Read This Before Your Next #KitchenRemodel

kitchenremodel

Don’t visit a showroom or meet with a pro without our expert advice on creating the cook space you’ve always coveted.

Get the Pros Involved

 

A kitchen remodel is a big deal—not something to be approached rashly. So before you even visit a showroom or meet with a pro, read our expert advice on creating the cook space you’ve always coveted.

Make Cents Out of Your Remodel

  

Worth the Splurge
1) Second sink: Place it outside of the main cooking and cleanup zone so that a second chef can prep food, wash hands for dinner, or bartend during parties.
2) Paneled cabinet ends: These decorative panels, which are essentially oversize doors fixed to any exposed sides of cabinets, give your kitchen a custom-built, furniture-like look.
3) Full-extension, soft-close drawer glides: Installed under or on the sides of a drawer, they allow it to pull completely out of the cabinet so that you can reach everything inside. Plus, they eliminate slamming.

Not Worth the Splurge
1) Glazed, distressed, and crackled finishes: These can increase cabinet costs by as much as 30 percent and can start to look dated as trends change.
2) Pot filler: It does make filling the pasta pot easier, but it doesn’t help with the far worse task of carting boiling water to the sink when your fettuccine is done.
3) Wine fridge: Do you really need 18 bottles of Pinot within arms reach and kept at precisely 55 degrees?

Allocating Project Costs

 

Whether your budget is $5,000 or $50,000, here’s how it tends to be allocated.

Designer’s Cheat Sheet

 

To create a comfortable and good-looking kitchen, consider these rules of thumb for installing cabinets, countertops, and lighting.

Easiest way to save big: Keep your current layout. Taking down walls, and moving gas lines, plumbing connections, and electrical wiring will quickly erode your budget.

Three Ways to Save on Cabinets

 

1. Choose a manufacturer that offers the door style and finish you want as a standard option, with no up-charge.

2. Don’t pay for factory-built or custom organizers. Aftermarket utensil dividers, rollout trays, and back-of-the-door spice racks are a fraction of the cost at websites such as organize.com and cabinetparts.com.

3. Avoid custom configurations. You can often use stock wine organizers, cubby units, and even appliance panels to fill awkward spaces that might otherwise require you to buy a custom cabinet.

How the Factory’s Cabinets Beat the Woodshop’s

 

The big guys may not offer the customization you get from a local craftsman, but factory-made-to-order cabinets have the following benefits:

1. Warranties of up to 25 years on cabinets, accessories, workmanship, and internal hardware.

2. Controlled environment that yields more stable wood, which reduces warping and splitting later.

3. Computerized cutting tools that offer more precise joinery than anything done by hand.

4. Baked-on finishes that are more durable than local guys’ air-dried ones. Dust-free finishing rooms also provide a smooth-as-glass surface.

Which Under-Cabinet Lighting?

 

For task light, pick one of these low-voltage strips or pucks.

XENON Accurate color, wide beam, and dimmable, but can get hot to the touch. Widely available at home centers and kitchen showrooms. $25–$125 for a 24-inch cabinet uninstalled

LED Energy-efficient, long-lasting bulbs; so thin you don’t need much of a lip to hide fixtures. Can have a bluish tint unless rated at 3,500 or lower on the Kelvin scale. A new technology, so pricier and harder to source. $75–$190 for a 24-inch cabinet uninstalled.

Display Cabinets for Less

 

Rather than stacking glass-doored cubby units over upper cabinets, just order tall two-panel wall cabinets with squares of glass at the top. You’ll save 25 to 45 percent.

Blind Corners: Half-Moon Lazy Susan

An update of the old reach-in-and-spin organizer has two pivoting half-circle shelves that slide out from the cabinet. Rev-A-Shelf Wood Classic Half Moon Two Shelf Lazy Susan, starting at $235; cabinetparts.com

Blind Corners: Double Sliding Shelves

A front set of shelves slide out and to one side, allowing a second set tucked in the corner to slide forward. Square shelves, rather than angled ones, take full advantage of the cabinet interior. Knape & Vogt Slide-Out Base Blind Corner Unit, $660; rockler.com

Blind Corners: Pull-Out Shelves

Two height-adjustable peanut-shaped shelves snake out and to the side in one fluid motion. The shelves fully extend, so there’s no reaching inside for items tucked in the rear. Häfele Arena Plus Corner Pull-out Shelf, $790; kitchensource.com

Best Practices for Open Shelving

 

Anything stored on exposed shelves will collect dust, so consider them only for:

Everyday objects, like coffee cups and cereal bowls, that you wash frequently
Cookbooks, which don’t show dust and are generally stored in the open anyway
Oversize items, like soup tureens and serving platters, if you don’t mind giving them a quick rinse
Wine racks, since bottles won’t fit behind the doors on wall cabinets

The Pros (and Cons) of a Pro-Grade Range

 

It tops many a kitchen remodeler’s wish list, but is a high-firepower cooker really the right choice for you?

Pros:
• Burners can put out two to three times the BTUs with controls that go from simmer to sear.
• 20-plus-year life expectancy
• Heavy-duty all-stainless-steel construction
• Comes in many standard sizes; widths of 24 to 60 inches.
• Handsomely styled showpiece

Cons
• Needs a 10-inch duct (versus the usual 7-inch) for a high-power vent hood to whisk away that extra heat.
• Costly parts and service calls
• Can weigh more than 900 pounds, requiring extra support in floors.
• May stand out 4 inches beyond typical counter depth.
• $5,000–$10,000 sticker price

Next-Gen Cook Top

 

Induction uses an electro-magnetic field to heat stainless-steel or cast-iron cookware.

It offers:
1) The ease of electric with the power and control of gas.
2) Faster and more energy-efficient heating than standard electric.
3) A cool-to-the-touch top that won’t burn the kids.
4) A pro-grade cooktop in an island without running gas lines. Just add an outlet.

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