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Do's and Don'ts: Planning Your Lehigh Valley Kitchen Renovation

You've made the call: it's time for a new kitchen. One that will look beautiful, function perfectly, and add value to your home and life. It'll be spectacular, but first you have to plan a kitchen renovation.

The kitchen is the heart of your house and one of the most complex rooms, so there's a lot of things you should do when planning your renovation—and a lot of things you should absolutely not do. But where and how should you get started?

This guide will give you advice on useful do's and don'ts to inspire you to design your dream kitchen while avoiding some common mistakes in the planning process.

DO: Think About How You'll Use the Room

It may seem obvious, but a lot of people overlook this important first step. It's easy to get caught up in planning and fall in love with the idea of a giant double oven-convection range in your favorite shade of teal—only to remember later on that you mainly use your oven as a place to unpack takeout bags.

Whether you're an avid chef or not, you still need a kitchen. But, it really pays to tailor it to your specific needs... after all, custom rooms are one of the biggest advantages of renovation.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you think about how to use the space you have available:

  • How often do I cook and entertain guests?

  • Do I like to cook and bake multiple dishes at the same time?

  • How many people use my kitchen?

  • Do I need dining space in my kitchen?

  • What will be the focal point of the room?

  • How can I eliminate wasted space?

  • Am I planning to sell my house in the next few years?

DON'T: Prioritize Form Over Function

When you're paging through dozens of photos of epic, light-filled, perfectly decorated kitchens, it can seem like kitchens are all about aesthetics. But, your kitchen is probably the most utilitarian room in the house and when you're in the middle of cooking a huge meal you'll care a lot more about convenience than appearance.

This can apply to almost any aspect of the remodel, but take layout for an example. There are thousands of style options available, but the same can't be said of layouts—almost all common kitchen layouts fall into a few tried-and-true standards.

A common rule of thumb for functionality is the "work triangle." This means the locations of the stove, refrigerator, and sink should be situated roughly in a triangle configuration with kitchen appliances or fixtures at each point of the triangle. That way, there's counter space right next to each one and when you're rushing around the kitchen, it's natural to pivot towards the fixture you need without getting tripped up.

DO: Check Out Products and Materials Before Buying

Online shopping may be very popular, but when you're choosing materials and products for your kitchen, it really helps to see and touch them in person for a few reasons:

1. Photographs are limited in the information they can give you, and they can also be deceptive (intentionally or not). You might find what you think is the perfect slab of granite online for your countertops, only to realize once it arrives that the color and texture are not what you were expecting—and not what you like.

2. It can help keep project costs down. Materials are one of the biggest expenses in the cost of kitchen renos, and seeing your options up close can help you narrow down what you really want and need.

3. Quality is almost impossible to gauge from a photograph alone. Wood cabinets, for example, might look more or less the same in photos, but when you touch them, open and close the doors, and examine the details, you'll notice huge differences in quality.

That's why Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown, and the Lehigh Valley has a showroom conveniently located right off the Lehigh Valley Thruway where you can look around, peek into cabinets, run your hands over material options, and really get a good sense of whether an item is going to work for your home. We're proud to say that our high-quality cabinets are made in the U.S.A. and we think you'll be pleased with what we have on display.

DON'T: Get Too Hung Up on Product Trends

It's nice to be trendy, but trends come and go pretty fast and you want your remodel to be fresh for years to come. Trends are also usually dictated by appearances rather than functionality, so you may find yourself with something that looks great—until the next trend comes along—but isn't strong and long-lasting. The trend of hardwood floors in kitchens pops up now and then, but you can get a similar, classic look with vinyl plank laminate flooring, which is far more durable and waterproof to boot.

DO: Add Storage Space

Whether your room is large or small, storage space is a key consideration. Additions such as pantries, hanging pot racks, pull-out cutting boards, can make your life a lot easier and take your remodel to the next level. It doesn't have to be incredibly elaborate, either—a separate pantry room is nice, but a pantry could be as simple as a large, fridge-sized cabinet for storing dry goods.

DON'T: Hire Multiple Companies and Contractors

You'll need to hire some service professionals to work on your kitchen remodeling project, but hiring and managing multiple companies and contractors to take care of various things such as plumbing in sinks, installing tile, repairing windows, flooring installation, and so on, is a big hassle and can be really stress-inducing.

Luckily, you don't have to deal with that burden. The crew of experts at Mr. Handyman can take care of kitchen renovations from floor to ceiling. We can truly handle every single thing that's needed to transform your room into your ideal cooking and entertaining space, from installing lighting fixtures or a glass tile backsplash to designing custom cabinets and kitchen islands.

Mr. Handyman is Your Lehigh Valley Kitchen Renovation Expert!

We're ready to get started on your dream kitchen! We have the experience and skill to deliver quality workmanship and outstanding customer service.

Give us a call today at 610-463-1667 to schedule an appointment, or stop by our showroom to check out what we've got—and while you’re at it, feel free to give Hercules the dog a scratch behind the ears!