Kitchen Renovation – Where to Begin

Kitchens are the heart of the home. It Sets the Tone. People invest a lot into kitchen upgrades because it is the most important room when it comes to the resale value of the home. Its where we spend the most time, cooking, entertaining and family gatherings.

Kitchen renovations can be costly and intimidating with all the available options out there. A common question we hear is, “What should I do—should I paint the kitchen cabinets, or should I rip the kitchen apart and start over?” Many homeowners don’t know what to look for in order to make the best decision.

Overall, the answers will vary and will depend on the existing layout and condition of your home’s kitchen area. For a general rule of thumb, we consider the following to be some of the most common deciding factors when advising clients.

Consider painting your cabinets when:

  • The flow of your kitchen is ideal and cannot be improved.
  • The kitchen cabinets are in good condition and not in need of major repair.
  • You have newer countertops and you don’t need to replace them.

Consider ripping your kitchen out when:

  • The flow of your existing kitchen space is poor.
  • You plan on relocating or replacing appliances (with different sizes).
  • You’d like to have an open floor plan and you anticipate knocking down existing walls (especially walls that support your existing cabinets)

When we speak of the “flow of the kitchen”, we like to think of the flow of function of the kitchen.

Many older kitchens were not built to accommodate the size of the appliances that we are using today. So, if a new appliance package is desired, you will want to consider the sizes and locations of those appliances.

The flow of the users in the kitchen is also important to consider. Think about how you’ve used it in the past.

  • Do you bump elbows with others? Are you bumping into things (and people) that you work with?
  • Is your dishwasher conveniently located directly next to sink?
  • Is refrigerator in the ideal location?
  • Do you have counter space to the left and to the right of your stove?

While considering the flow of your kitchen, you’ll want to assess the overall flow of your living space. A favorite feature in homes today is the open floor plan. If you’re considering taking down walls to create an open floor plan, you’ll want to evaluate how this will affect your kitchen layout along with the flow of both the kitchen and the living space. If removing walls is necessary to create an open floor plan, then selecting new cabinetry will most likely be the best choice.

Maybe you’ve concluded that your current kitchen functions best as it is now, the cabinets overall are in decent condition, but you really like the idea of sprucing up your kitchen with fancier-looking cabinets. If that’s the case, you may want to consider saving some time and dollars by painting your existing cabinets.

Many immediately ask, “What’s the cost savings?” While this will vary, my most common response is “The cost of the new kitchen cabinets.” After remodeling many kitchens, we’ve concluded that the cost to demolish, dispose, and install new cabinets is very similar in cost to a high quality, professionally spray-applicated paint job. The overall duration of the job onsite for painting cabinets will be similar in time to demo and install new cabinetry.  

The time saved, is mainly time spent in the design and ordering phase of the project. Kitchen designs are time consuming and take a lot of effort and focus from homeowners. There are many decisions to make when remodeling your kitchen. Give yourself the time it deserves if you decide to complete a full kitchen renovation.

Keep in mind that this is only the thought of a kitchen renovation! Not the design.

In a future post we will discuss how and where to begin when selecting cabinetry, fixtures, countertops, appliances and all the other items needed to complete your dream kitchen.

When it comes to remodeling, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. If you are considering a kitchen renovation and would appreciate feedback and/or inspiring ideas share some photos and thoughts with us via email, and we’ll be sure to respond within 24 hours with feedback at no cost!

We advise clients to measure any home renovation project using these three measures; time, stress, cost.


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