The Rewards of Remodeling
Avocado-colored appliances from the 70s may be rusting on cracked linoleum floors. Stains in the grout or scuffs on the hardwood make dinner dreary. Your sister-in-law’s gleaming new range might inspire jealousy-;or, you could simply be ready for a change.
According to the Mintel Group’s research, the US market for kitchen renovation reached $17 billion in 2005. And US Census Bureau statistics calculate that home improvement projects accounted for almost 75% of the $198.6 billion that homeowners spent on their residences in 2004, with kitchen renovations at the top of the list.
If kitchen remodeling is so popular, why is it so hard? The kitchen is the heart of a home—the place for eating and entertaining, gathering and studying—and a facelift can be disruptive. While some updates take only a few weeks, the majority of remodels will last longer than 30 days. But what you do during the first month can ease you through the entire process and encourage personal growth along the way.
Planning a Kitchen Remodel
Careful planning will make things easier and save you time and money later. Make decisions in advance and be committed to them, because changing adds cost and delays completion. Think long-term, and plan a design that’s sensible for how you live, says Janice Anne Costa, editor of Kitchen & Bath Design News. Certain materials stain easily or show children’s fingerprints and pets’ scratches. “Everything looks beautiful in the showroom,” she says, “but how will it work in your house?”
If you have kids or are constantly on the run, let that be a factor in your plan. Look to the future—will you need more storage? Special lighting or other features? Do you plan to sell eventually? Don’t forget to think about your kitchen five to ten years down the road, says Vern Yip, host of HGTV’s “Deserving Design.” “People get excited about remodeling and forget that kitchens get dated really fast,” he says. “Think about the long-term effects of your decision.”
Asking yourself why you want to remodel certain elements will help frame your budget and establish priorities.