6 Things to Remember When Planning a Kitchen Remodel

If you love whipping up elaborate culinary masterpieces—or simple comfort food, for that matter—the kitchen is probably one of your favorite places in your West Chicago home. But it can be very frustrating trying to cook in a kitchen that is malfunctioning, doesn't meet your needs, or is just plain ugly and outdated.

When you find yourself yearning for a more welcoming and serviceable place to prepare your meals, it's time to get started on planning a kitchen remodel project. It's a challenge, but coming up with renovation plans is also a lot of fun. This is your chance to really infuse your home with your own personality and sense of style to create your dream kitchen update.

It's easy to get carried away in the planning phase, but there are a few key things you need to keep in mind. These reminders from the remodeling experts at Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale will get you on track towards the perfect kitchen upgrade.

1. Who Will Use the Kitchen—and How?

You know who in your household does most of the cooking, and you know who they're cooking for—but some people forget to match those facts with the basics of their kitchen renovation plan. If you mainly use the kitchen space to unpack take-out boxes, your needs will be different from someone who loves cooking gourmet, eight-course meals for all their friends, and that's okay. Think carefully about how you (or the family chef) uses the room so you can make the remodel match the needs of your family.

2. Functionality is More Important Than Aesthetics

This is one of the hardest things to accept when you're paging through glossy photos of flawlessly-styled designer kitchens. Appearances are important, sure—but the kitchen is primarily a utilitarian space, and it needs to be perfectly functioning and tailored to your unique needs above all else.

For instance, you may love the rustic vibes you get from a single-basin farmhouse sink, but you could regret your choice when you're trying to find space to contain dirty dishes and wash vegetables at the same time, and you can still get a similar look with a double-basin sink that will work better for how you want to use it, or a stainless steel sink with a garbage disposal that will make maintenance and clean-up a breeze. It's also critical to make room (both physical and financial) for important but often-overlooked elements such as task lighting and ventilation. They're not as exciting as a marble countertop, but you'll be glad you have them when you can clear smoke or humid air with the flip of a switch—not to mention actually see what you're trying to cook.

3. Always Pad the Budget

You may think you've got all your kitchen remodeling ideas in perfect order on your budget down to the last dollar, but something almost always happens during a renovation project that stretches your financial decisions way past what you'd planned to spend. The best way to deal with that near-certainty is to pad the budget with an extra 30% on top of what you think the total cost will be, so it won't be a huge, stress-inducing disaster if you're forced to change your plan—and if you don't end up using it, you'll have a start on the funding for another project like bathroom remodeling or for finishing your basement.

4. Tile Can Make or Break the Remodel

From a tiled kitchen floor to a beautiful subway tile or glass tile backsplash, you're probably planning to include at least a little tile in your kitchen. The options can be overwhelming—there's such a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, textures, materials, and styles you can choose from. Most people don't think of this key consideration, though: how much maintenance are you willing to do?

Natural materials such as slate and travertine are stunning and practically scream "luxury," but they require regular maintenance such as sealing to keep them looking good. On the other hand, porcelain or ceramic tiles may not be as visually dramatic, but they're highly durable and a lot easier to maintain than more expensive choices. You may be fine with extra work in exchange for the appeal of natural stone, but be aware of the pros and cons before you decide. And don't forget that forgoing tile altogether in favor of a highly-durable, virtually maintenance-free option like vinyl or laminate flooring is a viable alternative.

5. Cabinets Need Love, Too

Kitchen cabinets take up so much physical and visual space, it would be a mistake not to include them as part of your upgrade. Mr. Handyman's talented carpenters can create custom cabinetry that suits the way you like to use the space. If you've ever wished the upper cabinets went all the way to the ceiling, or the cutlery drawer was closer to the dishwasher, this is your chance to address those concerns.

You may not need to start from scratch with custom options, though. If you're happy with the layout of your current cabinetry, and they're in decent shape, but you want a style refresh that matches your new room, then cabinet refacing can accomplish that. It could involve replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts entirely, or just applying a fresh coat of paint and changing out the hardware such as handles and drawer pulls.

6. Add Storage Space

Storage is an absolute must-have in any kitchen space. Additions such as a kitchen island, hanging pot racks, pull-out cutting boards, revolving corner cabinets, and much more can better utilize the space available. It doesn't have to be elaborate—a pantry can be a separate room like a walk-in closet, but it can also be as simple as a large, fridge-sized cabinet for storing dry goods.

Trust Mr. Handyman to Take Your Kitchen Remodel to the Next Level

Whether you're in Carol Stream, Lombard, Hinsdale, or another part of the West Chicago area, you can rely on Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale for a minor kitchen remodel with a few budget-friendly fixes, or a major remodel that will transform your whole house.

Give us a call or send a text today to chat with our friendly customer service staff. We'll be pleased to offer the advice and information you need to make kitchen project decisions with confidence.