their homes and are improving their quality of life. By remaining in your home and improving it, you can instantly improve your families quality of life and your homes value. The value will come soon enough, after all if your improving your home you most likely are going to remain in your home for sometime.
There are 10 Ways To Improve Your Kitchen, they range from dramatic to minor and can be accomplished within various amounts of time and budgets. We will cover many different aspects of the kitchen renovation, from the weekend project to the full blown remodel. Don't be afraid to take on large projects, but keep in mind that by having a professional contractor you can maintain your daily routine and sanity. A contractor will take care of hiring all the proper subs and locating materials and fixtures that will work for your kitchen remodel. A contractor will also manage and compete the project as well as handle any unforeseen issues, something most homeowners can't do.
Expanding Your Kitchen
Majority of older homes were never meant for an entire family to congregate in the kitchen area, therefore the kitchens are small and usually have poor layouts. The layout of a kitchen is extremely important and can effect how you utilize it, so by knocking down a wall you can instantly achieve useful square footage for your kitchen. This typically can take away from your existing area, but most of the time it's a great trade off.
Electric And Lighting
Electrical work can be done by the homeowner, BUT should in fact be done by a licensed professional. The proper paperwork and permits should be pulled by your local township or county's municipal office so that when the work is complete everyone understands that the work was completed properly. This will be important when selling your home, nobody wants to buy a home from someone who has done work without being licensed. When electrical work is done at your home, most homeowners forget to bring everything up to code or even ask what is entailed to do so.
If you live in an older home you may still have knob and tube wires remaining in your walls or ceilings. Knob and tube is very dangerous and if not addressed can cause a fire, this is why removing them when exposed is very important. Electricians can easily help bring existing issues up to municipal codes such as; replacing outlets, switches, cable feeds and phone lines. These not only keep your home safer, but can update your old looking fixtures.
If you don't have multiple outlets on your island than your island was either installed improperly or is old and is not up to code. This can be dangerous if you prep allot on your island and you run cords across the walk ways to outlets on the walls, this is very dangerous especially with kids around. If you decide to have new appliances installed than you may want your electrician have a look at your existing appliance wiring and breakers.
Kitchen Lighting is very important, although most homeowners fail to plan accordingly this can result in poor task lighting. There are two main parts to lighting; task and ambiance, these are typically addressed with multiple types of lights. The most common type of light would be the recessed light, this comes in multiple sizes like 6", 5", 4" and pin hole, these lights create mass projections of light that help with the task end of the spectrum. Recessed lights help you in your everyday tasks like cutting, cooking and cleaning, although these lights project ample amounts of light it is best to layer your lighting. By layering your lighting you can create effects and ambiance's for entertaining, this will help set the mood for your guests and allow them to appreciate your new kitchen renovation more.
One way to layer your lighting in the kitchen is to add pendent lighting and or ceiling lights over your island or table. Another way to layer your lighting package in your kitchen remodel would be to have all of your lights on separate dimmable switches, this way you can dim some lights while others are at full capacity. These features allow you to have any setting available for your parties or even for everyday use.
Replacing your existing sink plumbing with new valves, supply and waste lines are highly recommended, since majority of the time these are the first things to be compromised. In addition, adding a garbage disposal can decrease the amount of garbage you discard each year, which also helps with keeping your dishwasher clean and free of debris.
If you have a large island and prepare majority of your meals there, than you may want to add a prep sink to extend the functionality of your kitchen. By adding this sink you no longer have to carry all of your washed veggies over your flooring, dripping water time after time as well as having to clean it up. Typically this can take a toll on your hardwood flooring, not to mention your back.
There are two distinct types of flooring; theres tile flooring which comes in thousands of styles and patterns, as well as hardwoods which come in hundreds of colors and styles. If you have pets sometimes hardwood flooring may not be your first selection, although you'd be surprised the quality and durability of hardwood flooring. On the other hand tile flooring is highly durable and very easy to maintain, but the costs attached with tile flooring can sometimes be higher than hardwood flooring. Confusing?
Tile flooring can come in many different colors, styles, and sizes, so finding something that works with your kitchen renovation will be easy, but it's selecting tile that's right for your project which is the hard part. This is where you have to have someone who knows allot about tile and how to use it, this is so important. Tile flooring is very easy to maintain, great stain blocking potential as well as it never fades, something hardwood flooring can't afford you. Tile flooring can cost up to two times as much as hardwood flooring. Pricing is based on install pattern, tile type and whether you install on a wetbed (concrete) or Hardibacker substrate. When considering kitchen tile, these are great ideas to think about, working with your design professional will take allot of the burden off of your shoulders.
