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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Questions to Ask When You’re Redesigning a Kitchen

Written by Posted On Friday, 25 August 2017 20:53

Many homeowners are eager to improve their property and add touches that make a home their own. Typically, the kitchen is one of the first places where homeowners turn their attention.

A kitchen redesign can add value to your home, but it’s not something homeowners should take lightly. Many kitchen remodels can easily creep out of scope if you don’t plan properly and manage your budget.

The experts at Gilman’s Kitchen + Bath have been helping homeowners with the kind of kitchen design San Francisco residents prefer for more than 28 years. They clued us in on some of the things that they discuss with each client before beginning a remodel project. This Q&A will help you ask the right questions before jumping head first into a kitchen remodel.

Which Projects Can You Handle on Your Own?

One of the first things you need to decide is what labor you’ll handle on your own and what projects require help from a professional. This largely depends on your experience level, but safety is also a concern. Anything that requires electrical work should be handled by a licensed electrician. Likewise, gas fixes should only be done by a professional.

It’s also best to get professional help with large, expensive projects like replacing kitchen cabinets. It may seem straightforward, but one wrong measurement can throw the whole thing off.

Which Design Elements Require Careful Pre-Planning?

There are kitchen projects that don’t require much forethought, but most need to be well planned in advance. Some examples include:

Reconfiguring the Layout – This often requires repositioning the water and gas lines. It also impacts many other design elements like the cabinets and countertops.

Replacing Countertops – You’ll need to first decide if you want to keep the same layout. How the countertop flows into the sink also has to be figured out before measurements can be made.

Installing New Cabinets – Do you want to keep the same configuration? What about the height? In addition to a number of material choices, you’ll also have to make exact measurements.

Replacing the Flooring – There are a number of things to figure out beyond what material you’ll use for the flooring. You’ll first need to decide if the configuration is remaining the same and if any additions will be included that could affect the flooring. You’ll also need to plan for not having access to the kitchen for at least a few days. 

Which Improvements Have the Best Return on Investment?

Redesigning a kitchen is one of the most expensive projects a homeowner can undertake. While it’s important to make improvements that fit your needs and lifestyle, it’s equally important to invest your money where it matters most.

Which improvements will have the best return on investment often depends on your area. Touring homes in your neighborhood that are currently on the market will give you a better idea of what’s considered the norm.

Replacing old appliances is usually a sound financial decision, and it can increase energy efficiency. Painting also has a high ROI and can be done without professional help. This includes painting wood cabinets that are in good shape. Another rule of thumb is to replace anything that’s broken or not functioning properly.

And don’t think that you have to do everything at once. According to Remodel Magazine’s Cost vs Value report, minor kitchen remodels often produce a higher ROI compared to a major redesign.

What Improvements Can Be Done to Save Space?

Like closets, no matter how large a kitchen is extra space is always valued. There are lots of ways to create more storage in your kitchen, and a redesign is the perfect time to consider your options.

If you plan to replace your cabinets take time to think about how interior features can be used to maximize space. For example, a lazy Susan can be incorporated into the corner cabinets to make use of the space in the back. You can also choose to convert a traditional pantry into a pull-out pantry that makes the existing space more usable.

Using the vertical space is also a good idea. Hanging pot racks, wall-mounted spice racks and utilizing the space above cabinets can significantly increase available storage.

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Ryan Kh

Ryan Kh is a big data and analytic expert, marketing digital products on Amazon’s Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he’s totally into it. Follow Ryan’s daily posts on Forumsmix. Email him at, and follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr.

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