The Easiest Way To Renovate Your Kitchen

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Country-style kitchens with wood cabinets are still a raging trend according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association‘s (NKBA) most recent survey. The traditional look exudes a warm and friendly atmosphere that comforts Canadians’ cocooning habits. The modern high-tech kitchen is losing appeal as kitchens become more like family rooms where the family eats, pays the bills and does homework.

Consequently, kitchens are getting bigger to accommodate the growing number of people who are drawn there. Meal preparation has become a family affair where everyone helps out. More space is needed to entertain guests who tend to gravitate to the kitchen. And more storage room is needed now that kitchens have become mini recycling depots.

For cabinetry, the element that sets the tone of the kitchen, oak is the most popular choice because of its warm look, uniform grain and durability. However, door fronts with glass panes are also popular and give a brighter, more open look to small kitchens.

Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is gaining ground for a flooring choice. Wood was formerly taboo in a kitchen but today’s products are so well sealed and protected, that as long as food and spills are cleaned up quickly, it’s durable and adds warmth to your kitchen.

If there’s room, many homeowners enjoy the benefits of an island. It provides extra workspace, storage room underneath and a counter for a quick breakfast or chat with a guest. If there’s no room for an island, add a peninsula instead. It’s an extension of your countertop that juts out enough to provide the same benefits.

Kitchen renovations are the most challenging renovation projects because they involve both plumbing and electrical requirements. You not only want a kitchen that is esthetically pleasing and comfortable, but one that performs efficiently.

Hire a certified kitchen designer (CKD) by contacting the NKBA for names (1-800-FOR-NKBA) or ask at your local kitchen store. These designers have passed an NKBA exam on kitchen planning. Richard Saxe, vice president of communications for the NKBA’s Ontario chapter says, “You need someone with technical knowledge of construction, plumbing, and electrical systems.” They also guide you through the selection of materials, fixtures, appliances, and accessories.

Using a professional saves you money because they can detect and solve problems before they affect your budget. “For example, detailed measurements are crucial,” says Saxe. “A mistake as small as one inch can make a big difference. If tile is installed in a kitchen, but its exact thickness isn’t taken into account, a tall pantry cabinet might not fit between the floor and ceiling.”

Kitchens have always been the heart of the home, but today they are quickly becoming the brains too. When renovating, have your kitchen wired for a sound system, intercom, and security system. The kitchen is usually the control center of today’s “smart” homes.

Renovating your kitchen is worthwhile not only for the joy it brings to your household, but also for its payback value. The average kitchen renovation (12 by 15 feet) costs about $13,500. Cabinets account for about 52 percent, flooring four percent and the rest is spent on fixtures, lighting and accessories. A major kitchen reno has a payback value of about 98 percent; a minor kitchen reno pays back 100 percent.


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