Hardwood flooring is a great way to change the look and feel of your kitchen. There are many different types of hardwood flooring such as; plank (4"-7" wide), solid wood or engineered, pre-finished or raw and hand scrapped or standard sanding. The larger the planks the more your kitchen will have an old world or rustic feel, the smaller the planks the cleaner the look. Pre-finished is the way to go when selecting whether or not to sand on site, this is because a factory finish is much better and will hold up longer than a job-site ready finish. The last thing to consider when selecting a hardwood floor is if you want the option of a hand scrapped or aged look to the hardwood. This option gives the kitchen a rustic feel as well as instantly adds character to the floor. Again consulting your designer will help make your final decision easier.
When selecting a manufacture for paint, it is important to keep in mind that not all paint is the same. Higher end paint typically rolls on smother and less paint is used in each application. This type of paint is more money, but is well worth the price, because it shows less defects on your walls especially when the proper preparation is taken. Kitchens require careful consideration when it comes to paint selections, because all of the different textures and finishes. The two types of paint that are mostly used by our company is Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, these two companies offer a great selection of paints in two different price ranges. Check out your local paint store for details and options.
Selecting the right faucet is key when figuring out what type of style you would like to achieve. There are many different types of faucets from small to over the top professional, you will need to select one that best suits your functionality. Other types of faucet fixtures are single lever or multiple lever operational fixtures, this will effect not only the price but the overall look. Faucets come in an array of finishes and can fit into any designer's specifications. Please keep in mind that the better the quality of fixture, the longer lasting and less chance of leaks down the road. One last thing, you might want to think about adding a prep sink, typically in your island, this will allow you to multitask in your kitchen without interfering with other helpers.
This might just be the most important section of the improvement for your kitchen remodel, everything revolves around the cabinetry. It all starts with quality cabinets that are plywood only with as many options as possible (for functionality purposes) and they must have a large selection of stains and/or paint to choose from. Cabinetry can be found anywhere these days, BUT they are all NOT alike! Cabinetry starts out in a builder's grade which has very limited woods and colors, as well as limited options and no modifications to any of the cabinetry. Next would be standard cabinet line, which has more of a selection in colors and woods, but may still not be in plywood or maybe as an upgrade. Modifications in the standard style of cabinetry are very limited if any at all, you will have to check your local dealer and the pricing is reasonable but you get what you pay for.
Semi custom cabinetry is a great way to get an extremely well built cabinet for your kitchen remodel, typically in plywood and as many modifications as needed. Colors and styles are vast and sometimes can even have custom modifications, the wood selections are usually the same from company to company, but exploring is the best option. Affordability or biggest bang for your buck would best describe this type of cabinetry. There is one more type of cabinet and that is full custom cabinetry, this typically is the most expensive and has unlimited selections of woods, colors, styles and modifications. Pricing varies from area to area depending on the season, wood type and dealer. With full custom you can do anything and design accordingly based on your specs.
Consulting with your designer to create the right look is strongly suggested, since once you drill for the holes there's no going back. Hardware comes in many different styles and finishes from modern to classic, again selection the perfect pieces is key the first time. The right finishes will improve the look and even help with making the cabinetry shine even more. Your kitchen renovation deserves to be completed right the first time. How many times have you seen pictures and/or friends kitchens and thought to yourself; the cabinetry looks beautiful, but the hardware doesn't seem to coordinate with everything else?
A major part of a successful kitchen remodel hinges on whether everything coordinates with the counter-tops. There are many different types of counter-top selection you can choose from; theres Granite, Marble, Quartz, Glass, Soapstone, wood and solid surface. The differences between all of these counter-tops are covered in the counter-top section of this website. Selecting the right one for your kitchen remodel needs to be considered carefully. It's important that you consult with your kitchen designer so that you can make the right decision, once installed it becomes very expensive to replace. Element Kitchen & Bath Design can help you with making the right decision so that your kitchen remodel is completed right the first time.
When considering a kitchen renovation you must keep in mind what appliances will fit into your kitchen. You must consider not only the finish, but what brand and model types, these very important for the simple fact that not all brands have the same model types. In every brand there are different models with multiple style selections, which have a wide price range attached to them. From the professional series to the contractor series, all appliances can be priced accordingly to the budget, it will be easy finding something for your kitchen renovation, but it may be difficult finding something from all of the different models.